The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
April 8, 1880 Journeyings of the Israelites
Filed under: EG White Articles

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By Mrs. E. G. White.
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After leaving the , the , guided by the , journeyed through the . Although the scenery around them was most dreary, composed of solemn looking destitute of , , and the sea stretching far away behind them, its banks strewn with the bodies of their enemies, they were in the consciousness of their , and for a time every thought of was hushed.

But for three days they journeyed without finding any water to quench their thirst, having that only which they had been commanded to take in their vessels. and were acquainted with this route, and knew that after traveling several days in the way in which they were then going they would find only bitter water. With what intense anxiety, therefore, mingled with forebodings, did they watch the leading of the pillar of cloud. And how the heart of Moses ached as the people gave the glad shout, Water! water! and it was echoed all along the line. Men, women, and children in joyous haste rush to the water, when lo, what a moan of anguish breaks forth from that vast company,–the water is bitter.

In their grief and disappointment, they reproach Moses for having led them in such a way, and do not consider that the Divine Presence in that mysterious cloud had been leading Moses and Aaron as well as themselves. Filled with sorrow as he saw the suffering of the people, Moses did that which the people should have done: he prayed earnestly to God, and he did not cry in vain. The Lord showed him a tree to which had been imparted healing properties, so that on its being cast into the fountain, the water became pleasant to the taste.

God here made a covenant with his people, through their leader:–If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”

From Marah the people journeyed to Elim where they found “twelve wells of water and three-score and ten palm trees.” In this delightful spot they remained several days before entering the wilderness of sin. When they had been a month away from Egypt, they made their first encampment in this wilderness. Their store of provisions had now begun to fail. There was scanty herbage in the wilderness and their flocks also were fast diminishing. Famine seemed to be staring them in the face, and as they followed the cloudy pillar over the desert wastes, doubts filled their hearts, and again they murmured, even the rulers and elders of the people joined in complaining against the leaders of God’s appointment: “Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, and when we did eat bread to the full! for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” The children of Israel seemed to possess an evil heart of unbelief. They were unwilling to endure hardships in the wilderness. When they met with difficulties, they would regard them as insurmountable obstacles. Their confidence would fail, and they would see nothing before them but death.

They had not really suffered the pangs of hunger. They had food for the present necessities, but they feared for the future. They could not see how the hosts of Israel were to subsist, in their long travels through the wilderness; and in their unbelief they saw their children famishing. The Lord was willing that their supply of food should be cut short, and that they should meet with difficulties, that their hearts might turn to Him who had hitherto delivered them. He was ready to be to them a present help. If, in their want, they would call upon him, he would manifest to them tokens of his love and continual care. But they were unwilling to trust the Lord any further than they could witness before their eyes the continual evidences of his power. If they had possessed true faith and a firm confidence in God, inconveniences and obstacles, or even real suffering, would have been cheerfully borne, after the Lord had wrought in such a wonderful manner for their deliverance from bondage.

The Lord had promised that if they would obey his commandments no disease should rest upon them, and it was criminal unbelief in them to anticipate that themselves and children might die of hunger. They had suffered greatly in Egypt by being overtaxed with labor. Their children had been put to death, and in answer to their prayers of anguish, God had mercifully delivered them. He had promised to be their God, to take them to himself as a people, and to lead them to a large and good land. But they were ready to faint at any suffering they should have to endure in the way to that land. They had suffered much while in bondage to the Egyptians, but now they could not endure hardships in the service of God. They were ready to yield to gloomy doubts, and to sink in discouragement when they were tried.

The sinful course of the Israelites is recorded as a warning to the people of God now upon the earth. Many look back to them, and marvel at their unbelief and continual murmurings, after the Lord had given them such repeated evidence of his love and care. They think that they would not have proved so ungrateful. But some who thus think, murmur and repine at things of far less consequence. They do not know themselves. God frequently proves them, and tries their faith in small things; and they endure the trial no better than did ancient Israel.

Many have then present wants supplied, yet they will not trust God for the future. They manifest unbelief, and sink into despondency and gloom. Some are in continual trouble lest they shall come to want, and their children suffer. When difficulties arise, or when they are brought into strait places–when their faith and their love to God are tested–they shrink from the trial, and murmur at the process by which God has chosen to purify them. Their love does not prove pure and perfect, to bear all things. The faith of the people of the God of Heaven should be strong, active, and enduring–the substance of things hoped for. The language of such will be, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name; for he hath dealt bountifully with me. Self-denial is considered by some to be real suffering. Depraved appetites are indulged. And a restraint upon the unhealthy appetite would lead even many professed Christians now to start back, as though actual starvation would be the consequence of a plain diet. And, like the children of Israel, they would accept slavery, diseased bodies, and even death, rather than to be deprived of some hurtful indulgence. Bread and water is all that is promised to the remnant in the time of trouble.

