The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
January 8, 1880 Christ’s Followers the Light of the World
Filed under: EG White Articles

(Continued from Vol. 5, No. 47.)

In the work of , when the of the first day broke, and the and , by the call of , came out of ; responsive to the rising light, “the sang together, and all the shouted for .” In the , gilding the of with its bright beams, saw the symbol of the light to be proclaimed in the earth by his , dispelling by its bright beams, , , and , and ushering in and , bringing back to those who have been to the . taught that all true and of , all and in the soul, must come through perfect and entire to his , which is the highest . The connected with their , which they were to put to a practical use, were given to the disciples upon this occasion. They were to carry the to the .

The , the “,” was imparting his beams of light to his disciples, and illuminating their minds, sweeping away their traditions and man-made requirements, and enforcing the real principles of God’s law upon them. He taught them lessons which they should put to a practical use in order to be the lights of the world. He taught them that they should exhibit in their character the graces of his Spirit which he pronounced blessed. The acceptance of the light he urged upon his hearers, as essential for their restoration to spiritual life. And for them to have a sound, healthful, happy experience, they must exercise the best and noblest faculties of the soul. He would have them understand that if they would make their lives pleasant, and useful to others, they must be obedient to the requirements of God. He always directs safely, and we shall not go astray while following where he leads. Said Christ, “I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Christ represents the disciples who have the attributes which characterize them as children of God, as the light of the world. Without these attributes they cannot be the light of the world, and they would not correctly represent Christ who is the Light of the world. As the sun goes forth in the heavens on its errand of mercy and love, and as the golden beams of day flood the canopy of the heavens and beautify forests and mountains, and awaken the world from their slumbers by dispelling the darkness of night, so should his followers go forth on their mission. They should gather the divine rays of light from the Light of the world, and let it shine forth in good works upon those who are in the darkness of error. Through the ministration of his ordained servants he carries forward his work through all time.

The message of light given to the assembled multitude on the mount was not alone for them, but was to be sounded in the ears of the church all along the line, through successive generations, resting with more solemn weight upon Christ’s ambassadors in the last days. Sinners are to be turned from the darkness of error to the light of truth, by the foolishness of preaching. He who accepts the light is to claim no authority himself; but as God’s messenger, with light reflected to him from the Source of light, he may claim the highest authority.

God might write the messages of truth upon the firmament of the heavens as easily as he placed the stars in their position. He might proclaim the truth and let it shine to the world through angel visitors, but this is not the way he ordained. He delegated power to his disciples to carry the light which he would communicate to them, to all parts of the world. Through his ambassadors God graciously infuses light to the understanding and warmth to the souls of those who acknowledge the message he sends, bearing light to those in darkness.

Paul writes to Timothy: “Be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them, for in so doing thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.” The ambassador must be obedient and faithful in the performance of his work as an instrument of God in the salvation of others. He cannot be saved himself if he is an unfaithful servant. He must be the light of the world. He must erect the standard of Christ in families, in villages, and cities, and in the hearts of men.

God does not select angels who have never fallen, but fallen man who has felt the redeeming power of the grace of Christ sanctifying his own life, and the bright beams of truth warming his own heart. As they have been in peril themselves, they are acquainted with the dangers and difficulties of others, and the way to reach others in like peril.

Said Paul, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.” This is the reason why angels were not chosen to preach the truth. The gospel was committed to weak and erring men that God might have all the glory. The supremacy of God is to be discerned in the frail instrument chosen to proclaim the message of truth.

Our Saviour often spent all night in prayer to his Father, coming forth with the rising sun to shed his beams of light upon the world. With his heart all full of sympathy for the poor, the ignorant and afflicted, he labored that he might elevate fallen man, and dispel the moral darkness by the light reflected from himself.
                                                            E. G. White.
                            (To be Continued.)

Jenny @ 7:11 pm
December 12, 1878 Reflections on a Colorado Sunset
Filed under: EG White Articles

As the cars bore our company into the city of Denver, we were charmed in beholding one of the beautiful sunsets of Colorado. The sun was passing behind the snow-capped mountains, leaving its softened beams of golden light to tint the heavens. As the blending tints were deepening and extending athwart the skies, with indescribable beauty, it seemed the gates of heaven were ajar to let the gleamings of its glory through. The golden hues were every moment more and more entrancing, as if to invite our imagination to picture the greater glory within. We loved to think that God had let some of the glorious rays of the light abounding in heaven appear to our senses, that our imagination might grasp the more perfect glories still unrevealed. Yet the inspired apostle tells us “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” If this so charms our senses, what must be the fullness of the glory in heaven itself.

