The Review and Herald

1028/1902

October 24, 1899

Our Example

EGW

Christ's life on earth was meek and lowly. He did not take his place upon a throne as commander of the earth. He attached to his name no high titles, to make his position understood. He took not on him the nature of angels. For our sake he stepped down from his royal throne, and clothed his divinity with humanity. He laid aside his royal robe, his kingly crown, that he might be one with us. He resigned his position as commander in the heavenly courts, and for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. He hid his glory under the guise of humanity, that his divine, transforming power might touch humanity. RH October 24, 1899, par. 1

While on earth, Christ lived in the home of a peasant. He wore the best garments his parents could provide, but they were the humble garments of the peasants. He walked the rough paths of Nazareth, and climbed the steeps of its hillsides and mountains. In his home he was a constant worker, and left on record a life filled with useful deeds. Had Christ passed his life among the grand and the rich, the world of toilers would have been deprived of the inspiration that the Lord intended they should have. But Christ knew that his work must begin in consecrating the humble trade of the craftsmen who toil for their daily bread. He learned the trade of a carpenter, that he might stamp honest labor as honorable and ennobling to all who work with an eye single to the glory of God. And angels were his attendants; for Christ was just as truly doing his Father's business when toiling at the carpenter's bench, as when working miracles for the multitude. He held his commission and authority from the highest power, the Sovereign of heaven. RH October 24, 1899, par. 2

Christ descended to poverty that he might teach how closely in our daily life we may walk with God. He took human nature that he might be able to sympathize with all hearts. He was capable of sympathizing with all. He could engage in toil, bear his part in sustaining the family in their necessity, become accustomed to weariness, and yet show no impatience. His spirit was never so full of worldly cares as to leave no time nor thought for heavenly things. He often held communion with heaven in song. The men of Nazareth often heard his voice raised in prayer and thanksgiving to God; and those who associated with him, who often complained of their weariness, were cheered by the sweet melody that fell from his lips. RH October 24, 1899, par. 3

Christ knew that it required much patience and spirituality to bring Bible religion into the home life, into the workshop, to bear all the strain of practical life, and yet keep the eye single to the glory of God; and this is where he was a helper. In elevated song he would speak his parables, and carry the minds of his hearers with him. A fragrant influence was diffused to those around him, and they were blessed. His praises seemed to drive away the evil angels, and fill the place with sweet fragrance. He carried the minds of his hearers away from their earthly exile to their future, eternal home. RH October 24, 1899, par. 4

All this has its lesson for us. We also may commune with God in words of holy song. Our house of worship may be very humble, but it is none the less acknowledged by God. If we worship in spirit, and in truth, and in the beauty of holiness, it will be to us the very gate of heaven. As lessons of the wondrous works of God are repeated, and as the heart's gratitude is expressed in prayer and song, angels from heaven take up the strain, and unite in praise and thanksgiving to God. These exercises drive back the power of Satan. They expel murmurings and complainings, and Satan loses ground. RH October 24, 1899, par. 5

God teaches us that we should assemble in his house to cultivate the attributes of perfect love. This will fit the dwellers of earth for the mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those who love him, where, from Sabbath to Sabbath, from one new moon to another, they will assemble in the sanctuary to unite in loftier strains of song, in thanksgiving and praise to him that sitteth upon the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever. RH October 24, 1899, par. 6

Christ would have us realize that our interests are one. A divine Saviour died for all, that all might find in him their divine source. In Christ Jesus we are one. By the utterance of one name, “Our Father,” we are lifted to the same rank. We become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. His principles of truth bind heart to heart, be they rich or poor, high or low. RH October 24, 1899, par. 7

