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Manuscript Releases Volume Two : Page 322

48. EGW's Visit to Sands (Stanley), Va., Nov. 5-11, 1890

[Material requested by the pastor of the Stanley, Virginia, church for general use and to become a part of the records of the church.--A. L. White.]

Ellen G. White's Visit to Sands,

(Stanley) Virginia, November 5-11, 1890

Sands, Virginia, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 1890 . We left Salamanca [New York], November 4, 1890, about eleven o'clock. On the cars we met Brother Lawhead and his son. We were passing over the same ground that we went over two years ago in journeying to Williamsport at the time of the flood. We changed cars at Elmira and at Williamsport, and then we journeyed to Harrisburg. We tarried there until the next morning. We walked to the hotel from the depot--a few blocks--and we found crowds everywhere yelling at the top of their voices because it was election of the State officers and governor of the State. . . .

We reached this place--Sands, Virginia--about twelve o'clock. [Wednesday, Nov. 5] The train is usually due about eleven o'clock. We found Brother Lewis, who lives within three miles of Washington [Virginia], waiting with team for us. We rode out one mile. Brother Robinson and Willie White walked. Close by the meetinghouse which was built for our people, was a building owned by Brother Painter. It was at this time vacant, and the brethren moved into it to entertain those who came. We have very good accommodations, but in marked contrast to the ample and abundant rooms in Salamanca. We seldom find ourselves so well situated in our travels as we did at Brother Hicks'. We have not a thing to complain of, for the Lord's people here are doing their very best and we are fully satisfied. They are generally poor, but there are some who are more wealthy, and who are able to help advance and sustain the cause of God. Brother Painter is wealthy. God help him to do his whole duty in the work and cause of the Master.


Sands, Va., Thursday, Nov. 6, 1890 . Brother Robinson, Sara McEnterfer, Willie White and I were accommodated by Brother Lewis taking us with his horses and carriage about eight miles to Luray to see the caverns. We went into a building and for one dollar each we were furnished a guide, and I was astonished at what my eyes beheld. To give a description of this scene is simply impossible. It was wonderful, too wonderful to describe. We spent one hour and a half, with electric lights and lanterns or a tin with candles, three in each tin. We rode back, taking our dinner as we rode back to our stopping place at Sands. The road was quite rough but we enjoyed the ride very much. The day was mild, the sun shone in clearness, and the scenery was good. I was glad for this privilege to ride. It did us all good. I received letters from Brother McClure, Emma White, and Brother [J. S.] Washburn.

Sands, Va., Friday, Nov. 7, 1890 . I arose at five o'clock and had a season of prayer, pleading with the Lord for His presence, His grace, and heavenly wisdom. I asked the Lord to give me health and relieve my heart of its pain and sickness, and I believe that He will hear my prayer and give me the message to bear in demonstrating the Spirit to this people. I had a little visit with some of the family, brethren who have come from West Virginia, across the mountains.

I wrote several pages this morning, and attended morning meeting. Spoke with great freedom. Many precious testimonies were borne. I told the people I would meet with them every morning if the Lord would give me strength. They need to be educated here, line upon line and precept upon precept. Oh, how I long to have them grasp the rich promises of God and conceive all their possibilities, all their privileges, to ask of Jesus those things which they so much need.


I spoke again to the people this afternoon at half past two. The house was full and more than half were unbelievers, but they listened with intense earnestness. The Lord gave me strength to speak with great earnestness and power [for] one hour and a half. I feel to praise the Lord that He is renewing my strength and enabling me to bear the message He has given me. Oh, for the baptism of the Holy Ghost! I want the people to have it. They need it. We want rich blessings from the Lord in order to represent Christ to the people. I sent off to the mail sixteen pages, all but four written today.

Sands, Va., Nov. 8, 1890 . I arose early, and after seeking the Lord in prayer I wrote many pages. At half past eight attended morning meeting and gave them a morning talk. I sought to revive their faith by relating my experience in Salamanca. Hearts seemed to be touched. I urged them to ask greater blessings of the Lord and to believe that He would bless, and then not to go away and waver about it. The Lord would have us firm and importunate as was Elijah and the importunate widow who obtained their requests because they would not let go.

