Ellen G. White Writings

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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 3

April - June 1899—NO. 2

GENERAL CONFERENCE BULLETIN,
PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY

The Seventh-day Adventist General Conference

Price, FIFTY CENTS Biennially.

EDITOR............................ L. A. HOOPES.

Entered at the Post-office in Battle Creek, Michigan.

FOLLOWING CHRIST

L. A. HOOPES

This was written April 7, 1899, before the BULLETIN was received, giving account of donations for Australia.

For the joy, that was set before him, Christ endured the cross, despising the shame, and is forever set down at the right hand of God. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for the world, and through this sacrifice comes the greatest blessing that God could bestow,—the gift of the Holy Spirit. This blessing is for all who will receive Christ. The fallen world is the battle-field for the greatest conflict the heavenly universe and earthly powers have ever witnessed. It was appointed as the theater on which would be fought out the grand struggle between good and evil, between heaven and hell. Every human being acts a part in this conflict. No one can stand on neutral ground. Men must either accept or reject the world’s Redeemer. All are witnesses, either for or against Christ. Christ calls upon those who stand under his banner to engage in the conflict with him as faithful soldiers, that they may inherit the crown of life. They have been adopted as sons and daughters of God. Christ has left them his assured promise that great will be the reward in the kingdom of heaven of those who partake of his humiliation and suffering for the truth’s sake.

The cross of Calvary challenges, and will finally vanquish, every earthly and hellish power. In the cross all influence centers, and from it all influence goes forth. It is the great center of attraction, for on it Christ gave up his life for the human race. This sacrifice was offered for the purpose of restoring man to his original perfection; yea, more. It was offered to give him an entire transformation of character, making him more than a conqueror. Those who in the strength of Christ overcome the great enemy of God and man, will occupy a position in the heavenly courts above angels who have never fallen.

Christ declares, “I, if I be lifted up, ... will draw all men unto me.” If the cross does not find an influence in its favor, it creates an influence. Through generation succeeding generation, the truth for this time is revealed as present truth. Christ on the cross was the medium whereby mercy and truth met together, and righteousness and peace kissed each other. This is the means that is to move the world.

In the plan of God, all the riches of heaven are to be drawn upon by men. Nothing in the treasury of divine resources is deemed too costly to accompany the great gift of the only begotten Son of God. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Christ was empowered to breathe into fallen humanity the breath of life. Those who receive him will never hunger, never thirst; for greater joy than that found in Christ there can not be.

Study the words spoken by the Saviour from the mount of blessing. How the divine nature shone through his humanity as his lips uttered the benedictions upon those who were the objects of his mercy and love. He blessed them with a fullness that showed that he was drawing from the inexhaustible store of the richest treasures. The treasures of eternity were at his command. The Father committed the riches of heaven to him, and in the disposal of them he knew no bound. Those who accept him as their Saviour, their Redeemer, the Prince of Life, he acknowledges before the heavenly host, before the worlds unfallen, and before the fallen world, as his peculiar treasure.

The Lord Jesus has summoned the world to hear. “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Let all listen with submissive, reverent attention. He repeats the words given him by the One who said, “This is my beloved Son; ... hear ye him.” Who is listening to the words which are light and life to all who receive them? Will men and women consider how God regards the creatures he has made? He formed man’s mind. We do not think one noble thought that does not come from him. He knows all the mysterious workings of the human mind; for did he not make it? God sees that sin has debased and degraded man, but he looks upon him with pity and compassion; for he sees that Satan has him in his power. The demon of appetite in the intoxicating cup has robbed thousands of their reason. Still the Lord draws, draws, draws.

Who will draw with God, seeking to set in operation a restoring power that will obtain the mastery over sin? Those who will not fail nor become discouraged in this work, who will venture to take hold of the wretchedness they see around them, cooperate with their Redeemer. Thus we may show our gratitude to God. Our sympathies are wrought upon by the Holy Spirit; and in the heart of the one who is helped gratitude springs up, and he gathers hope to lay hold upon the hand of divinity, and to realize that God is seeking to save him from sin and degradation.

The knowledge of God has been lost from a large number of minds, not alone from the minds of those who have debased themselves to the lowest depths, but from the minds of kings, princes, and emperors, from men of high estate the world over. God called one man a fool because of this forgetfulness. This man had been blessed with great treasure, so that he had no place in which to store it. He thought he must be better than the generality of men, or he would not have been thus favored. He consulted his own soul, and did not consult God at all. He did not take the Lord into his heart. The Giver of all his treasure was the last one to be thought of. But he talked with his soul as though it were his God, declaring, “I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” His blessings had received his worship. A love for gain had become all-absorbing, and had obtained the ascendency over him. His mind was thus brought into bondage. The poor and needy, the widow and orphan, did not so much as enter his mind. The Lord saw this. He read the heart of the one who had been so greatly favored, and he said to him, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”

This man is represented as one no longer fit to live in the world, as a fruitless tree which should be cut down. He was not worthy to be recognized among men blessed with life and capable of seeking for immortality and securing eternal life. His separation from God was complete. His life could benefit no one.

