1888 Minneapolis General Conference and its Aftermath

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Dear Reader, 

This document provides an important overview and insights into what occurred at the 1888 General Conference in Minneapolis.  

 

MR No. 895 - Minneapolis General Conference and its Aftermath

 

†††† The Sinfulness of an Unloving Spirit--I never can express with pen or voice the work that I discerned was laid out before me on that occasion when I was beside my dying husband. I have not lost the deep views of my work, as I sat by the bed of my husband with his dying hand in mine. . . . {11MR 227.1}

 

†††† I have pledged myself by a solemn vow to God that wherever this spirit of contempt and unkindness and want of love should exist, I would lay it out in clear lines before my brethren, show them the sinfulness of their course, and with decided testimony turn the current if possible.--Ms. 21, 1888, pp. 3, 6. ("Distressing Experiences of 1888," probably written at Minneapolis.) {11MR 227.2}

 

†††† The Spiritual Blindness of Many at Minneapolis--There was, I knew, a remarkable blindness upon the minds of many [at Minneapolis], so that they did not discern where the Spirit of God was and what constituted true Christian experience. And to consider that these were the ones who had the guardianship of the flock of God was painful--the destitution of true faith, the hands hung down because not lifted up in sincere prayer! Some felt no need of prayer. Their own judgment, they felt, was sufficient, and they had no sense that the enemy of all good was guiding their judgment. . . .  -228- {11MR 227.3} 

 

†††† The Lord was testing and proving His people who had had great light whether they would walk in it or turn from it under temptation, for but few know what manner of spirit they are of until circumstances shall be of a character to test the spirit which prompts to action. In many the natural heart is a controlling power, and yet they do not suppose that pride and prejudice are entertained as cherished guests, and work in words and actions against light and truth. {11MR 228.1}

 

†††† Our brethren who have occupied leading positions in the work and the cause of God should have been so closely connected with the Source of all light that they would not call light darkness and darkness light. They had the example of those before them who had claimed to believe the truth, but who, when mercifully reproved for sin and errors, gave loose rein to their own natural temperament and opposed the work of the Spirit of the Lord. They had seen these go farther and farther in darkness until they became apostates to the truth. And they do not discern that they are in the greatest peril, if, notwithstanding the course and marked example of others, they blindly stumble into the same path of doubt, unbelief, and rejection of light sent of God, because it does not coincide with their ideas.--Ms. 24, 1888. ("Looking Back at Minneapolis," cir. Nov. or Dec., 1888.) {11MR 228.2}

 

†††† A Reformation Needed After the 1888 General Conference--The Lord was working [at Minneapolis] and I must be faithful to speak the words given me of God, although I was passing through the most grievous trial of my life, for, from this hour, that confidence which I had hitherto had that God was leading and controlling the minds and hearts of my brethren was not as heretofore. I had felt that when a call came to me, "We want you at our meeting, Sister White; your influence is needed," I should not consult my choice

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or my feelings, but should arise by faith and try to act my part and leave the Lord to do the work that was essential to be done. Now a greater burden falls upon me. From this time I must look alone to God, for I dare not rely upon the wisdom of my brethren. I see they do not always take God for their Counselor, but look in a large degree to the men they have set before them in the place of God. . . . {11MR 228.3}

 

†††I then felt my spirit stirred within me, and I bore a very plain testimony to these brethren. I told them a little of how matters had been carried at Minneapolis and stated the position I had taken, that pharisaism had been at work leavening the camp here at Battle Creek, and the Seventh-day Adventist churches were affected, but the Lord had given me a message and with pen and voice I would work until this leaven was expelled and a new leaven was introduced, which was the grace of Christ. {11MR 229.1}

I was confirmed in all I had stated in Minneapolis, that a reformation must go through the churches. Reforms must be made, for spiritual weakness and blindness were upon the people who had been blessed with great light and precious opportunities and privileges. As reformers they had come out of the denominational churches, but they now act a part similar to that which the churches acted. We hoped that there would not be the necessity for another coming out. While we will endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace, we will not with pen or voice cease to protest against bigotry. . . . {11MR 229.2} 

Ronís Commentary: The above statement is commented on by SDA leaders as being the ONLY statement Ellen White made that expressed a loss of confidence in the church leaders. However, within this same document (paragraph 6) we find the following statement:

 

†††† A Reformation Needed After the 1888 General Conference--The Lord was working [at Minneapolis] and I must be faithful to speak the words given me of God, although I was passing through the most grievous trial of my life, for, from this hour, that confidence which I had hitherto had that God was leading and controlling the minds and hearts of my brethren was not as heretofore. End comment.

 

†††I stated that the course that had been pursued at Minneapolis was cruelty to the Spirit of God; and those who went all through that meeting and left with the same spirit with which they came to the meeting, and were carrying on the same line of work they did at that meeting and since they

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had come from it, would--unless they were changed in spirit and confessed their mistakes--go into greater deceptions. They would stumble and know not at what they were stumbling. I begged them to stop just where they were. But the position of Elder A and Elder B influenced them to make no change, but stand where they did. No confession was made. The blessed meeting closed. Many were strengthened, but doubt and darkness enveloped some closer than before. . . . {11MR 229.3}

 

†††† If my brethren had sensed their own weakness, their own inability, and had never lost sight of this, they would have humbled their hearts before God, confessed their errors, and come into light and freedom. . . . {11MR 230.1}

 

†††† Many are ignorant of the deception which palms off falsehood for truth. They entertain ideas that men may be saved by their own merit. A false religion has come in among us, a legal religion. We will not keep silent. The church must be roused. We will secure halls in the cities and put out handbills and the people shall be enlightened. . . . {11MR 230.2}

 

†††† We are years behind, and yet men in responsible positions will in their blindness keep the key of knowledge, refusing to enter themselves and hindering those who would enter. . . . {11MR 230.3}

 

