THE PRESENT TRUTH.
- BY JAMES WHITE.
THE PRESENT TRUTH. VOL. 1.
- MIDDLETOWN, CONN, AUGUST, 1849. - NO. 3.
"The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant." - Ps.xxv.14.
The Sabbath taught, and enforced in the New Testament.
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath-day. Matt.xxiv:20.
Jesus thus recognizes the Sabbath, more than thirty years after the Jewish sabbaths were abolished. Those who teach the no-Sabbath heresy, have labored hard to explain away the important fact, that Jesus establishes the perpetuity of the Sabbath, this side of the crucifixion, as far as the destruction of Jerusalem; but this plain fact is so well fastened "by a nail in the right place," driven by the Lord of the Sabbath, that with all their efforts, it will not remain explained away. It does not read, the Sabbath-day of the Jews, nor their Sabbath-day; but THE SABBATH-DAY, by way of distinction, stands out in bold relief upon the sacred page. The Scriptures of both Testaments, give the Sabbath of the Lord our God this mark of eminence. Those who oppose the true Sabbath, tell us that "the Jews were so tenacious about the strict observance of their Sabbath, that they would have prevented the disciples fleeing on that day, had they made an attempt to do so; hence for their own salvation, Christ taught them to pray that their flight might not be on that day." All such sophistry as this does not touch the main point. Jesus did recognize the Sabbath of the Lord our God, many years after the crucifixion. Unbelief cannot hide this important fact, from those who are honestly searching for the Sabbath truth.
"And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath-day, according to the commandment." Luke xxiii:56.
When Jesus was nailed to the cross, the hand-writing of ordinances was abolished. Let all remember that St. Paul has forever established this point in Col.ii:14.
At the third hour of the day, or 9 o'clock A. M. Jesus was nailed to his cross, and at that very hour, whatever was to be abolished at the crucifixion, then died. From the sixth to the ninth hour, or 3 o'clock, P. M. darkness was over all the earth. At this hour, Jesus gave up the ghost, which gave the holy women three hours to see his body laid in the sepulchre, return and prepare the spices, and ointments, and be ready to commence the Sabbath at 6 o'clock, P. M.
The fact that they rested the Sabbath-day, according to the fourth commandment, after the crucifixion, shows that no change took place in relation to it, at the crucifixion. The modern view that Jesus relaxed the Sabbath, and taught his disciples by precept and example that it was to be relaxed, charges the followers of Jesus with ignorance and folly, in being so strict about the commandment. But we choose to follow Jesus, and the example of his holy followers, and keep the Sabbath according to the commandment; rather than to follow men who have back-slidden from present truth, and are laboring to tear down what they once labored to build up. We think it much safer to follow the sure Word, and the example of those who personally learned of Jesus, than uninspired men of this day, who are continually sliding from one position to another.
The great Apostle to the GENTILES preached on the Sabbath, and had no other regular preaching day. We have no record of his meeting with the disciples on the first day of the week but once, (Acts xx:7,) and that was to break bread, in the evening. It was not the evening following the first day, that they met together to break bread; for Paul "continued his speech until midnight," then healed Eutychus, and then went up and broke bread, which all will agree would be on the second day of the week.
They met together in the evening following the seventh day, and Paul continued his speech until break of day; then spent the day-time of the first day of the week, which is now the Pope's Sabbath, in walking to Assos, and sailing with his brethren to Mitylene. There is not, therefore, the least shade of evidence that Paul, or any of the Apostles, had any regular preaching day, but the Sabbath of the Lord our God.
"And Paul, as his MANNER was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath-days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures." Acts xvii:2. He preached every Sabbath, for a year and six months at Corinth, to the Jews, and to the GREEKS. See Acts xviii:4-11.
"And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the GENTILES besought that these words might be preached to THEM the next Sabbath. And the next Sabbath-day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God." Acts xiii:42-44.
Those who take the ground that Paul did not keep the Sabbath, say that he preached on that day, because the Jews were assembled in their synagogues on the Sabbath; but we find the Apostle preaching elsewhere, besides the synagogues, on the seventh day.
"And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a RIVER SIDE, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither." Acts xvi:13.
St. Paul preached to the Jews and the Greeks, and at the request of the Gentiles, and by a RIVER SIDE. He preached every Sabbath at Corinth, for a year and six months; for this was his MANNER; therefore the assertion is untrue that he preached on the seventh day, merely because the Jews assembled in their synagogues on that day.
