Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4

200/448

Ms 22, 1885

Regarding Miles Grant

[Italy]

November 30, 1885

Portions of this manuscript are published in 5MR 269.

We decided while at Torre Pellice to hire a hall where we could worship God in peace. There was no assurance that we could hold meetings in the hall which we had then hired without being interrupted and broken up by the spirit of opposition. We succeeded in hiring a small hall and had notices posted that we would hold meetings for several days. Next morning we were surprised to see notices placed above our hand notices that Elder Miles Grant and Concorder would commence a series of meetings in the hall directly above us which Concorder had occupied for his meetings. Elder Grant put in his notices that he would expose the pretended visions of Mrs. E. G. White. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 1

I did not attend his meetings. Elder A. C. Bourdeau and Mrs. M. K. White and some others of our people attended. Mrs. White took notes in shorthand of his words. We did not want any controversy. I had no hold upon the people, neither had Elder Grant. I came to Torre Pellice to rest and, if there was an opportunity, to do the people good. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 2

Elder Grant made the statement that it was rather a singular circumstance that he had arrived in Torre Pellice the same time that Mrs. White arrived. It had been one week since he came to the valleys, and yet he had made no move for meetings until the notice appeared of our meetings. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 3

Mr. Miles had threatened to publish a pamphlet against the Sabbath, showing up Adventists, as he termed it. This pamphlet came out during this week. They were the same old arguments that have been repeated by Elder Grant and the First Day Adventists hundreds of times, which our opponents have used for the last forty years against the Sabbath. Every objection has been met and answered by discussions by the pen and voice. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 4

My work has not been to enter into discussion and have a controversy with any one. My ministering brethren could take care of these matters; neither was it my work to vindicate myself, but to go about my work which the Lord had given me to do and keep at this work irrespective of censure, false statements, base falsehoods, [and] misrepresentation. Some have from time to time attacked my character, framing falsehoods against my early life, but this has been taken up by those who know my life and those who were fully acquainted with my early history, and although not of our faith, having no sympathy with our views, have stood in defense of me and freely given of their names, contradicting the evil reports that Elder Grant has picked up from false witnesses. He loves the lies that others have made, and this is one of the main features and burden of his work—parade statements manufactured forty years ago that have not even the shade of truth or evidence for their foundation. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 5

This man claims sanctification, but what kind? What is the nature of his sanctification? He has no moral standard, for he claims that God’s law is abolished. He has a standard of human origin; and by one of his own creating, he claims to be sanctified. But Jesus warns against just such men. Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. The apostle tells us, “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” [Romans 3:20.] Paul says, “I had not known sin but by the law.” [Romans 7:7.] This law of Jehovah, the great moral standard of righteousness does not suit the ways and practices of Elder Grant, and he has trampled it under his feet and erected a standard to suit himself. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 6

I have ever taken the position that I would have no controversy with any one. This is not the work God has given me; neither would I be drawn from the work in speaking or writing to contradict the falsehoods made and loved by those men claiming sanctification. We can expect nothing better of those who have no respect for God’s moral government who make a raid against the law of God. If they would tear down God’s great moral standard of righteousness, they have no means of detecting sin, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. They would hesitate at any ways and means to falsify, to pervert and cast stigma upon those who are standing in defense of the law of God. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 7

These picked-up reports that Elder Grant repeats everywhere he goes have been answered again and again, but what cares he for this? He loves too well the falsehood to give it up. I had the answers with me and could have notified the people and called them together to state my purpose of refuting these charges, but I would not depart from the principles I have maintained to not vindicate myself, but go right on with my work. If my writings and my efforts made in advocating Bible truth did not sufficiently testify of the character of my mission for the last forty years, then anything that I might say would be useless for convincing these men who claim that the law of God is abolished, who have only the standard they have erected of justice and righteousness. We may produce the plain statements of fact; we may bring evidence, clear and conclusive of many witnesses; but will this weigh anything with these men? Nothing will change their minds while they occupy the position they do in regard to God’s great moral standard of righteousness. Their enmity is against God’s law, and hence all who advocate it must be uprooted by them in some way. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 8

