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The Review and Herald Articles
for the Year 1852
(Vol. 3, #3)
As I have of late looked around to find the humble followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, my mind has been much exercised.
Many who profess to be looking for the speedy coming of Christ, are becoming conformed to this world, and seek more earnestly the applause of those around them, than the approbation of God. They are cold and formal, like the nominal church, that they but a short time since separated from. The words addressed to the Laodicean Church, describe their present condition perfectly. See Rev. iii, 14-20. They are "neither cold nor hot," but "lukewarm." And unless they heed the counsel of the "faithful and True Witness," and zealously repent, and obtain "gold tried in the fire," "white raiment," and "eyesalve," he will spue them out of his mouth.
The time has come when a large portion of those who once rejoiced, and shouted aloud for joy, in view of the immediate coming of the Lord, are on the ground of the churches and world who once scoffed at, and derided them for believing that Jesus was coming, and circulated all manner of falsehoods to raise prejudice against them, and destroy their influence.--If any one longs after the living God, and hungers and thirsts for righteousness, and God gives them to feel his power, and satisfies their longing soul, by shedding abroad his love in their hearts, and if they glorify God by praising him, they are, by these professed believers in the soon coming of the Lord, often considered deluded, and charged with having mesmerism or some wicked spirit.
Many of these professed Christians dress, talk and act like the world, and the only thing by which they may be known, is their profession. Though they profess to be looking for Christ, their conversation is not in heaven, but on worldly things.
"What manner of persons" ought those to be "in all holy conversation and godliness," who profess to be "looking for, and hasting unto the day of God?" 2 Pet. iii, 11. "Every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 1 John, iii, 3. But it is evident that many who bear the advent name, study more to decorate their bodies, and appear well in the eyes of the world, than they do the word of God, to learn how they may be approved of him.
What if the lovely Jesus, our pattern, should make his appearance among them, and the professors of religion generally, as at his first advent? He was born in a manger. Follow him along through his life and ministry. He was a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief. These professed Christians would be ashamed of the meek and lowly Saviour who wore a plain, seamless coat, and had not where to lay his head. His spotless, self-denying life would condemn them; his holy solemnity would be a painful restraint upon their lightness and vain laughter; his guileless conversation would be a check to their worldly and covetous conversation; his declaring the unvarnished, cutting truth would manifest their real character, and they would wish to get the meek Pattern, the lovely Jesus, out of the way as soon as possible. They would be among the first to try to catch him in his words, and raise the cry, Crucify him! Crucify him!
Let us follow Jesus as he so meekly rode into Jerusalem, when "the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice, * * * Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. Some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.--And he answered and said unto them, I tell you, that if these should hold their peace the stones would immediately cry out." A large portion of those who profess to be looking for Christ would be as forward as the Pharisees were, to have the disciples silenced, and they would doubtless raise the cry, Fanaticism! Mesmerism! Mesmerism! And the disciples spreading their garments and branches of palm trees in the way would be thought extravagant and wild.
But God will have a people on the earth that will not be so cold and dead but that they can praise and glorify him. He will receive glory from some people, and if his chosen people, who keep his commandments should hold their peace the very stones would cry out.
Jesus is coming, but not as at his first advent, a babe in Bethlehem, not as he rode into Jerusalem, when the disciples praised God with a loud voice and cried, Hosannah; but in the glory of the Father, and with all the retinue of holy angels with him, to escort him on his way to earth. All heaven will be emptied of the angels. While the waiting saints will be looking for him, and gazing into heaven, as were the "men of Galilee" When he ascended from the Mount of Olivet.--Then, those only who are holy, those who have followed fully the meek Pattern will, with rapturous joy, exclaim as they behold him, "Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us." And they will be changed "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump," that wakes the sleeping saints, and calls them forth from their dusty beds, clothed with glorious immortality, shouting, Victory! Victory! over death and the grave. The changed saints are caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, never more to be separated from the object of their love.
With such a prospect as this before us, such a glorious hope, such a redemption that Christ has purchased for us by his own blood, shall we hold our peace? Shall we not praise God, even with a loud voice, as the disciples did when Jesus rode into Jerusalem? Is not our prospect far more glorious than theirs was? Who dare then forbid us glorifying God, even with a loud voice, when we have such a hope, big with immortality and full of glory? We have tasted of the powers of the world to come, and long for more. My whole being cries out after the living God, and I shall not be satisfied until I am filled with all his fullness.
The way to heaven is rugged. Briers and thorns are in the way; but we can with cheerfulness tread the rough pathway, knowing that Jesus, the King of glory, once trod it before us.
We will rejoice that we can follow in his footsteps, and be partakers with him of his sufferings, that we may finally partake of his glory.
What if reproaches are heaped upon me, even by those who profess to be looking for the Lord? What if falsehoods are kept in circulation by "whosoever loveth a lie" made ready to their hand? All this I can bear cheerfully. Why should I repine? My Master, the King of Glory, was treated a thousand times worse than I have been, and can I, a poor, unworthy creature, expect any better treatment in following Jesus, than he received? Shall I complain, when Jesus bore the scoffs and derision of his own people, the Jews, and was finally rejected and crucified by them for me? For my sins he bore all this. No, I will not complain; I will rather rejoice and be exceeding glad that I am accounted worthy to suffer for Christ's sake, that my reward may be in heaven. Only let me have an inheritance in glory, and it will be enough. For that, I can endure anything and everything. Heaven, sweet heaven.
"I long to be there, and the thought that 'tis near, Makes me almost impatient for Christ to appear, And fit up that dwelling of glory so rare--The earth robed in beauty--I long to be there."
Let us, dear brethren and sisters, crave the suffering, crucifying part of religion. For we are to be purified and fitted for the kingdom through suffering. We must keep separate from the world, if we would have the love of God abide with us. As soon as we begin to be conformed to this world, just so soon God's Spirit begins to depart from us. But if we keep humble, live holy, harmless and separate from sinners, we shall see of the salvation of God. Let us strive to be Christians (Christlike) in every sense of the word, and let our dress, conversation and actions preach that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, and that we are looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of Jesus. Let us show to those around us, that this world is not our home, that we are pilgrims and strangers here.
My affections, interest, treasure, all, is in the bright world to come. I long to see the King in his beauty, whom angels adorate, and as they bow, cast their glittering crowns before him, and then touch their golden harps, and fill all heaven with their rich music.
Let those who break God's law and teach others to do so, denounce us as fallen from grace because we keep all ten of his immutable precepts, it will not harm us. We have the satisfaction of knowing, that while they curse, Jesus has pronounced a blessing. Says the true Witness, the only Begotten of the Father, "Blessed are they that do his [the Father's] commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the City." Rev. xxii, 14.
Think ye that the commandment-keepers will be sorry, and mourn when the pearly gates of the Golden City of God are swung back upon their glittering hinges, and they are welcomed in? No, never. They will then rejoice, that they are not under the bondage of the law, but that they have kept God's law, and therefore are free from it. They will have right to the tree of life, a right to its healing leaves. They will hear the lovely voice of Jesus, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, saying, There will be no more sorrow, pain or death; sighing and crying have fled away. "Our eyes shall then, with rapture, The Saviour's face behold, Our feet, no more diverted, Shall walk the streets of gold; Our ears shall hear with transport The hosts celestial sing, Our tongues shall chant the glory Of our Immortal King." Ellen G. White.