We have an infinite God, high above all heavens; and yet he condescends to dwell with him who is of a meek and contrite spirit. It is when we turn our eyes away from this world that we behold the beams of light from heaven. By faith a far more surpassing glory than the world can give dawns upon our senses. Here we see but the faint rays of what will be revealed to those who love God.

Heaven seemed very near. From its golden gates light seemed beaming forth, to bless and comfort, and make joyful the heart of man. As the eye was turned from the dazzling glories of the closing day, we could but reflect that should we see more of heaven by the eye of faith, greater light, more peace and joy would be all along life’s pathway. We keep our eyes fixed so closely upon the low land of earth, looking upon the transient and deceptive attractions of worldly things, that in beholding we become changed to the earthly. If the eye of faith were uplifted to see through the veil of the future and discern the tokens of God’s love and glory in the promised life beyond, we should be more spiritually minded, and the beauties and joys of heaven would mingle with our daily life. We should be fitting up for the faithful performance of our work in this life, and for the higher life beyond.

The compassion of the infinite God is expressed to man in the blessings he bestows. The greatest, the wisest, and the happiest man that lives upon the earth is he who sees most of God in his created works; who walks most closely with him in his every day life. The man who walks with God will exert an influence that will make the world better for his having lived in it. The beautiful, well-balanced, symmetrical character is developed by individual acts of duty. The character is formed by the conscientious attention to the little things of life, courteous acts of kindness unselfish deeds of charity. Kind words make the life beautiful and noble; for in them is the spirit that pervades heaven.

A wise improvement of God’s gifts and blessings; a diligent cultivation of the little talents given by the Master; a patient continuance in well-doing, even if but little encouragement is received from those around us, will make life in this world a success, and will secure to us the higher immortal life. These things make the world’s great men in the sight of God. The world will not know these men, even as they knew not Christ; but they are known and acknowledged of heaven. If the musings and the purposes of man were of a more elevated character, spirituality would not be waxing cold.

The striking figures and pictures God has given in his heavens should thrill our souls and lead our minds to a contemplation of heavenly glories. While engaged in this the mind will have no leisure for worldly imaginings, worldly schemings, lusting for worldly honors or distinction. While in converse with the God of nature, in viewing with sanctified eyes his created glorious things in nature, the yearnings of the heart will be for higher and holier attainments.

The high and lofty One who inhabiteth eternity claims and deserves our highest thoughts and holiest affections. God is the source of all power. From his infinite love flow blessings to every creature formed in his image. Our heavenly Father has hung out glories in the firmament of the heavens, that men may have an expression of his love in the revealing of his wondrous works. God would not have us indifferent to the symbols of the glories of his infinite power in the heavens. David delighted to dwell upon these glories. He composed psalms which the Hebrew singers chanted to the praise of God. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.”

Christ finds men clinging to the earth and building their foundation upon the sand. He presents to them subjects in the heavens worthy of thought, and inspires them with desire to take hold on God and build upon the rock for time and for eternity. All the powers of our being, every means of our existence and happiness, all the blessings of the warm sunshine and the refreshing showers, causing vegetation to flourish, every comfort and every blessing of this life, comes from God. He sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. The treasures of heaven are poured out to all.

Through Jesus Christ comes all these bounties. And how do men receive them? The great mass of mankind take the gift from their heavenly Father’s hand but make no acknowledgment to him. They seem to take it for granted that these bounties are their rightful due, and forget that God is the giver. They do not even acknowledge their obligations by thanking God for his mercies. Indeed they treat no other friend so ill. They sit at the family board, loaded with bounties from his hand, and render no thanks to him. They enjoy the gifts, but despise the giver.

The worst feature of this picture is, many who profess to be followers of Christ pursue the same course as the unbeliever and thankless worldling. They take the gifts of heaven without lifting the heart and voice to God in sincere thanks. God has blessed them with comfortable homes. They lie down to rest in safety because of the guarding care of his ministering angels; but they arise in the morning with scarcely a thought of God. This is unlike the world’s Redeemer. Although he owned all things, he never broke bread without lifting his eyes and hands to heaven in thanks to his Father, craving his blessing upon it. Yet finite man, wholly dependent upon God, has no sense of the debt of gratitude he owes. 

