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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)

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    Ms 75, 1886

    Visit to Paris, France, and the Louvre


    October 1886

    Portions of this manuscript are published in HP 40, 44; CTr 292.

    Visit to Paris and Versailles, France; Pomp of Earthly Kings Contrasted With Sacrifice of Jesus4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 1

    In Paris we visited the buildings which were formerly the palaces of kings when France was under kingly rule. Here was their home. The buildings cover acres of ground and are arranged in a hollow square after this order. These extensive buildings and grounds are now government property and are used as art galleries and for storing ancient curiosities. We passed through and viewed Napoleon’s first bedchamber, his rooms for councils, and his dining rooms. Crowned heads had here sent forth their mandates. These rooms have been occupied by successive kings, prior to Napoleon.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 2

    We were not much enchanted with the taste of the artists in representing Bible scenes in the life of Christ. We thought how true it is that spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Sensual and earthly-minded men may be skilled in their science of art, but how utterly unable they are to approach the divine Model. Not in one case was Christ represented anything near as He might have been portrayed. They utterly fail to reach anything like the real being, Jesus, as when in this world, when His divinity was clothed with humanity.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 3

    It was painful to look upon these representations of the Majesty of heaven, the divine Son of God. It was a disgusting botchwork. My spirit groaned within me. But these pictures bore on the face of them the fact that the artist was not a partaker of the divine nature; the impossibility seemed to be revealed of the workman divesting himself of the earthly mold of mind and being able even to approach to the elevated, noble, heavenly conceptions to represent Christ in anything but a commonplace, cheap, earthly style. I turned away with disgust.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 4

    I felt stifled in those grand, historic halls and begged of Willie to take me down the stone stairs where I could get into the garden and look upon the works of the Great Master Artist in nature. I think I never enjoyed so much looking upon the shrubs, the lofty trees, the flowers in their simple, beautiful adornment, as on this occasion. I never appreciated more deeply than on this occasion the words of Christ addressed to His disciples—“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Matthew 6:28, 29. The divine Artist had tinted and colored these flowers of natural loveliness with His divine hand. No skill of human artist can reach this perfection. It is beauty that speaks loveliness, that has vitality and life, and speaks to the senses in language that need not be misunderstood.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 5

    But again I mounted the granite steps and commenced to range through the long galleries of art. And those are the scenes, thought I, that charm and fascinate the senses of men and women in this age. Pictures were displayed that the eyes of children and youth and no human eye should rest upon; they were earthly, sensual, devilish, traced by pencil and brush of a hand with a corrupt soul; and yet ladies, artists, were transferring some of these very objectionable pictures to canvas.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 6

    I thought, How little would men and women of such taste as was revealed in these pictures enjoy the pure, holy scenes of heaven! The purity of everything the eye would rest upon would be painful. Their imaginations would not be met. The mind and faculties that God had created for high, elevated, holy employment had been debased to low, sensual things, the imagery of which was worked out by pencil and brush. Here were the thoughts, the ideals, the projects of the brain which revealed the cast of mind and the characters of the workers. They cannot approach to the representations of heavenly things or of divine characters. Their imagination seems palsied in this direction.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 7

    My thoughts were first upon the kings who had once traversed these grand halls and figured in these galleries. Where is their human greatness now? “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” [Genesis 3:19.] How many decisions were made in these council rooms that blasted human expectations and deprived those of lofty rank of their earthly honors and of life itself! How much strife for the supremacy has been revealed in these grand halls and chambers! How much lofty grandeur has been here displayed in crowned monarchs of earth!4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 8

    We have read of those who with earthly honors bestowed upon them have not lost their noble impulses and sympathy for humanity, men whose hearts have been touched with the infirmities of age and with the sorrows of the afflicted. But a different picture is presented to our imagination, a picture of human tyranny, of power used to oppress and grieve and create human misery.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 9

    Then we remember Jesus, who came to our world with His blessed purposes of love, divesting Himself of His royal robe, His royal crown, stepping down from the royal throne, clothing His divinity with humanity, and coming to our world to be a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. We see Him among the poor, blessing the afflicted, healing the sick, soothing the infirmities of age, reaching with His divine pity the very depths of human woe and misery. He even noticed the sorrows and needs of little children. He blessed the mothers who felt their burden of care for their offspring.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 10

    Angels have been sent as messengers of mercy to the distressed, to the suffering. These angels from the world of light, from the infinite glory of God before the throne, are on missions of love, of care, of mercy for the suffering ones of humanity. But there is a picture of greater condescension than this: the Lord, the Son of the Infinite Father, He who styles Himself as the Faithful Witness, the First-begotten of the dead, the Prince of the kings of the earth, Him that loved us, Him that washed us from our sins in His own blood. He says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, ... which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” [Revelation 1:8.]4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 11

