Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 87, 1886

Preparing for the Time of Testing

Copenhagen, Denmark


Formerly Undated Ms 152. Previously unpublished.

We carry a continual burden as we labor in these large cities. Every kind of pleasure-seeking, the voice of mirth, the voice of wrath and blasphemy is common, but the voice of praise and thanksgiving to God is a very strange thing. 4LtMs, Ms 87, 1886, par. 1

When I feel so deeply and the weight of souls presses me so heavily, I think of Jesus. He was the light of the world, but the minds of the very ones who ought to receive Him and acknowledge Him were lifted up unto vanity. Self-pleasing and strife for the supremacy kept them in constant trials, and Jesus, the only One who could give them light and peace, was not accepted and acknowledged by them. How must the Redeemer of the world [have] been grieved as He saw the indifference of the very men [to whom] He came to our world to present the priceless gift of eternal life, and they scorned the gift and the Giver. 4LtMs, Ms 87, 1886, par. 2

The world’s Redeemer was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He gave everything for man. He laid aside His glory. He, for our sakes, became poor, that we, through His poverty, might be made rich, and He lived a life of continual self-denial and self-sacrifice. He humbled Himself that He might reach to the very depths of human woe and misery and lift up man, fallen. He endured torturing agony of soul because of the sins of men. He died on the cross, the most ignominious death, that man might not miserably perish. All that prophets and holy men proclaimed that should be fulfilled in regard to Christ’s mission in coming to our world was fulfilled. And yet men’s hearts are as hard as adamant. 4LtMs, Ms 87, 1886, par. 3

All that God has, through the prophets, spoken and written in regard to the future will be fulfilled. God will have a people, a chosen people from all nations, all tongues, in all parts of the habitable world. As I look over these great cities, I call to mind Christ’s weeping over Jerusalem, exclaiming, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen gathereth her brood under her wings, and ye would not.” [Luke 13:34.] I felt deep heart yearning for the souls for whom Christ had died who knew not the things that made for their peace. 4LtMs, Ms 87, 1886, par. 4

We have the light of prophecy, the Old Testament, that we are standing on the threshold of the fulfilment of great and solemn events. Prophecies are coming down to a point. The dangers and perils of the last days are right upon us. At the present time the angels are holding the four winds. There seems to be a little moment of peace. It is a lull in the conflicting elements just before the outburst of the unprecedented storm that has been gathering its forces for the last great crisis. Nations will be in confusion. Kingdoms will be terribly shaken. Everything betokens the end is near. The churches are making void the law of God, rejecting the truth and choosing [their] delusions. They are not taking sides with the Prince of Peace. They are not ranging under the banner of the Lord God of hosts; and when church and state shall be united in restricting religious liberty, when the institution of the man of sin shall be taken up universally in preference to God’s holy, sanctified day; when all men [standing] in church and state [show] strong respect for the man of sin in exalting the heathen day of worship and call it Christian, then it will be time for God to work, for they have made void His law. 4LtMs, Ms 87, 1886, par. 5

Signs then of desolation will be plainly revealed to the God-fearing student of prophecy. The great secession has taken place, the world and church united to tear down God’s great moral standard and erect a standard instituted by the man of sin. Then will be earnest men, distinguished men, blinded and deluded with false doctrines; they have taken a deep draught of wine of Babylon, and they rush into superstitious doctrines, into the great apostasy, bearing the very stamp of that dross. God has plainly pointed out in prophecy, “they were drunk with the wine of Babylon,” and the same spirit moves the whole. 4LtMs, Ms 87, 1886, par. 6

Another angel from heaven will join the third angel in proclaiming the loud cry, “Come out of her, My people, lest ye be partakers of her sins and receive of her plagues.” [Revelation 18:4.] The crisis is upon us. It is coming as a thief in the night steals upon us unawares. 4LtMs, Ms 87, 1886, par. 7

If there ever were a time when serious reflecting becomes every one who fears God, it is now when personal piety is essential, when the inquiry should be made, “What am I, and what is my work and mission in this time? On which side am I working? Christ’s side or on the enemies’ side?” Let every soul now humble his [or] herself before God, for now we are surely living in the great day of atonement. The cases even now of many are passing in review before God, for they are to sleep in their graves a little season. Your profession of faith is not your guarantee in that day, but the state of your affections. Is the soul temple cleansed of its defilement? Are my sins confessed, and am I repenting of them before God, that they may be blotted out? Do I esteem myself too highly? Am I willing to make any and every sacrifice for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ? Do I feel every moment I am not my own, but Christ’s property, that my service belongs to God, whose I am? 4LtMs, Ms 87, 1886, par. 8

There is in this day abundance of form and display, but vital piety is rare indeed. There are fair-weather Christians enough, but God cannot use such in this time. Sentimentalism abounds. Tasteful and a proper religion so-called is filling the world. It is in harmony with the natural heart because it is cold and like a statue, but has no living, working principle. There is earnestness and deep interest all through our world in false theories. Infidels abound everywhere because of the abounding Christless religion of this age. Satan is taking advantage of all this false Christianity, to work in himself. He is taking the world and the churches captive and setting his agencies to work with a life and power, that the outcome he sees would surprise and startle the Christian world, but a stupor-like death has changed their senses. 4LtMs, Ms 87, 1886, par. 9

God’s faithful, commandment-keeping people are the ones whom Satan cannot draw upon his side and make them rebellious against God’s law. And those who profess to understand the law in which we live are not all half awake. They are, many, fearful, ease-loving, self-loving. The truth as it is in Jesus does not have a refining, elevating, sanctifying effect upon their lives and characters, and they will be dealt with as chaff unless they arouse and are converted. 4LtMs, Ms 87, 1886, par. 10

Every one now needs to build securely for eternity, for their faith will be tested: are they building on the Rock. So many are risking their future and eternal interest on a probability, not on the sure Word of God; and while some are looking forward to the latter rain, to do the work for them that God wants should be done now, they will become so cold they will not recognize the latter rain. Their probation closes, and they are laid in the grave, unfit for their last change. They did not make themselves ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb. What will eternity be to this class? 4LtMs, Ms 87, 1886, par. 11

I am afraid for these poor souls who eat and drink, plant and build, marry and are given in marriage, as in the days before the flood. We need vital godliness. We need a living connection with God. We must wake out of sleep and watch and wait and pray and work. We have no time for indolence or to follow the customs and practices of the world. We are to catch the divine rays of light from Jesus and flash them upon the pathway of others. It is high time everyone who has the light of truth shall impart the truth to others. 4LtMs, Ms 87, 1886, par. 12