To Those of Little Experience. SOME I saw, had not a realizing sense of the importance of the truth, or its effects, and often moved from the impulse of the moment, or from excitement, following their feelings, and disregarding church order, thinking that religion consists chiefly in making a noise. Some who have but just received the truth of the third angel's message, are ready to reprove and teach those who have been established in the truth for years, and have felt its sanctifying power, and have suffered for the truth's sake. Those who are so puffed up by the enemy will have to feel the sanctifying influence of the truth, and will have to have a realizing sense of where the truth found them, and how; that they were "wretched, miserable, and poor and blind and naked."
When the truth begins to purify them and purge away their dross and tin, as it surely will when it is received, in the love of it, the one who has this great work done for him will not feel that he is rich and increased in goods, and has need of nothing.
Those who profess the truth, and before they have learned its first principles, think they know it all, and are forward to take the place of teachers, and reprove those who for years have stood stiffly for the truth, plainly show that they have no understanding of the truth, and know none of its effects; for if they knew any of its sanctifying power, they would yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and be humbled under its sweet, powerful influence. They would bear fruit to the glory of God, and understand what the truth has done for them, and esteem others better than themselves.
I saw that the remnant were not prepared for what is coming upon the earth. Stupidity, like the lethargy, seemed to hang upon the minds of most of those who profess to believe that we are having the last message. My accompanying angel cried out with awful solemnity, "Get ready! get ready! get ready! for the fierce anger of the Lord is soon to come. His wrath is to be poured out unmixed with mercy, and ye are not ready. Rend the heart, and not the garment. A great work must be done for the remnant. They are, many of them, dwelling upon little trials." Said the angel, "Legions of evil angels are around you, and are trying to press in their awful darkness, that ye may be ensnared and taken. Ye suffer your mind to be diverted too readily from the work of preparation, and the all-important truths for these last days. And ye dwell upon little trials, and go into minute particulars of little difficulties to explain them to the satisfaction of this one or that." Conversation has been protracted for hours between the parties concerned, and not only has their time been wasted, but the servants of God are held to listen to them, when the hearts of both parties are unsubdued by grace. If pride and selfishness were laid aside, five minutes would remove most difficulties. Hours have been spent in justifying self, which has grieved angels, and displeased God. I saw that God will not wait and bow down and listen to long justifications, and he did not want his servants to do so, and precious time be wasted, that should be spent in showing transgressors the error of their ways, and pulling souls out of the fire.
I saw that God's people were on the enchanted ground; and some have lost nearly all sense of the shortness of time, and the worth of the soul. Pride has crept in among Sabbath-keepers, pride of dress and appearance. Said the angel, "Sabbath-keepers will have to die to self, die to pride and love of approbation."
Truth, saving truth, must be given to the starving people, who are in darkness. I saw that many prayed for God to humble them; but if God answered their prayer, it would be by terrible things in righteousness. It was their duty to humble themselves; I saw that if self-exaltation was suffered to come in, it would surely lead souls astray, and if not overcome, prove their ruin. When one begins to get lifted up in his own eyes, and thinks he can do something, the Spirit of God is withdrawn, and he goes on in his own strength until he is overthrown. One saint, I saw, could move the arm of God if he were right; but a multitude together, if they were wrong, would be weak, and could effect nothing.
I saw that many had unsubdued, unhumbled hearts, and were thinking more of their own little grievances and trials than the souls of sinners. If they had the glory of God in view, they would feel for perishing souls around them; and as they realized their perilous situation, would take hold with energy, exercising faith in God, and hold up the hands of his servants, that they may boldly, yet in love, declare the truth, and warn souls to lay hold upon it, before the sweet voice of mercy dies away.
Said the angel, "Those who profess his name are not ready." I saw the seven last plagues were coming upon the shelterless heads of the wicked; and then those who have stood in their way will hear the bitter reproaches of sinners, and their hearts will faint within them.
Said the angel, "Ye have been picking at straws," (dwelling upon little trials,) and sinners must be lost. I saw that God was willing to work for us in our meetings, and it was his pleasure to work. Satan says, "I will hinder the work." His agents say, Amen. Professed believers in the truth dwell upon their petty trials and difficulties which satan has magnified before them. Time that can never be recalled is wasted. The enemies of the truth have seen our weakness, God has been grieved, Christ wounded. Satan's object is accomplished, his plans have succeeded, and he triumphs!