The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
December 11, 1879 Christ’s Followers the Light of the World.
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
-

So far as was concerned, was as though alone in our world. His nearest friends and relatives did not understand him. They could not understand the nature of of which he spoke, nor comprehend the vastness of that which embraced .

His extended, not only to this world, but to the , . He had lived in in the , and was one with , but in which he had , he was in solitude.

Fallen men, in one sense, could not be for , for they could not enter into with his , and hold with the . When woe, and want, and suffering demanded his help, they found relief; for ever touched a responsive chord in the Saviour’s heart. His work was to elevate men through his , through his lessons of instruction, and by means of his example, lifting them heavenward by the might of his . But companions he had none upon earth. He was fully understood in Heaven alone.

After the toils of the day the Redeemer of the world was frequently found all night in prayer. Crowds throng him through the day so that he has not a moment for rest or prayer. The fame of his work and of his wonderful teachings brought vast multitudes from all the region round about, not only to listen to his life-giving words, but to receive power from him that they might be healed of their maladies. All are eager to receive his first attention.

Some ply him with questions to gratify their curiosity, some to show their aptness and learning; and the jealous, caviling Pharisees watch to find some pretext to denounce him as an impostor. Some selfishly think that they may be advantaged by his great knowledge, and receive help in their personal difficulties, while others, hungering and thirsting for clearer light, and a better knowledge of the true way, humbly listen as for their lives, drinking in every word that falls from the Master’s lips.

The restless throng sways to and fro, as some are continually coming and striving to press nearer, while others are passing away with greater zeal in their own worldly interests than in the words of eternal life.

The suffering ones call for his sympathy, the feeble, the distorted, the decrepit, the blind, and the palsied, all turn imploringly to him, and faint voices plead earnestly for help. The crowd is so dense it seems impossible to urge a passage to Christ, and hope almost dies out of some hearts. They fear their chance will come too late, for they feel that life is fast ebbing. Can they reach the mighty Healer through the dense masses before it is too late?

But not one passes from his presence unrelieved. He repulses none, but speaks kindly and patiently with all, and in clear, calm, earnest tones he utters the truths that search to the very souls of his hearers. He is often interrupted with the cry of the demoniac, and the suffering and dying ones are urged through the crowd and laid at his feet.

His disciples see the pressure of care and burdens upon the Master, and decide that they must interfere and draw him away from the crowd. They invite him to find rest from his physical weariness before he shall faint with exhaustion. But Jesus continues his work notwithstanding the urgency of his disciples to draw him away for refreshment and rest. They say one to another, He must be beside himself to continue this taxing labor longer. They think that force will have to be used to save his life. He has not had sleep, or food, or a moment’s repose. He makes his way toward the sea-shore, and the surging crowd urge him to the very water’s edge. He beckons to Peter to receive him in his boat, and there upon the swaying seat of a fisherman’s boat he teaches his disciples upon the shore.

When the sun was set, and the night came on, and the people had dispersed to their homes, the disciples felt relieved. They felt sure that the Master would rest in some quiet home, and they would have him a little period all to themselves; but they were disappointed. Weary, exhausted, and faint as he was, he would not consent to go with them to seek refreshment or repose. He dismissed his disciples, and would not allow them to accompany him, but repaired to the solitary mountains, telling them where they may meet him in the morning.

All night he must be alone in the mountain sanctuary with his God. All night he spent in prayer, pouring out his soul with strong crying and tears, not because he had sins to confess, or to bring remorse to his heart, not because he had troubles of his own to be relieved. A world in the darkness of error is weighing upon his soul, and while it sleeps in security he prays that it may not perish in its sin and impenitence. Thus passed the night, and when nature’s choristers tuned their songs of praise in the early morning, Christ was prepared for the day of active, earnest work.

The day after the scene at Capernaum was to be one of great importance. The memorable sermon upon the mount was to be given to his disciples, and so come down through the ages to us. The day before he had not place sufficiently large to accommodate the people, and had taken his seat in Peter’s boat to address the people on the shore. This day he led the people to the high table-land overlooking the lake, where the tall grass was waving in the breeze, and wild flowers bloomed in rich profusion of beauty and variety at their feet, and nature was clothed in her most beautiful garments. Yonder were sharp mountain peaks outlined against the sky, bearing testimony to the majesty and power of God in his created works.

Christ seated himself upon an eminence, while the people gathered on the large grassy plain at its foot. The place was well chosen for the discourse. The sun had not yet appeared above the mountains; the incense of flowers perfumed the air, and the singing birds seemed to attune their songs responsive to the words uttered by the God of nature to impress souls with the truths falling from his divine lips.

