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Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598]

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    MR No. 1596—American Sentinel Not to Change Its Policies; Circulation of The Great Controversy and Daniel and Revelation Urged; Publishing House Leaders Need to Be Converted

    (Diary entries, November 20-24, 1890.)

    New York City, November 20, 1890—I spoke this evening at eight o'clock, and the Lord gave me great freedom. I feel my weakness, and I am pleading with God to restore me. I believe that He will do it. I am reaching out for stronger faith.21MR 446.1

    November 21—During the night season I was specially moved upon by Spirit of God. My soul had been drawn out in earnest supplication to God. I was distressed on account of the backsliding of His people. While lying in bed, unable to sleep because of the burden resting upon me, I was pleading with the Lord. I fell asleep, and in the night season I was taught of God. My guide said, “I have a work for you to do. You must speak the words given you by the Lord. After these words have been spoken, your duty here is done.21MR 446.2

    “You are not required to enter into details before individuals, whatever may be their position or work, if they do not recognize the voice of God in the message He gives you to bear in His name. All your efforts to remove their doubts will be of no avail if they gather the clouds of darkness about their souls. If you enter into particulars, you weaken the message. It is not you speaking, but the Lord speaking through you. Those who want to know the will of God, who do not desire to follow their own will and judgment, will be easily entreated. They will be ready to discern the right way.21MR 446.3

    “The whys and wherefores are concealed from you, yet speak the words I give you, however painful it may be to you. The ways in which God leads His people are generally mysterious. You have asked to know God's way. Your supplication has been answered. God knows better than you do what is good and essential for His children. He never leads them otherwise than they would wish to be led if they were able to see as clearly as He does what they must do to establish characters that will fit them for the heavenly courts.21MR 446.4

    “The people whom God is leading must venture out upon His word. They must walk forward by faith. Truths have been committed to them which they must obey. The work of God is aggressive. No one can stand in a neutral position and yet be a soldier in the Lord's army. God has commands for His people, and if they keep in close connection with Him, they will hear His voice, and will keep in step with their Captain. They will go forward in the conflict to fight the battles of the Lord. But those who place themselves in an indifferent, non-committal position will gain no victories. We are to work by faith and not by sight, allowing God to direct the warfare.21MR 446.5

    “The men who are placed in positions of responsibility are not to betray sacred trusts. I have a message for you to those who are serving self, but they will pass it by as though they heard it not. They will close their eyes, lest they see and be converted. They have been planning and contriving in their own human wisdom, and they do not seek God earnestly. But imbued and stimulated by the Spirit of God, you are to bear the message given you, without worrying or calculating the result.21MR 447.1

    “You are to act your part, and then leave the rest to God. You will have startling, surprising messages to bear, but if those who hear cannot see the import of these messages, explanations from you will not lead them to understand any more clearly. They have ears, but they hear not. Satan takes control of their unsanctified reason, and leads them to misunderstand and misapply.21MR 447.2

    “Before you enter into private counsel to give the details of your message, be sure that the Lord would have you do this. After the message from God is given, you will feel that you have risked much, that there are those who have not faith enough to appreciate the message because they have not kept the way of the Lord, but have walked in the sparks of their own kindling. You feel a remorse which they should feel, and wish you had not spoken.21MR 447.3

    “God desires the pure gospel to be preached to His people. Selfishness will appear in many ways. The despondency which you feel after bearing a plain testimony comes not because you have erred in bearing this testimony. If you do not bear the message given you, God will send it to His people through some other channel.21MR 447.4

    “The men who now occupy positions of responsibility do not feel the necessity of making God their trust as did those who first led out in this work. They have planned for themselves. An independent, self-sufficient spirit has been coming into our publishing house in Battle Creek. The managers have followed the inclinations of their own hearts to go beyond the leadings of God. In some things, those who carry heavy responsibilities in the institutions in Battle Creek have exercised a wonderful prudence. They have prudently refrained from pointing out the existing dangers in the institution.21MR 447.5