The no-Sabbath advocates make Paul one of the most inconsistent men, that ever undertook to preach the Gospel; for they say he taught the abolition of the Sabbath to the Galatians, Romans, and Colossians; and at the same time was preaching to Jews and Gentiles, not only in the synagogues, but elsewhere on every Sabbath-day!
The Jews never accused Paul with departing from the letter of the Sabbath law. This is strong evidence that he strictly kept it. We all know that if the Apostle had taught its abolition, the Jews would have accused him with Sabbath-breaking; for they sought for accusations to bring against him. Thus we see the Holy Sabbath taught in the New, as well as in the Old Testament.
Wherever the commandments of God are taught, and enforced in the New Testament, the Sabbath is taught and enforced, for the simple reason that the Sabbath law is one of the ten commandments. God has given but ten commandments. They are his everlasting covenant, written with his finger in stones. The commandments of God, in the New Testament, as well as in the Old, mean nothing more nor less, than Jehovah's ten immutable laws.
Jesus gave but one commandment to the Church. "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another. John xiii:34." This is MY commandment, That ye love one another, AS I HAVE LOVED YOU." John xv:12. This new commandment is the law of Christ. "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the LAW OF CHRIST." Gal.vi:2.
Some teach that nine of the commandments are "embodied in the law of Christ, and enforced; but the Sabbath law is left out. But where is the Scripture testimony that proves any such thing? It is not in the Bible. This is one of the smooth fables of the last days, suited to itching ears. The commandments of God are one thing, and the one law of Christ is entirely another separate thing. Jesus kept, and taught his Father's commandments, so did his Apostles; but they never called them the law of Christ, or any part of the new commandment given by Jesus.
There was no necessity for enforcing the Sabbath law, as it was not violated in the days of the Apostles, as the other nine commandments were. The only natural reason why the Apostles did not rebuke the sin of Sabbath-breaking, is, that the sin did not exist in the early Church. The Sabbath was their regular preaching day, and Paul, John, and James taught that the keeping of the commandments of God was a test of Christian fellowship, and Eternal salvation.
When Christ and his Apostles speak of the commandments, they certainly mean all ten of them. This is plain enough for any child, that wishes to believe God's truth, but unbelief can always find a handle to take hold of when it wants one. God has not revealed himself to man in such a way that he cannot doubt: if he had there would never have been an infidel in the world. If the second advent of Jesus had been so revealed that none could doubt, then this would be a world of Adventists; but this glorious truth is so plainly revealed, that all will be without excuse in the judgment, yet few believe. Just so with the Sabbath truth which shines out as clear as the noon-day sun, yet few will believe it. All who read the Bibles, know that all ten of the commandments of God are taught, and enforced in the New Testament as a whole; and this is enough to condemn them at the bar of God, if they violate the fourth. Because the fourth is not separately enforced in the New Testament, those who wish to violate it for some worldly object, pride, or the fear of man, will not be guiltless. God will not be trifled with. His word will not return unto him void.
Jehovah said of Jesus: "This is my beloved Son: hear him." Mark ix:7. If all would hear Jesus, and teach as he taught, they would not make such work with the law of God as they now do. Here we will listen, and learn of the meek and lowly Jesus.
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law." What law? Ans. "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least COMMANDMENTS," etc. See Matt.v.17-19. Jesus then quotes the sixth, seventh, and third commandments from the decalogue, in the 21st, 27th, and 33d verses of this same chapter, which forever settles the fact that the law, not to be destroyed at his first advent, was the ten commandments. To abolish a law is to destroy it. We know that Jesus did destroy, or abolish the hand-writing of ordinances in Moses' law; but we have this plain, and positive declaration that he did not come to destroy the law of commandments, at his first advent. This is worth more to me, than all the assertions of men to the contrary. I am bound to "hear," and believe Jesus.
"For verily I say unto you, `TILL HEAVEN AND EARTH PASS, ONE JOT OR ONE TITTLE shall in NO WISE pass from the law."
If the Sabbath was relaxed, and passed from the law at the first advent, then certainly, heaven and earth then passed away! Such a view, no doubt would suit spiritualists; but not those who are still waiting for Christ to come, and make all things new. Jesus has here forever settled the question to the satisfaction of all candid minds, that will carefully investigate this subject, that the ten commandments are all to remain in full force, not one changed, or relaxed, until heaven and earth pass away at the close of time.
