While in this state of despondency, I had a
dream that made a deep impression upon my mind. I dreamed of seeing a temple,
to which many persons were flocking. Only those who took refuge in that temple
would be saved when time should close; all who remained outside would be
forever lost. The multitudes without who were going about their various ways,
derided and ridiculed those who were entering the temple, and told them that
this plan of safety was a cunning deception, that in fact there was no danger
whatever to avoid. They even laid hold of some to prevent them from hastening
within the walls.
Fearful of being ridiculed, I thought best to
wait until the multitude dispersed, or until I could enter unobserved by them.
But the numbers increased instead of diminishing, and fearful of being too
late, I hastily left my home and pressed through the crowd. In my anxiety to
reach the temple I did not notice or care for the throng that surrounded me.
On entering the building, I saw that the vast
temple was supported by one immense pillar, and to this was tied a lamb all
mangled and bleeding. We who were present seemed to know that this lamb had
been torn and bruised on our account. All who entered the temple must come
before it and confess their sins. Just before the lamb were elevated seats,
upon which sat a company looking very happy. The light
of heaven seemed to shine upon their faces, and they praised God and sang songs
of glad thanksgiving that seemed like the music of the angels. These were they
who had come before the lamb, confessed their sins, received pardon, and were
now waiting in glad expectation of some joyful event.
Even after I had entered the building, a fear
came over me, and a sense of shame that I must humble myself before these
people; but I seemed compelled to move forward, and was slowly making my way
around the pillar in order to face the lamb, when a trumpet sounded, the temple
shook, shouts of triumph arose from the assembled saints, an awful brightness
illuminated the building, then all was intense darkness. The happy people had
all disappeared with the brightness, and I was left alone in the silent horror
I awoke in agony of mind, and could hardly
convince myself that I had been dreaming. It seemed to me that my doom was
fixed; that the Spirit of the Lord had left me, never to return.
of Seeing Jesus
Soon after this I had another dream. I seemed
to be sitting in abject despair, with my face in my hands, reflecting like
this: If Jesus were upon earth, I would go to Him, throw myself at His feet,
and tell Him all my sufferings. He would not turn away from me; He would have
mercy upon me, and I would love and serve Him always.
Just then the door opened, and a person of
beautiful form and countenance entered. He looked upon me pitifully, and said:
“Do you wish to see Jesus? He is here, and you can see Him if you desire it.
Take everything you possess, and follow me.”
I heard this with unspeakable joy, and gladly
gathered up all my little possessions, every treasured trinket, and followed my
guide. He led me to a steep and apparently frail stairway. As I began to ascend
the steps, he cautioned me to keep my eyes fixed upward, lest I should grow
dizzy and fall. Many others who were climbing the steep ascent fell before
gaining the top.
Finally we reached the last step, and stood
before a door. Here my guide directed me to leave all the things that I had
brought with me. I cheerfully laid them down. He then opened the door, and bade
me enter. In a moment I stood before Jesus. There was no mistaking that
beautiful countenance; that expression of benevolence and majesty could belong
to no other. As His gaze rested upon me, I knew at once that He was acquainted
with every circumstance of my life and all my inner thoughts and feelings.
I tried to shield myself from His gaze,
feeling unable to endure His searching eyes; but He drew near with a smile, and
laying His hand upon my head, said, “Fear not.” The sound of His sweet voice
thrilled my heart with a happiness it had never before experienced. I was too
joyful to utter a word, but, overcome with emotion, sank prostrate at His feet.
While I was lying helpless there, scenes of beauty and glory passed before me,
and I seemed to have reached the safety and peace of heaven. At length my
strength returned, and I arose. The loving eyes of Jesus were still upon me,
and His smile filled my soul with gladness. His presence awoke in me a holy
reverence and an inexpressible love.
My guide now opened the door, and we both
passed out. He bade me take up again all the things I
had left without. This done, he handed me a green cord coiled up closely. This
he directed me to place next my heart, and when I wished to see Jesus, take it
from my bosom, and stretch it to the utmost. He cautioned me not to let it
remain coiled for any length of time, lest it should become knotted and
difficult to straighten. I placed the cord near my heart, and joyfully
descended the narrow stairs, praising the Lord, and telling all whom I met
where they could find Jesus.
This dream gave me hope. The green cord
represented faith to my mind, and the beauty and simplicity of trusting in God
began to dawn upon my soul.
Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 33–36.