Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 8, 1873

Diggins, Brother and Sister

Battle Creek, Michigan

March 29, 1873

Portions of this letter are published in OHC 17, 22, 33, 34, 196; CTr 90.

Dear Brother and Sister Diggins:

You have been upon my mind considerably of late. I have thought if I could have the privilege of visiting with you again, I should have much to say. Our interest in you and your dear children has not diminished. We have the most tender feelings of love and respect for you and yours. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 1

Our conference has been one of the greatest importance and intensely interesting. We have felt the sensible pressure of the powers of darkness to depress and discourage our faith. But the cloud has been lifted from time to time and we have enjoyed many seasons of the presence of God. We have had the most striking manifestations of the presence of God and of His divine power that we have ever experienced. We have had a deep sense of the magnitude of the work of God, and of its sacred importance as we have listened to the reports from delegates and from our ministering brethren. There has been in these reports that which has caused tears to flow from many eyes. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 2

Our Health Institute has been a great means in the hands of God of bringing the truth before very many. Men and women go from the Institute to their homes improved in health, but this is not all. They see wonderful things in the Scriptures of which they were ignorant before. Regular meetings are held at the Institute and all are invited to participate. Our peculiar views are not made prominent. All who wish may hear the reasons of our faith by going to our house of worship, which is only a few rods from the Health Institute. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 3

As the patients see the kindly family feeling and the union existing at the Health Institute, they desire to attend their meetings to learn what they believe. The reasons of our faith are then presented in simplicity, and they are convinced that we are right, that we have the truth. A physician of the old school came to the Institute to die. No encouragement was given him from the first. He had had chronic diarrhea for nine years. He attended meetings and was convinced of the truth in regard to the Sabbath and our position. He died last week, we believe, in Jesus. He was a man of intelligence and learning. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 4

A German Baptist minister came to the Health Institute with dropsy and heart disease. He thought his case was hopeless. He was terribly bloated, but the treatment given him was successful and the dropsy has disappeared. He became interested in the truth and has decided to obey the truth. He is a man of learning and a very devoted Christian. He has an experience that but few have in the knowledge of the way of salvation. His face is all lighted up with intelligence and cheerful hope. He is pastor of a church of Germans about eight miles from here. He understands different languages. He says he wishes to move with great caution for his church love him, and he thinks all will go with him in taking their position on the truth. He wishes to open these wonderful things, of such importance to them, as they can bear it. He bears a testimony in meetings that has influence, for every word seems to be dictated by the Spirit of God. Brother Allwood had waited with great desire for our return. He has listened to our discourses with deepest interest. He expresses his pleasure and gratification to find that we have so much to say in regard to experimental religion. If God will bless this dear brother with health, he will be of the greatest service to the cause of truth. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 5

Brother Brownsberger, German, a promising young man thoroughly educated, is now teaching school; was at our conference, and a brother German named Herbe. These three intelligent Germans visited together at our house with great satisfaction to themselves. We could understand our name, White, mentioned, but we could not understand what they said. New fields are opening everywhere, especially among those of other nations. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 6

Brother Brownsberger is anticipating giving himself to the ministry to teach the German or French. He will connect himself with the school at Battle Creek to teach the higher classes in French and German languages at present. We feel that no time is to be lost, that we must work while the day lasts, for soon the night cometh in which no man can work. We feel that it is of the greatest importance that these institutions at Battle Creek are rightly conducted, for they can be a power for good in converting souls to the truth. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 7

I might give particulars of our meetings but the reports in the Review have done this quite fully, and I will not give particulars. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 8

We are very desirous of hearing from you, how you are prospering in the truth and in the love of Christ. How is your family? Are they seeking the Lord? Dear brother, do not neglect to do your whole duty to lead your dear family to the cross of Christ. They need the blessings that are received through the obedience of the truth. I tremble lest they will neglect the great salvation that is offered to them on such easy terms. All that Christ demands is obedience, thorough consecration to His will. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 9

