Ellen G. White 1888 Materials
By Mrs. Ellen G. White

 
 
 
 
 

To Captain C. Eldridge


 






                 George's Terrace, St. Kilda Road,
                 Melbourne, Victoria, Jan. 9, 1893

Captain C. Eldridge,
      Battle Creek,
           Mich. Dear Brother:---
 

I received your letter and will endeavor to respond. I am grateful to our heavenly Father for his gracious favors bestowed upon me. I am being healed of my infirmities. The Lord is good, and greatly to be praised.
 

During the week of prayer we held meetings in a tent at North Fitzroy. Sabbath afternoon, December 31, I spoke with great freedom from Acts 10, dwelling especially upon the angel's message to Cornelius, "He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius; and when he looked on him, he was afraid and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God." The Lord gave me His Holy Spirit in large measure. The tent was full; some not of our faith were present who were attracted by the tent. We had a most precious meeting.
 

Sunday afternoon I spoke to a large congregation from John 14:1-14. Again the Lord blessed me with freedom and the people also were blessed. North Fitzroy is five miles from the school building in St. Kilda where we live, and the ride after speaking made me quite weary. I felt more anxiety, however, in regard to the affect of the malaria from the open drains which are not only offensive but dangerous to health and life. Monday evening in the school building I met with the little church of Prahran. I prayed with them and spoke with freedom from the words. "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." Then we had a prayer and social meeting in which precious testimonies were borne by nearly all present. Tuesday evening I again attended a meeting in the same place. Willie had very interesting matter to present from Elder Reed, in regard to the missionary work in the Pacific Islands. These meetings are profitable; light is shining upon us, but we want more and still more of the blessing of God.
 

Wednesday afternoon I attended a meeting for the sisters in Federal Hall at the Echo Office, North Fitzroy. Eighty-five were present, and I spoke to them in regard to the duties of mothers in the education and training of their children to become children of God, fitted for the future, immortal life. I opened the meeting with prayer, and closed it with prayer. At the close I began to feel that with all my writing and the work I had to do in bearing plain testimonies to individuals, I was using up my capital of strength faster than I could afford. But mothers came to me and expressed themselves as so grateful to hear the very things they needed. Some said, "This meeting will never lose its influence upon me. I see that there are many changes for me to make in the training of my children. But O, I am so glad that I was not left to come up in the judgment so ignorant in regard to my duty." Though very weary, I did not regret the effort I made.
 

The day had been warm, and during the ride home a sharp breeze came in from the sea and I took cold. Thursday morning I found myself greatly exhausted. But during the night I had passed through an experience similar to that which I had at Salamanca, New York, two years ago. When I awoke from my first short sleep, light seemed to be all around me, the room seemed to be full of heavenly angels. The Spirit of God was upon me, and my heart was full to overflowing. O, what love was burning in my heart! I was exclaiming aloud, "Lord Jesus, I love thee; thou knowest that I love thee. My heavenly Father, I praise thee with my whole heart." "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." "The path of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." 'Jesus my Redeemer, the Representative of the Father, I put my trust in thee."
 

My peace was like a river, I seemed to be shut in with God, in sweet communion with him through my waking and sleeping hours. What high and holy privileges seemed to be mine in the love of Jesus, his life and his guardianship. How plainly the words were presented to my mind, "I am the resurrection, and the life: He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." Jesus lives to make intercession for us. Jesus lives, and because he lives, we shall live also."
 

O, why does not the church of Christ arise, and put on her beautiful garments! Why does she not shine? The great reason of such feeble Christianity is that those who claim to believe the truth have so little knowledge of Christ, and so low an estimate of what He will be to them, and what they may be to him. We have the most solemn, weighty truths ever committed to mortals. Were our words, our thoughts our actions, more pure and elevated, more in accordance with the holy faith we profess, we should view our responsibilities in a far different light. How solemn, how sacred, they would appear. We would have a deeper sense of our obligations, and should make it our constant aim to perfect holiness in the fear of God. Earthly, temporal things would be subordinate to the heavenly and eternal.
 



The language of the heart and lips would be, as expressed by the Psalmist: "How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yes, the sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thine house: they will be still praising thee. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee, in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passeth through the valley of Baca make it a well. ... They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. ... Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God (margin, I would choose rather to sit at the threshold), than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a Sun and a shield, the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will be withheld from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee."
 

I am so grateful for the privilege of being connected with God in any way. I feel highly honored. All I ask is that the Lord in his great mercy and loving-kindness will give me strength to use in his service not to minister to my own ease or selfish indulgence, but that I may labor for Christ in the salvation of souls. I am waiting and believing, and receiving his rich blessing, although I am unworthy.
 

