The Review and Herald

237/1902

November 6, 1883

Notes of Travel

EGW

Sunday, August 12, in company with Sr. Sarah McEnterfer, I left the Pacific Coast, on my way to the East. Although we suffered considerably from heat and dust, we had a pleasant journey across the plains. We found conductor and porters ready to do all in their power for our comfort and convenience. RH November 6, 1883, par. 1

From the time that we stepped on board the train, I felt perfectly satisfied that I was in the way of duty. I have had sweet communion with my Saviour, and have felt that he is my refuge and my fortress, and that no harm can come to me while engaged in the work which he has given me to do. I have an abiding trust in the promises of God, and enjoy that peace which comes only from Jesus. RH November 6, 1883, par. 2

In the seat next us in the car was an actress, evidently a woman of ability, and possessed of many good qualities, which, if devoted to the service of God, might win for her the Saviour's commendation, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” This woman and myself are both actors on the stage of life, but oh, how vastly different is our work! I felt not the slightest temptation to desire her honors. I thirst not for the applause of the idle and pleasure-loving multitudes that seek the unnatural excitement of the drama. RH November 6, 1883, par. 3

The theater is a poor place of resort for the strengthening of virtuous principles. Rather, its influence is highly injurious to both health and morals. The lady's attendant remarked that it was somewhat trying to be deprived of sleep night after night until two and sometimes three o'clock in the morning, and then spend a large portion of the day in bed. The divinely-appointed order of day and night is disregarded, health is sacrificed, for the amusement of those who are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. The effect is demoralizing to all concerned. Two or three evenings a week spent in attending balls, or theatric or operatic entertainments, will enervate both mind and body, and prevent the development of that strength of character which is essential to usefulness in society. The only safe amusements are such as will not banish serious and religious thoughts; the only safe places of resort are those to which we can take Jesus with us. RH November 6, 1883, par. 4

We reached Battle Creek on Friday, August 17. The following night I found it impossible to sleep. I had not visited this place since I left it in great feebleness after my husband's funeral. Now the great loss which the cause had sustained in his death, the great loss which I had sustained in being deprived of his society and assistance in my work, came up vividly before me, and I could not compose myself to sleep. I recalled the covenant which I had made with God at my husband's death-bed,—that I would not become discouraged under the burden, but would labor more earnestly and devotedly than ever before to present the truth both by pen and voice; that I would set before the people the excellence of the statutes and precepts of Jehovah, and would point them to the cleansing fountain where we may wash away every stain of sin. RH November 6, 1883, par. 5

All night I wrestled with God in prayer that he would give me strength for my work, and imbue me with his Spirit, that I might keep my solemn covenant. I desired nothing so much as to spend my time and strength in urging those who profess the truth to come into closer relationship with God, that they may enjoy more perfect communion with him than did ancient Israel in their most prosperous days. RH November 6, 1883, par. 6

Sabbath morning I spoke to the large congregation assembled in the Tabernacle. The Lord gave me strength and freedom as I presented the words found in Revelation 7:9-17. RH November 6, 1883, par. 7

The last time that I had spoken there was on the Sabbath following my husband's funeral. At that time many considered it almost presumptuous for me, in my feeble condition, to make the effort; but my great desire to speak words of entreaty and warning to the church, led me to venture. Had those words been heeded, the difficulties which have since occurred would not have been. The burden of my message was an admonition to the church to be pitiful, courteous, kind, and compassionate, to love one another as Christ had loved them. I urged them to put away their unkind thoughts toward their brethren, to cease talking of the faults and errors of others, and to search carefully their own hearts, correct their own defects of character, and purify their own souls by obedience to the truth. I entreated all to cherish a forgiving, Christlike tenderness for one another, and to guard the reputation of their brethren, remembering that the tongue is an unruly member, which, if not sanctified, if not restrained, may do great injury to those whom God loves and whom he is using to do his work. RH November 6, 1883, par. 8

