Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)

Ms 62, 1886

Diary, April 1886


April 15-29, 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 34, 139, 253; CTr 248, 322; 1MR 309-310; 2MR 307-309; 5MR 274; 6MR 295; 10MR 370-371; EGWE 176, 179-184.

Second Visit to Italy

April 15, 1886

Left Basel en route for Italy. We see beautiful scenery—valleys nestled in among the mountains; high-peaked, unique houses; steep, hilly, and towering mountains. To our right, on steep rocks upon the very top of a high mountain, is an old castle, built in 1660, and partly hewn out of the rock. It is now used as a prison and arsenal. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 1

This is a mountain region. The brown earth, mingled with the bright green, graces the orchards. The houses are thickly settled. The roofs rise in a most remarkable, homely, unattractive style. We see little chapels, oblong, rounded like a tower at the ends. A very pretty little valley. The background is walled in with high, regular-looking rocky walls. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 2

We pass on to Aarburg, a wide, extended valley in the highest state of cultivation. A man is ploughing with a horse for leader and two cows behind. The fields of living grain are irrigated by trenches conducting the water from the mountains. Interspersed are planted forests of pines. The rise of grounds, mound-like, clothed with their dress of living green, with pine groves look very beautiful. We came to quite extensive forests of pines that have been planted. We pass rocky mountains, towering towards the heaven, appearing to touch the sky above, and we pass gorges where we look down hundreds of feet below us to the noisy waters running over the rocks. The water presents a green hue. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 3

I have thought that there could be nothing to exceed the grandeur of the Colorado mountains, but we see that which is fully as grand and which awakens in the soul reverence for God. We seem to behold His majesty and His power in His marvelous works. The varied scenery in the towering mountains and rocky heights, the deep mountain gorges with their rapid, noisy streams of water coming from the mountains above, the many cataracts that come tumbling down from the tops of the mountains, the waters breaking as they strike the rocks and scattering into spray like a veil render this scenery altogether one of surpassing beauty and grandeur. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 4

Mountains contain God’s blessings. I have seen men and women look upon the majesty of mountains as though they were really a deformity of nature. They would sigh and say, “How needless! Let me have the level plain, the broad prairies, and I should be happy.” The mountains contain treasures of blessings which the Creator bestows upon the inhabitants of the earth. It is the diversity in the surface of the earth, in mountains, plains, and valleys, which reveals the wisdom and the power of the great Master Worker. And those who would banish from our earth the rocks and mountains, the wild gorges and the noisy, rushing streams, and the precipices, as unsightly deformities in nature, and would have a smooth level—their senses are too limited to comprehend the majesty of God. Their minds are bound about with narrow ideas. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 5

God, the great Architect, has built these lofty mountains, and their influence upon climate is a blessing to our world. They draw from the clouds enriching moisture. Mountain chains are God’s great reservoirs to supply the ocean with its water. These are the sources of the springs, rills, and brooks, as well as the rivers. They receive, in the form of rain and snow, the vapors with which the atmosphere is charged and communicate them to the parched plains below. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 6

The irregular mountains of the earth we should look upon as God’s fountains of blessings from which flow forth the waters to supply all the living creatures. Every time I look upon the mountains, I feel gratitude to God. My heart is lifted up in praise to Him who knows the wants and needs of man. If the earth had been a uniform level, there would be stagnant marshes. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 7

April 16, 1886

Milan, Italy

We arrived at Milan about eight o’clock p.m. A hack took us to the hotel, where we had good accommodations for the night. It was some time before we could compose ourselves to sleep. In the morning we had a season of prayer. Took breakfast, then walked in to see the great cathedral which is one of the largest in the world. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 8

April 17, 1886

Torre Pellice, Italy

Slept well last night. In one of the upper rooms occupied by Brother A. C. Bourdeau, we met the little few who are keeping the commandments of God. Notwithstanding it was a rainy day; there were twenty assembled. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. I had much freedom in speaking to the few. The little few assembled were blessed. We felt that indeed we had the presence of Jesus in this upper chamber. My own heart was softened and subdued by His presence. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 9

Only the day before we had viewed one of the most costly structures in Europe, the giant cathedral. As I walked through this lofty building which had been hundreds of years in being constructed, as I looked upon the men and women coming and going, touching the holy water and making with it the form of the cross, and as I viewed the worshipers bowing with greatest reverence before the graven images—Christ upon the cross, the Virgin Mary, and the apostles—I felt a coldness almost like the chill of death come over me. I contemplated these worshipers. I thought of how little of the real true spirit of the cross of Christ enters into these worshipers. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 10

I felt no inclination for such a religion of forms and ceremonies and image worship. Several women were waiting their turn before the confessional box. One was kneeling, confessing her sins to the priest within. How I long to point these deluded souls to Jesus Christ alone—the only One who can pardon the sinner, the one Mediator and the only one between man and his God! My spirit was stirred within me as I saw intelligent-looking men and women down to the very beggars look with clasped hands and with devotion and rapt reverence to these images. I wanted to cry out, “Jesus and Jesus alone can forgive sins, and He alone is worthy to receive honor, and glory, and majesty.” A costly, magnificent building! Beautiful the structure, but—like the religion—cold as marble within, the heart untouched with the glowing fire of God’s goodness and love! 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 11

Here in this little upper chamber of a dwelling house, there was nothing in the exterior to charm the eye, nothing in the interior to absorb or attract, but we had a Guest that day, and we all felt the warmth of His love and the value of His pardon. This precious Jesus could forgive sin. There was no uncertainty here. It was a precious season. I had not one desire for the grand temple and its cold worship. I prize the warmth of Jesus’ love. I sought to impress upon my hearers the privilege and opportunity now within their reach of becoming more and more like Jesus in character, becoming more refined, more ennobled by the sanctifying power of the truth. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 12

We must be learners. Truth as it is in Jesus is not cold and lifeless and formal. Love of Christ will pervade the soul. Truth is full of warmth, of evidence from the presence of Jesus. While we shall be meek and lowly of heart as we learn precious lessons from the school of Christ, we are growing strong in His strength, and yet meek as a little child. Whosoever shall claim to believe the truth and yet be unpleasant in his words and deportment commits sin against God. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 13

