The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
April 1, 1880 Israel Leaves Egypt
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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The had followed the directions given them of God; and while the was passing from house to house among the , they were all ready for their journey, and waiting for the rebellious king, and his great men to bid them go. “At , there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.” All the in the land, “from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of cattle,” had been smitten by the . When the Egyptians had seen the great preparations made by the people of God for that dreadful night, they had mocked at their hopes, and ridiculed the token of blood upon their door-posts. But now there was wailing throughout all Egypt. Pharaoh remembered his proud boast, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” His haughty pride was now humbled. He called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.” He hoped that a blessing from God would protect him from the further effects of that dreadful plague. The officers of the king, and the people, united in imploring the Israelites to be gone, for, they said. “We be all dead men.”

“And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading-troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment. And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required; and they spoiled the Egyptians.”

The Lord revealed this to Abraham about four hundred years before it was fulfilled: “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years. And also that nation whom they shall serve, will I judge; and afterward shall they come out with great substance.”

Although the Israelites left Egypt in haste, yet they were arranged in order, being divided into companies, with a leader for each. A “mixed multitude” accompanied them, and “flocks and herds, even very much cattle.” The latter were the property of the Israelites, who had never sold their possessions to the king. Jacob and his sons had brought their flocks and herds with them to Egypt, where they had greatly increased. The children of Israel also had become exceedingly numerous, and it was a vast company that at the dawn of day were on their way from the land of bondage.

“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt. But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea.” “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him; for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”

The Lord knew that his people would meet with opposition, should they attempt to pass through the land of the Philistines. The latter would regard the Israelites as fugitives escaping from their rightful masters, and would make war upon them. In bringing them by the way of the Red Sea, the Lord revealed himself a compassionate God, as well as a God of judgment. He informed Moses that Pharaoh would pursue them, and he directed him just where to encamp before the sea. He told Moses that he would be honored before Pharaoh and all his host.

After the Hebrews had departed from Egypt, the counselors of Pharaoh informed him that his bondmen had fled, and would never return to serve him again. The Egyptians regretted that they had been so foolish as to think the death of their first-born was the result of the power of God. In bitterness they asked of one another, “Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” It was a great loss to be deprived of the service of these laborers, and notwithstanding all that the Egyptians had suffered from the judgments of God, they were so hardened by their continual rebellion that they decided to pursue the Israelites and bring them back by force.

Pharaoh prepared a well-equipped army, composed of the priests of their idol gods, and of the rulers, and of all the great men of his kingdom. They thought if their priests accompanied them, they would be more sure of success. The most mighty of Egypt were selected, that they might intimidate the Israelites with the grand display of their power and greatness. They thought that when the news should reach other nations, that they were compelled to yield to the power of the God of Israel, whom they had despised, they would be looked upon with derision. But if they should go with great pomp, and bring Israel back by force, they would redeem their glory, and would also have the service of their bondmen again.

On the third day of their journey, the Hebrews encamped by the Red Sea, whose waters presented a seemingly impassable barrier before them, while on the south a rugged mountain obstructed their further progress. Suddenly they beheld in the distance the flashing armor, waving banners, and moving chariots of a great army. As they drew nearer, the hosts of Egypt were seen in full pursuit. Terror filled the hearts of Israel. Over all the encampment rose a tumultuous sound. Some cried unto the Lord, but far the greater part hastened to Moses with their complaints:–

“Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? for it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.”

Moses was greatly troubled because his people were so wanting in faith, especially as they had repeatedly witnessed the manifestations of the power of God in their favor. He felt grieved that they should charge upon him the dangers and difficulties of their position, when he had simply followed the express commands of God. True, they were in a place from which there was no possibility of release unless God himself interposed to save them; but having been brought there in obedience to divine commands, Moses felt no fear of the consequences. His calm and assuring reply to the people was,

“Fear ye not; stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you today; for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

It was not an easy thing to hold the hosts of Israel in waiting before the Lord. They lacked discipline and self-control. Impressed by the horrors of their situation, they became violent and unreasonable. They expected speedily to fall into the hands of their oppressors, and their wailings and recriminations were loud and deep.

