Ellen White's Source of Inspiration: Henry Melville

Edited by Brother Anderson

Ellen White had a copy of Anglican minister Henry Melville's Sermons in her personal library.1 According to research done by the White Estate in 1982, there were discovered "parallels" between 37 of Melville's 55 sermons, and Mrs. White copied his ideas on end-time events, the Scriptures, and Christology.2 The documentation below demonstrates that many of Ellen White's writings were inspired by Melville.3

Plagiarism Examples

Henry Melville,
Sermons, 1844
Ellen G. White
When we remember they were spoken in the hearing of Adam and Eve, we must regard them in the light of a promise. Whilst they stood as criminals before their God, expecting the sentence which disobedience had provoked. ... Before he told...of the thorn and the thistle, before he told the woman of her sorrow and trouble, and the dust to which he should return, he caused them to hear words which must have inspired them with hope.

 
Remark the expression, "I will put enmity." ...an enmity spernaturally put, and not naturally entertained. As soon as man transgressed, his nature became evil, and therefore he was at peace, and not at war with the devil. ... This lofty spirit must have calculated, that, if he could induce men, as he had induced angels, ...he should have them for allies in his every enterprise against heaven. There was in all nothing of enmity between himself and the spirits. ... Whatever feuds and jarrings which might disturb the rebels, they were linked, as with an iron band, in the one great object of opposing good. So that when he heard that there should be enmity between himself and the woman, he must have felt...that, though he had suceeded in depraving human nature, and thus assimilating it to his own, it should be renewed by some mysterious process, and wrought up to the lost power of resisting its conqueror.

Unless God pour his converting grace into the soul, there will be no attempt to oppose Satan but we shall continue to the end of our days his willing captives and servants. ... Introducing a new principle into the heart, he creates conflict where there had heretofore been peace, inclining and enabling man to rise against his tyrant... Whensoever you see an individual delivered from the love, and endowed with a hatred of sin, resisting those passions which held naturally sway within his breast...you are surveying the workings of a principle which is wholly from above.

Charged only with an embassage of mercy; sent by the Father--not to condemn the world, though rebellion overspread its provinces. ...but that the world through him might have life.

We are accustomed to think...the want of majesty and pomp, moved the Jews to reject their Messiah. ... He displayed the posession of a supernatural power, which, ...was more valuable...than earthly supremacy.

 
The serpent...evil angels conspired with evil men; and the whole energies of apostacy gathered themselves to the effort of destroying the champion of God and of truth. ... He should be buffeted with temptation, convulsed with agony, lacerated by stripes, pierced by nails, crowned with thorns. ...

There was no real advantage gained over the Mediator. On the contrary, whilst Satan was in the act of bruising Christ's heel, Christ was in the act of brusing Satan's head. ... For suffering, which is the attendant on sinfulness, was made to empty all its pangs into the bosom of innocence. There was not a pang...not a grief...which helped not on the acheivement of the human deliverance.

Making the Savior's life-time one dark series of afflictions weakened, at every step, his own hold upon humanity.

 
...in the garden and on the cross, received wounds which were but the trophies of victory.

 
Whilst left in the darkness and alienation of nature, he submits willingly to the domination of evil. ... But when the grace of God is introduced into his heart, he will discern quickly the danger and hatefulness of sin, and will yield himself, in a higher strength than his own, to the work of resisting the serpent. ... He will, assuredly, draw upon himself the dislike and opposition of the whole circle of wordly acquaintance, so that his...austerity will become subject of ridicule.

...if we suppose that opposition to religion can be limited to an age or a country. ... "the offense of the cross," Gal. 5:11, has not ceased... "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." ... No man can serve God without uniting against himself evil men and evil angels.

Evil angels will assualt him, alarmed that their prey is escaping from their grasp.
pp. 10-17

Though a part of the sentence pronounced upon the serpent, it was uttered in the hearing of our first parents, and hence must be regarded as a promise. While... Adam and Eve stood as criminals before their God, awaiting the sentence which transgression had incurred. But before they hear of the thorn and the thistle, the sorrow and anguish which should be their portion, and the dust to which they should return, they listen to words which must have inspired them with hope.

God declares, “I will put enmity.” This enmity is supernaturally put, and not naturally entertained. When man sinned, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony, and not at variance, with Satan. The lofty usurper, having succeeded in seducing our first parents as he had seduced angels, counted on securing their allegiance and co-operation in all his enterprises against the government of Heaven. There was no enmity between himself and the fallen angels. Whatever discord might exist between them, all were united, as by bands of steel, in their opposition and hatred against God. But when Satan heard that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, he knew that though he had succeeded in depraving human nature, and assimilating it to his own, yet by some mysterious process, God would restore to man his lost power, and enable him to resist and overcome his conqueror.

It is the grace that Christ implants in the soul that creates the enmity against Satan. Without this grace, man would continue the captive of Satan, a servant ever ready to do his bidding. The new principle in the soul creates conflict where hitherto had been peace. The power which Christ imparts, enables man to resist the tyrant and usurper. Whenever a man is seen to abhor sin instead of loving it, when he resists and conquers those passions that have held sway within, there is seen the operation of a principle wholly from above.

The Son of God came to man with a message of mercy from the Father. He came not to condemn the world—though they were deserving of condemnation, for rebellion was almost universal—but that the world through him might have life.

It was not so much that Christ appeared without worldly wealth, pomp, or grandeur, that the Jews were led to reject him. They saw that he possessed powers which would more than compensate for the lack of these outward advantages.

Satan and evil angels join with evil men. All the energies of apostasy conspire against the champion of truth. He was fiercely buffeted by temptations, rent with anguish, lacerated with stripes, pierced by nails, and crowned with thorns.

But in all this, Satan gained no real advantage. He could but bruise the heel, while by every act of humiliation or suffering, Christ was bruising the head of his adversary. The anguish that sin has brought was poured into the bosom of the sinless...he was paying the debt for sinful man, and breaking the bondage in which he had been held. Every pang of anguish, every insult, was working out the deliverance of the race.

He made the life of Christ one long scene of conflict and trial, yet with every attack he was losing his hold upon humanity.

...in the garden of Gethsemane, and on the cross, our Saviour measured weapons with the prince of darkness. His wounds became the trophies of his victory in behalf of the race.

He who is under the control of Satan submits willingly to the dominion of evil. But where he has received the grace of Christ, he will see the repulsive character of sin, and in strength from above, will resist the serpent. ... In so doing he will assuredly arouse the wrath of Satan and his followers. He will draw upon himself the reproach, dislike, and opposition of a large class of worldly acquaintances, who will ridicule him as narrow, bigoted, and austere.

Opposition to religion is not limited to any age or to any country. ... The offense of the cross has not ceased. "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." No man can serve God and be in union with the world.

 
Evil angels are on the track of every Christian, redoubling their efforts to annoy and distress, as they see the prey escaping from their grasp.
Review and Herald, July 18, 1882

There is not, and can not be, a native enmity between fallen angels and fallen men. Both are evil, and both became evil through apostacy. ...fallen angels and fallen men were sure to join in a desperate companionship. And thus, had there been no interference on the part of the Almighty, Satan and man would have formed alliance against heaven.
p. 11
There is not, and can not be, a natural enmity between fallen angels and fallen men. Both are evil. Through apostasy, both cherish evil sentiments. Wicked angels and wicked men are leagued in a desperate confederacy against the good. ... Had there been no interference on the part of God, man would have formed a firm alliance with Satan against heaven.
Special Testimonies Series B, no. 2 (1904), pp. 5,6
...was in Christ Jesus in one sense naturally, and in another supernaturally. Now the enmity was never put in such overpowering measure, as when the man Christ Jesus was its residence. ... Never did there move a being on this earth who hated sin with as perfect a hatred. ... It was just the holiness of the Mediator which stirred up against him all the passions of a profligate world.
pp. 13,14
With Christ the enmity was in one sense natural; in another sense it was supernatural, as humanity and divinity were combined. And never was the enmity developed to such a marked degree as when Christ became an inhabitant of this earth. Never before had there been a being upon the earth who hated sin with so perfect a hatred as did Christ. ... The purity and holiness of Christ...that stirred Satan with such intense hatred.
Signs of the Times, June 9, 1898, par. 8,9
Up to the second advent of the Lord... The church...may be compelled to prophesy in sackclothe. The church shall be battered with heresy, and persecution, and infidelity. ... Yet...by God's help, is bruising Satan's head. But the church is...God's witness upon earth...God's instrument...

 
There is not won a single soul to Christ, and the gospel message makes not its way to a single heart, without...stamping on the head of the tempter; for a captive is delivered from the oppressor, and to deliver the slave is to defeat the tyrant. ... No man can serve God without uniting against himself evil men and evil angels.
pp. 16-17

Until Christ shall appear in the clouds... The church will yet see troublous times. She will prophesy in sackcloth. But although she must meet heresies and persecutions, although she must battle with the infidel and the apostate, yet by the help of God she is bruising the head of Satan. ... They are to be His witnesses in the world, His instrumentalities...

The gospel message does not win a single soul to Christ, or make its way to a single heart, without wounding the head of Satan. Whenever a captive is wrenched from his grasp, delivered from his oppression, the tyrant is defeated. ... No man can serve God without uniting against himself evil men and evil angels.
Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 594-595

Christ, as high priest within the veil, so immortalizes Calvary that, though "he liveth unto God," he dies continually unto sin. And thus, "if any man sin, we have," saith St. John, "an advocate with the Father," 1 John 2:1.

He arose in the strength of that wondrous coalition of Deity and humanity of which his person was the subject; and he took into his grasp the globe over whose provinces Satan expatiated as his rightful territory; and, by one vast impulse, he threw it back into the galaxy of Jehovah's favor; and angel and archangel, cherubim and seraphim, sang the chorus of triumph at the stupendous acheivement.

...no sin can be committed for which the satisfaction made upon Calvary, proffers not an immediate and thorough expiation.

...Christ Jesus may be said to stand continually at the altar-side; and if he be momentarily offering up the sacrifice which is momentarily required by their fast recurring guilt; is he not most truly a minister of the tabernacle? If, though, the shadows of the Jewish worship have been swept aside, so that day by day, and year by year, a typical atonement is no longer to be made, the constant commission of sin demand, the constant pouring out of blood; and if, standing not indeed in an officiating in the presence of God, "a lamb as it had been slain," Rev. 5:6, the Redeemer present the oblation prescribed for every offense and every shortcoming...

The Spirit pleads not for us as Christ pleads, holding up a cross, and pointing to wounds. ... Real praise is the Spirit's throwing the heart into the tongue; or, rather, it is the sound produced, when the Spirit has swept the chords of the soul, and there is a correspondent vibration of the lip.

We may regard the prayers and praises of true believers as incense burnt in the true tabernacle, and rising in fragrant clouds...is so defiled by the corrupt channel of humanity through which it passes, that, unless purified and etherialized, it can never be accepted of God? ...they ascent not up in their purity...unless the Intercessor, who is at God's right hand, give it wings and gain it access. ...incense burnt in the earthly tabernacle, unless moist with that mysterious dew which was wrung by anguish from the Mediator. ...He holds in his hands the censer of his own merits, and, gathering into it the prayers and praises of his church, renders them a sweet savor acceptable to the Father. Perfumed with the odor of Christ's propitiation, the incense mounts; and God, in his condescension, accepts the offering and breathes benediction in return.

 
...the Intercessor who carries our prayers and praises within the veil, and, laying them on the glowing fire of his righteousness, causes a spicy cloud to ascend and cover the mercy seat...

 
It is Christ who sends, through John, the sermons to the churches, who holds in his right hand the seven stars which represent the ministers of these churches, and who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.
pp. 25-27

Christ as high priest within the veil so immortalizes Calvary that thou He liveth unto God, He dies continually to sin, and thus if any man sin, he has an Advocate with the Father.

He arose from the tomb enshrouded with a cloud of angels in wondrous power and glory—the Deity and humanity combined. He took in His grasp the world over which Satan claimed to preside as his lawful territory...He restored the whole race of men to favor with God. The songs of triumph echoed and re-echoed through the worlds. Angel and archangel, cherubim and seraphim, sang the triumphant song at the amazing achievement.

No sin can be committed by man for which satisfaction has not been met on Calvary. Thus the cross, in earnest appeals, continually proffers to the sinner a thorough expiation.

