Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2


Chapter 33—Vision at Monterey

October, 1857, we visited the church at Monterey, Mich. There was an evening meeting appointed at the school-house near Bro. George Lay's and an expectation to hear preaching. My husband went to the house feeling that he had nothing for the people. He told the brethren on the way that he could not decide on any subject and wished them to select. A hymn was sung, and my husband prayed with much freedom. After singing again my husband gave liberty to others to improve the time. I felt impressed to speak, and was greatly blest in speaking, and sat down, and was soon lost to earthly things. For further description of that meeting I copy the following from my husband's report in Review for Oct. 22, 1857: 2SG 238.1

“When seated, Mrs. W. began to praise the Lord, and continued rising higher and higher in perfect triumph in the Lord, till her voice changed, and the deep, clear shouts of Glory! Hallelujah! thrilled every heart. She was in vision. Unknown to us there was a poor, discouraged brother present, who had thrown his armor down, in consequence, in part at least, of neglect by his wealthy brethren, and was returning to strong habits which threatened the happiness of himself and family. A most touching and encouraging message was given for him. By the grace of God he raised his head that very evening, and he and his good wife are again happy in hope. Monterey church will never forget that evening. At least they never should.” 2SG 238.2

After we returned home I stated to my husband that I was impressed that something of great importance was shown me at Monterey, which was not yet clear to my mind. One night, a little past midnight, I awoke, and all was clear. I arose, and, while my husband slept, wrote the following: 2SG 239.1

At Monterey, Oct. 8, 1857, I was shown in vision that the condition of many Sabbath-keepers was like the young man who came to Jesus to know what he should do to inherit eternal life. 2SG 239.2

“And behold, one came, and said unto him, Good master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God: but, if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up; what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. 2SG 239.3

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:16-26. 2SG 240.1

Jesus quoted five of the last six commandments to the young man, also the second great commandment, on which the last six commandments hang. These mentioned he thought he had kept. Jesus did not mention the first four commandments, containing our duty to God. In answer to the inquiry of the young man, What lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.” 2SG 240.2

Here was his lack. He failed of keeping the first four commandments, also the last six. He failed of loving his neighbor as himself. Said Jesus, “Give to the poor.” Jesus touches his possessions. “Sell that thou hast, and give to the poor.” In this direct reference he pointed out his idol. His love of riches was supreme, therefore it was impossible for him to love God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind. And this supreme love for his riches shut his eyes to the wants of his fellow men. He did not love his neighbor as himself, therefore he failed to keep the last six commandments. His heart is on his treasure. It is swallowed up with his earthly possessions. He loves his possessions better than God, better than the heavenly treasure. He heard the conditions from the mouth of Jesus. If he would sell and give to the poor, he should have treasure in heaven. Here was a test of how much higher he prized eternal life than his riches. Did he eagerly lay hold of the prospect of eternal life? Did he earnestly strive to remove the obstacle that was in his way of having a treasure in heaven? O, no. “He went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” 2SG 241.1

I was pointed to these words, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Said Jesus, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Said the angel, “Will God permit the rich men to keep their riches, and yet they enter into the kingdom of God?” Said another angel, “No, never.” 2SG 242.1

I saw that it was God's plan that these riches should be used properly, and distributed to bless the needy, and to advance the work of God. I saw that if men love their riches better than their fellow men, better than God, or the truth of his word, and their hearts are on their riches, they cannot have eternal life. They would rather yield the truth, than sell and give to the poor. Here they are proved to see how much God is loved, how much the truth is loved, and like the young man in the Bible, many go away sorrowful, because they cannot have their riches and a treasure in heaven too. They cannot have both. They venture to risk their chance of eternal life for a worldly possession. 2SG 242.2

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Then I saw that with God all things are possible. Truth set home to the heart by the Spirit of God, will crowd out the love of riches. The love of Jesus and riches cannot dwell in the same heart. The love of God so far surpasses the love of riches that the possessor breaks away from his riches and transfers his affections to God. Then he is led through his love to God, to administer to the wants of God's cause. It is his highest pleasure to make a right disposition of his Lord's goods. Love to God and his fellow men predominates, and he holds all that he has as not his own, and faithfully discharges his duty as God's steward. Then can he keep the first four commandments, and the last six. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” In this way it is possible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” 2SG 242.3

Here is the reward for those who sacrifice for God. They receive an hundred-fold in this life, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many, I saw, that are first, shall be last, and the last shall be first. I was shown those who receive the truth, but do not live it. They cling to their possessions, and are not willing to distribute of their substance to advance the cause of God. They have no faith to venture and trust God. Their love of this world swallows up their faith. God has called for a portion of their substance, but they heed it not. They reason thus, that they have labored hard to obtain what they have, and they cannot lend it to the Lord, for they may come to want. “O, ye of little faith!” That God who cared for Elijah in the time of famine, will not pass by one of his self-sacrificing children. He that has numbered the hairs of their heads, will care for them, and in the days of famine they will be satisfied. While the wicked are perishing all around them for want of bread, their bread and water will be sure. Those who will still cling to their earthly treasure, and will not make a right disposition of that which is lent them of God, will lose their treasure in heaven, lose everlasting life. 2SG 243.1

I saw that God in his providence has moved upon the hearts of some of those who have riches, and has converted them to the truth, that they with their substance may assist to keep his work moving. And if those who are wealthy will not do this, if they do not fulfill the purpose of God, he will pass them by, and raise up others to fill their places who will fulfill his purpose, and with their possessions gladly distribute to meet the necessities of the cause of God. In this they will be first. God will have those in his cause who will do this. 2SG 244.1

