Testimony for the Church — No. 9

The Rebellion

The dreadful state of our nation calls for deep humility on the part of God's people. The one all-important inquiry which should now engross the mind of every one is, Am I prepared for the day of God? Can I stand the trying test before me? T09 1.1

I saw that God was purifying and proving his people. He will refine them as gold, until his image is reflected in them, and the dross consumed. There is not in all that spirit of self-denial, and willingness to suffer for the truth's sake, and to endure hardness, which God requires. Their wills are not subdued, and they consecrated wholly to God, seeking no greater pleasure than to do his will. Ministers and people lack spirituality and true godliness. Everything is to be shaken that can be shaken. God's people will be brought into most trying positions, and all must be settled, rooted and grounded in the truth, or their steps will surely slide. If God comforts and nourishes the soul with his inspiring presence, they can endure, though the way may be dark and thorny. For the darkness will soon pass away, and the true light shine forever. I was pointed to Isaiah 58; 59:1-15; Jeremiah 14:10-12, as a description of the present state of our nation. The people of this nation have forsaken and forgotten God. They have chosen other gods, and followed their own corrupt ways, until God has turned from them. The inhabitants of the earth have trampled upon the law of God, and broken his everlasting covenant. T09 1.2

I was shown the excitement created among our people by the article in the Review headed, “The Nation.” Some understood it one way, and some another. The plain statements were distorted, and made to mean what the writer did not intend. He gave the best light he then had. Something must be said. The attention of many was turned to Sabbath-keepers, because they manifested no greater interest in the war, and did not volunteer. They were looked upon in some places as sympathizing with the rebellion. The time had come for our true sentiments in relation to slavery and the rebellion to be made known. There was need of moving with wisdom to turn away the suspicions excited against Sabbath-keepers. We should act with great caution. “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” We can obey this, and not sacrifice one principle of our faith. Satan and his host are at war with commandment-keepers, and will work to bring them into trying positions. They should not, by lack of discretion, bring themselves there. T09 1.3

I was shown that some acted very indiscreetly in regard to the piece published. It did not accord with their views in all respects, and instead of calmly weighing the matter, and viewing it in all its bearings, they became agitated, excited, and some seized the pen and jumped hastily at conclusions which would not bear investigation. Some were inconsistent and unreasonable. They acted out that which Satan is ever hurrying them to do, namely, their rebellious feelings. T09 2.1

In Iowa they carried things to quite a length, and run into fanaticism. They mistook zeal and fanaticism for conscientiousness. Their feelings took the lead, instead of being guided by sound judgment and reason. They were ready to become martyrs for their faith. Did all this feeling lead them to God? to greater humility before him? to trust in his power to deliver them from the trying position into which they might be brought? O, no! Instead of making their petitions to, and relying solely upon, the power of the God of heaven, they petitioned to the legislature, and were refused. They showed their weakness, and exposed their lack of faith. All this only went to bring that peculiar class, Sabbath-keepers, to special notice, and expose them to be crowded into difficult places by those who have no sympathy for them. T09 2.2

There have been those who were holding themselves ready to find fault, and complain at any suggestion made. But few have had wisdom in this most trying time to think without prejudice, and candidly tell what shall be done. T09 2.3

I saw that those who have been forward to talk so decidedly in regard to refusing to obey a draft, do not understand what they are talking about. Should they really be drafted, and refuse to obey, and be threatened with imprisonment, torture, or death, they would shrink, and then find out that they had not prepared themselves for such an emergency. They would not endure the trying of their faith. What they thought was faith, was only fanatical presumption. T09 3.1

Those who would be the best prepared to even sacrifice life, if required, rather than to place themselves in a position where they could not obey God, would have the least to say. They would make no boast. They would feel deeply and meditate much, and their earnest prayers would go up to heaven for wisdom to act, and grace to endure. Those who feel that in the fear of God they cannot conscientiously engage in this war, will be very quiet, and when interrogated will simply state what they are obliged to say in order to answer the inquirer, and then let it be understood that they have no sympathy with the rebellion. T09 3.2

There are a few in the ranks of Sabbath-keepers who sympathize with the slaveholder. When they embraced the truth, they did not leave all the errors they should have left behind them. They need a more thorough draught from the cleansing fountain of truth. Some have brought along with them their old political prejudices, which are not in harmony with the principles of the truth. They maintain that the slave is the property of the master, and should not be taken from him. They rank these slaves as cattle, and say that it is wronging the owner just as much to deprive him of his slaves, as to take away his cattle. I was shown it mattered not how much the master had paid for human flesh and souls of men; God gives him no title to human souls, and he has no right to hold them as his property. Christ died for the whole human family, whether white or black. God has made man a free moral agent, whether white or black. The institution of slavery does this away, and man exercises the power over his fellow-man which God has never granted him, and which belongs alone to God. The slave master has dared to assume the responsibility of God over his slave, and accordingly the sins, ignorance and vice of the slave he will be accountable for. He will be called to an account for the power he exercises over the slave. The colored race are God's property. Their Maker alone is their master, and those who have dared to chain down the body and the soul of the slave, and have kept him in degradation like the brute creation, will have their retribution. The wrath of God has slumbered, but will awake, and be poured out without mixture of mercy. T09 3.3