Whatever may have been our course toward the dead, they are beyond the knowledge of our sorrow or repentance. Our regret for wrongs done to them can be evinced only by a reformation in our spirit and action toward the living. Let none repeat the errors of the past. The spirit of Christ will lead us to think kindly of our brethren. It is the work of Satan to seek some stain upon the character of Christ's followers, to talk of their faults, and magnify their errors. Satan is an accuser of the brethren, and all who engage in this work show that they are actuated by the same spirit. All our prayers will be in vain while we cherish feelings of envy, jealousy, suspicion, and enmity. We shall be forgiven only as we forgive. It is no better than mocking God to engage in religious worship with hearts thinking evil, and full of bitterness toward our brethren or our fellow-men. RH November 6, 1883, par. 9

Jesus, our exemplar, looks with abhorrence upon all who are cherishing unkindness. Says the beloved John, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer.” How is it possible that the prayers of such shall be anything but an abomination in the sight of God? RH November 6, 1883, par. 10

Were our own hearts and lives free from defects, it would still be our duty to pity and help the erring. Much more then, since we ourselves are subject to error and infirmity, does it behoove us to manifest great modesty and carefulness in judging and condemning our fellow-sinners. All should give diligent heed to the words of the apostle, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” Inquire into the nature of your thoughts, purposes, tempers, words and deeds. Compare them with the character revealed in the life of Christ. See whether you have his spirit, whether the visible fruits of righteousness testify that you are in the faith. RH November 6, 1883, par. 11

These and many thoughts of like character were presented before the people. I assured them that all unkindness to the dead or to the living, I had buried in the grave of my husband. All was freely forgiven. My last testimony before leaving the church was that of warning and entreaty to seek for unity and love. RH November 6, 1883, par. 12

Now, after an absence of two years, I again stood before them. I was very weary, and nearly sick after the journey of five days and five nights; but the love of Christ and my interest for their souls constrained me to address them. RH November 6, 1883, par. 13

On Sunday morning I spoke to about seventy-five of the workers connected with the Office of the Review and Herald. One week before, August 12, I stood before a similar company at the Pacific Press, and urged upon them the importance of acting from principle. Now I presented the same subject, admonishing all to allow nothing to sway them from the right. I warned them that they would have opposing influences to meet, and would be pressed by temptations, and every one who was not rooted and grounded in the truth would be moved from the sure foundation. RH November 6, 1883, par. 14

Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken and only those things that cannot be shaken will remain. Satan is making the most desperate efforts to induce souls to range under his banner, and all who yield to his deceptions will wage war against the servants of Prince Immanuel. Watchfulness and prayer must be our safeguards in these days of peril. RH November 6, 1883, par. 15

All who are unfaithful in their work in the Office are meeting with a great loss. Those who are not wholly on the Lord's side will not see the importance of discipline and order. Hence the necessity that all who do have the fear of God before them, unite in maintaining a standard which he can approve. If those who stand in positions of responsibility excuse one in a wrong course, they encourage not only that one but others in wrong-doing. This renders very difficult the work of those who would maintain such rules and pursue such a course as God requires. RH November 6, 1883, par. 16

There are always some who, though they have enjoyed great advantages for spiritual progress, are not firmly established upon Bible truth. They seem to be without an anchor, beaten about by the waves of doubt and unbelief. They are without the joy and consolation which comes from a firm, decided faith, and they seem to be without protection from the shafts of Satan. I feel deeply anxious for these; for I know how strong is the power of Satan upon them. RH November 6, 1883, par. 17

Our Saviour declared upon one occasion, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” There was in Christ absolutely nothing of which Satan could take advantage. Jesus had not defiled his soul by one wrong action, one doubt, or even one murmuring thought. We may open the door of the mind and invite Satan's suggestions, or by pressing close to the side of Jesus, we may obtain strength to resist every evil influence. Satan has his agents, even in our offices of publication, and he works through them to unsettle the faith and confuse the minds of all who give them an opportunity. Our only safe course is to watch unto prayer. Questions which the half- hearted and unbelieving will suggest can be safely answered by unprejudiced judgment and earnest prayer. We should beware of allowing our minds to be influenced by suggestions, statements, or reports; for all these may be the result of envy, revenge, passion, prejudice, or of spiritual blindness. God wants, in the Office and in the church, faithful men who have eyes to discern the evil from the good, who will not call sin righteousness or righteousness sin,—men who will call things by their right names, whether it brings them censure or approbation. RH November 6, 1883, par. 18

