The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
April 17, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

                           Chapter Twelve.
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                           By Mrs. E. G. White.
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, who knows from , knew, before the birth of Jacob and Esau, just what they would both develop. He knew that Esau would not have a heart to him. When he answered the troubled of , informing her that she would have two , he presented before her of her two sons, that they would become two , the one greater than the other, and the elder would serve the younger. The was entitled to peculiar advantages and special privileges; he possessed and , in the and the tribe, next to that of the ; he was regarded as especially to , and was selected to fill the office of ; and he received a of the father’s goods.

The two brothers were very unlike in character. Isaac was pleased with the bold, courageous spirit manifested by Esau, who delighted in the chase, bringing home game to his father, with stirring accounts of his adventures. Jacob was the favorite son of his mother, because his disposition was mild, and better calculated to make her happy. He had learned from his mother what God had taught her, that the elder should serve the younger, and his youthful reasoning led him to conclude that this promise could not be fulfilled while his brother had the privileges which were conferred on the first-born. And when the latter came in from the field, faint with hunger, Jacob improved the opportunity to turn Esau’s necessity to his own advantage, and proposed to feed him with pottage, if he would renounce all claim to the birthright; and Esau sold his birthright to Jacob.

Esau had taken two wives of the idolatrous Canaanites. This was a source of deep sorrow to Isaac and Rebekah, for they well knew that God had commanded their fathers not to intermarry with idolaters, and they had fully understood the care and anxiety of Abraham that Isaac should marry a wife of his own nation and faith. Isaac was now more than one hundred years old, the infirmities of age were upon him, and his sight had grown dim. Esau was still his favorite son, and notwithstanding Isaac had been made acquainted with the purpose of God, he determined to bestow the benediction upon his first-born. He called Esau, and, as he supposed, privately made known his wish that he should prepare him venison before the bestowal of the blessing, in accordance with the custom of making a feast upon such occasions. Rebekah had been divinely instructed that Jacob was to be in the direct line through which the promise would be fulfilled in the birth of the Redeemer. She was confident that her husband was going contrary to the will of God, and that no reasoning could change his purpose, and without due reflection she determined not to allow the father’s partiality for his eldest son to avert the purpose of God; by stratagem she would obtain the blessing for Jacob. As soon as Esau had departed on his errand she called her youngest son, and related to him the words of Isaac, and the necessity of action on their part to prevent the accomplishment of his designs to bestow a blessing, finally and irrevocably, upon Esau. If Jacob would follow her directions he might obtain the blessing, as God had promised. As Jacob listened to his mother’s plan he was at first greatly distressed, and assured her that in thus deceiving his father he would receive a curse instead of the desired blessing. But his scruples were overborne, and he proceeded to carry out his mother’s suggestions. The plan was successful; he obtained by fraud that which, had he shown the proper trust in God, he would have received as his right. 

It was not his intention to utter a direct falsehood, but once in the presence of his father he thought he had gone too far to retreat. From that moment he felt poor in heart, he was weighed down with self-condemnation. In grossly deceiving his blind, aged father, he had lost his nobility and truth. In one short hour he had made work for a life-long repentance. This scene was vivid before him in after years, when the wicked course of his own sons oppressed his soul.

The unrighteous course of Jacob and Rebekah produced no good results; it brought only distrust, jealousy, and revenge. Mother and son should have waited for the Lord to accomplish his own purpose in his own way, and in his own time, instead of trying to bring about the foretold events by the aid of deception. If Esau had received the blessing which was bestowed upon the firstborn, his prosperity could have come from God alone; and he would have granted him prosperity, or brought upon him adversity, according to his course of action. If he should love and reverence God, like righteous Abel, he would be accepted and blessed. If, like wicked Cain, he had no respect for God, nor for his commandments, he would be rejected of him, as was Cain. If Jacob’s course should be righteous, the prospering hand of God would be with him, even if he did not obtain the blessings and privileges generally bestowed upon the firstborn. Rebekah repented in bitterness for the wrong counsel which she had given to Jacob, for it was the means of separating him from her forever. He was compelled to flee for his life from the wrath of Esau, and his mother never saw his face again. Isaac lived many years after he gave Jacob the blessing, and was convinced by the course of his two sons, that the blessing rightly belongs to Jacob.

