The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Chapter 137—To I. D. Van Horn


George's Terrace - Kilda Road,

Melbourne, Vic. January, 20, 1893

Elder I.D. Van Horn,

Dear Brother,—

I am happy to report that I am much improved in health. The conference just closed has been in every sense a success. The Lord has placed his own imprint upon minds, and many have received instruction that is of the highest value to them. The Lord has given me his grace and power to sustain me in all my labors, both in speaking and in writing. 1888 1136.1

I want to say a few words to you, to tell you some things which burden my heart. You are represented to me as not walking and working in the light as you think you are doing. Again and again has the Lord presented before me the Minneapolis meeting. The developments there are but dimly seen by some, and the same fog which enveloped their minds on that occasion has not been dispelled by the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness. Notwithstanding the evidences of the power of God which attended the truth which was shining forth at that meeting, there were those who did not comprehend it. In the blessings that have since accompanied the presentation of the truth, justification by faith and the imputed righteousness of Christ, they have not discerned increased evidence from God as to where and how he is and has been working. 1888 1136.2

You have not drank from the full cup presented to you that you could in every respect be giving the trumpet a certain sound. Elder Butler, Elder Smith, and yourself have been presented to me as standing in a similar position. While you have not openly opposed the work the Lord himself has been doing, you have held yourself aloof from the very ones with whom you should have been closely related. If you had been walking in the light, you would have drank of the cup full of the wine of truth that has been held to your lips; but no, you have but in a partial way been in harmony with the work that brethren Jones and Waggoner have under God been doing to bring up the church to understand their true state and come to the supper prepared for them. The richest blessings from heaven have been proffered, but as represented in the parable, many have clung to their old citizen's dress, not accepting the dress prepared for them by the Lord Jesus Christ. 1888 1136.3

I know that Elder Smith, Elder Butler, and Elder Van Horn have been losing the richest privileges of heavenly enlightenment, because the spirit and impressions that were entertained before the Minneapolis meeting and in a large degree cherished since that time have kept them in a position where, when good cometh, they have had little appreciation of the same. I am so sorry for you, my brother; you have worked hard, but the wisdom which the Lord giveth to run like fine threads of gold through all your ministerial labor has been wanting. No greater light or evidence will come to any one of you except to Elder Butler. He has not been directly in the channel where light from the throne has come upon him. The Lord looks with compassion upon you all, but in a special sense upon Elder Butler. Both Elder Smith and yourself have had opportunities of the highest order, but neither of you has improved the privilege of opening the chambers of your mind, and withdrawing the curtain from the soul temple, that the train of the glory of God might illuminate heart and mind. There is no reason that either of you can offer before the great white throne, when the Lord shall ask you, “Why did you not unite your interests with the messengers I sent? Why did you not accept the message I sent through my servants? Why did you watch these men to find something to question and doubt, when you should have accepted the message that bore the imprint of the most High?” 1888 1137.1

God does not commend the position that any one of you three representative men has taken. You think you are standing at your post of duty, firm as rock; but God has not told you to stand where you are. The command is, “Go forward, and I will be with you; I will go before you, I will be your front-guard, and the glory of the Lord shall be your rereward.” The richest beams of light have been shining from the throne of God directly upon you, but you have slighted and (shall I say it? Painful it is to me, but I cannot forbear,) refused it as strange fire. 1888 1138.1

Had the divine Spirit any thing to do with your prejudice at Minneapolis? any thing to do with the spirit that led to action there? No; God was not in that work. I was led from room to room occupied by our brethren at that meeting, and heard that of which every one will one day be terribly ashamed, if it is not until the judgment, when every work will appear in its true light. In the room occupied by you there was a Witness, and in the rooms of others, there was a Witness to every remark made, the ungodly jest, the satire, the sarcasm, the wit; the Lord God of heaven was displeased with you, and with every one who shared in the merriment, and in the hard, unimpressible spirit. An influence was exerted that was Satanic. Some souls will be lost in consequence. 1888 1138.2