Some have been so indiscreet, they have talked out their pro-slavery principles, which principles are not heaven-born, but proceed from the dominion of Satan. These restless spirits must talk and act in a manner to bring a reproach upon the cause of God. I will here give a copy of a letter written to Bro. A. R., of Oswego co., N. Y. T09 4.1

“I was shown some things in regard to you. I saw that you was deceived in regard to yourself. You have given occasion for the enemies of our faith to blaspheme, and to reproach Sabbath-keepers. By your indiscreet course, you have closed the ears of some who would have listened to the truth. I saw that we should be as wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. You have manifested neither the wisdom of the serpent, nor the harmlessness of the dove. T09 4.2

“Satan was the first great leader in rebellion. God is punishing the North, that they have so long suffered to exist the accursed sin of slavery; for in the sight of heaven it is a sin of the darkest dye. God is not with the South, and he will punish them dreadfully in the end. Satan is at the bottom of all rebellion. You, I saw, Bro. R., have permitted your political principles to destroy your judgment, and your love for the truth. They are eating out true godliness from your heart. You never have looked upon slavery in the right light, and your views of this matter have thrown you on the side of the rebellion, which Satan and his host have stirred up. Your views of slavery, and the sacred, important truths for this time, cannot harmonize. You must yield your views, or the truth. Both cannot be cherished in the same heart, for they are at war with each other. T09 4.3

“Satan has been stirring you up. He would not let you rest until you should express your sentiments upon the side of the powers of darkness,—strengthening the hands of the wicked whom God has cursed. You have cast your influence on the wrong side, with those whose course of life is to sow thorns, and plant misery for others. I saw you casting your influence with a degraded company,—a God-forsaken company, and angels of God fled from you in disgust. I saw you was utterly deceived. Had you followed the light God has given you; had you heeded the instructions of your brethren; had you listened to their advice, you would have saved yourself, saved the precious cause of truth, from reproach. But as you have given publicity to your sentiments, notwithstanding all the light given, it will be the duty of God's people, unless you undo what you have done, to publicly withdraw their sympathy and fellowship from you, in order to save the impression which must go out in regard to us as a people. We must let it be known that we have no such ones in our fellowship, and will not walk with them in church capacity. T09 5.1

“You have lost the sanctifying influence of the truth. You have lost your connection with the heavenly host. You have allied yourself with the first great rebel, and God's wrath is upon you; for his sacred cause is reproached, and the truth is made disgusting to unbelievers. You have grieved God's people, despised the counsel and advice of his ambassadors upon earth, who labor together with God, and are in Christ's stead beseeching souls to be reconciled to God. T09 5.2

“As a people, I was shown we cannot be too careful what influence we exert; and we should watch every word. When we by word or act place ourselves upon the enemy's battle-ground, we drive holy angels from us, and encourage and attract evil angels in crowds around us. This you have done, Bro. R., and by your unguarded, willful course have caused unbelievers to look upon Sabbath-keepers all around you with suspicion. These words were presented before me as referring to the servants of God: ‘He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.’ T09 5.3

“May God help you, my deceived brother, to see yourself as you are, and have your sympathies with the body.” T09 6.1

Our kingdom is not of this world. We are waiting for our Lord from heaven to come to earth to put down all authority and power, and set up his everlasting kingdom. Earthly powers are shaken. We need not, and cannot, expect union among the nations of the earth. Our position in the image of Nebuchadnezzar is represented by the toes, in a divided state, and of a crumbling material, that will not hold together. Prophecy shows us that the great day of God is right upon us. It hasteth greatly. T09 6.2

I saw that it was our duty in every case to obey the laws of our land, unless they conflict with the higher law which God spoke with an audible voice from Sinai, and afterward engraved on stone with his own finger. “I will put my laws in their inward parts, and in their minds will I write them. I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” When his laws are written in the heart, that soul will obey God rather than men, and will sooner disobey all men than deviate from the least commandment. God's people, taught by the inspiration of truth, and led by a good conscience to live by every word of God, will take his law, written in their hearts, as the only authority they can acknowledge or consent to obey. The wisdom and authority of the divine law are supreme. T09 6.3

I was shown that God's people, who are his peculiar treasure, cannot engage in this perplexing war, for it is against every principle of their faith. They cannot obey the truth if in the army, and at the same time obey the requirements of their officers. It would be a continual violation of conscience. T09 6.4