God was not unmindful of the wants of his people, and in his wisdom he provided the needed supply. He said to their leaders; “I will rain bread from Heaven for you.” The Lord designed to prove them, and by indulgence through miraculous provision for their wants to test them to see whether they would keep his commandments or no. The Lord promised to supply them through Moses with abundance of food. By his power he would give them flesh to eat in the evening and in the morning bread in abundance. Moses told them that their murmurings were not against him, but against the Lord. He that was enshrouded in the pillar of cloud heard all their murmurings and bitter complaints. While Aaron was speaking to the congregation there was a remarkable change in that pillar of cloud.

The Lord designed to give the Israelites evidences of his presence that they might be held in restraint and subordination as they knew the presence of the Lord, not merely the man Moses, was guiding them. Evidences of this kind were the books of knowledge opened to their senses that they should learn in regard to God, and his fear be before them. The greatest changes were to be wrought in the characters of these demoralized people. God was working by his power to lift them up through a knowledge of himself. Thus a visible manifestation of the glory of God was given them; a splendor which they had never witnessed, which symbolized the Divine presence. While the people were greatly terrified at this revelation of God, and feared his judgments, an audible voice came from the glory commanding Moses and Aaron to draw near to the cloudy pillar in which his glory was manifested. And the Lord talked with Moses and Aaron, and the Israelites heard his voice, saying that he had heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, and repeated his promise of flesh in the morning and bread in the evening. There God gave them evidence that he would supply their necessities, protect and preserve them, if they would be obedient to his commandments. In the evening the quails covered the ground about the camp. And in the morning the ground was covered with a strange substance, in small, white grains of the size of coriander seed, hard, and pleasant to the taste. The children of Israel knew not what it was, so they called it manna, which means, What is it? Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat. This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded, gather of it every man, according to his eating, an omer for every man according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.”

The people gathered the manna, and found that there was a sufficiency for the entire company. They “ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and made cakes of it; and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.” We are also told that “the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.”

According to the direction of Moses they were to gather an omer (about five pints) for every person; and they were not to leave of it until the morning. Some attempted to keep a supply until the next day, but what they laid by bred worms and became offensive. The supply for each day was to be gathered each morning; for as the heat of the sun increased, the substance melted and disappeared.

Jenny @ 4:37 am
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
January 9, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and His Angels - part 2
Filed under: EG White Articles

Chapter Two.
                            The Creation.
The Father and the Son engaged in the mighty, wondrous work they had contemplated, of creating the world. The earth came forth from the hand of the Creator exceedingly beautiful. There were mountains and hills and plains; and interspersed among them were rivers and other bodies of water. The earth was not one extensive plain. Its surface was diversified with hills and mountains. These, however, were not high and ragged as they now are, but regular and beautiful in shape. The bare, high rocks were never seen upon them, but lay beneath the surface, answering as bones to the earth. The waters were regularly dispersed. The hills, mountains, and very beautiful plains, were adorned with plants and flowers, and tall, majestic trees of every description, which were many times larger, and much more beautiful, than trees now are. The air was pure and healthful, and the earth seemed like a noble palace. Angels beheld and rejoiced at the wonderful and beautiful works of God.

After the earth was created, and the beasts upon it, the Father and Son carried out their purpose, which was designed before the fall of Satan, to make man in their own image. They had wrought together in the creation of the earth and every living thing upon it. And now God says to his Son, “Let us make man in our image.” As Adam came forth from the hand of his Creator, he was of noble height, and of beautiful symmetry. He was more than twice as tall as men now living upon the earth, and was well proportioned. His features were perfect and beautiful. His complexion was neither white nor sallow, but ruddy, glowing with the rich tint of health. Eve was not quite as tall as Adam. Her head reached a little above his shoulders. She, too, was noble–perfect in symmetry, and very beautiful.

This sinless pair wore no artificial garments. They were clothed with a covering of light and glory, such as the angels wear. While they lived in obedience to God, this circle of light enshrouded them. Although everything God had made was in the perfection of beauty, and there seemed nothing wanting upon the earth which God had created to make Adam and Eve happy, yet he manifested his great love to them by planting a garden especially for them. A portion of their time was to be occupied in the happy employment of dressing the garden, and a portion in receiving the visits of angels, listening to their instruction, and in happy meditation. Their labor was not wearisome, but pleasant and invigorating. This beautiful garden was to be their home, their special residence.

In this garden the Lord placed trees of every variety for usefulness and beauty. There were trees laden with luxuriant fruit, of rich fragrance, beautiful to the eye, and pleasant to the taste, designed of God to be food for the holy pair. There were the lovely vines which grew upright, laden with their burden of fruit, unlike anything man has seen since the fall. The fruit was very large, and of different colors; some nearly black, some purple, red, pink, and light green. This beautiful and luxuriant growth of fruit upon the branches of the vine was called grapes. And it was the happy labor of Adam and Eve to form beautiful bowers from the branches of the vine, and train them, forming dwellings of nature’s beautiful, living trees and foliage, laden with fragrant fruit.
                           (To be Continued.)

Jenny @ 1:28 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