We have a message to bear to the world. It involves a cross. The truths are unpleasant because they require self-denial and self-sacrifice. Then how essential that those who bear the truth, as they speak the truth faithfully, shall by every word and act show that the love of Christ moves them. Truth is never repulsive, but is always lovely, and those who live the truth as it is in Jesus should study how to present the truth so that its loveliness may appear. But many cover its loveliness with their coarse, rough words and uncultured and uncontrolled spirit. Self is mixed and mingled with all they do and all they say. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 14

Oh, that all who name the name of Christ would feel that they are disloyal to the Prince of life when they present the doctrines of the Bible in a manner to make the truth repulsive! Christian tact is heavenly wisdom, full of mercy and good fruits. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 15

This has been a season of refreshing to my soul. I love Jesus, and I want more of His Holy Spirit and His patience, meekness, and the sunshine of His presence in my heart. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 16

April 18, 1886

Torre Pellice

It still continues to rain. In the early morning there is the novel sound of clatter, clatter of wooden shoes on the rocky pavement. No more sleep for any one after this constant travel and clatter of many feet clad with wooden shoes. I have taken some cold. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 17

I look out upon the sky draped with clouds, upon the Alps covered with snow, and then upon the fresh green grass, the plum and cherry trees covered with their pure white sweet blossoms, and I see a divine providence at work for the good and blessing of all. The sunshine is more agreeable than clouds and rain, for present convenience and present cheerfulness and joy, but the clouds and the rain have their work to do in causing vegetation to flourish and in making all things look new, smiling and flourishing in nature. The God of nature knows just what we need, and that which will be for the good profit of His creatures He will bestow. I am grateful for a divine Mind to order things both in sunshine and in clouds and storm. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 18

Notwithstanding the rain, we decide to fill our appointment five miles from here, up in the mountains at Villar Pellice. We hired a horse and covered carriage, but the horse would not go faster than a walk, so we were late to our appointment. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 19

Elder Bourdeau opened the meeting and talked some with the people. The house was literally packed. The peasant women were intelligent looking, dressed neatly with their white caps—or shaped more like bonnet—with heavy quilted ruffle front. Both men and women were mostly of the intelligent class of people, and they listened, crowded as they were, for one hour while I spoke to them of Christ’s riding into Jerusalem and weeping over the devoted city because of His rejected mercy and love. I tried to point them to the mercy of love of Jesus in coming to our world to die for sinful man. Brother Bourdeau interpreted. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 20

How my heart longed to lead these souls to the fountain of living waters! How I longed to have them see and obey the truth! But we must not expect that things will move fast. The pastors have not led them in advanced steps, but their labor has been to prevent them from advancing, to keep them in the old customs and traditions, and give them nothing new. God wants us to advance, leading the people step by step upward and onward to God and heaven, to truth and duty, to be engaged in the work that He has given them to do. The Lord will lead the people, notwithstanding the efforts of the pastors to keep them in darkness, if they will only hear the message given to them from heaven. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 21

When the meeting closed a man seemed anxious to speak to me and shake my hand. This I was more than willing to do. Many thanked me for the words spoken, and one said, “You worked well today.” Some before me understood English, and they seemed to enjoy the season much. Some few tried to take the words interpreted into French by Brother Bourdeau and translate them into Italian, for some present could not understand either the French or the English language. There were about one hundred present—some coming for about seven miles. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 22

We are constantly praying and planning how to reach this people who know so little of the truth contained in the Scriptures, and who know so little of what is required to be children of God. When we returned, we passed over the ground much faster than we ascended. Found letters from America, from Healdsburg, which we read with interest. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 23

April 19, 1886

Torre Pellice

It continues to rain softly, a drizzling, dreary rain. Devote the day to writing. Mailed twelve pages to Brother and Sister Lockwood. Brother A. C. Bourdeau went in the rain five miles to attend appointment. He had to go on foot. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 24

It is a hard field, but not any harder field than Jesus had to work in—no harder hearts than Jesus had to meet, no greater discouragements than Jesus met daily. Then all we can do is work on, sowing the seed of truth, and trusting in God to give the increase. We so much desire that a work shall be done here. A light set on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house. God has given us our work, and He has not left it for us to choose the easiest places. We must work wherever we can, in storm, in sunshine, in opposition, anywhere and under any circumstances, meeting obstacles and in faith surmounting them, meeting difficulties and going through them by faith and earnest prayer. It is hard work to meet prejudice, customs, and forms, and try to show the people the better way. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 25

All day it has rained and seems very gloomy, but now is the time to bring in the sunshine of cheerfulness. The hope, the courage must appear, surrounding us with an atmosphere of fragrance rather than of gloom. Our prayer to our heavenly Father is that light may shine in upon the moral darkness of the people here in these Piedmont valleys. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 26

April 19, 1886

Torre Pellice

True measure is everything. It is the very law of God. He puts His law into the least of men’s acts and dealings, that learning and living it they may be elevated, ennobled, and sanctified in heart and affection—faithful in the least, the mere wheat measure. They shall live and rule among the greatest, to be entrusted with the divine cause, to take the power and grace brought to them through Jesus Christ and by the will of God build up a character after the divine model, preparing for the glory to be revealed. To love God supremely and his neighbor as himself is the whole duty of man. The spiritual measure is God’s measure of the man. Elevated and ennobled through divine grace, he is a true man; but these true men are not appreciated by men unenlightened by the Spirit of God, because men have made false signs, false values, and have let them stand in place of God. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 27

God sent a man with a measuring line in his hand to measure Jerusalem in the sight of His delegated prophet. And He sent a message of another angel after him. “Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.” Zechariah 2:7. Ezekiel saw in the vision a man whose appearance was like brass. He stood in the gate of a house and he measured all the building with the reed in his hand—all the little chambers and doorways and arches and pillars, and the great gate looking toward the east, and every least item was recorded, according to the measurement by the reed. See Ezekiel 40-43. Then the glory of God came in and at the end He said, “Show the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. ... This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house.” Ezekiel 43:10-12. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 28

We do now most need to see persons whose characters and works measure life and things by the exact measurement of God. A righteous life in honest, faithful dealings makes the whole righteous stature and structure. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 29

