The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
October 16, 1879 Love and Power of Jesus.
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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The of brought him to . When the news spread abroad that was a guest at the house of , men, women, and children flocked from every direction to hear the . There was a man in the vicinity who was reduced to utter helplessness by the incurable of . He had given up all hope of recovery. But his friends and relatives had heard the instruction of ; they had witnessed his wonderful ; they saw that he turned none away, that even the loathsome found access to his presence, and were , and they began to hope that the might be relieved if he could be brought under the notice of Jesus.

They tried to encourage the , telling him of the of Jesus to , of the words of he had spoken to the despairing, and of those who are set free from the by a word of his sublime authority. As the palsied man listened to the good tidings, hope revived in his heart that he might be relieved of his terrible infirmity. He longed to see Jesus and place himself in his hands. But when he reflected that dissipation had been the main cause of his affliction, hope sank, for he feared that he would not be tolerated in the presence of the pure Physician. He had loved the pleasures of sin, his life had been a transgression of the law of God, and his bodily affliction was the penalty of his crime.

He had long before placed his case in the hands of the Pharisees and doctors, entreating their interest and sympathy, hoping that they would do something to relieve his tortured mind and physical sufferings. But they had looked coldly upon him and pronounced him incurable. They had added to his woe by telling him that he was only suffering the righteous retribution of God for his misdemeanors. It was the custom of the Pharisees to hold themselves aloof from the sick and needy. They held that sickness and distress were always an evidence of God’s anger toward the transgressor. Yet frequently these very men, who exalted themselves as holy and enjoying the peculiar favor of God, were more corrupt in heart and life than the poor sufferers whom they condemned.

The palsied man had sunk into despair, seeing no help from any quarter, till news of the miracles of mercy performed by Jesus had aroused hope again in his breast. Yet he feared that he might not be allowed in his presence; he felt that if Jesus would only see him and give him relief of mind by pardoning his sins, he would be content to live or die according to his righteous will. His friends assured him that Jesus had healed others who were in every respect as sinful and helpless as himself, and this encouraged him to believe that his own petition would be granted.

He felt that there was no time to lose; already his wasted flesh was beginning to decay. If anything could be done to arrest mortality, it must be done at once. The despairing cry of the dying man was, Oh that I might come into his presence! His friends were anxious to assist him in gratifying his wish, and several projects were suggested to bring about this result, but none of them seemed feasible. The sick man, although racked with bodily pain, preserved the full strength of his intellect, and he now proposed that his friends should carry him on his bed to Jesus. This they cheerfully undertook to do.

As they approached the dense crowd that had assembled in and about the house where Jesus was teaching, it seemed doubtful that they could accomplish their purpose. However, they pressed on with their burden, till their passage was completely blocked up and they were obliged to stop before they arrived within hearing of the Saviour’s voice. Jesus was within, and, as was customary, his disciples sat near him; for it was most important that they should hear his words, and understand the truths which they were to proclaim by word or pen over all lands and through all ages.

The haughty Pharisees, the doctors and the scribes, were also gathered near with wicked purposes in their hearts, and a desire to confuse and confound the sacred Teacher, that they might accuse him of being an impostor, and condemn him to death. Jealous of his power and wisdom, they concealed their intense hatred, for the purpose of closely watching his words, and calling him out upon various subjects with the hope of surprising him into some contradiction or forbidden heresy that would give them an excuse to prefer charges against him. They were present when Jesus healed the withered hand upon the Sabbath day, and these men, who claimed to enjoy the special favor of God, were filled with madness because he had presumed to do this good work upon the Lord’s day.

Outside of these magnates thronged the promiscuous multitude, drawn there from various motives. Some felt an irresistible impulse to hear the words of Jesus, yet dimly comprehended their import. They were eager to catch every syllable of the sacred utterances; and, in many cases, seeds of life lodged in their hearts, to spring up afterward and bear blessed fruit. Others came from wonder and curiosity, or a love of excitement,–the desire to see and hear some new thing. All grades of society were represented there, and many different nationalities.

Through this surging crowd, the bearers of the paralytic seek to push their way; but the attempt is useless. They urge the necessity of their case, in order to prevail upon the people to fall back, but it is of no avail. The sufferings of the invalid are increased by his anxiety, and his friends fear that he will die in this scene of confusion. The sick man gazes about him with inexpressible anguish. Must he relinquish all hope when the longed-for help is no near? He feels that he cannot endure so bitter a disappointment. He suggests that they bear him to the rear of the house, and break through the roof and let him down into the immediate presence of Jesus. 

