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    01 THE SUBJECT INTRODUCED

    THE Sanctuary-what is it? when is it? where is it? What are its uses, and why? What its relations, and how extensive? What part does it act in the great scheme of human redemption? What prominence is given to it on the inspired pages of the book of God’s revelation to men? What bearing has it upon the interpretation of the prophecies? How is its past history calculated to interest, or how does its present work concern, us? What claims has it upon our attention? In what way are our dearest interests connected with it?STTHD 9.1

    The traveler who visits those marked spots where nature has displayed her most marvelous works or her profoundest mysteries, avails himself of the aid of a guide, who has explored each perilous path, knows the way to wonders and beauties hidden from a stranger’s eye, and understands what dangers beset the steps of the unwary. We have to some extent explored this remarkable subject, and would be glad to point out to him who has not made it his study some of the beauties we have discovered, though we may have been able to explore but a small proportion of the whole. Those who have acquainted themselves with what the Bible teaches upon this question, will understand the correctness of the following statements. To those who have not, we will offer abundant proof of their truthfulness, if they will go with us in this investigation.STTHD 9.2

    Let us then say, by way of anticipation, that the sanctuary is a great central object in the plan of salvation. Next to our Lord himself and his work, it claims our attention, as the place where the wonderful process of a world’s redemption is carried forward. There is no one subject which so fully as this unites together all parts of revelation into one harmonious whole. The spokes of a wheel, considered by themselves and apart, may be symmetrical and beautiful; but their uses are made apparent and their utility demonstrated only when, fixed together by a central hub and exterior fellies, they appear as component parts of a perfect wheel. In the great wheel of truth, the sanctuary occupies this central position. In it, the great truths of revelation find their focal point. From it, in every direction, they radiate. It unites the two great dispensations, the Mosaic and the Christian, and shows their relation to each other. It divides with no other subject the high honor of explaining the position and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Like a brilliant lamp introduced into a darkened room, it illuminates the whole Mosaic economy. In the light of this subject, the books of Moses, with their detail of offerings and sacrifices, their minutiae of rites and ceremonies, usually considered so void of interest and use, if not of meaning also, become animated with life and radiant with consistency and beauty.STTHD 10.1

    It is a key to the interpretation of the most important prophecies which are having their fulfillment at the present time. We confidently assert that no person who either ignores this subject, or misapprehends it, can rightly interpret the prophecies for this time. While with this subject understood, it is almost as difficult to come to wrong conclusions as it is otherwise impossible to reach correct ones. These may seem like bold and rash assertions; but they are uttered only under the firmest conviction that they can be made good to the mind of every intelligent and candid reader.STTHD 11.1

    Strange that a subject occupying so important a position in the divine economy should have been so long overlooked. Strange that so few even now are found to give it in any degree their attention, still less their study. In one movement only is it made a prominent feature. By one people only is it made a special subject, discussed in full, and dwelt upon with delight.STTHD 12.1

    It has come up of necessity in the study of the prophecies. In one line it is the objective point to which the prophecy looks. When that point is reached, it thenceforth becomes, in that line, the principal object. To give it that place, is to furnish presumptive proof that the prophecy is understood and correctly handled. To leave it out, is to nullify the prophecy, and confess one’s self lost and bewildered in its interpretation. That Seventh-day Adventists give it this place, not only in that line of prophecy where it so prominently appears, but in all others connected more or less remotely therewith, we offer as proof that they are the ones who now believe and teach in accordance with the true light of prophetic development.STTHD 12.2

    Another important purpose which this subject serves,, in connection with a great question before the world at the present time, may receive a passing remark at this point. The present generation has seen a religious movement such as no other generation ever witnessed: a world-wide agitation of the question of Christ’s immediate second coming, calling out hundreds of thousands of believers in the doctrine. Time has continued; and under the name of Millerism it now receives the flippant sneer of the careless multitude. But the fact that such a remarkable movement has been made, nevertheless remains; and its significance cannot be lost.STTHD 12.3

    It must have been a mighty influence of some kind, which was sufficient to impress men simultaneously in almost every quarter of the globe to go forth and proclaim to their fellow-men the approaching advent of the Messiah. It must have been no small accumulation of evidence which could lead men of the best minds and highest culture to give the assent of their judgment to the validity of the proof and the truthfulness of the position. The concurrent testimony of all the Scriptures, and the corroborative evidence of the signs of the times, formed a fortress of truth of impregnable strength. The Advent body were a unit, and their testimony shook the world.STTHD 13.1

    Suddenly their power was broken, their strength scattered, their ranks divided, and their testimony paralyzed. They passed the point of their expectation, and realized not their hope. That a mistake had been made somewhere, none could deny. From that point, the history of the majority of that once happy, united people has been marked by discord, division, confusion, speculation, new mistakes, fresh disappointments, disintegration and apostasy. The world, without careful scrutiny, looks complacently upon this result, and, relieved of its anxiety respecting the Lord’s coming, is wont to regard all classes of Adventists as only the remnants of an exploded delusion.STTHD 14.1

    But there is a remedy for this state of things, an explanation why a movement so evidently led at first by divine agency, has fallen into such misfortunes and weakness.STTHD 14.2

    The sanctuary is the one subject which brings order out of all this chaos, points out the mistake, shows where and how it was made, reveals the rock on which so many have foundered, vindicates the past movement, and points out the path to further truth and final triumph.STTHD 14.3

    To him, therefore, who feels any interest in the past Advent movement, this subject must be one of exceeding interest. And to him who feels nothing more than a curiosity to investigate the phenomena of one of the most remarkable religious movements of this or any other age, we believe it has features which will well repay the examination of at least a leisure hour.STTHD 14.4

    We therefore call the attention of all to the subject of the sanctuary as one of great importance, interest, and profit.STTHD 15.1

    It is a subject of great importance on account of the position it holds in the divine plan.STTHD 15.2

    It is one of interest, so intimately is it connected with the work of our redemption.STTHD 15.3

    Received, it will affect the life, to elevate and sanctify, and so be found at last to be one of infinite profit.STTHD 15.4

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