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    March 18, 1891


    EARLY EXPERIENCES 1Sermon preached Friday evening, March 13.

    No Authorcode


    “BUT call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.” Hebrews 10:32, 33.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 141.1

    Some of the people addressed had passed through severe trials and afflictions because of their faith in Christ. Others had been their companions, and to a certain extent shared their reproach. This text, at one time in the history of the Advent experience, was a matter of great consolation to the Advent believers, with God’s blessing, helping to sustain them in the afflictions through which they passed. The world looked upon the disappointment of the Advent people in 1843-44, especially in 1844, as a total failure, and they were subjected to great reproach; but what the world regards as their failure is really the very life of the Advent movement.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 141.2

    Some have supposed the Advent proclamation to have been a matter very small in its origin, and kept so. But when we trace out the facts, we shall find that it was a doctrine that spread through the civilized world. I refer now directly to that movement which announced the closing of time in 1844 - the work came to a halt for a time - the movement which commenced to be proclaimed in 1831 and 1832.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 141.3

    Now I find in looking at the history of the Reformation, by D’Aubigne, that the author puts down one strong evidence that God’s hand was in that work. He calls attention to four countries, Germany, Sweden, France, and England, and refers to the movement which in all of these countries led to the Reformation. In book 8, chapter 1, paragraph 2, I find these words:-GCDB March 18, 1891, page 141.4

    Germany did not communicate the truth to Switzerland, nor Switzerland to France, nor France to England. All these countries received it from God, just as one part of the world does not transmit the light to another part; but the same shining globe communicates it directly to all the world.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 141.5

    As he carries this paragraph out, he shows that the fact that people were being moved out independently in different parts of the world, who when they came together were teaching the same thing, was proof that God’s hand was leading the work.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 141.6

    In the proclamation of the Advent doctrine, eight persons were especially moved out in different parts of the world. If the raising up of a work in four different parts of the world stamps it as of God, what shall we say of eight parts?GCDB March 18, 1891, page 141.7

    In Arabia, and throughout the East, Joseph Wolff preached the coming of Christ, which he placed about 1844.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 141.8

    In Spain, a writer whose identity is unknown, wrote a work on the subject of the Lord’s coming, entitled, “Ben Ezra,” treating on the prophecies in a similar manner.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 141.9

    Edward Irving, in England, got hold of this work, and translated it into the English language; and so great was the stir created in England, that 700 ministers in the Church of England joined in the cry.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 141.10

    A man by the name of Mason, in Scotland, before he knew what was being done in England, came out and made quite a stir in Scotland.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 141.11

    In Germany, also, the doctrine was preached. A man by the name of Bengel proclaimed the advent, and created quite a stir in that vicinity. The people thought he ought to go out and preach the doctrine to the world. This he began to do, and was astonished to find that others in other countries were preaching it.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 141.12

    A Mr. Davis, in South Carolina, before he knew anything of what was going on in the North, was moved out to preach the advent in the South.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 142.1

    Wm. Miller, in Lowhampton, N. Y., came out in 1832, and began to preach the coming of the Lord. In the preaching of the message 300 ministers - many of them prominent ones - in the United States joined him.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 142.2

    In Holland a man named Hentzepeter, a keeper of the Royal Museum of The Hague, was moved out in 1830 by an impressive dream. He published a work in 1832 and another in 1840. He never heard of Wm. Miller, or of this movement in the United States until 1843.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 142.3

    In Sweden children were moved out to proclaim it. Some of you saw the statement in the Review recently, by one who had engaged in that work. I saw one who, in 1858, lived in Laporte, Indiana. He was then nineteen years of age, and was not a preacher then, but his father told me that when four years of age, his son preached the advent message in Sweden. There it was contrary to law to preach anything different from the doctrines of the established church. Finally, however, the King of Sweden granted permission to preach the advent, and the part the children took earlier in the work ceased. God had his way of introducing the doctrine there. Certainly no one would claim that little children four or five years of age who thus preached, quoting such scriptures as, “The hour of his judgment is come,” “Time shall be no longer,” etc., were moving out by any merely human or fanatical influence.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 142.4

    The proclamation went to all the world. Every missionary station on the globe, and every seaport that vessels called at, knew the doctrine, and made inquiries concerning it. The news had been carried to them from England or America in some way.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 142.5

    The Adventists in the North proclaimed that the Lord would come at the end of the long period of prophetic time which terminated according to their reckoning, in the spring of 1844, where the Jewish natural year ended. But the time passed. Then they were brought into what was called the tarrying time. Their attention was turned to the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25), and they understood that they were in the time of the Bridegroom’s tarrying. Their minds were led to the text, “Though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Habakkuk 2:3.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 142.6

    They were in this condition from April until July, and began to study the matter of the time more thoroughly. They found their mistake in reckoning the time, and that the tenth day of the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year would fall in October; and they roused up to give the midnight cry, with greater energy than ever, from July, 1844, to the 22nd of October. All the energy of the ‘43 movement came into that of ‘44, and tenfold more. Many have thought that as they went forth to give this cry, there was fanaticism connected with it. No; it killed fanaticism as dead as a door-nail. I remember, at a camp-meeting that was being held at Exeter, N. H., there had been some fanaticism shown. But when the midnight cry came onto the grounds, the fanaticism was killed as dead as anything could be, and there were no more demonstrations of the kind.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 142.7

    I will read an extract from an article published by George Storrs in the Midnight Cry of October 3, as showing the spirit in which they approached the closing of the time:-GCDB March 18, 1891, page 142.8

    “Behold the Bridegroom cometh,” this year, “Go ye out to meet him.” On this present truth, I through grace, dare venture all, and feel that to indulge in doubt about it, would be to offend God and bring upon myself “swift destruction.” I am satisfied that now “whosoever shall seek to save his life,” where this cry has been fairly made, by indulging in an “if it doesn’t come,” or by a fear to venture out on this truth, “shall lose” his life. It requires the same faith that led Abraham to offer up Isaac - or Noah to build the ark - or Lot to leave Sodom - or the children of Israel to stand all night waiting for their departure out of Egypt - or for Daniel to go into the lions’ den - or the three Hebrews into the fiery furnace. We have fancied that we were going into the kingdom without such a test of faith; but I am satisfied we are not. This last truth brings such a test, and none will venture upon it but such as dare to be accounted fools, madmen, or anything else that antediluvians, sodomites, a lukewarm church, or sleeping virgins, are disposed to heap upon them. Once more would I cry - “Escape for thy life.” - “Look not behind you.” - “Remember Lot’s Wife.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 142.9

    In the Cry of October 10, was another article from Geo. Storrs, known by the Adventists as “Storr’s Flat Rock,” calling upon the believers to cut loose from all earthly things, using the illustration of a flat rock in mid-ocean to which all are to go and let go their boats and crafts, and await with no other means of departure for the arrival of a steamer to take them off the rock to a fair clime, the condition of a pass on the steamer being such implicit confidence in the word of the captain that no crafts are retained for making any other escape from the island. The article closed by calling upon all to let their boats go. In other words, “Cut loose from the world.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 142.10

    Some sold out their property and put their all into the work. I thank God that it happened that I heard the cry, and that I know something of the spirit that went with the movement in 1844. It was the same spirit that we have had in our meetings here, only ten-fold more. There was a spirit of tenderness and consecration accompanying the movement, which brought in love and union into every heart.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 142.11

    There were some who did not sell, and some who had a good deal to say about the coming of the Lord; but their course was such that the people could tell that they did not really believe what they were saying about it.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 143.1

    In many parts of New England, the hay was left uncut, the grain unharvested, the potatoes undug. The crops were left “to preach the Lord’s coming.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 143.2

    Brother Howland, who lived in Maine, left his work and took his horse and went over several townships from house to house. He would say a few words, leave a few tracts, and the Spirit of God would send the truth to the hearts, and souls were converted in every direction, as the result of spreading these doctrines. Some said Brother Howland was crazy. So they went to work to appoint a guardian over him. But they were soon well come up with. When the collector of taxes came around, Brother Howland would say, “Go to my guardian.” The guardian got more than he wanted of this.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 143.3

    Finally the time came that the commissioners wanted to build a bridge over the Kennebec that would stand the freshets. Brother Howland was a good bridge-builder and contractor, and they came to him to do the work. “What, come to a crazy man to build a bridge!” said he; “go to my guardian.” That killed the story of insanity pretty quick, and the sequel of the matter was that those who had led in this attack upon Brother Howland, made confessions for the course they had taken.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 143.4

    Another case, a brother who lived near Rochester, N. Y.: Very early he purchased land in the Genesee Valley, which became very valuable, being worth about $100,000. His family did not embrace the advent doctrine, so he made very liberal provision for them, designing to do what he could to advance the message. His children began to say he was going crazy, and they wanted a guardian appointed. The matter was presented before the judge, and the father was brought to court. The judge explained the requirements of the law, and said it was for the children to nominate a trustee. They consulted together, and came to the conclusion that they could not trust any one other than their father with the control of the property. They came into court, and whispered to the judge that he might appoint their father. The judge said, “You can go home, Mr.——; your affairs are just as they were before.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 143.5

    I wish to call attention to something that shows the mercy of God, when his people are to meet with a disappointment, in placing something before them that their minds could rest upon. So it was with the disciples before the Lord was crucified. They witnessed the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem, and heard the songs and shouts of the people. Christ told them that the Son of man must be crucified, and would rise again the third day. They did not comprehend what these things meant, but as they got past their disappointment, they could think of some of these things.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 143.6

