Ellen G. White Writings

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Lt 2d, 1892

Lt 2d, 1892

Brethren of the General Conference

George’s Terrace, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia

December 23, 1892

This letter is published in entirety in GCDB 02/27/1893.

Dear Brethren of the General Conference:

I am rejoiced to report to you the goodness, the mercy, and the blessing of the Lord bestowed upon me. I am still compassed with infirmities, but I am improving: The great Restorer is working in my behalf, and I praise His holy name. My limbs are gaining in strength, and although I suffer pain, it is not nearly as severe as it has been during the past ten months. I am now so far restored that by taking hold of the balusters I can walk up and down stairs without assistance.

All through my long affliction I have been most signally blessed of God. In the most severe conflicts with intense pain, I realized the assurance, “My grace is sufficient for you.” [2 Corinthians 12:9.] At times when it seemed that I could not endure the pain, when unable to sleep, I looked to Jesus by faith and His presence was with me; every shade of darkness rolled away, a hallowed light enshrouded me, the very room was filled with the light of His divine presence.

I have felt that I could welcome suffering if this precious grace was to accompany it. I know the Lord is good and gracious and full of mercy and compassion and tender, pitying love. In my helplessness and suffering His praise has filled my soul and been upon my lips. My meditation has been so comforting and so strengthening as I have thought how much worse condition I should be in without the sustaining grace of God. My eyesight is continued to me, my memory is good, my mind has never been more clear and active in seeing the beauty and preciousness of truth.

What rich blessings are these! With the Psalmist I could say, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sands. When I awake, I am still with thee.” [Psalm 139:17, 18.] The last words express my feelings and experience. When I awake, the first thought and expression of my heart is, Praise the Lord! I love Thee, O Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. Precious Saviour, Thou hast bought me with the price of Thine own blood. Thou hast considered me of value, or Thou wouldst not have paid an infinite price for my salvation. Thou, my Redeemer, hast given Thy life for me, and Thou shalt not have died for me in vain. I will give that life to Thee, to co-operate with Thee in the saving of my soul.

Since the first few weeks of my affliction, I have had no doubts in regard to my duty in coming to this distant field; and more than this, my confidence in my heavenly Father’s plan in my affliction has been greatly increased. I cannot now see all the purpose of God, but am fully confident it was a part of His plan that I should be thus afflicted, and am content and perfectly at ease in the matter.

With the writings that shall go in this mail, I have, since leaving America, written twenty hundred pages of letter paper. I could not have done all this writing if the Lord had not strengthened and blessed me in large measure. Never once has that right hand failed me. My arm and shoulder have been full of suffering, hard to bear, but the hand has been able to hold the pen and trace words that have come to me from the Spirit of the Lord.

I have had a most precious experience, and I testify to my fellow laborers in the cause of God, “The Lord is good, and greatly to be praised.” [Psalm 34:8; 96:4.] I testify to my brethren and sisters that the church of Christ, enfeebled and defective as it may be, is the only object on earth on which He bestows His supreme regard. While He extends to all the world His invitation to come to Him and be saved, He commissions His angels to render divine help to every soul that cometh to Him in repentance and contrition, and He comes personally by His Holy Spirit into the midst of His church.

“If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” [Psalm 130:3-8.]

Ministers and all the church, let this be our language from hearts that respond to the great goodness and love of God to us as a people and to us individually. “Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth forever.” [Psalm 131:3.] “Ye that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God, praise the Lord; for the Lord is good; sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.” [Psalm 135:2-5.]

Consider, my brethren and sisters, that the Lord has a people, a chosen people, His church, to be His own, His own fortress, which He holds in a sin-stricken, revolted world; and He intended that no authority should be known in it, no laws be acknowledged by it, but His own.

