The Signs of the Times


September 19, 1895

Exercise Compassion


“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” The Lord honors his human agents by taking them into partnership with himself. The heart of Christ is full of forgiving mercy and truth. He is afflicted in all the afflictions of his people. We are to be compassionate, and find joy in coming with a kindly interest to bind up the wounds of those who have been pursued and left half dead by the ruthless hand of the destroyer. We are to be ready to heal the bruises that sin has made. Those who do this are Christ's ministers, and the world has a living testimony of the love of God before them in his representatives. God is revealed before the world in those who practice the works of Christ, and through his messengers he is known as a God of mercy, goodness, and forgiveness. “He who spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? God in Christ is ours, and his bounties of love and mercy are inexhaustible. He desires that every one shall be benefited by the rich provisions that he has made for those who love him; he invites us all to share with him in his glory. The bliss of heaven has been provided for every soul who loves God supremely and his fellow-men as himself. ST September 19, 1895, par. 1

Men would no longer be the slaves of sin if they would but turn from Satan's alluring, delusive attractions, and look to Jesus long enough to see and understand his love. New habits will be formed, and powerful propensities for evil will be held in check. Our Leader is a conqueror, and he guides us on to certain victory. Our Advocate, Jesus, is pleading before his Father's throne in our behalf, and he is also pleading with the sinner, saying, “Turn ye, for why will ye die?” Has not God done everything possible through Christ to win men from Satanic deception? Has he not given himself? Did he not for our sake become poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich? Is he not a risen Saviour, ever living to make intercession for us? Is he not ever following up his great work of atonement by the work of the Holy Spirit on every heart? The bow of mercy still arches the throne of God, testifying to the fact that every soul who believes in Christ as his personal Saviour, shall have everlasting life. Mercy and justice are blended in God's dealing with his heritage. ST September 19, 1895, par. 2

Those who are partakers of the divine nature are one with God in Christ, and one with each other to work the works of God, which are works of mercy and tender compassion. It is mercy that has saved us, and when we manifest mercy toward our fellow-men, we are only working in Christ's lines. Mercy is continually active throughout the vast universe. Mercy abounds in the heart of God, and it is from this source that all our happiness comes. God's family upon earth is large, and his children are suffering in the suffering mortals around us; and every soul who is imbued with the Holy Spirit, will practice works of mercy, and reveal to others tender love, pity, and compassion. From the true Christian heart every fiber of selfishness will be uprooted, because it is opposed to the practice of Christ. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” ST September 19, 1895, par. 3

O, that men could know what they might do for the Master by practicing mercy and love! Could they realize what Christ has done, they would move along broader lines than they now do in the practice of benevolence. True, it will seem to be at great cost, because self must be denied, and individual pleasure must become a secondary matter. Satan is continually urging us into the service of self, and many who should be examples in bearing good fruit in self-denial and self-sacrifice, are full of pride and self-esteem, and the record in heaven of them is, “Ye despise the poor, the afflicted, and the suffering, for whom Christ has died, who are under the heavenly benediction, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.’” ST September 19, 1895, par. 4

How many who profess to be followers of Christ climb upon the judgment seat, and pronounce condemnation, magnifying some fault which to finite beings seems to be an offense against God! But this work, that is so pleasing to the great adversary of souls, would all cease if the Spirit of Christ were in the heart. Mercy rejoices not in iniquity. We imagine that others do not appreciate us; we magnify our mites of merciful actions into something very great, and excuse ourselves from the duty of showing mercy, because others manifest ingratitude toward us. Suppose, because of our ingratitude, God should work upon this same plan? We do not appreciate his many mercies and benevolences toward us; but he continues to deal out of his abundance his riches of grace. Suppose the human agent who dispenses the gifts of God to those who need them, does meet with ingratitude, let him remember that he is not using his own goods but his Lord's, and God looks down from heaven to see how his steward is treating his heritage, for whom he has given his precious life. God has made ample provision to supply the necessities of the poor, and there is no case of need for which some one is not responsible. Men should yield to the controlling influence of the Spirit of God in order that mercy and compassion may be shown to the sufferer. We should trade upon the Lord's goods by relieving, as far as possible, the woes of humanity. Every Christian brother and sister should step into his own place, and stand at his own post of duty. We might do much more than has been done to alleviate the sorrows of those who are hungry, naked, and in peril, in temporal and spiritual things. The channel is constantly open, and streams of mercy ever flow from Him who has a treasure of supply, and He will give to those who are dispensers of His bounties. But God's glory will not be advanced if men and women appropriate to their own individual selves his matchless mercy and rich gifts. Such are not the ones upon whom is pronounced the heavenly benediction. O, that the cold hearts of men which are hardened by selfishness might be warmed by the love of Jesus! O, that their hearts might be broken and sanctified! O, that they might come under the control of the divine will! O, that every church member might have the understanding enlightened, that the stony heart might be exchanged for the heart of flesh, and the fierce, wicked, Satanic spirit might be cast out, and the mercy and love of Christ possess and control the soul! O, that the temple of the soul might be cleansed, and become the habitation of the Spirit! ST September 19, 1895, par. 5

“As the branch can not bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” He who believes in Jesus becomes a living channel of light and blessing to confer benefits upon the needy and suffering. He becomes a laborer together with God. The branch bears the same clusters of fruit as the vine. The Christian becomes one with Christ in God, and God loves him as he loves his own Son. When the disciples of Christ become one with him, as he is one with the Father, they will be a power in the world in revealing God's mercy, forgiveness, and truth. Those who do the works of Christ are accepted in the Beloved. Union with Christ means the dispensing of his blessings. The bright beams from the Sun of Righteousness shine forth in mercy and love. The fruits of the Spirit are “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” ST September 19, 1895, par. 6

Multitudes must enter into the Saviour's Spirit; for he came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. When they are imbued with the Spirit of Christ, they will value men as Christ has valued them; they will work as Christ has worked; they will not fail nor be discouraged. They will see open doors through which mercy and grace are ever flowing. They will gaze upon the cross of Christ, and estimate the value of the souls by the cost of redemption. They will be sharers with Christ in his intense earnestness to save the souls of the perishing, who know not God. The love, pity, and tenderness of Christ will break every barrier down, and men, women, and youth will respond to the truth, and will present themselves to share the burden with Christ. The love and pity of Christ will constrain them to be partakers with him of his self-denial and sufferings. ST September 19, 1895, par. 7