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


MR No. 1427—Reflections While Crossing the Pacific

(Diary written on the way from Australia to California, 1900.)

Steamer Moana, August 29, 1900—We are on our way to America, after an absence of nine years. As we left the Sanitarium at Wahroonga, to take passage on the Moana, I felt very much affected. I am troubled in regard to the future of the work. For so many years my interest has been bound up with this work that to separate from it seems like tearing me in pieces. I have confidence in those left in charge of the work at Avondale. If they will trust implicitly in God, the Sun of righteousness will go before them, and the glory of God will be their rearward. 20MR 24.1

We who are on our way to another country need the presence of God, and those whom we have left behind also need to inquire constantly at the throne of grace, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” Those who live in close fellowship with Christ will be promoted by him to positions of trust. The servant who does the best he can for his master is admitted to familiar intercourse with the One whose commands he loves to obey. In the faithful discharge of duty we may become one with Christ. The one who talks most familiarly with his divine Leader has the most exalted conception of His greatness, and is the most obedient to His commands. [John 15:7-15; Proverbs 3:5; James 1:5-7, quoted.] 20MR 24.2

The character of the one who comes to God in faith will bear witness that the Saviour has entered into his life, directing all, pervading all. Such a one is continually asking, “Is this Thy will and way, O my Saviour?” Constantly he looks to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of his faith. He consults the will of his divine Friend in reference to all his actions, for he knows that in this confidence is his strength. He has made it a habit to lift up the heart to God in every perplexity, every uncertainty. 20MR 24.3

He who accepts God as his Sovereign must take the oath of allegiance to him. He must put on the Christian uniform, and bear aloft the banner that shows to whose army he belongs. He must make an open avowal of his allegiance to Christ. Concealment is impossible. Christ's impress must appear on the life. 20MR 24.4

“I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people.” “Ye shall be holy unto Me; for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be Mine.” “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise.” “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 20MR 24.5

S. S. Moana, September 1, 1900—We have had pleasant weather until today, which has been dark and cloudy. I have kept closely to my room all day. This is our first Sabbath on board. It does not seem like a peaceful day of rest, for overhead, on the upper deck, there is great noise. Men are amusing themselves by pitching quoits, and the noise is loud and confusing. 20MR 25.1

I have been trying to write out some important instruction given me in reference to the responsibilities resting on the medical missionary worker. Complete subjection through Christ to the will of God is our only safety. The selfish thoughts and impulses that sweep through the soul, producing discordant notes, can be separated from the life only as the whole being is under the control of Christ. The Saviour's word to all unruly elements is, “Peace, be still.” Christ welcomes all who accept him as their Saviour, and rules over them as their king. 20MR 25.2

September 5, 1900—This morning the sky is cloudy, but the sea is calm. We have had no sunshine for a day or two, and today promises to be cloudy and wet. I am up on deck writing and enjoying the fresh air. But I miss the health-giving rays of sunshine. The sun is a God-given physician. 20MR 25.3

This morning my soul is filled with praise and thanksgiving to God, from whom come all our mercies and blessings. The Lord is good, and His mercies endure forever. I will praise him who is the light of my countenance and my God. He is the source of all efficiency and power. Why do we not praise him by speaking words of hope and comfort to others? Why are our lips so silent? Speech is a gift of heaven, and it should be used in sounding forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. 20MR 25.4

My soul is humbled as I see how little God is honored by the passengers on this boat. I am not surprised that so many boats go down into the deep. On this boat there is a fearful misuse and abuse of the talent of speech. Close beside me I hear the boisterous laugh, the coarse words which dishonor the Lord of heaven. These men and women might be doing God's service but they seem to have forgotten their Maker. 20MR 25.5

Oh, how much good would be accomplished were God honored by all who profess to be Christians! Oh, that the needed change had been wrought in the hearts of human beings by the grace freely granted to all who ask for it. 20MR 25.6

The Light of the world is shining upon men in richest blessing. Every provision has been made for the supplying of our temporal and spiritual needs. Yet how little thanksgiving the Giver receives! 20MR 26.1

Well is it for us that God is full of pity and compassion. He has given command that the wheat and the tares are to grow together until the harvest. He sees that the roots of the wheat are entwined with the roots of the tares, and that if the tares were ruthlessly torn up, the wheat also would be disturbed; and He says, “Let both grow together until the harvest.” The Lord alone can separate the wheat from the tares, and this He will do at the appointed time. 20MR 26.2