...Christ Jesus is represented as continually standing at the altar, momentarily offering up the sacrifice for the sins of the world. He is a minister of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man. The typical shadows of the Jewish tabernacle no longer possess any virtue. A daily and yearly typical atonement is no longer to be made, but the atoning sacrifice through a mediator is essential because of the constant commission of sin. Jesus is officiating in the presence of God, offering up His shed blood, as it had been a lamb slain. Jesus presents the oblation offered for every offense and every shortcoming of the sinner.

...the Spirit pleads not for us as does Christ, who presents His blood, shed from the foundation of the world... The gratitude which flows from our lips is the result of the Spirit striking the cords of the soul in holy memories, awakening the music of the heart.

The religious services, the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin, ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary, but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. They ascend not in spotless purity, and unless the intercessor who is at God’s right hand presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God. All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ. He holds before the Father the censor of His own merits, in which there is no taint of earthly corruption. He gathers into this censor the prayers, the praise, and the confessions of His people, and with these He puts His own spotless righteousness. Then, perfumed with the merits of Christ’s propitiation, the incense comes up before God wholly and entirely acceptable.

O, that all may see that everything in obedience, in penitence, in praise and thanksgiving, must be placed upon the glowing fire of the righteousness of Christ. The fragrance of this righteousness ascends like a cloud around the mercy seat.

Christ gives through John the words to be given to the churches. He holds in His right hand the seven stars which represent the angels of these churches, and He walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.
Manuscript 50, 1900 (later published in Selected Messages vol. 3, p. 343)

By the resistless deeds and victories of Calvary, the Captain of our salvation intercedes: pleading, not as a petitioner who would move compassion, but rather as a conqueror who would claim his trophies.
p. 25
And now, not as a mere petitioner does the Captain of our salvation intercede for us, but as a Conqueror claiming His victory.
Christ Object Lessons, (1900), p. 156. Also, Signs of the Times, Feb. 14, 1900, par. 10
If I can merit salvation may be partly of debt, then I may earn it as wages. If I cannot merit, salvation must be wholly of grace and I must receive it as a gift.

But then, by our rebellion and apostacy, there was a forfeiture, we say not of rights—for we deny that the creature can have right to any thing from the Creator—but of those privileges which God, in his mercy, conferred on the work of his hands.

And this was the position in which the human race stood, when, by the first transgression, God's service was renounced. ... He could not reckon, when he had broken the command, an a breath of air, or a ray of sunshine, or a particle of food. ... On the contrary, the probability must have been that he would be immediately annihilated, or left to consume away piece-meal. And since, in spite of this forfeiture, we are still in the enjoyment of all the means and mercies of existence, we must be bound ever far more than angels who never transgressed, to acknowledge that "all things come of God."

And now, whatsoever we possess, whether it have to do with our intellectual part, or our animal, or with the present life or the future, is delivered into our hands stamped, so to speak, with the sign of the cross; and we learn that "all things come from God," because all things, even the most common and insignificant...

 
Standing in the immediate presence of their glorious Creator; privileged to gaze, so far as it is possible for creatures to gaze without being withered, on his unveiled lustres...

You will find one man thinking, that, if he repents, he shall be pardoned. In other words, he supposes that there is a virtue in repentance which causes it to procure foregivenss. The tears? They are but the dew of an eye which is God's. The resolutions? They are but the workings of faculties which are God's. The amendment? It is but the better employment of a life which is God's. Where then is the merit? O, find something which is, at the same time, human and excellent in the offering, and you may speak of desert.

What is faith but such an assent of the understanding to God's word as bind the heart to God's service? And whose is the understanding, if it be not God's? Whose is the heart, if it be not God's? And if faith be nothing but the rendering to God that intellect, and that energy, which we have received from God, how can faith deserve God?

pp. 32, 34-38

If any man can merit salvation...then, is partly of debt, that may be earned as wages. If man cannot, by any of his good works, merit salvation, then it must be wholly of grace, received by man...a free gift.

By rebellion and apostasy man forfeited the favor of God; not his rights, for he could have no value except as it was invested in God’s dear Son. This point must be understood. He forfeited those privileges which God in His mercy presented him as a free gift...

This was the position of the human race after man divorced himself from God by transgression. Then he was no longer entitled to a breath of air, a ray of sunshine, or a particle of food. And the reason why man was not annihilated was because God so loved him that He made the gift of His dear Son that He should suffer the penalty of his transgression. ... And inasmuch as man enjoys the blessings of God in the gift of the sunshine and the gift of food, there must be on the part of man a bowing before God in thankful acknowledgement that all things come of God.

Now...whatever we possess—whether it is the gift of money, of houses, of lands, of reasoning powers, of physical strength, of intellectual talents—in this present life, and the blessings of the future life, are placed in our possession... Every gift is stamped with the cross and bears the image and superscription of Jesus Christ. All things come of God. From the smallest benefits up to the largest blessing...

Standing in the presence of their Creator and looking upon the unsurpassed glory which enshrouds His person, they are looking upon the Lamb of God...

Men are educated to think that if a man repents he shall be pardoned, supposing that repentance is the way...to buy for him forgiveness. ... Tears, sighs, resolutions, all these are but the proper exercise of the faculties God has given to man, and the turning from sin in the amendment of a life which is God’s. Where is the merit...to place before God something which is valuable and excellent? Can an offering of money, houses, lands, place yourself on the deserving list? Impossible!

What is faith? ... It is an assent of the understanding to God’s words which binds the heart in willing consecration and service to God, who gave the understanding, who moved on the heart, who first drew the mind to view Christ on the cross of Calvary. Faith is rendering to God the intellectual powers, abandonment of the mind and will to God...
Manuscript 36, 1890

He asks your heart; give it him; it is his own. He asks your intellect; give it him; it is his own. He asks your money; give it him; it is his own. Remember the words of the apostle, "Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price." 2 Cor. 6:20.
p. 39
He asks your heart; give it to Him, it is His own. He asks your intellect; give it to Him, it is His own. He asks your money; give it to Him, it is His own. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price.”
Testimonies vol. 4, p. 596 (1876)
He was still God, and could not, for a lonely instant, cease to be God. But he did not appear as God. He put from him, or he veiled these effulgent demonstrations of Deity which had commanded the homage, and called forth the admiration of the celestial hierarchy. And that he was, all the while God... He divorced himself, then, of the form of God, and substituted, in its stead, the form or fashion of a man. ...walked the earth in the form and fashion of a man...yet for our sake he became poor. ... But Christ "emptied himself" of the glories and majesty to which he had claim...the glories of the form of God, those for a while he altogether abandoned. ... given in their full...homage...not be recognized or confessed by his creatures. It was poverty that, whom he walked amongst men, scattering blessings as he trode, the antehm of praise floated not around him, and the air was often burdened with the curse and the blasphemy. It was poverty that, as he passed to and fro, through tribes whom he had made, and whom he had come down to redeem, scarce a solitary voice called him blessed...

...contrast this deep and desperate poverty with...wealth of the anthem peal of ecstasy from a million rich voices... As mere man, he was mortal. But then as God, the well-spring of life to the population of the universe, he would forever have withstood the advances of death, and have refused it dominion in his own person. ...that he might exhaust the penalties that rolled...and died, not through any pentalty but through the act of his own will...died voluntarily... And this was humility. ...he brought down into the fashion of man all the life-giving energies which appertained to him as God; and he stood on the earth, the wondrous combination of two natures in one person...

...wondrous combination of two natures in one person... And the one nature might have eternally kept up the other; and withstanding the inroads of disease, and pouring in fresh supplies of vitality, have given undecaying vigor to the mortal, perpetual youth to the corruptible. But how then could the Scriptures have been fulfilled; and where would have been the expiation for the sins of the burdened and growning creation? It was an act of humility--the tongue, we have told you, cannot express it--that, "for us men and for our salvation, the Eternal Word consented to "be made flesh." God became man. It was stupendous humility. But he was not yet low enough. The man must humble himself, humble himself even unto death...

Christ Jesus was not insensible to ignominy and disgrace. He submitted; but oh, he felt acutely and bitterly. ...the Son of God, holy and undefiled...

But to be suspended as a spectacle between heaven and earth; to die a lingering death, exposed to the tauntings and revilings of a profligate multitude, "all they that see me laught me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head." Psalm 22:7; to be "numbered with the transgressors," Isaiah 53:12, and expire amid the derision and despite of his own kinsmen after the flesh. "He endured," says St. Paul, "the cross despising the shame" Hebrews 12:2. ...making it of no account...the glorious results which its endurance would effect.

He was to die as man's substitute; and man was a criminal, yes, the very worst. So that death by public sentence, death as a malefactor, may be said to have been from a surety who stood in the place of traitors, with all their treason on his shoulders. It was not enough that the substitute humbled himself to death; he must humble himself to a shameful death. And Christ Jesus did this. He could say in the prophetic words of prophecy, "I hid not my face from shame and spitting," Isa. 50:6.

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." He died to make atonement but he died also to set a pattern. Shall selfishness find practice amongst you...? Shall pride be harbored after you have seen Deity humbling himself, and then as man debasing himself, till there was no lower point to which he could descend? And all this for us; for you, for me; for vile, for the reprobate, for the lost! And what return do we make? Alas, for the neglect, the contempt, the coldness, the formality, which he who humbled himself, and agonized, and died the death of shame on our behalf receives at our hands.

Which of us is faithfully taking pattern? Which of us, I do not say, has mastered and [?] pride, and is settling himself in good earnest and with all the energy which might be brought to the work, in the wrestling with pride, and [?] it from the [?]. I would in God that this [?] may have no more humble, more self-denying, more disposal to bear one another's burdens, than it finds us. Would to God that it may write, more deeply than ever upon our hearts. ... There must be Deity in the rock, which could bear up a [?] world. May none of you forget this.

 
May you all see that [?] a Mediator, more than human, had stood in the gap to stay the plague, the penalties of a broken law, unsatisfied through eternity, must have entered like fiery arrows and [?] and infected each descendent of Adam. ...as that none, at last, may occupy the strange and fearful position of man for whom a savior died, but died in vain.
pp. 42-51

He was all the while as God, but he did not appear as God. He veiled the demonstrations of Deity which had commanded the homage, and called forth the admiration, of the universe of God. He was God while upon earth, but he divested himself of the form of God, and in its stead took the form and fashion of a man. He walked the earth as a man. For our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. He laid aside his glory and his majesty. He was God, but the glories of the form of God he for a while relinquished. Though he walked among men in poverty, scattering his blessings wherever he went, at his word legions of angels would surround their Redeemer, and do him homage. But he walked the earth unrecognized, unconfessed, with but few exceptions, by his creatures. The atmosphere was polluted with sin and curses, in place of the anthem of praise. His lot was poverty and humiliation. As he passed to and fro upon his mission of mercy to relieve the sick, to lift up the depressed, scarce a solitary voice called him blessed...

Contrast this with the riches of glory, the wealth of praise pouring forth from immortal tongues, the millions of rich voices in the universe of God in anthems of adoration. ... As a member of the human family he was mortal, but as a God he was the fountain of life to the world. He could, in his divine person, ever have withstood the advances of death, and refused to come under its dominion; but he voluntarily laid down his life...and endured the penalty which rolled... He died, not through being compelled to die, but by his own free will. This was humility. ... He brought into his human nature all the life-giving energies that human beings will need and must receive.

Wondrous combination of man and God! He might have helped his human nature to withstand the inroads of disease by pouring from his divine nature vitality and undecaying vigor to the human. But he humbled himself to man's nature. He did this that the Scripture might be fulfilled; and the plan was entered into by the Son of God, knowing all the steps in his humiliation, that he must descend to make an expiation for the sins of a condemned, groaning world. What humility was this! It amazed angels. The tongue can never describe it; the imagination cannot take it in. The eternal Word consented to be made flesh! God became man! It was a wonderful humility! But he stepped still lower; the Man must humble himself... Step by step he humbled himself to die...

He was not insensible to this contempt and ignominy. He submitted, but, oh! he felt the bitterness as no other being could feel it. He was pure, holy, and undefiled, yet arraigned as a criminal!

He died as a condemned criminal, suspended between the heavens and the earth,—died a lingering death of shame, exposed to the tauntings and revilings of a debased, crime-loaded, profligate multitude! “All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head.” Psalm 22:7. He was numbered with the transgressors, he expired amid derision, and his kinsmen according to the flesh disowned him. ... He endured the cross, despised the shame. He made it of small account in consideration of the results that he was working out...

