THE PRESENT TRUTH.
- BY JAMES WHITE.
THE PRESENT TRUTH. VOL. 1.
- MIDDLETOWN, CONN, SEPTEMBER, 1849. - NO. 4.
"The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant." - Ps.xxv.14.
Repairing the Breach in the Law of God.
"And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, etc. Isa.lviii:12,13. Those who turn away their feet from treading down the Sabbath, and keep it holy, and make it a delight, have the promise of being called repairers of the breach. If we repair a breach by teaching, and observing the Sabbath according to the fourth commandment, then it necessarily follows, that the breach has been caused by those who have been trampling down this commandment. Therefore the breach that has been made, and is now being repaired, is in the law of God.
God's everlasting covenant of commandments was not to be "DIMINISHED," "broken nor altered." Deut.iv:2; Ps.lxxxix:34. Jesus said, "For VERILY I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in NO WISE pass from the law." Matt.v:18. The proof is plain and positive, that the law of God engraven in stones was to remain the same to the close of time: yet we see almost the whole professed Christian world, every week, trampling down the fourth immutable law in God's everlasting covenant, thus making a breach in his holy law.
But the time has come for the Sabbath to be proclaimed more fully, and the breach repaired. The fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah commences thus - "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins." The Prophet then describes the fasts of the present day, which are by no means acceptable to God, and then shows us what a true and acceptable fast is.
"Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to LET THE OPPRESSED GO FREE, and that ye break every yoke." Verse 6th. The falling judgments of Almighty God will not be averted by such a fast as was holden August 3d, while on this nation rests the cruel, and damning sin of slavery. Let them break the yoke that binds the poor slave, and undo his unjust and heavy burden, and thus let the oppressed go free, and then they have begun to fast in God's appointed way. The wrath of God will not be turned away from this favored land of light, stained with sins of the deepest dye, by a few cold and formal prayers, from those who have rejected his truth, and are desecrating the holy Sabbath every week. It seems plain that Isaiah looked down in prophetic vision to this very time, when the breach in the law, first made by the little horn, (see Dan.vii:25,) is being repaired.
Ezekiel speaks of the same breach. "Ye have not gone up into the gaps, (margin breaches,) neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord." Ezek.xiii:5. The day of the Lord has but one place, and that is just before us. This prophecy has not been fulfilled in past time; for its fulfillment is closely connected with the day of the Lord, which is future.
This breach must be built up, that the Israel of God may be able to stand in the great and terrible day of slaughter, that is fast rolling on; therefore, the work of repairing the breach in the commandments of God belongs just before, and preparatory to, the day of destruction by the seven last plagues.
God has a place for every thing, and every thing is in its place. So we see that the mighty work of repairing the breach in the law of God, by teaching and observing the Sabbath, which has been so long trodden down, belongs exactly here, just before the four Angels let loose the four winds, that the Israel of God may keep the whole law, and be sealed with the seal of the living God, which will enable them to "stand in the battle in the day of the Lord."
"And behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter-weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's ink-horn by his side: and they went in and stood before the brazen altar." Ezek.ix:2.
The five Angels* with slaughter-weapons, have charge of the work of slaughter, in the day of the Lord.
The one clothed with linen, is the sealing Angel, or the Angel that has oversight of the sealing work. "And the Lord said unto him, Go through Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and SMITE: LET NOT YOUR EYE SPARE, NEITHER PITY: SLAY UTTERLY OLD AND YOUNG," etc. Ezek.ix:4-6.
The man with the ink-horn first goes through, and marks a mark on the foreheads of the sighing saints. This mark seals them, and they are safe in the time of slaughter. "BUT COME NOT NEAR ANY MAN UPON WHOM IS THE MARK, verse 6th. The work of slaughter immediately follows, and none but the marked, or sealed ones stand in the battle of the Lord. So we see that the repairing of the breach in the law of God, and the sealing, are one and the same work, just before the day of the Lord, "cruel both with wrath and fierce anger."
"Wo unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps," etc. Eze.xiii:3-5.