    In the State of Maine, in the tarrying time, when the loud cry was going forth, and the second angel’s message going with it, separating the believers in the message from those who were opposing it - and about 50,000 were separated from the churches, - some of them began to teach that the judgment was to take place before the Lord actually came; and they did not know but what this little delay was because the judgment was going on. Some others said something about there being a sealing time in Revelation 7, during which the winds were being held until the servants of God were sealed. They began to get an inkling of this before the time passed. Some way they got it in their minds that the judgment was going to take place before the Lord came.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 143.7

    About this time a Sister Preston, a Seventh-day Baptist, moved into the State of New Hampshire, and presented the Sabbath question among advent believers, and a whole church began to keep the Sabbath. They began to write around among the others that they had got some light on the Sabbath.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 143.8

    The Midnight Cry of that time says, that “many have had their attention called to the Sabbath question, and think they should keep the Saturday as the Sabbath,” and then the editor goes on to write an article to try to show people that the first day was the day to keep; but it was a very weak argument. The next week he had another article in which he said it was very evident that there was “no day commanded except the seventh.” People began to talk about it, and some to keep it; and it is no wonder that before the time passed, quite a number began to keep the Sabbath.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 143.9

    Right in connection with the midnight cry there was an eloquent mulatto in the New England States, by the name of Foy, who was attending college, preparing and nearly ready to take holy orders as a minister in the Episcopal Church. The Lord was pleased to give him three visions. His Advent brethren, and his own church, acknowledged that these were genuine visions from God, and that the Spirit of God produced them. He went from place to place, and when he gave these visions he placed on himself the Episcopal robes. His work created quite a stir. I have seen his book, called “Foy’s Visions,” published by John Pearson, of Boston. After the publication of these visions, Foy became lifted up and had no more visions. Soon after he sickened and died. Before he died, he heard Sister Harmon (White) relate her vision. He became very happy at the hearing of it, and said it was the same as had been shown to him.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 143.10

    A little further along Hazen Foss, living in Poland, Me., had a vision, and was shown the pathway of the Advent people to the city of God, and he also saw the three steps. He was a well educated young man, and a man of good address. He was told to go and relate the vision shown to him. There were corrections for some individuals. He was shown that he would have enemies if he did deliver the vision, and he did not want to go. Another thing also, was, that he did not want to tell a vision to the people that he could not understand. The three steps puzzled him.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 144.1

    A second vision was given him, and he was told that if he did not go, the testimony would be taken from him and given to a weak, humble person, who would relate the visions. He still refused to go. A third vision was given, and he was told that he was released; that God had found his instrument, one who was the weakest of the weak. He began to think his case hopeless. He then made an appointment, and stated that he would relate the vision. The people came together, and he got up and told the particulars of his experience and refusals, and said, “Now I will relate the vision.” But there he stood, and the people waited - he could go no further. Finally he said, “Friends, God has fulfilled his word, and has taken it from me. I cannot tell it. I fear that I am a lost man.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 144.2

    He never attended an Advent meeting again. He is still living, in the State of Ohio, and has never had any interest in religion from that time to this.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 144.3

    A few weeks after that - about three months - a vision was related in the same room, by Ellen Harmon. He would not go into the room, but from an adjoining room he heard every word. He afterwards told the people that the vision given to Ellen Harmon was the same as that given to him. He did not want to see her, but they unexpectedly met, and he said to her, “Relate faithfully what God has shown you, and God will not leave you.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 144.4

    Well we came down to the time, and it passed. Now I have heard some hold up the Advent believers of this time to ridicule. It grieves me deeply whenever I hear this. My friends if you want to get some idea of the circumstances, think of the disciples who went out to the cross and saw their Saviour crucified. Just imagine them wending their way back to Jerusalem. And if you can picture to your minds their anguish of heart, you can picture the feelings of those who left everything, and made the same preparation they would have made had they expected to die on that day. They met on the tenth day of the seventh month with no idea but that before the sun went down they would hear the blast of the trumpet, and the voice of the Son of God, and would be given immortality. Just think of these people when by and by, the westering sun went down; the tenth day of the seventh month was ended and they still on the earth.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 144.5

    One brother said he felt the next morning as though he would be glad if the earth would open and swallow him up. He did not feel as though he could face the people. Instead of going home along the road, he sought a pathway across the fields; and as he made his way along, he would stop by the shocks of corn, and engage in prayer. He said that as he was praying, the Spirit of God came down upon him with overwhelming power, and the impression was given him, as distinctly as though a voice had spoken to him, that the sanctuary which was to be cleansed after the 2300 days, was in heaven. The idea had never occurred to them that the sanctuary was in heaven. In all the severe criticism to which the position of the Advent believers was subjected, their position that the earth was the sanctuary was not called in question. In whatever way we look at it, we can only come to the conclusion that the hand of God was over it, and none of them saw it.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 144.6

    Now the impression rested upon this Brother’s mind that the sanctuary was in heaven. Then a Mr. Crozier took this position, and in 1846 published an article on the sanctuary question in the Day Star, taking the same position that we do. He kept the Sabbath then. Quite a number of others also kept the Sabbath. T. M. Preble kept the Sabbath, and he got out an article in which he took the position that “the pope’s Sunday-keepers are God’s commandment breakers.” J. B. Cook published an article in which he answered the common Sunday arguments, and then said, “Thus we see how easily all the wind is taken from the sail, of those who sail, perhaps unwittingly, under the pope’s sabbatic flag.” Brother Bates got hold of these articles, and he began to keep the Sabbath.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 144.7

    Thus the Advent people, after the passing of the time, were left - 50,000 of them separated from the churches - with the ridicule and opposition of the world beating in upon them. What would you expect God to do under these circumstances? Separated from those they had been associated with, from those who might have been their counselors, and with the opposition to contend with, would they not be liable to go anywhere and everywhere unless God should work?GCDB March 18, 1891, page 144.8

    If there ever was a time in the world’s history when the Lord would work, it was upon a people who had moved out as these had, and been left under such circumstances as existed. Reason it out as you please, you will say it was a time for God to work in no unmistakable manner.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 144.9

    In less than two months, Sister White began to have her visions in Portland, Me. It has been my privilege to see her in vision about fifty times. I would state that her condition in vision is like that of the prophet Daniel, as described in Daniel 10:8, 17, 18. She has no breath while in vision. At first, for about half a minute, she seems to sink down as though she had no strength; then, as the angel of God touches her, she seems to have superhuman strength imparted to her.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 145.1

    At my house on Champion street, in this city, in the autumn of 1863 she had a vision. A brother was present, a stone mason. While she was in vision, kneeling, as her arms moved about seemingly in an easy manner, Elder White said to the man, “Brother, that looks like an easy motion, and as though you could readily bend her arm. You can try it if you wish. This brother placed his knee in the bend of her arm, took hold of her extended hand with both his hands, and settled back with all his might. It made no impression. He said to Elder White, “I would as soon think of bending an iron bar as that arm.” He had hardly spoken these words before her arm moved around the other way. As he tried to resist the pressure, he was slid along upon the floor.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 145.2

    That God who wrought his wonders in Egypt did it that the people to whom he was going to speak his law might know that he who spoke to them, was none other than the God that made heaven and earth. So we should expect if he should reveal himself by vision to his people, there should be with the introduction of such manifestations such demonstrations as would arrest the attention of the people. That a feeble girl, seventeen years of age, should simply say, “I have had a vision,” would not be sufficient. Should we not expect the Lord to work in such a manner as would cause the people to say, “I will turn aside and see what this is.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 145.3

    In the third vision of Miss Harmon, which was given in her father’s house in Portland, she arose in vision, her eyes looking upward, took from the bureau one of the great family Bibles published in 1822 by Teale, Boston. (This Bible measured 18 x 11 x 4 inches, and weighs a little over eighteen pounds.) Opening this great book upon her left arm, extended at right angles from her body, she held it in that position for half an hour. With her right hand she turned from text to text, repeating the same to which her finger was pointing, yet her eyes meantime looking upward and away from the book. One or another of those present looked at every text quoted, and found that she was correctly repeating the scripture to which she pointed. Some in these days, who have never seen Mrs. White in vision, undertake to explain it as disease, hysterics, or something of that kind. The fact is, the vision itself is a miracle. The voice proceeding from the burning bush was miraculous. What shall we call a voice quoting scripture, proceeding from a breathless body, but a miracle? In the spring of 1845, at the house of Brother Curtiss, in Topsham, Me., Sister White had a vision. In this vision she went to the table where there was another copy of the Teale family Bible. With her eyes looking upward she picked up this Bible and held it upon her open hand, so high above her head that Sister Truesdail said she had to stand on a chair to see the texts to which Sister White pointed as she repeated them while turning from place to place with her right hand. I have the written testimony of several witnesses that on this occasion she held the book at an angle of forty-five degrees. In this position none of the rest of them could hold any other book without its sliding off their hand at once; while the book on Sister White’s hand remained as firmly as though glued there. In conclusion, I wish to refer to the manner in which Elder Bates became convinced of the genuineness of the visions. When he first saw her in vision, at New Bedford, Mass., he arose, after she had related her vision, and said: “I am a doubting Thomas. I do not understand how she is shown these wonderful things which she relates. If I could be convinced that she is really shown these things by the Lord, I should be the happiest man on earth.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 145.4

