The Review and Herald

291/1902

December 2, 1884

The Otsego Meeting

EGW

Our General Conference over, we left Battle Creek November 21, to attend a three days’ meeting at Otsego. We rode on the cars to Kalamazoo in company with Eld. Daniels and his wife and Sister McOmber. Bro. Leighton met us there, and took us in his carriage to Otsego, sixteen miles. As we entered the village, we heard the evening bells ringing for meeting, and we were told that there was an appointment for Sister White to speak. I hurried to Bro. Leighton's house, and back to the church, thinking that if I relied upon my own strength and wisdom I could make excuses and decline; but looking to Jesus for help I opened my Bible, and spoke with great freedom and clearness from Ephesians 3:14-21. RH December 2, 1884, par. 1

The brethren and sisters had come together from different churches, and the house of worship was crowded. The gallery was full, seats were placed in the aisles, and quite a number could obtain no seats. My own soul was strengthened and refreshed in dwelling upon the gracious promises of God. In watering others, my own soul was watered. RH December 2, 1884, par. 2

Sabbath morning, at eight o'clock, we met for a social meeting, in which I considered it a privilege to take part. Many excellent testimonies were borne. I then addressed the Sabbath-school for about twenty minutes. RH December 2, 1884, par. 3

It is of consequence to us all to be thoroughly acquainted with the Scriptures. There is in our land a general disregard of the Bible; and every believing parent among Seventh-day Adventists should make special efforts to become themselves intelligent in the Scriptures, and by precept and example to educate their children to appreciate the Sabbath-school and the precious opportunities within their reach of learning the sacred truths of God's word. We shall all be severely tested. Persons who pretend to believe the truth will come to us and urge upon us erroneous doctrines, which will unsettle our faith in present truth if we pay heed to them. True religion alone will stand the test of the Judgment. Every teacher in the Sabbath-school should be a learner in the school of Christ. Then he himself will be profited in his efforts to teach the children under his care. Special promises are made in the Scriptures to those who shall be instrumental in turning many souls from darkness, in bringing sheep and lambs to the fold of Christ, and in converting sinners from the errors of their ways. When the Master comes to reckon with his servants, every unselfish worker will receive a reward proportionate to his labor. Let every teacher, therefore, take his class, member by member, calling them each by name, and present them before God for his blessing. Then let him try by every means in his power to win them to Jesus. This important work is greatly neglected. Should it be carried forward, a spirit of reformation would be seen in the Sabbath-schools. We should have fewer unmanageable youth; for divine power would be combined with human effort, and the Spirit of God would bring every power into subjection, into obedience to Christ. RH December 2, 1884, par. 4

During the week, we should keep in view the Sabbath of the Lord, and labor to the end that our children shall have some time each day to study their lessons with their parents, the parents themselves showing an interest in the lessons. This will educate the children to feel that their lessons are of consequence. If on Sabbath morning parents spend hours in sleep, they lose much. They are wasting God's time, and it cannot be recalled. If it were their own, they would not thus idle it away. If the parents arise early, they can prepare the morning meal and have family prayers without haste or confusion. Then there is time to review the lessons, and the children, with their parents, can go to the Sabbath-school without becoming hurried, and can do justice to their lessons. RH December 2, 1884, par. 5

The ministers, who are stewards of the mysteries of God, and those who will give their lives to him without reserve, can do a good work for the Master. Lose no opportunities to help the children to become intelligent in the understanding of the Scriptures. This will do more to bar the way against Satan's devices than we can now imagine. If they become familiar with the truths of God's word, a barrier against ungodliness will be erected, and they will be able to meet the foe with Christ's words, “It is written.” There is a great work to be done for youth and children; and every son and daughter of God may act a part in it, and thus be partakers of the reward that will be given to the faithful workers. RH December 2, 1884, par. 6

Eld. Daniels spoke to the people Sabbath forenoon from Jeremiah 17:9, 10: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” His discourse made a good impression on the minds of all present; and in the testimonies borne by our brethren and sisters Sunday forenoon, references were made to his discourse, showing that many hearts were deeply impressed by it, and that they meant to be doers of the word and not hearers only. RH December 2, 1884, par. 7

Sabbath afternoon, I spoke from Revelation 3:7-9. Although the house was packed, when we called for those who wished to be on the Lord's side to separate themselves from the congregation and come forward, seat after seat had to be vacated, until nearly all the pews in the body of the house were filled with those who wished the prayers of God's people. Seventy-five came forward. This was a precious season. How my heart rejoiced to see Bro. Canright all interest, heart and soul in the work, as he used to be years in the past! I could but exclaim, What hath the Lord wrought! “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” We knew angels of God were in the congregation. Evil angels were also there, at work with might and power to bind their chains upon souls that would otherwise yield to the entreaties and warnings of the Spirit of God. There were some in that congregation whom the Lord loved, but who had been in perplexity and doubt, and who had been loosening their hold on the pillars of our faith. How grateful I felt to the Lord that probation was not yet closed, that all who would, might come, and find mercy, and peace, and comfort in the Holy Spirit, and form characters for everlasting life! How my soul longed to help them, every one, to the path of safety,—to the path where there is light, and peace, and joy! We hope to see them free in Jesus and rejoicing in hope, standing in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints. RH December 2, 1884, par. 8

