Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

April 19, 1870

Practical Remarks

By Ellen G. White.

(Concluded.)

We see beauty, and loveliness, and glory in Jesus. We behold in him matchless charms. He was the majesty of Heaven. He filled all Heaven with splendor. Angels bowed in adoration before him, and readily obeyed his commands. Our Saviour gave up all. He laid aside his glory, his majesty, and splendor, and came down to this earth and died for a race of rebels, who were transgressors against his Father's commandments. Christ condescended to humble himself that he might save the fallen race; he drank the cup of suffering, and in its place offers us the cup of blessing; yes, that cup was drained for us; and although many know all this, yet they choose to go on in sin and folly; and still Jesus invites them. He says, Whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely. Provision is made that those who have been faithful may be crowned with honor, and glory, and immortality; that they may dwell in his presence, and never know sorrow and sighing more. He has engaged to crown you with glory, and yet you turn away from His offers of mercy!

What ingratitude is manifest for all his matchless love. He invites all to come to him. Will you come?

The truths of God's word must be brought to bear upon us, and we must lay hold upon them. If we do this, they will have a sanctifying influence upon our lives; they will fit us that we may have a preparation for the kingdom of glory; that when our probation shall close, we may see the King in His beauty, and dwell in His presence forevermore.

And now the question is, are we willing to make the sacrifice? “Come out from among them, and be ye separate.” Who said this? Thus said God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, He who lends you life and breath; He speaks to you. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” What a promise is this!

And do you think that by embracing the truth of God you are degrading yourself? that you are lowering yourself by embracing the truth of heavenly origin? The truth elevates the receiver every time. It sanctifies his taste, it refines his judgment, it elevates him, and by enabling him to perfect holiness, it brings him nearer to the character of the heavenly angels. It brings purity of character and purity of life, and gives a fitness that we may join the heavenly company in the kingdom of glory. Without this fitness, we can never see the heavenly abode. And yet many say of the truth, that it takes from them everything that they desire to keep. Let me say, It takes from you nothing that it is best for you to retain.

What does the Lord require? He requires the whole heart. He says, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself. What chance does this give you to love and serve self? What allowance for the affections to be diverted from God, to have your interest upon the world and worldly things? No; it is an entire surrender that is required. Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and I will receive you.

It is the strength of the entire being that God requires. He requires of you a separation from the world and the things of the world. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” It is separation from the love of the world that is required; and what is given you in its place? “I will be a father unto you.” Do you have to separate in your affections from friends? Does the truth require you to stand alone in your position to serve God, because others around you are not willing to yield to the claims that Christ has upon them? Does it require a separation in feeling from them? Yes; and this is the cross which you must bear, which leads many to say, I cannot yield to the claims of the truth. But says Christ, If any man love father, or mother, or brother, or sister, more than me, he is not worthy of me. Whosoever will come after me, and will be my disciple, let him take up his cross and follow me. Here is the cross of self-denial and sacrifice; to separate in your affections here from those who will not yield to the claims of truth. Is this too great a sacrifice to make for Him who sacrificed all for you? Here are the conditions specified by God. If we comply, he says to us, I will be a father unto you, and will receive you, and ye shall be sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King, and heirs of an immortal inheritance that is incorruptible, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you. What a relationship is this? Do you call this degrading? Do you call this a position that shall lower you or detract from your dignity and bring you down to a low level in life? Do you call this humiliation? Do you call this a great sacrifice, to become members of the royal family and children of the heavenly King, elevated by the truths of God, fitted up for the society of heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory? What is this, in truth? It is true exaltation. It is that which will ennoble every time. The truth of God is ennobling, it is elevating, it is refining, it is sanctifying. Tell me not of any exaltation out of Jesus Christ.

