The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1



Lt 11, 1856

April [1856],1 Battle Creek, Michigan 1EGWLM 772.1

Letter to
Charles W. Sperry and Rachel Ann Sperry.2
1EGWLM 772.2

Previously unpublished.

Counsel to the Gardners regarding financial sacrifice, especially the necessity of helping to support their daughter and son-in-law, Charles and Rachel Ann Sperry. 1EGWLM 772.3

Dear Brother and Sister Sperry:

While your parents [Henry Gaines Gardner and Diantha Gardner]3 were here I was shown in vision4 the following concerning them: 1EGWLM 772.4

I saw in vision that God was not displeased with your moving west,5 that you could have no influence in Panton [Vermont]. I saw that you must move carefully, have all that you possess upon God's altar, have all your substance there. You have at times thought it was there, but if all had been on God's altar, you would feel more of a spirit of sacrificing. This you have not had. You know but little [of] what it is to sacrifice for God's cause and honor Him with your substance. You have had but few blessings from the poor and needy because their hearts were made glad by your generosity. 1EGWLM 772.5

I saw that you both naturally loved this world, loved money, and this is, and still will be, a snare to you. You cling to money closely, especially Brother Gardner. I saw that you would have to view these things in altogether a different light before you can be fitted up and prepared for the time of trouble. I saw that in order for you to have health and the blessing of God you must keep the possessions out of your heart, you must get rid of a covetous spirit. You must have your substance where you can use it for God's glory in His cause, as well as to use it for your own self-interest. 1EGWLM 773.1

I saw that you never have looked at this matter in the true light. I saw that you should not, in going west, let your natural or sympathetic feelings lead you astray. Your son [Samuel H. Gardner]6 is no more precious in the eyes of the Lord because he is your son, than another young man that loves not the truth of God and keeps not His commandments. I saw that you should not link with him but keep entirely separate, and it will save you trouble and perplexity. Yet be patient, treat him kindly, and win him to the truth if you can. 1EGWLM 773.2

Brother Gardner, you must command your words and actions. Let not your quick, hasty temper run away with you or overcome you. You must be a perfect overcomer. God would be better pleased if you both had more of an open-hearted, generous disposition. Here is where you fail; here is your weak point. You have gained some since you embraced the belief of Christ's coming, but you have not yet come where God wants you to come. You must overcome this lack and be quick to feel and see others’ wants. 1EGWLM 773.3

Deny yourselves, and when you bring a gift to the altar let it be the best of the substance. Reserve not the best for yourself and give the poorest away. God will not accept a lame offering. Present not that that will do you or the receiver no special good. Here is an opportunity for you to deny yourself and sacrifice an offering of the best of your substance, offered heartily, willingly. Upon these things you can improve. God despises an offering given grudgingly. You must improve on these things if you expect the approbation of God. 1EGWLM 773.4

I saw that it should not be your object to go west to get rich, but to advance God's cause and His glory. I saw that a solemn responsibility rests upon you. You are God's stewards, handling means that He has lent you. It is not your own. You are not your own. You have been bought with a price. 1EGWLM 774.1

I saw that Charles [Charles W. Sperry] entering your family has been a benefit to you all.7 It has been a blessing to you. I saw that Charles and Rachel Ann [Sperry] both were beloved of God. I saw that Charles was a precious, chosen vessel and he could do good in the cause of God and should be left free from shackles to devote himself fully to the work of God. 1EGWLM 774.2

I saw that you could help the cause by freely having a care for them. Do not wait for them to make their wants known, but be quick to see them and supply their lack. They have felt delicate and embarrassed about receiving much from you, and you felt too much as though you were doing considerable. I saw that all that would have to be done for them (if what you have was upon God's altar) could be done with pleasure, as though it were to Jesus, and you would scarcely feel at all what you would do to supply their lack. This is one way in which you can help the cause of God.8 1EGWLM 774.3

You can safely bestow upon them. They are in no way prodigal of their means, and they must be careful lest their frugality should lead them too far, and they go to extremes and be too close, and their example be injurious to others.9 1EGWLM 774.4

All should be careful not to make a god of money. While some have needed a reproof about too free use of means, or extravagant use of it upon themselves, others go to the opposite extreme and are so careful of it as not to use it at all, and the cause of God is not advanced by their means. The means is held to be swept away by God's wrath and does no one good, and they fail of their heavenly treasure, fail of all. God loves to have His children open-hearted, generous, benevolent. 1EGWLM 774.5

All have an influence. We should be very careful and in no way encourage selfishness, for this God hates. “God loveth a cheerful giver.” 1EGWLM 775.1

As I saw your cases, the angel said, “Cut loose, cut loose. Make decided efforts for thy eternal welfare.” I saw you prized money too highly. Then I saw how paltry it was, how soon swept away. But if it was bestowed upon God's cause it would increase and it would be durable riches, safe and sure in heaven. A great work must be done for God's people, for they are getting hold of this world with both hands, and losing their hold of the eternal world. The spirit of sacrifice must revive or some souls will die and it will be those that have and do not.10 1EGWLM 775.2

E. G. W.

Dear Brother and Sister: This is the vision given me for your parents [Henry and Diantha Gardner]. Have copied it as I wrote it then. I have been very, very sick. Was sick when they were here. Had been sick for months before, with difficulty of lungs, every breath caused me pain. When they were here was attacked with brain fever. Gave up my husband and children, expecting to die, but James sent for brethren and sisters to pray for me. I was anointed and prayed for, and was instantly relieved of pain, yet the difficulty from my lungs was not removed. 1EGWLM 775.3

The morning after I was healed, your mother [Diantha Gardner] was prayed for and blessed and healed. I was taken off in vision and saw the above. My weakness clung to me for weeks. But a few nights since, I dreamed of being in meeting and exhorting all night. In the morning James [James Springer White] awoke me thinking I was having a nightmare. I awoke with the forcible impression that I had received strength all through my system. 1EGWLM 775.4

When I arose and dressed I knew that a wonderful work had been done for me. My throat and lungs were free. I felt like a new being, and the disease has not returned. The angel of God surely touched me in the night, and I was healed. Praise God, praise Him for His wonderful goodness to me. My soul shall triumph in God.11 1EGWLM 775.5