    In the fall of that year, he was present at Topsham, Me., when she had a vision respecting the planets. Elder Bates knew, by former conversation with her, that she had not the slightest knowledge of astronomy. In fact, she did not know that she had ever looked into a work on astronomy. In the vision, she counted the moons of Jupiter, and then described the appearance of the planet. Then she counted the moons of Saturn, and described its wonderful rings. She described also other planets, and finally began to speak of the opening heavens, of which a description had been given a few months before, as seen by the great English telescope. While she was describing this, Elder Bates was in an ecstasy. He arose to his feet, exclaiming, “Oh, how I wish Lord John Ross were here to-night!” Elder White inquired, “Who is Lord John Ross?” “Oh, he is the great English astronomer. I wish he were here to hear that woman talk astronomy. That description of the opening heavens is ahead of anything I ever read.” Elder Bates afterward said he believed that vision was given that he might never doubt the visions again; and he never did.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 145.5

    I thank God from the depths of my heart that we have so evident tokens that this agency which has been connected with our work from the beginning of the message is indeed the voice of God to his people, to lead them to the light of his word, and correct them where they are liable to turn away into by and forbidden paths.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 145.6


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    Text: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 146.1

    This is the language of the apostle Paul addressing his Corinthian brethren, found in 1 Corinthians 12:1. If the apostle were present, stimulated and encouraged by his expression of willingness and desire to give us all information upon this important question, I should feel interested to ask him several questions: First, I would ask, What do you mean by spiritual gifts? Whence come these spiritual gifts, and what is the method of their operation? To whom do they belong? What is their object? How long will they continue? And to these questions and many others that might be asked, I understand his language applies, “I would not have you ignorant.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 146.2

    The very phraseology he uses indicates the importance of this subject. The apostle uses the same expression with reference to another great doctrine of the Bible, when he says, “I would not have you ignorant concerning them which are asleep.” Here he brings up before us the great problem of the state of the dead, the future destiny of the race, - a question which we have found so opportune in these times of delusion; a subject designed especially to guard the people of God from the great closing delusion of Satan, Spiritualism; when intelligences will come from the unseen world, claiming to be what they are not, and seeking to lead people away into a fatal error, - an error which within the present generation, in a few short years, has swept into its fatal embrace almost two score million of victims, - concerning this subject the apostle says he would not have you ignorant. So he gives instruction concerning the dead, and tells us what their condition is; how that they rest in hope of immortality, to be given at the great day of the coming of Christ, and the resurrection of the dead. So that when intelligences come to us professing to be the spirits of departed men, we know they come with a falsehood on their lips, and we can reject them.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 146.3

    Thus we are guarded against one of the special perils of this time. But concerning the question before us, he uses the same phraseology, “I would not have you ignorant.” It is important that we understand what is the truth in reference to this matter of spiritual gifts.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 146.4

    As we read on a few verses in this chapter, and in another place where he speaks of the same subject, - which is the 4th of Ephesians, - we find first of all that he holds up to prominent view, the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost. He says there is one spirit; and that is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. He sets this forth as the source from which these blessings and these gifts spring.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 146.5

    It may not then be out of place for us to consider for a moment what this Spirit is, what its office is, what its relation to the world and to the church, and what the Lord through this proposes to do for his people. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God; it is also the Spirit of Christ. It is that divine, mysterious emanation through which they carry forward their great and infinite work. It is called the Eternal Spirit; it is a spirit that is omniscient and omnipresent; it is the spirit that moved, or brooded, upon the face of the waters in the early days when chaos reigned, and out of chaos was brought the beauty and the glory of this world. It is the agency through which life is imparted; it is the medium through which all God’s blessings and graces come to his people. It is the Comforter; it is the Spirit of Truth; it is the Spirit of Hope; it is the Spirit of Glory; it is the vital connection between us and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; for the apostle tells us that if we “have not the Spirit of Christ,” we are “none of his.” It is a spirit which is tender; which can be insulted, can be grieved, can be quenched. It is the agency through which we are to be introduced, if ever we are introduced, to immortality; for Paul says that if the spirit of Him that raised up Christ from the dead dwell in you, he shall quicken also your mortal bodies by that Spirit which dwelleth in you; that is, the Spirit of Christ. Romans 8:11. So there is no experience in the Christian life, there is no truth that can come into the heart of man, there is no good and holy resolve we can make, there is no prayer we can offer to Heaven, but that must be vivified and made potential by the influence of the Holy Spirit. And if this is the spirit from which these gifts come, then certainly it becomes us carefully and reverently to study this subject.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 146.6

    As Paul says “I would not have you ignorant” upon this subject, we naturally conclude that he has given us instruction sufficient to dispel all doubt and uncertainty and any lack of information we may have in reference to this question. Let us then read on a little further in this chapter, 1 Corinthians 12.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 146.7

    Second verse, “Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 146.8

    Here Paul reminds them that while they were unconverted they trusted to some source for information, for instruction, which was dumb, which was speechless, which could not furnish them the information and light for which they inquired, and of which they had need. This would suggest that through the operation of these spiritual gifts, light, information, and truth was to be imparted to the church of God.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 146.9

    Then he lays down a general principle to show how broad is this subject, and how widespread the relation which it sustains.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 147.1

    Third verse: “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed; and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” Mark the term he uses. He uses “Jesus,” the personal name, and not “Christ,” the official name. He refers to his appearing among men as a divine Saviour, as a historical fact. No man can say he has thus come, has thus manifested himself to the world, has accomplished that great part of his work in the plan of salvation, but by the Holy Spirit.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 147.2

    Then he comes to more particular instruction concerning the work of this spirit. “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.” God has appointed different agents in his church; and from him comes the spiritual qualifications which they need to carry out that ministry. “And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 147.3

    You will notice in these few verses the apostle brings to view the three great agencies which are concerned in this work: God, the Father; Christ, his Son; and the Holy Spirit.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 147.4

    “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 147.5

    Then the apostle specifies what these different gifts are that are thus brought in through the Spirit: “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 147.6

    To make the subject still plainer, the apostle proceeds with an illustration. He brings up the human body, speaks of its members, shows how they all work and co-operate together in the work of one perfect man; and he likens the different members of the body to these different gifts of the Spirit in the church. As a man has his different members and various organs, with which, when they are in perfect working order and in good physical condition, he is able to perform the duties that fall to his lot, so the church is represented by a body, and the members it has are these different gifts and operations of the Spirit of God set therein. So that a church without these gifts is just like a man some of whose members have become diseased, disabled, or are removed, - the man is imperfect, is crippled, and disqualified to perform his full duty in life. And just so with the church when these gifts are lacking, and these members are inoperative; it is a church which cannot perform its whole duty in the world, for the benefit of the human family.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 147.7

    Then in the last of this chapter the apostle uses terms which are still stronger, to show the relation of these gifts to the church. Verse 28: “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 147.8

    I do not understand that the apostle in using this language refers to order of time; that in the first place all the gifts the church had were apostles, and after that prophets, and after that they had teachers, and then workers of miracles, etc., successively in the order of time; but he speaks of this in the order of excellence or importance; that he does make a distinction in this respect, as the last verse reads, when he says, “Covet earnestly the best gift.” Seek for the best gifts and manifestations of the Spirit in the church.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 147.9

    In his epistle to the Ephesians he speaks again upon the same subject, and tells us when these gifts were set in the church, and by whom. Ephesians 4:8. Speaking of the ascension of Christ, he says: “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” Verse 11: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” This does not mean that he gave to one portion of the church apostles, and to another portion prophets, and at another time and to another class, evangelists, etc.; but the expression is, he simply gave some to be apostles, or to fill that office, to act in that capacity. He gave others as teachers, pastors, etc. And then he tells what the object of these different ministries is. Verse 12: “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Then he tells how long they will continue. Verse 13: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 147.10

    He further indicates how long these gifts are to last in the church, in the 1st chapter, 1 Corinthians 1:6, 7. “Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you; so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here he associates the operations of the gifts with a people who are waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, showing us that these gifts were designed to continue in the church until Christ should come.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 147.11

    In his epistle to the Thessalonians he makes this point still clearer. 1 Thessalonians 5:1: “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.” Verse 4: “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” Certainly he is here addressing a people who are standing right before the great day of the Lord, when it is about to come. It is coming upon the world as a thief; they will not see the signs fulfilling around them, to indicate that the day is near. They are buried up in their pleasures, seeking after wealth, and do not see anything with respect to the great day of the Lord that is impending; and they say, “Where is the promise of his coming?”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 148.1

    In the further instruction of this chapter, we see what he says about the gifts. Verse 19: “Quench not the Spirit,” - an important injunction; “Despise not prophesyings.” Not the prophecies, but prophesyings, - present active participle. Then he says, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good;” indicating that there will be some manifestations of this nature that are not good; and we should use discrimination, going by the guide-book which the Lord has given us, that is, his sacred word.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 148.2

    This, in brief, is an outline of what the apostle Paul teaches on this subject. First, that the question is one of great importance; that these gifts have been expressly set in the church, and if set there, of course to remain there until the one who put them there by the same authority takes them away from the church; but we have no record that this time would ever come, nor that they would be taken away, or would be expressly set out as they have been expressly set in. Further, that there would be a continuation of these gifts even to the coming of Christ; the church would have them; and that there would be a special movement in this very line, a revival of the gifts, right at the time when Christ’s coming was at the door.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 148.3

    And we might rest the question right here upon this testimony of the apostle; but I wish now to bring in some corroborative statements from other parts of the Scripture, to show that these propositions which the apostle has laid down in so clear language, are sustained by other writers.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 148.4

