Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2

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Lt 24, 1870

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Camp Meeting Ground, Clyde, Ohio

September 1870

This letter is published in entirety in 20MR 331-334.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

I have spoken to a large and attentive audience. Young and old were perfectly quiet and respectfully attentive. I had great liberty in speaking, for which I am grateful to God. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 1

I intended to write you from Battle Creek, but this was not possible, for I was very sick—sores gathering and breaking in my head. I have discharged much blood from my head, for my brain has been congested and fevered. I did not dress myself Wednesday or Thursday, only as I prepared to ride and after I had returned took my bed again, until I dressed to take the cars for Jackson. The air in the cars was oppressive. I soon fainted, but the Lord mercifully restored me so that when we arrived at Jackson I could, with your father’s assistance, walk from the cars through a dense crowd to the depot. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 2

It was State Fair time at Jackson and a mass of people rushed on to the platform to get on board as soon as the cars stopped. Your father took his arm about me, then put his shoulder against men and women with considerable force crying, “Make way for a sick woman.” We got through alive. We had to wait one hour for the train to pass and the crowds of people to get on the many trains before we could attempt to get anywhere. Then Father left me in care of Adelia and he went to Brother Palmer’s for a carriage. After they came we could not get to the carriage for quite a length of time. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 3

I never beheld such a scene as this before—men and women rushing frantically this way and that, crowding one another and treading upon one another. I thought of the day when the wrath of God, unmixed with mercy, shall fall upon the heads of the wicked. The general confusion, the imprecations, the fear expressed in countenances, the pale faces, the weary, distressed looks, the angry looks and oaths, reminded us of a day far more exciting, which will be general. I thought, Shall we be then among the peaceful and holy who have made God and heaven our trust, or shall we be among the fearful, terror-stricken, hopeless, despairing ones? You, my dear children, with us, may be among that number who shall calmly lean upon an Arm that is mighty to save to the utmost, an Arm we have sought after and relied upon when the evil day was not upon us. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 4

That night at Brother Palmer’s I awoke in the greatest pain. My side and shoulder pained me so much that large drops of sweat stood on my breast and stomach. Your father took me in his arms and cried unto God in my behalf. I united with him as well as I could amid my pain. I soon experienced relief and slept. It has not troubled me since. Friday evening, although very weak, I spoke to the people with much freedom upon the sacred trust committed to the Christian and his high privilege to be fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 5

The cause seemed to be low, but the Lord has made His Word fruitful in this place. The people are settling into the work. Sabbath I spoke once to the people. Sunday we had a large concourse of people. Father spoke in the forenoon with freedom to an attentive audience upon the reasons of our faith. In the afternoon I spoke to a still larger audience with perfect freedom. There was perfect quiet among old and young and I was pleased to see some deeply affected among the unbelievers. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 6

After I ceased speaking ladies and gentlemen came to the tent saying they did not get here till I was about done and wished to know if I would speak upon the ground again. We told them I would speak Monday afternoon. But after this a hotelkeeper in the village made a request for me to speak in the Methodist church Monday evening. He obtained the consent of ministers and trustees. All were unanimous and urgent. I assented. So I spoke this morning, Monday, then in the evening in the Methodist church. No Adventist has been able to get a hearing heretofore in that church. My prayer is that this effort may tell to the glory of God in the advancement of His truth. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 7

The Lord has hitherto sustained us and I believe He will still go with us. We shall, after one week of rest, attend another camp meeting in Indiana and then go directly to Kansas. These two meetings will close the camp meetings for this season. This is the tenth camp meeting we have attended. Two more before us. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 8

Dear children, we feel an interest for you. We hope you will not neglect your spiritual interest. “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip (marginal reading: or run out as leaking vessels), for if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” Hebrews 2:1, 2. It is not necessary for you to oppose the truth and rail out against it to bring upon you condemnation. But if you even neglect this great salvation, if you appear indifferent to it, you show that your heart is at variance with the truth and with the holy principles of religion and holiness. Do you make your eternal interest your first consideration? If not, you show manifest neglect of this great salvation. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 9

It is not merely the profane swearer, the murderer, the adulterer, the liar, the deceiver, who must feel the wrath of God because of disobedience and neglect of this great salvation, first spoken by Christ and afterwards confirmed by His disciples. Those who have enlightened minds and consciences and who have a full knowledge of the truth and the requirements of God, yet continue to live in a state of indifference and spiritual sloth, are virtually neglecting this great salvation and cannot expect to escape the penalty of this neglect. The example to others is such that they hinder them and sanction in them the same neglect they are guilty of themselves. My dear children, I am desirous that you should know Christ by an experimental knowledge of Him yourselves. You should obtain an experience for yourselves and be His earnest, faithful servants, manifesting perseverance and zeal and energy in the work and cause of God. Seek to exemplify Christ in your lives. Seek to adorn your profession. Take an exalted position in divine things, seeking to perfect Christian character. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 10

You, my children, have given your hearts to one another unitedly; give them wholly, unreservedly to God. In your married life, seek to elevate one another, not to come down to common, cheap talk and actions. Show the high and elevating principles of your holy faith in your everyday conversations and in the most private walks of life. Be ever careful and tender of the feelings of one another. Do not, either of you, for even the first time, allow a playful bantering, joking, censuring of one another. These things are dangerous. They wound. The wound may be concealed; nevertheless, the wound exists and peace is being sacrificed and happiness endangered when it could be easily preserved. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 11

Edson, my son, guard yourself and in no case manifest the least disposition savoring of a dictatorial, overbearing spirit. It will pay to watch your words before speaking. This is easier than to take them back or efface their impression afterward. Brother Winslow has made his married life very bitter by a dictatorial, ordering spirit, savoring of the arbitrary. He has made his wife’s family much trouble by the set will savoring of perverseness. Edson, shun all this. Ever speak kindly; do not throw into the tones of your voice that which will be taken by others as irritability. Modulate even the tones of your voice. Let only love, gentleness, and mildness be expressed in your countenance, and in your voice. Make it a business to shed rays of sunlight, but never leave a cloud. Emma will be all to you you can desire if you are watchful, and give her no occasion to feel distressed and troubled and [to] doubt the genuineness of your love. [You] yourselves can make your happiness or lose it. You can, by seeking to conform your life to the Word of God, be true, noble, elevated, and smooth the pathway of life for each other. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 12

Edson, you, my dear boy, have to educate yourself in practicing self-control. God help you, my much-loved son, to see the force of my advice and counsel to you. Be careful every day of your words and acts. Yield to each other. Yield your judgment sometimes, Edson. Do not be persistent even if your course appears just right to yourself. You must be yielding, forbearing, kind, tenderhearted, pitiful, courteous, ever keeping fresh the little courtesies of life, the tender acts, the tender, cheerful, encouraging words. And may the best of heavens blessings rest upon you both, my dear children, is the prayer of your mother. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 13

I now go to the stand to speak for the last time upon the ground. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 14

One lady, has just bid me goodbye who walked eight miles from Freemont to hear me speak. I have just ceased speaking. Had great freedom. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 15

This is a most beautiful grove of beech, maple, and oak, horse chestnuts, and many other grand old trees. I have just picked up a quart of the largest acorns I ever saw. 2LtMs, Lt 24, 1870, par. 16