Worldly men will be governed by worldly principles. They can appreciate no other. But God's people cannot be governed by the same motives that worldly men are. Worldly policy and public opinion comprise the principle of action that governs men of worldly minds, and which leads them to practice the form of doing right. The words and commands of God, written in the soul, are spirit and life, and there is power in them to bring into subjection and enforce obedience. T09 7.1

The foundation of all righteous and good laws is the ten precepts of Jehovah. Those who love God's commandments will conform, and bow in obedience to every good law of the land. But if the requirements of the rulers are such as conflict with the laws of God, the only question to be settled, is, Shall we obey God, or man? T09 7.2

In consequence of long-continued and progressive rebellion against the higher constitution and laws, a gloomy pall of darkness and death is spread over the earth. The earth groans under the burden of accumulated guilt, and everywhere dying mortals are compelled to experience the wretchedness included in the wages of unrighteousness. T09 7.3

I was shown that men have carried out the purposes of Satan by craft and deceit, and a dreadful blow has recently been given. It can be truly said, “Justice has fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey.” In some of the free States there is a sinking lower and lower. Men with depraved appetites and corrupt lives have now an opportunity to triumph. They have chosen for their rulers those whose principles are debasing, who would not check evil, or repress the depraved appetites of men, but let them have full sway. If those who choose to become like the beasts, by drinking liquid poison, were the only sufferers; if they alone would reap the fruit of their own doings, then the evil would not be so great. But many, very many, must pass through incredible suffering on account of other's sins. Wives and children, although innocent, must drain the bitter cup to its dregs. T09 7.4

Men without the grace of God love to do evil. They walk in darkness, and do not possess the power of self-control. They give their passions and appetites loose rein, until all the finer feelings are lost, and only the animal passions are manifested. Such men need to feel a higher power, a controlling power, which will constrain them to obey. If their rulers do not exercise a power over the evil doer, to terrify him, he will sink to the level of the brute creation. The earth is growing more and more corrupt. T09 8.1

Many were blinded and grossly deceived in the last election, and their own influence was used to place in authority men who would wink at evil: men who would witness a flood of woe and misery unmoved; whose principles are corrupt, who are Southern sympathizers, and would preserve slavery as it is. T09 8.2

There are men in trust who are rebels at heart in the Northern army, who place no more value upon the life of a soldier than they would the life of a dog. They can see them torn, and mangled, and dying, by thousands, unmoved. The officers of the Southern army have information almost every time in regard to the plans of the Northern army. Correct information has been given to Northern officers in regard to the movements and approach of rebels, which has been disregarded and despised, because the informer was black. And by not preparing themselves for an attack, they have been surprised and nearly cut to pieces, or what is as bad, many of the poor soldiers have been taken prisoners, to suffer worse than death. T09 8.3

If there was union in the Northern army, this rebellion would soon cease. Rebels know they have their sympathizers all through the Northern army. The pages of history are growing darker and still darker. True loyal men, who have had no sympathy with the rebellion, or with slavery which has caused it, have been imposed upon. Their influence has helped place men in authority whose principles they were opposed to. T09 8.4

Everything is preparing for the great day of God. Time will last a little longer, until the inhabitants of the earth have filled the cup of their iniquity, and then the wrath of God, which has so long slumbered, will awake, and this land of light will drink the cup of God's unmingled wrath. The desolating power of God is upon the earth to rend and destroy. The inhabitants of the earth are appointed to the sword, famine, and pestilence. T09 8.5

Very many men in authority, generals and officers, act in conformity with instructions communicated by spirits. The spirits of devils, professing to be dead warriors, and skillful generals, communicate with men in authority, and many of their movements are controlled by these spirits. One general has special directions from these spirits to make special moves, and is flattered with the hopes of success. Another has directions to make moves which differ widely from the directions given to the other. Sometimes when they have followed the directions given they obtain a victory, but more frequently a defeat. T09 9.1

These spirits sometimes give them an account of things which will transpire in battles in which they are about to engage, and information is given of individuals who will fall in the battle. Sometimes it is found to be as these spirits informed them, which strengthens the faith of the believers in spiritual manifestations. And then again these leading men find that correct information has not been given them, but these deceiving spirits make some explanation to them which they receive. The deception upon minds is so great they fail to perceive the lying spirits which are leading them on to certain destruction. T09 9.2

The great leading rebel general, the Devil, is acquainted with the transactions of this war, and he directs his angels to assume the form of dead generals, to imitate their manners, and act their peculiar traits of character. And leaders in the army really believe the spirits of their friends, and dead warriors, the fathers of the Revolutionary war, are guiding them. Unless they were under the strongest fascinating deception, they would begin to think the warriors in heaven (?) did not manifest good and successful generalship, or had forgotten their famed earthly skill. T09 9.3

