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The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials - Contents
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    Chapter 171—To J. E. White


    Norfolk Villa, Prospect St., Granville.

    September 25, 1895.

    Dear son Edson:—

    I am sending quite a large mail this month. Marian has had to do the work of preparing the MS, but she has not gone into the matter very critically, as for the work of publication. We are glad to have Bro. and Sr. Prescott with us. I have not been as well as usual for several months: I suppose it is because I feel so intensely over the great events that I know are soon to open before us. We see that the professed believers will be represented by the ten virgins, five of whom were wise, and five were foolish. I fear this is the average the Lord saw of those that would be ready and unready. But a small number of those who have had great light and abundant opportunities and continuous privileges have anything more than a theoretical knowledge of the truth. Many think that such a knowledge is all that is required. They are not doers of the word.1888 1455.1

    Those who, since the Minneapolis meeting, have had the privilege of listening to the words spoken by the messengers of God, Elder A.T. Jones, Prof. Prescott, Brn. E. J. Waggoner, O. A. Olsen, and many others, at the campmeetings and ministerial institutes, have had the invitation, Come, for all things are now ready. Come to the supper prepared for you.” Light, heaven's light, has been shining. The trumpet has given a certain sound. Those who have made their various excuses for neglecting to respond to the call, have lost much. The light has been shining upon justification by faith and the imputed righteousness of Christ. Those who receive and act in the light given, will, in their teachings, give evidence that the message of Christ crucified, a risen Saviour ascended into the heavens to be our advocate, is the wisdom and power of God in the conversion of souls, bringing them back to their loyalty to Christ. These are our themes,—Christ crucified for our sins, Christ risen from the dead, Christ our intercessor before God; and closely connected with these is the office-work of the Holy Spirit, the representative of Christ, sent forth with divine power and gifts for men.1888 1455.2

    The call is sounding, Come, for all things are now ready. Those who will be worked by the Holy Spirit bear the living testimony, and have not only a theory of the truth, but are God's witnesses. These will not continually follow the meetings, that they themselves may be benefited, by hearing more and still more, But in humble trust and living faith they will search the Scriptures, for Christ says, They testify of me. They will walk in the light they receive, and will communicate to others the precious truth. As they endeavor to impart that which they have received, more light will certainly shine upon them. In holding forth the word of life to others, they co-operate with the heavenly agencies, who are sent to impart the power of the truth.1888 1456.1

    Not all whom God has called to be witnesses for him may expect to present as large a treasure of truth as those do who for years have been searching for truth as for hid treasure; as they have communicated the heaven-sent message, light has been flashing upon the word. The human agent cannot, at the outset, take in the whole of the experience that others have been years in gaining. They cannot expect to do this. But let them begin as others began, let them search the Scriptures, and expect to receive light as they appropriate and communicate the light given. Let them have that faith which works, how? By love for other souls, seeking to bring them to the marriage supper. As they try to draw others, they will become fitted for the work, and for the trial; they will purify their souls by obeying the truth. The mind, the soul, and the body will be brought into subjection to Christ; even the thoughts are brought into harmony with the thoughts of Christ. Their will is brought into conformity with the will of God, and they understand what it means to bear the cross of Christ, to endure shame and degradation for his dear sake. These servants must learn to trade before they can accumulate. The Master who has entrusted them with his goods sees that it is not profitable to bestow and bestow upon them the most precious material, while they wait, and do not use that which he commits to their trust. He expects his servants to begin to trade upon the very first endowment; they are to put out his goods to the exchangers. Thus the Lord educates his workers, and develops executive ability. If the one entrusted with his Lord's goods begins his work at once by calling the attention of others to their value, presenting the sacred truth by precept and example, seeking wisdom from God daily, searching the Scriptures diligently, realizing that he is in co-partnership with God, the gospel is to him the power and wisdom of God.1888 1456.2

    Its ministry in his own life and character makes him a living epistle, known and read of all men. The transformation is constantly going forward, conforming his character to the character of Christ. The Holy Spirit is his efficiency. The human agent who works most effectually has the deepest sense of his own weakness and his unworthiness, and he casts his helpless soul upon Christ. This is the character that God calls contrite. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Here is our source of power. In the human soul the Holy Spirit gives evidence of the fulfilment of these words, bringing life and hope and joy to all who believe.1888 1458.1

    Those who are supposed to require so great and constant help and nursing, who have had opportunities and privileges crowded one upon another, do not receive lasting impressions, but seem to be ever learning, and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. They will make no real advancement until they see that they must go to work to trade on the goods they already have. In doing this work they become channels of light to others. God will give increased light as they diffuse light. In thus meeting with opposition and unbelief and error, they are driven to the word of God and to earnest wrestling prayer for the victory, and their prayers will be heard.1888 1458.2

    The Lord Jesus understands all about the trials they must meet. He says, “These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.”1888 1459.1