April 20, 1886

Torre Pellice, Italy

We have a rainy day, but we do not become discouraged. The rain has now fallen steadily since last Friday night. We devote today to writing and reading manuscript. We hired a horse and carriage and rode out to St. Johns to attend appointment. We had the small hall full. There were some intelligent hearers present who understood English: the two Brethren Mons [?], their wives and the son of one, a school teacher and his wife who was an English lady. The Lord helped me to speak with great clearness and power to those assembled upon walking in the light. It was past 10 o’clock when we reached home. There was but little sleep for me that night. I was studying the situation of this people. The Vaudois ministers are satisfied to be supported, to keep the people in a state of ignorance. They are religiously without life and practical godliness and are content to remain so. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 30

April 21, 1886

Torre Pellice

It has ceased raining and the sun shines brightly. M. K. White and I walk out, the first opportunity we have had since coming to this place five days ago. We hired a carriage and rode out, Sister Bourdeau and Sarah accompanying us. We drove very slowly, for the horse, although strong, had no idea of hurting his constitution. We passed through the stone works where many are employed working on the large flat stone. We passed over a long bridge and saw a nice house in a beautiful high location. It is some government house I am told. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 31

Met Mr. Mallon who lives at St. Johns. His family were with him. We spoke with them. Brother Biglia arrived here. He called on Mr. Mallon and expected to meet him as he had done, but was treated very rudely. We had met him only about an hour before. Brother Biglia had not heard of his apostasy, and he was greatly shocked. He asked where A. C. Bourdeau lived and if Brother White had arrived at Torre Pellice. He answered roughly he knew nothing about them and he had nothing to do with them. We had met the man only one hour before. His spirit seems to be satanic. Brother Biglia found his information from some other source. He went up with Brother Bourdeau to Villar Pellice five miles from here. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 32

April 22, 1886

Torre Pellice, Italy

I arise this morning thankful to my heavenly Father for a good night’s rest. About five o’clock the clatter of the wooden shoes upon the stone walk forbids sleep. I have prayed most earnestly that the Lord would give wisdom that we might know how to give counsel and advice to others. We are wholly helpless unless we have special help and counsel from the God of wisdom. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 33

There are now crowds of men and women hastening to the market place with their baskets of produce to sell. One cripple, whose limbs look as if they could not bear him up, is drawing a handcart filled with dry goods, cloth, flannels, cotton cloth. Now comes a woman with a stick over her shoulder from which is dangling a dead kid. We see two more peasants with dead kids hanging upon their back to sell. A man is passing with a live kid and a woman with a live kid in her arms as you would carry a kitten. A man passes with three kids hung upon a stick borne from his shoulders. A wagon drawn by a mule and filled with dead kids for market has stopped before the window where I am sitting. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 34

Brother A. C. Bourdeau reports that last night, April 21, the meeting room was crowded and there were from one to two hundred outside who could not find an entrance. Brother Geymet spoke to those out of doors who could not get in while A. C. spoke to those in the house. There is certainly an interest to hear the truth that should have special attention. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 35

W. C. White, Mary, and I enjoyed a very pleasant walk. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 36

In the afternoon we visited the Catholic church. Several nuns passed in as we were about to enter and bowed to us. There were, I should think, about one hundred worshipers there, chanting. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 37

April 23, 1886

Torre Pellice

Last night we were taken by our hired team to the meeting three miles distant. It had not rained through the day, but began to rain a little before we stepped into the carriage. We had a room full and more of the better class than Tuesday evening previous. Both evenings there were some of the first class. My text was Mark 9:33-37. The Lord gave me great freedom in speaking. His power was made to be felt in my weakness. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 38

Many shook hands with me and expressed their thanks for that discourse. Mr. Mallon said that was a beautiful text, and his brother said, “It is the first time I have heard humility spoken upon; it was good, so good, but I will not praise you, I praise the Lord.” Others said some things in Italian and others in French for which I was none the wiser. I could not understand a word. Gave out an appointment for next Tuesday night. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 39

Soon after we stepped into the carriage it began to rain and then to pour down from the heavens. Mary and I were protected with cover, but Brother Biglia and Willie, on the front seat, had to take the rain in full, but they were well protected. W. C. White was driver. We reached home and retired at eleven o’clock, but I could not get let down enough to sleep until one o’clock. I awoke at half-past five in the morning. It is raining again today, but the Lord knows just what kind of weather to send, and I am satisfied with His providence. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 40

Sabbath, April 24, 1886

Torre Pellice

W. C. White and I walk out. The rain has ceased. Elder A. C. Bourdeau went five miles out to attend his appointment. The house could not hold the people. Many went away and more than one hundred stood out of doors. Elder Bourdeau raised his voice so that all might hear, but this was difficult. There is a Vaudois church and a Catholic church in this place, but the Protestant church is as firmly closed against us as is the Catholic. We will have to reach the people through God in some way. A tent is sent for, and that will be tried ere long. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 41

A letter came to Elder A. C. Bourdeau of inquiry as well as objection to the Sabbath. He will answer the next time he speaks. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 42

Today there is Sabbath school, then I speak to a small company of hearers who, with few exceptions, keep the Sabbath. My text was, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 43

I sought to impress upon my hearers the importance of meekness in opening the truth to those who are in darkness. There are too many who love to fight, and they have not the meekness of Christ. This is a great work, and most solemn, and must be carried forward in great wisdom. Our words must be well chosen, our deportment of that character that will recommend the truth we profess, because of its sanctifying power upon our own character. The Lord blessed me in speaking and the people in hearing. In the afternoon there was a social meeting. Good testimonies were borne, an evidence that the word spoken in the forenoon had been received and was making impressions upon hearts to the good of souls and to the glory of God. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 44

Sunday, April 25, 1886

Torre Pellice

We had this morning a fair sky. The air seems just cool enough to be bracing. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 45

Had consultation in regard to the manner of laboring to reach the hearts of the people. Brother A. C. Bourdeau read a letter from Mr. Mallon. Satan is working through this man to perplex and annoy those who would work to advance the truth in these valleys. The man is determined to be Satan’s agent to the bitter end. We must think and pray over this letter. He threatens to appeal to the law, because he says an undue influence was exerted over him which led him to embrace the truth. He claims to have lost means thereby. He has been loaned sixteen hundred dollars by our people before he apostatized, and I think he purposes by some blackmailing to obtain judgment against us, and withhold the money or secure a portion of it for silence money, but we shall trust all in the hands of God and make no compromise. Let him do his very worst. The Lord can take care of us and take care of His work and His people. We trust Him to do this. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 46

