Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 20a, 1880

White, James

Oakland, California

April 13, 1880

Previously unpublished.

[Dear Husband:]

These are a few of the thoughts which came to me on that occasion: 3LtMs, Lt 20a, 1880, par. 1

Sunday I spoke from these words, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God,” etc. 1 John 3:1. The house was crowded. Seats were placed in the aisles and the most respectful attention was given for one hour and a half while I spoke. I was sick in the morning with palpitation of the heart, but I was carried above all the difficulty and forgot myself and the occasion in my deep interest for the souls of the hearers. 3LtMs, Lt 20a, 1880, par. 2

Elder Brown had visited St. Helena, and with his Bible studies had created a universal excitement. But there was no healthful influence left after he was gone. He had used my name in the desk and made a similar statement to the one he made while on the steamer Oregon on our passage to Oregon, that Mrs. White believed we were saved by law. I had told him plainly what I did believe, and entreated him now that he had been corrected in his statements not to misstate Mrs. White again, but it seems that honesty is not a part of his character. He made the same false statement before the people at St. Helena. 3LtMs, Lt 20a, 1880, par. 3

I related my conversation with Elder Brown on that occasion, stating our relation to the law and to Christ: that sin was the transgression of the law and that it was the law which convicted Paul, but that the law has no power to pardon the transgressor of law. The blood of the Son of God here comes in. The fountain has been prepared where the sinner may wash his robes of character from their defilement, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. Repentance toward God because the Father’s law has been transgressed, and faith toward our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ are the sinner’s only hope. 3LtMs, Lt 20a, 1880, par. 4

I spoke in the evening to a good congregation, relating some incidents in my experience. The brethren and sisters seem to appreciate these meetings very much. 3LtMs, Lt 20a, 1880, par. 5

Monday night I spoke to the Napa Church and had a good congregation for so short a notice. All listened with good attention and it was difficult to resist their earnest entreaties to remain longer and labor more for them. The church is not prospering spiritually. Brother Myers is deeply anxious to do what he can through God to keep the church alive. May God bless his efforts. They need further labor and may God prosper them in calling for it and, may the response be such as to meet their wishes. 3LtMs, Lt 20a, 1880, par. 6

In regard to what may be my duty, I am at a loss what to say. My prayer is, Lord, direct in reference to laborers coming here. All has been said that can be said on our end of the line. And as we have no control of your end of the line we must wait and watch and pray until God shall tell His ministers what to do. 3LtMs, Lt 20a, 1880, par. 7

I hope Elder Corliss and all will look to God for themselves and know their own duty without leaving it to any man to tell them what they must do. Do not, I beg of you, take the responsibility of dictating others’ duty. God is the Master. If they look to Him, He will tell them just as well as to tell you their duty. There has too much of this been done, and I have been shown that the purpose of God will never be met till each man whom He has called knows his duty for himself, while he may be counseled by those of mature experience. 3LtMs, Lt 20a, 1880, par. 8

Yours in love. 3LtMs, Lt 20a, 1880, par. 9