Christ recognizes no caste, no nationality. He holds it as his prerogative, divine and incommunicable, to work after his own might and pleasure. The compassionate Redeemer, he labored among all classes. When the paralytic was let down through the roof at his feet, he saw at a glance the trouble of the sufferer, and he immediately exercised his power as a sin-pardoning Saviour. “Be of good cheer;” he said, “thy sins be forgiven thee.” At this, some of the scribes said within themselves, “Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?” How astonished they were to have their unspoken thoughts opened before them. “Why reason ye these things in your hearts?” Jesus said. “Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.”

Christ changed the relation of the sinner toward God, taking the guilt from the inmost soul. The rich fool died in his bloated wealth; but the helpless sinner was brought to Christ, and manifesting his belief that Christ could heal him, he was not disappointed. His diseased mind was first cured, and then the Great Physician cured his bodily infirmities.

Thus Christ drew the people to him. He was unfolding truths of the highest order. The knowledge he came to impart was the gospel in all its richness and power. The sin-bearer, he is alive to all the horrors which sin brings upon the soul; and he came to this world with a message of deliverance.

What is Christianity?—God’s instrumentality for the conversion of the sinner. Jesus will call to account every one who is not brought under his control, who does not demonstrate in his life the influence of the cross of Calvary. Christ should be uplifted by those whom he has redeemed by dying on the cross a death of shame. He who has felt the power of the grace of Christ has a story to tell. He seeks to put in operation methods of work which will diffuse the gospel of Christ. Humanity, drawing its efficiency from the great source of wisdom, is made the instrumentality, the working agency, through which the gospel exercises its transforming power on mind and heart.

Under the inspiration of the Spirit, the apostle Paul represents Christians as those who have purified their souls in obeying the truth. Just in accordance with the faith and love we bring into our work will be the power brought into it. No man can create faith. The Spirit operating upon and enlightening the human mind, creates faith and love we bring into our work will be the power gift of God, powerful unto salvation, enlightening the hearts of those who search for truth as for hidden treasure. The Spirit of God impresses the truth on the heart. The gospel is called the power of God unto salvation, because God alone can make the truth a power which sanctifies the soul. He alone can render the cross of Christ triumphant.

Everything that Satan can devise to divert the mind of man from its accountability to God he will devise. Look at the many amusements and pleasures he has set in operation to keep men from thinking, How is it with my soul? He leads men to wish to forget the law of God. There must be some agency to call this law to their remembrance. The talent of speech was given to convey the truth to the ear. By this talent God designs to impart the knowledge that the soul needs. By his words Christ communicated knowledge of the very highest order, telling men what they must do to be saved. Every minister is first to receive grace from God, and then to administer grace to his hearers. In the pulpit and out of the pulpit he is to minister. His speech is always to be seasoned with grace, in harmony with sacred truth. Wherever the believer is, he has the word of God which contains spiritual life; and it is his duty to learn the way of communicating truth so that it will have a convincing power. Man has an important part to act in the work of saving the souls who are in need of being converted without delay, or Satan will control them as his property.

To every man God has given his work. Every soul has been given his post of duty, his sphere of action. It is for his present and eternal interest to find out his work by inquiring, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Each person forms a link in the chain of responsibility which binds man to his fellow man. In their service men are to be linked with one another and with God. Each man is to act his

part in the program of life. Each is to exert an influence for good. All are to work together to make a complete whole.

All our powers are to be used for Christ. This is the debt we each owe to God. In forming a relationship with Christ, the renewed man is but coming back to his appointed relationship with God. He is a representative of Christ, and he is ever to pray and watch unto prayer. His duties lie round him, nigh and afar off. His first duty is to his children and his nearest relatives. Nothing can excuse him from neglecting the inner circle for the larger circle outside. In the day of final reckoning fathers and mothers will be required to answer in regard to their children. Parents will be asked what they did and said to secure the salvation of the souls they took upon themselves the responsibility of bringing into the world. Did they neglect their lambs, leaving them to the care of strangers? Fathers and mothers, are you allowing your children to grow up in impurity and sin? A great good done for others will not cancel the debt you owe to God to care for your children. The spiritual welfare of your family comes first. Take them with you to the cross of Calvary, laboring for them as those that must give an account.