    What is the work of angels in comparison with His condescension? His throne is from everlasting. He has reared every arch and pillar in nature’s great temple. Behold Him, the beginning of the creation of God, who numbers the stars, who created the worlds—among which this earth is but a small speck, and would scarcely be missed from the many worlds more than a tiny leaf from the forest trees. The nations before Him are but “as a drop of a bucket,” and “as the small dust of the balance.” “He taketh up the isles as a very little thing.” [Isaiah 40:15.] Contemplate Him, the Lord, the all-glorious Redeemer, an inhabitant of the world He has created, and yet unacknowledged by the very ones He manifested so great interest to bless and save, that He might make them happy in this life and eternally happy in His kingdom.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 12

    What condescension to the fallen men of earth! What wondrous love! And yet this heavenly Messenger is repulsed. Hear, O heavens, and be astonished, O earth! This royal Messenger, showing such interest, such sympathy, such amazing condescension, is unwelcome. He is repulsed by indifference, repulsed by unkindness, by neglect. His patience might long ago have been exhausted, His pleadings silenced, and His warnings and entreaties stilled; but listen to His words: “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding.” Isaiah 40:28. “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Malachi 3:6.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 13

    The obdurate hearts of men, like adamant, have resisted His entreaties and warnings. The pleading of Christ with sinners to come to Him for refuge still continues. What patience! What inexhaustible love! The Lord speaks through His prophets, “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord shall come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him: behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:9-11.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 14

    Thus is the work of Christ in our world represented, and the blindness of the impenitent is because Satan has the controlling power over them, and they choose his service before the service of Prince Immanuel. Isaiah represents that the world would not receive and acknowledge their Redeemer. “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:1-5.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 15

    Well might all heaven be astonished at the reception their loved Commander received in the world! That a nation claiming to believe prophecy should deny Him, that they should go forward in face of warnings and predictions, close their eyes to light and fulfil the prophecies’ every specification and yet be so blind, so deluded by the enemy of souls that they claimed to be doing God service! And how amazing that a world should reject Him, as did one nation! The Son of God humbled Himself to save the fallen race, and they refused His mercy. The Lord speaks through His prophets, foretelling future events. Let us hear what He has to say in regard to this royal, heaven-sent Messenger.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 16

    The question is put by the Lord in the words of the prophet to call attention to the fact of the greatness and majesty of the royal Messenger: “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counselor hath taught Him? With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and showed to Him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing.”4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 17

    “To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth.” Isaiah 40:12-15, 25, 26.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 18

    This description is given of the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world. He made the world, and yet the world knew Him not. Friends denied Him, forsook Him, and betrayed Him. He was assailed by temptation. Human agony convulsed His divine soul. He was lacerated with cruel scourgings. His hands were pierced with nails, His holy temples were crowned with thorns. He was indeed bruised by Satan, who nerved his agents to do most cruel things. He endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself. It was the working of Satan’s machinations that made the life of Christ one dark series of afflictions and sadness; and at last he compassed Christ’s death, in which act he demolished his own throne.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 19

    In the act of dying, Christ was destroying him who had the power of death. He carried out the plan, finished the work which from Adam’s fall He had covenanted to undertake. By dying for the guilt of a sinful world, He reinstated fallen man on condition of obedience to God’s commandments, in the position from which he had fallen in consequence of disobedience. And when He broke the fetters of the tomb and rose triumphant from the dead, He answered the question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” Job 14:14. Christ made it possible that every child of Adam might, through a life of obedience, overcome sin and rise also from the grave to his heritage of immortality purchased by the blood of Christ.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 20

    Our salvation was wrought out by infinite suffering to the Son of God. His divine bosom received the anguish, the agony, the pain that the sinfulness of Adam brought upon the race. The heel of Christ was indeed bruised when His humanity suffered, and grief heavier than that which ever oppressed the beings He had created weighed down His soul as He was engaged in paying the vast debt which man owed to God, which man could never pay to redeem himself from bondage. On Him was laid the transgression and grief of us all.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 21

    All the griefs of humanity which disquieted His soul were in consequence of the sins of men in transgressing the holy law of Jehovah, and that law exacted its fullest claims of man’s Substitute and Surety. The battle was fought here on this earth, and blow after blow was dealt against the tyranny of Satan and his oppressive power. Satan bruised the heel of Christ, which reacted, in the work of redemption, in bruising the head of Satan. Satan afflicted the heel; he could not touch the head. Had he succeeded in his deception and snares in corrupting the soul with one evil thought or action, then the head of Christ would have been bruised. While he could bruise with agony, he could not defile with impurity.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 22

