Ellen G. White Writings

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Counsels for the Church, Page 25

in a flash of fire. That was the end of the vision.

When the family were next together, Mrs. White again pressed the matter of the disappearance of the hairnet, but still there was no confession, and no one seemed to know of its whereabouts. Then a little later Mrs. White called this young woman aside, told her of the voice and what she saw in the trunk, and then related the very short vision in which she saw the hairnet burn over the lamp. With this information before her, the girl confessed taking the net, and burning it lest she be detected. She made the matter right with Mrs. White and with the Lord.

We may think that this is a very small matter for God to bother about—just a hairnet. But it was a matter of much greater importance than the value of the object stolen. Here was a young woman, a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She felt she was all right, but she did not see the defects in her own character. She did not see the selfishness there, which led her to steal and deceive. Now when she realized how important the little things are—that God would give a vision to his busy messenger here on earth just about a hairnet—this young woman began to see matters in their true light. This experience was the turning point in her life.

That is one reason visions were given to Mrs. White. Though many of the testimonies written by Mrs. White had very specific applications, yet they present principles that meet the needs of the church in every country of the world. Mrs. White has made plain the purpose and place of the testimonies in these words:

“The written testimonies are not to give new light, but to impress vividly upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed. Man's duty to God and to his fellow man has been distinctly specified in God's word, yet but few of you are obedient to the light given. Additional truth is not brought out; but God has through the testimonies simplified the great truths already given.... The testimonies are not to belittle the word of God, but to exalt it, and attract minds to it, that the beautiful simplicity of truth may impress all.”

All through her life Mrs. White kept the word of God before the people. As she closed her very first book she stated:

“I recommend to you, dear reader, the word of God as the rule of your faith and practice. By that word we are to be judged. God has, in that word, promised to give visions in the ‘last days’; not for a new rule of faith, but for the comfort of his people, and to correct those who err from Bible truth.”

The Vision that Could not Be Told

During a series of meetings in Salamanca, New York, in November 1890, in which Mrs. White was making some public addresses to large gatherings, she became quite weak, as she had caught a severe cold on the trip to the city. After one of the meetings she left for her room discouraged and sick. She was thinking about pouring out her soul

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