Copyright
Lyman Abbott.

Christ is coming! : Part I. Evidences of the existence of God, and of the truth of the holy scriptures. Parts II & III. The holy scriptures and their description of the mighty plan of God. Parts IV & online

. (page 13 of 19)
Online LibraryLyman AbbottChrist is coming! : Part I. Evidences of the existence of God, and of the truth of the holy scriptures. Parts II & III. The holy scriptures and their description of the mighty plan of God. Parts IV & → online text (page 13 of 19)
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still more honourable to pray for those who possess faith. The
prayers of all the world will not save the soul of a wicked man,
but if that man repents him of his wickedness, and believes in
God, and in Christ his Redeemer, supplicating for forgiveness
through the great atonement, then God will pardon him, not
because of the prayers of the world, but for his own prayers.

Recollect, my brother, and you, my sister, that God desires
our chief aim to be, to live for ever in heaven. Beseech God
only what you strive for : strive to obey Him in aU things, and



PRAYER. 1G3

pray that all mankind may be led, through His Holy Word, to
obey Him. Beseech Him to pardon your many sins and your
many shortcomings, and the many sins and the many short-
comings of your fellows. Strive to undorstaud His holy pre-
cepts, and beseech Him to give you a I'ight understanding ;
and beseech Him to give all mankind a right understanding
also. Strive to love all who love and reverence Him, avid
beseech Him to increase your love, and beseech Him to infuse
His love in the heart of everyone ; strive to spread around you
a right knowledge of God, and beseech Him to assist you in
your efforts ; strive to alleviate the distresses of your fellows,
mid beseech Him to assist you ; strive for unity in the Church
of Christ, and beseech God to infuse unity of spirit among
mankind ; strive to be tender-hearted, and beseech God that
all mankind may also be tender-hearted one towards the other ;
strive that all you do, all you say, all you think, and all you
write, shall be in accordance with His holy desire, and beseech
Him that all mankind, in all they do, in all they say, in all they
think, and in all they write, may also be in accordance with
His Holy Word. Be zealous in extending the Kingdom of
Christ upon earth, and beseech God to infuse zeal into the
hearts of His children. Strive to be as a stone to all tempta-
tion ; to do, or say, or think, or write naught that is evil.
Beseech Him to assist all mankind to overcome their evil
passions, and all temptation ; and finally, beseech Him that
when you die, and as mankind die, all may be found acceptable
heirs of the kingdom of heaven. Beseech for all these good
things in the name and through the mediation of His Glorious
Son our Saviour, the Messiah Jesus Christ, and God will
esteem you holy and acceptable always.

Lift up your united voices aloud in praise and thanksgiving,
in songs of sweet melody to God and His i:lorious Souy thank-

l2



164 PKAYKR.

ing God for having created you, for giving you a soul whereb}^
you may worship Him; for His goodness in creating the beautiful
earth for the sustenance of all His creatures , for the pleasant
sunlight and the beauteous skies ; for the glorious kingdom,
which He has prepared in heaven for His pardoned children y
for giving us His written Word ; for devising His glorious plan
of redemption ; for selecting the glorious Messiah whom He fore-
knew wotQd succeed in ransoming us ; for His great goodness
in accepting the Messiah's great atonement as our atonement^
as a dreadful debt paid in full ; and for the infinite goodness of
God in adopting us through that atonement as His children.

Furthermore, let us lift up our united voices aloud in praise
and thanksgiving to our Holy Messiah for consenting, of his own:
free will, to leave for awhile the glorious joyous heaven ta
become a man like unto us, that he might by his perfect
obedience to God in all things restore us to the favour of God,,
which mankind, through the disobedience of Adam, had lost.
And let us lift up our united voices aloud in praises and thanks-
giving to the glorious Messiah, for undergoing his many sufferings
upon earth at the hands of our fellow men. For his perseverance
while his soul was anguished by the wickedness and wilful blind-
ness of men, and for undergoing during three days the dreadful
penalty of bearing all the sins of mankind, whereby his body
was unholy — every day, to one whose spirit was so holy, as 2u
thousand years — on our behalf. Let tis raise aloud in praise
and thanksgiving, with sweetest music, to God and our Messiah,
the heartiest songs, that our hearts may thrill with tenderness,
towards every creature upon earth.