The prophets that have not gone up into the gaps, represent advent preachers who have rejected the Sabbath, and have refused to work for God, in repairing the breach. Their being like the cunning foxes of the deserts doubtless represents the artful positions which some of them have taken to hunt and destroy souls, in persuading them to give up the Sabbath, and in keeping others from embracing it.
These men have not been agreed among themselves, while carrying on this work of spiritual destruction and death. There has been, at least, four different positions taken by some of them, as they have opposed the true one.
The first position that was taken in opposition to the true Sabbath, when the subject was first spread before the second advent people, was that it was changed from the seventh day to the first, at the time of the first advent.
This position was so very weak and unscriptural, that it did not accomplish much; therefore it was thought necessary to sweep away the whole law of God, in order to get rid of the Sabbath.
This second position against the Sabbath, that the ten commandments were abolished at the first advent, and are dead, has done an awful work of slaughter among the precious flock. Though there is not one text, nor one line in all the Bible to sustain such a view, and much plain Scripture testimony against it; yet many seem determined to cling fast to it.
"It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made VOID THY LAW." Ps.cxix:126.
The third position that has been taken by some of these men who have opposed the Sabbath, was that the first day of the week was the seventh-day Sabbath. This view was introduced into the "Bible Advocate," published at Hartford, Conn., in 1847. The whole argument that sustained it was drawn from this one text, "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matt.xii:40.
It was argued that Monday was the resurrection day; because three days and three nights from Friday, the day of our Lord's burial, would reach to Monday. But three days and three nights, from the time that Jesus was put in Joseph's new tomb, would reach to Monday night; and if the Son of man was to remain in the tomb just three days and three nights, then he arose in the evening, instead of the morning, and all four of the Evangelists were wrong in recording that the resurrection took place in the morning. This view which has been so recently discovered, that Monday is the first day of the week, and Sunday the seventh, and that all the world have made a mistake, of just one day, in numbering the days of the week, has but one text to sustain it, and a fulfillment of this one text, as to time, has never yet been shown. According to this view, those who have been keeping Sunday in commemoration of the day of the resurrection, should have kept Monday; and in keeping Sunday for the first day of the week, they have been observing the seventh-day Sabbath, and did not know it. A singular mistake indeed, to be hid from the world so long, and be found out in 1847!
* Angels are sometimes called men in the Scriptures, see Gen.xviii:1,2, and 16,17; xix:1; Dan.ix:21; Acts i:10.
But if Jesus rose from the dead on Monday, then the resurrection was on the fourth day, which does not agree with the testimony of Jesus, and St. Paul.
"Thus it is written, and thus it behooveth Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead THE THIRD DAY." Luke xxiv:46. See also Matt.xvi:21; xx:19; Mark ix:31; x:34; Luke ix:22; xviii:33.
"For I delivered unto you first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again THE THIRD DAY, according to the Scriptures." Cor.xv:3,4.
Jesus was crucified on Friday, which was the first day; Sabbath he rested in the tomb, which was the second, and Sunday, the first day of the week, he rose from the dead which was THE THIRD DAY. This is plain enough for all who want to see the truth; but those who wish to cavil, and pervert the Word, have a chance.
The fourth position that has been taken against the Sabbath truth, is that the fourth commandment is relaxed, and we are at liberty to keep the Sabbath, or to desecrate it, just as we choose, only be sure and not make it a test. This last position has deceived precious souls, as they have been led to believe, "by good words, and fair speeches," that Jesus did really relax the Sabbath law. But there is not one text in the New Testament that proves any such thing, and there is much plain and direct testimony from Jesus and his Apostles, that all of the commandments of God are in full force.
Those who have embraced the true Sabbath, and have been teaching it, have been united in it. They have but one position to take on the Sabbath question; while those who have been opposing it, have in their turn advocated as many as four different views; and some of them have been as much opposed to each other, as to the true position. Truth is a unit, while error has a variety of heads and horns. This was so in 1842, and '43, when Daniel's vision of the twenty-three hundred days was proclaimed.
Some of those men who then opposed the advent truth, took the ground that the twenty-three hundred days of Dan.viii:14 were literal days; others that they were only eleven hundred and fifty literal days. Then Mr. Bush came out in opposition to all. He stated that the twenty-three hundred days were prophetic, and that we were correct on time; but erred in the event. Those who had the true position were united, therefore, triumphed.
