Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 21, 1880

White, James

Oakland, California

April 15, 1880

Portions of this letter are published in 9MR 97.

Dear Husband:

I returned from St. Helena yesterday and found several letters from you—two were dated March twenty and March twenty-three; others April four, five and six. Those dated March I think must have come while I was at Woodland and through some neglect were not placed in my hands. I make this explanation so that you may not think I intentionally neglected to notice your statements where you speak of meeting me in California. In the first part of the letter this statement occurs, in the last part, you make altogether a different statement. You will take rest in Colorado. The letter conclusion I suppose, must be your decision. Colorado looks very inviting to me. We see California new in its spring dress of living green. Mountains and hills are clothed with verdure, [and] the valleys covered with grain in a fresh, flourishing condition could not look more lovely. But I look forward to June or July when the showerless heavens and pitiless sun shall change this beautiful dress to a burned, seared, brown, and then the prospect not be as lovely. 3LtMs, Lt 21, 1880, par. 1

I met with the church in St. Helena last Sabbath and first day. They have a neat, plain, tasty convenient house of worship. Every cent was paid before it was dedicated to God. Extra efforts were made in order to do this. I cannot see why the church in St. Helena should not be in a prospering condition and continue to grow in numbers and in spirituality. There is some excellent material there in its responsible members whose hearts are wedded to the cause of God and their greatest interest is in its prosperity and continual advancement. 3LtMs, Lt 21, 1880, par. 2

Brother Drew is a faithful, persevering worker in the missionary cause. All who have papers lying by have interestedly gathered them up as precious golden treasures and placed them in the hands of Brother Drew, who sends them on their missionary errands to let shine their precious rays of light to those who have not a knowledge of our faith. Review and Herald, Instructor, Good Health, Signs and pamphlets and leaflets, tracts and books are all carefully preserved and prized by this missionary worker to send forth to enlighten homes of others who are in all parts of the world. He will never see the results of his disinterested labor in this world, but he is sowing beside all waters, not knowing which shall prosper this, or that. But when the redeemed host will be gathered around the great white throne, and the crowns of glory are given to those who have come up through great tribulation, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, then each will see and will know just how much their instrumentality has done in the great work of the salvation of the souls before the throne. 3LtMs, Lt 21, 1880, par. 3

But few know what they may do and what great results may be achieved through their individual efforts in doing good to others. Many are too selfish and indolent to do what they have the power to do. If each would work in their capacity and do what they can for the Master, they would grow spiritually and could never say, I am lonesome. 3LtMs, Lt 21, 1880, par. 4

I spoke to our people upon Sabbath with much freedom. A social meeting followed where many bore testimony for the truth and expressed gratitude for that which they had heard, and said they meant from that time to be more earnest and interested in the work and cause of God than they had been heretofore. At the close of the social meeting, the Lord’s Supper was administered. Brother Wood officiated. It was a solemn, impressive symbol to us, and brought fresh and impressively to mind the words of Christ, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:51. 3LtMs, Lt 21, 1880, par. 5

How many would eat the bread and drink the wine, symbols of Christ’s flesh and blood, and yet their hearts are not in harmony with God? But Christ said more positively, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” John 6:53-57. 3LtMs, Lt 21, 1880, par. 6

How many will become one with Christ in the manner here expressed as he was one with the Father, living in Christ, partaking of His nature, by meditation, by prayer, by doing His will? Christ dying for us does not give life to our souls any more than the provision of bread to satisfy the wants of our bodies gives strength and energy to the body unless we eat it and it enters the blood and vitalizes the system so indeed is the case in regard to spiritual strength. We must receive and digest the spiritual food and incorporate Christ into our very natures in order for Christ to live in us as He lived in God. Christ merely dying for us will not save us, but He must become a part of us through faith, and [we must] nourish the soul by continually meditating upon Him and partaking of His divine nature. 3LtMs, Lt 21, 1880, par. 7