Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 24, 1880

White, James

Oakland, California

April 19, 1880

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 136, 140; 5MR 236.

Dear Husband:

We returned from Dixon yesterday and found two letters from you where you give an account of your meeting at Monterey. When I read of three or four ministers in attendance at Otsego and Monterey I thought if some of these understood their duty and the movings of God’s Spirit, there would be less there and some help sent to this state, but we have no further arguments to use in reference to this matter. All has been said that ever will be in regard to help coming from the East at this time. I cannot feel clear to leave a state where there is no one to labor, and therefore my summer will be spent here—the first part of it at least. I intended to come East but have decided we must be the very ones the Lord wanted here. I shall go to Oregon the sixth day of May—shall remain two months unless I see more clear light. 3LtMs, Lt 24, 1880, par. 1

We have had almost incessant rains for two weeks past but my throat and lungs are constantly growing stronger. I speak from three to fives times each week, and the Lord helps me and blesses me greatly. We have just returned from Dixon. When I see how believers and unbelievers receive my testimony I am certain my duty is to visit the churches rather than to write and subject myself to discouragement and almost despair in doing that I am not capable of doing. 3LtMs, Lt 24, 1880, par. 2

It was a great trial to consent in my mind to give up my writing—when at Battle Creek I did do it, and now I feel no duty to take it up again. If the Lord makes my duty as plain to resume writing as He has done to speak to the churches, I shall have no hesitancy in taking it up again if He provides me the very help I must have. 3LtMs, Lt 24, 1880, par. 3

I spoke three times from one and one-half hours to two hours in Dixon. I had unbounded freedom. Many had been convinced of the truth but my visions stood in the way. Sister Cadman is a very excellent sister. Her husband stumbled over me but at the same time assisted in bearing the expenses of meetings. After I had spoken Sunday forenoon, he came home and stated he was broken all to pieces, His prejudice was gone he had not one word to say in opposition to Sister White’s work. Several others were in the same position. But hearing my testimony removes the prejudice. I never had greater freedom in labor than now. 3LtMs, Lt 24, 1880, par. 4

I am rejoiced that you have the blessing of God in your labors. This may be just as the Lord would have it—you doing your work, and I doing my work here. We are evidently both in the way of duty, and I am so glad that the Lord is working for Monterey, and I hope something may be done to bring up Allegan. I have considerable trouble with my heart, but this will not detain me from duty one moment. If I know where to go and where to work, I am satisfied to do what I can. 3LtMs, Lt 24, 1880, par. 5

There are workers on our track everywhere. Lee did nothing and has, we think, left the coast discouraged. In Fresno we hear some influence is at work circulating Grant’s books and warning the people not to go and hear us as it is dangerous. This is the same warning given the people at [illegible]. If we had pitched a tent and it would have been favorable weather we should have had the whole community. As it was, we met in a hall, a cold, disagreeable place but not withstanding the mud, many came six miles and home again after the evening meeting. Six came from Woodland, one from Arbuckle. They will follow me up whichever way I may go. Brother Butcherd’s people came fourteen miles in their wagon. 3LtMs, Lt 24, 1880, par. 6

The people here in California are starving for food and they are being fed. I cannot leave California as I now feel, and no laborers here. I have no burden of writing more than I can do from time to time and bear my testimony. My way is always hedged up when I attempt to write. I am settled in the matter that I have written when it was my duty to visit the churches. I shall try to attend the eastern camp meetings. 3LtMs, Lt 24, 1880, par. 7

My prayer day and night to God is for a fitness for this great work. I want humility and meekness, lowliness of mind and ever cherish the simplicity of Christ. Self must be hid in Christ. 3LtMs, Lt 24, 1880, par. 8

People came to our meetings at Dixon, who stated they were starving for the living Bread that cometh down from heaven; and oh, how the tears flowed as I spoke the plain truth attended by the Spirit of God. Preachers who are revivalists have been at work for weeks in Dixon, have created some excitement but the complaint amidst it all is from very many who attend their meetings. The visitation of the Spirit is withheld and the preaching of the Word is not attended with the demonstrations of the Spirit and of the power. There is a general complaint our ministers exhibit self. Baptist and Methodist exalt self, talk of what great things I have done, and the people are disgusted with this anxiety for supremacy. Self is not hid in Jesus. I have many fears, yea, I have seen that this was one of the great evils existing among our ministers. Self is talked of; self is exalted and God’s Spirit is grieved. 3LtMs, Lt 24, 1880, par. 9

I dream some important dreams. One was this. “I thought I was taken off in vision and shown that an angel was addressing our ministers and said to them these words, ‘You have a great work to do for the salvation of souls, but you all, without an exception, lack the Spirit of God. You try to meet and resist the moral darkness in your own might and in your own wisdom. The great work for the salvation of your own souls and the souls of your fellowmen is not the best done in a state of excitement, when the feelings are stirred. The preparation essential to do the work of God acceptably and successfully must be obtained in searching of the Scriptures and in humble, earnest prayer, in quietness, in peace. There is a work to be done, not merely when the soul is stirred with fervor and emotion, and feelings take the place of thought, and the helm of control is lost in excitement and busy conflict. God’s Spirit moves upon the mind and controls the emotions of the soul. 3LtMs, Lt 24, 1880, par. 10

The rational thought and the right feelings and the faultless life come from the same source and are quiet and strong and sensible in their operation. To possess and enjoy the Spirit of God; there must be a conformity of the life [and] the actions to the will of God; the heart must be prepared; the soul temple cleansed from defilement of self and sin; then the power of grace comes in and God works with His ministers. 3LtMs, Lt 24, 1880, par. 11

P.S. Please send deed of Healdsburg property. We are trying our best to find a buyer for the place. 3LtMs, Lt 24, 1880, par. 12