We have the deepest interest that this meeting, at this time, shall not be in vain. We want to see the work of God prospering. We know that it is a very important time. It is a solemn time. We feel the importance of our people’s arousing and awaking, that they may understand the time in which we live. The probation of all of us must soon close. And are we ready for the appearing of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven? Have we the wedding garment on? Or shall we be of that number that shall be left outside because unready? How anxious we are that every one of you should have the wedding garment on. Not the garment of your own righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ; that you should have this on, and so be prepared, that, when the examination of the guests shall take place, you may not be of those that shall be bound hand and foot, and cast out, because unready. It is readiness that we want. It is fitness that we want. And who is ready? To be unready will be an entire failure. To be unready will be an eternal loss. But if we can, in this day of probation, see that we are unready; if we can here see our wretchedness, and our need, and now humble ourselves before God, He will be found of us, and He will work for us mightily. And now is the time for us to begin to work. You that have not entered, heart and soul and spirit, into this work, now is the time for you to engage in it with all your souls. Christ has said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30). Tell me, is any provision made here for a division of your affections? Where is there any chance for your affections to be separated from God, and yet you be acquitted in the day of God? I terribly fear that many that bear the name of Seventh-day Adventists are stumbling-blocks in the way of sinners. They neither enter into the work themselves, and those that would enter in, they hinder by their unconsecrated lives. God forbid that we should go down to death with the blood of souls upon our garments. God forbid that we should stand merely bearing the name of Christians, when we are not sanctified by the truths we profess. God forbid that we at last find that our lives have been an entire failure, an entire mistake, and there appear no soul to whom we can point, as one whom we have been the means of saving, and bringing in through the gates, into the city. Shall it appear finally that we have been wrapped up in our own self-righteousness, all covered up with the spirit and love of the world?
And you that have not sanctified your souls by obeying the truth, do you expect that Christ at his appearing will make you ready? There will then be no atoning blood to wash away the stains of sins. It is while it is called today that you may, if you will, hear his voice, and harden not your heart, as in the day of provocation. It is today that the Spirit of God invites. It is today that the sweet voice of mercy is falling upon your ears. It is today that the heavenly invitation comes to you. It is today that in Heaven everything says, Come. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17).
Will you enter into the work right here at the commencement of the meeting? We have not come here for the amusement of any. We have not come here to gratify the curiosity of any. We have come here thinking that perhaps God, in our weakness, would give us strength to speak a word to the people, and invite them to come, for all things are now ready. The heavenly invitation to the supper has gone forth, and we want you to come. We do not want you, backslidden ones, to wait till the meeting is about closing, and then try to put in for a share. You want the blessing at the very commencement.
Do you want to find Jesus? He is at the feast. You may find Him here. He has come up to the feast. There are men and women that have brought Him with them; and now we want you to press through, and touch the hem of His garment, that you may receive of the virtue that is found in Him, and triumph in the God of your salvation.
The waters of the fountain are freely opened for you; and will you drink? Will you come? Will you obey the gracious invitation? Come, for all things are now ready. Whosoever will, let him come and partake of the waters of life freely. It is now that we want childlike simplicity. We want to see everything like pride, and vanity, and folly, put away. We have the Judgment in view. Men and women will want strength that is greater than any human aid to lean upon. They must lean upon the mighty arm of Jehovah. We have in view that day when the works of men are to be tried, and tested; and we want you to get ready. We make appeals to you, in the name of our Master, to get ready. We make appeals to you to rid yourselves of the pride of the world, the pride, and vanity, and folly, of life. Jesus loves you. Jesus pities you. The angelic host He sends to minister unto you. And now, while all Heaven is interested for you, will you be interested for yourselves? Will you begin to seek God earnestly for your own salvation? Will you work it out with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12)? Will you be careful how you step before God? Will you have the approbation of Him whose arm moves the universe? Give me the smiles of God, and the approving glance of my Redeemer, and I will give you the whole world besides. Let me have one word of approbation from Jesus, and it is enough. I love Him, for in Him my hopes of everlasting life are centered. I love His word and His requirements. I love to do His will. And only let me know what my duty is, and I am ready to perform. It is my meat and drink.
I look a little ahead, and I see a crown of glory that is laid up for us who wait, and love, and long for, the appearing of the Saviour (I Peter 5:4).
It is the waiting ones who are to be crowned with glory, honor, and immortality. You need not talk to me of the honors of the world, or the praise of its great ones. They are all vanity. Let but the finger of God touch them, and they would soon go back to dust again. I want honor that is lasting, honor that is immortal, honor that will never perish; a crown that is richer than any crown that ever decked the brow of a monarch.
Oh! to have the approbation of high Heaven! This is what we want. Let us gain the spirit of humility. Let in a spirit of confession. Do not be so afraid that if you confess your sins, no one will have confidence in you. The apostle says, Pray one for another, and confess one to another, that ye may be healed. You want to let the spirit of humility right in here. You want to find Jesus. We want to triumph in Him here. We want a shout of the King in the camp. But we must first have Him in our midst.
And you who have been hanging on to the skirts of Zion, we want to hear your songs for rejoicing ere this meeting shall close. We want to see you stand in the congregation of the saints, and say, Hear what the Lord has done for me. We want to hear your voices speaking forth the honors of your Redeemer. We want to hear songs of praise from lips that have not sounded his praise for months. We want to hear shouts of victory from those that have been overcome. We want to have the sweet Spirit of Christ come freely into our midst. We want the waters of salvation to flow here. And we want all to take hold of the work together. Shall we take right hold together, and sweet union and love be here, melting, and cementing, and uniting, our hearts together as one? Oh, that here we might triumph in God! Oh, that all you that are here might go home better men and women, and carry a power with you into your families, a saving power into your neighborhoods, a saving power wherever you go. You who engage in your various employments, you want the power of the truth inwrought in your very souls. Not merely put on; but inwrought in your very being, that you can talk to others as though these things were living realities. Get away from the chilling influence, and spirit of earth. Get a little higher. “Upward to God be the heart’s adoration.” A little nearer to God, to Jesus, and to angels. Get the heavenly unction; and then you can take it home with you.
Remarks By Mrs. E. G. White, at the Tent-Meeting in Oakland, July 2, 1869. The Review and Herald, August 17, 1869.