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Manuscript Releases, vol. 17 [Nos. 1236-1300]

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    MR No. 1240—Week of Prayer in San Francisco; Visit to an SDA Vegetarian Restaurant

    Friday, December 21, [1900], I left St. Helena for San Francisco, where I was to spend the Week of Prayer. I was taken to the home of Dr. Mattner, where I was made every comfortable.17MR 38.1

    On Sabbath morning I went to the church, intending to speak. I found two stoves in the meeting room, one on either side midway between the door and the pulpit. Fires were burning in each of these. Sabbath school had just been held in the room, and, owing to the imperfect ventilation, the atmosphere was very impure. I felt the effect of this as soon as I entered. My heart began to pain. I could not breathe freely and I knew that exhaustion was coming over me.17MR 38.2

    I said to Elder Corliss, “I know that I cannot speak this morning.” He was greatly disappointed, and asked me if I would venture to speak in the afternoon. I said that I thought I could, and, as nothing had been said before about an afternoon meeting, he put the question to the people. They unanimously decided to have a meeting.17MR 38.3

    I would have left the church then, but I thought Sara had gone, so I sat down in a chair in the stand. I pressed close behind the organ, fearing that I might fall from my chair and create a sensation. I did not attempt to walk out by myself, for I feared that I could not do it. Presently a hand was laid on my shoulder, and Sara said, How is it, Mother?” I cannot describe the relief that came to me to know that Sara was there. She helped me into the open air, and immediately I felt better.17MR 38.4

    I lay down as soon as I could get to my room, and while I rested I asked the Lord to give me strength for the afternoon. He heard my prayer, and helped me to stand before the people, though I was so weak that I had to cling to the pulpit with both hands to steady myself. I asked the people to pray for me, and I would do my best. The Lord was with me, and I had great freedom in speaking from Revelation 2:1-5: [quoted].17MR 38.5

    The deep moving of the Spirit of God came upon me, and the people were deeply impressed. After I had finished speaking, Elder Corliss invited all those who desired to give themselves to the Lord to come forward. A large number responded, among them a young man who is a Catholic. Prayer was offered for these precious souls. Several who came forward were in the valley of decision. May the Lord strengthen the good impression made upon their minds, and may they give themselves wholly to the Lord, is my prayer. Oh, how I long to see souls converted, singing a new song, even praise to God's name.17MR 39.1

    On Sunday afternoon, I spoke to a large and intelligent audience. Many of those present were outsiders. My strength was renewed, and I was able to stand without help before the people. The Lord's blessing rested upon me, and increased strength came to me as I spoke. As on Sabbath, those seeking spiritual help were invited to come forward, and we were glad to see the ready response. I united with Elder Corliss in prayer, and the blessing of the Lord came to me in a special manner. I felt so greatly strengthened that after the meeting I walked to the place where I was staying, a distance of five blocks.17MR 39.2

    Notice was given that I would speak again on Monday afternoon. We found a large company assembled in the church. I presented, verse by verse, part of the second chapter of Colossians. I have read this chapter many times, but it never seemed so impressive and encouraging as on this occasion. Please read this chapter prayerfully and carefully, and the Lord give you understanding. It is a treasure house of encouragement to the believer.17MR 39.3

    I urged all to receive the rich promises of God, which are so full, so abundant, and so assuring. I dwelt upon the folly of turning from Christ to humanity for help. When Jesus is appreciated we shall see the salvation of God; but when we treat the Saviour indifferently, closing the door against the divine Helper, and look to man for guidance, how can we expect to have power? I tried to show my hearers what Christ is to us, and what we may be to Him as His helping hand.17MR 40.1

    “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” This work has been neglected. If the heart were filled with gratitude, its precious treasure of love and thanksgiving would flow forth to refresh others. Little grievances would not be noticed. Larger difficulties would be met in the spirit of Christ. The heart would go out in prayer to God for patience, perseverance, and forbearance. Then when the enemy came in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord would lift up a standard for tried, tempted souls.17MR 40.2

    We are warned, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”17MR 40.3

    God says, “Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart” [Jeremiah 29:13]. There is altogether too little courtesy and reverence shown to God. Those who are serving under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, who have on their side the heavenly host, should give to the world a bright evidence of the saving power of truth. “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately” [Luke 12:35, 36].17MR 40.4

    Now, just now, in this day of preparation, may the Lord awaken His people to a true sense of their responsibility. We should have ever-increasing faith and joy in the Lord. Our joy should be proportionate to the greatness of the truth which we claim to believe.17MR 41.1

    I made an earnest appeal to the people to give to the world a correct representation of the great work before us. I urged them not to mar their faith by accepting errors. We may be complete in Him who is the head of all principalities and powers.17MR 41.2

    The Lord gave special victory. The countenances of those present expressed their desire to advance in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.17MR 41.3

    We have every reason to believe that the work carried on in San Francisco by Brother Corliss and his brethren is the work that needs to be done. San Francisco is a center, and must be thoroughly worked. A much more extensive work should be done in this great and wicked city. The message of mercy must be proclaimed in the highways and hedges. All classes must be invited to the banquet provided by the Lord.17MR 41.4

    On Tuesday Brother Pierson drove us to Strawberry Hill, explaining many things of interest along the way as we wound up the ascending grade. Here there are large parks, to which the people can come from the bustle of the city. This is a blessing which all classes are free to enjoy, the poor as well as the wealthy. Here they can see trees and plants and shrubs from every clime, with roses and lilies and pinks and many other flowers. All are free to enjoy these things, but none are permitted to pick the flowers. Should they do this, the beauty of the scenery would soon be no more.17MR 41.5

