Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 49a, 1878

White, J. S.

Ballardvale, Massachusetts

August 30, 1878

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 251.

[Dear Husband:]

Sunday morning the weather was cloudy, with some rain, which prevented so large an attendance from outside as might otherwise have been expected; but as the prospect brightened for a fair day, the numbers increased rapidly, each train bringing more or less, until in the afternoon the crowd on the ground showed quite a marked contrast from that assembled on any previous day during the meetings. 3LtMs, Lt 49a, 1878, par. 1

Elder Smith spoke in the morning upon the subject of the sanctuary, showing the disappointment in the time was not a failure after all. Brother Farnsworth, Sabbath, [spoke] on the New Testament and no evidence for Sunday there. At half-past one, Elder Haskell preached upon “Who Changed the Sabbath?” At three o’clock, I took the stand, speaking upon the subject of temperance. I spoke one hour while the people listened with the deepest attention. A man, the guardian of a home for little children, desired an opportunity of speaking a few words and taking up a contribution for the benefit of the home for the friendless. He had four little children from eight to twelve who sang little songs very prettily. The man spoke well, and all were interested in the home for the fatherless and motherless. A contribution was raised of forty dollars, a donation to the home for the friendless. The meetings had been held with but little intermission from nine o’clock till nearly six. The people upon the ground were more quiet than usual upon such occasions. There was no boisterous, loud talking and rough behavior. Brother Haynes preached in the evening. This closed the labors for Sunday. 3LtMs, Lt 49a, 1878, par. 2

Monday morning meeting commenced half-past five under the tent. I spoke about thirty minutes upon the necessity of economy in dress and in the expenditure of means. There is danger of becoming reckless and careless of the Lord’s money. Young ministers who engage in tent labor should be careful and not run up high expenses. The wants of the cause are many, as tents are entering new fields and as the missionary work is enlarging. The most rigid economy should be used in this matter without stinginess. It is easier to run up a bill than to settle it. There are many things that would be convenient and enjoyable that is not needful and that can be dispensed with without actual suffering. It is very easy to run up hotel bills and car bills that might be avoided or be very much less. We have passed over the road twelve times to and from California and have not expended one dollar in meals at the restaurants and in the attached dining car. We eat our meals from our lunch baskets; and after being three days out, the food becomes quite stale, but preparations for a little milk or warm gruel supply our lack. 3LtMs, Lt 49a, 1878, par. 3

Our morning meeting was held in the tent. I spoke again about thirty minutes in reference to genuine sanctification which was nothing less than a daily dying to self and daily conformity to the will of God. Paul’s sanctification was a daily conflict with self. Said he, “I die daily.” [1 Corinthians 15:31.] His will and his desires daily conflicted with duty and the will of God. In the place of following inclination, he did the will of God, however unpleasant and crucifying to his nature. The reason many in this age of the world make no greater advancement in the divine life is because they interpret their own will to be just what God wills. They do exactly as they desire and flatter themselves they are conforming to God’s will. They please self in everything and have no conflict with self. Many battle well at first against selfish desires for pleasure and ease. They are sincere and earnest, but grow weary of protracted effort of daily death, ceaseless turmoil with resisting Satan’s temptations, and indolence seems inviting, death to self repulsive, and [they] close the drowsy eyes and drop under temptation instead of resisting it. Fashionable sins, pride of life, do not seem so very repulsive. 3LtMs, Lt 49a, 1878, par. 4

There are no compromises in the Word of God for those who conform to the world. The Son of God was manifested that He might draw all men unto Him, but He came not to lull the world to sleep, not to send peace, but a sword. The followers of Christ must walk in the light of His glorious example, and at whatever sacrifice of ease or selfish indulgence, at whatever cost of labor or sufferings, we must maintain the constant battle with self and exalt the gospel standard and push forward the triumphs of the cross. 3LtMs, Lt 49a, 1878, par. 5

We called on those who desired to be baptized and who were keeping the Sabbath for the first time to come forward. Twenty-five responded. These bore excellent testimonies. One gentleman of intelligence bore testimony that he had seen light upon the Sabbath commandment since these meetings commenced. He stated that he had kept the first day strictly according to the canons of Rome, but he now saw he had not been keeping the day the Lord had sanctified and blest. But from this time, as long as God spared his life, he would keep the seventh day specified in the fourth commandment. He stated that the members of his church had attended these meetings and were very much interested and stirred in regard to the things they had heard at this meeting. We have had a good attendance from those residing in the vicinity where our camp meeting is now held. 3LtMs, Lt 49a, 1878, par. 6

The influence of this meeting is having a molding influence upon the community. The Spirit of the Lord has been in our midst. My testimony has been well received. I have been strengthened and blessed of God. While trying to water others, my own soul has been watered. We have been interested to meet our old friends of the cause whose acquaintance we made about thirty-three years ago. Our much respected Brother Hastings is as deeply interested in the truth today as he was thirty years ago. We were pleased to meet Sister Temple and Sister Collins of Dartmouth, Mass., old friends of thirty years’ acquaintance. We met here upon the ground Brother and Sister Wilkinson at whose house we have been entertained more than thirty years ago. The pilgrimage of some of these dear ones may close ere long, but if faithful unto the end, they will receive a crown of life. 3LtMs, Lt 49a, 1878, par. 7

We were interested to meet Brother Kimball, who is a mute and has been a missionary among the mutes. Through his persevering labors quite a little army has accepted the truth. We meet this faithful brother at our yearly camp meetings, surrounded with several of his mute converts. Some one who is interested, who has ears to hear, writes out some portions of the discourse; and he sits, surrounded by his mute friends, actively preaching with his hands to them. He has freely used his means to advance his missionary work, thus honoring God with his substance. By and by, if faithful, he will receive a precious reward. 3LtMs, Lt 49a, 1878, par. 8

Twenty-two received baptism. We hope that the influence of this meeting will continue and conviction will deepen and all who profess the truth will strive for the unity of the faith and that oneness Christ prayed might exist among His disciples and with all those who should believe on this word. 3LtMs, Lt 49a, 1878, par. 9