Many parents professing to be Christians pass the morning without prayer to God or a thought of him. Worldly business is the subject of their thoughts the last thing at night and the first thing in the morning. They do not gather the family about them and read to them from the word of God, which teaches the whole duty of man. They do not make the reading of instructive lessons from the precious book of any importance, or the hour of prayer a sacred privilege. They do not, by the form of prayer, teach the children their dependence upon God, and the necessity of divine aid to help them to overcome temptation through the day, and to draw the mind upward to God and heaven. A prayerless house, a house where Christ is not entreated to come in, there the prince of darkness abides. There are scores of families who profess to love God, that love him a great way off; for they do not invite Jesus into their dwellings. They do not erect the family altar and offer up fervent petitions morning and evening. They do not render to God grateful praise, acknowledging his gifts, and entreating his blessing. How can those who bear the name of Christians rise morning after morning and partake of the bounties God has provided for them and be so ungrateful to the Giver as not to breathe a word of thanks? In such a house a cold and chilling influence prevails. The warming beams of the Sun of Righteousness do not penetrate the darkness of a prayerless house.

Parents should associate in the minds of their children, our heavenly Father with the blessings of life and health and the gifts of his bounties which they daily enjoy. They should not neglect to open to their impressible minds the great book of nature, and teach them lessons of God’s love; show them that every bud and blooming flower, formed and tinted by a divine hand, is an expression of the love of God to them. Every spire of grass, every lofty tree, is an evidence of God’s love to man. Children may be made acquainted with God in his created works by having their minds directed to the glories of the heavens in the light of the setting sun. His hand has strewed the skies with everlasting gems of light. Worlds are peopled by his power, and yet the humblest creatures of the earth are the objects of his love and care. A contemplation of these things will give to both parents and children more exalted views of the Ruler of the universe.

Christian parents may write upon the tablets of the hearts of their children lessons of the greatness and majesty of God which neither time nor circumstances can efface. The God of such riches and power, who had no need of man to increase his might and glory, gave his only and beloved Son to a life of ignominy and a cruel death, because he loved man whom he had created, and whom he would save from ruin, and bestow on him the gift of everlasting life. Teach the children that the cross of Christ is the instrumentality of God to save perishing man. And he has commanded us, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Christ has given us an example in his life, and he commands us to follow in his footsteps.

Those who are absorbed in their own sorrows, who can enjoy only their own blessings, and labor only for their own good, are miserable indeed. As we receive the gifts of God, we should impart to others the blessings Heaven has so richly bestowed upon us. To be happy ourselves we must live to make others happy. Our hearts will be filled with joy and peace when we impart blessings to others. The youth who are faithful in the minor duties of life, who will heed the demands of duty without consulting their own pleasure, and who will speak words of kindness and perform deeds of love to the poor, and carry comfort to the homes of the desolate, will be the ones upon whom the Master will call to make sacrifices to carry the truth to those who are in darkness. These can be intrusted with this work, for they have proved themselves faithful in that which is least. A wise improvement of the talents bestowed will make the faithful doer great in the sight of God. The work of faithfulness must begin at their own door; in their own home must they show an unselfish spirit in all their acts, to those of their own households.

All the glories of God in the heavens, and everything lovely in our world, is to give us a correct knowledge of the character of God the giver. The power, truth, and glory of the gospel are displayed all around us to bring us in harmony and love with our gracious Benefactor.  Mrs. E. G. White.

Jenny @ 1:11 am
March 7, 1878 The Law from Sinai.
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
-

When the children of left they pursued their journey, winding up a narrow opening through the bold rocks of the . They gradually ascended higher and higher, until there opened before them a wide extended plain, enclosed by granite ridges and towering toward the . ’s range stood before them in somber , its rocky crags towering aloft directed the eyes of the travelers . Awful, silent reigned over all. What a contrast was this scene to the busy activity of ! Here there was nothing to distract the , nothing to speak to the senses but the stern granite pinnacles pointing toward . had commanded to bring his people to this place of natural and sublimity, that they might hear his voice, and receive the book of heaven.

previous to this the had lighted the path through the that God had opened before the marching of his people. They had since then made their way slowly onward through the ; and God, by his , had wrought for them in their necessity. When they were parched with they had against God, forgetful of what he had done for them; but God did not forget them, he gave them from the flinty rock, and rained down to satisfy their ; and, through his , taught them lessons of in his .

The whole now encamped in the plain, in full view of . Then followed the days of for the great scene which was to make a most vivid upon their minds. The Lord gave express directions in regard to this preparation which must be made by his people. “And the Lord said unto Moses, go unto the people and them today and tomorrow; and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the ; for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people, upon .” The people were required to refrain from , and to cultivate devotional thoughts to put away their sins, to be free from all personal uncleanness, and to cherish an abiding sense of the holiness of God whose voice they were soon to hear.

