The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Chapter 161—To H. Lindsay


L.B. 11, P. 220.

Tasmania, May 1, 1895.

Dear Brother Harmon Lindsay:—

I hoped I should never be compelled to write you a testimony of reproof. For years your case has been presented before me on different occasions. I have been shown that since you were converted, you have been in continual peril. You run well, apparently, for a time, but when your course is questioned or your path crossed, your course of action reveals that the wrong traits of your character have not been brought wholly under the influence of the Spirit of God. When speaking to others, I have been given a message for you, but was not constrained by the Spirit of God to say, Harmon Lindsay, you are the man. I have never ceased to pity you and to feel deep sorrow of heart on your account, but at no time have I felt in full unity of spirit with you. 1888 1344.1

Since the meeting at Minneapolis, you have followed in the tread of the scribes and Pharisees. Never will you have greater evidence of the working of the Holy Spirit than you had at that meeting. Again and again the Spirit of the Lord came into the meeting with convincing power, notwithstanding the unbelief manifested by some present but you were deceived and prejudiced, and manifested the spirit of those who refused to acknowledge Christ. You have followed in their tread, and have refused to acknowledge the mistakes and errors in resisting the message the Lord in mercy sent you. Afterwards, at the Conference meetings held in Battle Creek, though evidence after evidence was given you, you refused to accept the message sent you by God. You would not humble your pride and repent; your wrong attitude remained unchanged. At times you have been deeply impressed by the deep moving of the Spirit of God, and you were almost ready to fall on the Rock and be broken, but you strengthened yourself to resist. With others you walked in the same path as did the rebellious Jews; the same spirit that inspired them inspired you, and the results have been similar. You need a teachable spirit. You will never find rest until you yield up your set, stubborn will, and cease to resist the pleadings of the Spirit of God. 1888 1344.2

You have strong natural passions, which need to be chastened and controlled. Although a man in years, you are not a man in self-control, but have the unreasonable prejudices and stubborn disposition of an uncontrollable child. When once your position is taken, you will uphold it at any cost. Knowing your disposition and temperament, knowing that when you start upon a wrong track, any efforts made to change your course only render you more persistent, I have made no special effort for you, fearing that your resistance would carry you fully over to Satan's side, placing you altogether under the black banner of unbelief. 1888 1345.1

You have rejected the message the Lord has sent you, not because it was an error, but because you set your feet in the path of unbelief followed by the men of Nazareth. Christ “came to Nazareth where He had been brought up, and as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And He closed the book, and gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say to them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? And He said unto them, Ye will surely say unto Me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself; whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in this country. And He said, Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many [lepers] were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land. But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sodom, unto a woman that was a widow. And many widows were in Israel in the time of Eliseus, the prophet, and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And they all in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong. But He passing through the midst of them, went His way.” 1888 1345.2

With many others you have been smitten with blindness. The infatuation of the ruler of the powers of darkness has been upon you. But it is no light matter for you to close your eyes that they will not see and your ears that they will not hear, and to darken your understanding that you will not be convinced of the manifestations of the Spirit of God. It is a dangerous thing to call the work of the Spirit of God the work of Satan. 1888 1346.1

Christ has given His own life for you that He might place immortal life within your reach. As the Divine Counsellor looked upon you, I heard Him say, O, “who hath bewitched you that ye should not obey the truth?” You had a book which you had been studying. The heavenly messenger took this book from you, and placed the Bible in your hand, saying, “The word of God, which will judge you in the last day, is alone able to make you wise unto salvation. The Bible alone can be a safe counsellor and guide for you. It will convince you of the ample provision made for all who will come to Jesus. 1888 1347.1

Christ calls upon all who claim to be sons and daughters of God to consider His words in the supplication to the Father just before His betrayal and death: “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent.” These words open before us a field of study which we have strangely neglected. Through their lack of interest in the word of God, men and women absent themselves from the school of Christ, choosing to serve themselves; as a sure result they remain in the darkness of error, fighting against error, fighting against God, and closing their eyes to the truth. Shall we in these last days, place ourselves in the ranks of those who deplore the absence of God's Spirit, and yet who do not seek God that they may find it? At times some are convicted and aroused, but they serve God with a divided heart, and soon fall back into error, serving the world under the pretext of serving God. God recognizes all such, not as His servants, but as servants of sin. 1888 1347.2

