The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Chapter 144—To L. Nicola


Wellington, N.Z., July 19, 1893

Mr. Leroy Nicola,

Dear Brother,—

Pardon me for not writing a response to your welcome letter. I received it at a time when I could not reply, as I desired to, and only letters were written that I felt must be. I thought that I certainly would be able to write you a reply on the mail that closed last Thursday, but did not. I apologize for this delay. 1888 1192.1

Two weeks ago my last teeth were extracted. Sr. Caro, a dentist, came from Napier and performed the operation. I have felt that I must not call the blood to the brain, and I have had to be extremely careful lest I should take cold in my gums. My gums heal slowly. I am happy to say, I am in unusually good health; for this I render thanks to my heavenly Father. Of late, I have been sleeping much better, not because I have taken any nervines. I took nothing whatever when the teeth were extracted. The operation was performed in less than five minutes. I do not expect to be able to do any speaking until I get my underset; that will be in about eight weeks. I feel thankful indeed to the Lord for his goodness. I have not rode out for the last five weeks. The weather has been very unsettled, except to rain most of the time. I am not able to walk only a very short distance; my right hip forbids it. I can move quite actively about the house. My room is up-stairs and I go up and down quite often; but a little exercise at a time is all I can bear. I sit on a lounge most of the time, for the easiest position for me is to extend my limbs even with my body. I suffer no pain except in my hip, and unless I sit in just such a position I become almost helpless. I suffered for about four weeks with a severe pain in the hip, caused from my walking to the hall where we held our meetings. 1888 1192.2

I had an appointment at Petone, seven miles from Wellington, and I feared very much to undertake the journey. We went in an easy hack and I endured the ride well. I rose to speak, but could not speak on the subject I had purposed to for another subject was given me. I took for my subject, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of man shall be revealed.” The discourse was a warning in regard to the closing scenes of this earth's history. The power of God came upon me; I felt it thrilling through every nerve of my body; and the people knew that the words came in the demonstration of the Spirit and power of God. Since that time I have been very much improved in health. The Lord honored my faith, and he has had compassion upon me. 1888 1192.3

My dear brother, I freely forgive you, as you request, and I am so very thankful that you do see and do understand the error of the past. No error is of the truth, and no error will have an influence to sanctify the soul, and I am so thankful that it is not too late for wrongs to be righted. We have a sin pardoning Saviour, one who will ever be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. I am deeply constrained day and night for the sheep that have strayed from the fold. As I read the parable of our Lord, I am astonished that it does not have more weight with every soul who is interestedly trying to do the will of our heavenly Father. I know from the light given me, that many who are now indifferent and careless and reckless who have strayed from the fold, and some have been recklessly and unfeelingly thrust out of the fold to perish in the wilderness. O how my heart aches to see so few going in search of the lost sheep. It is the business of every laborer together, to make this a special work, to put forth special effort to seek and find the lost sheep, and not wait for them to find the Shepherd. All heaven is watching this phase of the work, ready to co-operate with the human agent who shall consider who are, and where are the lost sheep, those who once loved the truth but have strayed away from the fold. 1888 1192.4

Jesus tells of the shepherd searching in the wilderness for the straying sheep, and the divine joy in the heavenly courts as the sheep are found. The ninety and nine are left, and the search is conscientiously and determinedly and perseveringly carried on through hardships and difficulties until the lost is found; then no words of reproach are uttered, nothing but joy is expressed, and the sheep is safely, lovingly, and bodily carried back with songs of rejoicing. Every one of the neighbors is interestedly enlisted to express their joy, “I have found my sheep that was lost.” Do those who profess to love Jesus want to be like God, doing his work in bringing back the wandering sheep? Shall we be sharers in the joy of the heavenly host and of Deity himself? Then let us individually embrace this opportunity, and go forth to seek and save that which was lost. Count not on the trouble, let not Satan magnify the difficulties. It will indeed be unpleasant and self-sacrificing. But will it not pay? Read the parable. The Son of the infinite God left the angels his high command in the heavenly courts, and came to this wilderness world, all seared and marred with the curse to save the one sheep strayed from the fold, the one fallen world. And how was he treated? Shamefully! O what indignity, what abuse was heaped upon the Shepherd seeking to find his sheep, and bring them back to the fold to their allegiance to God with rejoicing. Then let all who appreciate salvation go earnestly to work in Christ's lines and angels of God will go with you and divine power will combine with human effort and great success will be the result. 1888 1193.1

O we may recover the lost and perishing and restore souls saved to him who died for their recovery. Are we Christ's disciples? Has he not given us this parable to understand, to practice? Are we not, if true to our post, to go forth in earnest persevering personal effort to seek and save the lost sheep? Why in the light of this parable has there been so little done in this line? Why is there not contemplation and consideration upon this subject? 1888 1193.2

Who are the straying ones who have backslidden, who have strayed away from the fold into Satan's snare? Does not this parable rebuke the cold-hearted, indifferent neglect shown to those who are ready to die? Here comes the warning down along the line to our time. “And unto the angel in the church of Sardis write: these things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found thy works perfect before God.” 1888 1194.1

The Lord help us that we shall not pass by on the other side, and leave the soul wounded, and bruised and robbed and do nothing to help him. I want you my brother to act a part in this work where ever you are, and whatever position of trust you may fill. Consult with others and see if there cannot be awakened an interest to search and make personal efforts to restore the souls that are spiritually ready to perish, and the souls that are already dead spiritually. We want soft, tender broken hearts. We want human sympathy made sacred and holy by co-operation with the divine. Read the parable. Pray over the parable. See the representation and work out the symbol. Make it a living reality. Stir up others to put forth well directed and wise efforts. “Brethren 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.” 1888 1194.2

Much love to your wife and little ones. 1888 1194.3