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Manuscript Releases Volume Twelve : Page 72

15. Ellen White's Missionary Visits

Visit With a Family in Paramata, New Zealand --We drove up one mile in a short time to Sister Brown's, and received a hearty welcome. Their home is located on a rise of ground where they can have a plain view of the waters of the bay. The house is surrounded with high mountains and hills. There are trees and shrubs and cultivated flowers in abundance, and they have flowers the year round. The house is large, with very large rooms.

The husband and father is dead. Sister Brown has had twenty-one children. Thirteen are still living; the youngest is eight years old. The mother looks quite young. The father was just my age when he died. The mother was twenty years younger than her husband, who has been dead eight years and a half. This family have an interesting history which I cannot relate here; have not time.

The most interesting part to me is that after laboring ten days to present to them the precious value of truth and great blessing of being children of God and having Christ as our personal Saviour, Monday morning at one a.m. I was awakened repeating these words, "While it is called to day; . . . To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the day of provocation "(Heb. 3:13,15). In the night season I had been in different companies bearing a message to them. I was in the family of Sister Brown, and was instructed by the angel of God to call them to a decision by speaking to each one of the children by name.


J was one who had much influence in the family and she is twenty-two years old. When we had family worship I addressed myself to J: "Will you give your heart to Jesus? Will you cut the cords binding you to the world, its pleasures and attractions, and leave the service of Satan and be a follower of Christ?" She said, "I will." She has been very worldly. She has attended parties of pleasure and dances, and the ten days' visit, the talks morning and evening, the earnest supplication to God in behalf of the family, had not been fruitless in her case.

Next was B, the only boy at home, and who was obliged to bear many heavy responsibilities for a boy of sixteen. He was of quick understanding. I addressed myself to B. I said, "Will you decide this morning to confess Jesus Christ? With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. All heaven is interested in this family. Will you this very morning choose to be a child of God and engage to serve the Lord Jesus to the best of your ability?" He responded, "I will."

W was a girl of fourteen years, looking like a grown woman. I addressed her by name: "Jesus says to you this morning, W, 'Follow Me.' Will you obey His voice? Will you enter the school of Christ to learn of Him?" She responded decidedly, "I will."

"D, I am sure you wish to be a child of God. You wish to learn of Jesus. You love the Lord Jesus. Will you confess that you love Him?" She responded [positively]; and now my heart was broken before the Lord, melted with His love, and we had a thanksgiving morning service. It was a precious season to us all. F followed me in prayer, then N A, who has been a


believer some length of time; then the mother, who has seldom prayed, offered her tribute of praise and thanksgiving to God.

We parted with that family feeling under the renewed obligation to honor and glorify God. We felt our interest identified with these precious souls. Three of the children, all unmarried, are [away] from home on a farm rented to them by their mother. In the night season I was shown that little company and the course which they were pursuing. The young men were playing cards and drinking intoxicating drink. I arose about two o'clock a.m. and wrote out the scene and as soon as I can will have it copied for them to receive the warning from God to them.

The Lord sent us to Paremata to do this work, and although we had made our decision to leave the Thursday before, it rained so hard we could not go, and then Friday we went in the rain one mile to the station and waited more than one hour in the trap in the rain for the cars. There had been a washout. A bridge washed away, and there were many landslides and the train could not get through from Palmerston to Paremata Station where we were waiting. We returned in the rain to Sister Brown's, having to transport all our luggage back again.

We decided our work was not done and felt reconciled to the delay. We spent Sabbath with the family and I labored hard to present before them the important crisis that is just before us, when there will be two distinct parties--the one elevating the standard of truth, the other trampling under foot the law of God and lifting up and exalting the spurious sabbath. The world's favor is no chance matter. It is God's great plan that the Sunday question shall be agitated and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment be


exalted as the Lord's memorial sign of the creation of the world, and that a knowledge of truth upon the Sabbath question shall be brought before many minds as a witness. This brings the first-day sabbath-question and its weak foundation before the world.

I presented the truth in all the solemn importance I was capable of doing, and the Lord impressed hearts and it was indeed a most important meeting. I commenced at 11:00 a.m. and continued until about two o'clock, presenting the truth as much as I could in that time. In the evening I had another opportunity at family worship. Monday morning all the children at home decided to be Christians and then we felt we could go home free, having done all that we could do for that family.

