Life Sketches of Ellen G. White


The Sabbath Service

Sabbath, March 7, was a day of deep solemnity. In the forenoon Elder Haskell spoke on the world-wide proclamation of the gospel. As in the apostolic age the gospel was proclaimed in its purity, with a power which carried it into all the world, so in the last days God is to bring out every ray of light in the everlasting gospel, and send it with the power of His Spirit into all the earth. LS 314.1

In the afternoon Mrs. White spoke on the importance of preaching the Word, and the danger of covering up, and keeping in the background, the distinctive features of our faith, under the impression that prejudice will thereby be avoided. If there is committed to us a special message, as we believe, that message must go, without reference to the customs or prejudices of the world, not governed by a policy of fear or favor. Some will receive it and be sanctified through it, though multitudes will oppose and reject it. But it must go everywhere till the very earth is lightened with its glory. She dwelt especially upon the danger of leaving our first love, and upon the importance of all, especially those connected with our leading institutions, having a vital connection with Christ, the true vine. Patterning after the world and adopting a worldly policy, must be guarded against. Men in responsible positions should go to God as often as did Daniel in earnest supplication for divine help. LS 314.2

Two or three times during the discourse she began to tell the story of her experience at Salamanca, and each time she hesitated, and leaving the story untold proceeded with other lines of thought. This discourse made a profound impression on the large congregation. LS 315.1

Late in the afternoon a ministers’ meeting was held in the east vestry of the Tabernacle. Mrs. White was present, and pleaded for a deeper consecration. At the close of this special meeting she was asked by Elder O. A. Olsen if she would attend the ministers’ meeting Sunday morning. She replied that she had done her part, and would leave the burden with him. Then it was planned that Elders Olsen and Prescott should lead the meeting. LS 315.2

Sunday morning, about 5:20, Brethren A. T. Robinson, W. C. White, and Ellery Robinson were passing Mrs. White's residence on their way to the early meeting. They saw a light in her room, and her son ran up to inquire about her health. LS 315.3

He found her busily engaged in writing. She then told him that an angel of God had wakened her about three o'clock, and had bidden her go to the ministers’ meeting and relate some things shown her at Salamanca. She said that she arose quickly, and had been writing for about two hours. LS 315.4

At the ministers’ meeting an earnest season of prayer had just closed when Mrs. White entered with a package of manuscripts in her hand. With evident surprise Elder Olsen said: “We are glad to see you, Sister White. Have you a message for us this morning?” LS 315.5

“Indeed I have,” was her reply. She then said that it had not been her plan to attend the morning meeting, but she had been awakened very early, and instructed to prepare to relate to the brethren some things shown her at Salamanca. LS 315.6

She told briefly the story of her experience at the Salamanca meeting, and said that in the vision given her there the Lord had opened before her the condition and perils of the work in many places. Warnings were given her which she was commanded to present to men in responsible positions. Especially in Battle Creek great perils surrounded the work, but men knew it not, because impenitence blinded their eyes. LS 316.1

With regard to one occasion, her guide said, “Follow me,” and she was ushered into a council meeting where men were advocating their views and plans with great zeal and earnestness, but not according to knowledge. One brother stood before the council with a paper in his hand and criticized the character of its contents. The paper was the American Sentinel. Pointing to certain articles, he said: “This must come out, and that must be changed. If the Sentinel did not contain such articles as these, we could use it.” The articles pointed out as objectionable were upon the Sabbath and the second coming of Christ. LS 316.2

With clearness Mrs. White spoke of the views and the attitude of the chief speakers in this council meeting. She referred to the harsh spirit manifested by some, and to the wrong positions taken by others. She closed her remarks with a most earnest appeal that all should hold forth the truth in its perfection, and that the watchmen should give the trumpet a certain sound. A solemn conviction rested upon the assembly, and all felt that they had been listening to a message from Heaven. LS 316.3

Elder Olsen was bewildered, and knew not what to say. He had not heard of the special committee council which had been continued into the early hours of that very morning, and which had closed less than two hours before the angel bade Mrs. White tell the vision given her four months before, in which this very meeting was minutely described. But he had not long to wait for an explanation. Soon the men who had been in the council of the night before arose and testified regarding their committee meeting. LS 316.4

One said: “I was in the meeting last night, and I am sorry to say that I was on the wrong side. And I take this early opportunity to place myself on the right side.” LS 317.1

The president of the National Religious Liberty Association bore a clear testimony. He said that the night before, a number of brethren had met in his room at the Review Office, and there discussed the very matters just referred to by Mrs. White. Their deliberations had continued till after one o'clock in the morning. He said he would not undertake to describe the meeting. That was unnecessary, because the description as given by Mrs. White was correct, and more exact than he could give it. He freely acknowledged that the position he had held was not right, and that he could now see his error. LS 317.2

Another brother stated that he had been in the meeting, and that the description given by Mrs. White was true and correct in every particular. He was profoundly thankful that light had been given, because the differences of opinion had created a very serious situation. He believed that all were honest in their convictions, and sincerely desired to do what was right, yet their views were at variance, and they could not agree. Others who had been present at the late committee counsel over the Sentinel, bore testimony that the meeting had been correctly described by Mrs. White. LS 317.3

Other testimonies were borne, expressing thankfulness that light had been given on this question which was attended with so much perplexity. They also expressed their gratitude that the message had been given in such a way that all could see not only the wisdom of God in the message, but also the goodness of God in sending it at such a time that none could doubt its being a message from Heaven. LS 318.1

This experience confirmed the faith of those who believed, and deeply impressed those who had felt that their own experienced judgment about business matters was safer to follow than the plans for the distribution of responsibility and the establishment of many centers of influence that had been called for by their brethren in the field and by the Testimonies. LS 318.2