A pure and holy faith is to be gained only by a diligent searching of the Scriptures; and there is danger even in this, unless the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit shall shine into the chambers of the mind. The Bible is the most precious of books; and reading and understanding its truths, making a practical application of them to the daily life, will be of the highest benefit, elevating and ennobling the character. Very many might know more of the Bible, if they would make the best use of their time, improving the minutes by diligently searching the Scriptures, testing every doctrine of faith by the law and the testimony. “If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” RH December 2, 1884, par. 9

Eld. Canright spoke to the people evening after the Sabbath, from Luke 22:29, 30, giving an impressive discourse. RH December 2, 1884, par. 10

Sunday, our morning meeting commenced at nine o'clock. We did not have preaching in the forenoon, the time being given to testimonies from those assembled. We consider it a wise plan to give all an opportunity to confess Christ, and to stand in defense of the truth, that all may have the privilege of witnessing for Jesus. We are always sorry that these meetings are not made more interesting than they are, that many should talk so low that they can be heard only by a few close beside them. Many need to be educated on this point; for they might as well talk in an unknown tongue, as far as others are concerned. The brethren cannot even say “Amen” intelligently; for they have not heard more than one or two words, if any. These dear souls can talk loud enough at home, or while engaged about their work; and they ought to be so grateful to God for the great plan of salvation, and that the gift of eternal life is brought within their reach, that they will be joyful witnesses for the Master. Then none would think that they were ashamed to speak of Jesus,—ashamed to acknowledge the truth. It is not enough to live in the atmosphere of truth; the truth itself must be in our hearts, its principles being interwoven in our lives day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Then we shall have a knowledge of the truths, of the Bible, and they will have an influence on all the faculties, freeing all from this backward spirit in meetings where they have the privilege of testifying for God. They will speak with a freedom from hesitancy, and their testimonies will be invigorating and refreshing. Such will be living channels of light, and their mental powers will expand as they grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. If Christ's spirit is in them, it will not create disorder and confusion, but will rectify all these mistakes and disturbances. Then let all drink deep of the fountain of truth, that through you may flow forth the living, refreshing streams that come from the fountain of life and salvation. RH December 2, 1884, par. 11

We listened with deep interest to remarks made by Eld. Canright at the close of the morning meeting, which were reported by Eld. Daniels. Eld. Daniels spoke Sunday afternoon from Romans 2:11: “For there is no respect of persons with God.” RH December 2, 1884, par. 12

We were invited to occupy the Congregationalist church Sunday evening. This kindness was appreciated by us all, as more could be accommodated there than in the Seventh-day Adventist church. Notwithstanding the stormy weather, the house was filled, extra seats having to be placed in the aisles; and all listened with interest to the words spoken. This closed our series of meetings at Otsego. We were wearied from the labors at the General Conference, and dreaded any additional labor; yet we bless God for this precious season with our brethren and sisters assembled at this meeting. RH December 2, 1884, par. 13

Monday forenoon we visited Bro. and Sr. Russel; and Bro. and Sr. Brackett, Eld. Canright, Bro. Clemons, and Bro. J. Rumery, were present. After spending some time in profitable conversation, we bowed in prayer, and the sweet, subduing influence of the Spirit of God came into our hearts. We felt assuredly that Jesus was in our midst, and that to bless. We parted with our friends, not knowing as we should meet them all again in this life, but with a strong hope that we might again meet around the throne of God. RH December 2, 1884, par. 14

We hope to see our Bro. Charles Russell firmly making his way to the light, rejoicing in every point of present truth, and doing work in the Master's vineyard in bringing others to the knowledge of the truth. There is work for all to do. At Otsego we met Bro. Philip Strong, whose voice has been silent for years. We hope to see this our brother and his wife again engaged in the work, giving the trumpet a certain sound, that the people may make ready to stand in the day of the Lord. Moments are precious; we have no time to lose. We must individually do our work, and then we shall hear the “Well done” from the lips of the Master. RH December 2, 1884, par. 15

The most of our time was spent with the family of Eld. Canright. We were made very welcome at their pleasant and comfortable home, which is conveniently furnished, yet with simplicity. It is indeed a home. All was done that could be done for our ease and comfort. We were continually grateful to God that we felt indeed at home, and that Bro. Canright had met with so great a change in his feelings, that he had been transformed by the sanctifying grace of Christ, and that peace, and hope, and faith in present truth were again cherished in his heart. My heart was filled with joy as I looked upon his wife and his children, and thought, These will follow Eld. Canright in the path of light, and peace, and faith. While he shall go forth from his family to his labors, responsibilities must rest heavily upon his companion, to educate and discipline and mold the characters of the dear ones in her charge. Mingling firmness with love and tenderness, under the sanctifying influence of the grace of God, she can be in the fullest sense a home missionary, gathering and reflecting divine light every day, cheering, encouraging, and seconding the efforts of her husband in his work of saving souls. They are a precious family, and angels of God look upon them with interest. Angels will minister to the mother in her efforts,—the home missionary doing her appointed work,—and to the children as they may bear their lesser responsibilities. The reward that will be given the self-sacrificing worker in the vineyard, will also be given the faithful home missionary who tarries “by the stuff.” I felt that peace rested in the plain but comfortable home of Bro. and Sr. Canright. I could but make melody to God in my heart every moment as I considered the work that had been wrought so wonderfully in this case. Eld. Canright saved to the cause! His precious family led into the ways of truth and righteousness! I said in my heart, as I looked upon them, Saved, saved, from ruin! If there is joy in the presence of the angels in heaven, why should there not be joy in our hearts? I do rejoice, I do praise the Lord, that mine eyes have seen his salvation. RH December 2, 1884, par. 16

E. G. White.