“God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It was because Christ alone could take away the sin of the world that He left the heavenly courts and came to this earth to die on Calvary. Shall He have died for us in vain? 20MR 26.3

In receiving Christ as our Captain, there must be a complete surrender of the human will to the divine will. The Lord can work out His will through those who have made this surrender, for they give prompt and cheerful obedience to His commands. God expects us to obey without questioning. We are to ask, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” Then, though the command may be as stern and startling as that given to Abraham, we are to obey. Abraham's soul was rent asunder by the command, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and offer him for a sacrifice on one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” But he did not hesitate to obey. 20MR 26.4

All our activities, all our business arrangements, should be in perfect accord with the Lord's commands. The laws of God's kingdom must be obeyed by the subjects of that kingdom. Our zeal for the advancement of God's kingdom is to mark us as faithful subjects of the cross of Christ. God can trust as His representatives those who implicitly obey him. [Colossians 1:14-23, quoted.] 20MR 26.5

This is a representation of the work that God expects to see accomplished as the result of all missionary effort. “According to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you,” Paul continues, “to fulfil the word of God.” [Colossians 1:26-29, quoted.] 20MR 26.6

I call upon the workers in every line of God's cause to ask themselves if they are meeting these specifications. We may show much activity, but it will be of no avail unless our forces are wisely directed to the accomplishment of successful results. 20MR 26.7

There are erratic men and women who fancy that the Lord has called them to do a great work. They seek to mix human sophistry with Bible truth, and present it as some wonderful theory. They dash about here and there, working as their fancy dictates. They do not work according to law and order but according to caprice. They are not good soldiers of a well-regulated army. He who enlists in Christ's army has no right to work as he chooses. He must obey orders, or he will work at cross-purposes with God. The Lord cannot cooperate with a man who labors in his own way, with no thought of what effect his way of working will have on the general good of the cause. If one rushes here and there, following out plans of his own, and refusing to obey directions, what can be expected but confusion and entanglement. 20MR 27.1

In the army of Christ there is to be no division. All are to labor for the fulfillment of God's purposes. The work of God is to be carried forward in straightforward, sensible lines for the accomplishment of the will of the great Designer. God himself has planned His work. Part is to act with part for the carrying out of the great design. All are to labor in harmony under the mighty General of armies. Each worker is to go to God for his orders. 20MR 27.2

Human beings are left free to choose under whose banner they will enlist, which general they will choose. If they take their stand under the banner of Prince Emmanuel, they must make a complete surrender to him, willingly and heartily obeying His orders. Those who refuse to come under the command of Christ, who think they are at liberty to be a rule to themselves, will be found under a banner opposed to that of Christ. 20MR 27.3

September 8, 1900—“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” 20MR 27.4

In every age since the fall of Adam the opposition of evil agencies has made the lives of those who would be loyal and true to God's commandments a continual warfare. Those who would at last be victorious must meet and conquer the forces of Satan, who with fierce determination opposes every step of advance. 20MR 27.5

They must meet a vigilant foe, a crafty enemy who never sleeps, and who tries untiringly to undermine the faith of God's servants and to induce them to carry out plans of his making. He declares that these plans will advance God's work, when in reality they are part of his insidious devisings and will separate from the Lord's cause those who follow them. 20MR 27.6

This scheme has long been followed by Satan. He works under cover, and we must seek for a full understanding of what it is necessary to do in order to gain the victory. When we imagine the foe routed and dispersed, we find them working in an underhand way through betrayers of sacred trusts. With all the deception of which he is capable Satan seeks to falsify and misrepresent. When we least expect it we may be in the greatest jeopardy. Watchfulness and perseverance, painstaking and constant effort, are necessary in the Lord's work. 20MR 28.1

Those who belong to Christ's army must work with concerted action. They cannot be faithful soldiers unless they obey orders. United action is essential. An army in which every part acts without reference to the other parts has no real strength. In order to add new territory to Christ's kingdom His soldiers must act in concert. God's plans and purposes must be carried out in solid, straightforward lines. He calls for a united army which moves steadily forward, not for a company composed of independent atoms. The strength of His army is to be used for one great purpose. Its efforts are to be concentrated upon one great point—the magnifying of the laws of His kingdom before the world, before angels, and before men. 20MR 28.2

Desultory efforts and meaningless actions will produce little good results. Satan seeks in every possible way to bring disorder among God's soldiers, so that he may point to their ranks as broken and disorganized. Unless the will of every soldier is wholly submitted to God, the work will not see what God desires it to see. 20MR 28.3