†††† A difference in the application of some few scriptural passages makes men forget their religious principles. Elements become banded together, exciting one another through the human passions to withstand in a harsh, denunciatory manner everything that does not meet their ideas. This is not Christian, but is of another spirit. And Satan is doing his utmost to have those who believe present truth deceived on this point, for he has laid his snare to overcome them, that those who have accepted unpopular truth, who have had great light and great privileges, shall have the spirit that will

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pervade the world. Even if it is in a less degree, yet it is the same principle, which, when it has a controlling power over minds, leads to certain results. There is pride of opinion, a stubbornness that shuts the soul away from good and from God.--Ms. 30, 1889, ("Experience Following the Minneapolis Conference," late June, 1889.) {11MR 230.4}

 

†††† Need for Heavenly Wisdom in Combating Error--We see more and greater need of close communion with God and greater need of unity. Let us devote much time to seeking for heavenly wisdom. Let us be much with God in prayer. We want Bible evidence for every point we advance. We do not want to tide over points as Elder Canright has done with assertions. {11MR 231.1}

 

†††† What we want in every conflict is not words to condemn, but the sword of the Spirit. We want the truth as it is in Jesus. We want to be filled with all the fullness of God and have the meekness and lowliness of Christ. {11MR 231.2}

 

†††† We have a wily foe who will seize your sword and turn it against you, unless you know how to use it skillfully. But let none feel that we know all the truth the Bible proclaims.--Letter 13, 1887, p. 4. (To G. I. Butler and Uriah Smith, April 5, 1887.) {11MR 231.3}

 

†††† Righteousness by Faith Needed at the 1889 Camp Meetings--I think that Elder A. T. Jones should attend our large camp meetings and give to our people, and to outsiders as well, the precious subject of faith and the righteousness of Christ. There is a flood of light in this subject, and if he goes to the canvassers' meetings only, how can the light come before the largest number? You cannot expect that any of the canvassers can present this matter in the light in which he presents it. I think that it is

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robbing the churches of the light and the message for the present time for him not to attend the camp meetings. Let the outsiders understand that we preach the gospel as well as the law.--Letter 1, 1889, p. 6. (To W. C. White, April 7, 1889.) {11MR 231.4}

 

†††† Ellen White's Work at the Ottawa, Kansas, Camp Meeting--I have good news to report this morning. There has been a break in the meeting. Praise the Lord. He is at work for His people. We have felt surely that the enemy of Christ and all righteousness was upon the ground. There were some ministers from Iowa who came armed and equipped to leaven the camp with the very same spirit that was so prominent in Minneapolis. . . . {11MR 232.1}

 

†††† Wednesday I attended the early morning meeting and bore a decided testimony and entreated all present not to act over Minneapolis, and not to be like those Paul describes in Hebrews 4:2. I then entreated them to humble their hearts before God and put away their sins by repentance and confession and receive the messages God sends them through His delegated servants. . . . {11MR 232.2}

 

†††† In the night season, one of God's messengers stood by my side and asked: {11MR 232.3}

 

†††† "Did not I raise you up when you were sick nigh unto death in Healdsburg? Did not I put My Spirit upon you and sustain you to bear your testimony in Oakland? Did not I your Lord strengthen you to come the long journey to this place? Have I not kept your mind in peace amid the strife and confusion of tongues, and now I have a work for you to do in this place. My everlasting arms are beneath you. I have given you a message to bear. I will show you many things."

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†††† I was conducted to the house where our brethren made their homes, and there was much conversation and excitement of feelings and some smart, and as they supposed sharp, witty remarks. The servants whom the Lord sent were caricatured, ridiculed, and placed in a ridiculous light. The comment of words passed upon me and the work that God had given me to do was anything but flattering. Willie White's name was handled freely and he was ridiculed and denounced, also the names of Elders Jones and Waggoner. {11MR 233.1}

 

†††† Voices that I was surprised to hear were joining this rebellion and those with whom I had labored in past years without any evidence, or any sure knowledge of any change in Sister White, were hard, bold and decided in denouncing her. And of all those so free and forward with their cruel words, not one had come to me and inquired if these reports and their suppositions were true. I was represented as telling things untrue, when I made the statement that not a word of conversation had passed between me and Brethren Jones and Waggoner nor my son Willie upon the law in Galatians. If they had been as frank with me as they were in talking with one another against me, I could have made everything plain to them in this matter. I repeated this several times, because I saw they were determined not to take my testimony. They thought we all came to the conference with a perfect understanding and an agreement to make a stand on the law in Galatians. {11MR 233.2}

 

†††† After hearing what I did my heart sank within me. I had never pictured before my mind what dependence we might place in those who claim to be friends, when the spirit of Satan finds entrance to their hearts. I thought of the future crisis, and feelings that I can never put into words for a little time overcame me. [Mark 13:9,12,13 quoted.]

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†††† All this passed through my mind like a flash of lightning and I was sensible how little trust or dependence could be put in the friendship of men, when human thoughts and human passions bear sway. Just as sure as the enemy is permitted to bear sway, then we may expect anything. Human friendship, bonds, and ties of relationship are severed, and why? Because there is a difference of opinion in interpretation of the Scriptures. It is the same spirit which condemned the Lord of life and glory. . . . {11MR 234.1}

 

†††† And what created all this stirring up of human passions which was bitterness of spirit, because some of their brethren had ventured to entertain some ideas contrary to the ideas that some others of their brethren had entertained, which were thought from their understanding to be inroads upon ancient doctrines? {11MR 234.2}

 

†††† The guide who accompanied me gave me the information of the spiritual standing before God of these men who were passing judgment upon their brethren. They were not keeping their own souls in the love of God. Had they been growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they would have distinguished light from darkness, and truth from error. {11MR 234.3}

 

†††† I had declared my intention of leaving the meeting as soon as the Sabbath should close, but when I was assured I had a work to do to stand at my post, that God had given me a message to bear in His name, and if even I had foreseen the consequences, I could not be clear before God and have my peace. My work must not cease here, for my testimony of this character must continue as God should direct until these wrongs were expelled from the churches. Unless the faithful testimonies are continued to be repeated in