The contrast of this morning’s scene with that of Sinai was marked. Then the millions of people gathered before the mountain whose lofty peaks seemed to reach to the very heavens. The lightnings flashed, and the groaning, muttering thunders, like supernatural voices filled the air, and God’s voice was heard in trumpet-like tones by all the congregation. Moses was commanded to come up and talk with God. He obeyed the mandate, and climbed far up the solitary heights, and God talked with him. On the morning of the third day a thick cloud began to cover the mountain, increasing in denseness every moment, while its billowy form surged violently. The earth shook and trembled as if convulsed, and the thunder peals were caught up in reverberations from peak to peak, far and near. The stately tread of the Lord Jehovah and of his Son was upon that mountain. At intervals, between the bursts of the thunder were sounds as of a trumpet swelling louder and louder till it rose above the war of the elements.

The people stood terror-stricken, every face pale as the dead, with eyes fixed in awe upon the fearful manifestations of the awful presence of God. Then was spoken amid flame and smoke the law of God. The people about the mount receded from its base in awe and fear. Their souls were overwhelmed with the grandeur and terrible majesty of the scene. They saw the two men go up amid the awful glory to receive the law from the lips of God. When Moses and Aaron again stood in their midst, the people implored them that the word of God might come to them through Moses, and not by the direct and terrible voice of God, lest they could not live.

“Fear not,” said Moses, “for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” All the majesty of this scene was necessary to impress its solemnity upon the minds of the children of Israel, whose lives had been spent among the symbols and ceremonies of the Egyptian worship.

Christ, who had led the children of Israel in the wilderness, who revealed his majesty and spoke the law from Sinai, was now to define the principles of that law, which was to be carried out and exemplified in practical life. The multitude close about the great Teacher, interested and eager to catch every word that fall from his lips. Yet there are no grand and awful demonstrations on this occasion, as at Sinai. The beauties of nature in the luxuriant vegetation and adornment of flowers speak to the senses of the love of God in his created works.

There was no eloquence of words used in the lessons of Christ, no overdrawn language hiding the simple grandeur of the thought, nothing to bewilder the mind or mislead the imagination. The language was simple, the utterance slow and forcible, and the enunciation clear and distinct. God was speaking to the soul of man in kindness and love. The countenance of Christ beamed with the glory of heaven’s light. His eyes expressed love and sympathy for man. Divinity flashed through humanity as the deep and earnest words of eternal life were spoken to the interested hearers.

The sun was climbing above the mountain tops, reflecting its bright beams upon the hills and mountains, distinctly revealing the cities upon their slopes.

He pointed to the bright beams of the sun, saying impressively, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid. . . . Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”
                           (To be continued).

Jenny @ 6:53 pm
December 11, 1879 Christ’s Followers the Light of the World.
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
-

So far as was concerned, was as though alone in our world. His nearest friends and relatives did not understand him. They could not understand the nature of of which he spoke, nor comprehend the vastness of that which embraced .

His extended, not only to this world, but to the , . He had lived in in the , and was one with , but in which he had , he was in solitude.

Fallen men, in one sense, could not be for , for they could not enter into with his , and hold with the . When woe, and want, and suffering demanded his help, they found relief; for ever touched a responsive chord in the Saviour’s heart. His work was to elevate men through his , through his lessons of instruction, and by means of his example, lifting them heavenward by the might of his . But companions he had none upon earth. He was fully understood in Heaven alone.

After the toils of the day the Redeemer of the world was frequently found all night in prayer. Crowds throng him through the day so that he has not a moment for rest or prayer. The fame of his work and of his wonderful teachings brought vast multitudes from all the region round about, not only to listen to his life-giving words, but to receive power from him that they might be healed of their maladies. All are eager to receive his first attention.

Some ply him with questions to gratify their curiosity, some to show their aptness and learning; and the jealous, caviling Pharisees watch to find some pretext to denounce him as an impostor. Some selfishly think that they may be advantaged by his great knowledge, and receive help in their personal difficulties, while others, hungering and thirsting for clearer light, and a better knowledge of the true way, humbly listen as for their lives, drinking in every word that falls from the Master’s lips.

The restless throng sways to and fro, as some are continually coming and striving to press nearer, while others are passing away with greater zeal in their own worldly interests than in the words of eternal life.

The suffering ones call for his sympathy, the feeble, the distorted, the decrepit, the blind, and the palsied, all turn imploringly to him, and faint voices plead earnestly for help. The crowd is so dense it seems impossible to urge a passage to Christ, and hope almost dies out of some hearts. They fear their chance will come too late, for they feel that life is fast ebbing. Can they reach the mighty Healer through the dense masses before it is too late?