The word of the Lord has come to me in clear lines in reference to the principles and practices of those connected with the Review office. There has been need of self-examination on the part of the workers. Every man who has to do with sacred things should perform his work in a Christ-like manner. There must be no sharp practice, "A false balance is abomination to the Lord." A false balance is a symbol of all unfair dealing, all devices to conceal selfishness and injustice under an appearance of fairness and equity. God will not in the slightest degree favor such practices. He hates every false way. He abhors all selfishness and covetousness. Unmerciful dealing he will not tolerate, but will repay in kind. God can give prosperity to the working men whose means are acquired honestly. But his curse rests upon all that is gained by selfish practices. When one indulges in selfishness or sharp dealing, he shows that he does not fear the Lord or reverence his name. Those who are connected with God will not only shun all injustice, but will manifest his mercy and goodness toward all with whom they have to do. The Lord will sanction no respect of person; but he will not approve the course of those who make no difference in favor of the poor, the widow, and the orphan.
 

"The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in. ... But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them with gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness."
 

Everything in our character that can not enter the city of God will be reproved; if we will submit to the Lord's refining, all the dross and the tin will be consumed. As the Lord's chosen ones will receive the light appropriate for this time, they will not be led to exalt themselves. They will not manufacture a standard whereby to measure their own character; for the Lord has given one standard, by which every character is to be tested. There is not one standard for the poor, and another for the rich; for all will be tested by that law which bids us to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. Those who win the treasure of heaven will be those who have laid up their treasure above. God gives us light and opportunities to learn from Christ; that we may be like him in spirit and character; but we are not to conform to any human standard. We are to receive the truth of God into the heart, that it may regulate the life and form the character.
 

The Lord is looking upon men in the different spheres in which they move, and the character is tested under the different circumstances in which they are placed. The truth, pure, refined, elevating, is a continual test, to measure the man. If truth controls the conscience and is an abiding principle in the heart, it becomes an active working agent, it works by love and purifies the soul. But if the knowledge of the truth produces no beauty in the soul, if it does not subdue, soften, and recreate the man after God's own image, it is of no benefit to the receiver; it is as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. The truth as it is in Jesus, planted in the heart by the Holy Spirit, always works from within outward, it will be revealed in our words and spirit and actions toward everyone with whom we are connected.
 

The wave of truth following from the infinitely wise God to his frail human agents is not subject to the will of man. God prescribes the terms, and specifies every condition upon which we may receive his gifts. With the one party there is infinite power, wisdom, mercy, and goodness; with the other party is weakness, and ignorance, and helplessness and sin. Even the faculties and resources of men, which God will accept in co-operation with the divine, are ours only in trust. In the great condescension of God to admit human finite beings as co-laborers in the saving of the world, he makes it a condition that the human agent shall receive counsel from God, diligently obeying every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. And our success in the religious life will be according to the integrity and thoroughness with which these conditions are fulfilled.
 

There have been those connected with the publishing house who know not and do not wish to know by experience what it cost their predecessors to build up the work. When these later workers accepted a part in it, they did not enter into a partnership with God. They do not recognize the principles and conditions that must govern the human agent in co-operation with the divine. "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." No man who is not a partaker of this self-sacrificing love is prepared to labor for God. Many are blundering along, clinging to their burden of selfishness, as if it were a precious treasure, keeping diligently their own way. When they knock at the gate of heaven, saying, "Lord, Lord, open unto us," many a man will hear the words, "No one enters here but those who can receive the heavenly benediction, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." But thou hast faithfully served thyself, worked for thine own selfish interest, been good to thyself. Thou hast not laid up a treasure in heaven."
 



We are not safe for one moment in cherishing indifference and carelessness in regard to our soul's salvation. Many will have to arouse and change their course of action if they are saved. The perils of the last days are upon us. Connection with divine influences through a strong, living, working faith, can alone make us to be laborers together with God. Those who would shun the self-denying, self-sacrificing, part of religion, will never be partakers with Christ in his glory. There must be prayerful study and determined effort on the part of all who shall win the crown of life. Let none feel that they can claim any merits because of their advantage of birth or position or education. How did they obtain those advantages? Only through Christ. God calls upon all who would have everlasting life to copy the pattern. Truth and righteousness are the first principles of the gospel, and the only principles that Christ will recognize in any human agent. There must be heart-felt surrender of our will to God; we must renounce all our own supposed merits, and look to the cross of Calvary. This surrender to God involves effort on the part of the human agent to co-operate with the divine agencies; the branch must abide in the vine.
 