Why did you not receive the testimony the Lord sent you through Sister White? Why have you not harmonized with the light God has given you? Is this spirit to continue to the end of probation? Is there nothing that will be evidence to you as to where God is at work? Can you not discern who has the message to give to the people for this time? 1888 1139.1

Elder Van Horn, you need the quickening influence of the Spirit of God. You need the life-giving power from on high. You have set discourses which you have given the people for years; if these could, to a great extent, be banished from your mind, and you come to the school of Christ to learn of him as a little child, O, what light, what power, what love, what grace and joy, would flood your soul; but you have not seen your need, you have not felt your want, and your labors have not been, could not be, as God would have them, full of marrow and fatness. God has offered you fresh manna for the people, but you yourself have eaten only what you chose to eat, and have given the same to the people. They have not, as a general thing, had the education and instruction it was their right to have for the present time. 1888 1139.2

I have had a great desire that you and Adelia should keep step with your leader, the Captain of the Lord's host. Your ideas are stereotyped, and your need, O so much, to have the imprint of the divine Spirit upon your spirit. I have been shown the necessity of your rising higher, and standing in the clear sunlight of the Lord's presence. You are not in the position the Lord would be pleased to have you occupy. 1888 1140.1

Elder Smith is not in the position in reference to the work and his connection with the cause of God that he ought to be in, with the light he has had. Elder Butler and some others who have acted a prominent part in the cause have really been standing in the way of others, and have retarded the work. If Elder Smith was standing in the clear light, he would give the trumpet a certain sound in perfect harmony with the angel of Revelation 18, who is to lighten the earth with his glory. Now is the time when we may look for just such a message as has been coming to us. 1888 1140.2

Think you, my brother, if the Lord has raised up men to give to the world a message to the people to prepare them to stand in the great day of God, that any one could by their influence stop the work and close the mouth of the messengers? No; if every human agent should hold his peace, a voice would be put into the stones, and they would cry out. The message would go in greater and still greater power. And shall such men as Elder Smith, Elder Butler, and yourself, be left behind in the special message and work for this time to carry the people forward and upward to a higher, holier state of spirituality? 1888 1140.3

Is the work that has been going on since the Minneapolis meeting of God? If not, it is of another spirit. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” I know that the Lord is in this work, and no one can silence the messenger whom God sends, or repress the message. The Lord will be heard through his human agencies. And if any man refuses to accept the light and walk in it, that light will not continue to shine upon him. “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works: or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” 1888 1141.1

My brethren are well aware that the word of God presents the matter of church unity as a principle; those who are united to Christ by the truth of heavenly origin should have strong friendship for one another. And this is not all. “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” “These things I command you, that ye love one another.” The love of Christ must come into the church, and be cherished by every member as a precious plant. If the branches of the vine are united to the parent stock, the same life dwells in them all. In Christ Jesus there is love, and those who are united to Christ will not have merely a tame, common regard as acquaintances, but true, sincere love for one another, because they are endued with the spirit of Christ. This drawing off from one another is not Christ-like, but it is after Satan's order. Love is not a mere simple regard, but a living principle; not a temporary emotion, but a permanent power. We drink it in fresh from the fountain of love that flows from the cross of Calvary. We are quickened by this love. “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” Quickened by this love, the power of the Holy Spirit, we learn to love one another in and through Christ Jesus truly, sincerely, unaffectedly. 1888 1141.2

The light is shining; it will not, cannot be eclipsed. It will continue to shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day; but those who close their eyes that they shall not see, and their ears that they shall not hear, and harden their hearts that they shall not receive the rays of heavenly light, will be left to walk in darkness; and he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. He thinks he is walking in safe paths, but he deceives his own soul. 1888 1142.1

