Australasian Union Conference Record


September 30, 1912

A Solemn Testimony


[In connection with one of our institutions, a Fourth of July celebration was held in which those from the institution participated in amusements of a worldly character. The night following, not knowing what had occurred, Sister White was shown that which is presented here. While addressed to the institution in question, may the solemn import of these words deeply impress and admonish all who see them.]

My Brethren and Sisters,

Last night after I had retired to rest a strange depression came over me, and for a long time I was unable to sleep. Then I seemed to be talking with companies of our people—to a little group here and a little group there, and a little group somewhere else. I was saying to them, You do not need to plan for unholy amusements. When your life is hid with Christ in God, you will find in Him all the enchantment you need. Words like this had been spoken to me. AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 1

As I passed from one group to another, I experienced disappointment after disappointment. There was revealed in each company a desire for foolish pleasure. Men and women, acting like children, seemed to have forgotten their responsibility to glorify God. I saw the foolish actions, and heard the foolish words that were spoken, and I saw how the Spirit of God was grieved and the Lord dishonoured. While God and angels were working by every possible means for the upbuilding of the kingdom of righteousness in the earth, those who should have been standing as Heaven's representatives were taking a low level and dishonouring their Redeemer's name. AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 2

I said to some, You should bear in mind that as God's professed people you are called to reach a high standard. The Lord cannot be glorified by such a course as you are now pursuing. He bids us to glorify Him in our body and in our spirits, which are His. AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 3

I do not know with what words to describe these scenes, or what character to give them; but I know that in participating in them you are lessening your influence for righteousness: you are displeasing the Lord; you are setting an example that none can safely follow. AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 4

I was cited to the words of inspiration with which Paul voiced his hope for those who had been won to the gospel in Thessalonica. “We pray always for you,” he declares, “that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The example of these converts to the faith would tell more for the glory of God than all the preaching of Paul and his fellow-labourers. And so the consistent course of believers in this age will do more to magnify the power of truth than all the sermons of our ministers. AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 5

At the camp-meeting that has just closed, truths were presented and instruction given, which, if appropriated and rightly used would work transformation in the church, and change the atmosphere in the home, aiding parents in giving the right mould to the characters of the children and youth. It would change the relations of many of the workers in our institutions, enabling them to bear testimony for the truth in consistent, devoted lives. The impressions made by the camp-meeting were good. I feel sad that any could come from that meeting to take part in scenes that could not fail to remove the impressions of the Spirit from the mind. My heart is burdened as I think of such experiences being repeated after such good instruction had been given. AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 6

All sanitarium workers and parents and ministers should realize their responsibility to God to be themselves patterns of what they desire the youth to become. “For their sakes I sanctify Myself,” Christ declared, “that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” So those to whom the youth should look for direction and a godly example should sanctify themselves. Paul directed Timothy, “Be thou an example to the believers.” This is instruction to the workers in every institution. If they are learning of Christ daily, they will never forget how potent for good is the influence of a right example. But if they are seeking only to amuse and please themselves, they set for themselves and for those within their range a low standard. Such a course can only end eventually in the yielding up of their faith. AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 7

How can gospel believers act in such a way as to encourage those with whom they associate in frivolity and pleasure-loving, and spend their time in acting out the foolishness of the sinner? Do they not know that angels of God are standing by, making a record of their words and actions? I saw angels of God writing, and I looked to see what they had written. I read these words: None of these things will give you spiritual strength, but will lessen your influence for righteousness. AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 8

I was directed to the words of Paul to Timothy: “Be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.... Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee to keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.” AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 9

“Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man strive for the masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 10

I was given words of warning and appeals to parents and ministers. Turning from one to another, I told them of their need of being converted daily, of the great importance of having the Spirit of God resting upon them. I said, My brethren and sisters, we have not time to spend in glorifying the enemy of all righteousness: individually we are to strive for the mastery over all foolishness: we are to strengthen our souls by training our minds to dwell upon the sound, sensible truths of the Word of God, that when the enemy seeks to take possession of the mind, and to lead us into sin, we shall have strength to act like Christians. If we will let the Spirit of God make its impression on our minds, and will yield our lives to His control, we shall not dishonour God before the world. AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 11

I asked the youth and those more advanced in years what impressions such scenes were likely to make on the minds of unbelievers; what influence would this folly have upon those to whom it was their privilege to minister the things of eternal life? AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 12

As I spoke with great earnestness, pointing them to their privileges as sons and daughters of God, some were overcome with a sense of their wrongdoing. And as the conviction of the Spirit of God came upon them, they fell on their knees and prayed for forgiveness. AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 13

When I awoke I supposed these things presented to me related to something that would transpire in the future; and I thought I would wait before saying anything to my brethren. I had not heard of anything that was going on the day before; but I felt discouraged and disappointed. AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 14

The gatherings together in our institutions should never be of such a nature as to give the stamp of pleasure-loving and worldliness. There is enough of foolishness in the world. It should be the endeavour of the workers, not to encourage a delight in these things in those who come to our institutions, but to learn how to fill the mind with the things of God. Our ministers need to work during the vacation time to strengthen and steady the minds of the youth. AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 15

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” This class will be developed among us as a people as well as in the world. Great then is the need that we stand in that position where every jot of our powers may be used to magnify God and His truth. AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 16

“Speak thou the things that becometh sound doctrine,” the apostle enjoins, “that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded, in all things showing thyself a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” AUCR September 30, 1912, par. 17

Mrs. E. G. White