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The Review and Herald Articles
for the Year 1853
(Vol. 3, #20)
Dear Brethren and Sisters:--Do we believe with all the heart that Christ is soon coming? And that we are now having the last message of mercy that is ever to be given to a guilty world? Is our example what it should be? And do we show to those around us, by our lives and holy conversation, that we are looking for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to change these vile bodies and fashion them like his most glorious body? I fear that we do not believe, and realize these things as we should. Those who believe the important truths that we profess to believe, should act out their faith, in the immediate coming of Christ. There is too much seeking amusements, and things to take up the mind here in this world; the mind is left too much to run upon pride of dress; and the tongue is engaged too often in light and trifling conversation, which gives the lie to our profession, for the conversation is not in heaven from whence we look for the Saviour.
Angels are watching over us, to guard us; and we often grieve these angels by indulging in trifling conversation, jesting and joking, and also by sinking down in a careless, stupid state. And although we may make an effort now and then for the victory, and obtain it, yet if we do not keep it, but sink down in the same careless, indifferent state, unable to endure temptations, and to resist the enemy, it is not enduring the trial of our faith, that is more precious than gold. It is not suffering for Christ's sake, and glorifying in tribulation.
There is a great lack of christian fortitude, and serving God from principle. We should not seek to please and gratify self; but to honor and glorify God, and in all we do and say, have a single eye to his glory.--If we would let our hearts be impressed with the following important words, and ever bear them in mind, we should not so easily fall into temptation; but our words would be few, and well chosen.
"He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."--"Thou God seest me."
We could not think of these important words, and call to mind the sufferings of Jesus for us sinners, that we might receive pardon from our sins, and be redeemed unto God by his most precious blood, without feeling a holy restraint upon us, and an earnest desire to suffer for him, who suffered and endured so much for us.
If we dwell on these things, dear self, with its dignity, will be humbled; a childlike simplicity will take its place, which will bear reproof from others, and will not be easily provoked, and suffer a self-willed spirit to come in and rule the soul. The true christian's joys, amusements and consolation, must and will be in heaven. "Upward to God be the heart's adoration, Where ever is flowing pure streams of salvation."
The longing soul of those who have tasted of the powers of the world to come, and have feasted on heavenly joys, will not be satisfied, or amused, with things of earth. Such will find enough to do in their leisure moments. Their souls will be drawn out after God. Where the treasure is, there will be their heart, holding sweet communion with the God they love and worship. Their amusements will be in contemplating their treasure--the holy city--the earth made new--their eternal home. And while they dwell upon these things, which are lofty, pure and holy, heaven will be brought near, and they will feel the power of the Holy Spirit, which will tend to wean them from the world more and more, and cause their consolation and chief joy to be in the things of heaven, their sweet home.--The power of attraction to God and heaven will be so great, that nothing can draw their mind from the great object of securing their soul's salvation, and honoring and glorifying God. "Brighter joys than earth can give, win me away, Pleasures that for ever live--I cannot stay."
As I realize how much has been done for us, to keep us right, I am led to exclaim, O, what love! What wondrous love hath the Son of God for us poor sinners! Should we be stupid and careless, while every thing is being done for our salvation that can be done? All heaven is interested for us. We should be alive and awake, to honor, glorify and adore the High and Lofty One. Our hearts should flow out in love and gratitude to him who has been so full of love and compassion to us. With our lives we should honor him, and with pure and holy conversation show that we are born from above; that this world is not our home, but that we are pilgrims and strangers here, traveling to a better country.
Many who profess the name of Christ, and profess to be looking for his speedy coming, know not what it is to suffer for Christ's sake. Their hearts are not subdued by grace, and they are not dead to self; but it often appears in various ways; and, at the same time, they are talking of having trials. But the principal cause of their trials, is an unsubdued heart, which makes self so sensitive, that it is often crossed. If such could realize what it is to be an humble follower of Christ, a true christian, they would begin to work in good earnest, and begin right. They would first die to self, then be instant in prayer, and check every passion of the heart. Give up your self-confidency, and self-sufficiency, and follow the meek pattern.--Ever keep Jesus in your mind, that he is your example, and you must tread in his footsteps. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despised the shame. He endured the contradiction of sinners against himself.
Is not the reward, at the end of the race, great and rich enough? What greater inducements could be held up before us, than has been held up to encourage us to be bold and valiant soldiers, to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil? Eternal life is ours, if we endure the trial of our faith. Is it not enough? Will any complain of the roughness of the way?--Would you enter heaven if you could without suffering, and dwell in the presence of that Jesus, who suffered so much for us, whose loveliness and glory is unspeakable? He for your sins, was once the meek slain lamb, wounded, bruised, smitten and afflicted. O, it would be no place for you. Any other place would be far preferable. You would feel that you had no right there.
Let us, then, cheerfully suffer something for Jesus' sake, crucify self daily, be a partaker of Christ's sufferings here, that we may be made partakers with him of his glory, and be crowned with glory, honor, immortality and eternal life. Ellen G. White.
(Vol. 3, #24)
It may be my duty to briefly notice the article from A. N. Seymour, in the Advent Harbinger for March 26th. Mr. S. thinks there is a contradiction on the forty-third page of my little pamphlet, entitled Christian Experience and Views. --I there stated that a cloud of glorious light covered the Father, and that his person could not be seen. I also stated that I saw the Father rise from the throne, &c. Here Mr. S. finds a glaring contradiction. But it seems to me that a child may understand this. The Father was enshrouded with a body of light and glory, so that his person could not be seen, yet I knew that it was the Father, and that from his person, emanated this light and glory. When I saw this body of light and glory rise from the throne, I knew that the Father moved, which was the cause of the body of light and glory rising, therefore said, I saw the Father rise. The glory, or excellency of his form, I never saw--no one could behold it; yet the body of light and glory that enshrouded his person, could be seen. I really think that Mr. S. has manifested a disposition to catch at words, and will leave it for others to judge whether such a course becomes a minister of Christ.
