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Manuscript Releases, vol. 12 [Nos. 921-999]

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    MR No. 961—Looking Back at Minneapolis

    [A workers’ meeting held in Minneapolis from October 10 to 17, 1888, was followed by the General Conference session, which met from October 17 to November 4.]

    It was by faith I ventured to cross the Rocky Mountains for the purpose of attending the General Conference held in Minneapolis. We left Oakland for Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2. A number of friends were on the same train and it was a pleasure for me to visit with them, but it was too much for my strength. I needed entire rest. I had a spasm of the heart that night and for several hours I suffered much with exhaustion. This illness so prostrated me that I was obliged, because of severe pain in my heart, to keep my berth nearly all the time through the entire journey.12MR 179.1

    We changed cars at Kansas City. The train that would take us to Minneapolis was gone and we had to wait over for several hours. The babble of confusion in the depot was almost unendurable. I could not remain there with any safety, and went out into the open air. A vacant place was found for me, and a trunk provided me a seat, but in a few minutes the heavy trucks loaded with baggage were rolled up and unloaded and the words, “Move, if you please, we must have this space,” were so often repeated, wherever I might go, that I knew not what to do next. W. C. White, accompanied by a brother, went in search of some trace of our brethren living in that place, while Elder Jones and other brethren watched the baggage.12MR 179.2

    I was becoming exhausted when my hand was grasped, and I heard these words: “Why this is Sister White! How glad I am to see you once more! You have been at my father's house. My name is Mallory. We were to take the train for our home, but I must find my father, for he will be pleased to see you.” I was grateful to meet with friends, and for the warm clasp of a friendly hand. Soon we were surrounded with brethren and sisters who were glad to see us and we to see them.12MR 180.1

    We were informed that this was to be the last day of their meeting.[The Kansas Camp Meeting was scheduled for October 3-8. See The Review and Herald, September 11, 1888, page 592.] The campground was about six miles away, on the outskirts of the city. Quite a number who had long distances to go had left to return to their homes, but a large number were still on the encampment. We were urged to go out on the streetcar and speak to them that night and in the morning. My son returned, accompanied by Brother Shireman, and after consulting together we decided to tarry overnight upon the encampment.12MR 180.2

    Elder Dan Jones and his wife kindly gave us their tent and we were made comfortable. We here met many friends whom we had not seen since the death of my husband. Elder Haskell spoke in the evening. That night messengers were sent miles through the city and into the country, riding the entire night, to inform those who had left of the arrival of friends from the Pacific coast, and that they would speak at the campground. Believers and unbelievers responded to the call. I was surprised to see so large a number assembled.12MR 180.3

    I stood before the people in great weakness, but the Lord, who has been my support and strength in all my labors, was my helper on this occasion. I felt the blessing of the Lord resting upon me as I presented the message the Lord gave me for them—the necessity of practical Bible religion, religion brought into their homes, the truth sanctifying the soul temple. I felt urged to reprove and rebuke and encourage souls.12MR 181.1

    There has come a double-mindedness and indecision, a halting, wavering instability among those who have had great light, many advantages, and rich opportunities. If they only would improve these advantages and opportunities by showing zeal, steadfastness, and devotion to God corresponding with the greatness of light that shines upon our pathway! God calls for men of decided purpose, of determined character, to do His work in these last days.12MR 181.2

    Great light shines upon this generation. Decided piety and pure living unto God will distinguish the people of God from the world. The Lord would not have His people looking down in discouragement, but looking up to the things that are not seen, which are eternal. Then as His people by faith follow in the path where Christ leads the way, there will be no backsliding, but advancing, keeping pace with the opening providence of God. Then shall we have fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. The world and its treasures sink into insignificance when our eyes are fastened upon the imperishable treasure. Let God be the object of our supreme love. Then a decided influence will go forth from those who believe the truth, upon the household and upon the neighborhood, and it will be as far-reaching as eternity.12MR 181.3

    Brother A.T. Jones spoke to the people, also Brother E.J. Waggoner, and the people heard many precious things that would be to them a comfort and a strength to their faith. They appreciated this, to them, all-important privilege.12MR 181.4

    The meeting closed and we were obliged to make a hasty farewell. We were unable to speak at all to a large number of our brethren and sisters, for our time was short and we were compelled to take the cars for the Kansas City depot. We regretted that we could not have been with our people at the earlier stage of the meeting. We had many things of great importance we would have been glad to present to them.12MR 182.1

    At Minneapolis we met a large delegation of ministers. I discerned at the very commencement of the meeting a spirit which burdened me. Discourses were preached that did not give the people the food which they so much needed. The dark and gloomy side of the picture was presented before them to hang in memory's hall. This would bring no light and spiritual freedom, but discouragement.12MR 182.2

