The Desire of Ages was written by Ellen G White, the co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is about the life of Jesus Christ and was first published in 1898. The book originally had much greater content. It, therefore, was divided into three volumes.
They were The Desire of Ages, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, and Christ’s Object Lessons. The Desire of Ages is a part of White’s five-volume series called Conflict of the Ages. It is a devotional commentary that spans the Biblical history, beginning from Genesis to Jesus Christ’s second coming.
The purpose of the book
The purpose of this book is revealed in the opening parts of the preface. It is to present Jesus Christ as the one in whom every desire may be fulfilled. The author accepts the fact that many books on the life of Christ have been written before. All of them have been excellent books with a wealth of information. They provide some fascinating insights into Jesus Christ’s life and teachings.
However, the author also reminds that much has been left untold. The book, therefore, intends to present God’s love as revealed in His Son. It also intends that its words satisfy the longings and desires of people through Jesus Christ.
In the beginning of the book’s preface, the human desire has been described well. Whatever situation they are in, they long for things that they do not possess. The book says that this longing was implanted in them by God. It is owing to this longing that human beings begin seeking for the best.
This quality of seeking in humans is then perverted by Satan to fulfil his evil purposes. He tricks humans into believing that their desires can be satisfied by wealth, fame, pleasure, or power. Those who fall prey to Satan’s evil ways keep their souls dissatisfied as ever.
Those who are not deceived by Satan end up finding the one who is able to satisfy their desires. It happens perfectly according to God’s design. The one is none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is within Jesus that fullness and fulfillment resides. He is, therefore, described in this book as The Desire of Ages.
What is not the purpose of the book
Later in the preface, the book describes what is not its purpose. It declares in a very clear manner that its purpose is not to create harmony of the gospels. Neither is its purpose to chronologically arrange all the important events and lessons of Jesus Christ’s life.
In the concluding parts, the readers are reminded once again of the true purpose of this book. One can also find some descriptions about the author, Ellen G White. For instance, she is described as a woman who possesses deep and long experiences in God’s things. The final parts of the preface also say that she has presented new beauties from Jesus Christ’s life.
It states that she has opened before the reader all the riches they would have never dreamed of. The preface ends with the hope that the dissatisfied souls would get to know Jesus Christ. It also hopes that they find the fulfilment of all their desires in Him.