The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
August 21, 1879 The Sufferings of Christ
Filed under: EG White Articles

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

The fearful hour in is passed. Our has accepted the cup to drain it to the dregs. In behalf of man he has conquered in the hour of . Serenity and calmness are now seen in the pale and blood-stained face. And the third time he comes to his and finds them overcome with . Sorrowfully and pityingly he looked upon them, and said, “Sleep on now, and take your ; behold, the hour is at hand, and the is into the hands of .” Even while these words were upon his lips, he heard the footsteps of the mob that was in search of him. took the lead, and was closely followed by the . Jesus aroused his disciples with these words. “Rise, let us be going; behold, he is at hand that doth me.” The countenance of wore an expression of calm dignity. The traces of his recent agony were not visible as he walked forth to meet his .

Jesus steps out in front of his disciples, and inquires, “Whom seek ye?” They answer, “.” replies, “I am he.” At these words the mob stagger backward; and the , the , the hardened , and even Judas, fall powerless to the ground, giving ample opportunity for to release himself if he chose. But he stands as one glorified amid that coarse and hardened band. As Jesus said, “I am he,” the angel which had ministered to him in his anguish, moved between him and the murderous mob. They see a divine light glorifying the Saviour’s face, and a dove-like form overshadowing him. Their sinful hearts are filled with terror. They cannot stand for a moment in the presence of divine glory, but fall as dead men to the ground.

The angel withdrew, and left Jesus standing calm and self-possessed, with the bright beams of the moon upon his pale face, and still surrounded by prostrate, helpless men, while the disciples were too much amazed to utter a word. As the angel removes, the hardened Roman soldiers start to their feet, and, with the priests and Judas, they gather about Christ as though ashamed of their weakness, and fearful that he would yet escape out of their hands. Again the question is asked by the world’s Redeemer. “Whom seek ye?” Again they answer, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am he. If, therefore, ye seek me, let these go their way.” In this hour of humiliation Christ’s thoughts are not for himself, but for his beloved disciples. He wishes to save them from any further trial of their strength.

Judas, the betrayer of our Saviour, does not forget his part, but comes close to Jesus, and takes his hand as a familiar friend, and bestows the traitor’s kiss. Jesus says to him, “Friend, wherefore art thou come?” His voice trembled with sorrow as he addressed deluded Judas. “Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” This most touching appeal should have aroused the conscience of Judas, and touched his stubborn heart; but honor, fidelity, and even human tenderness seemed to have left him. He stood bold and defiant, showing no disposition to relent. He had given himself up to the control of Satan, to work wickedness, and he had no will to resist. Jesus did not resist the traitor’s kiss. In this he gives us an example of forbearance, love, and pity, that is without a parallel.

Though the murderous throng are surprised and awed by what they have seen and felt, their assurance and hardihood returns as they see the boldness of Judas in touching the person of Christ, whom so recently they had seen glorified. They lay violent hands upon Jesus, and are about to bind those precious hands that had ever been employed in doing good. 

As the disciples saw that band of hardened men lie prostrate and helpless on the ground, they thought surely their Master would not suffer himself to be taken. The same power that prostrated that hireling mob could have kept them there, and Jesus could have passed on his way unharmed. They are disappointed and indignant as they see the cords brought forward to bind the hands of him whom they love. Peter in his vehement anger strikes rashly, and cuts off an ear of the servant of the high priest.

When Jesus saw what Peter had done, he released his hands, already held by the Roman soldiers, and, saying, “Suffer ye thus far,” he touched the ear of the wounded man, and instantly it is made whole. Even to his enemies, who are bound to take his life, he here gives unmistakable evidence of his divine power. Jesus said to Peter, “Put up again thy sword into his place; for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” “The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” Jesus said unto the chief priest, and captains of the temple, who helped compose that murderous throng, “Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and with staves to take me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not; but the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”

When the disciples saw that Jesus did not deliver himself from his enemies, but permitted himself to be taken, they forsook him and fled, leaving their Master alone. Christ had foreseen this desertion, and had told them in the upper chamber before it took place, of what they would do: “Behold the hour cometh, yea, is not come, that ye shall be scattered every man to his own, and shall leave me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”

The Saviour of the world was hurried to the judgment hall of an earthly court, there to be derided and condemned to death, by sinful men. There the glorious Son of God was “wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities.” He bore insult, mockery, and shameful abuse, until his “visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.”