They are acting over the course which was pursued by the chief priests and scribes and rulers in the days of Christ. They have set their feet in the path of stubborn resistance to the truth as did the Jews in Christ’s day. Human nature is controlled by the powers of darkness; Satan pursued that course in the days of Christ. Nothing that Christ could do or did do removed the prejudice of those who did not want to believe. When He wrought miracles in their midst, they would not believe. The chief priests and rulers were constantly educating and training the people to reject Christ by their falsehoods, their misstatements of His work, their misrepresentation of His doctrines, so that when these miracles were wrought before them, the teachers had a device ready for the occasion. This fellow hath “Beelzebub,” and it is only by the power of the devils He casteth out devils. [Matthew 12:24.] On a similar charge against Him in Jerusalem, the words came from the lips of those who witnessed this good work, These are not the words of Him that hath a devil. [John 10:21.] 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 9

We were in the Piedmont Valleys where the people religiously were in the depths of superstition, ignorance in regard to Bible truth. Remarks were made by those who claimed to be Protestants, but who were ignorant of the Scriptures and the power of God. Several of the Vaudois had heard Elder Grant preach, and they told their friends he had come to quarrel with a woman who was an Adventist. Two Adventists quarreling, he says, with one another was enough for them; but this man made a mistake. The raid was made all on one side. I would not become a party to this contention so much as to make a reference to Elder Grant. I would not have any contradiction with him or even vindicate myself. I placed my case and work in the hands of Him who had given me my commission and bore my testimony just the same as though Elder Grant were in his own native state. He claimed before the people to be well acquainted with Mrs. White and she was well acquainted with him. All the acquaintance I have had with Elder Grant is on one occasion. My husband and I met him on the cars, and we spoke a few words together once after that. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 10

We attended the great national camp meeting; and then as I attempted to speak in a social meeting a few words in harmony with that which we all believed as Adventists, he and Elder Himes came rushing out of a business meeting they were holding in one of the tents and interrupted me, although I spoke but a few moments. And although professing to gain great liberty for all, we were commanded to leave the ground, although we had not disturbed their meetings at all. But they agreed among themselves to send a man of their number to our tent. We had a few publications on the Sabbath, and this man professed to be anxious for some of these little tracts and they were given to him. Then he went back to those who had sent him and reported that we had publications that were being given to those who wanted them. Elders Himes and Grant and others ordered us to take down the tent and to leave the ground, which we did. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 11

We could but see that the very same spirit was working in the same manner as when Christ was upon the earth. The Pharisees and the scribes and rulers were constantly devising some plan against Him that they might catch Him in His words. They set spies upon His track. Satan has different deceptions prepared for different minds. God has given us a test whereby we may not be deceived. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 12

On one occasion I shook hands with him in San Francisco, California, and exchanged a few words with him. He has had all the opportunity he wanted to ask me if these statements were true or false. I could have shown him the impossibility of their being true, but he has loved the lies that have been presented to him and repeated them so many times he believes them to be truth, and he feels as zealous as Saul did when he was persecuting the saints of God at Jerusalem, believing he is doing God service. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 13

This is all the personal acquaintance I have had with Elder Grant. I present this that my brethren shall understand just how I treat this matter. Not one of our ministers should engage in discussion with him because he will, under a cloak of sanctification, pursue a course of great crookedness. He will resort to any ways and any means that are unfair to make of none effect the truth of God. And with such an opponent who will wrest the Scriptures, who will misinterpret and falsify the words that may be spoken, as did the chief priests and rulers in Christ’s day, it is not for the good of the people or for the glory of God to enter into controversies, even upon the truth. Keep about your work just as though such a man as Miles Grant did not exist. Let him make all the falsehoods and love all that others make and make a raid against the holy law of God and against those who stand in defense of the truth. The truth can handle only one set of weapons—truth and righteousness. The opposers of truth can use artifice, crookedness, deception, falsehood, because they have nothing better to use. Satan used just such a set of weapons, and he will use them. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 14

This raid made against those who keep the commandments of God will not cease until probation closes. John saw this warfare going forward in the last days. He says, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 15

So it has been in every age. Men will be tested upon the truth, and two influences are brought to bear upon the human mind. Satan will not let one go from his ranks without he makes a desperate resistance. He will contest inch by inch the advance of one to the light and truth. He will bring every power to bear to hold them on his side, that Christ shall not have these souls he claims as his subjects; but if these souls will flee to Jesus and make earnest prayer to God to know the truth, if they will go to God and their Bibles, they will ascertain the truth as it is in Jesus. But if they through policy, like the chief priests and rulers, will not obey God, like them they will go to any lengths in deception. The light that is in them becomes darkness, and how great is that darkness. They are given up to 2 Thessalonians 2:7-11 cited. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 16

