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The Review and Herald Articles
for the Year 1868
(Vol. 31, #5)
Many of you are well aware that ours is a peculiar work, and that our labors are hard and sometimes very unpleasant. In our travels we find many persons, and sometimes, as in Maine, the majority of Sabbathkeepers, poorly prepared to receive our testimony, simply because they have not read such works as Spiritual Gifts, Testimony to the Church, How to Live, Appeal to Mothers, and Appeal to Youth. Could all such on embracing the Sabbath be interested to read these works, their minds would be prepared to receive our testimony and be benefited by our labors. In Maine not more than one fourth of the families of Sabbathkeepers have a full set of the above named books, hence our labors in that State were protracted, unpleasant and wearing.
The work to be done, in which we appeal for help at this time, is to induce all Sabbathkeepers to read these works, and inform themselves as to the things taught in them, and thus be prepared to judge as to the nature of our work. We do not now appeal to those who see no necessity of our peculiar work, therefore have no interest in it. These are the very persons who need help, and for their good we ask you, who are interested in our labors, to help us in our efforts to help this class. And in no way can you assist us so much as in circulating these books.
There is now at our office of publication in Battle Creek, and in the hands of agents, a good supply of this kind of reading, which should be put into the hands of those who have not read these works. With the united efforts of friends, and blessing of God, this good work could be accomplished in a short of time.
It is our opinion that these books should immediately be placed in the hands of all persons who have not read them, not only of those who observe the Sabbath, but those also who attend our meetings with a degree of interest to learn the truth, and offer the following reasons:
1. The present is a special time of reclaiming the backslidden in heart and life, the erring and the rebellious; and the prejudices of such against the testimonies, and against our work, form the strongest barrier between these persons and the living body of believers. Most of these persons really know nothing of what is taught in these works, and nothing can remove their prejudices and prepare them to receive our public labors so well as to read the books.
2. From the very nature of the case, considering all the circumstances, persons who do not read these books, and do not feel any special interest in the subject of Spiritual Gifts, are almost certain to receive prejudice against them, and against our work, indulge in things reproved by them, and finally fall under the influence of our enemies, and separate themselves from the body, and give up the cause.
3. It is much easier to fortify persons against heresy and rebellion than to reclaim them after they have thus fallen. And these persons in their downward course have an influence on others, and sometimes cause trials to the whole church, which calls for hard and anxious labor from the servants of God for weeks. Thus the precious time and strength of our ministers is called for, and much means is expended to remedy that which might have been prevented by the reading of the aforesaid works.
4. The greatest cause of our spiritual feebleness as a people, is the lack of real faith in Spiritual Gifts. If they all received this kind of testimony in full faith, they would put from them those things which displease God, and would everywhere stand in union and in strength. And three-fourths of the ministerial labor now expended to help the churches could then be spared to the work of raising up churches in new fields.
A general movement should be made upon this subject, in which all our people can manifest their faith and interest. And we feel sure that in a well directed, general interest, the blessing of God would come down upon us as a people, and great vigor and strength would be given to the cause. This will require a sacrifice, one that will be accepted of the Lord.
In placing this class of reading before those who can be helped, our people can sacrifice of their means, and of their time, in searching out those destitute of these books, and in furnishing them. In this work they can show a commendable zeal and a living interest. Our ministers who labor with the churches can canvass the entire field, and assist our churches and scattered brethren in this work, in connection with their general labor.
How Shall it be Done?--1. Let our active ministers and brethren each obtain a good supply, and when and where practicable, in a proper manner, urge the sale of them to those who are able to purchase.
2. Let them give them to those who do not feel able to pay for them, provided they are worthy persons, who give evidence of sufficient interest to read them to profit.
If any such should not read them, or should they read them and not become interested in them, they could be gathered up and put into more worthy hands.
3. These persons can keep an account of all they give, and receive credit at the office of publication for the same at wholesale prices.
4. All our people can donate means and forward to the office more or less as they have ability and a willing heart to do, to pay the wholesale prices of these works that are judiciously distributed gratuitously. Let our ministers, elders, and deacons at once bring this matter before our people, Let subscription papers be opened for men, women and children, to donate liberally from ten cents to one hundred dollars. Let none be passed by.
