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The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials - Contents
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    Chapter 19—Distressing Experiences of 1888

    MS - 21 - 1888

    [Cir. 1888]

    The love of Christ must be an abiding principle in the heart, that will bear fruit in love and tenderness and respect for one another. The love of the truth, the doing of the words of Christ, would soften and subdue our hearts. The purity and goodness and love of the great heart of Jesus must be reflected upon our hearts and revealed in our characters, that we may be partakers of the divine nature and have tender compassion for each other.1888 176.1

    For many years I have been bearing, by pen and voice, the same testimony of appeal and entreaties, but oh, how disappointed I have been at heart to see how little the message of Christ in His Word has been heeded, and how little the message given me of God has affected the course of action of many of my brethren! When unable to sleep nights I have entreated the Lord in prayer to remove the burden that caused me so great pain of heart. Then it would come vividly before me that the same acts that the divine Redeemer experienced when He was in this world, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, are being repeated by Christ's professed followers today.1888 176.2

    “He was wounded for our transgression, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5.1888 176.3

    Christ sojourned thirty-three years in this world, and how was He treated? The world disowned Him, scorned Him, and pronounced sentence against Him in the judgment hall, and, as agents of the prince of darkness, acted out his spirit in putting Christ to death. It was the worst that humanity could do. It was unrequited love that broke the heart of the Son of God.1888 176.4

    Even His own twelve disciples were not proof against Satan's temptations. A Judas betrayed Him into the hands of His enemies, and in the hour of His humiliation in the judgment hall Peter denied Him. Jesus was disappointed in His disciples, and shall I lose courage with the experience and example of Christ before me? Shall I faint under the knowledge which has impressed itself so powerfully on my mind—that some of those who claim to believe present truth for this time disappoint the Saviour as verily today in their attitude and spiritual blindness as when Christ was in His human form in the world?1888 177.1

    Jesus cannot say “Peace be unto you,” unless all bickering and dissension, jealousy and evil surmisings shall cease. I was burdened greatly. I knew not what I could do. I felt remorse of soul at times because I could not do more to arouse my brethren and sisters to see and sense the great loss they were sustaining in not opening their hearts to receive the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. They could not let the beams of light shine upon others in love, faith, trust in God, forbearance, goodness, and purity.1888 177.2

    I carried the burden until nature gave way and while at Healdsburg I fainted. For about two weeks I was prostrated by sickness so severe that I had no power to exercise faith. A discouragement was upon me that it seemed I should never rise above. My courage was gone. I lost my desire to live.1888 177.3

    Word came by letter to us from Oakland that special seasons of prayer were being held in my behalf, that the Lord would heal me of my sickness and that I should be able to bear my testimony before the congregation assembled in the camp meeting at Oakland. I tried to make some effort to respond. I tried to walk out by faith as I had done in the past. A bed was made for me on the seats of the car and I lay down until we changed for the boat. I was strengthened to reach the Mission in Oakland, and although weak and trembling I was strengthened to bear my testimony in the congregation several times.1888 177.4

    During this severe attack of sickness I had vividly brought to my remembrance the experience I passed through when my husband was dying. I prayed with him in my great feebleness on that occasion. I sat by his side with his hand in mine until he fell asleep in Jesus. The solemn vows I there made to stand at my post of duty were deeply impressed upon my mind—vows to disappoint the enemy, to bear a constant, earnest appeal to my brethren of the cruelty of their jealousies and evil surmisings which were leavening the churches. I would appeal to them to love one another, to keep their hearts tender by the remembrance of the love of Jesus exercised toward them, in what He did for them. And He said, “Love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12. I never can express with pen or voice the work that I discerned was laid out before me on that occasion when I was beside my dying husband. I have not lost the deep views of my work, as I sat by the bed of my husband with his dying hand in mine.1888 177.5

    I have tried to fulfil my pledge. I knew the peril that threatened the church in Battle Creek, and in all our conferences, was the cherishing of a hard, unkind spirit. Some are here who were present when I stood in the desk alone after the funeral of my husband. They know the words spoken by me on that occasion under my deep sorrow, were spoken under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord. I knew that Satan had stolen a march upon many souls who did not suspect his devices. I knew that the enemy would exercise his power to weaken the church. Satan was surely working in the children of disobedience, to distract and bring dissension into the church.1888 178.1