I spoke in the afternoon to a full house. The Lord gave me power and grace to present the truth to the people, setting before the people the necessity of seeking the Lord, of setting their own house and hearts in order, and of heeding the Scriptures in bringing up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. My text was in Acts, the commission of Christ to His disciples.

The Lord gave me much freedom in speaking to the people of the necessity of every follower of Christ feeling that he is a missionary for God, the living human agency through whom the Lord will communicate His blessing to others.

Moses spent forty years as a shepherd of flocks to prepare him to understand himself, and to purify himself by emptying himself, that the Lord could accomplish His will in him. The Lord did not take for His workmen mere machines in


intellect or feelings. Both are essential to do the work, but these human elements of character must be purged from defects, not by talking of the will of God, but by doing His will. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine. Moses was under training to God. He endured a long process of mental training to fit him to be leader of the armies of Israel.

Inspiration will come to men of God's appointment, but not to any man who retains a high idea of his own mental superiority. Every man whom God will use to do His will must have humble ideas of himself, and must seek in persevering earnestness for light. God will not require any man to become a novice and to sink down into a voluntary humility, and become more and more incapacitated. God calls upon everyone with whom He works to do the very highest kind of thinking and praying and hoping and believing.

Many have, as had Moses, very much to unlearn in order to learn the very lessons that they need to learn. He had need to be self-trained by severest mental and moral discipline and God wrought with him before he could be fitted to train others in mind and heart. He had been instructed in the Egyptian courts. Nothing was left as unnecessary to train him to become a general of armies. The false theories of the idolatrous Egyptians had been instilled into his mind, and the influences surrounding him and things his eyes looked upon could not be easily shaken off or corrected. Thus it is with many who have had a false training in any line. All the idolatrous rubbish of heathen lore must be removed--bit by bit, item by item--from Moses' mind. Jethro helped him in many things to a correct faith, as far as he himself understood. He was working upward toward the light when he could see God in singleness of heart. God Jehovah was revealed to him. This thorough intellectual training in Egypt,


and as a shepherd among the mountains, in the pure air, made him a strong thinker and a strong doer of the Word of God.

God has done everything for us. What have we done? Shall we become faithful stewards of His grace? Shall we receive from the Lord Jesus His gifts to impart? "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world." Our life is to be a trial of faith. We are to recognize that a heavenly hand is reached out to us. In laying aside our tenth for God, we shall be able also to present gifts and offerings. This is the Lord's method of saving our souls from worldliness, from greed, and from selfishness. He has made us His stewards. He imparts to all who love Him, that they may impart to others. With the Lord's imparted gifts in our hands, we are to feel that the Lord has made us His stewards, to be employed by Him. He has made my heart one with the heart of Christ, who gave His life and all the honors and riches of heaven that one, through faith, shall have eternal riches.

Sands, Va., Sabbath, Nov. 8, 1890 . We have beautiful weather. Willie White spoke in the morning with great freedom and his discourse made a favorable impression on all who heard him. This is the very work the Lord would have him to do. His work will be more in this line as he will necessarily have to accompany me from place to place as I journey among the people of God. I have had neither of my sons to accompany me. I have been alone with Sara McEnterfer as my companion. It is time this order of things changed. Willie is correspondent of foreign missions and I need him, and he must be prepared to preach the gospel to the people wherever he goes.

I spoke in the afternoon from John 17. The Lord gave me much of His Holy Spirit. The house was full. I called those forward who wished to seek the Lord more earnestly and for those who wished to give themselves to the Lord a whole


sacrifice. For a time not one made a move, but after a while many came forward and bore testimonies of confession. We had a precious season of prayer and all felt broken down, weeping and confessing their sins. Oh, that each may understand! It is their privilege to apportion out their means, putting it into circulation to supply the deficiencies by giving back to the Lord His own portion to advance His cause in the world.