And we would appeal especially to those brethren among us who are in health and in the strength of manhood, who are each adding hundreds, or perhaps thousands, to their amount of property annually. We need your liberal help in this work, and expect it. Has God blessed you with health, and has he prospered you in your fields, and almost all to which you have put your hands, then use in his cause a portion of that with which he has blessed you, and thus secure his still more abundant blessing. Go to God in prayer with this matter, and do your duty in relation to it.
Blank subscription papers will immediately be forwarded to many of you, which you are requested to circulate and obtain pledges to be paid before the General Conference in May 1868. Collect, as far as possible, and as fast as you can, forward to the Office.
In past times we had the pleasure of leading off in such enterprises. We can hardly be denied the privilege at this time, especially as our friends during our last twenty-weeks' tour, West and East, have been so liberal with us. God has opened their hearts and hands, and they will allow us to dedicate especially to him a portion of their liberalities to us for the above named object.
In our future labors we design to take with us a full supply of this kind of reading matter, and place in every family interested in our faith and hope, full sets of Spiritual Gifts, and How to Live, and in the hands of every Sabbath school scholar and youth, Appeal to Mothers, Appeal to Youth, and Sabbath Readings, either bound, pamphlet, or tract form.
Dear brethren, we shall still appeal to you to do your duty in this matter, both through the Review, in the congregations of the saints, and by your firesides. You will hear us as we speak for the Lord and his cause. Be not fearful of being too liberal. Should more be received than needed in this branch of the work, it can be used for the circulation of tracts.
Servants of the church. James White. Ellen G. White.
(Vol. 31, #15)
In regard to the case of the injured sister A. G., we would say in reply to the questions of J. H. W., that it is a feature in the cases of most who have been overtaken in sin, as her husband has, that they have no real sense of their villainy. Some, however, do, and are restored to the church; but not till they have merited the confidence of the people of God by unqualified confessions, and a period of sincere repentance. This case presents difficulties not found in some, and we would add only the following:
1. In cases of the violation of the seventh commandment, where the guilty party does not manifest true repentance, if the injured party can obtain a divorce without making their own cases and that of their children, if they have them, worse by so doing, they should be free.
2. If they would be liable to place themselves and their children in worse condition by a divorce, we know of no scripture that would make the innocent party guilty by remaining.
3. Time, and labor, and prayer, and patience, and faith, and a godly life, might work a reform. To live with one who has broken the marriage vows, and is covered all over with the disgrace and shame of guilty love, realizes it not, is an eating canker to the soul; and yet, a divorce is a lifelong, heartfelt sore. God pity the innocent party. Marriage should be considered well before contracted.
4. Why! oh, why! will men and women who might be respectable, and good, and reach Heaven at last, sell themselves to the Devil so cheap, wound their bosom friends, disgrace their families, bring a reproach upon the cause, and go to hell at last? God have mercy. Why will not those who are overtaken in crime manifest repentance proportionate to the enormity of their crime, and fly to Christ for mercy, and heal, as far as possible, the wounds they have made?
5. But, if they will not do as they should, and if the innocent have forfeited the legal right to a divorce, by living with the guilty after his guilt is known, we do not see that sin rests upon the innocent in remaining, and her moral right in departing seems questionable, if her health and life be not greatly endangered in so remaining.
6. As in the days of Noah, one of the signs of these times is a passion for injudicious and hasty marriages. Satan is in this. If Paul could remain single, and recommend the same to others, that he and they might be wholly the Lord's, why not those who would be wholly his, and wish to make a sure thing of avoiding the cares, trials, and bitter anguish, so frequent in the experiences of those who choose the married life, remain as he was? And more, if he chose to remain so, and could recommend it to others, eighteen centuries since, would not to remain as he was, be a commendable course for those who are waiting for the coming of the Son of man, unless evidences were unquestionable that they were bettering their condition, and making Heaven more sure by so doing? When so much is at stake, why not be on the sure side every time? James White, Ellen G. White.
(Vol. 31, #15)
Hops.--In answer to many inquiries, we would say that we believe there is business for Seventh-day Adventists to enter upon for a livelihood, more consistent with their faith than the raising of hops, tobacco, or swine.
And we would recommend that they plant no more hops, or tobacco fields, and that they reduce the number of their swine. They may yet see it duty, as most consistent believers do, to keep no more. We would not urge this opinion upon any. Much less would we take the responsibility of saying, "Plow up your hop and tobacco fields, and sacrifice your swine to the dogs."