Those that understandingly reject the Sabbath, with such testimony as this from Jesus, whom they are commanded to "hear," before them, would not be ready to love, and observe God's sanctified day, if the Almighty should speak from heaven, and tell them to keep it, and shake the old earth as he did Mount Sinai.
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one, [point here is a supplied word,] he is guilty of all. "For he that said, do not commit adultery, said also, do not kill." James ii:10,11. James here quotes two laws from the decalogue, which proves that he was speaking of the law of commandments.
The ten commandments are principles of goodness, justice, and holiness. Their essence is love. The first four, teach us love to God, and the last six, love to our neighbor; "therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Rom.xiii:10. "For this is the love of God that ye keep his commandments." 1John v:3. "If ye fulfill the royal law according to the Scriptures, (the decalogue, Ex.xx:3-17,) Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." James ii:8.
The Apostle James has enforced the Sabbath, and guarded the waiting brethren scattered abroad, against the view that we are at liberty to take the Sabbath from the royal law, by showing us that if we offend in one commandment we are guilty of all. The language is positive and plain, and all may see the truth if they wish to.
"Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you; but an old commandment which ye had from the BEGINNING: The OLD commandment is the WORD WHICH YE HAVE HEARD FROM THE BEGINNING." 1John ii:7.
The only commandment which came from the beginning is the Sabbath. The word from the beginning is this; "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." Gen.ii:3.
"Again, a new commandment I write unto you," etc. See verse 8th. Here John makes the distinction between the old commandment from the beginning, which is the Sabbath, and the new commandment, given by Jesus to the Church, to love one another.
"I rejoiced greatly, that I found of thy children walking in truth as we have received a commandment from the Father." 2John 4. This commandment from the Father, which we had from the beginning, must of necessity be the Sabbath, for the reason that none of the Father's commandments except the Sabbath were given at the beginning.
"He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a LIAR, and the truth is not in him." 1John ii:4. As the commandments of God mean the ten, which he wrote with his own finger on stones, and nothing more, nor less than the ten; and as Christ positively declared that not one jot or one tittle, should pass from this law of commandments while heaven and earth remain: and as the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ have taught and enforced the commandments of the Eternal Jehovah, and have not written one text, no, not one word, in all their epistles from which we can reasonably infer that the Sabbath law is relaxed and destroyed, we are abundantly furnished with proof positive, that the Sabbath is taught and enforced in the New Testament.
If the Sabbath-breaker should be asked in the judgment, what excuse he had to make for breaking the Sabbath, he would not dare, while standing before the great white throne, to say that he broke it because the fourth commandment was not separately enforced in the New Testament. Such an excuse may ease the conscience now, for a few days; but the time is not far distant, when those who are teaching men that they may break the fourth commandment, and be guiltless, will see and feel the force of this tremendous truth, that Christ and his holy Apostles when enforcing, and making the strict observance of the commandments, a test of Christian fellowship, and Eternal Salvation, mean the COMMANDMENTS OF GOD, and not NINE of them.
From Tract No. 6. of the American Sabbath Tract Society.
Twenty Reasons for Keeping Holy in each Week the Seventh Day instead of the First Day.
1. Because the Seventh day was blessed and sanctified for a Sabbath, by God, immediately after the creation of the world, as a perpetual memorial of that wonderful work, and of His own resting from it; and because there is now as much need for man to remember God's creative work, and to enjoy a weekly rest, as ever there was.
2. Because there is evidence that the Seventh Day was observed from Adam to Moses. Gen.xxvi:3-6; xxix:27,28.
3. Because the Seventh Day is a necessary part of the fourth commandment, given at Mount Sinai, graven on stone by the finger of God, and incorporated with the other nine precepts of the Decalogue, which are admitted to be moral in their nature, and perpetually binding. "Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy." "The Seventh Day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God" "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the Seventh Day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day and hallowed it."
4. Because the Old Testament abounds with declarations of God's blessing upon those who keep holy the Seventh Day, and of his vengeance upon those who profane it.
5. Because our Lord Jesus Christ enforced the claims of the law to the fullest extent, saying in regard to the code to which the Seventh Day belonged, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled;" and because He always kept holy the Seventh Day, in this doubtless "leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps."