W. C. White, Mary White, Brother A. C. Bourdeau visit Brother Vaucher [?] to have a missionary meeting at 11 A.M. We—Brother Bourdeau and wife, W. C. White and M. K. White and myself—ride to Bobbio, which is about two miles from Villar Pellice. We left our horses and carriages in a stable and walked up the steep ascent to the house which was occupied by the Vaudois. Catholics surrounded and attached the house, and although they held out long, they were overcome. Some escaped, many were wounded, and some fled to a cave close by—where we took our lunch—and were smoked out by these demons in the form of men. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 47

We were surprised to meet so large a number of people who had just come from meeting. There were hundreds, Catholics and Protestants. The women and young girls were dressed, with but few exceptions, with clean, blue cotton dresses and white and neatly done up bonnets with wide quilted ruffles, resembling a lace cap. We had a praying season near the cave mentioned, and then slowly descended the steep hill to get in our carriages and go to the place of meeting. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 48

We found a large number assembled, altogether too many to get into the house. Seats from the house were arranged in the yard before the house, and there the congregation was accommodated with room, although not more than half could obtain seats. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 49

I expected the novelty of having a meeting in the open would lead some to feel they had a license to amuse themselves and be unruly. But with few exceptions the congregation were as quiet and orderly as in a meetinghouse. It was entirely a new thing under the sun for them to hear a woman speak, and yet after I had spoken a few moments there was the best of attention. I spoke to about three hundred people. Some were seated upon the wall of the enclosure, some on steps that led to the meeting room above. The piazza above was well filled with people. It was to all a novel meetinghouse. We had the canopy of heaven above us for a covering, the earth—which is the Lord’s—beneath our feet. And this, God’s house, was free. Sect and doctrine may exclude us from the meetinghouses, but in case of necessity we can speak to the people in the open air. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 50

My text was Matthew 9:28-30. The congregation—many of them—were intelligent looking. All were dressed neatly—the women and children in their peasant dress of blue calico and dainty little white bonnets. I wished to present the truth in simplicity, that all could understand, old and young. I had much freedom in speaking. The Elder of the Baptist or Vaudois church and some of his prominent members were present to take notes and designed to show opposition; but I preached Christ and Him crucified, and our meeting passed off pleasantly. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 51

The Elder of the Protestant church requested that he have the privilege to ask some questions and make some remarks. Elder A. C. Bourdeau sent him word that he wished to see him and converse with him first, but this did not suit him, and he gave it up. These men will not open the doors for us to preach in their church, and yet they would oppose in our own place of meeting. There are certainly some impressions being made on this community. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 52

The largest number of the audience live in houses on the mountainside, all the way up to the very summit. We drove our carriage as far as any carriage could go. The only means old or young have is to walk up the mountain on a narrow footpath and carry up their provisions on their backs. They bring down butter, eggs, and cheese on their backs. A donkey or mule is sometimes used for this purpose, but these are rare. Two meetings were held in the room for meetings, after we returned from Villar. A Bible reading was given upon missionary labor, and another meeting was held in which W. C. White spoke in regard to the best manner of doing missionary work. Both meetings were profitable. We were impressed by the spirit of Christ’s teachings, the striking simplicity. When He was surrounded by large numbers, oft of the lowly class, how simple was His manner of teaching. Christ’s teachings were oft before thousands and in simple figures that the lowly could understand. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 53

Monday, April 26, 1886

Torre Pellice

It is a beautiful morning. We have some conversation with Brother Biglia in reference to Cocorder. His life and his character are very bad. He has a very soft, musical voice, and he insinuates himself in families and seduces young girls. He has one or more illegitimate children. This is the man who claims that the law may be kept only in spirit, and this is the spirit in which he keeps the law. This is the man Elder Grant stands up with to sweep away the law of God. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 54

We rode out after having a consultation with Brother Biglia in regard to the field of labor he should accept and do what he could to convey the truth to the hearts of the humble class. In the evening we had an interview with Brother Mallon, a young man who has attended our meetings quite regularly. He is leavened with the doctrine that the law of God does not mean the ten commandments. This was the position Grant took here in the valleys, and those who see how unpopular it would be to accept the Sabbath of the fourth commandment are ready to accept this, to them, pleasing fable. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 55

The spirit that is now prevailing in these valleys to evade the truth is wonderful. Everything as far as doctrine and faith are concerned are exactly the reverse from the ancient Waldenses. What will awaken the people professing godliness to be firm for the truth and duty? Maybe persecution. The perils of the times may arouse in them the spirit of faithfulness and religious fervor and steadfastness to the faith. Certainly perils are before us; and if these perils of the last days will bring into exercise the power of piety and self-denial and cross-bearing, which has died out of their churches, we may see an army of faithful ones brought out of the Piedmont valleys and from the Alps mountains who show the graces of the Spirit of Christ as true followers of the true Shepherd. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 56

In the days of persecution, men and women and children were educated to take the Bible as it reads. Abounding fables were discarded. There were those who stood firm amid the test and trial, amid sword and flame, who counted not their lives dear unto themselves. Their faith was tried, purified. The principle that sustained these true followers of Jesus was, “The love of Christ constraineth us.” [2 Corinthians 5:14.] They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. They counted the cost of their profession. Truth was richer and dearer to them than life in disobedience and sin. They had the testimony that their ways pleased God. In the strength and grace given them of Jesus, they counted not their lives dear unto themselves, so that they might finish their course with Jesus. They suffered for the truth’s sake. They were persecuted and tortured, not accepting deliverance by sacrificing the truth. They went into the dens and caves of the earth. These souls we can look upon, of whom the world was not worthy. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 57

Tuesday, April 27, 1886

Torre Pellice

We have another beautiful morning. There is no fog in northern Italy. The atmosphere is good. Brother Bourdeau, W. C. White, Brother Geymet, M. K. White, and I left Torre Pellice for Angrogna. We had a good strong horse, rather a heavy carriage. We went up, up, up. All walked nearly all the way but myself. The scenery resembled that of Colorado—deep ravines, high mountains, and very narrow valleys. The mountains are cultivated to their very highest points, and houses are built all along the mountains to the summit. We have most romantic scenery. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 58