The wonderful pillar of cloud which had accompanied them in their wanderings and served to protect them from the fervid rays of the sun, had moved grandly before them all day, subject neither to sunshine nor storm, and at night it had become a pillar of fire to light them on their way. They had followed it as the signal of God to go forward; but now they questioned among themselves if it might not be the shadow of some terrible calamity that was about to befall them, for had it not led them on the wrong side of the mountain, into a impassable way? Thus the angel of God appeared to their deluded minds as the harbinger of disaster.

But now, as the Egyptian host approaches them, expecting to make them an easy prey, the cloudy column rises majestically into the heavens, passes over the Israelites, and descends between them and the armies of Egypt. A wall of darkness interposes between the pursued and their pursuers. The Egyptians can no longer discern the camp of the Hebrews, and are forced to halt. But as the darkness of night deepens, the wall of cloud becomes a great light to the Hebrews, illuminating the whole camp with the radiance of day.

Then hope came to the hearts of Israel that they might yet be delivered. And Moses lifted up his voice unto the Lord. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward. But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”

Then Moses, obedient to the divine command, stretched out his rod, the waters parted and Israel went into the midst of the sea, upon dry ground, while the waters stood like congealed walls on either side. The light from God’s pillar of fire shone upon the foam-capped billows, and lit the road that was cut like a mighty furrow through the waters of the Red Sea, and was lost in the obscurity of the farther shore.

All night long sounded the tramping of the hosts of Israel, but the cloud hid them from the sight of their enemies. The Egyptians, weary with their hasty march, had seen the Hebrews only a short distance before them, and as there seemed to be no possibility of escape, they decided to take a night’s rest, and make an easy capture in the morning. The night was intensely dark, the clouds seemed to encompass them like some tangible substance. Deep sleep fell upon the camp, even the sentinels slumbered at their posts.

At last a ringing blast arouses the army! The cloud is passing on! The Hebrews are moving! Voices and the sound of marching come from toward the sea. It is still so dark they cannot discern the escaping people, but the command is given to make ready for the pursuit. The clattering of arms, and the roll of chariots is heard, the marshalling of the captains, and the neighing of the steeds. At length the line of march is formed and they press on through the obscurity, in the direction of the escaping multitude.

In the darkness and confusion, they rush on in their pursuit, not knowing that they have entered upon the bed of the sea, and are hemmed in on either hand by beetling walls of water. They long for the mist and darkness to pass away, and reveal to them the Hebrews and their own whereabouts. The wheels of the chariots sink deep into the soft sand, the horses become entangled and unruly, and angels of God go through the host and remove their chariot wheels. Confusion prevails, yet they press on feeling sure of victory.

At last the mysterious cloud changes to a pillar of fire before their astonished eyes. The thunders peal, and the lightnings flash, waves roll about them, and fear takes possession of their hearts. Amid the terror and confusion the lurid light reveals to the amazed Egyptians the terrible waters massed up on the right hand and on the left. They see the broad path that the Lord has made for his people across the shining sands of the sea, and behold triumphant Israel safe on the farther shore.

Confusion and dismay seizes them. Amid the wrath of the elements, in which they hear the voice of an angry God, they endeavor to retrace their steps and fly to the shore they have quitted. But Moses stretches out his rod, and the piled up waters, hissing, roaring, and eager for their prey, rush together, and swallow the entire Egyptian host in their black depths.

As the Hebrews witnessed the marvelous work of God in the destruction of the Egyptians, they united in an inspired song of lofty eloquence and grateful praise. Miriam, the sister of Moses, a prophetess, led the women in music.

God in his providence brought the Hebrews into the mountain fastnesses, with the Red Sea before them, that he might work out their deliverance and forever rid them of their enemies. He might have saved them in any other way, but he chose this method in order to test their faith and strengthen their trust in him. 

There are times when the Christian life seems beset by dangers, and duty seems hard to perform. The imagination pictures impending ruin before, and bondage or death behind. Yet the voice of God speaks clearly above all discouragements, “Go forward!” We should obey this command, let the result be what it may, even though our eyes cannot penetrate the darkness, and we feel the cold waves about our feet. 

The Hebrews were weary and terrified, yet if they had held back when Moses bade them advance, if they had refused to move nearer to the Red Sea, God would never have opened the path for them. In marching down to the very water, they showed that they had faith in the word of God, as spoken by the man Moses. They did all that was in their power to do, and then the Mighty One of Israel performed his part and divided the waters to make a path for their feet. 

