The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials

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Chapter 111—Diary Entries

MS - 40 - 1891

Diary—January 1891

Battle Creek, Mich.,

[Thursday], January 1, 1891 1888 865.1

New Year's day opens with a soft rainstorm. Another year has commenced; 1890 has passed into eternity with its burden of record. I renew my consecration to God. Said Christ, “I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified.” “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” I claim the rich promises of God through the matchless love and spotless character of Jesus Christ my Advocate. I have labored almost constantly and yet I see so much that needs to be done that it makes me restless, for it seems I have done so little compared with the great work to be done. 1888 865.2

But Jesus alone is my dependence. In Him I trust. He loveth even me. He is at this moment standing at the altar of incense presenting before the Father my prayers, my heart-longing desires for His grace, His heavenly endowment, that I may through the grace given unto me reveal to others His great love and complete efficiency. I grasp the promises of Him who hath given His life for the world that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life. “Then who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:34. This we can plead. This is an argument Satan cannot overcome. Then we will, in His name and through His grace, sanctify ourselves—soul and body and spirit—that our words and our works shall be wrought in God, and that we may have an influence over others that will win them to Jesus Christ. 1888 865.3

More intensely than ever before am I convinced of God's hatred of sin in all its forms. Repentance cannot atone for the past or cleanse us from one sin, or place us on a secure footing for the future. 1888 865.4

Battle Creek,

Friday, January 2, 1891

My heart was drawn out in earnest supplication to God at the family altar that His grace and His power might stir us to vigilance and earnest effort and zeal in doing the work He has placed in our hands, individually feeling our great responsibility. Oh, that every member of our family may be imbued with the spirit of the Master who went about doing good! I cannot feel rest in spirit until the members of my own family are doing the whole will of God. How my heart longs after them day and night! 1888 866.1

Battle Creek, Mich.,

Sabbath, January 3, 1891

My heart has been drawn out in earnest pleading with God nearly the entire night. Oh, that God would work in behalf of His people in Battle Creek and hedge up their way that they shall not walk on in their own judgment and imperil the cause of God, as they are certainly doing. 1888 866.2

I arose at four o'clock, and in stooping down for my morning socks I struck my forehead, just above the eye, on the bedpost, which cut a place in the forehead. The blood came forth freely, in large drops. I called Sara and she went to work as soon as possible and kindled a fire, and she and Edna Kilborn fomented the wound with hot water bandages wet in the hot water and applied as hot as I could bear them. The pain was relieved, the blood ceased to flow, and court plaster was applied after having a cold bandage applied to finish the treatment. 1888 866.3

How much suffering might be spared if all would become intelligent in regard to these simple remedies! I thank the Lord for intelligence on these things—to know how to treat ourselves without depending on physicians. We need to exercise our own facilities to understand what to do in an emergency, and then we should impart knowledge to others. 1888 866.4

Sabbath, January 3, 1891. I spoke in the tabernacle to a crowded house. I had not an idea of saying as plain and pointed things as I did say, but the Lord spoke through the human agent. I felt pressed, and could not withhold the message given. I pray the Lord that the words spoken may find access to hearts. 1888 867.1

The tabernacle was crowded to its utmost capacity. Oh, how I yearned in spirit for the men who, by resistance of light which God has given, have for the past two years hedged up the way that the Spirit of God shall not find access to their hearts. I heard a voice say to them, “You still are unbelieving. Stand aside or close up the ranks by coming into line and uniting in the work wholeheartedly.” 1888 867.2

Must this burden always rest upon me here in Battle Creek? Must I always carry this heavy load? Must my testimony be of that character to reprove, rebuke? May the Lord have mercy upon me and help me, that I shall be found true and faithful to do God's will, to keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment! 1888 867.3

A good work has been begun here, but it is not complete. There are men who do not know or understand. Will it stop short at some of the cruel stumbling blocks, and the church, because they do not make thorough work, wade through another year of darkness? God forbid! Oh, that there may be found righteous ones to plead in behalf of His people, and that their prayers will prevail! 1888 867.4

I should rejoice greatly to see the spirit of confession followed up throughout the church. Many are now obtaining a glimpse of their true condition and of their real necessities. If they persevere, make thorough work, and continue to draw nigh to God, He will draw nigh to them and will lift up for them a standard against the enemy. There will certainly be an outpouring of the Spirit of God. The church cannot over-rate their sinful neglect of duty, their unfaithfulness, and their neglect to receive light and practice the truth. Not improving their opportunity has brought defective eyesight, and has weakened their faith and corresponding zeal in earnest effort to walk in the light. Through their unbelief—because of the attitude and position of the church—sinners in our borders have become hardened and have been fearfully established in unbelief. 1888 867.5

