Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4


Number Twenty-Eight—Testimony for the Church

Chapter 25—Experience and Labors

My reason for sending out another Testimony to my dear brethren and sisters at this time is that the Lord has graciously manifested Himself to me and has again revealed matters of very great importance to those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and waiting for the coming of the Son of man. More than three years elapsed between the vision given me January 3, 1875, and the recent manifestation of God's love and power. But before entering upon the views recently shown me, I will give a brief sketch of my experience for a year or two past. 4T 271.1

May 11, 1877, we left Oakland, California, for Battle Creek, Michigan. I had been afflicted with pain in my heart for several months and suffered much with oppressed breathing on my journey across the plains. The difficulty did not leave me when we reached Michigan. Others occupied our home at Battle Creek, and we had no relatives there to care for us, our children all being in California. However, kind friends did what they could for me; but I did not feel free to burden them when they had all the care they should have with their own families. 4T 271.2

A telegram had been sent to my husband, requesting his presence at Battle Creek to give attention to important business relative to the cause, but more especially to take the supervision of planning the large sanitarium building. In answer to this summons he came and engaged earnestly in preaching, writing, and holding board meetings at the Review office, the college, and the sanitarium, nearly always working into the night. This wore him fearfully. He felt the importance of these institutions, but especially of the sanitarium building, in which more than fifty thousand dollars was being invested. His constant mental anxiety was preparing the way for a sudden breakdown. We both felt our danger and decided to go to Colorado to enjoy retirement and rest. While planning for the journey, a voice seemed to say to me: “Put the armor on. I have work for you to do in Battle Creek.” The voice seemed so plain that I involuntarily turned to see who was speaking. I saw no one, and at the sense of the presence of God my heart was broken in tenderness before Him. When my husband entered the room, I told him the exercises of my mind. We wept and prayed together. Our arrangements had been made to leave in three days, but now all our plans were changed. 4T 271.3

May 30, the patients and faculty of the sanitarium having planned to spend the day two miles from Battle Creek in a beautiful grove that bordered Goguac Lake, I was urged to be present and speak to the patients. Had I consulted my feelings I should not have ventured, but I thought perhaps this might be a part of the work I was to do in Battle Creek. At the usual hour, tables were spread with hygienic food, which was partaken of with a keen relish. At three o'clock the exercises were opened with prayer and singing. I had great freedom in speaking to the people. All listened with the deepest interest. After I had ceased speaking, Judge Graham of Wisconsin, a patient at the sanitarium, arose and proposed that the lecture be printed and circulated among the patients and others for their moral and physical benefit, that the words spoken that day might never be forgotten or disregarded. The proposition was approved by a unanimous vote, and the address was published in a small pamphlet entitled: The Sanitarium Patients at Goguac Lake. 4T 272.1

The close of the school year of the Battle Creek College was now at hand. I had felt very anxious for the students, many of whom were either unconverted or backslidden from God. I had desired to speak to them and make an effort for their salvation before they should scatter to their homes, but I had been too feeble to engage in labor for them. After the experience I have related I had all the evidence I could ask that God would sustain me in laboring for the salvation of the students. 4T 272.2

Meetings were appointed in our house of worship for the benefit of the students. I spent a week laboring for them, holding meetings every evening and on the Sabbath and first day. My heart was touched to see the house of worship nearly filled with the students of our school. I tried to impress upon them that a life of purity and prayer would not be a hindrance to them in obtaining a thorough knowledge of the sciences, but that it would remove many hindrances to their progress in knowledge. By becoming connected with the Saviour, they are brought into the school of Christ; and if they are diligent students in this school, vice and immorality will be expelled from the midst of them. These being crowded out, increased knowledge will be the result. All who become learners in the school of Christ excel both in the quality and the extent of their education. I presented Christ before them as the great teacher, the source of all wisdom, the greatest educator the world has ever known. 4T 273.1

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” A knowledge of God and His requirements will open the understanding of the student to realize his responsibilities to God and to the world. To this end he will feel that his talents must be developed in that way which will produce the very best results. This cannot be done unless all the precepts and principles of religion are connected with his school education. In no case should he disconnect God from his studies. In the pursuit of knowledge he is searching for truth; and all truth comes from God, the source of truth. Students who are virtuous and are imbued with the Spirit of Christ will grasp knowledge with all their faculties. 4T 273.2

The college at Battle Creek was established for the purpose of teaching the sciences and at the same time leading the students to the Saviour, whence all true knowledge flows. Education acquired without Bible religion is disrobed of its true brightness and glory. I sought to impress upon the students the fact that our school is to take a higher position in an educational point of view than any other institution of learning, by opening before the young nobler views, aims, and objects in life, and educating them to have a correct knowledge of human duty and eternal interests. The great object in the establishment of our college was to give correct views, showing the harmony of science and Bible religion. 4T 274.1

The Lord strengthened me and blessed our efforts. A large number came forward for prayers. Some of these through lack of watchfulness and prayer had lost their faith and the evidence of their connection with God. Many testified that in taking this step they received the blessing of God. As the result of the meetings quite a number presented themselves for baptism. 4T 274.2

As the closing exercises of the college year were to be held at Goguac Lake, it was decided that the baptism be administered there. The services of the occasion were of deep interest to the large congregation assembled, and were conducted with due solemnity, being appropriately closed with this sacred ordinance. I spoke at the commencement and close of the exercises. My husband led fourteen of the precious youth down into the water of the beautiful lake, and buried them with their Lord in baptism. Several of those who presented themselves as subjects for baptism chose to receive this ordinance at their homes. Thus closed the memorable services of this college year of our beloved school. 4T 274.3