Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 30, 1874


Oakland, California

May 26, 1874

This letter is published in entirety in 19MR 185-188.

Dear Children:

We are settled in our new home four miles from Oakland, on what is called the Fountain Farm. This place contains about forty acres of land. There was once a Water-Cure establishment here, but it ran down and the large house is going to decay. We live in a convenient little cottage. A swift stream is running past the house. The scenery here is very wild—equal to the mountain gorges of Colorado. We look out on a clear day and the Golden Gate is distinctly seen. We are retired here, and enjoy the quiet better than the city. We have two ponies that take us to and from the city. They are swift travelers. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1874, par. 1

I wish you were both here. We should enjoy your society so much. We feel the most intense interest that the cause of God should be advanced. Take care, children, that you do not take too long a time to get ready to do something. Do something now. Do whatever you can and the way will open before you. Every moment of time is golden. Souls out of Christ are to be persuaded to lay hold of the hope of the gospel. Some one will receive the reward by and by, and the commendation of the Master, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:23.] To be good is not all that is required. We must likewise be faithful. Paul exhorted Timothy, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine.” [1 Timothy 4:16.] Our first work is to cleanse the soul temple of its defilement, to seek the Lord diligently that we may find Him. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1874, par. 2

We find work enough here to do for the Master. Our little girls, Addie and May, are good children. We are very strongly attached to them. We feel sad to be separated from you, our children, but these dear ones we have in charge make it seem more homelike. These little ones are to be educated and disciplined, which requires much divine wisdom, for they are precious in the sight of the Lord. If at last we can be rewarded by seeing them among the redeemed in the city of God, we shall never regret the care we have had for them. We are not to live in this world to please ourselves. We have stern, earnest work to do every day of our lives. We look by faith to the things that are unseen and in so doing we lose sight of the trials and hardships of the way. Heaven is our home. We dare not run any risk of losing the one hope we have cherished so long, of seeing Jesus as He is and of being made like Him. We hope you will guard your steps. Live the life of prayer and faith and win the unfading crown of glory. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1874, par. 3

There is no other way for any of us to be saved but that way wrought out by our Redeemer. He has, in His life on the earth, given us a practical illustration in self-denial and self-sacrifice of what He wishes us to be. I came not, says Christ, “to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.” John 6:38. We cannot be Christians while we live to please ourselves. We must enter in through the strait gate of self-denial if we follow the Master. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1874, par. 4

This strait, self-denying path is too narrow for many to walk in who profess godliness. They want an easier path and are climbing up some other way. They refuse to follow in the footsteps of our Redeemer. Christ calls all such thieves and robbers. They take the name of Christian, which does not belong to them because they do not represent in their life the life of Christ. They claim the privileges which belong to the sons of God while they are none of His. They live selfish lives upon the earth and have done nothing for the truth and the salvation of souls as they ought to have done. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1874, par. 5

Sad indeed for these self deceived ones. They will never see heaven, because they are not willing to share the shame, the reproach, that Jesus suffered for them. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1874, par. 6

Dear children, let Christ be enshrined in your hearts and you will love all for whom Christ has died, and will do all you can to save them. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1874, par. 7