These men that have opposed the Sabbath, have pursued a course similar to that which was taken in opposing the second advent. But the Sabbath truth is so plain and simple, that a child may understand it; and those who receive and obey it, are united in it, and in the strength of Israel's God they will overcome, and triumph; Amen.
These shepherds that have opposed the truth, have not only refused to work for God in repairing the breach in the law; but they have done their best to hinder others. They would not go up into the breach themselves, and many of those who would go, they have hindered. In this way they have stood in the way of God's work, and the blood of souls will be found on their garments. What fearfulness will surprise these men, when the wrath of Almighty God is poured out, and they find out too late, that they are without a shelter; and what an awful thing to come up to the judgment, with their garments all stained over with the blood of precious souls, whom they have spiritually slaughtered.
"Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for the days of YOUR SLAUGHTER and of YOUR DISPERSIONS are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel. And the shepherds shall have NO WAY to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape." Jer.xxv:34,35.
This is when "evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth;" and when the "slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth, even unto the other end of the earth;" and when "they shall NOT BE LAMENTED, NEITHER GATHERED, NOR BURIED."
Evil has begun to go forth from nation to nation, and the signs are fast gathering all around us, that the great and dreadful day of wrath and slaughter, will soon burst upon the world.
The thirty-fourth chapter of Ezekiel is a prophetic description of the cruel work of these shepherds, in scattering the flock since 1844, by opposing the present truth; and of the deliverance of those who overcome.
"Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Wo be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?" Eze.xxxiv:2.
The flock here represents God's people who were called out of the sectarian churches, and were one united flock in 1844, and have since been scattered.
"And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are MEN and I am your God." - Verse 31st.
God has promised to gather the feeble scattered flock. Those honest souls that have been thrust by these shepherds, till they are scattered abroad, will be gathered home.
"I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment." Verse 16th.
The scattering has been from the true position; and the gathering will be to the present true position.
The saints are to be gathered into the unity of the faith, where they will no longer be "tossed to and fro," by the "cunning craftiness of men." (These shepherds.) See Eph.iv:11-16. They will all be united on the great sealing truth, which is the Sabbath of the Lord our God.
"Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?
And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet, and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet." Verses 18th and 19th.
The present truth relating to the Sabbath, and our advent experience, or as John has it in Rev.xiv:12; xii:17, "the commandments of God, and the faith, or testimony of Jesus Christ," is to us the living bread and water of heaven. It is our spiritual meat and drink. This meat in due season, the shepherds have trodden down, and fouled it with their feet. They have called the holy Sabbath a yoke of bondage, and the Sabbath of the old Jews, and have represented those that observe it, as having fallen from grace, and being under the bondage of the law of Moses. We have also been called fanatics, because we would follow the Lord, and the Bible, and keep the Sabbath according to the commandment. Our holy experience, wrought in us by the power of the Holy Ghost, as we followed the sure Word in 1843, and '44, has been called by them the work of Man, Mesmerism, or of the Devil. In this way these shepherds, who have not gone up into the gap, have trodden down the good pasture, and fouled the deep waters; but God's people eat that which they have trodden with their feet.
The scattering time since 1844, has truly been "a dark and cloudy day." The weary and torn flock have been grieved, driven, and scattered upon the mountains; but the gathering time has come, and the sheep are beginning to hear the cheering voice of the true Shepherd, in the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus, as they are being more fully proclaimed. The message will go, the sheep will be gathered into the present truth, and the breach restored. All the powers of earth and hell combined, cannot stop the work of God. Then let the message fly, for time is short.
God has wonderfully honored his ten commandments. The power and glory of God that attended the ark of the covenant, parted the waters of the river Jordan, and rolled them back; so that they stood upon an heap, in the days of Joshua, while all Israel passed over on dry ground. The priests took up the ark, and the people moved on after it; and when the soles of the priests feet that bore the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, Jordan parted. The feet of the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the river, while the people hasted and passed over. Then when the priests that bore the ark came up out of Jordan, and stood upon the bank of the river, down came the waters of Jordan, and flowed over all his banks as before.