When man was plunged in hopeless misery, when death was his portion, Christ left the majesty, splendor, and glory, of the heavenly kingdom, and humbled himself to a life of unexampled suffering and humiliation, and an ignominious death, that he might become a stepping-stone for man, that he might climb up upon his merits, and by virtue of his blood become enabled so to serve God, that he could accept his efforts to keep his broken law, and through obedience, man could thus be brought back again and reinstated in Eden, and share again in the glory that was at first given to the holy pair as they stood in the perfection of beauty, and in their holy innocence, in the garden of Eden. This was to be given back to Adam and his faithful children, who through the merits of the blood of Christ should be washed and sanctified and made worthy to be brought back to eat of the immortal fruit of the tree of life that Adam and Eve forfeited all right to by disobedience. If we then refuse to accept of Christ as our Saviour, are we in an exalted position? No, indeed; we are just where Adam and Eve were after their transgression, degraded, fallen, and without a Saviour; just where they would have remained had they not accepted Jesus Christ as their Redeemer.

Sinners, without God you are in this helpless condition, without hope in the world, in sin, in the bonds of iniquity and vileness and corruption; and yet your words imply that you consider it a great condescension to grasp the chain of truth that is let down from Heaven to earth, that you may take hold upon it and be brought nearer to Heaven and Jesus Christ. Do you call this condescension? Do you call this a humiliation? There are no other means of true exaltation. There is no provision made for man only through Jesus Christ whereby he may be exalted. You may talk of the honors of this world. But look at Moses. He refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Here he had the privilege of living in kings’ houses. He was a mighty warrior, and went forth with the armies of the Egyptians to battle; and when they returned from their successful conquest, they everywhere sung of His praise and His victories. The highest honors of the world were within his grasp; but he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy these honors and the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of reward. He could look right through the cloud of affliction, persecution, and trials, and see the ransomed people of God, by faith, crowned with glory, honor, and everlasting life. He chose in this present life to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. He esteemed the riches of the coming kingdom of glory greater than the riches of Egypt.

In like manner we have fixed our minds upon the exceeding great and precious reward; and, in order to obtain it, we must have a perfect character. The angels of God are watching the development of character. Angels of God are weighing moral worth; and we are to obtain a fitness here to join the society of sinless angels. Do you expect that when Christ comes he will give you that fitness? Not at all. You must be found of him without spot, without blemish, or wrinkle, or anything like it. Now is the watching and trying time. Now it is the time to obtain a preparation to abide the day of his coming, and to stand when he appeareth. Do you say that you cannot do it because around you are so much sin and iniquity and corruption? I refer you to Enoch. He lived just previous to the world's being washed from its moral pollution, by a flood. He was on the earth at the time when corruption was teeming on every hand; and yet he bore the impress of the divine. He walked with God three hundred years; and he was not, for God took him, that is, translated him to Heaven. The flaming chariots of God were sent for this holy man, and he was borne to Heaven. Enoch had the witness that he pleased God. And this witness we can have.

Enoch represents those who shall remain upon the earth and be translated to Heaven without seeing death. He represents that company that are to live amid the perils of the last days, and withstand all the corruption, vileness, sin, and iniquity, and yet be unsullied by it all. We can stand as did Enoch. There has been provision made for us. Help has been laid upon One that is mighty; and we all can take hold upon his mighty strength. Angels of God, that excel in strength, are sent to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. These angels, when they see that we are doing the very utmost on our part to be overcomers, will do their part, and their light will shine around about us, and sway back the influence of the evil angels that are around us, and will make a fortification around us as a wall of fire. Ample provisions have been made for us when we are burdened, and weary, and cast down, and in distress.

Help has been laid upon One who is mighty. The great burden-bearer, who took our nature that he might understand how to sympathize with our frailty, and with our temptations, knows how to succor those that are tempted. And does he say, Carry your burdens yourself? No; but, Come unto me ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. But you say, It is this yoke that I have dreaded to wear, and this burden I have endeavored to shun. But Christ says the yoke he has prepared for you to wear is easy if you submit your neck to it, and the burden is light if you cheerfully and resolutely lift it. “Come unto me,” says Christ, “and I will give you rest.” How much lighter than the burden of sin and iniquity that you take along. How much lighter than the conscience which is constantly stinging and reproaching you. A violated conscience is hard to be endured. How much easier is the yoke of Christ than all this!

