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Life Sketches of Ellen G. White

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    A Severe Trial

    In the midst of my experiences in meeting fanaticism, I was subjected to a severe trial. If the Spirit of God rested upon any one in meeting, and he glorified God by praising Him, some raised the cry of mesmerism; and if it pleased the Lord to give me a vision in meeting, some would say that it was the effect of excitement and mesmerism.LS 88.1

    Grieved and desponding, I often went alone to some retired place to pour out my soul before Him who invites the weary and heavy-laden to come and find rest. As my faith claimed the promises, Jesus would seem very near. The sweet light of heaven would shine around me, and I would seem to be encircled by the arms of my Saviour, and would there be taken off in vision. But when I would relate what God had revealed to me alone, where no earthly influence could affect me, I was grieved and astonished to hear some intimate that those who lived nearest to God were most liable to be deceived by Satan.LS 88.2

    Some would have had me believe that there was no Holy Spirit, and that all the exercises that holy men of God experienced, were only the effect of mesmerism or the deception of Satan.LS 88.3

    Those who had taken extreme views of certain texts of Scripture, refraining wholly from labor, and rejecting all who would not receive their ideas on this and other points pertaining to religious duty, charged me with conforming to the world. On the other hand, the nominal Adventists charged me with fanaticism, and I was falsely represented as the leader of the fanaticism which I was laboring constantly to arrest.LS 88.4

    Different times were set for the Lord to come, and were urged upon the brethren. But the Lord showed me that they would pass by, for the time of trouble must take place before the coming of Christ; and that every time a date was set, and passed, it would weaken the faith of God's people. For this I was charged with being the evil servant that said, “My Lord delayeth His coming.” Matthew 24:48.LS 89.1

    All these things weighed heavily upon my spirits, and in the confusion I was sometimes tempted to doubt my own experience.LS 89.2

    While at family prayers one morning, the power of God began to rest upon me, and the thought rushed into my mind that it was mesmerism, and I resisted it. Immediately I was struck dumb, and for a few moments was lost to everything around me. I then saw my sin in doubting the power of God, and that for so doing I was struck dumb, but that my tongue should be loosed in less than twenty-four hours. A card was held up before me, on which were written in letters of gold the chapter and verse of fifty texts of Scripture.LS 89.3

    After I came out of vision, I beckoned for the slate, and wrote upon it that I was dumb, also what I had seen, and that I wished the large Bible. I took the Bible, and readily turned to all the texts that I had seen upon the card. [Note.—For these texts, see Early Writings, 24-31, new edition.]LS 89.4

    I was unable to speak all day. Early the next morning my soul was filled with joy, and my tongue was loosed to shout the high praises of God. After that I dared not doubt, or for a moment resist the power of God, however others might think of me.LS 89.5

    Up to this time I could not write; my trembling hand was unable to hold a pen steadily. While in vision, I was commanded by an angel to write the vision. I obeyed, and wrote readily. My nerves were strengthened, and from that day to this my hand has been steady.LS 90.1

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