Parents should seek to gain the cooperation of their children. Thus children can become laborers together with God. Some households have a little church in the home. Mutual love binds heart to heart, and the unity that exists among the members of the family preaches the most effectual sermon that could be preached on practical godliness. As parents faithfully do their duty in the family, restraining, correcting, advising, counseling, guiding,—the father as a priest of the household, the mother as a home missionary,—they are filling the sphere God would have them fill. By faithfully doing their duty in the home, they are multiplying agencies for doing good outside the home. They are becoming better fitted to labor in the church. By training their little flock discreetly, binding their children to themselves and to God, fathers and mothers become laborers together with God. The cross is erected in their home. The members of the family become members of the royal family above, children of the heavenly King.

The tenderness of Christ is to be brought into the daily life of his followers. His character is to be reproduced in them. The disinterested benevolence shown by him is to be shown by them. His love for souls should be cultivated by practice. Humble, wrestling prayer will soften and subdue hearts. Christ’s servants can and should be able to meet and overcome every temptation. They should say, “I am not my own; I have been bought with a price. By the infinite sacrifice Christ has made for me, he has put it out of my power to give him more than he demands. All is his. He has purchased me, body, soul, and spirit. He calls for all my time, all my capabilities.” Thus we may show that we are abiding in Christ and that Christ is abiding in us. Christ accepts no divided service. His followers are to shine as lights in the world. “Come out of the world, and be ye separate,” is the message which comes sounding down along the line to our time. Love not the world, neither the things of the world. Set your affections on things above, and not on things below. Those who heed this message will find that Christ’s yoke is easy and his burden light. MRS. E. G. WHITE.

THE WORK IN AUSTRALIA

L. A. HOOPESE. G. WHITE

“SUNNYSIDE,” COORANBONG, N. S. W., AUSTRALIA, April 26, 1899.

Dear Brethren in America: We feel deeply grateful to our heavenly Father that the Holy Spirit has moved your hearts to action in regard to the work in Australia. The school work here is advancing. The first term of this year is now closing, the second term commencing. We humbly acknowledge the Lord as the first great cause, standing behind the work which has been going on in Battle Creek. The Lord is the source of all power, all strength, all sufficiency.

We see a great work to be done. We find no place where we can sit down and fold our hands. There are many places to be worked. Every town or village on the railway is to have the message the Lord has given us. We can not stop to rejoice over a few victories. We must press the battle to the very gate. The Lord has never left himself without a witness. The truth must be presented in the different suburbs of Newcastle. At times we may have to speak in the open air. I have done this on two Sunday afternoons, with good results. Last Sabbath I spoke to a goodly number under the tent at Newcastle. The Lord gave me much freedom. On Sunday I spoke in Wallsend, a suburb ten miles from Newcastle. Notice had been given that I would speak there. A goodly number were present, and the Lord gave me a message for them. The people seemed to rejoice that they could feed upon the word. This suburb has eight thousand inhabitants. Newcastle has only begun to be worked. We have not sufficient workers to take hold of the work. We are hoping and praying and waiting for earnest, devoted men and women. The work has been going forward in Hamilton and Newcastle, and most marked reformations have taken place. We are now planning to begin work in a different part of Newcastle. God will help us by raising up laborers for this field.

Our brethren desired me to go to Newcastle last week to make a beginning in Wallsend. It was a question whether to commence the work there; but the people are intensely interested, and have been saying, “We want meetings held at Wallsend.” This place is nearer Cooranbong by ten miles, and although the road is a mountainous one, we can reach it best with our horses and carriage.

Then there is Auburn, a place eight miles from Cooranbong, where they have secured a church in which I am to speak as soon as I can find time, which will be next Sunday, or one week from Sunday. If they had not given us permission to speak in the church, we should have held a meeting in the open air. Then there is Toronto, a pleasure resort. These places are all within ten or twenty miles of Cooranbong, and must be entered as soon as we can find consecrated families whom we can locate there to hold the interest awakened. All these fields are white for the harvest; but we can do nothing without devoted workers, who can enter, and arouse and hold an interest.

We look to God to lead us on. We need to feel a sense of dependence which will drive us to prayer. We shall then have the experience that the Lord is the rewarder of all them that diligently seek him.

When this ground was first brought to our notice, I was shown that there was a large work to be done in and number of minds, not alone from the minds of those who have

around Cooranbong. Repeatedly companies had been presented to me, reaching forth their hands in supplication, and saying, “We are as sheep without a shepherd; come and open to us the word of God.” This means much to us. God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent, are to be kept before the people. The Lord designs that a new revelation shall come to them in the opening of his word, showing his dealings with the world and with individuals in the working out of his great plan. He would have them realize man’s accountability and responsibility in view of the future judgment. Then our Redeemer and Advocate will be our Judge. We have a great work before us, and men and women must be prepared to communicate the knowledge they have of the infinite wisdom, love, and power of God. He who died to make it possible for the world to be cleansed from sin, and keep the commandments of God, would have believers meet and work harmoniously,—one in the unity of faith, bound up with God, one with Christ as he is one with the Father.

