The Signs of the Times


May 30, 1892

The Beatitudes



“Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.” But although the Lord says the mourner shall be comforted, it is not that he shall exalt himself as did the Pharisee. He who has mourned for his sin knows that there is nothing in him whereby he has merited the returns that God has bestowed. He beholds in Jesus “the Chiefest among ten thousand” and “the One altogether lovely,” and he centers his affections upon Christ. If Jesus were the center of attraction to you, the One on whom your affections were placed, would you hide this love in your heart, and never let it out?—No; you would tell of his love, you would catch his spirit, and imitate his example. ST May 30, 1892, par. 1

“Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” But the earth promised to the meek will be a better one than this. It will be purified from all sin and defilement, and will bear the image of the divine. Satan has placed his throne in the earth; but Jesus says where the usurper has set up his throne, there will I place my throne, and there shall be no more curse. The glory of the Lord is to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Jesus is working for us. He desires to give his children a home where there will be no more sin, no more sorrow, no more death; but all will be joy and gladness. He says: “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.” ST May 30, 1892, par. 2

The Lord desires to take every son and daughter of Adam, and purify them from their iniquity, and lift them up from their state of misery and degradation and wretchedness, and write upon them his divine superscription. But it is man's sin and unbelief that oppose the work that God would do for humanity. Jesus died for the whole world, but in stubborn unbelief men refuse to be fashioned after the divine pattern. They will not yield themselves to Christ to be molded after the heavenly model. Oh, shall we not submit, and give up our own way, that the Lord may have a chance to do the work for us? ST May 30, 1892, par. 3

How tenacious are men of their own way. They try to excuse their sinful habits by saying, “Oh, this is my way.” But will your way be acceptable to God? Will you present your way at the gate of the city into which nothing that defileth shall enter, and expect to have an entrance there? The Lord will say: “I know your way, and it is a wicked way. You would not permit me to rule over you on earth, and you are not prepared for an entrance here. You refused to be led by my spirit, you rejected my counsel, and set at naught my grace, and heaven would not be heaven to you, for nothing that defileth can enter here. We emptied sin from heaven when we cast out the great deceiver, and we cannot have sin here again.” Then let us yield our wills to God, that he may mold and fashion us after the Divine Pattern. ST May 30, 1892, par. 4

How blessed will be the lot of those who enter into that glorious abode where there will be no more sin, no more suffering. What a prospect is this for imagination. What a theme for contemplation. The Bible is full of the richest treasures of truth, of glowing descriptions of that heavenly land. We should search the Scriptures, that we may better understand the plan of salvation, and learn of the righteousness of Christ, until we shall exclaim in viewing the matchless charms of our Redeemer, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” In the word of God we shall see the infinite compassion of Jesus. The imagination may reach out in contemplation of the wonders of redeeming love, and yet in its highest exercises we shall not be able to grasp the height and depth and length and breadth of the love of God, for it passeth knowledge. In Christ was the fullness of the Godhead bodily. In him every treasure of heaven was given, and he has it in trust for us. Oh, then why do we not trust him? why do we doubt his tender mercy and love? Do you think that he who died for you, cares not whether you are saved or not? Do you imagine that he cares not for the bereaved, the mourning ones, that he looks not with pity on the poor in spirit, who are under the bondage of Satan? The tender, compassionate Jesus, who died for the sins of the world, will not turn away from the cry of the needy. He asks: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” ST May 30, 1892, par. 5

Jesus invites the needy to come to him and find completeness in him who is the fullness of the Godhead bodily. The Saviour of men designs to cleanse his children until no particle of selfishness shall remain. While we feel our poverty, we are to eat of the flesh and drink of the blood of the Son of God. We are to co-operate with Christ in working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. The heavenly intelligences are waiting to co-operate with the most helpless, the most sinful soul who feels his need. Those who are great sinners may find great grace. ST May 30, 1892, par. 6

Jesus said to Simon, “I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors; the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? And Simon answered and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.... To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” ST May 30, 1892, par. 7

In view of our weakness, how does it become us to indulge in criticism of others? Do not fault-finding and picking flaws in the character of those with whom you associate make it evident that you are stricken with spiritual poverty? You are feeding on the faults of others, instead of growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We are to be laborers together with him in bringing souls to the knowledge of the truth. But we must not expect that souls are to be converted simply by hearing a sermon. We are to bring them one by one to Christ, and all that have ever tasted of the good word of God and of the powers of the world to come are to be missionaries for God. When you become engaged in the work of Christ, seeking to bring in those who are lost, you will not have time to look for the defects in the character of your brethren. You must now build yourselves up in the most holy faith, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting. You are not to stand to one side as a spectator, looking on to see what this one or that one is doing; your business is to see that you are making straight paths for your feet, that the lame be not turned out of the way. When a follower of Christ turned to one of his brethren and asked, “Lord, what shall this man do?” Jesus answered, “What is that to thee? follow thou me.” The follower of Christ is not to look to any man. He is to look to a crucified and risen Saviour. ST May 30, 1892, par. 8

(Concluded next week.)