Christ was to die as man's substitute. Man was a criminal under the sentence of death for transgression of the law of God as a traitor, a rebel; hence a substitute for man must die as a malefactor, because he stood in the place of the traitors, with all their treasured sins upon his divine soul. It was not enough that Jesus should die in order to fully meet the demands of the broken law, but he died a shameful death. The prophet gives to the world his words, “I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” He died to make an atonement, and to become a pattern for every one who would be his disciple. Shall selfishness come into your hearts? ... Shall pride be harbored after you have seen Deity humbling himself, and then as man debasing himself, till there was no lower point to which he could descend? ...that such returns should be made to our Lord! What contempt! what wickedness! what formality! what pride! what efforts made to lift up man and glorify self, when the Lord of glory humbled himself, agonized, and died the shameful death upon the cross in our behalf!

Who is learning the meekness and lowliness of the Pattern? Who is striving earnestly to master self? Who is lifting his cross and following Jesus? Who is wrestling against self-conceit? Who is setting himself in good earnest and with all his energies to overcome... Would that these...would cultivate the grace of humility, be self-denying, more disposed to esteem others better than themselves...to bear one another's burdens! Oh that we might write deeply upon our hearts... The anchor of every soul is to be cast into the Rock cleft for us, that Rock which bears up a ruined world. Let us keep these things in our minds.

Deity and humanity combined had stood in the gap to stay the sentence of a broken law. Its penalties would have fallen, without abating a jot of its severity, upon the sinful. ... Make haste that none of us may occupy the fearful position of him for whom Christ died in vain.
Review and Herald, July 5, 1885

God destroys no man. Every man who is destroyed must destroy himself. When a man stifles an admonition of conscience, he may fairly be said to sow the stiflings of conscience. Pharaoh sowed obstinancy, and Pharaoh reaped obstinacy. ... So that, when the monarch went on from one degree of hardness to another, till at length, advancing through the cold ranks of the prostrated first-born, he pursued across a blackened and devastated territory...
p. 63
God destroys no man. Everyone who is destroyed will have destroyed himself. Everyone who stifles the admonitions of conscience is sowing the seeds of unbelief, and these will produce a sure harvest. By rejecting the first warning from God, Pharaoh of old sowed the seeds of obstinacy, and he reaped obstinacy. ... Thus his resistance continued, until he looked upon his devastated land, upon the cold, dead form of his first-born, and the first-born of all in his house and of all the families in his kingdom...
Christ Object Lessons, p. 84 (1900)
Now that which took place in the case of this Egyptian is, we argue, precisely what occurs in regard generally to the impenitent. God destroys no man. Every man who is destroyed must destroy himself. When a man stifles an admonition of conscience, he may fairly be said to sow the stiflings of conscience. And when conscience admonishes him the next time, it will be more feeble and faintly. There will be less difficulty in overpowering the admonition. And the feebleness of remonstrance, and the facility of resistance, will increase on every repetition... Conscience is but the voice of Deity heard above the din of human passions. But let conscience be resisted, and the Spirit is grieved.

We greatly desire that you should rightly understand what the agency is through which the soul is destroyed. It is not that God hath sent out a decree against a man. It is not that he throws a darkness before his eyes which cannot be penetrated...you resist a motion of the Spirit. ... He who has resisted once will have less difficulty in resisting the second time, and less than that the third time, and less than that the fourth time. So that there comes a harvest of resistances. ... What is this but a harvest of sinful indulgences...

You omit some portion of spiritual exercises, of prayer, or of the study of the word. The omission will grow upon you. You will omit more tomorrow, and more the next day, and still more the next. And thus there will be a harvest of omissions, and all from the solitary grain of the first omission. ... If a man resist temptation, there will be a facility of reisting ever augmenting as he goes on with self-denial. Every new achievement of principle will smooth the way to future achievements of the like kind; ...for we may consider the victory as a seed that is sown

We are persuaded that the most experienced Christian cannot sit down with the neglected and grossly ignorant laborer--nay, not with the child in a Sunday or infant-school--and strive to explain and enforce the great truths of the Bible, without finding his own views of the Gospel emplified and cleared through this engagement in the business of tuition. The mere trying to make a point plain to another, will oftentimes make it far plainer than ever to ourselves. ... You will find that doctrine presenting itself to your own minds with a new power and unimagined beauty...
pp. 63-65

Just what took place in Pharaoh's heart will take place in every soul that neglects to cherish the light and walk promptly in its rays. God destroys no one. The sinner destroys himself by his own impenitence. When a person once neglects to heed the invitations, reproofs, and warnings of the Spirit of God, his conscience becomes seared, and the next time he is admonished, it will be more difficult to yield obedience than before. And thus with every repetition. Conscience is the voice of God, heard amid the conflict of human passions; when it is resisted, the Spirit of God is grieved.

 
We want all to understand how the soul is destroyed. It is not that God sends out a decree that man shall not be saved. He does not throw a darkness before the eyes which cannot be penetrated. But man at first resists a motion of the Spirit of God, and, having once resisted, it is less difficult to do so the second time, less the third, and far less the fourth. Then comes the harvest to be reaped from the seed of unbelief and resistance. Oh what a harvest of sinful indulgences is preparing for the sickle!

When secret prayer and reading of the Scriptures are neglected today, tomorrow they can be omitted with less remonstrance of conscience. There will be a long list of omissions, all for a single grain sown in the soil of the heart. On the other hand, every ray of light cherished will yield a harvest of light. Temptation once resisted will give power to more firmly resist the second time; every new victory gained over self will smooth the way for higher and nobler triumphs. Every victory is a seed sown to eternal life.

There is great need of zealous, faithful, self-denying workers in our churches throughout the land. No one can labor in the Sabbath school or in the temperance work without reaping a bountiful harvest, not only in the end of the world, but in the present life. In the very effort to enlighten and bless others his own views will become clearer and broader. The more we endeavor to explain the truth to others, with a love for souls, the plainer will it become to ourselves. It ever opens with new beauty and force to the understanding of the expounder.
Testimonies vol. 5, pp. 120-121 (1882)

There is no book, by the perusal of which the mind is so much strengthened, and so much enlarged, as it is by the perusal of the Bibe. ... There is nothing so likely to elevate and endow with new vigor, our faculties, as the bringing them into contact with stupendous truths. ... If the human mind grow dwarfish and enfeebled, it is, ordinarily, because left to deal with commonplace facts, and never summoned to...broad and lofty disclosures. The understanding will gradually bring itself down to the dimensions of the matters with which alone it is familiarized, till...it shall well-nigh lose the ability of expanding them.
p. 72
There is no other book whose perusal strengthens and enlarges, elevates and ennobles the mind, as does the perusal of this Book of books. Its study imparts new vigor to the mind, which is thus brought in contact with subjects requiring earnest thought, and is drawn out in prayer to God for power to comprehend the truths revealed. If the mind is left to deal with commonplace subjects, instead of deep and difficult problems, it will become narrowed down to the standard of the matter which it contemplates and will finally lose its power of expansion.
Testimonies vol. 4, p. 449 (1876)
Travelling down to us across the waste of far-off centuries, it brings the history of times which must otherwise have been given up to conjecture and fable. Instructing us as to the creation of the magnificent universe, and defining the authorship of that rich furniture, as well material as intellectual, with which this universe is stored, it delivers our mind from those vague and unsatisfying theories which reason, unaided in her searchings, proposes with respect to the origin of all things. Opening up, moreover, a sublime system of theology, it emancipates the world from degrading superstitions...
p. 71
It is a history that opens to us the past centuries. Without the Bible we should have been left to conjectures and fables in regard to the occurrences of past ages. ... It gives not only the history of the creation of this world, but a description of the world to come. It contains instruction concerning the wonders of the universe, and it reveals to our understanding the Author of the heavens and the earth. It unfolds a simple and complete system of theology and philosophy.
Christian Education, p. 105 (1894)
The bringing of men to study the Bible would be the going a vast deal further towards making them strong-minded, and intellectual, than all the subjects which philosphy embraces. ... The sublimity of the subjects of which it treats; the dignified simplicity of its manner of handling them; the nobleness of the mysteries which it develops...bring round a result... It may be reckoned...incredible...that converse should be held with the first parents of our race...that he should be admitted to intercourse with patriarchs and prophets, and move through scenes...and behold the Godhead himself coming down into humanity, and working out...the discomfiture of the powers of darkness.
p. 73
Open the Bible to our youth...and they will gain a strength of intellect such as the study of all that philosophy embraces could not impart. The grand subjects upon which the Bible treats, the dignified simplicity of its inspired utterances, the elevated themes which it presents to the mind...will develop the powers of the mind... The reader may hold converse with patriarchs and prophets; he may move through the most inspiring scenes; he may behold Christ...coming down to humanity, and working out the plan of redemption.
Review and Herald, Jan. 11, 1881
...many a mechanic, who goes patiently the round of unvaried toil, is, unconsciously, the owner of faculties, which, nursed and expanded by education, would have enabled him to electrify senates, and win that pre-eminence which men award to the majesty of genius.
p. 73
In the common walks of life there is many a man patiently treading the round of daily toil, unconscious that he possesses powers which, if called into action, would raise him to an equality with the world's most honored men.
Desire of Ages, p. 250
It sets forth...salvation with...unadorned plainness, that it may be readily understood by the child or the peasant as by the full grown man or the deep-read philospher... If an individual be possessed of commanding genius, gifted with powers...he will find in the pages of Scripture beauties and difficulties, and secrets, and wonders which a long life-time of study shall leave unexhausted. But the man of no pretentions to talent, and not opportunities for research may turn to the Bible in quest of comfort and direction; and there he will find traced as with a sunbeam...guidance for the lost... The Bible is as much the unlearned man's book as it is the learned. It is composed as to suit all ages and all classes.
p. 87
Simplicity and plain utterance are comprehended by the illiterate, by the peasant, and the child as well as by the full grown man or the giant in intellect. If the individual is possessed of large talents of mental powers, he will find in the Oracles of God treasures of truth, beautiful and valuable, which he can appropriate. He will also find difficulties, and secrets and wonders which will give him the highest satisfaction to study during a long lifetime, and yet there is an infinity beyond. Men of humble acquirements, possessing but limited capabilities and opportunities to become conversant in the Scriptures, find in the living Oracles comfort, guidance, counsel, and the plan of salvation as clear as a sunbeam. ...the Bible is prepared for the poor man as well as for the learned man. It is fitted for all ages and all classes.
Manuscript 16, 1888
Before he engaged in the service of Christ, he had occupied a station in the upper walks of society, and was not, we may believe, dependent on his industry for his bread. It was, however, the custom of the Jews to teach children, whatever the rank of their parents, some kind of handicraft; so that, in case of a reverse of circumstances, they might have a resource to which to betake themselves. We conclude that, in accordance with this custom, St. Paul, as a boy, had learned the art of tent-making; though he may not have exercised it for a substinence until he had spent all in the service of Jesus.

There never moved upon our earth a heartier, more unwearied, more energetic, disciple of Jesus. ...crossing seas, and exhausting continents, till a vast portion of the known world had heard from his lips the tidings of redemption, he proved...that the desire of bringing the perishing into aquaintance with a Savior was nothing less than the life blood of his system. ... Since the whole soul was wrapped up in the work of the ministry, it could not have been without a feeling, amounting almost to painfulness, that the apostle abastracted himself from the business of his embassage, and toiled at providing for his own bodily necessities. ...sitting down patiently to all the drudgery of the craftsman. ...when he refused to be maintained by the churches which he planted, it was through fear that the success of his preaching might be interfered with by suspicions of his disinterestedness. He chose to give the Gospel without cost, in order that his enemies might have no plea for misrepresenting him as an hireling, and thus depreciating his message.

Paul appeals to his Corinthian brethren to understand, that, had he chosen, he might have claimed the sustenance for which he was contented to toil. It was a right, and not a favor, which he waived. ...fearing lest their enforcement might possibly impede the progress of the Gospel. ...He would gladly devote the day to the service of others, and then toil through the night to make provision for himself. ...let us betake ourselves, for an instant, to the workshop of St. Paul; and there remembering, whilst this servant of Christ is fashioning the canvass, that he labors for bread, which, by an indisputable title, is already his own...
pp. 95-102

Before he embraced Christianity he had occupied an elevated position and was not dependent upon his labor for support. Among the Jews it was customary to teach the children some trade, however high the position they were expected to fill, that a reverse of circumstances might not leave them incapable of sustaining themselves. In accordance with this custom Paul was a tentmaker, and when his means had been expended to advance the cause of Christ and for his own support, he resorted to his trade in order to gain a livelihood.

