Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

August 29, 1907

Notes of Travel—No. 5

Visit to San Pasqual and Escondido

Mrs. E. G. White

Thursday afternoon, May 9, we left San Diego for Escondido. Here we were met by Dr. Sophie Judson and Brother L. O. Johnson, who took us in their carriages to San Pasqual, ten miles further.

San Pasqual is a beautiful valley, where are located several families of our people. At this place was raised up one of the earliest churches in southern California. They have for their worship a neat little church, capable of seating over one hundred. Our brethren in the neighborhood also maintain a church-school, and on Friday afternoon I spoke to the children in this school.

The Sabbath Sermon

Sabbath morning quite a number of our brethren and sisters from Escondido drove over to San Pasqual, and when I entered the church, I found the room crowded. In my discourse, I dwelt largely upon the importance of a close union of the members of Christ's church one with another, and with him, as illustrated in the parable of the vine, in the fifteenth chapter of John.

“I am the true vine,” says Christ, “and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”

Sometimes this pruning process consists in permitting some trial to come upon us that will drive us to an earnest seeking of the Lord. Shall we then think it strange, or shall we feel rebellious, when these trials come to us? Let us rather rejoice in the knowledge that “every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”

To maintain a constant union with Christ is essential to Christian growth, and is the great hope of those who are seeking a preparation for his coming. “Abide in me,” he continues, “and I in you. As the branch can not bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.... If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

From the study of the vine we may learn also of the close union that is to exist among believers, all of whom must draw their strength and their life from the same stock. There are differences in the characteristics of the various branches and leaves of the vine, and so there will be in our various experiences. In our thoughts, our words, and our actions, we shall not be exact duplicates one of another. Yet as in the life of the vine every branch and every leaf acts its part, so the members of the church—the body of Christ—are to be as one harmonious whole.

God is hungry for fruit. The form may be perfect, the appearance beautiful, but unless there is a manifestation of fruit, the great Vine-dresser will take away the unprofitable branches. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.”

The Responsibilities of Parents

I also dwelt at some length on the solemn obligations that rest upon parents. Children are a heritage from the Lord. They are to be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. In the work of their training, the father and the mother are to work in harmony. The position of the father, as priest of the household, and of the mother, as queen in the home, are most solemn. The mother is not to occupy the position of a slave or of a drudge. Upon her rests largely the burden of educating the little ones in the fear of the Lord.

Into this important work of child training, we must bring all the sweetness of a subdued, tender disposition. We can not afford to wound the tender hearts of the little ones by undue harshness. They have a keen sense of justice, and their feelings naturally rise in rebellion if they are unnecessarily scolded or blamed. Draw them to Christ by the tender cords of love. It will be necessary to correct wrongs, and at times even to administer punishment, but this may be done in such a manner as will attract them, and not repel them.

In their position as parents, fathers and mothers should study the dealings of God with his “little children.” His government is founded on love. Yet “whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” So in the correction of children, punishment is sometimes necessary, but this punishment should not be such as is prompted by feelings of anger or revenge.

It is of great importance that the work of training to obedience should be begun during the infancy of the child. From their very babyhood, children should be taught to overcome passion, but this can not be done by a manifestation of passion on the part of the parent. There must be an exercise of patient gentleness.

When we consider that the future destiny of the child is largely dependent upon the faithfulness with which he is educated and trained by the parents, we can but urge with all our power that there be more earnest diligence on the part of fathers and mothers. Let not the father so burden himself with business cares that he must neglect his duties as the priest of the household. O that there may be such faithfulness in this matter that when parents come up to the gates of the city of God, they may say, Here am I, and the children whom thou hast given me!

Visit to Escondido

Sunday forenoon we were taken in a carriage to Escondido, and entertained at the home of Brother H. E. Olmstead. The brethren and sisters in this place had urged us to hold services with them before we left, so an appointment was given out that I would speak in the afternoon in our church. This building is a substantial brick structure that was purchased at a very low cost from the Baptist denomination. Besides the main chapel, there is a room in which a church-school is conducted.

Afternoon Meeting

The service for the afternoon had been advertised in the local paper, and through the courtesy of the ministers of other churches had been announced in their morning services. As a result there was a good attendance from the public of Escondido, besides several of our brethren from San Pasqual.

I felt richly blessed of God as I stood before this congregation and presented the Christian duties as set forth in the first chapter of Second Peter. The working of God on our behalf according to the plan of multiplication, and our duty to work on the plan of addition, are here set forth. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.... And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”

In the attainment of these virtues, there must be a reasoning from cause to effect. Following the knowledge,—“the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,”—we are to add the grace of temperance.

The Temperance Reform

There needs to be a great reformation on the subject of temperance. The world is filled with self-indulgence of every kind. Because of the benumbing influence of stimulants and narcotics the minds of many are unable to discern between the sacred and the common. Their mental powers are weakened, and they can not discern the deep spiritual things of the Word of God.

The Christian will be temperate in all things,—in eating, in drinking, in dress, and in every phase of life. “Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” We have no right to indulge in anything that will result in a condition of mind that hinders the Spirit of God from impressing us with the sense of our duty. It is a masterpiece of satanic skill to place men where they can with difficulty be reached with the gospel.

Shall there not be among us as a people a revival of the temperance work? Why are we not putting forth much more decided efforts to oppose the liquor traffic, which is ruining the souls of men, and is causing violence and crime of every description? With the great light that God has entrusted to us, we should be in the forefront of every true reform. The use of drugged liquors is making men mad, and leading them to commit the most horrible crimes. Because of the wickedness that follows largely as the result of the use of liquor, the judgments of God are falling upon our earth today. Have we not a solemn responsibility to put forth earnest efforts in opposition to this great evil?

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“But he that lacketh these things”—whoever is not putting forth diligent efforts to work out this sum in addition—“he that lacketh these things is blind, and can not see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”

Upon the condition of our “giving all diligence” in adding grace to grace, is based our great eternal life insurance policy, as expressed in the following words:

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

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