    “God would not have large expenditures made to enlarge the facilities in Battle Creek. More is now located in Battle Creek than those there have ability to manage after God's order. This fact has been partially discerned, especially in regard to the publishing institution. Principles are being sacrificed that God has plainly specified should not control His work. An order of things has been instituted which is leading men farther from God than they are now aware of. They feel no necessity for the earnest prayer, the self-denial, the self-sacrifice which is after God's order, after the example of Christ.21MR 448.1

    “But,” said my guide, “their lips will be opened by the Lord to speak the words He shall give them in plainness of language and in demonstration of the Spirit. They will speak that which they have been reluctant to utter, which they have shrunk from speaking. Under the constraining power of God, they will declare the danger threatening the cause of God, and the plain facts and principles of truth to which we must adhere, which every worker must respect.”21MR 448.2

    The religion of Jesus is endangered. It is being mingled with worldliness. Worldly policy is taking the place of the true piety and wisdom that comes from above, and God will remove His prospering hand from the conference. Shall the Ark of the Covenant be removed from this people? Shall idols be smuggled in? Shall false principles and false precepts be brought into the sanctuary? Shall antichrist be respected? Shall the true doctrines and principles given us by God, which have made us what we are, be ignored? Shall God's instrumentality, the publishing house, become a mere political, worldly institution? This is directly where the enemy, through blinded, unconsecrated men, is leading us.21MR 448.3

    These things have gone as far as they should without someone protesting against them in plain words. The Lord's time to set things in order has fully come. There are men in positions of trust who have not had an experience in the leading out of this work, and these men should walk with humility and caution.21MR 448.4

    In the night season I was present in several councils, and there I heard words repeated by influential men to the effect that if The American Sentinel would drop the words “Seventh-day Adventist” from its columns, and would say nothing about the Sabbath, the great men of the world would patronize it, it would become popular, and do a larger work. This looked very pleasing. These men could not see why we could not affiliate with unbelievers and non-professors to make The American Sentinel a great success. I saw their countenances brighten, and they began to work on a policy to make the Sentinel a popular success.21MR 448.5

    This policy is the first step in a succession of wrong steps. The principles which have been advocated in The American Sentinel are the very sum and substance of the advocacy of the Sabbath, and when men begin to talk of changing these principles they are doing a work which it does not belong to them to do. Like Uzzah, they are attempting to steady the ark which belongs to God and is under His special supervision.21MR 449.1

    Said my guide to those in these councils, “Who of the men among you have felt the burden of the cause from the first and have accepted responsibilities under trying circumstances? Who has carried the burden of the work during the years of its existence? Who has practiced self-denial and self-sacrifice? The Lord made a place for His staunch servants, whose voices have been heard in warning. He carried forward His work before any of you put your hands to it, and He can and will find a place for the truth you would suppress. In The American Sentinel has been published the truth for this time. Take heed what you do. ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.’”21MR 449.2

    Brooklyn, New York, Sabbath, November 22—This morning I pleaded most earnestly with the Lord for His presence, for the enlightenment which He alone can give me. I wrestled for some time in prayer, and placed myself decidedly on the Lord's side, to believe every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. I will not take myself out of His hands. Infirmities press me at all times, and my faith is tested severely. Oh, that I may never lose sight of Jesus, my hope and my consolation.21MR 449.3

    I spoke from Isaiah 58 to a room packed with interested listeners. The Lord's presence was in the congregation. We knew that His Holy Spirit was impressing the hearts of those present. As soon as I had ceased speaking, a woman of commanding appearance arose and bore a testimony from a full heart. She thanked the Lord, she said, that she was present to hear that discourse, for it had decided her to keep the Sabbath of the Lord. Although trials and difficulties were before her, she would trust in the Lord, for He would be her fortress, her support, and she would make known the light of truth to others. Testimonies followed in quick succession.21MR 449.4

    Brother Washburn bore a good testimony. The Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and his face was pale. He said that he knew that the Spirit and power of God were in the message borne by Sister White, and that he had been receiving light and blessing. He felt more deeply the Spirit of the Lord than he had ever felt it before in his religious experience.21MR 449.5

    Brother Asa Robinson bore witness that the Lord had deeply impressed his mind, and he longed to drink richer and deeper draughts of the water of life than he had ever yet done.21MR 450.1

