The Signs of the Times


January 26, 1882

Among the Churches—St. Helena


It was almost with regret that we left our comfortable home at Bro. Harmon's to visit St. Helena. Bro. and Sr. H. thought it unsafe for Sister Rogers and myself to make the journey alone at this season of the year. Hence they accompanied us, their team leading the way, while ours followed. When we left Healdsburg, the fog was so dense that we could see but a short distance before us, but in a few hours the mists dispersed, and we enjoyed beautiful sunshine. ST January 26, 1882, par. 1

The road through Knight's Canyon, always perilous to the inexperienced traveler, is often impassable in the rainy season. We were very thankful for a pilot in this part of our journey. I dared not look either to the right or left to view the scenery, but, holding the lines firmly, and guiding my horse in the narrow passage, I followed our leader. Carelessness here would have been fatal. Had our horse turned out of the right path, we should have plunged down a steep precipice, into the ravine below. As we rode along in almost breathless silence, I could but think how forcibly this dangerous ride illustrates the Christian's experience. We are making life's journey amid the perils of the last days. We need to watch carefully every step, and to be sure that we are following our great Leader. Skepticism, infidelity, dissipation, and crime are on every hand. It would be an easy matter to let go the reins of self-control, and plunge over the precipice to sure destruction. How great the mercy that surrounds and preserves us every moment! ST January 26, 1882, par. 2

Infinite Love has cast up a pathway upon which the ransomed of the Lord may pass from earth to Heaven. That path is the Son of God. Angel guides are sent to direct our erring feet. Heaven's glorious ladder is let down in every man's path, barring his way to vice and folly. He must trample upon a crucified Redeemer ere he can pass onward to a life of sin. Our Heavenly Father's voice is calling us, Come up hither. The tokens of his love are as numerous as the sand upon the sea-shore. The humble, trusting ones are guided and protected in the way of peace. But He who is infinite in wisdom compels none to accept Heaven's most precious gift—compels none to walk in the path which has been cast up at such a cost. Every one is permitted to choose for himself the narrow, shining steep that leads to Heaven, or that broader and easier way which ends in death. ST January 26, 1882, par. 3

In this one day's ride I have seen the greatness, the majesty, and the power of God in his created works. Mountain and valley, field and forest, rocks and streams; also villages and cultivated farms were spread out before me. Wherever I turn, are the sublime, the grand, or the beautiful; and my heart goes out in praise and gratitude to God for these evidences of his love. All the varied and lovely scenes of nature are so many pictures spread out before our senses to help us grasp the unseen glories of that land where the beauty fades not, and the living never die. Sin has made our world the abode of sorrow and misery, and we long for the sinless country. But we should not cease to value and enjoy all that brightens our earthly path, as the faint semblance of that which is richer and purer and more beautiful in our heavenly home. ST January 26, 1882, par. 4

As we passed Calistoga, about ten miles from our destination, we rode from sunshine into shadow. The fog came in upon us, and again shut us in like a thick cloud. We were glad to reach St. Helena, and find ourselves once more in the pleasant parlor of the Crystal Springs Health Retreat, where we were kindly welcomed by Bro. and Sister Atwood. A wood fire was burning on the hearth, and its warm, bright blaze was a pleasant contrast to the damp and darkness without. It is, however, but justice to state, as I was assured by residents here, that fog is rarely seen in this locality. ST January 26, 1882, par. 5

On the Sabbath it was rainy, yet we rode three miles to the church at St. Helena. Here I again engaged in labor for the young. After prayer for those who came forward, a social meeting was held, in which nearly all took part. Union and harmony exist among the members of this church, yet many need the transforming influence of the Spirit of God, ere they will be prepared to shed light upon others. If all who profess the faith would bring forth corresponding works; if they would in humility work for Jesus, willing to bear burdens in the church, and glad to do anything to benefit their fellow-men and to save souls, how much more might be accomplished in the cause of God! ST January 26, 1882, par. 6

Every member of our little churches may become strong in Christ. All should constantly feel that they are not their own; that Christ has a right to use them, to the fullest extent of their capabilities, for his own honor and glory. Although there is a cross to be borne, let us cheerfully follow in the path where Jesus leads the way. All who have been ransomed by the blood of Christ, have a work to do for their Redeemer. The salvation of our souls cost an infinite price. In return we are required to sacrifice for the good of others. If every member of the church would seek to maintain in its purity the faith once delivered to the saints; if all would live for God and the great hereafter, what a power would attend their labors. It is the privilege of every child of God to gather light from the exhaustless fountain, and to shed it forth upon others. When I think of this, I long to urge upon every one who bears the name “Christian,” the importance of representing Jesus, and not self. ST January 26, 1882, par. 7

In order to bless others by our influence, we must have a living connection with Heaven, and must be willing to deny self, to labor, and sacrifice. The careless and ease-loving seek to shun anxiety and effort, while the few earnest and faithful ones are left to bear all the burdens. May God help these self-denying laborers. Let them go forward with hope and courage. The prize is before them. It is those who run the race who will win the crown of immortal glory. “They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.” ST January 26, 1882, par. 8

Mrs. E. G. White