“God has made abundant provision that the soul may make continual progression in the divine life.”
“In the sermon on the mount, Christ presented before His disciples the far-reaching principles of the law of God. He taught His hearers that the law was transgressed by the thoughts before the evil desire was carried out in actual commission. We are under obligation to control our thoughts, and to bring them into subjection to the law of God. The noble powers of the mind have been given to us by the Lord, that we may employ them in contemplating heavenly things. God has made abundant provision that the soul may make continual progression in the divine life.”1
* * *
“Love is a plant of heavenly origin. It is not unreasonable; it is not blind. It is pure and holy. But the passion of the natural heart is another thing altogether. While pure love will take God into all its plans, and will be in perfect harmony with the Spirit of God, passion will be headstrong, rash, unreasonable, defiant of all restraint, and will make the object of its choice an idol. In all the deportment of one who possesses true love, the grace of God will be shown.”2
* * *
“Those who regard the marriage relation as one of God's sacred ordinances, guarded by His holy precept, will be controlled by the dictates of reason. . . . Jesus did not enforce celibacy upon any class of men. He came not to destroy the sacred relationship of marriage, but to exalt it and restore it to its original sanctity. He looks with pleasure upon the family relationship where sacred and unselfish love bears sway.”3
* * *
“The crime that brought the judgments of God upon Israel was that of licentiousness. . . . Near the close of this earth’s history Satan will work with all his powers in the same manner and with the same temptations wherewith he tempted ancient Israel just before their entering the land of promise. He will lay snares for those who claim to keep the commandments of God, and who are almost on the borders of the heavenly Canaan. He will use his powers to their utmost in order to entrap souls, and to take God’s professed people upon their weakest points.”4
* * *
“Whatever have been the little sins indulged will ruin the soul, unless they are overcome. The small sins will swell into the greater sins. Impure thoughts, private, impure actions, unrefined, low, and sensual thoughts and actions in the marriage life, the giving loose reins to the baser passions under the marriage vow will lead to every other sin, the transgression of all the commandments of God. . . . For all the natural weaknesses Jesus has made ample provision, that they may be overcome through his grace.”5
* * *
“Sensuality is the sin of the age. But the religion of Jesus Christ will hold the lines of control over every species of unlawful liberty; the moral powers will hold the lines of control over every thought, word, and action. Guile will not be found in the lips of the true Christian. Not an impure thought will be indulged in, not a word spoken that is approaching to sensuality, not an action that has the least appearance of evil.
“The senses will be guarded. The soul that has Jesus abiding in it will develop into true greatness. The intelligent soul who has respect unto all of God’s commandments, through the grace of Christ, will say to the passions of the heart as he points to God’s great moral standard of righteousness, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed,’ and the grace of Christ shall be as a wall of fire round about the soul.
* * *Like every other one of God’s good gifts entrusted to the keeping of humanity, marriage has been perverted by sin; but it is the purpose of the gospel to restore its purity and beauty. In both the Old and the New Testament the marriage relation is employed to represent the tender and sacred union that exists between Christ and His people, the redeemed ones whom He has purchased at the cost of Calvary. ‘Fear not,’ He says; ‘thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.’ ‘Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you.’ Isaiah 54:4, 5; Jeremiah 3:14. In the ‘Song of Songs’ we hear the bride’s voice saying, ‘My Beloved is mine, and I am His.’ And He who is to her ‘the chiefest among ten thousand,’ speaks to His chosen one, ‘Thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee.’ Song of Solomon 2:16; 5:10; 4:7.”6
2. Messages to Young People, p. 459.
3. The Adventist Home, p. 121.
4. Review and Herald, May 17, 1887.
5. Ibid., May 24, 1887.
6. Thoughts From the Mount Of Blessing, 64.