    In my feebleness I entreated that Satan should not have any place and should not exult over the people who have had so great light and so great opportunities and privileges. I implored our people in Battle Creek to cherish tenderness, kindness, and esteem for one another, to close the door to the enemy, and to cultivate that love that Jesus has manifested toward the erring children of men. He gave His own life that they should not perish, but have everlasting life. He gave His disciples His dying testimony, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34, 35.1888 178.2

    If this love is of such power, why not express it in words and in our actions toward one another? Why are we so cold, so hard-hearted, so critical? If we are children of God, why not have the love of Jesus revealed in our lives and expressed in our treatment of one another? Should one drop into the grave, there would then be hung in memory's hall the pleasant pictures of kind words spoken, of kindly acts, of a spirit of brotherly love and tender forbearance exercised. The words spoken to you in Battle Creek in August 1881 were an appeal and a warning. The trial and experience that followed showed you did not heed the testimony given you.1888 179.1

    This meeting has been the saddest experience of my life, and yet I feel the peace of Christ sustaining me. I see that which fills my heart with very disagreeable forebodings. I had presented before me in Europe chapters in the future experience of our people which are being fulfilled during this meeting. The reason given me was, want of Bible piety and of the spirit and mind of Christ. The enemy has been placing his mold on the work for years, for it certainly is not the divine mold.1888 179.2

    Two years ago Jesus was grieved and bruised in the person of His saints. The rebuke of God is upon everything of the character of harshness, of disrespect, and the want of sympathetic love in brother toward brother. If this lack is seen in the men who are guardians of our conferences, guardians of our institutions, the sin is greater in them than in those who have not been entrusted with so large responsibilities. They are to be ensamples to the flock. They are to practice the life of Christ, repeating His lessons both by precept and example.1888 179.3

    No man can truly be a Christian unless he cherishes love for his brethren. The spirit of criticism, of evil feeling and evil speaking, has been like leaven doing its unchristlike work more decidedly since that conference. I am alarmed. I am full of sorrow. God has given you testimonies condemning everything of this character, which testimonies are to be heeded and not fall to the ground. Brethren, will you take into serious consideration the fact that we are backsliding from God, and we do not meet the standard of God's Word? We do not heed the lessons Christ has given us.1888 180.1

    “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock.” Matthew 7:21-25.1888 180.2

    Brethren, why are we not more diligent, not only in hearing but in doing the words of Christ? “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. It is because there is such inattention in hearing the lessons Christ has given to us, and such negligence in doing His words, that there is so great want of spiritual health and vital spiritual life in our midst. The Spirit of the Lord is grieved with our disregard of the words of the heavenly Teacher, and we do not have peace, joy, and heavenly discernment. If there were less combating and more praying for the mind that was in Christ Jesus and for divine grace to win souls, there would be altogether a different atmosphere in these meetings.1888 180.3

    “And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand [on his own human efforts]: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:26, 27.1888 181.1

    There is a larger number who profess to believe the truth for this time, who are represented as hearing the sayings of Christ and doing them not, than of those who diligently hear and are doers of His words. They do not endure temptation, because their souls are not riveted to the eternal Rock. They are hearers and not doers of the word. Their religious faith is represented by the house built on the sand. The storms of temptation come and it falls, because it is not built upon the Rock.1888 181.2

    We all know better than to do as we have done. There is no excuse for this unchristlike spirit. If Christ were abiding in the soul we could not but reveal Christ's forbearance, Christ's courtesy, and the love of Christ. All this hard, unkind, uncourteous spirit manifested toward brethren is registered in the books of heaven as manifested toward Jesus Christ, for He identifies His interest with that of His brethren. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40.1888 181.3

    I have pledged myself by a solemn vow to God that wherever this spirit of contempt and unkindness and want of love should exist, I would lay it out in clear lines before my brethren, show them the sinfulness of their course, and with decided testimony turn the current if possible. If I could not succeed, then I would withdraw myself from the meetings, for I am afraid to be in such gatherings lest I shall be leavened with the prevailing spirit.1888 181.4

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    December 7, 1961

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