We are to stand always on guard, for the enemy is working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. He has legions under his control, emissaries of evil, who cooperate with their leader for the deception and destruction of the human race. Satan is capable of exercising great subtlety, and while men sleep he is awake. Those who are off their guard are in great danger. It is not safe to be presumptuous, to ignore Satan's shrewdness, or to fail to have a correct estimate of the efforts that we must make if we escape being taken in his snare. It is a fact that many deceivers have gone out into the world, and unless we obey our Captain's orders, we shall be used by Satan to serve his purposes. 20MR 28.4

Temptation is coming in the form of a union of church and state. There are those who would obliterate the marks of distinction between those who believe the truth and those who think it of no importance. But we are ever to keep plainly in view the distinct features of our faith, which have made us what we are. When we see those who for nearly a lifetime have been standing on the platform of truth, deciding that they can just as well as not unite with the men who do not recognize the law of Jehovah, seeking their influence and support, our hearts are made sad. They think they can occupy a noncommittal position. Thus believers slip away from the truth to the side of unbelievers, and the enemy exults. 20MR 28.5

There are before us issues that will bring those who sincerely desire to do right to the true position. But there are those who will never again stand safe. In trying to break down the barriers between him that serves God and him that serves him not, they have placed themselves where their feet will never again find solid ground. 20MR 29.1

Satan's deceptions are so insidious that to some they wear the garb of truth. He comes to men telling them of the advantages to be gained by taking a noncommittal position. And yielding to his temptations, some who have been defenders of the faith become its secret enemies. The love of the world has robbed men of their discernment, and there is a general feeling that the Lord has delayed His coming. Selfishness has covered itself with the robes of heaven, and in the hearts of many truth no longer bears away the victory. There is “another spirit” at work. The covetousness that is fostered in business lines is astonishingly deceptive. Fraud, robbery, and falsehood are brought in, and while professedly keeping God's law, men are departing from its principles. 20MR 29.2

God calls for a decided reformation in all our institutions. A great change is to be wrought. That absorption in business enterprises which produces worldliness and all its attendant evils is eating out the religious life of many. Those whom God accepts must keep themselves continually on guard against contamination of thought or principle, showing that unflinching resistance to evil which is so seldom seen that few escape unscathed from the temptations to which they are subjected. 20MR 29.3

September 10, 1900—It is not safe for the Lord's workers to take part in worldly entertainments. Association with worldlings in musical lines is looked upon as harmless by some Sabbathkeepers. But such ones are on dangerous ground. Thus Satan seeks to lead men and women astray, and thus he has gained control of souls. So smooth, so plausible is the working of the enemy, that his wiles are not suspected, and many church members become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. 20MR 29.4

There is a right way and a wrong way. Ever since Adam yielded his mind to Satan's device, the conflict has raged between right and wrong, between God and Satan. Connected with the doing of right there is a power that Satan cannot overcome. Righteousness has a vitality that is divine. Truth will triumph at last over falsehood, and God will vanquish the enemy. 20MR 29.5

Good and evil never harmonize. Between light and darkness there can be no compromise. Truth is light revealed; error is darkness. Light has no fellowship with darkness, righteousness no fellowship with unrighteousness. The safety of Christ's soldiers is assured only when they work and sleep with their armor on. 20MR 30.1

I wish that I could trace words which would present this matter as it is. God expects His soldiers to be ever on duty. Never are they to yield to temptation, never be unjust. They are neither to yield nor flee. Relying on the strength of God, they are to maintain their integrity. With a firmness that will not yield an inch, they are to hold fast to the word, “It is written.” 20MR 30.2

We are placed on vantage ground because Christ has overcome in our behalf. He has made every provision for us to overcome. Divine power stands behind every will resolutely set to do the right. God has provided the armor and the weapons with which each one is to fight. Let the soldiers of Christ put on the whole armor of God and flinch not at Satan's attacks. Let them bear in mind that they will not be crowned unless they strive lawfully. The principles contained in the law of God are to be maintained at any cost. Success in the Christian warfare means watchfulness and a daily crucifixion of self. 20MR 30.3

He who is guided by clean, holy principles will be quick to discern the slightest taint of evil, because he keeps Christ before him as his pattern. His deep regret at the discovery of a wrong act means the prompt correction of every step wherein he has diverged from truth. It means a constant, earnest striving for higher and still higher attainments in the Christian life. It means helping others to climb heavenward. It means taking hold of Christ by loving faith and resisting evil if need be unto blood, striving against sin. 20MR 30.4

