Manuscript Releases, vol. 20 [Nos. 1420-1500]


MR No. 1469—Older Workers to Be Honored and Conserve Their Strength; God's Law on Tables of Stone in Ark of the Testament

(Written February 5, 1902, from “Elmshaven,” Sanitarium, California, to Elder and Mrs. S. N. Haskell.)

I have received and read your encouraging letter in reference to the doors that are opening in different parts of New York for the entrance of truth. Thank the Lord, my brother and sister, that you are able to stand in your lot and in your place. The Lord is giving you evidence that He is going before you. But while you are anxious to do all that you possibly can, remember, Elder Haskell, that it is only by the great mercy and grace of God that you have been spared these many years to bear your testimony. Do not take upon yourself loads that others who are younger can carry. 20MR 219.1

It is your duty to be careful in your habits of life. You are to be wise in the use of your physical, mental, and spiritual strength. We who have passed through so many and such varied experiences are to do all that it is possible for us to do to preserve our power, that we may labor for the Lord as long as He permits us to stand in our lot and in our place to help to advance His work. 20MR 219.2

The cause needs the help of the old hands, the aged workers, who have had so many years’ experience in the cause of God, who have seen many going into fanaticism, cherishing the delusion of false theories, and raising all the efforts made to let the true light shine forth in the darkness to reveal the superstitions that were coming in to confuse judgment, and to make of none effect the message of truth that in these last days must be given in its purity to the remnant people of God. 20MR 219.3

Many of the tried servants of God have fallen asleep in Jesus. We greatly appreciate the help of those who are left alive to this day. We value their testimony. Read the first chapter of First John, and then praise the Lord that notwithstanding your many infirmities you can still bear witness for him. The Lord has brought you through many trying, difficult places. And He has given you the opportunity of laboring in connection with your wife. He has given her to you to help you, to be one with you, to have a care for you in her stronger physical strength. The Lord has given Sister Haskell a knowledge of the Scriptures, so that at the times when you are called away for a season of rest, she is able to take your place. I can see that the good hand of the Lord has been with you. He will uphold you by His strong arm, saying, “Lean on Me. I will be your strength and your exceeding great reward.” 20MR 219.4

We can easily count the first burden bearers now alive. Elder Smith was connected with us at the beginning of the publishing work. He labored in connection with my husband. We hope always to see his name in the Review and Herald at the head of the list of editors; for thus it should be. Those who began the work, who fought bravely when the battle went so hard, must not lose their hold now. They are to be honored by those who entered the work after the hardest privation had been borne. 20MR 220.1

I feel very tender toward Elder Smith. My life interest in the publishing work is bound up with his. He came to us as a young man, possessing talents that qualified him to stand in his lot and place as an editor. How I rejoice as I read his articles in the Review—so excellent, so full of spiritual truth. I thank God for them. I feel a strong sympathy for Elder Smith, and I believe that his name should always appear in the Review as the name of the leading editor. Thus God would have it. When, some years ago, his name was placed second, I felt hurt. When it was again placed first, I wept, and said, “Thank God.” May it always be there, as God designs that is shall be, while Elder Smith's right hand can hold a pen. And when the power of his hand fails, let his sons write at his dictation. 20MR 220.2

I am thankful that Elder Loughborough can still use his abilities and his gifts in God's work. He has stood faithful amid storm and trial. With Elder Smith, my husband, Brother Butler, who joined us at a later period, and yourself, he can say: [1 John 1:1-10, quoted]. 20MR 220.3

It is with feelings of satisfaction and of gratitude to God that we see Elder Butler again in active service. His gray hairs testify that he understands what trials are. We welcome him into our ranks once more, and regard him as one of our most valuable laborers. 20MR 220.4

May the Lord help the brethren who have borne their testimony in the early days of the message, to be wise in regard to the preservation of their physical, mental, and spiritual powers. I have been instructed by the Lord to say that He has endowed you with the power of reason, and He desires you to understand the laws that affect the health of the being, and to resolve to obey them. These laws are God's laws. He desires every pioneer worker to stand in his lot and place, that he may do his part in saving the people from being swept downward to destruction by the mighty current of evil—of physical, mental, and spiritual declension. My brethren, He desires you to keep your armor on to the very close of the conflict. Do not be imprudent; do not overwork. Take periods of rest. 20MR 220.5

The church militant is not the church triumphant. The Lord desires His tried servants, as long as they live, to advocate temperance reform. Unfurl the temperance banner. Teach the people to practice temperance in all things, and to be champions in favor of obedience to physical laws. Stand firmly for God's truth. Exalt before the people the banner bearing the inscription, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” 20MR 221.1

Those who bear the seal of the living God will be tested; for we read: “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” 20MR 221.2

A few of the old standard-bearers are still living. I am intensely desirous that our brethren and sisters shall respect and honor these pioneers. We present them before you as men who know what trials are. I am instructed to say, Let every believer respect the men who acted a prominent part during the early days of the message, and who have borne trials and hardships and many privations. These men have grown gray in service. Not long hence they will receive their reward. Writing of the last days, John says: “The nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” 20MR 221.3

When God's temple in heaven is opened, what a triumphant time that will be for all who have been faithful and true. In the temple will be seen the ark of the testament in which were placed the two tables of stone, on which are written God's law. These tables of stone will be brought forth from their hiding place, and on them will be seen the ten commandments engraved by the finger of God. These tables of stone now lying in the ark of the testament will be a convincing testimony to the truth and binding claims of God's law. 20MR 221.4

From every nation, kindred, tongue, and people is to be gathered out a people who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. This is the work to be accomplished in these last days. Since Satan's rebellion in heaven against the commandments of God, he has kept up a continual warfare against these commandments, and he will continue to carry on his work relentlessly to the end. To counteract the effects of the enemy, the Lord desires His servants who have grown gray in the advocacy of truth, to stand faithful and true, bearing their testimony in favor of the law. 20MR 221.5

God's tried servants must not be put in hard places. Those who served their Master when the work went hard, those who endured poverty and remained faithful in the love of the truth when our numbers were small, are ever to be honored and respected. Let those who have come into the truth in later years, take heed to these words. God desires all to heed this caution.—Letter 47, 1902. 20MR 222.1

Ellen G. White Estate

Silver Spring, Maryland,

September 14, 1989.

Entire Letter.