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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    R. C. PORTER


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    AT 10:30 the congregation filled the Tabernacle to crowding in every part. Elders R. C. Porter and D. T. Jones, and Prof. G. W. Caviness occupied the platform. The forenoon’s discourse was by the former, who read for the basis of his sermon Matthew 11:28-30 and John 10:1-9. The principal theme was the “Gospel of Peace and Rest” and how to attain to its proffered privileges. The universal desire for peace, rest, and happiness was spoken of, and the many ways in which it is sought. There is but one door, one avenue, to rest, and that is Jesus Christ. Those who seek it in another way will not obtain it. All who climb up some other way are thieves and robbers.GCB February 24, 1895, page 323.3

    In the beginning all was peace and rest, no shade of sadness brought sorrow to any heart. But when sin entered, unrest, disquietude, fear, and strife followed. Christ Jesus espoused our cause, and to-day we preach the gospel of peace and rest. It is true that most of us might enjoy more of this peace than we do. Many who profess to know Christ have not found his rest. They are agitated by every disturbance and know not what it is to trust calmly in God.GCB February 24, 1895, page 323.4

    Reference was made to the experience of Moses as recorded in Exodus 33:12 and onward. The promise there was, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” The presence of God brings rest. Separation from God cannot produce it.GCB February 24, 1895, page 323.5

    Taking up Hebrews 3:7 to 4:9 the speaker illustrated the privileges that are set before the Christian. The rest that remains is a present as well as a future rest. When we cease from our own works we enter his rest. It is faith in God’s word for us that brings rest to our souls. And each one daily needs that degree of faith that will bring rest to his soul. We are told not to fear trouble or persecution, but to fear lest we should fail of the rest.GCB February 24, 1895, page 323.6

    Often we do not learn until the hour of extremity the privilege of resting in God. When at last we come to the point where we can go no farther, we cast our souls on God and find that he can do for us far more than we had thought he could.GCB February 24, 1895, page 323.7

    Isaiah 26:12 was adduced as showing how God does our work in us and gives us peace. Romans 7 shows the experience of one trying to climb up some other way. This did not produce happiness; but at last the man cries out, “O wretched man that I am!” Then catching a view of Christ, he exclaims, “I thank God through Jesus Christ.”GCB February 24, 1895, page 323.8

    The rest of Christ is found only in meekness and humility. He was “meek and lowly in heart.” In view of the things that are now coming on the earth, there is great need of every child of Christ seeking to be established in his peace and rest. We must come to the point where we can endure injustice and wrong while our souls are kept in perfect peace. Christ endured the contradictions of sinners, but never lost his temper. He was abused and cursed; but he only blessed his enemies. If we have any other spirit, it means our defeat.GCB February 24, 1895, page 323.9

    By reference to the prophecy of Zephaniah the minds of the audience were carried forward to the time of trouble, the great day of God, and the exhortation to “seek meekness” as a preparation for that day was urged upon us. The speaker did not look for the outpouring of the Spirit in wonderful demonstrations of display so much as the bestowing of the meek, quiet spirit of faith and trust in God. Already it has been remarked how composedly our brethren had met their trials of faith, and it is the presence of this spirit of confidence, of peace and rest, in God that only can sustain his children in the trying hour.GCB February 24, 1895, page 323.10

    The discourse was worthy of a place among the very good things the Lord is sending us in these meetings.GCB February 24, 1895, page 323.11

    At the same hour Elder A. J. Read, missionary in Tahiti, spoke to a crowded audience in the College chapel. The following is a brief abstract of his discourse:—GCB February 24, 1895, page 323.12


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    The Lord hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.GCB February 24, 1895, page 323.13

    Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. Psalm 50:1, 5.GCB February 24, 1895, page 323.14

    Let every one hear the voice of God in these words. The Lord has called the whole earth. The problem of sin and salvation is one and the same the world over. We have found in the work in other lands that God does work remarkably to accomplish those things which we are unable to do without his help. He opens the hearts of the poor ignorant people in a manner far beyond the expectation of those who see their condition, and are laboring to help them.GCB February 24, 1895, page 323.15