While we would say to those who are disposed to crowd hop, tobacco, and swine growers among our people, that they have no right to make these things, in any sense, a test of Christian fellowship, we would also say to those who have these miserable things on hand, If you can get them off your hands without great loss, consistency with the faith of this people whose publications and oral teachings have so much to say on the subject of reform, more than suggests that you should get them off your hands as soon as possible. James White, Ellen G. White.
(Vol. 31, #18)
An Appeal to the People in its Behalf.--We are not Spiritualists. We are Christian women, believing all the Scriptures say of man's creation, his fall, his sufferings & woes on account of continued transgression, of his hope of redemption thro' Christ, and of his duty to glorify God in his body and spirit which are his, in order to be saved. We do not wear the style of dress here represented to be odd,--that we may attract notice. We do not differ from the common style of woman's dress for any such object. We choose to agree with others in theory and in practice, if we can do so, and at the same time be in harmony with the law of God, and with the laws of our being. We believe it wrong to differ from others unless it be necessary to differ in order to be right. In bearing the cross of adopting the reform dress we are led by a sense of duty. And although it may appear objectionable to those who are governed by fashion, we claim that it is the most convenient, the most truly modest, and the most healthful style of dress worn by woman.
We have counted the cost of appearing singular in the eyes of those who feel compelled to bow to fashion. And we decide that in the end it will pay to try to do right, though for the present we may appear odd in the eyes of those who will sacrifice convenience, comfort, and health, at the altar of fashion.
We have also looked at the fact that our course in this matter of dress will cost our friends disagreeable feelings, and have taken into the account those things which excited their feelings of prejudice against the reform dress. When among strangers we are supposed to be Spiritualists, from the fact that some of that class adopt what is commonly called "the short dress." And the question is frequently asked, "Are you Spiritualists?" To answer this question, and to give the reader some of the reasons why we adopt so unfashionable a style of dress, is this little tract given. We are well aware that some of those who espoused the cause of Spiritualism, over the moral worth of whom a shade of uncertainty has been cast, by the extravagances and immoralities among them, have adopted the short dress, and that their zeal in so doing, under the peculiar circumstances, could but disgust the people against anything of the kind.
How could it be otherwise? The people are shut up to fashion. They do not understand the benefits of our style of dress. And it is all the more objectionable to them as it resembles in some respects that worn by some doubtful Spiritualists. We most certainly bid ladies who have embraced Spiritualism a hearty welcome to all the blessings and benefits of a convenient, healthful, and (being of a proper length, and neatly and properly fitted and made,) truly modest dress, and wish they were as consistent and right in other respects.
In the existing state of things the people may regard the adoption of our style of dress as a bold step on our part, showing more independence than good taste. They may censure us. They may deal in wit and sarcasm in reference to our dress. They may even utter bitter speeches on account of our course in this thing. But our work shall be, by the grace of God, to patiently labor to correct their errors, remove their prejudices, and set before them the reasons why we object to the popular style of woman's dress, also some of the reasons why we adopt ours. We object to the popular style of woman's dress,
1. Because it is not convenient. In doing housework, in passing up and down stairs with both hands full, a third hand is needed to hold up the long skirts. See that lady passing up to her chamber with a child in her arms, and both hands full, stepping upon her long skirts, and stumbling as she goes. She finds the popular style of dress very inconvenient. But it is fashionable, and must be endured.
If she goes into her garden to walk or to work among her flowers, to share the early, refreshing, morning air, unless she holds them up with both hands, her skirts are dragging and drabbling in dirt and dew, until they are wet and muddy. Fashion attaches to her cloth that is, in this case, used as a sort of mop. This is exceedingly inconvenient. But for the sake of fashion it must be endured.
In walking upon the streets, in the country, in the village, or in the crowded city, her long skirts sweep the dirt and mud, and lick up tobacco spittle, and all manner of filth. Careless gentlemen sometimes step on these long dresses, and, as the ladies pass on, tear them. This is trying, and sometimes provoking; and it is not always convenient to mend and cleanse these soiled and torn garments. But they are in harmony with fashion, and all this must be endured.
In traveling in the cars, in the coach and omnibus, fashionable dresses, especially when extended by hoops, are sometimes not only in the way of the wearers, but of others; and we charitably think that were it not for the overruling power of fashion, measures would be taken to do away with their inconvenience.