We must work our way very carefully in order to remove the prejudice we find in every place. We must have places in which the people can meet to worship God. Wherever a company is raised up, a chapel must be erected. Many of the people are quite poor. The indolent, the tobacco devotees, and liquor drinkers are many. But the truth must go to them. It has worked wonders in this very place, and will still do great things. Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in present truth must not abide alone with those who receive Christ. Christ died to save the world, and we are to work more zealously in acting our part. We are to look upon fallen humanity as our field. God cares for them. They have been bought with a price. They are his special property, and upon every true believer in Christ rests the solemn responsibility of being a laborer together with God, of speaking the truth as it is in Jesus. All are to become messengers to proclaim the truth. Through the power and work of Satan, the world has mistaken and forgotten God, and is living in sin. Man’s influence works against God. His knowledge of God and his word is perverted. His understanding is darkened. But the Lord speaks through his delegated servants. Not one soul is to be left in darkness. The Lord is not careless in regard to his work. He will not look upon the peril of men, and remain silent. He sends his warnings, and we must voice his words, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

In this new world we feel intensely. We thank God every day for the increasing light. As we follow on to know the Lord, we shall know that his goings forth are prepared as the morning. The world is hearing its last message of mercy. This is a solemn thought. All must be willing now to take their place in the vineyard, and cultivate every neglected corner. All our consecrated influence is needed. Every soul is to stand in his appointed place. There are to be no idlers. God calls for workers, for means, for men and women who will give the word of life to those who are starving for food. The knowledge of God has long been perverted, and there must be no limit to our labor. There is nothing that will bring vitality into the church like the earnest work of those in the church. Those whose duty calls them to tarry by the home, to be home missionaries, revealing the truth in the character, are doing faithful work, and will be rewarded by God. But there is to be a much wider influence go forth from every true believer, who is a representative of the faith, and therefore a representative of Christ. He is to do the work that Christ did when he was in the world. Every self-sacrificing worker will have the witness in himself that there is a God, and that God is his God, his Father, his Helper, his Friend.

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” The Spirit of God within me draws my heart out in praise and thanksgiving because of the help we expect from America. We hope it will not be diverted into other channels. We must have the sanitarium here erected. This will give character to the work. We are working toward this. There is nothing that converts the people like the medical missionary work. This work makes the path straight before us, and bears the impress that it is of God. Jesus is in the work, and he can not be hidden.

MRS. E. G. WHITE.

WORDS OF GRATITUDE

L. A. HOOPES

I feel very grateful to my Lord for his great goodness. For some days, yes, for some weeks, we have been so crowded with responsibilities that we have not known which way to turn, or how to take up those things which needed to be done first. The great dearth of means has been a great hindrance to our advance; but last week on Wednesday, we received encouraging letters from Dr. J. H. Kellogg, and the next day came the BULLETIN with account of donations for this field.

The news came none too soon. Elder A. G. Daniells had left Cooranbong to go out among the churches to obtain the money pledged to the school. There has been much praying and seeking the Lord most earnestly to understand what we must do. The word had been, “Go forward,” and yet not a thing could be done to hire money from the banks, or to raise it in any other way. Some who had loaned money to the publishing house in Melbourne were calling for their loan. Everything seemed to hedge us in. We looked to the Lord to help us, and prayed most earnestly. The particulars I have not time to write now; but we are greatly relieved.

Last Sabbath a portion of the special BULLETIN was read in the church, and Brother E. R. Palmer gave a little history of our difficulties and struggles for the past few months. In the afternoon there was a service of praise to the Lord.

At the morning meeting I spoke for a short time, giving some items of our past history in the establishment of the work in different lines; what experiences we had in the commencement of the work in Battle Creek and California. Now we are going over the ground in Australia. The different chapters in the history of these Christian missions, the efforts made in lifting and planting the standard of truth in regions beyond, are similar in nearly all parts of the Lord’s great missionary vineyard.

The spiritual wants in this country have been brought to light, and pressed upon our souls. We have felt that the time has now come to work. The opening fields have been brought before us much faster than we with our present force of workers and our limited means could supply them. We are very thankful for that which has been done, but the prospect before us in the fields of labor yet

untouched, is without a limit. To raise the standard and plant it firmly means work, activity.

