I saw that angels of mercy were hovering over this family, although prospects looked so dark and foreboding. Those who have had bowels of compassion for Brother S will never have cause to regret it, for he is a child of God, beloved of Him. The depressed state of the church has been very detrimental to his health. I saw him looking on the dark side, distrustful of himself, and looking down into the grave. He must not dwell on these things, but look to Jesus, a pattern that is unerring. He must encourage cheerfulness and courage in the Lord--talk faith, talk hope; rest in God, and not feel that a severe, taxing effort is required on his part. All that God requires is simple trust--to drop into His arms with all his weakness, and brokenness, and imperfection, and Jesus will help the helpless, and strengthen and build up those who feel that they are very weakness itself. God will be glorified in his affliction, through the patience, faith, and submission exemplified by him. Oh! this will prove the power of the truth we profess; it is consolation when we need it; it is support when every prop of an earthly nature, which has been a measurable support, is removed. 2T 98
The effect on the people was most happy. Believers and unbelievers bore testimony that the Lord had blessed them in the word spoken and that from this time they would not look on the dark side and dwell upon the great power of Satan, but talk of the goodness and the love and compassion of Jesus, and praise God more. . . (see 1888 68) 3BIO 393
I was shown the state of the world, that it is fast filling up its cup of iniquity. Violence and crime of every description are filling our world, and Satan is using every means to make crime and debasing vice popular. The youth who walk the streets are surrounded with handbills and notices of crime and sin, presented in some novel or to be acted at some theatre. Their minds are educated into familiarity with sin. The course pursued by the base and vile is kept before them in the periodicals of the day, and everything which can excite curiosity and arouse the animal passions is brought before them in thrilling and exciting stories. 3T 471
Ancient Israel were especially directed by God to be and remain a people separate from all nations. They were not to be subjected to witnessing the idolatry of those about them, lest their own hearts should be corrupted, lest familiarity with ungodly practices should make them appear less wicked in their eyes. Few realise their own weakness and that the natural sinfulness of the human heart too often paralyses their noblest endeavours. 4T 109
I was shown that while at Dansville you both learned much, but Heaven designed to accomplish a still greater work for you both if you would walk in the way that God could work for you. Dr. Lay saw errors in the chief physician at Dansville in regard to the course he pursued toward Mrs. Jackson, which he would never be influenced to imitate. He abhors all such fondness and familiarity as this man exhibited towards females. Yet I was shown that God would not have him remain a much longer time at Dansville, for he would be in danger of receiving some things or viewing some things in the same light or much in the same light as Dr. Jackson viewed them, which would hinder his influence in the position God would have him fill.--Letter 6, 1867. (To Brother and Sister Lay, May 6, 1867.) 5MR 388
Brethren and sisters, it is by beholding that we become changed. By dwelling upon the love of God and our Saviour, by contemplating the perfection of the divine character and claiming the righteousness of Christ as ours by faith, we are to be transformed into the same image. 5T 744
Through the merits of Christ, through His righteousness, which by faith is imputed unto us, we are to attain to the perfection of Christian character. Our daily and hourly work is set forth in the words of the apostle: "Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith." While doing this our minds become clearer and our faith stronger, and our hope is confirmed; we are so engrossed with the view of His purity and loveliness, and the sacrifice He has made to bring us into agreement with God, that we have no disposition to speak of doubts and discouragements.
The manifestation of God's love, His mercy and His goodness, and the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart to enlighten and renew it, place us, through faith, in so close connection with Christ that, having a clear conception of His character, we are able to discern the masterly deceptions of Satan. Looking unto Jesus and trusting in His merits we appropriate the blessings of light, of peace, of joy in the Holy Ghost. And in view of the great things which Christ has done for us, we are ready to exclaim: "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God."
Brethren and sisters, it is by beholding that we become changed. By dwelling upon the love of God and our Saviour, by contemplating the perfection of the divine character and claiming the righteousness of Christ as ours by faith, we are to be transformed into the same image. Then let us not gather together all the unpleasant pictures--the iniquities and corruptions and disappointments, the evidences of Satan's power--to hang in the halls of our memory, to talk over and mourn over until our souls are filled with discouragement. A discouraged soul is a body of darkness, not only failing himself to receive the light of God, but shutting it away from others. Satan loves to see the effect of the pictures of his triumphs, making human beings faithless and disheartened. 5T 744F
The seraphim dwelt in the presence of Jesus, yet they veiled with their wings their faces and their feet. They looked upon the King in His beauty, and covered themselves. When Isaiah saw the glory of God, his soul was prostrated in the dust. Because of the unclouded vision he was graciously permitted to behold, he was filled with self-abasement. This will ever be the effect upon the human mind when the beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine gloriously upon the soul. The light of the glory of God will reveal all the hidden evil, and bring the soul to the place of humble confession. As the increasing glory of Christ is revealed, the human agent will see no glory in himself; for the concealed deformity of his soul is laid bare, and self-esteem and self-glorying are extinguished. self dies, and Christ lives. BECHO 12-03-94
It was the same presence of divine holiness that had caused the prophet Daniel to fall as one dead before the angel of God. He said, "My comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength." So when Isaiah beheld the glory of the Lord, he exclaimed, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."[1 DAN. 10:8; ISA. 6:5.] Humanity, with its weakness and sin, was brought in contrast with the perfection of divinity, and he felt altogether deficient and unholy. Thus it has been with all who have been granted a view of God's greatness and majesty.