    I turn to Matthew 28:19, 20: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” How long was Christ to be with his people? - To the end of the world. And how was he to be with them? - Mark 16:15-18: “And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 148.5

    Skeptics say, you claim that is a commission of God to his people; you claim to believe; then please work some of these miracles. But the Lord does not propose to work miracles to satisfy the challenge or the curiosity of scoffers. If circumstances demand it, if we live in connection with God, God will protect us in these very ways which he has designated. Verses 19 and 20: “So then, after the Lord had spoken unto them he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” This is the way then in which Christ promises to be with his people, - working with them confirming their words by the exhibitions of his Holy Spirit.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 148.6

    In the 14th chapter of John 16th verse, we have a promise from Christ to his disciples, as he was about to leave them: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.” Verse 26: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” There is the promise which the Lord gave to his people.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 148.7

    In the 24th chapter of Luke, we have something more concerning this promise. After Christ was risen from the dead, had spent forty days with his disciples, had gone out to the spot from which he was to ascend to heaven, he leaves his last blessing and benediction with his disciples. Luke 24:49: “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” The promise of the Father was the endowment of the church with power from on high, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 148.8

    We turn to the book of Acts, and find how this promise was fulfilled. Acts 2. When the wonderful scenes that transpired on the day of Pentecost were taking place, the charge was raised against the disciples that they were drunken. Peter refutes this charge, and vindicates them, saying, in the 15th verse, “For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: and I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 148.9

    This prophecy Peter quotes from Joel. The only difference between this and Joel’s record is, Joel says, “afterward” it shall come to pass. Peter interprets that as meaning the last days, covering all the time from that point on to the last day. Now what happened on the day of Pentecost was in fulfillment of that prophecy of Joel; but the scene on the day of Pentecost did not exhaust the prophecy of Joel, for all the conditions were not complied with, all the specifications were not fulfilled. There were no old men dreaming dreams, having visions, etc.; but there was an outpouring of the Spirit, and that was to be witnessed, as occasion might require, until the last day, and thus was to cover all the time to the end.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 149.1

    But some say the gifts were put in the church only during the apostolic age, or until the gospel was fully introduced, and that there was no need of them when the apostles had performed their work, and the Christian Church was established. Hence the gifts ceased; and that is the reason we do not have them now; they were not to continue during all this age.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 149.2

    I turn to Acts 20:29, and think I find a reason there why they certainly ought not to cease with the days of the apostles. Paul says, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” That was what was coming after the days of the apostles. The mystery of iniquity, he said, had already begun to work, even in his day. Now shall we take the ground that these gifts were needed to protect, to edify and build up the church while the apostles were among them; but that when the apostles passed off from the stage of action, and grievous wolves entered in, these gifts were no longer needed? That is just the time they were needed more and more, as the perils and dangers increased upon the church. It was not many years before the shadow of the great apostasy began to fall upon the church, and led it away. It became a formal and worldly church, finally developing into an apostate church, a papal church; and the world and Christendom entered into the long, dreary night of the Dark Ages. Would not the gifts be needed more and more during all this time?GCDB March 18, 1891, page 149.3

    But the apostle tells us further to what they are to continue. 1 Corinthians 13:8: “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” Paul sets forth charity, or love, as the crowning grace in the church while here, and the crowning glory of the church in its immortal condition. But he tells what condition we are in in this present state; verse 9: “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.” Verses 10-12: “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 149.4

    He is contrasting this present imperfect state with the future perfect and eternal state. He says this is a state in which we are imperfect; we see through a glass darkly; everything is not perfect; we are surrounded by imperfections, hampered by conditions which are not favorable. And he connects with this state of things these gifts which are brought to view in the 8th verse as helps to the church while in this condition. “Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; not that some one will make a prophecy in the Spirit of Christ, and that prophecy will not come to pass; not at all; but whether there be prophecies, - that is, the gift of prophecy, - they shall fail, or be no longer needed in the church when the perfect state comes; but they are needed just so long as this imperfect state continues, just so long as we are cumbered with imperfections, and the perfect state has not come. So long as we see through a glass darkly, so long we need these gifts in the church. But the time is coming when the perfect state will come, and we will no longer need them. Then it will pass away, or, as expressed here by the unfortunate term, “fail.” Until the perfect state has come, we certainly need all these gifts of the Spirit which the apostle here specifies.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 149.5

    Now if we take the position that these gifts were designed only for the apostolic age, and that when we pass it, they ceased, the conclusion would follow that the apostolic age was an age of imperfection; but when the apostles passed off the stage of action, and grievous wolves entered into the fold, and men arose in the church, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them, and errors, and superstitions, and darkness, and degradation began to come down like a dark cloud upon the Christian church - that was the perfect age! and the perfect state! when the gifts of the Spirit were no longer needed! This is the logical conclusion of that argument which says that the gifts must be confined to the apostolic age, and were not needed in subsequent time.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 149.6

    We go back to the statement of Peter in Acts 2, where he makes an expression which defines just how long these gifts were to continue. He says the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was in fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel; it was also in fulfillment of that promise of Christ that he would send upon them the promise of the Father, or grant them the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. But the promise of Christ was not exhausted by that scene on the day of Pentecost, any more than the prophecy of Joel was exhausted then; for Peter continues in verses 38, 39, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” As long as mercy calls, salvation is offered, and the work of grace goes on among men, so long that promise continues to his people. The promise is still to the church.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 150.1

    This certainly shows that this work of the Spirit was designed to be enjoyed in the church, not only in its ordinary operations, but in its extraordinary manifestations, throughout the Christian era, through all the then future ages to the end of time. Why have they not continued with the Christian church? The first great reason that occurs to my mind is that the Christian church put up a fence and barred them out; for, when the apostasy began to come into the church, the church made a creed; and a creed and the gifts of the Spirit can not dwell together. But God has had a church, although it has been in obscurity, in the wilderness; nevertheless wherever that church comes to light, here and there through the ages of the Christian era, there also come to light these blessed operations of the Holy Spirit of God in their midst. But this operation of the Spirit is to appear particularly in the last days.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 150.2

    I will now turn to a prophecy which proves this. In Revelation 12:17 is found language with which you are all familiar: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” As “the woman” is a symbol of the church, the seed of the woman is the number of believers in any generation, and “the remnant of her seed” means of course the last generation of the church. Here is a positive prophecy that the last church will be characterized by this special feature, they will have the testimony of Jesus Christ. But what is the testimony of Jesus Christ? Revelation 19:10: “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 150.3

    Some are disposed to read this passage in this way: “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of the prophecy,” and so try to confine it to the book of Revelation; but I think Paul answers that position in a scripture already referred to, namely, 1 Corinthians 1:5: “That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift.” Paul speaks of the testimony of Christ while writing to the Corinthians in the year 59. He did not know that the book of Revelation was to be written, nor what the angel would say to John on that occasion; and yet he uses the very same term, “The testimony of Jesus,” and connects it with the gifts. So this proves that that is a designation which applies to the work of the Spirit in general, not to the book of Revelation in particular: “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 150.4

    We believe that we are fulfilling this scripture; that we have reached this time. The proclamation called the third angel’s message, is being given, as set forth in Revelation 14th chapter, where John says, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” The faith of Jesus embraces the very thing spoken of in Revelation 12:17. That is a characteristic of the last generation of the church, and the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 150.5

    I refer a moment more to the testimony of Paul in Ephesians 4:11: “He gave some, apostles, and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” Now all men admit that some of these agencies and ministries still exist in the church. If some exist, why not all of them? Is the great spiritual tree which God planted in his church, to be, when we reach the end, blighted, marred, and torn, some of its branches gone, and the tree appear as if about to die? Is that to be its condition when we reach the end? - By no means. I believe it will be a full tree, with all its branches, with all the gifts in the church, with all these agencies in operation among God’s people; for there never has been a time when the specifications of verse 13 have been fully met. That condition was not reached in the days of the apostles; for this prophecy was given with reference to the future, - a prophecy, I believe it is, for the last days, and for the last church; and certainly the only possibility of its fulfillment now lies right before us, when the church, gathered from all nations of the earth, comes up complete on every gospel reform, with the superstitions and errors of the past ages thrown aside and cast away, shining forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners, - a church coming forth prepared to meet her Lord as he descends in the clouds of heaven. Such, I believe, will be the church of the last days; and such will be its condition when it is filled with the knowledge of the Son of God, and has reached the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. I look for that church. Do you want to be members of such a church? I do.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 150.6

    Well, says one, if you have reached the fulfillment of this prophecy, which demands the testimony of Jesus Christ, or the spirit of prophecy in its midst, where is the spirit of prophecy? I am speaking to a people to-day most, if not all, of whom know very well where it is, and how it is connected with this work. It is set forth in what is known in our literature as “The Testimonies for the Church,” “The Spirit of Prophecy,” “Great Controversy,” and works of that nature. What is our relation to this? Our relation to it is our relation to something which arose with this work, which has gone right forward with it, side by side, which has interwoven itself into and through it and all about it, from the day this message began until this present hour.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 151.1

