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The Doctrine of the Everlasting Covenant in the
Writings of Ellet J. Waggoner

Ellen White supported Waggoner and his view as seen in this excerpt for Desire of Ages:

When the law was proclaimed from Sinai, God made known to men the holiness of His character, that by contrast they might see the sinfulness of their own. The law was given to convince them of sin, and reveal their need of a Saviour. It would do this as its principles were applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit. This work it is still to do. In the life of Christ the principles of the law are made plain; and as the light of Christ reveals to men their need of His cleansing blood and His justifying righteousness, the law is still an agent in bringing us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.82

Sister White connected the "schoolmaster" law in Galatians with the covenant issue. But this statement also reveals her belief that what happened at Sinai was a Holy God offering spiritual life to a people, who, through receiving Him as their Lord in their hearts, would become a peculiar treasure and a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. The brethren opposing Waggoner did not see this because they were caught up in defending the law, and especially the Sabbath, from all attacks. The stand that they had taken on the law in Galatians would constantly blind them to what Waggoner was really saying. Thus Ellen, White's repeated rebukes to Smith and Butler concerning their, "weighing every precious heaven-sent testimony by your own scales as you interpret the law in Galatians"83; repeating the "same piece that was manifested by the Jews"84, of Christ's time; and, "cherishing a hobby as to usurp the place of Christ"85, reveal a problem of the heart of man in accepting God as Lord. Waggoner's presentation was totally committed to remedying this problem. Because of this basic difference, the two groups would never really communicate on the same level throughout the whole discussion.

After setting the basis of the covenants upon the response of the heart to the sovereignty of God, Waggoner went on to show that the means by which Israel received pardon and salvation was the same promised in the new covenant. His argument went like this: 1)the difference between the old and new covenants was the promises upon which they were founded: 2)the promises of the new covenant were to cause the law to become a part of the people's minds so that they would "delight in it and acknowledge its holiness", that it would become the rule for all actions through love; 3) those whose hearts had the law within would not sin, and would delight in doing God's will: 4) the characteristics of those who had the law written upon their hearts would be, according to Paul, exactly what God offered the Israelites at Sinai, to be a peculiar people, zealous of good works.86 In this manner, Waggoner connected the salvation of the Gospel in New Testament times with that of the Old. In addition to this, he showed that the covenant made with Abraham was nothing less than the new covenant which was then the everlasting covenant.87 God had one single plan in mind for the restoration of man to God from the beginning to the end. By defining salvation in terms of the everlasting covenant, righteousness by faith became more that merely a transaction or a contract; it included a heart response in which the believer gave his affections as well as his mental consent to God. By including both, man was able to receive the transformation needed to redeem him from the bondage of sin.

Again, Ellen White confirms the message

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Waggoner's View of the Covenants