Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 16, 1871

White, W. C.

South Lancaster, Massachusetts

November 3, 1871

Previously unpublished.

Dear Son Willie:

Here we are at Brother Haskell’s. Here was the scene of your severe illness, which caused us so many fears and so great an anxiety on account of your extreme feebleness. Here in this house prayers were offered in your behalf. Many tears were shed on your account. But God did not leave us in our distress. He heard our cry; He answered our prayer and saved us from a great sorrow, by raising you to health. God has done this, my dear son, which should call forth our gratitude for His merciful kindness. Why has God given you a new lease of your life? Is it not that your life may be more fully devoted to His service? God is proving you with health to see what you will make of the health He now blesses you with. All these are tokens that God loves you. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 1

Brother Haskell says, “Tell Willie his sickness is frequently revived [in my memory],” his taking you in his arms from the bed and placing you in bed again. He says, “Tell Willie I shall never forget that scene.” He expresses strong attachment for you and sends his affection and best wishes to you. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 2

My dear Willie, be very careful of your words and of your actions. You are forming a character for life or for death, for happiness or misery. It pays to have the fear of God continually before you. Let your yearning, earnest cry go out to your heavenly Father: O, God, be Thou the guide of my youth. If you have God for your counselor, you will move in wisdom and will not be left to rely upon your own imperfect judgment. Be in earnest, my son, to have a right hold from above that the communication may be opened between you and heaven, that light from God may be given you, and may you in the very best manner let your light so shine before others that they, by seeing your good works, may glorify our Father which is in heaven. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 3

How precious it is to be right with God, to call God our Father! What a privilege! Live for God, my son. Keep your life pure that angels may be attracted to you and guide you. To be united to God, to Jesus Christ, to the heavenly angels, is the highest and most sacred and exalted privilege that mortals can have. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 4

Dear son, do not let lightness and trifling destroy your confidence in God. Jesting and joking is not convenient for to make a success of perfecting Christian character or to increase your confidence toward God, or increase your love for devotion and for spiritual things. Willie, I urge you to live for God, to make a business of serving God. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 5

The Lord is working graciously for us. Your father and myself have been very anxious in regard to a swelling which we settled could be nothing else but a cancer. For several weeks the pain had become almost unbearable. Your father and myself dedicated ourselves to God. We acknowledged our lack of faith and forbearance and spirituality. We consecrated ourselves to God with humility and sorrow that we were not stronger in God and better prepared to honor Him. We united in prayer each day for God to heal me of mine infirmities. To the praise of God I will say, My difficulties are nearly gone. In three days a large painful swelling of nearly two years’ standing was removed. I cannot discern any swelling now. I will praise God for His goodness. Let us accept the blessing of God and praise Him. Let us as a family dedicate ourselves more thoroughly to God. We want you to unite with us and offer our best and holiest affections, a willing offering to God. We will be right, Willie. Don’t live for to meet the minds of the unconsecrated, but live for God. Live to please Him who died to redeem you. What greater blessing could we desire than to be beloved of God and angels? Link your life to God and you will have strength to resist temptation. You will grow stronger and stronger. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 6

Now in regard to our journey. We endured the journey well. At Rochester made good connections. Father telegraphed to Lucinda to buy tickets for Worcester instead of Boston. We met Lucinda at Utica. We had a few minutes conversation with Samuel and Mary [Abbey] before the cars were in motion. We stopped at Worcester at the same house you and I put up last summer. The hotel was full unless we mounted four flights of stairs. This we did and had a hard straw mattress to lie upon. I could not sleep for several hours. We awoke early but could not find a match. Father went down four flights of stairs but could not get a match or arouse one of the inmates of the hotel. But daylight came at last and we were taken to the depot by paying one dollar and a half. We arrived here all safe. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 7

They were glad to see us and entertained us. Lucinda seems quite cheerful. Her health is improved, but she has been very poorly. I feel glad to have her with us again. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 8

Father is talking with Brother Haskell. We shall go into Boston to visit Brother Stratton the first of the week. We are decided not to keep house at present. We want to be free from care ourselves, and have opportunity to write, and Lucinda can help me write and have freedom from care. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 9

Now, Willie, I entreat you as your mother, do not condescend to anything cheap and low. Aim to elevate your life from a Christian standpoint. The worldling's standpoint of elevation I am not ambitious for you to meet. “Upward to God be soul's adoration.” Love heavenly things, love a pure and virtuous character. Do not indulge in cheap nonsense. Let your words be sound (as the apostle enjoins) that cannot be condemned. “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil things to say of you.” Titus 2:6-8. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 10

The Lord strengthen and fortify and bless you that you may meet the mind of God by coming up to the high standard erected by our divine Lord. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 11

Willie, write to us. Direct to South Boston, 65 Dorchester Street. May the Lord bless you with health and a happy, cheerful mind is the prayer of your parents. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 12

In much love, 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 13

Your mother. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 14

Please preserve my letters. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 15


Much love to Brother and Sister Abbey and Lillie. Will write next week to them. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1871, par. 16