Seeing that it is his only chance of life, and fearing that he cannot live to be taken home, his friends follow his suggestion. The roof is opened, and the sick man is let down at the very feet of Christ. The discourse is interrupted; the Saviour looks upon that mournful countenance, and sees the pleading eyes fixed upon him with a silent entreaty. He understands the case, for it was he who had led the perplexed and doubting spirit to himself. He had come to the world to give hope to the guilty and wretched. John had pointed to him as “the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” The divine spirit of Jesus stirred the heart of this poor sinner, and while he was yet at home, had brought conviction to his conscience. He had watched the first glimmer of faith deepen into a belief that Jesus was his only helper, and had seen it grow stronger with every effort to come into his presence.

The sufferer had wealth, but it could not relieve his soul of guilt, nor remove disease from his body. But divine power attracted him to the Friend of sinners, who alone could relieve him. Jesus acknowledges the faith that is evidenced by the sick man’s efforts, under such perplexing difficulties, to reach the presence of his Lord, and lifting up his voice in melodious tones, addressed him: “Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.” The burden of darkness and despair rolls from the sick man’s soul; the peace of perfect love and forgiveness rests upon his spirit and shines out upon his countenance. His physical pain is gone, and his whole being is transformed before the eyes of the astonished multitude. The helpless paralytic is healed, the guilty sinner is pardoned! He has now received the evidence he so much desired. Yet not here, but at home, when he had repented of his sins and believed in the power of Jesus to make him whole, had the life-giving mercies of the Saviour first blessed his longing heart.

The simple faith of the paralytic accepted the words of the Master, as the boon of new life. He preferred no further request, he made no noisy demonstration, but remained in blissful silence too happy for words. The light of Heaven irradiated his countenance, and the people looked with awe upon the scene before them. Christ stood with a serene majesty that lifted him above the dignitaries of the synagogue and the doctors of the law. The Pharisees, the scribes, and the doctors had waited anxiously to see what disposition Jesus would make of this case. They recollected that the sufferer had appealed to them for help, and that they had entrenched themselves in the sanctity of their office and refused him one ray of encouragement. They had even expressed annoyance at being troubled with so disagreeable a matter. They had looked with horror upon his shriveled form, and said, We cannot raise one from the dead; dissolution has already commenced. 

Not satisfied with the agony thus inflicted, they had declared that he was suffering the curse of God for his sins. All these things came fresh to their minds when they saw the sick man before them. They also perceived that the people, most of whom were acquainted with these facts, were watching the scene with intense interest and awe. They felt a terrible fear that their own influence would be lost, not only over the multitude present, but also over all who should hear the news of this marvelous event.

These lofty men did not exchange words together, but looking into one another’s faces, they read the same thought expressed upon every countenance: Something must be done to arrest the tide of popular sentiment. Jesus had declared that the sins of the paralytic were forgiven. The Pharisees caught at these words as an assumption of infinite power, a blasphemy against God, and conceived that they could present this before the people as a crime worthy of death. They did not express their thoughts, but these worshipers of forms and symbols were saying in their minds, He is a blasphemer! Who can forgive sins but God alone? They were laying hold of the Saviour’s words of divine pardon, to use a means by which to accuse him. But Jesus read their thoughts, and, fixing his reproving glance upon them, beneath which they cowered and drew back, addressed them thus: “Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins (he saith to the sick of the palsy), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.” 

Then he who had been borne to Jesus on a litter, and whose limbs were then useless, rises to his feet with the elasticity and strength of youth. The life-giving blood bounds through his veins, seeking its natural channels with unerring precision. The lagging human machinery springs into sudden activity, the animating glow of health succeeds the pallor of approaching death. “And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.”

Oh! wondrous love of Christ, stooping to heal the guilty and the afflicted! Divinity sorrowing over and soothing the ills of suffering humanity! Oh! marvelous power thus displayed to the children of men! Who can doubt the message of salvation! Who can slight the mercies of a compassionate Redeemer!

The effect of this wonderful miracle upon the people was as if Heaven had opened and revealed the glories of the better world. As the man who had been cured of palsy passed through the crowd, blessing God at every bounding step, and bearing his burden as if it were a feather’s weight, the people fell back to give him room, and with awe-struck faces gazed upon him, and whispered softly among themselves, saying, “We have seen strange things today.” The Pharisees were dumb with amazement, and overwhelmed with defeat. They saw that here was no opportunity for their prejudice and jealousy to inflame the multitude. The wonderful work wrought upon the man whom they, in their arrogance, had given over to death and the wrath of God, had so impressed the minds of the people that the influence of these leading Jews was, for the time, forgotten. They saw that Christ possessed a power, and claimed it as his own prerogative, which they thought belonged to God alone. The gentle dignity of his manner, united with his miraculous works, was in such marked contrast with their own proud and self-righteous bearing that they were disconcerted and abashed, recognizing, but not confessing, the presence of a Superior Being.