    Brother Lindsay spoke with deep contrition of soul, referring to the remarks of the speaker in reference to Joshua and the words spoken to him by Christ. The people of God, represented by Joshua, stood before the angel of God clothed with filthy garments, and Satan was complaining because he [was] prevented from destroying them as he was determined to do. He pointed to their filthy garments as a reason why he should do this. But the Lord Jesus would not permit him to destroy them. With the voice and attitude of a king, He said, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” Turning to Joshua, Christ said, “I will clothe thee with change of raiment,” even the righteousness of Christ.21MR 450.2

    Brother Lindsay said he felt that he had labored in his own strength too long, clothed with the filthy garments of selfishness. He wanted the endowment of the Spirit of God and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, that he might no longer work in his own spirit, after his own way and will. Others followed with testimonies right to the point.21MR 450.3

    We then invited those who had not this evidence of their acceptance with God to come forward, and about forty responded. Many of these expressed their desire to be clothed with the garments of Christ. It was evident that the Spirit of the Lord was making deep impressions on the minds of all present. Many with deep feeling asked the prayers of God's people in behalf of fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters. We bowed in prayer, and I know that the Lord's presence was with us. Most earnest, heartfelt supplications ascended in faith to the throne of God, and the Lord hearkened and heard those earnest cries. Many hearts were blessed, and their countenances reflected the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness.21MR 450.4

    This was a precious day to our souls, a season long to be remembered, never, never to be forgotten. Praise and thanksgiving ascended from the hearts and lips of many to the glory of God. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth God.” The Lord would have His people a bright, cheerful, gladsome people, light bearers to the world. Light, precious light, represents the cheerfulness and happiness which should be reflected to the world.21MR 450.5

    November 24, 1890—I rise this morning with gratitude in my heart for a precious night's rest. The cars on the elevated railroad have been thundering past all night, but I have slept excellently well.21MR 450.6

    I did not fill my appointment at the hall yesterday evening at five o'clock. The managers of the building let it to other parties, when our people had engaged it for the day. But we could not help ourselves as there was no written contract. This ought always to be secured. Many had purposed to come with their unbelieving relatives, and this was a great disappointment to them. They went with sorrow. This disappointment we must reckon among the “all things” that shall work together for good to those that love God.21MR 451.1

    I was solicited to speak in the evening to those assembled in the next tenement, the canvassing class, to understand why they were advised by conference presidents and canvassing agents not to canvass for The Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets I spoke to them for about one hour. This ends my speaking in this city. It is the universal testimony of those present at these meetings that they have been a blessing. The Spirit of the Lord has had free course and been glorified.21MR 451.2

    We feel the necessity of urging home upon the people the needs of the work. The Saviour of the world makes the subject of missionary labor so plain that His people need not misunderstand their work. He would send us as missionary messengers to the world. His voice was often uplifted to reiterate the truth, to urge it home upon their hearts, lest they should by any means lose sight of the mission and work of the church. His servants were to circulate the message of truth in all directions, and with earnest longing of soul they were to carry the tidings of light and peace to those in the darkness of error. Christ kept before them the fact, “Ye are the light of the world.” Those nigh and those afar off must hear the message of peace and hope and joy.21MR 451.3

    Christ left the abodes of bliss and came to this world as the light of truth, to shine amid the moral darkness, that the bright beams of light might penetrate the darkness of superstition, that divine truth might shine forth in contrast with the maxims and traditions and errors prevailing everywhere. Thus the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness were to dispel the thick clouds of ignorance. Christ opened the fountain of life, not only for the Jews, but for all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples. He knew the unrest and earnest longing of soul for something which could satisfy the heart. Before leaving His disciples, He made His plans and set in order His work, that the church might be impressed with its missionary character, that it might see that its work is to diffuse the gospel of truth.21MR 451.4

    The church as a whole is responsible for the fulfillment of the sacred commission, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” to those in the highways and those in the hedges. Every member of the church is held accountable in Christ's work. Every power of those who have come to a knowledge of the truth is to be enlisted. Reach to the heights; reach to the depths; there is no boundary. Everyone is to hear. Everyone is to receive light and truth and transmit it to others. We are not half awake.21MR 451.5