Never, never was there a time when our hearts were more in earnest than now. The work is great; the time is short; the end is near. The rebuke of God is upon all self-sufficiency. We must walk humbly before God and depend wholly upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Clothed with the garments of Christ's righteousness, we may then appear before God.

A bare assent to the truth is not of saving value to any soul. The submission that arises from conviction will be revealed by the self-surrender of the will. "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:10). While the understanding consents to the truth, the receiver trembles at the word of the Lord. Preparation may be made only at the throne of grace. Our tapers can be kindled alone at the altar of God by the holy fire. As we approach His altar He puts us under the guardianship of the Holy Spirit, who leads us in paths of holiness and peace, who takes the things of Christ, the precious


words falling from His lips, and conveys them in living power into the obedient heart. The molding process of the Word of God places upon us the perfect image of its Author.

I hope and pray that those who read these lines may not be careless and think they can wait their own time and opportunity to suit themselves. God has given you knowledge, light, opportunities, and privileges. Shall the knowledge of God, which Jesus Christ came from heaven to impart, remain in our possession through our life as a dead letter? Shall we trifle with the letter from heaven which shows us the prescribed condition of salvation? "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:13).

We must serve God with true devotedness and Jesus will be found of us to be a whole Saviour, saving to the uttermost all who come unto Him--complete in Christ! Praise the Lord! Praise His holy name. The truth will make us free and free indeed."--Ms 59, 1893, pp. 1-5. ("Visit to Paremata," August 8, 1893.)

More On the Visit With the Family in Paremata --I am convinced that the Lord is moving upon hearts in Wellington [New Zealand]. I was trying to impress upon the minds of those with whom I was conversing that the Spirit of the Lord was surely at work upon the hearts of many honest souls in Wellington. I fully believe the leaven has been put to work in the hearts of those not of our faith.

August 3 I was speaking [in the night season] to a company of those interested in the truth. Oh, how earnestly I entreated them to search for


the truth as for hidden treasures. I was awakened. I prayed the Lord to lead me that I might gain souls as sheaves to bring to the Master. I was again in most earnest labor for souls that were ready to perish. They seemed to be in peril. Temptations were surrounding them and these temptations came in such a matter-of-course way that they suspected not that the arch deceiver was tempting them to their ruin.

Sabbath day, what a burden was upon my soul for the A family! We had services. I spoke most earnestly from Isaiah 58, bringing out the Sabbath question, dwelling upon verses 12-14 and on Exodus 31:12,17. I presented the foundation of the Sunday--its being converted by the Roman power into a sacred day, and how nearly all Christendom had turned from the holy commandment, the fourth precept of the Decalogue--the day upon which the Lord rested, the day He sanctified as the day of His rest. He instituted the seventh day as the Sabbath, the memorial of Creation, that the Lord God should ever be reverenced and worshiped on the seventh day and no servile work should be done therein.

I felt the Spirit of God resting upon me in a special manner and I talked to them from 11:00 a.m. until about two o'clock. I felt the constraining power of God upon me and I know that hearts were feeling deeply.--Ms 59, 1893, p. 6 (August 5, 1893, appended to "Visit to Paremata.")

Visit With a Discouraged Family --Yesterday in the morning Brethren [G. B.] Starr and McCullagh, Sister Starr and Sister White rode out thirteen miles in the country to visit brethren at Castle Hill. . . . We had been offered the use of that horse to go into country places, if we needed him,


but his slow movements decided us not to enter into temptation by trying to drive such an animal. The King's business requires haste, but we could not dispatch it in haste if we depended on such a horse to take us from place to place.

When we go out to visit in the country, we have no opportunity to send them word beforehand, so we carry our provisions with us, place an abundance of simple food on the table, and eat with the family. This privilege we highly value, because it gives us an opportunity to see the family together, and have conversation with them, but we could not enjoy it that day, for we spent most of our precious time on the road. When we reached the first place, Brother L's, the family had taken their noonday meal. We had a conversation with them, and were convinced that they were letting go their hold upon the truth because of discouragements. Just before Brother L received the truth, he purchased a place in the country, at Castle Hill. The locality is very beautiful. The land boom was then sweeping over New South Wales, and he paid twenty-five pounds sterling per acre for ten acres of land. He has planted orchards of orange and other fruit trees, and has cleared and cultivated the land. Then he built a good-sized, two-story house. His brother, who is an unbeliever, pledged himself to help him out, but a few months ago the bank panic struck through this section, and the bank in which his brother had all his money closed. It has not failed, but the brother cannot get his money out. The same bank holds the obligation of Brother L, and they may come down on him any day and take his all, because he cannot raise five hundred pounds for the necessary payment. This brother sees no way out. He has a wife and five children. He feels that he is under the shadow.