The walls of Jerico fell down before the ark of God. Seven priests went before the ark, blowing their simple trumpets of rams horns, as they compassed the city each day, for six day in succession. Then on the seventh day, the ark of the Lord went round the city seven times in like manner; "and when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people Shout;" and down came the walls of Jerico, before the ark of the covenant.
When Israel kept the ten commandments they prevailed, and subdued their enemies; but when they broke any of them, they were smitten, and compelled to flee before them.
Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, broke the seventh commandment, and made the Lord's people to transgress. Therefore when Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, they were smitten before the Philistines, and there fell of them "about four thousand men," and the ark of God was taken.
When the messenger told Eli that the ark of God was taken, he fell from his seat backward, "and his neck brake, and he died." He was not so much effected in hearing of the slaughter of four thousand of the men of Israel, and of the death of his two sons; but when the messenger "made mention of the ark of God, he fell from his seat;" for he knew that the glory had departed from Israel.
The Philistines put the ark into the house of Dagon, their god, and in the morning, "behold Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord." They set him in his place again; and the next morning they found Dagon on his face, with his head, and the palms of his hands cut off.
The ark was in the country of the Philistines seven months, and during this time "the hand of the Lord was against them with a very great destruction;" and they were exceeding anxious to get rid of the ark of God, and have it go back to Israel, where it belonged. They made a new cart, and laid the ark upon it, and took two milch-kine that had never been yoked, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home.
"And the kine took the straight way to the way of Beth-shemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left." 1Sam.vi:12. The cart came into the field of Joshua; and the Levites took it down, and set it on the great stone of Abel. Here, fifty thousand and seventy of the men of Beth-shemesh were slain, because they looked into the ark.
It was the power and glory that attended the law of God that parted Jordan, and gave the children of Israel victory and power, as they entered the land of promise; and it will be the glory and power of the commandments, that will enable the saints of the Most High "to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord" and take the kingdom.
Then they were engraven in stones; but now they are to be sealed in the hearts, and minds (foreheads) of the saints of the Most High, by the Holy Spirit of promise.
There is as much power in the commandments of God now, as ever there was; and when the whole law of God is observed by all his people, and the breach fully repaired, then "the house of Israel will stand in the battle in the day of the Lord."
When Israel transgressed one of the commandments, they were driven before their enemies, and if we violate the fourth, we shall fall in the day of slaughter. Therefore our present work is to vindicate the Sabbath of the Lord our God, and thus repair the breach that has been made in the commandments.
It is said that we make too much of the Sabbath, and neglect the other nine commandments.
We believe that we must keep the whole law, and as the Apostle James said, "if we offend in one, we are guilty of all." If we continue to violate any one of the ten commandments, we shall surely fall in the day of the Lord.
Nine of them are universally admitted by the churches to be binding, and are professedly kept; while the fourth is utterly neglected, and trodden down by them. The reason why we have more to say on the Sabbath commandment than the other nine, is because this is the very one that is trodden down.
Suppose a garden is enclosed by ten lengths of fence, and one of them is broken down. No one would say, the owner was wrong if he should give his whole attention to the broken down length until it was repaired. Neither are we wrong in vindicating the Sabbath truth, until the breach in the Law of God is repaired.
From Sabbath Tract No. 7, published by the American Sabbath Tract Society, No. 9, Spruce-street, New York.
1. Did God, after he had finished the work of creation, "bless and sanctify" the seventh day of the week; or simply the seventh part of time, without reference to any particular day of the seven?
2. Did He not sanctify the very day in which he rested from his work? Was not that the last day of the seven? Did He sanctify any other?
3. WHY did He "bless and sanctify" the seventh day? Was it not because he rested on that day? Will this reason apply to any other day of the seven? Did he not work on EVERY other day? (See Gen.ii:2,3)
4. Is not God's example of resting on the seventh day enjoined upon us for imitation? (Ex.xx:8-11.) Do we imitate him, when we rest upon some other day than the one in which He rested?
