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Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years: 1862-1876 (vol. 2)

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    The Promise of Full Restoration

    In the vision the angel spoke:2BIO 129.7

    “God will be glorified in the restoration of His servant to health. God has heard the prayers of His servants. His arms are beneath His afflicted servant. God has the case, and he must, although afflicted, dismiss his fears, his anxiety, his doubts and unbelief, and calmly trust in the great yet merciful God, who pities, loves, and cares for him.2BIO 130.1

    He will have conflicts with the enemy, but should ever be comforted with the remembrance that a stronger than the enemy has charge of him, and he need not fear. By faith rely on the evidences which God has been pleased to give, and he will gloriously triumph in God.”—Ibid., 1:617, 618.2BIO 130.2

    Two important matters were called to her attention:2BIO 130.3

    I saw that the Lord was giving us an experience which would be of the highest value to us in the future in connection with His work....

    I saw that God was fitting up my husband to engage in the solemn, sacred work of reform which He designs shall progress among His people. It is important that instructions should be given by ministers in regard to living temperately. They should show the relation which eating, working, resting, and dressing sustain to health. All who believe the truth for these last days have something to do in this matter.—Ibid., 1:618.2BIO 130.4

    But active faith was required of James. If he failed to do his part, there was little hope for full restoration. She wrote:2BIO 130.5

    I was shown that in some respects my husband's case is similar to that of those waiting for the refreshing. If he should wait for the power of God to come upon his body, to feel that he was made whole before he made efforts in accordance with his faith, saying, When the Lord heals me I will believe and do this or that, he might continue to wait and would realize no change, for the fulfillment of God's promise is only realized by those who believe and then work in accordance with their faith.2BIO 130.6

    I saw that he must believe God's Word, that His promises are for him to claim, and they will never, no, never, fail. He should walk out by faith, relying upon the evidences that God has been pleased to give, and work, as much as possible, to the point of becoming a well man. Said the angel: “God will sustain him. His faith must be made perfect by works, for faith alone is dead. It must be sustained by works. A living faith is always manifested by works.”—Ibid., 1:619, 620.2BIO 130.7

    She was warned what her husband's reaction would be and of some of the problems ahead, and in the following months she experienced that of which she was warned:2BIO 131.1

    I saw that my husband would be inclined to shrink from making efforts in accordance with his faith. Fear and anxiety in regard to his own case have made him timid. He looks at appearances, at disagreeable feelings of the body. Said the angel: “Feeling is not faith. Faith is simply to take God at His word.”2BIO 131.2

    I saw that in the name and strength of God my husband must resist disease and, by the power of his will, rise above his poor feelings. He must assert his liberty, in the name and strength of Israel's God. He must cease thinking and talking about himself as much as possible. He should be cheerful and happy.—Ibid., 1:620.2BIO 131.3

    Only in a full understanding of what Ellen White was shown in this vision of Christmas Day can there be a fair understanding of the course she pursued in the care of her husband through the year 1866 and into 1867.2BIO 131.4

    All of this was written out in Rochester on December 26 and handed to James to read (Ibid., 1:613). In the strength of this he took courage to continue the journey home to Battle Creek as he was able. New Year's Day was set for the trip. Andrews proposed that he accompany them to Battle Creek, but Ellen replied that she wished them to go by themselves, trusting alone in God to sustain them. A number of their friends accompanied them to the railway station to see them off. Wrote Ellen White:2BIO 131.5

    We felt that angels of God were all around us. We went comfortably and safely to the [Niagara] Falls, where we changed for a sleeping car.... I felt too much responsibility to sleep much. The words “Gentle angels round me glide, hopes of glory round me bide” were in my mind much of the time during the night. My husband arose in the morning feeling better than usual. He was cheerful and of good courage.—The Review and Herald, February 27, 1866.2BIO 131.6

    At Battle Creek later in the day they were met by friends and escorted to their home, which had been comfortably prepared for them, and at five o'clock they sat down at their dining table, bountifully spread with good food that the women of the church had prepared. James rested well through the night and on the weekend engaged in the services at the church. Wrote Ellen:2BIO 132.1

    Although feeble, he walked to the meetinghouse and spoke about three quarters of an hour. We also attended the communion season in the evening. The Lord strengthened him as he walked out upon his faith. We felt grateful to God that we were again in the midst of our dear people in Battle Creek. When my husband was first afflicted they felt that the stroke had fallen upon them. Our affliction they made their own. They stood faithfully by our side.—Ibid.2BIO 132.2

    Every week a number of the believers met to engage in earnest prayer for his recovery. In her report of late February she stated:2BIO 132.3

    My husband is improving. He is not troubled as much with nervousness, anxiety, and fears. He suffers but little pain, but we cannot see that he gains in flesh. His stomach is gaining in strength, and he takes care of food better. He is now venturing out in diet slowly—eats some fruit. His appetite is good, and he enjoys his food. The weather has not been favorable for him to ride or walk out much. We improve every pleasant day, and take him out to ride several miles in the country. He rode one day eight miles to Bro. Godsmark's, took dinner, and returned the same day.—Ibid.2BIO 132.4

    In triumphant words Ellen White brought her report to a close:2BIO 132.5

    I believe, without a doubt, in the perfect and entire restoration of my husband to health. The Lord is for us, praise His holy name!

    Although Satan has tried to press us sore, yet help has been laid upon One that is mightier than he, and in the name of Jesus, our great deliverer, shall we come off conquerors.—Ibid.2BIO 132.6

    The report solicited the prayers of the believers in behalf of James, and God's sustaining grace for herself.2BIO 132.7

    In the lectures and other advice at Dansville, the physicians had dwelt much upon the importance of entire rest, both of body and mind, for those who had been prostrated by overwork. The theory was advanced that the minds of the patients should be occupied with recreation and amusements; little tolerance was given for the place of prayer in the recovery of health. In the months after returning to Battle Creek, James White found it hard to exchange this philosophy for what Ellen White, having received light in vision, held to be the correct methods.2BIO 133.1

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