The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials
Chapter 102—To U. Smith
Battle Creek, Mich.
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 1890.
Dear Brother Smith,—
I have been remarkably exercised in regard to your case several times during my last round of labors. I have been greatly blessed of the Lord; but at times your case has been presented before me in a very clear light,—just where you are standing. I have carried the burden with but little hope that I could do you any good. A gulf separates us; I look back and see how you gathered darkness to your soul in the time of the college difficulties. Have you come out clean in that matter? The Lord presented your case before me at that time, and did you believe and act on the light given? Had you fully accepted the testimony and heeded the warning there given, you would not be where you are today. Have you and Bro. Gage made clean work in confessing that you were wrong to Prof. Bell? If you have not done this the wrongs you committed against him are registered in the books of Heaven. Can you afford to let this matter stand as it is, and you come up to the judgment with the actions that were performed against him in every particular to confront you? Prof. Bell was not a perfect man; he made mistakes and committed errors, but these errors were far less in the sight of God than the errors you have both made in the course you have pursued toward him. He deserved no such treatment from your hands. In bruising him you bruised your own souls. Your course was not at all after Christ's directions; you were led by another spirit; you walked in the light of the sparks of your own kindling and weakened your own souls. You will have to do your work thoroughly else you will have to meet the same to answer for at the bar of God. Just as you have dealt with Prof. Bell, will the Lord deal with you unless you repent and confess your errors, and enlist your Advocate in heaven to plead your case. The spirit of the meekness and gentleness of Christ would have led you in an entirely different course had you followed the directions that Christ has given you in his word; you would have stood in an entirely different position today. “So speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but be gentle, showing all meekness unto all men.” For we ourselves were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived.” But if a man be overtaken in a fault ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering, thyself lest thou also be tempted. Have you obeyed the words of Christ. If you have done things in that matter that are wrong you will not have those wrongs cancelled unless you confess them, and make restitution where you have injured your brother. I know, for the Lord opened the matter to me, that you had both acted as if you had lost all your feelings of sympathy and love out of your heart, and in wounding him as you did, you wounded Jesus Christ in the person of his saints. You will never be free men until you confess your faults and be reconciled to your brother. It is a most dangerous way to treat your own souls to allow yourselves to do the wrongs which the Lord reproved in you, and yet you pass along as if you were just, and obeying the words of God. Will you look at this matter as it is and make clean work for eternity? I was shown that a grievous wrong was done. I am sorry that you are affected with defective spiritual eye-sight. I beg of you for your soul's sake to buy of the heavenly merchant man gold that ye may be rich; white raiment that ye may be clothed, and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve that thou mayest see. It is the only safe way for you to do when you err, to confess your faults thoroughly, and repent of them sincerely, and then pray one for another that ye may be healed. 1888 790.1
Every time you look upon Prof. Bell you will be wounded because you have greatly injured him and the injury reacts upon yourself. Why not humble yourself under the mighty hand of God? Why not make a thorough work and clear the king's highway? Why not fall upon the rock, Jesus Christ, and be broken. This passing along and not making wrongs righted is separating your soul from God, and making you weak in moral power, clouding your discernment, that you have in your acts expressed more than words, your unbelief. Your position has been to counteract and make of none account my labors. You have, as it were, stood at the head of those who have done. Said Christ, “Those who gather not with me scatter abroad.” How could you do this. I was answered last night; you have not made the pathway behind you clear and straight and the Lord God insists upon the removal of the obstructions. He consults your place on earth. In doing this you have mistaken phantoms for realities; unintentionally you have done a work that will stand registered against you in the judgment for you to answer. Why did you stand as a barrier to my work through the very men I saw fit to choose to do this work? Why have you been so ready to grasp and absorb influences that were obstructing the light I have ordained shall come to my church? 1888 792.1
“I am come in my Father's name, and ye received me not. If another shall come in his own name, ye shall receive him. How can ye believe which receive honor one from another and seek not the honor which cometh from God only? 1888 793.1
My brother, Uriah Smith, whom I have loved and respected in the Lord, you have been working at cross purposes with God, practicing upon yourself deceptions which, if you continue as you have done, will be succeeded with deceptions and delusions which will end in irrevocable separation from God. He calls you. Clear the king's highway, remove the stumbling blocks out of the path, dare not to do a surface work here, for others have looked to you and followed your example far more than they have looked to God and sought his counsel. They will go no farther than you will go. Confess your mistakes; confess fully; leave not a stone unturned. The true counsellor is expostulating with you and entreats you that you cheat not your soul of eternal happiness. There is one thing that you may seek with all your powers. He points you upward, and would have your thoughts in heaven from whence comes your hope, and your daily supplies. