The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
October 23, 1879 Sanctification.
Filed under: EG White Articles

THE FOLLOWING IS FROM A LETTER WRITTEN BY SISTER WHITE, OCT. 8:–

Our at , Ind., is now ended. We came upon the ground in an condition, took from gathered in the , which caused us to labor with great difficulty through the . But this has been a good meeting, and very profitable for . I felt the burden of urging upon the people the necessity of obtaining an individual experience in the things of , that their prosperity depended upon close and constant connection with him.

Many were so absorbed in the , they were neglecting their . I felt the danger of this people and the Lord gave me a for them. there was deep feeling in the meeting; quite a number came, forward for , several who were making their first move on the Lords side. After was offered for these, they repaired in small companies to several tents, and a minister was chosen for each tent where they were gathered, and the work was carried forward that had begun in the large tent. These meetings were characterized by deep feeling. Several stated that they came to the meeting prejudiced, but they were going home to keep the Sabbath and unite with this people.

The attendance on Sunday was good. The congregation seemed to be of the best class of society, and listened with attention.

Monday at five o’clock, by the call of the bell, we assembled under the tent. During the night I had been so burdened that I could not sleep, and spent these wakeful hours in pleading with God in my own behalf, and in behalf of the ministers of the Indiana Conference. I had the assurance that God would reveal himself to us, and give us help in our time of need. The Lord strengthened me to bear the testimony he had given me, to the ministers in particular.

The false theory of sanctification had threatened not only the unity and harmony of families, but the peace and prosperity of the church. Upon this subject I had a special testimony to bear.

This false sanctification is most dangerous and deceptive in its influence upon all who accept it. A peculiar atmosphere surrounds them, an influence which, when brought in contact with others, if not discerned, is breathed in unconsciously by the receiver. This atmosphere is charged with poison which is death to spirituality. There are no snares of Satan more hard to be discerned and defined, and souls be rescued from, than this delusion.

Those who accept this bogus sanctification do not hesitate to draw away from the body and set themselves up as criteria. They claim that the Lord is leading them, and do not seek counsel of the church, but move out independently, deceived in themselves and deceiving others. The poison of this so-called sanctification is inhaled, and the atmosphere, apparently so balmy, is intoxicating and destructive to those who are charmed with it. Each individual will have an independence of his own, claiming to be taught of God; therefore no one must get in their way or interfere with their course of action. This is as Satan would have it. The voice of the church, God’s delegated power upon earth, is set aside and despised. These professedly sanctified ones are filled with vain conceit, and with presumption move on in their own wisdom, exhorting others to come up to the exalted standard of themselves. They disregard the teachings and prayer of Christ that his disciples may be one as he was one with the Father, “that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” The unity and oneness of the church was to be the living epistle, known and read of all men. The world was to see in their harmony and love for each other the life of Christ exemplified.

Individuals who will strike out upon some new light and some new truth, independent of the body, are pursuing a course directly contrary to the word of God. If they have any influence over others, it is to disaffect them and lead them away from the watchcare, counsel, and strength of the body. And the very ones who claim sanctification, have in their hearts insubordination, pride, envy, jealousy, and evil surmising of their brethren. They sit as judges upon the life and character of their brethren. These are the fruits generally to be found growing upon the tree of false sanctification. This class have graduated. They suppose they have come to the knowledge of the truth. If they attend camp-meetings, they will think they are so far ahead of the servants of God who labor in the meetings that they cannot learn anything, therefore the word or message of instruction God gives his servants for the people is not for them. They will generally be found drawing one or two away, holding them in conversation, imparting to them the great light they suppose they have; and thus some are deprived of hearing the message of God to the people. These self deceived men are drawing away souls from the body, scattering from Christ, and bringing in dissension and division. Individual experience is set above the authority of the church, and their example leads others whom they deceive to regard lightly the voice of counsel and admonition of the church. This course has worked the ruin of very many souls in every age of the world. As children in the family of God we need the wisdom and experience of matured Christians to direct, to encourage, and to defend us in times of danger, and to lead on to constant growth in grace, and to seek daily attainments in the knowledge of the truth and true holiness.