In the providence of God the unerring pen of inspiration withheld not the mistakes and sins of good men. The sin is unsparingly brought to light, and also the just judgment of God. Because of his transgression, Jacob became a fugitive from his home, compelled to serve a hard master for twenty years. A cruel fraud was practiced upon him in his marriage with Leah, his ten sons deceived him as he had deceived his father, and for many years he mourned over the supposed death of Joseph. All these years Jacob was a recipient of God’s favor, yet he had sown a crop that he must reap; neither time nor repentance could change into golden grain the vile weed sown. This view of the matter makes it of the highest consequence that in words and actions we move in conscious integrity, for “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

As Jacob pursued his journey, a stranger in a strange land, he sadly pondered the events which had transpired as the result of his own transgression. At night he lay down to sleep with the canopy of heaven as a covering, the earth his bed, and a stone his pillow. A compassionate God, who ever pitieth the woes of men, saw the lonely fugitive, troubled and perplexed, fearing that God had forsaken him because of his injustice, deception, and falsehood. In a vision of the night, the Lord manifested himself to Jacob. He saw a ladder, the base resting upon the earth, the top round reaching into the highest heaven even to the throne of God. The Lord himself, enshrouded in light, stood above the top of the ladder, and angels were ascending and descending upon it.

As Jacob gazed with wonder upon the scene, the voice of God was heard, saying, “I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” Jacob awakened from his dream, and exclaimed in solemn awe, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not.” He looked about as if to again catch a glimpse of the heavenly messengers, but above him was only the blue, star-gemmed firmament, his head was still resting upon the rocky pillow. The ladder was gone, and the angels were no longer to be seen; but the voice of God was still echoing in his ears, with the promise now to him so precious. He felt indeed that angels of God, although unseen, peopled the place; that God was looking down upon him with compassion and love. Filled with holy awe and amazement, he involuntarily exclaimed, “How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this the gate of Heaven.”

The meaning of this ladder is explained to us in the words of Christ to Nathanael, “Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” The atonement of Christ links earth to Heaven, and finite man to the infinite God; for through Christ, the communication that was broken off because of transgression, is resumed with man. Sinners may find pardon and be visited by mercy and grace.

When the morning light appeared, Jacob arose, and taking the stone upon which his head had rested, he poured oil upon it, in accordance with the custom of those who would preserve a memorial of God’s mercy, that whenever he should pass that way, he might tarry at this sacred spot to worship the Lord. And he called the place Bethel, or the house of God. With the deepest gratitude and love he repeated again and again the gracious promise that God’s help and presence would be with him; and then, in the fullness of his soul, he made the solemn vow, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God; and this stone which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house; and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”

God’s presence is not confined to the splendid edifice. Jacob’s humble resting-place had been consecrated by a manifestation of divine glory. God has often made sacred the hillside, the caves of the earth, the forest, the humble barn, the cotton tent. Each has become a tabernacle where he meets and blesses his servants, who are humbly seeking after truth, and peace, and righteousness. But the grandest cathedral, the marvel of architecture, if it encloses pride, dead forms, and hollow hypocrisy, is repulsive in the sight of God, who seeketh such to worship him as worship in spirit and in truth.

With a heart overflowing with love to God, and making melody in harmony with the happy songsters, Jacob went forward on his journey. He felt indeed that the presence of the Unseen was with him, and that angels were his companions.

Jacob felt that God had claims upon him which he must acknowledge, and that the special tokens of divine favor granted to him demanded a corresponding return. In like manner, every blessing bestowed upon us calls for a response. The Author of all our mercies should receive, not only gratitude, but tangible returns. Our time, our talents, our property, should be, and will be by every true Christian, sacredly devoted to the service of Him who has given these blessings to us in trust. When special deliverance has been wrought for us, when new and unexpected favors have been bestowed upon us, we should not accept them with indifference and with careless, thankless hearts.–God would have us follow the example of Jacob, pledge to the Lord in return for all his mercies.        (To be Continued.)

Jenny @ 10:30 am
March 6, 1879 Necessity of Thorough Bible Study
Filed under: EG White Articles

[THE FOLLOWING WE FIND IN THE WEEKLY INSTRUCTOR, NO. 9. IT IS FOR THE SPECIAL CONSIDERATION OF THOSE INTERESTED IN THE SABBATH-SCHOOL WORK.]

We are fast entering the perils of the , when views which conflict with the will be presented by men of giant intellects, and we ought to be able to show the falsity of their claims. Our also should be thoroughly furnished with , so that they will not be moved by every new doctrine presented in their hearing.

Many do not see the necessity that their children should be so particular in learning their lessons, and often neglect to give them proper assistance or encouragement. The great object of thoroughness in the study of the is that they may understand why they as they do, and that when the test shall come and the question is asked, “Will you God, or will you yield to the requirements of ?” they will decide to serve God, because by studying his word they have learned to Him and His .