Angrogna was once inhabited by the Waldenses, but the Catholics came in from Turin and burned the first village. More than once the inhabitants were forced from their burning buildings. They were surrounded by their persecutors, who were demons in the shape of men. We walked over the beautiful green sward of level tableland. A Vaudois, a sensible, venerable-looking, white-haired man led us through this beautiful place which ended abruptly. A ledge of sharp, rugged rocks composed a part of the embankment and projected out from the sides of the precipice hundreds of feet below. There the Vaudois were hurried and thrust off from this precipice for no other reason but religious prejudice, because these souls had not yielded heart, soul, and body to the service of Catholicism. We are told that thousands were driven off from this precipice to be mangled and torn to pieces or instantly killed by their descent upon the sharp and jagged rocks. Some bodies were suspended upon the pointed rocks, which fastened in their clothing, and their remains were found two or three weeks afterward. And this is the church which claims to be a successor in the direct line of Jesus Christ and the apostles! 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 59

We read in Luke [where] Christ, in the synagogue of Nazareth, announced Himself as the anointed One, as He read from the prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. ... And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.” Luke 4:19-22. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 60

Then Satan whispered his unbelief, and they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” [Verse 22.] Then He told them plainly the true position. How quickly the current changed, and they were filled with madness and rage because Jesus set before them the true spiritual apostasy. They “rose up, and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong.” Verse 29. But Jesus was protected in His mission by the heavenly angels. Passing through the midst of them unobserved, He went His way. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 61

The same enmity that was in the hearts of the apostate Jews, that would lead them to murder the Son of God, was in the hearts of these Catholic religious zealots and made them altogether satanic, to persecute those who were struggling for religious freedom and to lead hundreds of souls to the edge of fearful precipice and dash them over upon the ragged rocks. These who pretend to be Christ’s vicegerents upon earth do the works of their father the devil. When did Christ leave them an example of putting to death either Romans or heathen because they did not believe His doctrines? 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 62

When John saw the insult put upon his Master in the deportment showing insult and contempt toward Jesus, he felt the wound for his Master, and asked: “Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” Luke 9:54. Christ answered, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Verses 55, 56. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 63

Herod and the wicked authorities killed the Just One, but Christ never killed anyone, and we may attribute the spirit of persecution—because men want liberty of conscience—to its origin—Satan. He is a deceiver, a liar, a murderer, and accuser of the brethren. He loves to see human misery. He exults in distress, and as we view the cruel persecutions of those who would obey God according to the dictates of their own consciences, we may know that this is the mystery of iniquity. The Lord said to Satan, that old serpent, “It [the Seed of the woman] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15. Christ in a special manner bruised the head of the serpent, but the prophecy is far-reaching. It is a declaration of an unwearied conflict between Christ and His followers, and Satan and his angels and human agencies on this earth, to the close of time. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 64

This conflict was opened upon the Son of God. He was afflicted, He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. The Majesty of heaven had to leave the scene of His labor again and again because of Satan’s bruising His heel, and finally Satan’s malignity reached its utmost power when Satan inspired and controlled the minds of wicked men to crucify Him. He has followed the children of God, causing them disaster and death. But woe to those agents who have lent their powers to be controlled by Satan to harm God’s little ones! Isaiah, Daniel, and St. John have in prophecy announced these very struggles and conquests which God’s people would pass through, and the triumph of Satan in his supposed victories. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 65

The enmity of Satan will continue fierce and determined against the followers of Jesus. Christ has said to His faithful ones, “They have persecuted Me; they will also persecute you.” John 15:20. There can be no enmity between fallen angels and fallen men who have practiced the very works and sport of Satan. Both are evil—both have forsaken the good, the pure, the holy character which distinguished the life of Christ. Evil, wherever it exists, in rejecting light and truth and departing from the living God, will always league against the righteous and obedient. Fallen angels and fallen men join in a desperate companionship. This is the very union that the persecutors of the faithful entered into. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 66

Satan made his calculations that if he could induce men, as he deceived and induced the angels who joined in his warfare, he should have them as his allies in every enterprise against heaven. Jarrings and discord, envy and jealousy, hatred and fraud were the elements that reigned among Satan’s kingdom; but when opposing Christ and those who believed on His name, they were bound firmly together as the bands of steel. The no-law question was their present truth. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 67

Persecution of the Vaudois has ceased, but they are not the people they once were. Shepherds are hired to be missionaries, but they have lost their power, their faith. They have not walked in the light. Piety and the beauty of holiness are not seen in the church. They have become sectarian. Errors and traditions and formality characterize the church. The truth, Bible truth, they will not receive. The living faith may be cherished by a few. The Bible is not opened to the people. There is a constant jealousy lest some shall come in to take away their congregations from them. The people are taught to look to their ministers alone. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 68

If God has a message to this people, as He has sent messages of warning and reproof, the way is barred so it shall not reach them. The ministers will not, like the noble Bereans, search the Scriptures to see if these things are so, that as faithful watchmen they may warn the people. A firm breastwork is preserved that seemingly the truth cannot enter. But we have faith that the arrows of the Almighty will penetrate the barriers, that the people held in bondage may see what is truth. The ministers give false interpretations to the Scriptures—spiritualizing away the literal interpretation. Ignorance of the Scriptures exists. The people are fettered and blinded and are but a few paces removed from the spirit which prevails among Catholics, and Protestant reformers have planted themselves where they will not move forward. God has light for them—peace and joy if they will have it; but they refuse—perfectly satisfied. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 69

The Lord has light and truth if they would receive it, to awaken the old fire of zeal and practical godliness, but they refuse the only means God has ordained to reach His people by the barriers they have themselves erected. Superstition, unbelief, and ignorance prevail here in Italy among these Vaudois. Has the glory forever departed from this people, the descendants of the Waldenses? The religion, systems, and forms have sunk into apostasy. Will they never rise again? 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 70

There is in Christianity that which these churches do not possess. The truth does not present ideas mingled with traditions and fables. The religion of Jesus Christ presents the truth, pure and undefiled. It will bear investigation, and honest seekers after the truth will have it. True religion does not excite the mind and feelings, but appeals to the intellect and to the heart. It is constantly developing and rising higher and higher heavenward. God can work for this poor people. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 71