Peter exclaimed, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man;" yet he clung to the feet of Jesus, feeling that he could not be parted from Him. The Saviour answered, "Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men." It was after Isaiah has beheld the holiness of God and his own unworthiness, that he was intrusted with the divine message. It was after Peter had been led to self-renunciation and dependence upon divine power, that he received the call to his work for Christ. DA 246
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise."[3 PS. 51:17.] Man must be emptied of self before he can be, in the fullest sense, a believer in Jesus. When self is renounced, then the Lord can make man a new creature. New bottles can contain the new wine. The love of Christ will animate the believer with new life. In him who looks unto the author and finisher of our faith, the character of Christ will be manifest. DA 280
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness." The sense of unworthiness will lead the heart to hunger and thirst for righteousness, and this desire will not be disappointed. Those who make room in their hearts for Jesus will realise His love. All who long to bear the likeness of the character of God shall be satisfied. The Holy Spirit never leaves unassisted the soul who is looking unto Jesus. He takes of the things of Christ and shows them unto him. If the eye is kept fixed on Christ, the work of the Spirit ceases not until the soul is conformed to His image. The pure element of love will expand the soul, giving it a capacity for higher attainments, for increased knowledge of heavenly things, so that it will not rest short of the fullness. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled." DA 302
The merciful shall find mercy, and the pure in heart shall see God. Every impure thought defiles the soul, impairs the moral sense, and tends to obliterate the impressions of the Holy Spirit. It dims the spiritual vision, so that men cannot behold God. The Lord may and does forgive the repenting sinner; but though forgiven, the soul is marred. All impurity of speech or of thought must be shunned by him who would have clear discernment of spiritual truth. DA 302
It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross. DA 83
As we associate together, we may be a blessing to one another. If we are Christ's, our sweetest thoughts will be of Him. We shall love to talk of Him; and as we speak to one another of His love, our hearts will be softened by divine influences. Beholding the beauty of His character, we shall be "changed into the same image from glory to glory." DA 83
This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure. EV 190
Some look always at the objectionable and discouraging features, and therefore discouragement overtakes them. They forget that the heavenly universe is waiting to make them agencies of blessing to the world; and that the Lord Jesus is a never-failing storehouse from which human beings may draw strength and courage. There is no need for despondency and apprehension. The time will never come when the shadow of Satan will not be cast athwart our pathway. . . But our faith should pierce this shadow. God calls for cheerful co-workers, who refuse to become discouraged by opposing agencies. The Lord is leading us, and we may go forward courageously, assured that He will be with us, as He was in past years. GW 265
Never should we lose control over ourselves. Let us keep before us the perfect Pattern. It is a sin to speak impatiently and fretfully or to feel angry--even though we do not speak. We are to walk worthy, giving a right representation of Christ. The speaking of an angry word is like flint striking flint; it at once kindles wrathful feelings. Never be like a chestnut bur. . . HP 246
As Christians we ought to praise God more than we do. We ought to bring more of the brightness of His love into our lives. As by faith we look to Jesus His joy and peace are reflected from the countenances. How earnestly we should seek so to relate ourselves to God that our faces may reflect the sunshine of His love! When our souls are vivified by the Holy Spirit, we shall exert an uplifting influence upon others who know not the joy of Christ's presence. HP 94
If there is anything in our world that should inspire enthusiasm, it is the cross of Calvary. PH048 40
