Foreword: (this Foreword and Contents were written August, 2000 [rev. Sep 2020] by Daniel Winters; email@example.com)
This is the second real book ever authored by Ellen White. In 1851 "A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White" was published. As the name suggests, this book is a supplement to that book, especiallly dealing with questions people had regarding it. There are several articles taken from the "Review", and several things written that will be found written similarly in the book she wrote next: "The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels".
The slight differences between what is written here in 1854, and what was put in the 1858 Great Controversy are very interesting and worthy of study.
I typed up this particular book from a photo-copy of a photo-copy of a photo-copy.... and as such, the spellings were left as in the original. You will notice that there are two items listed as "5" in the SUPPLEMENT. That's the way the original has it. I did make one change tho, where it looked like it might make a difference regarding the interpretation: Closing quotes added after "too much and too often." If i am mistaken in this, someone please let me know.
Praise God for his great love to us, to give us detailed instruction to keep us from the multitude of errors that surround us in these last days! May we follow all the words of his prophets, and staying on the narrow path, press on to the prize before us.
DEAR CHRISTIAN FRIENDS: -- As I have given a brief sketch of my experiences and views, published in 1851, it seems to be my duty to notice some points in that little work; also, to give more recent views.
1. On page 17, is as follows: -- "I saw that the Holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question, to unite the hearts of God's dear, waiting saints. I saw that God had children, who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They had not rejected the light on it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully."
This view was given in 1847, when there were but very few of the Advent brethren observing the Sabbath, and of these, but few supposed that its observance was of sufficient importance to draw a line between the people of God and unbelievers. Now, the fulfillment of that view is beginning to be seen.
"The commencement of the time of trouble," here mentioned, does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out; but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the Sanctuary. At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, the nations will be angry, yet held in check, so as not to prevent the work of the third angel. At that time the "latter rain," or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out.
2. The view of the "Open and Shut Door," on pages 24-27, was given in 1849. The application of Rev. iii, 7, 8, to the Heavenly Sanctuary and Christ's ministry, was entirely new to me. I had never heard the idea advanced by any one. Now, as the subject of the Sanctuary is being clearly understood, the application is seen in its beauty and force.
3. The "false reformations" referred to on page 27, are yet to be more fully seen. This view relates more particularly to those who have heard and rejected the light of the Advent doctrine. They are given over to strong delusions. Such will not have "the travail of soul for sinners" as formerly. Having rejected the Advent, and being given over to the delusions of Satan, "the time for their salvation is past." This does not, however, relate to those who have not heard and have not rejected the doctrine of the Second Advent.
4. The view that the Lord "had stretched out his hand the second time to recover the remnant of his people," on page 61, refers only to the union and strength once among those looking for Christ, and that he had begun to unite and raise up his people again.
5. Spirit Manifestations. On pages 25, and 26, read as follows: -- "I saw that the mysterious knocking in N. Y., and other places, was the power of Satan, and that such things would be more and more common, clothed in a religious garb, to lull the deceived to more security, and to draw the minds of God's people, if possible, to those things and cause them to doubt the teachings, and power of the Holy Ghost."
This view was given in 1849, nearly five years since. Then spirit manifestations were mostly confined to the city of Rochester, known as the "Rochester knockings." Since that time the heresy has spread beyond the expectations of any one.
Much of the view on page 47, headed, Mysterious Rappings, given August 1850, has since been fulfilled, and is now fulfilling. Here is a portion of it:
"I saw that soon it would be considered blasphemy to speak against the rapping, and that it would spread more and more, and Satan's power would increase, and some of his devoted followers would have power to work miracles, and even to bring down fire from heaven in the sight of men. I was shown that these modern magicians would yet account for all the miracles wrought by our Lord Jesus Christ by the rapping and mesmerism, and many would believe that all the mighty works of the Son of God, when he was on the earth, were accomplished by this same power."
I saw the rapping delusion -- what progress it was making, and if it were possible it would deceive the very elect. Satan will have power to bring the appearance of a form before us purporting to be our relatives and friends that now sleep in Jesus. It will be made to appear as though they were present, the words they uttered while here, which we were familiar with, will be spoken, and the same tone of voice, which they had while living, will fall upon the ear. All this is to deceive the saints, and ensnare them into the belief of this delusion.
I saw that the saints must get a thorough understanding of the present truth, which they will have to maintain from the Scriptures. They must understand the state of the dead; for the spirits of devils will yet appear to them, professing to be beloved friends and relatives, who will declare to them that the Sabbath has been changed, and, also, other unscriptural doctrines. They will do all in their power to excite sympathy, and work miracles before them, to confirm what they declare. The people of God must be prepared to withstand these spirits with the Bible truth, that the dead know not any thing, and that they are the spirits of devils. Our minds must not be taken up with things around us, but must be occupied with the present truth, and a preparation to give a reason of our hope with meekness and fear. We must seek wisdom from on high that we may stand in this day of error and delusion.
I saw that we must examine well the foundation of our hope, for we shall have to give a reason for it from the scriptures; for we shall see this delusion spreading, and we shall have to contend with it face to face. And unless we are prepared for it, we shall be ensnared and overcome. But if we do what we can on our part to be ready for the conflict that is just before us, God will do his part, and his all-powerful arm will protect us. He would sooner send every angel out of glory to our relief, to make a hedge about faithful souls, rather than they should be deceived and led away by the lying wonders of Satan.
I saw the rapidity with which this delusion was spreading. A train of cars was shown me, going with the speed of lightning. The angel bade me look carefully. I fixed my eyes upon the train. It seemed that the whole world was on board; that there could not be one left. Said the angel: "They are binding in bundles ready to burn." Then he showed me the conductor, who looked like a stately fair person, which all the passengers looked up to and reverenced. I was perplexed, and asked my attending angel who it was. Said he, "It is Satan. He is the conductor in the form of an angel of light. He has taken the world captive. They are given over to strong delusions, to believe a lie that they may be damned." This agent, the next highest in order to him, is the engineer, and others of his agents are employed in different offices as he may need them, and they are all going with lightning speed to perdition. They are binding in bundles ready to burn. I asked the angel if there were none left. He bade me look in an opposite direction, and I saw a little company traveling a narrow pathway. All seemed to be firmly united, and bound together by the truth, in bundles, or companies. Said the angel, "The third angel is binding them (sealing them) in bundles for the heavenly garner.
This little company looked care-worn, as though they had passed through severe trials and conflicts. And it appeared as if the sun had just appeared from behind the cloud, and shone upon their countenances and caused them to look triumphant, as though their victories were nearly won.
I saw that the Lord had given the world opportunity to discover the snare. This one thing was evidence enough for the Christian if there was no other. There is no difference made between the precious and the vile.
Thomas Paine, whose body has mouldered to dust, and who is to be called forth at the end of the 1000 years, at the second resurrection, to receive his reward, and suffer the second death, is purported by satan to be in heaven, and highly exalted there. Satan used him on earth as long as he could, and now he is carrying on the same work through pretensions of having Thomas Paine so much exalted and honored; and as he taught on earth, satan is making it appear that he is teaching in heaven. And some on earth who have looked with horror at his life and death, and his corrupt teachings while living, now submit to be taught by him who was one of the vilest and most corrupt of men; one who despised God and his law.