When Jesus is within the sanctuary above, when we have an Advocate in the courts of heaven, how earnestly should the corresponding work of intercession be going on upon the earth! While we may see and should sense the guilt of sin, we are to appreciate the mercy of God through the atonement. The Lord has promised that because of the propitiatory sacrifice He will, if we repent, certainly forgive our iniquities. Now, while Christ is pleading in our behalf, while the Father accepts the merits of the atoning Sacrifice, let us ask and we shall receive. Let all confess their sins and let them go beforehand to judgment that they may be forgiven for Christ's sake, and that pardon may be written against their names. 1888 868.1

“The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12. What an encouragement to every soul! When, armed with the promises of God, you come to the Father in the name of Jesus, the Great Intercessor is seen by faith, standing at the altar of incense and having in His hand the golden censer. You hear His voice saying, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.” John 14:16. What hope will fill your poor discouraged heart! What shame and remorse will you feel for your cherished unbelief! 1888 868.2

Would you not feel that if Christ is praying for you, you can pray for yourself with an intensity of perseverance, and that all inferior aid is just what it is—finite and worthless? With Jesus as your Advocate, and you believing, confessing your sins with contrition of soul, and dying to self, would you not feel assured your suit is indeed gained? Would you not feel the evidence in your own soul that Jesus was amply able to do all things for you, and that the foot of the cross was the only place of safety for you? 1888 868.3

How can I present before you these facts that are eternal truths? Here you can say, “In my hands no price I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling.” If your prayers—yes, your prayers, feeble as they may seem—are sincere, if they are mixed with faith, then you may know that Jesus liveth to make intercession for you. The persevering, sincere seeker will surely be the finder, for as soon as you approach the mercy seat in faith, then Christ regards you as His client. He espouses your cause; He makes it His own. He is standing before the Father, your Substitute, your Surety. When you seek the Lord with all your heart, “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15. 1888 869.1

God became one with man when, in the council between the Father and the Son in heaven it was determined that if man fell from his allegiance, the Son of God should be his Redeemer and restore in him the moral image of God. How was it to be done? “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ...full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48. Christ's oneness with the Father brings us into close union, through the Son of God, with the Father. 1888 869.2

Battle Creek,

Sunday, January 4, 1891

Entertained visitors all day. I wrote some letters. I was made very happy today. Sister Davis has solicited a conversation with me and with deep feelings confessed that she had not had a correct appreciation of the work which she was handling. She felt that she had not had the sympathy for, and felt the sacredness of the work as she should have done. Now she saw it in altogether a different light, and she was determined to make thorough work, for her soul's sake and for Christ's sake, that the work should never be marred in her hands. She was made free in Jesus, and was free indeed. She has changed greatly. Peace and happiness are now expressed in her countenance. She is certainly under the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, for all her features express brightness proceeding from inward joy. 1888 869.3

I so much wish that every person who is engaged with me in the important work I am doing would have this precious transforming grace of Jesus Christ. Then there would be the blessed enlightenment from the face of Jesus Christ that would represent an indwelling Jesus. Oh, how much more we might enjoy of the Spirit and power of God if we would only surrender mind, heart, soul, and strength wholly and unreservedly to the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit of God! The work would then receive the divine mold. The power of God would rest upon the worker. I pray for every soul connected with me in the work. 1888 870.1

Battle Creek,

Monday, January 5, 1891

Again my time was taken up in conversation with visitors. But my burden is for this church in Battle Creek. So large a church—fully two thousand. Many were convened last Sabbath. It is almost impossible to separate them for a social meeting because there are not convenient places to gather them together. There is no place to hold so many worshipers, and they should be out in other places as missionaries, doing service to the Master, and not be crowded together here. 1888 870.2

There is missionary work to be done. How shall we as a church understand our spiritual advantages and not only hear the exposition of the truth, but practice the truth? We are capable of thinking seriously and of girding up the loins of the mind that it shall not have wild range. If those who have had light would walk in the light there would be a sense of responsibility in cultivating the thoughts. As we peruse the precious Word, we would search for the hidden treasures of truth. As human agents we have precious talents committed unto us—capabilities not only to read the truth in the living oracles of God, but to become enriched by the heavenly treasures found therein. Searching for truth, our thoughts may run in deep channels, and the inexhaustible and unsearchable riches of Christ open to the soul their richest treasures. The human agent may improve every faculty given him of God through properly using his time to acquire more knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. Be assured these faculties, put to right employment, will not be left here in this world, but will be taken with us to the higher grade, still to be educated through all eternity. 1888 870.3

