Manuscript Releases, vol. 7 [Nos. 419-525]


MR No. 484—Distinction Between the Sacred and the Common

This experience of Brother Ballenger's carries me back to my first experience in the message in correcting errors that came in among us after the passing of the time in 1844. The believers were sadly disappointed and scattered in different localities in small companies. Certain ones, who claimed to be taught of the Lord would visit these companies, and in prayer and song and preaching they would introduce to the believers sentiments of a fanatical nature, sentiments that were misleading to the people of God. 7MR 290.1

At this time I was only seventeen years old, but the Lord gave me a message for these fanatical leaders, and bade me declare to them the truth. Accordingly, in Portland, Maine, I spoke decidedly against the fanatical work that was being carried on, showing that the common things of life were to be treated by them as if they were intelligent beings. I told them that it was their duty to pray together and to study the Word of God together, but that the fanatical things they were gathering up and dwelling upon were not of the Lord, but from their own devising. 7MR 290.2

Here were four ministers who were trifling with sacred things, mingling the trivialities of life with their religious worship, and doing this as if such were ordered by the Lord, and making tests of their impressions. But the Lord does not work in this way. I said to them, Your fasting and your strange exercises are not of God. He does not accept that which is cheap and common as part of His worship. At the same time I was instructed not to mingle this class of experience, that which was cheap and common, with my religious experience, for it was misleading the people of God.... 7MR 290.3

There are souls who are struggling with doubts, with none to enlighten them but those who understand the will of the Lord and appreciate His great sacrifice in the gift of His only begotten Son. The statement is, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” He gave Him to live a life of humiliation, and to die an awful death that all mankind might hear His blessed invitation, and be brought near to God. What a work is given to those who will take up this work for fallen sinful beings. Go, says the great Teacher. Give them the message I have given you. Act the part that heaven has given you to act. I make you responsible for the bearing of this message. My angels will be with you to sustain you and to help you, giving you courage to surmount all difficulties, and distinguish the common from the sacred.—Manuscript 107, 1909, 1-3. (“A Confusion of the Sacred and the Common,” March 5, 1905.) 7MR 291.1

Released March 16, 1976.