In the ministry of Christ and his apostles, those who were converted to the truth were brought into church relationship; and every stray, lost sheep that was found, was brought to the fold of the church, that under the direction of the Master, through the undershepherds, they might go in and out and find pasture. God has instituted his church and delegated to it his authority and power. He has given it the inspired oracles, provided it with pastors and teachers to carry forward his work on the earth when he should leave it. At a later date, when the church was weakened by its individual members being led into errors, and spiritual life was chilled and palsied by backslidings, the inspired apostle exclaimed, “I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy.” “But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” Nothing is so demoralizing, so enfeebling to the church, as to have her individual members obtain a burden upon this false sanctification, which leads them away from the simplicity of the gospel of Christ. Satan always leads this class away from the church, and leads them to regard the church far behind them in spirituality and experience. The power and glory of God is revealed in his church. Here God gives the blessings of his grace. Here he reveals the mysteries of his will.

There have been and always will be tares among the wheat, the foolish virgins with the wise, those who have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. There was a covetous Judas in the church Christ formed on earth, and there will be Judases in the church in every stage of her history. But because there are such, it does not do away with the fact that God has a church. There were murmurers, envious and jealous ones in the tribes of Israel, journeying to the promised Canaan; but, notwithstanding, God led them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. The deceitful hearts of individuals will lead them astray because they see imperfections in the church, but these very ones have defective characters that they do not discern. These very ones are capable of being useful in the church were they connected with the great Head of the church. But if they choose to be presumptuous, and in self-sufficiency draw off on some tangent, the church will move on without them. Every member of the church is bound by the most solemn vow to advance its interests and to labor unselfishly and devotedly for its success.

The prosperity of the church depends upon the faithfulness, purity, and zealous action of its individual members. Christ “loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

If all who are ambitious for distinction above their brethren could estimate to what a depth of humiliation Christ submitted for their sakes, and learn from the cross of humiliation to be subject one to another, there would exist in the church a simplicity and power which would have a telling influence on the world. Through the cross we may learn the love we should have for our fellowmen, and the value of souls for whom Christ died, and our works, in self-denial to save the perishing souls around us will correspond with our faith.

Jenny @ 6:25 pm
August 14, 1879 The Sufferings of Christ
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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(Continued.)

     had often resorted to with his for and . They were all well acquainted with this retreat. Even knew where to lead the murderous throng, that he might Jesus into their hands. Never before had the visited the spot with his heart so full of . It was not bodily from which the shrank, and which wrung from his lips in the presence of his disciples these mournful words: “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto .” “Tarry ye here,” said he, “and watch with me.” He was bowed to the earth with mental anguish, and in an agony he prayed to his . He felt the of , and the against the violators of his .

was amazed with the horror of which enclosed him. The of were almost overpowering. These words, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me,” were borne upon the sympathizing air, to his disciples, in tones of startling agony. The sins of a lost world were upon him, and a sense of his Father’s anger in consequence of sin was crushing him. He arose from his prostrate position, and, yearning for the sympathy of his disciples, he came to them and found them sleeping. He roused Peter and said to him, “Simon, sleepest thou?” What, couldest not thou, who so recently was willing to go with me to prison and to death, watch with thy suffering Master one hour? “Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” At the most important time, the disciples were found sleeping. It was the very time when Jesus had made a special request for them to watch with him. He knew that terrible temptations were before his disciples. He took them with him, that they might be a strength to him, and that the events they should witness that night, and the lessons of instruction they should receive, might be indelibly printed upon their memories. This was necessary that they might be strengthened for the test just before them.

But instead of watching with Christ, they were burdened with sorrow, and fell asleep. Even the ardent Peter was asleep, who, only a few hours before, had declared that he would suffer, and, if need be, die for his Lord. At the most critical moment, when the Son of God was in need of their sympathy and heartfelt prayers, they were found asleep. They lost much by thus sleeping. Our Saviour designed to fortify them for the severe test of their faith to which they would soon be subjected. If they had spent that mournful period in watching with the dear Saviour and in prayer to God, Peter would not have been left to his own feeble strength, to deny his Lord. We can have but faint conception of the inexpressible anguish of God’s dear Son in Gethsemane, as he realized the separation from his Father in consequence of bearing man’s sin. The divine Son of God was fainting, dying. The Father sent an angel from his presence to strengthen the divine sufferer. Could mortals view the amazement and sorrow of the angels as they watched in silent grief the Father separating his beams of light, love, and glory, from his Son, they would better understand how offensive is sin in his sight. As the Son of God in the garden of Gethsemane bowed in the attitude of prayer, the agony of his spirit forced from his pores sweat like great drops of blood. It was here that the horror of great darkness surrounded him. The sins of the world were upon him. He was suffering in man’s stead, as a transgressor of his Father’s law. Here was the scene of temptation. The divine light of God was receding from his vision, and he was passing into the hands of the powers of darkness. In the agony of his soul he lay prostrate on the cold earth. He was realizing his Father’s frown. The cup of suffering Christ had taken from the lips of guilty man, and proposed to drink it himself, and, in its place, give to man the cup of blessing. The wrath that would have fallen upon man, was now falling upon Christ.

