Ellen G. White Writings

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The Gospel Herald

January 1, 1901

Our Influence

The following is from a private letter from Mrs. E. G. White, written January 2, 1901.

I have been sorely tried with affliction. Last Sabbath I spoke to the San Francisco church, which was heated by two stoves, and in which the ventilation was very imperfect. So greatly did I feel the effects of the poison in the air that although I stayed in the church only fifteen minutes, I feared that it would cost me my life. Our churches need to reform in the matter of ventilation. It is dangerous for those whose hearts are weak to speak in churches in which the air is poisoned by the exhalations from human bodies. Our churches should be well ventilated, that the air breathed by those who sit in them for two hours at a time may be as pure as possible.

After this experience I was so exhausted that on Wednesday, December 26, I thought that my only safety would be in going home the next day. My heart was very weak and my brain was tired. I was unable to converse with any one.

During the night I tried to cast my helpless soul upon Christ, and I decided to remain in Oakland till after the Sabbath.

On Sabbath I spoke to about six hundred people in the large room in the basement of the Oakland church. The adjoining rooms were thrown open, and additional seats were brought in. The people kept coming till every seat was filled.

I was still weak, and as I looked over the sea of heads before me, I feared that I would not be able to make my voice heard. I asked the people to pray to the Lord to give me strength, and He heard their petitions. As I advanced, my strength increased.

I spoke from the second chapter of first Corinthians. This chapter had been impressed upon me with great power, and I presented it verse by verse. I felt deeply in earnest. I longed to see the members of the church doing the work the Lord has made it possible for them to do if they will take hold of His strength and make peace with Him. He gave His life that they might be sanctified through the truth.

We have been given great light in regard to God's law. This law is the standard of character. To it man is now required to conform, and by it he will be judged in the last great day. In that day men will be dealt with according to the light they have received. He who knew his Lord's will, and did it not, will be beaten with many stripes; he who knew it not, yet committed things worthy of stripes, will be beaten with few stripes. The number of talents expected will determine the returns expected. The sinner's guilt will be measured by the opportunities and privileges which he failed to improve. He will not be punished merely for his own rejection of the offer of salvation. He will be called to account for the influence he has exerted in encouraging others in sin. He was given abilities to use for the Lord. He was given opportunity to co-operate with his Redeemer. Had he been true and faithful to Him who gave His life for him, he would not only have won eternal life for himself, but would have drawn others in to the kingdom.

Those who reject Christ place themselves on the side of the great Apostate. Those who do not accept the invitation to receive Christ show open contempt for the offer of salvation, and their conduct makes others more bold and defiant. The punishment of the sinner will be measured by the extent to which he has influenced others in impenitence. His wrong influence on others is the aggravation of his guilt. He refused to wear the yoke of Christ himself, and kept others from becoming laborers together with God in the work of saving souls. By his refusal to wear the yoke of restraint and obedience, to surrender all to God, he placed himself on the side of the enemy of Christ.

On Sunday I spoke from Ephesians 6:10-17. By heart-searching and many prayers we may be more than conquerors through Him who has loved us. Self-reformation is all-essential. Step by step we must advance heavenward, leading others in safe paths. God is the giver of every good and perfect gift.

I have not time to give full particulars of this meeting, which was a very important one. Oh, how my heart yearned for those before me. I discerned the presence of Christ and the heavenly angels in the assembly as clearly as though they had stood before me in visible form. I closed my discourse with a feeling of sacred awe; for I knew that we were in the presence of Jesus and the ministering angels.

Opportunity was given for testimonies, and one after another in quick succession, one hundred people spoke. At times several were standing on their feet at once. We asked those who wished the work of grace to be carried forward in their heart to arise. Among those who responded were some outsiders, who had never made any profession of religion. Those who rose were requested to come forward to the front seats. Nearly all of these bore testimony. The meeting closed with prayer. We had been together for three hours, and the Lord came very near us. The deep moving of His Holy Spirit was felt in the meeting. The good work is going forward as never before among the office employees.

On Sunday morning we assembled in the office chapel. The room was crowded with office hands, some being unable to find seats. After a hymn was sung, Elder Daniells offered prayer, and we felt the presence of the Lord. God strengthened me to speak for over an hour. I presented to those assembled some things which it was essential for them to hear.

I was pleased with the company of fine-looking men before me, to whom the Lord has given the talent of intelligence. I thought of how noble their life-work will be if they truly connect with the Source of all power. I know that they can gain a full complement of influence if they follow on in the path of self-denial and cross-bearing. I prayed that the rugged path trodden by the Savior might be followed by the men whose countenances possess a deep interest for me because Christ has graven their names on the palms of His hands. The question is, Will these men meet the high standard of Christian excellence? Will they consecrate themselves to God as vessels into which the heavenly treasures can be received, and from which they can flow forth in rich currents to souls who are starving for an example of righteousness.

When the mind, instead of being centered upon self, is occupied in seeking to enrich poverty-stricken souls, the treasure of God's love—the golden oil from the two olive trees—is poured into the heart. Those who impart to others of the riches of the grace of heaven will be themselves enriched. This blessed experience all can obtain who will be channels through which God can impart his grace. It is for all who will dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone in Jesus Christ. The ministering angels are waiting, longing for channels through which they can communicate heavenly treasures. Men and women can reach the highest stage of mental and moral development only by co-operating with Jesus Christ, by learning his methods, by accepting His Holy Spirit, by laboring together with Him. The intellect is never so truly enriched as when we are trying to enrich others.

E. G. White.

St. Helena, Cal.

January 1, 1901

What Is the Bible Interpretation of God?

From Mrs. E. G. White, in letter to the editor

“What is the Bible interpretation of God?—God is love. By giving Christ to our world, God manifested His love for mankind. ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ Yes,everlasting life. This is the love which is the fulfilling of the law. Only he whose heart is filled with compassion for fallen man, wholoves to a purpose, showing his love by the performance of Christlike deeds, will be able to endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. He only who loves his fellow men to a purpose can know God. He who loves not those for whom the Father has done so much, knows not God. This is the reason there is so little genuine vitality in our churches. Theology is valueless unless it is saturated with the love of Christ.

“God is supreme. His love in the human heart will lead to the doing of works that will bear fruit after the similitude of the character of God.

“In the thirteenth chapter of first Corinthians the apostle Paul defines true, Christ like love. It would be well to print this chapter in small type in every paper issued from our presses. Put it in the Gospel Herald that it may preach its living sermon wherever the paper may go. This chapter is an expression of the obedience of all who love God and keep His commandments. It is brought into action in the life of every true believer.”

January 1, 1901

On What Do We Stand?

“I have received the last two copies of the ‘Gospel Herald.’ I have been expecting things to go as they have done in the Southern field, and I have felt intensely that decided work should be done. You must not fail or be discouraged. The Lord understands all about the difficulties. Try to do your very best. This is all the Lord requires of you. He has accepted your labors of love for the down-trodden African race; and if the fields you have tried so hard to work have been closed to you, may the Lord have compassion upon those who have given the work so little attention, except to criticise. They closed their eyes to the situation, after the warning was distinctly given that things would be as they are now. The only thing now to be done for the closed field is for those who have refused to be impressed with their duty, to change this terrible phase of their conduct. It is possible that something may yet be done. Those who have passed by on the other side might better do their duty now in regard to the Southern field. The light given me is that had they at the right time done the work the Lord gave them to do for the class in such great need of help, the voice of entreaty and instruction from the Lord would have been heard, and the showing in the Southern field would be very different from what it now is.”

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