The greatest calamity that can come upon any people is to be blindfolded by Satan so that they cannot discern his devices. He frequently works in disguise, clothing himself in the garments of righteousness, so that those who have not spiritual discernment know not that it is he; and often before those in responsible positions awake, Satan obtains a foothold, and doubt, unbelief, and infidelity are leavening the camp. None need to cultivate unbelief, or fear that they shall have too great faith. Unbelief, like an obtrusive, poisonous weed, grows without cultivation, while faith needs to be carefully cherished, or it will die out of the soul. RH November 6, 1883, par. 19

I prized this opportunity to speak words of warning and caution, knowing that those whom I addressed must be aroused to guard their souls from the devices of Satan. RH November 6, 1883, par. 20

At the urgent request of Mrs. Robinson, an active member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, I had consented to speak in a temperance meeting held in the public park on Sunday afternoon. About five hundred persons gathered at 4 P. M. Eld. Mather, who first addressed the assembly, presented thoughts of the greatest value. His words found a response in our hearts. He did not relate amusing anecdotes, or endeavor to create a sensation, but presented sound and forcible arguments, which the people could remember and consider after returning to their homes. Many, he said, flatter themselves that evil is diminishing, that the cause of reform is advancing, that temperance is soon to prevail, righteousness to predominate over sin, and the millennium to be ushered in. The speaker did not share in these flattering hopes. Intemperance still continues its ravages. Iniquity in every form stands like a mighty barrier to prevent the progress of truth and righteousness. Social wrongs, born of ignorance and vice, are still causing untold misery, and casting their baleful shadow upon both the church and the world. Depravity among the youth is increasing instead of decreasing. Nothing but earnest, continual effort will avail to remove this desolating curse. The conflict with interest and appetite, with evil habits and unholy passions, will be fierce and deadly; only those who shall move from principle can gain the victory in this warfare. RH November 6, 1883, par. 21

The speaker then clearly set forth the evil of granting license to sell liquors; but lack of space forbids me to present his words more fully. RH November 6, 1883, par. 22

Following Eld. Mather, I spoke about thirty minutes in regard to the great work of reform, and the necessity of educating the youth to act from principle, that they may have moral power to withstand temptation. Daniel, the Hebrew captive, was exposed in his youth to the allurements of the king's court; yet he remained true to the principles taught him by his fathers. He purposed in his heart that he would not eat of the luxuries of the king's table, or drink of his wines. This purpose was not formed without due reflection and earnest prayer, and when once his position was taken, he was not to be moved from it. Though surrounded by temptations to self-indulgence and dissipation, he would not consent to violate his conscience. He made God his strength, his mind was not enervated by habits of indulgence which crush out true, god-like manhood, and he was prepared to attain both moral and intellectual greatness. RH November 6, 1883, par. 23

Daniel's companions, also, resolutely denied selfish desires, and put away hurtful gratifications. As a result, their minds became strong and vigorous. They chose the real, the true, and the useful, rather than the momentary indulgence of appetite and pride. They did all in their power to place themselves in right relation to God, and the Lord was not unmindful of their firm, persevering, earnest effort. The Scriptures declare of Daniel and his fellows: “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” These youth had placed themselves in connection with the Source of all wisdom. They learned of Christ, the world's greatest teacher. While improving their opportunities to obtain a knowledge of the sciences, they were obtaining, also, the highest education which it is possible for mortals to receive. They received light directly from the throne of Heaven, and read the mysteries of God for future ages. RH November 6, 1883, par. 24

“And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” These youth determined that the talents intrusted to them of God should not be perverted and enfeebled by selfish indulgence. They reverenced their own manhood. They kept their eyes fixed steadfastly on the good which they wished to accomplish. They honored God, and God honored them. RH November 6, 1883, par. 25