The clouds that gather about our way will never disappear before a halting, doubting spirit. Unbelief says, We can never surmount these obstructions, let us wait until they are removed, and we can see our way clearly. But faith courageously urges an advance, hoping all things, believing all things. Obedience towards God is sure to bring the victory. Through faith only can we reach Heaven.

There is a great similarity between our history and that of the children of Israel. God led his people from Egypt into the wilderness, where they could keep his law and obey his voice. The Egyptians, who had no regard for the Lord, were encamped close by them; yet, what was to them a great flood of light, illuminating the whole camp, and shedding brightness upon the path before them, was to the hosts of Pharaoh a wall of clouds, making blacker the darkness of night. 

So, at this time, there is a people whom God has made the repository of his law. To those who obey them, the commandments of God are as a pillar of fire, lighting and leading the way to eternal salvation. But unto those who disregard them, they are as the clouds of night. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Better than all other knowledge is an understanding of the word of God. In keeping his commandments there is great reward, and no earthly inducements should cause the Christian to waver for a moment in his allegiance. Riches, honor, and worldly pomp are but as dross that shall perish before the fire of God’s wrath.

The voice of the Lord bidding his faithful ones “Go forward,” frequently tries their faith to the uttermost. But if they should defer obedience till every shadow of uncertainty was removed from their understanding, and there remained no risk of failure or defeat, they would never move on at all. Those who think it impossible for them to yield to the will of God and have faith in his promises until all is made clear and plain before them, will never yield at all. Faith is not certainty of knowledge, it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. To obey the commandments of God is the only way to obtain his favor. “Go forward,” should be the Christian’s watchword.

Pharaoh, who would not acknowledge God and bow to his authority, had delighted to show his power as ruler over those whom he could control. Moses had declared to the haughty monarch, that God, whom he pretended not to know, would compel him to yield to his claims, and acknowledge his authority, as supreme ruler.

In the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the Lord plainly showed his distinguished mercy to his people, before all the Egyptians. He saw fit to execute his judgments upon Pharaoh, that he might know by sad experience, since he would not otherwise be convinced, that the power of God was superior to all other. That his name might be declared throughout all the earth, he would give proof to all nations of his divine power and justice. It was the design of God that these manifestations should strengthen the faith of his people, and that their posterity should steadfastly worship Him alone who had wrought such merciful wonders in their behalf.

It had been very hard for the Egyptian monarch and a proud and idolatrous people to bow to the requirements of the God of Heaven. While under the most grievous affliction the haughty king would yield a little, but when the scourge was removed he would take back all he had granted. Thus, plague after plague was brought upon Egypt, and he yielded only while he was compelled by the dreadful visitations of God’s wrath. The king even persisted in his rebellion after Egypt had been ruined. Moses and Aaron related to him the nature and effect of each plague, before it came, that it might not be said to have happened by chance. He saw these plagues come, exactly as he was told they would come; yet he would not yield. At first he would only grant the Israelites permission to sacrifice to God in the land of Egypt. After Egypt had suffered by God’s wrath, he consented that the men alone should go; and when the land had been nearly destroyed by the plague of locusts, he granted that the women and children might go also, but still refused to allow them to take their cattle. It was then that Moses warned the king that the Lord would slay the first-born.

Every plague had come a little closer, and had been more severe than the preceding; and the last was to be more dreadful than any before it. But Pharaoh humbled not himself. And although, when the first-born of Egypt lay dead in every house, the rebellious monarch relinquished his grasp upon his bondmen, yet, after his people had buried their dead, and felt assured that the judgments had ceased, he dared once more to array himself against Jehovah. His last act of rebellion, in pursuing the hosts of Israel to the Red Sea, filled up the measure of his iniquity. This place was appointed for the closing display of the power of God before the infatuated Egyptians. Then were fulfilled the words which the Lord spake to Moses, “And against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. I am the Lord.” The judgment of God was manifested in the utter destruction of the Egyptian host.