Satan has a large confederacy, his church. Christ calls them the synagogue of Satan because the members are the children of sin. [Revelation 2:9.] The members of Satan’s church have been constantly working to cast off the divine law and confuse the distinction between good and evil. Satan is working with great power in and through the children of disobedience, to exalt treason and apostasy as truth and loyalty. And at this time the power of his satanic inspiration is moving the living agencies to carry out the great rebellion against God that commenced in heaven.

At this time the church is to put on her beautiful garment—“Christ our righteousness.” There are clear, decided distinctions to be restored and exemplified to the world in holding aloft the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. The beauty of holiness is to appear in its native luster in contrast with the deformity and darkness of the disloyal, those who have revolted from the law of God. Thus we acknowledge God and recognize this law, the foundation of His government in heaven and throughout His earthly dominions. His authority should be kept distinct and plain before the world; and no laws are to be acknowledged that come in collision with the laws of Jehovah.

If, in defiance of God’s arrangements, the world be allowed to influence our decisions or our actions, the purpose of God is defeated. However specious the pretext, if the church waver here, there is written against her in the books of heaven a betrayal of the most sacred trusts and treachery to the kingdom of Christ. The church is firmly and decidedly to hold her principles before the whole heavenly universe and the kingdoms of the world; steadfast fidelity in maintaining the honor and sacredness of the law of God will attract the notice and admiration of even the world, and many will by the good works which they shall behold, be led to glorify our Father in heaven.

The loyal and true bear the credentials of heaven, not of earthly potentates. All men shall know who are the disciples of Christ, chosen and faithful, and shall know them when crowned and glorified as those who honored God and whom He has honored, bringing them into possession of an eternal weight of glory.

The language of the Psalmist may be adopted by the commandment-keeping people of God: “Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments, I will praise thee with uprightness of heart when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.” “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn thy commandments.” [Psalm 119:4-7, 73.]

The Lord has provided His church with capabilities and blessings, that they may present to the world an image of His own sufficiency, and that His church may be complete in Him, a continual representation of another—even the eternal—world, of laws that are higher than earthly laws. His church is to be a temple built after the divine similitude, and the angelic architect has brought his golden measuring rod from heaven that every stone may be hewn and squared by the divine measurement, and polished to shine as an emblem of heaven, radiating in all directions the bright, clear beams of the Son of Righteousness.

The church is to be fed with manna from heaven, and to be kept under the sole guardianship of His grace. Clad in complete armor of light and righteousness, she enters upon her final conflict. The dross, the worthless material, will be consumed, and the influence of the truth testifies to the world of its sanctifying, ennobling character.

“The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord, as for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; my Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth.” [Isaiah 59:20, 21.] “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy shining.” [Isaiah 60:1-3.]

God has in training a people chosen, elect, precious. They were once the children of disobedience, disloyal to God. But now they are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that they should show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

The Lord Jesus is making experiments on human hearts through the exhibition of His mercy and abundant grace. He is effecting transformations so amazing that Satan with all his triumphant boasting, with all his confederacy of evil united against God and the laws of His government, stands viewing them as a fortress impregnable to his sophistries and his delusions. They are to an incomprehensible mystery.

The angels of God, seraphim and cherubim, the powers commissioned to co-operate with human agencies, look on with astonishment and joy that fallen men, once children of wrath, are through the training of Christ developing characters after the divine similitude, to be sons and daughters of God, to act an important part in the occupations and pleasures of heaven.

To His church, Christ has given ample facilities, that He may receive a large measure of glory from His redeemed, purchased possession. The church, being endowed with the righteousness of Christ is His depository, in which the wealth of His mercy, His love, His grace, is to appear in full and final display. The gift of His Holy Spirit, full, rich and abundant, is to His church as an encompassing wall of fire, which the powers of hell shall not prevail against.

In their untainted purity and spotless perfection, Christ looks upon His people as the reward of all His suffering, His humiliation, and His love, and the supplement of His glory—Christ the great center from which radiates all glory. “Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” [Revelation 19:9.]

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