There is only one more family at Castle Hill that keeps the Sabbath, and they meet together occasionally. They and their horses work hard all week, and they do not feel that it is right-to drive thirteen miles on the Sabbath in order to meet with the church at Paremata, or to go nine miles to Kellyville. They have not been visited, and they are under discouragement. We talked and prayed with them, and the blessing of the Lord rested upon us. Brother L's wife is a feeble woman, a consumptive. They have a nice, helpful family of children. The eldest boy is nearly fifteen; the eldest girl is eleven, and she acts like a little woman, bearing responsibilities to save her mother, who cannot live long unless the Lord works a miracle in her behalf.

The father can get no work. He is a stone mason, but the times are so hard that there is little building done. His trees are all young, and it will be two or three years before they will bear fruit so as to yield any profit. We shall do our best to help him. The Lord lives and reigns, and He can help him.

There are lessons to be learned in this country in regard to the necessity of helping one another from the Bible standpoint. Progress in this line comes slowly, but as men take the Bible for their rule of life and it is kept constantly before them, what is comprehended in loving God with all the heart, they will, as the natural result, see the importance of keeping the last six commandments. These are all comprised in the one precept, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Wonderful requirement! And this love is to become part and parcel of our very being. How brief is the whole period of human life, how short is our probation, and how earnestly should


we copy the self-denying, self sacrificing life of Christ. He will have those to compose His kingdom who will not only enjoy the bliss of heaven themselves, but will add to that bliss by reflecting the character of Him who is the light and joy and glory of heaven.

Now do not be discouraged, though you may be in heaviness through manifold temptations. The trial of the faith of every true child of God will develop a Christlikeness of character which reveals to the world what is the fruit of genuine faith and which will "be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:7). Brother L is passing through the most severe trials of his life. He is assailed by the fiercest temptations. But there is One who knows how to pity. He "was in all points tempted like as we are" (Heb. 4:15), and the inspired Word says that He "suffered being tempted" (Heb. 1:18).

At times the conflict in the great controversy was so terrible that He prayed all night with strong crying and tears. If at times some souls, if [not] all souls, are thus tempted, they are not to fail or be discouraged. Temptation is not sin, and it is not an indication of the divine displeasure. The soul that resists temptation reveals to the universe of heaven and to the world the strength and virtue of Christian principle.

The stability and nobility of the Christian character is estimated in heaven by the strength drawn from the armory of heaven to war successfully against the mighty foe. The soul who thus battles with the enemy makes manifest his reliance upon a power mightier than the strong man armed. He is registered in the books of heaven as uncontaminated by the pollutions of the world. He is a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the


corruption that is in the world through lust. When we patiently endure temptation, standing strong in His strength who hath said, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33), we reveal the development of the graces of the Spirit that make us complete in Him.

Will this tempted brother fail with all the encouragements of the Word of God to sustain him in heroic endurance? "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man" (1 Cor. 10:13). Every trial is weighed and measured by the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is not beyond man's ability to endure through the grace given unto him. "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (Ibid.). Will this dear brother, who is so young in the faith, lay hold upon the promise? "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations" (2 Peter 2:9). This means that, while everything may appear overwhelmingly dark, the Lord will bring forth the tried one with firmer faith and a richer experience.

Our gracious heavenly Father does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men. He will accomplish the work of purification by the furnace fire of trial, and will overrule every event to His own name's glory in the good of the afflicted one. He will communicate grace and strength, and will manifestly interpose His own power to restrain the cruel power of the adversary. But we must be steadfast in the faith, demonstrating to the world a devotion to Jesus and a love for Him that nothing can destroy.