Sister Diggins, I feel my heart drawn out in tenderness and love to you. I am so anxious that you should take your stand decidedly on the Lord’s side. You are not ignorant of the charms of Jesus. You acknowledge in your heart that you love His spotless character, and you desire to be like Jesus, but you hesitate to put on Christ and openly acknowledge yourself as one of His disciples. May you have strength to overcome your timidity, and hesitate no longer to take your position under the bloodstained banner of the cross of Christ, is my prayer. Dear sister, worldly things and worldly company cannot supply the place of Christ in the soul. They only are blessed whose chief concern is to secure those blessings which will nourish the soul and endure forever. Our Saviour says to us, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. God has a care for us, even to bestow His temporal blessings upon us. Our earthly good is not beneath the notice of our heavenly Father. He knoweth that we have need of these things. He knoweth our frame, and is acquainted with our fears. “Godliness is profitable unto all things having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 10

Nothing can do us real good without the blessing of God. What God blesses is blessed. Therefore “a little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.” Psalm 37:16. The little with the blessing of God is more efficient, and it will extend farther. The grace of God will make a little go a great ways. When we devote ourselves to the affairs of the kingdom of God, He will mind our affairs. The Word of God says of them who devoted their interest solely to their own affairs, “Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put into a bag with holes.” Haggai 1:6. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 11

When God smiles upon our efforts it is worth more than any earthly income. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 12

“How sweet our daily comforts prove
When they are seasoned with His love.”
2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 13

It is altogether too great a loss to be strangers to the blessing and smiles of God. When we consider the abundant promises of God, how can we hesitate to comply with the conditions He has made which, if we accept, will give us claims to those broad, deep, and abundant blessings promised? “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 14

Here we see the true dignity and exalted character of the Lord’s people. Such is the infinite goodness of God that through Jesus Christ’s merits He not only spares but pardons and justifies us, and through the righteousness of Christ imputes righteousness to us, and exalts and ennobles us by making us children of His adoption. We become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 15

He lifts men and women from their degradation and exalts them in righteousness. And though the world knoweth them not, and they may be little and low in their own eyes, and it doth not yet appear what they shall be, yet now are they the sons and daughters of God; and they have been precious in His sight, and honorable. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 16

He calls them His jewels, and a peculiar treasure unto Him. They are trophies of His grace and power, and of His greatness and riches in glory. They therefore are not their own, but are bought with a price and through the extraordinary office of the atonement of Christ have been brought into nearness and the most sacred relationship to Jesus Christ. They are called His heritage, His children, the members of Christ’s body, of His flesh and of His bones; yea, they are joined to the Lord by intimate relationship with Him. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 17

My dear Sister Diggins, we cannot afford to do without Christ. His presence and His grace are rather to be desired than choice gold. We know that we set a high standard for the character of a Christian, and expect great things from the believer—that he should walk in humbleness of mind by faith and not by sight—but let not this discourage you. We know that the character of a Christian, as described in the Word of God, looks higher than we can attain unto, more fitting for an angel than for weak, fallen man. If we look to our own strength alone for help and sufficiency, we shall become discouraged. But in His name, who conquered the mighty foe in the wilderness of temptation, we may overcome. Our sufficiency is of God. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 18

There is much to hold you, my sister, in a position of inaction. The natural feelings of the carnal heart would withdraw us from spiritual duties. Friends and relatives who have no interest in the things which make for their peace will claim our time, and often the things of the kingdom of God are repulsive to them. The attractions of this life—relatives, friends, and children—all withdraw our affections from Him who has shown us greater love than [all of them] in that He died for us. Outward difficulties may loom up like a lion in the way, and the slothful, timid heart may shrink with fear. But while we know that we cannot enter the Christian course with vigor and courage unless we are sure of effectual aid, we need not be discouraged. We have express and positive assurance that God will be with us. “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yes, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10. “Let him take hold of my strength, saith God, and make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” Isaiah 27:5. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5. Although you may feel weak in your own strength, in the strength of God you may be strong; you may take hold of the strength of the Conqueror and be more than conqueror through Christ. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 19

Oh, my dear sister, shall Jesus Christ have died for us in vain? Oh, no, no. Come to Jesus just as you are, come, all helpless, poor, and broken. Cast yourself just as you are in His arms. He is ready to accept you now, and record your name in the Lamb’s book of life. Say with your whole heart, I will walk in Thy truth. Every resolution expressed in the fear of God will give strength to purpose and to faith. It will tend to stimulate and to humble, to strengthen and confirm. “I will walk in thy truth.” Psalm 86:11. Truth deserves our confidence nonetheless because the world is flooded with fables. Because error and counterfeit are in circulation it only evidences the fact that there is truth, genuine truth, somewhere. How slow of heart are we to believe all that the prophets have spoken. The weight of evidence, you can but admit, is on the side of truth that we as a people hold. It is not enough for us to hear the truth only. God requires of us obedience. “Blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28. “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” John 13:17. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 20

