Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 5, 1851

Opposition to the Sabbath

Paris, Maine

May 18, 1851

Portions of this manuscript are published in 6MR 168-172. See also Annotations.

I will now write you the vision that the Lord gave me May 14. I saw the great goodness of God to us, that while we have been passing through the deep waters, they have not overwhelmed us. I saw the beauty and loveliness of Jesus, and it seemed as though I could never bear to be parted from His lovely presence. Then I saw a light coming from the excellent glory that encircled the Father. It approached nearer and nearer unto me. I began to tremble, my body shook like a leaf; it seemed to me if that light came close to me, I should be dissolved or struck out of existence, but the light passed me. Then could I realize what a terrible God we have to do with, and that we must be so holy that we can live in His sight. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1851, par. 1

Then I saw how little some realized the holiness of God, and what they must be in order to live in His sight, through the time of trouble. I begged of Jesus to make those who were believing His appearing like Himself. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1851, par. 2

Then I saw how the blind guides were trying to make souls as blind as themselves, and they knew not what was coming upon them. I saw that they were exalting themselves against God and His truth, and as the truth triumphs, souls who have believed these teachers to be men of God and have looked to them, inquire of these teachers what it means, for they are troubled. And these teachers, with the object of getting rid of the law of God or the seventh day Sabbath, will answer them thereto. I saw that there was no honesty in them in taking their position against the Sabbath of the Lord God. All they wanted was to get around the Sabbath of the Lord, and keep some other day than the one sanctified and set apart by Jehovah. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1851, par. 3

For (the angel said) they are not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be, and if they are driven off of one position they will take an opposite one, (but equally as weak as the first). I saw that there was no strength in their arguments. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1851, par. 4

I saw that God’s people were coming into the unity of the faith, and those that believe that the seventh day is the Sabbath, are united in their views and understanding of the Bible truths in all important points and that they believe and speak the same things. But those who oppose the seventh day Sabbath are cut up and divided, there are hardly two agreed; one comes forward in opposition to the Sabbath commandment and declares it to be thus and so, and at the conclusion calls it settled; then a second comes up and tears the first down, and declares it to be some other way. But they will not have it, any of them, that the seventh day is the Sabbath, and they do not agree among themselves, but are blind and dishonest and are standing out against the Sabbath commandment. They want to silence the flock, therefore they get up something to silence them and lull them to sleep upon these truths which condemn them and cut them off. Their followers read their Bibles so little that error could be easily made by these blind leaders to appear like truth, and the followers receive it as such, not looking any higher than their leaders, and they, having a disposition to get rid of the fourth commandment, love these errors and love to have it so. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1851, par. 5

Then I saw those at Milton, that they need help, and that they had called loud for it, and we should not disregard their call, for souls could be benefited there, and that we must go and visit them. They were looking to the visions and were anxious to know more about them. Then I saw that Bro. John must stay but a short time in Paris, that he must go and write. And I saw that one could not always bring out clear light upon every point in a subject, as two could who understood the same subject, and that John should watch carefully and if he could make any other point in the subject of the parable, or any other subject, clearer, it was his duty to do so. Then I saw that this band must have steady, living faith, more faith, and draw down the blessings from God. I saw that faith had been but little in exercise among the band, and that they must get ready, for the clouds are gathering and will soon burst upon us. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1851, par. 6

I saw that this world was rocked in the cradle of security so that communications might not be cut off from place to place, and that messengers might have full time to carry the message to the children of God, that they receive it and be sealed with the seal of the living God, and be prepared to pass through the time of trouble such as never was. I saw that it must be a time of peace in order for the servants of God to do their work for souls. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1851, par. 7

Then I was shown concerning the wicked who now die and are happy. I saw in their sickness and death if they should once realize their awful condition they would die in such agony of mind, and would make such appeals, as would frighten some to profess the truth that did not love it, that never could be saved, and go through the time of trouble, and others would be deranged. And again if they felt their lost condition, it would show that Satan had not power enough over them to blind their minds so they could not feel their own condition. I saw that the wicked were Satan’s lawful prey, and that they were completely deceived by him, therefore now is the time when there are no bands in the death of the wicked. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1851, par. 8

Then I saw that we must work fast while the days last. I begged God to let His messengers go and work fast for the salvation of souls. I saw that God was willing to give us great blessings, if we would only have faith, and when we went out among the people we must go in the name of the Lord, for without Him we can do nothing. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1851, par. 9

Then again I saw the goodness of God to us in giving us a baptism of His Spirit, before we had waded through the deep waters. I saw how busy Satan had been. He saw that the nominals could not overthrow us, so he began to put prejudices in the minds of our dearest brethren, so as to hinder the work and overthrow James, and also to cause the faith in the visions to be destroyed. But he failed in his endeavors, and then he attacked his body, but by faith James was wrenched from his grasp and placed in the hands of the Great Physician who applied the balm and set him free. I saw that Satan’s darts were hurled at us more than at others so as to destroy the confidence of God’s children in the visions, and to get down James so as to stop his work on the paper. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1851, par. 10

I saw that each one of us must labor for the salvation of souls, that we all can do something. I saw that this band should not rest unless they had the abiding witness that their ways pleased God. I saw that they had not seen their true state, and I prayed the angel to unfold it to them, that they might see themselves as God sees them. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1851, par. 11

I saw that there was a lack of their studying their Bibles as they should, but let their minds run upon other things, and reading that did not profit. I saw that the Bible was the statute book that was to judge us in the last days, and that it should be studied much and carefully to know whether our lives will compare with the Word of God. I saw that if any should lose their love for the Word of God, that they should not rest, but pray very earnestly for God to baptize them with His Spirit into an understanding of His Word that they may love it better than anything else. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1851, par. 12

I also saw something concerning you, that you had no wrong intentions in your heart when you said what you did at Bro. N’s, but that you were under a wrong influence, and that Satan was striving with all his power to get you to give up in discouragement now, and get you looking to yourself. I saw that you must not give way to him one moment, but look to your compassionate, tender High Priest, for He loves you. We love you, Bro. Rhodes. Do not sink down. Press against the temptations of Satan. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1851, par. 13

E. G. White