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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Ms 152, 1901

    Diary/A Message to Our Brethren and Sisters in Southern California

    St. Helena, California

    October 10, 1901

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 1BC 1105; LHU 139, 145; 1MR 246-247. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    I have been unable to sleep after half-past eleven at night. Many things, in figures and symbols, are passing before me. There are sanitariums in running order near Los Angeles. At one place there is an occupied building, and there are fruit trees on the sanitarium grounds. In this institution, outside the city, there is much activity.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 1

    As in the vision of the night I saw the grounds, I said, “O ye of little faith! You have lost time.” There were the sick in wheelchairs. There were some patients to whom the physicians had given a prescription to spend all their time outdoors during pleasant weather in order to regain health. Some came to the institution with discouragement written upon their countenances. I seemed to be living there myself, and I made remarks in regard to the change that took place in these countenances. Where once was written despair, we could now read hopefulness and pleasantness. The birds were singing; and in the vision given me, it seemed that we all knelt upon the grass and united in praising the Lord.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 2

    It seemed as if we had been in the place for months. I was speaking to the sick people, telling them of God’s goodness and mercy, when one arose and sang a beautiful hymn. The voices of nearly all were called out in expressions of thankfulness for the help received.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 3

    While speaking, I said: “We must have sanitariums in favored places in different localities. This is God’s plan. He has ordained the medical missionary work as a means of saving souls, and that which we see about us is a symbol of the work before us. We are to awaken our churches to engage interestedly in God’s work and to carry forward this branch—the medical missionary work.”16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 4

    Physicians were interested in these words, and one said, as he extended his arms and waved them back and forth, “Is not this better than drugs? Aches and pains have left you without the use of medicine.”16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 5

    On the grounds that I saw in this vision of the night, there were shade trees, the boughs of which were hung in such a way that they formed leafy canopies somewhat [in] the shape of tents. The sick were delighted. While some were working for diversion, others were singing. There was no dissatisfaction.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 6

    I awoke, and could not sleep for a time. Many scenes had passed before me, and I could not forget the words I had spoken to the patients and the helpers. Brethren and sisters, Christ has instructed me to say to you, The Holy Spirit will make your hearts tender and softened by His grace.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 7

    Again I lost consciousness, and other scenes passed before me. I was in another locality, surrounded by different scenery. Again it seemed as if I were pleading with those who were sick, to look unto Jesus, the great Medical Leader, our Gospel Teacher.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 8

    Then I seemed to be in the midst of a company where some important plans were being discussed. I was drawn out to speak to those present in regard to keeping the mind always cheerful in the Lord. I said: “Never are we to allow fretting and complaining to exist in the home life. Never should parents speak harshly to their little ones. The parents themselves are but little ones in God’s sight, and their children are not acquainted with the trials of life. They must learn gradually to practice the art of cheerfulness; for this is the prescription given by the Lord to create a healthful atmosphere in the home. Jesus, our Owner, desires us to strive to make everything move smoothly. Not one word of repining are we to utter, for the prescription calls for cheerfulness.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 9

    “The love of Jesus in the soul will banish all hatred, selfishness, and envy, for the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. There is health in obedience to God’s law. The affections of the obedient are drawn out after God. Looking unto the Lord Jesus, we may encourage and serve one another. The love of Christ is shed abroad in our souls, and there is no dissension and strife among us.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 10

    “Let us invite Christ to be an abiding Guest in the parlor of the soul. His law will be spiritually engraved on the minds and hearts of His covenant-keeping people. Parents, it is greatly to your advantage to keep the law of the Lord. Of this law Moses said: ‘Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.’ [Deuteronomy 4:1.]16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 11

    “It is pleasing to the Lord for us to obey His law; and upon all who are obedient He bestows His special blessing. In obedience there is life and happiness.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 12

    “Moses continued: ‘Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.’ [Verse 2.] There was a tendency to add to the law by making human restrictions; and the Lord guarded against their adding these manmade tests that He had not specified, and that would bring in confusion. And He guarded, too, against the taking away of any of His precepts. Never are we to put our words in the place of God’s words; for thus we would be diminishing from His law.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 13

    “‘Your eyes have seen,’ said Moses, ‘what the Lord did because of Baal-peor: for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you. But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.’” [Verses 3, 4.]16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 14

