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March 31, 1902
“His Life’s Crisis.—No. 3” The Bible Echo, 17, 14 p. 107.
But the battle was only begun. Next Sunday when, as usual, Harry went to church, he met the curious glances of the members with some uneasiness, though some treated him as formerly. At the close of the evening service the minister invited Harry to come to his house to study over the Sabbath question. He came, and the minister dosed him with Canright. But the worst result that followed was an attack of physical and mental indigestion.BEST March 31, 1902, page 107.1
It was a tougher fight at home. He received letters from his father and mother expressing regret at the step he had taken. After a few weeks came the usual summer vacation, and he went home. No harsh words were used; no upbraiding. It was just the expression of regret of a father and mother that their son should turn his back upon his prospects and his church. There were no Scriptural arguments used, but his parents’ sorrow touched his heart and shook his allegiance to what he believed to be God’s command.BEST March 31, 1902, page 107.2
Then his eldest brother presented an argument drawn from one of Dr. Cumming’s works, to prove that one day was just as good as another. It was this: Adam was created on Friday, the sixth day of the creation week. This would be Adam’s first day; and, therefore, Adam’s seventh day, or Sabbath, would be the fifth day of creation’s week. Harry did not remember that it was not Adam’s work and rest that measured off the week and sanctified the Sabbath, but that it was God’s. He did not know that the word “sanctify” carries with it the idea of a proclamation. (This he learned since by reference to man scriptures where the word is used in the original; e.g., ; ; ; ; .) And as a proclamation was made, it must have been made to the only people concerned, Adam and Eve. And he did not know that when God blesses a thing, no man, nor any number of men, can do anything to change that blessing. And, therefore, every seventh day of time, reckoned from the standpoint of the week marked off by the Creator’s work and rest, is blessed and sanctified, no matter what Adam may have done, or what men have done during six thousand years of rebellion against God.BEST March 31, 1902, page 107.3
Harry did not know these facts; but he did know that his parents loved him, and he loved them; he did know that they grieved over his threatened leaving of their church; he did know that it was painful to be at variance with his family, and cut off from his ambitions. And as he did not know that he loved God less than he loved is parents, he yielded.BEST March 31, 1902, page 107.4
Soon the church opened her arms to him; soon he was preaching over a very wide district where his work was always appreciated. Soon the church began to look to him as a young man who was developing into a good minister, when the current of his life, which seemed moving with certainty in that direction, was again changed. He was on a visit to a friend who was working in the same church when he picked up Mrs. E. G. White’s work entitled, “The Great Controversy.” He soon struck the controversy on the Sabbath. With terrible clearness the issue was again brought before him: The Sabbath of the Lord; or the sabbath of the enemy. Again the structure that ambition had raised tumbled about his ears. And the Lord led him on and disciplined him sometimes in prosperity, but often in adversity, till he was able to turn his back on selfish ambition forever. Then he was prepared to use all the energy that God had given him in any way that God would direct. He found the way often rough and thorny, and met with little ease, little applause, little temporal prosperity. But God had taught him to be content, to live for the good of others, and to look for his highest personal good in the companionship of Jesus now and eternally.BEST March 31, 1902, page 107.5
“The Contest with Baal.—No. I” The Bible Echo, 17, 14 p. 109.
God was with Israel. There could be no doubt about it. Had they not drunk water that nightly flowed from the hot, dry, desert rock? Had they not seen their enemies smitten down before them by a power that was infinitely superior to their own? Had they not seen the fortifications of “the city of palm trees” fall in one mighty crash when in obedience to the Divine direction they shouted? The history of the nation from the time when their great ancestor was separated from his people was marked by unquestionable signs of the presence of God.BEST March 31, 1902, page 109.1
The people believed that they were faithful to the Lord. In very few instances could there be a sudden, determined resolve to rebel against Him. When the influence of Joshua, which had guided the nation in the path marked out by God through years of warfare and conquest, was about to be removed by his death, he warned the people against the idolatry of the nations around them. The people would not allow that it was even possible that they should ever be unfaithful to Jehovah. In earnest, firm, sincere tones there rose from the heads of that vast assemblage the answer to Joshua’s warning: “God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods.” And they recounted the wonderful acts of mercy that their God had performed, how they had been preserved in the desert, and how their enemies had been driven out before them. They concluded with the solemn declaration, “Therefore will we also serve the Lord; for He is our God;” and they meant it. They knew that Jehovah was the only God; they loved Him for what He had done for them; they feared at the thought of His power, and they really intended to serve Him.BEST March 31, 1902, page 109.2