    We have here the plainest statement that those who manifest the spirit of persecution toward such as love and fear God, are in a Satanic delusion. Christ says, “They know not him that sent me.” When you work as a servant of Christ, and your message is rejected, always remember Jesus, and keep at your work, <still sowing the seeds of> truth.1888 1459.2

    The reason why, in the parable, so many of the virgins are represented as foolish is that those that have a knowledge of the truth are not sanctified through the truth. If they had realized their accountability, they would have borne in mind that there is a day of trust and a day of reckoning. To every one are committed talents, and each has a sacred responsibility to bless others by opening the precious truth to those in error.1888 1459.3

    When John the Baptist pointed to Jesus saying, Behold the Lamb of God,” the disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. The Saviour “turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him. Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.” After hearing the gracious words that proceeded from the lips of Jesus, words that flashed light into their minds, the hearts of the disciples were aglow with faith and assurance that this was indeed the Messiah. With inexpressible love their hearts went out to Jesus, and they did not sit down in happy contemplation, to hear more and more of the gracious words. They wanted others to have the same knowledge they had received. Andrew went in search of some one to whom he might tell the wonderful story, that seemed almost too good to be true. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messias;” and he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, “Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation a stone.”1888 1460.1

    The day following Jesus found Philip, and said to him, “Follow me.” As Philip came in contact with Christ, he believed that this was indeed the Messiah. He could not keep the glad tidings, and enjoy alone the privilege of following Jesus. He knew that his companion Nathanael was searching the prophecies; they had prayed most earnestly to understand the Scriptures; but where was Nathanael? He was then praying to God under a fig-tree. Philip discovered his retreat, for they had often prayed together in this secluded spot, hidden by the foliage. As soon as Philip found his friend, he declared, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” But Nathanael had heard what a wicked place Nazareth was, and this statement aroused his prejudice. He queried, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip entered into no controversy, but said, “Come and see.” Thus the truth came to Nathanael. As he listened to the words of Christ, faith, simple, full, and complete, was expressed. Jesus said of him, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”1888 1460.2

    September 27. Dear Edson, I see by your letter that you are again in Battle Creek. God grant that every hour of your life may be spent to his own name's glory. May you be God's chosen instrument for the advancement of his work. May you rise to an appreciation of your high calling. I have written many things, Edson, in regard to the manner in which the work has been prosecuted in Battle Creek; but although the matter is prepared for the mail, I defer sending it. I feel deep sympathy with Bro. Olsen. His associates do little to hold up his hands, but much to make them feeble.1888 1462.1

    Ponder well the paths of your feet. Be swift to hear, slow to speak. You may indeed feel that you are on holy ground. The Lord has a controversy with his people. If you look to God and trust to him, you will make no miscarriage of your life; for our precious Saviour is full of grace and truth. You may be looked upon with suspicion and distrust, but I fully believe that in the providence of God your stay at Battle Creek will be a precious school for you. At all times reveal the meekness and lowliness of Christ. “Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” Let your fruit be unto righteousness and true holiness.1888 1462.2

    A great work is to be done in our world, and God alone can fit up the human agents to do this work. There is at this time an extensive and pressing demand for literary qualifications, and as we search for those who have entrusted talents, the revelation is made, “weighed in the balances, and found wanted.” Many broad fields of usefulness are opened before us; in every direction are fields white for the harvest. But while we would rejoice to find workers with literary ability, we rejoice to see some souls ministering who have had fewer advantages than others to obtain an education. Some are devoting themselves to the work in humility, and with an unreserved consecration to God. They may have only ordinary ability, yet under the discipline of the Holy Spirit, they may yoke up with Christ, and the record concerning them in heaven is, “Laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” There will be manifest in their work a consecrated energy of character that will provoke others to zeal and good works.1888 1462.3

    If you can do so in an unobtrusive way, try to help Bro. Olsen, and stay up his hands. He needs sympathy, and words of hopefulness and courage. But please do not cast reflection upon the men who have not a living connection with God. If you are considerate, you may do good to A.R. Henry, and Harmon Lindsay. Show by your attitude that you hold no bitterness toward them. Whatever their attitude toward you, let it not discourage you or embitter your experience. Hold fast to Jesus. He has helped you, and he will help you every hour. But do not be off your guard for one moment. Do not indulge in hasty speech. If possible, we want to save these men, who know so little of the Spirit of God. In order to do this, while you should not depend on them as gods, be kind and courteous, treat them as respectfully as though they had been your best friends.1888 1463.1

