The Advent Review, and Sabbath Herald, January 10, 1854
Publishing Committee: Joseph Bates, J.N. Andrews, Joseph Baker
Editor: James White
It may seem almost unnecessary, to those who are unacquainted with the devices of the great enemy of the Christian, to warn those who profess to be expecting the revelation of Him who will appear to the surprise and eternal ruin of all who have not their loins girt about with truth, and watching earnestly, steadily, and patiently for his appearing, of the fearful danger of falling asleep. Would to God it were unnecessary. But painful facts convince us that even Adventists need the gospel to continually sounding in their ears.
We live upon enchanted ground, where none can boast of security; but those whose aim is eternal life, are incessantly exposed to the wiles of a malicious and subtle foe. There is not so much danger of falling before the attacks of the open, avowed enemies around us, as of yielding to the pleasing allurements, and being overcome by the deceptive stratagems of him, who transforms himself into an “angel of light.”
And in view of this imminent peril, we are solemnly bound, as we discover the snares laid for the feet of our fellow pilgrims, to raise the warning voice lest their blood be required at our hands. Feeling this, duty requires me to point out what appear to be a few of the dangers to which the lovers of Jesus’ appearing are exposed. A few only can now be touched upon, but they are seen to be traps in which some unwary souls have been, it is to be feared, already ensnared. Heaven grant such a speedy deliverance!
- Beware of resting easy with a theoretical knowledge of what you confidently believe to be truth, without reducing it to constant practice. This is a rock upon which many an ill-fated bark has split. To know the truth will only aggravate our guilt, unless its life and energy is experienced in the soul. We must act as well as talk truth.
- Beware of supposing yourself in a safe state, because you are associated with many holy souls, and are fellowshiped by them. Is there not great danger here? Let us remember that others may think we are in a fair way to heaven, when God sees we are in the broad road to perdition! In a spiritual meeting, through sympathy, we may catch the fire of those around us, and so be led to believe that our own hearts are right in the sight of God. Look out for deception!
- Beware, when listening to a searching truth, of applying it en masse!” Would it not be better to inquire, “Lord, is it I?”
- Beware of supposing that because we live so near the close of time, it is of no use to employ our talents, property, etc., in trying to diffuse light and truth. Jesus says, “Occupy till I come.”
- Beware of excusing yourself for not being more zealous in God’s cause, by saying, “It is such a trying time that it is hard to live a christian life. Such can only be the language of blind unbelief. “As thy day is, so shall thy strength be.”
- Beware of being overcharged with the cares of this life. In this business age, carefully avoid imbibing its spirit. Satan may present what may appear to be a plausible motive, for striving after the ‘filthy lucre’ of this world. He may suggest the idea that with it you can spread light; but it may prove but a passage way to death.
Thus a few sources of danger have been presented. There is one rule by which we can determine the nature of any idea that may be brought before our minds. The inquiry should be instituted, what effect does it produce upon the life? What are its legitimate fruits? If it gives license to slumber, if it takes our eye from the present truth, the immediate coming of Jesus, it is most evidently one of Satan’s opiates. His main endeavors will now be to induce the child of God to slumber. Let us keep upon the watch! It is no time for the Christian mariner to slumber, while tossed upon the tempestuous wave, and the black clouds around, filled with fury, are just ready to beat upon his little bark! It is no time for the gospel soldier to close his eyes, and fold his hands, when the battle rages the most fiercely, and more especially in the final, decisive struggle. If we sleep now, it is to be feared, we shall never again awake, until the shrill trump which will startle into life the pious dead, shall break upon the affrighted ear. — Selected.
Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:28, 39