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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Lt 188, 1903

    White, W. C.

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    August 25, 1903

    Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 38. +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.

    Elder W. C. White

    My dear Son,—

    Last Tuesday I decided to go to Healdsburg. It was essential that I should do something to divert my mind from my writings for a short time. Early Wednesday morning we started on our journey across the hills. The day was a cool one, and we were not afflicted with heat.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 1

    I spoke twice to the church school teachers and the students living in the Home, and once—on Sabbath—to the entire church. In my discourse to the church, I know that I gave them the word of the Lord. I brought before their minds the great necessity of obeying strictly God’s law. I dwelt upon the importance of this law and upon the fact that God expects Seventh-day Adventists, as a people, to make prominent the foundation of their hope—a hope based on implicit obedience to His law. I said much more and enjoyed special freedom.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 2

    Sunday morning I met with the students in the Home during the morning-worship hour and prayed with them. There were only a few present. I spoke for a time and then read to them a portion of the pamphlet sent to me by Elder Daniells, in which is printed a full statement of the reasons for removing our general offices and papers to Washington. I had an interesting talk with the students in regard to these matters.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 3

    After I had finished speaking to the students, we rode out into the country a few miles to a redwood forest. Brother and Sister McClure, their son Rodney, and Brother and Sister Mills accompanied us. We had a pleasant time and returned in the evening.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 4

    Sunday night I was in great distress of mind over the educational work. In many respects all our schools should be standing on a higher platform. I arose and dressed and wrote out some things. At twelve o’clock I retired again to rest, but for some time did not fall asleep. I awoke at four. During the night season many matters were resting on my mind. Monday morning we returned to St. Helena, reaching home in good condition.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 5

    Monday night I retired early and awoke at one o’clock. I had, it seemed, been in council meetings. I felt like writing; but I said to myself, “I have asked the Lord to heal my eyes, and I must not get up. I must co-operate with God, and try to sleep, so as to rest my eyes. As a laborer together with God, I must try to answer my own prayers.” I fell asleep and did not awaken until nearly five o’clock. But during the hours of the night my mind was deeply exercised.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 6

    Today I am endeavoring to write out a part of the instruction I received last night in regard to God’s law, the rule of man’s conduct. Like golden threads, the exposition of the law runs through the fabric of the gospel. The blood of Christ is the sinner’s only hope. Then how important it is that the law be magnified and glorified before all people!18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 7

    During the night season I was greatly perplexed. I wished to portray the responsibilities of the rulers of the nations and of those who are united with them. The Lord instructed me plainly how to do this. These men are the very ones who need most fully to realize their amenability to God’s law and to obey all His requirements.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 8

    I am instructed to point every one standing in a position of responsibility to the divine law as the basis of all right conduct. I am to begin by calling attention to the law given in Eden and to the reward of obedience and the penalty of disobedience. The transgression of our first parents, and the results, are to be plainly brought out. As you know, the history of the fall has already been written out and published.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 9

    In consequence of Adam’s transgression, sin was introduced into the fair world that God had created, and men and women became more and still more bold in disobeying His law. The Lord looked down upon the impenitent world and decided that He must give transgressors an exhibition of His power. He caused Noah to know His purpose and instructed him to warn the people while he was building an ark in which the obedient could find shelter until God’s indignation was overpast. For one hundred and twenty years Noah proclaimed the message of warning to the antediluvian world; but only a few repented. Some of the carpenters he employed in building the ark believed the message but died before the flood; others of Noah’s converts backslid. The righteous on the earth were but few, and only eight lived to enter the ark. These were Noah and his family.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 10

    The rebellious race were swept away by the flood. Death was their portion. By the fulfillment of the prophetic warning that all who would not keep the commandments of heaven should drink the waters of the flood, the truth of God’s Word was exemplified.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 11