    I have now spoken four times in the morning and business meetings, and for one hour last evening to the canvassing class. This morning Brother Chadwick leaves us and returns to Battle Creek. He is in danger through the prevailing influences which exist there. Willie leaves late in the week for Battle Creek. Sara and I shall attend meetings at Norwich, Connecticut, and at Danvers [Massachusetts]. Brother Asa Robinson will be in attendance at these meetings, but it seems to be necessary for him to go to Battle Creek at this time to attend to important matters. I ought to have him with me in my work, but if the presence of the Lord goes with us we shall have profitable and successful meetings. I send large packages of important matter to be used during the remnant of the year 1890. I want to arouse and break the silence of the churches, that they may have a sense of their work. This burden is on my mind constantly.21MR 452.1

    The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos and revealed many things of solemn importance to him. [Revelation 1:3-8, 18, 19, quoted.]21MR 452.2

    Matters of deep importance were opened to John, which were to be given to the world to be read, understood, and appreciated. The books Daniel and Revelation and The Great Controversy are the books which above all others should be in circulation now. Give them to the people. Light and truth they must have.21MR 452.3

    Again and again the true Witness says, “He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” But it is evident that some who have ears will not hear, will not receive, and will not become wise in regard to sacred truth. The Lord Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, gave the message to John in regard to the church. He understood the danger of their neglecting their God-given work. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” When God's people hear to a purpose the things that are revealed to the churches, when they get the burden of the message, and say to others, “Come,” they are laborers together with God.21MR 452.4

    During the night I have been holding communion with God. I was brought by my guide into councils in Battle Creek. I have a message for them, whether they will hear or reject. The people must know that they are not moving in the order of God. They have been arranging to leave Christ out of their councils. These men are giving a mold to the work that will result in the loss of many souls. They lead away from safe paths.21MR 452.5

    Men come from far countries, thinking that if they can only get to Battle Creek, from whence come the publications of truth, they will be next door to heaven. But, oh, how disappointed they are! They hear leading men making God's message and messengers a subject of ridicule. Why? Because the message does not coincide with their ideas.21MR 453.1

    God's messengers speak words that are truth, but men do not want to accept them. False waymarks will be made. Signboards pointing in the wrong direction will be set up. Men connected with the publishing house will form a ring, the members of which will voice the works spoken by one another. Slowly and solemnly my guide said. “‘Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: Gird yourselves and ye shall be broken in pieces; ... Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall stand: for God is with us’” [Isaiah 8:9, 10].21MR 453.2

    Whoever the conference may select to connect with the offices of publication, unless they look to God daily and are firmly decided that eternal vigilance is the only price of safety, unless they seek counsel from God in the small or large matters connected with His sacred work, they will swerve from safe paths. Unless they are converted men, who realize the sacredness of the work for these last days, they will imperil the cause. It is not enough for them to assent to the truth. The question is, Are they sanctified through the truth? Is the truth brought into the inmost sanctuary of the soul?21MR 453.3

    The past, present, and future were plainly revealed to me. Brother Chadwick was connected with the office in integrity and righteousness of purpose, but the atmosphere he has breathed, the words and example of the men with whom he has been connected, have transformed him. He is another man. He has become sick at heart, and is desperate when opposed. Saul became another man, because the Spirit of the Lord came upon him and gave him another heart, but in the case of Brother Chadwick, the change was not from God.21MR 453.4

    This was plainly revealed to me to show to the people. I have no words to speak to these men privately. My words must be given to the people as a whole. It is not to be left to some to repeat my words and transmit them to others. I wish to present the matter as God has presented it to me. How long shall blindness be upon the men who have had evidence piled upon evidence in regard to the testimony of God's Spirit to His people? They do not discern where or how God is working. Eyes have they, but they see not; ears have they, but they hear not; understanding have they, but they understand not the things of God. “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: for He maketh sore, and bindeth up: He woundeth, and His hands make whole” [Job 5:17, 18].21MR 453.5