We desire that the youth shall be able to say, we have become familiar with the Scriptures, and we see that it is of the highest importance that we be obedient to the truth of God found in his word. We want the little children to understand the Bible, and grow up in the knowledge of the truth. And we as parents do not wish to be found among those who do not see the necessity of their children’s understanding the Scriptures for themselves, and who are therefore negligent and cause their children to be negligent; but we want to be in earnest in these matters, and search the Scriptures, and see that our children search them. Christ said, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.” We should become firm in the truth, the word of God, which testifies of Him in whom all our hopes of everlasting life are centered. If you would know how to imitate the spotless life and character of Christ, obtain a knowledge of him as presented in the word of God.

The apostle says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” If, therefore, you would be thus thoroughly furnished, and “ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear,” study the Bible with all diligence.

The teachers in our Sabbath-schools should be God-fearing men and women who can have an interest in the spiritual condition of the members of their classes, as well as see that they have good lessons. They should be connected with God, and should feel it a duty to pray with and for each pupil in their classes.

The Sabbath-school teacher who is faithful in little things is preparing himself for a higher responsibility. We should be faithful in everything. It is a sin to forget. Many are heard again and again to excuse themselves for some gross error, by saying that they forgot. Have they not intellectual powers? and is it not a duty to discipline their minds to be retentive? It is a sin to neglect. If you form a habit of negligence you will find at last you have neglected your own soul’s salvation, and are unready for the kingdom of God.

Parents and teachers, let us awake to our duty; let us sense the responsibility of our position, and take hold of the Sabbath-school work with more zeal and earnestness, that God can approve of our efforts, and that our children may lay up sound knowledge, and with us be prepared for the future immortal life.                                          E. G. White.

Jenny @ 9:24 am
December 19, 1878 A Few Words to Parents
Filed under: EG White Articles

The position of a parent is one of the most responsible on earth, yet it is far too lightly regarded by the majority of the world. The things which are perishable receive their time, labor, and money, while the work which will be enduring as eternity is made a secondary matter. The future of the rising generation is in the hands of parents; for, in a great measure, they hold within their control the destiny of their children both for time and for eternity. The salvation of the young depends almost wholly upon the training they receive in childhood. Christian parents, who believe the sacred truth of God, are required to regulate their own conduct by the sanctifying influence of that truth, and, by precept and example, impress lessons of morality and religion upon their children. Line upon line, precept upon precept they should be taught concerning the precious love of Jesus for man, and the virtue of his atonement. That love should be blended with all their studies and duties.

The love of Jesus won the hearts of children, and when the disciples would sent away the mothers with their children, through mistaken zeal to preserve the dignity of their Master, Jesus rebuked them, saying: “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Parents, it is your sacred privilege to bring your children to Jesus, and receive his blessing upon them. Bring your children to the loving Jesus, and then teach them the love and fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. Impress upon them the sense of sacred things, and their own responsibility to God, and that no evil passion, selfishness, or pride will be excused by God, or will find entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

Children should be taught that simplicity of dress is to be preferred to gaudy display. They should learn that dress is a small matter in comparison with the acts of their daily life, and the character they are forming for eternity; that beauty of soul, the virtues and graces of a true Christian, are pearls of inestimable price, before which costly apparel and jewels sink into insignificance. They should be guarded against pride in their beauty of form or features. No idle words of praise of these attractions should ever fall upon their ears. Such seeds, dropped into ready soil of the heart, are speedily nourished by Satan, and soon spring forth into vigorous growth, bearing the bitter fruit of vanity, selfishness and folly.

Tell your children how little the Saviour values the vain things of earth; that he has said: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Thus Christ exalts natural simplicity above artificial adornment, and counts the flowers growing in beauty in the valley as more attractive than all the glory of Solomon upon his throne. The devoted mother will not rob her children of the time that should be spent in their instruction, to waste it in preparing fine clothes for them, and in arraying them with garments that would tend to excite their vanity. She will rather impress upon their minds the fact that purity of heart and beauty of character are the only ornaments necessary for them to wear in order to enter the heavenly courts.

Love of the world is one of the leading temptations of youth, and one that our Saviour repeatedly warned his disciples against. Parents, however, frequently encourage in their children the desire to seek happiness in gratifying the outward senses, and in frequenting scenes of gayety and frivolous amusements. By teaching them to avoid these things, you prepare them to cherish elevated thoughts, fit them to occupy positions of trust and importance in this life, and to receive the reward of the faithful in the future immortal life.

In accepting the truth of God the minds of the young become strengthened to attain to greater intelligence. The dormant energies of the mind are, as it were, electrified, new powers seem to spring into life. The understanding, in striving to comprehend the heights and depths of the plan of salvation, becomes strong and grasping, and the whole being is illuminated by the brightness and glory of the infinite God. What a contrast is such a one with the youth who devotes his time and energies to the vain pleasures of the day, drifting into dissipation and folly, as surely dwarfing and enfeebling his mind as he is destroying his physical powers.