Had the scribes and Pharisees been honest before God, they would have yielded to the conclusive evidence they had witnessed that Jesus was the Promised One of Israel. But they were determined that nothing should convince them of this fact. They were in haughty and determined opposition to this meek and humble Teacher, who came from the workshops of Nazareth, yet by his wonderful works threatened to annihilate their dignity and station. So they yielded in no degree their hatred and malice, but went away to invent new schemes for condemning and silencing the Son of God.

These men had received many and repeated proofs that Jesus was the promised Saviour, but none had been so convincing and unquestioned as this miracle of mercy. Yet the stronger the evidence that was presented to their minds that Jesus had power on earth to forgive sins, as well as to heal the sick, the more they armed themselves with hatred and unbelief, till God left them to the forging of chains that would bind them in hopeless darkness. There was no reserve power to reach hearts so hardened with malice and skepticism.

Many in these days are taking the same course as the unbelieving Jews. God has given them light which they refuse to accept. His Spirit has rebuked them; but they have made his reproofs a stumbling-block in their way, over which they trip and fall. They have rejected his offered mercies, they have scorned to believe his truth, till they are left unrestrained to pursue their downward course.

There was great rejoicing in the home of the healed paralytic, when he came into the midst of his family, carrying with ease the couch upon which he had been slowly borne from their presence but a short time before. They gathered round with tears of joy, scarcely daring to believe their eyes. He stood before them in the full vigor of manhood. Those arms that they had seen lifeless were quick to obey his will; the flesh that had been shrunken and leaden-hued was now fresh and ruddy with health; he walked with a firm, free step; hope was written in every lineament of his countenance; all gloom had disappeared, and an expression of peace and purity had taken the place of the marks of sin and suffering. Glad thanksgivings went up from that house, and God was glorified through his Son, who had restored hope to the hopeless, and strength to the stricken one. This man and his family were ready to lay down their lives for Jesus. No doubt could dim their faith, no unbelief could mar their perfect fealty to Christ, who had brought light into their darkened home.

Jenny @ 6:16 pm
July 3, 1879 Wisconsin Camp-Meeting
Filed under: EG White Articles

I came upon the ground very , but have labored much harder than it seemed possible when I came. after speaking I invited those who desired to seek to come forward; about one hundred responded. I also spoke twice on . morning resumed our labor for those who had been invited forward. Candidates for were examined, and twenty-six were in the beautiful lake. One poor , a young man, who had lost the use of his limbs; he was taken in the arms of Brn. and and buried with in baptism and came out of the water, his countenance lighted up with beams of the .

At this meeting a was organized. The teetotal pledge was circulated and one hundred and fifty signed it. Tuesday morning we had our closing . The deepest feeling was beginning to take hold of the people, just as we must separate. We deeply regretted that many commenced moving from the ground Monday morning, which was a great injury to the meeting. We feel that it is not right for our brethren to delay to come to the meeting until it has been in session one or two days. They lose the labor put forth to advance and bring up the interest, and they lag behind all through the meeting. Others become uneasy and home cares draw them away before they have a chance to be benefited by the meeting.

We had some sweet, refreshing seasons. We were blessed ourselves and know that many were convicted that we had the truth. My husband was free in spirit, and spoke with great clearness and power. We rejoice that many were comforted and strengthened in God. But we feel sad as we think of the far richer blessings God was willing to give us at this camp meeting, which we did not receive because our minds were not prepared to accept them. For the lack of appropriating faith many are apparently content to receive little from God’s storehouse. Their lives are, therefore, not rich in faith, hope, and noble courage, and do not abound in good works. They have a sickly faith, a dwarfed and defective religious experience. My heart aches, as I see the low standard our people are becoming too willing to retain. They do not follow on to know the Lord. They are not connected with God. They are like salt that has lost the savor. They have not vital godliness, or heart-holiness; therefore they are like the fig tree destitute of fruit. As a people, unless we cherish the light that shines upon our pathway, we shall have darkness, and great will be the darkness. Our privileges and opportunities are great, and we must make persevering, determined effort to keep pace, in our daily experience, with the onward march of truth.
                                                              E. G. White.

Jenny @ 10:51 am