The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Chapter 156—To O. A. Olsen


Norfolk Villa, Prospect Hill,
Granville, New South Wales
[Aug. 1894]

Dear Brother Olsen:—

I have very tender feelings toward you. I understand how you are placed in relation to the work, and I pray for you, and believe God will lead you and guide you; but I felt the time had come for me to stand in God, and Him alone. The councils at Battle Creek treat me after their own ideas, as they have treated others and will continue to do this until they are converted; and if the enemy could depress and discourage me through their course of action, he would exult. I have not had the sympathy or the faith and confidence of some men who compose your councils; therefore I shall not feel under restraints which they wish to impose upon me. If they could see things in a correct light they would see and understand that I have a connection and an experience with the work that not one of them have; that their constant suspicion, jealousies, and evil surmisings are standing directly in their own way of spiritual advancement, as well as proving a decided hindrance to me. 1888 1280.1

I mourn now that I did not do the very work I ought to have done when my nephew, Frank Belden, and Captain Eldridge were in responsible positions and had not an appreciation of the Great Controversy, Vol. 4, which the people should have had then as they are having now. What effect did all my talk with a burdened heart in setting before them these things, have upon them? As much as to talk to a stone. My burden, my distress, was interpreted to be through selfish motives. They judged me by themselves. They intercepted themselves in their own management, that the book which the people should have had, which the Lord would have had them have, fell almost useless, and died from the press. Light was in that book which came from heaven; but what account will those men have to give to God for the little faith and confidence manifested in that book that the warnings should not come to the people when they should have had them? I am so glad the people can have them now. The delay was Satan's own devising. He was working diligently and has brought about a condition of things that the work cannot now go as it would have gone and done its work, which the Lord presented before me needed to be done. Those who hindered the work will have to answer to God for this. 1888 1280.2

What power did I have, notwithstanding my position and relation to the work, to change the order of things in the councils and decisions made in Battle Creek by men, firm, and set, and determined to have their own way? Verily none at all. There is one who saith, “I know thy works.” What reason have I to have implicit confidence in decisions in these councils, who have treated the message and the messenger as they have done? Have I not every reason to believe if they could manage to place me in trying places they would do it? They have done it. I have thought I would hunt up all the expenses I have had to meet on my own account since coming to Australia, for calligraph work and preparation of articles for to get out matters that I have been awakened in the night season to prepare, and to give the figures to my brethren in your councils; but I will not take the trouble. God knows the whole history. I am sick and disgusted with the management of those things. 1888 1281.1

If I had not been in the field long enough, and the character of my work and my integrity and purity and incorruptness of action is not demonstrated beyond such criticism, it never will be. Satan, it is evident, has power over human minds to put his interpretation on matters in human minds that are not fully under the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of God, that nothing will change. Facts will be misunderstood, and I shall not distress my soul or bring unnecessary burdens upon my workers to enter into minutia to figure out every item to prevent the receiving the suspicions which are ready to spring into life any moment that they think they have a semblance of a chance. I will not humiliate myself before such minds. The time has come when I stand in God, and in Him alone. 1888 1281.2

When I have been in the spirit present in your councils and heard your decisions and how matters in regard to individual cases have been decided, I have not had increased faith in the men in your councils; and should I make myself dependent to be controlled by them, it would be when I had positive evidence that the strong-minded men in your councils, the men who were making decisions and devising plans, were converted. I take the position, I will work for God; I will use every power God has given me to have in my own hands, through the counsel of God, all the means which I can honorably, through the counsel of God, command, to use as God shall direct in destitute fields. I have no burden nor advice from the Lord to imperil health and life to save expenses to the conference when I know I shall not do as I have done, to place myself in positions of that self-denial which would be detrimental to my health, or to try to save the expenses of traveling to the conference, which has several times nearly cost me my life. Willie has done this so much that it cannot be done in the future, for it has greatly injured his health; and those who stand off, and are at a distance, will not appreciate his work even if he lost his life. The time has fully come to look to God and Him only, and to have a single eye to the glory of God in doing His service; and the Lord God of Israel will we worship and serve and honor to the best of our ability. He is my refuge and fortress. The selfish appropriation of God's money has been, and is still being, registered in the books of heaven. This work means oppression for other workers. 1888 1282.1