In the days of the apostles the truth was mighty to the pulling down of the strongholds of Satan. The fire of devotion was kindled. All felt that they must have a living Saviour, for Christ had risen from the dead; and, trusting in a living Saviour, they were braced to receive martyrdom. God can effect great results by small means. Men of common abilities, humble men, may connect themselves with Jesus Christ. “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” Psalm 119:130. Men who devote their lives to God will feel the power of God’s Word in their hearts. They will feed the souls starving for the bread of life and the water of salvation. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 72

Declamations are made from the pulpit as empty and Christless as was Cain’s offering. The glowing fire of Christ’s love has never burned upon the altar of the hearts. Their discourses are filled with the testimonies of the fathers and human opinions and traditions—cold, unimpressive, without heavenly moisture. Subtilty and human inventions can be met with subtilty and human artifice. The Word of God alone, taken just as the voice of God to man, clothed with power and majesty, will clog the wheels of the reasoning machine. The Scriptures opened to the people in clear, forcible arguments reveal truth in its simplicity, but with such power that the hearers will say, as they said of Christ, “Never man spake like this man.” [John 7:46.] God will tear away the trammels which hold the people in the Waldensian valleys. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 73

These were in ancient times a people who looked with a horror upon the abominations of the church of Rome and sought to worship God in peace, according to the Word of God. They could not do this without coming into collision on every side with the opinions of Rome. While they [the Vaudois] had not a clear and distinct view of justification by faith, these were a step behind the Waldensians, who in purity of doctrine composed a long line of witnesses to the truth. They made their homes in the Piedmont Alps. The seclusion helped to maintain their purity. From the mountain heights, Waldensians protested against the corruption of the Roman church. They contended for the faith once delivered to the saints: that Christ is our Mediator, and His merits alone can cleanse from all sin. And yet their faith needed elevation. True progress did not mark their course; for they were tinctured with the customs of Rome. But gradually the clouds of error were rolling away in other parts of the world. Just as soon as Rome saw that men were searching for truth, digging for truth as for hid treasures, and not receiving their faith from Rome, then she was stirred. The Roman piety was the only piety that must be current. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 74

Wednesday, April 28, 1886

Torre Pellice

Attended my appointment last night and felt it my duty to stand in vindication of the law of God. I had been told, “Mrs. White, the people will hear you speak until you will say something upon the Sabbath and the law, and then they will come no more. You will have empty seats.” Nevertheless, I felt it my duty to speak plainly in regard to the law of God which was being made void in our world, not only by those who do not profess to have the fear of God before them and to be governed by religious principles, but by those who claim to love God and worship Him. And this is the reason it is so difficult to reach the unbelievers. In Christ’s day the greatest difficulty He had to meet and the ones who most obstructed His work in saving souls by the light of truth were the teachers of the people, the priests and the rulers. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 75

Now if the people had not been afraid of these priests and rulers, and if they had not placed such entire confidence in them because they were educated men, then they would have commenced to think and study and search the Scriptures for themselves. They allowed the priests and rulers to be conscience for them, and Christ called these teachers false teachers, blind guides. They interpreted the Scriptures to suit their ideas. They wrested the Scriptures, and Christ once said to these professedly pious men, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God.” [Matthew 22:29.] He said on another occasion, “Ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” [Matthew 23:23.] 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 76

Now the terrible responsibility of the position of these great men and teachers of the people was not understood. They led them wrong. Blinded and prejudiced themselves, they led the people who were not as well informed as they, and who were willing to be led without taking the trouble to study and search the Scriptures for themselves, so that they all united in rejecting Christ with priests, rulers, and people, and they did the terrible deed of crucifying the Son of God. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 77

April 29, 1886

Left Torre Pellice at five o’clock A.M. A. C. Bourdeau accompanied us to Turin. Here we had nearly two hours before the cars went to Geneva. We were glad to be well situated in the cars at last. The scenery is very grand on this route. With pen in hand, I sketch down the scenery as the cars move swiftly along. Now on either side of us rise almost perpendicular mountains, pointing towards the heavens, and between these mountain gaps are seen in the distance mountain peaks above mountain peaks. These mountains are cultivated in patches to their very summit. We see the goats feeding among the high rocks, where it appears there is not a green thing, and how they can keep their foothold appears a mystery. We come to fertile valleys. The plain, level land is highly cultivated on either side. There are orchards and horse chestnut trees. Villages are quite frequent here and there on the mountain sides, and in the valleys are planted forests of evergreens. Then we come to rocks, bleak and bare like masonry towering up to an immense height. We pass through a tunnel and look down thousands of feet into a wild rocky ravine where the green waters are running over the rocks. And we see mountains of rocks again on either side of the deep ravine. Now is the green valley, first on one side, then on the other, and a stream of water flowing through. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 78

Then we reach again the high precipitous mountains. Houses are built, terrace after terrace, to the mountaintop, that looked as if hanging like nests to the very rocks. These huge masses of rocks of every conceivable shape rise high up thousands of feet, their sides and summit jagged, and between the rocks are yawning fissures, many feet in depth. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 79

Our track was cut through the heart of rocky mountains. Upon the highest rocky eminence we saw reservoirs were being built of stone, round and pointed, resembling towers. We came to a village. It is very old. Its name is Chiomonte. It stands two thousand feet above the level of the sea. These houses are roofed with dark brown flat stones, which give them an ancient appearance. The mountains rise up thousands of feet above the village, and houses are located in the very rocky heights, one above another, and little bright green patches of land reveal their farms. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 80

Why the settlers should build in such high places, where no carriage can possibly go, is more than we can conjecture. Some houses are built upon rocks and surrounded with rocks. High above them, and sometimes below, are little patches of living green. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 81

We pass through tunnel after tunnel. We emerge from one quickly to enter another. With pen in hand I have not chance to write more than one word before we are enclosed in darkness. We emerge from the fifteenth tunnel, and a beautiful scene is opened to our view. Down, down, a long way below us is a valley which is nicely cultivated land. This smooth plain of grass and grain of living green extends to some distance. There are houses far below us. there is a stone wall—large, but in ruins—while on the tops of high mountains are buildings and ruined castles. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 82

And now we come to precipitous mountains, with houses at the base. High up on the sides of the mountain is quite a large village meetinghouse, rising in silent grandeur from the rocky heights which are its foundations, and the towers a little farther on are revealed, and smaller villages in among the rocks. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 83