God commanded Moses to put bounds around the mount, that no man or beast should touch it, for God was to sanctify the mount by his presence, and the contact of sinful man with that divine presence would result in the instant death of the former. The people moved about, making these solemn preparations with subdued deportment, and hushed voices, while their eyes were instinctively drawn toward the rugged heights of Mount Horeb. They obeyed the directions of Moses with alacrity, waiting to hear the words of God spoken through him, telling them what next they should do.

The camp was now alive with subdued excitement and expectancy. At length the trumpet is lifted to the lips of Moses, and the word peals forth, Let all the people come now and meet with God! The trumpeters, who have been waiting for this signal, take up the sound and repeat the command all along the line, wakening the resounding echoes of the mountains. The people obey the summons, and hurry from their tents with pale and anxious faces. They gather around the mount, and stand with bated breath, in solemn awe. Every murmur is hushed until the stillness is painful. Suddenly the mighty pealing of a trumpet is heard from the mount, followed by terrific thunder and lightning, while an earthquake shakes the mountain from base to summit, and, from the black and terrible cloud hanging over it like a pall, issues smoke and fiery flames.

The deafening thunder reverberates from mountain top to mountain top, and seems to roll with awful power down the sides of Mount Horeb, and resound throughout the earth. It appears to the people that the mountain will be shattered into fragments and fall upon and cover them. The Hebrews fall prostrate to hide from their eyes the mystery and grandeur of the mount as it groans and trembles under the footsteps of the God of heaven. Wives cling to their husbands and children to their parents in terror, many begging to be removed from the fearful scene. Long concealed sins were there confessed in broken utterances, and repentance and humility softened the hearts and subdued the spirits of the most hardened and reckless.

The Lord now calls to Moses. He answers to the call. Then the Lord bids him come up to him into the mount. The eyes of all are turned toward their leader. Will he dare to go? Moses did not hesitate to obey, but with calm and trustful faith, passed up the quivering mountain with slow and solemn steps, amid smoke and flame, and is lost to the sight of the astonished people, while the mount remained shrouded in darkness, and volumes of thunder rolled down its quaking sides. At length Moses descends the mount.

The scene increases in awful grandeur as God speaks forth his holy law. At length the people instinctively retreat from the mount leaving Moses standing alone. The majesty and terror of this scene brings vividly before our minds the solemn events of the judgment, when the Prince of heaven shall come the second time, and the loud voice of the trumpet shall resound from one end of the earth to the other, penetrate the prison house of death, and break the sleep of the dead, who shall come forward to receive according to the deeds done in the body.

The Hebrews in terror cried to Moses, “Speak thou with us, and let not the Lord speak to us lest we die.” They did not discern their Advocate with the Father, standing between him and sinful man, and claiming the erring people of Israel as the purchase of his own blood. They did not recognize in the voice that caused them such terror the voice of the angel that had conducted their travels from Egypt to Sinai.

Many can only discern in Sinai’s God a Sovereign, Legislator, and Judge; but he has also given us there a true portrayal of his character as a loving as well as a just Father in this record, “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”

The Sovereign of the world has made known, in the ten commandments, the principles that should govern mankind. He requires the implicit obedience of his subjects, and if they refuse this, they are disloyal to the God of heaven. Two mighty principles are declared in those ten precepts. On the first table of stone were inscribed the four precepts showing the duty of man to God; and on the second table were the six showing the duty of man to his fellow man. Christ, who spoke the law, declared that all the law and the prophets hang upon the two chief commandments that illustrate those two great principles. They contain in brief the whole duty of man, to love God supremely and to love his neighbor as himself.

The law of the ten commandments, given in awful grandeur from Sinai, can never be repealed while the heavens and the earth remain. All enlightened law and government had its origin in those ten words of the Almighty. Those who speak slightingly of the moral code are blinded by sin, and are on the side of the great rebel, who has ever been at war with the law of God which is the foundation of his government in heaven and on earth. When God issues a proclamation that men are guiltless if they cease to love him, to reverence his name, and to keep holy his Sabbath–then, and not till then will the law of God be abrogated.

God requires of his subjects obedience, not to nine-tenths of the law, but to every one of the ten precepts. They are like the links of a chain; if one is broken the chain is of no value. The violation of one commandment makes us commandment breakers; and we must yield willing obedience to all the precepts of Jehovah if we would be true commandment-keepers, for “He that offendeth in one part is guilty of all.”

