But there is forgiveness with thee - The Septuagint renders this ἱλασμός hilasmos propitiation, reconciliation; the Latin Vulgate “propitiatio,” propitiation. The Hebrew word means “pardon.” The idea is, that sin may be forgiven; or, that God is a Being who does pardon sin, and that this is the only ground of hope. When we come before God, the ground of our hope is not that we can justify ourselves; not that we can prove we have not sinned; not that we can explain our sins away; not that we can offer an apology for them; it is only in a frank and full confession, and in a hope that God will forgive them. He who does not come in this manner can have no hope of acceptance with God.
That thou mayest be feared - That thou mayest be reverenced; or, that men may be brought to serve and worship thee - may be brought to a proper reverence for thy name. The idea is, not that pardon produces fear or terror - for the very reverse is true - but that God, by forgiving the sinner, brings him to reverence him, to worship him, to serve him: that is, the sinner is truly reconciled to God, and becomes a sincere worshipper. The offendcr is so pardoned that he is disposed to worship and honor God, for God has revealed himself as one who forgives sin, in order that the sinner may be encouraged to come to him, and be his true worshipper.
As noted in the preface to this third edition, Testimonies to Ministers consists of materials drawn from several sources, primarily Ellen G. White articles which have appeared in the Review and Herald and pamphlets bearing testimonies to the Battle Creek church and to the leading workers of the cause. The larger part of the content of this volume was written in the years 1890-1898, with some earlier and later materials drawn in to augment certain areas of counsel. Section I, “The Church of Christ,” gives assurance of the tender regard in which God holds his church, and contains clear-cut promises of the church's triumph. This is followed by Warnings and Counsels to Ministers and Administrators. TM xv.1
The decade of the 1890's was an interesting, yet in some ways distressing, period in the experience of Seventh-day Adventists. The church was growing, more than doubling its membership in the ten-year period. With rapidity its workers were entering new countries. Institutions at home and abroad were brought into being. The original provisions for organization devised at the first general conference session in 1863 were being rapidly outgrown. Older established institutions were expanding and entering upon a period of popularity with both Seventh-day Adventists and the world. This growth was fraught with many perils, from liberalism on one hand to consolidation and centralization on the other hand. Then, in and through the experience of this period, there were elements reflecting the aftermath of the 1888 General Conference session held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where certain doctrinal issues were discussed heatedly and at length. A number of men identified themselves with one camp or the other, with their decisions influenced not alone by the doctrinal arguments presented, but also molded by attitudes toward the spirit of prophecy counsels. In some cases these attitudes were not wholesome. Through most of this period, Ellen White was in Australia, laboring to build up the work in that newly entered land and leading out in the establishment of a college and a sanitarium in that continent. TM xv.2Read in context »