No man ever lived who was a more earnest, energetic, and self-sacrificing disciple of Christ than was Paul. He was one of the world's greatest teachers. He crossed the seas and traveled far and near, until a large portion of the world had learned from his lips the story of the cross of Christ. He possessed a burning desire to bring perishing man to a knowledge of the truth through a Saviour's love. His soul was wrapped up in the work of the ministry, and it was with feelings of pain that he withdrew from this work to toil for his own bodily necessities; but he seated himself to the drudgery of the craftsman that he might not be burdensome to the churches that were pressed with poverty. Although he had planted many churches he refused to be supported by them, fearing that his usefulness and success as a minister of the gospel might be interfered with by suspicions of his motives. He would remove all occasion for his enemies to misrepresent him and thus detract from the force of his message.

 
Paul appeals to his Corinthian brethren to understand that, as a laborer in the gospel, he might claim his support, instead of sustaining himself; but this right he was willing to forego, fearing that the acceptance of means for his support might possibly stand in the way of his usefulness. Although feeble in health, he labored during the day in serving the cause of Christ, and then toiled a large share of the night, and frequently all night, that he might make provision for his own and others’ necessities. ...let them in imagination visit the workshop of the apostle Paul, bearing in mind that while this chosen man of God is fashioning the canvas, he is working for bread which he has justly earned...
Testimonies vol. 4, pp. 409-410.

Would I ascertain my election to the blessedness of eternity? it must be by practically demonstrating my election to the newness of life. It is not by rapture of feeling, and by the luxuriance of thought, and by the warmth of those desires which descriptions of heaven may stir up within me, that I prove myself predestined to a glorious inheritance. If I would find out what is hidden, I must follow what is revealed.
p. 102
Those who would ascertain their election for the future life, may ascertain it by their attitude of obedience to the commandments of God. Strong emotions, strong impulses, or desires, for heaven, when listening to a description of the charms of a future life, will not prove that you are elected to sit down with Jesus Christ upon his throne. If you would know the mystery of godliness, you should follow that which has been revealed.
Review and Hereald, Sept. 28, 1897, par. 4
...our incapacity of looking into the future has much to do with the production of disquietude and unhappiness. ... And, therefore, do we hold that one great proof of God's lovingkindness toward us, may be fetched from that impenetrable concealment in which he wraps up tomorrow. ... It is, in a great degree, my ignorance of tomorrow which makes me vigilant, and energetic, and pains-taking, today.
pp. 103-104
In his wise providence we are incapable of looking into the future, which often causes us disquietude and unhappiness. But one of the greatest evidences we have of the loving-kindness of God is his concealment of the events of the morrow. Our ignorance of tomorrow makes us more vigilant and earnest today.
Review and Herald, October 25, 1881, par. 4
We bid him gaze on the illustrious and mysterious victim, stooping beneath the amazing burden of human transgression. ...though clothed in humanity, was one with Deity...the earth reeled at the spectacle, and the heavens were darkened...

...rush on the bosses of the buckler of the Lord, and make trial for himself of the justice of the Almighty...prepared to deal out to him, unsparingly and unflinchingly, the fiery portion whose threatenings glare from the pages of Scripture? ... We ask him whether the agonies of the garden, and the terrors of the crucifixion, furnish not a sufficient and thrilling demonstration, that God's justice, when it takes in hand the exaction of the punishment, does the work thoroughly.

 
I learn the depths to which I have sunk, from the length of the chain let down to updraw me. I ascertain the mightiness of the ruin by examining the machinery of restoration. ...

We add that the law of God, which has been given for the regulation of our conduct, is a wonderful compendium of truth. There is not a single working of wickedness, though it be the lightest and most secret, which escapes the denouncements of this law; so that the statute-book proves itself truth by delineating, with an unvarying accuracy, the whole service of the father of lies.

Strive--for the grasp of a destroyer is upon you, and if ye be not wrenched away, it will palsy you, and crush you. Strive--for the foe is on the right hand, on the left hand, before you, behind you; and ye must be trampled under foot, if ye struggle not, and strike not, at those who feel themselves bound in a death-grapple. Strive--there is a crown to be won...
pp. 121-124

What a truth is presented as we gaze upon Jesus...this mysterious victim, stooping beneath the amazing burden of our race! ... One clothed with humanity, who was yet one with the Deity, was our ransom. The very earth shook and reeled at the spectacle... The heavens were clothed in sackcloth...

...rushing on the thick bosses of Jehovah's buckler? Why will they make trial for themselves? Why will they test the justice of God, whether he will venture to deal out to man, unsparingly and unflinchingly, the portion that is expressly declared in the Scriptures for all transgressors of the law? The agonies of the garden of Gethsemane, the insult, the mockery, the abuse, heaped upon God's dear Son, the horrors and ignominy of the crucifixion, furnish sufficient and thrilling demonstration that God's justice, when it punishes, does the work thoroughly.

Man can know the depths to which he has sunk only by beholding the wondrous chain of redemption employed to draw him up. The extent of our ruin can be discerned only in the light of the law of God...

God has given his law for the regulation of the conduct of nations, of families, and of individuals. There is not one worker of wickedness, though his sin is the least and the most secret, that escapes the denunciation of that law. The whole work of the father of lies is recorded in the statute-books of heaven...

It is worth lifelong, persevering, untiring effort. Satan is on your right hand and on your left; he is before you and behind. He supplies his falsehoods to every soul who is not cherishing the truth as it is in Jesus. He, the destroyer, is upon you to palsy your every effort. But there is a crown of life to be won, a life that measures with the life of God.
Review and Herald, Feb. 8, 1898.

What speech is to thought, that is the incarnate Son to the invisible Father. ... The Son is the manifested Father, and, therefore, fitly termed "The Word..."
p. 118
What speech is to thought, so is Christ to the invisible Father. He is the manifestation of the Father, and is called the Word of God.
Manuscript 77, 1899, par. 21
...could it treat of the Incarnation; of Regeneration; of a Resurrection; of an Immortality?

 
The "unlearned and unstable" would have equally perished, had no difficulties whatsoever existed... They would have stumbled on the plain ground as well as on the rough.

 

We never infer, that, because there is no controversy in a church there must be the upholding of sound doctrine... And if there are no differences of opinion which set men on examining...their own belief, the probability is, that, like the Samaritans of old, they will worship they know not what...

 
Heresy...helps to sift a professing community, and to separate the chaff from the wheat.

Why is it that the poor peasant, whose understanding is weak and undiciplined, has clear insight into the meaning of verses, and find in them irresistaible power, an unexhaustible comfort, whilst the very same passages are given up as mysteries, or overlooked as unimportant, by the high and lettered champion of a scholastic theology.
p.129, 131, 133, 135

The entrance of sin into the world, the incarnation of Christ, regeneration, the resurrection, and many other subjects presented in the Bible...

But the difficulties in the Bible do not reflect upon the wisdom of God; they will not cause the ruin of any who would not have been destroyed if no such difficulties had existed. ...the same minds would, through their own lack of spiritual discernment, have found cause of stumbling in the plainest utterances of God.

The fact that there is no controversy or agitation among God's people should not be regarded as conclusive evidence that they are holding fast to sound doctrine. ...when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition and worship they know not what.

...heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat.

...men of intellectual ability, improved by education and culture, fail to comprehend certain passages of Scripture, while others who are uneducated, whose understanding seems weak and whose minds are undisciplined, will grasp the meaning, finding strength and comfort in that which the former declare to be mysterious or pass by as unimportant.
Testimonies vol. 5, 699, 702, 704, 707

Never then should the Bible be opened except with prayer for the teachings of this spirit. The Holy Spirit alone can make us feel the things which are easy to be understood, and prevent our wresting those which are hard.
p. 135
The Bible should never be studied without prayer. The Holy Spirit alone can cause us to feel the importance of those things easy to be understood, or prevent us from wresting truths difficult of comprehension.
Great Controversy, p. 599
We warn you...that ye be on your guard against the inroads of skepticism. ... You cannot...keep yourself wholly at a distance from the sarcasms or sophisms of insidious and pestilent teachers. The enemey is ever on the watch, and adapting himself to various dispositions...can address the illiterate with a hollow jest and assail the educated with a well-turned objection.
p.
All who value their eternal interests should be on their guard against the inroads of skepticism. The very pillars of truth will be assailed. It is impossible to keep beyond the reach of the sarcasms and sophisms, the insidious and pestilent teachings, of modern infidelity. Satan adapts his temptations to all classes. He assails the illiterate with a jest or sneer, while he meets the educated with scientific objections...
Great Controversy, p. 600
Do we receive the Bible as "The oracles of God?" The Bible is actually a divine communication as though its words come to us in the voice of the Almighty... What awe, what reverence, what prostration of soul, would attend the persuasion that such is the Bible; so that opening it is like entering the hallowed haunt of Deity...the Word of the Living God--not merely a written thing, but a spoken...
p. 161
The Bible is God's voice speaking to us just as surely as though we could hear him with our ears. The word of the living God is not merely written, but spoken. Do we receive the Bible as the oracle of God? If we realized the importance of this word, with what awe would we open it, and with what earnestness would we search its precepts! The reading and contemplation of the Scriptures would be regarded as an audience with the Most High.
The Home Missionary, Nov. 1, 1897
We always recur with great delight to the testimony of a deist, who, after publicly laboring to disprove Christianity, and to bring Scripture into contempt as a forgery, was found instructing his child from the pages of the New Testament. When taxed with the flagrant inconsistency, his only reply was, that it was necessary to teach the child morality, and that nowhere was there to be found such morality as in the Bible. ...if there were no Bible, there would be comparatively no source of instruction in duties and virtues.
p. 153
We read of how a deist, who had labored publicly to disprove Christianity and to bring the Scriptures into contempt as a forgery, was one day found instructing his child from the pages of the New Testament. When challenged with his inconsistency, his only reply was that it was necessary to teach the child morality and that nowhere was there to be found such morality as in the Bible. “Were there no Bible, there would be no source of instructions in duties and virtues.”
Manuscript 4, 1880 (3LtMs 4185, released in 2014)
It seems to be too common an opinion, that repentance is a kind of preparation, or preliminary, which men are in a degree to effect for themselves before they can go to Christ as a mediator and propitiation. We do not, of course, deny that there must be repentance before there can be forgiveness; and that it is only to the broken and contrite heart that Christ extends the fruits of his passion. ... But the question is, whether a man must wait till he has repented before he applies to Christ...which turns repentance into a kind of obstacle between the sinner and Christ.

There goes forth virtue from the Redeemer himself, strengthening us for that repentance which is alone genuine and acceptable. St. Peter sufficiently laid down this doctrine, when he said of Christ to the high priest and Sadducees, "him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." Here repentance is stated to be as much the gift of the glorified Christ as forgiveness... We can no more repent without Christ than be pardoned without Christ.

And repentance such as this, seeing as it manifestly lies beyond the reach of our own strivings, is only to be obtained from Christ, who ascended up on high, and "received gifts for the rebellious," becoming, in his exaltation, the source and dispenser of those various assistances... Those whom he pardons he first makes penitent.
pp. 161-162

There are many who have erroneous ideas in regard to the nature of repentance. They think that they cannot come to Christ unless they first repent, and that repentance prepares them for the forgiveness of their sins. It is true that repentance does precede the forgiveness of sins; for it is only the broken and contrite heart that will feel the need of a Saviour. But must the sinner wait until he has repented before he can come to Jesus? Is repentance to be made an obstacle between the sinner and the Saviour?

 
It is the virtue that goes forth from Christ that leads to genuine repentance. Peter makes the matter clear in his statement to the Israelites, when he says, “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” Repentance is as much the gift of Christ as is forgiveness... We can no more repent without the Spirit of Christ to awaken the conscience, than we can be pardoned without Christ.

A repentance such as this lies beyond the reach of our own powers to accomplish; it is obtained only from Christ, who ascended up on high, and has given gifts unto men. ... He is the source of our power if we would be saved. ... Those whom God pardons are first made penitent.
Review and Herald, Apr. 1, 1890

As to his being saved in indolence, saved in inactivity...to have to keep down that pride, which would keep those passions which the light that is in him shows must be mortified; to be unwearied in petitions for the assistances of the Spirit, and in using such helps as have been already vouchsafed?

