Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exodus 20:8.
[Diary Entry.] Friday, February 21, 1896.
This day is preparation day. We would come up to the Sabbath with our work closed up in proper shape and not dragging into the Sabbath. We must commence in the morning to look after every piece of clothing if we have neglected to do this through the week, that our garments may be neat and orderly and comely to appear in the place where God’s people assemble to worship Him.... Entering upon new business should be avoided, if possible, but endeavor to close up the things already started that are half accomplished. Prepare everything connected with the household matters so that there shall be freedom from worries, and the mind be prepared to rest and to meditate upon heavenly things.
There needs to be much more close investigation of the week past. Review it and see if, as a branch of the living Vine, you have drawn nourishment from the parent Vine to bear much fruit to the glory of God. If there has been feverish excitement, if hasty words have been spoken, if passion has been revealed, these have surely been the working on Satan’s side of the question. Clear the heart by confession. Sincerely make everything right before the Sabbath. Examine your own selves, whether ye be in the faith. We need to guard our own souls constantly, lest we make a great profession but, like the flourishing fig tree spreading its branches in pretentious foliage, reveal no precious fruit. Christ is hungering to see and receive fruit. Leaves of profession without fruit are to Christ just as worthless as those of the fig tree which He cursed....
The humble dependence upon God, the faith that takes Him at His word and trusts Him at all times and under all circumstances, is the wearing of the yoke of Christ. The Christian brings all his passions under control to God. Then if the thoughts are brought into captivity to Jesus Christ, there is a healthful growth in beauty and grace of character.
For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. Psalm 92:4, 5.
The scenery through which we passed [Ellen White is here describing a carriage journey in Switzerland.] was altogether too majestic, too awfully grand, to give anything like a description that can compare to the scenery as it really is. The battlements of rocks—the timeworn rocky walls that have stood since the Flood, washed with the mountain torrents—stand out smooth as if polished, while rocks diverse from these in shape are seen in regular layers, as if art had fashioned them. Here ... we viewed the most interesting, grand scenery that our eyes ever looked upon. The rocks ascend higher and still higher from the earth, and growing from these rocks are beautiful, dark-colored pines intermingled with the lighter and most beautiful living green of the maple and beech.... Such wild grandeur, such solemn scenery, carries one back to the period when the waters rose to the highest points of land, and the unbelieving antediluvians perished for their great wickedness in the waters of the Flood.
As we look upon ... the rocks of every conceivable shape, we say, “How wonderful, O Lord, are thy works in all the earth.” The softening, subduing touches penciled by the great Master Artist in the beautiful arrangement of dress of dark and living green, this beautiful combination of colors to cover the rugged, time-seamed rocks! Then the deep gorges, the noisy, fast-rushing streams, and the grand mountains covered with forest trees in their beautiful summer robes!
The view is grand in the extreme, and presents to the senses such high and holy and strong and sacred ideas of God our Maker. And then the thought that we may call Him Father! ... If anyone can look upon this scenery without being impressed with the greatness and majesty of God, his heart must indeed be unimpressive. I do so long for a closer connection with God. This God of majesty and might may be our Father, our Friend, our hope and crown of rejoicing.
E. G. White