    They ask many strange and simple questions. But in answering these questions, the Spirit of God opens the way for presenting spiritual truths.GCB February 24, 1895, page 324.1

    There are many white people settled among the natives on these islands; and we were particularly impressed with the fact that instead of their lifting the natives up to a higher plane of life, they themselves are being dragged down by the habits of the natives. It seemed as though our first work was to reach these white people. Many of them were glad to get our publications. One German trader said to us: “I have been here these many years, and have never before had the privilege of obtaining such literature as this.”GCB February 24, 1895, page 324.2

    God puts his seal upon the work that is done in these fields; and all that are converted become missionaries right where they are. I have thought that if these traders could forsake home and friends and native land to gain the things of this world, how much more willing should we be to forsake all and carry to others eternal riches.GCB February 24, 1895, page 324.3

    I was talking with Sister White about these islands and she said, “These fields ought to have been entered more than a score of years ago.” Every one of us has had privileges a thousand-fold in advance of these natives, and not one of us but could scatter light among them in hundreds of ways. Is it not that we are wedded to the things of this world that we do not do more for those who are perishing in these needy fields? Do we forget that Christ forsook everything that he might bring to us eternal salvation? Do we forget those of whom the world was not worthy, who “wandered about in sheep skins and goat skins, being destitute, afflicted,” yet proclaiming the precious gospel of Christ?GCB February 24, 1895, page 324.4

    I want to read something from Sister White along the line of these things:—GCB February 24, 1895, page 324.5

    “The people of God should awake. Their opportunities to spread the truth should be improved, for they will not last long. I was shown distress and perplexity and famine in the land, and Satan is now seeking to hold God’s people in a state of inactivity, to keep them from acting their part in spreading the truth, and that they may be at last weighed in the balance and found wanting.... This lack of activity and earnestness in the cause of God is dreadful. This death-stupor is from Satan.... I was shown God’s people waiting for some change to take place — a compelling power to take hold of them. But they will be disappointed. They are wrong. They must act.... In view of the things we must urge the truth to the hearts of all whom we do get to listen to it. The harvest of the earth is nearly ripe.” “Testimony” No. 7.GCB February 24, 1895, page 324.6

    As I have stood before you here to-day, I have longed to be able to speak with the tongue of an angel, that you might realize the condition of the people of these faraway lands, that it might help you to be more earnest and consecrated in the work until it is done. For my part, I want to be found with the harness on when the Lord shall come. You and I have a work to do to-day, to-morrow, and every day, that will help those in these fields. They should be upheld every moment by our prayers. Let us not withhold from them that which we can give.GCB February 24, 1895, page 324.7


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    IN our last number we briefly noticed the binder. The postage on them is nine cents, because they cannot be posted as “printed matter.” But companies could club together and order by express or by the hand of some friend who is now in the city and thus save the postage. Price fifteen cents, or twenty-five cents by mail. Order of Review and Herald.GCB February 24, 1895, page 324.8

    THE regular list of the BULLETIN is now some 9200. While we are glad to know that so many are sharing its good things, we are sorry that there are a few at least who do not have them. A pleasant and profitable way to spend the evenings will be to form reading circles where the BULLETIN will be read aloud while others accompany the reader in silent reading or listening, as they prefer. If there are any too poor to obtain the paper, lend it to them or subscribe for it for them. A few more complete sets can be furnished.GCB February 24, 1895, page 324.9

    WE are not quite able to keep pace with the matter we have for publication. So many reports have been rendered by presidents, secretaries, and superintendents, that the Bible lessons have fallen slightly in the rear. But the reports are full of interesting and important matter; and the lessons “will keep”, and we shall soon have room for them.GCB February 24, 1895, page 324.10

    AMONG late arrivals we notice Prof. J. W. Loughhead, Union College; Elder E. E. Miles of South Lancaster, Mass.; and F. A. Buzzell of Chicago.GCB February 24, 1895, page 324.11

    THE weather continues very favorable for the meetings; steady winter weather, pleasant, and not very cold.GCB February 24, 1895, page 324.12

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