If this be idleness, that man is an idler who is actuated by the consciousness, that he can no more repent then be pardoned without Christ. But if it be to task a man to the utmost of his energy, to prescribe that he go straightway for every thing which he needs to an invisible Mediator; go, in spite of the opposition of the flesh; go, though the path lies through resisting inclinations; go, though in going he must abase himself in the dust, and proclaim his own nothingness; then we are exhorting the impenitent to the mightiest of labors, when we exhort them to seek repentance as Christ's gift.

 
The Psalmist says, "I thought on my ways, and turned my feet to thy testimonies." ... The great evil with the mass of men is, that, so far at least as eternity is concerned, they never think at all...once make them anxious, and they will labor to be saved. When a man considers his ways, angels may be said to prepare their harps, as knowing that they shall soon have to sweep them in exultation at his repentance.
pp. 163-164

We cannot be saved in indolence and inactivity. ... We have to wrestle against pride and against the human passions, which the light of God's word reveals. Every soul saved will present unwearied petitions for the assistance of Jesus Christ, and will use thankfully and appreciate all the helps which God has provided for them.

There can no such evil as idleness exist in the heart, mind, or character of the champion of faith who is actuated by the consciousness that he cannot repent or be pardoned without Christ. But the task, to the soul seeking for heaven, is prescribed, that he go under all and every circumstance to Christ for help. And though the path is obstructed through existing inclination, he must press, he must urge his way; he must abase his will, his desires; he must feel his helplessness, his nothingness, and look alone to the Author and finisher of his faith. It is noble to seek repentance and salvation through the merits of Jesus Christ.

“I thought on my ways, and turned my feet to Thy Testimonies.” The great danger with many of our youth is, they do not study the Scriptures and meditate, like David, upon His testimonies. So far as eternity is concerned, they seldom think of it. If they will make the Scriptures the subject of careful study, they will make it a subject of meditation. Once make them anxious for their souls, and they will labor to be saved; and when this point is reached, angels in heaven sweep their harps in exultation that a soul is saved.
Youth Instructor, Aug. 31, 1887

...whatever the spread of knowledge, whatever the standard of morality, whatever be the height to which civilization attains, poverty shall always continue as a display of the riches of grace, and as a standing memorial that "not by might, nor by power but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" ...a huge field would thus be closed against the exercises of faith.

The poor man, just as well as the rich man, is the object of his watchfulness. ... Take away poverty, and a veil is thrown over the perfections of the Godhead; for we could not know our Maker in fulness of his compassions. ... One might almost have that [the Gospel] had been framed for the express purpose of ministering to the happiness of the poor.
pp. 174-175

However high the standard of knowledge and morality may be, whatever heights we may reach in civilization, poverty will always continue as a display of the riches of the grace of God, a standing memorial to the truth of the words “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” ... Thus a door would be closed that is now open for the exercise of faith...

The poor man as well as the rich man is the object of God’s special care and attention. Take away poverty, and we should have no way of understanding the mercy and love of God, no way of knowing the compassionate and sympathetic heavenly Father. ... One would think that the gospel was inspired in order to reach this class.
Letter 83, 1902 (17LTMS, released in 2014).

Never does this gospel put on an aspect of greater loveliness, than when it addresses itself to the outcast and the destitute. ... then it is that the Gospel appears under its most radiant form, when it enters the hovel of the peasant, and lights up that hovel with gladness, and fans the cheek of the sick man with angel's wings, and causes the crust of bread and the cruse of water to be received as a banquet of luxury... hunger and thirst he may be compelled to endure, but there is hidden manna of which he eats, and there are living streams of which he drinks.
pp. 175-176
Never does the gospel put on an aspect of greater loveliness than when it is brought to the most needy and destitute regions. Then it is that its light shines forth with the clearest radiance and the greatest power. Truth from the word of God enters the hovel of the peasant; rays from the Sun of Righteousness light up the rude cottage of the poor, bringing gladness to the sick and suffering. Angels of God are there, and the simple faith shown makes the crust of bread and the cup of water a banquet. The sin-pardoning Saviour welcomes the poor and ignorant, and gives them to eat of the bread that comes down from heaven. They drink of the water of life.
Testimonies vol. 7, p. 262 (1902)
The poor we have always with us, and thus have we always abounding opportunities of testifying our dedication to Him who is brought near by faith, though removed from sight, and who hath linked himself in ties of such close brotherhood with mankind that he sympathizes with the meanest of the race. Upon the platform of love to the Redeemer do we take our stand...
p. 177-178
The poor we have always with us; and opportunities are thus granted us of testifying to our love for Jesus in the person of his saints. Jesus linked himself with humanity in ties of close brotherhood. He sympathized with the poorest of the race. On the coming Thanksgiving, let us take our stand on the platform of love to our Redeemer.
Review and Herald, Nov. 18, 1884
Thus it is the greatness of salvation which proves the utter ruin which must follow its neglect. If God have done for you the utmost which even Deity could do; if all the divine attributes, unlimited as they are, have combined, yea, even exhausted themselves in the scheme of your rescue...

You know that the Author of our redemption was none other than the eternal Son of God, who had covenanted from the first to become the surety of the fallen. ...that God himself should become man, and sustain all the wrath which sin had provoked.

...invests it with a grandeur which increases as we gaze. In looking at the cross; and considering that our sins are laid upon the being who hangs there in weakness and ignominy...the greatness of salvation proves the peril of neglect.

 
He who undertook, and carried on, and completed that work, was "the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person."

The sins of the whole race were laid upon Christ; and the divinity gave such worth to the sufferings of humanity, that the whole race might be pardoned, if the whole race would put faith in the substitute.

And is not this a great salvation, great in its simplicity, great in its comprehensiveness...which, arranged for creatures whom it find in the lowest degredation, leaves them not till elevated to the very summit of dignity?
pp. 183-185

The peril of indifference to God and neglect of his gift, is measured by the greatness of salvation. God has done to the uttermost of his almighty power. The resources of infinite love have been exhausted in devising and executing the plan of redemption for man.

The Son of the infinite God was the author of our salvation. He covenanted from the first to be man's substitute, and he became man that he might take upon himself the wrath which sin had provoked.

 
The greatness, the breadth, of the plan of salvation invests it with incomparable grandeur; but it can only be spiritually discerned, and it increases in greatness as we contemplate it. Looking to Jesus dying upon the cross, and knowing that it was our sin that placed the innocent Sufferer there, we are bowed down before him in wonder and love. The greatness of this salvation proves the peril of its neglect.

...he who has undertaken the salvation of man was the brightness of the Father's glory, the express image of his person.

The sin of the whole world was laid upon Jesus, and divinity gave its highest value to the suffering of humanity in Jesus, that the whole world might be pardoned through faith in the Substitute.

Is not salvation great in its simplicity, and wonderful in its comprehensiveness? Christ takes the sinner from the lowest degradation, and purifies, refines, and ennobles him. By beholding Jesus as he is, the sinner is transformed, and elevated to the very summit of dignity...
Review and Herald, March 10, 1891

It came not within the power of an angel to make atonement for our sins; the angelic nature might have been united to the human...

God himself should become man, and sustain all the wrath which sin had provoked... This problem, how God could be just and yet the justifier of sinners, baffled all finite intelligence, because a divine person alone could mediate between God and man...
p. 204

The power of an angel could not make an atonement for our sins. The angelic nature united to the human could not be as costly, as elevated, as the law of God.

God himself became man, and bore all the wrath that sin had provoked. This problem, How could God be just and yet the justifier of sinners? baffled all finite intelligence. A divine person alone could mediate between God and man.
Youth Instructor, Aug. 31, 1887

The salvation is great, because proffering the pardon of sin; and a righteousness which will endure the scrutinies of the Omniscient, and victory over death, and acquittal, yea, reward... Oh, it is the completeness of salvation which gives it its greatness. Salvation is collossal, towering till lost in the inaccessible majesty of its Author, because containing whatever is required for the transormation of man from the child of wrath to the child of God, from death to life...
p. 185
This salvation is great, because pardon to the transgressor of God's law is proffered; a righteousness is presented which will endure the scrutiny of the Omniscient, gain victory over the powerful adversary of God and man, and an eternal reward. It is the completeness of salvation which gives it its greatness. No man can measure it with the most thorough finite perception, nor can any contemplate it and continuously make it the matter of his study, without its reaching the untraceable majesty of its Author, and finite man becoming one with the Deity. The transformation has taken place. The child of sin, of transgression, and of wrath has become the child of God; he has passed from death unto life.
Review and Herald, July 19, 1887
But let me consider this truth: ... Wheresoever I am, and whatsoever I do "thou, O God, seest me." Then it is not possible that the least item of my conduct may escape observation... The depths of my own heart lie open to his inspection. And thus every action, every word, every thought, is as distincly marked as though there were none but myself in the universe, and all the watchfulness, and all the scrutiny of God, were employed on my deportment. ...To break the law in the sight of the lawgiver; to brave the sentence in the face of the Judge; there is hardihood in this which would seem to overpass the worst human presumption...

 
Oh, we are sure that an abiding sense of God's presence would put such a restraint on the outgoings of wickedness... If every man went to his business, or his recreation, fraught with the consciousness that the Being, who will decide his destiny for eternity, accompanies him in his every step, observes all his doings, and scrutinizes all his motives, an apprehension of the dreadfulness of the Almighty, and of the utter peril of violating his precepts, would take possession of the whole mass of society; and there would be a confession from all ranks and all ages...
p. 194

Keep ever before you this truth: “Wherever I am, whatever I do, Thou, God, seest me.” It is not possible for the least item of our conduct to escape the observation of the One who says: “I know thy works.” The depths of every heart are open to the inspection of God. Every action, every purpose, every word, is as distinctly marked as though there were only one individual in the whole universe and all the watchfulness and scrutiny of God were employed on his deportment. Shall we then break even one precept of His law and teach others to do so, by evasions, by assertions, by falsehoods, in the very sight of the Lawgiver? Shall we brave the sentence in the very face of the Judge? In this there is a hardihood which seems to surpass the worst human presumption.

Oh, that I could present before you, and before others of my brethren, the necessity of an ever-abiding sense of God's presence, which would put such restraint on your life that your moral and religious standing before the people would be far different. ... Every soul, in going out and coming in, in all business transactions, at all times and in all places, should act with the consciousness that he is moving under the inspection of God and heavenly angels, and that the Being who will judge every man's work for eternity accompanies him at every step, observing all his actions and scrutinizing all his motives. A consciousness of the presence of God and the peril of violating His precepts would take possession of his entire being. What a change would be seen in man, what a change in society, what evils would be left undone! There would be exclamations from all ranks and among all ages...
Testimonies vol. 5, pp. 627-628

...he is set before us, through the preaching of the word, and the administration of the Sacraments. ... It is only that as intercession has been appointed to perpetuate the crucifixion of Christ...so has preaching been appointed to preserve the memory of that death which achieved our redemption, and keep the mighty deed from growing old.
pp. 221-222
The last scenes of his life, in which he achieved a victory for the world, are not to be set forth in a tame, listless manner, but earnestly, and by those who feel constrained to keep the memory of these mighty deeds from growing old. ... In this way we are to perpetuate the memory of the crucifixion. ... Through the preaching of the word and the administration of the sacramental service, Christ has been set forth among us.
Review and Herald, Nov. 4, 1902
It is said of God by Solomon that he "requireth that which is past." He seeks again that which is past, recalling, as it were, the proceedings whether in judgment or mercy, of departed ages, and repeating them to the present generation. And it is on this account that there is such value in the registered experience of the believers of other days, so that the biography of the righteous is among the best treasures possessed by the church. We have all the benefit of the spiritual experience of many centuries which has been bequeuthed to us as a legacy of more value than large wealth or far-spreading empire. We have not, therefore, to tread a path in which we have but few precursors...

 
...there seems all that can be needed to the encouragement and confidence of the righteous. The unchangableness of God assures us that he will do in our own days as he has done earlier ...The registered experience...instructs us as to the accuracy with which God has made good the declarations of Scripture and by contriving these two, the assurance and the instruction, we gain a witness which nothing should shake, that with the Bible for our guide, we shall have peace for our present portion, unbounded glory for our future.