Battle Creek,

Tuesday, January 6, 1891

I had conversation with Elder Smith, more favorable than any previous talk. He seems to be desirous to come to the light. He sees that his course has not been right in some things, and this I knew he must see before he could be closely connected with God. Since the Minneapolis meeting he has been counteracting my work by his position. The light that God has given me for the church has not been fully received because of his position. His attitude has said more than words. But after conversing with him freely, and showing him what harm he was doing to those who did not want to believe the message or receive the messenger and the counsel from God, he seemed to see more clearly the position he had occupied. He was determined to make straight paths for his feet, and to take up the stumbling blocks, that the lame may not be turned aside out of the way but rather be healed of their weakness and inefficiency. 1888 871.1

The Lord is at work, and I will not take the work out of His hands into my own hands. This is my prayer for Brother Uriah Smith, that he shall triumph with the third angel's message, and that the trumpet shall give a certain sound, that a people may be prepared for the great day of God. We have no time to lose. 1888 872.1

January 6, 1891. Brother Eldridge called on me and we had quite a lengthy conversation in regard to many important matters. Elder Smith came in and made a request to have a select number present to whom he wished to speak and as far as possible confess where he had been wrong. 1888 872.2

I am unable to explain the reason for the position that Captain Eldridge and Frank Belden have taken. What can they mean, to drop the Patriarchs and Prophets and Great Controversy and say they have decided to handle only one book, which is Bible Readings, to occupy the field at one time? This is contrary to our custom and to truth and justice, and contrary to the light God has given me in reference to the canvassing work. This is certainly a device of Satan. God pity His people, that His words shall be held back through the devising of men who are but children in experience in the truth God has given to His people. I feel such a burden of warning on my soul because the light that was given—the word of the Lord—was that there must be no delay in getting the special warnings contained in these books before the people. If they were properly circulated, I have been shown it would prevent many from uniting in a petition to Congress to make Sunday observance a law. Many honest souls, if the light of truth contained in the books had come to them, would not have put their names to that petition—supposing they were doing God service when they were exalting a spurious sabbath that had not “It is written” for its authority. Who will bear the responsibility men dare take upon themselves without the least regard to anything I may say to change this? And what does it all mean? Bible Readings has not the message giving the certain warnings and the light that the people must have now. 1888 872.3

Battle Creek,

January 7, 1891

It is a most beautiful day. I am not well today. I am sorely troubled about many things. 1888 873.1

Elder Olsen called on me today and we had a long and interesting conversation in regard to the state of the cause in the churches, especially in Michigan, and the great need of well-directed labor in the churches. 1888 873.2

At three o'clock p.m. the little company assembled in my room. Elder Smith said a few words, then read the letter I had written him after the exercise of my mind Tuesday night. Then Brother Smith, with tears, made a full and free confession of the wrong course he had pursued. He pledged himself, as he took my hand, that he would stand by me and would never cause me grief of soul again. This was a season pleasant for the Lord to look upon and for us all to contemplate. We hoped Frank Belden would follow Brother Smith, but he [did not]. 1888 873.3

We long to see all who have not discerned the light to discern truth and righteousness and keep gathering and cherishing every divine ray of light. The grace of God is needed to give to every soul who asks of God a deep and increasing interest in the knowledge of His Word. Spiritual things are spiritually understood by cultivating the habit of deep attention. We are to dig for the truth as for hidden treasures. That which once possessed no special interest will open to the mind of the diligent seeker and the hidden pearls of truth will reward his faith. 1888 873.4

Pine Creek, Michigan,

January 10, 1891

We went with our own carriage drawn by faithful Jessie to Pine Creek, fourteen miles, to speak to the people. It was quite cold but the roads were good and we were only two hours and ten minutes going to the place. Willie White was somewhat chilled. We stopped at the home of Brother Vermer,—who with his wife has recently embraced the truth—and laid off our heavy wraps, and then went to the schoolhouse. 1888 874.1

We found a hot fire, low ceiling, and a house packed full of people. Two-thirds were unbelievers. I spoke to them from the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. Good attention was given. 1888 874.2