Mr. S. then asserts that I stated that I saw "Satan by the throne that the Father had left." Here I will give my own words. "Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God." I will give another sentence from the same page. "Then I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne." Now, this praying company was in this mortal state, on the earth, yet represented to me as bowed before the throne. I never had the idea that these individuals were actually in the New Jerusalem. Neither did I ever think that any mortal could suppose that I thought that Satan was actually in the New Jerusalem. This Mr. S. is disposed to put in the worst light, and then goes on to ridicule the idea of Satan being in the New Jerusalem.
But did not John see the great red dragon in heaven?--Certainly. "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns." Rev. xii, 3. Here seems to be as good a chance for Mr. S. to ridicule, as that which he has taken. What a monster to be in heaven!
But let this view that Mr. S. ridicules be compared with Hosea v, 6,7. "They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the Lord; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them. They have dealt treacherously against the Lord; for they have begotten strange children; now shall a month devour them with their portions." This certainly shows that the Lord changes his position in some way, and presents good reasons to believe that Satan would at some period get up counterfeit conversions. E. G. White.
(Vol. 4, #7)
Dear Brethren and Sisters:--As error is fast progressing, we should seek to be awake in the cause of God, and realize the time in which we live. Darkness is to cover the earth, and gross darkness the people. And as nearly all around us are being enveloped in the thick darkness of error and delusion, it becomes us to shake off stupidity, and live near to God, where we can draw the divine rays of light and glory from the countenance of Jesus. As darkness thickens, and error increases, we should obtain a more thorough knowledge of the truth, and be prepared to maintain from the scriptures the truth of our position.
We must be sanctified through the truth, be wholly consecrated to God, and live out our holy profession, so that he can shed increasing light upon us, that we may have light in his light, and be strengthened with his strength. Every moment that we are not on our watch, we are liable to be beset by the enemy, and in great danger of being overcome by the powers of darkness. Satan has his angels, who are commissioned by him to be vigilant, and overthrow all he can; to find out the waywardness and besetting sins of those who profess the truth, and throw darkness around them, that they may cease to be watchful, and take a course that will dishonor the cause they profess to love, bring sorrow upon the church, while daily the misguided, unwatchful souls are growing darker, and the light of heaven is fading from them. They cannot discover their besetting sins, and Satan weaves his net about them, until they are taken in the snare.
God is our strength. We must look to him for wisdom and guidance, and with his glory in view, and the good of the church, and the salvation of our own souls, overcome our besetting sins. Each individual should seek to obtain new victory every day. We must learn to stand alone, and depend wholly upon God. The sooner we learn this, the better. Let each one find out where he fails, and then faithfully watch, that his sins may not overcome him, but get the victory over his sins. Then can we have confidence towards God, and great trouble will be saved the church.
The messengers of God, as they leave their homes, to labor for the salvation of souls, spend much of their time in getting those right, and free from temptation, who have been in the truth for years, and still are weak, because they needlessly let loose the reins, cease watching over themselves, and, I sometimes think, tempt the enemy to tempt them. They get into some petty difficulty and trial, and the time of the servants of the Lord is spent to visit them. They are held hours and even days, and their souls grieved and wounded, to hear little difficulties and trials talked over. Each magnifying his own grievances to make them look as serious as possible, for fear the servants of God will think them too small an affair for them to notice. Instead of depending on the Lord's servants to help them out of these trials, they should break down before God, and fast and pray till the trials are removed.
Some seem to think that all God has called messengers into the field for, is to go at their bidding, and carry them in their arms. And that the most important part of their work is to settle their petty trials and difficulties, which they have brought upon themselves by injudicious moves, and by giving way to the enemy, and having an unyielding, fault-finding spirit with those around them, to ease their conscience.
But where are the hungry sheep at this time?--Starving for the bread of life. Those who know the truth and have been established in it, but obey it not, (if they did they would be saved many of these trials,) are holding the messengers, and the very object for which God has called his servants into the field, is not accomplished. The servants of God are grieved, and their courage taken away by such things in the church, when all should strive not to add a feather's weight to their burden; but by cheering words and the prayer of faith, should help them. How much more free would they be if all who profess the truth, would be looking about them and trying to help others, instead of claiming so much help themselves.--And as the servants of God enter the dark places, where the truth has not yet been proclaimed, they have a wounded spirit caused by the needless trials of their Brethren. In addition to all this, they have to meet the unbelief and prejudice of opposers and be trampled upon by some.
How much easier it would be for the servant of God to affect the heart, and how much more would God be glorified, if his servants were free from discouragement and trial, that they might labor for him more effectually, and with a free spirit, present the truth in its beauty.
Those who have been guilty of requiring so much labor of God's servants, and burdening them with trials, which belonged to themselves to settle, will have to give an account to God for all the time and means that has been spent to gratify themselves, and thereby satisfying the enemy. They should be in a situation to help their brethren. They should never defer their trials and difficulties to burden a whole meeting, or wait until some of the messengers come to settle them. But get right before God, have the trials all out of the way, and be prepared to hold up the hands of the laborers, instead of weakening them. E. G. White. Rochester, August, 1853.