His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. Psalm 111:3.
One ray of the glory of God, one gleam of the purity of Christ, penetrating the soul, makes every spot of defilement painfully distinct, and lays bare the deformity and defects of the human character. How can anyone who is brought before the holy standard of God’s law, which makes apparent the evil motives, the unhallowed desires, the infidelity of the heart, the impurity of the lips, and that lays bare the life, make any boast of holiness? His acts of disloyalty in making void the law of God are exposed to his sight, and his spirit is stricken and afflicted under the searching influences of the Spirit of God. He loathes himself as he views the greatness, the majesty, the pure and spotless character of Jesus Christ.
When the Spirit of Christ stirs the heart with its marvelous awakening power, there is a sense of deficiency in the soul, that leads to contrition of mind, and humiliation of self, rather than to proud boasting of what has been acquired. When Daniel beheld the glory and majesty surrounding the heavenly messenger that was sent unto him, he exclaimed, as he described the wonderful scene, “Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.”
The soul that is thus touched will never wrap itself about with self-righteousness, or a pretentious garb of holiness; but will hate its selfishness, abhor its self-love, and will seek, through Christ’s righteousness, for that purity of heart which is in harmony with the law of God and the character of Christ. He will then reflect the character of Christ, the hope of glory. It will be the greatest mystery to him that Jesus should have made so great a sacrifice to redeem him.
He will exclaim, with humble mien and quivering lip, “He loved me. He gave Himself for me. He became poor that I, through His poverty, might be made rich. The Man of Sorrows did not spurn me, but poured out His inexhaustible, redeeming love that my heart might be made clean; and He has brought me back into loyalty and obedience to all His commandments. His condescension, His humiliation, His crucifixion, are the crowning miracles in the marvelous exhibition of the plan of salvation.... All this He has done to make it possible to impart to me His own righteousness, that I may keep the law I have transgressed. For this I adore Him. I will proclaim Him to all sinners.”—The Review and Herald, October 16, 1888.