Sands, Va., Sunday, Nov. 9, 1890 . Attended morning meetings and walked to them. There are crowds coming in to the meetings. Not more than one half could get entrance into the house. Brother Miles spoke in the forenoon.

I spoke in the afternoon from Matthew 6:19. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt." I had freedom in addressing the people, but not more than half could get into the house. One hundred and thirty-five, by count, were in the house, and outside platforms were made by the windows and many stood by the windows on the platform of boards, and others on the ground. The windows were opened so that they could hear. Many were in uncomfortable positions, pressed up as close to the windows as possible to hear the Word of life. The platform of the desk was crowded with men and women.

I thought if Jesus were here it might be a profitable occasion indeed. Oh, how difficult it is to entertain the idea that Jesus is actually in our midst, but it is truth. I thought of the many occasions when the crowds had come out to hear Jesus. In such large gatherings there is more or less confusion, one crowding upon another. But Jesus patiently bore all their rudeness and all the inconvenience, and so must we if we can only plant the seeds of truth in some hearts. I was surprised that there was as much quiet as there


was. Many, many were standing all the time. Many scarcely moved from their positions during the one hour and a half I was speaking.

I wished we had been accommodated with a large tent where we could gather all under the tent and conveniently seat them. But that opportunity to reach many of all classes has passed into eternity, and we will never know the effect of the message borne until the judgment. Oh, how my heart is drawn out to have those who claim to believe the truth to teach others also. Those who can speak the Word should be faithful. But there is much ministering to be done, and the Holy Spirit alone can move upon hearts to do service for God in winning souls to Christ.

Sands, Va., Monday, Nov. 10, 1890 . I slept this morning unusually long. It was five o'clock before I left my bed. After a season of prayer, I wrote important matters to which my mind was called in a dream. I know it was a message for this people. I read the same in the early morning meeting. The meetings were good. I urged upon all present to arouse to their God-given responsibilities at home and abroad. The Lord Jesus has given in His teachings important lessons on faith and love and the comparative claims of heaven and earth. The Lord Jesus, the world's Redeemer, understands the human heart. He understands the dangers and perils of Satan's temptations to make the world all absorbing. There is our danger. If these temptations prevail, the love of God is expelled from the soul and the love of the world fills the vacuum. No earthly power can change this order of things. The love of God brought back to the human heart the power of God. Working with man's human effort, this power can dislodge the love of the world by keeping a better world in view.

I spoke to a full house in the afternoon from John 14. The Lord put His Holy Spirit upon me in large measure. There was a large attendance of unbelievers.


We hoped when we made the call for all who wished to take their stand for the Lord more fully, that several would have strength to decide, but something held them. The enemy seemed to have power over them and none led out on this occasion. After much labor, and a season of earnest prayer, some responded, and yet we felt that there should have been a more earnest response. We had done our duty. We could do no more. But we were disappointed at the reluctance to move. Many were in the house that we knew were not in a prepared state to work for the Master, either in their own house, or in their neighborhood, or in the church, but it seemed that a spell was upon them.

We prayed most earnestly to God for His Holy Spirit. I wanted strength to bear the burdens and labor as the Lord would have me. I had the spirit of supplication for the baptism of the Spirit of the Lord upon those who had been set as ministers of the people. Oh, I know that they needed the converting power of God just then and there upon their own hearts, before they were prepared to strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die. How my heart is pained to see that those who profess to love God are not advancing step by step from light to a greater light, that they may answer the claims of God. Why will they remain in a lukewarm state, neither cold nor hot?

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid." I contemplate the great possibilities and probabilities in these last days for the people of God whose privilege it is to walk in the light as He is in the light. As we approach the end of earth's history we shall have increased power, proportionate to the trials to which we are subjected. We are not to keep ourselves in a state of worry and doubt, binding up our souls in the perplexities of unbelief and worldliness, in worrying and scolding and fretting, but wait on the Lord, in perfect obedience to His will, and we shall see the


salvation of God from day to day. He always gives strength as our day shall be--strength and grace proportionate to the trials and tests and conflicts we are obliged to meet.

