Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 7, 1886

Remarks/Reproof for Sabbath Breaking

Christiania, Norway

July 11, 1886

This manuscript is published in entirety in 10MR 89-95.

(Mrs. E. G. White’s Remarks Before the Committee at Christiania, July 11, 1886.) 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 1

We feel gratified at the advancement you have made here. You have an appropriate building where you can serve God. And while we may feel gratified with this, we want to be sure that everything in regard to ourselves is right with God. When I was in America the condition of things in Christiania and in other churches here in Europe was presented before me, and I was shown that, while our brethren here had accepted the truth, yet there was to be a continual advancement on their part before they would be prepared for the work that God would do through them; that we have a most solemn message to proclaim to the world, which is to elevate the standard of God’s law before the world that is making it void; and that there was here in Christiania a defect in the church in this respect. The Sabbath was not regarded by the people with that sacredness that it is presented to us in the Bible. While they held the Sabbath so loosely, it was impossible for God to let His blessing rest upon the church. There has been too much done in the line of bringing the Sabbath down to man’s convenience rather than to bring the Sabbath up, as it is presented in the Word of God. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 2

The word spoken to me by the angel of God was to observe and see, that while worship was going on in the house of God on the Sabbath, and the Sabbath was being nominally observed by the people here; while the prayers were being offered to God for His blessing to rest upon the people, and while the minister was talking to the people, there was heard the sound of the hammer and anvil and chisel, and various sounds. Said the angel, This is an offense to God. How can God regard Himself as honored by a people who profess to worship Him, and let His blessing rest upon the people, while these things are going on? Well now, I could not at the time understand what this meant; but since I have come right here upon the premises, I understand it. Here is a blacksmith right here upon the premises who carries his work on right while worship is going on here on the Sabbath day. And while these meetings have been going on, I have heard the same sounds that the angel caused me to hear over in America. I have heard the sound of chisel and hammer while we have been worshiping God. And the angel said to me that God could not let His blessing rest upon a people who have so little respect for His Word. Again I was led into different places, and I saw accounts that were being settled up and business that was being done upon the Sabbath day, because it was convenient for the people. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 3

Then I was pointed back and was shown that had the truth been held in years past in the manner that it has been held here, we would not have been one-fiftieth part as far advanced as we are today. I was referred to the case of Daniel, how he stood forth for the honor of God whatever might be the result. Had many of our brethren here been placed in a similar condition as was Daniel, they would not have stood firm to principle as he did, but they would have lowered the standard to meet the condition of the people. I was shown that should you, with your present ideas and views, be brought to the test here, you would not take your position so as to connect yourselves with the work of God. Now the requirement that was presented to me was that there should be just as strict integrity on the part of you here as there was on the part of Daniel. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 4

We may expect, from the history that is given us of Daniel, that God would work for us as He did for Daniel. Daniel purposed in his mind that he would not comply with any condition that would in any way weaken his physical powers so that he could not give glory to God. Now if he had yielded to that very first test—to have eaten at the king’s table—then he would have yielded to the second test. Had he said, It is a very small matter whether I pray in secret or whether I pray openly to God, and it is convenient for me to obey the command, then the Lord could not have let His blessing rest upon him in such a remarkable degree. But here is wherein Daniel saw God could be honored; that he as a representative of God must keep the living God exalted above all as the One who could give wisdom and power. Here was an opportunity for him to show to all from whence came his strength, and that man could not come in between him and his God; therefore he did not accommodate himself to the circumstances at all, but he placed himself in that position, that he would lose his life rather than dishonor the God of heaven in any way. And we see that God honored Daniel with wisdom and understanding more than all the astrologers and magicians that were in the king’s palace. And notwithstanding a gaping lion’s den was open before him, yet he would repair to his tent and worship God there. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 5

Now here is where the test is coming to every one who will enter the city of God—whether they will keep God’s commandments and His honor before them, or whether they will serve the powers that be. And if our people shall take the position their faith is a convenient faith, and that it can be manipulated according to their convenience, why, they will throw themselves on the side of the enemy. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 6

