Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 12, 1893

Sermon/Thoughts on Isaiah 8:9, 10. Pavilion, 9 a.m.

Napier, New Zealand

March 28, 1893

Portions of this manuscript are published in CC 120; 9MR 3-6; MRmnt 13. +Note

My mind has been much exercised of late, and I want that every one should stand in his lot and place. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 1

“Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.” Isaiah 8:9, 10; and also read verses 11-20. I have had a considerable burden since coming to this country. When our people wanted me, and asked me to come to this country, I considered it too much of an undertaking to travel so far in my feebleness. To comfort me they said, “Sister White, you will have no such burdens to bear as you have here, for every one will believe your testimony. You will have nothing to meet as here.” I have met a firmness and determination not surpassed in any other country. I am here, and the burden rolled upon me. I see I must talk with men. The leaders stood in the way of the work. Matters were laid open very clearly to my mind. When I had to tell individuals that “you did this thing,” and without one single human intimation that such was so, you may be assured that I had to set my face as steel before them. I felt so distressed at [the] track laid open. There was not harmony among the workers. There were things contrary to the Spirit of God. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 2

Some were working on lines that had no connection with the ministry of Jesus Christ. The work of the shepherd is to work for the sheep, but instead the sheep were looking for the shepherd. Some of the ministers were studying on other lines, and phrenology was one of them. Then some would take up the subject of the organism of man, and the organism of woman. When these things were presented to me as God regarded them, how terrible they were neglecting the sheep. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 3

How deeply I felt for New Zealand. There are souls hungering and thirsting for the Word of life. Canvassers need to be instructed in every line. Such a laxness, and looseness, and how things are going on. The great ease, the fraud, and the McCalpin case. Brother Hare, I ask you, Who covered up the course of his action? That is one thing that accounts for the empty seats we met in Auckland. God is in earnest with us, and I have felt terrible over these matters. We must work in God’s lines, and unless we learn them the delusions of the last day will come upon the people. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 4

Read what is recorded in Joshua when Achan had stolen the Babylonish garment and wedge of gold. Achan takes the property appointed to destruction, and hides it. Israel knew nothing about it. The sin of one man caused Israel to be beaten before the enemy. Something more than prayer was required. They were to get up and cleanse the camp of Israel. Please read Joshua 7:14-20. Achan had taken what was appointed to destruction, and God’s Spirit searched him out. I want to tell you, brethren and sisters, we [had] better examine our own cases before we shall undertake to examine anybody else. Anything like fraud as of that man must be cleared away. God knew about the Babylonish garment. The searching Spirit of God searches out the hidden things. God gives His people sufficient to heed in warnings and admonitions, and sometimes to bring them to their senses, He sends affliction and suffering. It becomes us to act upon every ray of light given. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 5

How I labored for the Australian Conference a year ago; how I longed to see the Spirit of God move them. There were dishonest practices to be put away. After hard labor there, I would reel on my way home. But I was obliged to flee to save my life. And for eleven months I suffered from a severe attack of fever and rheumatism. But God revealed Himself to me because I was in the line of my duty. We afterwards went to Adelaide, and I have been able to bear my testimony ever since. It was as plain to me as the handwriting on the wall at Belshazzar’s feast. There were witnesses to the transactions that took place. I could see them as plain as a picture presented before me. I knew it required more personal effort. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 6

When Nathan presented the terrible sin to David, David saw how terrible it was, and said that thus and so should be done. Then Nathan said, “Thou art the man.” [2 Samuel 12:7.] If David had been living close to God he would have seen the application. We want to ask ourselves, What is my position spiritually? Have I been working in God’s lines? Have I been moving in such a manner represented as a laborer together with God? We should be rooted and grounded in the truth. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 7

A certain minister in California was tampering with phrenology, while carrying on the ministry, as a means of making money. He falsified in many respects, and discouraged souls by his course. He even said to some married couples that they were unfitted for each other. God never gave him such a commission. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 8

What I want to know is what kind of a heart have you? The devil had a splendid head, but he had an envious heart. There is no excuse for the rebellious heart that came in Satan, and that iniquity is unexplainable. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 9

This minister said, I shall have to use phrenology in order to get out of debt, and he was receiving from $15 to $18 per week. I said to him, “I rebuke your spirit in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” He thought he could [do] such wonderful things, and he made a young man think the same, and he went home and lived upon the earnings of his poor mother, and has never done that wonderful thing yet. He was going to tell them of themselves. Those who practice this work do a hundred times more harm than good. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 10

Ministers are granted credentials that they may instruct people in the word of God. And they can overcome their hereditary and cultivated tendencies. The phrenologist would tell them about marriages, etc., and confessions were made by women such as they would confess to a Catholic priest. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 11

These things have been opened before my mind, and I can assure you that I have not one particle of faith in phrenology <as it is not handled. It has become a fraud.> We have a higher work than this. It certainly cannot be said of those who practiced these things, “And thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.” [Isaiah 58:8.] They do not know what the glory of the Lord is. There is a power from beneath acting upon the minds of many. And there is going to be such a state of criticizing. Even the Bible is not taken as a standard. They would dare to tamper with the Law of God, and change the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and have adopted Sunday, instead of the Sabbath of the Lord which is to endure as long as the heavens above and the earth beneath. Matthew 5:17. The Pharisees had the Sabbath of the Lord loaded with human exactions. And the words of Christ cut through the slime and rubbish of human inventions. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 12