He who is the father of lies, blinds and deceives the world by sending his angels forth to speak for apostles, and make it appear that they contradict what they wrote when on earth, which was dictated by the Holy Ghost. These lying angels make the apostles to corrupt their own teachings and declare them to be adulterated. By so doing he can throw professed Christians, who have a name to live and are dead, and all the world in uncertainty about the word of God; for that cuts directly across his track, and is likely to thwart his plans. Therefore he gets them to doubt the divine origin of the Bible, and then sets up the infidel Thomas Paine, as though he was ushered into heaven when he died, and with the holy apostles whom he hated on earth, is united, and appears to be teaching the world.
Satan assigns each one of his angels their part to act. He enjoins upon them to be cunning, artful and sly. He instructs some of them to act the part of the apostles, and speak for them, while others are to act out infidels and wicked men who died cursing God, but now appear to be very religious. There is no difference made between the most holy apostles and the vilest infidel. They are both made to teach the same thing. It matters not who satan makes to speak, if his object is only accomplished. He was so intimately connected with Paine upon earth, and aided him, that it is an easy thing for him to know the very words he used, and the very hand-writing of one of his devoted children who served him so faithfully, and accomplished his purposes so well. Satan dictated much of his writings, and it is an easy thing for him to dictate sentiments through his angels now, and make it appear that it comes through Thomas Paine, who was his devoted servant while he lived. But this is the master-piece of satan. All this teaching purporting to be from apostles, and saints, and wicked men who have died, comes directly from his Satanic majesty.
This should be enough to remove the vail from every mind and discover unto them the dark, mysterious works of satan; -- that he has got one whom he loved so well, and who hated God so perfectly, with the holy apostles and angels in glory: virtually saying to the world and infidels, No matter how wicked you are; no matter whether you believe in God or the Bible, or disbelieve; live as you please, heaven is your home; -- for every one knows that if Thomas Paine is in heaven, and so exalted, they will surely get there. This is so glaring that all may see if they will. Satan is doing now what he has been trying to do since his fall, through individuals like Thomas Paine. He is, through his power and lying wonders, tearing away the foundation of the Christian's hope, and putting out their sun that is to lighten them in the narrow way to heaven. He is making the world believe that the Bible is no better than a story-book, uninspired, while he holds out something to take its place; namely, Spiritual Manifestations !
Here is a channel wholly devoted to himself, under his control, and he can make the world believe what he will. The Book that is to judge him and his followers, he puts back into the shade, just where he wants it. The Saviour of the world he makes to be no more than a common man; and as the Roman guard that watched the tomb of Jesus, spread the false and lying report that the chief priests and elders put in their mouth, so will the poor, deluded followers of these pretended spiritual manifestations, repeat, and try to make it appear, that there is nothing miraculous about our Saviour's birth, death and resurrection; and they put Jesus back, with the Bible, in the shade, where they want him, and then get the world looking to them and their lying wonders and miracles, which they declare far exceed the works of Christ.
Thus the world is taken in the snare, and lulled to security; not to find out their awful deception, until the seven last plagues are poured out. Satan laughs as he sees his plan succeed so well, and the whole world in the snare.
5. On pages 29-33, is a view given January, 1850. That portion of this view, which relates to means being withheld from the messengers, more particularly applied to that time. Since that time friends of the cause of present truth have been raised up, who have watched for opportunity to do good with their means. And some have handed out too freely, to the injury of the receivers. For above two years I have been shown more relative to a careless and too free use of the Lord's money, than a lack of means.
The following is from a view given me at Jackson, Mich., June 2d, 1853. It related mostly to the brethren in that place. "I saw that the brethren commenced to sacrifice their property, and handed it out without having the true object set before them -- the suffering cause -- and they handed out too freely, too much and too often." I saw that the teachers should have stood in a place to correct this error, and exert a good influence in the church. Money was made to be of little or no consequence; the sooner disposed of, the better. A bad example has been set by some in accepting large donations, and not giving the least caution to those who had means not to use it too freely and carelessly. And by accepting so large an amount of means, without questioning whether God had made it their duty to bestow so largely, they sanctioned the brethren's giving too bountifully.
Those who gave, also erred, not being particular to inquire into the necessities of the case, whether there was actual need or not. Those who had means were thrown into great perplexity. One brother was much hurt by too much means being put into his hands. He did not study economy; but lived extravagantly, and in his travels laid out money here and there to no profit. He spread a wrong influence by making such free use of the Lord's money, and would say to others, and in his own heart, There is means enough in Jackson, more than can be used before the Lord comes. Some were very much injured by such a course, and came into the truth with wrong views, not realizing that it was the Lord's money they were using, and not feeling the worth of it. And I saw that these poor souls who have just embraced the third angel's message, and have had such an example set before them, will have much to learn, to deny self, and suffer for Christ's sake. They will have to learn to give up their ease, and cease studying their convenience and comfort, and bear in mind the worth of souls. Those who feel the "woe" upon them will not be for making great preparations and fixings outwardly, to travel in ease and comfort. Those who have no calling have been encouraged into the field. Others have been affected by these things, and have not felt the need of economy, of denying themselves, and putting into the treasury of the Lord. They would feel and say, "There are others who have means enough; they will give for the paper. I need not do anything. The paper will be supported without my help."
It has been no small trial to me to see that some have taken that portion of my views which related to sacrificing property to sustain the cause, and make a wrong use of it, and use means extravagantly, while neglecting to carry out the principles of other portions. On page 31, read the following: -- "I saw that the cause of God had been hindered, and dishonored by some traveling who had no message from God. Such will have to give an account to God for every dollar they have used in traveling where it was not their duty to go; for that money might have helped on the cause of God." Page 32. -- "I saw that those who have strength to labor with their hands, and help sustain the cause, were as accountable for that strength, as others were for their property."
I would here call especial attention to the view of this subject given on pages 45, 46. Here is a short extract: --"The object of the words of our Saviour [Luke xii, 33] had not been clearly presented. I saw that the object of selling was not to give to those who are able to labor and support themselves, but to spread the truth. It is a sin to support and indulge in idleness, those who are able to labor. Some have been zealous to attend all the meetings; not to glorify God, but for the "loaves and fishes." Such had much better have been at home laboring with their hands, "the thing that is good," to supply the wants of their families, and to have something to give to sustain the precious cause."
I have seen that it has been satan's design in times past to push out some with a hurried spirit to make a too free use of means, and influence the brethren to rashly dispose of their property, that means might be thrown out carelessly, and hastily disclosed of, and souls injured and lost through an abundance of means, and now when the truth is to be spread more extensively, the lack might be felt. His design has in some degree been accomplished.
The Lord has shown me the error of many in looking to those only who have property to support the publication of the paper and tracts. All should act their part. Those who have strength to labor with their hands, and earn means to help sustain the cause, are as accountable for it as others are for their property. Every child of God, who professes to believe the present truth, should be zealous to act his part in this cause.
