The Signs of the Times


February 19, 1880

The Sacrifice Demanded of Us


Christ demands all. If he required less, the sacrifice made by him was too dear, and too great to bring us up to such a level. Our holy faith cries out separation. We should not be conformed to the world, or to dead, heartless professors, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. This is a self-denying way. But if we think it too straight; if we think that there is too much self-denial in this narrow path; or if we say, How hard to give up all, let us ask ourselves this question, What did Christ give up for me? ST February 19, 1880, par. 1

The infinite sacrifice he made eclipses all we call self-denial. Behold him in the garden sweating great drops of blood. Follow him on his way to the judgment hall, while he is derided, mocked and insulted by that infuriated mob. Behold him clothed in that old purple robe. Hear the coarse jest and cruel mocking, see his enemies place upon that noble head the crown of thorns, and then smite him with a reed, causing the thorns to penetrate his temples, and the blood to flow from that holy brow; hear that murderous throng eagerly crying for the blood of the Son of God; see him delivered into their hands, and led away, pale, weak, and fainting, to his crucifixion; see him stretched upon the wooden cross, and the nails driven through his tender hands and feet; behold him hanging upon the cross in agony, until the sun refuses to shine, and the angels veil their faces from the horrid scene,—then ask yourself the question, Does he require too much in asking me to give up the world and deny self? No, no. ST February 19, 1880, par. 2

A divided, half-hearted life causes doubt and darkness. Persons living thus do not enjoy the consolations of religion, neither the pleasures which the world gives. It is a blessed privilege to give up all for Christ. It is safe to follow him who is the only true, unerring pattern. If others act on the principle of the spiritual sluggard, we should leave them, and march forward to the elevation of Christian character. Let us not sleep at our post, but deal faithfully and truly with our own souls. ST February 19, 1880, par. 3

The indulgence of light reading and tales of fiction produces a false, unhealthy excitement of the mind, and unfits it for any spiritual exercise. It weans the soul from prayer, and love for spiritual things. Reading that will throw light upon the sacred volume, and increase one's desire to study it, is not dangerous, but beneficial. The oftener and more diligently the Scriptures are read, the more beautiful will they appear, and the less relish will one have for light reading. The daily study of the Scriptures will have a sanctifying influence upon the life. Then let us bind to our hearts this precious volume which will never fail to prove a friend and guide in perplexity. ST February 19, 1880, par. 4

How many have fixed their hopes on earthly objects, and how earnestly and perseveringly have they labored to obtain them, yet without realizing their anticipations. But there is an object before all worthy of a life-long effort. It is the salvation of our souls—everlasting life. And this demands self-denial, sacrifice and close study. If we gain eternal life, we must live for it and deny self; come out from the world and be separate. Our life must be marked with sobriety, watchfulness, and prayer. Angels are watching the development of character, and weighing moral worth. All our words and acts are passing in review before God. ST February 19, 1880, par. 5

It is a fearful, solemn time. The hope of eternal life should not be cherished upon slight grounds; it should be settled between God and our own souls. Some will lean upon the judgment and experience of others, rather than be at the trouble of a close examination of their own hearts; and thus pass along for months and years without any witness of the Spirit of God, or evidence of their acceptance. Such are deceiving themselves. They suppose they have a hope, but lack the essential qualifications of a Christian. ST February 19, 1880, par. 6

God's people are peculiar. Their spirit cannot mingle with the spirit and influence of the world. None desire to meet Jesus with a profession only, and thus be disappointed of eternal life. Then let us examine the grounds of our hope thoroughly, and deal truly with our own soul. Let us decide now whether we will follow Christ at any sacrifice or any cost. ST February 19, 1880, par. 7

Mrs. E. G. White