Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 25 (1910 - 1915)


Ms 25, 1910

Talk/An Address to the Workers Assembled at the Pacific Union Conference

Mountain View, California

January 28, 1910

This manuscript is published in entirety in 2SAT 322-328. +Note

An Address to the Workers Assembled at the Pacific Union Conference, Mountain View, California, January 28, 1910. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 1

(At the beginning of the morning hour set apart for devotional exercises, Mrs. E. G. White read a communication addressed to the president of the Union Conference, after which the following remarks were made.) 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 2

I desire to say a few words to the workers assembled at this conference. I have been passing through a serious experience. Since I spoke to you on the opening day of the meeting, I have been writing out the things that I was required to write; for the end desired could not be accomplished unless matters were brought before you plainly and decidedly, so that you might understand clearly that on the part of some there has been a disposition to go contrary to the light that God has given. This situation has brought distress to my soul, and I have been sorely perplexed. I must meet these things in the fear of God. When messages come to me for the people of God, I must not conceal them, but must write them out and speak of them. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 3

A few days ago, in the evening, Brother Evans came to see me. We had only a few words together, as he was called away. I presented before him the great necessity of our people giving much careful consideration to the work that must be done in the great cities. Notwithstanding the fact that the needs of these cities have been brought to the attention of our people over and over again, yet there are very few who seem willing to move forward along the lines indicated by our heavenly Instructor. Every obstacle to progress must be removed, and we must come into a position of harmony as laborers together with God. Unless we can have unity and harmony, there will be a retarding of the work continually. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 4

During our conversation, Elder Evans called my attention to the fact that considerable means is now being used in bringing the message of present truth to the knowledge of those who are living in the cities. Something has been done, it is true; but God requires of His people a far greater work than anything that has been done in years past. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 5

I have been through many of these cities. I have seen New York and other cities of the East that are to be worked. What I have seen of these unwarned places brings sorrow to my heart, and I cannot sleep. Often I have lain upon my bed in an agony of distress over the situation, and then I have attempted to write out the representations that have been made before me distinctly that there is not seen in the East the reformation that should be taking place in our churches. Our brethren are not carrying the burden they should in behalf of the unworked cities. They have not been making decided movements to send men into these cities. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 6

Some have hesitated because they feared that the work outlined would require more means than was at their command. But I have urged our brethren to step forward by faith and follow the leadings of divine providence. Christ has bidden His servants go out into all parts of the field, and angels will prepare the way before them as they advance in faith. God’s messengers need to awake from their lethargy and lay aside everything that may hinder the free course of the Holy Spirit in connection with their labors. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 7

Especially in places where our people have gathered around a large institution, as here at Mountain View, constant vigilance should be exercised, in order that every advance movement may be in accordance with the will of God. Thorough consecration should mark the lives of those who are called to labor in our institutions, that right steps may be taken, and that all may do everything in their power to save souls. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 8

Since coming to this meeting, I have passed through a strange experience. One day, after appearing before the conference to read some matter to you, the burden that was upon my soul continued to press upon me after I returned to my room. I was in distress of mind. That night I could not seem to lose myself in sleep. It seemed as if evil angels were right in the room where I was. And while I was suffering in mind, it seemed as if I was suffering great bodily pain. My right arm, which through the years has nearly always been preserved from disease and suffering, seemed powerless. I could not lift it. Then I had a most severe, excruciating pain in the ear; then most terrible suffering in the jaw. It seemed as if I must scream. But I kept saying, “Lord, you know all about it.” 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 9

I was in perfect agony. It seemed that my brain and every part of my body was suffering. At times I would rise up, and think, “I will not lie here another moment.” Then I would think, “You will only arouse those who are in the house, and they cannot do anything for you.” And so I kept looking to the Lord, and saying, “Lord, you know all about this pain.” The suffering continued, at times in the jaw, then in the brain, and then in other members of the body, until nearly daylight. Just before the break of day I feel asleep for about an hour. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 10

