Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)
Ms 22, 1890
Diary, January to March 1890
Battle Creek, Michigan
January 10 - March 1, 1890
This manuscript is published in entirety in 1888 568-583.
January 10. The Promise of the Saviour.
In Eden the gospel of a coming Saviour was proclaimed. No sooner was the promise given that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head than Christ was revealed as the Redeemer of mankind. [Genesis 3:15.] Through Him alone could be fulfilled God’s purpose to prevent heathenism and idolatry from becoming universal. The promise of His coming was the star of hope that shed its bright beams across the desert over which the church was to make her way to the consummation of her hopes. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 1
To Abraham God said, “In thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed.” [Galatians 3:8.] How was this to be? Abraham was to be a representative of Christ. Through him and through other representative men the light of truth was to shine forth. By the work that they did was to be awakened in the minds of men the expectation that a wonderful personage was to come, to accomplish a great work. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 2
In the sacrifices offered by the Israelites, Christ was typified. These sacrifices pointed to a better, more perfect offering, even the Lamb of God, without blemish and without spot. The service of the tabernacle was but a figure, a shadow of the coming One, to whom the gathering of the nations should be. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 3
Gratitude should fill our hearts as we think of what God, through Christ, has done for us. The thought of the infinite gift made to us should refine and ennoble us. As we think of the love and goodness of God, we should banish selfishness from our hearts, asking the Lord to make us kind and compassionate. Has not God a right to our affections? Do not our powers belong to Him? What more could He have done for men than He has done? In one great gift He poured out for us all the treasures of heaven. Why then do we not talk of His love and tell of His power? 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 4
For centuries God bore with the inhabitants of the old world. But at last guilt reached its limit. “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He had made man, and it grieved Him at His heart.” [Genesis 6:5, 6.] He came out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth, and by a flood cleansed the earth of its iniquity. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 5
Notwithstanding this terrible lesson, men had no sooner begun to multiply once more than rebellion and vice became widespread. Satan seemed to have taken control of the world. The time came that a change must be made or the image of God would be wholly obliterated from the hearts of the beings He had created. All heaven watched the movements of God with intense interest. Would He once more manifest His wrath? Would He destroy the world by fire? The angels thought that the time had come to strike the blow of justice, when, lo, to their wondering vision was unveiled the plan of salvation. Wonder, O heavens, and be astonished, O earth! God sent His only begotten Son into the world to save the world! Amazing grace! “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” [1 John 4:10.] 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 6
God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Outraged justice might have passed speedy sentence upon man. But in love and mercy God gave him another opportunity. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 7
January 25. Teaching for Doctrines the Commandments of Men.
Today I spoke in the Tabernacle. My heart was stirred as I looked upon the large number gathered to hear the words of truth. I sought to impress on those present the need of working with singleness of purpose, keeping the glory of God ever in view. I entreated them to search the Scriptures for themselves. O how much deception prevails at this time, even among those who have been so greatly blessed with light. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 8
In the days of Christ the scribes and Pharisees searched the Old Testament Scriptures. But they interpreted what they read to sustain their traditions. They taught for doctrine the commandments of men. They failed to see the central truth of the living oracles; and in missing this, they missed everything. When Christ came, they refused to receive Him, because He was different from their idea of what the Messiah should be. Divided on most points, they were united on one point—opposition to Christ. And today it seems that men have united to make of no effect the message that the Lord has sent. Nevertheless, the trumpet must give a certain sound—God’s people must know the doctrine, whether it be of God. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 9
January 27. Receiving the Messages of God’s Spirit.
I bore my testimony in the ministers’ meeting, and the Lord gave me a large measure of His Spirit. I entreated my brethren standing in positions of responsibility not to grieve the Spirit of God away from their hearts by their unwillingness to receive the testimonies that God has sent them in reproof and warning. I saw that they were dishonoring God by much talking. Their hearts were not free from prejudice. I said to them, Do not receive the word of any man, but go to the Scriptures for yourselves. Do not turn away from the messages that God sends, as you did at Minneapolis. Prayerfully consider every point, with hearts open to conviction. Receive every ray of light sent you. That which has been set before you deserves candid consideration. Truths that have been buried under a mass of rubbish are to be revived and reset in their original setting. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 10
January 28. A Faithful Witness.
