Ellen G. White: The Lonely Years: 1876-1891 (vol. 3)


The Weekend in Battle Creek

Being in Battle Creek brought back many memories, and she did not sleep well that Friday night. Sabbath morning she spoke in the Tabernacle, and Sunday morning to the workers in the Review and Herald office. She described that meeting in a letter to William and Mary in Oakland: 3BIO 227.4

I spoke to the workers in the Review office in regard to the first efforts made in Battle Creek in the publishing department. About eighty assembled. How small was the beginning of the work, and how limited the wages received! What self-denial and self-sacrifice had to be exercised to carry on the work! ...I spoke about an hour. This was to me a very precious meeting.—Letter 23, 1883. 3BIO 227.5

Sunday was a full day. In the afternoon at four o'clock she spoke in the public square on temperance, to a crowd of about four hundred. She had an appointment to speak to the patients at the Sanitarium Sunday evening. About three hundred crowded into the parlor, spilling out into the hall and porch. She was pleased at the reception of her remarks and reported that the atmosphere at the Sanitarium, as far as religious interest was concerned, was in every way improved. She credited this to the efforts of Lucinda Hall, now the matron, and Mrs. Sawyer (Ibid.). 3BIO 227.6

Getting the feel of things in Battle Creek, Ellen White decided to meet a second time with the employees of the Review and Herald. She could do this Monday evening, August 20. Uriah Smith's rather cool attitude toward Ellen White and her work could be felt by those who worked around him at the publishing house. She would be leaving in a day or two for camp meetings in New England. The Review of August 7 had announced that Smith would attend these meetings, but at the last minute he felt he must remain in Battle Creek and attend to some important writing. Her report on her second meeting at the Review office reveals the thrust of her remarks: 3BIO 228.1

Monday evening, August 20, I spoke again to those employed at the Review office. I deeply felt the need of a reformation, a transformation of character, with all connected with the publishing house. Unless they would fight the battles of the Lord and gain the victory over self and sin, they could not win the crown of life.—The Review and Herald, October 16, 1883. 3BIO 228.2

She urged all to act from principle and to place themselves decidedly on the side of right. Then, introducing an effective object lesson, she said: 3BIO 228.3

Unbelief grows as naturally as thistle seed, which, blown here and there, takes root, vegetates, and produces yearly an increased harvest. I entreated all, for Christ's sake, to become established for themselves upon the sure word of prophecy. All should be able to give the reason of the hope that is within them. A vigilant foe is at work earnestly and untiringly, to weaken their confidence in God and the truth. 3BIO 228.4

The most extravagant, inconsistent reports in regard to my position, my work, and my writings will be put in circulation. But those who have had an experience in this message, and have become acquainted with the character of my work, will not be affected by those things unless they themselves backslide from God, and become corrupted by the spirit of the world. Some will be deceived because of their own unfaithfulness. They want to believe a lie. Some have betrayed sacred, important trusts, and this is why they wander in the mazes of doubt.... 3BIO 228.5

There are some, even connected with our institutions, who are in great danger of making shipwreck of faith. Satan will work in disguise, in his most deceptive manner, in these branches of God's work. He makes these important instrumentalities his special points of attack, and he will leave no means untried to cripple their usefulness. The same enemy that is even on my track will be on yours also. He will suggest, conjecture, fabricate all sorts of reports, and those who wish them true will believe them. 3BIO 229.1

But be assured that the attacks of Satan will not turn me from the path of duty. The work committed to me forty years ago I must carry forward as long as life shall last. I will not shun to declare the whole counsel of God. Unpleasant as it may be, I must warn, reprove, rebuke, as God bids me, whether the carnal heart will accept or reject the words of warning. 3BIO 229.2

For forty years, Satan has made the most determined efforts to cut off this testimony from the church; but it has continued from year to year to warn the erring, to unmask the deceiver, to encourage the desponding. My trust is in God. I have learned not to be surprised at opposition in any form or from almost any source. I expect to be betrayed, as was my Master, by professed friends.—Ibid. 3BIO 229.3