My arm is all right this morning. Legions of evil angels were in that room, and if I had not clung by faith to the Lord, I do not know what might have become of me. I would not call any one. I said, “This must be between me and these evil spirits.” I would find myself at times rising up in bed, crying to the Lord to give me relief. But no genuine relief came to me. A sense of relief from the presence of those evils angels came to me, but no relief from pain and suffering came to me, until I stood here upon this platform with a manuscript in my hand and began to read what I had to read to you. As soon as I stood up here with that manuscript in my hand, every pain left me. My right side was just as strong as it had been before. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 11

I shall never be able to give you a description of the satanic forces that were at work in that room. I shall never be able to tell it in a way that will enable you to comprehend it. I wondered what it meant; I could not understand it; but since standing before you the next morning, I have had no suffering. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 12

Light has been coming to me that unless we have more evident movings of the Spirit of God, and greater manifestations of divine power working in our midst, many of God’s people will be overcome. Satanic agencies will come in, as they came to me. But we cannot afford to yield to the power of the enemy. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 13

Brethren, God is in earnest with us. He does not desire Brother Cottrell to take a position that will lead both him and many others to make wrong decisions. Some may think it cruel to speak thus plainly; but it would be very cruel to allow our brother to cherish his natural tendency to think that when he takes a position, he has to hold to this position without changing his view. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 14

Over and over again, in the night season, One with arms outstretched has instructed me, “Tell My people to come into line. Tell My people to unite with Jesus Christ in doing a work that they have not yet done.” 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 15

God desires His people to take steps forward and upward, ever advancing. They are not half awake. They do not seem to understand that the way before them will be blocked by the enemy more and still more, and that now is the time for the cities to be entered. God desires His people to do all they can to give the message of warning to the cities. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 16

As I journeyed through the East this past summer, and saw Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Portland, Buffalo, and other large cities, all of them practically unworked, unwarned, I thought, How can God excuse His people of this neglect? We must arouse to a realization of our present duty. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 17

Some in Mountain View may say, “There is a large debt on the Pacific Press office.” Well, brethren, I, too, am in debt—perhaps more so than many others—and yet I keep at work; and when a necessity for help presents itself, I try to meet it by appropriating means. I do not always stop to inquire whether or not I can afford it. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 18

A short time ago, when in Mountain View, I presented before the brethren the needs of the work in Portland, Maine. The believers in that beautiful city are trying to build a meetinghouse there. When we attended their camp-meeting last summer, we encouraged them to go forward with this enterprise, and promised to appeal to our churches elsewhere for funds to assist those who were bearing the burden of the work in Portland. I expected to see the church at Mountain View respond liberally to an invitation to give to that enterprise, but was disappointed. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 19

During the days of the Advent Movement, the first and the second angels’ messages were proclaimed with power in Portland, Maine. And after the disappointment, when light shone upon the sanctuary question and the three messages of Revelation fourteen, the third angel’s message was preached faithfully in that place and throughout the East. In times past, we have attended camp-meetings in that city that have been well attended. The power of God has been manifested. Those connected with the courts, and others high in office, have come out to hear. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 20

Before the disappointment in 1844, the city was stirred deeply. From one end of the city to the other, appointments for meetings were filled, and the halls were crowded. On one occasion, when there was not even standing-room in the aisles, the people feared the foundations might give away; but the builders were present and assured the congregation that they need have no fear; that the building was amply strong and safe. For miles around the message extended, and many came to hear. The doors of many churches were thrown open to those who desired to speak. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 21

At the present time, but very little is being done in Portland. There are three aged ministers living there, because the climate is favorable for their health, but they are unable to do much aggressive work. At the camp-meeting held there last summer, there was a good attendance of unbelievers. Our brethren had to provide extra seats to accommodate those that came. The power of God rested upon the speakers. I know it rested upon me, as I gave to the people a message of mercy. I did not stand before them because I felt able; I stood there because of the opportunity to let them hear the message of mercy that is being given to the world. The power of God came upon me, and gave me utterance, as it did during the recent General Conference held at Washington, D.C. At the close of my discourse, I asked all who would pledge themselves to carry on a personal study of the Scriptures, to find out whether the truths presented before them that day were in accordance with the Word, to rise to their feet. You can imagine my feelings as I saw nearly every one in that large congregation standing on their feet, thus pledging themselves before God to search the Scriptures, to find out whether these things were so. The Spirit of God was present in that meeting in marked measure, and we had a wonderful meeting. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 22