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” While the Lord Jesus shows us the vast confederacy of evil we must meet, for principalities and powers are arrayed against us, he tells us we struggle for an invisible world. The whole universe of heaven are watching the conflict, and if our eyes could be opened we would see angels in the ranks for the Holy Spirit is promised to all who fight manfully the battles of the Lord. There are soldiers engaged in the battle who are not perfect, compassed with infirmities, falling into sin, ignorant, and needing instruction at every step; but to feel their need, to sense their poverty is essential before they can be helped. When they fall upon the Rock and are broken then the everlasting arms are around the helpless. Heavenly agencies are employed to do their work, fit them as vessels of honor, overpowering the enemies, piercing the cloud and shadow of Satanic agencies. The heavenly instrumentalities surround them with an element of light,—even the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The Captain of the Lord's host leads them to the field of battle with these words, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. A conqueror stands at your head, victory is sure.” 1888 793.2
Elder Smith, the exercises of the past night prompts me to write. I know that you have been walking not in the light. You have had evidence and might have had a much larger array of evidence if you had any room to receive it. Jesus, the precious Saviour, has again and again sent you the very light you needed, but you did not place yourself in the channel where it could be communicated to you. You gathered about your soul the covering of unbelief till you cannot distinguish light from darkness and error from truth. Never, never will you change this order of things until you possess the humility of a little child. This will never be until you fall upon the rock and are broken. Self then dies; new habits are to be formed; strong inclinations and propensities are overcome. Enemies within and without are ready to spring into life and overcome you. “Without me” said Christ, “ye can do nothing.” Do you decline the contest? Do you refuse to fall on the rock? If so, there is not the slightest assurance in your case that you will ever recover yourself out of the snare of the devil. Your attitude has encouraged a state of things in our churches which you have not measured. The result of your course and your working on the same line since you left Minneapolis has made the carrying out of the work given me of God to do fifty fold harder than it need to have been. You have barred my way, but O, how little did you know the real result of your work. This has been opened before me. When you have stated that Sr. White was influenced by W. C. W., A. T. Jones, and E. J. Waggoner, <you have planted> in hearts infidelity that has been nourished and has borne fruit. You will not be pleased to reap the harvest. Satan takes everything of this character and makes it a living active agent in destroying faith in the very work the Lord would have them to do. Every soul that fully takes your words and believes them are correctly represented by the words of Christ, “I would that thou were either cold or hot, so then because that thou art lukewarm, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” Decided opposition would have done me less harm. A <lack of> faith in the messages God has given me to bear of the order represented is decided unbelief to all intents and purposes. There is not one bit of savor in such a faith, and the faith of Elder Butler is of the same order, valueless, having no savor, I count nothing upon you or him to harmonize with me in my work given me of God. Your very position is a decided negative to the efforts I may make as God shall move upon me by his holy Spirit. I have not felt grieved as far as my personal self is concerned, but when the work that the Lord has given me is of such a character that faith needs to be constantly cherished because of the warnings, reproofs and searchings of the hearts, and the laying bare of hidden sins is not pleasant and agreeable to the natural heart, and many give a bare assent to truth when they are not sanctified through the truth. They do not in Spirit represent Christ. They are surface workers, and delude themselves with the idea that they are christians. So effectually does this delusion take possession of heart and mind that the sharp arrows of the Lord fail to penetrate the armor of self righteousness in which they are encased. The spell is so strong that they will listen to the truth, the most earnest and powerful, even to the very portraying of the delusions which are upon them without any thought of self-examination to see if it means them. This is the class our Saviour found most difficult to arouse. The most authoritative teachings were heard and listened to as if they heard not. Thus it is with many, many in this generation. There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the spirit of God are heeded. What better course to please the enemy and grieve the spirit of God could be pursued than that which has been pursued by you, my brother, a teacher in Israel. You have had quite a number fully engaged with you in the work, men in responsible positions, presidents of conferences, ministers and workers, that have formed a confederacy to question, to criticize, to say, “Report and we will report it.” The position these men have occupied and the influence this position had given them has caused many to doubt, who will never be settled again and the deceptions and delusions of these last days will overcome them, because heaven's divine illumination is powerless to set them in order for they have decided from the example given them. It makes no difference whether they believe or disbelieve, so if any reproof comes to them, which they wish not to believe, they will say, “O, Sr. White is influenced. Some one has told her these things. If Elder Smith who knows all about the testimonies says this is only her own opinion and her own judgment, and he does not accept the teachings of the testimonies, and he such a good man, I will follow his example and I will risk it.” This is a very unwise thing to do, yet many are doing this and have done it. I know that the spirit of the Lord was holding me here in Battle Creek that all might have my evidence whether it was of God or of the Devil. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” As in the days of Christ some have overlooked the very <kind of> evidence God has given them and have said show us a sign, work some miracle if you are right. 1888 794.1
