I thank my heavenly Father the first day of this New Year that in His merciful kindness He has graciously spared my life that has been in apparent peril. Many prayers have ascended to God in my behalf. There have been several periods of such severe affliction that I thought I could not live through the day. I have been gaining in strength for several days. I have not dared to tax my strength, fearing the result. If the Lord gives me His grace I may be able to communicate some things I greatly desire to those who shall assemble at this gathering of the Southern Union Conference. But I am afraid to move unadvisedly. I have had such strong intimations of sudden death I will not be presumptuous.
But I must say unto you that trials will come to me and to others, for I have been instructed [that] there will be men and women who are not always wise because they are not sanctified through the truth, and they will not behave judiciously. They will walk and work unwisely, and there will be those who will corrupt the doctrines we now hold. If reproved they will falsify and misstate the words spoken. Publications will be multiplied, and the world will be warned. But dangers are before us all now in the field. Not one third of the working force of men and women we have in the field are rooted and grounded in the faith, and to be trusted.
I felt in my soul it would be a great privilege for me to call together a few of the old tried servants of God and engage in united prayer for the help and strength I so much needed. I followed out the earnest wish of my heart. All present, ministering brethren, united in prayer. The Lord indited those prayers. We were so glad Brother Butler was present to engage with us in prayer. I realized it was a most precious season, and I felt that Christ was present. A sweet fragrance was sensibly realized by me, and I am sure those present must have felt the deep influence of the Holy Spirit. I felt that the canopy of God was over me. I could say fully, Whether I live or die it is well, it is well, with my soul. My life is hid with Christ in God.
Sweet peace pervaded my soul, and my heart was at rest in the hope and faith of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I had taken hold of His strength, and my peace was as a river, and yet I was not healed of my suffering. But I could rest in perfect security, for Christ was my hope, my Redeemer, my life, and the crown of my rejoicing. I had a most grateful feeling to my Saviour, a sense of His love and protection, as though I could trust in Him without one misgiving in regard to the much dreaded homeward journey. The face of my loved Saviour was so clearly manifested to me, looking upon me in sympathy and saying, with His hands outspread, "Peace be unto you."
My fear left me, and Christ seemed close by my side, giving me His assurance of His sustaining grace. My whole source of help was in Christ Jesus. How sweet was the peace that flowed into my soul, the comfort of repeating the scriptures when suffering much pain in the wakeful hours of the night! I could appreciate and repeat the promises, the comforting, hopeful words, over and over again. Oh, I have felt so secure since that season of prayer! The Word of God alone is my sufficiency. My hope is in God.
We all have one chart to guide us in the way to heaven. We need to learn that we must practice our prayers in order to realize the virtue of prayer and of pure speech. In the practical work before us, around us on every side, we have by faith in Christ's strength to do our best for ourselves in drawing nigh to God, for have we not the promise that God will respond and draw nigh unto us? And then we have the blessed assurance [that] we may be a help to all those who are brought within the sphere of our influence.
The Lord has given us His grace to be developed in good works. We are to be so closely in the companionship of Christ that by beholding His image through His word we may represent Christ. In manifesting His tenderness and His love to all with whom we associate, we set forth Jesus Christ in practical good words and works, and are saying, This is the way, walk ye in it." We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men."--Ms 220, 1902. Ellen G. White Estate Washington, D. C. Dec. 17, 1987. Entire Ms.