Well, there were matters presented before me in regard to the demoralized state of the church which I should bear to this people. And I thought it was to be borne by pen. On every occasion where man’s convenience has been exalted before God’s, they have put a blinder before their eyes so that the very people who should be strong according to the light which shines from the Word of God upon their path—why, in many things they are as weak as water; and in their influence connected with the church they have not seen the importance of keeping the church together and their standard high. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 7

There has been the evil work of the talebearer and meddler going on; and these things have been passed over as a slight thing. Your meetings have been demoralized so that some of them have been a disgrace to the people of God. There has been a criticizing, faultfinding spirit. It has been right here in the church, and the frown of God has been upon the church, for they were guilty of these things because they allowed it. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 8

God said to Joshua, Why are you lying upon your face here? Said Joshua, There is an accursed thing in Israel. Why, the enemy had gained the victory over them. And God said, I will not go out to battle with you until you have put the accursed thing away from among you. [Joshua 7:7-12.] I want to talk further upon this point, but cannot at this time. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 9

Now if you had been in a right connection with God, you never could have heard these sounds I have heard here upon the Sabbath day and yet felt that you were in a right condition before God. And to think that these things have been going on right at the time when your prayers were ascending to God! Now if this matter were not under your control at all, and you were to consider the question of building a meetinghouse in such a place, this should be taken into consideration, and you should take care not to locate where you would be disturbed by such things. But here the matter is under your control and right on your own premises, and yet your sensibilities are not aroused to it, although it is right under your eyes, and you a people who profess to be exalting the law of God in your land. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 10

Now you may regard it as a matter of economy. It may bring in some means to invest in the work. I was carried right back to Saul and was there shown how he ordered that the best of the cattle and sheep should be kept to offer to the Lord as a burnt sacrifice, notwithstanding the Lord had told them that everything should be destroyed. And the Lord said Saul should lose his soul for that very act. And yet Saul in his eagerness declared that he had kept the law. Why, says he, I have kept the command, but have kept some of the best of the cattle, oxen, and sheep to offer to the Lord for a burnt sacrifice. Then said Samuel to him, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” [1 Samuel 15:10-22.] And here the means that are brought in by any of you by transgression of God’s law, God will just as surely scatter those means as you have them. For a time it may seem that God wants these means, but God bears with men to a certain point; but when sufficient light has been given and they do not regard that light, then His hand is stretched out to destroy them. And if any of you are engaged in business with men where there is any infringement on God’s law, you better cut loose from all such things. The Lord bears and forbears long with the perversity of His children, but when He undertakes to punish them, He will not cease until He has made a full end. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 11

I want that my brethren shall understand that the Lord is in earnest with them. I have not come to this place to cry in your ears, Peace, peace. It is because I have love for this cause, for my brethren, and for this church that I seek to arouse your minds in regard to these things. Just as soon as we begin to accommodate the truth to our own circumstances and conveniences, then we begin to lessen the power of the truth and its influence; for just as surely, this principle that has been weaving itself into this church will hinder it, just as others have been hindered. And when there is a departure from the strictest principles of truth, then there is an inclination for a still wider departure. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 12

The Lord would have His people here arouse themselves to a sense of their condition. Why, here is a church standing here in this large city to present the truth to the people, and every soul that is connected with this church should have a living connection with God. Example has swayed men so that they have not kept God’s Sabbath, and He has said that His Sabbath should be a sign between Him and His people, that in the day of final destruction He will pass over them so that the destruction that is to fall upon the world will not fall upon them, who keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. I feel like urging this matter because I know that the conscience has become hardened in regard to these things. And the people are not ignorant of these things; they take notice of them. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 13

Do not think that the means that you obtain from this blacksmith shop and marble works will advance the work of God, for it will not. The God of heaven will not accept means obtained in any such way; it is an offense to Him; it is that received by transgressing His commandments and speaks plainly against you. You could not have allowed these things to have gone on like this for years had you had sensitive consciences. God has been dishonored by you here; and if you expect that the God of heaven will work for you, you must have altogether different consciences. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 14

Just as soon as you begin to humble yourselves before God, then He will come in and work with you. If the truth is worth anything to us, it is worth everything. It is through the truth that we are to be sanctified. But just as surely as you refuse to receive ... [Remainder missing.] 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1886, par. 15