I saw that God could send means from heaven to carry on his work; but this is out of his order. He has ordained that men should be his instruments, that as a great sacrifice was made to redeem them, they should act a part in this work of salvation, by making a sacrifice for each other, and by thus doing show how highly they prize the sacrifice that has been made for them. 2SG 245.1

I was directed to James 5. “Go to, now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered, and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.” 2SG 245.2

I saw that these fearful words apply particularly to the wealthy who profess to believe the present truth. The Lord calls them to use their means to advance his cause. Opportunities are presented to them, but they shut their eyes to the wants of the cause, and cling fast to their earthly treasure. Their love of the world is greater than their love of the truth, the love of their fellow-men, or their love to God. He has called for their substance, but they selfishly, covetously retain what they have. They give a little now and then to ease their conscience, but have not overcome their love for this world. They do not sacrifice for God. The Lord has raised up others that prize eternal life, that can feel and realize something of the value of the soul, and their means they have freely bestowed to advance the cause of God. The work is closing; the rich men have kept their riches, their large farms, their cattle, &c. Their means are not wanted then, and I saw the Lord turn to them in anger, in wrath, and repeat these words: “Go to, now, ye rich men!” He has called, but you would not hear. Love of this world has drowned his voice. Now he has no use for you, and lets you go, bidding you, “Go to, now, ye rich men,“ 2SG 245.3

Oh! I saw it was an awful thing thus to be let go by the Lord. A fearful thing to hold on to a perishable substance here, when he has told you, if you will sell and give alms, you can lay up treasure in heaven. 2SG 246.1

I was shown that as the work was closing up, and the truth going forth in mighty power, these rich men will bring their means and lay it at the feet of the servants of God, begging them to accept it. The answer from the servants of God is, Go to, now, ye rich men. Your means are not needed. You withheld it when you could do good with it in advancing the cause of God. The needy have suffered, they have not been blessed by your means, God will not accept your riches now. Go to, now, ye rich men! 2SG 246.2

Then I was directed to these words: “Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth, and the cries of them which have reaped, are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” 2SG 247.1

I saw that God was not in all the riches that have been obtained. Satan has much more to do with it than God. It has, much of it, been obtained by oppressing the hireling in his wages. The natural, covetous, rich man has obtained these riches by grinding down the hireling, and taking advantage of individuals where he could, and adding to his treasure here, that will eat his flesh as it were fire. A strictly honest, honorable course has not been taken by some. Such must work fast and take a very different course to redeem the time. 2SG 247.2

I saw that many Sabbath-keepers are at fault here. Advantage is taken even of their poor brethren, and those who have of their abundance exact more than the real worth of things, more than they would pay for the same, while these same brethren are embarrassed and distressed for want of means. God knows all these things. Every selfish act, every covetous extortion, will bring its reward. 2SG 247.3

I saw it was cruel and unjust to have no consideration of a brother's situation. If he is distressed, or poor, yet doing the best he can, allowance should be made for him, and even the full value of the things he may purchase of the wealthy should not be exacted; but they should have bowels of compassion for him. God will approve of such kind acts, and the doer will not lose his reward. But I saw a fearful account will stand against many Sabbath-keepers for close, covetous acts. 2SG 248.1

I was pointed back, and saw when there were but few that listened to, and embraced the truth, they had not much of this world's goods. The wants of the cause were divided among a very few. Then there was a necessity for houses and lands to be sold and obtain cheaper to serve them as a shelter or home, while their means were freely and generously lent to the Lord to publish the truth, and to otherwise aid in advancing the cause of God. As I beheld these self-sacrificing ones, I saw they had endured privation for the benefit of the cause. I saw an angel standing by them pointing them upward, and saying these words, “Ye have bags in heaven! Ye have bags in heaven that wax not old! Endure unto the end, and great will be thy reward!” 2SG 248.2

I saw that God had been moving on hearts. The truth that a few sacrificed so much for, in order to get it before others, has triumphed, and multitudes have laid hold of it. God has in his providence moved upon those that have means and has brought them into the truth, that as the work of God increases, the wants of the cause may be met. Much means are brought into the ranks of Sabbath-keepers. 2SG 248.3

I saw that at present God did not call for the houses his people need to live in, unless expensive houses are exchanged for cheaper ones. But if those who have of their abundance do not hear his voice, and cut loose from the world, and dispose of a portion of their property and lands, and sacrifice for God, he will pass them by, and call for those who are willing to do anything for Jesus, even to sell their homes to meet the wants of the cause. God will have a free-will offering. Those who give must esteem it a privilege to do so. 2SG 249.1

I have seen that some give of their abundance, but they feel no lack. They do not particularly deny themselves of anything for the cause of Christ. They still have all that heart can wish. They give liberally and heartily. God regards it, and the action and motive is known, and strictly marked by him. They will not lose their reward. You that cannot bestow so liberally, must not excuse yourselves, because you cannot do as much as some others. Do what you can. Deny yourself of some article that you can do without, and sacrifice for the cause of God. Like the widow, cast in your two mites. You will actually give more than all those who have given of their abundance. And you will know how sweet it is to give to the needy, to deny self, and sacrifice for the truth, and lay up treasure in heaven. 2SG 249.2

I was shown that the young, especially young men, who profess the truth have yet a lesson of self-denial to learn. I saw that if they made more sacrifice for the truth, they would esteem the truth more highly. It would affect their hearts, purify their lives, and they would hold it more dear and sacred. 2SG 250.1

I saw that the young do not take the burden nor feel the responsibility of the cause of God. Is it because God has excused them? Oh no. I saw that they excuse themselves. They are eased, and others are burdened. They do not realize that they are not their own. Their strength, their time, is not their own. They are bought with a price. A dear sacrifice was made for them, and unless they possess the spirit of self-denial and sacrifice, they can never possess the immortal inheritance. 2SG 250.2