Who can comprehend the love here displayed? The angelic host beheld with wonder and with grief Him who had been the majesty of Heaven, and who had worn the crown of glory, now wearing the crown of thorns, a bleeding victim to the rage of an infuriated mob, who were fired to insane madness by the wrath of Satan. Behold the patient sufferer! Upon his head is the thorny crown! His life blood flows from every lacerated vein! All this was in consequence of sin! Nothing could have induced Christ to leave his honor and majesty in Heaven, and come to a sinful world, to be neglected, despised, and rejected, by those he came to save, and finally to suffer upon the cross, but eternal, redeeming love, which will ever remain a mystery.

Wonder, O Heavens, and be astonished, O earth! Behold the oppressor and the oppressed! A vast multitude inclose the Saviour of the world. Mockings and jeerings are mingled with the coarse oaths of blasphemy.

His lowly birth and humble life are commented upon by unfeeling wretches. His claim to be the Son of God is ridiculed by the chief priests and elders, and the vulgar jest and insulting derision are passed from lip to lip. Satan was having full control of the minds of his servants. In order to do this effectually, he commences with the chief priests and elders, and imbues them with religious frenzy. They are actuated by the same satanic spirit which moves the most vile and hardened wretches.

There is a corrupt harmony in the feelings of all, from the hypocritical priests and the elders down to the most debased. Christ, the precious Son of God, was led forth, and the cross was laid upon his shoulders. At every step was left blood which flowed from his wounds. Thronged by an immense crowd of bitter enemies and unfeeling spectators, he is led away to the crucifixion. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

His sorrowing disciples follow him at a distance, behind the murderous throng. He is nailed to the cross, and hangs suspended between the heavens and the earth. Their hearts are bursting with anguish as their beloved Teacher is suffering as a criminal. Close to the cross are the blind, bigoted, faithless priests and elders, taunting, mocking, and jeering: “Thou that destroyest the temple and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him with the scribes and elders, said, he saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God, let him deliver him now, if he will have him; for he said I am the Son of God.”

Not one word did Jesus answer to all this. Even while the nails were being driven through his hands and the sweat-drops of agony were forced from his pores, from the pale quivering lips of the innocent sufferer a prayer of pardoning love was breathed for his murderers: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” All Heaven was gazing with profound interest upon the scene. The glorious Redeemer of a lost world was suffering the penalty of man’s transgression of the Father’s law. He was about to ransom his people with his own blood. He was paying the just claims of God’s holy law. This was the means through which an end was to be finally made of sin and Satan, and his vile host to be vanquished.

Oh, was there ever suffering and sorrow like that endured by the dying Saviour! It was the sense of his Father’s displeasure which made his cup so bitter. It was not bodily suffering which so quickly ended the life of Christ upon the cross. It was the crushing weight of the sins of the world, and a sense of his Father’s wrath that broke his heart. The Father’s glory and sustaining presence had left him, and despair pressed its crushing weight of darkness upon him, and forced from his pale and quivering lips the anguished cry: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Jesus had united with the Father in making the world. Amid the agonizing sufferings of the Son of God, blind and deluded men alone remain unfeeling. The chief priests and elders revile God’s dear Son while in his expiring agonies. Yet inanimate nature groans in sympathy with her bleeding, dying Author. The earth trembles. The sun refuses to behold the scene. The heavens gather blackness. Angels have witnessed the scene of suffering, until they can look on no longer, and hide their faces from the horrid sight. Christ is in despair! He is dying! His Father’s approving smile is removed, and angels are not permitted to lighten the gloom of the terrible hour. They could only behold in amazement their loved Commander suffering the penalty of man’s transgression of the Father’s law.

Even doubts assailed the dying Son of God. He could not see through the portals of the tomb. Bright hope did not present to him his coming forth from the tomb a conqueror, and his Father’s acceptance of his sacrifice. The sin of the world with all its terribleness was felt to the utmost by the Son of God. The displeasure of the Father for sin, and its penalty which was death, were all that he could realize through this amazing darkness. He was tempted to fear that sin was so offensive in the sight of his Father that he could not be reconciled to his Son. The fierce temptation that his own Father had forever left him, caused that piercing cry from the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
                           (To be Continued.)

