Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 4, 1867

White, J. E.

Greenville, Michigan

February 13, 1867

Previously unpublished.

Dear Son Edson:

I have received your second letter today. I answered your first. I would say in regard to your second letter: If you can go through your course at Albion without requiring any more means of us, do so. But you have had already plenty to carry you through, had you economized that which you had. Your squandering means must now come to an end. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1867, par. 1

I trusted in your faithful promises and consented to furnish means for you to get a start in education at Albion, but you have acted in many things without my advice. You joined the Good Templars without asking my advice or the advice of any one at Battle Creek. You must have known I should not have sanctioned this, for it is one step in separating yourself from our faith. You knew, or ought to know, that Sabbathkeepers keep separate from all these bodies and parties. All these secret societies are the work of Satan. They tend not to godliness. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1867, par. 2

I have more anxiety that you should become an humble Christian than to attain to an exalted position in this world. I am anxious for you to develop a character worthy of the better life. It is but a small matter to qualify yourself to live in this little short life. It is the life to come, the endless life, which should engage your highest ambition. And can it be that this little short, suffering life is of so much moment with you that it eclipses all the value of the immortal life promised on condition of faithful obedience? Will you, Edson, give yourself to God without reserve? Will you seek to develop a good Christian character? Separate from the Good Templars, for it will only be a source of temptation to you just as long as you are there among them. Let your name be inscribed in the Lamb’s Book of Life as one of His faithful, devoted soldiers, and it is all I ask. For this I pray daily. Will you, Edson, will you turn to your Redeemer with full purpose of heart? 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1867, par. 3

Again I say, I give my consent for you to pursue your studies. Can you do it without requiring more means? Means is not the greatest reason I request you to do this, but for your own good. You have shown that you do not value means and do not realize its worth. Now you must begin to do so, and learn a lesson you are yet a stranger to, to economize, to learn that a penny saved is as good as a penny earned. Save the littles; be particular in the littles. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1867, par. 4

May God help you to see and feel your critical condition out of Christ, is my earnest prayer. Come to Him, Edson, that you may have peace and rest. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1867, par. 5

Your Mother. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1867, par. 6