    I felt deeply moved by the Spirit of the Lord Sabbath afternoon to call the minds of those present to the love God manifests to His people. The mind must not be permitted to dwell on the most objectionable features of our faith. In God's Word, which may be presented as a garden filled with roses and lilies and pinks, we may pluck by faith the precious promises of God, appropriate them to our own hearts, and be of good courage—yes, joyful in God—or we may keep our attention fastened on the briars and thistles and wound ourselves severely and bemoan our hard lot.12MR 182.3

    God is not pleased to have His people hanging dark and painful pictures in memory's hall. He would have every soul plucking the roses and the lilies and the pinks, hanging memory's hall with the precious promises of God blooming all over the garden of God. He would have us dwelling upon them, our senses sharp and clear, taking them in in their full richness, talking of the joy that is set before us. He would have us living in the world, yet not of it, our affections taking hold of eternal things. He would have us talking of the things which He has prepared for those that love Him. This will attract our minds, awaken our hopes and expectations, and strengthen our souls to endure the conflicts and trials of this life. As we dwell on these scenes the Lord will encourage our faith and confidence. He will draw aside the veil and give us glimpses of the saints’ inheritance.12MR 182.4

    As I presented the goodness, the love, the tender compassion of our heavenly Father, I felt that the Spirit of the Lord was resting not only upon me but upon the people. Light and freedom and blessing came to the hearers and there was hearty response to the words spoken. The social meeting that followed evidenced that the Word had found lodgment in the hearts of the hearers. Many bore testimony that this day was the happiest of their lives, and it was indeed a precious season for we knew the presence of the Lord Jesus was in the assembly and that to bless. I knew that the special revealing of the Spirit of God was for a purpose, to quell the doubts, to roll back the tide of unbelief which had been admitted into hearts and minds concerning Sister White and the work the Lord had given her to do.12MR 183.1

    This was a season of refreshing to many souls, but it did not abide upon some. Just as soon as they saw that Sister White did not agree with all their ideas and harmonize with the propositions and resolutions to be voted upon in that conference, the evidence they had received had as little weight with some as did the words spoken by Christ in the synagogue to the Nazarenes. Their hearts were touched by the Spirit of God. They heard, as it were, God speaking to them through His Son. They saw, they felt, the divine influence of the Spirit of God and all witnessed to the gracious words that proceeded from His mouth. But Satan was at their side with his unbelief and they admitted the questioning and the doubts, and unbelief followed. The Spirit of God was quenched. In this madness they would have hurled Jesus from the precipice had not God protected Him that their rage did not harm Him. When Satan once has control of the mind he makes fools and demons of those who have been esteemed as excellent men. Prejudice, pride, and stubbornness are terrible elements to take possession of the human mind.12MR 183.2

    I had received a long epistle from Elder Butler, which I read carefully. I was surprised at its contents. I did not know what to do with this letter, but as the same sentiments expressed in it seemed to be working and controlling my brother ministers I called a few of them together in an upper room and read this letter to them. They did not, any of them, seem to be surprised at its contents, several saying they knew this was the mind of Elder Butler, for they had heard him state the same things. I then explained many things. I stated that which I knew was a right and righteous course to be pursued, brother toward brother, in the exercise of investigating the Scriptures. I knew the company before me were not viewing all the things in a correct light, therefore I stated many things. All my statements set forth correct principles to be acted upon, but I feared that my words made no impression upon them. They understood things in their way, and the light which I told them had been given me was to them as an idle tale.12MR 184.1

    I felt very much pained at heart over the condition of things. I made most earnest appeals to my brethren and sisters when assembled in the morning meetings, and entreated that we should make this occasion a season of profit, searching the Scriptures together with humility of heart. I entreated that there should not be such freedom in talking in regard to things of which they knew but little. All needed to learn lessons in the school of Christ. Jesus has invited, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). If we daily learn the lessons of humility and lowliness of heart, there will not be the feelings which exist at this meeting.12MR 184.2

    There are some differences of views on some subjects, but is this a reason for sharp, hard feelings? Shall envy and evil surmisings and imaginings, evil suspicion, hatred and jealousies become enthroned in the heart? All these things are evil and only evil. Our help is in God alone. Let us spend much time in prayer and in searching the Scriptures with a right spirit—anxious to learn and willing to be corrected or undeceived on any point where we may be in error. If Jesus is in our midst and our hearts are melted into tenderness by His love we shall have one of the best conferences we have ever attended.12MR 185.1