July, 1853, I saw that it was not as it should be, that the paper, owned and approved of God, should come out so seldom. That the cause, in the time in which we are living, demands the paper weekly, and the publication of many more tracts to expose the increasing errors of this time; but the work was hindered for want of means. I saw that the truth must go, and that we must not be too fearful; that tracts and papers had better go to three where they were not needed, than to have one deprived of them who can be benefited, and who prized them. I saw that the last-day signs should be brought out and clearly shown; for the manifestations of satan are on the increase. Their publishing is increasing, their power is growing; and what we can do to get the truth before others, must be done quickly.
I was shown like this. The truth once got out now, will stand; for it is the truth for the last days, and it will live, and less need to be said upon the truth after it is out. Numberless words need not be put upon paper to justify what speaks for itself, and shines in its clearness. But it is not so with error. It is so winding and twisting that it needs a multitude of words to explain it in its crooked form. But truth is straight, plain, clear, and stands out boldly in its own defense. The cause of truth should not be hindered in its onward progress for want of means.
I saw that in some places all the light they had received came from the paper; and souls had received the truth in this way, and then talked it to others; and now in places where there are several, they had been raised up by this silent messenger. It was their only preacher.
THE Lord has shown me that gospel order has been too much neglected and feared. That formality should be shunned; but in so doing, order should not be neglected. There is order in heaven. There was order in the church when Christ was upon earth; and after his departure, order was strictly observed among his apostles. And now in these last days, while God is bringing his children into the unity of the faith, there is more real need of order than ever before. For as God is uniting his children, satan and his evil angels are very busy to prevent this unity, and to destroy it. Therefore men will be hurried into the field; men without wisdom, lacking judgment, perhaps not ruling well their own house, and not having order or government over the very few that God has given them charge of at home; yet they feel capable of having charge of the flock. They make many wrong moves, and all the messengers are thought, by those unacquainted with our faith, to be like these self-sent men; and the cause of God is reproached, and the truth shunned by many unbelievers, who would otherwise be candid, and anxious to inquire, Are these things so?
Men, I saw, whose lives are not holy, who are unqualified to teach the present truth, enter the field without being acknowledged by the church or brethren generally, and confusion and disunion is the result. Some have a theory of the truth and can dwell upon argument, but lack spirituality, judgment and experience, and they fail in many things which is very necessary for one to possess before they can teach the present truth to others. Others have not the argument; but because a few brethren hear them pray well, and give an exciting exhortation now and then, press them into the field, to engage in a work that God has not qualified them for, and when they have not sufficient experience and judgment for the work. Spiritual pride comes in, and they are lifted up, and act under the deception of thinking that they are laborers. They do not know themselves. They lack sound judgment and patient reasoning. Talk boastingly of themselves, and assert many things which they cannot prove from the Word. God knoweth this, therefore he does not call such to labor in these perilous times. And brethren should be careful and not push out those into the field whom God has not called.
These men, who are not called of God, are generally the very ones that are the most confident that they are so called, and that their labors are very important. They go into the field, and do not exert a good influence generally, yet in some places they have a measure of success, which leads individuals to think that they are surely called of God. I saw that it was not a positive evidence that men are called of God, because they have some success; for now the angels of God are moving upon the hearts of his honest children to enlighten their understanding as to the present truth, that they may lay hold upon it and live. And even if self-sent men put themselves where God does not put them, and profess to be teachers, and souls receive the truth by hearing them talk it, this is no evidence that they are called of God. The souls who receive the truth from them, receive it to be brought into trial and bondage, as they afterwards find that these men were not standing in the counsel of God. Even if wicked men talk the truth, some may receive it; but it does not bring those who talked it, into any more favor with God. Wicked men are wicked men still. And according to the deception they practised, and as they deceived those who were beloved of God, and brought confusion into the church, so will their punishment be greater, and their sins will not remain covered, but will be exposed in the day of God's fierce anger.
These self-sent messengers are a curse to the cause. Honest souls put confidence in them, think that they are moving in the counsel of God, that they are in union with the church, and suffer them to administer the ordinances, to lead them down into the water and baptize them, as duty is made plain that they must do their first works; and then when light comes as it surely will, and they are aware that these men are not what they understood them to be, God's called and chosen messengers, they are thrown into trial and doubt as to the truth they have received, and feel that they must learn it all over again, and are troubled, and perplexed by the enemy, about all their experience, whether God has led them or not, and are not satisfied until they are again baptized, and begin anew. And it is much more laborious, and wearing to the spirits of God's messengers, to go into such places where those have been, who have exerted this wrong influence. God's servants have to deal plainly, and not cover up wrongs, but act openly; for they are standing between the living and the dead, and must render an account of the faithfulness of their mission, and the influence they exert over the flock of which the Lord has made them overseers.
These jewels who received the truth and are brought into such trials, would have had the truth the same if these men (who lack the qualifications they must have to be the Lord's messengers) had stayed away, and filled the humble place God designed for them. God's eye was upon his jewels, and he would direct his called and chosen messengers to them; men that would move understandingly, and the light of truth would shine and discover to these souls their true position, and they would receive the truth understandingly, and be satisfied with its beauty and clearness. And as they feel the effects and power of the truth, will be strong and shed a holy influence.
Again: the danger of those traveling, whom God has not called, was shown me. If they do have some success, the qualifications that are lacking will be felt. Injudicious moves will be made, and some precious jewels may be driven off by a lack of wisdom, where they never can be reached. I saw that the church should feel their responsibility, and should look carefully and attentively at the lives, qualifications, and general course of those who profess to be teachers. And if unmistakable evidence is not given that God has called them, and that the "woe" is upon them if they heed not this call, it is the duty of the church to act, and let it be known that they are not acknowledged teachers by the church. This is the only course the church can take in order to be clear in this matter; for the burden lays upon them.
I saw that this door that the enemy comes in at, to perplex and trouble the flock, can be shut. I inquired of the angel how this door could be closed. Said he, "The church must flee to God's word, and become established upon gospel order which has been overlooked and neglected." This is indispensably necessary to bring the church into the unity of the faith. I saw that they were in danger in the apostles' days of being imposed upon and deceived by false teachers; and men were chosen by the brethren, or church, who had given good evidence that they were capable of ruling well their own house, and preserving order in their own families; men that could enlighten those who were in darkness. Inquiry was made of God concerning them, and then, according to the mind of the church, and the Holy Ghost, they were set apart by the laying on of hands. Having received their commission from God, and having the approbation of the church, they go forth baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and to administer the ordinances of the Lord's house, often waiting upon the saints by presenting them to the emblems of the broken body and spilt blood of the crucified Saviour, to keep fresh in the memory of God's beloved children, his sufferings and death.
I saw that we are no more secure from false teachers now than they were in the apostles' days; and if we do no more, we should take as special measures as they did to secure the peace, harmony and union of the flock. We have their example, and should follow it. Brethren of experience, and of a sound mind, should assemble, and follow the word of God, and with fervent prayer, and by the sanction of the Spirit of God, should lay hands upon those who have given full proof that they have received their commission of God, and set them apart to devote themselves entirely to the work. And by this act show the approving voice of the church, in their going forth as messengers to carry the most solemn message ever given to men.