When the Holy Spirit moves upon human minds, all petty complaints and accusations between man and his fellow man will be put away. The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness will shine into the chambers of the mind and heart. In our worship of God there will be no distinction between rich and poor, white and black. All prejudice will be melted away. When we approach God, it will be as one brotherhood. We are pilgrims and strangers, bound for a better country, even a heavenly. There all pride, all accusation, all self-deception, will forever have an end. Every mask will be laid aside, and we shall “see him as he is.” There our songs will catch the inspiring theme, and praise and thanksgiving will go up to God. RH October 24, 1899, par. 8

The Gospels give us little information in regard to the youth and early manhood of Christ, and because of this it is claimed by some that there is nothing to relate. True, Christ lived the life of a common laborer, but there is much that could be said of that pure, undefiled life. His was a character among characters, which placed in strong contrast holiness and obedience, and unholiness and disobedience. Although he did not enter upon his public ministry until he was nearly thirty years old, he was always doing good. His life was in conformity to the life and character of God. His childhood and manhood ennobled and sanctified every phase of practical life. RH October 24, 1899, par. 9

Christ and the heavenly universe saw that the power of Satan was taking the world captive, that nearly all mankind was under his deceiving power. The gold and silver and precious things of earth possessed a charm for men. To them riches meant power and honor, and they would do any injustice or violence in order to obtain that which they coveted. The fear of the Lord was fast departing from the earth. And the Son of the Highest came to the earth. “Lo, I come,” he said, “to do thy will, O God.” His arm brought salvation. He began his mission in the lowly walks of life, placing himself where the family of which he was a member required his service. He did not shirk responsibilities, but carried into his labor cheerfulness and tact. He restored every department of human industry as if it were a part of his commission from God. The Commander of heaven became subject to command, but in it all he manifested heartiness and devotion. He was a perfect pattern in every place. RH October 24, 1899, par. 10

Christ passed through all the experiences of his childhood, youth, and manhood without the observance of ceremonial temple worship. He held no office, he assumed no rank. He passed through the experience of infancy, childhood, and manhood without a stain upon his character. He consecrated himself to God that he might benefit and bless others, to show that in every period of life the human agent can do the Master's will. RH October 24, 1899, par. 11

Christ was a physician of the body as well as of the soul. He was minister and missionary and physician. From his childhood he was interested in every phase of human suffering that came under his notice. He could truly say, I came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. In every case of woe he brought relief, his kind words having a healing balm. None could say he had worked a miracle, yet he imparted his virtue to those he saw in suffering and in need. Through the whole thirty years of his private life he was humble, meek, and lowly. He had a living connection with God; for the Spirit of God was upon him, and he gave evidence to all who were acquainted with him that he lived to please, honor, and glorify his Father in the common things of life. RH October 24, 1899, par. 12

Jesus came to the world to live the life which it is for the interest of every being on earth to live,—that of humble obedience. To all, Christ has given a probation, in which to form characters for the mansions he has gone to prepare, and he calls upon all to follow his example. Those who are indeed learners in the school of Christ will not exalt themselves because they are possessors of houses and lands, because the Lord has in his providence lent them his goods to trade upon. There are many who are called prosperous and happy; but let calamity come to them, let them become bankrupt, and what do they do?—They are driven to desperation. They become wild because they have lost their idol, their object of worship; and instead of turning to the true God, they take their own lives. RH October 24, 1899, par. 13

If men are in connection with Christ, they will feel it a very serious responsibility to be in possession of a large revenue. If they have the converting power of God upon their hearts, their earnest inquiry will be, How can I wisely use my Lord's goods? RH October 24, 1899, par. 14

If all would follow Christ in connection with humanity, if they would be faithful in good works, in noble, elevating deeds of kindness and thoughtfulness; if all would follow his example in all the walks of life, binding their life up with the life of Christ, there would be no neglected duties. All men would be clothed with the same importance with which Christ regarded them, and would receive the same attention. Loyalty to an earthly sovereign may leave men poor and debased; but allegiance to the King of heaven will enable them to form characters after the divine similitude. When kingly crowns and honors shall crumble in the dust, to the loyal will be given the crown of life that will never fade away. RH October 24, 1899, par. 15