5. Is it the special appointment of God which renders a day holy, or is it our own act? Is the day holy because we count it so, or because God has made it so?
6. When God enjoins us to count the Sabbath, "the holy of the Lord," (Isa.lviii:13,) is it not equivalent to telling us that He himself has previously constituted it a holy day by blessing and sanctifying it? Is it any thing more than requiring us to reckon the day to possess that dignity which He has already conferred upon it?
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8. If God's blessing did not rest upon one particularly specified day, could he challenge to himself any propriety in one day more than in another? Yet in the Sabbath day he claims a special propriety; "My holy day." (Isa.lviii:13.)
9. Are we not commanded to refrain from labor in that very day which God once "blessed and sanctified," and thereby made holy time? "In IT thou shalt not do any work," &c. Do we obey this command when we work all of that day, and make it the busiest day of all the seven?
10. If it be downright disobedience to set about our work on the seventh day, when God says, "in it thou shalt NOT do any work," can we think to make amends for this act of disobedience by ceasing from work on another day? Even the performance of a required duty will not make amends for another one neglected. How much less, then, the performance of something which is not required! "Who had required this at your hand?"
11. Has God ever taken away the blessing which he once put upon the seventh day, and made that day a common or secular day?
12. Does not the reason of the blessing (See Quest 3,) possess all the cogency now that it ever did? Has it lost force by the lapse of time? And while the reason of an institution remains, does not the institution itself remain?
13. Was the reason of the blessing which God originally put upon the seventh day, founded upon any need that men then had of a Redeemer? Was it therefore to receive its accomplishment and fulfillment by the actual coming of the Redeemer? In what possible sense can it be said, that Jesus Christ fulfilled and made an end of this reason?
14. Has God ever said of the first day of the week, In it thou shalt not do any work? Has Christ ever said so? Have the apostles?
15. Is there any scriptural proof that Christ, or his apostles, or the Christian churches in the days of the apostles, refrained from labor on the first day of the week?
16. As there is no transgression where there is no law, (Rom.iv:15; 1John 3:4,) what sin is committed by working on the first day of the week?
17. Does not the Sabbatic Institution RESULT from the blessing and sanctifying of a particular day? Is not this the very thing in which it consists? How then is the institution separable from the day thus "blessed and sanctified?" How can it be separated from that upon which its very existence depends?
18. If the very life and soul of the institution consist in the blessing which was once put upon a particular day, is it not idle to talk of the transfer of the institution to another day? If another day has been sanctified and blessed, then it is an entirely new institution, and not a transfer of the old.
19. Does not the law of the Sabbath require the weekly commemoration of that rest which God entered into after he had finished the work of creation? By what principle of law or logic, then, can that law be made to require the commemoration of the work of redemption?
20. If it be necessary that the work of redemption be commemorated weekly by a positive institution, must not the obligation so to commemorate it arise from some law which directly and specifically requires it? But when, instead of this, the attempt is made to derive the obligation from the Sabbath law, is it not a tacit acknowledgment that there is no law requiring the weekly commemoration of the work of redemption?
21. Does the Scripture ever apply the name Sabbath, to the first day of the week? Even in the New Testament, where the term is used, is not the reference always to the seventh day?
22. If Luke, who wrote the Acts of the Apostles full thirty years after the death of Christ, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, still calls the seventh day of the week the Sabbath, can it be wrong in us to do so? (See Acts xiii:14,42,44; xvi:13; xvii:1,2; xviii:4.) If this be the inspired application of the term so many years after all the ceremonial institutions were nailed to the cross, is it not our duty to make the same use of the term now?
23. Is it not a manifest perversion of the scriptural use of terms, to take away the sacred name from the seventh day of the week, and give it to the first day?
24. When the first day of the week is so generally called the Sabbath, are not the common people thereby led to suppose that the Bible calls it so? Are they not thus grossly deceived?
25. If the name Sabbath were no longer applied to this day, and it should simply be called first day of the week, as in the Bible, is it not probable that it would soon lose its sacredness in the eyes of the people?
26. Is it possible, then, that God has not given the day a name sufficiently sacred to secure for it a religious regard, nor even guarded it with a law sufficient to prevent its desecration?