Lift up your voices aloud in songs of melody, recalling to-
the memory one of the other the many mercies of our God,,
how that He spared our fathers, though their iniquity was a&
the iniquity of other men — and our iniquity before we rightly



PRAYER. 165

understood God even greater than theirs ; recall to the memory
one of the other, in songs of sweet melody, the wondrous love
■of our God, and of His glorious conquering Son for us. And in
songs of sweet melody let us cheer each other while journeying
onward to our happy heavenly home ; and bid each other wait
patiently and hopefully for the opening of the gates of eternal
life. No longer sad as each in turn enters there, but joyous
that they have entered.

With hymns of praise, of joy, and thanksgiving, let the streets,
and country roads, and fields, and woods, and rocks resound,
as your processions thread the way on the sacred day of rest,
in unison with all sorts of sweetest music, on every sunny day
of rest and days of festival. For when the spirit of our
Messiah actuates the nations of the w^orld, then will the days of
sadness be past, and joyousness pervade all people, no longer
shy to mention aloud the name of God ; but all wiU rejoice to
sing aloud towards heaven, uttering forth their happiness, and
their beauteous sanctuaries shall be to them a place of spiritual
■comfort, and they shall be joyous in placing upon the altar there
the gifts of loving hearts. And weariness of spirit shall be as
a thing of the past, for their thoughts shaU love to dwell upon
the wondrous doings of God and upon the precious blood which
bought us. And the heaping up of silver and gold and
possessions shall no longer be our great aim ; and excessive
labour shall be as a thing of the past. No longer will men be
luxurious, but content ; and peace and good will pervade the
tearts of aU mankind. No longer will the spiritual teachers of
the people strive one against the other, nor will the people ;
but to sweet music they will sing together in unison, for a right
knowledge of the Word of God will bind them together in unity
■of soul, in bonds of peace and of mutual love. Their chanting
i^oices will be heard in heaven, and the angels join in unison ;



166 JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.

and from the one Church of Christ, diffused throughout the
earth, will ascend to heaven continuously, now from one branch
then from another, the sweet sounds of holy melody and holy
prayer.



CHAPTER VII.

Justification by Faith.



WORSHIP is speaking reverently to the unseen God, believ-
ing Him to be near by, listening. Through the sacrificial
death of the body of Christ, God has promised to pardon, and
accept as his children, all who worship Him, having faith — the
faithful until death.

Faith is thorough confidence in the Holy Scriptures, com-
bined with sincere worship, so that having faith, the faithful
become spiritually wise, united, holy, and joyous — joyous as a
little child nestling in the bosom of his father, whom he fondly
loves, and by whom he knows he is beloved. Like as the tele-
scopes of man reveal countless stars, that are unseen to th&
unassisted eye, and like as the microscope reveals countless very
minute living creatures, that are luiseen to the unassisted eye,,
so faith reveals to him who possesses faith his own utter uu-
worthiness, thereby leading him penitently to present to- God
the great atonement of Christ as his atonement ; and it reveals
to him the glorious power, might, majesty, and love of God,
and His glorious presence, in us, around us, and everywhere.

Some of the wicked slightly believe in the existence of God,
Nay, more, some of the wicked also slightly believe in the
Scriptures being the revealed work of God. Nay, still more,
they also slightly worship God. But these have not faith ini



JUSTIFIGATIUN BY FAITH, 167

the sight of God, for they believe a little, but disbelieve
iQuch ; they are obedient a little, but are disobedient much
more ; they honor God a little by their worship, but dishonor
Him still more by their folly ; they are men whose souls are in
a mist, seeing a very little, spiritually, but their souls are
withheld from seeing far, because of the mist of ignorance ; like
as the lesser creatures are bhnded by the mist of ignorance,
so are they.

The greatest of all the works of man, in the sight of God, is
faith, all other works in comparison are as dross. It is through
faith the souls of mankind are saved. He who possesses faith
will strive to add other good works thereto, according to the
greatness of his faith ; will strive to do the will of God in all
things, so as to become an obedient child of God ; will habituate
himself to good thoughts and good deeds ; will love that which
is good and abhor that which is evil ; will strive to spread
widely His Holy Scriptures, and will strive to give mankind a
right understanding of God, so that they may be of one mind in
spiritual things.

No irreligious man, however extensive his good works, can be
saved by them, for he is simply as a kind, harmless dove, or four-
footed sheep, tender-hearted to his own kind, but rebellious
towards God his Creator ; neither dove, nor sheep, nor faithless
man will enter heaven, for he lacks the chiefest of all good works
— the one thing needful — Faith. By faith, therefore, and through
faith only, do men become holy in the sight of God, the
holiness of Christ being thereby imputed to them.



168



CHAPTER VIII.

