The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1


Lt 2, 1857

October 21, [1857],1 Battle Creek, Michigan 1EGWLM 542.1

Letter to
Anthony L. Burwell.2
1EGWLM 542.2

Portions of this letter are published in Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: The Early Years, p. 363.

An appeal to Anthony Burwell who loves “earthly treasure better than the truth.” 1EGWLM 542.3

Dear Brother Burwell: 1EGWLM 542.4

While at Monterey [Michigan] your case was shown me in vision.3 I saw that you were too sleepy for your own eternal interest, and that of your family. You have not made the effort you should to break loose from the world. Your grasp is fast upon it, and its treasure looks good and precious to you.4 I viewed you in a fearful, critical situation. You do not yet possess the spirit of sacrifice, and I greatly fear you never will. God, I saw, had tried to save you. Fearfully, terribly has He approached you, taken the fruit of your own body from you without hope. All this was to cut you loose from the world, save you, your wife, and Anna [Anna Lucretia King (née Burwell)].5 1EGWLM 542.5

When you were here in the spring, I saw that your house should be freed, that it had been polluted by a wrong influence. You know fully what was seen. Have you followed the light?6 I saw, Brother Burwell, you should dig down deep; try your motives. Many, or most, of them are purely selfish. A more thorough work must be accomplished for you or you are ruined. 1EGWLM 543.1

Anna is in the broad road to hell. Oh, such disobedience, such unloveliness toward her dear mother! I dare not write it, and wish not to think about it. A fearful record of it is kept in the book. Anna will meet it again. All the heartache that she causes her mother is noticed of God. She is forming a character, but not for heaven. 1EGWLM 543.2

Unless the hand of God is turned aside by your deep humility and humble walk, there is more anguish in store for you. God has given you a bitter cup to drink that it might purify you and wean you from this world. The object is not gained. You love this world, love your earthly treasure better than the truth. If you had followed the light God had given you, and gone earnestly and zealously about the work, things would be entirely different in your family. 1EGWLM 543.3

I fear, from what God has shown me, you are so little acquainted with your own heart you will not see the evils there and subdue them, but they will increase. Your besetments hold the victory, and the grace of God finds no room in your heart. The love of the world finds a large place in your heart. You have no idea of sacrificing for the cause of God. A sacrifice does not increase, but decreases. 1EGWLM 543.4

I was shown in vision at Monterey that God was calling upon those who have this world's goods to sacrifice of their substance.7 A few have listened to the call, but many will go away sorrowful like the young man who came to Jesus to know what he should do to inherit eternal life. At the answer of Jesus, “Go and sell that thou hast,” he was sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 1EGWLM 543.5

This is like the faith of many of the Sabbathkeepers. They submit to keep the Sabbath, to go along with this unpopular people. They can dwell upon the truth; but when Jesus says, Sacrifice for the truth, sell that thou hast, lay up treasure in heaven, they are sorrowful. Their idol has been touched. Oh, this earthly treasure is more dear to them than eternal life. They would be highly pleased if they could have both, but as they cannot, they cling more closely to the earthly treasure and care not whether they lay up treasure in heaven or not. They will perish with their earthly treasure. 1EGWLM 544.1

I saw that God was testing those that have possessions here to see how much they love this truth. He will soon pass by them if they heed not His voice. He will call those that are willing. The day laborer will bear the burden cheerfully. I saw they were the richest men. They can hand out ten dollars to the cause of God easier than the wealthy one dollar. Such are truly rich. I saw you must work, work in earnest, for your time [to] do [so] will soon be past. 1EGWLM 544.2