We are coming to a crisis, and I am in terror for our souls. Why is it that we find men leaving the faith? Are we in a position where we shall know what we believe, and shall not be shaken out? That souls leave the truth should not discourage us in the least, but only make us seek more earnestly for the blessing of God. It is not the education, or the talents, or the position of men, that is to save them. We are to be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. How do you stand before God to-day? The question is not, How will you stand in the day of trouble, or at some future time? but how is it with your soul to-day? Will you go to work to-day? We want a personal, individual experience to-day. To-day, we want Christ abiding with us. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man has been lifted up, that we might look and live. There is but one plan of salvation. There is but one process by which the soul may be healed of its wounds. Look to the Man of Calvary. RH APR.09,1889
O let us encourage our souls to look to Jesus! Tell every one how dangerous it is to neglect his own soul's eternal healthfulness by looking upon the diseased souls of others, by talking upon the uncomeliness of character found in those who profess the name of Christ. The soul does not become more and more like Christ by beholding evil, but like the evil which it beholds. The same love of self, the same indulgence of self, the same hastiness of spirit, the same petulance of temper, the same sensitiveness and pride of opinion, the same unwillingness to receive counsel, the same unsanctified, independent judgement, will be manifest in those who criticise as in those whom they criticise. They will act as if they had not Christ as their pattern and example. O, how much we need to guard against Satan's devices! RH AUG.15,1893
It is by contemplating Christ, by exercising faith in him, by experiencing for ourselves his saving grace, that we are qualified to present him to the world. When the soul is renovated through the truth and brought into harmony with God, the Lord will accept us as workers together with himself, for the salvation of others. RH AUG.25,1896
My heart was drawn out in sympathy for these precious ones who enjoy so few religious privileges; for temporal affairs engross their minds until their thoughts and conversation run almost wholly in a worldly channel, and when they assemble in our general meetings, they do not understand themselves; they do not know their great need. Some are self-confident, self-sufficient, exalted in their opinion of themselves, because they do not have clear views of Jesus. If they lived near to him, they would see his purity, his matchless benevolence, his self-sacrifice and infinite love, which would lead them to see their deficiencies; and when viewing the cross of Calvary, and the sufferings that Christ endured that they might be rescued from ruin, they could not have one exalted feeling in regard to self. Satan is constantly at work to separate man from Christ, and his power is especially exercised upon those who profess to be children of the light. If he succeeds in any way, through pride, covetousness, love of the world, or self-esteem, in hiding from their view the perfect Pattern, then his purpose is accomplished. It is unsafe for any one of us to allow temporal and worldly things to absorb the mind and affections. If the mind is exercised almost wholly in this direction, and the conversation is of this character, the mind becomes earthly, sensual, and Christ and his grace are cut off from the view. RH DEC.18,1883
Those who will empty their hearts of vanity and rubbish, through the grace of God may purify the chambers of the mind, and make it a storehouse of knowledge, purity, and truth. And it will be continually reaching beyond the narrow boundaries of worldly thought, into the vastness of the Infinite. The justice and mercy of God will be unfolded to the moral perceptions. The grievous character of sin, with it results, will be discerned. The character of God, His love manifested in giving His Son to die for the world, and the beauty of holiness, are exalted themes for contemplation. These will strengthen the intellect, and bring man into close communion with the Infinite One. RH JUN.21,1877
If one who daily communes with God errs from the path, if he turns a moment from looking steadfastly unto, Jesus, it is not because he sins wilfully; for when he sees his mistake, he turns again, and fastens his eyes upon Jesus, and the fact that he has erred, does not make him less dear to the heart of God. RH MAY 12, 1896
We should fix our eye upon Jesus our Saviour. We should be continually growing up into Christ our living head. We want more knowledge, more grace. New affections should be planted in our hearts to expel the old affections. Divine power must substitute high and holy motives for those that were selfish and unholy. We must follow on to know the Lord....
If Christ can plead for us in the heavenly sanctuary, if our works are wrought in him, if we have brought his grace and truth into our character-building, we shall be recognised by the Lord as the subjects of his kingdom.....