    I have been, and am still speaking very plainly to them, and your attitude must not give them the impression that I have written to you anything detrimental to them. These men have many temptations, and their souls are precious. If they can be won to see how they can come to Jesus and take him as their counsellor, what a victory will be gained on the Lord's side. Do not live over the past. Do not in any way give occasion for your good to be evil spoken of. You may save souls from death, and hide a multitude of sins, if you walk circumspectly. The Lord bears long with the erring children he has purchased at an infinite cost. These men, A.R. Henry and Harmon Lindsay, are in the greatest peril of losing their souls because they do not discern their situation. Let the melting love of God abide and rule in your heart, controlling every action.1888 1464.1

    If you put your trust in God, I see great opportunity for you to be a blessing to others, even in Battle Creek. Wisdom is heaven-born, it is a graceful ornament; it possesses infinite power, and when exercised, is a crowning glory to every soul who is doing service for Christ; for it is the evidence of union and co-operation with the Chief Worker.1888 1464.2

    Whatever may have been the feeling and conduct of others toward you, let not this have a shadow of influence upon you in your contact with them. Not one of us lives to himself. Each has God's entrusted talents to use, and consider well what is demanded of you in order to represent Christ in every place and under every circumstance. Self is to be hid with Christ in God. Without me, said Christ, ye can do nothing. But the Holy Spirit is given to help us in every time of need. Stand in humble dependence upon that power that will be given to all who seek for it and depend on it. Your capabilities will be a success in the service of Christ if you feel your own inefficiency and your dependence upon God.1888 1464.3

    Bear in mind, my son, that success is not the result of chance, of accident, or of destiny, but is the out-working of God's own providence, the award of faith and discretion, of virtue and persevering labor. It is the practice of truth that brings success and strength of moral power. In practicing the teachings of Jesus you will reveal to the angels of heaven and to men that you have learned of the great Teacher. The bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness are to be welcomed as the light of the mind; and the principles of the character of Christ are to be made the principles of our character. The Lord will certainly be with you, and will endue you with his Holy Spirit, if you seek him with all your heart.1888 1465.1

    For weeks I have been in a condition of prostration, but I am now gaining strength. Yet my nervous condition has been such that I do not leave my room to take my meals with the family. For a time I thought seriously that I should never recover. But I am improving. I thank the Lord for his goodness and love and presence. If I could be released from attending the camp-meeting at Melbourne, I should feel very thankful, but there is no hope of this. I shall have to leave Granville in two or at least three weeks. Our family are to be transferred to the little cottage on my own purchased possession, <Avondale Cooranbong.> May Lacey White goes with me and W. C. to camp-meeting, also one member of the family as typewriter. Daughter May is a treasure, kind, tender, and true, yet having a decided will in the right direction. She will be and is a great blessing to me. She has an ardent love for the truth.1888 1465.2

    If you desire any articles furnished you of mine to make your room pleasant and comfortable, mention the matter to Sr. Hall, and she will see that you have it.1888 1466.1

    Edson, I feel very anxious that you should be largely blessed in Battle Creek. Pay no attention to insult or depreciation, but just go forward in the discharge of your duty. Let your heart be full of generous sympathy for all who have made and are still making mistakes, and be very careful to make straight paths for your own feet. Bear in mind that the attributes most appreciated by the heavenly Father and by the crucified, risen, and ascended Saviour are love and purity.1888 1466.2

    “Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.... If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” The entire law is fulfilled in him who loves God with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself. This is “glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” O, it is not weakness to have a tender, <humble,> sympathetic, pitying heart. Of this no one should be ashamed as if it were a weakness. It is strength derived from Christ.1888 1466.3

    You will have trials, for Satan is not dead; but if you have on the whole armor of God, Satan's thrusts will prove harmless. We have vast resources from which to draw; you may receive moral power to do righteousness under all circumstances. We shall be in every way gainers, becoming better and abler workers through every encounter with difficulties, and every blast of adversity. For this is God's chosen means to test and discipline us. Trial is one of his appointed conditions of success.1888 1467.1

    Please make the acquaintance of Bro. Tenney; it may be for the benefit of you both. Bro. Tait also is a man with whom you should be acquainted; and Edson, remember that all who are in responsible positions have many and great temptations. May the Lord help you to be a blessing to them by living out the principles of our faith.1888 1467.2

    Edson, you are at liberty to select from my writings the matter that is needed for the proposed simple tracts and booklets for the southern field. We send you some articles on the child life of Jesus that may be a help to you. As you will see, they are in two styles. My copyist has little time for the preparation of the simple form, and you may be able, yourself, to simplify in a way that will suit you better. You are the one who can best prepare the matter you need; for you are acquainted with the southern field. You will know how simple to make the truth so as to be understood, and what portions to select. From the light God has given me, many of the white people in that field need the very simplest style. All that can be done, should be done for the southern field. As far as you can, obtain the co-operation of those at the head of the work, that they may not be tempted to think you are starting out on independent schemes.1888 1468.1

    Marian has prepared the correspondence for this mail.1888 1468.2

    Please send me a copy of the matter you compile, as fast as you prepare it.1888 1468.3

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