Dear young friends, You live in a dark and wicked world, subject to sickness, pain and death. You may see many things that look beautiful; but how soon they fade away. You may have a dear friend that you love; but soon that one may be torn from you by sickness and death, and you will then feel lonesome.
You should have something substantial to fix your minds and affections upon, that can give real satisfaction and joy, and cheer your spirits in this dark world, and cause your sorrows to bring joy in the end.
There is a blight upon everything. The earth feels the curse that God pronounced upon it, because of the disobedience of our first parents. They broke the command of God in eating of the forbidden tree, after He had given them the privilege of eating of all the other trees in the garden. They listened to the tempter, ate of the forbidden tree, and were expelled from the beautiful garden of Eden.
The earth that was then so beautiful, was cursed, and the flaming sword was placed around the tree of life to guard it, lest man, in his sin, should approach that tree, and eat of its immortal fruit, and by so doing, live in sin forever.
The tree of life was designed to perpetuate immortality. Adam and Eve could eat of that tree, and enjoy its rich immortal fruit, until they transgressed the command of God. Death was then pronounced upon them, and all that should ever live upon the earth. There was no way of escape for us; no provision that we might again have access to the tree of life, if we would repent. Whatever evils might befall us, there was then no other way than to bear them without hope of having right to the tree of life, to eat of its leaves and fruit, and be healed. We must ever suffer and groan beneath the curse.
But the Son of God, who was with the Father before the world was, took pity upon us in our lost condition, and offered to step in between us and the wrath of an offended God. Said Jesus, I will give My life for them. I will take the burden of the sins of the world upon me, and will make a way possible for these transgressors to find pardon, and enjoy Thy favor again, that they may repent and keep Thy commandments, and again have access to the tree of life. God consented to give His only Son to die for lost man (John 3:16).
The lovely Jesus laid aside His glory, and came into this dark world, and took upon Himself our nature, to be wounded for our transgression, to be bruised for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5). O, what love for us.— He led a self-denying life, and had not where to lay His head (Matthew 8:20). He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, was despised and rejected, and finally was crucified for us (Isaiah 53:3).
But you must not think that you have nothing to do, because Christ died for you. You must repent of all your sins, and give your hearts to God, and then believe that the blood of Christ will cleanse you from all sin. Then, if you keep all the commandments of God, the Sabbath with the rest, you may through the merits of Christ, be brought back to the tree of life. This will be when Jesus comes to raise the righteous dead, and change the living saints. Then you will have right to the tree of life (Revelation 22:14), and eat of the leaves, and immortal fruit of the tree of life and live for ever in perfect happiness.
The Youth’s Instructor, August 1852.