Confessing Sins.

THE Almighty God our Creator, and His Glorious Son our
Messiah, alone can pardon the sins of any man. The
pardon of God to a man ensues through the prayer for pardon
of that man alone ; therefore no other man can influence God
in pardoning him. Were all the ministers of spiritual things,
and all the rest of mankind, to pray with that man, and for that
man, God pardons that man neither because of the prayers of
the ministers, nor because of the prayers of the rest of mankind,
but solely because of the prayer of the man himself. Believe
not the lying ministers of spurious churches, who say, " Confess
your sins to us, and we will pray to God, and He will pardon
you ;" but spurn ye the lying priests from your nation, for
they lie, and wear the mask of holiness to glorify themselves in
the estimation of the people. God hears not their prayers, for
they are abhorrent to him, being liars. When you have sinned
against any of mankind, confess your sin repentantly to that
one, and strive to repair the injury ; then, after having striven,
pray to God for forgiveness, and God will pardon you. Trust
not to the prayers of others, but trust solely in your own
prayer, for none but yourself can influence God and His
Glorious Son in your behalf.



169



CHAPTER IX.

The Ordinance op Baptism.

LIKE as the holy ordinance of circumcision among the
Israelites gave to the circumcised infants membership in
the Jewish Church, whereby they were publicly acknowledged
to be children of Abraham, so, under the dispensation of Christ,
infants and converts are, in accordance with the holy ordinance
■of baptism, baptized by sprinkhng them with water ; thereby
giving them membership in the one Church of Christ, whereby
they are publicly acknowledged to be fellow-members, and all
the members of the Church, through their ministers, solemnly
bind themselves to teach and train aright all thus baptized.
The rite of baptism by the sprinkling of water is a necessary
Christian rite, in like manner as circumcision was a necessary
Jewish rite ; it confers holiness, inasmuch as it is an act of
obedience to Chi-ist — all acts done purposely, in obedience
to the teachings of Scripture, are holy, and confer holiness on
the doers : the water itself confers no holiness. Take tender
care of the little children, for they are your successors, and
joyously receive them as feUow-members.
This is the visible baptism by water.

There is another baptism, the spiritual, invisible baptism of
the Holy Spirit of God, the living, invisible cloud, which thus
takes place. When an infant, in process of time, understands
the Gospel, and, believing in the mediatory death of Christ,
worships God, supplicating for forgiveness of sins through that
mediatory death, God pardons the sins of that soul, and the
Holy Spirit of God joyously and lovingly enters into him, claim-



170 THE ORDINANCE OP THE SABBATH.

ing him as a child of God. This is the inward baptism of the
Holy Spirit, called the baptism through the blood or death of
Jesus, because the Holy Spirit enters only into those who believe
in the mediatory death of Jesus ; it being only through his
great atonement that mankind enter into heaven. So that it
is necessary that each one of us should be baptized, not with
water only, but with the Holy Spirit of God also.

It is good that the children of Christians should be baptized
with water during their early infancy, for then, during their
childhood, God graciously imputes to them the piety of their
parents.



CHAPTER X.

The Ordinance op the Sabbath.

/^ OD has ordained that every seventh day should be a day
^ of rest from servile work, both for man and for the cattle
in the service of man, that the rich man, the poor man, the
hovisehold servant, and the cattle, may enjoy a day of peaceful
rest and serenity, and may all be equally free from toil on that
day. Man may not do anything for hire, or buy or sell anything
on that day ; whatever be done, one to the other, must be done
from kindness, and not for reward, for the Sabbath is the birth-
right of all mankind, and of the cattle in the service of man.
Let no man defraud them of this their birthright ; it is a trea-
sure highly to be valued by all. He who labours voluntarily
for hire on that day, when he might with safety rest, is a slave
to his avarice and void of understanding, not comprehending
the goodness and love of God for us in ordaining rest from
servile work on the Sabbath day — a rest and change so neces-
sary to all.



THE ORDINANCE OP THE SABBATH. 171

God has also commanded that the Sabbath should be kept
holy, holy to the Lord, by fervently worshipping in the sanc-
tuary on that day — not necessarily during the whole day, for
that would be wearisome, lifeless worship, but part thereof.
The day is to be made holy by the fervent worship of God in
His sanctuary, this public worship making that day holy to
the sincere and penitent worshipper, worshipping Him by also
striving to restrain our inclinations to do or think evil, and in
striving to help our fellow-kind in all good works.