    We go back to the great disappointment in 1844, when the Adventist body was thrown in such a state of doubt and uncertainty. What was it that led a people out of that chaos and on to a further path of truth, and knowledge, and light? Within a few weeks after that disappointment, and while the honest in heart were waiting in patience to see what God’s good providence would do for them, light came forth on the great subject of the sanctuary. This opened before us a vast new field of light and truth; and the spirit of prophecy began its work also right there and then to warn the church against giving up the truth of the past. And so light on the sanctuary and the gift of the spirit of prophecy, hand in hand, came forth to lead this people forward into a large field of further light and knowledge and truth, to prepare for the coming of the Son of man.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 151.2

    And when the first members which began to form a nucleus of this work, and to rally around the standard of truth, came together, they came with almost as many different views on some points as there were individuals that composed the company, - each one pressing his own individual ideas. Then the value of the spirit of prophecy in connection with this work, again appeared. It pointed out the right course to pursue. And what was it? It was that the brethren should sink all their minor differences and their peculiarities of lesser importance, and unite in the one great movement of the third angel’s message. These examples are merely an index of what it has done all the way along, - guarding against giving up the truths of the past, and pointing the way to light and truth in the future.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 151.3

    I have in my possession a letter that I received only two days ago, from a Disciple minister in Iowa, who propounds some questions on the very points we are considering, an answer to which may be an answer to the same queries in other minds. I therefore take occasion to answer them here. He says: “For the information of myself and others, I very much desire an answer, in the columns of your paper, to the following questions:-GCDB March 18, 1891, page 151.4

    (1.) Does the Seventh-day Adventist Church believe the so-called Testimonies and writings of Mrs. E. G. White to be revelations from God?GCDB March 18, 1891, page 151.5

    We believe these writings are a manifestation of the spirit of prophecy; and just as much as anything that comes from God’s spirit would be a “revelation from God,” just so much these are a revelation from God. If they are the work of the Spirit, then we leave every man who believes in the Spirit, to put his own estimate upon them.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 151.6

    (2.) If the foregoing question be answered in the affirmative, then I inquire, upon what ground do you accept her writings to be a revelation from God?GCDB March 18, 1891, page 151.7

    We accept her work to be one of the gifts of the Spirit placed in the church, because it complies with every condition upon which those gifts were to be given; and it bears every mark by which such a work is to be tested; it teaches the right doctrine; it is in accordance with the Word of God, and with what the Lord says he would put in the church, and would give his people. It leads to God, to Christ, to the Holy Spirit, to holiness of heart, to the highest standard of morality and holy living that can be found even in the Scriptures themselves.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 151.8

    (3.) Has Mrs. E. G. White ever performed any miracles in support of her claims?GCDB March 18, 1891, page 151.9

    That shows the misconception under which people seem to labor in reference to this matter. The gifts of the Spirit are not placed in the church to be sustained by other miracles as an evidence of their genuineness. The gifts themselves are their own evidence. Suppose one who has the gift of healing, restores a brother to health. Would it not be very strange for some one to come up and ask him to work a miracle to prove that he had healed that man? If the man is healed, that fact declares itself. It is its own evidence. Suppose one has a vision; how could we demand that he work a miracle to show that he had had a vision? How could that prove it? If one has a gift of the Spirit, that gift will manifest itself. The gifts are their own miracles.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 151.10

    When we refer to Revelation 12:17, and claim that the remnant church is now being developed, and the gift of prophecy is in the church, some ask if this gift is “in the church,” why is it not more general? How we can claim that this gift of the Spirit is in the church, when it is confined to one individual? In answer to that, I call attention to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:29: “Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?” - as much as to say that these gifts being placed in the church, does not mean that every one in the church will have them in exercise. Well, then, how many must have them in exercise before it can be said that the gifts are “in the church”? Can you run it down to twenty-five? twenty? fifteen? ten? five? four? three? two? Brethren, if just one appears, is not it “in the church”? All are not apostles; but if there is one in the church, that office is in the church. All do not have the spirit of prophecy. If one has it, is not it “in the church”? Where are you going to draw the line as to numbers? The apostle says that we will not all have it; that is tantamount to saying that if any one has it, it is in the church. The idea taught is that if the operation of the Spirit is manifested in connection with that church, then it is in fulfillment of the promise that God hath placed that in the church; that is, the church has it. And so we have what is mentioned here in the 12th of Revelation, as a characteristic of the last church.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 151.11

    Another point: Some are disposed to look at this passage from the standpoint of the war that is to be made upon the remnant because they keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. And there will of course be opposition. There is opposition by the powers of darkness to every manifestation of the Spirit, and the true work of the gospel in the church. They called the Master of the house Beelzebub, and said he had a devil. Will they not say the same of his servants? And so from this point of view, some spend their time deprecating the necessity of the coming conflict. I take more pleasure in looking at it from another standpoint; and that is, that the church of God in the last days is coming to the front. The dragon does not get wroth over trifles; the dragon does not get wroth over a dead church; the dragon does not get wroth over that which is of no consequence, and is doing nothing in its aggressive work on the dominions of the powers of darkness.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 152.1

    What, then, does the scripture declare? It declares this: that in the last days the church of God will stand forth in the power of the Master; and it will bear two grand characteristics: it will keep the commandments of God, it will obey him, it will have his law written in their hearts; it will have another feature, - it will have the gifts of the Spirit in operation in its midst. And these two features are the objects which excite the wrath and opposition of those who are in darkness and in error.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 152.2

    And I rejoice in the fact that such a church is now being brought out. We have come to this time; this people meet all the essential specifications; we can prove our identity; we keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, the spirit of prophecy, in our midst. It is this that is, more than anything else, stirring up the opposition of those who oppose this work.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 152.3

    Men tell us that we are led by visions, and that we do not know anything, and do not believe anything, except what the visions tell us. They say, “You keep the Sabbath because the visions say the seventh day is the Sabbath; and you believe that the Lord is coming, because the visions say the Lord is coming. It is all visions.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 152.4

    Now if that is so, and this work has been going on more than forty six years, not in private, but before the world, if it is only a human work, is it not a little wonderful that such an agency should be able to operate for all these years and never contradict itself, and never lead the church into confusion, but always onward and upward into true light and greater liberty? Those who say so, certainly pay one the highest compliments they could pay to this work in the church.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 152.5

    But when we come to the Scriptures and show that every one of the doctrines we hold is sustained by them, then they turn around and say, “Oh, you get out your theory yourselves, and then the visions come along and confirm it,” and that shows that they are only human. We cannot induce them, for some reason, to determine which of these positions they will take. We would like to have them decide one way or the other. At one time, we are all led by the visions; and therefore are mere dupes; and the next moment we make our theories, and the visions follow on to sustain them; and therefore they are only human. Now if that is all there is to the visions, and they are such a helpless, innocent, and simple thing as this, that they can go only where somebody has gone before, what is the use of these people being so very much stirred up, and being so bitter against them? What is the danger of the visions? When they will decide on their position, we will meet them where they are.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 152.6

    With this reference to Revelation 12:17, bringing out these characteristics of the last church, - the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, - I close my presentation of this subject for this morning. What I have proved it is not perhaps for me to say; it is for you to judge. What I have attempted to prove, allow me briefly to state:-GCDB March 18, 1891, page 152.7

    1. That the doctrine of spiritual gifts is treated in the Scriptures as a most important doctrine; prophets and apostles and our Lord himself have all testified concerning it.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 152.8

    2. That the gifts of the Spirit are the varied extraordinary manifestations of the Holy Spirit, that divine agency which has to do with all things, and the communion of which all must enjoy who would be Christ’s followers here, or have any part in the eternal life which he has promised to his people hereafter. Romans 8:9-11.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 152.9

    3. That these “diversities of gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:4) include the personal agencies of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, helps and governments, and the operation of the Spirit, in imparting wisdom, knowledge, faith, the power to heal, to work miracles, to prophesy, to discern spirits, to speak with divers kinds of tongues, and to interpret what is thus spoken with tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28; Ephesians 4:11.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.1

    4. That these gifts were formally and emphatically set in the church, by Christ after he ascended to his Father (Ephesians 4:8-11 Corinthians 12:28), and can only be taken out of the church by the same power. The church by apostasy can of course so “quench” the Spirit, as to enjoy none of its sacred influence; but the privilege of its presence and operation God has never withdrawn from the church.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.2

    5. That a multitude of other scriptures corroborate these propositions laid down by the apostle Paul.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.3

    6. That there is to be a great revival of the operation of the Spirit of God in the line of the gifts, in the last days. Joel 2:28-31; Acts 2:16-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 19, 20.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.4

    7. That these gifts of the spirit, are embraced in the “promise of the Father” to the followers of Christ (John 14:16, 26), and included in the great commission of Christ to his ministers. Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15, 19; Luke 24:49.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.5

    8. That these promises reach “to the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20), and are for all who will ever be called by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Acts 2:38, 39.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.6

    9. That the gifts, which are embraced in “the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12), especially the testimony of Jesus, which is the “spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10), are to be a characteristic of the last church at the close of time. Revelation 12:17.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.7

    10. That we have reached the last days and the last generation, and the last church is being called out by the third angel’s message.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.8

    11. That this church has from its beginning had the gift of prophecy in its midst, a living voice to counsel, admonish, and instruct in regard to present duty amid the perils of the way.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.9

    12. That what is received through this gift should be accepted, cherished, and obeyed, if we would be prepared for a greater diversity in the operations of the spirit, in the restoration of all the gifts, and for the larger outpouring of the Spirit upon the church, when it receives the refreshing (Acts 3:19-21), the early and the latter rain (James 5:7, 8), as it comes to the close of its experience and its work in this world, not far hence.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.10