Those who profess to be ministers of God, yet teach the people that God’s holy law has no longer any claims upon them, are working directly against Christ. They say to the sinner, You are no longer under the terror of Sinai, and the bondage of the law; only come to Jesus, and believe in him and you will be saved. But how can these teachers define sin to their hearers? The apostle Paul gives us this definition, “Sin is the transgression of the law. What shall we say then, is the law sin? Nay, I had not known sin but by the law, for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. For without the law sin was dead; for I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came sin revived and I died, wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”

David exclaims, “The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul.” David had transgressed the law, and the law held him a prisoner until he repented of his sin, and was pardoned through faith in the virtue of the promised Redeemer. There is no power in the law to remove a single defect, nor to save the sinner from the consequence of his transgression. But when the sinner is convicted by the light of the law, then he has a work to do: Repentance toward God because of transgression of his law, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, the sinners substitute and surety. Then pardon and free salvation may be his. But Jesus Christ will never save any one who has a knowledge of the law of God, yet lives in transgression of it.

Christ came to earth to maintain and exalt the divine law, by himself suffering the penalty of sin, and to thereby evidence that God will in no wise clear the guilty. Many claim that the law of God is done away with; but Christ said: “Until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law till all be fulfilled.” The ceremonial law of sacrificial offerings, pointing to Christ, ceased at the death of Christ, but his mission to earth was to vindicate the supreme law of God, not to annul it. If this latter could have been done, the Son of God need not have died to redeem sinful man. But because the law of God was as changeless as his character, it was necessary in order to preserve the authority of the universal Sovereign, and at the same time save man from the consequences of his transgression, that Jesus Christ should die, a sinless offering for a sinful world. The death of Christ therefore testifies to the immutability of God’s law.

Many accept nine of the commandments, but are troubled about the fourth. They see no fault in the first, which commands that we should have no gods before the Infinite One, neither in the second, which prohibits image-worship, nor in the third which provides against the profanation of God’s name. But the fourth seems difficult for them to comprehend; and they inquire why the world at large, and the churches do not observe the seventh day, and especially why the ministers do not teach its observance from their pulpits.

Ministers decide to accept a papal institution in the place of the day which God sanctified and blessed, rather than to be singular from the world, and incur the inconveniences resulting from such a reform. But their disloyalty does not excuse others in showing disrespect to the God of heaven, by trampling upon the sanctity of the day he has set apart for man to observe.

The fourth commandment is the only one that defines who is the living God. It points us back to creation, and to Eden: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed and sanctified the seventh day.” Thus this precept bears the signet or seal of the Creator. The fourth commandment occupies a central position in those regulations which define man’s duty to God, and to his fellow men. It is the golden link which unites finite man to the Infinite God. What authority has man to flout at or object to this prominent precept more than to any one of the other nine?

The specific rules for the government of the social and religious life of the Hebrews, were given to Moses for the Israelites, and embraced the principles of the ten commandments. But those commandments themselves spoken by the voice of God in hearing of all the people, and engraven on the two tables of stone, were given for the benefit of all mankind, and were to endure through all time. Because the transgression of the fourth commandment is so general, does not lessen the sin of the transgressor. God holds man responsible for the observance of every one of his precepts.

Because the professed teachers of the people declare that the Sabbath law is no longer binding upon man, shall we lay aside our Bibles to accept their statement? Shall we trust our-souls to the ministers? Can they answer for us in the day of God? When Christ announced that he was the Anointed One, if the Jews had searched the Scriptures for themselves, to ascertain if his words were true, they would not have been wrapped in error and bigotry. But they believed what the priests and rulers told them, that Christ was an impostor, and darkness closed about them. We do not wish to place ourselves in a position similar to that of the unbelieving Jews. We would follow the injunction of our Saviour: “Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.”

The transgressor of the divine law will be in a fearful position in the day of God. No tears or prayers, or reformation can justify him before the Almighty. There is but one name given under heaven and among men that can save the sinner from the condemnation of the law. The name of Jesus is efficacious to the sinner during his probation. Jesus never broke the law of his Father; he honored and magnified it, and bore its curse for us. Repentance toward God, and simple faith in the blood of Christ, and obedience to the law of God will save the sinner; for Christ will then impute to him his righteous character. But the blood of Christ will never atone for a sin unrepented and unconfessed.

Oh that the people would seek wisdom for themselves, and consider the great truths of God’s word! Their eternal interests are involved in these matters, and none can afford to make a mistake. All our difficulties and questioning doubts will depart, if we but accept Christ as our teacher, and learn wisdom of him.

Jenny @ 4:14 pm