27. What then? HAS GOD LEFT HIS WORK FOR MAN TO MEND! IS IT NOT SAFE TO LEAVE THE DAY AS GOD HAS LEFT IT! "Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him?" (Isa.xi:13.)
28. Are you very sure that by the Lord's day, (Rev.i:10,) is meant the first day of the week? Have you any Scripture proof of it? Have you any other proof of it than the testimony of those who are called the early Fathers?
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34. Though the observance of the first day of the week as a religious festival be in itself innocent, so long as it is not made a pretext for dispensing with an express law of God, (Matt.xv:6,) yet do you find it any where in the word of God commanded as a duty?
35. Do you believe that a Sabbath, in the true and proper sense of the term; namely, a day of rest from all ordinary labor, is necessary and indispensable to the well-being of mankind? If so, do you honestly suppose that God would set it aside, and have its place supplied by nothing more than a religious festival?
36. Is it not wicked to uphold a course which makes the commandment of God of none effect? (Matt.xv:1-9; Mark vii:1-13.)
Reader! carefully ponder the foregoing questions, together with the Scripture references.
Do not trifle with the Holy Spirit of God, by forcibly wresting his word from its obvious meaning. Let conscience be unfettered; and act, as fully realizing that "THOU, GOD, SEEST ME."
DIALOGUE, Between a Minister of the Gospel and a Sabbatarian.
Sabbatarian. Did Jehovah ever sanctify one day above another?
Minister. He did.
S. And what day was that?
M. The seventh.
M. When he finished his creative work.
M. In Eden.
S. On whom was it obligatory?
M. On our first parents, and all their posterity.
S. Did he ever unsanctify that day?
S. Did he ever sanctify the first, or any other day than the seventh, as a day of rest?
M. Not that I know of.
S. Then do not those who neglect the seventh day, take away something from the word of God? And do not those who keep the first day add to that word? Read the threatnings of the Lord against such:- "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book"
ARTICLE BY E G WHITE
September 1, 1849 Dear Brethren and Sisters
In this time of trial, we need to be encouraged, and comforted by each other. The temptations of Satan are greater now, than ever before; for he knows that his time is short, and that very soon, every case will be decided, either for Life, or for Death. It is no time to sink down beneath discouragement, and trial now; but we must bear up under all our afflictions, and trust wholly in the mighty God of Jacob.
The Lord has shown me that his grace is sufficient for all our trials; and although they are greater than ever before, yet if we trust wholly in God, we can overcome every temptation, and through his grace come off victorious.
If we overcome our trials, and get victory over the temptations of Satan, then we endure the time of our faith, which is much more precious than gold, and are stronger, and better prepared to meet the next. But if we sink down, and give way to the temptations of Satan, we shall grow weaker, and get no reward for the trial, and shall not be so well prepared to meet the next. In this way we shall grow weaker, and weaker, until we are led captive by Satan at his will. We must have on the whole armour of God, and be ready at any moment, for a conflict with the powers of darkness. When temptations and trials rush in upon us, let us go to God, and agonize with him in prayer. He will not turn us away empty; but will give us grace and strength to overcome, and to break the power of the enemy. O, that all could see these things in their true light, and endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus. Then would Israel move forward, strong in God, and in the power of his might.
God has shown me that he gave his people a bitter cup to drink, to purify and cleanse them. It is a bitter draught, and they can make it still more bitter by murmuring, complaining, and repining. Those who receive it thus, must have another draught; for the first does not have its designed effect upon the heart. And if the second does not effect the work, then they must have another, and another, until it does have its designed effect, or they will be left filthy and impure in heart. I saw that this bitter cup can be sweetened by patience, endurance and prayer, and that it will have its designed effect upon the hearts of those who thus received it, and God will be honored and glorified. It is no small thing to be a Christian, and be owned and approved of God. The Lord has shown me some who profess the present truth, whose lives do not correspond with their profession. They have got the standard of piety altogether too low, and come far short of Bible holiness. Some engage in vain, and unbecoming conversation; and others give way to the risings of self. We must not expect to please ourselves, live and act like the world, have its pleasures, and enjoy the company of those who are of the world, and reign with Christ in glory.
