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Life Sketches of Ellen G. White

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    A Prison Service

    During my stay in Oregon, I visited the prison in Salem, in company with Brother and Sister Carter and Sister Jordan. When the time arrived for service, we were conducted to the chapel, which was made cheerful by an abundance of light and pure, fresh air. At a signal from the bell, two men opened the great iron gates, and the prisoners came flocking in. The doors were securely closed behind them, and for the first time in my life I was immured in prison walls.LS 232.5

    I had expected to see a set of repulsive looking men, but was happily disappointed; many of them seemed to be intelligent, and some to be men of ability. They were dressed in the coarse but neat prison uniform, their hair smooth, and their boots brushed. As I looked upon the varied physiognomies before me, I thought, “To each of these men have been committed peculiar gifts, or talents, to be used for the glory of God and the benefit of the world; but they have despised these gifts of Heaven, abused and misapplied them.” As I looked upon young men from eighteen to twenty and thirty years of age, I thought of their unhappy mothers, and of the grief and remorse which was their bitter portion. Many of these mothers’ hearts had been broken by the ungodly course pursued by their children.LS 233.1

    When all the company were assembled, Brother Carter read a hymn. All had books, and joined heartily in singing. One, who was an accomplished musician, played the organ. I then opened the meeting by prayer, and again all joined in singing. I spoke from the words of John: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:1, 2.LS 233.2

    I exalted before them the infinite sacrifice made by the Father in giving His beloved Son for fallen men, that they might through obedience be transformed, and become the acknowledged sons of God.LS 234.1

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