Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 37, 1878

White, J. S.

Salem, Oregon

June 28, 1878

Portions of this letter are published in UL 193; 5MR 234; 15MR 132.

Dear Husband:

I received a few lines from Willie today with the cheering account of your steady improvement in health. For this we have hoped and have not ceased our earnest prayers. The Lord has a work for you to do. You must not be discouraged even if you have days of suffering and pain and weariness. Think how long and continuous have been your labors without any period of rest. Night has been turned into day, and you have been taxed constantly. But I have strong faith for you that you will be strong again and bear a clear and earnest testimony of truth to large congregations. I miss you here so much, but the Lord has not left me alone. Today has been a precious day to us in Oregon. The Spirit of the Lord was manifested in a most marked manner in the nine o’clock social meeting. Many humble, good testimonies were borne, and the melting Spirit of God rested upon preachers and people. 3LtMs, Lt 37, 1878, par. 1

I tried to speak to the people a short time. I told them that it is the privilege of the Christian to come to Jesus in living faith, being in earnest, claiming the promises of God, not depending upon feeling, but taking God at His word. He is a God of love, of tender compassion, of long forbearance, more kind, more beneficent than the kindest earthly parent. We may unburden our whole heart to Him, tell Him those things which we would not confide to mortal ears; humbly cast ourselves on His all-supporting arm. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” [1 John 5:4.] It is our duty and privilege to believe; it is God’s to plan and execute. We must cultivate confidence in God. Plead the promises. God has promised it; He will fulfil His word. 3LtMs, Lt 37, 1878, par. 2

While talking faith and presenting Jesus as our strong helper, my heart was broken, the tears flowed freely. I seldom weep, but the melting love of Christ melted my heart and opened the fountain of tears as I presented the great ransom Jesus had made for our souls that we might have pardon, purity, and peace, and a heaven of bliss. God would have His followers useful on earth and honored and glorified in the kingdom of God. 3LtMs, Lt 37, 1878, par. 3

Our blessed Saviour left the glory which He had with the Father before the world was; He became obedient unto death, even the shameful death of the cross, that He might open a door that no man could close. The gates are today ajar for you, for me. Jesus passed through the fearful conflict with the powers of darkness. The Son of God was laid in the tomb and raised from the dead, that death should not be an eternal sleep, but that all who believe in Him might have eternal life. He has wrought out the plan of redemption. 3LtMs, Lt 37, 1878, par. 4

We sought to lead the people to reach forward to the things that are before us, seeking earnestly to attain the highest elevation of Christian character. In this we must rely simply on the merits and righteousness of our surety. We must have awakened in us a holy jealousy of ourselves and cultivate a spirit of vigilant prayer. We want the spirit of earnest, longing desire that Moses had when he prayed, “I beseech Thee show me Thy glory.” Exodus 33:18. And his petition was not presumptuous. God did not rebuke His servant as being bold and irreverent. 3LtMs, Lt 37, 1878, par. 5

The Lord would have us day by day more like Christ, keeping His words, conforming to His precepts and example, entering more and more deeply every day into the spirit and meaning of God’s requirements and gracious promises. We need not dwell upon and feed upon past experiences when the Lord was gracious to us. We have the same Saviour, the same Fountain of living waters, the same loving invitation, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.” John 7:37. There are brighter, higher attainments of the rich blessings of God. We must not be satisfied with a few glimmering rays of the light of God’s glory. We want to be changed into the same image from glory to glory. Our best days are not behind us, but yet to come. We have had only an earnest of the blessings. 3LtMs, Lt 37, 1878, par. 6

There is a work for us to do to put away all self-love, all love of the world, and everything that defiles the temple of God, and welcome the peace and the love of Jesus into our hearts. An indwelling Saviour we want continually. Jesus will then be revealed in our character. We shall be His witnesses, and His power will attend all our labors. 3LtMs, Lt 37, 1878, par. 7

It is the truth exemplified in the life; it is the gospel of salvation dwelling in the heart, beaming in the countenance and expressed by the lips, that makes us representatives of Jesus. The most successful way to reach men is through divine power. We may pray—we are invited to pray, commanded to pray—and He who has told us to pray will hear our petitions and will work for us with divine power. He will make our path all luminous by His divine light. The daily suppliant, if he have faith, will be like a tree planted by the river of water; his leaf will be always green, and he will bear an abundance of fruit. 3LtMs, Lt 37, 1878, par. 8

The Spirit of the Lord rested upon the congregation. His sweet, melting power was in our midst. How thankful we should be for these heavenly tokens! 3LtMs, Lt 37, 1878, par. 9

Elder Loughborough spoke to the people in the forenoon. I spoke in the afternoon and sought to present before the people the necessity of practical godliness. The power of the Lord sustained me to bear a plain, pointed testimony. Our numbers are increasing, tents are still going up. We have now twenty-two tents, besides the two large tents. 3LtMs, Lt 37, 1878, par. 10

I see that in order to work effectively we must have a firmer hold upon God. We must abide in Jesus and let Jesus abide in us. We must ourselves be sanctified by the truth and our whole lives must be elevated, ennobled, and dignified by the truth we profess. Oh, how many who are today teaching the truth need a thorough conversion, an indwelling Saviour to shine forth in their lives and make them valuable members of society, a living blessing to their families, friends, and to the church! The whole being needs to be transformed, the current of life changed, so that it shall flow towards God and heaven. Living light-bearers are now needed to convert sinners from cherished errors to become cross-bearing disciples of Christ. 3LtMs, Lt 37, 1878, par. 11

Our ministers should preach more of Christ; they should weave Christ into all their sermons, for He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Our ministers must feel the peril as well as the worth of souls. Never can the worth of a soul be estimated, except through the cross and in measuring eternity. A sinner saved from death is to save other souls from death. These souls, being partakers of the divine nature, have capacity and power in this world and cease not in the future, immortal world. As they increase in spiritual strength and divine knowledge in this life, they will rise higher and comprehend more clearly the honor and glorious elevation and felicity of the ransomed in the future life. Oh, that our ministers would be men of prayer, men of piety, devoted to the work, and walking with God! They can be, and they can be indeed the light of the world. 3LtMs, Lt 37, 1878, par. 12

Dear Husband, let us hold fast the hand of Jesus. Let us trust Him fully and put no reliance on self. In God is our strength. In God will we trust. Be of good courage in the Lord. Lean heavily upon Jesus’ all-sustaining arm. Jesus, Jesus, only Jesus. 3LtMs, Lt 37, 1878, par. 13

Your Ellen.