One thing I am determined upon, that Willie's life shall not be as it has been. God will have it otherwise. I write because it is time I should write, and because I must do all I can to change an order of things that has not been wise, and in accordance with the mind and will of God. It bears not His superscription. We will work in God's lines, and will be in harmony with my brethren, if they will be on the right side, in harmony with God's mind and God's will; but we will honor those whom God honors, irrespective of their position or talents. 1888 1283.1

I was reading in Isaiah this morning that the Lord Jesus came to preach the gospel to the meek. I desire the meekness of Christ; and yet, when I see men interposing their unsanctified decision in the way of the Lord's work I shall not be clear in holding my peace. I shall speak decidedly; I shall not be silent, although my mission and the work given me of God may not be recognized by some in your councils. But I dare not be silent, whether men will hear or forbear. I have had my commission, “Cry aloud, and spare not; lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins.” There are many things that God does not approve that pass current in Battle Creek. 1888 1283.2

Oh that every man and every woman that handle or are in touch with sacred things would be pure in heart and upright in all their dealing with every man, saint or sinner! It is because of indulgence in sharp dealing and in practice that all such will be ever suspicious of others, judging them by themselves. I have had this scripture much before me: “For I the Lord love judgment; I hate robbery for burnt offering. I will direct their work in truth, and will make an everlasting covenant with them.” 1888 1283.3

To think to secure prosperity to the Review and Herald Office in working contrary to God's principles and attributes will be a vain hope. He will scatter much faster than every human effort to enrich. God has a controversy with those men who have stood in prominent positions and have so managed as to serve themselves, but have not given some of God's workers—ministers in the field preaching the word, and workmen in different lines—a just and equal estimate of their service. All this is written in the books of heaven, and if not seen and repented of in accordance with the light which God has given, will appear charged against them to be brought up in the judgment. 1888 1283.4

The Lord has sent testimonies of warning early and late, and how have these appeals and reproofs and warnings been treated? The day of God will reveal. I have tried to not shun to give to our people the whole counsel of God, but have sometimes deferred matters with the injunction, “They cannot bear them now.” Even truth cannot be presented in its fulness before minds that are in no preparation spiritually to receive it. I have many things to say, but persons to whom the messages apply cannot in their present unconsecrated state bear them. I have had an article written for Brother Littlejohn since June 3, but have not felt that I could send it, for I fear greatly that he will take a decided stand against any reproof or counsel that will not coincide with his judgment. But this mail carries the message to him. But this case is not being managed mercifully and kindly and generously. 1888 1284.1

I will say, Willie has not had time to read any articles of any description I may write. He knows nothing of this article. Why? Because he has to plod along as best he can, interrupted often to give counsel to the ministers, brethren, and those in the work. He is with me but seldom. He is worn so that weeks and months a slow fever has been upon him, and a congested brain. Who have I to help me, to read these important matters to? No one, but occasionally to Marian. And yet the conference may think I have abundant help. It is decided in council I shall write on the Life of Christ; but how any better than in the past? But questions and the true condition of things here and there are urged upon me; I write, but I cannot get time to read to him the most important matters which concern the work of God. His time is fully taken up, and I will not have opportunity to bring either good and encouraging things before him, or such matters as I am presenting to you. I oft supply him with help to take his letters and write them out for him; but I make no charge for said labor. He is, I have no hesitation in saying, overwhelmed with responsibilities. It is an easy matter to pass decisions that Willie shall help his mother, when they do not understand he has not time to do the pressing amount of work that piles up about him of a most important character. If he should help me that work must suffer. 1888 1284.2

Up to this period I have done scarcely anything on the Life of Christ, and have been obliged to often bring Marian to my help, irrespective of the work on the Life of Christ which she has to do under great difficulties, gathering from all my writings a little here and a little there, to arrange as best she can. But she is in good working order, if I could only feel free to give my whole attention to the work. She has her mind educated and trained for the work; and now I think, as I have thought a few hundred times, I shall be able after this mail closes to take the Life of Christ and go ahead with it, if the Lord will. 1888 1285.1

Since writing these communications, which ought to have been done some time ago, freedom has come to my soul. I have felt the approval of God in a marked degree; and now I shall not have time to copy this, I fear, and will send it as it is. With earnest interest for you and the work of God, I remain, 1888 1285.2

Your sister and fellow-laborer in Christ,

Ellen G. White

Recopied January 21, 1963.