Testimonies, Vol. 1
Dear Brethren and Sisters: The Lord has again visited me in much mercy. I have been greatly afflicted for a few months past. Disease has pressed heavily upon me. For years I have been afflicted with dropsy and disease of the heart, which has had a tendency to depress my spirits and destroy my faith and courage. The message to the Laodiceans has not accomplished that zealous repentance among God's people which I expected to see, and my perplexity of mind has been great. Disease seemed to make continual progress upon me, and I thought that I must lie down in the grave. I had no desire to live, therefore I could not take hold of faith and pray for my recovery. Often when I retired to rest at night I realised that I was in danger of losing my breath before morning. In this state I fainted at midnight. Brethren Andrews and Loughborough were sent for, and earnest petitions were offered to God in my behalf. The depression, the heavy weight, was lifted from my aching heart, and I was taken off in vision, and shown the things which I now present before you.

I saw that many to whom God has entrusted means feel at liberty to use it freely for their own convenience in fitting up pleasant homes here; but when they build a house in which to worship the great God who inhabiteth eternity, they cannot afford to let Him have the use of the means which He has lent them. Each is not striving to excel the other in showing his gratitude to God for the truth by doing all he can to prepare a suitable place of worship; but some are trying to do just as little as possible; and they feel that the means is as good as lost which they spend in preparing a place for the Most High to visit them. Such an offering is lame, and not acceptable to God. I saw that it would be much more pleasing to God if His people would show as much wisdom in preparing a house for Him, as they do in their own dwellings. 

The sacrifices and offerings of the children of Israel were commanded to be without blemish or spot, the best of the flock; and every one of the people was required to share in this work. The work of God for this time will be extensive. If you build a house for the Lord, do not offend and limit Him by casting in your lame offerings. Put the very best offering into a house built for God. Let it be the very best you have; show an interest to make it convenient and comfortable. Some think that this is of no consequence because time is so short. Then carry out the same in your dwellings, and in all your worldly arrangements. 

I saw that God could carry on His work without any of man's help; but this is not His plan. The present world is designed as a scene of probation for man. He is here to form a character which will pass with him into the eternal world. Good and evil are placed before him, and his future state depends upon the choice he makes. Christ came to change the current of his thoughts and affections. His heart

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must be removed from his earthly treasure, and placed upon the heavenly. By his self-denial, God can be glorified. The great sacrifice has been made for man, and now he will be tested and proved to see if he will follow the example of Jesus, and make a sacrifice for his fellow man. Satan and his angels are combined against the people of God; but Jesus is seeking to purify them unto Himself. He requires them to advance His work. God has deposited with His people in this world enough to carry forward His work without embarrassment, and it is His plan that the means which He has entrusted to them be used judiciously. "Sell that ye have, and give alms," is a part of God's sacred word. The servants of God must arise, cry aloud, and spare not, "show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." The work of God is to become more extensive, and if His people follow His counsel, there will not be much means in their possession to be consumed in the final conflagration. All will have laid up their treasure where moth and rust cannot corrupt; and the heart will not have a cord to bind it to earth.