Of the church the Lord says, Why stand ye here all the day idle? Work while it is day. The night cometh, when no man can work. There is not time for us to plan and study how we can amuse ourselves, please our own fancies, follow our own methods. The mind may reach high attainments by being directed in the right channel, but if not properly cultivated it reaches no higher than the lowlands of earth. It settles in the dust. God means that His people shall have a deep and rich experience themselves for the benefit of others. He means that the capabilities of the mind shall be developed and shall triumph over circumstances. God is to be made the center of everything. Earthly things are not to be allowed to have the ascendancy.

The Lord Jesus in His work and in His instruction lifts up His voice to break the spell of infatuation upon human minds and asks the momentous question, "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

Disease and death are in our world, and how little we know when our individual probation shall end. It is a painful matter for me to consider how many, if now called to render up their accounts, would do it with grief, regret, and remorse that their God-given probationary time was so fully employed in self-serving. The soul--the eternal interests of the soul--has been fearfully neglected for unimportant affairs. The mind is kept busy, just as Satan designs it shall be, with selfish interests and nothing of any consequence, and time may be passing into eternity without a fitting up for heaven at all.


What can be compared with the loss of a human soul? It is a question which every soul must determine for himself--whether to gain the treasures of eternal life or to lose all because of his neglect to make God and His righteousness his first and only business. Jesus, the world's Redeemer, who gave His own precious life that every son and daughter of Adam might have life--eternal life--in the kingdom of God, looks with grief upon the large number of those who profess to be Christians, who are not serving Him but themselves. They scarcely think of eternal realities, notwithstanding He calls their attention to the rich reward awaiting the faithful who will serve Him with their undivided affections. He brings eternal realities within the range of their vision. He bids them to count the cost now of being an obedient and faithful follower of Christ, and says, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

He would have every individual sense his responsibility to so use his precious time here in this world that it will be fruitful daily in good works. This is the only worthy aim of every living mortal--to employ his God-given faculties with endless results in view.

It is my Father's good pleasure that ye bear much fruit. The heart is to be guarded. The seed plot is to be weeded of its weeds of vanity and every circumstance in life is to be so arranged that it shall not shut heaven from our view. The lessons of Christ are to plant precious seeds of truth in the soil of the heart, that the yield may be a hundred fold of rich, precious fruit unto eternal life.--Ms 45, 1890, pp. 1-11. ("At Sands [Stanley], Va.," Diary, Nov. 4-11, 1890.)


Here [at Salamanca, New York] I spoke three times to the people. My head still afflicted. When almost discouraged, thinking I must give up the future appointments, when I knelt to pray, suddenly the glory of the Lord shone around about me. The whole room seemed to be filled with the presence of God. I was happy, so happy, I did not sleep scarcely any of that night because of gladness of heart and peace and comfort from the Lord which passeth knowledge. I said nothing more about returning home, but went to the depot in a snowstorm, and we had to tarry at a hotel that night, and next day at noon we were at Sands, Virginia. Here we had very excellent meetings. I spoke seven times. Willie spoke Sabbath forenoon with much freedom. Our meetings closed Monday night.

I was glad of the privilege of speaking to this people. They seemed to be so eager to hear the testimony given me of the Lord for them. We were blessed with pleasant weather all the way through. Sunday, the people came from all directions, outsiders.

About one-half could get into the meeting house. Platforms were raised from the ground. The windows were opened and hundreds stood upon the raised platforms outside the house. The aisles were packed; every seat was full; and they listened with interest. I was astonished at their quiet and at the interest they manifested.

Well, the Lord has indeed wrought for us on this journey.--Letter 72a, 1890, pp. 1-4. (To Albert Harris, Nov. 12, 1890.) Released April 23, 1964.