    There was much business to be done. The work had enlarged. New missions had been opened and new churches organized. All should be in harmony freely to consult together as brethren at work in the great harvest field, all working interestedly in the different branches of the work, and unselfishly considering how the Lord's work could be done to the best advantage. If ever there was a time when, as a conference, we needed the special grace and enlightenment of the Spirit of God, it was at this meeting. There was a power from beneath moving agencies to bring about a change in the Constitution and laws of our nation, which will bind the consciences of all those who keep the Bible Sabbath, plainly specified in the fourth commandment as the seventh day.12MR 185.2

    The time has come when every man should be found doing his duty to the utmost of his ability to hold up and vindicate the law of God before our own people and the world, working to the limit of his capacity and entrusted talents. Many are blinded, deceived by men who claim to be ministers of the gospel, and they influence very many to consider they are doing a good work for God when it is the work of Satan. Now, Satan had a council as to how he should keep pen and voice of Seventh-day Adventists silent. If he could only engage their attention and divert their powers in a direction to weaken and divide them his prospect would be fair.12MR 186.1

    Satan has done his work with some success. There has been variance of feelings, and division. There has been much jealousy and evil surmising. There have been many unsanctified speeches, hints, and remarks. The minds of the men who should be heart and soul at work, prepared to do mighty strokes for God at this very time are absorbed in matters of little consequence. Because the ideas of some are not exactly in accordance with their own on every point of doctrine involving minor ideas and theories which are not vital questions, the great question of the nation's religious liberty, now involving so much, is to many a matter of little consequence.12MR 186.2

    Satan has been having things his own way; but the Lord has raised up men and given them a solemn message to bear to His people, to wake up the mighty men to prepare for battle, for the day of God's preparation. This message Satan sought to make of none effect, and when every voice and every pen should have been intensely at work to stay the workings and powers of Satan there was a drawing apart; there were differences of opinion. This was not at all the way of the Lord. At this meeting the subject of the law in Galatians was brought before the ministers. This subject had been brought into the conference three years before. We have a letter, extracts from which we will here present, which letter was written while in Basel, Switzerland, and sent to Brethren A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner.12MR 186.3

    We know that if all would come to the Scriptures with hearts subdued and controlled by the influence of the Spirit of God, there would be brought to the examination of the Scriptures a calm mind, free from prejudice and pride of opinion. The light from the Lord would shine upon His Word and the truth would be revealed. But there should be prayerful, painstaking effort and much patience, to answer the prayer of Christ that His disciples may be one as He is one with the Father. The earnest, sincere prayer will be heard and the Lord will answer. The Holy Spirit will quicken the mental faculties and there will be a seeing eye to eye. “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130).12MR 187.1

    Elder E. J. Waggoner had the privilege granted him of speaking plainly and presenting his views upon justification by faith and the righteousness of Christ in relation to the law. This was no new light, but it was old light placed where it should be in the third angel's message. What is the burden of that message? John sees a people. He says, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). This people John beholds just before he sees the Son of man “having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle” (verse 14).12MR 187.2

    The faith of Jesus has been overlooked and treated in an indifferent, careless manner. It has not occupied the prominent position in which it was revealed to John. Faith in Christ as the sinner's only hope has been largely left out, not only of the discourses given but of the religious experience of very many who claim to believe the third angel's message. At this meeting I bore testimony that the most precious light had been shining forth from the Scriptures in the presentation of the great subject of the righteousness of Christ connected with the law, which should be constantly kept before the sinner as his only hope of salvation. This was not new light to me, for it had come to me from higher authority for the last forty-four years, and I had presented it to our people by pen and voice in the testimonies of His Spirit. But very few had responded except by assent to the testimonies borne upon this subject. There was altogether too little spoken and written upon this great question. The discourses of some might be correctly represented as like the offering of Cain—Christless.12MR 188.1

    The standard by which to measure character is the royal law. The law is the sin detector. By the law is the knowledge of sin. But the sinner is constantly being drawn to Jesus by the wonderful manifestation of His love in that He humiliated Himself to die a shameful death upon the cross. What a study is this! Angels have striven, earnestly longed, to look into this wonderful mystery. It is a study that can tax the highest human intelligence, that man, fallen, deceived by Satan, taking Satan's side of the question, can be conformed to the image of the Son of the infinite God—that man shall be like Him, that, because of the righteousness of Christ given to man, God will love man, fallen but redeemed, even as He loved His Son. Read it right out of the living oracles.12MR 188.2