God will not intrust the care of his precious flock to men whose minds and judgment have been weakened by former errors that they have been in, such as so-called perfectionism and spiritualism, and by their course, while in these errors, have brought reproach upon the cause of truth and disgraced themselves. And although they may now feel free from error, and competent to go forth to teach this last message, God will not accept them. He will not intrust precious souls to their care; for their judgment has been perverted while in error, and is now weakened.
The great and holy One is a jealous God, and he will have holy men to carry his truth. The holy law, spoken by God from Sinai, is a part of himself, and holy men, who are its strict observers, will alone honor him by teaching it to others.
I saw that the servants of God who teach the truth should be men of judgment. They should be men that can bear opposition, and not get excited; for those who oppose the truth will pick those who teach it, and every objection that can be produced, in its worst form, will be brought to bear against the truth. And the servants of God, who bear the message, must be prepared, with calmness and meekness, to remove these objections by the light of truth. I saw that the opposers would often talk to ministers of God in a provoking manner, to call out something from them of the same nature, that they can make as much of as possible, and declare to others that the teachers of the commandments have a bitter spirit, and are harsh, as has been reported. I saw that we must be prepared for objections, with patience, judgment and meekness let them have the weight they deserve, and not throw them away, and dispose of them by positive assertions, and bear down upon the objector, and manifest a hard spirit towards him, but give the objections their weight, then bring forth the light and power of the truth, and let it outweigh, and remove the errors; and then a good impression will be left, and they will acknowledge that they have been deceived, and that the commandment-keepers are not what they have been represented to be.
Those who profess to be servants of the living God, must be willing to be servants of all, instead of being exalted above the brethren, and they must possess a kind courteous spirit. If they err, they should be ready to confess thoroughly. Honesty of intention cannot stand as an excuse for not confessing errors. Confession would not lessen the confidence of the church in the messenger, and he would set a good example, a spirit of confession would be encouraged in the church, and sweet union would be the result. I have seen that those who profess to be teachers, should be patterns of piety, meekness, and of great humility, possessing a kind spirit, to win souls to Jesus, and the truth of the Bible. A minister of Christ should be pure in conversation and in actions, He should ever bear in mind that he is handling words of inspiration, words of a holy God. He must bear in mind that the flock is entrusted to his care, and he is to bear their cases to Jesus, and plead for them as Jesus pleads for us to the Father. I was pointed back to the children of Israel anciently, and saw how pure and holy the ministers of the Sanctuary had to be, because they were brought by their work into a close connection with God. They that should minister, must be holy, pure and without blemish, or God would destroy them. I saw that God had not changed. He was just as holy and pure, just as particular as ever he was. He changeth not! Those who profess to be the ministers of Jesus, should be men of experience and deep piety, and then at all times, and in all places they can shed a holy influence.
I have seen that it was now time for the messengers to move out wherever there was an opening, and God would go before them and would open the hearts of some to hear. New places must be entered, and when new places are visited it would be well to go two and two, so as to hold up each others hands, wherever they can consistently, and not neglect other places. It was shown me like this. It would be well for two brethren to start together, and travel in company together to the darkest places, where there is much opposition, and where they need the most labor, and with united efforts and strong faith set the truth before those in darkness. And then if they could accomplish more, by visiting many places, to go separately, but often meet while on the tour to encourage each other by their faith, and thereby strengthen and hold up each others hands. Also, consult upon the places opened for them, and decide which of their gifts will be the most needed, and in what way they can have the most success, and reach the heart. And then as they separate again their courage and energy will be renewed to meet the opposition and darkness, and to labor with feeling hearts to save perishing souls.
I saw that the servants of God should not go over and over the same field of labor, but should be searching out souls in new places. Those who are already established in the truth should not demand so much of their labor; for they ought to be able to stand alone, and strengthen others about them while the messengers of God are in the dark and lonely places setting the truth before those who are not now enlightened as to the present truth.
[The following is from the Review of Aug. 11th, 1853.]
DEAR BRETHREN AND SISTERS: -- As error is fast progressing, we should seek to be awake in the cause of God, and realize the time in which we live. Darkness is to cover the earth, and gross darkness the people. And as nearly all around us are being enveloped in the thick darkness of error and delusion, it becomes us to shake off stupidity, and live near to God, where we can draw the divine rays of light and glory from the countenance of Jesus. As darkness thickens, and error increases, we should obtain a more thorough knowledge of the truth, and be prepared to maintain from the Scriptures the truth of our position.
We must be sanctified through the truth, be wholly consecrated to God, and live out our holy profession, so that he can shed increasing light upon us, that we may have light in his light, and be strengthened with his strength. Every moment that we are not on our watch, we are liable to be beset by the enemy, and in great danger of being overcome by the powers of darkness. Satan has his angels, who are commissioned by him to be vigilant, and overthrow all they can; to find out the waywardness and besetting sins of those who profess the truth, and throw darkness around them, that they may cease to be watchful, and take a course that will dishonor the cause they profess to love, bring sorrow upon the church, while daily the misguided, unwatchful souls are growing darker, and the light of heaven is fading from them. They cannot discover their besetting sins, and satan weaves his net about them, until they are taken in the snare.
God is our strength. We must look to him for wisdom and guidance, and with his glory in view, and the good of the church, and the salvation of our own souls, overcome our besetting sins. Each individual should seek to obtain new victory every day. We must learn to stand alone, and depend wholly upon God. The sooner we learn this the better. Let each one find out where he fails, and then faithfully watch, that his sins may not overcome him, but get the victory over his sins. Then can we have confidence towards God, and great trouble will be saved the church.
The messengers of God, as they leave their homes, to labor for the salvation of souls, spend much of their time in getting those right, and free from temptation, who have been in the truth for years, and still are weak, because they needlessly let loose the reins, cease watching over themselves, and, I sometimes think, tempt the enemy to tempt them. They are held hours and even days, and their souls grieved and wounded, to hear little difficulties and trials talked over. Each magnifying his own grievances to make them look as serious as possible, for fear the servants of God will think them too small an affair for them to notice. Instead of depending on the Lord's servants to help them out of these trials, they should break down before God, and fast and pray till the trials are removed.
Some seem to think that all God has called messengers into the field for, is to go at their bidding, and carry them in their arms. And that the most important part of their work is to settle their petty trials and difficulties, which they have brought upon themselves by injudicious moves, and by giving way to the enemy, and having an unyielding, fault-finding spirit with those around them, to ease their conscience.
But where are the hungry sheep at this time? Starving for the bread of life. Those who know the truth and have been established in it, but obey it not, (if they did they would be saved many of these trials) are holding the messengers, and the very object for which God has called his servants into the field, is not accomplished. The servants of God are grieved, and their courage taken away by such things in the church, when all should strive not to add a feather's weight to their burden; but by cheering words and the prayer of faith, should help them. How much more free would they be if all who profess the truth, would be looking about them and trying to help others, instead of claiming so much help themselves. And as the servants of God enter the dark places, where the truth has not yet been proclaimed, they have a wounded spirit caused by the needless trials of their brethren. In addition to all this, they have to meet the unbelief and prejudice of opposers and be trampled upon by some.