6. Because the holy women who had attended Jesus Christ at his death and burial, are expressly said to have "rested the Sabbath Day according to the commandment," (Luke xxiii:56;) and because, though the narrative proceeds immediately to record the appearance of Jesus Christ, on the morning of the first day of the week, neither there nor elsewhere is one word said about a change of the Sabbath, or about the sabbatic observance of the First Day of the Week.
7. Because the Apostles of our Lord constantly kept the Seventh Day, of which there is abundant evidence in the Acts of the Apostles, and it is declared of Paul, that, "as his manner was," he went into the synagogue frequently on the Sabbath Day. (Compare Luke iv:16, with Acts xvii:2; see also Acts xiii:14,42,44, and xvi:13.)
8. Because Jesus Christ, foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem, warned his disciples to pray that their flight might not happen "on the Sabbath Day;" and as that event was to take place almost forty years after the resurrection of our Lord, it appears that the same Sabbath was to be then observed by his disciples.
9. Because there is no other day of the week called by the name of "Sabbath," in all the Holy Scriptures, but the Seventh Day alone; and because, when "the First Day of the Week" is mentioned in the New Testament, it is always clearly distinguished from "the Sabbath."
10. Because not one of those passages which speak of the "First Day of the Week," records an event or transaction peculiar to the Sabbath.
11. Because when God had so carefully committed his Law to writing, had repeated his precepts throughout the prophetic books, and had left so many testimonies and examples of the Seventh Day Sabbath on His sacred records, it is most unreasonable to suppose that He would have repealed or changed one single article thereof, without recording it among the words of our Lord Jesus or His Apostles, in the writings of the New Testament.
12. Because the observance of the Moral Law, (without any exception from it,) is constantly enjoined, in the writings of the Apostles; and one of them says that "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all," quoting at the same time the sixth and seventh commandments. (See Rom.xiii:9; Gal.v:14; Eph.vi:2,3; and James ii:8-11.)
13. Because the religious observance of the Seventh Day of the Week as the Sabbath, was constantly practiced by the primitive Christians, for three or four hundred years at least; and because, though it gradually fell into disuse, the neglect of the Sabbath was caused only by those corruptions of Christianity, which at length grew up into the grossest idolatry; so that the second commandment was in fact, and the fourth was in effect, abolished by an ignorant, superstitious, and tyrannical priesthood.
14. Because it was only through the superstitions observance of the anniversaries of saints and martyrs, and a multitude of other fasts and feasts, with which the simplicity of revealed religion was encumbered and overwhelmed, that the sabbatic observance of the Seventh Day went out of use; and not (in fact) by any real or pretended command of Christ or His Apostles, nor at first by the express authority of any Pope or Council; for it was kept as a strict fast, for ages after it lost every other token of a holy day.
15. Because the leaders of the Reformation never claimed for the First Day the name of the Sabbath, and never enforced the observance of that day by any other authority than that of the Church.
16. Because it is obviously absurd - (and it is an objection often made by irreligious people) - that the observance of the First Day of the Week as the Sabbath, should be grounded on a divine precept which commands the observance, not of the First, but of the Seventh Day.
17. Because, if the fundamental principle of Protestantism be right and true, that "the Bible alone is the religion of Protestants," then the Seventh Day must be the true and only Sabbath of Protestants; for, unless that day of the week be kept, they have no scriptural Sabbath at all.
18. Because the pertinacious observance of the First Day of the Week, in the stead of the Seventh, has actually given occasion of great scandal to the Protestant faith; it has caused the Papists to declare that Protestants admit the authority of human tradition in matters of religion; and it has led to intolerance and persecution.
19. Because the observance of the First Day, and neglect of the Seventh, having been adopted partly in contempt of the Jews, has always laid a burden upon them, and presented an obstacle to their receiving Christianity, which ought to be removed.
20. Because the observance of the Seventh Day obeys God, honors the Protestant Principle, rebukes Papacy, removes stumbling-blocks, and secures for us the presence and blessing of "the Lord of the Sabbath."
Article by E. G. White.
August 1, 1849 Dear Brethren and Sisters--
The Lord has shown me that it is my duty to relate to you, what he has revealed to me relating to the present truth, our present tried, scattered and tempted state, and our duty in view of the coming judgments of God.