The disciples roused from their slumber to find their Master standing over them in a state of mental and bodily anguish such as they never before had witnessed. They saw the grief and agony of his pale face, and the bloody sweat upon his brow, for “his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” The disciples were grieved that they had fallen asleep, so that they could not pray and sympathize with their suffering Lord. They were speechless with sorrow and surprise.

The suffering Son of God leaves his disciples, for the power of darkness rushes upon him with an irresistible force which bows him to the earth. He prays as before, and pours out the burden of his soul with stronger crying and tears. His soul was pressed with such agony as no human being could endure and live. The sins of the world were upon him. He felt that he was separated from his Father’s love; for upon him rested the curse because of sin. Christ knew that it would be difficult for man to feel the grievousness of sin, and that close contact and familiarity with sin would so blunt his moral sensibility, that sin would not appear so dangerous to him, and so exceedingly offensive in the sight of God. He knew that but few would take pleasure in righteousness, and accept of that salvation which, at infinite cost, he made it possible for them to obtain. While this load of sin was upon Christ, unrealized, and unrepented of by man, doubts rent his soul in regard to his oneness with his Father.

In this fearful hour of trial Christ’s human nature longed even for the sympathy of his disciples. A second time he rose from the earth and went to them and found them sleeping. This was not a deep sleep. They were in a drowse. They had a limited sense of their Lord’s suffering and anguish. In tenderness Jesus stood for a moment bending over them, and regarding them with mingled feelings of love and pity. In these sleeping disciples he sees a representation of a sleeping church. When they should be watching, they are asleep.

“Watch ye, therefore; for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.” The church of God is required to fulfill her night-watch, however perilous, and whether long or short. Sorrow is no excuse for her to be less watchful. Tribulation should not lead to carelessness, but to double vigilance. Christ has directed the church by his own example, to the source of their strength in times of need, distress and peril. The attitude of watching is to designate the church as God’s people indeed. But this sign the waiting ones are distinguished from the world, and show that they are pilgrims and strangers upon the earth.

How cruel it was for the disciples to permit sleep to close their eyes, and slumber to chain their senses, while their divine Lord was enduring such inexpressible mental anguish. If they had remained watching, they would not have lost their faith as they beheld the Son of God dying upon the cross. This important night-watch should have been signalized by noble mental struggles and prayers which would have brought them strength to witness the terrible agony of the Son of God. It would have prepared them, as they should behold his sufferings upon the cross, to understand something of the nature of the overpowering anguish which he endured in the garden of Gethsemane. And they would have been better able to recall the words he had spoken to them in reference to his sufferings, death, and resurrection; and amid the gloom of that trying hour some rays of hope would have lighted up the darkness, and sustained their faith.

Christ had told them before that these things would take place; but they did not understand him. The scene of his sufferings was to be a fiery ordeal to his disciples, hence the necessity of watchfulness and prayer. Their faith needed to be sustained by an unseen strength, as they should experience the triumph of the powers of darkness. He knew the power which the prince of darkness used to paralyze the senses of his disciples at this time when they should be watching. At this crisis, when they would meet with a great loss, they are found asleep. Again the powers of darkness press upon him with renewed force, bowing him to the earth. He leaves his disciples with a determination to conquer the prince of darkness, that man may not be held in chains of hopeless despair. Giving his disciples one look of the tenderest compassion he left them and bowed a third time in prayer, using the same words as before. The divine sufferer shuddered with amazement at this mysterious and terrible conflict.

Human minds cannot conceive of the insupportable anguish which tortured the soul of our Redeemer. The holy Son of God had no sins or griefs of his own to bear. He was bearing the griefs of others, for on him was laid the iniquities of us all. Through divine sympathy he connects himself to man, and submits as the representative of the race to be treated as a transgressor. He looks into the abyss of woe opened for us by our sins, and proposes to bridge the gulf with his own person. Those who cannot see the force of the sacred claims of God’s law cannot have a clear and definite understanding of the atonement.