I had intended to dwell more particularly upon the rich blessings which will ever react back upon us in our efforts to bless others, but the first part of the chapter seemed to fade from my mind, and the last part to be presented before me with distinctness. I dwelt upon the work we were all required of God to do to repair the breach that has been made in the law of God and to raise up the foundations of many generations—that is, the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. 1888 874.3

Pine Creek,

Sunday, January 11, 1891

The schoolhouse was filled and some came from quite a distance. I spoke from John, chapter 15. I had much freedom in speaking and all listened with earnest interest. Elder E. J. Waggoner followed, speaking on baptism. Then there were teams prepared to take those who were to be baptized about three miles. E. J. Waggoner administered the sacred ordinance to nine willing souls who felt that it was their duty to be baptized, and they were received into the church. I did not go to the baptism, but the report of those who did go say it was a blessed season. The Spirit of the Lord was there. Ten minutes before four we were on our way to Battle Creek. E. J. Waggoner returned in our carriage. 1888 874.4

We feel deeply the great need of workers—men and women who realize the necessities of the people who know not the truth, in towns and villages and cities all about Battle Creek. There is wise personal labor to be bestowed gratuitously. Why is there not more burning zeal to plant the truth in our own communities, our own borders, and lift up the standard of God's memorial in all our cities in America? We need men of thought, men who have religious experience, men who know how to labor. Battle Creek is over-crowded through the several institutions in this city that call in many people as workers. And many come to advantage themselves, but they do not go into these adjacent towns as laborers to seek and save perishing souls. Is not truth, present truth, to be proclaimed nigh and far off? Oh, that God would work among the people in Battle Creek! 1888 875.1

Battle Creek, Mich.,

Monday, January 12, 1891

I wrote several letters today. I learn that on Sabbath Elder Smith made quite full confessions and Brother Rupert also confessed. They went back in their confessions to the meeting at Minneapolis, and confessed their mistakes, in their blindness, and that their spirit and actions on that occasion were wrong. The Lord had precious truth to unfold to His people which they, being filled with unbelief and prejudice, could not appreciate, and they worked counter to the Spirit of God. In their boarding places in Minneapolis, they made light of the truth and of those who advocated the truth. 1888 875.2

I am instructed to write the things that shall transpire and to publish them for the benefit of many who have become confused by the many words of men who should understand better what they are talking about. The irreligious element that has come in through men in opposing the work of God is of a character to criticize and make many ministers talk and act foolishly. The spirit manifested is evidence that they are not making straight paths for their feet, and the result will be that many will not ever again see clearly the way of the Lord. They bring into the places where they go to hold meetings, a trifling, sarcastic spirit, which is contagious evil leaven. They do not seem too weighted down with the testimony of truth for this time, which means so much to us. 1888 875.3

There are some debaters who suppose themselves very keen and wise, who do not show themselves ignorant concerning evil and wise to choose that which is good. They are themselves standing as an offense to God, for they misrepresent the truth as it is in Jesus. 1888 876.1

Battle Creek,

Tuesday, January 13, 1891

I arose at four. Have had a wakeful night. My heart was in trouble. I suffered much pain of heart, and am nearly sick today. Yet I dare not withhold my testimony. I cannot write. 1888 876.2

E. J. Waggoner came in late last evening and we had a talk in regard to the ministers’ meetings now being held. He rejoiced that there was an entirely different atmosphere pervading the meetings than was in the ministerial institute last year. Thank the Lord for this testimony. Oh, my constant prayer to God is that there may be a deep, earnest work in reformation, that the matter of correct principle may be seen and sacredly acknowledged and preserved. Here, I have been instructed, is where the danger signal must be lifted, else the Lord will not cooperate with His people. 1888 876.3

There must be humbling of spirit; the heart must be changed. Why, with their Bibles to read, do they not understand the “It is written”? The directions so plainly given in Deuteronomy are sacred truth. They are to be acted out in principle in all our religious service toward God and toward one another. It is always safe to be Christian gentlemen, to love as brethren, to do no injustice, and to always show liberality, tenderness, compassion, and true courtesy. 1888 876.4

The very same principles expressed in James 3 were spoken by the voice of God from the pillar of cloud. God spoke to the people the acts they should do and the actions they should not do. Deuteronomy chapter 4. The specifications are never to lose their force, for they are the expression of the mind of the infinite God. Every word is to be cherished. 1888 877.1

