Special Testimonies Concerning the Work and Workers in the Pacific Press
All in Subjection to Christ
11. Business interests, social endearments, ease, honor, reputation, must be held in subjection to the claims of Christ. We often think we make great sacrifices for the truth, but we do not in reality. The great apostle to the Gentiles, we think, from our standpoint, made sacrifices when he turned from wealth, social distinction, and high honorary titles, to link his name and destiny with that of a peculiar people, everywhere spoken against, but he says he counted all things but loss that he might win Christ. Was he a loser by the exchange? He says he was abundant in labors, in deaths oft, five times he received forty stripes save one, he was stoned, was a night and a day in the deep, in perils by land and by sea, in the city and in the wilderness, from robbers and from his own countrymen; that he performed his mission in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness; and yet, sounding along the line, comes down to us from the old hero of faith the words, “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” PH152 10.2
12. When the crown of martyrdom was about to press his brow, he was confined in a dungeon, deprived of comfortable food and clothing, and separated from his many friends; but one, or sometimes two, were with him to receive the words that God spoke to him to be handed down to us. But when his first answer was given to the tyrant Nero, he says, “No man stood with me, but all men forsook me.” A solitary prisoner, on trial for his life, persecuted and abandoned. But did Paul think he was making a great sacrifice in his religious life? There come to us these words from him: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” He affirms that he received the highest consolations: “I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.” This hero of faith left his testimony, enduring as eternity, upon the work for his time. He moulded the character of the age in which he lived by his religious experience and his powerful intellect. PH152 11.1
13. The life of Paul was a success. The influence and work of Paul, the grand reformer, can never perish; they are immortalized. His Christian character shines forth with the brightness of the firmament. The whole Christian life of Paul was a preparation for the future, immortal life. In the dark dungeon, a prisoner for God, he looked over his life with satisfaction, and, knowing that he had not been playing a losing game, he exclaims, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” Then fixing his eye upon the things that are unseen, the immortal future, which had been the inspiring motive of his Christian life, in confident assurance he exclaims: “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” PH152 12.1
14. In confident expectation of the crown of life, the battle-shout of this great warrior comes down along the lines to us, seeming to rob even death of its triumph. Those who will dare to be true to principle and live for God and the future immortal life, who will not submit to the forms, customs, and ideas of this corrupt age, will not be understood by the world, any more than Christ was known and understood. But they are understood in heaven; their names are recorded in the Lamb's book of life. PH152 12.2
Ellen G. White.
Battle Creek, Mich.,
November 7, 1879.