It was soul-anguish that wrenched from the lips of God’s dear Son these mournful words: “Now is my soul troubled,–my soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death.” Christ’s soul was bearing a weight of anguish because of the transgression of God’s law. He was overwhelmed with horror and consternation at the fearful work sin had wrought. His burden of guilt was so great because of man’s transgression of his Father’s law, that human nature was inadequate to bear it. His inexpressible anguish forced from his pores large drops of blood, which fell upon the ground and moistened the sods of Gethsemane.

The sufferings of martyrs can bear no comparison with the sufferings of Christ. The divine presence was with them, in their physical sufferings. There was the hiding of the Father’s face from his dear Son. Humanity staggered and trembled in that trying hour. It was anguish of soul beyond the endurance of finite nature. It was woe condensed that brought from the trembling lips of the noble sufferer these words: “Now is my soul troubled.” “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Again from his pale lips are heard these words: “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” The awful moment had come which was to decide the destiny of the world. Angels are waiting and watching with intense interest.

The fate of the world is trembling in the balance. The Son of God may even now refuse to drink the cup apportioned to guilty man. He may wipe the blood sweat from his brow, and leave the world to perish in their iniquity Will the Son of the infinite God drink the cup of humiliation and agony? Will the innocent suffer the curse of God to save the guilty? It was here the mysterious cup trembled in his hand, and the destiny of a ruined world was balanced. The world’s Redeemer sees that the transgressors of his Father’s law must perish under his displeasure. He sees the power of sin and the utter helplessness of man to save himself.

The woes and lamentations of a doomed world come up before him, and his decision is made. He will save man at any cost of himself. He has accepted his baptism of blood, that perishing millions through him might gain everlasting life. He left the heavenly courts where all was purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world which had fallen by transgression. He will not leave man in his sins. He will reach to the very depths of misery to rescue him. The sleeping disciples see not that their beloved Teacher is fainting. He falls to the earth, and is dying. Where are his disciples to place their hands tenderly beneath the head of their suffering Master, and bathe that brow, marred indeed more than the sons of men? Our Saviour trod the wine-press alone and of all the people there was none with him.

Christ suffered not alone. Saith he, “I and my Father are one.” God suffered with his Son. The sacrifice that an infinite God has made in giving up his Son to reproach and agony, cannot be comprehended by man. In giving his Son for the sins of the world, God has evidenced his boundless love to man. The angels who had learned to do Christ’s will in Heaven, were anxious to comfort him. But what can they do? Such sorrow, such agony, is beyond their power to alleviate. They have never felt the sins of a ruined world, and with astonishment they behold the object of their adoration subject to grief. Although the Father does not remove the cup from the trembling hand and pale lips of his Son, he sends an angel to give him strength to drink it. The angel raises the Son of God from the cold ground, and brings him messages of love from his Father. He is strengthened and fortified. He has the assurance that he is gaining eternal joy for all who will accept redemption.
                           (To be Continued.)

Jenny @ 5:45 pm
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
April 3, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

                         Chapter Ten–Continued.
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                            By Mrs. E. G. White.
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All day he cherished the hope of meeting an coming to and him, or perhaps to revoke the , but no of appeared. suggested that he must be , for God had said, “Thou shalt not ,” and it was not like God to require what he had once . The second long day comes to a close, another sleepless night is spent in and , and the journey of the third day is commenced. Abraham lifts his eyes to the mountains, and upon one he beholds the promised , a bright cloud hovering over the top of . Now he knows it is all a terrible certainty, and no .

He was yet a great distance from the mountain, but he bade his servants remain behind while he placed the wood upon the shoulders of his son, and himself took the knife and fire. Abraham braced himself for the sad work which he must perform. He did not murmur against God. Isaac had been given to him unexpectedly; he had received him with gratitude and great joy, and though he was the son of his old age, the son of his love, he yet believed that the same power that gave him Isaac, could raise him again even from the ashes of the burnt sacrifice. He strengthens his soul by the evidences he has had of the goodness and faithfulness of God. Had not He, who had graciously given Isaac to him, perfect right to recall the gift?