I attended ministers’ meeting and read important matter which I had read at Minneapolis. I have borne my testimony faithfully, and can say as did Moses in his farewell address, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you a blessing and a curse; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” [Deuteronomy 30:19.] 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 11
Eternal life is the free gift of God to all who will patiently, humbly receive it, as such, and keep His law. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 12
Much unbelief is talked. A spirit of prejudice that will not seek for a clear understanding, but works under cover, is cherished. Men will not investigate fairly. They do not wish to know what is truth. They think that because certain ideas have long been held as truth, they are truth. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 13
January 29. Wilful Misunderstanding.
I went again to ministers’ meeting and read an important article, making some remarks. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 14
The lessons of Christ were often misunderstood, not because He did not make them plain, but because the minds of the Jews, like the minds of many who claim to believe in this day, were filled with prejudice. Because Christ did not take sides with the scribes and Pharisees, they hated Him, opposed Him, sought to counteract His efforts, and to make His words of no effect. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 15
Why will not men see and live the truth? Many study the Scriptures for the purpose of proving their own ideas to be correct. They change the meaning of God’s Word to suit their own opinions. And thus they do also with the testimonies that He sends. They quote half a sentence, leaving out the other half, which, if quoted, would show their reasoning to be false. God has a controversy with those who wrest the Scriptures, making them conform to their preconceived ideas. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 16
January 30. The Danger of Resisting Light.
My mind is troubled continually. I have great sorrow of heart. I know that Satan is seeking for the mastery over men. I would gladly leave the field of battle, but I will stand at my post as long as the Lord requires me to. I will not flee because of the pressure brought against me. I have been placed here, and my work is to present in clear lines the instruction given me. Some will hear, while others, even such men as Elder _____ will harden their hearts, lest they shall see and be converted. There are those who are looking to Elder _____, thinking that a man who has been given such great light will be able to see when good cometh and will acknowledge the truth. But I have been shown that in Elder _____´s character there is a pride and stubbornness that has never been fully brought into subjection to the Spirit of God. Again and again his religious experience has been marred by his determination not to confess his wrongs, but to pass along and forget them. Men may cherish this sin until there is no forgiveness for them. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 17
January 31. A Work of Importance.
I attended ministers’ meeting and bore a very decided testimony. I also attended canvassers’ meeting, reading an article that I had written in October, 1885. I am pleading with the Lord for strength and grace and power to bear the testimony that He has given me to bear. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 18
I fear and tremble for many. I know that the Lord has wrought upon my mind in a remarkable manner. I know that He has given me instruction, and I can not forbear giving it to others. I know that the hearts that are open to receive the light will be strengthened and blessed, and will bear a living testimony to those in darkness. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 19
There is a work of sacred importance for ministers and people to do. They are to study the history of the cause and people of God. They are not to forget the past dealing of God with His people. They are to revive and recount the truths that have come to seem of little value to those who do not know by personal experience of the power and brightness that accompanied them when they were first seen and understood. In all their original freshness and power, these truths are to be given to the world. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 20
February 1. The Secret of Success.
Elder Olsen spoke in the morning, and I spoke in the afternoon. On both occasions the house was crowded. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 21
O how I long to see the church aroused from her feeble, listless condition. There are a few who carry the burden, a few who pray much and talk little, a few who always bear their testimony. But there are many, many who are mere spectators. Why are not those who hear the Word, doers of the Word? Why do they not arise and shine because their light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon them? Christ will not accept the highest profession, the most eloquent words, unaccompanied by a faithful practice of the truth. Men may have talent and education, but of what avail is this if the love of God does not abide in their hearts, if they are not clothed with His righteousness. The watchmen must catch the words from the lips of Christ and give the trumpet a certain sound. Their message must bear the divine credentials, and God must give it efficiency, else they will be false guides. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 22
February 3. Our Need.
