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Life Sketches of Ellen G. White

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    Discourse by Elder Haskell

    In his discourse following Elder Daniells's address, Elder S. N. Haskell called attention to the words of the psalmist, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15. Some may regard this as a strange statement; it is nevertheless true. The servants of God who are now sleeping, are to Him exceeding precious. So long as time shall last, the influence of their godly life will continue to yield rich fruitage. No longer can the enemy of the human race imperil their welfare; they are safe from his power. Jesus claims them as His own, and on the morning of the resurrection He will bestow upon them fullness of joy.LS 476.1

    In one of the glorious visions given John the beloved on the isle of Patmos, the prophet's attention was arrested by “a voice from heaven” bidding him write: “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13. Wonderful words these, and especially when considered in the light of their setting at the close of the prophecy concerning a threefold message to be sounded preparatory to the end of the world and the second advent of Christ.LS 476.2

    Heaven seemed desirous of helping us to understand that at the time of the end, when these messages are proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit, some of those engaged in this work will be permitted to rest from their labors. All such, we are assured, are accounted blessed of God. Nor are their unceasing efforts to bear aloft the banner of truth, without result; “their works do follow them.” Today, in the light of this assurance direct from heaven to the children of men, we can say of our dear sister who now sleeps, that she “being dead yet speaketh.” Hebrews 11:4.LS 476.3

    Elder Haskell reviewed the experience of the believers at Thessalonica who were early called upon to suffer cruel persecutions, even unto death. The apostle Paul, in his first epistle to the sorrowing ones there, comforts them with the certainty of the Christian's hope. “Sorrow not, even as others which have no hope,” he exhorts; “for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [go before] them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.LS 477.1

    The speaker invited attention to the expression, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so”—even as Christ was raised from the dead—“them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him,” and he illustrated this by the experience of Mary at the rent sepulcher. Bitterly disappointed in not finding her Lord, “Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him.” Her heart cried out after her Saviour, and at that very moment He was by her side, though she recognized Him not. “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing Him to be the gardener, saith unto Him, Sir, if Thou have borne Him hence, tell me where Thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away.LS 477.2

    “Jesus saith unto her, Mary.” That is all He said—“Mary.” Many a time she had heard that familiar voice, and she must have recognized Jesus by His tone or expression, for immediately she acknowledged Him as her Master and Lord. “Touch Me not,” He said to her; “for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God.” John 20:11-17. Then it was that Mary hastened to the disciples with the glad tidings of a risen Saviour.LS 478.1

    “It was her love for the Master,” the speaker continued, “because of what He had done for her in forgiving her sins and in connecting her soul with heaven, that kept the Saviour on earth after His resurrection until He had made Himself known to her. There is something very touching in this narrative. It shows that the Saviour is willing to reveal Himself to those who are devoted to Him and to His service,—those who desire above all things else to maintain a living connection with heaven. As Mary recognized her Lord after His resurrection by His voice and His general demeanor, so I believe we shall be able to recognize again our sister who now sleeps. While we cannot hear her voice in this world any more, yet her influence lives; and in the resurrection morning, if we remain faithful, and have a part with the people of God in that glad hour, we shall hear her voice once more, and we shall recognize her. My dear friends, there is a living connection between heaven and this earth still, and the promises the Lord has made to His people will be verified. Not one word will fail of fulfillment. May the Lord help us all to be among those who shall meet their Lord in peace, and who shall have the privilege of greeting our sister in the kingdom of heaven. May God grant it for His name's sake.”LS 478.2

    The hymn, “We shall meet beyond the river,” and benediction by Elder W. T. Knox, closed the Tabernacle service. Carriages and cars were in waiting, and these conveyed many hundreds to the burial place in Oak Hill Cemetery.LS 479.1

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