The Characters of Two Men Described
|John Loughborough—White Estate.|
by John Loughborough
EPH. 4:11: "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work
of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."
From this text we see some of the features of true
gifts. While they are not a revelation to take the place of
the Bible, the church is edified by the light given from the
Scriptures from this source. We have seen this abundantly illustrated
in the lessons already given by different speakers during this
institute. We have made a comparison of the gift, as manifested
among this people, with that of the ancient prophets.
There is another feature to which I wish to call your attention
today, which I will introduce by quoting from 2 Kings 8:8-11:
"And the king said unto Hazael, Take a present in thine hand,
and go, meet the man of God, and enquire of the Lord by him,
saying, Shall I recover of this disease? So Hazael went to meet
him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of
Damascus, forty camels burden, and came and stood before him,
and said, Thy son Benhadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee,
saying, Shall I recover of this disease? And Elisha said unto
him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: Howbeit
the Lord hath showed me that he shall surely die. And he settled
his countenance steadfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man
of God wept." Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord. And he said,
For the mischief that you will do, for the Lord has shown me
that you are to be king over Syria.
We see in this case that as he had a view of this man's countenance
it brought to view what he had seen concerning him before. I
could refer in the experience of Sister White to hundreds of
cases where she has delineated the character of persons whom
we knew she had never seen before, only as she had seen them
in vision. . . .
Among many other instances I might mention, I refer to a case
where Sister White bore testimony in Greenville, Mich. Coming
into a room where Brother John Byington and myself were organizing
a church, she noticed that there were other persons present.
She knew the name of but one of the persons in the room aside
from Brother Byington and myself, never having seen them before.
She said they must excuse her if she pointed them out by describing
their persons. "I will first speak," she said, "of that man in the corner of the room, the one with
one eye." Someone spoke his name, — Pratt. "Well," says she,
"I will call him Mr. Pratt. Don't ever take that man into your
church unless you want trouble, for he never has been converted;
he doesn't live up to his agreements; he makes promises to his
neighbors that he doesn't fulfill, spends most of his time around
the stores and shops arguing on the truth, sitting around on
the dry goods boxes, talking theology, while his wife is at home
cultivating the garden, digging potatoes, or providing the man's
dinner for him when he gets home, or perhaps pulling brush out
of the snow to cut up for firewood. His talking the truth merely
disgusts the people. They think he would better be at home engaged
in some honest labor to pay his debts."
Turning to another, an old gentleman, who sat nearer to her,
she said, "This aged brother," — here some one spoke and said
"Brother Barr". "Yes," said she, "Brother Barr, your
trouble has been that you could not think the Lord could be merciful
enough to you to forgive your sins. You have confessed to the
Lord many times all the sins you knew of, and the Lord told me
to say to you that he had forgiven your sins thirty-five years
ago if you had only believed it." This poor old man, on whose
countenance had been a look of great sadness, when this expression
was made, said with a smile, "Has he?" "Yes," said Sister White,
"Your sins are forgiven, come along and go with the church."
The brother cried out "I will." We had been trying for half
an hour to get him to even give his name for the church, but
he thought he was not worthy. Sister White said, "This man's
case was presented before me in contrast with the other: he is
a man that is punctual in all his obligations, deals uprightly
with all his neighbors, provides well for his family, and the
community have perfect confidence in him. He fears to say anything
about the truth for fear he will mar it," adding, "Brother Barr,
talk the truth to your neighbors, it will have a good effect."
She then turned again to Mr. Pratt, and said, "If you could
feel for about six months as Brother Barr has felt for years,
as though there was no help for you, it would do you good."
Other cases were delineated in the same meeting; a man and his
wife, between whom there had been some variance, were reconciled
by the testimony that was brought in [see "A Family Jealousy Healed"
below]. At the close of the meeting
this Mr. Pratt, who had been seated on the wood-box in the corner
of the room, jumped down on the floor, and with great vehemence
said, "I will tell you what it is, there is no kind of use in
going with this people and trying to play hypocrite: you cannot
(Daily Bulletin of the General Conference (1893), pages 79-81)
A Family Jealousy Healed
by John Loughborough
She next addressed a man having a sandy complexion, who sat on
one side of the room; and then pointed to a thin-featured woman
on the extreme opposite side, addressing them as husband and
wife. She delineated some things that transpired in their former
lives, before either of them had made any profession of the truth.
She said these things had been magnified by Satan before the
mind of the woman until she was driven to insanity. "I saw,"
said Mrs. White, "that this woman had been one year in the insane
asylum; but since recovering her reason, she has permitted these
same jealous feelings to trouble her mind, greatly to the grief
of her husband, who has done everything in his power to show
his wife that he was true to her, and that she had no reason
to hold him off in the manner she does."
In a moment the wife rushed across the room, and on her knees
begged her husband to forgive her. The individuals were almost
strangers in that part of the country, and their former history
was unknown. Those best acquainted with them, however, were
aware that an estrangement existed between them, but the cause
they knew not.
(Great Second Advent Movement, pages 378-379)