    Many of the old experienced hands, those who led out in the work of God, who could tell how it came into existence, have fallen in death, and inexperienced hands and unsanctified minds have been placing their mold upon the work. The principles designed by Jehovah to control the work have been departed from. Self has been woven into the work.21MR 454.1

    Before the destruction of the old world by a flood, there were talented men, men who possessed skill and knowledge. But they became corrupt in their imagination, because they left God out of their plans and councils. They were wise to do what God had never told them to do, wise to do evil. The Lord saw that this example would be deleterious to those who should afterwards be born, and He took the matter in hand. For 120 years He sent them warnings through His servant Noah. But they used the probation so graciously granted them in ridiculing Noah. They caricatured him and criticized him. They laughed at him for his peculiar earnestness and intense feeling in regard to the judgments which he declared God would surely fulfill. They talked of science and of the laws controlling nature. Then they held a carnival over the words of Noah, calling him a crazy fanatic. God's patience was exhausted. He said to Noah, “The end of all flesh is come before Me. For the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth” [Genesis 6:13].21MR 454.2

    There is a wisdom that is not from above, an unsanctified wisdom which has been in our world since the fall. I have been shown that there is danger in the office of publication in Battle Creek. It is losing its peculiar character. The Lord directed in the establishment of this institution, and it should never, never take a worldly mold. The men who have banded together to carry certain matters without the voice of the church or the people will not stand, for God will not permit it. There is a lifting up of self. Too much confidence is shown in what man can do, and too little in what God can do, and therefore man's wisdom has become foolishness.21MR 454.3

    The men handling sacred things do not feel the reverence and awe that they should. They do not speak with trembling of the things of God. This is the sure result of a lack of personal piety. They take very little time to seek God's counsel in humble contrition of soul. Earnest heart-searching, constant reliance upon God, is not revealed by the atmosphere that surrounds the soul. Men in positions of trust are fast losing the sense of the preciousness and sanctity of sacred things. Unless they feel the converting power of God, they will not, cannot, be one with God. They will not keep the way of the Lord, but like the Pharisees in the days of Christ, they will teach for doctrine the commandments of men.21MR 454.4

    The Lord has no use for them. They cannot be laborers together with Him while cherishing the spirit which in the past has exercised a controlling Power over them. They have felt little respect for those who have stood under the direction of God, receiving counsel from One mighty in wisdom, regarding the foundation and upbuilding of His great work. The consecration, the vital piety and humility which God requires, does not exist. Self is exalted, and Jesus, the blessed and only Potentate, the Mediator between God and man, does not work with them. Satan's insinuations are credited, and God's plain command in regard to mercy and tender compassion is ignored.21MR 455.1

    Those who are handling sacred things in the publishing institutions and in every branch of God's work are invited to enter the work prepared to put forth the highest powers of their mental and moral energies. They are continually to study, not the will of man, but the will of God. His grace must be revealed in all their work, of whatever kind and degree it may be. Every day the proud heart must be humbled before God, lest He humble it. The success of the work will be proportionate to the consecration, self-denial, and self-sacrifice which is blended with it.21MR 455.2

    I was instructed that the Lord's will is not being done by the men in the office who grasp such large wages. Things are taking a mold decidedly contrary to the principles upon which the publishing work was established. Serious mistakes have been made in exalting business above the service and worship of God. Thus thousands have made shipwreck of the faith. We are exhorted to be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” We are to be active in our work, but another element is to mingle with this energy, a living zeal in the service of God. We are to be “fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Into our daily work we are to bring devotion, piety, godliness. This is to be interwoven with every business transaction. Carry on your business without this and you will make the greatest mistake of your life, for you are committing robbery toward God, while professing to serve Him.21MR 455.3

    We see home relations neglected. We see broken-down family altars. We see the first love left, the religion of Christ expelled from the soul, to give place to constantly increasing speculations. Men are leaving God and heaven out of their reckoning. It is regarded as a waste of time to search the heart. The Bible is neglected. A multitude of cares over-balance the truth in the heart, and the spiritual eyesight is blinded. They need the heavenly anointing, oh, so much!—Manuscript 29, 1890.21MR 456.1

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Silver Spring, Maryland,

    June 13, 1991.

    Entire Ms.