    This is the mystery of godliness. This picture is of the highest value. It is to be meditated upon, placed in every discourse, hung in memory's hall, uttered by human lips, and traced by human beings who have tasted and known that the Lord is good. It is to be the groundwork of every discourse. There have been dry theories presented and precious souls are starving for the bread of life. This is not the preaching that is required or that the God of heaven will accept, for it is Christless. The divine picture of Christ must be kept before the people. He is that Angel standing in the sun of heaven. He reflects no shadows. Clothed in the attributes of Deity, shrouded in the glories of Deity, and in the likeness of the infinite God, He is to be lifted up before men. When this is kept before the people, creature merit sinks into insignificance. The more the eye looks upon Him, the more His life, His lessons, His perfection of character are studied, the more sinful and abhorrent will sin appear. By beholding, man can but admire and become more attracted to Him, more charmed, and more desirous to be like Jesus until he assimilates to His image and has the mind of Christ. Like Enoch he walks with God. His mind is full of thoughts of Jesus. He is his best friend.12MR 189.1

    We have been pained to see, when ministers are much together and laboring together, that one catches the ways and the attitudes and the gestures, the manner of address, the very tones of the voice, of another, until his identity is lost in that of his associate. This causes me pain of heart, because I know that if he had been looking to Jesus, thinking of Jesus, talking of His love and imitating His character, the stamp of Jesus would be upon him and not the human impress of finite beings who, in words, manners, and spirit, but faintly represent the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. If every minister who claims to love Jesus will only be filled with His charms and become assimilated to His image, what an example would he give to his brethren and to the world! The more ministers are in the company of Christ by communing with Him, the more they will be fastened to Christ. Catching His holy looks and copying His holy ways, they will be transformed into His image. They may be truly said to represent Jesus Christ.12MR 189.2

    “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1). Study Christ. Study His character, feature by feature. He is our pattern that we are required to copy in our lives and our characters, else we fail to represent Jesus, but present to the world a spurious copy. Do not imitate any man, for men are defective in habits, in speech, in manners, in character. I present before you the Man Christ Jesus. You must individually know Him as your Saviour before you can study Him as your pattern and your example. Said Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.... Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them” (Romans 1:16-19).12MR 190.1

    We felt deeply and solemnly grateful to God that minds were being stirred by the Spirit of God to see Christ in the living oracles and to represent Him to the world, but not in words merely. They see the Scripture requirements that all who claim to be followers of Christ are under obligation to walk in His footsteps, to be imbued with His Spirit, and thus to present to the world Jesus Christ, who came to our world to represent the Father. In representing Christ we represent God to our world. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9). Let us inquire, Are we reflecting in the church and before the world the character of Jesus Christ? A great deal deeper study is required of us in searching the Scriptures. Placing the righteousness of Christ in the law distinctly reveals God in His true character and reveals the law as holy, just, and good, glorious indeed when seen in its true character.12MR 190.2

    If all our ministering brethren could have come to their Bibles together, with the spirit of Christ, respecting each other, and with true Christian courtesy, the Lord would have been their instructor. But the Lord has no chance to impress minds over which Satan has so great power. Everything that does not harmonize with their mind and their human judgment will appear in shadows and dark outlines.12MR 191.1

    Self has far more to do with our religious experience than we imagine. When self is crucified, when the stubborn will is subdued, then the language of the heart will be, “Not my will, but Thine, be done, O God, whose I am and whom I serve.” “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth.” None will be as fixed stars, cold and immovable. This selfish, worldly dignity will no longer be maintained. There will be a beautiful blending of purity, elevation and nobility, which is wisdom from above and the meekness and lowliness of Jesus Christ. An innocent lamb was chosen as a representation of Christ.12MR 191.2

    Selfishness is written on the human heart in plain, unmistakable characters. Just as soon as the love of God takes its place, there is the image and superscription of Jesus Christ. His entire life amid a world filled with pride and selfishness was without an exception an embodiment of that charity that suffereth long, and is kind: that envieth not; that “vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Here is presented before us the fruits of the grace of God which every follower of Christ will manifest in his life and reveal in his character. If these manifestations are wanting, there must be most earnest seeking of God. By repentance and faith in Jesus Christ we may receive the spirit of Christ here specified, and then we may indeed be called children of God and not children of the wicked one. We must have greater faith; then we shall have more of Christ.12MR 191.3

