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Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598]

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    MR No. 1571—Our Need of Christ's Transforming Grace, Humility, and Love

    (Written February 8, 1886, from Basel, Switzerland, to Brother and Sister Harmon.)

    I was very glad to receive letters from you, but I am unable to answer them at present. For two weeks I have suffered with congestion of the brain and eyes. Last Thursday I had a two-hours’ chill and was very sick all day. Friday morning our people arrived from America. Sabbath I had another chill, lighter, but was unable to sit up through the day. Have been quite sick today. How this will terminate I cannot tell, except that I do have faith in God that I will have strength to accomplish the great amount of work that is now in my hands in writing and arranging books. I am astonished at the amount of labor that God has given me strength to do since I have been here in Europe.21MR 329.1

    I had written to Sister Lockwood that she need not be concerned in regard to the carpet after I saw the way opened to hire means. I thank you for the interest you have taken in this matter, also for the good price you obtained for the carpet. I would rather have kept it myself than to have sold it for any less.21MR 329.2

    In regard to May Walling, I see there is reason in what you say. I have recently written to May telling her to go to Brother Lockwood's at once, for I thought it was a burden imposed upon you that you ought not to have. And as my expenses were considerable here, I did not feel that while our house was open in Healdsburg it would be best to pay May's board, and you ought not to board her without pay.21MR 329.3

    I feel perfectly safe with May under your care, and I did not propose her going to Brother Lockwood's because I had any lack of confidence in you, but only for the reasons I have named. I have written to Brother Lockwood to rent my house if possible. If he should do this, then I would want May to be with you, and if she makes a wise improvement of her time, continue at the school. Brother Lockwood may be able to rent the house; if not, it will be an expense to me rather than an income. You are on the ground and I am not. I leave it to you and your husband's judgment to do as you think I would do if I were there in regard to May.21MR 329.4

    In regard to the revival meetings at Healdsburg, it surely bears fruit of being the work of God, but in every such revival Satan gains advantages by coming in through unconsecrated persons who have had little or no experience in a life of piety and godliness. These elements will press to the front and on such occasions will be the most forward, the most zealous and enthusiastic. The very ones who could not be trusted with any important religious interest would take any burden, shoulder any responsibility, as though they were men and women who had earned a reputation through a life of self-denial, of self-sacrifice and devotion, that they were capable of deciding important questions and leading the church. To put confidence in these would be like committing big vessels into the hands of children to manage on the high seas. Such persons need the transforming grace of Christ daily in order to bear fruit to the glory of God. “Learn of Me,” says Christ, “for I am meek and lowly in heart.” Such persons have never learned this lesson. If they would wear Christ's yoke and lift Christ's burdens, then they would understand better how they might help and bless others.21MR 329.5

    Now, I suppose these individuals were the very ones who were the most officious in the meetings in Healdsburg. From what I have been shown I would suppose that they were of that number that composed the private meetings, where only those “who were wholly the Lord's” met. I know what I am talking about, for these matters have been laid open before me several times.21MR 330.1

    And yet I would say to my brethren and sisters in Healdsburg, I believe the Spirit of God has done a work for you. Hold fast everything that is good. Have no spirit of Pharisaism, have no loftiness and self-confidence. The lower you lie at the foot of the cross, the more distinct and the more precious will be your views of Christ our Redeemer. The one grace that is so much wanted with everyone who professes to be a follower of Christ is meekness, humility, humbleness of mind. One view of Jesus sends self-importance to the winds.21MR 330.2

    If Satan can get us to enshroud ourselves in garments of self-righteousness, then we will not wear the robe of Christ's righteousness. Self-exaltation and pride of position and self-importance were the sins of Satan in heaven. True religion dies out of the heart when these take possession and are developed in the character.21MR 330.3

    I have a deep interest for the church in Healdsburg. Their prosperity depends upon the right hold that they have on Jesus. The presence of personal home piety will tell upon their own character, upon the character of their children, and upon their behavior toward the animals which they use. The very animals will respond to the disposition of those who have charge of them.21MR 330.4

    A man who has Christ abiding in his heart will not treat even his cattle disrespectfully, because they are God's creatures. One with the softening, subduing influence of the grace of God in his heart will not beat, bruise, or kick his animals in a merciless manner. He will remember that the angels of God are taking cognizance of his harsh and unkind words and his ill-tempered actions. Heaven will never be peopled with such characters.21MR 331.1

    May God help every member of the Healdsburg church to diligently search his own heart, and search the Scriptures until he is acquainted with the qualifications that are essential for him to possess in order for him to sit down with the suffering Man of Calvary on His throne. I leave these remarks with you. Make any use of them that you in your judgment may think proper.21MR 331.2

    A few words more. If Christ is abiding in your hearts by faith, you will as a church have the presence of God. You will learn what it is to have the love of Christ in the heart for your brethren. You will learn how to exercise that love in your families and in the church—first pure, and then peaceable, and then easy to be entreated, full of righteousness and good fruits. As Christ prayed that the church might be one, you will all try to be one, to see eye to eye, and speak the same words, and have the same judgment, and that there be no divisions among you. You will be united, and Christ will be your strength.21MR 331.3

    We have but a little time of probation left us, and let not one neglect the preparation of the soul for eternity. It is a terrible thing to be lost. Brethren and sisters, be determined that you will labor for unity. This is the grace to cultivate—love, precious love. “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.”21MR 331.4

    May God bless you as you press close to the bleeding side of Jesus, is my prayer.—Letter 9, 1886.21MR 331.5

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Silver Spring, Maryland,

    April 18, 1991.

    Entire Letter.

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