Jenny @ 5:45 pm
December 20, 1877 Noah’s Time and Ours.
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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“And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
In how short a time from the first sin of Adam did sin increase and spread like the leprosy. It is the nature of sin to increase. From generation to generation sin has spread like a contagious disease. Hatred of God’s law, and as the sure result hatred of all goodness became universal. The world was in its infancy, yet after sin was first introduced it soon became fearful in its proportions until it deluged the world. God who created man and gave him with an unsparing hand the bounties of his providence was slighted and despised by the recipients of his gifts. He was dishonored by the beings he had created. But notwithstanding sinful man forgot his benevolent Benefactor, God did not slight and turn away from him and leave him to perish in his violence and crime without setting before him his wickedness and the result of the transgression of his law. He sent him messages of warning and entreaty. He pointed out definitely his danger if he continued in his rebellion.
God, whom men had slighted and dishonored and whose gracious love and benevolence they had abused, still pitied the race and in his love provided a refuge for all who would accept it. He directed Noah to build an ark and at the same time preach to the inhabitants of the world that God would bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy the wicked. If they would believe the message and prepare for that event by repentance and reformation they should find pardon and be saved. God did not remove his spirit from man without warning him of the sure result of his course in transgressing his law. He gave the message to Noah to be given to the people. “My spirit shall not always strive with man.” A continual resistance and contempt of the entreaties and warnings from God through his servant Noah, would separate them from God, and the result would be infinite mercy and love would cease its pleadings. The Spirit of God continued to strive with rebellious man until the time of God had specified had nearly expired, when Noah and his family entered the ark and the hand of God closed the door of the ark. Mercy had stepped from the golden throne no longer to intercede for man.
Notwithstanding God was working to draw man to himself by the conviction of his Holy Spirit, man in his rebellion was drawing away from God, and continually resisting the pleadings of infinite love.
Noah stood up nobly in the midst of a world who were disregarding God and were indulging in all manner of extravagant dissipation which led to crimes and violence of every kind. Noah the faithful preacher of righteousness unflinchingly and courageously preached to that generation that a flood of water was to deluge the world because of the unsurpassed wickedness of its inhabitants. He warned that generation to repent, to believe the warning message and find refuge in the ark. What a spectacle to the world as Noah stands forth connected with God, by his obedience in contrast to the world. Numbers was not on the side of right. The world was arrayed against God’s justice and his laws. Men of science and of philosophy used their talents and abilities to oppose the message of God. Satan, when tempting Eve to disobey God, said to her, “Ye shall not surely die.” Great men, worldly, honored, and wise men, repeat the same story. “Ye shall not surely die,” and that God’s threatenings are for the purpose of intimidating and will never be verified. You need not be alarmed, such an event as the world’s being destroyed by God who made it, and punishing the beings he has made will never take place for this is not in accordance with science and philosophy. Be at peace, fear not, Noah is crazy, he is the wildest fanatic.
How simple and childlike amid the unbelief of the world, was the faith of Noah. His faith was the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. His faith was perfected by his works. He gave to the world an example in believing just what God had said. He commenced under the directions of God to construct the ark, an immense boat, on dry ground. Multitudes came from every direction to see this strange sight, the ark, and to hear the earnest, fervent words of this singular man who seemed to believe every word he uttered. His message was to him a reality. A power attended the words of Noah, for it was the voice of God to man through his servant. Some were deeply convicted and would have heeded the words of warning, but there were so many to jest and ridicule the message of entreaty and warning to repentance that they partook of the same spirit, resisted the invitations of mercy, refused to reform, and were soon among the boldest and most defiant scoffers; for none are as reckless, and will go to such lengths in sin as those who have once had light, who have been convicted and resisted the Spirit of God. Amid popular contempt and ridicule, amid universal wickedness and disobedience, Noah distinguishes himself by his holy integrity and unwavering obedience. He is singular indeed. He was one in the world, but not one of the world. Noah made himself the object of contempt and ridicule by his steadfast adherence to the words of God. He obeyed God without a questioning doubt. What a marked contrast to the prevailing unbelief and universal disregard of God’s law. While the voice of God, through Noah, is making itself heard in entreaties and warnings in condemnation of sin and iniquity, Satan was not asleep, he was mustering his forces. He engages his host with gigantic energies to make through his sophistry, cruelties and