    After the flood the people once more increased on the earth, and wickedness also increased. Idolatry became well-nigh universal, and the Lord finally left the hardened transgressors to follow their evil ways, while He chose Abraham, of the line of Shem, and made him the keeper of His law for future generations. To him the message came, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.” [Genesis 12:1.] And by faith Abraham obeyed. “He went out, not knowing whither he went.” [Hebrews 11:8.]18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 12

    Abraham’s seed multiplied, and at length Jacob and his sons and their families went down into Egypt. Here they and their descendants sojourned for many years, till at last the Lord called them out, to lead them into the land of Canaan. It was His purpose to make of this nation of slaves a people who would reveal His character to the idolatrous nations of the world. Had they been obedient to His word, they would soon have entered the promised land. But they were disobedient and rebellious, and for forty years they journeyed in the wilderness. Only two of the adults who left Egypt entered Canaan.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 13

    It was during the wilderness wandering of the Israelites that God gave them His law. He led them to Sinai and there, amidst scenes of awful grandeur, proclaimed the ten commandments.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 14

    We may with profit study the record of the preparation made by the congregation of Israel for the hearing of the law. “In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 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.” [Exodus 19:1-5.]18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 15

    Who, then, is to be regarded as the Ruler of the nations?—The Lord God Omnipotent. All kings, all rulers, all nations, are His, under His rule and government.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 16

    “And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.” [Verse 7.]18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 17

    What was the response of the congregation, numbering more than a million people?18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 18

    “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.” [Verse 8.]18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 19

    Thus the children of Israel were denominated as a special people. By a most solemn covenant they were pledged to be true to God.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 20

    Then the people were bidden to prepare themselves to hear the law. On the morning of the third day the voice of God was heard. Speaking out of the thick darkness that enshrouded Him, as He stood upon the mount, surrounded by a retinue of angels, the Lord made known His law.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 21

    God accompanied the proclamation of His law with manifestations of His power and glory, that His people might be impressed with a profound veneration for the Author of the law, the Creator of heaven and earth. He would also show to all men the sacredness, the importance, and the permanence of His law.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 22

    The people of Israel were overwhelmed with terror. They shrank away from the mountain in fear and awe. The multitude cried out to Moses, “Speak thou with us, ... but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” [Exodus 20:19.]18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 23

    The minds of the people, blinded and debased by slavery, were not prepared to appreciate fully the far-reaching principles of God’s ten precepts. That the obligations of the decalogue might be more fully understood and enforced, additional precepts were given, illustrating and applying the precepts of the ten commandments. Unlike the ten commandments, these were delivered privately to Moses, who was to communicate them to the people.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 24

    Upon descending from the mountain, Moses “came and 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. And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.” [Exodus 24:3-8.]18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 25

    Thus by a most solemn service the children of Israel were once more set apart as a peculiar people. The sprinkling of the blood represented the shedding of the blood of Jesus, by which human beings are cleansed from sin.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 26

    Once more the Lord has special words to speak to His people. In the thirty-first chapter of Exodus we read:18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 27

    “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also 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 for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed. And He gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communicating with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” [Verses 12-18.]18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 28

    Many other things were presented to me. Scene after scene reaching down to the present time passed before me. The word spoken by God to Israel was verified. The people disobeyed, and only two of the adults who left Egypt entered Canaan. The rest died in the wilderness. Will not the Lord today vindicate His Word if the leaders of His people depart from His commandments?18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 29

    I was referred to the fourth chapter of Deuteronomy. The whole of this chapter is to be studied. In it we read:18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 30

    “The Lord hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto Him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day. Furthermore the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and sware that I should not go over Jordan, and that I should not go in unto that good land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance: but I must die in this land, I must not go over Jordan: but ye shall go over, and possess that good land. Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which He made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of anything, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee. For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. ...18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 31

    “When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto His voice, ... He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which He sware unto them. For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of the heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard it, and live? Or hath God assayed to go and take Him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the Lord He is God; there is none else beside Him. Out of heaven He made thee to hear His voice, that He might instruct thee; and upon earth He showed thee His great fire; and thou heardest His words out of the midst of the fire.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 32