I am distressed when I think of these brethren whom I love in the Lord, and who are not taking a Bible course as presented in the lessons of Christ, to be one as Christ is one with the Father, that, according to the prayer of Christ, the Father may love them as he loves his only begotten Son. The divine imprint is not on any man's work who does not exercise every faculty God has given him to answer the prayer of Christ for complete unity. 1888 1142.2

Those who present before the world apparent differences while they make no effort to see eye to eye by coming together as brethren to search the Scriptures with the spirit of a little child, are not working in the lines in which Christ worked, and his Holy Spirit will not endorse their work. There are peculiar temperaments that are easily thrown off the track, and when they get under the controlling power of temptation, they require to be helped. This is the case of Bro. Foster, who has been a reader of the Review for some years. He saw the articles by Elder Jones on the formation of the image, and was greatly blessed in reading them. Then came Elder Smith's article opposed to Elder Jones. This brought him into trial just before the week of prayer. I had a long talk with him, for he came to me to tell his feelings, poor man. Through the Lord's Spirit, I spoke words to comfort him. He made some statement in reference to the meeting at Minneapolis, and I had to explain a little of that matter, just as the Lord had presented it to me. I do not want these burdens repeated that were forced upon me in Minneapolis and Battle Creek. Some may take explanations in the right way, because the Spirit of the Lord is abiding with them, but to other minds everything is perverted by the enemy. 1888 1143.1

Elder Smith's action in publishing Elder Jones’ article, and then his own directly opposite, is presenting to our opponent broken ranks instead of a united front, and turning the weapons of warfare against our brethren. What kind of policy is this for Seventh-day Adventists? What does the True Witness say of such works? Is it not time that a different order of things should come in? Is it of no account whether men heed the words of Christ or work away from them, showing that they have more confidence in their own judgment than in the words of our Lord and Saviour? Think you that this would be so if the children of God loved one another as Christ has loved them? “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (See Romans 12:9.) “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” “See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” 1888 1144.1

Do we practice the word of God in this particular? I say we do not do this as God has directed. Among the talents we receive from God is the mysterious power of influence; there is a peculiar power in the influence of friend on friend, which is a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. Like the air we inhale, it may be laden with fragrance or with fatal poison. In familiar conversation, in the interchange of thought and feeling, an influence is exerted that is potent for good or for evil. It is highly essential that a Christian should on all occasions use his influence aright. With what holy jealousy ought each one of us to keep guard over his thoughts, his disposition, that every jot of influence may be wholly on the Lord's side. 1888 1144.2

We are living in critical times. Satan's power over the human agents is great to destroy. The Lord in his great mercy is a restorer, the very opposite of Satan. Our brethren who lead out in bearing responsibilities should realize the danger of viewing things solely from their own standpoint, and thinking they have the mind of God and see things as he sees them. The Lord gives us his mind and will to correct every possible mistake in ourselves. Brethren of the same faith should cherish a noble Christian friendship, and sincere love for Jesus and those who love Jesus. The unaffected humility of a mind taught of God will be evidenced by love for the brethren. 1888 1145.1

I plead with you, dear brother, take off thy shoes from off thy feet, and walk softly before God. Snares and perils surround us. Let us individually be sure that we possess and manifest the religion of love, not of bigotry. Catch every ray of light from heaven, and let it shine before men. But we must be sure that it is true light. There is a broad, clear line drawn by the eternal God between the children of God and the children of the wicked one. We must be wide awake now, for it was while men slept that the tares were sown among the wheat. The time is soon to come when we shall discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. 1888 1145.2

Let us press together. Let us love one another. O that all this Pharisaical coldness might come to an end, and our hearts burn with the ardor of God's love. We must not disparage the Lord's message or his messengers. We are all to be judged by our Lord Jesus Christ, and let us not judge one another. We must not lose the crown of life. We must press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 1888 1146.1

Much love to your wife and children. I would love to see you all, and hope I may again meet my friends in America. 1888 1146.2