    My burden during the meeting was to present Jesus and His love before my brethren, for I saw marked evidences that many had not the spirit of Christ. My mind was kept in peace, stayed upon God, and I felt sad to see that a different spirit had come into the experience of our brother ministers, and that it was leavening the camp. There was, I knew, a remarkable blindness upon the minds of many, that they did not discern where the Spirit of God was and what constituted true Christian experience. To consider that these were the ones who had the guardianship of the flock of God was painful. The destitution of true faith, the hands hung down, because not lifted up in sincere prayer! Some felt no need of prayer. Their own judgment, they felt, was sufficient, and they had no sense that the enemy of all good was guiding their judgment. They were as soldiers going unarmed and unarmored to the battle. Can we marvel that the discourses were Spiritless, that the living water of life refused to flow through obstructed channels, and that the light of heaven could not penetrate the dense fog of lukewarmness and sinfulness?12MR 192.1

    I was able to sleep but a few hours. I was writing all hours of the morning, frequently rising at two and at three a.m. and relieving my mind by writing upon the subjects that were presented before me. My heart was pained to see the spirit that controlled some of our ministering brethren, and this spirit seemed to be contagious. There was much talking done.12MR 193.1

    When I stated before my brethren that I had heard for the first time the views of Elder E. J. Waggoner, some did not believe me. I stated that I had heard precious truths uttered that I could respond to with all my heart, for had not these great and glorious truths, the righteousness of Christ and the entire sacrifice made in behalf of man, been imprinted indelibly on my mind by the Spirit of God? Has not this subject been presented in the testimonies again and again? When the Lord had given to my brethren the burden to proclaim this message I felt inexpressibly grateful to God, for I knew it was the message for this time.12MR 193.2

    The third angel's message is the proclamation of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ. The commandments of God have been proclaimed, but the faith of Jesus Christ has not been proclaimed by Seventh-day Adventists as of equal importance, the law and the gospel going hand in hand. I cannot find language to express this subject in its fullness.12MR 193.3

    “The faith of Jesus.” It is talked of, but not understood. What constitutes the faith of Jesus, that belongs to the third angel's message? Jesus becoming our sin-bearer that He might become our sin-pardoning Saviour. He was treated as we deserve to be treated. He came to our world and took our sins that we might take His righteousness. Faith in the ability of Christ to save us amply and fully and entirely is the faith of Jesus.12MR 193.4

    The only safety for the Israelites was blood upon the doorposts. God said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exodus 12:13). All other devices for safety would be without avail. Nothing but the blood on the doorposts would bar the way that the angel of death should not enter. There is salvation for the sinner in the blood of Jesus Christ alone, which cleanseth us from all sin. The man with a cultivated intellect may have vast stores of knowledge, he may engage in theological speculations, he may be great and honored of men and be considered the repository of knowledge, but unless he has a saving knowledge of Christ crucified for him, and by faith lays hold of the righteousness of Christ, he is lost. Christ “was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). “Saved by the blood of Jesus Christ,” will be our only hope for time and our song throughout eternity.12MR 194.1

    When I plainly stated my faith there were many who did not understand me and they reported that Sister White had changed; Sister White was influenced by her son, W. C. White, and by Elder A. T. Jones. Of course such a statement coming from the lips of those who had known me for years, who had grown up with the third angel's message and had been honored by the confidence and faith of our people, must have influence. I became the subject of remarks and criticism, but no one of our brethren came to me and made inquiries or sought any explanation from me. We tried most earnestly to have all our ministering brethren who were rooming in the house meet in an unoccupied room and unite our prayers together, but did not succeed in this but two or three times. They chose to go to their rooms and have their conversation and prayers by themselves. There did not seem to be any opportunity to break down the prejudice that was so firm and determined. We had no chance to remove the misunderstanding in regard to myself, my son, and E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones.12MR 194.2

    I tried to make another effort. I had that morning at an early hour written matter that should come before our brethren, for then my words would not be misstated. Quite a number of our leading responsible men were present, and I deeply regretted that a much larger number were not taken into this council, for some of those present, I knew, began to see things in a different light, and many more would have been benefited had they had the opportunity to hear what I had to say. But they did not know and were not benefited with my explanations and with the plain “Thus saith the Lord” which I gave them.12MR 195.1

    Questions were asked at that time. “Sister White, do you think that the Lord has any new and increased light for us as a people?” I answered, “Most assuredly. I do not only think so, I but can speak understandingly. I know that there is precious truth to be unfolded to us if we are the people that are to stand in the day of God's preparation.”12MR 195.2

    Then the question was asked whether I thought the matter better drop where it was, after Brother Waggoner had stated his views of the law in Galatians. I said, “By no means. We want all on both sides of the question.” But I stated that the spirit I had seen manifested at the meeting was unreasonable. I insisted that there should be a right spirit, a Christlike spirit manifested, such as Elder E. J. Waggoner had shown all through the presentation of his views; and that this matter should not be handled in a debating style. I urged that this matter should be handled in a Christlike spirit and that there should be no thrust made against the brethren who differed with them. As Elder E. J. Waggoner had conducted himself like a Christian gentleman they should do the same, giving the arguments on their side of the question in a straightforward manner.12MR 195.3