In some places where we have been brought into a pressure, those not of our faith have all unexpectedly come forward with their gifts of money. This has been the case in Brisbane, Queensland. We thank the Lord for this. A meeting-house, which was a positive necessity, has been erected there. Elder S. N. Haskell has labored hard in Brisbane, and souls still continue to embrace the truth in that portion of the Lord’s vineyard.

Every year there must be more than one or two neglected fields occupied and developed. We need more consecrated laborers to be set to work in these fields. The churches need care and encouragement, yet our work must largely be to lift the standard in new fields, where the truth has not yet come to the people. The most promising fields we have found have been those which we supposed would be the most difficult to work.

All who present the truth in the love of it have all the zeal that they can endure. They feel such love for the souls whom they see in ignorance of the truth, that often they are carried beyond their power of endurance. We have constantly to remind them that they are mortal, and must care for their bodies. In their great interest to draw souls to Christ, opening to them the treasures of the word of God, they themselves catch the inspiration of his Holy Spirit, and they endure taxation and labor in a way that is surprising. Thus it has been with Elder Haskell. Thus it was with Elder Wilson, who died at his post of duty, and thus it has been and is with other faithful workers.

As soon as a field is entered, the educational work begins, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. It is not the preaching that is the most taxing; it is the labor from house to house, reasoning from the word, explaining the word. It is the earnest travail of souls that will not yield to obstacles nor be discouraged. Over and over again the same things must be repeated, and the dependence of the worker must be wholly upon God. And what rich experiences the teacher obtains in educating those in the darkness of error! He is a learner, and sees wonderful things in the word of God. Ever and ever, as he attempts to explain the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is working with his own mind and in his own heart. He is receiving the holy oil from the two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves. These olive branches are the two anointed ones, who stand by the Lord of the whole earth. All who engage in the work of winning souls will themselves be constantly educated by the Holy Spirit to a clearer understanding of the word, as they communicate to others the light God has given them. The gracious utterances of the word are the holy golden oil, emptied from the two olive branches into the hearts of all who are prepared as vessels, cleansed to receive the heavenly treasure. There is infinite consolation for all who are laborers together with God. The requirements of the word impose most weighty obligations upon every steward entrusted with light and knowledge. The Bible teaches the whole will of God concerning us, and the Bible is to be not only read, but is constantly to be our rule of life, the foundation of our faith and practice.

We need truly converted workers, those who are converted every day. Every worker must be supplied with the golden oil. We may have it, we must have it, and then there will be success in the work.

We see so many places to be worked, and in the name of the Lord we call for workers, earnest workers, for this field. We do not ask for men who are wedded to their own ways, but for those who are wedded to Christ and his ways. We pray that there will be men and women who will be stirred by the Spirit of the Lord to come to this country to settle in different places, and work, and have a holding influence. We need you, O so much we need you. In every place opened there should be families, true missionaries, settled, those who will use their knowledge and experience to serve others. As they communicate, God will communicate to them. We can not draw from the treasury to support these families in this new field. There is so much of the field unworked that all the means we can command will be required. We see no limit.

The words of Christ are very impressive. He said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal; that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.”

I have a request to make: Let all that love the Lord who gave his life for them, make returns to Him who has bought them with a price. Through your own self-denial and self-sacrifice return to God your offerings, to be used in opening new fields and planting the standard of truth in places that have never been worked. First give yourselves to the Lord as a consecrated offering, and then in your practise heed the words of Christ, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

The word comes to every believer, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Economize in your expenditure of means upon yourself. The first step of self-denial is generally the most difficult, but begin without delay. Your self-denying offerings shall be used in this field to supply workers to give the last message of mercy to a fallen world. There will be in your hearts such a sacred kindling of love for God and zeal for the truth that you will realize indeed the truth of the words, “We are laborers together with God.”

From the light given me of God, I make this call to young and old, men and women and children. God calls upon you to do your best. Practise self-denial in order to bring the truth before thousands who have never heard it.

The missionary spirit needs to be revived in our churches. We want you to show your active zeal in doing something, and doing it now. Let there be planning of sacrifices for God in order to advance the work in the very places where it is most needed.

There is a great work to be done in England. The light radiating from London should beam forth in clear, distinct rays to regions beyond. God has wrought in England, but this English-speaking world has been terribly neglected. You that have the cause of God at heart, bear in mind the great work to be done in London and all through the cities of England.