When I think of the opportunity we now have to work Portland, Maine, and many other cities in the East, I cannot hold my peace. This is why I have appealed to the church at Mountain View, and to churches in several other places, to help our brethren in Portland to erect a meetinghouse. Because of their poverty, they cannot advance as rapidly as they desire; and unless some one helps, the work is liable to be greatly retarded. We believe that many will respond to this appeal. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 23

In New York, and in many other cities, there are multitudes of people unwarned. Among our people, there is great zeal—and I do not say there is any too much—to work the foreign countries; but it would be more consistent, if we could see a proportionate zeal to work the cities close by. We need to move sensibly. We need to plan to warn the cities in America. We must set about this work in earnestness and do it. Laying aside our peculiarities, and our own ideas, we are to preach Bible truth. Men of consecration and talent are to be sent into these cities, and set to work. Oh, why are so many seemingly indifferent and self-centered? Why do so many take an interest chiefly in the place where they are laboring, and lose sight of the fact that there is a world to be warned, and that these cities must hear the message? 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 24

I have been seeking to arouse our people. I have encouraged Dr. and Mrs. Kress and Elder and Mrs. G. B. Starr to labor earnestly in the cities, and I understand that they are now in Boston. In the 1844 movement, the message went through Boston like a lamp that burneth. I was in that message. They sent for me in come to speak to the people in large halls. There was an intense interest. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 25

When a true missionary spirit takes hold of the hearts of believers, the Bible will be studied more diligently than it is now, and many will understand that the cities are not being worked as they should be. Many will then take hold of this work. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 26

During the General Conference held at Washington in 1909, the Lord lifted me above my infirmities, and I was enabled to speak to large congregations, and make all hear the words spoken. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 27

From Washington we visited several cities, where we saw multitudes of people who, I suppose, have never heard the warning message. When I saw these people, I pledged myself before God that I would remain silent no longer. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 28

Here at Mountain View, there are advantages, great advantages, and the believers should make the most of these advantages. Let nothing be allowed in the life practice that might prove a hindrance. Let none manifest a disposition to make his fellow men come to his personal ideas of doing this and that. Let none say, I can not do this, when the providence of God indicates that something should be done. Let all seek to come into line. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 29

The salvation of God is to be revealed in the great cities of the land. Ministers often visit companies of believers in the different conferences; and this is a work that has its place; but the ministers have a solemn work to perform in the great cities. As God’s people take up this responsibility and discharge it in His fear, these who are enlightened as the result of faithful labor will give freely of their means to sustain the work in their cities, and in other places as well. As the laborers go to the new converts, and in the spirit and power of God ask them for help, the Spirit of God will move upon their hearts. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 30

It has been said, “We should like to send a large amount of money to China.” Are the souls in China any more precious than the souls within the shadow of our doors? We are to act our part in warning China, but we also are to act our part in warning the cities close by, where we live. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 31

Here are foreigners of various nationalities, in our cities, and they are to be reached with the message of present truth. When they accept the message, they will begin working at once, and many will return to the places from which they came, that they may win their people to the truth. We are to search out these people and teach them the way of life. As I think of these things, I cannot hold my peace. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 32

I have tried to arouse you to a realization of what it means to be missionaries. Many of our people have lost the sense of what it means to carry the truth to places where it has not yet been proclaimed. I have seen city after city, the inhabitants of which have no knowledge of what we believe. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 33

Means must be sent to China; this is right and proper; but why not also warn the various nationalities in the cities close by? Why not plan wisely to reach the hundreds of thousands of foreigners in the cities of America? God desires us to awake from our slumbers. He desires us to do our duty. He desires to endue us with His Spirit and lift us up onto a higher platform. Every one who will come into line, will understand what the will of God is. Then no one will set his stakes to follow a certain way of his own choosing, irrespective of the counsels of his brethren; but all will have the faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. When God’s people understand what Bible religion is, there will be coming into the ranks of believers more new converts than are seen today. We are to awake, and do our duty toward the unwarned inhabitants of the cities, and of many out-of-the-way places, and then we shall see of the salvation of God. 25LtMs, Ms 25, 1910, par. 34