Mere abstinence from servile work on the Sabbath day,
without fervent public worship, does not make it holy.

To the God-fearing worshipper, after worshipping in the
sanctixary, all things are holy on the Sabbath day. In toiling
to relieve his fellow men from misery or pain ; in toiling to-
spread a knowledge of God's will to the young, the middle-aged,
and to the old ; these things he may do, as a child of God,
having spiritual love, for it is lawful to do any good thing on
the Sabbath day. If a servant, she may perform acts of neces-
sity, having spiritual love, but not for money. Take heed, ye
nations ! let not the servant be defrauded of the Sabbath day.
Man may eat and drink moderately, and gently recreate.
Eschew the acquisition of knowledge that relates to the handi-
work of man, on the Sabbath day, but rather trace out the
wondrous works of God, and strive to comprehend His Holy
Scriptures.

The Sabbath is a day not of sadness but of holy joy, a day
of rest from the cares and anxieties of our earthly life ; a day of
holy joy — ^joy to the soul and to the body, that the Lord our
God has pardoned our sins in the midst of the congregation of
His children, that we have been reconciled to Him there once
more through the great atonement of our Messiah.

The godless are miserable, discontented, selfish, vicious,,



172 ORDINANCES.

cruel, morose, and downcast, because they know not God ; but
ye, worshippers of the Most High God, be ye joyous, because
ye are His adopted children whom ye will soon see in that
joyous heavenly house which has been prepared for all who love
Him and His Glorious Son, our Messiah. Be ye therefore
joyous, with a quiet, holy joy. And be stirring ; show thy love
to thy brethren, to those who are thy fellow worshippers, and
to those who know not God. Let thy love win their hearts,
that they may be desirous of being joyous and loving as thyself.
Keep not thyself from thy fellow-kind, but mix with them,
setting them a good example with humility. Draw them also
to do well, especially the young ; mould them to thy ways, but
conform not in the least to their evil ways. Be watchful,
therefore, over thyself, remembering that the Sabbath does not
make thee holy, but thou, if thou art a sincere worshipper of
■God in His sanctuary, makest it holy to thyself. If thou art
sick, and confined to thine house, thou makest it holy to thy-
self by privately worshipping God there. And when ye go
among a nation of Sabbath breakers, observe thou thy Sabbath,
that they may imderstand how much more reasonable thy
Sabbath is than theirs.



CHAPTER XI.

Ordinances.

THE ordinances of man, concerning spiritual things, are by
themselves nothing ; nay, the ordinances of God are by
themselves nothing ; nay, yet more, the Holy Scriptures, the
Word of God, by themselves are nothing j they cannot by
ithemselves alone, according to the law of God, save the soul of



REPENTANCE. 17S

any man. For if a man were scrupulously to follow all the
ordinances of God, and had in his memory every word in the
Holy Scriptures, yet worshipped not God, his soul would not be
saved, for he would stiU be unholy in the sight of God, a
follower of mere outward ceremonials, a man not having the
love of God in his heart. Therefore, ordinances by themselves
are nothing ; they are as roads leading to a great city, but are
not the city itself. To the Israelites, the ordinance of circumci-
sion and the ordinance of the passover were but aids to salvation,
but were not salvation itself. In like manner, the ordinance of
baptism, and the ordinance of the Feast of Unity (the Lord's
Supper), are but aids. Ordinances are aids to unity, to mutual
love, to separation of the faithful from the unfaithful, and for
the partial separation of those of weak faith from those of
strong faith.



CHAPTER XII.

Repentance.

■p EPENTANCE is belief in the existence of God, and of
-*-^ having misbehaved ourselves in word, thought, and deed
in His sight, and of our utter unworthiness to enter heaven,
where God is, without his pardon, sorrowing for past misdeeds,
and humbly supplicating the pardon of God, through the
mediatory death of Christ, the Messiah. Thus sincerely repent-
ing, and sincerely supplicating God, He graciously pardons
the penitent, His Holy Spirit no longer shrinks from him, but,
being purified by pardon, His Holy Spirit lovingly and joyously
enters into him, and claims him as an adopted child of God,
and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.



174 ELECTION.

Like as water washes the skin from filth, bo the pardon of God
purifies the soul from all past sins. The pardon of God is ob-
tained first by believing in the mediatory death of Christ the
Messiah, then by sincere repentance, then by sincere supplica-
tion to God for pardon, then by a sincere determination to strive
lo the uttermost against our evil thoughts, our evil words, and
our evil deeds.



CHAPTER XIII.
Being Born a Second Time.