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the ears of the people of God, the mold that has been left upon the work would not be removed. {11MR 234.4}

 

†††† There have been, I was informed, misunderstanding not only of the testimonies, but of the Bible itself. Men have exalted themselves and esteemed themselves too highly, which leads to the denouncing of others and passing judgment upon their brethren. Envy, jealousy, evil speaking, evil surmising, judging one another, has been considered a special gift given of God in discernment when it savors more of the spirit of the great accuser, who accused the brethren before God day and night. There has been a spirit of pharisaism, a hard, unsympathetic spirit toward the erring, a withdrawing from some and leaving them in discouragement, which is leaving the lost sheep to perish in the wilderness. There has been a placing of men where God alone should be.--Letter 14, 1889. pp. 4-6. (To Dear Children of the Household, May 12, 1889.) {11MR 235.1}

 

†††† Ellen White's Concerns While at Ottawa, Kansas--If I can possibly get off from the appointment to the Scandinavians I will do it and return home and see what you are all about. I shall be glad to have No. 33 [NOW TESTIMONIES FOR THE CHURCH, VOL. V. PP. 477-754.] out, for the people need it. I am up writing at three o'clock in the morning. There are many questions to be considered and settled. It is understood that you are going to the Kansas meeting. I cannot lay out the matter clearly in my mind. {11MR 235.2}

 

†††† I have had some thoughts like this about Iowa: [J. H.] Morrison and [Henry] Nicola have run the conference until there is but little life and soul in it. Now whether Elder [A. T.] Jones and I ought not to attend that conference and bring to the poor sheep and lambs food, is the question.

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†††† I never saw the condition of things as since coming here. The people seemed to be in a maze. They could not seem to get hold of the subjects presented until last Thursday; then there was a break, and since that time the meetings have increased steadily in interest and the people have been greatly benefited. Brother [R. M.] Kilgore is a free man. He no longer sees men as trees walking. His trumpet will give a certain sound. He is a converted man. {11MR 236.1}

 

†††† Brother Tait is another who has been greatly blessed and will give the trumpet a certain sound. Brother [J. F.] Ballenger has been in great distress of mind, but he is now free and has a new conversion. It does my soul good to see these old men and young men drinking in of the Spirit of God and planting their feet on solid Rock. {11MR 236.2}

 

†††† I have so desired that Frank [Belden] and yourself would share in the benefits of this meeting, for if you both act a part in the work of God, then you both need to be supplied with divine grace, that your works shall be wrought in God. I see the great need of less of self and more--a great deal more--of Jesus, and young and old have been getting hold from above and becoming acquainted with faith and the righteousness of Christ. {11MR 236.3}

 

†††† Well, I must write no more now. {11MR 236.4}

 

†††† [Later:] We want the Testimony out as soon as possible. I think I shall not wait here any longer, although they want me to do so. As far as anyone to consult with is concerned, I am alone. I scarcely see Fannie [Bolton]; only in meeting and a few moments in the evening. I do not know what she is doing, except to attend the meetings, which I am confident means

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to her very much. I shall not have her travel with me. This Kansas meeting is somehow to me inexplainable. I cannot understand it--that four weeks' work should be put in in one place, and then other places where my testimony is much needed be passed by. {11MR 236.5}

 

†††† I have been really worried over this matter of Iowa--whether I ought not to go there, and Elder Jones go, and leave some other places. I should have to give up Pennsylvania. Had I thought you would not have attended this meeting at all, I should have made calculations accordingly. Now I do not know what to do. I verily believe it was the work of the enemy that you have not been here all through this meeting. You might have waited here for news from Emma if she was worse, and then matters might have shaped themselves so that you would have had the benefits of this meeting, which I knew you needed. I am sorry, so sorry; but I must close.--Letter 14a, 1889, pp. 1, 2. (To J. Edson White, cir. April 7, 1889.) {11MR 237.1}

 

†††† The Spirit of Picking Flaws--Now, brethren, I want to tell you, when the Spirit of God comes into our midst, it will strike the minds that are ready to receive it. But if their minds are not open to receive it, they are all ready to pass judgment upon the messenger and the words spoken. In the place of coming to God and asking Him to give them a new heart and a new mind, that the transforming influence of the grace of God shall be upon them, they commence to find fault and pick flaws. It does not strike them, and it must harmonize with their ideas and they will stand right there until these things are culled out of the way, and they place themselves right there to judge. This is the way it was at Minneapolis.

 

Ronís Commentary: Never, ever, confuse sighing and crying for all the abominations, Ezekiel 9:4, be confused with faultfinding and picking at flaws. Gross apostasy is never to be categorized as mere minor faults and flaws. End comment.

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†††† It is because I know that the very same spirit is here, and that we should not give place to it for a moment that I say these things. I know that while the Spirit of God will make impressions upon human minds, the enemy will come in and make the most of any little thing that it is possible to make and the leaven will begin to work because the devil wants it so. Now brethren and sisters I want to place you on your guard. I want to ask you if you are satisfied with your coldness, your unbelief, your backslidings. Have you not had enough of it? If not, the devil will give you all you desire. We don't want any more. {11MR 238.1}

 

†††† We see that we are in no better condition than the Jewish people. God gave them clear light that they might stand as His holy, peculiar people. He had given them the prophets, and then Christ Himself came in order that He might present the truth to them. But when His own nation rejected Him, He turned away. He told them, "Ye have ears, but ye hear not, eyes have ye but ye see not." (cf. Jer. 5:21.) Then they inquired, "Are we blind also?" Christ said, "If ye were blind no sin would be attached, but it is because light has come and ye choose darkness rather than light." (See John 9:41.) Was it a real darkness? No, it was not. The light of truth had shone upon them, but Satan was throwing his blinder before their eyes, and they received it not. {11MR 238.2}

 

†††† Now, Brethren, there is a blessing here for you. You may think it strange that I speak to you about these things, but it is my duty. We never want this thing acted over again on God's earth; and if God gives me strength I will lift up a standard against the enemy. I have a work to do, and if God gives me strength I will do it. I want you to inquire, How is it with my soul? Will you take the light, or will you stand complaining?