The history of Daniel and his companions contains a lesson for us. Inspiration declares that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Religious principle lies at the foundation of the highest education. If our youth are but balanced by principle, they may with safety improve the mental powers to the very highest extent, and may take all their attainments with them into the future life. But temptations assail the young on every hand. Fathers and mothers should give thought and study and persevering effort to the training of their children, that they may stand unsullied by the prevailing evil, as did those Hebrew youth in the court of Babylon. To shield your children from the allurements of worldly pleasure, and the temptations to indulge appetite, to teach them steadfastness to the great principles of reform, will require effort and involve sacrifice. It will expose you to the reproaches of those who are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Your motives will be misconstrued, your efforts falsified, your labors and purposes disparaged. But, notwithstanding every opposing influence, we must, in the fear of God, press forward, seeking not to meet the world's standard, but that which is presented in the Scriptures of truth. We must act from principle, doing right because it is right, whether friends or foes approve or condemn. RH November 6, 1883, par. 26

Children should be educated to habits of temperance, even while in their mother's arms. Our tables should bear only the most wholesome food, free from every irritating substance. The appetite for liquor is encouraged by the preparation of food with condiments and spices. These cause a feverish state of the system, and drink is demanded to allay the irritation. On my frequent journeys across the continent, I do not patronize restaurants, dining-cars, or hotels, for the simple reason that I cannot eat the food there provided. The dishes are highly seasoned with salt and pepper, creating an almost intolerable thirst. During my last trip, the conductor of the sleeping-car kindly brought me a plate of rich vegetable soup. I tasted the apparently inviting dish, but found it so highly seasoned that I dared not eat it. The salt and pepper made my mouth smart, and I well knew that they would irritate and inflame the delicate coating of the stomach. I passed the tempting dish to another; for I dared not place such an abuse upon my digestive organs. RH November 6, 1883, par. 27

Such is the food that is commonly served up on fashionable tables, and given to the children. Its effect is to cause nervousness, and to create thirst which water does not quench. There is a craving for something stronger, and thus very many are led to the use of beer and wine. In this way is formed the appetite for strong drink. Every mother should carefully guard her table, and allow nothing to come upon it which will have the slightest tendency to lay the foundation of intemperate habits. Food should be prepared in as simple a manner as possible, free from condiments and spices, and even from an undue amount of salt. RH November 6, 1883, par. 28

You who have at heart the good of your children, and who would see them come up with unperverted tastes and appetites, must perseveringly urge your way against popular sentiments and practices. If you would have them prepared to be useful on earth and to obtain the eternal reward in the kingdom of glory, you must teach them to obey the laws of God, both in nature and revelation, instead of following the customs of the world. RH November 6, 1883, par. 29

Painstaking effort, prayer and faith, when united with a correct example, will not be fruitless. Bring your children to God in faith, and seek to impress their susceptible minds with a sense of their obligations to their heavenly Father. It will require lesson upon lesson, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. But Jesus, in our behalf, engaged in the most fearful conflict with the powers of darkness. Self- denial, fasting, humiliation, he willingly endured, that he might elevate, ennoble, and purify the human race; and thus prepare them for a seat at his right hand. In view of all that Christ has endured in our behalf, shall we shrink from any effort or sacrifice for the salvation of souls for whom he died? RH November 6, 1883, par. 30

Parents should educate their children to have moral independence, not to follow impulse and inclination, but to exercise their reasoning powers, and to act from principle. Let mothers inquire, not for the latest fashion, but for the path of duty and usefulness, and direct the steps of their children therein. Simple habits, pure morals, and a noble independence in the right course, will be of more value to the youth than the gifts of genius, the endowments of learning, or the external polish which the world can give them. Teach your children to walk in the ways of righteousness, and they, in turn, will lead others into the same path. Thus may you see at last that your life has not been in vain, for you have been instrumental in bringing precious fruit to garner of God. RH November 6, 1883, par. 31