How much easier it would be for the servant of God to affect the heart, and how much more would God be glorified, if his servants were free from discouragement and trial, that they might labor for him more effectually, and with a free spirit, present the truth in its beauty.
Those who have been guilty of requiring so much labor of God's servants, and burdening them with trials, which belonged to themselves to settle, will have to give an account to God for all the time and means that has been spent to gratify themselves, thereby satisfying the enemy. They should be in a situation to help their brethren. They should never defer their trials and difficulties to burden a whole meeting, or wait until some of the messengers come to settle them. But get right before God, have the trials all out of the way, and be prepared to hold up the hands of the laborers, instead of weakening them.
E. G. W.
As I have of late looked around to find the humble followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, my mind has been much exercised.
Many profess to be looking for the speedy coming of Christ, are becoming conformed to this world, and seek more earnestly the applause of those around them, than the approbation of God. They are cold and formal, like the nominal church, that they but a short time since separated from. The words addressed to the Laodicean Church, describe their present condition perfectly. See Rev. iii, 14-20. They are "neither cold nor hot," but "lukewarm." And unless they heed the counsel of the "faithful and True Witness," and zealously repent, and obtain "gold tried in the fire," "white raiment," and "eye-salve," he will spue them out of his mouth.
The time has come when a large portion of those who once rejoiced, and shouted aloud for joy, in view of the immediate coming of the Lord, are on the ground of the churches and world who once scoffed at, and derided them for believing that Jesus was coming, and circulated all manner of falsehoods to raise prejudice against them, and destroy their influence. If any one longs after the living God, and hungers and thirsts for righteousness, and God gives them to feel his power, and satisfies their longing soul, by shedding abroad his love in their hearts, and if they glorify God by praising him, they are, by these professed believers in the soon coming of the Lord, often considered deluded, and charged with having mesmerism or some wicked spirit.
Many of these professed Christians dress, talk and act like the world, and the only thing by which they may be known, is their profession. Though they profess to be looking for Christ, their conversation is not in heaven, but on worldly things.
"What manner of persons" ought those to be "in all holy conversation and godliness," who profess to be "looking for, and hasting unto the day of God?" 2 Pet. iii, 11. "Every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 1 John iii, 3. But it is evident that many who bear the advent name, study more to decorate their bodies, and appear well in the eyes of the world, than they do the word of God, to learn how they may be approved of him.
What if the lovely Jesus, our pattern, should make his appearance among them, and the professors of religion generally, as at his first Advent? He was born in a manger. Follow him along through his life and ministry. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. These professed Christians would be ashamed of the meek and lowly Saviour who wore a plain, seamless coat, and had not where to lay his head. His spotless, self-denying life would condemn them; his holy solemnity would be a painful restraint upon their lightness and vain laughter; his guileless conversation would be a check to their worldly and covetous conversation; his declaring the unvarnished, cutting truth, would manifest their real character, and they would wish to get the meek Pattern, the lovely Jesus, out of the way as soon as possible. They would be among the first to try to catch him in his words, and raise the cry, Crucify him! Crucify him!
Let us follow Jesus as he so meekly rode into Jerusalem, when "the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice, * * * Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. Some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you, that if these should hold their peace the stones would immediately cry out." A large portion of those who profess to be looking for Christ would be as forward as the Pharisees were, to have the disciples silenced, and they would doubtless raise the cry, Fanaticism! Mesmerism! Mesmerism! And the disciples, spreading their garments and branches of palm-trees in the way, would be thought extravagant and wild.
But God will have a people on the earth that will not be so cold and dead but that they can praise and glorify him. He will receive glory from some people, and if his chosen people, who keep his commandments should hold their peace the very stones would cry out.
Jesus is coming, but not as at his first Advent, a babe in Bethlehem, not as he rode into Jerusalem, when the disciples praised God with a loud voice and cried, Hosannah; but in the glory of the Father, and with all the retinue of holy angels with him, to escort him on his way to earth. All heaven will be emptied of the angels. While the waiting saints will be looking for him, and gazing into heaven, as were the "men of Galilee" when he ascended from the Mount of Olivet. Then, those only who are holy, those who have followed fully the meek Pattern will, with rapturous joy, exclaim as they behold him, "Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us." And they will be changed "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump," that wakes the sleeping saints, and calls them forth from their dusty beds, clothed with glorious immortality, shouting, Victory! Victory! over death and the grave. The changed saints are caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, never more to be separated from the object of their love.
With such a prospect as this before us, such a glorious hope, such a redemption that Christ has purchased for us by his own blood, shall we hold our peace? Shall we not praise God, even with a loud voice, as the disciples did when Jesus rode into Jerusalem? Is not our prospect far more glorious than theirs was? Who dare then forbid us glorifying God, even with a loud voice, when we have such a hope, big with immortality and full of glory? We have tasted of the powers of the world to come, and long for more. My whole being cries out after the living God, and I shall not be satisfied until I am filled with all his fullness.
E. G. W.
DEAR BRETHREN AND SISTERS: -- Do we believe with all the heart that Christ is soon coming? And that we are now having the last message of mercy that is ever to be given to a guilty world? Is our example what it should be? And do we show to those around us, by our lives and holy conversation, that we are looking for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to change these vile bodies and fashion them like unto his glorious body? I fear that we do not believe, and realize these things as we should. Those who believe the important truths that we profess to believe, should act out their faith, in the immediate coming of Christ. There is too much seeking amusements, and things to take up the mind here in this world; the mind is left too much to run upon pride of dress; and the tongue is engaged too often in light and trifling conversation, which gives the lie to our profession, for the conversation is not in heaven from whence we look for the Saviour.
Angels are watching over us, to guard us; and we often grieve these angels by indulging in trifling conversation, jesting and joking, and also by sinking down in a careless, stupid state. And although we may make an effort now and then for the victory, and obtain it, yet if we do not keep it, but sink down in the same careless, indifferent state, unable to endure temptations, and to resist the enemy, it is not enduring the trial of our faith, that is more precious than gold. It is not suffering for Christ's sake, and glorying in tribulation.
There is a great lack of christian fortitude, and serving God from principle. We should not seek to please and gratify self; but to honor and glorify God, and in all we do and say, have a single eye to his glory. If we would let our hearts be impressed with the following important words, and ever bear them in mind, we should not so easily fall into temptation; but our words would be few and well chosen.
"He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." "Thou God seest me."
We could not think of these important words, and call to mind the sufferings of Jesus for us sinners, that we might receive pardon from our sins and be redeemed unto God by his most precious blood, without feeling a holy restraint upon us, and an earnest desire to suffer for him, who suffered and endured so much for us.
If we dwell on these things, dear self, with its dignity, will be humbled; a child-like simplicity will take its place, which will bear reproof from others, and will not be easily provoked, and suffer a self-willed spirit to come in and rule the soul. The true christian's joys, and consolation, must and will be in heaven.