    I told them I had been shown that some of our brethren had educated themselves as debaters. The process of this education and the mold received by such an education were not after God's order, neither did they meet the approval of God. In many respects men trained in this kind of school unfitted themselves to become pastors of the sheep and lambs; and in combating an opponent, as in the way of discussions, usually harm is done with but little good results. The combative spirit is raised in both parties, and a defiant, hard spirit becomes habitual when their track is crossed. They become criticizers and do not always handle the Scriptures fairly, but wrest the Scriptures to make their point.12MR 196.1

    The remark was made, “If our views of Galatians are not correct, then we have not the third angel's message, and our position goes by the board; there is nothing to our faith.” I said, “Brethren, here is the very thing I have been telling you. This statement is not true. It is an extravagant, exaggerated statement. If it is made in the discussion of this question I shall feel it my duty to set this matter before all that are assembled, and whether they hear or forbear, tell them the statement is incorrect. The question at issue is not a vital question and should not be treated as such. The wonderful importance and magnitude of this subject has been exaggerated. For this reason—through misconception and perverted ideas—we see the spirit that prevails at this meeting, which is un-Christlike, and which we should never see exhibited among brethren. There has been a spirit of Pharisaism coming in among us which I shall lift my voice against wherever it may be revealed.”12MR 196.2

    Again, a brother said, “Perhaps you think nothing should be said on the other side of the question.” My son Willie and I spoke decidedly that we would not have the matter end here by any means, but we desired that they should bring out all the evidence on both sides of the question, for all we wanted was the truth, Bible truth, to be brought before the people.12MR 197.1

    What was my astonishment to learn the next morning that a meeting was called where the statement was made that they felt bad, for Sister White was opposed to the other side of the question being discussed! One in the meeting went for my son, W. C. White, who was entirely ignorant of the meeting, and advised him to come in. Apparently there was a very mournful presentation of the case, which created great sympathy for the brethren who were crippled and not allowed a chance to set forth their ideas. My son said he would speak in behalf of his mother, who was just as desirous—and more so now that Elder Waggoner had spoken—to hear all that was to be said on the other side of the question; and she had spoken thus decidedly in the council of the ministers the night before. Thus the matter was set before them in the correct light.12MR 197.2

    When they came into the meeting in the morning I was surprised to hear Elder _____ make the kind of speech he did before a large audience of believers and unbelievers—a speech which I knew could not be dictated by the Spirit of the Lord. He was followed by Elder _____, who made remarks of the same order, before Brother _____ began his talk, which was all calculated to create sympathy which I knew was not after God's order. It was human but not divine. And for the first time I began to think it might be we did not hold correct views after all upon the law in Galatians, for the truth required no such spirit to sustain it.12MR 197.3

    Brother _____, who first spoke in decided, unqualified language, deplored the introduction of the subject of the law in Galatians. He stated, over and over again, that he greatly deplored the introduction of this question and that he was so sorry it should be introduced at a time when Elder Butler was sick and could not be present to manage this matter. With emphasis he stated that it was a cowardly thing to broach this matter when Elder Butler could not be present, as he was best prepared to handle this question. There were many things said which astonished me, both by Elder _____ and Elder _____. These men were speaking these things before a mixed congregation. The house was full. And these were the ones who felt that it was not the thing to do to bring this subject for investigation before any but the ministering brethren!12MR 198.1

    Elder Waggoner had taken a straightforward course, not involving personalities, to thrust anyone or to ridicule anyone. He conducted the subject as a Christian gentleman should, in a kind and courteous manner. This was acknowledged to be the case by those who were holding opposite views. If only Elder _____ had done the same, and had entered upon the work without these preliminaries before a large congregation, many not of our faith being present! Their course of action and their expressed ideas and objections against presenting these subjects before even our own people did not harmonize.12MR 198.2

    I could see a great want of wise discrimination and of good judgment. The evil of such things has often been presented before me. The difference of opinion was made apparent to both believers and unbelievers. These things made such an impression upon my mind that I felt that my brethren had met with a great change. This matter had been set before me while I was in Europe, in figures and symbols, but the explanation was given me afterwards so that I was not left in the dark in regard to the state of our churches and of our ministering brethren.12MR 198.3