We want to push the triumphs of the cross in Australia, right where we are. New fields are opening, and the work must not be hindered. Maitland and Singleton and other

towns and cities must be warned. The Lord is coming. Prepare to meet thy God. Every place not entered, not worked, has its own claims. The anticipation, the prospect of working these fields, must give place to the grave, decided, self-sacrificing reality of hard work itself. Anticipate all you please in regard to regions beyond, but go to work now. Every Christian is bound to be a Bible worker, to do something in imparting to others the great present truth for this time. Communicate what you do know. Tell it, sing it, pray it. Work while it is day; for the night cometh, in which no man can work. God help you, is my most earnest prayer. MRS. E. G. WHITE. April 11, 1899.

THE USE AND THE ABUSE OF THE TESTIMONIES

L. A. HOOPESDAVID PAULSON

“As the end draws near, and the work of giving the last warning to the world extends, it becomes more important for those who accept present truth to have a clear understanding of the nature and influence of the Testimonies, which God in his providence has linked with the work of the third angel’s message from its very rise.”—Testimonies for the Church 5:654.

Mark that this quotation does not raise the question of the importance of believing the Testimonies, but of understanding their nature and influence. Those who have made a deep and prayerful study of the Testimonies, have certainly realized in a most practical manner the words of the psalmist, “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.” Psalm 119:99.

Hundreds of young men and women among us might have their former teachers for their present pupils had they appreciated the living rays of light which have, through this channel, permeated into the darkest recesses of almost every branch of human knowledge. It has always been God’s purpose that his people should especially be made to “lie down in green pastures.” This is just as true in scientific knowledge and in methods of presenting and making a practical application of the same, as in the purely spiritual truths. The Bible is the fountain head of all truth, and any tree of knowledge whose taproot does not strike into its principles, will vanish away; for “every plant that my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up.”

It is the work of the Testimonies not to enunciate new principles of truth, but to point out and bring to the God’s eternal truth. Right here is where so much misunderstanding has arisen in reference to the Testimonies, as to whether they were to be placed on an equality with the Bible, in place of the Bible, or as an addition to the Bible. As a matter of fact the scope of the Testimonies fills none of these. The Lord has pointed out the exact position that they occupy, and no one need to stumble over it.

“The written Testimonies are not to give new light, but to impress vividly upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed.”—Idem, Vol. 2, p. 605. In short, the Testimonies are to take the truths in God’s word and hold them up before the mind in such a manner that as lasting an impression shall be made as was left upon our minds when perhaps our home burned down, or when we were an eye-witness of some frightful accident; or, in the words of the quotation, to “impress vividly.”

“Additional truth is not brought out; but God has through the Testimonies simplified the great truths already given.” Idem, Vol. 2, p. 605. In such a principle of truth as is stated in the words, “Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit,” the casual reader perceives little; but when God shifts his great telescope, the Testimonies, to this verse, and adjusts the focus, we see how this text applies to habits of daily life, even to such simple things as clothing, diet, and exercise. In a drop of water that may hang on the point of a cambric needle, the ordinary eye discovers nothing, yet let the scientist put it under his microscope, and if it has been properly inoculated, it will reveal myriads of animal forms that are perfectly developed. Some would say, “Oh, the microscope added all that,” and would perhaps argue for hours to prove that what they now see could not possibly have been in the water before; and apparently they may have the best of the argument.

In like manner I have frequently heard of many of our brethren spending a great deal of time arguing that certain things they see in the Testimonies could not possibly be in the Bible, for identically the same reason that others could not, with their naked eye, see the animal forms in the drop of water. Again, “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.” Idem, Vol. 2, p. 606.

Then if the Testimonies are read in the proper spirit, the Bible will seem more exalted, the mind attracted to it as though it were a magnet; and where the truths expressed in the Bible seem hazy, the Testimonies bring them out in clear lines.

We often hear people say, “Don’t do so and so, because it is condemned by the Testimonies.” Bear in mind that this is not what makes it wrong; the particular thing is wrong in itself, and the Testimonies in love and tenderness only point out the fact. For instance, if I point out to a stranger who passes my door that the bridge over the creek below my house is unsafe for him to cross, my telling him that is not what makes the bridge unsafe; I am only pointing out that fact to him. Thousands of people have been driven away from the Testimonies, and the Bible too, for that matter, because those who used them did not recognize that the things which they condemned were destructive in their very nature.

There is no one who mingles much with our people but whose heart must be made to ache continually by the misquotations, to say nothing of misinterpretations, frequently made by well-meaning people who themselves try hard to believe the thought that their perverted quotation seems to convey, and insist that others must do the same because “it is in the Testimonies.”