But not one passes from his presence unrelieved. He repulses none, but speaks kindly and patiently with all, and in clear, calm, earnest tones he utters the truths that search to the very souls of his hearers. He is often interrupted with the cry of the demoniac, and the suffering and dying ones are urged through the crowd and laid at his feet.

His disciples see the pressure of care and burdens upon the Master, and decide that they must interfere and draw him away from the crowd. They invite him to find rest from his physical weariness before he shall faint with exhaustion. But Jesus continues his work notwithstanding the urgency of his disciples to draw him away for refreshment and rest. They say one to another, He must be beside himself to continue this taxing labor longer. They think that force will have to be used to save his life. He has not had sleep, or food, or a moment’s repose. He makes his way toward the sea-shore, and the surging crowd urge him to the very water’s edge. He beckons to Peter to receive him in his boat, and there upon the swaying seat of a fisherman’s boat he teaches his disciples upon the shore.

When the sun was set, and the night came on, and the people had dispersed to their homes, the disciples felt relieved. They felt sure that the Master would rest in some quiet home, and they would have him a little period all to themselves; but they were disappointed. Weary, exhausted, and faint as he was, he would not consent to go with them to seek refreshment or repose. He dismissed his disciples, and would not allow them to accompany him, but repaired to the solitary mountains, telling them where they may meet him in the morning.

All night he must be alone in the mountain sanctuary with his God. All night he spent in prayer, pouring out his soul with strong crying and tears, not because he had sins to confess, or to bring remorse to his heart, not because he had troubles of his own to be relieved. A world in the darkness of error is weighing upon his soul, and while it sleeps in security he prays that it may not perish in its sin and impenitence. Thus passed the night, and when nature’s choristers tuned their songs of praise in the early morning, Christ was prepared for the day of active, earnest work.

The day after the scene at Capernaum was to be one of great importance. The memorable sermon upon the mount was to be given to his disciples, and so come down through the ages to us. The day before he had not place sufficiently large to accommodate the people, and had taken his seat in Peter’s boat to address the people on the shore. This day he led the people to the high table-land overlooking the lake, where the tall grass was waving in the breeze, and wild flowers bloomed in rich profusion of beauty and variety at their feet, and nature was clothed in her most beautiful garments. Yonder were sharp mountain peaks outlined against the sky, bearing testimony to the majesty and power of God in his created works.

Christ seated himself upon an eminence, while the people gathered on the large grassy plain at its foot. The place was well chosen for the discourse. The sun had not yet appeared above the mountains; the incense of flowers perfumed the air, and the singing birds seemed to attune their songs responsive to the words uttered by the God of nature to impress souls with the truths falling from his divine lips.

The contrast of this morning’s scene with that of Sinai was marked. Then the millions of people gathered before the mountain whose lofty peaks seemed to reach to the very heavens. The lightnings flashed, and the groaning, muttering thunders, like supernatural voices filled the air, and God’s voice was heard in trumpet-like tones by all the congregation. Moses was commanded to come up and talk with God. He obeyed the mandate, and climbed far up the solitary heights, and God talked with him. On the morning of the third day a thick cloud began to cover the mountain, increasing in denseness every moment, while its billowy form surged violently. The earth shook and trembled as if convulsed, and the thunder peals were caught up in reverberations from peak to peak, far and near. The stately tread of the Lord Jehovah and of his Son was upon that mountain. At intervals, between the bursts of the thunder were sounds as of a trumpet swelling louder and louder till it rose above the war of the elements.

The people stood terror-stricken, every face pale as the dead, with eyes fixed in awe upon the fearful manifestations of the awful presence of God. Then was spoken amid flame and smoke the law of God. The people about the mount receded from its base in awe and fear. Their souls were overwhelmed with the grandeur and terrible majesty of the scene. They saw the two men go up amid the awful glory to receive the law from the lips of God. When Moses and Aaron again stood in their midst, the people implored them that the word of God might come to them through Moses, and not by the direct and terrible voice of God, lest they could not live.

“Fear not,” said Moses, “for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” All the majesty of this scene was necessary to impress its solemnity upon the minds of the children of Israel, whose lives had been spent among the symbols and ceremonies of the Egyptian worship.

Christ, who had led the children of Israel in the wilderness, who revealed his majesty and spoke the law from Sinai, was now to define the principles of that law, which was to be carried out and exemplified in practical life. The multitude close about the great Teacher, interested and eager to catch every word that fall from his lips. Yet there are no grand and awful demonstrations on this occasion, as at Sinai. The beauties of nature in the luxuriant vegetation and adornment of flowers speak to the senses of the love of God in his created works.