    Language cannot express the burden and distress of my soul. I had been passing through deep and painful exercise of soul in Switzerland as the conference held in Battle Creek three years before was presented before me. The same distress and anguish of mind were upon me. I had not one doubt or question in regard to the matter. I knew the light which had been presented to us in clear and distinct lines.12MR 199.1

    The brethren had all the evidence they would ever have that words of truth were spoken in regard to the righteousness of Christ. I knew that if they had distinguished the voice of the true Shepherd, if they had opened their hearts to receive the light, such speeches would never be made to create sympathy and leave the impression upon the congregation that we were at variance and at enmity one with the other.12MR 199.2

    Had my efforts that I made before some of the prominent men in responsible positions done any good? Certainly my labors seemed to be in vain. There was a spirit upon our brethren that I never met in them before.12MR 199.3

    I returned to my room questioning what was the best course for me to pursue. Many hours that night were spent in prayer in regard to the law in Galatians. This was a mere mote. Whichever way was in accordance with a “Thus saith the Lord,” my soul would say, Amen, and Amen. But the spirit that was controlling our brethren was so unlike the spirit of Jesus, so contrary to the spirit that should be exercised toward each other, it filled my soul with anguish.12MR 199.4

    In the next morning's meeting for the ministers I had some plain things to say to my brethren, which I dared not withhold. The salt had lost its savor, the fine gold become dim. Spiritual darkness was upon the people and many evidenced that they were moved with a power from beneath, for the result was just such as would be the case when they were not under the illumination of the Spirit of God. What pages of history were being made by the recording angel! The leaven had indeed done its sharp work, and nearly leavened the lump. I had a message of reproof and warning for my brethren, I knew. My soul was pressed with anguish. To say these things to my brethren caused me far greater anguish than they caused those to whom they were addressed. Through the grace of Christ I experienced a divine compelling power to stand before my ministering brethren, in the name of the Lord, hoping and praying that the Lord would open the blind eyes. I was strengthened to say the words which my secretary took in shorthand. (Here comes in Morning Talk, October 24. [See Manuscript 9, 1888, published in thirteen crisis years, pp. 300-303.])12MR 200.1

    I thought I had done all that I could do to present the light which the Lord had given me and that I would quietly withdraw from the meeting and answer the earnest solicitation of my brethren and sisters to speak to them in Kansas City. There was firm and decided resistance to anything that I might say that did not harmonize with the ideas of those present in regard to their treatment of Brethren A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner and those who did not fully harmonize with their own views. Conjectures, much talk, and hard speeches gave evidence of what kind of a spirit was in those who made them. False statements and surmisings were current, but no one came to me to ask if there was any truth in these things. I was in their midst. I would have talked freely with any of them and would have enlightened their minds if they had had any desire to be enlightened.12MR 200.2

    It was evident that a spirit had been at work for years to bring about this state of things. It was no sudden work. Our brethren never did have and never will have any greater evidence that God was with me, working with me and by me for the benefit of His people, than they had at that conference. It was evident that a delusion was upon our brethren. They had lost confidence in Sister White, not because Sister White had changed but because another spirit had taken possession and control of them. Satan's purpose is, through his devices, to make of none effect the testimonies of the Spirit of God. If he can lead the minds of the people of God to see things in a perverted light, they will lose confidence in the messages God sends through His servants; then he can the more readily deceive, and not be detected.12MR 201.1

    If our brethren had been divested of prejudice, if they had had the Spirit of Christ and spiritual discernment, reasoning from cause to effect, they would not have borne false witness against me. They would not have made the statement that Sister White was influenced by W. C. White, A. T. Jones, and E. J. Waggoner.12MR 201.2

    The charge of my being influenced has been brought against me by first-day Adventists and by those to whom the Lord has sent warnings, cautions, and reproof. “Someone has influenced Sister White,” they have said, “Someone has told her these things.” This I have had to meet from the very first day of my labors. Everyone who has been reproved and has apostatized has had these things to say.12MR 201.3

    One thing many did know, and that is that they were guilty of the very things for which they were reproved, but rather than humble their proud hearts and confess their sins, they threw themselves fully on Satan's ground to work wickedness. They are of that class of whom Christ said, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40). “Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:20).12MR 202.1

    The Lord was testing and proving His people who had had great light, whether they would walk in it or turn from it under temptation, for but few know what manner of spirit they are of until circumstances shall be of a character to test the spirit which prompts to action. In many the natural heart is a controlling power, and yet they do not suppose that pride and prejudice are entertained as cherished guests, and work in words and actions against light and truth.12MR 202.2