The longing souls of those who have tasted of the powers of the world to come, and have feasted on heavenly joys, will not be satisfied, or amused, with things of earth. Such will find enough to do in their leisure moments. Their souls will be drawn out after God. Where the treasure is, there will be their heart, holding sweet communion with the God they love and worship. Their amusements will be in contemplating their treasure -- the holy city -- the earth made new -- their eternal home. And while they dwell upon these things, which are lofty, pure and holy, heaven will be brought near, and they will feel the power of the Holy Spirit, which will tend to wean them from the world more and more, and cause their consolation and chief joy to be in the things of heaven, their sweet home. The power of attraction to God and heaven will be so great, that nothing can draw their mind from the great object of securing their soul's salvation, and honoring and glorifying God.
As I realize how much has been done for us, to keep us right, I am led to exclaim, O, what love! What wondrous love hath the Son of God for us poor sinners! Should we be stupid and careless, while every thing is being done for our salvation that can be done? All heaven is interested for us. We should be alive and awake, to honor, glorify and adore the High and Lofty One. Our hearts should flow out in love and gratitude to him who has been so full of love and compassion to us. With our lives we should honor him, and with pure and holy conversation show that we are born from above; that this world is not our home, but that we are pilgrims and strangers here, traveling to a better country.
Many who profess the name of Christ, and profess to be looking for his speedy coming, know not what it is to suffer for Christ's sake. Their hearts are not subdued by grace, and they are not dead to self; but it often appears in various ways; and at the same time, they are talking of having trials. But the principal cause of their trials, is an unsubdued heart, which makes self so sensitive, that it is often crossed. If such could realize what it is to be a humble follower of Christ, a true christian, they would begin to work in good earnest, and begin right. They would first die to self, then be instant in prayer, and check every passion of the heart. Give up your self-confidence, and self sufficiency, and follow the meek Pattern. Ever keep Jesus in your mind, that he is your example, and you must tread in his footsteps. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame. He endured the contradiction of sinners against himself. He for your sins, was once the meek slain lamb, wounded, bruised, smitten and afflicted.
Let us, then, cheerfully suffer something for Jesus' sake, crucify self daily, be a partaker of Christ's sufferings here, that we may be made partakers with him of his glory, and be crowned with glory, honor, immortality and eternal life.
E. G. W.
On page 43 of Experience and Views, I stated that a cloud of glorious light covered the Father, and that his person could not be seen. I also stated that I saw the Father rise from the throne. The Father was enshrouded with a body of light and glory, so that his person could not be seen, yet I knew that it was the Father, and that from his person, emanated this light and glory. When I saw this body of light and glory rise from the throne, I knew that the Father moved, which was the cause of the body of light and glory rising, therefore said, I saw the Father rise. The glory, or excellency of his form, I never saw -- no one could behold it; yet the body of light and glory that enshrouded his person, could be seen.
I also stated that "satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God." I will give another sentence from the same page. "Then I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne." Now, this praying company was in this mortal state, on the earth, yet represented to me as bowed before the throne. I never had the idea that these individuals were actually in the New Jerusalem. Neither did I ever think that any mortal could suppose that I thought that satan was actually in the New Jerusalem.
But did not John see the great red dragon in heaven? Certainly. "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns." Rev. xii, 3. Here seems to be as good a chance for ridicule, as that which some have taken in my views. What a monster to be in heaven!
The Lord has shown me that great interest should be taken by Sabbath-keepers to keep up their meetings and make them interesting. There has been a lack of interest, and there is great necessity of more energy being manifested by the commandment-keepers in their meetings. All should have something to say for the Lord, and by so doing they would be blest. A book of remembrance is written of those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together, and speak often one to another.
The remnant are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Some expect to overcome alone by the blood of the Lamb, without making any special effort of their own. I saw that God had been merciful in giving us the power of speech. He had given us tongue and utterance, and we are accountable to him for it, and we should glorify God with our mouth, speaking in honor of his unbounded mercy, and of the truth, and overcome by the word of our testimony, through the blood of the Lamb.
We should not come together to remain silent; those only are remembered of the Lord, who come together to honor and glorify him, to speak of his glory, and tell of his power; and upon such the blessing of God will rest, and they will be refreshed. If all moved as I saw they should, no precious time would run to waste, and no reproofs would be needed for long prayers and exhortations; for all the time would be occupied by short, sweet testimonies, and prayers to the point. Ask, believe and receive. There is too much mocking God, too much praying that is no praying, and that wearies angels and displeases God. Too many vain, unmeaning petitions. First we should feel needy, and then ask God for the very things we need, and then believe he gives them to us, even while we ask; and then, I saw, that our faith would grow, all would be edified, the weak would be strengthened, the discouraged and desponding made to look up, and believe that God is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek him.
Some hold back in meetings because they have nothing new to say, and must repeat the same story if they speak. I saw that pride was at the bottom of this. That God and angels witnessed the testimonies of the saints, and the Lord was well pleased, and was glorified by their testimonies repeated weekly. The Lord and his holy angels love simplicity and humility. I saw that God had been displeased, and angels grieved, that professed heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus, should suffer precious time to run to waste in their meetings.
If the brethren and sisters were in the place they should be, they would not be at a loss to find something to say in honor of Jesus, who hung upon Calvary's cross for their sins. If they would cherish more of a realizing sense of the condescension of God in giving his only beloved Son to die, a sacrifice for our sins and transgressions, and the sufferings and anguish of Jesus to make a way of escape for guilty man, that he might receive pardon and live, they would be more ready to extol and magnify Jesus. They could not hold their peace; but with thankfulness and gratitude, would talk of his glory, and tell of his power. And blessings from God would rest upon them by so doing. Even if the same story was repeated, God would be glorified.
The Angel shewed me those who ceased not day nor night, crying, Holy, Holy, Lord, God Almighty. "Continual repetition," said the Angel, "yet God is glorified by it." Although we may tell the same story over and over, it honors God, and shows that we are not unmindful of him and his goodness and mercies to us.
I saw that the nominal churches had fallen; that coldness and death reigns in their midst. If they would follow the Word it would humble them. But they get above the work of the Lord. It is too humbling for them to repeat the same simple story of God's goodness when they meet together; and they try to get something new; something great, and study to have their words exact to the ear, and please man, and God's Spirit has left them. When we follow the humble, Bible way, we shall have the movings of the Spirit of God. All will be in sweet harmony, if we follow the humble channel of truth, depending wholly upon God, and there will be no danger of being affected by the evil angels. It is when souls get above the Spirit of God, moving in their own strength, that the angels cease watching over them, and they are left to the buffetings of satan.
I saw that duties were laid down for us in God's word, to be performed to keep the people of God humble and separate from the world, and from backsliding, like the nominal churches. Washing feet, and the Lord's supper should be more frequently practiced. Jesus set us the example, and told us to do as he had done. I saw that the example of Christ should be as exactly followed as possible; yet brethren and sisters have not always moved as judiciously as they should in washing feet, and confusion has been caused. It should be introduced into new places with carefulness and wisdom, especially where the people are not informed relative to the example and teachings of our Lord on this point, and where they have prejudice against it. Many honest souls are much prejudiced against this plain duty, through the influence of their former teachers in whom they had confidence; and the subject should be introduced to them in a proper time and manner.