We object to the popular style of woman's dress.
2. Because it is not healthful. To say nothing of the suicidal practice of compressing the waist, so as to suppress natural respiration, inducing the habit of breathing only from the top of the lungs; and not to dwell particularly upon the custom of suspending unnecessary weight upon the hips, in consequence of too many and too long skirts, there is much that may be said relative to the unhealthfulness of the fashionable style of woman's dress; but we suggest at this time only the following:--
(a) It burdens and obstructs the free use of the lower limbs. This is contrary to the design of God in securing to woman the blessings of activity and health.
(b) It frequently shuts her indoors when her health demands that she should enjoy exercise in the pure, invigorating air of heaven. If she goes out in the light snow, or after a shower, or in the dews of the morning or the evening, she bedrabbles her long skirts, chills the sensitive, unprotected ankles, and takes cold. To prevent this she may remain shut up in the house, and become so delicate and feeble that when she is compelled to go out she is sure to take cold, which may result in cough, consumption, and death.
It may be said that she can reserve her walks till the sun has gathered up all this dampness. True, she may, and feel the languor produced by the scorching heat of a midday's summer sun. The birds go forth with their songs of praise to their Creator, and the beasts of the field enjoy with them the early freshness of the morning; and when the heat of the sun comes pouring down, these creatures of nature and of health retire to the shade. But this is the very time for woman to move out with her fashionable dress! When they go forth to enjoy the invigorating air of the morning, she is deprived of this rich bounty of Heaven. When they seek the cooling shade and rest, she goes forth to suffer from heat, fatigue and languor.
(c) It robs her of that protection from cold and dampness, which the lower extremities must have to secure a healthful condition of the system. In order to enjoy a good state of health, there must be a proper circulation of the blood. And to secure a good circulation of the current of human life, all parts of the body must be suitably clad. Fashion clothes woman's chest bountifully. And in winter loads her with sacks, cloaks, shawls, and furs, until she cannot feel a chill, excepting her limbs and feet, which, from their want of suitable clothing, are chilled, and literally sting with cold. The heart labors to throw the blood to the extremities; but is chilled back from them in consequence of their being exposed to cold for want of being suitably clothed. And the abundance of clothing about the chest, where is the great wheel of life, induces the blood to the lungs and brain, and produces congestion.
The limbs and feet have large veins, to receive a large amount of blood, that warmth, nutrition, elasticity, and strength, may be imparted to them. But when the blood is chilled from these extremities, their blood vessels contract, which makes the circulation of the necessary amount of blood in them still more difficult. A good circulation preserves the blood pure, and secures health. A bad circulation leaves the blood to become impure, and induces congestion of the brain and lungs, and causes diseases of the head, the heart, the liver, and the lungs. The fashionable style of woman's dress is one of the greatest causes of all these terrible diseases.
But the evil does not stop here. These fashionable mothers transmit their diseases to their feeble offspring. And they clothe their feeble little girls as unhealthfully as they clothe themselves, and soon bring them to the condition of invalids, or, which is preferable in many cases, to the grave. Thus fashion fills our cemeteries with many short graves, and the houses of the slaves of fashion with invalids. O God, must this state of things continue?
We object to the fashionable style of woman's dress.
3. Because, under certain circumstances, it is, to say the least, not the most modest, on account of exposures of the female form. This evil is greatly aggravated by the wearing of hoops. Ladies with long dresses, especially if extended with hoops, as they go up and down stairs, as they pass up the narrow doorway of the coach and the omnibus, or as they raise their skirts, to clear the mud of the streets, sometimes expose the form to that degree as to put modesty to the blush.
Having noticed some of the wrongs of the popular style of woman's dress, we now wish to show in reference to the reform dress that--
1. It is convenient. No arguments are needed to prove that our style of dress is most convenient in the kitchen. In passing up and down stairs, the hands are not needed to hold up the skirts of our dresses. Being of a convenient length, they take care of themselves, while our hands are better employed.
We can go out into the untrodden snow, or after a fall of rain, and, if our feet and limbs are entirely protected, all is dry and comfortable. We have no fears of taking cold as we trip along, unburdened by trailing skirts, in our morning walks. We can, in spring and summer, walk and work among our flowers without fear of injury from the dews of early morning. And then, the lower portion of our skirts, not having been used as a mop, are dry, and clean, and comfortable, not compelling us to wash and clean them, which is not always convenient when other important matters demand time and attention.
