Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 28, 1872

Ball, W. H.

Battle Creek, Michigan

February 27, 1872

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother [W. H.] Ball:

We received letters from you while in Rhode Island, and laid them with other letters to be answered when I returned home, but I cannot find the package, and fear they might have been left East. But where? We cannot have any idea. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 1

Your letter sent to me at Battle Creek I received and commenced to answer but was obliged to leave it without completing. Much of my time I have been utterly unable to write a simple letter. It is the change of life with me, and for three weeks at a time I am frequently unable to tax the brain. This was my condition when I received your letter, and before I had recovered I was afflicted with my cancer, making it impossible to write at all. My husband and myself then united our prayers for four days for help from God. Our prayers were answered. I awoke one morning free from pain and my cancer bunch all gone. I felt grateful to God for this token of His mercy and tender love. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 2

We then decided to go East, and I thought we should meet you if we came East and I could converse with you much better than to write. When we did not meet you at Lancaster, we decided to have a meeting in New Hampshire, almost wholly for your benefit. About this time they wrote us from Battle Creek that the Reformer was waiting for our articles. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 3

We both wrote on the cars, while the cars were in motion. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 4

Riding up from the depot I told my husband we would go directly to your house and remain through the meetings. Said he, “We will first ascertain of Brother Farnsworth if they are in a condition to receive us”—if your wife was well enough to have company, etc. We attended meetings Sabbath and first day. My husband took a severe cold going to New Hampshire, which has remained upon him ever since. While attending the meetings we decided that if you invited us we would come to your house. You did not. Your wife asked me to come, and I thought I surely should do so. But letters had been received demanding immediate attention. Copy we had sent had not been received by them at the office. We feared it was lost. While my husband was talking in meeting Sabbath, I was writing. While he spoke Sabbath evening at the meetinghouse, I was writing in a room alone at Brother Farnsworth’s. I could not visit. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 5

Sunday my husband did not feel able to attend meeting at all. He tried to write, and slept some at Brother Farnsworth’s. We were urged by Brother Farnsworth to visit you. My husband said if he did it would be utterly impossible to get his article for the paper and Reformer. We decided that I should come immediately back to New Hampshire and spend a portion of the winter there, and then I told my husband I would, if convenient, write a part of the time at your house, if I could do so and feel free. We returned to Boston and wrote some on the cars and at the depot at Lawrence, where we waited for the cars from Boston to bring Sister Hall. We had a large package of matter prepared and mailed for the paper and Reformer. This is my apology for the course we have pursued until our visit to Westerly, Rhode Island. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 6

While in Rhode Island a letter was received from you but it was impossible to answer it. My eyes were so bad with inflammation I could not write or read. I took a violent cold from sleeping in damp, moldy beds, which settled all over me, but affected my eyes badly. I thought it impossible for me to go before the public at all, but my husband persuaded me to go, and after speaking a few minutes the pain and heat left my eye. I talked twice to a large congregation in Westerly. My eyes have not yet recovered fully, but they are much better. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 7

After we came to Battle Creek we found so much to do we could not write letters. There were meetings days and evenings and very great interest manifested. Quite a number have been converted and backsliders have been reclaimed. The very sick have been raised up. One sister named Davis from Fairhaven, Massachusetts, has been hopelessly insane for years, sometimes violent, tearing everything about her. If the truth or religious subjects were mentioned she would begin to rave. In answer to prayer she has been healed and is now in her right mind, sitting at the feet of Jesus. She now attends our meetings. The gloom of despair no longer leaves its dark shadow upon her, and her face is all aglow with hope and faith and the love of God. She is a very intelligent, excellent woman when in her right mind. Her testimonies in meeting are so cheering and intelligent. The Lord has done wonderful things, whereof we are glad. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 8

While writing the above I have been called away several times, but I will try to finish. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 9

We received your last letter containing your threats. All we have to say in regard to this is, God lives and reigns, and if He suffers you to carry out the purposes of your natural heart, He will take care of the consequences. You will meet the work you are doing. You may be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. If the latter, may God pity you, for you will need His pity. I am not moved by your threats at all. I expect just such things. Of all the trials that afflicted the life of Paul, none were equal to those he endured through false brethren. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 10

Jesus, the Saviour of the world, was made perfect through suffering. He was followed by men who sought in every way to catch Him in His words that they might find wherewith to accuse Him. These emissaries of Satan were upon His track and notwithstanding the evidences daily witnessed of His power, they were determined that He should not live; and many were eager to bear a part in destroying Him. Why were they left to do this? Why such bitterness against Him who had never done them harm? They had rejected light, and when they had set their hearts to reject Christ it was too much for their pride afterwards to recognize Him as the Saviour of the world. Can I expect, and should I desire, any better portion in this life than that which was given our Lord? In the last testimony given me in Vermont I was shown something of your condition of mind and was warned; therefore I am the more cautious in regard to what I write, for if you continue in your present state of mind, there is no statement that I could make but you would twist it, if you choose to do so, to make me appear as you should choose. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 11