Then we can discern where sheep and shepherds with their flocks of goats are feeding. Women and men are both employed in tending their flocks. We had some most beautiful views of God’s mighty power in the things of nature. In America no one would attempt to cultivate that which appears to be rocks, nothing but rocks, but the little patches of green tell us there is some soil there. Here are terrace after terrace, up hundreds of feet, built of rock walls to keep the little narrow strips of cultivated land from being washed away. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 84

We pass through a tunnel seven miles long. We pass mountains and ravines and come to where the houses have not so ancient an appearance, and we strike another village that looks hundreds of years old and mountains very high, with villages built upon their sides. In the ravines are swift-running streams, beating against the large boulders in their rapid flow. Now we come to a cleft in the mountain. From top to base is lying deep in snow. Rocks, massive, grand old rocks! Amid these have been planted a pine forest. Rocks, rocks, and yet high, very high up, are dwelling houses—little patches of grass or grain compose their mountainside farm. Oulx is the name of this place. Here goats and sheep make their way and find something to live on, but it is difficult to tell what. We come to a small, old-looking village, hundreds of years old, and next a forest of planted pines by the railroad track and extending up the mountain steeps. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 85

At 3 P.M. we enter a corner of France. We left Italy at the station back, Madan [?], about twelve o’clock and entered Switzerland; and after travelling some hours we reached this place, France, which is a beautiful country, and the climate is mild and healthful. This scenery is composed of hills and mountains, with beautiful trees. The earth is now most lovely, clothed in her garments of living green; the trees are covered with the loveliest green foliage, and the fruit trees, many of them, are in full bloom. The apple, plum, peach, and the horse chestnuts and hedges of lilac make the air fragrant with their blossoms. There are trees that bear a rich pink and red blossom resembling a tulip in shape. There are also trees with pure white blossoms of the same description. These broad valleys with the mountains in the background are clothed with forest trees. Up on the high mountain summits are built round towers and observatories and castles. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 86

The varied scenery is a scene of indescribable loveliness. As I look upon the marvelous works of God in nature, I am filled with amazement at the ingratitude of men, that their hearts are not drawn out in love and adoration to God. This earth could be enjoyable, most akin to heaven, if it were not for the perversity of men, whose hearts are set in them to do evil and that continually. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 87

If everything in God’s works looks to us so beautiful, and the majestic mountains and towering stern old rocks have attractions, how far exceeding it in beauty, in grandeur and loveliness, was the world before the flood, which was destroyed because of man’s sinfulness. God had surrounded them with the precious things of earth because He loved them. But these blessings were turned into a curse, and they used the precious things of earth to gratify their pride and to glorify themselves until the Lord destroyed them and the earth which was defiled by their violence and corrupting works. Even now, if the curse of sin were not corrupting the earth, it would be a happy place, but every place inhabited by human beings is debased with sin. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 88

The rocky mountains rise abruptly and seem to tower upwards, reaching to the very heavens. At my left is a grand old castle standing upon the mountaintop, and in the distance rises another mountain far above. The peaks reach almost to the heavens—a mountain that to human eye appears inaccessible, rising thousands of feet above the level—and on the very summit is a tower. It may be for observation. The ambition of man will not be restricted. And we come to scenery that appears to our senses as indescribably grand. Mountain peaks rise above mountain peaks, the massive, curiously splendid shaped rocks that were heaved up by mighty agencies and sculptured by the storms of ages—the bare, naked crags, rough hewn. Then there comes a little tableland high between jutting rocks. Up, up nearly to the top, men have made their dwelling. There are seen the peach and plum and cherry trees in full bloom. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 89

I turn my eye from the mountains to the valleys. There are long stretches of hedges of lilacs in full bloom, the chestnuts with their white blossoms, and trees that look like the chestnuts—a red pink, almost red. Then the beautiful green trees, the apple trees, the peach, the plum, the cherry, with their fragrant blossoms, and the fields of green waving grain. Then, lifting my eyes, I see in the background in striking contrast the Alps covered with their eternal snows. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 90

This place I have described is Chambering [?] in France. It has 18,550 inhabitants. This is a place thickly studded with houses. The houses, many of them, look very old, but the situation is one of surpassing loveliness. There is a diversified scenery, both tame and wild, grand and awe-inspiring mingled. This is the prettiest and grandest varied scenery combined I have seen in Europe. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 91

I begin at once to meditate—has the message of truth reached these cities and villages? Has its sound ever reached this city? I see evidences of Catholic religion in the cemeteries and the crosses and the stone arches, whereon are images of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the apostles. I see people pass these and bow and make the form of the cross. I am told that there are only a few scattered Protestants in these cities and villages we have passed. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 92

The inquiry arises, How are these people to be reached? How is the message of warning to be given to them? Where are the men, the missionaries, who will feel the burden to enter these places with our publications and who will open the Bible to one here and one there? They need not expect to get the crowds, for they cannot reach them. God has ways and means to break down the walls of religious prejudice that have been built up to keep away the truth from the people. Our heavenly Father gave His own dear Son a ransom for man; and after such an infinite sacrifice has been made to save them, He will not leave them without warning and destitute of the light of truth. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 93

I see old stone buildings that must be centuries old going to decay, and man is passing away. He will live again, but how will his destiny be determined? Men are inclined to sin, to transgress the law of God, and what need of these senseless images made with man’s hands to symbolize God? Our heavenly Father has furnished us with tokens of His greatness and His majesty. Especially is this so in a wonderful degree in these mountainous regions. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 94

The great God has reared His mighty structures in the granite rocks, in the towering mountains, in clefts, in the gulches, in the gorges, and in the castle rocks and the caves of the earth; and with these surroundings of evidences of God’s power, how thankless the heart that needs images of man to worship! The heathen who worship nature, the works of the divine hand, are idolaters, but does not their worship strike the senses as more sensible than the worship of images, having the mould and impress of finite man? Everything about us teaches us from day to day lessons of our Father’s love and of His power, of His laws that govern nature and that lie at the foundation of all government in heaven and in earth. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 95

These rich tokens of God’s matchless power, if they will not call the mind to the Creator of heaven and earth, if they will not awaken gratitude in these dull and thankless hearts, will images and shrines of dead men do this? We look upon nature, we see the fields clothed with their carpet of living green, we see the variety of His works in this house God has builded for man. Every part of this house differs, it may be, from another, but we trace in unmistakable tokens the handiwork of the great Architect. There is beauty in the valley’s awful grandeur, in the solemn, massive, cleft rocks; there is majesty in the towering mountains that look as if they touched the heavens. There are the lofty trees with their delicately formed leaves; the spires of grass, the opening bud and blossoming flower, the forest trees, and every living thing—they all point the mind to the great and living God. Every faculty of our being testifies that there is a living God, and we may learn the most precious lessons from the open book of nature in regard to the Lord of heaven. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 96