This truth is to be preached. It has been made a thing of naught by many, but the infinite God will not be trifled with. He would be represented by His people by correct principles in everything. All who depart from His word in their actions misrepresent the character God. “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” Psalm 97:11. 1888 877.2

Why, I have asked, are not these principles that have been expressed seen and acted out, for they are the principles of the law of God. 1888 877.3

Last night the Lord was presenting before me many things being transacted in Battle Creek, right here at the heart of the work, that are contrary to the principles plainly defined by the word of God from the pillar of cloud. God is insulted, His honor abused, because men in responsible positions are walking contrary to God. He is misrepresented by His people who are called by His name. Deuteronomy 30:9-20; 32:1-6. 1888 877.4

Why, I inquired, have not Thy people having great light walked in the light? The answer came, There are men who have not the light and the truth in heart and soul. They take up the truth but they are not converted to practice the truth. They have not been converted. They have their old hereditary and cultivated characters, and yet they assume positions as counsellors, as wise men, and in their counsel they mingle their own spirit with their words and actions and pervert principle. They confederate together to do the very things God has expressly forbidden in His Word, until justice and mercy and love for God and man is fallen in the streets and equity cannot enter. 1888 877.5

Isaiah 29:9-24 and 30:1-15 should be considered. I am sorrowfully compelled to say this word of the Lord will be fulfilled to all men who claim to be teachers and yet will in the future have acted out this chapter in principles, greatly blinded their eyes that they should not see, and greatly weakened the work of the Lord and dishonored the truth of heavenly origin. 1888 878.1

God will have a remnant people who will be purified, made white, and tried. “And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:20, 21. 1888 878.2

Battle Creek, Mich.,

January 14, 1891

Spoke in the meeting of the Ministers’ Institute from John 17. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Verse 3. 1888 878.3

The enemy is at the bottom of many diversions from the real point, that the minds shall become confused upon minor subjects, and not give time and importance to weighty, vital questions. Satan may introduce himself into the very investigation of the Scriptures when matters of the deepest interest are introduced. Someone has a suggestion—verily amounting to a suggestion of unbelief—that leads minds away so that it is impossible to fasten the very essential points in the minds of those investigating important subjects. Minds become bewildered and some lose the precious lesson altogether. 1888 878.4

The points are to be laid out distinctly. After the ministers have taxed their brains to search, to go as deep as possible, and sought wisdom of God, then let them bring the points before the teacher. They have the inspired writings in their hands, and there is to be a searching for the truth, for there remain many things to be discovered and unfolded, which place the truth in its own relative importance before the people. 1888 879.1

Those giving Bible studies before a class need to guard these special matters, lest their minds lose the very essential points they wish to impress upon the minds of the hearers. When the door is thrown open to allow every one to ask questions confusion of ideas often results because some one presents a question full of unbelief. Through this one questioner the whole class of hearers have started a little matter in another channel and thus that precious Bible study is spoiled. Let all questions be presented in writing after the class exercises close. This will give the teacher time to know whether a question is suitable to be presented—whether it flashes a ray of light and life, or tends to deepen the dense shadow that Satan is constantly working to cast athwart human minds; whether this question will drop into some heart as the sowing of tares, or will be for the education and enlightenment of the class who have presented themselves as learners. The Bible study may be so conducted as to confuse minds rather than produce more thorough thought and enlightenment. If the ideas expressed by these questions will lead to a lower and more common level the class have been robbed of solid principles which concern their eternal welfare. There is produced a multiplication of words without corresponding progress in the Bible doctrines which are so much needed to be brought into families and churches; there has been a multiplying of expressions with little substantial knowledge, little increase of solid principles. 1888 879.2

Battle Creek,

January 15, 1891

I intended to speak in the ministerial institute but was favored with an interview with O. A. Olsen, and then Marian and Willie had matters which required my attention as to the arrangements to be made in publishing books for foreign countries. 1888 880.1

Sister Austin from Vermont called, and I visited with her for about two hours. These things occupied my time. Then there was the packing to leave next day for Bushnell, Michigan. We studied up the route and learned that we would have to wait in Lansing eight hours. Our only course was to take the early morning train at five a.m. We also learned that we could go by the way of Jackson and it cost one dollar or one dollar and a half more. We decided to save the money and go direct to Lansing. 1888 880.2

I am convinced now—for the Lord has given me special instruction—that our General Conference should not be convened in midwinter. The experience I have passed through at this conference and the light that has been coming to me of the Lord is an explanation, as a sum proved, that the health of those who assemble is endangered and life will certainly be sacrificed. 1888 880.3

