Manuscripts and Memories of Minneapolis



A few weeks since, the question of complete salvation and the time of its reception was discussed in these columns. A number of queries having arisen regarding the extent to which salvation may be received and enjoyed in this life, we will give brief consideration to the subject. MMM 401.9

Our word “salvation” is, in the Hebrew, yeshuah, and in the Greek, sötçria. Both these words signify deliverance, safety, ease. MMM 401.10

The fall of man was the incident that created a demand for the plan of salvation. By that fall, the whole human race was plunged into a condition of dire calamity and comparative helplessness, so far as impending fate and inherent ability to extricate itself were concerned. The race became subject to the dominion of Satan, whose sole purpose was to cause its utter and eternal extinction. Physically considered, man became subject to disease, decay, and death. The current of his mental activities and spiritual aspirations was turned downward instead of upward; and thus in every particular was the race headed toward destruction. It had cut itself off from all possibility of securing immortality, according to the then existing conditions. The statements of Scripture are explicit and comprehensive regarding the condition of mankind after and because of the fall. Thus Paul says in Romans 11:32, “God hath concluded them all in unbelief.” The idea is, God hath shut up the whole human race together, under the sentence of death. They are represented as having been accused of their transgression, condemned to death, and remanded to prison to await the execution of the sentence. The same idea is given in Galatians 3:22: “The Scripture hath concluded all under sin.” All the writings of the prophets uniformly declare all men sinners, and the sacrifices that were offered under the old dispensation were emphatic object lessons to teach the nature of the impending sentence. The record in Genesis 6:5 states that “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” The psalmist says of the human race, “They are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalm 53:3. Again: “Put not your trust, in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” Psalm 146:3. And so we might multiply texts almost indefinitely to show that by the fall, the human race became wholly lost, and given up to sin and iniquity. MMM 401.11

The need of deliverance thus became urgent beyond the power of language to portray. Such deliverance was provided for by the plan of salvation. That plan proclaimed deliverance and safety for the human race, subject to conditions and restrictions. It did not anticipate an immediate and complete restoration of the race to the condition it occupied before the fall; but that another opportunity should be given it to secure immortality-the same boon that was set before it m the beginning. MMM 401.12

As the human race entered upon its second probation, it was in immediate and constant need of assistance, and one condition of the plan of salvation was that such assistance should be afforded. That assistance came through the medium of grace-unmerited favor. The validity of the merits of the Son of God as the world’s Saviour, was recognized immediately upon the formation of the plan of salvation; and provision was made whereby the race could at once begin to receive benefits from that plan. MMM 401.13

The first act of God’s mercy to man after the fall, was in depriving him of access to the tree of life, for had be been permitted to continue partaking of that tree, he would have become an immortal sinner. Instead of claiming to be immortal, and glorying in that claim, it better becomes sinners to praise their Creator that the fallen race has not had access to the tree of life. The very thought of immortal sinners is too fearful and unreasonable to contemplate. It was God’s love for the human race that caused him to give his Son to die for it. John 3:16. MMM 401.14

Not only was the fallen race permitted to begin at once to draw from the store-house of grace, but in his infinite mercy and compassion, God commenced to strive with man through the medium of his Holy Spirit. “Noah found grace the eyes of the Lord.” Genesis 6:8. In the third verse the Lord says, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man,” showing that he had in great mercy exerted his Spirit in behalf of fallen humanity. MMM 401.15

The situation may be stated thus: 1. Man had fallen to a state of depravity and helplessness beyond recovery by the exertion of his own powers. 2. Satan was putting forth, still further exertions to hasten the final extinction of the race. 3. God, the only source of help for man, stood ready and willing to extend aid to him, through and by virtue of the conditions of the plan of salvation. It follows that (1.) whatever of favor and blessing we shall see bestowed upon man, must come from the Source of all good; (2) whatever of good, whether in thought, word, or deed, shall be manifest in man, is to be attributed to the Spirit of God as the underlying cause, and man’s voluntary compliance with the same; (3.) to whatever extent man escapes the machinations of his arch-enemy-Satan-it is to be attributed to the aid supplied from God; (4.) all benefits derived in these particulars are made possible by the plan of salvation; consequently, salvation, i.e. deliverance, or safety, may be enjoyed in varying degrees during this life. MMM 401.16

A few texts in support of the foregoing statements:- MMM 401.17

“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou reiguest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.” 1 Chronicles 29:11, 12. MMM 401.18

“In him [God] we live, and move, and have our being.” Acts 17:28. MMM 401.19

“In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.... Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.” Job 12:10, 14. MMM 401.20

“The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.” Psalm 33:10. MMM 401.21

“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” Psalm 75:6, 7. MMM 401.22

“Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then Understand his own way?” Proverbs 20:24. MMM 401.23

“O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 10:23. MMM 401.24

“I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them.” Ezekiel 11:19, 20. MMM 401.25

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat be us with the word of truth.” James 1:17, 18. MMM 401.26

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation.” 2 Peter 2:9. MMM 401.27

“Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” Acts 11:18. MMM 401.28

“And a certain woman named Lydia ... whose heart the Lord opened.” Acts 16:14. MMM 401.29

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3. MMM 401.30

“Ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8. MMM 401.31

“Where is boasting then? It is excluded.” Romans 8:27. MMM 401.32

“But God forold that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Galatians 6:14. MMM 401.33

“No man can come to me [Christ] except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” John 6:44. MMM 401.34

Dr. Albert Barnes comments thus on the last quoted text:- MMM 401.35

God enlightens the mind (John 6:45); he inclines the will (Psalm 110:3), and he influences the soul by motives, by the view of his law, and by his love, his commands and threatenings; by a desire of happiness, and a consciousness of dangers, by the Holy Spirit’s applying his truth to the mind and urging him to yield himself to the Saviour. So that while God inclines him, and will have all the glory, man yields without compulsion. MMM 401.36

The texts above quoted are sufficient to demonstrate the correctness of the statements before made, and even more. Man cannot, by any possibility, secure merits that are distinctively his own. Whatever of good, of blessing, of merit, that appears is any and all instances that may be cited, on this earth and among men, is due to the plan of salvation. The Spirit of God is everywhere and constantly striving with mankind, for the purpose of bringing fallen [End of Selection] MMM 401.37

The Review and Herald

“Sanctify them through Thy Truth Thy Word is Truth.” MMM 402.1

Battle Creek, Mich., October 30, 1888.
L. A. SMITH, Assistant Editors.
S. N. HASKELL. Corresponding Editors.