    Our brethren who have occupied leading positions in the work and the cause of God should have been so closely connected with the Source of all light that they would not call light darkness and darkness light. They had the example of those before them who had claimed to believe the truth but who, when mercifully reproved for sin and errors, gave loose rein to their own natural temperament and opposed the work of the Spirit of the Lord. They had seen these go farther and farther in darkness until they became apostates to the truth. And they do not discern that they are in the greatest peril, if, notwithstanding the course and marked example of others, they blindly stumble into the same path of doubt, unbelief, and rejection of light sent of God, because it does not coincide with their ideas. They do not seem to understand that if the Lord sent them reproof it was because He loved them.12MR 202.3

    A Christian is the highest type of a man because he is Christlike, and when he departs from the principles that are after Christ's order he is often ignorant that he has done wrong. The Lord sets the case before him as it is, as he is. He does not specify all his wrongs, but gives him a chance to manifest that he is a true child of God by his repentance and confession, not only of the sins specified but of those which conscience sets in order before him.12MR 203.1

    In doing this work [becoming Christlike] he reveals he has made an open rupture with Satan and with sin. He feels his weakness, he lays hold with earnest purpose and living faith upon the strength of God, and is an overcomer. Great becomes his peace, his joy, for it comes from the Lord, and there is nothing more acceptable in the sight of God than the continual humiliation of the soul before Him. These evidences are unmistakable proofs that the Lord has touched hearts by His Holy Spirit. More wonderful than miracles of physical healing is the miracle wrought in the child of God in wrestling with natural defects and overcoming them. The universe of God looks upon him with joy far greater than on any splendid outward display. The inward character is molded after the divine Pattern.12MR 203.2

    But when men in high positions of trust will, when under pressure, say that Sister White is influenced by any human being, they certainly have no more use for messages that come from such a source. This was freely spoken at the Minneapolis meeting, and it came from the lips of men who were acquainted with me, with my manner of life, and the character of my labor, men who had made the most of the testimonies in times past in correcting existing evils in the churches, who had felt no hesitancy in declaring their authenticity—that they bore the Divine credentials. Was it all contrary to the Lord's manner of working to send messages to ministers and churches? Has it not been His way of dealing with His people in the past?12MR 203.3

    Why were not these men, who knew of these things, afraid to lift their hand against me and my work for no reason except their imagination that I was not in harmony with their spirit and their course of action toward men whom they and I had reason to respect? These men were just as sincere as those who criticized, men of correct principles—but who did not harmonize with their views concerning the law in Galatians. I knew how the Lord regarded their spirit and action and if they did thus in ignorance, through perverted ideas, they have had all the opportunity God will ever give them to know He has given these men [A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner] a work to do, and a message to bear which is present truth for this time. They knew that wherever this message comes its fruits are good. A vigor and a vital energy are brought into the church, and where the message is accepted, there hope and courage and faith beam in the countenances of all those who open their eyes to see, their understanding to perceive and their hearts to receive the great treasure of truth.12MR 204.1

    Holding up Christ as our only source of strength, presenting His matchless love in having the guilt of the sins of men charged to His account and His own righteousness imputed to man, in no case does away with the law or detracts from its dignity. Rather, it places it where the correct light shines upon and glorifies it. This is done only through the light reflected from the cross of Calvary. The law is complete and full in the great plan of salvation, only as it is presented in the light shining from the crucified and risen Saviour. This can be only spiritually discerned. It kindles in the heart of the beholder ardent faith, hope, and joy that Christ is his righteousness. This joy is only for those who love and keep the words of Jesus, which are the words of God. Were my brethren in the light the words that the Lord gave me for them would find a response in the hearts of those for whom I labored.12MR 204.2

    As I saw that the hearts with which I longed to be in harmony were padlocked by prejudice and unbelief, I thought best for me to leave them. My purpose was to go from Minneapolis the first of the week. Brother Kilgore came with a request that I should speak the next day, but I said, “No, my brother, I can say nothing that many of my ministering brethren consider to be of any value to them. I must not work and exhaust my strength needlessly. I must go away and see what the Lord has for me to do elsewhere, for I know I have a message to bear to His people.”12MR 205.1

    I wished to meditate, to pray, [that I might know] in what manner we could work to present the subject of sin and atonement in the Bible light before the people. They were greatly needing this kind of instruction that they might give the light to others and have the blessed privilege of being workers together with God in gathering in and bringing home the sheep of His fold. What power must we have from God that icy hearts, having only a legal religion, should see the better things provided for them—Christ and His righteousness! A life-giving message was needed to give life to the dry bones.—Manuscript 24, 1888. (“Looking Back at Minneapolis,” written in November or December, 1888.)12MR 205.2

    White Estate

    Washington, D. C.,

    January 6, 1983.

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