oppression the words of warning from the servant of God of none effect. Evil seems to gain the day. Noah was tested and proved, opposition met him from the great men of the world, from philosophers and men of science, so-called, who tried to show him that his message could not be true; but his voice was not silenced, one hundred and twenty years the words of warning continued to be heard in earnest tones, and were sustained by his energetic work upon the ark. The world might have believed if they would. Had they believed the message of warning, and repented of their evil deeds and submitted to be obedient to God, the Lord would have turned aside his wrath as he did from Nineveh. God’s Spirit was striving with the people to lead them to accept and believe the truth, but Satan’s suggestions were also heeded, their own wicked hearts were more inclined to harmonize with the sophistry of the father of lies than with the pleadings of infinite love. They manifested their indifference and contempt of the solemn warnings of God in doing the same as they had done before the warning had been given. They continued their gluttonous feasts, their festivities, eating and drinking, planting and building, in reference to the advantage to be gained by them in the far future and they went to greater lengths in wickedness and defiant disregard of God’s requirements to testify to one another that they had no fear of God and his commands.
In Noah’s day all men were not in the fullest sense heathen idolaters. Many had a knowledge of God and of his law, but in their grand works of sculpture, in their works of art, they professed to be honoring God by representing him in the works of their own hands in the similitudes which they had made of God. These works of art were worshiped as God and the Creator was forgotten. The class who professed a knowledge of God were the ones who had the greatest influence and took the lead in making of none effect his word spoken to them by Noah. They not only rejected the message of the faithful preacher of righteousness themselves, but like their master the devil they sought every means in their power to prevent others from believing and being obedient to God. To every one comes their day of trial and of trust. While Noah was sounding the note of warning of the coming destruction of that generation was their day of opportunity and privilege to become wise unto salvation. But they gave their minds to the control of Satan rather than God, and he deceived them as he did our first parents. He set before them darkness and falsehood in the place of light and truth. They accepted the sophistry and lies of Satan because the most acceptable to them, and the most in harmony with their corrupt lives, while truth, which would have saved them, was rejected as a delusion. Noah to them was regarded as a fanatic, and they did not humble their hearts before God, but continued their disobedience and wickedness the same as if God had not spoken to them through Noah. But Noah stood like a rock amidst the tempest. He was surrounded with every species of wickedness and moral corruption; yet his faith wavered not. Undaunted he stood, the faithful messenger of God amid the scoffs and jeers of the world, an unbending witness of God. His meekness and his righteousness was shining brightly in contrast to the revolting crimes, intrigue and violence continually practiced. Connection with God made him strong in the strength of infinite power, while his solemn warning voice for one hundred and twenty years fell upon the ears of the inhabitants of that generation in regard to events, which, as far as human wisdom was concerned, would be impossible to transpire. The world before the flood reasoned that for centuries the laws of nature had been fixed. The recurring seasons had come in their order. The rivers and brooks had never yet passed their boundaries, but had borne their waters safely to the proud sea. Fixed decrees had kept the waters from overflowing their banks. But these reasons did not recognize the Hand that had stayed the waters, saying, thus far shalt thou go and no farther. As time passed on without any apparent change in nature men began to be reassured whose hearts had trembled at times with fear. They felt secure in their unbelief. They reasoned then as men reason now, as though nature was above the God of nature, and her ways were so fixed that God himself could not change them, thus making in the minds of the world God’s messages of warning a delusion, a grand deception, reasoning that if the message of Noah was correct nature would be turned out of her course of order.
The days of Noah, Christ tells us, were as the days prior to his appearing in the clouds of heaven. Noah’s day prefigures the present age. The world’s Redeemer, who knew best the history of the past, is the true prophet of the characters of the future. Human nature in Noah’s day uninfluenced by the Spirit of God is the same in our age. Jesus in his assertions and representations recognizes Genesis as the words of inspiration. Many admit the New Testament to be divine, while they show no special regard for the Old Testament scriptures; but these two grand books cannot be divorced. Inspired apostles who wrote the New Testament are continually carrying back the minds of the searchers of Scriptures to the Old. Christ carries the minds of all generations, present and future, to the Old Testament. He refers to Noah as a literal person who lived; he refers to the flood as a fact in history; he shows the specification of that generation, as characteristics of this age. The Truth and Life has anticipated the questioning and doubts of men in regard to the Old Testament by pronouncing it divine.

Jenny @ 10:02 pm