The One in Our Midst

I have been deeply stirred during the night season. I was in a meeting where were present men to whom had been entrusted large responsibilities. I can not now write as fully as I would like to, because I have not the strength, but I have words to say that I dare not leave unsaid. One stood in our midst, and said: “There is a large work to be done, in lines that the Lord has laid out before you—a work that has yet scarcely been touched. I have sent my message to you; and what have you done for the Southern field—for the colored people? What have you done with the means solicited for that field? You have robbed this destitute field of the means that God designed should come into it.”

"The money brought in in response to the appeals made in behalf of the Southern field was just as much set apart for that work as is the tithe for the support of the ministers." 

"Mismanagement, wrong methods, ill-advised, movements have brought a reproach upon the work and cause of God, and these matters need to be adjusted. The book work needs to be cleansed of every artful intrigue. Those who have stood at the head of this unjust dealing will never be clean in the sight of God until they restore that which they have taken away. They are held responsible for the work that might have been done, but is not." 

"The use of means in lines that will make a good showing is right, but not until you have done the work the Lord has appointed you to do in the field that has been so manifestly neglected. The Lord says, Their suffering, their poverty, their degradation, has come up before me. I have heard their cries. I have seen their neglect. I have called your attention to the field. But the means you should have used to advance the work there, you have appropriated to more pleasing work, to more promising fields—fields that have not such necessities and will reveal no better results." 

"There need be no dearth of means today for the advancement of the work, but the Lord has no pleasure in his people, because pride and selfishness have expelled mercy, and the love of God and for their fellow-men from their hearts. Wrong actions are clothed with a pretense of righteousness,--that which the Lord calls dissembling, false weights, unjust balances, and fraud." 

"There have been dishonesty, fraud, the turning away of a man from his rights, and disregarding the principles of the commandments of God. You have had men, schemes, and devising of plans with the idea that you could as a board have power to do anything that would serve the conference, and bring in a revenue. But it was more grievous in the sight of God, because you there were covering the dishonest practises, saying The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we. Yes; but that temple was just as much in need of cleansing as the temple courts in the days when Christ was upon the earth. The Lord hates the mixture he saw in the earthly temple. Unholy bartering in the temple courts brought forth the righteous indignation of an insulted God." 

"Wrong actions are clothed with a pretense of righteousness and fraud. This is the iniquity of the people of God. They have not restored the pledge, or brought back that which they have taken away. Truth has fallen in the street, and equity can not enter. The deepest humility should be felt by those who have the privilege of enlightenment and education in missionary lines." 

"The Lord God of heaven, by whom all actions are weighed in the golden balances of the sanctuary, looks upon the thousands of colored people, our neighbors, who, in their destitution, are spreading their cases before the Giver of all mercies and blessings. These people are perishing in their sins. As a people they are ignorant, many knowing nothing of purity and godliness and elevation. But among them are men and women of quick perceptions, excellent talents, and these will be revealed when once the Spirit of God shall turn their attention to the Word." 

-Ellen White, February 23, 1899