Children, as a rule, are allowed to gratify their appetite to a decidedly injurious extent. Their tastes are perverted by the use of coffee, tea, rich pastry, condiments, and sweetmeats. These indulgences lay the foundation for various diseases of the body, irritability, nervousness, and mental imbecility. Health, happiness, and life itself is too often sacrificed on the altar of appetite. The mother therefore cannot be too careful of her children in the matter of their eating and drinking. Their food should be simple, healthful, and well prepared; Nothing should pass their lips between meals, and then they should not be allowed to contract the habit of eating to excess. Your hired helpers should understand that they are not at liberty to infringe upon any of your rules in regard to the management of your children. If they fail to comply with this requirement, and secretly indulge your children in that which you have forbidden, discharge them at once. Let nothing interfere with your family government. Remember that hurtful indulgence of appetite renders the physical, mental, and moral faculties weak, and opens the way to temptations of various kinds, into which the victim of perverted appetite drifts almost unconsciously.

 If parents seek to obey the word of God, in bringing their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, they find a work before them requiring thought, resolution, and trust in God. Difficulties will arise on every hand which seem almost impossible to be overcome; but the parents must have continual communion with God in their trials and efforts, and have their souls stayed on him. He will not turn a deaf ear to their prayers, but will impart to them wisdom and strength.

Mothers, you have no time for vain display or idle gossip. Your precious moments should be employed in teaching your children the fear of the Lord and self-control, instilling into their minds godly principles, that will become a part of their very nature, and rule their lives; which will make them firm as a rock when temptations assail them, and true to God through weal and woe. Mothers, God will work with your efforts. If you plead the name of Jesus before the Father, that name will not be presented in vain. The Saviour has linked man with God, and earth with heaven. Be patient; work is faith. Believe yourself to be in the presence of Jesus. Anticipate the crown, the robe, the harp, for your dear children, the “Well done, good and faithful servant,” the rest, the peace, and joy of heaven, with those loved ones for whom you have prayed and striven on earth.
                                                        Mrs. E. G. White.

Jenny @ 3:15 am
June 6, 1878 Parents as Counselors
Filed under: EG White Articles

Parents should encourage their children to confide in them and unburden to them their heart griefs, their daily little annoyances and trials. If they do this, the parents can learn to sympathize with their children, and pray for them and with them, that God would shield and guide them. They should point them to their never-failing Friend and Counselor, who will be touched with the feelings of their infirmities. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.

Satan tempts children to be reserved to their parents, and choose their young and inexperienced companions as their confidants; such as cannot help them, or give them good advice. They indulge in unprofitable conversation upon the acts and doings of others, which wither noble, devotional thoughts and feelings, and drive good and holy desires from the heart, and leave it cold and destitute of true love for God.

Children would be saved from many evils if they would be more familiar with their parents. Parents should encourage in their children a disposition to be open and frank with them, to come to them with their difficulties, and when they are perplexed as to what course is right, to lay the matter just as they view it before their parents, and ask advice of them. Who are so well calculated to see and point out their dangers as godly parents? Who can understand the peculiar temperaments of their children as well as they? The mother who has watched every turn of the mind from infancy, and is acquainted with the natural disposition, is best prepared to counsel her children. Who can tell as well what traits of character to check and restrain, as the mother, aided by the father?

Children who are Christians will prefer the love and approbation of their God-fearing parents above every earthly blessing. They will love and honor their parents. This should be one of the principal studies of their lives, How can I make my parents happy? Children who have not been disciplined and received right instruction, have but little sense of their obligations to their parents. It is often the case that the more their parents do for them the more ungrateful they are, and the less they respect them. Children that have been petted and waited upon, always expect it; and if their expectations are not met, they are disappointed and discouraged. This same disposition will be seen through their whole lives, and they will be helpless, leaning upon others for aid, expecting others to favor them and yield to them. And if they are opposed, even after grown to manhood and womanhood, they think themselves abused; and thus they worry their way through the world, hardly able to bear their own weight, often murmuring and fretting because everything does not suit them. Much sin results from idleness. Active hands and minds do not find time to heed every temptation the enemy suggests; but idle hands and brains are all ready for Satan to control, and parents should teach their children that idleness is sin.

Many parents think that if they gratify the wishes of their children, and let them follow their own inclinations, they will gain their love. What a mistaken idea! What an error! Children thus disciplined, grow up unrestrained in their desires, unyielding in their dispositions, selfish, exacting, and overbearing, and are a curse to themselves and everybody around them. Parents, to a great extent, hold the future happiness of their children in their own hands. Upon them rests the important work of forming their children’s character. The instructions they give them in childhood will follow them all through their lives. Parents can sow the seed which will spring up and bear fruit either for good or evil.
                                                                  E. G. W.

Jenny @ 10:55 am