God has given you light and evidence. His power has melted your heart and His Spirit has subdued your pride. You have seen the workings of God’s Spirit. You have seen souls converted to Christ through our labors and you have acknowledged His power. And when you turn from the light and evidence given of God, and again gather to your soul dark unbelief, jealousy, and pride, we may expect anything of you—that you would even go as far as did the enemies of Christ. Jesus was sinless. We are imperfect. If Jesus was not in His innocency and goodness, safe from reproach and from suffering and trial, what can we poor mortals expect who are only of His household? 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 12

Men can do a power of wrong when they set themselves to work on the wrong side. Satan and all his angels will help them. We are looking for the worst unless your proud, unbelieving heart shall be subdued and broken before God. But we fear you not. Christ is at the helm. We love our Captain, and we trust Him in the darkness as well as in the light. But have a care that in seeking to wound us you do not wound yourself more. The cause is God’s, not ours. The work is the Lord’s, not ours. You may for a time hinder the work of God in some hearts; you may even influence some souls to turn from the truth; you may cause them to despise the work and message God has given me to bear. If men could have this influence upon the minds of men against Christ, what better can I expect of you? Those who incited the people against Him made profession of great righteousness. Yet they were among the first to raise their voices, “Crucify him, crucify him.” [John 19:6.] And even when hanging upon the cross their hearts were so hard that the chief priest and elders mocked Him and taunted Him. You are capable of doing a similar work if you cherish unbelief as they did, and reject light. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 13

Reports come to me daily, the most ridiculous and shameful, but I am not in the least disturbed. I do not even take the trouble to contradict them. I have been told that Mrs. Mansfield, who is a First-day Adventist speaker, has reported I traveled with my husband five years before I was married as his wife, which would make me thirteen years old when I started out to travel. The people believed this story because it was a lady speaker professing to be a Christian who reported it, and because she said she was well acquainted with my husband and myself. I have never to my knowledge seen the woman in my life, neither has she seen me. But we expect war. Falsehoods, lying reports, will follow us and every evil thing will be said of us if we are indeed doing the work of God. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 14

If God has given me a testimony to bear to His people, I do not expect Satan will be at rest. Everyone who has given himself to the work of reform has been obliged to endure many trials and suffer persecution. I am in good company. I expect to feel the dragon’s wrath because I am of the remnant who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. My peace of mind no man can take from me. I love my Saviour, I love the truth, and I love to suffer reproach with Christ. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 15

One consolation I have. Jesus knows I am not afraid to meet the record above, for I know that not one blot rests upon my moral character in all my past life. This the day of God will reveal to all. If in the heavenly courts no stain, no blot rests upon my Christian character, if my name stands pure and clear in the sight of angels, my heavenly Father, and my precious Redeemer, my Friend and Advocate, [so] what if poor deceived, blinded mortals circulate their lies and seek to tarnish my Christian character? Shall I be troubled? Jesus says, “Rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” [Matthew 5:12.] 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 16

I feel such a blessed satisfaction in leaving my reputation, my character, and my experience in the hands of my Advocate. I fear not your threats nor what man can do unto me. Only a short period and we shall see as we are seen, and know as we are known. Only a moment of time, and we must pass the grand review, and meet our life record just as it is. My daily anxious care and earnest prayer to God is for strength to stand at my post faithfully day by day. I trouble not my soul for the future. If I fulfil my duties for today, and thus each day as it comes, God will take care of me and His precious work, which is dearer to me than my home, my children, my husband, or even my own life. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 17

I deeply regret the change that has come over you. I feel sad for you. I know that your mind and will are controlled by another, a cruel power. It need not have been so. By yielding to temptation you have offered yourself as a prey to the powers of darkness, and your pride and stubborn will have made you captive and hold you in bondage. And yet my heart yearns toward you. I know that He who is able to gain victory over the powerful foe is able to do for us and you exceeding abundantly, above all that we can ask or think. We shall continue to pray for you that you may be rescued from the peril which now threatens to destroy you. You may yet realize a deeper peace, a more blessed victory than you have ever yet experienced, if you will die to self. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 18

Oh, may God impress your heart and awaken your moral powers, faith, hope, and love, which now lie paralyzed. Faith is the living hand by which the soul lays hold on infinite help. Faith is what you need, for it will lift the veil from the unseen world, and reveal the glories of heaven above. Faith supported by hope lightens every burden, and relieves the weariness of life by anticipating the future glorious rest in heaven. Faith rejoices in the darkness as well as the light. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 19

In the depths of affliction there is a serenity, a cheerfulness that bears the spirits up, and which conquers in the fight with manifold temptations and amid the trial develops a strength which can alone come from the throne of the Most High. Your restless spirit is chafed with conflicts that in your own strength you can never overcome. Oh, that your soul might be subdued and find rest in Jesus and that peace which passeth understanding. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 20

I must say farewell. Again I would say, Beware that you do not take steps which you can never retrace. I fear nothing you can say or do. I have no fear of your pen. God lives and reigns. You are only a weak, erring mortal man. I have only sorrow for yourself. That God who has led and shielded me for thirty years I can trust implicitly. In haste and love to you and yours, I remain, 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 21

Your true friend. 2LtMs, Lt 28, 1872, par. 22