Jenny @ 8:30 pm
February 12, 1880 The Great Controversy - Birth and Early Life of Moses
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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     The were not slaves. They had never sold their cattle, their lands, and themselves to for food, as many of the had done. They had been granted a portion of land wherein to dwell, on account of the services which had rendered to the Egyptian nation. Pharaoh appreciated his wisdom in the management of all things connected with the kingdom, especially in the preparation for the long years of famine. As a token of his gratitude, he not only offered to and his sons the best part of the land of Egypt as a dwelling-place, but exempted them from all taxation, and granted to Joseph the privilege of supplying them liberally with food through the whole continuance of that dreadful famine. The king said to his counselors, Are we not indebted to the God of Joseph, and to him, for this abundant supply of food? While other nations are perishing, we have enough. His management has greatly enriched the kingdom.

“And Joseph died and his brethren, and all that generation.” And “there rose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph,” By this we are to understand, not one who was ignorant of Joseph’s great services to the nation, but who wished to make no recognition of them, and, as much as possible, to bury them in oblivion. “And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come on, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.”

The Israelites had already become very numerous. “They  were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. Under Joseph’s fostering care, and the favor of the king who was then ruling, the Israelites had been advanced to positions of honor and trust, and had spread rapidly over the land. But they had kept themselves a distinct race, having nothing in common with the Egyptians in customs or religion; and their increasing numbers excited the fears of the king and his people, lest in case of war they should join themselves with the enemies of their masters. They had, however, become too useful to be spared. Many of them were able and understanding workmen, and the king needed such laborers for the creation of his magnificent palaces and halls. Accordingly he ranked them with that class of slaves who had sold their possessions and themselves to the kingdom. Taskmasters were set over them, and their slavery soon became complete. “And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; all their service wherein they made them serve was with rigor.” “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.”

The king and his counselors had hoped to subdue the Israelites with hard labor, and thus decrease their numbers and crush out their independent spirit. And because they failed to accomplish their purpose they hardened their hearts to go still further. Orders were now issued to the women whose employment gave them facilities for such acts to destroy every Israelite male child at its birth. Satan was the mover in these matters. He knew that a deliverer was to be raised up among the Hebrews, and he thought that if he could move the king to destroy the children, the purpose of God would be defeated. The women feared God; they dared not murder the Hebrew children; and the command of the king was not obeyed. The Lord approved their course, and prospered them; but the king became very angry when he learned that his orders had been disregarded. He then made the command more urgent and extensive. He charged all his people to keep strict watch, saying, “Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.”

While this cruel decree was in full force, Moses was born. His mother concealed him for three months, and then finding that she could keep him no longer with any safety, she prepared a little vessel of bulrushes, making it water-tight by means of lime and pitch, and after laying the child therein she placed it among the flags at the river’s brink. His sister lingered near, apparently indifferent, yet all the time anxiously watching to see what would become of her little brother. Angels were also watching, that no harm should come to the helpless infant, placed there by an affectionate mother, and committed to the care of God by her earnest prayers. And these angels directed the footsteps of Pharaoh’s daughter to the river, near the very spot where lay the innocent stranger. Her attention was attracted to the little vessel, and she sent one of her waiting-maids to fetch it. When she had removed the cover she saw a lovely babe; “and behold the babe wept, and she had compassion on him.” She knew that a tender Hebrew mother had taken this means to preserve the life of her much-loved babe, and she decided at once that it should be her son. The sister of Moses immediately came forward and inquired,”Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?” And her mission was given.

Joyfully sped the sister to her mother, and related to her the happy news, and conducted her with all haste to Pharaoh’s daughter. The child was committed to the mother to nurse, and she was liberally paid for the bringing up of her own son. Thankfully did this mother enter upon her now safe and happy task. She believed that God had preserved the life of her child, and she faithfully improved the precious opportunity of educating him for a life of usefulness. She was more particular in his instruction than in that of her other children; for she felt confident that he was preserved for some great work. By her faithful teachings she instilled into his young mind the fear of God, and love for truthfulness and justice. She earnestly pleaded with God that her son might be preserved from every corrupting influence. She taught him to bow and pray to God, the living God, for he alone could hear him and help him in every emergency. She sought to impress his mind with the sinfulness of idolatry. She knew that he was soon to be separated from her influence, and given up to his adopted royal mother, to be surrounded with influences calculated to make him disbelieve in the existence of the Maker of the heavens and the earth.