“Then said they unto him, What shall we do that we might work the works of God? Jesus said unto them, This is the work of God that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They said, therefore unto him, What sign showest thou then that we may see and believe thee? What doest thou work?” The same words merely have been said to me since the Minneapolis meeting. I have as a little child in all simplicity talked freely with any one who wished to ask any question. I have been willing to tell them and show them all things that my heavenly father hath revealed to me. I have thought these things must make them see and believe, and now I am inclined to think that my earnest efforts to have them see and understand has worked in a different way from what I had hoped. I think they have not regarded my words or understood my motives and the more I have done in this line the less influence has my testimony had upon them, and now I feel no inclination to converse with the men who occupy responsible positions. I feel like one who knows that they have been watched. Their words misconstrued, their advise and counsel treated as a common affair, and unworthy of special notice. I have again had repeated to me “Spiritual things are spiritually discerned.” I hang my helpless soul on Jesus Christ. I have no desire now to produce one particle of evidence to any one. Those who want to see can open their eyes and see. “Ye shall know them by their fruits” The judgment now that any one will pass upon me or my words, or my works will not surprise me. I expect anything and lean on no one, depend on no one. My work will not be hence forth to make any one believe but go forward, out of the atmosphere of unbelief and caviling and criticism. I have more freedom speaking to unbelievers than to those who hold responsible positions, and who have had so great light and great opportunities and have not responded to the light. I have placed my case as I have never before in the hands of my Advocate, Jesus Christ, the Righteous. I am sure that I cannot feel at liberty to converse as I have done with those to whom I have talked so freely. 1888 798.1
I thank the Lord for health, I thank the Lord for freedom. Why your particular case agonized my soul so continuously I cannot define. Again and again have I seen that blindness was upon you to an alarming degree. I give you up to the hands of Jesus, and then think I have not more to say, not another word, then I find my soul torn with anguish and I am weeping and praying with strong cryings and tears, Take not thy Holy Spirit from him; O, let something from Thy spirit break this spell.... O, that you would surrender your will to God's will, O, that you would tremble at his work. Where is your preparation to be obtained that you may stand in the day of the Lord? No where but low at the foot of the cross. O, it is not too late for wrongs to be righted. Do not confer with flesh and blood. Do not say, There are some things I do not understand. Of course there are. Your mind is clouded, but take one step that you do see, then you can see another. O, kindle your taper from the divine altar before it is everlastingly too late! Remove the stumbling blocks at once without any delay. When God helps you you will be helped to see your own weakness and the inefficiency and the glory and majesty of Christ. The voice of God calls you as it did Elijah, Come out of the cave and stand with God and hear what he will say unto you. When you will come under the divine guidance, the comforter will lead you into all truth. The office of the Holy Spirit is to take the things of Christ as they fall from his lips and infuse them as living principles into the hearts opened to receive them. Then we will know both the Father and the Son. 1888 799.1
I have many things written for you, but I have said What good will it do. My brethren have trifled and caviled and criticised and commented and demerited, and picked and chosen a little and refused much until the testimonies mean nothing to them. They put whatever interpretation upon them that they choose in their own finite judgment and are satisfied. I would, if I had dared given up this field of conflict long ago, but something has held me. But I will not choose my way or my will. In the life of Christ in the time of his greatest trial, one of his disciples betrayed and another thrice denied him, and all forsook him and fled. If the Master who was without the taint of sin endured this, then shall I expect any better portion? O, how many tried to find witness against Christ. The most cruel, and the most incurable thing is bigotry and prejudice and it lives just as firmly in human hearts today as when Christ was upon the earth. But I leave all this in the hands of God. I feel cut loose from many of my brethren, they do not understand me or my mission or my work, for if they did they could never have pursued the course they have done. I love to have the ones who feel they need help, poor, hungry, starving souls. I love to see them enjoy the precious light God has given me for them. O, how Jesus rejoiced when a place was found for the truth in the heart of the woman of Samaria. The disciples brought him food and prayed him, saying, Master, eat, but he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Jesus said unto them My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say ye not there are yet four months and then cometh harvest. Behold I say unto you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields for they are white already to harvest. Yes, Lord, I look, I see the fields, and I see them white unto the harvest. The words given me of God may find no place in the hearts of those who have heard them so many times, but there are fields all white ready to harvest, just such cases as this Samaritan woman, apparently the most unlikely will become the heralds of truth while those who have had great light will be passed by, wise and prudent they see not the workings of God, but the truth will be revealed to babes, and they will respond to it. 1888 800.1
I now close this letter. 1888 801.1
Ellen G. White.