Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2


Chapter 36—Visit to Illinois

In August, 1858, we attended a conference at Crane's Grove, Ills. This was a meeting of considerable interest. It was immediately followed by a discussion of the Sabbath question between Elders J. H. Waggoner and J. M. Stephenson. Eld. S. was on the ground before our conference closed, and immediately commenced his lawless interruptions of our meeting, such as are very common with the no-Sabbath, age-to-come men. The discussion resulted in some good in the place, as it established one dear sister who had become unsettled as to the Sabbath by Eld. S., and another sister, who was much prejudiced when we first visited the place by the statements of Eld. S., came out decided upon the truth. But the influence of that meeting and the discussion, upon those who came in from other places, was decidedly good. Those Sabbath-keepers who came to the place sympathizing somewhat with Eld. S. went away satisfied that he was unworthy of their sympathy. Eld. S. did more to settle the minds of the wavering by manifesting the dragon-like spirit of the no-Sabbath, age-to-come heresies, than all the testimonies for truth there given. The opposition gained not a single victory. 2SG 273.1

At the close of those meetings I was taken very sick. Remedies were used, but I obtained no relief. Then I called for the brethren and sisters to pray for me. They complied with my request, and I found relief, and was immediately taken off in vision. 2SG 274.1

I saw that Jesus did not come to abolish his Father's law. The ten commandments were to stand fast forever. Adam and Eve broke God's law and fell, and the family of Adam must perish. God could not alter or abolish his law to save lost man, who had by his transgression fallen so low that God could not accept any effort he might make to keep that holy, just and good law. Jesus saw the degradation of man, and pitied his hopeless condition. All heaven knew that God could not change or abolish his law to save man. Jesus pitied the fallen race and offered to take the wrath of God upon himself that was due to man, and to suffer in his stead. Said an angel, “Did Jesus come to make void the law of God, and by his death abolish it? No, no. If God's law could have been changed; if it could have been abolished, God would not have given his Son to die a cruel, shameful death.” But the fact of Jesus’ giving his life for man shows the immutability of God's law. Jesus gave his life to save lost man from the curse or penalty he merited by transgression. He by humbling himself exalted man. He became the stepping-stone to elevate man, that he might lay hold of the virtue of his blood, keep God's law, and be brought back to eat of the fruit of the tree of life to which Adam and Eve forfeited all right. Said the Angel, “Poor, foolish man knows not what he is doing. He has lifted his puny arm against Omnipotence. He has defied God's law. The law of God is the golden link to unite finite man to the infinite God. It links earth to heaven, and man to God.” The transgressor is about to meet the great Law-giver over his broken law. The wrath of God has long slumbered, but soon, with terrible justice and crushing weight will his wrath fall upon the transgressor. And that arm that has been stretched forth in rebellion against God's law, and would sever the golden link binding earth to heaven and man to God, will wither while the transgressor shall stand upon his feet. That tongue that has boastingly and proudly spoken against God's law, and has made the fourth commandment of none effect, will consume in his mouth while he stands upon his feet. Terrible will be the fate of those who transgress God's law, and lead others in the same heaven-daring path of rebellion. 2SG 274.2

I was then pointed to the flattering things taught by some of these transgressors of God's law. I was shown a bright light, given by God to guide all who would walk in the way of salvation, and also to serve as a warning to the sinner to flee from the wrath of God, and yield a willing obedience to his claims. While this light continued there was hope. But there was a period when this light would cease. When he that is holy will remain holy forever, and when he that is filthy will remain filthy forever. When Jesus stands up; when his work is finished in the Most Holy, when there will be not another ray of light to be imparted to the sinner. 2SG 275.1

But Satan flatters some, through his chosen servants, as he flattered Eve in Eden. Thou shalt not surely die, and tells them there will be a season for repentance, a time of probation, when the filthy can be made pure. The co-workers with Satan and his angels carry the light into the future age, teaching probation after the advent of Christ, which deludes the sinner, and leads the cold-hearted professor to carnal security. He is careless and indifferent, and walks stumblingly over the hours of his probation. The light is made to reach far ahead, where all is total darkness. Michael stands up. Instead of mercy, the deluded sinner feels wrath unmixed with mercy. And they awake too late to this fatal deception. This plan was studied by Satan, and is carried out by ministers who turn the truth of God into a lie. 2SG 276.1