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†††† It is time we should know where we are. We should have a chance to pray and talk and seek God. What we want is the Lord, and we don't want anything else. But we have it here in these words of Zechariah. Joshua stood before the Lord, and Satan stood there at his right hand to resist him. "The Lord rebuke thee," He said, "is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" (Zechariah 3:2). {11MR 239.1}

 

†††† Now here are the people of God and God wants you to be getting ready for the great day of salvation, that you may be getting others ready. He wants you to have a fitting-up, that you may have a message for the people that will cut its way through the fleshy heart, and that you may go crying through the porch and the altar, "Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach" (Joel 2:17). Now open your ears to the truth you have had and put away your doubts, unbelief, and Christless surmisings. {11MR 239.2}

 

†††† God wants you to come and drink of the clear waters of the streams of Lebanon, and when you have drunk yourselves you will want to call others to drink. Convert after convert is presented to me who does not know what it is to have faith in Christ. It seems they are ready to die; there is no light in them; they are dying for want of food. {11MR 239.3}

 

†††† I went to a meeting where I could stay only three days, and in that time I spoke to them seven times. They begged me to stay longer; they seemed starved, and they would get up and talk of how they wanted this truth and this light, but the devil was ready to bring in something to shut out the light, and many are ready to have it so. They don't know what the pure atmosphere is, but may the Lord help us that the clear light of His glory may surround us. May God help us to stand on vantage ground before the

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enemy that we shall have our minds broken off from things below and get hold from above. {11MR 239.4}

 

†††† Christ, when talking to the people of His time, told them that they had blinded their eyes and closed their ears lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and be converted and He should save them. (Matthew 13:15.) Light had been given them, but they would not receive it. Darkness was upon them, and they would come and pick the little flaws, and draw the minds of the people away from the solemn truth that was for them. Now, how will it be with us? We don't want to kill ourselves here laboring for you, but will you labor for yourselves? We want to know whether we will have the rich blessing of the Lord resting upon us, and we realize that He sheds His rich light and glory upon us. This is my prayer.--Ms. 2, 1889, pp. 2-4. ("Picking Flaws," May 12, 1889.) {11MR 240.1}

 

†††† The Need for Humility--Brethren and sisters, just as surely as we begin to look earnestly to Jesus and uncover our souls to Him, we shall go down deep into the valley of humiliation; and just so surely as we go down, we shall rise up again. The more humbly we live before God, the nearer we will come to Him, and the more distinct will be our view of Jesus Christ and His matchless light. {11MR 240.2}

 

†††† "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory" (1 Cor. 3:18). Now you see how important it is that we are beholding this. The enemy has come in and his dark shadow has been thrown athwart our pathway, so that we dwell on the dark side and talk of gloom until our way seems almost hopeless, and we stumble along without courage, hope or love. But we do not

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want this to be so. We want this shadow to be swept away, and it will be if we look beyond the darkened shadow to the brightness beyond in Christ Jesus. . . . {11MR 240.3}

 

†††† Have we received a bright thought? If so, we are not to think that it is because of any wonderful smartness or intelligence in ourselves. It is because God is the author of it. If anyone tells you you have preached a good sermon, tell him the devil told you that before he did, and for him not to be an agent for the devil. There is pride in our hearts that must be emptied out, and then Jesus Christ will come in and take possession of our whole heart. I love my Saviour this morning because He first loved me. If there is anything in my life, my words, my teachings that is good, it is because Christ has put it there. It is not because of any goodness in me, and there is no glory to be directed to myself. {11MR 241.1}

 

†††† The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith; against these there is no law. We should experience this, and then we will not be under the bondage of the law of God by any means. You are free in Christ Jesus. We shall walk in liberty, because our will is in harmony with the will of God and we love all His commandments. . . . It is our privilege to go on from strength to strength and from glory to glory. Do not think that, because we have a glimmer of the light of God, that we have it all.--Ms. 3, 1889, pp. 1-3. (Morning Talk at Ottawa, Kansas, May 14, 1889.) {11MR 241.2}

 

†††† Preparation of Christ's Coming--We take the words of Brother [O.A.] Olsen in regard to the coming of the Lord, and we think how it has been

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presented to us in a striking manner that the end of all things is at hand, the Lord is at the door. What influence has it had to solemnize our minds, and arouse in us an earnestness to separate from us everything that is offensive to God? Then to think that after all He is nearer now than when we first believed. The day of the Lord is right at hand, and it is not safe for us to delay His coming. . . . {11MR 241.3}

 

†††† Let us thank God today that we are not yet before the judgment seat of God, but we have an Intercessor, One who has loved us so that He gave His own precious life for us individually. Just as though there were not another soul in the universe. He died for us and we are of infinite value of Jesus Christ. How can we measure the sacrifice He has made for us? . . . {11MR 242.1}

 

†††† It is not that you come out in words and deny Him, but in your actions you deny Christ so that He is ashamed to call you brethren. We want every one of us to be consecrated to God. Let the plowshare go deep and uproot all this pharisaism and let this self-righteousness be torn all to pieces. The very best way to have this done is to fall on the Rock and be broken. Just as soon as you see that there is nothing in you that is righteous; just as soon as you have a dread of sin, you will fall on the Rock, and then it is that Christ can take you and mold you and fashion you into a vessel of honor. But just as soon as you allow your thoughts and feelings to be turned against one another, this is unlike Christ, and just so sure it is that you are not vessels unto honor, but dishonor. You don't give God a chance. You are trying to fashion yourself after a mold of your own imagination, but you need to take that out of your mind and keep Christ before you every day.