    After reading these Scriptures, I seemed to be instructing the people that manmade laws, manmade yokes, would be prepared for the Lord’s people, but that it is not safe for them to allow their minds to be diverted in any way from the Word of the Lord to the words of men. “Break every yoke,” is the instruction given. [Isaiah 58:6.]16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 15

    I was then awakened, and I began writing out some cautions that were given. In the midst of the company in which I had been there seemed to be a divine Presence, which all recognized. I praised the Lord. How pleased I was that we have such assurances as are given us in these Scriptures.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 16


    The Necessity of Obeying God’s Law.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 17

    Concerning His commandments, God declared, through Moses, to His people: “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” [Deuteronomy 4:6.]16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 18

    The precious instruction that the Lord gave to His people from mount Sinai was carried by them all through their wilderness wandering, and was repeated by them wheresoever they encamped. God designed that they should give to the surrounding nations a representation of Him and of His law, by the words they would speak, and in a variety of other ways. On many occasions, as they met the people who knew not God, they exalted their Leader as a great and holy Being whom all should always honor and respect and reverence.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 19

    “For what nation is there so great,” the Israelitish host inquired, “who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” [Verses 7, 8.]16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 20

    The surrounding nations were to become acquainted with the exalted principles of the God-given laws that the leaders were educating the people to observe. Then, instead of demeriting the people thus instructed, they would regard the observance of these laws as a proof that this was a people peculiarly blessed indeed among the nations.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 21

    Another remarkable exhibition to the nations round about was the perfect order observed in the camp of the Israelites. They could see the cloud hovering over the place where the tabernacle was to be pitched; they observed the priests and other appointed agencies going about their special work, each one doing the part assigned him in the work of preparing the camp for the night. No one did anything that someone else should do. Whoever would have tried to do another man’s work would have suffered the death penalty. Each one attended to his special duty. In erecting the tabernacle, part fitted to part, and the house of the Lord was set up with beautiful precision. Not a word was spoken, not an order given, excepting by the one in charge. No one was confused; everything was put together in accordance with the similitude shown to Moses in the mount.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 22

    Everything connected with the pitching of the camp was an object lesson to the children, schooling them in habits of precision and carefulness and order. The children that were old enough were required to learn how to pitch the tents in which they lived and to observe perfect order in all that they did.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 23

    Moses gave further instruction to the Lord’s chosen people: “Only take heed to thyself (we are to make this our first business), and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick (intense) darkness. And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 24

    “And the Lord commanded me at that time (He talked with Moses) to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female.” [Verses 9-16.]16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 25

    All these things were a school for the children in the camp of the Israelites. Constantly they were obtaining an education in regard to heavenly things. Constantly the parents were explaining to their children why the Israelites were traveling in the wilderness; why the law was given at Sinai; and what they expected to do and to be when they reached the land of promise.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 26

    I have written out these particulars in regard to the Israelites in camp, because they are to serve as lessons to us on camp-meeting work. In our encampments nothing is to be done in a slovenly, haphazard manner. The children who are permitted to attend these holy convocations are to be educated along right lines. They are to be taught habits of order and cleanliness; they are to learn to reverence God and to respect His ministers and His house of worship. Parents should realize that it is their duty to impress their children with the fact that the encampment is a place where God meets with His people. In this sacred place there can be allowed no sporting, no noisy play, no boisterous laughing. The children are to be given all that they can possibly do in the line of preparing the camp and keeping it in order.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 27

    Of every parent before whom comes the instruction that I have written out concerning the training of the little ones in the camp of the Israelites, I wish to inquire: Do you suppose that the Lord God of Israel will excuse your neglect to put forth constant, persevering effort for the salvation of your children? Some children receive only casual attention. Fathers and mothers, labor unitedly. Give not your children a spasmodic education, by fits and starts; but labor with them faithfully, from day to day, throughout the years when they are under your care. First be re-converted yourselves; then give to your children the most careful attention, keeping them employed in useful labor as much as possible.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 28

    We profess to be a peculiar people. More than once in the Old Testament Scriptures we read that He has denominated us in a special manner. In the thirty-first chapter of Exodus we read: “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 29