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    As it had been previously announced that Sister White would occupy the time at 10:30, a very large audience was assembled at the time for the opening of the meeting. Prayer was offered by Elder A. T. Jones. After the reading of the minutes, the Conference adjourned to 10:30 A. M., Wednesday, March 16.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.11

    Sister White bore a very earnest and impressive testimony, a synopsis of which will appear in a future number of the BULLETIN.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.12


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    THE third meeting of the session was held Tuesday, March 17, at 3 P. M. Elder A. E. Place offered prayer. The Committee on Auditing reported as follows:-GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.13

    This is to certify that we have very carefully examined the books of the treasurer of the International Sabbath-school Association, and find them neatly kept, and correctly so, according to our best knowledge and belief.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.14

    W. H. EDWARDS, ]
    T. A. KILGORE, ] Committee.
    H. LINDSAY, ]

    The Committee on Constitution and Future Work submitted the following report:-GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.15


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    This organization shall be known as the International Sabbath-school Association of Seventh-day Adventists.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.16


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    The object of this Association shall be to unify and extend the Sabbath-school work of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination throughout the world.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.17


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    SECTION 1. This Association shall be composed of all the Sabbath-school associations and Sabbath-schools outside of these associations, which have been properly organized, and that shall report quarterly to this body.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.18

    SEC. 2. The legal voters of this Association shall be as follows: All accredited ministers and licentiates, and all members and workers from any Sabbath-school association present at any regular meeting of this Association.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.19


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    SECTION 1. The officers of this Association shall consist of a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Corresponding Secretary, and an Executive Board of nine, of which the President and Vice-President shall be members.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 153.20

    SEC. 2. These officers shall be elected at the regular sessions of the Association, and shall hold their office for the term of two years, or until their successors are elected, and appear to enter upon their duties.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.1

    SEC. 3. The secretaries of all associations outside of the United States shall be considered Corresponding Secretaries of this Association.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.2

    SEC. 4. The presidents of all associations outside of the United States shall be considered as honorary Vice-Presidents of this Association, and entitled to take part in the deliberations of the Executive Board, whenever present at its meetings.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.3


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    This Association shall hold a regular session every alternate year, in connection with the regular session of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.4


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    SECTION 1. The duties of the president shall be to take the general oversight of the work of the Association, to preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Executive Board, and to call special meetings thereof.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.5

    The Vice-President, in the absence of the President, shall perform the duties of that office.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.6


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    SECTION 1. The duties of the Secretary shall be, (1) To record the proceedings of the Association, and to present a yearly summary of the same at the annual meeting; (2) To present such other summary reports as may from time to time be ordered; (3) To make reports at such other times as may be ordered.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.7

    SEC. 2. The duties of the Corresponding Secretary shall be to advance by correspondence the interests of the Sabbath-school Association in all parts of the world, and to give isolated schools and associations such instruction as shall enable them to act in harmony with the body.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.8

    SEC. 3. The duties of the Treasurer of this Association shall be to receive and hold all moneys belonging to the Association, giving receipts therefor, and paying out the same as the Association or Executive Board may direct, through the written order of the President.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.9


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    The functions of the Executive Board shall be, (1.) To represent this Association when not in session assembled, to execute all its recommendations and orders, and to fill all vacancies which may occur from death or otherwise; (2.) To assist, either personally or by authorized agents, in organizing and conducting Sabbath-schools, Sabbath-school associations, and Sabbath-school conventions; (3.) To induce those possessing the requisite ability and having a heart in the work, to write in the interest of Bible study and proper Sabbath-school instruction, and to secure the publication and distribution of needed Sabbath-school literature, and to provide suitable lessons for all divisions of the Sabbath-school; (4.) To make all necessary provisions for rendering the sessions of this Association interesting and profitable, and, in general, to labor to make our Sabbath-schools efficient in preparing their members to be fruitful workers in the grand mission of the third angel’s message.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.10


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    The funds for defraying the expenses of this Association shall be obtained by the tithes from the State Associations, and by contributions and donations.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.11


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    This Constitution may be altered or amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any regular meeting.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.12

    The report of the Committee on Nominations was called up, but by request of the chairman of the committee, it was deferred.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.13

    The report of the Committee on Resolutions was taken up, and on motion to adopt, was opened for discussion.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.14

    Resolution one called out remarks from Elder O. A. Olsen. He thought the Sabbath-school work was a cause in which a great variety of talent could be employed. It was truly a missionary cause. This was shown by the building of the ship “Pitcairn.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.15

    Much has been said about our dearth of laborers. This is not a question remote from our Sabbath-schools, for our Sabbath-schools are where our children should be converted and fitted for the bearing of responsibilities in connection with the message.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.16

    Elder Durland said that although the increase in membership was encouraging, when we compared the membership of the Sabbath-school with the membership of the church, we would find there was still room for the membership to increase even among our own people. The great need to day is that of more consecrated teachers and workers.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.17

    Elder Holser said that if any should be thankful for the prosperity of the Sabbath-school work, it was the Central European field, where the truth had been established in part by the liberality of the schools.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.18

    Elders Loughborough and Underwood also made remarks urging upon all deeper consecration, and a feeling of individual responsibility in the Sabbath-school work.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.19

    By suggestion of Elder Durland, and consent of the Association, the words, “the past year” were added onto resolution two.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.20

    Resolution three called out remarks from Elder R. S. Owen, of Canada, who spoke of the high esteem in which Brother Martin was held, and the earnest, efficient work he had done for the association of which he was president.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.21

    The question was raised on resolution four as to whether ministers who were visiting from school to school should report and donate to the State school, or to the school at which they might be present. This called out some discussion, the prevailing sentiment expressed being that they should donate to the church schools at such times.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.22

    It was moved to amend the resolution by inserting the words “ministers and canvassers,” so that the resolution would read, “To secure the enrollment of every isolated Sabbath-keeper, minister, and canvasser in its territory.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.23

    Much discussion followed, in which the merits of both sides were quite fully brought out. The amendment was finally lost.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.24

    The president said he hoped none would get the idea that the State school was an experiment. It had already proved a success, - a means of communication with isolated Sabbath-keepers, and thus a means of encouragement.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 154.25

    Elder Durland said it was not the design of resolution six to effect a radical change in the Sabbath-schools. The change should be made carefully and judiciously. Should the resolution be carried out, our lessons in the future could be arranged to meet its provisions. The report was adopted, resolution three being acted upon separately.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.1

    The Committee on Resolutions further reported as follows:-GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.2


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    Whereas, There is a regular course of instruction in the Home Missionary, on foreign missions, wherein some particular mission field is taken up each month: therefore, -GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.3

    1. Resolved, That we recommend that all our Sabbath-schools make these missions their study, and give their offerings each month to the field then under consideration.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.4


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    2. Resolved, That the Sabbath-school Worker be furnished to schools in clubs, at the same club-rates as Our Little Friend.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.5


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    Whereas, There has been a lack of suitable books for Sabbath-school libraries; and, -GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.6

    Whereas, The Pacific Press is now issuing a series of books, known as “The Young People’s Library,” which meets this want; therefore, -GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.7

    3. Resolved, That we recommend that all our schools purchase these books for their libraries.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.8

    Whereas, There is urgent necessity that our people come more and more to consider Sabbath-school work as synonymous with Bible study; and, -GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.9

    Whereas, The General Conference has voted to hold a special Bible school in each of the General Conference districts, which Sabbath-school workers are requested to attend; therefore, -GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.10

    4. Resolved, That we urge not only that State Sabbath-school workers attend these Bible schools, but also that they in turn do all in their power to encourage as general an attendance as possible of officers and teachers in the various local Sabbath-schools, believing that in this way more than in any other the real interests of the Sabbath-school work may be advanced.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.11

    Whereas, The present duties already demand much study and labor by all of the State and provincial secretaries; and, -GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.12

    Whereas, the recent organization of State schools will demand much additional labor and earnest work by the aforesaid secretaries; therefore, -GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.13

    5. Resolved, That we recommend each State Conference to carefully consider the faithful labors of their Sabbath-school secretaries, and that they receive some remuneration for their faithful and earnest labors.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.14

    By vote the following resolution offered by Elder M. C. Wilcox, was ordered printed in the BULLETIN:-GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.15

    Resolved, That we adopt the same subjects for our lessons for 1892, that are to be used by the International Sunday-schools for the same year.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.16

    The meeting adjourned to meet Sunday, March 22, at 9 A. M.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.17


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    THE sixth chapter of Romans commences with a continuation of the argument that is contained in the fifth chapter. That argument is that the life of Christ is given to us for our justification. Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. Grace is favor, and the psalmist tells us that in his favor there is life; and so “being justified freely by his grace,” is simply the bestowal of the life of Christ upon us. That life is a sinless life. Christ in us obeys, and by his obedience we are made righteous.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.18

    “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized unto Jesus Christ were baptized unto his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.19

    Now this chapter shows us how we make the connection with Christ, and what that connection does for us. In the preceding chapter we learned that judgment had passed upon all men unto condemnation, and that the sentence of death had gone forth upon every man in this world. The death sentence has been pronounced, and death works in men. Why does death work in men? What is the peculiar power of death? It is sin! “The sting of death is sin.” Therefore sin working in men is simply death working in them. Men who are sinners are stung by death. Death is in then already, and it is carrying on its work in them, and it is only a matter of time till it shall hold them in its grasp forever. But while probation is continued, there is a possibility that men may escape that sting, and the execution of that penalty. Nevertheless God must be just, even while he is the justifier of them that believe on him. Sentence of death has been pronounced upon every man, and that sentence will be executed. Every man must die, because that all men have sinned.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.20

