The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Chapter 40—To H. Miller


Between Elmira and Canton

June 2, 1889

Dear Brother Howard Miller:—

My mind is burdened on your account. From time to time your case has been presented before me in connection with the work and cause of God. In assemblies where you were present, I have presented general principles, knowing that if you had an ear to hear, and a heart to understand, you would take these things to yourself. While at Minneapolis I had a testimony from the Lord to His people; but you as well as others did not recognize the voice. You did not respond, but went from the meeting with matters perverted in your mind. Acting under false impressions yourself, you have given false impressions to others. 1888 330.1

When I visited Potterville, you were also at that meeting; but you were not in real harmony with me in the work that the Lord gave me to do. The message which He gave me to bear came to ears that heard not, to hearts that were not impressed. Had you and others who had entered into a similar deception, there convened and acknowledged that you had taken a wrong view of matters, you would have come out of the darkness into the light. But your pride, your self-righteousness, was similar to that which the Jews cherished; and it kept you from accepting the light as it did the Jews. That which was a light and a blessing to those who received it, was darkness to those who rejected it. I had a message from God to the people, but you did not receive it. 1888 330.2

For years you have been in great need of spirituality, and have not discerned the necessity of weaving Christ into all your labors. You should have less of self and more of Jesus. You are not naturally demonstrative, and it is essential for you to have a life-giving power that will bring greater earnestness into your labors. When you are placed where you feel authorized to dictate and be a controlling power, you magnify your office; but you are not one yourself to become a learner. You do not want to be counselled. You are inclined to take course according to your own judgment, to dictate, to criticize; and indulging in these habits has strengthened your tendency in this direction. You have been filled to a great degree with Pharisaism. Jesus looks upon you with grief; for you evidence by your actions in this day that if you had lived in the days of Christ you would have done as the Pharisees did in their rejection of Christ. 1888 330.3

You may point to some of our leading brethren who have not accepted and rejoiced in the light given, but have intercepted themselves between the light and the people, that it should not reach them; but they must answer to God for their position. They are certainly working away from Christ, instead of working in harmony with Him; but will their attitude and position excuse you for turning from the light which the Lord has thrown upon your pathway? I am sorry that you are in such great blindness that you are unable to distinguish the voice of God from that of the enemy. I have repeatedly presented before you and others that there would come a shaking time, when everything that can be shaken will be shaken, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. We are now entering upon that time. Your spirit is an offense to God, for you receive not the things that are of God, but range yourself on the enemy's side to oppose God in the very work He is doing for this time. Your discourses are dry and spiritless. Your strength is weakness, yet you rely upon your own wisdom. Unless you fall upon the Rock and are broken, the mold of God cannot be placed upon you. 1888 331.1

Christ could have done nothing during His earthly ministry in saving fallen man if the divine had not been blended with the human. The limited capacity of man cannot define this wonderful mystery—the blending the two natures, the divine and the human. It can never be explained. Man must wonder and be silent. And yet man is privileged to be a partaker of the divine nature, and in this way he can to some degree enter into the mystery. This wonderful exhibition of God's love was made on the cross of Calvary. Divinity took the nature of humanity, and for what purpose?—That through the righteousness of Christ humanity might partake of the divine nature. This union of divinity and humanity, which was possible with Christ, is incomprehensible to human minds. The wonderful things to take place in our world—the greatest events of all ages—are incomprehensible to worldly minds; they cannot be explained by human sciences. The powers of heaven shall be shaken. Christ is coming in power and great glory, but His coming is not such a mystery as the things to take place before that event. Man must be a partaker of the divine nature in order to stand in this evil time, when the mysteries of satanic agencies are at work. Only by the divine power united with the human can souls endure through these times of trial. Says Christ, “Without me ye can do nothing.” Then there must be far less of self and more of Jesus. 1888 332.1

External forms cannot take the place of inward piety. The Jewish teachers exalted themselves as righteous; they called all those who differed from them accursed, and closed the gates of heaven to them, declaring that those who had not learned in their schools were not righteous. But with all their criticisms and exactions, with all their forms and ceremonies, they were an offense to God. They looked down upon, and despised the very ones precious in the sight of the Lord. And among the people who claim to believe the doctrines of our faith are those also who are filled with Pharisaism. Unless they are laying hold, moment by moment, of the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour, they will preach Christless sermons, and will become stumbling-blocks to souls who are inquiring the way to be saved. Human devices, human plans, and human counsels will be without power. Only in Christ Jesus will the church near the period of Christ's coming be able to stand. She is required of her Redeemer to advance in piety, to have increased zeal, understanding better as she nears the end that her own “high calling is of God in Christ Jesus.” 1888 332.2

There are glorious truths to come before the people of God. Privileges and duties which they do not even suspect to be in the Bible will be laid open before the followers of Christ. As they follow on in the path of humble obedience, doing God's will, they will know more and more of the oracles of God, and be established in right doctrines. The baptism of the Holy Spirit will dispel human imaginings, will break down self-erected barriers, and will cause to cease the feeling that “I am holier than thou.” There will be an humble spirit with all, more faith and love; self will not be exalted. “Look and live.” Christ's spirit, Christ's example will be exemplified in His people. We shall follow more closely the ways and works of Jesus. The pulpit, the press, and the church will be more humble, more forbearing, more patient and kind, and the love of Jesus will pervade our hearts. It is impossible for me to picture before you the result of this influence. 1888 333.1

I tried while at Potterville to present before you what might be done if all would stand in right relation to God. I stated how essential it was that men who have intelligence, and an experience in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, should connect with Elder Van Horn, whom they had chosen as their president. If all the burdens were left to fall upon him he would be unable to do the work assigned him. He is not quick to discern the necessities of the case, or quick to devise means to forestall the evils which may arise. No man is perfect. But if those associated with him as committee men will stand in their place and act their part with unselfish interest, they will, as a perfect whole, accomplish a good work. 1888 333.2

Michigan needs in all her churches men to labor, not in their own finite wisdom, but with divine enlightenment. I have much trembling of heart for Michigan. It is in a sad condition. As I saw that you and Elder Fargo did not comprehend the truth for this time, that that which was light from heaven was resisted, I had no hope that the committee associated with Elder Van Horn would be any help to him, but they would be only a burden. He could not feel free to act without consulting the committee; and they were not walking in the light and advancing with the work, and so would be no help, no light, no strength, to him. If there are grave duties neglected, those who have stood directly in his way will be guilty before God of neglecting the work of the Master. 1888 334.1

(Signed) Ellen G. White

Brother Howard Miller, I have written a large letter to you and Brother Madison Miller but have not been able, because I was obliged to attend to so many things that were pressing upon my attention, to complete a copy for you both. I must say to you that as you now are blind spiritually you are not fitted to be a help to your brethren. When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. You will sow the seeds in your labor that you will not be pleased to harvest. Your spirit is not right with God. You feel that you are qualified to do a large work, but this is because you do not know yourself. I beseech of you to humble your heart before God and be converted. Said Christ, “Without me ye can do nothing.” Do not try to help others when you are in darkness yourself, and need to see many things in altogether a different light. Pray much, humble yourself before God, for this is your only safety. 1888 334.2

(Signed) Ellen G. White

Recopied December 20, 1962