Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4

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Lt 6, 1884

Butler, G. I.; Haskell, S. N.

St. Helena, California

January 20, 1884

This letter is published in entirety in 21MR 325-328.

Dear Brother Butler and Brother Haskell:

I expect that this is the last letter that will reach you before you go on your journey to Europe. I have written but few letters because I have been laboring very hard in Healdsburg. The members who composed the Healdsburg church before so many moved in were weak. One and another wanted the supremacy. There was quarreling in the church; one would advance one thing, another would get up and oppose it. There have been old grudges, old difficulties, which no one dared to meddle with. But I felt urged by the Spirit of God to put forth earnest efforts to dig out these old roots of bitterness. We worked early and late. I attended every early morning meeting and then the following meeting at nine o’clock for these members of the Healdsburg church, and the Lord helped. Matters were settled, the difficulties removed, and confessions made. We had most precious meetings; many were much blessed. I knew I must have rest and came to this place, but my mind is constantly exercised. I feel deeply in regard to our present position. I try to throw off the burden but I cannot lay it down. It will come back. 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 1

Friday night several heard my voice exclaiming, “Look, Look!” Whether I was dreaming or in vision I cannot tell. I slept alone. The time of trouble was upon us. I saw our people in great distress, weeping and praying, pleading the sure promises of God, while the wicked were all around us, mocking us and threatening to destroy. They ridiculed our feebleness, they mocked at the smallness of our numbers, and taunted us with words calculated to cut deep. They charged us with taking an independent position from all the rest of the world. They had cut off our resources so that we could not buy or sell, and referred to our abject poverty and stricken condition. They could not see how we could live without the world. We were dependent upon the world, and we must concede to the customs, practices, and laws of the world, or go out of it. If we were the only people in the world whom the Lord favored, the appearances were awfully against us. 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 2

They declared that they had the truth, that miracles were among them, that angels from heaven talked with them and walked with them, that great power and signs and wonders were performed among them, and that this was the temporal millennium they had been expecting so long. The whole world was converted and in harmony with the Sunday law, and this little feeble people stood out in defiance of the laws of the land and the law of God, and claimed to be the only ones right on the earth. 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 3

[They declared,] “The angels of heaven have spoken to us”—referring to those whom Satan personated that had died, and they claimed had gone to heaven. “You will bear the testimony of the heavenly messengers!” They sneered, they mocked, they derided and abused the sorrowing ones. There was much more, but I have not time to write it. 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 4

But while anguish was upon the loyal and true, who would not worship the beast or his image and accept and revere an idol sabbath, One said, “Look up! Look up!” Every eye was lifted, and the heavens seemed to part as a scroll when it is rolled together, and, as Stephen looked into the heaven, we looked. The mockers were taunting and reviling us and boasting of what they intended to do to us if we continued obstinate in holding fast our faith. But now we were as those who heard them not; we were gazing upon a scene that shut out everything else. 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 5

There stood revealed the throne of God. Around it were ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands upon thousands, and close about the throne were the martyrs. Among this number I saw the very ones who were so recently in such abject misery, whom the world knew not, whom the world hated and despised. 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 6

A voice said, “Jesus, who is seated upon the throne, has so loved man [that] He gave His life a sacrifice to redeem him from the power of Satan, and to exalt him to His throne. He who is above all powers, He who has the greatest influence in heaven and in earth, He to whom every soul is indebted for every favor he has received, was meek and lowly in disposition, holy, harmless, and undefiled in life. 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 7

“He was obedient to all His Father’s commandments. Wickedness has filled the earth. It is defiled under the inhabitants thereof. The high places of the powers of earth have been polluted with corruption and base idolaters, but the time has come when righteousness shall receive the palm of victory and triumph. Those who were accounted by the world [as] weak [and] unworthy, those who were defenseless against the cruelty of men, shall be conquerors and more than conquerors.” 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 8

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God, saying, Amen, blessing and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever, and ever, Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, Who are these which are arrayed in white robes, and whence came they? And I answered and said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to us, these are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple, and He that sitteth in the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither shall they thirst any more, neither shall the sun light upon them nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and shall lead them upon living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Revelation 7:9-17. 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 9

They are before the throne enjoying the sunless splendors of eternal day, not as a scattered, feeble company to suffer by the Satanic passions of a rebellious world, expressing the sentiments, the doctrines, and [the] councils of demons. Strong and terrible have become the masters of iniquity in the world under the control of Satan, but strong is the Lord God who judgeth Babylon. The just have no longer any thing to fear from force or fraud as long as they are loyal and true. A mightier than the strong man armed is set for their defense. All power and greatness and excellence of character will be given to those who have believed and stood in defense of the truth, standing up and firmly defending the laws of God. 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 10

Another heavenly being exclaimed with firm and musical voice, “They have come out of great tribulation. They have walked in the fiery furnace in the world, heated intensely by the passions and caprices of men who would enforce upon them the worship of the beast and his image, who would compel them to be disloyal to the God of heaven. 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 11

“They have come from the mountains, from the rocks, from the dens and caves of the earth, from dungeons, from prisons, from secret councils, from the torture chamber, [from] hovels, from garrets. They have passed through sore affliction, deep self-denial, and deep disappointment. They are no longer to be the sport and ridicule of wicked men. They are no longer mean and sorrowful in the eyes of those who despise them. Remove the filthy garments from them, with which men have delighted to clothe them. Give them a change of raiment, even the white robes of righteousness, and set a fair mitre upon their heads.” 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 12

They were clothed in richer robes than earthy beings had ever worn. They were crowned with diadems of glory such as human beings had never seen. The days of suffering, of reproach, of want, of hunger, are no more; weeping is past. Then they break forth in songs loud, clear, and musical. They wave the palm branches of victory and exclaim, “Salvation to our God, that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” [Verse 10.] 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 13

But I have not time nor eyesight now to write all this wonderful manifestation of God. I cannot get it from my mind day or night. I am just now afflicted with pain in my heart and in my eyes, but I am strong in faith, of good courage, quite weak in body, but I am praying [that] I shall be strong, for God has promised me strength. I am writing now by the light of my lamp, unable to sleep. 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 14

Oh, may God endue us with His Spirit and make us strong in His strength! In that great day of supreme and final triumph it will be seen that the righteous were strong and that wickedness in all its forms and with all its pride was a weak and miserable failure and defeat. We will cling close to Jesus, we will trust Him, we will seek His grace and His great salvation. We must hide in Jesus, for He is a covert from the storm, a present help in time of trouble. 4LtMs, Lt 6, 1884, par. 15