Lansing, Mich.,

Friday, January 16, 1891

We left Battle Creek at five a.m. en route for Lansing. I awoke at half past two o'clock and could not sleep after this awakening. Arose at three a.m. At four awakened Sara and Andrew to prepare the team to take us to the cars. I was unable to take anything except a cup of gruel and a little bread. We were about one hour coming to Lansing, but for some reason I cannot define, my heart troubled me so that I felt great exhaustion. We rode in a streetcar to the hotel. We were carried two blocks past and were obliged to walk back. 1888 880.4

I felt that I was failing with heart exhaustion and I lay down on the sofa in the parlor of the hotel. I felt a very great difficulty in breathing. We took breakfast, hoping to gather a little vital force, but there was nothing I could get to strengthen me. They brought me steak cooked in some kind of grease. It was impossible for me to eat of it at the best. I ate a few crackers and a biscuit and drank a hot cup of drink, but oh, how wretched I felt! My heart was sick. It was difficult for me to breathe. We walked out in the air, but I was suffering much. I feared complete prostration. 1888 880.5

Elder Olsen accompanied us to Lansing but remained at the depot while we came in the streetcar up into the city and occupied a room at the hotel. I began to wish myself at home, but my prayer was constant, Do not permit me to die here; give me vital breath. 1888 881.1

We walked over to the other depot. It was but a short walk and my heart felt at peace with God. I could breathe better in the open air. We were obliged to remain about two hours before the train started. We were glad to step on board the train at about half past two and arrived at the depot near Bushnell about four o'clock. 1888 881.2

Horses and carriage were waiting for us and we rode two miles and a half to Brother Stephen Olchin's [?]. Here we found a large number of guests. Many I did not know. Stephen Olchin introduced me to his wife. The first Sister Olchin and two of his children had been laid in the grave. All seemed glad to meet me and from appearance of the guests there were many who had come from five to twenty and thirty miles distant to this gathering. It seemed somewhat as it used to be when my husband was an invalid in Fair Plains. I used to have a circuit of travel—Bushnell, Greenville, Fair Plains, Orleans, Orange, Wright, and Greenbush. Here were the old friends of the cause who were true as steel to the principles of the truth. I had not visited them for twenty years. Our last gathering was in a grove not far from where the church which they have built now stands. 1888 881.3

I believe the Lord would have me visit these churches and bear to them my testimony. These people for whom I have formerly been personally interested and with whom I have been united in past association—I want to visit them in their own towns and cities. They have attended camp meetings but the gatherings were so large that it was impossible to renew our acquaintance. I felt unreconciled to being at this place where I wished to labor and I in such a state of physical exhaustion. 1888 882.1

In our season of prayer at the commencement of the Sabbath I was drawn out in earnest supplication to God that Jesus, the Great Physician, would restore me to soundness and give me victory over my present exhaustion that I could speak to the people. I could not give up the point. I must have help; I must have the divine touch, and strength would then be given me and my feebleness be removed and life-giving power be imparted. The Lord heard [my] prayer. I believe in His name. I claim His promises, Ask and ye shall receive. “Whatsoever ye ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:13. I had all the assurance I wanted. God's Word, that is yea and amen. 1888 882.2

Bushnell, Michigan,

Sabbath, January 17, 1891

I slept but little through the night but feel of good courage in the Lord. My physical strength is still small but I will continue to believe. When the time comes that I shall stand before the people at eleven o'clock a.m. then I shall realize an all-efficient Helper for my time of need, for the promises of God will not fail me. “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:18, 27. 1888 882.3

When I entered the entry of the church it was, I saw, a difficult matter to get a passage, for the house was filled with believers and unbelievers. I pressed and urged my passage, Elder Olsen going before me, until I came to the stand. My heart was touched as I looked upon the crowded seats and upon faces I had not seen for many years, and many strangers to me who had more recently embraced the faith. 1888 883.1

If Paul had felt his heart welling up with thanksgiving to God always for the converts of a single church because a small number had turned to the living God and left the service of idols, I felt that I had reason for thanksgiving and praise to see in this gathering the number of souls who had been brought from darkness of error into the truth for this time, to serve the living God with full purpose of heart. We will say, Not unto us, O God, not unto us, but unto thy name be all the glory. 1888 883.2