Only recently a very prominent man who, with his wife, had just embraced the truth, came to me in great distress of mind, stating that his wife was completely discouraged and confused because during the day one of our sisters had visited her, and had told her of a most unreasonable thing that she said the Testimonies taught, and assured her she must believe it in order to be in harmony with this people. I was glad that I was able to deny that such an inconsistent thing could be found in any statement of God’s revealed will. Only the day of God will fully show the

harm that has come from garbling and misquoting the Testimonies. In order for any one to absolutely avoid doing this, the proper plan to adopt is to have a book in which may be written the substance of what is likely to be used again, with the accompanying reference, classified under separate heads. Any one who perseveringly follows this plan will find in a few years that he has accumulated, and has ready access to, the very choicest gems in the Testimonies.

To illustrate what I mean, I will turn at random to several pages of a book (Index Rerum) in which I thus began eight years ago to classify statements from the Spirit of Prophecy. Under subject of “Testimonies,” I have written, as suggestive of the full quotation, “Should not be be criticized or flippantly spoken of,” Vol. 4, p. 443. Under subject of “Feeling and Emotions,” “Satan can give feelings and impressions, therefore not safe guide.” Signs of the Times, No. 19, 1884. Under subject of “Christ to us,” “Takes our ungrammatical prayers, presents them graceful and perfect to the Father.” Review and Herald, No. 9, 1893. Under the subject of “Surrendering and Trusting,” “If we could see the end from the beginning, would of ourselves choose to be led through the experience we pass through now.” The Desire of Ages, 225. Under subject of “Promises,” “Not to be rashly claimed by those who violate laws of nature and disregard prudence; this is presumption.” Vol. 4, p. 45.

Under each of these heads, and hundreds of others similar, there naturally accumulates, in the course of a few years, scores of grand and beautiful thoughts; and while perhaps the idea of an entire paragraph is condensed into the brief space of a line on a book, yet the accompanying reference enables one instantly to turn to the original source and refresh his mind with the full thought as well as the context. Testimonies for the Church 4:440, points out the case of one of whom it was said that he possessed so little spirituality he could not understand the value of the Testimonies nor their real object. May heaven save us as workers from falling into such a condition. The men and women in our ranks to-day who are keeping step with the message, and giving the trumpet a certain sound, are those whose volumes of the Testimonies are well worn, and the margins of whose Bibles are liberally sprinkled with references to the Testimonies where they have shed glorious light on the opposite text. The worker who, as soon as the wrapper is taken from the Review, earnestly and prayerfully reads the first-page article, is the one who, upon the Sabbath day in the church, in the evening effort in the tent, or to a congregation of drunkards and harlots in the mission, is preaching a living gospel from the Bible.

DAVID PAULSON.

COOPERATION IN THE CANVASSING WORK

L. A. HOOPES

A few years ago the denomination circulated nearly a million dollars’ worth of books annually. But how is it now?—There has been a great falling off. Why has it dropped off so much? There is a reason for it. We may not know just what it is; yet the reason for it. We may for us to look about us to see if we can find it.

The Lord has told us repeatedly that persons of good address should be chosen for this important branch of God’s cause. Just as much care should be exercised in the selection of men for the canvassing work as for the ministry. The Lord would never have said this if it were not essential. The Lord sees every branch, and knows the importance that should be attached to each one. God sees a fitness in things, and knows where to place men that they may accomplish the greatest amount of good. He has given to every man his proper gift, one after this manner and one after that. These gifts are given to every man to profit withal. They have been placed in the body of Christ (the church) as it has pleased him.

The canvassing work demands more of our attention. To use the language in the first-page article in the Review of June 20, 1899: “The canvassing work should never languish. The agencies set in operation to do this work need always to be under the control of the Holy Spirit of God. There must be perfect harmony and unity of spirit among the workers who handle the books which are to flood the world with light. Wherever the canvassing work is presented among our people, let both the health books and the religious books be presented together as parts of a united work. The relation of the religious and the health books is presented to me as illustrated by the union of the warp and the woof to form a beautiful pattern and a perfect piece of work.”

Please read the entire article. I again quote: “Just as much education is necessary for the successful handling of the religious books as for the handling of those treating upon questions of health and temperance. Just as much should be said regarding the work of canvassing for books containing spiritual food, just as much effort should be put forth to encourage and educate workers to circulate books containing the third angel’s message, as is said and done to develop workers for the health books.

“Let each publisher and general agent work as enthusiastically as he can to encourage the agents now in the work, and to hunt up and train new workers. Let each build up and strengthen the work as much as he can without weakening the work of others. Let all be done in brotherly love, and without selfishness.”

“The Lord desires his church to be a perfect body,—not all arms, not all body without arms, but body and arms together,—and every member working as a part of the one great whole. As the right arm is connected with the body, so the health reform and medical missionary work is connected with the third angel’s message, and is to work efficiently as the right arm, for the defense of the body of truth.”