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†††† When you rise up, and when you sit down, when you go out, and when you come in, you need to exercise Christian politeness and respect, because you are the purchase of the blood of Christ, and He has died upon Calvary's cross that we might live. Christ Himself has bridged the gulf for us. It is our duty to help those who are downcast. Recollect what their privileges are, and don't talk of the difficulties, but go right to them and try to bind up the brokenhearted. These are right in the church all around us. Never have an idea that you know more than your brethren, but just keep humble. It was this spirit of evil surmising that brought all the weakness into the Jewish nation.--Ms. 4, 1889, pp. 1, 2. ("Preparation for Christ's Coming," May 14, 1889.) {11MR 243.1}

 

†††† Evil-surmising Leads to an Unbalanced Intellect--In Minneapolis God gave precious gems of truth to His people in new settings, This light from heaven by some was rejected with all the stubbornness the Jews manifested in rejecting Christ, and there was much talk about standing by the old landmarks. But there was evidence they knew not what the old landmarks were. There was evidence and there was reasoning from the Word that commended itself to the conscience; but the minds of men were fixed, sealed against the entrance of light, because they had decided it was a dangerous error removing the "old landmarks"--when it was not moving a peg of the old landmarks. {11MR 243.2}

 

†††† The men in responsible positions have disappointed Jesus. They have refused precious blessings, and refused to be channels of light, as He wanted them to be. The knowledge they should receive of God that they might be a light and blessing to others, they refuse to accept, and thus become channels

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of darkness. The spirit of God is grieved. Never can the heart be stirred up with envy, with evil-surmising, with evil reports, but the intellect becomes unbalanced, and cannot decide correctly any controverted point. The attributes of Satan which have found entrance to the soul, cannot harmonize with truth.--Ms. 13, 1889, pp. 3, 4. ("Standing by the Landmarks.") {11MR 243.3}

 

†††† Need for Divine Enlightenment--I tell you now that you must have divine enlightenment. If you do not seek this, Satan will set up his hellish banner right in your homes, and you will be so blinded to the real nature of his deceptions that you will reverence it as the banner of Christ.--Ms. 18, 1888, p. 4. ("Religious Liberty.") {11MR 244.1}

 

†††† Accepting the Robe of Christ's Righteousness--The Lord blessed the words spoken, and he [Edwin Jones] said he could now better understand that his business was "to look and live," to take the robe woven by Christ Himself in the heavenly loom, and rejoice in the worthiness and righteousness of Christ.--Letter 114, 1890, p. 3. (To O. A. Olsen, June 9, 1890.) {11MR 244.2}

 

†††† Ellen White's Arduous Labors From 1887 to 1890--I have not spared myself, but I have labored, I may say, day and night without periods of rest. I have been so burdened that I could not sleep. The Lord was setting things before me and He strengthened me to meet the different issues that were arising. . . . I had labored early and late, writing out important matters to meet and correct the prejudice, the misconstruing of things, the misinterpretation of matters. . . .

-245- {11MR 244.3}

 

†††† I have had to vindicate myself and my brethren, press with all my powers against the prejudice, unbelief, false statements and misrepresentations until it almost gives me a nervous chill to think of the blindness and unreasonable pharisaism that has been adjusted as a garment about men in prominent positions. . . . {11MR 245.1}

 

†††† If my brethren allow me to carry this burden longer in this way I will certainly know that God does not lead them and me. One of us is not moving in God's order. I think it time to call a halt and see what powers are moving us. . . . {11MR 245.2}

 

†††† Satan will work with masterly power not only among unbelievers, but believers, to close the door that the very special light shall not do its work. What am I to do, Elder Olsen? I have no rest day nor night in spirit.--Letter 115, 1890, pp. 1, 2, 7, 8. (To O. A. Olsen, June 21, 1890.) {11MR 245.3}

 

†††† Satan's Attempt to Undercut Ellen White's Message--The spirit of resistance that has been exhibited in presenting the righteousness of Christ as our only hope has grieved the Spirit of God, and the result of this opposition has required the delivery of this matter the more earnestly and decidedly. .. . {11MR 245.4}

 

†††† Satan sees it is his time to make a strike. Fanaticism and errors will prevail, and the men who ought to have stood in the light, their voices heard on the right side of the question, were exercised on the wrong side to oppose that which was of God and resist that message which the Lord sends. Their position is seen to be wrong by very many, and they cry, "Danger, fanaticism," when there is no heresy and fanaticism. When these evils

-246-

 

really appear and they see the peril and try to avoid it, they cannot do it. . . . {11MR 245.5}

 

†††† Satan fixed up the matter according to his own devices. Because the message of Sister White in testimonies given did not harmonize with their ideas, the testimonies were made of no account, except when they endorsed their ideas. So persistently have they followed their own ways in this matter, that should reproof be given to the evils that shall arise, the ones reproved will say, "Sister White's testimonies are no longer reliable. Brethren A, B, and other leaders no longer have confidence in them." These men have sown the seed and the harvest will surely follow.--Letter 116, 1890, pp. 1, 2. (To O. A. Olsen, August, 27, 1890.)