I had much freedom in speaking to the people about one hour and a half. I then called all those to come forward who felt that they were not in living connection with God and were decided to make an entire surrender to God, soul and body, to do His will from the heart. The congregation was crowded but we determined to have this privilege offered. About six seats were filled. We had a precious season of interceding with the Lord for these souls and for our own selves, and the blessing of the Lord came upon us. We know that the Lord indited our petitions. Our faith laid hold upon the arm of infinite power and the promise was verified. Souls were blessed and many precious testimonies were borne. Some had backslidden from God and now wished to confess their backslidings and to return. 1888 883.3

For half an hour Elder Olsen tried to close the meeting but he could not. They had been gathered together since nine o'clock for their Sabbath school, and it was past five o'clock and none had eaten anything. The meeting was excellent. We could but rejoice in God. He had greatly blessed and strengthened me just as I believed He would do, and I was gratified to find my brethren and sisters whom I had not spoken with for years still walking in the truth. Oh, the depth of the love and compassion of our God to bear long with the perversity of man! The boundless love of Christ is beyond anything we can comprehend. The sinner in coming to Christ, confessing his sins, is placing himself in the way of obedience. 1888 884.1

Bushnell,

January 18, 1891

I spoke to a house packed with interested hearers. Many outsiders were present and seemed to be deeply moved as I spoke to the people. I presented the law and gospel in perfect harmony. I had great freedom. The influence of the Spirit of God impressed hearts. But how hard for the heart that has been filled with prejudice to reason candidly! I told the people that there was no power in law to save the transgressor of law, but here is where the necessity of a Redeemer comes in. [Quoted Acts 20:19-38.] 1888 884.2

Battle Creek, Mich.,

Monday, January 19, 1891

We left Bushnell Sunday afternoon [January 18]. Rode fifteen miles with Brother Addison Howe to Lyons. We were entertained in their family. Their little daughter was quite sick with a cold. She coughed a hoarse, harsh cough. We slept in a bedroom off the parlor. Although a fire had been kindled in an old cookstove adjoining the bedroom, the clothing of the bed and the bed itself chilled Sara and me through and through. I had chills half the night. 1888 884.3

We rode to the depot about eight o'clock. Had to wait, for the train to Lansing was delayed. I slept some on the cars but did not feel at all well. We arrived in Battle Creek shortly after eleven o'clock and were glad to be at home again. I was much exhausted. I had no appetite for food. Strictly guarded my diet and was hoping to escape sickness. We were thankful to find the family all as well as usual. Edson has not been well for some time. It is a cold upon him, similar to La Grippe. 1888 885.1

Battle Creek, January 20, 1891

We learn that the good work has been going on in the church. The last Sabbath, in the afternoon, Elder Smith attended the Ministerial Institute meeting, in the chapel connected with the office. He spoke again of his mistakes, and went back to Minneapolis and confessed his wrong there and since that time. There was a good spirit in the meeting and advance was made. I felt grateful to God for these tokens of the working of the Spirit of God. 1888 885.2

This work of confession going forward will clear the King's highway. May the good work go on, and may new hope, new strength and courage come to the people of God. These men who have lifted the cross have a stubborn nature, and the miracle-working power of God had taken hold of them and we were rejoiced. We respect Brother Smith. Our confidence in him is restored. We feel more closely united with him in Jesus Christ. 1888 885.3

Jesus Christ was the True Witness. He declares He came from the Father. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” John 3:11-13. He said He came to reveal the Father. 1888 885.4

Our only safety is to believe that which is truth because it is true, not because it harmonizes with our preconceived opinions and it is pleasant and agreeable to believe that which we want to believe because it harmonizes with our ideas. Do we accept the words of Christ as verity and truth because He is a divine Witness whose testimony is to be accepted, studied, and revered because He is the Sent from God? The raising of Christ from the dead establishes Christ as a witness to the wonderful truth—which means so much to us—of the resurrection of every one who believes in Jesus Christ. 1888 886.1

Battle Creek,

January 21, 1891

I was afflicted this morning with acute pain in my hip and across my kidneys. It is the result, I think, of the chilliness I suffered in the cold bed last Sunday night. I was scarcely able to move or even breathe without severe pain. I am reminded that I am mortal. The illness which attacked me in Lansing, and which seemed so perilous, leads me to the conclusion that my life is not secure for a moment. It becomes me to hide in Jesus Christ, to be true to God, obeying His commandments from the heart, and notwithstanding my oft infirmities the Lord strengthens me in a most remarkable manner. 1888 886.2