My brother, in your letter you speak of leaving the Review Office. I am sorry that you can be willing to separate from the work for the reasons you mention. They reveal that you have a much deeper experience to gain than you now have. Your faith is very weak. Other families, much larger than yours, sustain themselves, without one word of complaint, on half the wages you have. We have been over the ground, and I know what I am talking about. It is evident that whether you remain in the Review Office or separate from it you have lessons to learn that will be of the highest interest to you. I do not feel at liberty to urge you to remain; for unless you drink deeper of the Fountain of living waters, your service will not be acceptable to God.
 

I do not know who would occupy the position that would be left vacant if you should leave, but if the work that the Lord designs and longs to do is done for the church in Battle Creek, I am sure he will help them in any crisis. He wants no forced service. Unless his words find entrance to the soul, and bring the entire man into subjection to Christ, the human agent will, when tempted and tried, choose to follow his own inclination rather than the ways of the Lord. I had hoped that the truth which has been shining in clear, distinct beams of light since the Minneapolis meeting, would flood your soul. But from the letters you have written, I know that you are not walking in the light.
 

When you and my nephew, Frank Belden, accepted such large wages from the Office, you both showed that you did not appreciate the character of the work. If the Lord calls either of you to the exalted position of co-operating with him in this work, and you maintained your consecration to God and your connection with him, you could not have consented to accept the wages offered to you. It was not the Spirit of God that moved the board to offer you such terms. Whatever position a man may fill in connection with the office of publication, he is not to be paid an exorbitant sum, for God does not work in this way. You lacked spiritual eyesight, and you needed the heavenly anointing, that you might see that the work of God was founded in a sacrifice, and only by a sacrifice can it be carried forward.
 

Many, O so many among believers have scarcely food enough to eat, yet in their deep poverty they bring their tithes and offerings to the Lord's treasury. Many who know what it is to sustain the cause of God in hard and trying circumstances have invested means in the publishing house. They have willingly endured hardship and privation, and have watched and prayed for the success of the cause. Their gifts and sacrifices express the fervent gratitude and praise of their hearts to him who has called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. No more fragrant incense can ascend to heaven. Their prayers and their alms come up as a memorial before God.
 

But the work of God in all its wide extent is one, and the same principles should control, the same spirit be revealed, in all its branches. It must bear the stamp of missionary work. Every department of the cause is related to all parts of the gospel field, and the spirit that controls one department, will be felt throughout the entire field. If a portion of the workers receive so large wages, there are others, in different branches of the work, that will call for higher wages, and the spirit of self-sacrifice will become extinct at the great heart of the work. Other institutions will catch the same spirit, and the Lord's favor will be removed from them, for he can never sanction selfishness. Thus our aggressive work would come to an end. It is possible to carry it forward only by continual sacrifice. From all parts of the world the calls are coming in for men and means to carry forward the work. Shall we be compelled to say, "You must wait; we have no money in the treasury"?
 

Frank Belden knows the earlier history of the work in the office; he knows the testimonies which God has sent to him and others in regard to self-denial and sacrifice. He is not ignorant of the many opening fields where the standard of truth is to be lifted, and where means are needed to establish the work. If he had the Spirit of Christ, he would reveal the mind of Christ.
 

In severing his connection with the work of God in the office, Bro B has done just what I feared he would do. Had he denied self, standing at his post in obedience to the will of God, and because this is the work of God, putting his whole heart into the work and bearing its responsibilities and burdens as others have borne them before him, even though he should not gain as much financially as in business for himself,--- had he done this, he would have made it manifest that he was not a time-server. But how great was his interest for the office, if he could step out when he pleased; when it appeared to be for his interest to do so? Ought the soldiers in Christ's ranks to act in this way? Should soldiers in the army of the nation do this, they would be treated as deserters, and how does the heavenly universe look upon such soldiers in Christ's army? No one who engages in the work of God with an appreciation of its sacredness, could turn from the work to secure any worldly advantages whatsoever.
 

Brother Eldridge, God has been very merciful to you and to Brother Belden. Life, that has been so precarious with you both, he has graciously spared. Days, months, and years have been granted, bringing you opportunities to develop character. God has placed you in connection with His work, that you might become imbued with the Spirit of Christ. Every day, every hour, comes to you as a blood-bought privilege, that you may not only work out your own salvation, but may be an agent in bringing souls to Christ, building up his kingdom, and making manifest the glory of God. God calls for heart and devotion to the work. Those who are indeed laborers together with God, will carry the burden of the work, and like the minister whom he shall send, they will feel, "Woe is me if I fail to stand faithful and true to my position of trust."
 