In getting into, and out of, carriages, in passing old trunks, boxes, and other ragged furniture, and in walking over old, broken sidewalks, where nails have worked up an inch or two above the surface of the plank, our dresses are not exposed to a thousand accidents and rents to which the trailing dresses are fated. To us, this is a matter of great convenience.
2. It is healthful. Our skirts are few and light, not taxing our strength with the burden of many and longer ones. Our limbs being properly clothed, we need comparatively few; and these are suspended from the shoulders. Our dresses are fitted to sit easily, obstructing neither the circulation of the blood, nor natural, free, and full respiration. Our skirts being neither numerous nor fashionably long, do not impede the means of locomotion, but leave us to move about with ease and activity. All these things are necessary to health.
Our limbs and feet are suitably protected from cold and damp, to secure the circulation of the blood to them, with all its blessings. We can take exercise in the open air, in the dews of morning or evening, or after the falling storm of snow or rain, without fears of taking cold. Morning exercise, in walking in the free, invigorating air of heaven, or cultivating flowers, small fruits, and vegetables, is necessary to a healthful circulation of the blood. It is the surest safeguard against colds, coughs, congestions of the brain and lungs, inflammation of the liver, the kidneys, and the lungs, and a hundred other diseases.
If those ladies who are failing in health, suffering in consequence of these diseases, would lay off their fashionable robes, clothe themselves suitably for the enjoyment of such exercise, and move out carefully at first, as they can endure it, and increase the amount of exercise in the open air as it gives them strength to endure, and dismiss their doctors and drugs, most of them might recover health, to bless the world with their example and the work of their hands. If they would dress their daughters properly, they might live to enjoy health, and to bless others.
Christian Mother: Why not clothe your daughter as comfortably and as properly as you do your son? In the cold and storms of winter, his limbs and feet are clad with lined pants, drawers, woolen socks, and thick boots. This is as it should be; but your daughter is dressed in reference to fashion, not health nor comfort. Her shoes are light, and her stockings thin. True, her skirts are short, but her limbs are nearly naked, covered by only a thin, flannel stocking reaching to her muslin drawers. Her limbs and feet are chilled, while her brother's are warm. His limbs are protected by from three to five thicknesses; hers, by only one. Is she the feeblest? Then she needs the greatest care. Is she indoors the most, and, therefore, the least protected against cold and storm? Then she needs double care. But as she is dressed, there is nothing to hope for the future relative to her health but habitual cold feet, a congested brain, headache, disease of the liver and lungs, and an early grave.
Her dress may be nearly long enough; but let it sit loosely and comfortably. Then clothe her limbs and feet as comfortably, as wisely, and as well as you do those of your boy; and let her go out, and enjoy exercise in the open air, and live to enjoy health and happiness.
3. It is modest. Yes, we think it is the most modest and becoming style of dress worn by woman. It the reader thinks otherwise, will he please turn to the first page, and again examine the figure there represented, and then tell us wherein this style of dress is faulty or unbecoming? True, it is not fashionable. But what of that? Fashions do not always come from Heaven. Neither do they always come from the pure, the virtuous, and the good.
It is true that this style of dress exposes her feet. And why should she be ashamed of her well-clad feet any more than men are of theirs? It is of no use for her to try to conceal the fact that she has feet. This was a settled fact long before the use of trailing skirts extended by hoops, giving her the appearance of a hay stack, or a Dutch churn.
But does the popular style of woman's dress always hide her feet from the public gaze? See that lady passing over the muddy street, holding her skirts nearly twice as far from the ground as ours, exposing, not only her feet, but her nearly naked limbs. Similar exposures are frequent as she ascends and descends the stairs, and as she is helped into, and out of, carriages. These exposures are disagreeable, if not shameful; and a style of dress which makes their frequent occurrence almost certain, we must regard as a poor safeguard of modesty and virtue. But we did not design an exposure of this false modesty in relation to woman's feet, but simply a defense of the style of dress which we regard, in every way, truly modest.