We may walk in the enjoyment of the truth. It need not be to us a yoke of bondage, but a consolation, a message to us of glad tidings of great joy, animating our hearts and causing us to make melody in our hearts unto God. Through patience and comfort of the Scriptures we have hope. The Christian hope is not gloomy, comfortless. Oh no, no. It does not shut us up in a prison of doubts and fears. The truth makes free those who love and are sanctified through it. They walk in the glorious liberty of the sons of God. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 21

Dear sister, your children have claims upon you, I know. But in acknowledging and yielding to these claims you should not neglect the One who has higher claims than your children can have. If you allow the children God has entrusted to your stewardship to claim the devotion of your life and rob God of the love and service He claims, and which is due Him, you show great ingratitude to your gracious Benefactor. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 22

Christ died to bind us in sacred relationship to Himself. If we refuse to be thus united with Christ we neglect the great salvation and despise the blood of the covenant. Oh, do not disregard the claims Jesus has upon you. You should be willing for all to know that you are not your own, but His who bought you with an infinite price. And that you are not only bound, but are determined to glorify Him in your body and in your spirit which are God’s. May the love of so great magnitude constrain you not only to confess Christ with the mouth, but with the life, to bear fruit to the glory of God. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 23

As a mother you are responsible for the example you set your children in regard to the reception of the truth. Do not stand in the way of the salvation of your children by showing a neglect of the truth in your own life. Let your example show to your children that you deem the truth of sufficient consequence to obey it, although it may be unpopular with the world. You can be a fellow helper to the truth, and the Master will finally say, “She shall walk with me in white, for she is worthy.” [Revelation 3:4.] How important that you, my sister, united with your husband, exert a saving influence upon you dear children. Your children are precious in the sight of the Lord, for they are the purchase of His blood. This great responsibility you cannot bear alone. You need the assistance of God to help you that you shall so instruct and give worthy examples to your children that you may be without fault in the day of God. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 24

We are passing through an enemy’s land. Foes are upon every side to hinder our advancement. They hate God and all who follow after Him and bear His name. But those who are our enemies are the Lord’s enemies, and although they are strong and artful, yet the Captain of our salvation, who leadeth us, can vanquish them. As the sun disperses the clouds from its path, so will the Sun of Righteousness remove the obstacles to our progress. We may cheer our souls by looking at the things unseen which will cheer and animate us in our journey. We may say, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? ... Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.” Psalm 27:1-3. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 25

We may indeed say, “Thy presence is our security, our treasure, our glory, our joy. How can the duties of life be discharged without Thee? How can its trials be endured without Thy presence?” Do we pray that Christ will go where we go, and dwell where we dwell? If we can live without Christ in this world, He will live without us in the better world. But if we cling to Him by living faith, saying with Jacob, “I will not let thee go” (Genesis 32:26); if we entreat, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me,” (Psalm 51:11), the promise is to us, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 3:5. We cannot afford to live in neglect of the great salvation offered to us upon such liberal terms. The knowledge of the claims of God as our Father will keep us from offending Him. This will make us anxious to please Him. As His children we must walk in the light, walk worthy of God, who hath called us unto glory and His immortal kingdom. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 26

We have read an account of a noble prince who carried the picture of his father always near his heart, and on important occasions when there was danger of forgetting him, he would take out the likeness and view it and say, Let me do nothing unbecoming so excellent a father. As Christians, God has claims upon us that we should never, never lose sight of for a moment. And as we are His children by adoption, how careful should we be that we retain His image and do nothing that will belittle or degrade our holy calling, for we rank among the royal family. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 27

God has made us as vessels unto honor, prepared unto every good work. “This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.” Isaiah 43:21. God’s people are called a crown, a diadem. Satan would eagerly seize the Lord’s treasure, but God has secured it so that Satan cannot obtain it. “Thou shalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” Isaiah 62:3. We are secure, perfectly secure from the enemy’s subtlety while we have unwavering trust in God. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 28

Dear brother and sister, may God help you now, just now, to walk unitedly, in all the commandments of the Lord blameless. Treasure the truth above everything; sell it not for any price. Pray for us and seek by earnest prayer to bring your children into the ark. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 29

Much love to you and yours from your sister. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1873, par. 30