White Estate Washington, D. C. November 12, 1981 {11MR 246.1} 

 

Let your influence be persuasive, binding people to your hearts, because you love Jesus, and these souls are His purchased possession. This is a great work. If, by your Christ-like words and actions, you make impressions that will create in their hearts a hungering and thirsting after righteousness and truth, you are a co-laborer with Christ. Those who have a leading influence in the institutions should be men and women who possess devotion and piety, who are not narrow and selfish in any matter; but conscientious, self-denying, and self-sacrificing, ever dealing with the workers as they would wish to be dealt with, having an eye single to the glory of God. Men of such a character will keep the way of the Lord. The workers should seek to make it as easy as possible for those who bear the burden of responsibility, and have many cares and perplexities to engage their attention. {PH088 6.1}

 

†††† All need to have right principles placed before them in a judicious manner. Men of investigating minds will thus receive the key of knowledge, and will bring out treasures of thought for the enriching of other minds-- thought that will result in the saving of souls. Circumstances will call forth words and decisions in favor of the right, and many

 -7-

 

will thus be swayed in the right direction. Words and works flowing from the heart imbued with the love and fear of God become a widespread blessing--a blessing that is carried into the highways and byways of life. {PH088 6.2}

 

Chap. 6 - Morning Talk

 

***

 

 

†††††††††††††† A Living Connection With God

†††††††††††††††††† Morning talk by Ellen G. White

†††††††††††††† Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 11, 1888 - MS 6, 1888

 

 

†††† I am thankful, brethren and sisters, that God has spared me to come to this meeting. I have been sick nigh unto death; but prayer was offered by those assembled at the Oakland camp meeting, and the Lord heard them. It was not by my faith, for I had none, but they exercised faith in my behalf, and the Lord gave me strength to bear my testimony to the people in Oakland, and then I started, as it were, at a venture to come on this journey. I had but one sinking spell on the way, but the Lord helped me, and when we reached Kansas City I went out to the campground where they were holding their meeting and spoke to the people. In this I realize and know that the Lord has strengthened me, and He shall have all the glory. {1888 69.1}

 

†††† Now as we have assembled here we want to make the most of our time. I have thought again and again that if we would only make the most of the precious opportunities God had given us, they would do us so much more good; but we too often let them slip away, and we do not realize that benefit from them which we should. {1888 69.2}

 

†††† My mind has been directed to the words of the apostle Paul. He says, in the twentieth of Acts, beginning with verse 17: "And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." {1888 69.3}

 

†††† I have thought again and again, brethren and sisters, if we were Bible believers as well as Bible readers, and would carry out just what God has given us, we would be far better than we are at the present time.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 70

But we do not realize that it is the loving voice of God speaking to us from His Word. We are to think everything of it and take it home to our hearts. Then Paul goes on to say, in verse 24, "Neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (verses 26, 27). What a testimony is that-- "free from the blood of all men." {1888 69.4}

 

†††† Now here is the exhortation: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Now what is the necessity of watching them? Why says he, "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock" (verses 28, 29). {1888 70.1}

 

†††† Brethren, if we would be [in earnest] the power of the Holy Ghost would attend our efforts, and we would see a different state of things among us. We are placed in trust with the most solemn truths ever committed to mortals, but the course of some is of such a character that God cannot answer their prayers. Their prayers are offensive to His holiness, and should He hear and answer their prayers they would be confirmed in a wrong course, and others would be led away from the straight paths. Why cannot we take the truth God has revealed and weave it into our very life and character? If we have the spirit of Christ in our hearts we will have a burden for the perishing souls around us as Paul had, and we will leave such an impression upon the young men and women who claim to believe the truth that they will feel that there are important responsibilities resting upon them. They will feel that their faith must be increased and that they must take up the work lying directly in their pathway, and be a blessing to others--humble, diligent, obedient; and when they meet their associates it will be to talk of Jesus. They will carry Jesus into their homes and testify to all of His mercy. {1888 70.2}

 

†††† If Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, you will put away all vanity and foolish speaking. You will be sanctified through the truth. You will so labor for God that you can have an approving conscience in your ministerial work, and you can say with the devoted Saint Paul that you are clean from the blood of all men. But you cannot say this unless you are constantly gaining wisdom and knowledge from God as the branch draws nourishment from the living vine, unless His Holy Spirit is resting upon you and you are taking Jesus into your heart, thinking and talking of Jesus, and doing His work wherever you are. This is the only way that we can work successfully in these last times. Christ was Himself the example we should follow, not merely in outward form, but as He was in purity, self-denial, meekness, and love. So we

††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††71

should follow Him in the world. His humiliation, His reproach, His crucifixion, and His cross He gave to His disciples. He also gave to them the glory that was given Him. He said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." {1888 70.3}

 

†††† Brethren, it is a positive necessity that we come up to a higher and holier standard. We must meet the difficulties in our Christian warfare as Paul met them when the Jews were lying in wait for him. We shall have to come through trying places, for there will be spies watching on our track and lying in wait for us. We shall not only be brought before councils, but we shall be thrust into prison, and we must be in that advanced position of faith that we shall know God and the power of His grace, where we can lift up holy hands to Him without wrath and doubting; and we must learn how to believe that God hears us. {1888 71.1}

 

†††† I know that God hears the prayers of His people. I know that He answers them. But He cannot bless us while we are cherishing selfishness; and what saith the Scriptures? "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." But if we put away all self-exaltation, all self- righteousness, and come into living connection with God, the righteousness of God will be imputed to us. "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." {1888 71.2}

 

†††† The wisdom from above is abiding with us just so surely as we ask Him for it. The Lord has not forsaken us, but it is our sins and our iniquities that have separated us from God. We want in the name of Jesus to break down the barriers between our souls and God and then the peace of Christ will abide in our hearts by faith. We want to present ourselves in all humility before God, and get rid of everything like pride, selfishness, evil surmising, evil speaking, and all iniquity. Jesus will not take His abode in the heart where sin is enthroned. We want less of self and more of Jesus. We want to learn how to believe--that it is simply taking God at His word--but it is impossible to learn this unless we place ourselves in that position where we will be submissive to God. Our will must be on God's side, not on the side of Satan. The result of proving the forgiving love of God is to be perfectly reconciled to God's will. Then the human will and the divine become united. Every faculty must be kept in its place, all consecrated to God; every faculty working in God's order, performing His will and purpose. {1888 71.3}

 

†††† We need not feel anxious and troubled, as though the work was in our hands alone to manage. The Lord is standing at the helm. The Infinite has His hand on the machinery. If we humbly do our work with fidelity, the Lord will take care of the results. Have faith in God. This faith will enable us to have perfect trust and to look upon every movement in God's own light. Nothing that is taking place or that can take place need to excite in us fearful apprehensions, for God the great Master