The instructions which Moses received from his parents were such as to fortify his mind, and shield him from being corrupted with sin, and becoming proud amid the splendor and extravagance of court life. He had a clear mind and an understanding heart, and never lost the pious impressions he received in youth. His mother kept him as long as she could, but was obliged to separate from him when he was about twelve years old, and he then became the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.

Here Satan was defeated. By moving Pharaoh to destroy the male children, he had thought to turn aside the purposes of God, and destroy the one whom God would raise up to deliver his people. But that very decree, appointing the Hebrew children to death, was the means overruled by God to place Moses in the royal family, where he had advantages to become a learned man, and eminently qualified to lead his people from Egypt. Pharaoh expected to exalt his adopted grandson to the throne. He educated him to stand at the head of the armies of Egypt, and lead them to battle. Moses was a favorite with Pharaoh’s host, and was honored because he conducted warfare with superior skill and wisdom. “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.” The Egyptians regarded him as a remarkable character. 

Angels instructed Moses that God had chosen him to deliver the children of Israel. The rulers among the Israelites were also taught by angels that the time for their deliverance was nigh, and that Moses was the man whom God would use to accomplish this work. Moses thought that his people were to be delivered by warfare, and that he would stand at the head of the Hebrew host, to lead them against the Egyptian armies. Having this in view, he guarded his affections that they might not be strongly placed upon his adopted mother or upon Pharaoh, lest it should be more difficult for him to remain free to do the will of God.

The pride and splendor displayed at the Egyptian court, and the flattery he received, could not make him forget his despised brethren in slavery. He would not be induced, even with the promise of wearing the crown of Egypt, to identify himself with the Egyptians, and engage with them in their idolatrous worship. He would not forsake his oppressed brethren, whom he knew to be God’s chosen people. The king commanded that Moses should be instructed in the worship of the Egyptians. This work was committed to the priests, but they could not, by any threats or promises of reward, prevail upon Moses to engage with them in their heathen ceremonies. He was threatened with the loss of the crown, and that he would be disowned by Pharaoh’s daughter, unless he renounced his Hebrew faith. But he was firm in his determination to render homage to no object save God, the maker of the heavens and the earth, to whom alone reverence and honor are due. He even reasoned with the priests and idolatrous worshipers upon their superstitious veneration of senseless objects. They could not answer him. Yet his firmness in this respect was tolerated, because he was the king’s adopted grandson, and was a universal favorite with the most influential in the kingdom.

Jenny @ 6:42 pm
December 19, 1878 HOLD THE FORT
Filed under: EG White Articles

BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN, AND OAKLAND,
                                  CALIFORNIA.
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BATTLE CREEK, MICH., AND OAKLAND, CAL., ARE THE TWO GREAT FORTRESSES OF OUR CAUSE ON THE WESTERN CONTINENT. THE FIRST IS THE HEADQUARTERS AND CENTER OF OUR WORLD-WIDE OPERATIONS. AT BATTLE CREEK IS LOCATED OUR OLDEST AND LARGEST PUBLISHING HOUSE, OUR COLLEGE, AND OUR SANITARIUM. THIS FORT HAS BEEN HELD TWENTY-THREE YEARS THE PRESENT MONTH. HERE AT BATTLE CREEK, MANY A HARD BATTLE FOR TRUTH AND THE RIGHT HAS BEEN FOUGHT, AND AS MANY TRIUMPHANT VICTORIES HAVE BEEN WON. THE LAST GRAND EFFORT OF OUR PEOPLE AT THIS IMPORTANT POINT IS THE ERECTION OF A HOUSE OF WORSHIP WHICH WILL NOT ONLY CONVENE THE PRESENT CONGREGATION, BUT WHICH WILL COMFORTABLY TAKE IN THE FUTURE AUDIENCE OF BATTLE CREEK . THANK GOD, THAT IN HIS GOOD PROVIDENCE WE ARE CONNECTED WITH A CAUSE WHOSE GROWTH MAKES IT NECESSARY TO FORM AND EXECUTE PLANS FOR THE NEAR FUTURE TWO OR THREE TIMES AS LARGE AS THE PRESENT DEMANDS.

