Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 51a, 1874

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Kirkville, New York

September 11, 1874

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 427-428; 11MR 30.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

I have read the letters from Edson to his father enclosed in an envelope and sent to me on this ground, also Emma’s. I rejoice that you both are taking steps in the right direction. May the Lord strengthen you in the right and, my dear children, you may make our hearts glad by your seeking to fill positions of trust and usefulness. I am glad that you are feeling the importance of health reform. I realize that it pays to live health reform strictly, and it pays to have only two meals a day as far as health is concerned. This is all our wants require, and more than this is a tax to the system. When we see persons ailing and those who have acute attacks of fever, we know that all is not right. Nature does not make her protests for nothing. Her powers have been abused. 2LtMs, Lt 51a, 1874, par. 1

I learn that Flora Merriam is dead. She was out at the camp meeting, but she now sleeps in Jesus. Her probation is ended. W. P. sickened and died suddenly. He professed to be a follower of Christ, but the attractions of the world ensnared him. When smitten by disease he was too sick to exercise his mind in repenting, and died, we fear, without expressing hope. Had he lived up to the light of health reform, might not have died. I might relate several cases who have sickened and died suddenly without any time to prepare for their last change. I know not the facts in regard to Flora Merriam. She was an excellent girl—grave, sedate and retiring—more so than many who are older than she. 2LtMs, Lt 51a, 1874, par. 2

Dear children, it is a dangerous matter to trifle with the light God has seen fit to give us. If we do neglect to follow the light we must take the consequences. 2LtMs, Lt 51a, 1874, par. 3

We are forming characters for heaven. No character can be complete without trial and suffering. We must be tested, we must be tried. Christ bore the test of character in our behalf, that we might bear this test in our own behalf through the divine strength He has brought to us. Christ is our example in patience, in forbearance, in meekness and lowliness of mind. He was at variance and at war with the whole ungodly world, yet He did not give way to passion and violence manifested in words and actions, although receiving shameful abuse in return for good works. He was afflicted, He was rejected and despitefully treated, yet He retaliated not. He possessed self-control, dignity, and majesty. He suffered with calmness, and for abuse gave only compassion, pity, and love. 2LtMs, Lt 51a, 1874, par. 4

Dear Edson, imitate your Redeemer in these things. Do not get excited when things go wrong. Do not let self arise, and lose your self-control because you fancy things are not as they should be. Because others are wrong is no excuse for you to do wrong. Two wrongs will not make one right. You have victories to gain in order to overcome as Christ overcame. 2LtMs, Lt 51a, 1874, par. 5

Christ never murmured, never uttered discontent, displeasure, or resentment. He was never disheartened, discouraged, ruffled, or fretted. He was patient, calm, and self-possessed under the most exciting and trying circumstances. All His works were performed with a quiet dignity and ease, whatever commotion was around Him. Applause did not elate Him. He feared not the threats of His enemies. He moved amid the world of excitement, of violence and crime, as the sun moves above the clouds. Human passions and commotions and trials were beneath Him. He sailed like the sun above them all. Yet He was not indifferent to the woes of men. His heart was ever touched with the sufferings and necessities of His brethren, as though He Himself was the one afflicted. He had a calm inward joy, a peace which was serene. His will was ever swallowed up in the will of His Father. Not my will but Thine be done, was heard from His pale and quivering lips. 2LtMs, Lt 51a, 1874, par. 6

Edson and Emma, we long and pray that the grace of God may come into your hearts. We want you to make an entire surrender to God. We want you to serve God in humbleness of mind and purity of soul. Above everything, take such a straightforward course that your integrity shall not be questioned, your honesty suspicioned. Do not give a chance for this in the future, if you have in the past. Have all your business transactions in a clear straightforward shape, that you can account for every dollar. No man can take a careless course in his business accounts and know how he stands, and [then] leave matters as you have left them, without suspicions being entertained or their honesty. So you need not get very much excited if you are questioned closely and watched with distrust. That which ye sow ye shall also reap. That there should be any occasion for this is heart-sickening to me, your mother. But I have no courage to open my mouth. I remain silent. 2LtMs, Lt 51a, 1874, par. 7

You can, by steadiness of purpose, by a straightforward course and the strictest integrity, have the confidence of your brethren, but Brethren Butler and Loughborough will not be as quick as your father to discern your good qualities, and excuse your errors. God help you to gain a reputation for yourself. 2LtMs, Lt 51a, 1874, par. 8

Willie is improving slowly. He was sick three weeks. 2LtMs, Lt 51a, 1874, par. 9

There is a gentleman at the Health Institute who has been spending some years in South America. He is about twenty-nine years old, looks very healthy, eats only one meal a day. He never saw a health reformer until he came to Battle Creek. He saw an account given in a Chicago paper by Mr. Hog, of our Health Institute. He came to see for himself. He is a Baptist. He understands Spanish and Latin and several languages. These languages he translates. He is a sworn translator. He is a gentleman. Attended meetings Sabbath and Sunday all day and was very much interested in the meetings. He has a most interesting experience which he relates, of his travel in foreign countries. We believe that he will embrace the truth. We hope that the solemn meeting we had Sunday night may convict his mind. 2LtMs, Lt 51a, 1874, par. 10

Lucinda speaks of linen nankeen, which you could buy and make pants for the children. If you prefer white get it. I have made two pairs of white pants for Addie and some pretty aprons and each a calico dress. If you want to get any little thing get it. If you think best you can cut out. We will see you or write you the particulars. I have some things to make for the children. I shall send them some things. May God help you all to walk humbly and carefully is our prayer. Write often as you can. 2LtMs, Lt 51a, 1874, par. 11