After our visit to Brother L's family, we rode across the field, by a short cut, to reach the house of a brother who is just taking his stand upon


the truth. His wife is a Sabbathkeeper, an excellent Christian woman, and now if she has her husband with her, what a blessing they can be in letting their light shine forth to their neighbors. This brother (I think I may call him thus) has a large orchard of orange, lemon, and other fruit trees. The orange trees are twenty-five years old, and are loaded with fruit. He will not take it to the market until summer, which is winter in America. We had a timely visit with this family. After a season of prayer I conversed with them, showing that the only way we can grow into assurance and solidity of faith is to become interested in our neighbors, and be a living, shining light in the world. Thus we reveal to others the fruit of the truth in our own lives. We had a precious interview. I felt called out to urge them to be doers of the Word. We did not reach home until after dark, but were glad that we had made the visit.--Letter 28, 1894, pp. 2-6. (To S. N. Haskell, May 9, 1894.)

Visit With a Consumptive --From Waitsburg we went to Walla Walla, where I met a sister who was dying with consumption. In her wheelchair she was brought to where I could speak to her from the carriage, but I got out of the carriage, knelt beside her chair, and prayed with her. This comforted her a great deal. She lived only a few weeks longer.

Visit With a Woman Doctor Going to Australia --At Walla Walla we spent some hours with the family of Brother Armstrong, whose unmarried daughter was just about to leave for Australia. We had many words to say to them. We had a most precious season of prayer, and the Lord came very near. The daughter leaving them, who came with us to Portland, [Oregon], is Dr.


Armstrong, who is to be married to Dr. Keller. Dr. Keller has been working in Australia for several months. He is an excellent man and a good physician. We think they will both do a good work.--Letter 125, 1901, pp. 6, 7. (To S. N. Haskell, Sept. 1, 1901.)

Carefulness in Our Speech --Our speech should be without deception. No guile must be found in our lips, no impurity allowed in our hearts, no unkindliness in our speech or in our attitude toward one another. Learn the language of Canaan here, which will be in harmony with the language of heaven. In this commencement of the new year, cultivate grace and love and a deep interest in spiritual things. Shall we not have the love of God burning upon the altar of our hearts? And shall not our thanksgiving go forth from unfeigned lips?--Ms 171, 1903, p. 4. (Diary, Jan. 18, 1903.)

Order Life by the Inspired Word --I dare not give my opinion of duties for others unless I have the words of counsel from God. As I read the blessed, Holy Bible I can speak words from the Book of books and from instruction the Lord has given me to give to those who ask me to help them when they are in difficulty. But I always encourage them by the Word itself, and urge them to take everything to God in prayer, pleading the promise, "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find."

There should be a solemn importance attached to the testimonies the Lord gives His messenger to bear concerning the Word which calls us to come out from the practice of the world and be separate. A half conversion is only a snare to betray other souls into the same divided service. Every


truly converted soul shows a transformation in character, and a marked change takes place.--Ms 173, 1903, pp. 5, 6. (Diary Fragments, June, 1903.)

Seeking Wisdom Regarding Burdens --The past night has been a night of great perplexity. Many things were represented to me which cause me much distress of mind. I have not been able to sleep after half past twelve o'clock and there is much to think of. How shall we avoid spiritual difficulties we must meet if things are ever set in order? I leave my bed, but do not feel refreshed as I would like to feel. I build my fire, seek the Lord and ask Him to help me to do His will and not to take on burdens I can avoid.--Ms 177, 1903, p. 2. (Diary, Dec. 10, 1903.)

Follow Your Divine Leader --The Lord Jesus has given to every believer a work to do for Him. We are not to act like sinners. We must do the work given us. "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." In this work none are to be carried, but all are to exercise their God-given powers. Each one is to stand on his own feet, and all are to have their feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Do not go stumbling on alone. Remember that one step taken heavenward prepares the way for the next. Those who step aside from the straight way to try paths of their own choosing will find themselves entangled in difficulties. Follow your Leader, obeying every direction He has given. Every day Christ gives us work to do, and in doing this, we become better fitted for the duties of the morrow. Our duties are to be performed with cheerful alacrity. There is to be no repining, no scolding, no fretting. We are constantly to go forward, full of faith and hope and courage in the Lord.--Ms 149, 1905, p. 6. (Diary, Sept. 22, 1905.) White Estate Wash. D. C., June 15, 1982