There was no eloquence of words used in the lessons of Christ, no overdrawn language hiding the simple grandeur of the thought, nothing to bewilder the mind or mislead the imagination. The language was simple, the utterance slow and forcible, and the enunciation clear and distinct. God was speaking to the soul of man in kindness and love. The countenance of Christ beamed with the glory of heaven’s light. His eyes expressed love and sympathy for man. Divinity flashed through humanity as the deep and earnest words of eternal life were spoken to the interested hearers.

The sun was climbing above the mountain tops, reflecting its bright beams upon the hills and mountains, distinctly revealing the cities upon their slopes.

He pointed to the bright beams of the sun, saying impressively, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid. . . . Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”
                           (To be continued).

Jenny @ 6:53 pm
October 9, 1879 The Offering of Love.
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
-

stopped at the house of in . He was on his way from to attend the at , and chose this retreat for rest and refreshment. Crowds of people passed on to the city, bearing the tidings that Jesus was on his way to the , and that he would rest over the at Bethany. This information was received with great enthusiasm by the people; for the news had spread everywhere of the wonderful works wrought by Jesus, the last and most astonishing of which was the of Lazarus from the . Many flocked to Bethany, some from curiosity to see one who had been raised from the dead, and others because their hearts were in with Jesus, and they longed to look upon his face and hear his blessed words.

They returned with reports that increased the excitement of the multitude. All were anxious to see and hear Jesus, whose fame as a had spread over all the land. There was a general buzz of inquiry as to who the wonderful Teacher was, from whence he had come, if Lazarus who had been raised from the dead would accompany him to Jerusalem, and if it was likely that the great prophet would be crowned king at the feast. The attention of the people was entirely engrossed in the subject of Jesus and his wondrous works. The priests and rulers saw that they were losing their hold upon the minds of the people, and their rage against Jesus was increased; they could hardly wait for him to come and give them the desired opportunity of gratifying their revenge and removing him forever from their way. As the time passed, they became excited and restless, fearing that after all Jesus might not come to Jerusalem. They were fearful that he had read their purposes against him, and would therefore remain away. They remembered how often he had divined their thoughts, exposed their hidden motives, and baffled their murderous designs. They could illy conceal their anxiety, and questioned among themselves, “What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?”

A hasty council of the priests and Pharisees was called to determine how to proceed with regard to Jesus, in view of the excitement and enthusiasm of the people on his account. They decided that it would be dangerous to seize upon him openly on any pretext, for since the raising of Lazarus the sympathies of the people were greatly in favor of Jesus. So they determined to use craft and take him secretly, avoiding all uproar or interference, carry on the mockery of a trial as quietly as possible, and trust to the fickle tide of public opinion to set in their favor when it was known that Jesus was condemned to death.

But another consideration came up: If they should execute Jesus, and Lazarus should remain as a witness of his miraculous power to raise from the dead, the very fact that a man existed who had been four days in the grave, and whose body had begun to decay, yet had been called to life and health by a word from Jesus, would sooner or later create a reaction and bring disaster upon themselves for sacrificing the life of Him who could perform such a miracle for the benefit of humanity. They therefore decided that Lazarus must also die. They felt that if the people were to lose confidence in their rulers, the national power would be destroyed.

To such lengths do envy and bitter prejudice lead their slaves. In rejecting Christ, the Pharisees placed themselves where darkness and superstition closed around them, until, continually increasing in hatred and unbelief, they were ready to imbrue their hands in blood to accomplish their unholy ends, and would even take the life of one whom Infinite power had rescued from the grave. They placed themselves where no power, human or divine, could reach them; they sinned against the Holy Spirit, and God had no reserve power to meet their case. Their rebellion against Christ was settled and determined; he was a stumbling-block and a rock of offense to them; they would not have this man Jesus to reign over them. While all this plotting was going on at Jerusalem, Jesus was quietly resting from his labors at the house of Lazarus. Simon of Bethany, whom Jesus had healed of leprosy, wishing to show his Master special honor, made a supper and invited him and his friends as guests. The Saviour sat at the table, with Simon, whom he had cured of a loathsome disease, on one side, and Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead, on the other. Martha served at the table, but Mary was earnestly listening to every word that fell from the lips of Jesus. She saw that he was sad; she knew that immediately after raising her brother from the dead, he was obliged to seclude himself in order to escape the persecution of the leading Jews. As she looked upon her brother in the strength of perfect health, her heart went out in gratitude to Jesus who had restored him to her from the grave.