 


 

My Brother, if you have no more heart-interest in the work than is indicated by the fact that you can drop it so easily, I have nothing to say, no plea to make for you to remain in the office, or for Brother B to return to it. You both reveal that you are not men that can be depended upon. And the example that would be given in offering you additional inducements to remain would not be pleasing to God.
 

I would not for one moment present to you or any other man a bribe of dollars and cents to hold you in connection with the work, whatever inconvenience it might suffer for a time because of your withdrawal from it. Christ stands at the helm. If His Spirit does not make you willing to be anything and do anything for the truth's sake, then you can learn that lesson only by passing through trial. God will test the faith of every soul. Christ has purchased us at an infinite sacrifice. Although he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might come in possession of eternal riches. All that we possess of ability and intellect is only that which the Lord has lent us in trust to use for him. It is our privilege to be partakers with Christ in his sacrifice if we will.
 

The men of experience and piety who led out in this work, who denied self and did not hesitate to sacrifice anything for its success, are now sleeping in the grave. They were God's appointed channels through which the principles of spiritual life were communicated to the church. They had an experience of the highest value. They could not be bought or sold. Their purity, and devotion and self-sacrifice, their living connection with God, were blessed to the upbuilding of the work. Our institutions were characterized by the spirit of self-sacrifice.
 

But in some respects the work has deteriorated. While it has grown in extent and facilities, it has waned in piety. In the days when we were struggling with poverty, those who saw how wondrously God wrought for the upbuilding of the cause, felt that no greater honor could be bestowed upon them than to be bound up with the interests of the work by sacred links which connected them with God. Would they lay down the burden and make terms with the Lord from a money standpoint? No, no. Should every time-server forsake his post of duty, they would never desert the work. They would say, "If the Lord placed me here, he desires me to be a faithful steward, learning of him day by day how to perform the work acceptably. I will stand at my post until God shall release me. I will know what it means to be a practical, whole-hearted Christian. I expect my reward by and by."
 

The believers who in the early history of the cause sacrificed for the upbuilding of the work were imbued with the same spirit. They felt that God demanded of all connected with his cause an unreserved consecration of soul, body and spirit, of all their energies and capabilities, to make the work a success. The testimonies came to them, claiming for God all their services in co-operation with the divine agencies, and all the increased ability gained through the exercise of every faculty.
 

Those who can sever their connection with the Lord's work for some worldly inducement may think they have a degree of interest in the cause of God; but the selfishness and covetousness lurking in the human heart are most powerful passions, and the outcome of the conflict is not a mere conjecture. Unless the soul is daily living upon Christ's flesh and drinking his blood, the godly element will be overcome by the Satanic. Selfishness and covetousness will bear away the victory. A self-confident, independent spirit will never enter into the kingdom of God. It is only those who are partakers with Christ in his self-denial and sacrifice that will be partakers with him in his glory.
 

Those who realize, even in a limited degree, what redemption means to them and to their fellowmen, will walk by faith, and they will comprehend in some measure the vast needs of humanity. Their hearts are moved to compassion as they behold the wide-spread destitution in our world,--- multitudes suffering for food and clothing, and the moral destitution of thousands upon thousands who are under the shadow of a terrible doom, in comparison with which physical suffering fades into nothingness. The religion of Jesus Christ has gained wonderful victories over human selfishness. The self-denial, the self-sacrifice of Christ is ever before those who are co-workers with him, and the will of man becomes submerged in the will of God.
 

We must learn meekness and humility from Jesus if we ever enter the portals of bliss. His whole life, from the manger to Calvary, is to be our example in self-denial and sacrifice. He who came to lay down his life for the world, did not disdain to give his disciples a lesson in economy. After he had fed the multitudes by a miracle of his power, he said to the disciples, " Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." Though he had all the resources of heaven at his command, he would not suffer even a morsel of bread to be wasted. We might have much more to give to the cause of God, if we would learn to "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost."
 

There must be care also to guard against all needless outlay. In erecting buildings and providing facilities for the work of God, we should be careful not to make our preparation so elaborate as to consume money unnecessarily; for this means in every case inability to provide advantages that ought to be provided for the extension of the work in other fields, especially in foreign lands. The laws that relate to the co-partnership of man and God must be obeyed by all who have a part in his service.
 