The service to which they there pledged themselves was the exercise of the highest manhood. It involved denial of indulgence in unnatural pleasures, and they must sternly set their faces against those excesses in which the majority of mankind have indulged or desired to indulge since the introduction of sin into this world. But in place of that which is coarse God gave them pleasures that satisfied, joys that knew no bitterness, mirth that had nothing of folly and sin, gladness, happiness, all connected with the service of God. They had sinned; but in the sacrifice of the sanctuary they beheld a picture of One who would die for their sins, and in the blood of the innocent victims whose death was caused by their sin they saw the promise of the final extermination of the pain and death that sin has caused.BEST March 31, 1902, page 109.3
But this pure religion, carried by Israel with irresistible power into the midst of nations of idolaters, was confronted by a system whose adherents covered the world, whose temples were thronged by millions of worshippers beside whom the thousands that answered the trumpet-call of God’s anointed priest would scarcely be seen. The great feature of Israel’s religion was love; in place of this, idolatry offered lust. Israel’s God called for self-denial; Baal offered indulgence. The one system set forth purity as virtue; the other proclaimed virtue to consist in the most abandoned sensuality.BEST March 31, 1902, page 109.4
When men ceased to give glory to God they “became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Ceasing to worship God they found in their own hearts a god to worship. It was not a matter of choice, it was the operation of inexorable law upon fallen human nature. The lust that was dearest to the corrupt heart made itself appear as the originator of all things. It seemed to them that the sun was the mightiest representative of procreative power, and to him, under the name of Baal, they rendered homage. But whether as Baal among the Canaanites and Zidonians, or as Apis among the Greeks, what received their homage was not the sun, nor an animal, nor a statue, but the strongest passion of their corrupt hearts.—lust.BEST March 31, 1902, page 109.5
“Greed and Hatred” The Bible Echo, 17, 14 pp. 110, 111.
The world presents a spectacle of everything that should not be. The spirit of covetousness rules the nations. Every nation looks with jealous eye at the trade and the success of every other nation. And every individual (Christ’s people excepted) of every nation, is looking with jealous eye at the success of every other individual. The only bond of union is the desire to get the help of others against a common foe. And so the world is divided into nations which are joined together only by national hatred. The settled policy of one these nations is told in the following statements of an eminent writer in a German magazine:—BEST March 31, 1902, page 110.1
Everybody is for the Boers; everybody feels that the next great fateful trial amongst the peoples will be fought at sea, and that Germany will be armed for that.... We have no choice but by observing strict neutrality to abandon the Boers to themselves and their bravery.... We do no wrong to the Boeers thereby. On the contrary it will be to their future advantage. For even if they should now succumb, they are by no means dead and done with for all that. The Dutch element in South Africa will long retain its vital force, and will play a part in future world struggles which may yet bring it to the front. It is Germany’s turn to-day to make profit out of the martial bravery of the Boers, and the day will come when a powerful Germany, mighty on the sea, will stand by the Afrikanders.BEST March 31, 1902, page 110.2
There is one principle recognised in this; and that principle is not sympathy, not a desire to help the weaker against the stronger, but—selfishness. And that principle dominates the German press and makes it publish fabulous stories of Britain’s cruelty in the Boer war. It aims to educate the German people into an intense hatred of Britain, so that the energies of the whole nation may be turned to the development of a fleet that will rival the fleet of Britain, injure her trade, and thus leave the world’s trade in the hands of Germany to the satisfying of her greed.BEST March 31, 1902, page 110.3
We are not holding up Germany as the paragon of covetousness among the nations. Every nation is animated by this principle. Almost every individual in every nation is ruled by the power of selfishness. And that power is never conquered till it submits to Jesus Christ. There is no obstruction that will stop it from carrying out its plans, if it can be removed by diplomacy, deception, and even murder. The mind cannot realise what may take place when this universal national race hatred reaches white heat. And it is daily growing hotter all over the earth.BEST March 31, 1902, page 110.4
A minister in his Sunday morning sermon recently, after reviewing the condition of things among the nations expressed himself as being glad to be able to say that he was an Englishman. He felt safe when he thought of England’s ironclads and big guns and highly trained sailors. But what one nation has done, another may do. Germany’s desire is for a powerful fleet with which to contend with Britain. What may result from the next great sea fight is a matter of painful uncertainty to every nation.BEST March 31, 1902, page 110.5
But while every power on earth may, and will go down, and every one that shelters himself behind their armies and navies will be destroyed, there is a shelter that is eternal. It may not at all times give the protection that we wish, but it gives the protection that is best when judged not by the standpoint of time only but of eternity also. “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress.” And when the clash of contending armies, and the roar of contending navies are heard all over the earth, then the man whose trust is in the Most High will pass the night of danger and wrath and destruction “under the shadow of the Almighty.”BEST March 31, 1902, page 110.6