I am pleased that the Lord is in mercy again visiting the church. My heart trembles as I think of the many times He has come in and His Holy Spirit has worked in the church; but after the immediate effort was over, the merciful dealings of God were forgotten. Pride, spiritual indifference, was the record made in heaven. Those who were visited by the rich mercy and grace of God, dishonored their Redeemer by their unbelief.
When Christ was upon the earth, He used every means possible to gain admission to the hearts of those whose doors should have been thrown open to receive Him. He came to His vineyard seeking fruit. He dug about the vine He had planted. He pruned it and dressed it. But when He looked for grapes, behold, only wild grapes rewarded His care. The people disappointed their Saviour.
How earnestly and untiringly Christ labored to reach the most lowly, as well as those who occupied higher positions. Hear Him saying to His disciples, “Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.” [Matthew 26:36.] What an example He gave them of His prayers in their behalf, that their faith should not fail, but increase.
Christ’s heart was ever touched by human woe. He walked and worked in the streets of the cities, teaching the weary, inviting them to come to Him, crying, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28–30.] Christ employed every means to arrest the attention of the impenitent. How tender and considerate were His dealings with all. He longed to break the spell of infatuation upon those who were deceived and deluded by satanic agencies. He longed to give the sin-polluted soul pardon and peace.
Behold the Mighty Healer
Christ was the mighty Healer of all spiritual and physical maladies. Look, oh, look upon the sympathetic Redeemer. With the eye of faith behold Him walking in the streets of the cities, gathering the weak and weary to Himself. Helpless, sinful human beings crowd about Him. See the mothers with their sick and dying little ones in their arms pressing through the crowd that they may get within reach of His notice and touch. Let the eye of faith take in the scene. Watch these mothers pressing their way to Him, pale, weary, almost despairing, yet determined and persevering, bearing their burden of suffering in their arms.
As these anxious ones are being crowded back, Christ makes His way to them step by step, until He is close by their sides. Tears of gladness and hope fall freely as they catch His attention, and look into the eyes expressing such tender pity and love, for the weary mother as well as for the suffering child. He invites her confidence, saying, What shall I do for you? She sobs out her great want, Master, that Thou wouldest heal my child. She has shown her faith in urging her way to Him, though she did not know that He was making His way to her; and Christ takes the child from her arms. He speaks the word, and disease flees at His touch. The pallor of death is gone; the life-giving current flows through the veins; the muscles receive strength.
Words of comfort and peace are spoken to the mother, and then another case just as urgent is presented. The mother asks help for herself and her children; for they are all sufferers. With willingness and joy Christ exercises His life-giving power, and they give praise and honor and glory to His name who doeth wonderful things.
No frown on Christ’s countenance spurned the humble suppliant from His presence. The priests and rulers sought to discourage the suffering and needy, saying that Christ healed the sick by the power of the devil. But His way could not be hedged up. He was determined not to fail or become discouraged. Suffering privation Himself, He traversed the country that was the scene of His labor, scattering His blessings, and seeking to reach obdurate hearts.
That Saviour has oft visited you in _____. Just as verily as He walked the streets of Jerusalem, longing to breathe the breath of spiritual life into the hearts of those discouraged and ready to die, has He come to you. The cities that were so greatly blessed by His presence, His pardon, His gifts of healing, rejected Him. . . .
Jerusalem is a representation of what the church will be if it refuses to receive and walk in the light that God had given. Jerusalem was favored of God as the depository of sacred trusts. But her people perverted the truth, and despised all entreaties and warnings. They would not respect His counsels. The temple courts were perverted with merchandise and robbery. Selfishness and love of mammon, envy and strife, were cherished. Everyone sought for gain from his quarter. Christ turned from them, saying, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how can I give thee up? “How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.” [Matthew 23:37.] So Christ sorrows and weeps over our churches, over our institutions of learning, that have failed to meet the demand of God. . . .
Choose! Oh, Choose!
Those who receive Christ by faith as their personal Saviour cannot be in harmony with the world. There are two distinct classes. One is loyal to God, keeping His commandments, while the other talks and acts like the world, casting away the Word of God, which is truth, and accepting the words of the apostate, who rejected Jesus.
On whose side are we? The world cast Christ out; the heavens received Him. Man, finite man, rejected the Prince of life; God, our Sovereign Ruler, received Him into the heavens. God has exalted Him. Man crowned Him with a crown of thorns; God has crowned Him with a crown of royal majesty. We must all think candidly. Will you have this man Christ Jesus to rule over you, or will you have Barabbas? The death of Christ brings to the rejecter of His mercy the wrath and judgments of God, unmixed with mercy. This is the wrath of the Lamb. But the death of Christ is hope and eternal life to all who receive Him and believe in Him.—Letter 31, 1898.
Notebook Leaflets from the Elmshaven Library, vol. 1, 19, 20.
Ellen G. White (1827–1915) wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Mrs. White was appointed by God as a special messenger to draw the world’s attention to the Holy Scriptures and help prepare people for Christ’s second advent.