    But there is given to every man a choice as to when he will die. Christ died for all men. We can acknowledge his death, and die in him, and thus get his life; or on the other hand we may, if we wish, refuse to acknowledge him, and die in ourselves. But die we must. Death has passed upon all men, and all men must die. The life of every man is forfeited, of ourselves we have no life at all.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 155.21

    The Scripture plainly says, “He that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:12. Now seeing that we are in that condition, when death claims her forfeit, what are we going to do? Don’t you see that we are left lifeless. If I owe a thousand dollars, and I have just exactly a thousand dollars in my possession, when I pay that debt, I am left penniless, am I not? So it is with this life of ours. We all have a life here in our possession, but it does not belong to us. It is forfeited to the law. It does not belong to us at all. When the law exacts that forfeit, and that life of ours is gone, than there is nothing left to us but eternal death.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 156.1

    But Christ, the Son of God, has so much life in himself, that he can give life to every man and still have as much life left. He was not under any obligation to come to earth and go through the experience that he did. He had glory in heaven; he had the adoration of all the angels; he had riches and power: but he left them all, and even emptied himself of his glory and his honor; came to earth as a poor man, took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in all things like unto those whom he came to save.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 156.2

    He worked out righteousness here in the flesh. What did he do it for? For himself? No, he did not have any need of it. He had riches to begin with. He had everything that he could have when he was in heaven. But here on earth, as a man, he worked out righteousness and eternal redemption that he might give them to us. That is the sole reason that brought him into the world. He has all that righteousness he wrought out here, and he will and does give it to men. So he paid the penalty of the law, - for himself? No! He had no sin, consequently the law had no claim upon him.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 156.3

    In the second letter to the Corinthians, chapter five, and verse twenty-one, the apostle Paul says: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” So it was that he suffered the penalty, not for himself, but for us. When we by faith lay hold on Christ, and become united with him, so that we are identified with him, then we have that life which he has to bestow.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 156.4

    But pay the penalty, suffer the forfeit, we must; for the law will exact the forfeit. But as I said before, we have the choice as to whether we will wait, and let the law take the forfeit from us, at a time when we will have nothing left after it is gone, or whether we will give over the forfeited life when we can take the life of Christ, and have it left after we have paid the forfeit.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 156.5

    Now how do we get hold of Christ? How do we get the benefit of that righteous life of his? - It is in the act of death. At what point is it that we touch Christ, and make the connection? At what point in the ministry of Christ is it that he touches us, and effects the union? - It is at the lowest possible point where man can be touched, and that is death. In all points he is made like his brethren, so he takes the very lowest of these, - the point of death, - and there it is, when we are actually dead, that we step into Christ.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 156.6

    The ceremony of baptism is simply the symbol of Christ’s death and resurrection. Says Paul, in Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.” In Romans he says: “As many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death.” But if we died with Christ, we are bound and certain to live again; for Christ is alive. Here we can forcibly apply the words of Peter in Acts 2:24: “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” It was utterly impossible that death should hold Christ. Therefore if we die with him, and in our death are united with him, we shall also live with him. The great thought around which the whole Bible clusters, is death and resurrection with Christ. IF WE DIE WITH HIM, WE SHALL LIVE AGAIN.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 156.7

    We die with him, - when? Now! When we acknowledge our life forfeited, and give up all claims to that life, and everything that is connected with it, that very moment we die with Christ. Now what is this giving up of our life? Life stands for everything that a man has. It stands for everything that pertains to life. What is it, then, that pertains to the life that we naturally have in ourselves? It is sin! It is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. It is envy, malice, evil speaking, evil thinking, - all these things make up the natural life, because we see that every man that has the natural life, has these things. They are a part of his life. They enter into the life of every man on earth.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 156.8

    When we come to that place where we see that we have those things, and are ready to give them up, and pay the forfeit, then it is that we can die with Christ, and take his sinless life in their stead. In yielding up that life of ours, we give up all these things, and when they are all given up, then we are dead with Christ. But just as surely as we give them up and die with Christ, just so surely must we be raised again, for Christ is risen, and we then walk in newness of life. That new life, - that newness of life which we have, is the life of Christ, and it is a SINLESS LIFE. Knowing this, “that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we might not serve sin.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 156.9

    Here is the secret of all missionary effort. When a man comes to the point, where in very deed he reckons that he has no life of his own, and he gives up the forfeited life which he did have in his possession, and the life he lives in the flesh he lives by faith in the Son of God; then Christ is his life, and his life is “hid with Christ in God.” He has been raised to newness of life by faith in the operation of God. What can that man fear of what man can do to him? What will he fear of what man will say of him? He will say to himself, It is not I, but Christ that liveth in me.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 156.10

    What will it matter to him if he is called to go to an unhealthful locality? His life has already been yielded up, so that death has no terrors for him. He goes willingly, “not taking his life in his hand,” but leaving it in the keeping of Christ in God. If Christ, in whom his life is hid, wishes to allow him to sleep for awhile, it is all right. Moreover he is not discouraged by difficulties in the work to which Christ has assigned him; for he has practical knowledge of the power of Christ and he knows that he who cast down the high things that had exalted themselves in his own heart against Christ, is able to subdue all things unto himself. The life that he lives is the life of Christ, provided only, that every moment of his life he yields himself and is as thoroughly consecrated as he was at the time he died.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 157.1

    It is necessary that we die continually, and that we continually know the power of God, and of the resurrection of Christ. For “we are saved by his life.” We must know and experience the same power that God wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead. We take that power, - How? “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 157.2

    It is simply a matter of making the resurrection of Christ a practical thing in our own lives. It is simply believing that what God could do for Christ, as he lay in the grave, he can do for us. That power which brought forth Christ from the dead can keep us alive from the dead. If we have the life of Christ, and it is working in us, it must do for us all that it did for him when he was in Galilee and Judea.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 157.3

    What a precious thought it is that our lives are not our own. We have but the life of Christ. It is this thought that makes a man triumph even in death. Why? The sting of death is gone! Death does not sting the righteous man, because he is freed from sin. It was the knowledge of this that enabled the martyrs like Jerome and Huss to go to the stake, singing songs of triumph and victory. “Fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him that is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 157.4

    Our lives are hid with Christ in God, so that we fear not the power of wicked men, or of the devil himself. When we have given ourselves to Christ, and our life is hid with him, what matters it whether this life be cut off soon or not? We walk with Christ, and he controls our lives. Wicked men or devils can no more touch our life than they could hold Christ in the grave.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 157.5

    Oh, that we might feel the power of that life, and know that we are his! When we do get it, the power of God will accompany the message, as we go forth bearing it. What difference if men bring reproaches on us, - we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God; and the life we live, we live in him, and through faith in him. This is the power of the gospel, and the hope that makes the Christian triumph even in death. It is the hope of the resurrection; for when the man is called to lie down and sleep, he sleeps in Jesus. His life is just as sure, and even surer, then, than if he were alive upon the earth. His probation is sealed; he has fought a good fight; he has finished his course, and kept the faith. Well might the apostle say that he did not sorrow for those who slept, as for those who had no hope.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 157.6

    When the church of God, and the ministers of God, have died indeed, giving up everything that has pertained to their own life, then they will belong to Christ in deed and in truth. If Christ is willing to intrust us with some of these things; if we are to be spared on earth for awhile, it is all right. If on the other hand he thinks best to take us away, that is all right too. Whether sleeping in the grave or working for the Master on the earth, matters not, for it is Christ all the time.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 157.7

    When we get hold of these ideas, and make them ours, and we may have them as soon as we please, they are precious to us. Having counted the cost of giving up all those things that have been dear to us, if we are prepared to count them all but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord, then we can yield ourselves wholly to Christ. Just as soon as we are willing to count the cost, and to let ourselves be crucified with Christ, by giving up the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and all those things which have pertained to our old life, making no provision for the flesh, then the power of Christ comes upon us. But we are living yet on earth! Yes, but we have given up our life, and all there is to us is Christ working in us.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 157.8

    The very moment that a man denies everything pertaining to the flesh, that very moment he can say that Christ is his, and that he has the life of Christ. How does he know it? Through faith in the operation of him that raised Christ from the dead!GCDB March 18, 1891, page 157.9

    “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 157.10

    Christ’s life is an eternal life. He voluntarily went under the dominion of death. By doing this he demonstrated his power over death. He went down into the grave to show that right there, while bound by the chains of the prison house of the grave itself, he had power to burst those fetters asunder, and come forth free and a conqueror. Therefore since he dies no more, and we take that sinless life of his, then we can reckon ourselves dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. As death can have no dominion over him, so sin, which is the sting of death, can have no dominion over us.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 158.1

    A questioner may say, “You make it out that we ought never to sin any more, - you leave no room for sin.” But is not that what the Bible says? “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” We belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. How? By death, we make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof. There is such a thing as a complete surrender to Christ, - when we give up everything, and then trust to his power to keep us in that state. And I thank God that he is able to do it.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 158.2