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 72

Worker has charge of His own work; and if man will not interfere, but leave the work to God's own control, He will do this work well. Now, Christ would have you who minister in sacred things to be holy as He is holy. Do not forget that your power is in God. Be sure that if God has called you to open His Word to the people, He has called you to purity and goodness. {1888 71.4}

 

†††† You should have a clear apprehension of the gospel. The religious life is not one of gloom and of sadness, but of peace and joy coupled with Christlike dignity and holy solemnity. We are not encouraged by our Saviour to cherish doubts and fears and distressing forebodings; these bring no relief to the soul and should be rebuked rather than praised. We may have joy unspeakable and full of glory. Let us put away our indolence and study God's Word more constantly. If we ever needed the Holy Ghost to be with us, if we ever needed to preach in the demonstration of the Spirit, it is at this very time. If we will not work without it now, we shall have it in every emergency in the future, and be prepared for what is coming upon the earth. We need to dwell more upon present truth and the preparation essential in order that sinners may be saved. If the Spirit of God works with our efforts, we shall be called out not only to present repentance in its true light but pardon also, and to point to the cleansing fountain where all pollution may be washed away. {1888 72.1}

 

†††† We have a far more solemn work resting upon us in preaching the gospel of Christ than we have imagined. If we have the truth abiding in the heart, we shall be growing up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. Let us think of these things more earnestly. Let there be no more cramping of the intellect. There are greater wonders to be opened to our senses, consistent with the progress of the work. The mystery of revelation challenges investigation, for there are mines of truth to be opened to God's people. We must put off self-righteousness, we must reach loftier heights. God will direct the soul action if we seek the righteousness of Christ so that God can be pleased with our efforts. We want none of self and all of Jesus. The baptism of the Holy Ghost will come upon us at this very meeting if we will have it so. Search for truth as for hidden treasures. The key of knowledge needs to be held in every hand that it may open the storehouse of God's treasury, which contains stores of precious gems of truth. When a man is craving for truth from God's Word, angels of God are by his side to lead his mind into green pastures. {1888 72.2}

 

†††† If the truth rested with greater weight upon ministers of God, they would not handle the Word of God deceitfully. They seem to have a burden for souls while speaking to the people, but when out of the desk they are destitute of spirituality. Be afraid of such. They preach but do not practice. They show by their manner that the truth has not

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 73

sanctified their souls and what they have said has had no weight upon them. God's laborers will carry the burden of souls with them. God will not work with the man who preaches the claims of God in the desk and gives a lie to the truth out of the desk. We want to be clean from the blood of all men, that the blood of souls will not be found upon us, that we can say with Paul, "I am pure from the blood of all men." {1888 72.3}

 

†††† Let us commence right here in this meeting and not wait till the meeting is half through. We want the Spirit of God here now; we need it, and we want it to be revealed in our characters. We want the power of God here, and we want it to shine in our hearts. Brethren, let us take hold of the work as never before. Let us inquire, How is it with my soul? Is it in that condition that it will be well with me? Shall Christ come and find me as I now am? May God help us to be clean in spirit, pure and holy in all manner of conversation and godliness.--Manuscript 6, 1888. {1888 73.1}

 

 

Chap. 171 - Every Member a Missionary

 

And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. Isa. 49:6.

 

 

†††† Tuesday morning, June 19. I have just looked at my watch; it is two o'clock. I dress, seek the Lord, and try to write a few words to go in the mail to Africa this morning. May the Lord help me in tracing each line. . . . {TDG 179.1}

 

†††† See Isaiah 49. I cannot write out this whole chapter. Read it carefully and solemnly. What words are these! "And [He] said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified" (Isa. 49:3). How many, after they have done their best, under most trying circumstances, suffering for the want of facilities and from dearth of means, are ready to say, in the words of the Scripture, "I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God" (verse 4). {TDG 179.2}

 

††† All the warnings must be given. The truth, Bible truth, is to be proclaimed in our large camp meetings, and the churches can hear the truth. They have the opportunity. All may not desire to hear. Many oppose everything that calls for self-denial. They are not willing to accept the Sabbath. In Exodus 31:12-18 it is clearly marked out in definite lines what God expects from His people, and the decided consequence of rejecting [it] is death. Notwithstanding this, many will refuse obedience because the truth involves self-denial and self-sacrifice. {TDG 179.3}

 

†††† Many of the ministers will not hear and be convinced. They will not enter the sanctuary of truth to receive the knowledge of truth from the Word, but will take away the key of knowledge from the people by perversion of the Scriptures, wresting the Word of God from its true meaning. Thus every step gained in reaching the people to save them from being lost in error and disobedience requires a hard, constant battle. But shall it stop? No. Lift up the standard. Plant memorials of God's truth in every place possible, work in new territories, and conversions will be made. Some who do not take their stand at once will help advance the work with their means and their sympathy, and will themselves take their position on the Lord's side. . . . God will have representatives in every place in all parts of the world.-- Letter 86, June 19, 1900, to A. G. Daniells. {TDG 179.4}

 

January 28, 1886 "Preach the Word."