The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. To whom does this apply? Satan was the first great rebel in heaven. On account of his power to deceive, he carried many of the holy angels on his side. God was truth and justice. God moved in a straightforward course to vindicate His law. Satan must yield or evade God’s arguments. He came where the two roads branched. It was submission or open rebellion. He took the latter position. He had misconstrued, perverted, wrested the words of God until he carried with him a large number of the angels; a large number, true, but for his deception. He practiced the work of accusing, of fraud, of deception until he himself was his own dupe. He believed his own lies; his darkness was to him light, and light was darkness. To Satan this was his ruin. He really had the advantage. Lucifer could lie, deceive, accuse. God cannot lie. God moved in a straightforward course. Lucifer moved in a crooked, wriggly, twisting course, serpent-like. Lucifer could be warned at the beginning of this course of sin as only God can warn, but his stubborn resistance and unbelief construed every merciful interposition of God into a pressure and restriction of his rights. He fancied himself for a time, because he gained some of the angels to his side as superior to God. The Lord allowed Satan to go on until he should reveal himself in his true character. Christ alone, by giving Himself a sacrifice, could destroy the works of Satan. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 17

To meet all of Lucifer’s methods and guile was not an easy task. But it was and will be revealed that pure truth is a match for falsehood; and when Christ was willing to give even life itself to maintain the honor of God’s law, the truth which was truth when the world was made will remain truth when the earth is purified and made the abode for the saints. The law of God was the great subject of controversy in heaven. It is the great subject of controversy ever since the fall of Satan and will continue to be the great test question, showing the loyal and the transgressors in two parties. Now it seems a marvel that men will be so blinded as to pursue the warfare and continue it so persistently against God’s law that Satan began in heaven. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 18

After Elder Grant had presented me as he had done before the people, in my next meeting on the Sabbath there were quite a number out, expecting that I would answer the charges he had made against me. One Baptist minister sat with notebook and pencil to take notes, but the discourse will appear. M. K. White took notes in shorthand, and the character of my labors can be seen in the ten times I spoke in the valleys. One Baptist minister visited me in the house of Brother Bourdeau, and we had a very profitable conversation together and a season of prayer. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 19

This occasion to me was one of trial and anxiety. I wished to know my duty. I did not want to present to this people who know nothing of our faith the idea that those who were Adventists were at war one with another. This would leave an impression on minds that all the good that we might try to do them would be of no effect. I believe my course was right—to keep silent. I would not wish to meet the matter in the judgment that because of the contention of the two parties—First-day Adventists and Seventh-day Adventists—souls were fastened in unbelief and error. When the grand truths of the near coming of the Son of man would make no impression upon them, night and day my burden of prayer was, Lord, help me to be low at the cross; help me in this land of strangers to remember Jesus. All I ask is that Thy name may be glorified, the honor of Thy law be maintained. I had a most precious experience at this time in hiding self in Jesus. I said over and over in my wakeful hours at night, “Jesus, simply to Thy cross I cling.” I was comforted with these reflections. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 20

God is a party in all our transactions. We are either serving Him in obedience to all His commandments, or we are sinning against Him by doing just as Satan did, questioning and finding fault with God’s rule, His great moral standard of right. But I felt an assurance that the God of justice is a party to all men’s unjust proceedings. God of truth is a witness to every falsehood uttered. It is all written in the books of heaven. He who had declared that all sin is a transgression of His law, cannot look upon sin with allowance, is present as He was at the feast of Belshazzar, and an unseen hand is tracing in the books of heaven every word uttered against the rule of His government. And those who claim to be holy, without sin, are tempters to others. They make the Holy One serve with their sins. They practice fraud upon their fellow men with using the powers of the mind God has given them to deceive souls to their ruin. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 21

No man can swerve form truth and violate justice and depart from integrity and transgress thereby the law of God only as they depart from Jesus. Men cannot have success who violate the eternal principles of light and who trample on God’s law. They may come with the robes of righteousness as did Satan to Christ and as he now comes to men. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1885, par. 22