We must be partakers of Christ's sufferings here, if we would share in his glory hereafter. If we seek our own interest, how we can best please ourselves, instead of seeking to please God, and advance his precious, suffering cause, we shall dishonor God, and the holy cause we profess.
We have but a little space of time left to work for God. Nothing should be too dear to sacrifice, for the salvation of the scattered and torn flock of Jesus. Those who make a covenant with God by sacrifice now, will soon be gathered home to share a rich reward, and possess the new kingdom forever and ever.
O, let us live wholly for the Lord, and show by a well ordered life, and godly conversation that we have been with Jesus, and are his meek and lowly followers. We must work while the day lasts, for when the dark night of trouble and anguish comes, it will be too late to work for God. Jesus is still in his Holy Temple, and will now accept our sacrifices, our prayers, and our confessions of faults and sins, and will now pardon all the transgressions of Israel, that they may be blotted out before he leaves the Sanctuary. When Jesus leaves the Sanctuary, then he that is holy and righteous, will be holy and righteous still; for all their sins will then be blotted out, and they will be sealed with the seal of the living God. But those that are unjust and filthy, will be unjust and filthy still; for then there will be no Priest in the Sanctuary to offer their sacrifices, their confessions, and their prayers before the Father's throne. Therefore, what is done to rescue souls from the coming storm of wrath, must be done before Jesus leaves the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary.
The Lord has shown me that precious souls are starving, and dying for want of the present, sealing truth, the meat in due season; and that the swift messengers should speed on their way, and feed the flock with the present truth. I heard an Angel say, "speed the swift messengers, speed the swift messengers; for the case of every soul will soon be decided, either for Life, or for Death."
I saw that those who had the means, were required to help speed those messengers, that God had called to labor in his cause, and as they went from place to place, they would be safe from the prevailing pestilence. But if any went that were not sent of God, they would be in danger of being cut down by the pestilence; therefore all should earnestly seek for duty, and be sure and move by the direction of the Holy Spirit.
What we have seen and heard of the pestilence, is but the beginning of what we shall see and hear. Soon the dead and dying will be all around us. I saw that some will be so hardened, as to even make sport of the judgements of God. Then the slain of the Lord will be from one end of the earth, to the other; they will not be lamented, gathered, nor buried; but their ill savor will come up from the face of the whole earth. Those only who have the seal of the living God, will be sheltered from the storm of wrath, that will soon fall on the heads of those who have rejected the truth.
E. G. White.
Dear Brother White -
Your first and second numbers of "The Present Truth," are received, and we are thankful to our Heavenly Father for the light of the truth.
I would say for your encouragement, that the little band here have received the truth on the Sabbath, without an exception. And we thank the Lord for ever inclining Bro. Bates' mind to come to Jackson. O, sound the alarm, and let the message fly! I think it is the last one to the remnant. We herein send you ten dollars for the spread of the truth. If you need it all, use it; if not, let Bro. Bates have a part of it to travel with.
Bro. White - I do believe that your paper is doing the Lord's work, and I wish no alteration in it, by mere human wisdom. Yet I would just suggest the propriety, if your means will admit of it, of having your sheet enlarged sufficient to insert extracts of the letters you may receive from the brethren who have or may receive the message, for no doubt you will have many such. I have two reasons for the above suggestion. First, it will be comforting those who have received it, to hear of others. Second, it may induce some to examine the subject, that would not otherwise, but do as the Lord shall direct.
Give our love to Sister White, and Bro. Bates. Tell him we are all strong in the Lord, rejoicing in the truth. How thankful I am that this blessed truth has not divided us. O, praise the Lord!
Yours, in Hope,
J. C. BOWLES.
Jackson, Mich. Aug. 18th, 1849.
The letter from Bro. Bowles will be read with interest, especially by those who were interested in Bro. Bates' tour to the West. I did not intend to publish letters from the Brethren, but it does seem to me that such cheering news as Bro. Bowles' letter contains, should be published.
My Post-Office address, until further notice is given, will be Topsham, Me., where I hope to hear from the Brethren.