What style of dress can be neater, more modest, and more becoming girls from the ages of five to fourteen years, than ours? Stand those girls of fashion beside these, and then say which appears most comfortable, most modest, and most becoming. The fashionable style is not as long as ours, yet no one laughs at those who follow that style for wearing a short dress. Their limbs are nearly naked, while modesty and health clothe the limbs of the others. Fashion and false modesty look upon these girls who have their limbs clad in reference to comfort, modesty, and health, with horror, but smile upon those whose dresses are quite as short, and whose limbs are uncomfortably, immodestly, and unhealthfully exposed. Here come the cross and the reproach, for simply doing right, in the face of the tyrant--Fashion. God help us to have the moral courage to do right, and to labor patiently and humbly in the great cause of reform.
In behalf of my sisters who adopt the reform dress. Ellen G. White. Greenville, Montcalm Co., Mich., April, 1868.
A Few Suggestions.--1. We recommend the reform dress to all. We urge it upon none. When Christian women see the wrongs of the fashionable style, and the benefits of ours, and put it on from a sense of duty, and have the moral courage to wear it anywhere and everywhere, then will they feel at home in it, and enjoy a satisfaction and blessing in trying to do right.
2. But those who adopt the reform dress should ever bear in mind the fact that the power of fashion is terrible; and that in meeting this tyrant, they need wisdom, humility, and patience,--wisdom to speak and act so as not to offend the slaves of fashion unnecessarily; and humility and patience to endure their frowns, their slights, and their reproachful speeches.
3. In view of existing prejudices against the reform dress, it becomes our duty in adopting it to avoid all those things which make it unnecessarily objectionable. It should reach to within eight or nine inches from the floor. The skirt of the dress should not be extended as with hoops. It should be as full as the long dress. With a proper amount of light skirts, the dress will fall properly and gracefully about the limbs.
Anything eight or nine inches from the floor is not the reform dress. It should be cut by an approved pattern, and fitted and made by directions from one who has experience in this style of dress.
4. Taste should be manifested as to colors. Uniformity in this respect with those who adopt this style of dress, is desirable so far as convenient. Complexion, however, may be taken into the account. Modest colors should be sought for. When figured colors are used, those that are large and fiery, showing vanity and shallow pride in those who choose them, should be avoided. And a fantastic taste in putting on different colors, is bad, such as white sleeves and pants with a dark dress. Shawls and bonnets are not in as good taste with the reform dress, as sacks and hats, and caps in winter.
5. And be right yourselves. Secure and maintain, in all the duties and walks of life, the heavenly adorning. The apostle speaks to the point:
"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." 1 Pet. iii, 1-4.
My dear sisters: Such an ornament, such a course of life and conduct, will give you influence for good on earth, and be prized in Heaven. Unless you can obtain and maintain this, I entreat you to lay off the reform dress. Do not disgrace it with a want, on your part, of neatness, cleanliness, taste, order, sobriety, meekness, propriety, modesty, and devotion to your families and to your God. Be a recommendation and an ornament to the reform dress, and let that be a recommendation and an ornament to you. E. G. W.
(Vol. 31, #18)
I am often told that in How to Live, I stated that infants should be nursed but three times a day. This is a mistake. But it is true that in the second number of that work, page 52, the following expression is found: "Babes should be nursed but three times a day." These are neither my words, nor my sentiments. The article containing them was extracted from Cole's Philosophy of Health. The printer failing to give the proper credit, the following statement was given on the first page of No. 3: "The article in No. 2, headed, Particular directions to Parents and Guardians, should have been credited to this excellent work, The Philosophy of Health."
My sentiments are these:--
1. No general rules can be established in the care of all infants, in consequence of their almost endless varieties of condition at birth, and their different constitutional wants.
2. No mother would confine the period of infancy to a few days, or weeks, or even months after birth. In How to Live, No. 2, page 44, I did say, "Infancy extends to the age of six or seven years."
3. The term properly called infancy, requires several changes as to the periods of taking food. Before birth it is receiving nourishment constantly. And the changes from this to the establishment of only two meals a day, which may, in most children, be done from the ages of one to three years, must be gradual.
4. No rules for all children can be given as to the progressive steps in these changes. Parents must view the wants of their children by the best light they have. When all act upon the best light they can obtain, it can hardly be expected that all mistakes will be avoided, but it is safest and best for the cause of reform, to err, if err we must, on the side of custom, rather than on the side of extreme change. Ellen G. White. Greenville, Mich., April 8, 1868.