Sabbath, March 24th, 1849, we had a sweet, and very interesting meeting with the Brethren at Topsham, Me. The Holy Ghost was poured out upon us, and I was taken off in the Spirit to the City of the living God. There I was shown that the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, relating to the shut door, could not be separated, and that the time for the commandments of God to shine out, with all their importance, and for God's people to be tried on the Sabbath truth, was when the door was opened in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary, where the Ark is, containing the ten commandments. This door was not opened, until the mediation of Jesus was finished in the Holy Place of the Sanctuary in 1844. Then, Jesus rose up, and shut the door in the Holy Place, and opened the door in the Most Holy, and passed within the second vail, where he now stands by the Ark; and where the faith of Israel now reaches.
I saw that Jesus had shut the door in the Holy Place, and no man can open it; and that he had opened the door in the Most Holy, and no man can shut it: (See Rev. iii:7, 8:) and that since Jesus has opened the door in the Most Holy Place, which contains the Ark, the commandments have been shining out to God's people, and they are being tested on the Sabbath question.
I saw that the present test on the Sabbath could not come, until the mediation of Jesus in the Holy Place was finished; and he had passed within the second vail; therefore, Christians, who fell asleep before the door was opened in the Most Holy, when the midnight cry was finished, at the seventh month 1844; and had not kept the true Sabbath, now rest in hope; for they had not the light, and the test on the Sabbath, which we now have, since that door was opened. I saw that Satan was tempting some of God's people on this point. Because so many good Christians have fallen asleep in the triumphs of faith, and have not kept the true Sabbath, they were doubting about it being a test for us now.
I saw that the enemies of the present truth have been trying to open the door of the Holy Place, that Jesus has shut; and to close the door of the Most Holy Place, which he opened in 1844, where the Ark is containing the two tables of stone, on which are written the ten commandments, by the finger of Jehovah.
Satan is now using every device in this sealing time, to keep the minds of God's people from the present, sealing truth; and to cause them to waver. I saw a covering that God was drawing over his people, to protect them in the time of trouble; and every soul that was decided on the truth, and was pure in heart, was to be covered with the covering of Almighty God.
Satan knew this, and was at work in mighty power, to keep the minds of as many as he possibly could unsettled, and wavering on the truth. I saw that the mysterious knocking in N.Y. and other places, was the power of Satan; and that such things would be more and more common, clothed in a religious garb, to lull the deceived to more security; and to draw the minds of God's people, if possible, to those things and cause them to doubt the teachings, and power of the Holy Ghost.
I saw that Satan was working through agents, in a number of ways. He was at work through ministers, who have rejected the truth, and are given over to strong delusions to believe a lie that they might be damned. While they were preaching, or praying some would fall prostrate and helpless; not by the power of the Holy Ghost, no, no; but by the power of Satan breathed upon these agents and through them to the people. Some professed Adventists who had rejected the present truth, while preaching praying or in conversation used Mesmerism to gain adherents, and the people would rejoice in this influence, for they thought it was the Holy Ghost. And even some that used it, were so far in the darkness and deception of the Devil, that they thought it was the power of God, given them to exercise. They had made God altogether such an one as themselves; and had valued his power as a thing of naught.
Some of these agents of Satan were affecting the bodies of some of the saints; those that they could not deceive and draw away from the truth by a satanic influence. Oh! that all could get a view of it as God revealed it to me, that they might know more of the wiles of Satan, and be on their guard. I saw that Satan was at work in these ways to distract, deceive, and draw away God's people, just now in this sealing time. I saw some who were not standing stiffly for present truth. Their knees were trembling, and their feet were sliding; because they were not firmly planted on the truth, and the covering of Almighty God could not be drawn over them while they were thus trembling.
Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were, until the sealing was past, and the covering drawn over God's people, and they left out, without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues.
God has begun to draw this covering over his people, and it will very soon be drawn over all who are to have a shelter in the day of slaughter. God will work in power for his people; and Satan will be permitted to work also.
I saw that the mysterious signs and wonders, and false reformations would increase, and spread. The reformations that were shown me, were not reformations from error to truth; but from bad to worse; for those who professed a change of heart, had only wrapt about them a religious garb, which covered up the iniquity of a wicked heart. Some appeared to have been really converted, so as to deceive God's people; but if their hearts could be seen, they would appear as black as ever.
My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked, but could not see it; for the time for their salvation is past.