    I could but be thankful that we had visited this place at a time when the park was not filled with men smoking pipes and cigars and cigarettes. As it was, the few men who were there marred the beauty of the place by smoking, testifying to the curse of being under a vile habit. Tobacco is a slow, but sure poison, which destroys the nerve brain power, rendering the user unable to discriminate between good and evil, righteousness and sin. I thought, Oh, how I wish they knew what harm they are doing to themselves by using tobacco, while at the same time they poison the Lord's free atmosphere, so that others are injured.17MR 42.1

    From the park we went to our vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco, where we received an invitation to take dinner. Here we found in a narrow building tables set to accommodate as many as possible; but many who desired to come in were obliged to turn away. The plain, simple food placed before the guests was fully in accordance with the sign placed in the only window in the room—Vegetarian Restaurant. There was on the table not a particle of meat, poultry, or anything that has animal life, and yet everything was palatable and acceptable. Our party enjoyed the wholesome, substantial food. The neat appearance of the waitresses, with their dark dresses covered with white aprons, was very pleasant.17MR 42.2

    We were very much pleased with our visit to this restaurant. We are glad that an effort is being made to provide those who wish to change their diet with food which is wholesome, nourishing, and palatable. The only thing that I regretted on this occasion was the inability of the managers to accommodate many of those who wished to patronize the restaurant. If more of these restaurants could be carried on in San Francisco, what a blessing it would be. By the practical demonstration of how to prepare wholesome, palatable food without the use of meat, many would learn valuable lessons. They would become acquainted with health principles.17MR 42.3

    I wish that some of those who have means tied up in banks could be led to study the situation and devise means whereby this restaurant could be enlarged, so that it will accommodate more people. It would be a school to our people, who need to learn how to prepare food without using the flesh of dead animals. That which is dead should ever be regarded as unfit for food. We shun the dead bodies of animals, because they are repulsive to us, while at the same time we prepare their flesh for our tables. There is no good reason for our doing this. We should learn that fruits, grains, and vegetables can be so skillfully and tastefully prepared that they will be chosen before any preparation of meat.17MR 43.1

    After dinner we went to the church, where we found a goodly number of people assembled, notwithstanding the fact that it was Christmas day. We praised the Lord that so many were desirous of hearing the truth. I continued my remarks on the second chapter of Colossians, and the Lord gave me freedom. My burden during the meetings of this Week of Prayer has been to impress the people that true service makes believers self-denying and self-sacrificing. They keep in view the need of individual holiness and consecration, that through the sanctification of the truth they may abound in works of benevolence to the uplifting of others.17MR 43.2

    Christ said to the Samaritan woman, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.... Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” Thus is presented the experience of the thankful heart. It continually overflows in blessings to others.17MR 43.3

    Paul greatly desired to see the Colossians enjoying to the full the blessings of the gospel. He longed to be with them to speak to them words of encouragement, that their hearts might be comforted, “being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God.” The Word of God is full of consolation, and presents great possibilities and advantages, which we should strive to appreciate. Through faith in Christ we may reach the highest standard in Christian perfection.17MR 44.1

    The gospel influences those who receive it to attain to Christian obedience. They are inspired with hope, having that faith which works by love and purifies the soul, making the receiver Christlike in character. As Redeemer and Creator, Christ is the owner of man. He is glorified by the individual service of those who on this earth act as His helping hand.17MR 44.2

    To refuse to obey the requirements of Christ, to fail to devote every capability to His service, is to rob God. He, our Lord and Saviour, calls for the cooperation of every human agency. As they strive to do good and be good, they will be successful in their work of reconciling man to God through Jesus Christ, unto all the riches of the full assurance of understanding.17MR 44.3

    Christianity is not a half-and-half work—a service of God and mammon—but a full conversion to God. Christians have an understanding of spiritual things which unites them with Christ and with one another in love. There is no undecided work about true conversion. It is the work of the Holy Spirit upon human character.17MR 44.4

    The Lord calls for workers who will deny self and follow in His footsteps. He calls for a faithful tithe, for gifts and offerings, that there may be in His treasury means wherewith to advance His work. Our money is His, and it is to be returned to Him. Christ is the light and life and joy of His people. Because He lives, they shall live also, and when He appears it will be to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all them that believe.17MR 44.5

    The spirit of liberality came into our meetings, and the offerings in the San Francisco church amounted to between two [hundred] and three hundred dollars. I feel very thankful to our heavenly Father for this evidence of the working of His Spirit upon hearts. The mission in San Francisco is self-supporting. Many calls are made upon the people for means to sustain the work in their own borders, yet they do not complain but willingly unite in giving for other parts of the field.17MR 45.1

    Read the eighth chapter of Second Corinthians in the churches, and see if they will not catch the inspiration of liberality. God will help His people to see things in a correct light, and to meet the pressing emergencies which arise in aggressive warfare. As they give liberally of the Lord's entrusted means, they will learn that as they impart they receive. God will give to them that they may give to others.17MR 45.2

    During these meetings in San Francisco we had positive evidence of the presence of the Spirit of God. The Lord came very near to us, and His light shone upon us. Elder Corliss labored very earnestly, though suffering from a severe cold.17MR 45.3

    On Wednesday I left San Francisco for Oakland, where I had promised to spend the last Sabbath and Sunday of the Week of Prayer. On Sabbath I spoke to a company of 600 people in the Oakland church. Through various circumstances I had been brought into a state of exhaustion, and as I looked over the congregation, and thought of my heart trouble, I feared that I would not be able to make the people hear. I asked them to pray for me. At first the weakness of my voice was apparent, but the Lord heard prayer, and my voice increased in strength.—Manuscript 1, 1901.17MR 45.4

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Washington, D. C.,

    April 6, 1987.

    Entire Manuscript.