The trouble is, the meekness is lacking; the lowliness is not there. We are not willing to come right down to the simplicity of the gospel. We want honor one of another. We are not willing to suffer affliction with the people of God, as was Moses. We are not willing to have our names cast out as evil. And although all Heaven is inviting us to break away from the influence of earth, and fix our eye upon things of immortal worth, yet we keep them fixed upon the bubbles of earth. We are unwilling to have our affections elevated. We are like a prostrate vine, its tendrils clinging to worthless stubble. Let your tendrils entwine around the throne of God. You are unwilling that the soul should be uplifted to God. You allow your mind to be diverted with the things right around you here; and while you are doing this, the heavenly glory is eclipsed, it is lost sight of.

The Majesty of Heaven is standing before the Father, pleading, My blood, my blood; spare the sinner a little longer for my sake. What are you doing for him while he is pleading? Seeking your pleasure, following in the ways of folly, corruption, sin, and iniquity; and yet he is pleading his blood before the throne of his Father! Oh! can you not be entreated to come? We entreat you to come. Come now, just as you are. Come, turn and live. Come to the Burden-bearer.

Mothers, who have so many burdens to bear, you see your children going astray, and you feel your lack of wisdom and strength to lead them the right way. Jesus says to you, “Come.” Sisters, who have your burdens to bear, of care and perplexity, so much so that you often feel that life is a burden, let me say to you, The Burden-bearer, the Majesty of Heaven, has invited you to come unto Him. Come, He says, unto me, and lay your burdens upon me.

Will you come? You may tell your sorrows to one another; but the case of others might not be like yours, so they could not appreciate your burden of sorrow should you tell them of it. And then you hug it again to your heart, and your dry and tearless eye does not discover your burden to those around you. But you open the Bible, and there you read, Come unto me, ye that are heavy laden, and ye shall find rest to your souls; and you say, Oh! here is the promise such as I need. And again you read, We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and you say, Here I come to thee, Father, with my burden of anxiety, and will lay it at thy feet. You come to God in prayer, and you say, Here Lord, my anguish is so great I cannot form my prayer into words, but, Lord, thou understandest it all, and I lay my burden upon thee, the Burden-bearer. I will lay it on thee, and thou hast promised to take it. Take my burden of cares, I cannot carry it any longer; now, Lord, bear it for me. Now since you have thus carried your burden to the Lord, leave it there; do not take it away with you. Many come to the Lord in this way, and they never really lay their burden upon him; for they gather it all up again, and carry it away with them. You are not to do this. Leave your burden there, leave it with the Burden-bearer, he has promised to take it. Then come away and say, I will not gather my burden up again, but when I have left it with Jesus, I will not begin to worry about it again. And then let the anguish of your soul be exchanged for rejoicing in the Lord. You are not to go with your heads bowed down in darkness, and crying, Oh, my troubles and perplexities! No; there is something better for you to dwell upon. It is the immortal treasure, the exceeding great reward; it is to talk of the matchless charms of the loving Saviour, and his undying love for sinners. Think of this, and you will not consider that you have had any trials worth speaking of. Go to Calvary, and behold the agony of the Son of God upon the cross, and your little trials will sink into insignificance.

May the Lord help you. I will detain you no longer, but would say, We invite you to come to Christ. We invite you to lay your burden upon the Burden-bearer. We want you to get your eye fixed upon the immortal charms of the heavenly land, and when your eye is fastened upon these, you will be willing to make any sacrifice, and count all things else but loss. You can then say with Paul, God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Bear cheerfully the cross of Christ, instead of shunning every cross you can. Try to imitate His life of self-denial and sacrifice, and do good to others that are around you, that at last you may be partakers of His glory, and have a crown placed upon your brow; and you will cast your crowns at His feet, and bow in adoration before Him, and fill Heaven with rich music and songs to the Lamb.

Do not talk to me of the honors and treasures of this life. I have my eye fixed upon the eternal substance, the immortal inheritance. I must see the King in His beauty. I love my Lord and Saviour, and it is my life to honor and glorify Him upon the earth. Take His smiles away, and everything is dark and gloomy to me. But let me have His smiles, and everything would be a Heaven to me. The darkest place on earth would be a paradise. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men!” Sinners, we long for you to be saved and join the songs of victory in the kingdom of glory. We love you. Think you, if we did not, we should be entreating and begging you to come to Christ and be saved in God's appointed way? We hope to meet you in the Judgment with your names recorded in the Lamb's book of life, there to remain as long as God shall exist, and enjoy the blessings of everlasting life throughout eternal ages.

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