EVERY child when born is a descendant of disobedient
Adam — Adam's child ; but when he worships God aright,
sincerely supplicating for forgiveness of sins, God pardons him,
and His Holy Spirit enters into him, and claims him as a child
■of God, an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven ; no longer a
child of the man Adam, but the adopted child of God. This
is the second birth.



CHAPTER XIV.

Election.

BEFORE God created the sun, the moon, the coiintless stars,
and this round earth, He ordained that every one of
mankind who received the baptism of His Holy Spirit, con-
tinuing faithful untU death, shoukl be elected to have lieaven
as his dwelUng-place. Every man, every woman, and every
child can receive the baptism of His Holy Spirit, the Holy



IDOLATRY. 175

Spirit entering into them, God in them a»d they in God, by
their beheving and worshipping God, and striving to obey His
Holy Scriptures. The obedient are the elect of God. He has
elected, that is, chosen them as His children. With themselves
alone it rests whether they obey or disobey, for God turns no
man to the right hand nor to the left, neither to do a good
thing nor to do an evil thing, only through His Holy Scriptures
does God influence the heart of any man. Therefore, ye people,
be not blind and superstitious in this matter ; heaven is open
to all who strive to obey God.



CHAPTER XV.

Idolatry.

THUS saith the Lord God, " Ye shaU make ye no idols nor
graven image, nor rear ye up a standing image, neither
shall ye set up any image in your land to bow down before it,
for I am the Lord your God."

No man hath seen God at any time ; neither can any man
have the least knowledge of the shape of God. Like as no man
has the least knowledge of the shape of sunlight, or of the shape
of the soul of man, therefore the wretched efforts of puny foolish
man to represent God as of this shape or that shape, is dis-
honouring to God ; and more dishonouring stiU that man, to
whom He has given a soul, should become as unintelligent as a
dog, by worshipping them ; and behave as though he were
mocking the unseen God, the Creator of all things.

And remember, oh ye nations, the mediatory death of Christ
is to be held in remembrance ; not by means of an image upon
a cross, but like as we have God in our thoughts, or like as we



176 THE BEAUTY OP HOLINESS.

have a distant relative in our hearts. What wouidst thou think
of the man who could not remember his mother unless he had a
plaster, or -wood, or stone image, representing her 1 If thou,
with thy limited wisdom, shouldst consider the man a fool, how
much greater must his folly appear to the all-wise, all-powerful
God, in the man supposing that a vile, inanimate image should
be at all like God,



CHAPTER XVI.
The Beauty op Holiness.

T)EHOLD, oh man, the countless stars, in number as the grains
-■-^ of sand upon the sea shore, innumerable. These, the
sun, the moon, this round earth and all its contents, animate
and inanimate, were made for man — for his pleasure and for
his enjoyment — ^nevertheless, all these things in the sight of
God are as dross compared to one holy angel; for those God can
make at any time, and in any number; but one obedient angel,
one tried angel, exceeds them all in value in the sight of God.

He has made countless living creatures for the benefit of
man, but in His sight they are as grains of sand, because they
worship not God more than do grains of sand. A worshipping
man understands somewhat of God, therefore God accepts him
as His child ; but those who do not worship Him are of less
value in His sight than grains of sand ; for those who do not
worship Him, being disobedient, are unholy, whereas grains of
sand are not unholy.

The wicked man deceives himself, for his body is not more
wonderfully made than that of other living creatures; therefore,
thvis far, they are equal, one not more highly prized than



THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS. 177

another. But a worshipping man exercises his soul and talks to
God, speaking to Him as his Holy Father; and the Holy Spirit
of God lovingly responds thereto, graciously enters into him, and
claims him as His child ; therefore His child is beloved, but the
wicked man is despised.

Oh man ! thou lovest thy dutiful son, thy loving son,
wouldst thou part with him in exchange for thousands of lice,
nay for millions of lice, nay for hundreds of millions of lice 1
You say "No!" inabhorence. Why noil for each one is a living
creature, and as wonderfully made as the flesh and blood of thy
son ; nevertheless, thou hatest them but lovest thy son, for he
is thy beloved child, whereas they are hateful vermin in thine
eyes. In like manner, God considers each one of His children
of more value than millions of wicked men, for He loves tenderly


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Online LibraryLyman AbbottChrist is coming! : Part I. Evidences of the existence of God, and of the truth of the holy scriptures. Parts II & III. The holy scriptures and their description of the mighty plan of God. Parts IV & → online text (page 13 of 19)