I feel my spirit stirred within me. I feel to the depth of my being that the truth must be borne to other countries and nations, and to all classes. Let the missionaries of the cross proclaim that there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, who is Jesus Christ the Son of the Infinite God. This needs to be proclaimed throughout every church in our land. Christians need to know this, and not put man where God should be, that they may no longer be worshipers of idols, but of the living God. Idolatry exists in our churches. [Means had] better be employed to save souls from death, which would be placing jewels in the crown of Jesus Christ and stars in our own crowns in the kingdom of heaven. 1888 886.3

January 22, 1891

The pain has not left me although it is not as severe as at first. I am using every means in my power to overcome this difficulty. 1888 887.1

I have today had earnest talk with several of our ministering brethren. I had hoped to be able to attend the meeting in Carlton, but this is impossible. It would be presumptuous. But I would so much like to go. I have a message to bear and I am full of important things which I wish to speak to the people. I carry a burden which I wish to lay off upon those who really believe the truth but I know do not comprehend its import. There is a nominal assent to the truth but its deep spiritual meaning is not understood. 1888 887.2

We have for years been waging a war with spiritual idolatry. Scriptural conversions are not as abundant as we could wish. There are so many things put in the place where God should be, when He should have the entire room and every nook and corner should reveal His presence. We have a constant contest with idolatry. Many things which gratify the lust of the eye are taking precious time and stealing away precious money. The senses are pleased but God is robbed both of time and money. I am pained to see the photographs multiplied and hanging everywhere. 1888 887.3

Battle Creek, January 23, 1891

I went to the sanitarium for treatment. The electric bath I hoped would be beneficial to me. I am sick. I cannot eat anything. My stomach will not take care of food. My physical strength is exhausted. I seem to have no deposit in the bank from which to draw. It seems now it would take but little to put out the lamp of life. But I am not anxious now to sleep in the grave, because I have more work to do. I have a message to bear to the people. I am much troubled. The work is being swayed in wrong lines. There is a spirit of, “I will not yield, I will not give up that my way is wrong.” 1888 887.4

Battle Creek, Sabbath, January 24, 1891

I attended the meeting in the chapel and spoke in the meeting for the ministerial students. We had an excellent meeting. There was a very tender spirit. Many are drawing nigh to God and coming to the light, and the Lord is helping them to clear away the rubbish from the door of their hearts and let Jesus come in. There is now a change in the expression of their countenances. Light from the Lord has been reflected upon their hearts and shines forth in their countenances. 1888 888.1

Monday, January 26, 1891

Spoke to the ministers’ class in Bible Studies at quarter after ten a.m. 1888 888.2

January 27, 1891

I had a deep and solemn sense of the requirements of God, in speaking from John 15. 1888 888.3

January 28, 1891

Went into the city and did some trading; returning saw Sisters Hall and Murphy and invited them to be seated in the carriage. Took them to the sanitarium. Returned and met Brother and Sister Hobbs and took them to their home by the fair ground. 1888 888.4

By invitation went to Sister Graves’ to dinner. Met quite a number of our sisters and had a pleasant visit, but was feeling much better in the open air. Ate sparingly and then met my previous appointment with Elder Uriah Smith. We had a pleasant visit. We conversed as to the best means to help Elder Butler. We feel sorely distressed over his condition and we want to save him from himself, from unhappiness. We also conversed in regard to Howard and Madison Miller and their position of resistance—hard and unimpressible. Both are unfit to be trusted with responsibilities, because they have chosen a set, determined will of their own, to yield to no one, to be independent. Oh that they would fall upon the Rock and be broken! 1888 888.5

Battle Creek, January 29, 1891

The past night was one of great suffering. I slept but little. The malaria is upon me. I was nauseated at the sight of food. Could sit up but a short period at a time. My repaired lounge came home the day before, so it was very convenient for me. Oh how I long for strength! Elder Waggoner called and was very urgent that I should speak again to the ministerial class. 1888 889.1

Battle Creek, Michigan, January 30, 1891

My days are now filled with weariness and painful weakness. 1888 889.2

Dr. Kellogg visited me today, and we considered some important questions in connection with my case and in regard to the general interests of the cause. Many things need to be corrected in our institutions. [Remainder of this entry deals with “The Men in Positions of Trust in our Institutions,” and is found in Manuscript 24, 1891, pp. 23-29.] 1888 889.3

Battle Creek, Sabbath, January 31, 1891

I was not able to attend meeting today and I am very weak. May the Lord help and strengthen and bless me today upon the holy Sabbath. I have felt a great desire to be well. 1888 889.4