Jesus in his mercy had pardoned the sins of Mary, which had been many and grievous, and her heart was full of love for her Saviour. She had often heard him speak of his approaching death, and she was grieved that he should meet so cruel a fate. At great personal sacrifice she had purchased an alabaster box of precious ointment with which to anoint the body of Jesus at his death. But she now heard many express an opinion that he would be elevated to kingly authority when he went to Jerusalem, and she was only too ready to believe that it would be so. She rejoiced that her Saviour would no longer be despised and rejected, and obliged to flee for his life. In her love and gratitude she wished to be the first to do him honor, and, seeking to avoid observation, anointed his head and feet with the precious ointment, and then wiped his feet with her long, flowing hair.

Her movements had been unobserved by the others, but the odor filled the house with its fragrance and published her act to all present. Some of the disciples manifested displeasure at this act, and Judas boldly expressed his disapprobation at such a wasteful extravagance. Simon the host, who was a Pharisee, was influenced by the words of Judas, and his heart filled with unbelief. He also thought that Jesus should hold no communication with Mary because of her past life. Judas, the prime instigator of this disaffection among those who sat at the table, was a stranger to the deep devotion and homage which actuated Mary to her deed of love. He had been appointed treasurer of the united funds of the disciples, and had dishonestly appropriated to himself means which were designed for the service of God.

He had indulged a spirit of avarice until it had overpowered every good trait in his character. This act of Mary was in such marked contrast with his selfishness that he was ashamed of his avarice, and sought to attribute his objection to her gift, to a worthier motive. Turning to the disciples he asked, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” Thus he sought to hide his covetousness under apparent sympathy for the poor, when, in reality, he cared nothing for them.

He longed to have the avails of the expensive ointment in his own hands to apply to his own selfish purposes. By his professed sympathy for the poor he deceived his fellow disciples, and by his artful insinuations caused them to look distrustfully upon the devotion of Mary. Whispered hints of prodigality passed round the table: “To what purpose is this waste? for this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.” Mary was abashed as the eyes of the disciples were bent sternly and reproachfully upon her. She felt that her deed of devotion must have been wrong, and tremblingly expected Jesus to condemn it also.

But the Saviour had observed all that had transpired, and knew the motives of all who were there assembled. He read the object of Mary in her costly offering. Though she had been very sinful, her repentance was sincere, and Jesus, while reproving her guilt, had pitied her weakness and forgiven her. Mary’s heart was filled with gratitude at the compassion of Jesus. Seven times she had heard his stern rebuke to the demons which then controlled her heart and mind, and she had listened to his strong cries to his Father in her behalf. She knew how offensive everything impure was to the unsullied mind of Christ, and she overcame her sin in the strength of her Saviour. She was transformed, a partaker of the divine nature. 

Mary had offered her gift in the grateful homage of her heart, and Jesus explained her motive and vindicated her deed. “Let her alone,” he said. “Why,” he asked, “trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.” He justified her work to all present as evincing her gratitude to him for lifting her from a life of shame to one of purity, and teaching her to believe in him. Said he, “Against the day of my burying hath she kept this.” The ointment so sacredly kept to anoint the dead body of her Lord she had poured upon his head in the belief that he was about to be lifted to a throne in Jerusalem. Jesus might have pointed out Judas to the disciples as the cause of such severe judgment being passed on Mary. He might have revealed to them the hypocrisy of his character; he might have made known his utter want of feeling for the poor, and his embezzlement of money appropriated to their relief. He could have raised their indignation against him for his oppression of the widow, the orphan, and the hireling; but he refrained from exposing the true character of Judas. He reproached him not, and thus avoided giving him an excuse for his future perfidy.

But he rebuked the disciples, saying, “Ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good; but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could. She is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily, I say unto you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.” Jesus, looking into the future, spoke with certainty concerning his gospel: That it was to be preached throughout the whole world. Kingdoms would rise and fall; the names of monarchs and conquerors would be forgotten; but the memory of this woman’s deed would be immortalized upon the pages of sacred history.

Had the disciples rightly appreciated the exalted character of their Master, they would have considered no sacrifice too costly to offer to the Son of God. The wise men of the East understood more definitely his true position, and the honor due him, than his own followers, who had received his instruction and beheld his mighty miracles. They brought precious gifts to the Saviour, and bent in homage before him, while he was but a babe, and cradled in a manger. 

The look which Jesus cast upon the selfish Judas convinced him that the Master penetrated his hypocrisy and read his base, contemptible character. He was stirred with resentment. His heart burned with envy that Jesus should be the recipient of an offering suitable to the monarchs of earth. He went directly from that supper to the chief priests, and agreed to betray him into their hands. The priests were greatly rejoiced at this, and “they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver, and from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.”

