The Review and Herald


February 27, 1908

The Return of the Exiles—No. 14

A Revival and a Reformation



Wherever Ezra labored, there sprang up a revival in the study of the Holy Scriptures. Teachers were appointed to instruct the people; the law of the Lord was exalted and made honorable. The books of the prophets were searched, and the prophecies foretelling the coming of the Messiah brought hope and comfort to many a sad and weary heart. RH February 27, 1908, par. 1

More than two thousand years have passed by since Ezra “prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it;” yet this long lapse of time has not lessened the influence of his pious example. Throughout the centuries, the record of his life of consecration has been an inspiration to many who have determined to “seek the law of the Lord, and to do it.” His steadfastness of purpose, his careful methods of study, his diligence in teaching the Holy Scriptures to the common people, his unwavering trust in God, his abhorrence of sin, his patience and kindly consideration in dealing with the erring,—these and other striking characteristics of his life have had an ennobling influence on the lives of many who have been impressed by the Holy Spirit to emulate his example. Ezra's motives were high and holy; all that he did was actuated by an intense love for souls. And to the end of time, the compassion and tenderness that he ever revealed toward those who had sinned either wilfully or through ignorance, should be an object-lesson to all who seek to bring about reforms. God desires his servants to be as firm and unyielding as a rock, where right principles are involved; and yet, withal, they are to manifest the kindly sympathy and the forbearance revealed in the lives of Ezra and of Christ. Like Ezra, they are to teach transgressors the words of life, which contain principles that are the foundation of all right-doing. RH February 27, 1908, par. 2

In this age of the world, when Satan is seeking through manifold agencies to blind the eyes of the people against the binding claims of the law of God, there is need of Ezras,—of men who can cause many to “tremble at the commandment of our God.” There is need of true reformers who will point transgressors to the great Lawgiver, and teach them that the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. There is need of men mighty in the Scriptures; men whose every word and act exalts the law of Jehovah; men who, in this time of apostasy and unbelief, labor to strengthen the faith of their fellow men in the law and the prophets. Teachers are needed, O, so much! to inspire hearts with reverence and love for the Holy Scriptures, which have been given for the admonition of us upon whom the ends of the world are come. RH February 27, 1908, par. 3

Often has the cause of God languished because of a lack of reverence for the precepts of Holy Writ. Often has the name of God been brought into dishonor by those who, while professing to be Christians, have neglected the study of the Word, and have allowed grievous sins to come into their lives. RH February 27, 1908, par. 4

God calls for a revival and a reformation. The words of the Bible, and the Bible alone, should be echoed from the pulpits of our land. In the sermons of many pulpits of today there is not that divine manifestation which awakens the conscience and brings life to the soul. The hearers can not say, “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?” There are many who are crying out for the living God; many who are longing for the bread of life. Let the Word of God speak to the people. Let them hear the voice of him whose word can renew the soul unto everlasting life. RH February 27, 1908, par. 5

God's servants are now to proclaim faithfully his Word in all lands, to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; for the Lord has “set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” RH February 27, 1908, par. 6

Today God is sending to his people the comforting message: “Fear not; for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” RH February 27, 1908, par. 7

“There shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt. RH February 27, 1908, par. 8

“And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. RH February 27, 1908, par. 9

“And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” RH February 27, 1908, par. 10