There are those who have so closely identified themselves with the truth that nothing, not even martyrdom and death, could sever them from it. Those who would evade the truth by silence, fearing to offend someone else, testify to a lie. Playing fast and loose with truth, and dissembling to suit the opinions of someone else, means the shipwreck of faith. Let us despise falsifying. Let us never, by a word or act, or by silence, testify to a lie. If all, under every circumstance, would speak the truth when the truth ought to be spoken, what a different world this would be. 20MR 30.5

I have been placed where I have heard reports borne in which there was scarcely a word of truth. May the Lord pity those who love and make a lie, for unless they change they will at last find themselves outside the city of God. I am bidden to warn all who make untruthful statements that they are serving him who has been a liar from the beginning. Let us be on our guard against untruthfulness, which grows upon him who practices it. I say to all, Make truth your girdle. Be true to your faith. Put away all prevarication and exaggeration. Never make a false statement. For the sake of your own soul and the souls of others, be true in your utterances. Never speak or act a lie. Truth alone will bear to be repeated. A firm adherence to truth is essential to the formation of Christian character. “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” 20MR 30.6

He who utters untruths sells his soul in a cheap market. His falsehoods may seem to serve in emergencies. He may make business advancement because he gains by falsehood what he could not gain by fair dealing. But he finally reaches the place where he can trust no one. Himself a falsifier, he has no confidence in the word of others. 20MR 31.1

September 11, 1900—Providence is favoring us with a calm sea and good weather. The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. The whole of our journey has been marked with evidences of the protecting care and love of God. We know that many of our friends are praying for us. 20MR 31.2

But there are some things that trouble me. In the visions of the night I am at the Wahroonga Sanitarium. In the work of building up that institution there are delays that need not and should not be. Delay in supplying the necessary things with which to work has hindered the progress of the garden and farm, and this same mistake has been made in the matter of the buildings. Brother Sharpe has been placed in a position that he cannot fill. He is not a builder, and a man should be placed in charge of the work who understands what estimates to make and how to carry on the work without delay. Great expense will be the result of following the present policy. 20MR 31.3

I was instructed that there was needed as manager a careful, understanding man. If Dr. M. G. Kellogg would seek counsel from his brethren he would be able to do good work as a builder. He must not labor independently, and neither must Brother Sharpe. They must counsel together and with their brethren. The building of the sanitarium may be made an expensive undertaking; but if the workers show wise forethought, and take counsel of God at every step, there need be no loss. 20MR 31.4

God's work must not be marred by man's defective plans. It is to bear His own credentials, and must not be hindered by the blunders of inexperienced men. This costs too much. There are so many calls for means that we cannot afford to allow men to go on in accordance with their supposed wisdom. It is perilous for Brother Sharpe to take large responsibilities upon himself and plunge on beyond his knowledge. From the light God has given me, I know that this will be his danger. 20MR 31.5

September 13, 1900—We shall reach Honolulu tomorrow morning. A cool breeze is blowing, and I am sitting on deck. My heart is much pained to see how strongly addicted to tobacco-using are the men passengers on this boat. Even ministers of the gospel smoke constantly. When clergymen throw their influence and example on the side of this injurious habit, what hope is there for young men? We must raise the standard of temperance higher and still higher. 20MR 32.1

We must bear a clear, decided testimony against the use of intoxicating drinks and the use of tobacco. In all our large gatherings we must bring the temperance question before our hearers in the strongest appeals and by the most convincing arguments. The Lord has given us the work of teaching Christian temperance from a Bible standpoint. The youth are to be taught the difference between right and wrong. All intemperance is a violation of the laws of the Creator. God gave man his faculties to be kept pure and holy, and used in accordance with the laws of His kingdom. All wrongdoing leaves the soul open to the assaults of Satan. 20MR 32.2

Many of the passengers on this boat do not seem to know God or Christ. They act like indulged children, who do not know what it means to be under control. Never before have I seen the scripture so plainly illustrated” “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” We are living amidst the perils of the last days, and we shall see many manifestations of Satan's power. As faithful stewards of the grace of Christ we are to show our colors, ever remembering the words, Ye are “a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” 20MR 32.3