    Can men and women for whom Christ died have any just sense of the sufferings of God’s dear Son to bring salvation within their reach, that the sons and daughters of Adam might be brought back again to their Eden home? From the first, Satan was seeking to seduce men to be disloyal like himself, to be his companions in rebellion, that a kingdom might be established in opposition to Christ’s kingdom, with laws of government in defiant opposition to God’s laws of government. Thus he would carry out to the fullest the rebellion he commenced in heaven. If the Son of God had not pitied man and undertaken the work of redemption, Satan would have had the whole human family on his side, at war with God and the law of His kingdom which governs human intelligences.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 23

    But help was laid upon One that was mighty; a stronger than Satan interposed, and Christ came to the help of the human family, measuring weapons with the prince of darkness. In this world was the battle carried on between these two great generals of armies. Christ overcame Satan in the wilderness of temptation, but at what a cost! For forty days and forty nights, without food or drink, He battled the wily foe and overcame him. The conflict was so severe that He was fainting and apparently dying on the field of battle, when angels from the world of light came to the royal Sufferer and ministered unto Him and strengthened Him with food.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 24

    In the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, Jesus’ soul was bruised. He carried the guilt of the world. He bore the hiding of His Father’s face. The Son of God endured the wrath of God and the punishment for the transgression of the law of God, but not to give to man liberty ever after to continue in transgression of God’s law. This might just as well have been done without all this suffering, if it were a possible thing to do, but the law of God was changeless in its character; not one jot or one tittle would fail. Therefore man must cease to transgress the holy law of Jehovah and come under the loyal banner of Jesus Christ, who declared He had kept all His Father’s commandments. [John 15:10.]4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 25

    The work of Christ was to make it possible for man to obey God’s law, and his efforts be acceptable, through the pure, sinless, perfect character of Christ’s being made an offering for the guilty race, and thus Christ’s righteousness being imputed to sinful man. Man was not to be saved in his sins, but from his sins. Christ was wounded and bruised, and He agonized in the terrible conflict, but He was triumphant. His triumph was complete, making it possible for man to be conqueror in his own behalf, on his own account, through the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 26

    Jesus ascended on high from the field of conflict, bearing in His own person His bruises and scars as trophies of His victory, which was to result in annihilating the power of the first rebel, who was a chieftain in glory, an exalted angel in heaven. There was rejoicing in heaven, and the proclamation was carried to all worlds that the ruined race was redeemed. The gates of heaven were thrown open to the repentant race who would cease their rebellion and return to their allegiance to the law of God.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 27

    The Lord ascended on high from the scene of conflict, but the great Head of the church left His work with His delegated servants to carry forward in His name. They were to be His representatives—not to break the law of Jehovah and do the devil’s work, but to keep the law of God and do Christ’s work in the earth, to bring back to repentance and obedience the children of Adam who had divorced themselves from God by transgression. Christ’s followers are not left to carry on this conflict against Satan in their own finite strength; the Captain of our salvation stands at the head, unseen by human vision. The eye of faith discerns their Captain and obeys His orders.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 28

    Our weapons are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of the strongholds of the enemy. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12. This is the work of Christ’s followers. From the very first, as is seen in the case of Cain and Abel, there are two distinct classes, and the righteous have been objects of the combined assault of evil fellows and evil angels.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 29

    The enmity against righteousness and truth has been strikingly developed. On the one hand it has been the work of the righteous to follow the example of Jesus Christ, to vindicate the honor of God and arrest the workings of wickedness; on the other hand it has been the work of Satan and his agents to bring in evil and increase rebellion, to transgress God’s law themselves and teach others that it was a virtue to discard and trample down God’s great moral standard of righteousness.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 30

    Satan and his agents have at times seemed to have wonderful success in sweeping from the earth the representatives of Jesus Christ. The promise has been that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church, and they have not. The promise has at times seemed to be ready to fail, as a measure of success has attended the workings of Satan. The fiercest persecutions have seemed to make Christianity at times almost extinct. But the seeds of truth have sprung up, watered, as it seemed, by the blood of martyrs; and notwithstanding the sowing of error and of all kinds of heresies to bury up the truth out of sight, yet the truth lived and again sprang up afresh to bear its harvest.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 31