Isaac had been a comfort, a sunbeam, a blessing to Abraham in his old age, and although this gift of God seemed so precious, so dear to him, he was now commanded to return it to the Giver. The words of God’s command showed that he fully realized the pain which Abraham must feel in obeying his requirement, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest.” Abraham wanted no witnesses. It was enough that God could look on and not only see the full consecration of his darling son Isaac, but read the heart and fully understand how severely he felt the test. He wished no one but God to witness this parting scene between father and son.

Abraham knew not how Isaac would receive the command of God. As they drew near the mountain, “Isaac spake to Abraham, his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?” These endearing words, “My father,” pierced the affectionate heart of Abraham, and again he thought, Oh, that I, in my old age, might die instead of Isaac! Still reluctant to open before his son the true purpose of his errand, Abraham answered, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt-offering.” 

Isaac assisted his father in building the altar. Together they placed on the wood, and the last work preparatory to the sacrifice is done. With quivering lips and trembling voice, Abraham reveals to his son the message that God had sent him. In obedience to the divine command, he had taken the journey. Everything was ready. Isaac was the victim, the lamb to be slain. Had Isaac chosen to resist his father’s command, he could have done so, for he was grown to manhood; but he had been so thoroughly instructed in the knowledge of God that he had perfect faith in his promises and requirements.

The patriarch assured Isaac that his affection for him was not diminished, and that he would gladly give his own life to save that of his son. But God had chosen Isaac, and his requirement must be fulfilled to the letter. Abraham told his son that the Lord had miraculously given him to his parents, and now he had required him again. He assured him that the divine promise, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called,” would be fulfilled; that doubtless God would raise him to life again from the dead.

Isaac at first heard the purpose of God with amazement amounting to terror. But he considered the matter fully. He was the child of a miracle. If God had accepted him as a worthy sacrifice, he would cheerfully submit. Life was dear, life was precious, but God had appointed him, Isaac, to be offered up as a sacrifice. He comforted his father, by assuring him that God had conferred honor upon him, in accepting him as an offering; that in this requirement he saw not the wrath and displeasure of God, but special tokens that the Lord loved him, in that he required him to be consecrated to himself in sacrifice. 

He encouraged the almost nerveless hands of his father to bind the cords which confined him to the altar. The last words of endearing love were spoken by father and son, the last affectionate, parental, and filial tears were shed, the last embrace was given, and the father had pressed his beloved son to his aged breast for the last time. His hand is uplifted, grasping firmly the instrument of death, when suddenly his arm is stayed. “And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of Heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him; for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, Jehovah-jireh; as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen. And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of Heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son; that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”

As evidence of God’s approval of the faith of Abraham, he gave him the name of “Father of the faithful.” The example of Abraham is recorded in sacred history for the benefit of his believing children. This great act of faith teaches the lesson of implicit confidence in God, perfect obedience to his requirements, and a complete surrender to the divine will. In the example of Abraham we are taught that nothing we possess is too precious to give to God.

How many now who profess to be Christians would follow the example of Abraham in yielding up to God his beloved Isaac? Yet our dearest treasure belongs to God. A solemn duty rests upon Christian parents to so educate and mould the minds of their children that they will ever have a high respect and exalted reverence for God and for everything sacred and holy. Such will feel that God’s claims must first be regarded, that nothing is too precious to sacrifice for him. Such will, like Abraham, exemplify their faith by their works.

How many now who profess to believe God, and pass for Christians, refuse to obey his voice when he calls upon them to deny self, and yield to him their darling treasures. They will hesitate, and cling to earthly things. Their affections are upon the world and the things of the world; yet some of these very ones will have the most to say about how much they have sacrificed to obey the truth. Isaac felt that it was a privilege to yield his life as an offering to God. If the Lord could accept him, he felt that he was honored.

Human judgment may look upon the command given to Abraham as severe, too great for human strength to bear. Abraham’s strength was from God. He looked not at the things which are seen with mortal vision, but at the things which are eternal. God required no more of Abraham than he had, in divine compassion and infinite love, given to man. He gave his only begotten Son to die, that guilty man might live. Abraham’s offering of Isaac was especially designed of God to prefigure the sacrifice of his Son.