OAKLAND, CAL., IS THE HEADQUARTERS OF ALL OUR WORK ON THE PACIFIC COAST. THERE IS LOCATED THE MOST PERFECT AND COMPLETE PUBLISHING HOUSE ON THE COAST. WE HAVE ADDED TO A FIRST-CLASS PRINTING ESTABLISHMENT, A COMPLETE BINDERY, STEREOTYPING, ELECTROTYPING, AND TYPE FOUNDRY, WHERE THE MOST IMPROVED STYLES AND QUALITIES OF THE TYPES ARE MANUFACTURED. THIS FORT MUST BE HELD AT ALL HAZARDS. WHEN WE TAKE INTO THE ACCOUNT THE YOUTH OF THE CAUSE ON THE PACIFIC COAST, ITS GROWTH IS A MARVEL. BUT THERE IS A HEAVY DEBT ON THE OAKLAND CHURCH, WHICH THAT GOOD PEOPLE CAN NEVER LIFT. THEY ARE THE POOREST AND MOST LIBERAL CHURCH ON THE CONTINENT, YET THIS POSITION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT, EXCEPTING THE BATTLE CREEK CHURCH ONLY. OF THE FINANCIAL CONDITION OF THINGS AT OAKLAND, OUR SON, J. E. WHITE, WRITING NOVEMBER 29, SAYS:

“I WRITE YOU ABOUT A MATTER THAT IS TROUBLING ME CONSIDERABLY. THAT IS OUR CHURCH. THERE IS A DEBT OF $8,000 ON IT AT PRESENT, AND THERE IS NOT THE REMOTEST PROSPECT OF THE OAKLAND CHURCH, IF LEFT TO ITSELF, EVER PAYING THE DEBT. THE CHURCH IS POOR AND, STRUGGLE AS IT MAY, CAN HARDLY PAY INTEREST AND RUNNING EXPENSES, WHICH AMOUNT TO $1,200 A YEAR. THERE ARE ONLY TWO OR THREE IN THE CHURCH WHO ARE WORTH ANYTHING AT ALL, AND THEY PAY THE LEAST.

“THE CHRISTIANS (CAMPBELLITES) WANT A CHURCH AND OURS SUITS THEM. THEY SPOKE OF BUYING IT ONCE BEFORE, AND I SPOKE AGAINST IT. I TOLD THE BRETHREN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A TERRIBLE DISGRACE TO SELL, BUT AS I COULD NOT SEE ANY WAY OUT MORE THAN THEY COULD, I WITHDREW MY OBJECTION.

“I CAN SEE THE SITUATION JUST AS PLAINLY NOW AS IF WE HAD REACHED THE TIME. UNLESS OUTSIDE HELP COMES IN, THE OAKLAND CHURCH MUST GO EITHER BY SALE OR BY THE HOLDERS OF THE MORTGAGE TAKING IT. IT WOULD BE A DISTRESSING THING TO HAVE ANYTHING LIKE THAT TAKE PLACE. I WRITE TO YOU, HOPING YOU CAN PROPOSE SOME SOLUTION TO THE DIFFICULTY.

“THE OFFICE, BY THE CLOSEST AND MOST RIGID ECONOMY CAN PULL THROUGH. BUT IT IS ABSOLUTELY UNPREPARED FOR ANY DRAFT TO BE MADE ON IT. FINANCES ARE THE CLOSEST HERE THAT I HAVE KNOWN THEM TO BE.

IN REGARD TO HARD TIMES, IN ADDITION TO ORDINARY HARD TIMES THEY HAVE JUST HAD THE GREATEST CRASH IN THE STOCK MARKET THAT CALIFORNIA EVER KNEW. THIS OF COURSE UNSETTLES ALL CALIFORNIA.

“MANY IN OUR CHURCH ARE OUT OF EMPLOYMENT, AND THE MOST ARE SCARCELY MAKING EXPENSES. IN FOUR MONTHS THERE IS $2,000 DUE FROM THE CHURCH TO THE BANK. THEY MIGHT AS WELL TRY TO FLY AS TO THINK OF PAYING IT.”

TO THE FOREGOING, MRS. W. RESPONDS IN THE FOLLOWING STIRRING WORDS:–

Dear Son: We received your letter in reference to the Oakland church. I am glad you wrote us in regard to the situation of things there. I am sure the building of the meeting-house in Oakland was none too soon. These were willing hearts among the believers who were poor. They made great sacrifices in order to raise means to invest in the Oakland church. Their zeal and self-sacrifice shall not be in vain.

