Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 37, 1898

“And the Grace of God Was upon Him”


March 10, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in YI 09/08/1898.

“Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” [Isaiah 9:6.] What is John’s testimony regarding Christ? “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. ... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” [John 1:1-4, 14.] 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 1

What is Christ’s testimony regarding Himself? “Before Abraham was, I am.” “I and my Father are one.” “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth whom he will, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son, that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.” [John 8:58; 10:30; 5:21-23.] 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 2

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” Christ declared, “because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” [Luke 4:18, 19.] 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 3

Christ wrought miracle after miracle when He was on this earth. In His work He manifested what God could do for afflicted bodies and souls. This work He commenced when He was but a child. His whole being was the Lord’s, pure and undefiled. Luke testifies of Him, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him.” [Luke 2:40.] When He was twelve years old, He was lost in the multitude of travellers returning from the Passover. After Joseph and Mary had searched for Him for three days, they found Him in the court of the temple, “sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.” [Verses 46, 47.] He asked His questions with a grace that charmed these learned men. 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 4

Christ was a perfect pattern for all youth. He showed deference and respect to age. The religion of Jesus will never lead a child to be rude and uncourteous to aged persons or to any one. 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 5

When Joseph and Mary found Jesus in the temple, they were amazed, “and His mother said unto Him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto her, How is it that ye sought me?” Pointing heavenward, He continued, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” [Verses 48, 49.] Divinity flashed through humanity. The light and glory of heaven illuminated His countenance. But “they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them; but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.” [Verses 50, 51.] 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 6

Christ did not enter upon His public ministry for eighteen years after this, but He was constantly ministering to others, improving every opportunity offered Him. Even in His childhood He spoke words of comfort and tenderness to young and old. His mother could but mark His words, His spirit, His willing obedience to all their requirements. 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 7

It is of no use to say, as many writers have said, That Christ was like all children. He was not like all children. Many children are misguided and mismanaged. But Joseph, who was supposed to be His father, and especially Mary His mother, kept the realization ever before them of their son’s divine Fatherhood. Their child was instructed in accordance with the sacred character of His mission. His inclination to the right was a constant gratification to His parents. The questions He asked led their minds to the great elements of truth. His soul-stirring words about nature and the God of nature opened their minds to this lesson book. On the rocks and knolls about His home the eye of the Son of God rested. He was familiar with the things of nature. He saw the sun in the heavens, the moon and the stars fulfilling their night mission. With the voice of singing He welcomed the morning beams of light. He listened to the lark carolling forth music to its God, and joined His voice with the song of praise and thanksgiving. 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 8

“Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: sing forth the honor of His name: make His praise glorious. Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Come and see the works of God: He is terrible in His doing to the children of men.” [Psalm 66:1-5.] This psalm, and portions of the sixty-eighth and seventy-second Psalms were often sung by Christ. Thus He taught others. 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 9

“And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.” [Luke 2:40.] He was an example of what all children may strive to be if parents will seek the Lord most earnestly, and children will co-operate with their parents. In His words and actions He showed compassion [and] tender sympathy. His companionship was as a healing, soothing balm to the disheartened and oppressed. 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 10

Christ was an instructor, but in a simple and unassuming manner. Yet no one, looking upon the childlike countenance, shining with animation, could say He was just like other children. He was God in human flesh. And when urged by His companions to do a wrong action, His divinity flashed through humanity, and He spoke decidedly. In a moment He distinguished between right and wrong, and placed wrong actions in the light of God’s commandments, holding up the law as a mirror which reflected its light upon the wrong. It was this keen discrimination between right and wrong that often provoked Christ’s brothers. Yet His presence, the sorrow expressed in His countenance, His appeals and entreaties, revealed such a tender, earnest love for them, that they were ashamed that they had tempted Him to deviate from His strict sense of justice and nobility. 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 11

“Who by searching can find out God?” [Job 11:7.] Nearly two thousand years ago a voice of strange and mysterious import was heard from the throne of God; “Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” [Hebrews 10:5.] “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart.” [Psalm 40:7, 8.] 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 12

Who is this that was to come to our world and become incarnate? The only begotten Son of God. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death.” [Hebrews 2:14.] “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old,” Christ says. “When he gave to the sea his decree that the waters should not pass his commandment: when He appointed the foundations of the earth: Then was I by Him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.” [Proverbs 8:22, 29, 30.] But Christ humbled Himself to come to this earth. This was the hiding of His glory. 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 13

Christ’s lessons from childhood to manhood taught that “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.” [Romans 14:17.] He was the truth. The Spirit of God was upon Him. Why? Because He had not separated Himself from God by one act of disobedience. The peace of God was with Him, the grace of God was upon Him. He grew in favor with God and with man. He lived a life of unceasing humiliation, and through it all His character was lovely. In the sorrows of others, He could always speak peace to the soul. He who has the peace of Christ has a character of peacefulness and rest. In Christ this peace was uninterrupted. It was the result of supreme rectitude. It was a possession completely His own, independent from the world. None could give it; none could take it away. 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 14

After His ascension, Christ revealed Himself to Paul. As Paul beheld the glory of His countenance, it was more than he could endure. He was stricken to the earth, and he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” [Acts 9:4, 5.] 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 15

By the revelation of Christ, Paul was converted. Afterwards, when asked by the Pharisees, Who is this deceiver, that you should leave your brethren, to believe in him, the spirit of inspiration came upon Paul, and he testified of Christ. His face was illuminated, as though the subject of their conversation was before them in His great majesty, and He answered in the language in Isaiah, “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in this apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat. I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the people there was none with me.” [Isaiah 63:1-3.] 13LtMs, Ms 37, 1898, par. 16