Instead of the leading men in this war trusting in the God of Israel, and directing their armies to trust in the only One who can deliver them from their enemies, the majority inquire of, and trust in, the prince of devils. Deuteronomy 32:16-22. Said the angel, “How can God prosper such a people? If they would look to, and trust in, him; if they would only come where he could help them, according to his own glory, he would readily do it.” T09 10.1

I saw that God would not give the Northern army up wholly into the hands of a rebellious people to be utterly destroyed of their enemies. I was referred to Deuteronomy 32:26-30. “I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men: were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the Lord hath not done all this. For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up?” T09 10.2

There are generals in the army who are wholly devoted to do all that they can to stop this dreadful rebellion, and unnatural war. But most of the officers, and leading men, have a selfish purpose of their own to serve. Each is looking for gain from his own quarter, and many of the whole-hearted, true soldiers are faint-hearted and discouraged. They nobly perform their part when in an engagement with the enemy; but the treatment which they receive from their officers is brutal. There are men among the soldiers that have fine feelings, and independence of spirit. They have never been used to mingle with such a degraded class of men as war brings together, and be tyrannized over and abused, and treated as if brutes. It is very hard for them to endure all this. Many officers have brutal passions, and as they are placed in authority they have good opportunity to act out their brutal natures. They tyrannize over those under them as Southern masters tyrannize over their slaves. These things existing will make it difficult to procure men for the army. T09 10.3

When generals have been in most terrible conflict, and men have fallen like rain, a reinforcement at the right time would have given them a victory. But some generals care nothing how many lives are lost, and rather than come to the help of those in an engagement, as though their interest were one, they withhold the necessary aid, fearing their brother general would receive the honor of successfully repulsing the enemy. Through envy and jealousy they have even exulted to see the enemy gain the victory and repulse Union men. T09 11.1

Southern men possess a hellish spirit in this rebellion; but Northern men are not clear. Many of them possess a selfish jealousy, fearing others will obtain honors, and be exalted above themselves. Oh, how many thousands of lives have been sacrificed on this account. T09 11.2

Those of other nations who have conducted war have had but one interest. With a disinterested zeal they have moved on to conquer or die. Leading men in the Revolution acted unitedly, with zeal, and by that means they gained their independence. Now men act like demons, instead of human beings. T09 11.3

Satan has, through his angels, communicated to those who were cool, calculating men when left to themselves, and they have given up their judgment and have been led by these lying spirits into very difficult places, where they have met with dreadful slaughter, and have been repulsed. It suits his Satanic majesty well to see slaughter and carnage upon the earth. He loves to see the poor soldiers mowed down like grass. I saw that the rebels have been in positions often where they could have been subdued without much effort; but the communications from spirits have led the generals, and blinded their eyes, until the rebels were beyond their reach. And some generals had rather the rebels would escape, than to subdue them. They think more of the darling institution of slavery, than of the prosperity of the nation. These are among the reasons why the war is so protracted. T09 11.4

Information sent by our generals to Washington of the movement of our armies, might nearly as well be telegraphed directly to the rebel forces. There are rebel sympathizers right in the heart of the moving authorities. This war is unlike any other. The great lack of union of feeling and action, makes it look dark and discouraging. Many of the soldiers have thrown off restraint, and have sunken to an alarming state of degradation. How can God go forth with such a corrupt army? How can God, according to his honor, defeat their enemies, and lead them on to victory? There is discord, and strife for honor, while the poor soldiers are dying by thousands on the battle-field, or from their wounds and from exposure and hardships. T09 12.1

This war is the most singular war, and, at the same time, the most horrible and heart-sickening, of any previous war. Other nations are looking on with disgust at the transactions of the armies of both North and South. They see such a determined effort to protract the war at such an enormous sacrifice of life and money, and at the same time nothing really gained, it looks to them like a strife to see which can kill the most men. They are indignant. T09 12.2

I saw that the rebellion had been steadily increasing, and that it had never been more determined than at the present moment. Many professed Union men, holding important positions, are disloyal at heart. Their only object in taking up arms was to preserve the union as it was, and slavery with it. They would heartily chain down the slave to his life of galling bondage, had they the privilege. Such have a strong degree of sympathy with the South. Blood has been poured out like water, and for naught. In every town and village there is mourning. Wives are mourning for their husbands, and mothers are mourning the loss of their sons, and sisters their brothers. And notwithstanding all this suffering, they do not turn to God. T09 12.3

I saw that both the South and the North were being punished. In regard to the South, I was referred to Deuteronomy 32:35-37: “To me belongeth vengeance and recompense: their foot shall slide in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants; when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up or left, and he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted?” T09 12.4

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