It was a severe test and trial to me to break up my home and leave Cooranbong. But it was impressed on my mind that this must be. While in Australia I labored earnestly in pioneer missionary work, often under most discouraging circumstances. We spared no effort to win souls to the truth. We did not study our own ease or convenience or inclination. The aggressive work that must be done was laid out before me, and from point to point the Lord gave me an understanding of how to advance. Constantly the word of the Lord came to me, “Go forward; annex new territory; raise up companies of believers; build houses of worship, and place the new converts in care of judicious, God-fearing men and women.” 20MR 32.4

For nine years we have been doing this work. Now there are indications that there is a work for me to do in America. For months I have had a struggle to know what my duty is. I was not so sure as I desired to be that God wished me to return to the United States. Constantly my prayer ascended to heaven for light and for clear discernment. I loved the work in Australia. My heart seemed bound up in it, and I felt that I could not leave this work without a certain knowledge that the Lord would go before me. Light shone more and more clearly upon me, and I decided to sell my home if a buyer came. The buyer came, and decided to take the house and furniture just as it stood. 20MR 33.1

We have now almost crossed the broad Pacific. The Lord has made the waters smooth and the weather favorable. There has been much smoking and drinking among the passengers. Christian politeness and true gentlemanliness have been sacrificed at the shrine of gluttony and liquor-drinking. Even the ministers on board have given the sailors a wrong example. 20MR 33.2

I have been unable to get the rest I needed so much. But the Lord revealed himself to me, declaring that He would defend me, and that in spite of the objectionable influences surrounding me, I should leave the boat unharmed. “I will lift up for you a standard against the enemy,” He said; and this He has done. 20MR 33.3

September 14, 1900—We are nearing Honolulu. Last night was very hot, and must have been oppressive for those who are not so favorably situated as we are. We have two portholes in our cabin, and we had these and the door wide open. Willie came in early this morning, saying that he had been up since four o'clock. I feel thankful that today there is a cool breeze. It is now about seven o'clock, and we are in sight of the Hawaiian Islands. We hope to reach the harbor in an hour. We do not leave again until six o'clock this evening, and we shall all be glad to have a few hours on land. The captain tells us that we shall reach San Francisco at seven o'clock on Friday morning. 20MR 33.4

Later—About eight o'clock this morning we steamed into the harbor. Elder Baxter Howe was at the wharf to meet us, and gave us a hearty welcome. He took us in a carriage to Sister Kerr's, where we were most heartily welcomed, and where we sat down to a bountiful meal, which we all greatly enjoyed. 20MR 33.5

In the afternoon we visited the sanitarium, and were very much pleased with the location. Then we met with a large number of our people at the church, where I spoke for about forty minutes and Willie for about thirty minutes. It was a great privilege to meet with these brethren and sisters, and we wished that we could spend two or three weeks with them. But this would be impossible. 20MR 33.6

At the close of the meeting we visited the Chinese school, which is in charge of Brother Howell. He took us over the buildings, showing us the young men and boys engaged in their studies. Brother Howell gives an excellent report of the school. He finds the pupils obedient, kind, and manageable. We see a large field of work for this school, which should be more fully developed. Thus missionaries can be prepared to go to China and labor for their countrymen. 20MR 34.1

Help will be needed by the workers in Honolulu. If sufficient money is provided, a much larger work can be done. Earnest prayer must be blended with devoted labor, so that a responsive influence will be seen and the inmost depths of mind and heart reached, the whole nature stirred to abandon every phase of idolatry, making the hearts of this ignorant people thrill with solemn awe and bound with exultation. And the souls of the teachers, under the inspiration and power of the Holy Spirit, will be filled with the determination never to give up the effort to conquer in the strength of the Lord Jesus. And the Sun of righteousness shall rise upon them, and lead true converts to cooperate with the teachers with a degree of energy that will demonstrate the power of truth to influence hearts. The power of the cross of Christ, the power of an endless life, must take hold of these blood-bought souls. 20MR 34.2

The Chinese people may be reached through men of God's appointment. A great work may be done, and many may be able to say, as did David, “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is Thine. Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as head above all.” The God of Israel is ready to work for His people, His believing church; all that is needed is for them to be willing to work for him. 20MR 34.3

Mighty is the consecrated worker, strong in that living faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Men who are at home among eternal realities, men who bind themselves to the great principles of God's Word, so that in the highest sense of the term, their loins are girt about with truth—these are the ones that God needs as laborers.—Manuscript 82, 1900. 20MR 34.4

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

January 22, 1989.

Entire Ms.