Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3

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Lt 5, 1876

White, J. S.

Oakland, California

April 11, 1876

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 110; CTr 242; 3Bio 26-27; 7MR 280-281.

Dear Husband:

I had written you quite a lengthy letter last night, but the ink was spilled upon it, making an unsightly blotch and I will not send it. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 1

We received your few words last night on a postal card—“Battle Creek, April 11. No letters from you for two days. James White.” 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 2

This lengthy letter was written by yourself. Thank you, for we know you were living. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 3

No letter from James White previous to this since April 6, 1876. We were very thankful to receive a few lines in reference to yourself from Sister Hall, April 9. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 4

I have been anxiously waiting for something to answer. We were glad of the four pages she wrote and thus hearing of you through her. We have not as yet learned any special news from Battle Creek of your meeting. We read in the Review last night some things which gave some understanding of what was being done. We were glad to read things were so encouraging. Particulars may come in regard [to] Allegan matters in time. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 5

We remain usually well. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 6

Mary White has too great a pressure of work in the office reading proof and preparing matters for paper. We are hoping that the Lord will favor us with help in that department, as He has favored us with help in the household department. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 7

Our China Shew is better help than we could get in hiring a girl. No girl would be found east or west that could or would do the work he does so well and so cheerfully. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 8

Yesterday, Brother Chittenden took a number of us out on the water in his boat—Sister Chittenden, Waggoner, Loughborough, and wife, Mary Clough, Edson, Emma, Frank, Willie Jones, Brother O. B. Jones, Charles Jones, myself and the little girls. We remained on the water and beach all day. Sailed out of the Golden Gate upon the ocean. There was no wind to take us out of the harbor. Charlie employed a steam tug to take us out. One of his friends managed the steamboat. Mary and Emma were seasick. I was not sick at all. The waves ran high and we were tossed up and down so very grandly. I was highly elevated in my feelings, but had no words to say to anyone. It was grand. The spray dashing over us, the watchful captain giving his orders, the ready hands to obey. The wind was blowing strong and I never enjoyed anything as much in my life. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 9

I was today to write upon Christ walking on the sea and stilling the tempest. Oh, how this scene was impressed upon my mind. Brother Chittenden says Sister White looks just happy, but she does not say a word to anyone. I was filled with awe with my own thoughts. Everything seemed so grand in that ocean, the waves running so high. The majesty of God and His works occupied my thoughts. He holds the winds in His hands, He controls the waters. Finite beings, mere specks upon the broad deep waters of the Pacific, were we in the sight of God, yet angels of heaven were sent from His excellent glory to guard that little sailboat that was careening over the waves. Oh, the wonderful works of God! So much above our comprehension! He at one glance beholds the highest heavens and the midst of the sea. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 10

How vividly before my mind was the boat with the disciples buffeting the waves. The night was dark and tempestuous. Their Master was absent. The sea was strong, the winds contrary. Had Jesus, their Saviour, been with them, they would have felt safe. All through the long and tedious night they bend to their oars, forcing their way against wind and waves. They are beset with danger and horror. These were strong men accustomed to hardships and peril and not easily intimidated with danger. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 11

They had expected to take their Saviour on board the ship at a certain point designated, but how without Him could they even reach that spot? All in vain, the wind was against them. The strength of the rowers was exhausted and yet the merciless storm had not abated, but was lashing the waves into a fury as though to engulf the boat and themselves. Oh, how they longed for Jesus. In the hour of their greatest peril, when they had given up all for lost amid the lightning flashes in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus is revealed to them walking upon the water. Oh, then Jesus had not forgotten them. His watchful eye of tender sympathy and pitying love had watched them all through that fearful storm. In their greatest need He is close by them. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 12

He had told them where to meet Him. They were doing their utmost to obey Him and take Him on board, but a trial of their faith was necessary. And at the very point when despair was taking the place of hope, when they felt that they were utterly deserted, the eye of the world’s Redeemer was watching them with a compassion that was as tender as a mother watching over a suffering child, and this love is infinite. The disciples were at first affrighted, but above the roaring of the angry tempest is heard the words the disciples longed most to hear, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” Matthew 14:27. Their confidence is restored. Jesus; it is Jesus! was spoken from one to the other; be not afraid, it is Jesus, the Master. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 13

Jesus said to winds and waves, to the troubled waters, Peace, be still. [Mark 4:39.] Oh, how many times have we in our experience been in a similar position as were these disciples. How many times has Christ revealed Himself to us and turned our sorrow into joy. Oh, powerful Redeemer, gracious and compassionate Saviour, able with Thy infinite power to calm all tempests, able to revive all hearts. He is our Redeemer. We may trust Him in the storm as well as the sunshine. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 14

Can you wonder that I was silent and happy with these grand themes of contemplation? I am glad I went upon the water. I can write better than before. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 15

We have felt some anxious in regard to your health on account of the change of climate at this season of the year. It must be trying to your system, but we hope you will take the best of care of yourself, that your health may not suffer. I hope that this journey will be indeed to you a season of rest rather than toil. I shall press through my work as fast as possible. We pray every day and many times through the day that God would guide you in judgment, [and] impart to you heavenly wisdom. We believe that He will do for us the things we ask of Him. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 16

God is our only hope, in Him must we trust. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 17

Mary Clough was very sick the first part of the boat ride, but after dinner, on our return, she enjoyed the ride very much indeed. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 18

Brethren Waggoner and Loughborough go to Petaluma to be over next Sabbath. They intend to work and set things in order. I have no special news to write you. Brother Charles Jones is waiting to hear whether Orin is to go to Battle Creek. If he is called there, he will send his tools in a box with Charles’ tools. Please write definitely about some of these things. Orin is waiting in sincere suspense. Meanwhile the meetinghouse is going forward. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 19

I will write every morning; will you do the same? Love to yourself and Mary Chase and all friends. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 20

Willie just received a letter with copy for Signs. Review came at same time. 3LtMs, Lt 5, 1876, par. 21