I spoke in the ministers’ meeting. The Lord gave me strength to bear my message with power and clearness. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 23
We need so much a deeper piety. We need to receive the holy oil from the two olive branches, “which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves.” [Zechariah 4:12.] We need to understand the work that is going forward in heaven. In this, the great antitypical day of atonement, we need to be in perfect harmony with the work being carried forward in heaven. We need to repent and confess our sins. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed.” [James 5:16.] 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 24
It is too late for us to stand on our dignity. There are those who while they think that it is perfectly proper for others to confess their mistakes, think that their position makes it impossible for them to confess their mistakes. My brethren, if you expect your sins to be blotted out by the blood of Christ, you must confess them. If your brethren have a knowledge of your errors, if your position has given wideness to your influence, it is all the more necessary that you make a full confession. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:7-9.] Let our sins go beforehand to judgment, that they may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 25
February 3. The Hearts of the Fathers to Their Children.
I did not attend morning meeting. In the early hours, while the others in the house were sleeping, I wrote to Elder Lindsay and to his erring son. I see the necessity of parents dealing in the wisdom of Christ with their erring children. Their hearts should be filled with the longsuffering of the Saviour, that they may draw their children to Him, not drive them away from Him. The father is to be a tender shepherd, drawing his children to Christ with the words of love, laboring untiringly for the erring. It is the unpromising ones who need the greatest patience and kindness, the most tender sympathy. But many parents reveal a cold, unpitying spirit which will never lead the erring to repentance. Let the hearts of parents be softened by the grace of Christ, and His love will find a way to the heart. Then will come a Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 26
February 4. “Show us a Miracle, and We will Believe.”
Today I have written a little on The Life of Christ, but I was obliged to spend the greater part of the time entertaining visitors. I now take up my diary to write out some things that are occupying my mind. I am burdened, day and night, by the thought of the conditions of the Battle Creek church. Some have backslidden from God because they have not accepted the messages sent them from time to time. They show that they are spiritually blind. They know not what spirit they are of. They say, Show us by working miracles that you are of God. But in this very age, they have seen miracles wrought by God. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 27
After the Minneapolis meeting how wonderfully the Spirit of God wrought; men confessed that they had robbed God by withholding tithes and offerings. Many souls were converted. Thousands of dollars were brought into the treasury. Rich experiences were related by those whose hearts were aglow with the love of God. And yet from the lips of some who have attempted to preach the truth comes the cry, “What miracle dost thou work? Show us a miracle, and we will believe.” God has been present in the meetings that have been held. What greater evidence could men be given than they have had? What more could the Lord do than He has already done? Is not the conversion of the human heart the greatest miracle that can be wrought? This miracle has been wrought, but <upon some hard hearts> it has left no impression. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 28
February 5. A Faithful Witness.
I attended the early morning meeting. We had a good social meeting, and I then bore a decided testimony. How earnestly I am moved by the Spirit of God. Before I stand on my feet, I have no thought of speaking as plainly as I do. But the Spirit of God rests upon me with power, and I cannot but speak the words given me. I dare not withhold one word of the testimony. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 29
If the solemn call to repentance is not heeded, if false statements are made in regard to it, I may be cast down, I may feel sad, but I have no retraction to make. I speak the words given me by a power higher than human power, and I cannot, if I would, recall one sentence. In the night season the Lord gives me instruction in symbols and then explains their meaning. He gives me the word, and I dare not refuse to give it to the people. The love of Christ, and, I venture to add, the love of souls, constrains me, and I cannot hold my peace. If evil is done by the word spoken, it is because those to whom the message is given have no place in their hearts for the Word of God. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 30
February 8. “He Shall Teach You All Things.” [John 14:26.]