At the commencement of the Holy Sabbath, (Jan. 5,) we engaged in prayer with Bro. Belden's family at Rocky Hill, Ct., and the Holy Ghost fell upon us. I was taken off in vision to the Most Holy Place, where I saw Jesus still interceding for Israel. On the bottom of his garment was a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate. Then I saw that Jesus would not leave the Most Holy Place, until every case was decided either for salvation or destruction: and that the wrath of God could not come until Jesus had finished his work in the Most Holy Place--laid off his priestly attire and clothed himself with the garments of vengeance. Then Jesus will step out from between the Father and man, and God will keep silent no longer; but pour out his wrath on those who have rejected his truth. I saw that the anger of the nations, the wrath of God, and the time to judge the dead, were separate events, one following the other. I saw that Michael had not stood up, and that the time of trouble, such as never was, had not yet commenced. The nations are now getting angry, but when our High Priest has finished his work in the Sanctuary, he will stand up, put on the garments of vengeance, and then the seven last plagues will be poured out. I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus' work was done in the Sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous, and they thought that we had brought them down upon them, and if they could rid the earth of us, then the plagues would be stayed. A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob's trouble. Then all the saints cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the Voice of God. Then the 144,000 triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the glory of God. Then I was shown a company who were howling in agony. On their garments was written in large characters, "thou art weighed in the balance, and found wanting." I asked who this company were. The angel said, "these are they who have once kept the Sabbath and have given it up." I heard them cry with a loud voice--"we have believed in thy coming, and taught it with energy." And while they were speaking, their eyes would fall upon their garments and see the writing, and then they would wail aloud. I saw they had drunk of the deep waters, and fouled the residue with their feet--trodden the Sabbath underfoot, and that is why they were weighed in the balance and found wanting. Then my attending angel directed me to the City again, where I saw four angels winging their way to the gate of the City, and were just presenting the golden card to the angel at the gate. Then I saw another angel swiftly flying from the direction of the most excellent glory, and crying with a loud voice to the other angels, and waving something up and down in his hand. I asked my attending angel for an explanation of what I saw. He told me that I could see no more then, but he would shortly show me what those things that I then saw meant.
Sabbath afternoon one of our number was sick, and requested prayers that he might be healed. We all united in applying to the Physician who never lost a case, and while healing power came down, and the sick was healed, the Spirit fell upon me, and I was taken off in vision. I saw four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and were on their way to accomplish it. Jesus was clothed with Priestly garments. He gazed in pity on the remnant, then raised his hands upward, and with a voice of deep pity cried--"My Blood, Father, My Blood, My Blood, My Blood". Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from God, who sat upon the great white throne, and was shed all about Jesus. Then I saw an angel with a commission from Jesus, swiftly flying to the four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and waving something up and down in his hand, and crying with a loud voice--"Hold! Hold! Hold! Hold! until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads." I asked my accompanying angel the meaning of what I heard, and what the four angels were about to do. He shewed me that it was God that restrained the powers, and that he gave his angels charge over things on the earth, and that the four angels had power from God to hold the four winds, and that they were about to let the four winds go, and while they had started on their mission to let them go, the merciful eye of Jesus gazed on the remnant that were not all sealed, then he raised his hands to the Father and plead with him that he had spilled his blood for them.--Then another angel was commissioned to fly swiftly to the four angels, and bid them hold until the servants of God were sealed with the seal of the living God in their foreheads.
I have seen the tender love that God has for his people, and that it is very great. I saw an angel over every saint, with their wings spread about them: and if the saints wept through discouragement, or were in danger, the angel that ever attended them would fly quickly upward to carry the tidings, and the angels in the City would cease to sing. Then Jesus would commission another angel to descend to encourage, watch over and try to keep them from going out of the narrow path: but, if they did not take heed to the watchful care of these angels, and would not be comforted by them, and continued to go astray, the angels would look sad and weep. Then they would bear the tidings upward, and all the angels in the City would weep, and then with a loud voice say, Amen. But if the saints fixed their eyes on the prize before them, and glorified God by praising him, then the angels would bear the glad tidings to the City, and the angels in the city would touch their golden harps and sing with a loud voice--Alleluia! and the heavenly arches would ring with lovely songs. I will here state, that there is perfect order and harmony in the holy City.