My brother, the rebuke of God is upon you; for you have discarded the truth. Light has come to you again and again since the Minneapolis meeting, but in rejecting the message God has sent, you have rejected Him. Infidelity is taking your soul captive because you are not yoked up with Christ. You have thought that you were increased in wisdom, but shame and confusion of face will be the portion of all who are not sanctified through the truth. While covering yourself with infidel ideas and theories, you can not wear the garment of Christ's righteousness, and without this garment you can not enter into the marriage supper of the Lamb. God has given you great light, and you will be held accountable for all the privileges you have had to become acquainted with God and His truth. 1888 1348.1

We are not doing our duty unless we are laborers together with God, working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. As servants of Jesus Christ, we are to place ourselves in the channel of light, doing all that we do to the glory of God. But you have not walked in the light as it has come to you. You have not opened the door of your heart to the knock of Christ. Instead of this you have opened your heart to the agencies which have no connection with God. God calls upon you to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. This is the principle that must guide all who would be among the redeemed in the kingdom of God. 1888 1348.2

I have been shown that you are in peril. The love of the world has been admitted to your heart, from which the love of the truth has been expelled. You have not been serving the Lord and Master with your whole heart and soul; another leader than Jesus Christ has received your service. Professedly, you have been walking in harmony with your brethren, and they have placed upon you responsibilities which they never should have given you. You have accepted these responsibilities, knowing that if your brethren knew the true inwardness of your thought and practice, they would not have done as they did. There is need for us all to heed the injunction, “Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” So far as activity is concerned, you are clear, but all your works will not bear the test of God's word. You have not cherished the love of the truth in your heart, though you maintain in some respects the form of godliness. You have sought to manage things according to Harmon Lindsay's will and way, but all this outward work is vain unless God works within. The position you have accepted demands consecrated ability and a pure, sanctified heart. But I have heard you give wrong counsel in regard to the disposition of means given by those who have been moved by the Holy Spirit to sell what they have and help God's work. 1888 1348.3

Since the Minneapolis meeting, your influence and that of Brother A.R. Henry have been like a malarious atmosphere upon the hearts of God's people. You have not sought to establish them in the truth, but rather to weaken their faith. You have been as salt which has lost its savor. Though still trusted by your brethren, you are an unfaithful steward. The seed Satan has put into your mind you have sown in the minds and hearts of others. Can you gather up these seeds of unbelief?—Never. They will spring up and yield a harvest you will not care to garner. In the day when every man is rewarded according to his works, God will look at the hearts which have been deceived by your doubts, and will say, “An enemy hath done this.” Your heart is not in the truth because the truth is not in your heart. But while mercy still lingers, go to God for repentance. Seek Him night and day, never relaxing your efforts. You are working out your own destiny, but you must work in opposite directions to that in which you have been working, if you are saved. Repent and be converted. Do all that you can to counteract the effects of your past work. 1888 1349.1

God has given you moral powers and religious susceptibilities, but you have not sought to co-operate with Him. To make a propitiation for your sins, and to reconcile you to Himself, He has given the life of His only begotten Son. He has manifested the light, the truth, the way to you, but you have resisted the Spirit of God, and have chosen to walk in the light made by the sparks of your own kindling. The words spoken by Christ to Nicodemus apply to you: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God.” God has given you the privilege of receiving Him, the Light of the world; but for years you have resisted the Holy Spirit of God, and the truth leaked out of your heart as water out of a leaky vessel. You have turned your back upon Jesus, saying, not only in your thoughts, but in your words and works, “My Lord delayeth His coming.” Yes; your seeds of unbelief have been dropping here and there, and sad is the thought, you can not gather them up again; you can not counteract your influence. 1888 1350.1

You have so long loved the world and the things of the world that everything else has been made secondary. The influence that your family has had over you has been wrong, and you have had a wrong influence over them. Your faith has been indistinct, and you have refused the help God has sent you, with which you could if you chose, subdue your own nature. Co-operating with the help God has given you, and using His help, you could render to Him whole hearted, effectual service. But you have been dealing with strange fire. It is your duty to employ your God-given powers in your Creator's service, improving every opportunity diligently and conscientiously. God will accept nothing but consecrated service. 1888 1350.2

