Ellen G. White Writings

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From the Heart, Page 358

What Is Lawful on the Sabbath? December 12

Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that He entered the synagogue and taught. And a man was there whose right hand was withered. Luke 6:6.

“The scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?” ... Here Christ settled the question He had asked. He pronounced it right to perform a work of mercy and necessity. “It is lawful,” He said, “to do well on the sabbath days.” ...

It had often been stated by the teachers of the people, and indeed was one of their maxims, that for them not to do good when they had opportunity was to do evil—that to refrain from saving life when it was in their power to do so was to make themselves guilty of murder.... They were following upon His track to find occasion for falsely accusing Him; they were hunting His life with bitter hatred and malice, while He was saving life and bringing happiness to many hearts. Was it better to slay on the Sabbath, as they were planning to do, than to heal the afflicted, as He had done? Was it more righteous to have murder in the heart upon God's holy day, than to have that love toward all people which finds expression in deeds of charity and mercy? ...

The rulers communed one with another how they should rid themselves of this bold advocate of righteousness, whose words and works were drawing the people away from the teachers of Israel. Notwithstanding their counterinfluence, “the world,” they declared, “is gone after him.” But they thought that might and numbers would bring things as they wished; and they took counsel together how they might destroy Him.

We see this enacted today. Those who are themselves transgressing the law of God, making the commandments of God of none effect through their tradition, follow with reproach and accusations the servants whom God sends with a message to correct their evils. They determine to remove them, to still their voice forever, rather than forsake the sins that have called forth the rebuke of God.—The Review and Herald, August 10, 1897.

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