God designs that all who are laborers together with him should have a rich experience in his love and his power to save. Never should we say, "I have no experience;" for that God who gave Paul an experience will reveal himself to every soul who will earnestly seek him. What said God of Abraham? "I know him," said the heart-searching God, "that he will command his children and his household after him; and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment." Abraham would cultivate home religion, and the fear of the Lord would lead to integrity of life. He who blesses the habitation of the righteous says, "I know him that he will command." There is no betraying of sacred trusts, no hesitating between right and wrong. The Holy One has given rules for the guidance of all,---the standard of character from which none can swerve and be guiltless. God's will is to be diligently and conscientiously studied, and it must be made paramount in all the affairs of life. The laws which every human agent is to obey flow from the heart of infinite love.
 
 



That same holy Watcher who says, "I know Abraham, knew Cornelius also, and sent his angel with a message to the man who had received and improved all the light God had given him. The angel said, "Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter." Then the specific directions are given, "He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do." Thus the angel of the Lord works to bring Cornelius in connection with the human agent through whom he might receive greater light. Study the whole chapter carefully and see the simplicity of the whole transaction. Then consider that the Lord knows every one of us by name, and just where we live, and the spirit we possess, and every act of our life. The ministering angels are passing through the churches, noting our faithfulness in our individual line of duty.
 

They take note also of our neglect of duty. Mark the case of Ananias and Sapphira. In pretending that they had consecrated their entire possession to God, they lied to the Holy Spirit, and as the result of their deception they lost not only the life that now is, but that which is to come. It is sad for any one to handle sacred things, and yet bring into the service their own peculiar traits of character, making God to serve with their sins. God desires them, in their position of trust, to exemplify the mind of Christ; but the objectionable traits of character are interwoven with all their work, and the sacred cause of God is marred by their selfishness. The Lord knows whether those who carry the burden of responsibility are faithful stewards, maintaining strict integrity in every transaction, and placing this impress upon every phase of the work.
 

Under the teaching of God, under the guiding of His Holy Spirit, a work will be done in the Review Office that will place it upon a different basis. I was astonished at the blindness manifested in putting Mr. F.S. Russel in the place of Frank Belden. This is not according to the order of God. Men who have never surrendered themselves to the control of the Spirit of God are not to be placed in positions of holy trust. Those who place them there show that they themselves are in need of divine enlightenment. The Lord Jesus could not find men in the schools of the Rabbis to do his work; they were altogether too wise in their own conceit, and they felt no need of being taught of God. There was no room in their hearts for the entrance of the words of the Lord; and the Saviour entrusted his truth to humble men who were emptied of self.
 

Brother Eldridge, I have so longed to see you in a position where you would appreciate a living connection with God. I have longed to see my dear sister's son there also. I have prayed for you both with unutterable longings of soul in your behalf. But while thus praying for you, I heard the words, as if a voice were speaking to me, "They can not see what you see. They do not estimate eternal things according to their rich value. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. You have communicated these things to them and to others. The articles in which you presented the truth that God had revealed to you have been placed in the hands of human agents to decide upon their character and value. This should not be done. Their minds and hearts must be refined, their perceptions spiritualized and ennobled, before they can appreciate the precious jewels of truth, or appreciate the work God has
given you. Your heart is sad and grieved, but no longer deceive yourself, or expect that men or women will value the light that God has given them from his own holiness, until they shall open their hearts to Jesus. "Lean on me", He says, "trust in me; I will never fail you, I will be to you a present help in every time of need."
 

I have been shown that all who now occupy important positions in the Review Office will be tested. If they will make Christ their pattern, he will give them wisdom and knowledge and understanding; they will grow in grace and aptitude in Christ's way; their characters will be molded after his similitude. If they fail to keep the way of the Lord, another spirit will control the mind and judgment, and they will devise plans without the Lord, and will take their own course, and leave the positions they have occupied. The light has been given them; if they depart from it, and follow their own course, let no man present a bribe to induce them to remain. They will be a hindrance and a snare. The time has come when everything is to be shaken that can be shaken, that those things that can not be shaken may remain. Every case is coming in review before God; for he is measuring the temple of God, and the worshipers therein. "These things, saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works. . . . I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast lost thy first love; remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove the candlestick out of his place." "Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against thee with the sword of my mouth. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving him that receiveth it."
 
 


 
[Contents]
[Acts of the Apostles] [Desire of Ages] [Dear Brothers]
[Great Controversy] [Images] [Last Day Events] [Patriarchs and Prophets] [Portrait Gallery] [Prophets and Kings] [Review and Herald Articles] [Righteousness by Faith] [Signs of the Times Articles] [Truth About Angels] [Youth's InstructorArticles]