The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1



Lt 1, 1857

January 28, 1857, Battle Creek, Michigan 1EGWLM 509.1

Letter to
Anthony L. and Achsah Burwell.1
1EGWLM 509.2

Previously unpublished.

An appeal to bereaved parents to turn from their materialism and set a godly example to their only remaining child. 1EGWLM 509.3

Dear Brother and Sister Burwell:

In the vision given at this place I was shown something concerning you. I saw that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. God has been merciful to you. He has in mercy spared you one child; and if you both pursue a right course, there is some prospect of her being influenced by the truth and being saved in the kingdom. But I saw that unless you were willing to make a sacrifice for this and prize her salvation and your own enough to act out your faith, cut loose from the world, and act like men waiting for their Lord, there is no prospect, none at all. Your course will influence her. Show her by acting out your faith that you really believe the message, “Be zealous … and repent.” 1EGWLM 509.4

When you really [believe] this message the effect upon you will be to separate from the world, live out your faith, sell that you have, give alms, and lay up for yourselves a treasure in the heavens. God has come very near unto you when you were at a great distance from Him. He took two idols from you that you might draw near unto Him and that God alone might be exalted and reign supreme in your heart, and that your eye might be single to His glory. These children were snatched away to save you and her.2 1EGWLM 509.5

Brother, you love this world, especially Brother Burwell. You realize not how much your heart is set upon and glued to this world and how little you are willing to sacrifice for the better and heavenly country. If you prize the precious pearl of exceeding value highly enough to sell all that you have to purchase it, I saw that you could have it. Unless you prize it enough for this, it is not yours, neither can you have it. 1EGWLM 510.1

Dear Brother, I dare not hold my peace. I must deal faithfully and truly with you. From what God has shown me, I fear your property will shut you out of heaven, because you love it, whether you realize it or not, better than anything else.3 A terrible calamity came upon you, yet it has not had the effect that God designed it should, to wean you from the world. Your possessions are still dear to you, are of worth, great worth, so much so that it looks to you to be a great thing to sacrifice anything even for your own soul's sake. Every idol, brother and sister, is not yet sacrificed with you, and if there is one idol left, whatever that idol be, it will shut you out of heaven. 1EGWLM 510.2

I saw that you were in a hard place to serve God and should not let anything stand in the way—property, friends, or anything—of seeking counsel of God and placing yourselves in a situation to benefit your own souls. Let everlasting life be the object ever before you. The world is nothing, and less than nothing. Your possessions are a snare to you and I fear you will be taken in the snare and it will be impossible to escape. Make haste to get ready, for the days of preparation are few. Tear away the rubbish from the door of your heart and open the door and let the Saviour in. 1EGWLM 510.3

I saw that if you expect Anna [Anna Lucretia King (née Burwell)]4 to be saved you must do more on your own part, make more decided efforts than you ever yet have made. One thing I saw you had erred in, that is in the company you suffer to be in your dwelling. Whatever sacrifice you should have to make for this should be cheerfully done. Have only those with you or in your dwelling that are clean and holy. Encourage none to be with you except those whose influence is saving. Whatever the consequences may be, this step should be taken. Have all clean in your dwelling. Then you may expect that the Lord will bless your efforts. But for years past it has been impossible to save your children while there was so little effort made to have all about them such that God could come into your dwelling. Have not those with you that love not God and that God hates. Take hold of the work in earnest, be in haste to get ready. Oh, make every effort for the salvation of your daughter! You have never realized the danger of having those around you whose influence was not good, but deathly. You must with decision have a pure, clean company around you. Anna's salvation depends upon the course you pursue. 1EGWLM 511.1