The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1


Ms 1, 1857

June 1857, Vermont 1EGWLM 517.4

Lack of Appreciation of the Ministry. 1EGWLM 517.5

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ellen G. White, Last Day Events, pp. 234, 235.

Lack of appreciation of the ministry. Call for local churches to take responsibility for their own spiritual welfare and to release their ministers for more productive work in unentered areas. 1EGWLM 517.6

I was shown some things concerning the preaching brethren.1 I saw their energies and strength were exhausted in laboring for a church that does not generally appreciate their labors. I saw that it would be better for the church to be thrown upon their own effort for a time. I saw they must be laborers. I saw that the principal part of Bro. Hutchins’ [Alfred S. Hutchins] and Bro. Sperry's [Charles W. Sperry]2 labor has been to keep the church together. They have taken the burden of the church upon themselves, to dig around it, labor and labor for them until the church would, after the brethren had gotten a little victory, enjoy it, but make scarcely any effort for it themselves. [Then] in a few weeks [they] are sleepy and need the same effort made for them again. They tire and exhaust the strength of the worn-out servants of God.3 Again the servants of God plow through and get a little victory, [only] to be lost as easily as before. But when, with their own faith and wrestling with God, they obtain the victory, then it is lasting. They know then how much it costs, and they will preserve their consecration. I saw that so much of the efforts of these brethren should not be spent upon a world-loving and sleepy church. I saw that those who have not yet embraced the truth are anxious to hear, and these brethren should go where, at the present time, they can accomplish the most good4 with their feeble strength. 1EGWLM 517.7

The church must arise. They do not half heed the message to the Laodicean church.5 There are those in the church who love this world better than they love Jesus. They love their treasures here better than they love heaven or eternal life, and with their earthly treasure they will perish. The True Witness now speaks to a lukewarm church, Be zealous and repent; but they scarcely hear or heed the message. A few are afflicting their souls. A few are heeding the counsel of the True Witness. Unless the church speedily arouses they will go into darkness, be ensnared and overcome by the enemy. 1EGWLM 518.1

I saw we are in the investigative judgment.6 Soon judgment will be pronounced on our works and our actions which are passing in review before God. A solemn, awful period! Who realize this great work? I saw that those who do not now appreciate, study, and dearly prize the Word of God, spoken by His servants, will have cause to mourn bitterly hereafter. 1EGWLM 519.1

I saw that the Lord in judgment will, at the close of time, walk through the earth; the fearful plagues will begin to fall. Then those who have despised God's Word, those who have lightly esteemed it, shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the Word of the Lord and shall not find it. A famine is in the land for hearing the Word.7 The ministers of God will have done their last work, offered their last prayers, shed their last bitter tear for a rebellious church and an ungodly people. Their last solemn warning has been given. 1EGWLM 519.2

Oh, then how quickly would houses and lands, dollars that have been miserly hoarded and cherished and tightly grasped, be given for some consolation by those who have professed the truth and have not lived it out, for the way of salvation to be explained or to hear a hopeful word, or a prayer, or an exhortation from their ministers. But no, they must hunger and thirst on in vain; their thirst will never be quenched, no consolation can they get; their cases are decided and eternally fixed. It is a fearful, awful time. There can much be done now to bring in those jewels who are hid beneath the rubbish, who will highly prize the truth as it falls from the lips of God's servants. 1EGWLM 519.3

I was shown that many of the church have at this time of peril more care for their farm and their cattle than they have for the servants of God, or the truth which they preach; their labors are so common among them that the laborers are not considered worthy of their hire. His strength must be exhausted, his life embittered by scarcely a well day, must spend and be spent, and yet the church asleep as to these things. 1EGWLM 519.4

But I saw that God was not asleep. Said the angel, “Jesus says, ‘I know thy works’; yes, selfish, professed Sabbathkeepers. God knows thy works. Ye covetous, world-loving Sabbathkeepers,” said the angel, “God knows thy works.” I saw that every privation the servants of God have endured are all written in the book, every tear is bottled up. Every pang of agony they have endured is recorded in the book. “I know thy works,” says the True Witness. All that has been done to help the servants of God is all recorded; all of it is written in the book. All the selfish withholding from God's servants are all written in the book. “All thy deeds,” said the angel, “are passing in review before God.” 1EGWLM 519.5

I saw that the church now must afflict their souls. They must labor, they must agonize or go down. I saw it was best to leave the churches to work for themselves now, that they may feel their weakness while there is a chance for them to zealously repent and buy gold, white raiment, and eye salve, the treasures they must possess if they would have eternal life. 1EGWLM 520.1