[306a.7] Let us come into the presence of Christ. He is cleansing the heavenly sanctuary. Let us enter there by faith. Provision has been made for our cleansing. A fountain has been opened for sin and uncleanness [Zech. 13:1]. Ask in faith for the grace of God, and you will not ask in vain. Shall we wait till we feel that we are cleansed before we believe it?-No; Christ has promised that `if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness' [1Jn. 1:9]. RH MAY 28,1889
Ancient Israel was especially directed by God to be and remain a people separate from all other nations. They were not to witness the idolatry of those about them, lest their own hearts should be corrupted, lest familiarity with ungodly practices should make them appear less wicked in their eyes. Few realise their own weakness, and that the natural sinfulness of the human heart often paralyses our noblest endeavours. RH NOV.14,1882
The glory of the eternal world has been opened before me. I want to tell you that Heaven is worth winning. It should be the aim of your life to fit yourself for association with the redeemed, with holy angels, and with Jesus, the world's Redeemer. If we could have but one view of the celestial city, we would never wish to dwell on earth again. There are beautiful landscapes on earth, and I enjoy all these prospects of loveliness in nature. I associate them with the Creator. But I know that if I love God, and keep his commandments, there is a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory reserved in Heaven for me. Beautiful as are the scenes of earth, they can bear no comparison to the glories of the eternal world. Says the apostle, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." God desires us to contemplate heavenly things. He desires us to behold the matchless charms of the divine character, and by beholding we shall become changed into the same image, through the power of his transforming grace. ST APR.08,1889
The word of God is the foundation of our faith, and therefore it is by the word of God that we may obtain evidence of our standing before God. We are not to make our feelings a test by which to discern whether we are in or out of favour with God, whether they be what we consider encouraging or not. As soon as one begins to contemplate his feelings, he is on dangerous ground. If he feels joyous, he is confident that he is in a favourable condition; but when a change comes, as it will, for circumstances will be so arranged that feelings of depression will make the heart sad, then he will naturally be led to doubt that God has accepted him. It is not wisdom to look at the emotions, and try to test your spirituality by your feelings. Do not study yourself; look away from self to Jesus. While you acknowledge yourself as a sinner, yet you may appropriate Christ as your sin-pardoning Redeemer. Jesus came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Satan will not be slow in presenting to the repentant soul suggestions and difficulties to weaken faith and destroy courage. He has manifold temptations that he can send trooping into the mind, one after another; but the Christian must not study his emotions, and give way to his feelings, or he will soon entertain the evil guest,-- doubt,--and become entangled in the perplexities of despair. Expel the suggestions of the enemy by contemplating the matchless depth of your Saviour's love. ST DEC.03,1894
Oh, let us behold him and become changed into the image of Him in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the godhead, and realise that we are accepted in the Beloved, complete in Him which is the head of all principality and power [Col. 2:10]. ST FEB.22,1892
Then is Christ a personal Saviour? We bear about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus, which is life and salvation and righteousness to us. Wherever we go, there is the recollection of One dear to us. We are abiding in Christ by a living faith. He is abiding in our hearts by our individual appropriating of faith. We have the companionship of the divine presence, and as we realise this presence, our thoughts are brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. Our spiritual exercises are in accordance with the vividness of our sense of this companionship. Enoch walked with God in this way; and Christ is dwelling in our hearts by faith when we will consider what He is to us, and what a work He has wrought out for us in the plan of redemption. We shall be most happy in cultivating a sense of this great gift of God to our world and to us personally.
These thoughts have a controlling power upon the whole character. I want to impress upon your mind that you may have a divine companion with you, if you will, always. "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." As the mind dwells upon Christ, the character is moulded after the divine similitude. The thoughts are pervaded with a sense of His goodness, His love. We contemplate His character, and thus He is in all our thoughts. His love encloses us. If we gaze even a moment upon the sun in its meridian glory, when we turn away our eyes, the image of the sun will appear in everything upon which we look. Thus it is when we behold Jesus; everything we look upon reflects His image, the Sun of Righteousness. We cannot see anything else, or talk of anything else. His image is imprinted upon the eye of the soul and affects every portion of our daily life, softening and subduing our whole nature. By beholding, we are conformed to the divine similitude, even the likeness of Christ. To all with whom we associate we reflect the bright and cheerful beams of His righteousness. We have become transformed in character; for heart, soul, mind, are irradiated by the reflection of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. Here again there is the realisation of a personal, living influence dwelling in our hearts by faith. TM 388
He who draws nigh to Christ need not try to shine. As he beholds the Saviour, he catches the divine rays of light from the Sun of Righteousness, and he cannot help shining. The light that is in him shines forth in clear, bright rays, in words and works of righteousness. UL 322
You should seek God with all your heart for yourselves, that the faith which you possess may be a working faith,--a faith that is genuine,--a faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. Through the grace of Christ you will make decided endeavours to overcome all cold, rough, harsh, uncourteous ways and manners. These un-Christlike attributes will be clearly seen as they are, as you behold the Pattern; for it is by beholding Jesus, by talking of Jesus, by contemplating Jesus, that you will see the offensive character of sin, of selfishness, or hardness of heart, and you will do the very thing that God requires you to do, and that you have not yet done. You will put away all self,--self-importance, self-love, self-esteem, envy, evil-surmising, and jealousy, and plead for the Holy Spirit to come into your hearts and abide with you. As you taste and see that the Lord is good, you will hunger and thirst after more of the Holy Spirit, and will make an entire surrender of your will and your way, your plans and ideas, to God, and will keep the way of the Lord. Your words and deportment must be guarded. YI JAN.03,1895