(Vol. 31, #19)
The recent obituary notice of Sr. Nichols, wife of Bro. Otis Nichols, of Dorchester, Mass., called to mind the fact that many of the faithful friends of present truth, who from the Second-advent ranks were the first to embrace the Sabbath, now sleep in Jesus.
They bore the Sabbath cross when it was heavier than it now is, on account of its friends being few, and its enemies and their persecutions being many and bitter. Now the Sabbath cross is comparatively light, because of the many friends of the Sabbath, and the well-known fact that the Sabbath of the Bible is clearly sustained by sacred and secular history.
Bro and Sr. Nichols were among the first to embrace the Sabbath, and liberally hand out their means to sustain the cause in its infancy. It was money from her hand that bore our expenses from their door, in 1844, to the first Conference of believers in the third message, held at Rocky Hill, Conn. Of these who then bore the cross, and with their means sustained the cause, and have since toiled and suffered for the good of others, and have died in hope, it is said, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them."
Among these are also my venerable parents. They both rest in hope: my mother in Illinois, my father in Connecticut; but when the trump of God shall awake the dead, and they be caught up to meet their Lord in the air, these who have toiled side by side in their Master's vineyard, will meet in immortal vigor, to see in many of those who shall be saved by the influence of the third message, the fruits of their labors and their prayers.
Learning that my father was very feeble and near his end, and that he was anxious to see me before his death, I left my sick husband in Brookfield, Nov., 1866, and went alone to see him. He was living with one of my sisters, in Kensington, Conn. When I met my dear father, I saw a great change had come over him since last we parted. I at once saw that the feebly-burning taper of life must soon go out. As we met, he wept like a child, and expressed his gratitude that I had made the sacrifice of leaving my sick husband to come to see him. He often remarked that he felt that it was our last meeting, and that he felt that he could not be denied the privilege of seeing me and hearing me speak once more to the people. I immediately sent for my three sisters, living in Maine. They all came, and together we, five sisters in all, surrounded the bed of our dying father, who had then passed his fourscore years.
But before these sisters came, we enjoyed a Sabbath meeting in which my father took part. Although very feeble, he was dressed, sat up during the meeting, and finally arose and bore an excellent testimony. His mind was very fruitful on Bible subjects, and he seemed sweetly ripened for the heavenly garner. This was his last testimony, and its memory is precious.
In two weeks I enjoyed another Sabbath with my father. The large kitchen was well filled with brethren and sisters, some from a distance. My sisters from Maine were present, and there I had the privilege of speaking to them. It was suggested that the meeting be at the next house on account of my father's feebleness; but this he would not listen to for a moment. He stated that this would be the last time he should hear me speak, and he could not be denied the privilege. It was a most solemn, affecting meeting. This was evidently the last meeting we should all enjoy together in the present state of things. One at least, of our family, would be severed from us before we could meet again. And the solemn inquiry was, Shall we all meet again in that world where sickness and death will be known no more?
This visit with my dear sisters was most satisfactory, and I trust profitable. Although we were not practically agreed on all points of religious duty, yet our hearts were one.
My father, as he sank nearer and nearer the grave, did not lose his clearness of intellect, but to the last his mind was active, and especially fruitful in the things relating to the kingdom of God. He often stated that it was a great pleasure to him to have so many of his children around him in his last hours. His patience in his afflictions, and willingness, and even anxiety to have the hours of his probation close, were remarkable. The praise of God, and grateful expressions of his goodness were continually upon his lips, and thus he died.
He sleeps in Jesus, and we are awaiting the coming of the Lifegiver to break the fetters of the tomb, and release the captives from their prison house, and reunite the severed links of the family chain. All who have kept the word of his patience, shall be exalted to the right hand of God, and be rewarded with an inheritance in the better world, and possess everlasting life.
We cherish feelings of the tenderest regard of our dear Bro. Nichols. More than twenty years since, we shared his hospitalities when friends were few and poor. For several years nearly all the means necessary to bear our expenses came from his purse. And although his lot may still be in the furnace of affliction, he should be comforted with the fact that his was the great privilege of doing for the advancement of the cause of truth, when one dollar would count more than one hundred at its present stage. May the sentiment of his heart be in harmony with the words of the prophet, so frequently quoted his house more than twenty years since:
"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Ellen G. White. Greenville, Mich.