I spoke twice on Sabbath, and again this afternoon. For three weeks I have spoken every day, with one or two exceptions. Some of the meetings that I have attended have called for earnest labor. My powers have been taxed to the utmost limit of endurance. At times, I think that I have said all that is necessary, and then the burden rolls upon me, and I confer not with flesh and blood, but in the name of the Lord speak the words He gives me, leaving the consequences with Him. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 31
Sometimes the Lord speaks with me in the night season. Sometimes He speaks to me when I am standing on my feet, opening before me the sins of which some have been guilty. The Holy Spirit flashes light before me, giving me instruction to give to the people. This makes me glad; because I know that some will receive the light, and because I know that God, in infinite love and compassion, is still calling His people. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 32
In many hearts the messages I bear find no response. In some hearts they arouse a determined resistance, like the resistance that the work of Christ aroused in the hearts of the Jews. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 33
Sometimes the thought arises, Is it the will of God for me to stand <almost> alone, as it were, with those who ought to be standing with me and sustaining me working in various ways to counteract the testimonies given me by God? These reflections are extremely painful, but when I stand before the people, the power of God comes upon me, and I am strengthened to speak the word of reproof and warning. And the promise is fulfilled, “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” [Verse 26.] 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 34
The Lord will strengthen the memory of the one who is speaking in His name. He will bring to the mind the words necessary for the occasion, that portion of His Word which will be meat in due season for the people. To His faithful servants God will be tongue and utterance. The Holy Spirit will make the word effective to convict and convert souls. The seed sown will fall into good ground, and will spring up to bring forth fruit unto life eternal. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 35
March 1. Unsanctified Confederacies.
I have been shown that love for Christ and for God has well-nigh died out of our churches. And because we do not love God, we are lacking in love for one another. A cold, iron-like spirit separates believers from God and from one another. Some show special attention to a few favorites who uphold and sustain them. Men are binding themselves together in unsanctified confederacies. Their union is displeasing to the Lord. They have united to carry out plans that are not in harmony with the plans of God. The Lord can, and will, break up these selfish confederacies. They are a snare of Satan to weaken the cause of present truth, to bring about a condition of things that will separate God’s people from Him. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 36
Men have been trusting to their own wisdom. In this wisdom they have framed resolutions and laid plans that do not bear the endorsement of God. This has gone on until the many resolutions made have become a hindrance rather than a help to the work of God. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 37
The Need of More Personal Effort.
Too much time is given to sermonizing. There are many Christless sermons preached. I have been instructed that if less time were spent in preaching and more in personal effort, <talking and praying with souls,> a great deal more good would be accomplished. Our ministers need to become acquainted with those to whom they preach, that they may learn their spiritual needs <and how to help them.> Work of this kind is of far more value than discourses. Let our workers come into close touch with those for whom they labor. Let them advise the wealthy to lay up treasure in heaven, for where their treasure is, there will their hearts be also. Let them advise the poor to give something to the cause of God. No matter how small their offering, <if it is the best they can do> it will be accepted. Let them do what they can cheerfully and willingly, and God will bless them. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 38
“He that taketh not up his cross and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.” “He that findeth his life shall lose it.” [Matthew 10:38, 39.] He who shuns self-denial and self-sacrifice will lose his soul. He, who, in his ministry is true and faithful, may lose his life in this world, but he will find it in the kingdom of God. When Christ comes, he will receive eternal life. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 39
“All Things Whatsoever I Have Commanded.”
Christ commissioned His disciples to teach and preach all things that He had commanded them. Let every messenger for God speak the words of Christ, for these words have weight and power. Could the eyes of those who speak the words of Christ be opened, they would see heavenly agencies moving with divine power upon the hearts of the hearers. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 40
When the seventy returned from their missionary tour, they said with astonishment and joy, “Even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name.” [Luke 10:17.] They had spoken the words of Christ, and the result was a glorious manifestation of His power. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 41
Let God’s servants preach a “Thus saith the Lord.” Let them become acquainted with His instructions, reading and studying every sentence, every word, with softened, subdued hearts drawing near to God, that the Comforter may teach them. Christ’s teachings are our lessons for today, our lessons for tomorrow. The more frequently they are studied, the better will they be understood. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 42
The Need of Spiritual Training.
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” [1 Corinthians 9:24-27.] 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 43
Here is represented the need of spiritual exercise, the training of mind and heart. This is even more essential than physical training. It is by the training of the heart and mind that spiritual strength is gained, that weak points of character are made strong. 6LtMs, Ms 22, 1890, par. 44