In the case of Judas we see the fearful result of covetousness and unholy anger. He begrudged the offering made to Jesus, and although not personally rebuked, he was irritated to combine revenge with his avarice, and sell his Lord for a few pieces of silver Mary showed how highly she prized the Saviour when she accounted the most precious gift none too costly for him; but Judas valued Jesus at the price for which he sold him; his niggardly soul balanced the life of the Son of God against a paltry sum of money. The same cold, calculating spirit is manifested by many who profess Christ today. Their offerings to his cause are grudgingly bestowed or withheld altogether under various plausible excuses. A pretense of wide philanthropy, unlimited by church or creed, is not unfrequently one of them, and they plead, like Judas, It is better to give it to the poor. But the true Christian shows his faith by investing in the cause of truth; he is known by his works, for “faith without works is dead.”

Jesus read Simon’s heart, and knew how he had been influenced by the insinuations of Judas, and that he had questioned in his mind, saying,”This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him; for she is a sinner.” When Judas had left the house, Jesus turned to his host and said, “Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee.” Simon replied, “Master, say on.” Then Jesus proceeded to speak a parable, which illustrated the contrast between the gratitude of his host, who had been healed of the leprosy, and that of Mary, whose sins had been pardoned. Said he, “There was a certain creditor which had two debtors; the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me, therefore, which of them will love him most?”

Simon did not discern the application which Jesus designed to make, but he answered him, “I suppose that he to whom he forgave most.” Jesus replied, “Thou hast rightly judged.” This answer condemned Simon. He had been a great sinner, and also a loathsome leper, avoided by all. He had come to Jesus piteously imploring his help, and He who never turned a deaf ear to human woe, had cleansed him from sin and from the terrible disease that was upon him. Simon was humbled, but he had been a proud Pharisee, and he did not look upon himself as being so great a sinner as he really was, and he had now become self-sufficient and lifted up in his own estimation. He had exalted himself as far superior to the poor woman who anointed the feet of her Lord. In entertaining Jesus at his house, he thought he was paying him marked respect; but the Saviour was lowered in his estimation when he permitted the devotion of Mary, who had been so great a sinner. He overlooked the miracle which Jesus had wrought upon him in saving him from a living death, and coldly reasoned with himself if Jesus could be the Messiah, and yet stoop to receive the gift of this woman. He thought that if he were the Christ, he would know that a sinner had approached him and repel her. He did not realize that he himself had been a greater sinner than she, and that Christ had forgiven him as well as Mary. He was ready to doubt the divine character of his Master because he imagined that he detected in him a want of discernment.

On the other hand, Mary was thoroughly penitent and humbled because of her sins. In her gratitude for his pardoning mercy she was ready to sacrifice all for Jesus, and no doubt as to his divine power troubled her mind for a moment. It was not the comparative degrees of obligation which should be felt by the two persons, which Jesus designed to illustrate by this parable, for both were unable to cancel their debt of gratitude; but he took Simon on his own ground, as feeling himself more righteous than the woman, and showed him that though the sins which had been forgiven him were great, he had not repaid his Benefactor with that respect and love which casts out all unbelief. His sense of obligation to his Saviour was small, while Mary, prizing the gift of mercy bestowed upon her, was filled with gratitude and love.

Jesus drew the contrast sharply between the two. Said he: “Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss; but this woman, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.”

The proud Pharisee had considered that he had sufficiently honored Jesus by inviting him to his house; and in his self consequence had neglected to show him the proper regard due to so exalted a guest, and to one who had wrought upon him a miracle of mercy. Jesus encouraged acts of heart felt courtesy, and the woman, whose gratitude and love was expressed in her act of attention, was highly commended by the Saviour: “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”

Simon’s eyes were opened to his neglect and unbelief. He was touched by the kindness of Jesus in not openly rebuking him before all the guests. He perceived that Jesus did not wish to exhibit his guilt and his want of gratitude to others, but desired to convince his  mind by a true statement of his case, and to subdue his heart by pitying kindness. Stern denunciation would have closed the heart of Simon against repentance; but patient admonition convinced him of his error and won his heart. He saw the magnitude of the debt which he owed his Lord, and became a humble, self-sacrificing man. 

When we realize the full debt of obligation to our Saviour, we are united to him by closer bonds, and our love will be expressed in all our acts. Jesus will remember every good work done by his children. The self-sacrificing and benevolent will live in his memory and be rewarded. No act of devotion to his cause will be forgotten by him. There is no sacrifice too costly to be offered on the altar of our faith.