Your wife and children have not the love of God abiding in their hearts. Their love of selfish indulgence is so strong that they are stumbling blocks in the way of others. Those with whom they associate are not made better, but worse, by the association. Are you as a family, living epistles of God, known and read of all men? The spiritual life of the soul is quenched by the love of things of the world. Practical truth is not desired by you, Brother Lindsay, or by your family; therefore God can not preside in your hearts. As human agents, we are probationers, fitting for eternity. In giving you Jesus, God has given you all heaven. If you receive Him, you will have moral power to overcome all evil, and you will be a partaker of the divine nature. God calls upon you to eat of the bread of life, and drink of the water of life, by which He designs that you shall receive strength to be co-workers with God. 1888 1351.1

God holds you and your wife accountable for neglecting to properly train and educate your children, in order that their lives shall not be superficial and without the solid acquirements that will make them what God intends they should be. Sister Lindsay will have a fearfully solemn account to render to God for her neglect to live a Christian life. Has she taught her children to deny self, and has she practiced self-denial? You will not long stand where you are. The message of God to you as a family is a decisive one. “Today, if ye will hear My voice, harden not your hearts.” Sister Lindsay needs to study the instruction given in the word of God, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plating the hair, and of wearing of gold, and of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, and that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1888 1351.2

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” For we are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God, which is given unto me as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble: every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.” 1888 1352.1

As a family what have you done for the Master? What are you putting into your character-building? In that day when all that is worthless shall be burnt up, will it be found that you have brought to your foundation “wood, hay, stubble”? Brother Lindsay, your record is far worse in the sight of God than that of your family; for talents of a high order have been committed to you. Had you improved your talents and walked in the counsel of God, you would have exerted an influence which would have led your wife and children in the right way. What will you answer to God in that day when the case of every one is revealed just as it is? 1888 1353.1

My brother, I appeal to you as one who loves your soul. While mercy still lingers, fall on the Rock and be broken, that Jesus Christ may build you up into His own likeness. Please read and study carefully the second chapter of first Corinthians, and if your discernment is not wholly perverted, you will obtain a glimpse of your present condition. You will cease to lead other souls in false paths. 1888 1353.2

My brother, why do you cherish such bitterness against Elder A.T. Jones and Elder Waggoner? It is for the same reason Cain hated Abel. Cain refused to heed the instruction of God, and because Abel sought God, and followed His will, Cain killed him. God has given Brother Jones and Brother Waggoner a message for the people. You do not believe that God has upheld them, but He has given them precious light, and their message has fed the people of God. When you reject the message borne by these men, you reject Christ, the Giver of the message. Why will you encourage the attributes of Satan? Why will you and Brother Henry despise God's delegated ministers, and seek to justify yourselves? Your work stands revealed in the sight of God. “Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?” 1888 1353.3

The Lord has appealed to you again and again, rebuking your stubborn, unbelieving spirit, but rather than fall on the Rock and be broken, you become the graft of a strange vine, which in the end will be gathered up and burned. It is difficult for you to throw off the religious faith you have so long professed, but you are not a Christian at heart, for you do not bear the fruits of the Spirit of Christ. A power is working in you, seeking to extinguish the bright beams of Christ's righteousness, which for so many years you have refused to receive. Judas might have been disciplined by the lessons of Christ, as were the other disciples, but he refused to receive and to practice the words of Christ. Though he was thought by the other disciples to be a faithful follower of Christ, he was not transformed in character. He had a formal connection with the little church of disciples, but he had not heart-connection with Christ. 1888 1354.1

God is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but the day of His judgment will come at last. “Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when He cometh shall find watching.” O that you may awake before it shall be everlastingly too late, and prepare to meet your God. Often the Spirit of God has taken of the things of God, and shown them to you, but you have refused to accept them, and by your refusal you have despised the truth, and have placed yourself in the path of the unrepentant Jews. Have you forgotten that God who is strong to save, is also strong to smite the rejecters of His law? This may be the last appeal the Lord will make to you; for there is a line beyond which the forbearance of God does not pass. By continual resistance the sinner places himself where he knows nothing but resistance. When he disregards the calls of God's mercy, and continues to sow the seeds of unbelief, the dread mark is placed over his doorway, “Ephraim is joined to his idols; let him alone.” Jesus grieves over you, saying, “How often would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wing; but ye would not.” No longer grieve the Saviour by your resistance. “Knowing the time that it is now high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” 1888 1354.2