Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 1a, 1861

G., Brother and Sister


January 24, 1861

This letter is published in entirety in 1T 240-243.

Dear Friends, Brother and Sister:

In my last vision I was shown some things in regard to your family, that the Lord has thoughts of mercy upon you and will not leave or forsake you unless you forsake Him. I was shown some things in regard to C and E, that they are in a lukewarm condition. They must arouse and make efforts for salvation, or they will fail of everlasting life. They must have an experience for themselves, and feel an individual responsibility. They need a work wrought in their hearts by the Holy Spirit of God, which will lead them to love and choose the society of God’s people above any other, and will lead them to be separate from those who have no love for spiritual things. Jesus demands a whole sacrifice, an entire consecration. 1LtMs, Lt 1a, 1861, par. 1

C and E, you have not realized that God requires your undivided affections. You love the society of the young, who have no regard for the sacred truths which you profess. You have made a holy profession, yet you have sunk down to the dead level of ordinary professors. You have appeared and acted like your associates, and have been contented with as much religion as will render you agreeable to all without incurring the censure of any. 1LtMs, Lt 1a, 1861, par. 2

Christ demands all. If He required less, the sacrifice was too dear, too great to make, to bring us up to such a level. Our holy faith cries out [for] separation. We should not be conformed to the world, or to dead, heartless professors. But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. This is a self-denying way, and when you think the way is too straight, when you think that there is too much self-denial in this narrow path, when you say how hard [it is] to give up all, ask yourselves the question, What did Christ give up for me? This question puts anything that we may call self-denial in the shade. 1LtMs, Lt 1a, 1861, par. 3

Behold Him in the garden of Gethsemane, sweating great drops of blood. A solitary angel is sent from heaven to strengthen the Son of God. Follow Him on His way to the judgment hall while He is derided, mocked, and insulted by that infuriated mob. Behold Him clothed in that old, purple, kingly robe. Hear the coarse jest and cruel mocking. They place upon that noble brow the crown of thorns, and then smite Him with a reed, causing the thorns to penetrate His temples; and the blood flows from that holy brow. 1LtMs, Lt 1a, 1861, par. 4

Hear that murderous throng eagerly crying for the blood of the Son of God. He is delivered into their hands, and they lead the noble Sufferer away, pale, weak, and fainting, to His crucifixion. He is stretched upon the wooden cross, and the nails [are] driven through His tender hands and feet. Behold Him hanging upon the cross those dreadful hours in agony, until angels veil their faces from the horrid scene. The sun refused to behold, and hid its light. Think of these things, and then say, Is the way too strait? No, no. 1LtMs, Lt 1a, 1861, par. 5

A divided, half-hearted life causes doubt and darkness. Such do not enjoy the consolations of religion, neither the peace which the world giveth. Do not sit down in Satan’s easy chair of do-little, but arise and aim at the elevated standard which it is your privilege to attain. It is a blessed privilege to give up all for Christ. Look not at the lives of others and imitate them and rise no higher. You have only one true, unerring Pattern. It is safe to follow Jesus only. Determine [that] if others act on the principle of the spiritual sluggard, you will leave them and march forward toward the elevation of Christian character. Form a character for heaven. Sleep not at your post. Deal faithfully and truly with your own soul. 1LtMs, Lt 1a, 1861, par. 6

There is an evil within you which threatens to destroy your spirituality and eclipse all the beauty and interest in the sacred pages. It is love for story books, tales, and [other] reading that does not have an influence for good upon the mind that is [in] any way dedicated to the service of God. It destroys the mind for usefulness, produces a false, unhealthy excitement upon the mind, fevers the imagination, and unfits it for any spiritual exercise. [It] weans the souls from prayer and love of spiritual things. Reading that will throw light upon the sacred volume, and quicken your desire and diligence to study it, is not dangerous but beneficial. You were represented to me with your eyes turned from the sacred Book and intently fixed upon exciting books, which is death to religion. 1LtMs, Lt 1a, 1861, par. 7

The oftener and more diligently you peruse the Scriptures, the more beautiful will they appear, and the less relish you will have for light and superficial reading. The daily study of the Scriptures will have a sanctifying influence upon the mind. You will breathe a heavenly atmosphere. Bind this precious volume to your heart. It will prove to you a friend and guide in perplexity. 1LtMs, Lt 1a, 1861, par. 8

You have had in your life objects in view. How steadily and perseveringly have you labored to attain those objects. You have calculated and planned until your anticipations were realized. There is an object before you now worthy of a life-long, persevering, untiring effort. It is the salvation of your soul—everlasting life, and this demands self-denial, sacrifice, and close study. You must be purified and refined. You lack the saving influence of the Spirit of God. You engage with your associates, and forget that you have named the name of Christ. You act like them, talk like them, and dress like them. 1LtMs, Lt 1a, 1861, par. 9

Sister C, I saw that you have a work to do. You must die to pride, and let your whole interest be in the truth. Your eternal interest depends upon the course you now pursue. If you [would] have eternal life, you must live for it and deny self. Come out from the world, and be separate. Your life must be marked with sobriety, watchfulness, and prayer. Angels are watching the development of character, and weighing moral worth. All our words and acts are passing in review before God. It is a fearful, solemn time. The hope of eternal life is not to be taken up upon slight grounds; it must be settled between God and your own soul. Some will lean upon others’ judgment and experience rather than be at the trouble of a close examination of their own hearts, and [will] pass along without any witness of the Spirit of God or evidence of their acceptance, for months and years. They deceive themselves. They have a supposed hope, but lack the essential qualifications of a Christian. First, there must be a thorough heart work, then their manners and deportment will take that elevated, noble, character which marks the true followers of Jesus Christ. It requires effort and moral courage to live out our faith. It is an uphill work. 1LtMs, Lt 1a, 1861, par. 10

God’s people are peculiar. Their spirit cannot mingle with the spirit and influence of the world. You do not wish to hear the Christian name and yet be unworthy [of] it. You do not desire to meet Jesus with a profession only. You do not wish to be deceived in so important a matter. Examine the grounds for your hope thoroughly. Deal truly with your own soul. A supposed hope will never save you. Have you counted the cost? I fear not. Now decide whether you will follow Christ, cost what it will. You cannot do this and yet enjoy the society of those who pay no heed to divine things. Your spirit cannot mingle any more than oil and water. 1LtMs, Lt 1a, 1861, par. 11

It is a great thing to be a child of God and joint-heir with Jesus Christ. If this is your privilege, you will know the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. God looketh upon the heart. I saw that you must seek God earnestly, and raise your standard of piety higher, or you will certainly fail of everlasting life. 1LtMs, Lt 1a, 1861, par. 12

You may ask the question, Did Sister White see all this? Yes, and I have tried to place it before you, and give you the impressions which were given me. May the Lord help you to take heed. Dear Brother and Sister G, watch your children with jealous care. The influence and spirit of the world is destroying all desire to be true Christians. Let your influence be to draw them from young company who have no interest in divine things. They must make a sacrifice if they win heaven at last. Dear Brother and Sister, help them all you can by your influence and example. 1LtMs, Lt 1a, 1861, par. 13