Jenny @ 6:11 pm
January 30, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

Chapter Four.
                       The Plan of Salvation.
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                           By Mrs. E. G. White.
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     Sorrow filled , as it was realized that man was lost, and the world which had was to be filled with doomed to misery, , and , and there was no way of escape for the offender; the whole family of must . The heart of the was touched with pity for the . Upon his lovely countenance rested an expression of and . Soon he approached the exceeding bright which enshrouded , and he seemed to engage in close converse with him. The anxiety of the was intense while thus communed with his Father. Three times he was shut in by the cloud of ; the third time he came forth his countenance was calm, free from all perplexity and trouble, and shone with benevolence and loveliness, such as words cannot express. He then made known to the that a way of escape had been made for . He told them that he had been pleading with his Father, and had offered to give his life a ransom, and take the sentence of death upon himself, that through him man might find pardon; that through the merits of his blood, and obedience to the law of God, man could again have the favor of God, and be brought into the beautiful garden, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life.

At first the angels could not rejoice, for their Commander concealed nothing from them, but opened before them the plan of salvation. He told them that he would stand between the wrath of his Father and guilty man, that he would bear iniquity and scorn, and but few would receive him as the Son of God He would leave all his glory in Heaven, appear upon earth as a man, become acquainted by his own experience with the various temptations with which man would be beset; and, finally, after his mission as a teacher should be accomplished, he would be delivered into the hands of men, and after enduring almost every cruelty and suffering, that Satan and his angels could inspire wicked men to inflict, he would die the cruelest of deaths, hung up between the heavens and the earth as a guilty sinner. And not merely would he suffer bodily pain, but mental agony. The weight of the sins of the whole world would be upon him. He told them also that after his death he would rise again the third day, and ascend to his Father to intercede for wayward, guilty man.

The angels prostrated themselves before their beloved Commander, and offered to give their lives. Jesus told them the transgression was so great that the life of an angel could not pay the debt; his life alone could be accepted by his Father as a ransom for man. But the work of the angels was assigned them, to descend with strengthening balm from glory to soothe the Son of God in his sufferings, and to minister unto him. Also, their work would be to guard the subjects of grace from the evil angels, and the darkness constantly thrown around them by Satan.

With a holy sadness Jesus comforted and cheered the angels, and informed them that hereafter those whom he should redeem would be with him, and ever dwell with him; and that by his death he should ransom many, and finally destroy him who had the power of death. And his Father would give him the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, and he should possess it forever and ever. Satan and sinners should be destroyed, never more to disturb Heaven, or those who should inherit the new earth. Jesus bade the heavenly host be reconciled to the plan that his Father had accepted, and rejoice that fallen man could be exalted again, through his death, to obtain favor with God and enjoy Heaven.

Then joy inexpressible filled Heaven, and the heavenly host sung a song of praise and adoration. They touched their harps and sung a note higher than they had done before, for the great mercy and condescension of God in yielding up his dearly Beloved to die for a race of rebels. Praise and adoration were poured forth for the self-denial and sacrifice of Jesus; that he would consent to leave the bosom of his Father, and choose a life of suffering and anguish, and die an ignominious death to redeem the fallen race. 

The Father did not yield up his dearly beloved Son without a struggle, whether to let guilty man perish or to give his Son to die for the lost race. It was impossible for God to change his law, or give up the smallest part of its claims, in order to save man; therefore he suffered his Son to die for man’s transgression.

When the plan of salvation was revealed, Satan rejoiced with his angels that he could, by causing man’s fall, pull down the Son of God from his exalted position. He told his angels that when Jesus should take fallen man’s nature, he could overpower him, and hinder the accomplishment of the plan.

In humility and inexpressible sadness, Adam and Eve left the lovely garden wherein they had been so happy until they disobeyed the command of God. The atmosphere was changed. It was no longer unvarying as before the transgression. God clothed them with coats of skins to protect them from the sense of chilliness and then of heat to which they were exposed.

Angels of God were commissioned to visit the fallen pair and inform them that, although they could no longer retain possession of their holy estate, their Eden home, because of their transgression of the law of God, their case was not altogether hopeless. The Son of God had been moved with pity as he viewed their hopeless condition, and had volunteered to take upon himself the punishment due to them, and die for them that they might yet live, through faith in the atonement which Christ proposed to make. A door of hope was opened, that man, notwithstanding his great sin, might not be under the absolute control of Satan. Probation would be granted him in which, through a life of repentance, and faith in the atonement of the Son of God, he might be redeemed from his transgression of the Father’s law, and thus be elevated to a position where his efforts to keep that law could be accepted.

The angels related to them the grief that was felt in Heaven, as it was announced that they had transgressed the law of God, which had made it expedient for Christ to make the great sacrifice of his own precious life.