    “And because He loved thy fathers, therefore He chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in His sight with His mighty power out of Egypt; to drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day. Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord He is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath; there is none else. Thou shalt keep therefore His statutes, and His commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, forever.” [Verses 20-24, 30-40.]18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 33

    The eighth and eleventh chapters of Deuteronomy also mean much to us. The lessons that they contain are of the greatest importance and are given to us as verily as to the Israelites. In the eleventh chapter God says:18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 34

    “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day; and a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.” [Verses 26-28.]18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 35

    I was instructed to dwell particularly upon the record of Moses’ sin and its sad result. Of Moses God’s Word declares, “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all men which were upon the face of the earth.” [Numbers 12:3.] Long had he borne with the rebellion and obstinacy of Israel. But at last his patience gave way. They were on the borders of the promised land. But before they entered Canaan, they must show that they believed God’s promise. The supply of water ceased. Here was an opportunity for them to walk by faith instead of by sight. But they forgot the hand that for so many years had supplied their wants, and instead of turning to God for help, they murmured against Him.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 36

    Their cries were directed against Moses and Aaron: “Why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into the wilderness that we and our cattle should die there? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us unto this evil place? It is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.” [Numbers 20:4, 5.]18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 37

    The two brothers went before the multitude. But instead of speaking to the rock, as God had directed, Moses smote the rock angrily, crying, “Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of the rock?” [Verse 10.]18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 38

    Bitter and deeply humiliating was the judgment immediately pronounced. “The Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying, Because ye believed Me not, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” [Verse 12.] With rebellious Israel they must die before crossing the Jordan.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 39

    From the experience of Moses the Lord would have His people learn that when they do that which gives prominence to self, His work is neglected, and He is dishonored. The Lord will work counter to those who work counter to Him. His name, and His alone, is to be magnified on the earth.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 40

    A very strange work has been done in our publishing houses. The presses have groaned forth their burden of false sentiments, and the Lord has been greatly displeased. For more than twenty years strange things have been coming in among us. Those who have become unfaithful, who have not exalted the principles of righteousness, need now to seek the Lord with deep humiliation of soul, and be converted, that God may heal their transgressions.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 41

    I was instructed to present the history of Moses’ failure to enter Canaan to those in positions of responsibility in our schools, and especially to those acting as presidents of these institutions.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 42

    The one standing in such a position is to put his undivided interests into the work of making the school just what the Lord designed it to be. If he is ambitious to climb higher and still higher, if he gets above the real virtues of his work, and above its simplicity, and disregards the holy principles of heaven, let him learn from the experience of Moses that the Lord will surely manifest His displeasure because of his failure to reach the standard set before him.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 43

    Especially should the president of a school look carefully after the finances of the institution. He should understand bookkeeping. He is faithfully to report the use of all monies passing through his hands for the use of the school. The funds of the school are not to be overdrawn, but every effort is to be made to increase the usefulness of the school.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 44

    I can go no further with this now; for I have written much today. In this letter I have given you a sketch only of what was presented to me. When this instruction was revealed to me, I stood on my feet and praised and glorified the God of Israel. I saw that the Lord’s way must be strictly followed, though this way may not be in harmony with the ways of man.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 45

    We all need to gain a much deeper experience in the things of God than we have gained. Self is to die, and Christ is to take possession of the soul temple. Physicians, ministers, and all others in responsible positions must learn the humility of Christ before He can be revealed in them. Too often self is so important an agency in the life of a man that the Lord is not able to mold and fashion him. Self rules on the right hand and on the left, and the man presses his way forward as he pleases. Christ says to self, Stand out of My path. Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Then I can accept him as My disciple. In order to serve Me acceptably, he must do the work I have given him in harmony with My instructions.18LtMs, Lt 188, 1903, par. 46

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