    “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon the mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” [Verses 12-18.]16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 30

    In this Scripture the observance of the Sabbath is specified as the special, distinguishing sign between God’s people and the people of the world. This gives to parents a most solemn work—the work of teaching their children to obey the Sabbath commandment, in order that they may be numbered among the people of God.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 31

    In the nineteenth of Exodus we read: “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” [Verses 4-6.]16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 32

    Wonderful condescension is this! God offers to make the Israelites His “peculiar treasure,” if they obey His law and thus glorify His name. Observe the response they made to these words: “Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.” All this instruction was placed by the elders before the vast multitude assembled. “And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.” [Verses 7, 8.]16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 33

    Here the agreement was made by a most solemn covenant. But because Israel, on their part, failed of fulfilling this agreement, God in His mercy did not destroy them, but gave them another opportunity to obey Him. Again He instructed Moses to repeat the decalogue to the whole encampment. We have a record of this in the fifth of Deuteronomy. Moses summoned the people in solemn assembly and commanded all to give special attention, for he desired to communicate to them matters that concerned their eternal welfare. They were to listen attentively to that which they would bind themselves to observe. The trumpet gave a certain sound, demanding most earnest attention. Then Moses began to speak.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 34

    “Hear, O Israel,” he declared, “the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. The Lord talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire.” [Verses 1-4.]16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 35

    Moses brought to the remembrance of the Israelites the covenant that God had made with them in Horeb, when they promised Him to govern all their words and actions by His law. There they were denominated unto God. The Lord talked with Israel face to face, speaking His precepts out of the midst of the fiery cloud. Moses reminded them of the solemn pledge they had made, as recorded in the twenty-fourth of Exodus, when he “told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.” [Verse 3.] At that time the Lord had said unto Moses, “Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.” [Verse 12.]16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 36

    These are the commandments and ordinances repeated by Moses before his death. On this solemn occasion, after repeating the holy precepts, he declared: “Hear, O Israel: ... These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” [Deuteronomy 6:4, 6, 7.]16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 37

    Brethren and sisters, we are numbered with Israel. All the instruction given to the Israelites of old, in regard to teaching the commandments to their children, is for us. If we become careless, and neglect to urge the necessity of observing these commandments, as I know that many have done, let us all humble our hearts before God, and make earnest, thorough work of repentance. Let us learn to deal mercifully with our children. In their tender years they are to be kindly, patiently, intelligently, lovingly taught in all religious service, the parents making these lessons simple and attractive, in order that they may make known to their little ones the way of the Lord. In the past, the failure of parents to do this work has been felt in future generations. Children whose parents were impenitent have often remained impenitent throughout life. Those in positions of responsibility in all our institutions should be especially careful to give the youth in their charge a proper training.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 38

    It requires constant, persevering effort to keep exalted the standard of righteousness; but none who are lax in principle are approved of God. Our religious experience is spoiled by allowing our principles to become perverted. Now, more than in any other period of the world’s history, should we heed the admonition, “Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” [Matthew 24:44.]16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 39

    In ancient times cautions were continually given against idolatry. In this age of the world the same danger exists. We should guard our children against having fellowship with the world, and against imitating the works of those who are in darkness. So far as possible, let us keep them from the society of unbelievers. We know that those who do not serve the Lord Jesus serve another leader, and that this leader will make decided efforts to control the minds of those who know the truth.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 40

    Satan’s deceptive workings are constantly being carried on in every place. Those who truly love God will reveal their love for Him in every place and under every circumstance. They will not condescend to engage in the foolish amusements and the entertainments of worldlings. They will not be persuaded to forget the Lord at any time. Christians may and should feel a holy indignation against the lightness and the folly of those who love not God. “Consider thyself,” and fall not into temptation by speaking idle, cheap, meaningless words. [Galatians 6:1.] Speak words that reveal that you are a child of God, and that your heart is filled with His love.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 41

    We must be as decidedly a peculiar people, holy unto the Lord, as the Israelites were required to be, else we cannot properly represent our wise, compassionate, glorified Redeemer. We should strive so to live that we may sit in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, and praise His name with thanksgiving, thus revealing to the world the keeping power of God’s grace. By doing this, we honor our Leader.16LtMs, Ms 152, 1901, par. 42

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