When Adam and Eve realized how exalted and sacred was the law of God, the transgression of which made so costly a sacrifice necessary to save them from utter ruin, they pleaded that they and their posterity might endure the penalty of their transgression, rather than that the beloved Son of God should make this great sacrifice. The anguish of Adam was increased. He saw that his sins were of so great magnitude as to involve fearful consequences. And must it be that Heaven’s honored Commander, who had walked with him and talked with him while in his holy innocence, whom angels worshiped, must be brought down from his exalted position to die because of man’s transgression.

Adam was informed that an angel’s life could not pay the debt. The law of Jehovah, the foundation of his government in Heaven and upon earth, was as sacred as its divine Author; and for this reason the life of an angel could not be accepted of God as a sacrifice for its transgression. His law was of more importance in his sight than the holy angels around his throne. The Father could not change nor abolish one precept of his law to meet man in his fallen condition. But the Son of God, who had in unison with the Father created man, could make an atonement for man acceptable to God, by giving his life a sacrifice, and bearing the wrath of his Father. As Adam’s transgression had brought death and wretchedness upon the race, life and immortality would be brought to light through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, a sacrifice of such infinite value as to make a man who should avail himself of it more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

To Adam were revealed future, important events, from his expulsion from Eden, to the flood, and onward to the first advent of Christ upon the earth. His love for Adam and his posterity would lead the Son of God to condescend to take human nature, and thus elevate, through his own humiliation, all who would believe on him. Such a sacrifice was of sufficient value to save the whole world; but only a few would avail themselves of the salvation thus brought to them. 

The many would not comply with the conditions. They would prefer sin, transgression of the law of God, rather than repentance and obedience, relying by faith upon the merit of the sacrifice offered.

Adam was carried down through successive generations, and shown the increase of crime, of guilt and defilement, because man would yield to his naturally strong inclinations to transgress the holy law of God. He saw the curse of God resting more and more heavily upon the human race, upon the cattle, and upon the earth, because of man’s continued transgression. He saw that iniquity and violence would steadily increase; yet amid all the tide of human misery and woe, there would ever be a few who would preserve the knowledge of God, and would remain unsullied amid the prevailing moral degeneracy. Adam was made to comprehend what sin is–the transgression of the law. He was shown that moral, mental, and physical degeneracy would result to the race, from transgression, until the world would be filled with human misery of every type.

The days of man have been shortened by his own course of sin in transgressing the righteous law of God. The race has so greatly depreciated as to become almost worthless. Because of the indulgence of the carnal mind, they are generally incapable of appreciating the mystery of Calvary, the grand and elevated facts of the atonement and the plan of salvation. Yet, notwithstanding the weakness, and enfeebled mental, moral, and physical powers to the human race, Christ, true to the purpose for which he left Heaven, continues his interest in the feeble, depreciated, degenerate specimens of humanity, and invites them to hide their weakness and great deficiencies in him. If they will come unto him, he will supply all their needs.

When Adam, according to God’s special directions, made as offering for sin, it was to him a most painful ceremony. His hand must be raised to take life, which God alone could give. It was the first time he had witnessed death. As he looked upon the bleeding victim, writhing in the agonies of death, he was to look forward by faith to the Son of God, whom the victim prefigured, who was to die man’s sacrifice.

This ceremonial offering, ordained of God, was to be to Adam a perpetual reminder of his guilt, and also a penitential acknowledgment of his sin. This act of taking life gave him a deeper and more perfect sense of his transgression, which nothing less than the death of God’s dear Son could expiate. Adam marveled at the infinite goodness and matchless love which would give such a ransom to save the guilty. As he was slaying the innocent victim, it seemed to him that he was shedding the blood of the Son of God by his own hand. He knew that if he had remained steadfast to God, and true to his holy law, there would have been no death of beast nor of man. Yet in the sacrificial offerings, pointing to the great and perfect offering of God’s dear Son, there appeared a star of hope to illuminate the dark and terrible future, and relieve it of its utter hopelessness and ruin.

In the beginning, the head of each family was considered ruler and priest of his own household. Afterward, as the race multiplied upon the earth, men of divine appointment performed this solemn worship of sacrifice for the people. The blood of beasts was to be associated in the minds of sinners with the blood of the Son of God. The death of the victim was to evidence to all that the penalty of sin was death. By the act of sacrifice, the sinner acknowledged his guilt, and manifested his faith, looking forward to the great and perfect sacrifice of the Son of God, which the offering of beasts prefigured. Without the atonement of the Son of God there could have been no communication of blessing or salvation from God to man. God was jealous for the honor of his law. The transgression of that law had caused a fearful separation between God and man. To Adam in his innocence was granted communion, direct, free, and happy, with his Maker. After his transgression, God would communicate to man only through Christ and angels.

Jenny @ 8:51 am