There is no example given in the Word for brethren to wash sisters' feet; but there is an example for sisters to wash the feet of brethren. Mary washed the feet of Jesus with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Also see 1 Tim. v, 10. I saw that the Lord had moved upon sisters to wash the feet of brethren, and that it was according to gospel order. All should move understandingly, and not make the washing of feet a tedious ceremony.
The holy salutation mentioned in the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the apostle Paul, should ever be regarded in its true character. It is a holy kiss. It should be regarded as a sign of fellowship to Christian friends, when parting, and meeting again after a separation for weeks or months. In 2 Thess. v, 26, Paul says: -- "Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss." And in the same chapter he says: -- "Abstain from all appearance of evil." Verse 22. There can be no appearance of evil when the holy kiss is given at a proper time and place.
I saw that the strong hand of the enemy is set against the work, and the help and strength of every one who loves the cause of truth, should be enlisted; and great interest manifested by them to uphold the hands of those who advocate the truth. And by steady watch-care shut out the enemy. All should stand as one, united in this work. Every energy of their soul should be awake; for what is done must be done quickly.
I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel, "Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal or bind the wheat for the heavenly garner. These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention."
SOME I saw, had not a realizing sense of the importance of the truth, or its effects, and often moved from the impulse of the moment, or from excitement, following their feelings, and disregarding church order, thinking that religion consists chiefly in making a noise. Some who have but just received the truth of the third angel's message, are ready to reprove and teach those who have been established in the truth for years, and have felt its sanctifying power, and have suffered for the truth's sake. Those who are so puffed up by the enemy will have to feel the sanctifying influence of the truth, and will have to have a realizing sense of where the truth found them, and how; that they were "wretched, miserable, and poor and blind and naked."
When the truth begins to purify them and purge away their dross and tin, as it surely will when it is received, in the love of it, the one who has this great work done for him will not feel that he is rich and increased in goods, and has need of nothing.
Those who profess the truth, and before they have learned its first principles, think they know it all, and are forward to take the place of teachers, and reprove those who for years have stood stiffly for the truth, plainly show that they have no understanding of the truth, and know none of its effects; for if they knew any of its sanctifying power, they would yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and be humbled under its sweet, powerful influence. They would bear fruit to the glory of God, and understand what the truth has done for them, and esteem others better than themselves.
I saw that the remnant were not prepared for what is coming upon the earth. Stupidity, like the lethargy, seemed to hang upon the minds of most of those who profess to believe that we are having the last message. My accompanying angel cried out with awful solemnity, "Get ready! get ready! get ready! for the fierce anger of the Lord is soon to come. His wrath is to be poured out unmixed with mercy, and ye are not ready. Rend the heart, and not the garment. A great work must be done for the remnant. They are, many of them, dwelling upon little trials." Said the angel, "Legions of evil angels are around you, and are trying to press in their awful darkness, that ye may be ensnared and taken. Ye suffer your mind to be diverted too readily from the work of preparation, and the all-important truths for these last days. And ye dwell upon little trials, and go into minute particulars of little difficulties to explain them to the satisfaction of this one or that." Conversation has been protracted for hours between the parties concerned, and not only has their time been wasted, but the servants of God are held to listen to them, when the hearts of both parties are unsubdued by grace. If pride and selfishness were laid aside, five minutes would remove most difficulties. Hours have been spent in justifying self, which has grieved angels, and displeased God. I saw that God will not wait and bow down and listen to long justifications, and he did not want his servants to do so, and precious time be wasted, that should be spent in showing transgressors the error of their ways, and pulling souls out of the fire.
I saw that God's people were on the enchanted ground; and some have lost nearly all sense of the shortness of time, and the worth of the soul. Pride has crept in among Sabbath-keepers, pride of dress and appearance. Said the angel, "Sabbath-keepers will have to die to self, die to pride and love of approbation."
Truth, saving truth, must be given to the starving people, who are in darkness. I saw that many prayed for God to humble them; but if God answered their prayer, it would be by terrible things in righteousness. It was their duty to humble themselves; I saw that if self-exaltation was suffered to come in, it would surely lead souls astray, and if not overcome, prove their ruin. When one begins to get lifted up in his own eyes, and thinks he can do something, the Spirit of God is withdrawn, and he goes on in his own strength until he is overthrown. One saint, I saw, could move the arm of God if he were right; but a multitude together, if they were wrong, would be weak, and could effect nothing.
I saw that many had unsubdued, unhumbled hearts, and were thinking more of their own little grievances and trials than the souls of sinners. If they had the glory of God in view, they would feel for perishing souls around them; and as they realized their perilous situation, would take hold with energy, exercising faith in God, and hold up the hands of his servants, that they may boldly, yet in love, declare the truth, and warn souls to lay hold upon it, before the sweet voice of mercy dies away.
Said the angel, "Those who profess his name are not ready." I saw the seven last plagues were coming upon the shelterless heads of the wicked; and then those who have stood in their way will hear the bitter reproaches of sinners, and their hearts will faint within them.
Said the angel, "Ye have been picking at straws," (dwelling upon little trials,) and sinners must be lost. I saw that God was willing to work for us in our meetings, and it was his pleasure to work. Satan says, "I will hinder the work." His agents say, Amen. Professed believers in the truth dwell upon their petty trials and difficulties which satan has magnified before them. Time that can never be recalled is wasted. The enemies of the truth have seen our weakness, God has been grieved, Christ wounded. Satan's object is accomplished, his plans have succeeded, and he triumphs!
I SAW that there was danger of the saints making too great preparations for conferences; that some were cumbered with too much serving; that the appetite must be denied. There is danger of some attending the meetings for the loaves and fishes.
I saw all those who are indulging self by using the filthy weed, [tobacco,] should lay it aside, and put their means to a better use. Those who deprive themselves of some gratification, and take the means they formerly used to gratify the appetite, and put it into the treasury of the Lord, sacrifice; and, like the widow's two mites, it will be noticed of God. The amount may be small; but if all will do this, it will tell in the treasury. And if all would study to be more economical in their articles of dress, and deprive themselves of some things which are not actually necessary, and lay aside such useless and injurious things as tea, &c., and give what they cost to the cause, they would receive more blessings here, and a reward in heaven. Many think, because God has given them the means, they may live almost above want, can have rich food, and clothe themselves abundantly, and that it is no virtue to deny themselves when they have enough. Such do not sacrifice. If they would live a little poorer, and give to the cause of God, to help forward the truth, it would be a sacrifice on their part, and when God rewards every man according to their works, it will be remembered by him.
I SAW that God's Holy Name should be used with reverence, and awe. Said the angel, "Couple them not together; for fearful is His Name." I saw the God Almighty was coupled together, and used by some in meeting in a careless, thoughtless manner, which was displeasing to God. They have no realizing sense of God, or the truth; or they would not speak so irreverently of the great and dreadful God, who is soon to judge them in the last day. Those who realize the greatness and majesty of God, will take his name on their lips with holy awe. He dwelleth in light inapproachable; no man can see him and live. I saw that these things would have to be understood and corrected where they exist, before the church can prosper.