“That meeting-house shall not be sold. The building of the house was of God. I hope our brethren and sisters will not murmur as did the children of Israel when brought up facing the Red sea, the Egyptians behind them and impassable mountains shutting them in. It was at this crisis the Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward.’ As they obeyed, the Red sea parted before them and they went through it in the path God had prepared for them. 

“We say to you in Oakland, believe and do all you can, and you will see the salvation of God. Let all murmurings and questioning doubts cease. Let your complaints be turned to prayer and faith and works. I say that house shall not be sold. I will first sell my house on the corner of Castro and Eleventh streets, and put every dollar of the avails into the church to clear it of debt. Sell our houses? yes, yes indeed, rather than the house that has been dedicated to God.

“Wait, work, and pray. We will exert our influence and do what we can. Every foot of room in that house will be needed yet. Oakland is a missionary field, and always will be. The truth will prevail in Oakland. It may take time, but it will take hold of hearts there. Believe, work, hope, and pray. Cling to God with all your might.

“Let all in the office and in the church at Oakland show a still greater spirit of self-sacrifice than they have manifested, and God will work with your efforts. Lift the burdens willingly, and we will not let the matter rest till we see you free from embarrassment. Help shall come. If we cannot sell our property, we will use our influence to interest others to do all they can. Sell that church? Never, never. I tell you many prayers were offered while it was being erected. You will come out all right. 

“Be not faithless, but believing. There are those who have money upon the Pacific coast; let them come up to the help of the Lord and make their offerings to God. Some in California have shown that they had greater confidence in unbelievers than in those whom God has honored by connecting them with his cause.

“These have trusted their money to men of no principle, while the cause of God was wading heavily for the want of means. If any appeal is made to them, they respond by presenting their narrow ideas and selfish views. Too much money, they say, has been expended in buildings and in facilities for the spread of the truth. They are afraid that they shall lose their money if entrusted to the treasury of God, but the Lord has shown his displeasure at their course in suffering losses to occur. They have not saving faith; money is their god. The Lord has entrusted to them means, to use in the advancement of his cause, but their covetous spirit grasps it and will not let it go back to him to whom it belongs.

“Sister Rowland has made most earnest efforts to help when and where she could. May the Lord open ways before her that she may be able to dispose of her property and invest a portion of it in the cause of God. At the greatest inconvenience to herself, she mortgaged her property and raised two thousand dollars to help in the SIGNS office when it was most needed. This noble act on her part is an expression of her confidence in the work and cause of God. She will not lose her reward. If others would show similar commendable zeal and faith, the cause of truth would not be embarrassed as it now is.

“We hope those who have means trusted out to strangers will see that God’s cause may be benefited by its use. It was placed in their hands by the Lord, to test them and prove them, to see if they will render back to the Master his own when he shall call for it. Means were given them, not to hoard or to use for themselves. Those who are murmuring and complaining at the outlay of means in the Publishing House and in the meeting-house, had better be at work to act their part, lest they shall be found wanting by acting the part of Meroz. God gave commandment, ‘Curse ye Meroz, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof, because they came not up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord, against the mighty.’

“Let not your offerings to advance the cause of God be stinted. If there is any stint and meagre arrangements and inferior works to be seen and felt anywhere, let it be in your own houses and your own dress, and not in the house of God or in the facilities which are needed to push forward the work of God.” 

OUR HOUSE OF WORSHIP AT OAKLAND, DEDICATED TO THE WORSHIP OF GOD BY A PEOPLE WHO FEAR HIM AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, BE SOLD TO A PEOPLE WHO TRAMPLE THAT LAW BENEATH THEIR FEET? NEVER! NO! NEVER!

WE NEED JUST SUCH A HOUSE AT THAT IMPORTANT POST AT PRESENT. IN THE NEAR FUTURE A LARGER ONE WILL BE DEMANDED. ITS LOCATION IS EXCELLENT.

THE FUTURE GROWTH OF THE CAUSE IN SUCH A CITY AS OAKLAND DEPENDS VERY MUCH UPON A CENTRAL, COMMODIOUS AND NEAT HOUSE OF WORSHIP, SUCH AS NOW EXISTS IN THAT CITY.

Jenny @ 5:19 am