In this study the mind expands, is elevated and uplifted, and becomes hungry to know more of God and His majesty. We have awakened in our hearts feelings not only of reverence and awe, but of love, of faith, of trust and entire dependence upon One who is the giver of all good. And as I look at His marvelous works and see the evidences of His power, I instinctively inquire, “What is man that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?” Psalm 8:4. All the greatness and glory of these wonderful things in God’s house can only be appreciated as they are connected in the mind or associated with God; and the future home of bliss He is preparing for those who love Him. The precious things of the lasting hills we enjoy, but these will be as nothing compared with the glories that shall be awarded to the worshipers of the true God. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 97

We shall have in this life cold and heat, fogs, storms, and tempest, the oppressive heat of summer, but in heaven will be no extremes. We may in the place of bowing to images, the works of men’s hands, bow to God and through the name of Jesus receive the rich blessings of heaven. These images are said to be representations, to call the mind to the real, but there are thousands of minds that know not how to rise any higher, and remain in ignorance of the true and living God, through these very miserable substitutes which take the place of God in the human mind. The Lord has made all these cheap, dumb idols entirely unnecessary to keep the living God in mind. His own handiwork is presented before us, whichever way we look, wherever in God’s house we may make our home. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 98

Ministers and teachers should esteem these solemn lessons which are in this great house of God so full of interest that, as they shall learn the lessons from the book of nature, they can call the attention of the people and educate them to study the Lord’s book of nature, which He has opened before them that they may become acquainted with Himself. Who can doubt His power or His love as he sees the thoughtfulness and wisdom of God in all His arrangements? God wants that men should not center their hopes and experience in men, but learn the lessons which He teaches every devout and attentive mind. The Lord would have us discern His wisdom. We may study the book of nature, discovering the glory of God in every page that is laid open for our inspection. God’s work, how mighty! It is, indeed, past finding out! 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 99

It is the work of Satan to draw down the minds from the grand evidences of God’s majesty to inferior things, as images of Christ and the apostles, and praying to them and reverencing the senseless bones of reported saints. God has spread His works before our senses. These testify of His power, and the souls that are bowing to these images may be uplifted and become elevated through the revelations of God in His created works, and they may be inspired to worship Him who is the only true and living God. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 100

Men may trace, in the broken surface of the earth, the evidences of the flood. Men thought themselves wiser than God, and altogether too wise to obey His law and keep His commandments and obey the statutes and precepts of Jehovah. The rich things of earth which God had given them did not lead them to obedience, but away from obedience, because they misused their choice favors of heaven and made the blessings given them of God objects to separate from God. And because they became satanic in their nature, rather than divine, the Lord sent the flood of waters upon the old world, and the foundations of the great deep were broken up. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 101

Clay, lime, and shells that God had strewn in the bottoms of the seas were uplifted, thrown hither and thither, and convulsions of fire and flood, earthquakes and volcanoes, buried the rich treasures of gold, silver, and precious stone beyond the sight and reach of man. Vast treasures are contained in the mountains. There are lessons to be learned in God’s book of nature. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 102

While we talk freely of other countries, why should we be reticent in regard to the heavenly country, and the house not built with hands, eternal in the heavens? This heavenly country is of more consequence to us than any other city or country on the globe, therefore we should think and talk of this better, even an heavenly, country. And why should we not converse more earnestly and in a heavenly frame of mind in regard to God’s gifts in nature? He has made all these things and designs that we shall see God in His created works. These things are to keep God in our remembrance and to lift our hearts from sensual things and bind them in bonds of love and gratitude to our Creator. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 103

We see in the broken face of nature, in the cleft rocks, in the mountains and precipices, that which tells us a great wrong has been done, that men have abused God’s gifts, forgotten the Creator, and that the Lord was grieved and punished the wicked transgressors of His law, and as the result we have its effects in creation. Storms rage with destructive violence. Harm comes to man and beast and property. Because men continue to transgress God’s law, He removes their defense. Famine, calamity by sea, and the pestilence that walketh at noonday follow because men have forgotten their Creator. Sin, the blight of sin, defaces and mars our world, and agonized creation groans under the iniquity of the inhabitants thereof. God has given us faculties to be cultivated, to be improved to His glory and for eternity. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 104

These mountains and caverns and clefts of the rock which we behold have a history. Martyrs have perished here, and these places will never reveal their sacred trust until the Life-giver shall call them with the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God from the rocky caverns, the dungeons, the caves, and the clefts of the rocks. They died in exile, some by starvation, others by the cruel hand of man. They walked with God, and will walk with Him in white because they are found worthy. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 105

This earth is not deprived even now of angel visitors. They come in the guise of men. They communicate to the children of men, but their eyes are holden and they know them not. All that God has given us in the treasures of the earth is to draw our minds to Him. The most wonderful sacrifice has been made in our behalf, and shall anything come between our hearts and our God? 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 106

What a sight will it be when the dead shall come forth from their graves among these Waldensian valleys! I was informed that, not far back, in these Catholic villages, when working about buildings or digging in the ground, there are found heaps of bones of human beings, and in these bodies are seen long spikes, sharpened at both ends, attached to the back skull bones and running down the back. These things stir the enmity of Protestants to the depths of their souls. A little may be revealed now and then, but chapters of the book of history of sufferings will never a page of it be opened, that any one may obtain a glimpse of the work of Satan, accomplished through wicked men claiming to be serving God. The mountains, the dens, the caves of the earth, the dungeons lying beneath the monasteries have a history which the great retributive day of God’s judgment will reveal. From these hidden pits where human beings have been buried will start into life those who counted not their lives dear unto themselves, who valued integrity of soul to God above ease, above property, above life itself. From beneath the molding majestic walls is ground cursed by the Roman power, but sanctified by the blood of martyrs; and as the blood of Abel cried to God from the ground, so will the blood of these slaughtered ones cry to God from the ground for vengeance. 4LtMs, Ms 62, 1886, par. 107