Every step that Abraham advanced toward Mount Moriah, the Lord went with him. All the grief and agony that Abraham endured during the three days of his dark and fearful trial, were imposed upon him to give us a lesson in perfect faith and obedience, and that we might better comprehend how real was the great self-denial and infinite sacrifice of the Father in giving his only Son to die a shameful death for the guilty race. No other trial, no other suffering or test, which could have been brought to bear upon Abraham, would have caused such mental anguish, such torture of soul, as that of obeying God in offering up his son.

Our Heavenly Father surrendered his beloved Son to the agonies of the crucifixion. Legions of angels witnessed the humiliation and soul-anguish of the Son of God, but were not permitted to interpose as in the case of Isaac. No voice was heard to stay the sacrifice. God’s dear Son, the world’s Redeemer, was insulted, mocked at, derided, and tortured, until he bowed his head in death. What greater proof can the Infinite One give us of his divine love and pity? “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

The meager conception that many have of the worth of the soul, and the sacrifice of God’s dear Son for sinful man, is shown by their works. Should God speak to them, as he did to Abraham, Sacrifice your possessions, the temporal benefits that I have lent you to advance my cause, they would look in astonishment, thinking God did not mean just what he said. Their riches are as dear to them as their children; their worldly treasure is their Isaac. To honor God with their substance, they think, is a requirement altogether too great, and they cannot believe that God means it. What have this class sacrificed for God?

Men will show all the faith they have. If God should speak to them and command them to offer one of their beloved children, they would think him a hard master. Yet he has done more than this for them. No such command will come to test and prove them. God knew to whom he spake, when he gave the command to faithful Abraham. The patriarch knew that it was God who had commanded, and that his promises were infallible. Had the Lord directed him to offer his gold, his silver, his flocks, or even his own life, he would have done so cheerfully. He would have felt that he was but yielding back to God that which belonged to him.

But there are many who know not what self-denial, or sacrifice, or devotion to God, is. They never can have extended and elevated views of the infinite sacrifice made by the Son of God to save a ruined world, until they surrender all to him. If he should speak to them in a command, as he did to Abraham, they would not be enough acquainted with his voice to understand that he did really require something of them, to show their love, and the genuineness of their faith.

The claims of God upon our love, affection, and possessions, our talents, and ourselves, are correspondingly great as was the infinite sacrifice made in giving his Son to die for sinful man. Those who really appreciate the work of the atonement, those who have a high sense of the sacrifice which Christ has made to exalt them to his throne, will count it a special honor to be partakers with him in his self-denial, sacrifice, and suffering, that they may be co-workers with him in saving souls.

There are many who profess the truth, who do not love God half so well as they love the world. God is testing and proving them. Their love of the world and of riches darkens their minds, perverts their judgment, and hardens their hearts. God has, to some of them at least, revealed his will, and called for a surrender of their Isaac to him. But they refuse to obey, and let golden opportunities pass. Precious time is bearing into eternity a record of duties unfulfilled, and of positive neglect.

Nothing we have is of true value until it is surrendered to God. The talent of means devoted to the cause and work of God, is of tenfold more value than if selfishly retained for the gratification of our own pleasure. The faith of the devoted martyrs was like that of Abraham, it was genuine. They valued the precious truth, and in their turn, although despised of men, hunted from place to place, persecuted, afflicted, and tormented, they were valued of God. There was no place for them upon the earth, but of them, says the apostle, the world was not worthy. Those who clung to the truth in face of prison, torture, and death, had faith that few now living possess.

Many have chosen a life of ease. They have exalted their earthly interests above the spiritual and eternal. They neglect to learn the hard lesson of self-denial, and of surrendering all to God. They do not count anything interesting, save that which is learned without much effort, and without involving any sacrifice of temporal enjoyment; and it is forgotten as soon as learned, because it cost them nothing.

The deepest poverty, with God’s blessing, is better than houses and lands, and any amount of earthly treasure, without it. God’s blessing places value on everything we possess; but if we have the whole world without his blessing we are indeed as poor as the beggar, for we can take nothing with us into the next world.

Those who profess to be looking for the soon coming of our Saviour, should have Abrahamic faith; a faith that is valued because it has cost them something; a faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. The example of Abraham is left on record for us upon whom the ends of the world have come. We must believe that God is in earnest with us, and that he is not to be trifled with. He means what he says, and he requires of us implicit faith and willing obedience. Then will he let his light shine around about us, and we shall be all light in the Lord.

Jenny @ 10:08 am