The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1


Lt 8, 1856

January 21, 1856, Battle Creek, Michigan 1EGWLM 471.4

Letter to
Harriet Newall Stevens.1
1EGWLM 471.5

Previously unpublished. 1EGWLM 471.6

Concern for negative influence of Harriet Stevens on Uriah Smith, Roxanna Bacheller, and Harriet Hastings. 1EGWLM 471.7

Dear Sister Harriet:

I received your letter in due time2 but have not known what to write you. When your letters arrived, father and mother were far from us at Iowa to visit my only brother.3 Knew not how to have you direct the things until mother could tell me. 1EGWLM 471.8

I am now a cripple. Fell four weeks ago today, laming myself. I injured my ankle bone considerably. I am confined to my crutches, but have reason to praise God that my limb is not broken. I know that the care of the angels was over me, or I should now be suffering with a broken limb. 1EGWLM 472.1

There are some things I have seen in vision concerning you [that] I must write. I wrote it to Uriah [Uriah Smith]4 and will send you a copy.5 1EGWLM 472.2

Dear Brother Uriah, in my last vision I saw particularly the position you occupy, that it was pleasing to God for you to stand as you do in regard to the paper,6 that the Lord would strengthen and uphold you if you walked carefully before Him, and He would make you an instrument of good to His children. In order to grow every day in grace and overcome the temptations of Satan, you must have the help of God and you can shed a holy influence. 1EGWLM 472.3

I saw some things that were a detriment to you or a hindrance. I was shown the communication from Harriet to you was like so many clogs to you. They lack the savor. If Harriet was baptized with the Spirit of God, if she was devoted to Him, then her letters would have a good influence, and if she enjoyed salvation, her letters would breathe it. Harriet has a good talent, but the sweet, humble, devoted, childlike spirit is lacking, and without this all that talent is no more than the talent of any of the world. She lacks consecration. She lacks religion. God will not accept the thoughts of her mind unless they run in the channel of salvation, purified and refined by His Spirit. 1EGWLM 472.4

Unless there is a work done for Harriet, she cannot be saved. A form will be of no advantage to her. If Harriet would spend a portion of her time in praying to God that she spends in writing letters, it would be much more for her benefit and the benefit of others. I saw that multitudinous letters void of the Spirit of God, sent abroad, are a curse to God's cause and a curse [to] the one that writes them. 1EGWLM 472.5

I saw that God had a higher, holier calling and work for you. That you should not spend your precious time in answering such letters. I saw that no station on earth is more important than [the one that] those occupy that are at the head of the paper, and write for it, and expressly who have to do with it. God has placed you there. It is an important work. Brother Uriah, you must be consecrated to God in order to fill your place and exert a holy influence. I knew not at first what to do with the vision but concluded to send it [to] you, Uriah, and also to Harriet. 1EGWLM 472.6

Here is a vision written to Roxana [Roxanna Bacheller].7 1EGWLM 473.1

Dear Sister Roxana. My mind is burdened and distressed. After the vision that was given me for you and Harriet, while you were at Rochester [New York], I begged and prayed that it might have its designed effect upon you and Harriet, but could see no effect of a change. In the last vision given me here at Battle Creek [Michigan], I saw that there had been no change. There had [been] no more consecration or devotion. I saw that the attachment manifested there in Rochester between your mother,8 Harriet, and yourself was a curse to you all. This few bundling together to the neglect of others meets the frown of God instead of His approbation. It is acting out the foolish affection manifested by the world for each other. It is not sanctified by God. It does not advance His glory. 1EGWLM 473.2

The work of serving God is an individual work and if this was fully realized by you and others of the young, and you would watch strictly over pride and correct wrongs in each other—pride, self-exaltation and a selfish spirit—God would be better pleased. But now the young have joined hands to take the thoughts and affection from Jesus and center them upon each other. They unite in frivolity and pride, and this misapplied affection is only a curse. It should first center in God, be tried, purified and refined by Him, then it will lead to a holy yearning of soul for others that are on the background, not to bundle together but to bring them near to the cross that the same love that animates and strengthens the heart of one may be felt by all. 1EGWLM 473.3

The inquiry will be made, What shall I do to be saved? It is not sinners alone that should make this inquiry, but if those that have named the name of Christ could get sight of their own hearts, their love to be like the world, the vanity and pride lurking in the heart, the cry would be raised, What shall I do to be saved? 1EGWLM 473.4

I saw that you were not the same Roxana now that you were before Harriet came to Rochester. The hope that you possess is not a saving hope. It cannot save you unless you let it purify you and you act it out. I was pointed back to last summer. I saw that your heart was not in the work of God. It was not knit with God's cause, but only as far as you received full compensation for your labor, so far was your interest. A selfish feeling possessed you to take from the treasury of God, by receiving pay more than your labor deserved, more than you actually earned. You did not realize that you were laboring in the cause of God and you were not willing to make extra efforts unless it was for your own self-advantage. God notices this. Such a principle is not pleasing to Him. Often in the office stories and other things have occupied your time; and your interest that should be fully in the work was not there. 1EGWLM 473.5

The gratitude that should fill your heart for the merciful dealings of God in bringing you from Vermont, and Warren [John Warren Bacheller] and your mother, all of you, being together and the way being opened before you to obtain a living, and the good health He has blessed you all with, has not called forth from you humility and gratitude. I saw that if God removed these blessings from you now, trials will arise that you have not anticipated that will bring anguish of soul [to] all. All of you, each one of you, have possessed selfishness and feelings of independence that did not become you. 1EGWLM 474.1

The union between you and Harriet was all wrong. Her influence has had a tendency to lead your mind directly from God, from your eternal interest. Your mind has been upon story books too much, and your reading these books together fills the mind with things not pertaining to your eternal interest. [In] vain reading and shutting the Spirit of God from you, you have lost your humility and have thought more of your appearance. Oh, you had better been studying your own hearts, how you should show yourselves approved unto God. 1EGWLM 474.2

Harriet, I have now written both visions, and I would ask you if you have not been reproved for these very things before in vision, and how could you set the example that you did to Roxana and read with her. Roxana is not the girl she was. Vanity fills her heart, and she has no appearance of a Christian about her. 1EGWLM 474.3

Last Sabbath she made a good move, came forward to the anxious seat for prayers. May the Lord have mercy upon the fatherless and widow is my earnest prayer. 1EGWLM 474.4

Sister Harriet, do you remember the vision about Brother Hastings’ [Leonard Hastings] family and the influence of your letters upon them, and your influence upon Arabella [Harriet Arabella Hastings]?9 It led her from God and she never, until her sickness, possessed the spirit [that] she should, after her wanderings. It was easier for her to wander than to return from these wanderings. I have seen in vision she was afflicted and her life was the forfeit.10 1EGWLM 474.5

Picture: Letter to Ellen White from her mother, Eunice Harmon, December 10, 1855