All the angels that are commissioned to visit the earth, hold a golden card which they present to the angels at the gates of the City, as they pass in and out. Heaven is a good place. I long to be there, and behold my lovely Jesus, who gave his life for me, and be changed into his glorious image. Oh! for language to express the glory of the bright world to come. I thirst for the living streams that make glad the City of our God.
The Lord has given me a view of other worlds. Wings were given me, and an angel attended me from the City to a place that was bright and glorious. The grass of the place was living green, and the birds there warbled a sweet song. The inhabitants of the place were of all sizes, they were noble, majestic and lovely. They bore the express image of Jesus, and their countenances beamed with holy joy, expressive of the freedom and happiness of the place. I asked one of them why they were so much more lovely than those on the earth. The reply was--"we have lived in strict obedience to the commandments of God and have not fallen by disobedience, like those on the earth. There I saw two trees, one looked much like the tree of life in the City. The fruit of both looked beautiful; but of one they could not eat. They had power to eat of both, but were forbidden to eat of one. Then my attending angel said to me--"none in this place have tasted of the forbidden tree; but if they should eat they would fall." Then I was taken to a world which had seven moons. Then I saw good old Enoch, who had been translated. On his right arm he bore a glorious palm, and on each leaf was written Victory. Around his head was a dazzling white wreath, and leaves on the wreath, and in the middle of each leaf was written Purity; and around the leaf were stones of various colors, that shone brighter than the stars, and cast a reflection upon the letters, and magnified them. On the back part of his head was a bow that confined the wreath, and upon the bow was written Holiness. Above the wreath was a lovely crown that shone brighter than the sun. I asked him if this was the place he was taken to from the earth. He said "it is not; but the City is my home, and I have come to visit this place." He moved about the place as if perfectly at home. I begged of my attending angel to let me remain in that place. I could not bear the thought of coming back to this dark world again. Then the angel said--"you must go back, and if you are faithful, you, with the 144,000 shall have the privilege of visiting all the worlds and viewing the handy work of God."
Dec. 16, 1848, the Lord gave me a view of the shaking of the powers of the heavens. I saw that when the Lord said "heaven" (in giving the signs recorded by Matt., Mark and Luke,) he meant heaven, and when he said "earth" he meant earth. The powers of heaven, are the Sun, Moon and Stars: they rule in the heavens. The powers of earth are those who bear rule on the earth. The powers of heaven will be shaken at the voice of God. Then the Sun, Moon, and Stars will be moved out of their places. They will not pass away, but be shaken by the voice of God.
Dark, heavy clouds came up, and clashed against each other. The atmosphere parted and rolled back, then we could look up through the open space in Orion, from whence came the voice of God. The Holy City will come down through that open space. I saw that the powers of earth are now being shaken, and that events come in order. War, and rumors of war,--sword, famine and pestilence, are first to shake the powers of earth, then the voice of God will shake the Sun, Moon and Stars, and this earth also. I saw that the shaking of the powers in Europe is not (as some teach) the shaking of the powers of heaven, but it is the shaking of the angry nations.
E. G. White.
There remains on hand more than two hundred copies of No. 1, 2, and 3, after sending to all those whose names are on my list. These papers should go out immediately to those who wish to read on the subject of the Sabbath. Will those brethren, who have not sent in a full list of the names of all those in their vicinity, who are seeking for truth, send as soon as they receive this No. I expect to go from Connecticut the first of September.
Bro. Bates requests me to give notice, that there will be a conference of believers in Granville, Vt., to commence September 7th, at 2 o'clock, P. M. and continue over the Sabbath, and first day.
Also, that there will be a conference in North Paris, Me., to commence September 14th, at 2 o'clock, P. M. and continue over the Sabbath, and first day. Bro. Bates, "Lord will," will attend both of these meetings.
Some of the brethren from Connecticut, and elsewhere, may be expected at these conferences.
It is hoped that the scattered brethren in Vt. and Me. will attend these meetings. It is time for us to see the true position for the saints at this time, and to be awake to the present truth.
In No. 1, page 6, first column, I stated that Jesus quoted three of the least commandments from the second table of stone, in Matt.v:21st, 27th, and 33d. This is not correct. Jesus referred to the sixth, and seventh commandments on the second table, in verses 21st, and 27th, and to the third commandment on the first table, in verse 33d. The fact that Jesus refers to both tables of the decalogue, makes it still stronger that the whole law is to remain the same, till heaven and earth pass away.