Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1

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Lt 8, 1864

Chase, Maria

Topsham, Maine

October 14, 1864

Previously unpublished. Written jointly by James and Ellen White.

My dear niece, Maria Chase:

Respecting your accompanying us to our Michigan home to be our daughter, I wish to speak freely. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1864, par. 1

1. I have no daughter and my wife has never kept her own house. She was an invalid among a lot of sisters about her age in good health, and [who] did all the work, so wife did not learn to do housework, and since our marriage she has spent her time either traveling, writing or caring for our children. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1864, par. 2

There is, therefore, a large place in our large house for you if you choose to occupy it. Were you my daughter, I would not ask you to do housework unless you chose it. You would wish to be active and it might be necessary for you to do some housework, especially if hired girl be sick, or absent a week or so. In all such cases, we should consult your feelings as one would a daughter. Remember this, we do not ask you to go with us to do our housework unless you should choose such a position for a while now and then. We would not ask you to take it. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1864, par. 3

Let this be understood, that our sympathy is deeply enlisted for you, and that we do not expect to be benefited in the least by your living with us, but we greatly desire to help you, not to bring you under obligation to us. We are able to help you, want to help you. It would be our highest pleasure to make you happy. And all we could ask in return is that you would be happy in confiding in us as long as we give you evidence that we have ability and desire to make you happy. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1864, par. 4

3. I gladly pay your fare to our home. While there I will meet your wants as though you were our own child, and when either you or I think you had better return, I will pay your fare home. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1864, par. 5

4. We love you for our Sister May’s sake. We love you because you are our own noble, affectionate niece. And, dear Maria, there is a still deeper love. We love you for Christ’s sake, and feel that we must see you a devoted, cheerful, happy Christian. This would do much to heal your wounds and sweeten your disposition. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1864, par. 6

5. If we should see you with a good prospect of bettering your condition in life by marriage, we pledge ourselves to take all that interest that would become us. But I fear we could not find a man in all the [world] worthy of Maria should she wear the crown of true piety, making her truly beautiful. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1864, par. 7

6. We are a cheerful, happy family. And my boys, though praying boys, would be easily led into nonsense. Especially in our absence we should want you to guard against rude, or careless talk before them. Our children are everything to us, and we should be very particular on this point. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1864, par. 8

7. Lastly, we invite you to go with us, with the entreaty, not requisition, that you make up your mind to give your heart to Christ, and secure heaven. It may be the reason why there is not much in the world for you, that you may be led to secure the next. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1864, par. 9

Your affectionate uncle and aunt, 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1864, par. 10

James and Ellen G. White.