The Bible...nerved them for victory over sorrow and death...encourages him to expect the same mercies from the same God.

The experiences of others...may be made his own. Through faith the same wonders are wrought. Through prayer the same mercies are obtained. The same promises are acoomplished, the same assistances communicated, the same victories acheived.
pp. 241-242

God has spoken by Solomon that He “requireth that which is past.” Ecclesiastes 3:15. He “seeks again” that which is past (marginal reading). ...recalling all the proceedings whether of judgment or of mercy. He recalls all the doings of different ages and repeats them in the present generation. It is for this reason that there is such value in the registered experience of the believers of other days. The biography of the righteous is among the best treasures that the church can possess. We have the benefit of the accounts of the workings of the power of evil... This rich experience is bequeathed to us as a legacy of great value. ...then we shall not have to tread a path in which we have had but few examples of others who have gone before us.

This should be an encouragement. It should give confidence to the righteous in all ages that the Lord is unchangeable. He will manifest for His people in this age His grace and His power as He has done in past ages. The declarations of God’s Word and the accuracy with which He has made them good in history combine to give us assurance and instruction of greatest value. Nothing can shake the pledge we have from God Himself, that with the Bible for our guide and present help, we shall have peace under all circumstances and an eternal weight of glory for our future reward.

...the Scriptures...will nerve them to suffer and to endure, gaining victories even in sorrow and in death. Those who follow John Huss’ example may expect the same mercies from the same God...

For the student of such history, the experience of others can become his experience through faith. The same wonders are wrought through prayer, the same mercies are obtained, the same promises realized, the same assistance from heaven communicated, the same victories achieved.
Manuscript 37, 1887 (5LtMs - released in 2014)

There is a great tendency in all of us to the abusing God's long suffering and to so presuming on his forbearance. ... There is a point in human inqiquity at which it is necessary that God should interfere. "The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all aquit the wicked." ... The longsuffering of God is wonderful, because it indicates the putting constraint on his own attributes. ...nevertheless he will punish... Each century of profligacy had only treasured up wrath...and when the time came and the iniquity was full then it appeared that it is a tremendous thing to have worn out divine patience; for the wrath fell so signally and so fiercely on the Jews... Oh, if it could ever come to pass, that, acting on the principle of a short-sighted policy the rulers of the land should restore his lost ascendancy to the man of sin. ...then...the measure of guilt would be full; in the national apostacy might be read the advance of national ruin.
pp. 259-263
Men are prone to abuse the long suffering of God, and to presume on his forbearance. But there is a point in human iniquity when it is time for God to interfere; and terrible are the issues. “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.” [Nahum 1:3.] The long-suffering of God is wonderful, because he puts constraint on his own attributes; but punishment is none the less certain. Every century of profligacy has treasured up wrath against the day of wrath; and when the time comes, and the iniquity is full, then God will do his strange work. It will be found a terrible thing to have worn out the divine patience; for the wrath of God will fall so signally and strongly that it is represented as being unmixed with mercy; the very earth will be desolated. It is at the time of the national apostasy, when, acting on the policy of Satan, the rulers of the land will rank themselves on the side of the man of sin—it is then the measure of guilt is full; the national apostasy is the signal for national ruin.
Manuscript 48, 1891, par. 35
If...a protestant government were to to sacrifice every principle which enters into its constitution as to make provision for the propagation of papal falsehood and delusion, we might justly fear that the time for intercession has passed...

The Judge of men must arise and vindicate his insulted authority. But I know on whom the mark of deliverance will be set...

We know that it would not become them to sit in calm expectation of the ruin, comforting themselves with the belief that God would shelter his own people in the day of indignation.

The hearts of statesmen are in the hands of God, and the passions of the turbulent and disaffected are under his governance...

Prayer moves the arm which marshalls stars and calms the great deep, and directs the motions of disordered wills.
p. 264-265, 269

...when...our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near.

The Judge of all the earth is soon to arise and vindicate His insulted authority. The mark of deliverance will be set upon the men who keep God's commandments...

Those who have been warned of the events before them are not to sit in calm expectation of the coming storm, comforting themselves that the Lord will shelter His faithful ones in the day of trouble.

He can move upon the hearts of statesmen; the wrath of the turbulent and disaffected, the haters of God...

Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. He who marshals the stars in order in the heavens, whose word controls the waves of the great deep, the same infinite Creator will work in behalf of His people if they call upon Him in faith.
Testimonies vol. 5, p. 451-452

...the church was sifted by fiery trial, a great proportion of what appears genuine and steadfast would prove its hollowness and imperfection. Instead of being strengthened and confirmed by opposition... The promise moreover runs, "Them that honor me, I will honor;"... Would you have me less fervent in attachment to God's law, because the making void of that law has rendered it a time for God to work?

 
Days, in which the religion is most decried and derided are days in which our zeal should be warmest and profession most unflinching. To adhere boldly to the cause of righteousness when almost solitary in adherence is to fight the battle when champions are most needed, and when victory will be most triumphant. I must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, loyalty from their treason.
p. 266

Soon God's people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal. Instead of being strengthened and confirmed by opposition, threats, and abuse, they will cowardly take the side of the opposers. The promise is: “Them that honor Me I will honor.” Shall we be less firmly attached to God's law because the world at large have attempted to make it void?

When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when His law is most despised, then should our zeal be the warmest and our courage and firmness the most unflinching. To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few—this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason.
Testimonies vol. 5, p. 136

If I meet difficulties in Christ's strength, and master them; if I face enemies in Christ's strength and vanquish them; if I undertake duties in Christ's strength, and discharge them...then my experience is actually knowledge; for experiencing Christ is to be faithful and powerful, I certainly know Christ to be faithful and powerful.

He no longer needs to appeal to the experience of others. He has the witness in himself, and he can use the language which the Samaritans used to the woman who first told them of Christ as the prophet,--We have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.
pp. 270-271

If we meet obstacles in our path, and faithfully overcome them; if we encounter opposition and reproach, and in Christ's name gain the victory; if we bear responsibilities and discharge our duties in the spirit of our Master—then, indeed, we gain a precious knowledge of His faithfulness and power.

We no longer depend upon the experience of others, for we have the witness in ourselves. Like the Samaritans of old, we can say, “We have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42).
The Sanctified Life, pp. 82-83

...were not perfect in their generation. ...recording these faults and crimes...men who were distinquished by the favor of God. ...they were "compassed with infirmities," often assaulted and often overcome by temptation... Had holy men of old been exhibited as faultless, there would have been...much to discourage us in our strivings after righteousness. ... Though we take no pleasure in the faults of others, we may yet declare it satisfactory to know that those who have entered heaven, were not perfect... There has been one perfect character amongst men, the Lord Jesus Christ; ...he was "holy, harmless, undefiled."

 
He used fraud where he should have exercised faith. ... God had promised him the birthright, he would have equally gained it had he left God to secure the fulfillment. ... But he was impatient...a fugitive.

Above this ladder, the Lord is seen to stand, and he addresses Jacob in most encouraging words. He declares...that he should be under the guardianship of God in his absence from home, and that the land whereon he lay a fugitive and an exile, should be given to himself and his posterity... The promise made to Abraham is then solemnly renewed: “In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”

 
Jacob awakes, and expresses a kind of awful conviction that the Lord was in that place, and he knew it not...the Spirit of God the plan of God's dealings...such portions as it most concerned him to know. ... The time of the Redeemer's appearance was yet far removed, but neither would it have consisted with divine mercy that the patriarchs should have been left wholly ignorant of the deliverance to be wrought.

Up to the moment of rebellion there had been free communion: earth and heaven seemed connected by a path which the very Deity loved to traverse... But in rebelling, man broke up, as it were, this path... Who...can...climb the battlements of the sky and achieve entrance into the city, into which is to enter nothing that defileth?

The ladder marks the appointed channel of communication. ... the angels, who are seen ascending and descending on the ladder...would have no communication with our race had it remained unredeemed.

In his conversation with Nathaniel [the Savior] used language which seems undoubtedly to refer to the mystic ladder on which the patriarch gazed, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see Heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

There must be...a holding fast to Christ and a climbing up by Christ; to look back is to grow dizzy, to let go is to perish.

...we are...to ascend by successive stages... Stretching the hand to one line after another...and the foot on one step after another...

...the necessity for our own striving, and yet the uselessness of that striving if not exerted in the right manner...
pp. 281-288

Jacob was not perfect in character. ... Inspiration faithfully records the faults of good men, those who were distinguished by the favor of God... They were compassed with infirmities; they were assaulted by temptations, and were often overcome... Were these characters presented before us as faultless, it would tend to discourage us in our strivings after righteousness. We should not take pleasure in the faults of others; but it may give us courage to know that men of like passions with ourselves have fought the good fight... ... there is presented one perfect character,—that of the Son of God...walked a man among the children of men. He is our Pattern, pure, sinless, and undefiled.

Jacob obtained by fraud the blessing... God had promised him the birthright, and the promise would have been fulfilled in good time had he been willing to wait... As a result, he was a fugitive...

He beheld a ladder...and above it was the Lord of glory, who addressed Jacob in words of wonderful encouragement. He assured Jacob that he was under divine guardianship in his absence from home, and that the land whereon he lay as an exile and a fugitive should be given to him and his posterity. The promise given to Abraham was solemnly renewed, “In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”

Jacob awoke with a solemn sense of the presence of God. “The Lord is in this place,” said he, “and I knew it not.” Through the Spirit of God, the plan of redemption was revealed to him, not fully, but such parts as it was essential for him to know. The time of Christ's first advent was yet far in the future; but God would not let his servant remain in ignorance of the fact that sinful man had been provided an Advocate...

Up to the time of man's rebellion against the government of God, there had been free communion between God and man. Heaven and earth had been connected by a path that the Lord loved to traverse. But the sin of Adam and Eve separated earth from Heaven. ... He could not climb the battlements of Heaven and enter the city of God; for there entereth into it nothing that defileth.

The ladder represents Jesus, the appointed medium of communication. ... the ministering angels, ascending and descending on that ladder, would have held no communication with fallen man.

In his conversation with Nathanael, Jesus referred to this mystic ladder on which Jacob gazed with pleased wonder. Said he, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see Heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

But we must have a firm hold on Christ, and keep on climbing. To look back is to become dizzy; to let go is to perish.

We ascend by successive steps. ... Thus the hand is constantly reaching upward for successive degrees of grace, and the feet are planted on one round after another...

There is necessity for striving, and yet it will be of no avail unless we strive lawfully.
Signs of the Times, July 31, 1884

...the continual working of the Father...the continual working of the Son...to the so dwelling on the laws of matter, and the operations of nature as to forget, if not deny, the continued agency of God. If our creed were to be gathered from our common forms of speech, it might be concluded that we regarded nature as some agent quite distinct from deity, having its own sphere, and its own powers, in and with which to work. We are wont to draw a line between what we call natural, and what supernatural; assigning the latter to an infinite power, but ascribing the former to ordinary causes unconnected with the immeidate interference of God. ...We thus give energy to matter, and make a deity of nature? ...to say that matter was...placed in certain relations, and then left to obey the laws...that matter was endued with certain properties...and perform the revolutions originally impressed and commanded. This is...unscientific as it is unscriptural to content. We do not indeed suppose that God exerts any such agency as to supersede the laws, or nullify the properties of matter; but we believe that he is continually acting by and through these laws and properties as his instruments, and not these laws and properties are of themselves effecting the various occurences in the material world.

What is that nature...but the Almighty perpetually at work? What are these laws of matter...but so many manifestations of infinite power and intelligence, proofs of the presence and activity of a being who produces, according to his own will... I count it not owing to inherent powers, originally impressed, that year by year this globe walks its orbit, repeating its mysterious march around the sun in the firmament; I rather reckon that the hand of the Almighty perpetually guides this planet, and that it is through his energies, momentarily applied, that the ponderous mass effects its rotations. ...it is through His immediate agency that every leaf opens, and every flower blooms. I count it not the...effect of a curious mechanism, which, once set in motion, continues to work, that pulse succeeds to pulse, and breath follows breath...

...in God "we live and move, and have our being," that each pulse is but the throb, each breath the inspiration of the ever-present, all actuating Divinity... He it is...who maketh the sun to arise, and the rain to descend. He it is, saith the Psalmist, "who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains." "He giveth snow like wool; he scattereth the hoar-frost like ashes."