The canvassing work is an honored branch of our cause, and deserves the hearty cooperation of every other part. We doubt not but that there are many intelligent young men and women who are doing practically nothing for the cause, who would make splendid canvassers, and would help to scatter the publications of present truth just “like the leaves of autumn.” Who are cooperating along this line?

Our ministers have a responsibility in this direction. They have much to do toward directing the young people into their respective occupations. There are enough people unoccupied who can do acceptable canvassing, to soon dispose of all the surplus stock which is now on the shelves of the storerooms, and to keep the presses running day and night to make new books, without doing a stroke of outside commercial work.

Brethren, it is cooperation that is needed.

THE GENERAL CONFERENCE BULLETIN.

BATTLE CREEK, MICH., SECOND QUARTER, 1899.

CONTENTS OF THIS NUMBER

L. A. HOOPES

Following Christ33
The Work in Australia35
Words of Gratitude36
The Use and the Abuse of the Testimonies38
Cooperation in the Canvassing Work39
The Week of Prayer40

THE WEEK OF PRAYER

L. A. HOOPES

The time has arrived when we should begin to lay our plans for the special week of prayer that is usually observed by this denomination. When this season was first instituted by this people, it was made a time for seeking the Lord and for study. It was more than a mere form of assembling for worship and listening to readings prepared for the occasion. It was a time of great spiritual refreshing. Men, women, and children sought God for his blessing as though it were for the last time. Just so it should be every time we seek the Lord for special blessings.

For more than two years there has been a special message borne to this people, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” During this time many have been the marked evidences of God’s willingness to pour out his Holy Spirit upon his people. He has told us that the Holy Spirit awaits our demand and reception. No one will hesitate to say that we are in need of just such a blessing as the Spirit brings.

It may be urged that we have the Holy Spirit already as a body and as individuals. That is true; for without him we can do nothing; but the Lord says that we should have the former and the latter rain. While we have seen marvelous things in connection with God’s work in the earth since the rise of the third angel’s message, yet we must see Pentecost revived, and the same power and grace attend the believers now as in the time of the apostles. Then the statement will be realized, one shall “chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.”

The work entrusted to this people, and especially for this time, demands that we have the Holy Spirit to perform even the mechanical part of it. While we should always seek the Lord, yet we are repeatedly admonished to assemble ourselves together for the express purpose of unitedly seeking his face. When this has been done with all the heart, he will surely be found.

The time of trial is only a little way in the future. Then we shall need to know Him in whom we may safely trust. Let no one be deceived by thinking that he can put off the needful preparation until the time of trouble. It will then be too late.

If there were reasons in the past why we should especially seek the Lord, there certainly are many more now. Our want of power, or ability to perform, is the imperative reason why we should seek God as never before. The commission is, “Go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” This was the character of the work carried on by the early disciples. Will the work for this time be any less powerful in its effects and influence?

These things should be borne in mind. More will be said from time to time in the columns of the Review and Herald.

We would call the attention of the reader to the first three articles which appear in this number of the BULLETIN. They have been recently received from Australia, and do not appear in print in any other periodical. We take this means of placing them before you.

Our responsibility in the home, our obligation to do missionary work with our nearest neighbors, and our duty to carry the work in regions beyond, are all treated in these articles. They should be carefully studied. The fact that “the world is hearing its last message of mercy,” should arouse every one to renewed energy to push the triumphs of the cross everywhere. It remains with each one to determine what part he acts in the final conflict now going on between truth and error.

“Every day that passes brings us nearer the last great important day. We are one year nearer the judgment, nearer eternity, than we were at the beginning of 1884. Are we also drawing nearer to God? Are we watching unto prayer? Another year of our time to labor has rolled into eternity. Every day we have been associating with men and women who are judgment-bound. Each day may have been the dividing line to some soul; some one may have made the decision which shall determine his future destiny. What has been our influence over these fellow travelers? What efforts have we put forth to bring them to Christ?”—“Testimony for the Church,” No. 32, p. 222.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL CONFERENCE

L. A. HOOPES

CASH STATEMENT FOR FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 1899

Cash on hand Jan. 1, 1899,$ 55 33
Cash received from all sources,50,374 99
Total,$50,430 32
Cash paid to laborers,$50,275 47
Cash on hand June 30, 1899,154 85
Total,$50,430 32

TITHE FUND

Credit balance Jan. 1, 1899,$42,084 92
Tithe from conferences and individuals,43,244 91
Total,$85,329 83
1898 audit including a few settlements on 1899 account,$76,094 54
Balance to credit of tithe fund June 30, 1899,9,235 29
Total,$85,329 83
Due laborers on basis of 1898 audit,$36,685 44
Paid to laborers on 1899 account,20,802 28
Due laborers June 30, 1899, on basis of 1898 audit,$15,883 16

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