The Signs of the Times


March 16, 1882

Among the Churches

Santa Rosa


Sabbath and First-day, January 28, 29, I attended the quarterly meeting at Healdsburg. February 1, I went to Santa Rosa. Elds. Van Horn and Israel had been holding meetings here for two weeks. They labored earnestly, not only to present before the people the evidences of our faith, but to urge upon them the importance of practical godliness. Some manifested an interest to hear the word, but we were pained to see that the number was so small. My heart was especially burdened for the church, who were not themselves prepared to unite with their ministers in laboring for the salvation of souls. The Lord aided me by his Spirit as I endeavored to present before them their duty. ST March 16, 1882, par. 1

February 6, in company with Bro. and Sr. Cole, I visited Bro. Thorpe's family, among the mountains eight miles from Santa Rosa. They invited their neighbors to come in, and though living at quite a distance, fathers, mothers, and children, young men, and young women assembled, until the family sitting-room was full. I spoke to them from the text, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.” I had as much freedom in addressing this intelligent mountain audience as in speaking to assembled thousands. The Lord's presence is not confined to large numbers. He is ready to bless the few who assemble for his worship. ST March 16, 1882, par. 2

We next visited Green Valley, and spent a pleasant and profitable evening with Bro. and Sr. Babcock, and Bro. Morton's family. We conversed upon the wisest and most successful manner of laboring for the salvation of souls, and also considered how the Sabbath can be most profitably spent where there are but very few who observe it. If there are but three who can meet on the Sabbath, these should come together and search the Scriptures, read from our publications whatever seems most suitable for both parents and children, and then unite in prayer for the presence and blessing of God. ST March 16, 1882, par. 3

Sabbath, February 11, I spent at Santa Rosa. It was a day not soon to be forgotten by the church there. ST March 16, 1882, par. 4

I spoke in the morning from the words of Christ, “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” The solemn scenes of the day of God seemed to me a living reality. I felt the danger of his professed people, and urged them to seek a preparation for the soon-coming Judgment. We are far from being as earnest and devoted as we should be. How few among us have become dead indeed to the world, and alive unto God. Many of the children of believing parents, children who have been trained in the Sabbath-school, and are familiar with the Scriptures, have yet no interest in religion. Under the most powerful appeals of the Holy Spirit, they seem as unmoved as if chiseled out of stone. What can be done to break the spell which Satan has cast upon these souls? I can see no help, except as parents shall present their children at the throne of grace, in humble, earnest, believing prayer, entreating the Lord to work with their efforts and the efforts of their ministers, until conviction and conversion shall be the result. ST March 16, 1882, par. 5

As I spoke the word, the Spirit of God rested upon me with power, and set home the truth to many hearts. I entreated both the unconverted and backsliders to return to the Lord with confession and repentance. Between twenty-five and thirty responded. Heartfelt confessions were made, and earnest prayer was offered for those who had come forward, and also for others who had not yet decided to give their hearts to God. Eld. Van Horn was greatly blessed while praying. The unction of the Holy Spirit rested upon him, and the sacred influence seemed to pervade the assembly. ST March 16, 1882, par. 6

In the afternoon we met again, and the blessing of the Lord was with us in still greater measure. The testimonies borne seemed to come from hearts softened and subdued by the Holy Spirit. To me this was a precious season. My cup of blessing seemed full to overflowing. The Son of God was with us as with the disciples of old, saying, “Peace be unto you.” Several remarked that Jesus seemed very near. They felt that they had but to reach out the hand to touch him. The light of Heaven seemed to be streaming down from the gates ajar, through which an ascending Saviour has entered to make intercession for us. We would not have been deprived of this bright spot in our experience for any amount of gold or silver. ST March 16, 1882, par. 7

We hope that the experience of this Sabbath may not be lost upon the church at Santa Rosa. Jesus has come very near to them in blessing. Oh, will any suffer the sacred influence of the Holy Spirit to come and go unappreciated? Will they treat it lightly, as of little moment? God forbid! Let every one to whom the Lord has revealed himself cherish the holy influence. Let not unbelief come in to poison the soul. Let us hold fast that whereunto we have attained and press forward, toward the mark for the prize. ST March 16, 1882, par. 8

We should remember that every blessing unimproved increases our guilt. Said Christ to Capernaum, that city so highly favored during his public ministry, “Thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell, for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.” Let us beware lest, by slighting, Heaven's favors, we bring upon ourselves this terrible malediction. ST March 16, 1882, par. 9

A good work was accomplished by the labor at Santa Rosa, though little interest was manifested by unbelievers. The opportunity was gratefully improved by those who loved the truth. They listened to the reasons of our faith with feelings akin to those of the disciples to whom Jesus expounded the Scriptures on the way to Emmaus. When these disciples learned that it was Christ who had walked and talked with them, they said, one to the other, “Did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?” Christ is still sending chosen servants as his representatives to explain and enforce the truths of his sacred word. This is one important channel by which he has chosen to communicate his will to men. Those who reject these opportunities lose the message which Christ has sent them by his servant. ST March 16, 1882, par. 10

There were some at Santa Rosa who had, through many discouragements, given up the truth. These were reclaimed by the recent effort there, and they have again united with the church. May the Lord impart strength and courage to these trembling souls. Persons are sometimes so reserved, timid, and sensitive upon religious subjects, even after they have given their hearts to God, that they do not receive the strength which they might have. We talk without reserve of our temporal affairs, and why should we be so reluctant to speak of our eternal interests? Would that all hearts might be inspired with holy boldness. Would that we all might lift up Jesus before the people with courage, and fortitude, and faith. E. G. White. ST March 16, 1882, par. 11

E. G. White.