 

By Mrs. E. G. White

 

†††† "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth," was the prayer of Christ for his disciples. In every age God has committed to his people some special truth which is directly opposed to the desires and purposes of the human heart, and which tends to separate his church from the world; and it has been the duty of his ministers to proclaim this truth, whether men would hear or forbear. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 1}

 

†††† When Christ came as the teacher and guide of mankind, he brought to them truths glowing with the light of Heaven, showing in contrast the darkness of error, and revealing the superstition, self-righteousness, and bigotry of that age. His heart overflowed with love for the poor, the ignorant, the afflicted, and the fallen. He healed the sick, comforted the desponding, cast out devils, raised the dead, and preached to all the words of eternal life. But many who listened to the divine Teacher received his words with little favor. The priests and elders, the professed expositors of divine truth, were sending forth no rays of light. In their self-righteousness they held themselves aloof from the benighted people, who needed instruction and guidance. When Jesus took up the work which they had left undone, they felt that his life was a constant rebuke to them, and they feared that he would turn the hearts of the people from them, and destroy their influence. They were filled with pride, love of ostentation, and desire for praise; and they despised the humility and self-denial of Jesus. They hated the purity while they feared the power of his teachings. They refused to accept him themselves, and bent all their energies to hinder others from believing in him. No wonder he brought against them the terrible accusation: "Ye have taken away the key of knowledge. Ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 2}

 

†††† It is no argument against the truth that there are few who are willing to accept it. Few accepted the world's Redeemer. Though the multitude flocked around him, eager to receive temporal blessings, yet he sadly declared: "Ye will not come to me that ye might have life." Men are now no more favorable to practical godliness; they are just as intently seeking earthly good, to the neglect of eternal riches. And reformers of the present day will meet with the same discouragements as did their Master. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 3}

 

†††† Of the people in his day Christ said: "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." The Jews willfully closed their eyes and their ears, and barred their hearts with prejudice, lest they should see a better way, and be aroused from their dream of security. The people of the present generation are pursuing a similar course. New truths are constantly unfolding; new and clearer light is shining upon the pathway of God's people. But the great mass of mankind are satisfied with their present condition, and are unwilling to exchange error for truth. But we are to be sanctified through obedience to the truth. For want of this Bible sanctification, the soul of many a professed Christian has become a desecrated shrine, the haunt of hollow formalism, of selfishness and hypocrisy, pride and passion. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 4}

 

†††† It is harder to reach the hearts of men today than it was twenty years ago. The most convincing arguments may be presented, and yet sinners seem as far from repentance as ever. The work of the faithful minister is no child's play. Earnest, untiring effort is required to wrench the prey of Satan from his grasp. But God will sustain his servants in the work which he himself has committed to their hands. Said Christ to his disciples, as they toiled upon the Sea of Galilee, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." When the gospel net is cast, there should be a watching by the net, with tears and earnest prayers. Let the workers determine not to let the net go till it is drawn ashore, with the fruit of their labor. Sometimes, indeed, we may say with Peter, "We have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing;" but still it is the Master's command, as of old, "Let down the net on the right side of the ship,"--work on in faith, and God will give success. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 5}

 

†††† Whatever the trials and difficulties that the ambassador of Christ may have to meet, he can carry them all to God in prayer. He can weep between the porch and the altar, pleading, "Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach." And by study of the Scriptures and earnest, wrestling prayer, he may become "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Labor on, then, while the day lasts, you who have been called to preach the good news of salvation through Christ; for the night cometh, wherein no man can work. God has called us to labor in his vineyard, and if we neglect our duty, souls will be lost through our unfaithfulness. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 6}

 

†††† Though the servants of Christ may, at times, feel almost disheartened as they see how many obstacles there are in the way of Christian living, and how slowly the work of God seems to advance, their duty remains the same. They are to sow the seed of truth beside all waters. A constant effort to promote personal piety should be seen in all their public labors. They should not preach sermon after sermon on doctrinal subjects alone. Practical godliness should find a place in every discourse, and the discourses should be short and to the point. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 7}

 

†††† The minister should not merely present the truth from the desk, but as the shepherd of the flock he should care for the sheep and the lambs, searching out the lost and straying, and bringing them back to the fold. He should visit every family, not merely as a guest to enjoy their hospitality, but to inquire into the spiritual condition of every member of the household. His own soul must be imbued with the love of God; then by kindly courtesy he may win his way to the hearts of all, and labor successfully for parents and children, entreating, warning, encouraging, as the case demands. Let him seek to keep the church alive, and laboring with him for the conversion of sinners. This is good generalship; and the results will be found far better than if the minister performed all the work alone. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 8}

 

†††† Jesus bids his people, "Go forward." The minister may labor for the people, but he cannot take the responsibility that God has placed upon them. There are higher attainments for us, there is a purer love, a deeper experience, if we will consecrate ourselves to God, and humbly take him at his word. The reason why we have no greater confidence and joy, is that we are not sanctified through obedience to the truth. There is in us an evil heart of unbelief. Our heavenly Father is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. Then let us shake off the spiritual sloth that dishonors him and imperils our own souls. If we draw near to God, he will draw near to us. We must not wait for better opportunities, for strong persuasions, or for holier tempers. We can do nothing for ourselves. We must trust to the power of Jesus to save us. He is holding out to us the crown of life, and shall we not accept it? Let us come to him just as we are, and we shall find him a present help in our time of need. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 9}

 

†††† The sweet sense of sins forgiven, the light and love which Christ alone can give, fill the soul with peace and joy. The assurance that we are under the protection of Omnipotence imparts courage and confidence, inspires a hope that is "as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail." This assurance is a source of strength unknown to the worldling or to the half-hearted professor. So long as we have the presence of our Saviour, difficulties cannot dismay nor dangers appall us; and we are ready cheerfully to perform whatever duty God requires of us. If we were only as free to speak of the blessings we receive from God as we are to talk of our doubts and discouragements, we should enjoy far more of his presence. Our kind heavenly Father declares: "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me." Let us praise him more, and complain less; let us talk more of the love and wondrous power of our Redeemer, and we shall be brought nearer and nearer to him, into closer and still closer relations with him in whom our hope centers. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 10}

 

†††† Shall we not consecrate ourselves to God without reserve? Christ, the King of glory, gave himself a ransom for us. Can we withhold anything from him? Shall we think our poor, unworthy selves too precious, our time or property too valuable, to give to Jesus? No, no; the deepest homage of our hearts, the most skillful service of our hands, our talents of ability and of means,--all are but too poor an offering to bring to Him who was slain, and has redeemed us to God by his blood "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation."

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -

{ST, January 28, 1886 par. 11}