    Men start out on dangerous expeditions, - some to conquer a country, and when they reach that land, they burn the boats they came in, so they cannot go back if they desired to. It is right for us to count well the cost. There is no use to make a headlong plunge into the battle. Look over the whole ground. Here is this pleasure, and that indulgence; can I give them up? They have been very dear to me, they have become entwined around my very life itself. They are identified with me, so that they show themselves in my very countenance, they are imbeded in my very character and are a part of myself. I have clung to them as I have clung to life itself. But Christ was not in them, they do not savor of the life of Christ at all. For the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross. Can I, for the sake of sharing that joy, ENDURE THAT CROSS? Can I give up the pleasures of sin for a season, in order to share the riches of Christ, and the joy of his salvation? These are the questions we must ask ourselves.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 158.3

    Look up, and place your eyes on Christ and the joys of present salvation. They form the opposite side of the picture. There is the joy of having an infinite power working in us. For that joy which we can have now, are we willing to give up everything, and to become sharers of the sufferings of Christ, and to be made partakers of his death, and the power of his resurrection? This is a joy that will last forever, so let us burn the boats and the bridges behind us! Can we give up all these things that have been so dear to us, can we give them up forever? That is the hard part.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 158.4

    Says one, “I have tried to give up these things before, and I have fallen again, now how do I know but what I shall fall again?” Ah no, you are not making a new resolution this time, you are not turning over a new leaf, and saying that you are going to do better. You are merely letting the old life and all the resolutions go. Simply say, I know that there is power in God. And that same power which spoke the world into existence, that same power which brought Christ forth from the tomb, - into the hands of that power I will yield myself, and let it sustain and keep me in the new life. And day by day as we do that, our hearts will go out in thankfulness to God for his wonderful power.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 158.5

    It is not ours to make provision for the flesh in the lusts thereof; but we must step out and take hold of the life of Christ, and feel that the power of God is working in us. When we feel that power working, - that miracle which is wrought in us, - the temptations to which we have yielded so often, the sinful practices to which we have given way, will be overcome, and we will rise superior to them. Then we can go out into the world, in the power of Christ, and carry the message as we never have done before.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 158.6

    How is it that we will have more power? Because we know that if God can work that miracle for us, he can do it for any one. Our work from a human standpoint is an impossible one; difficulties arise on every hand; but we have a knowledge of what the power of God can do, and therefore go forth in faith that he who can cast down imaginations in our hearts, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and can bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, can do that same work for others, since he has done it for us. It was that same power which caused the walls of Jericho to fall down before the people of God. I am so thankful that the God who has called us to be his servants is a God of infinite power. Take hold of that power and prove it for yourselves.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 158.7

    “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” “Likewise” - Like what? Like as Christ was raised from the dead to be dead no more, so likewise reckon yourselves to be dead unto sin to sin no more. Is that true? Note it carefully, - that sin shall have no more dominion over you. That is what the Bible says. We are no longer under the law, but under grace. We are no longer under condemnation, but the grace of God resteth upon us. The spirit of glory and of grace is present with us.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 158.8

    There is power in Christ. What is that power? Notice. Grace is favor! In the favor of God there is life. Then what is the power of the grace of Christ? It is the power of an endless life. If men really believe that Christ is risen from the dead, they can believe that they are dead unto sin, but alive unto God, and free from sin. Does the apostle mean free from sin? It is a solemn, but a glorious thought. How thankful ought men to be that they can have that confidence in the power of God through Chris that they can without any mental reservation take this chapter and believe it. Yes, believe these very words, “He that is dead is freed from sin ... reckon ye yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 159.1

    But is it true that man can live without sin? In the last part of the chapter we read: “For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.” We all know what that means. Our past experience is not so pleasant to look back over. In it we see no good. Now why was it that we were free from righteousness? - Because we were the servants of Satan. “But now, being made free from sin, we are become the servants of righteousness.” Christ is the author of righteousness. The service we render is his. Which are we, the servants of Christ or the servants of Satan? When we were the servants of Satan, we did not do any righteousness.” But now we are the servants of God. “Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” “Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 159.2

    There are just two services. The service of Satan, which is of sin unto death, and the service of Christ, which is of obedience unto righteousness. A man cannot serve two masters. All believe that. Then it is impossible to serve sin and righteousness at the same time. Now we call ourselves Christians. That means - what? Followers of Christ! But in all our Christian experience we have left little loopholes along here and there for sin. We have never dared to come to that place where we would believe that the Christian life should be a sinless life. We have not dared to believe it or preach it. But in that case we cannot preach the law of God fully. Why not? Because we do not understand the power of justification by faith. Then without justification by faith it is impossible to preach the law of God to the fullest extent. Then to preach justification by faith does not detract from or lower the law of God, but is the only thing that exalts it.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 159.3

    Now can we be the servants of Christ while we are committing sins, and making provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof? Is Christ the minister of sin? Whose servants are we while we are committing sin? We are the servants of sin, and sin is of Satan. Now if a Christian (?) is committing sin part of the time, and doing righteousness the rest of the time, it must be that Satan and Christ are in partnership, so that he has only one master, for he cannot serve two masters.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 159.4

    But there is no consort between light and darkness, - between Christ and Belial. They are in deadly antagonism, they are opposed to each other, and they have fought a fight even to the death. There is no quarter on either side. Then it is utterly impossible for man to serve these two masters. He must be on the one side or the other. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” We know enough about being servants of sin. We have yielded ourselves as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 159.5

    Now the question comes: How am I going to become a servant of Christ, so that I will be able to die to my old life? “To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are whom ye obey.” The word rendered “servant” really means a “bondservant.” Just the moment that I yield myself to Christ to become his servant, that very moment I am his bond-servant. That very moment I belong to him. How do I know that Christ will accept my service if I do give it him? Because he has bought that service and paid the price for it. And in all those years that I yielded myself a servant to sin, I have been defrauding him of his right. But all this time that I have been keeping back my service, he has been going about searching for me, and seeking to draw me to him. And when we say, “Here, Lord, here I am, I give myself to thee,” that very moment Christ has found us, for he has been seeking for us, and we are his servants.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 159.6

    But how do we know that we are going to continue in his service? How do we know that we can live the life of Christ? Just in the same way that we know we have lived the life of sin. When we take this matter into account as to whose servants we will be, we want to take into account the power of the two masters. When we were the servants of sin, we were free from righteousness, because Satan swayed us, and used us in whatever way he would, and we were at the mercy of his power.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 159.7

    Is sin stronger than righteousness? is Satan stronger than Christ? No! Then as Christ has proved himself to be the stronger of the two, and just as surely as when we were the bond-servants of sin, it had power to keep us free from righteousness; so when we yield ourselves as bond-servants unto Christ, he has power to keep us from sin. The battle is not ours, it is God’s. I said that Christ and Satan were not in partnership, but that there is the bitterest antagonism between them.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 159.8

    All are familiar with the words, “The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan.” It is a household phrase among us. What is the controversy over? It is over the souls of men, and the place of their abode. Who shall have your service and mine, is the question that they are fighting over. The controversy is between Christ and Satan. They are not only the principal ones in the controversy, but the whole controversy is between them, and them alone.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 160.1

    We have this much to say, - neither one of them can take our service against our will. Of ourselves we have no power to stand against Satan; we have tried that. We have no power to meet him; we cannot face him and conquer him. We have no power at all; but at the same time we know that we do not want to be his servants. Yes; and we will not only say, I do not want to be his servant, but, I will not be his servant. So instead of putting our strength against Satan, we yield ourselves to Christ, and repeat over and over again, like David the psalmist, “O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.” Psalm 116:15.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 160.2

    What? I was a bond-servant of Satan’s, but just the moment I said to Christ, “I will be your servant,” he loosed my bonds, and took upon himself the responsibility of defending me against Satan, who has no right to me. So when Satan comes to take me back and make me his bond-servant again, Christ meets him, even as he met him when he was here upon the earth. So simply tell your own heart, and Satan, that you are Christ’s, and that he has loosed your bonds. Then you are loosed indeed. You have counted the cost, and now you can take the words of David and repeat them over and over.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 160.3

    Your life is no longer your own, it is the life of Christ. His life, his very existence, is pitted against Satan. The battle goes over our heads, for we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God. Says the psalmist, “Thou shalt keep them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.” The battle between Christ and Satan is being waged over our heads, and we are hid in the secret pavilion. This is the victory that overcometh the world, for Christ has gained the victory over Satan, and by grasping the promises of Christ by faith, and laying hold upon the life of Christ, the victory over Satan is ours.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 160.4

    Does not Christ say that all power is given him in heaven and in earth? Note the precious words in Ephesians 1:19-21: “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 160.5

    That same power which placed him in that exalted position which is far above all principality and power, - what has it done for us? “Quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Where is it that we are placed? “Far above all principality and power.”GCDB March 18, 1891, page 160.6

    Then the victory is ours in Christ, and he has gained the victory already. He has conquered a peace for us. Just as surely as he gives his peace to us, just that surely has he gained the victory for us. So in the hour of trial we have a victory that is already gained. Well may we say that the battle goes over our heads, and great is our peace. There is peace all the time.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 160.7

    The strength of the Christian lies in submitting, - the victory in yielding to Christ, so that he may keep us in his presence, and cover us up in his pavilion from the strife of tongues. Then it does not matter how great the trial may be, if we have Christ, there will be peace in our hearts.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 160.8

    O that every one in this house may be filled with a desire to have Christ and his righteousness, that this very night we may take his word and be inspired by its inspiration, and then we shall have and shall be able to live the life of Christ. Then we can go about as missionaries for Christ and do good. When we take that power which we have by faith in him, it will not be long till the work will be cut short in righteousness, and we shall see him, who not having seen, we love.GCDB March 18, 1891, page 160.9

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