When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.” ...but that the Divine Being, though he have ceased from creating, is momentarily engaged in actuating and upholding the vast system which he originally constructed ...the declaration of Christ, "Hitherto my Father worketh?"


pp. 295-296

Christ and the Father are continually working through the laws of nature. Those who dwell on the laws of matter and the laws of nature in following their own limited, finite understanding lose sight of, if they do not deny, the continual and direct agency of God. Many express themselves in a manner which would convey the idea that nature is distinct from the God of nature, having in and of itself its own limits and its own powers wherewith to work. There is with many a marked distinction between natural and supernatural. The natural is ascribed to ordinary causes, unconnected with the interference of God. Vital power is attributed to matter, and nature is made a deity. Matter is supposed to be placed in certain relations and left to act from fixed laws with which God Himself cannot interfere; that nature is endowed with certain properties and placed subject to laws and left to itself to obey these laws and perform the work originally commanded. This is false science; there is nothing in the Word of God to sustain it. God does not annul His laws, but He is continually working through them, using them as His instruments. They are not self-working.

 
God is perpetually at work in nature. She is His servant, directed as He pleases. Nature in her work testifies of the intelligent presence and active agency of a Being who moves in all His works according to His will. It is not by an original power inherent in nature that year by year the earth produces its bounties and the world keeps up its continual march around the sun. The hand of infinite power is perpetually at work guiding this planet. It is God’s power momentarily exercised that keeps it in position in its rotations. ... It is by His power that vegetation is caused to flourish, that every leaf appears and every flower blooms. It is not as the result of a mechanism, that, once set in motion, continues its work, that the pulse beats and breath follows breath.

In God we live and move and have our being. Every breath, every throb of the heart, is the continual evidence of the power of an ever-present God. It is God that maketh the sun to rise in the heavens. He openeth the windows of heaven and giveth rain. He maketh the grass to grow upon the mountains. “He giveth snow like wool; and scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.” [Psalm 147:16.]

When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.” [Jeremiah 10:13.] Although the Lord has ceased His work in creating, He is constantly employed in upholding and using as His servants the things which He has made. Said Christ, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” [John 5:17.]
Manuscript 4, 1882 (Released in 2014). Published in General Conference Bulletin, Feb. 18, 1897; Signs of the Times, Mar. 20, 1884; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 113-115; Review and Herald, Nov. 8, 1898; Selected Messages vol. 1, pp. 293-295; Education, pp. 99, 130-131; Testimonies vol. 8, pp. 259-261; Ministry of Healing, pp. 413, 416-417.

When, therefore, the Son of God undertook to link the created with the uncreated, the finite with the infinite, in his own divine person...
p. 300
The work of God's dear Son in undertaking to link the created with the Uncreated, the finite with the Infinite, in his own divine person
Review and Herald, Jan. 11, 1881
As soon as there was sin, there was salvation--salvation through Christ. ...presenting the virtues of his own sacrifice, and thus averting from the guilty the doom they had deserved. ... certified of the incessant occuption with which the Mediator was charged. ... Whether men were saved, or whether they perish...toiling through the striving of his spirit.
p. 299
As soon as there was sin, there was a Saviour. Christ knew what He would have to suffer, yet He became man's substitute. ...the Son of God presented himself as surety for the human race, with just as much power to avert the doom pronounced upon the guilty... As our Mediator, Christ works incessantly. Whether men receive or reject Him, He works earnestly for them. He grants them life and light, striving by His Spirit to win them from Satan's service.
Review and Herald, March 12, 1901
...glorious light...the footprints of a Mediator which are discernable along the line of the patriarchal and legal economy. "To Him give all the prophets witness." He it was whom seers beheld, when the train of future things swept before them in mysterious procession. He died in every sacrifce; he ascended in every cloud of incense; his name was in every jubilee shout; his majesty in the awfulness of the holy of holies.
p. 299
To Christ “give all the prophets witness.” Acts 10:43. From the promise given to Adam, down through the patriarchal line and the legal economy, heaven's glorious light made plain the footsteps of the Redeemer. Seers beheld the Star of Bethlehem, the Shiloh to come, as future things swept before them in mysterious procession. In every sacrifice Christ's death was shown. In every cloud of incense His righteousness ascended. By every jubilee trumpet His name was sounded. In the awful mystery of the holy of holies His glory dwelt.
Desire of Ages, p. 211
If the souls which we desire to convert, be...actually dead, it may appear a vain thing to deal with them as though they were living. Neither are we to be deterred by the lifelessness of the parties on whom we have to act...we are to preach the Gospel to those whom we believe that they are spiritually in the grave, and to say to them, without any wavering because they seem unable to hear, "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light."

 

...then shall be known till all secrets are laid bare at the great day of judgment, that, when the minister of Christ is launching the thunders of the word...as close appeals are made to the long torpid consience...

Whatever advances which may be made towards the symmetry and features of a new creature, there is nothing that can be called life, until the Holy Ghost come and breathe upon the slain.

* ...it is not membership with an apostolical church, it is not his diligent performance of a certain set of duties, which can assure us that he lives--we read in the book of Revelation of some who had a name that they lived, and yet were dead.
pp. 304-305

The souls of those whom we desire to save are like the representation which Ezekiel saw in vision,—a valley of dry bones. They are dead in trespasses and sins, but God would have us deal with them as though they were living. ... We are in no wise to be deterred from fulfilling our commission by the listlessness... We are to preach the word of life to those whom we may judge to be as hopeless subjects as though they were in their graves. ...without questioning or wavering we are to do our part. We are to repeat to them the message. “Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

In the judgment, when all secrets are laid bare, it will be known that the voice of God spoke through the human agent, and aroused the torpid conscience...

...for it is not enough that there is symmetry of limb and feature. The breath of life must vivify the bodies...

They may be joined to the church, but they are not united to the Lord. They may be diligent in the performance of a certain set of duties, and may be regarded as living men; but many are among those who “have a name that thou livest, and art dead.”
Review and Herald, Jan. 17, 1893

The system may assume different aspects to carry different purposes, but this itself is a part of popery. There is the variable appearance of the chameleon, and the invariable venom of the serpent...

...an excess of false charity is blinding them to the facts... They make it a point of honor to believe good of all evil, and perhaps evil of all good... Rather than thinking of measures to resist her advances...they are rather covering her with apologies for their inconsiderate bigotry.

 
Men would indeed persuade you that the enlarged intelligence of the times, the diffusion of knowledge, and the increase of liberality are ample security against the revival...of a system so absurd...

 

Too wise to seek God prayerfully and humbly in the Bible, they will be open to delusion... The...generation will feel the need of some specific for quieting their conscience. But they will perfer the least spiritual and the least humiliating... They will not want God, but a method of forgetting him, which shall pass...for a method of remembering him...popery [is] constructed for two mighty divisions of humankind, the men who would be saved by their merits, and men who should be saved in theirs sins.

 
Hence a day of great intellectual darkness be favorable for popery, so may a day of great intellectual light. We may as well fall into the pit with our eyes dazzled, as with our eyes blindfolded...
pp. 313-325

It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent.

...false charity has blinded their eyes. They do not see but that it is right to believe good of all evil, and as the inevitable result they will finally believe evil of all good. Instead of standing in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints, they are now, as it were, apologizing to Rome for their uncharitable opinion of her, begging pardon for their bigotry.

Many urge that the intellectual and moral darkness prevailing during the Middle Ages favored the spread of her dogmas, superstitions, and oppression, and that the greater intelligence of modern times, the general diffusion of knowledge, and the increasing liberality in matters of religion forbid a revival of intolerance and tyranny.

...but many are so wise in their own conceit that they feel no need of humbly seeking God that they may be led into the truth. ... They must have some means of quieting their consciences, and they seek that which is least spiritual and humiliating. What they desire is a method of forgetting God which shall pass as a method of remembering Him. The papacy is...prepared for two classes of mankind, embracing nearly the whole world—those who would be saved by their merits, and those who would be saved in their sins.

A day of great intellectual darkness has been shown to be favorable to the success of the papacy. It will yet be demonstrated that a day of great intellectual light is equally favorable for its success. In past ages...their eyes were blindfolded... In this generation there are many whose eyes become dazzled...
Great Controversy, pp. 571-573

When Isaiah predicted the birth of Messiah, "the Prince of Peace" was one of the titles which he gave to the coming deliverer. When angels announced to the shepherds that Messiah was born, they sang as their chorus, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men." At first sight, there scarcely seems to be thorough agreement between such a prediction, or such an announcement, and the declaration which Christ makes, in our text, with regard to his mission. ...the Gospel is a message of peace, that christianity is a system which, received and fully obeyed, would diffuse harmony and happiness through all the world's families. ...the religion of Jesus to unite in close brotherhood... He had left the throne of his glory in order to reconcile this creation to God, and restore friendship between man and his Maker. ...the only sense in which he sent the sword, being that of publishing doctrines which would excite the animosities of our nature against holiness and God.
pp. 325-326
When Isaiah foretold the birth of the Messiah, he ascribed to him the title, “Prince of peace.” When angels announced to the shepherds that Christ was born, they sung above the plains of Bethlehem, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” [Luke 2:14.] There is a seeming contradiction between these prophetic declarations and the words of Christ, “I came not to send peace, but a sword.” [Matthew 10:34.] ... The gospel is a message of peace. Christianity is a system, which, received and obeyed, would spread peace, harmony, and happiness throughout the earth. The religion of Christ will unite in close brotherhood all who accept its teachings. It was the mission of Jesus to reconcile men to God, and thus to one another. ... It is in this sense—because the exalted truths it brings, occasion hatred and strife—that the gospel is called a sword.
Great Controversy, p. 46 (1888).
The rock, as we have supposed, typified Christ, who was to be once smitten by the rod of the law, but only once... Having been once smitten, there is nothing needed, in any after dearth, but that this rock should be spoken to...
p. 337
The rock, being a symbol of Christ, had been once smitten, as Christ was to be once offered. The second time it was needful only to speak to the rock...
Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 418
Moses had sinned, and the incurred penalty had been, that he should not enter the land of promise. His earnest desire and prayer can do nothing towards procuring remission of the sentence.
p. 336
Moses was not to lead the congregation of Israel into the goodly land, and the earnest pleading of God's servant could not secure a reversing of His sentence.
Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 469
...Moses wrote under the guidance of the Spirit of God. ...we are sure there never will be, made out the impossibility of reconciling the discoveries of geology with the Mosaic account of the creation.

...science may scale new heights, and explore new depths; but she shall bring back nothing from her daring and successful excursions, which will not, when rightly understood, yield a fresh tribute to the testimony of the Bible.
pp. 358-359

Moses wrote under the guidance of the Spirit of God, and a correct theory of geology will never claim discoveries that cannot be reconciled with his statements.

Science opens new wonders to our view; she soars high, and explores new depths; but she brings nothing from her research that conflicts with divine revelation.
Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 115

The stake and the scaffold are not the appointments of the times...the grace imparted is rigidly proportioned to the emergence...
p. 369
The stake and scaffold are not appointed for this time to test the people of God, and for this very reason the love of many has waxed cold. When trials arise, grace is proportioned for the emergency.
Testimonies vol. 4, p. 392.
"The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, My people doth not consider." It is an extraordinary proof of human perversenss and ingratitude, that there should not be as much of attachment, and of acknowledgment of ownership, manifested by men towards God as by the beasts of the field towards those who show them kindness... When Jeremiah uses language very similar to that which we have just quoted from, "Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord."
p. 378
“The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, My people doth not consider.” [Isaiah 1:2, 3.] ... It was a proof of the people’s perversity that they manifested less gratitude, less attachment, less acknowledgment of ownership toward God than the animals of the field manifest toward their masters. Jeremiah uses a similar illustration to represent the indifference and willing blindness of man: “Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord.”
Manuscript 29, 1911 (LTMS 25 - Released in 2014)
...the swallow and the crane, who, observing the changes of seasons know when to migrate from one climate to another?

...in this well-known address of Solomon to the indolent man? "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise; which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest."

When Joshua, knowing the time of his death to be near, had gathered the Israelites, and caused them solemnly to renew their covenant with God, he "took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord." And then he proceeded to address the congregation in these remarkable words: "Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God."
p. 378-379

The swallows and the cranes observe the changes of the season. To find a suitable clime, they migrate from one country to another, as God designed they should.