    The sword and fagots in the hands of Satan’s agents made terrible vacancies as thousands were slain, yet thousands of others sprang up to fill the breach. Although the tares of error have had a rank growth, yet there have been witnesses for God upon the earth, staunch advocates of truth, to keep alive faith on the earth. Thus the work has moved forward, and now as the end of all things is at hand, those who are representatives of Christ must carry forward the work He came to our world to do.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 32

    There is no ease, no resting from our labors; we must be constantly watching, constantly fighting the battles of the Lord. The offense of the cross has not ceased. Satan may profess to be converted, but he is all the more dangerous for being clothed in angel’s robes, and we are constantly in danger of overlooking the great fact that his deceptive workings will be more deep and earnest and determined as he sees and knows that he has but a short time to work.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 33

    The form of Satan’s working will be changed as the circumstances change. He adjusts himself readily to circumstances, but his hatred of truth and righteousness will be peculiarly manifested near the close of time. Religion is obedience to God’s law, and Satan will so deceive minds that have not been open to receive the truth that truth will be regarded as error, righteousness as sin. Parents will be enraged against their children and disown them. Fathers and guardians will change their wills and pervert their trusts to their children because they conscientiously keep the commandments of God; this will be a matter of actual experience. “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 34

    To live as obedient children is to have enmity put between those who serve Prince Immanuel and those who serve the prince of this world. Christ said in His day, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.” Matthew 6:24. In this age, as we near the close of time, it will be seen and become a reality that no man can serve God in verity and truth, having an active piety, without uniting against himself evil angels and evil men controlled by evil angels.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 35

    Satan and his angels are not asleep and have not been converted. They are alarmed that their prey is escaping from their grasp. The evil works of the children of men are rebuked by the obedience of the children of God to all God’s commandments. The law of God Satan hated, the law of God he transgressed, and for this he lost heaven. And to see the sons and daughters of Adam walking in the way of God’s commandments, adopted through faith into God’s family, and made more than conquerors through obedience to all God’s requirements, is sufficient to stir up the worst opposition of Satan. He will set every power of his to work to delude, to allure them from the narrow path of holiness into the broad paths of sin and transgression.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 36

    The conflict will continue as long as life lasts; and if one is at ease and undisturbed, be assured that Satan has ensnared him, for the conflict will be long, continuous, and painful, and he will experience many painful defeats. He will be surprised into sin if off his guard for a moment. But as sure as Jesus lives to make intercession for us, through His name we may overcome the enemy and persevere to the end.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 37

    We cannot overcome in an idle dependence, saying, Christ has done it all; we need not keep the law of God; it was done away at Christ’s death. O fatal delusion, suggestion of Satan similar to his temptations of Adam and Eve in Eden! There is no such thing as being saved in transgression of God’s law, when the light has come to us, showing us that transgression of God’s law is sin.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 38

    The world’s Redeemer did not die to give men the privilege of trampling under their feet one of Jehovah’s laws. He did not suffer the agonies of the cross to give Satan all he claimed, the right to disobey God’s commandments, the right of man to depend on what Christ has done for him and do nothing himself. Man must show himself a warrior against wrong, against sin, and fight manfully the battles of the Lord. It requires earnest effort, unceasing watchfulness, and earnest prayer in order to prevail against Satan and bring honor to Jesus Christ. There is work for every soul. If the believer comes off victorious, he must fight, inch by inch, his ground to freedom and his possession of heaven.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 39

    The repentance of even one sinner sends joy all through heaven; there is rejoicing among the hosts of heaven, and anthems of praise echo and re-echo through the heavenly courts. The same event causes consternation and rage through the legions of Satan’s army. Nothing so humiliates Satan as to lose one soul whom he has counted as his own. To have that soul flee to Christ for refuge, and lay hold of His righteousness, causes Satan humiliation, and then he doubles his efforts to regain the mastery over those who are standing under the banner of Jesus Christ.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 40

    God has singled us out in this world corrupted by sin, and shall we who are made objects of such marvelous love and inexpressible mercy refuse this great salvation and voluntarily choose the side of the transgressor? Shall we choose as our portion the fate of those who break the law of God and teach others to break it? or shall we put enmity between us and the serpent? If you are not at enmity with sin and with Satan, his control is over you; you are his subject, building up his kingdom in rebellion against God and the laws of His government.4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 41

    You will have trials if you follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ; but if you follow on to know the Lord, you will, like Jesus, be an overcomer and sit with Him upon His throne. The heavenly benediction will be given to you, “Blessed are they that do His commandments,” for they shall have right to the tree of life, and “enter in through the gates into the city.” [Revelation 22:14.]4LtMs, Ms 75, 1886, par. 42

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