Christ Himself came to explain the law, and He presents the Sabbath on its original basis. He said, “I am the Lord of the Sabbath.” [See Matthew 12:8.] The Bible truth is not hid from anyone, unless it is hid to them that are lost, because they will not take the plain statement of the Word of God. Antichrists appear. Satan and evil angels counsel to do away with God’s sign. They said, “We will take Sunday, and make the world believe it is the Sabbath of [the] fourth commandment.” When they will compel all <to keep it,> that is the mark of the beast and his image. All the lying signs and wonders, and mass of corruptions and slime, are the imprint of the satanic. They show blindness that is inconceivable. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 13

God has said, “Thou shalt keep the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” [See Deuteronomy 5:12, 14.] Yet some say it makes no difference <what day we keep.> We want to show that it does make a decided difference. The Word of God is made of no account by such. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 14

Christ is seen to come. We must preach the third angel’s message. Use the Bible, which will transform character. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 15

The wife of the minister who used phrenology as a means to bring in more money, said, “My husband is capable of standing in the highest positions.” It was astonishing the influence that he had over human minds. But he did not walk in the light as God would have him, and today he is selling brushes as a means of making a living. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 16

I said to a Brother Butler, “God desires that you should preach his truth.” But said he, “Look at my head, I have no power of faith, and I <can> never go <and preach,> and I am just as full of infidelity as I can be.” But I told him that God had shown me that he should go and proclaim the message. He did go, and after he had labored some time, he said, “Sister White, the hollow in my head is all filled up.” It was because he had been cultivating faith and working in God’s lines. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 17

You may say it was due to phrenology, but it was due to the transforming <grace and> power of God. Those who engage in this <work of reading character by the head practice all kinds of deception under [the] profession of knowledge.> [They] may try to reform character, but they never do it. Preach Christ, and present the Pattern, and work in His lines, and then you ... [incomplete sentence.] 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 18

In the early days the first angel’s message, one poor <man> that was foolish was impressed with the truth, and he went to a learned Elder and repeated the following words, “Elder G., Behold, the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.” <[Elder G. said,] “Give us your reasons, Brother,” but he presented no reasons> and kept on repeating these words instead of trying to give proof for the soon coming of the Lord, for he of himself was unable to give any reason. But he repeated the words, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.” [Matthew 25:6.] And the Spirit of God rested upon them, and Elder G. fell on his knees and confessed his pomp and pride before the Lord. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 19

God sent this poor man and brought the learned man to his knees and his position before God. (1 Corinthians 1:20): “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” See also verses 21-25; also verses 26-31 [and] 1 Corinthians 2:1. The apostle Paul could meet oratory with oratory, philosophy with philosophy. He could meet people on their own ground. Now he says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2. [See] also verses 3-10. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 20

God alone can transform character. Jesus Christ came into our world to bring back through the mighty power of the cross of Calvary that which was lost. Verses 7, 8; verse 12. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:12, 13. See also verses 14-16. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 21

We want you to sense these things. We want you to understand the working of the Spirit of God. Ephesians 1:17-23. Let us put our mental powers to the strain. Christ came to this world to establish Himself as the Center. Luke 11:31. We can say as Christ said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” [John 3:3.] We want you to see what Christ is and what God is. We believe [we] have the most wonderful truths that men ever knew, and yet many allow a dish of fables to be the man of their counsel. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 22

Many of the canvassers have not known the spirit of conversion, there has been a letting down to a low level. We are presenting the cup full of the preciousness of God. Not the wine of Babylon—doctrines of error dealt to the kings of the earth. But the Holy Spirit of God. Will you drink it? Your souls are worth saving. 2 Timothy 2:10-19, 22-26. Our minds can be in captivity to the will of Christ, and He can put His own superscription upon us. Now let us bring our thoughts into captivity to the will of heaven. By beholding we become changed from glory to glory, from character to character. We want to show that we place an estimate upon humanity, humanity that is under the controlling power of the influence of God. And we want you to stand to the front. We intend to speak the words God has given us, and that is what you need. You have never fallen upon the Rock and been broken, and this is why you have not felt the power of Christ. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 23

Let everyone see that you are weighted with the power of the truth. Things have not been managed properly. The truth has been hid by man’s inventions. We want to know what you are going to do about this matter. We want God to walk through our camp. There should be the shout of the King in the camp. We should not lay hold of these things with the tip ends of our fingers; but be rooted and grounded in the truth. Seek the Lord, and search the Scriptures as you never have before. Do not drop one discouraging word. Look to One that can save you to the uttermost, that you might have the glory of the Father that loves you as He loves His Son. Could you not put away iniquity and sin as you look at these words? You bear the credentials of his course of actions. We ask you to wash in the fountain open for Judah. Humble yourselves, put away levity. You want to bring the solid timbers into your character. (The) searching Spirit of God will go through the congregation and cut away the fleshly tables of the heart. Christ writes His Spirit on our hearts. He will walk through our midst. Limit not the Holy One of Israel. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 24

And behold them changed by phrenology—NO! And behold them changed from character to character, from glory to glory, to make them children of obedience. 8LtMs, Ms 12, 1893, par. 25