I HAVE been shown the false shepherds, that they were drunk, but not with wine; they stagger but not with strong drink. The truth of God is sealed up to them; they cannot read it. When they are interrogated as to what the seventh-day Sabbath is, whether it is the true Sabbath of the Bible, they lead the mind to fables. I saw that the prophets were like the foxes of the deserts. They have not gone up into the gaps, they have not made up the hedge, that the people of God may stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. When these shepherds see the minds of any stirred up, and they begin to inquire of them about the truth, they take the easiest and best manner for themselves, to quiet their minds and effect their object, even to the changing of their own position.
Light has shone to many of these shepherds; but they would not acknowledge it, but have changed their position a number of times to evade the truth and get away from conclusions that they must come to, if they continued in their former positions; while the power of truth tore up their foundation. And instead of yielding to the force of truth, they would get upon another platform, that they were not satisfied with themselves.
I saw that many of these shepherds had denied the past teachings of God; had denied and rejected the glorious truths which they once zealously advocated, and covered them with mesmerism, and all kinds of delusions. I saw they were drunken, but not with wine, they staggered but not with strong drink. They were drunken with error, and were leading on their flock to death.
Many of the opposers of God's truth, devise mischief in their heads upon their beds, and in the day, they carry out their mischief and wicked devices, to put down the truth, and get something new to interest, and take the minds of their people, and divert them from the precious, all-important truth. I saw that the priests who are leading on their flock to death, are soon to be arrested in their dreadful career. The plagues of God are coming, and after one or two has fallen, and they are tormented with the plagues, it is not enough; for all this, his hand is stretched out still, and will not be brought to himself again, until his purposes are fully accomplished, and they will be led to worship at the saints' feet, and acknowledge that God has loved them, because they held fast the truth, and kept God's commandments. And his hand is stretched out still in wrath and justice, and he will not rest from his anger, until the hireling priests and all the unrighteous are destroyed from the earth.
The different parties of professed Advent believers have a little truth, but God has given all that to his children who are being prepared for the day of God; also truths that neither of these parties know, and will not understand. Things which are sealed up to them, the Lord has opened to those who will see, and are ready to understand them. And if God has any new light to communicate, he will let his chosen and beloved understand it, without their going to hear those who are in error and darkness to have their minds enlightened.
I was shown the necessity of those who believe we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from those who are daily imbibing new errors. I saw that young and old should not attend their assemblies; for it is wrong to encourage them by attending their meetings while they teach error that is poisonous, and death to the soul, and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. And the influence is not good. If God has delivered us from such darkness and error, we should stand fast in the liberty wherewith he has set us free, and rejoice in the truth. God is displeased with those who go to listen to error, when they are not obliged to; for unless he sends us to these meetings, where error is forced home to the people by the power of the will, he will not keep us. The angels cease their watchful care over us, and we are left to the buffetings of the enemy, to be darkened and weakened by him, and the power of his evil angels; and the light around us becomes contaminated with the darkness.
I saw that we had not time to throw away in listening to fables. Our minds should not be thus diverted; but should be occupied with the present truth, and seeking wisdom that we may obtain a more thorough knowledge of our position; that with meekness we may give a reason of our hope from the Scriptures. While the mind is occupied in hearing false doctrines, and dangerous error, pressed upon the hearers, it cannot be dwelling upon the truth which is to fit and prepare the house of Israel to stand in the day of the Lord.
I HAVE been shown the great love and condescension of God in giving his Son to die that man might find pardon and live.
I was shown Adam and Eve in the garden, privileged to behold its beauty and loveliness, and with permission to eat of all the trees in the garden except one. But the serpent tempted Eve, and she tempted her husband, and they both ate of the forbidden tree. They broke God's command, and became sinners.
The news spread through heaven, and every harp was hushed. The angels sorrowed, and feared lest they would put forth the hand and eat of the tree of life, and be immortal sinners. But God said he would drive the transgressors from the garden of Eden, and by cherubims, and the flaming sword, guard the way of the tree of life, so that man could not approach unto it, and eat of its immortal fruit, which perpetuates immortality.
Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realized that man was lost, and the world that God created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness and death, and there was no way of escape for the offender. The whole family of Adam must die. I saw the lovely Jesus, and beheld an expression of sympathy and sorrow upon his countenance. Soon I saw him approach the exceeding bright light which enshrouded the Father. Said my accompanying angel, "He is in close converse with his Father." The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was communing with his Father. Three times he was shut in by the glorious light about the Father, and the third time he came from the Father we could see his person; and his countenance was calm, free from all perplexity and trouble, and shone with loveliness, such as words cannot express. He then made known to the angelic choir that a way of escape had been made for lost man; that he had been pleading with his Father, and had obtained his consent to give his life a ransom, to bear their sins, and take the sentence of death upon himself to open a way that man might find pardon for transgressing God's command; that man, by taking hold of the merits of Christ's blood, could find pardon for past transgressions, keep God's law, and by their obedience be brought back to the garden from which our first parents were driven, and again have access to the glorious, immortal fruit of the tree of life that Adam and Eve forfeited all right to. Then joy, inexpressible joy, filled heaven, and the heavenly choir sung a song of praise and adoration. They touched their harps and sung a note higher than they had done before, for the great mercy and condescension of God in yielding up his dearly Beloved to die for a race of rebels, and praise and adoration was poured forth for the self-denial and sacrifice of Jesus; that he would consent to leave the bosom of his Father, and choose a life of suffering and anguish, and die an ignominious death to give life to others.
Said the angel, "Think ye that the Father yielded up his dearly beloved Son without a struggle? No, no." It was even a struggle with the God of heaven whether to let guilty man perish, or to give his darling Son to die for them. Angels were so interested for man's salvation that there could be found among them those who would yield their glory and give their life for perishing man. But, said my accompanying angel, "That would avail nothing." The transgression was so great that an angel's life would not pay the debt. Nothing but the death and intercessions of his Son would pay the debt, and save lost man from hopeless sorrow and misery.
But the work of the angels was assigned them, to ascend and descend, with strengthening balm from glory to soothe the Son of God in his life of sufferings. They administered unto Jesus. Also, their work would be to guard and keep the subjects of grace from the evil angels, and the darkness constantly thrown around them by satan. I saw that it was impossible for God to alter or change his law, to save lost, perishing man; therefore he suffered his darling Son to die for man's transgression.
THIS groaning earth is too dark and drear,
For the saints' eternal home;
But the King from heaven will soon appear,
We know that the moment is drawing near,
When he in his glory shall come.
The gates of pearl we soon shall see,
And the music we soon shall hear,
Joyous and bright our home shall be,
And we'll walk in the shadow of life's fair tree,
With our Saviour for ever near.
We'll gladly exchange a world like this,
Where death triumphant reigns,
For a beautiful home in that land of bliss,
Where all is happiness, joy and peace,
And nothing can enter that pains:
There is no more sorrow and no more night;
For the darkness shall flee away,
The crucified Lamb is its glorious light,
And the saints shall walk with him in white,
In that happy, eternal day.
O there the loved of earth will meet
Whom death has sundered here,
The Prophets and Patriarchs there we'll greet,
And all shall worship at Jesus' feet,
No more separation to fear.
Though trials and grief await us here,
The conflict will shortly be o'er,
This glorious hope our hearts doth cheer,
We know that our Saviour will soon appear,
And then we shall grieve no more.