The wise man addressesthe indolent in these words: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise; which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her fruit in the harvest.”

Joshua, knowing that the time of his service as the visible leader of the children of Israel was about to end, gathered the people together, and caused them to renew their covenant with their Maker. Then he “wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord.” “Behold,” he said, “this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the Lord, which He spake unto us. It shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.”
Bible Echo, Aug. 7, 1899

How much of what he acknowledges as truth is profoundly mysterious! What difficulties throng great portions of Scripture! How dark the dispensations of Providence! What subject for implicit faith in the workings of God's moral government! With St. Paul he is often forced to exclaim..."how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out."

The ways of Providence shall be made clear; the mysteries of grace shall be unfolded; the "things hard to be understood" shall be explained; we shall discover order in what has seemed intricate, wisdom in what we have thought unaccountable, and good where we have seen only injury. ... I behold the page of universal truth spread before him, no obscurity on a single line, and the brightness not dazzling the vision. ...controversies are ended, difficulties are solved...
pp. 394, 398

How much that is acknowledged to be truth is mysterious and unexplainable to the human mind! How dark seem the dispensations of Providence! What necessity there is for implicit faith and trust in God's moral government! We are ready to say with Paul, “How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”

The ways of Providence will be made clear; the mysteries of grace through Christ will be unfolded. That which the mind can not now grasp, which is hard to be understood, will be explained. We shall see order in that which has seemed unexplainable; wisdom in everything withheld; goodness and gracious mercy in everything imparted. Truth will be unfolded to the mind free from obscurity, in a single line, and its brightness will be endurable. ... Controversies will be forever ended, and all difficulties will be solved.
Signs of the Times, Mar. 25, 1897

It is...to forget the immeasurable distance of the Creator from the creature, to imagine that He who sitteth in the heavens, swaying the universal scepter regards was great, and as small, just what are reckoned such in our feeble computations... We are evidently in error, if we think that what is great to us must be great to God, and that what is small to us must be small to God...God would be little more than one of ourselves...possessing only the same faculties.

But this is not to say there are no degrees of sin, as though God regarded all crimes as of equal enormity. One sin may be greater than another in the Divine estimate, as well as in the human; and yet God may account no sin small, however ready we may be to think this or that inconsiderable. And what we are disposed to reckon trifling, may be precisly that to which God would attach the greater criminality; ... The drunkard is unreservedly told that his sin shall exclude him from...heaven... Pride incurs but slight reproof... There is nothing of which God speaks with greater loathing than of pride: the proud man is represented as the object of his special aversion. "God resisteth the proud." ...the covetuous man is identified with the idolater. No one who remembers what idolatry is...will hesitate to admit that such a representation places covetousness at the very top of the things offensive to our Maker.
pp. 429-430

We do not...remember the immeasurable distance between the Creator and the creatures formed by His hand. He who sitteth in the heavens, swaying the scepter of the universe, does not judge according to our finite standard, nor reckon according to our computation. We are in error if we think that that which is great to us must be great to God, and that which is small to us must be small to Him. He would be no more exalted than ourselves if He possessed only the same faculties.

God does not regard all sins as of equal magnitude; there are degrees of guilt in His estimation as well as in that of finite man. But however trifling this or that wrong in their course may seem in the eyes of men, no sin is small in the sight of God. The sins which man is disposed to look upon as small may be the very ones which God accounts as great crimes. The drunkard is despised and is told that his sin will exclude him from heaven, while pride, selfishness, and covetousness go unrebuked. But these are sins that are especially offensive to God. He "resisteth the proud," and Paul tells us that covetousness is idolatry. Those who are familiar with the denunciations against idolatry in the word of God will at once see how grave an offense this sin is.
Testimonies vol. 5, p. 337

The miracles...were...more than commonly potent, such as were not in any degree imitable whether through the dexterity of the juggler or the incantations of the sorcerer. The powers...were...sufficing to place the apostle immeasurably distant from the most consummate magicians.

...the evidence thus given of the sacredness of Christ's name and of the peril of employing it to any but those who believed in his mission...
pp. 449-450

The miracles of Paul were far more potent than had ever before been witnessed in Ephesus, and were of such a character that they could not be imitated by the skill of the juggler or the enchantments of the sorcerer. Thus the Lord exalted his servant, even in the estimation of the idolaters themselves, immeasurably above the most favored and powerful of the magicians.

Unmistakable proof had been given of the sacredness of that name, and the peril which they incurred who should invoke it while they had no faith in Christ's divine mission.
Sketches from the Life of Paul, pp. 135-136 (Most of this section was plagiarized from Conybeare and Howson's Life and Epistles of the Apostle Paul, but this section was taken from Melville. See also Acts of the Apostles, pp. 287-288)

The visible world and the invisible are in very close contact; there is indeed a veil on our eyes, preventing our gazing... A man of piety and prayer enlists good angels on his side...
p. 450
The visible and the invisible world are in close contact. Could the veil be lifted, we would see... The man of faith and prayer has yielded his soul to divine guidance, and angels of God bring to him light and strength from heaven.
Testimonies vol. 5, p. 199
I think upon Rome, the metropolis of the world, upon the haughty Caesars, giving laws to well nigh all the nations of the earth.

...in less than two years he was able to declare "my bonds are manifest in all the palace."

You will remember with what noble intrepidity he rose up before the sages of Greece, won over even proud philosphy by his reasoning and eloquence... When he spoke unflinchingly to Felix...the haughty Roman trembled as though the judgment had already been upon him with its terrors.

He could not go...like Moses and Aaron, and compel by his miracles the attention of a profligate king, and there deliver in the name of the living God, the message of rebuke... And yet it was at this very time, when the chief instrument in the diffusion of Christianity seemed comparatively disabled, that the great triumph was won, and the imperial household gave members to the church.

Certainly, if there was an atmosphere uncongenial to Christianity, it may be supposed to have been that of the court and palace of this blood debauchee. Where, then, on all human calculation, was there less likelihood of the Gospel gaining a footing then in the court and household of Nero?

Yet so true was St. Paul's assertion, that the weapons of his warfare were "mighty through God to the casting down of strongholds," and that there were men of Caesar's household worthy of the high title of saints; men not secretly, but openly Christians; not ashamed of their profession...

And our first inquiry will naturally be, as to the agency which brought...an entrance...and a firm footing gained for Christianity, where there might have seemed a moral impossibility against its admission? ... If you refer to the...Epistle to the Philippians, you will find the Apostle ascribing to his imprisonment the very result of which we are now seeking the cause. He expresses himself fearful lest the Philippians should have thought that the afflictions...had impeded the progress of the gospel, he assures them "I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel."

The great champion of Christianity may succeed where there is most to discourage... My hopes are destroyed. I hear that St. Paul comes as a prisoner.

It was not by his sermons, it was literally by his bonds, that the attention of the court had been attracted to Christianity; it was as a captive that he mastered rulers, and with his chains struck off their fetters. In the following verse he adds...: "Many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear."

The patience and meekness with which he submitted to his long and unjust confinement, drew public attention... And...taught other Christians...and...nerved them to greater energy in the work from which Paul had temporarily been withdrawn. In these ways were the Apostle's bonds influential; so that when...his power and usefulness seemed most limited...and to all appearance he was able to do least, then it was that he won admission for Christianity into the circle from which you would have thought it most surely excluded.

In less than two years, Paul is able to declare, "My bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places," and to enumerate amongst the saints who sent greetings to the Philippians he mentions "chiefly them that are of Caesar's household."

Resignation has its victories as well as intrepidity: converts are made through meekness in trial, as well as through boldness in enterprise.

Oh, let no one ever think, that because he is unable to exert himself openly and actively...for God, he has no duties to perform, no services to render, no rewards to secure. A true Christian is never...laid by; God makes use of him in sickness and in health, in life and death...

The saints...not only belonged to Caesar's household at the time of their conversion, but remained in that household after their conversion ... They did not feel it their duty to abandon the stations in which providence had placed them.

The excuse will not bear investigation...

Be his difficulties what they may...they would rapidly disappear before the earnest resolve of seeking...first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
pp. 466-476

Rome was at this time the metropolis of the world. The haughty Caesars were giving laws to nearly every nation upon the earth.

And yet in less than two years the gospel found its way from the prisoner's lowly home into the imperial halls.

With noble firmness he had risen up before the sages of Greece and by his knowledge and eloquence had put to silence the arguments of proud philosophy. With undaunted courage he had stood before kings and governors...the haughty rulers trembled as if already beholding the terrors of the day of God.

He had not, like Moses and Aaron, a divine command to go before the profligate king and in the name of the great I AM rebuke his cruelty and oppression. Yet it was at this very time, when its chief advocate was apparently cut off from public labor, that a great victory was won for the gospel; for from the very household of the king, members were added to the church.

Nowhere could there exist an atmosphere more uncongenial to Christianity than in the Roman court. ... To all appearance it would be impossible for Christianity to gain a foothold in the court and palace of Nero.

 
Yet in this case...was proved the truth of Paul's assertion that the weapons of his warfare were “mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds,” 2 Corinthians 10:4. Even in Nero's household, trophies of the cross were won. ... These were not Christians secretly, but openly. They were not ashamed of their faith.

And by what means was an entrance achieved and a firm footing gained for Christianity where even its admission seemed impossible? In his epistle to the Philippians, Paul ascribed to his own imprisonment his success in winning converts to the faith from Nero's household. Fearful lest it might be thought that his afflictions had impeded the progress of the gospel, he assured them: “I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.”

 
Might not this champion of the faith succeed in winning souls to Christ even in the metropolis of the world? But their hopes were crushed by the tidings that Paul had gone to Rome as a prisoner.

Not by Paul's sermons, but by his bonds, was the attention of the court attracted to Christianity. It was as a captive that he broke from so many souls the bonds that held them in the slavery of sin. Nor was this all. He declared: “Many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” Philippians 1:14.

Paul's patience and cheerfulness during his long and unjust imprisonment, his courage and faith, were a continual sermon. ... And by his example, Christians were impelled to greater energy as advocates of the cause from the public labors of which Paul had been withdrawn. In these ways were the apostle's bonds influential, so that when his power and usefulness seemed cut off, and to all appearance he could do the least, then it was that he gathered sheaves for Christ in fields from which he seemed wholly excluded.

Before the close of that two years’ imprisonment, Paul was able to say, “My bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places,” and among those who sent greetings to the Philippians he mentions chiefly them “that are of Caesar's household.”

Patience as well as courage has its victories. By meekness under trial, no less than by boldness in enterprise, souls may be won to Christ.

Let not the follower of Christ think, when he is no longer able to labor openly and actively for God and His truth, that he has no service to render, no reward to secure. Christ's true witnesses are never laid aside. In health and sickness, in life and death, God uses them still.

Not only were converts won to the truth in Caesar's household, but after their conversion they remained in that household. They did not feel at liberty to abandon their post of duty because their surroundings were no longer congenial.

...but he can offer no excuse that will bear investigation.

Difficulties will be powerless to hinder him who is determined to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Acts of the Aposltes, pp. 461-468

He was indeed dependent also on on "the former rain," that which fell at the seed-time; for the grain would not germinate, and send up the tender shoot, unless the ground were watered by the fertilizing showers. ... It is the rain needed for filling the ear, and fitting it for the sickle. ... And he has been enabled, through the continued influences of the Spirit of God, to bring forth "first the blade, and then the ear," advancing in the Christian life, and adorning the doctrine of the Savior.
pp. 526-533
In the East the former rain falls at the sowing-time. It is necessary in order that the seed may germinate. Under the influence of the fertilizing showers, the tender shoot springs up. The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain, and prepares it for the sickle. ... As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth.
Review and Herald, Mar. 2, 1897

Citations

1. Ron Graybill, Warren H. Johns, and Tim Poirier, Henry Melville and Ellen G. White: A Study of Literary and Theological Relationships (Washington, D.C., 1982), i.

2. Ibid., ii-iii.

3. Parellels were taken from the Graybill document (see footnote 1), pages 1-98, for nonprofit educational and noncommercial use. "Transformative" highlighting, formatting for the Internet, and editing of errors and removal of extraneous material was performed by Brother Anderson. This is not a substitute for the original use of the work. Henry Melville's book is in the public domain. Ellen White's quotes taken directly from the White Estate's public web site.

Category: Plagiarism
Please SHARE this using the social media icons below