Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3

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Lt 42, 1878

White, J. S.

Oakland, California

July 27, 1878

Portions of this letter are published in UL 222; 3Bio 89.

Dear husband:

I received your telegram and know not what it means. After much careful thought I decided that if I went East, it was not best for me to spend six weeks longer here in California and be deprived of attending several of the Eastern camp meetings. If I could be let off entirely from the East, this winter, I would remain cheerfully and find enough to do in many places where calls are coming in for me to come and help them. But as it is thought best for me to go East, I felt quite sure in regard to my plans' being laid rightly to go at once—speak at Sacramento and at Reno, and when at Reno, send you a dispatch when I shall start for Cheyenne. I can spend only two weeks in the mountains. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 1

Emma will accompany me to the camp meetings East as my attendant, unless Willie and Mary should decide to go. I see that Emma must have a change, or we may lose her. She is a good, precious child, and I will do all I can to preserve her life if I defray all her expenses myself. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 2

When your telegram reached us we were packed. My appointments had gone to Sacramento and Reno. We would be thus far on our way, and I see no reason to change my plans and therefore shall follow the plan I had laid. I must speak East if I cross the plains this fall. I shall attend all the camp meetings I can and shall do my uttermost to arouse the people of God from this stupor and lethargy. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 3

Last night I spoke under the tent to a large audience who listened with the deepest interest. Today I speak to the two churches who assemble under the tent [at] San Francisco and Oakland churches. May the Lord let His blessing rest upon me and the people. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 4

Four more signed the covenant last night. There are now thirty-two names on the list. But oh, there is work to be done to feed these sheep; work to be done [to] bring them up in a position where they will be rooted and grounded in the truth. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 5

A living testimony is needed here in Oakland and in San Francisco to keep the church in working order. May the Lord vitalize the message falling from the lips of His servants. May the lips that utter holy truth be sanctified and the hearts pure and holy that God has made the repository of His law. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 6

My soul feels to the very depths the necessity of a close walk with God if anything is done to resist and press back the moral darkness that is crowded in everywhere. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 7

For the first time one day last week I entered Badger’s Park to see what there was there of rare animals and curiosities. It is a little piece of Woodward’s Gardens. For the first time I saw men and women dancing to exciting music—the gentlemen and ladies engaged in a round dance. The ladies give themselves to the gentlemen whose arm encircled their waist and hugged close to these men they were performing [with]. All I could think of was a service to the devil, worshiping their master as virtually and fully as we in religious service worship the God of heaven. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 8

It was to me a most solemn scene because one of significance, showing the fulfilment of one of the specifications of the signs of the last days, [said,] “As it was in the day of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man, They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:26, 27. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 9

All these things that I see of the festivities of the world make me admire and adore my Saviour and His salvation and service more highly, for the contrast is so marked. The service of sin has not one inducement, not one redeeming feature. I am exceedingly filled with contempt as I see talent of intelligence and means laid so willingly upon the shrine of Satan and refused to Jesus Christ who has bought man with an infinite price. My soul is so deeply stirred. I ponder these things night after night, and sleep departs from my eyes and slumber from my eyelids because so few will consent to be saved in God’s appointed way. Many will be as in the days of Christ convicted of the truth, yet refuse obedience to it because the multitude does not accept it. Their inquiry is, What will the world think, or say, or write in reference to this subject? What will this minister or that man of gifted intellect say of these things? 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 10

Oh, that the hearers of the Word would obey the convictions and inquire, What saith the Word of God! This is truth, sacred, eternal truth, if denied by the men of talent who are honored by the world. That which God condemns is fatal error, [even] if the whole world applauds it. That which bears the stamp of God, the truth of His Word, may be unpopular. Yet, nevertheless, it is the truth, [even] if the whole world frowns upon and rejects it and tramples it under their feet. Trials are before the people of God. His arrows will fly thick and fast directly at those who would leave the service of Satan and follow Christ in humble obedience, lifting the cross and bearing it after the Master. Satan will not sift the chaff because he gains nothing in this. He sifts the wheat. The devil will not try and tempt and persecute those whom he is sure of because living in known transgression of the law of God. Those who have enlisted in the army of the Lord, standing under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel, Satan will seek to harass and destroy. Christians will meet and have many and severe conflicts with the wily foe who is merciless. He will bring them into the most difficult places and then exult in their distress. But thank God, Jesus lives to make intercession for every one of us. Our safety is in committing ourselves to God and resting by faith in His merits who has said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 11

I rejoice that Jesus has a firm hold of us. Our grasp is feeble and easily broken, but our safety depends upon the firm hold Jesus has upon us. I rejoice in Jesus today. We have, my husband, walked for more than thirty years side by side in the trials and conflicts of life amid temptations and the buffetings of Satan—his arrows aimed at us to wound and destroy, but Jesus has been our defense. Satan has been repulsed. The Spirit of the Lord has lifted up a standard for us against the enemy. Our sun is westering, but it will not set in darkness. Jesus ever liveth to make intercession for us. We will in the latter days of our pilgrimage repose in God and wait upon Him. If we walk with God, our faith will grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. And the reward of the faithful will [be] ours at last. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 12

My spirit at times is triumphant in God. I see in prospect just before us the eternal weight of glory. We have not earned it. Oh, no, Jesus earned it for us and it is [a] free gift, not for any righteousness and goodness of our own. Let us, the few probationary hours left us, walk humbly with God and do the work He has committed to our hands with fidelity. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 13

I am glad you are in the grand old mountains. I mean to be there soon. To be thus brought near to God through His created works is refreshing and inspiring. It may be we may never as a family be thus associated together again. And I look forward to the few days I shall spend with you and our dear children in the Rocky mountains as a most precious privilege—a recreation of the choicest kind; and while viewing the grand works of God’s creation, we may walk with God. We may talk with Him. To have God as our companion, as our guest, will be the most exalted honor that heaven can bestow upon us. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 14

May the Lord bless you all is the prayer of your, 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1878, par. 15

Ellen.