Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 38, 1885

White, J. E.; White, W. C.

Basel, Switzerland

December 22, 1885

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 337-338; 8MR 445.

Dear Children, Edson and Willie:

We left Italy one week ago this morning. Mary has probably told you of our journey homeward, which was very favorable. Brother Daniel Bourdeau seemed to appreciate our visit very much. We rode out a couple of hours, and we were instructed in regard to several places of interest. Geneva is a beautiful place. I should prefer living there than any place I have yet visited, if they did not have considerable fog. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 1

We found Edith very low. I visited her Sabbath morning and talked with her and comforted her. She said she had done all that she could do to make her past wrongs right. I then tried to strengthen her faith to believe that the Lord would help her, and wherein she was weak, He could make her strong, could supply every deficiency. Edith seemed to lay hold of hope and was very thankful for the encouragement I had given her. I then prayed with her, and she responded. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 2

Sunday morning early I was sent for. She breathed heavily; was greatly distressed. I prayed for her again while Brother Whitney supported her in an upright position. She was relieved in answer to prayer. I was sent for again that night. Edith was in great distress for breath. We prayed earnestly, and she was relieved. Oh, how thankful I am that we have a friend in Jesus who will be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. How thankful we all are to see Edith placing her hand in the hand of Christ and confiding all to Him. I was drawn out to speak to her of the love of Jesus. While the tempest round us rolls, Jesus, precious Saviour, must be our only refuge. “Simply to Thy cross I cling.” We are to claim pardon through the merits of Christ’s blood. I never felt Jesus more precious to me and to His suffering ones than when standing around the dying bed of this child. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 3

I have repeated to her, “We are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” [1 Peter 1:5.] The arm of God is around His child. I have comforted her in telling her that the Word of God was pledged in her behalf, the cleansing blood of Christ would blot out all her transgressions; for those who seek Him, He will be to them a present help in every time of need. I referred her to Peter, sinking beneath the waves, but he threw up his hand to Christ and such an appeal was not in vain. If he had not looked at the waves, there would have been no peril. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 4

Jesus will respond to every appeal made to Him in our sore need. God’s children are dear to Him as the apple of His eye. He will help the helpless. His voice will come to us in our distress: “Fear not, I am with thee. It is I, be not afraid.” [Isaiah 43:5; Matthew 14:27.] 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 5

Edith is, I believe, standing on the solid Rock. She is obtaining an experience of the highest value. She is fitting up for the future life. I love to point her to the resurrection morning when the Lifegiver shall call the dead from their prison houses. Those who sleep in Jesus will come forth to a glorious immortality. Jesus has paid a large price for our affection and love. He always reproves those He loves, and He corrects their faults and is just waiting and longing to pardon their transgressions. We see Edith going down to the grave, trusting in and loving Jesus. Edith is patient, only expressing gratitude and thankfulness to God. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 6

I have just had a profitable conversation with Martha, who is filled with comfort and gratitude and hope as she sees her suffering child going down to the grave with a hope in Jesus. It is realized here: the hour of our extremity is God’s opportunity. We are, thank God, within the reach of His powerful hand. I told Edith, “In your feebleness, it may seem to you you can but have a feeble hold of Jesus, but Jesus has a firm hold of the soul He has died to save. His aid is prompt and all-powerful. He is nigh unto all that call upon Him.” We feel deeply grateful for the evidences we have of God’s love, of His mercy and kindness to the children of men. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 7

I just dropped this to have an interview with Elder Whitney. Brother Albert Vuilleumier comes tonight. His son broke his arm near the wrist yesterday, a bad break. He was not as careful as he ought to have been. He went to start the wheel at the press, and he was not paying attention. His hand slipped through the spokes, and some part of the machinery bent his hand back and gave a blow to his wrist. I think that was the way it was done. He was taken to the hospital at once and is receiving every attention. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 8

The young man I mentioned to you from the theological seminary has taken his position fully on the truth. He came out decided on the Sabbath. His uncles wrote that they would place him in a seminary much more in advance of this and held out great inducements to him if he would come to them, but he is not moved. He seems firm as a rock. All the faculty respect him and told him he might continue in school and observe the Sabbath, but he told them, “NO.” He must fit himself not only to believe that which the Bible told him was truth, but be prepared to teach it to his fellow men. He was asked what he would do after he left the school. He said, “I am well and strong. I can work. I am not afraid, but the way will open before me.” 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 9

I told Brother Whitney now was the time, after he had taken his position, to open the way before him. He is a good German scholar and understands French well, and now he wants to learn English. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 10

Well, I have had to stop. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 11

Ella just came in to say with wonderful grace, “Tak for moetten.” She makes as graceful a curtsy as a little Swedish girl. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 12

They have employed the German in the office, and they like him much. They need help on the German very much. I am so thankful that we can see that the Lord is at work upon hearts. This conversion is the work of God, not of man. His name shall have all the glory. I am told since writing the above that the young man I have mentioned is just the help needed in the office. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 13

December 23

I left this letter to write to Brother Daniel Bourdeau. He sent a long letter to me. He is failing in health, and I am not sure but he will have to go back to America. His lungs have troubled him, but now are relieved, and he has a constant diarrhea. Poor man cannot rest, will not rest. He seems grateful for the help I have given him and wants to have me stay months with him. You know this would not be agreeable to me. He seems to cling to me as a child to his mother. I have written to him comforting, encouraging words. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 14

Last night Brother Albert Vuilleumier came and has brought his daughter that Brother _____—I cannot call his name—has been seeking to wed. I do not think she loves him, but would marry him rather than to hurt his feelings. He has been determined in the matter and it is, I think, a test case here in Switzerland, whether young men shall persist in having a right to pay their addresses to young women when their parents feel it would be unhappiness to both parties. We take the ground that the children should not marry without the consent of their parents. This test case will have a telling influence on the churches in Switzerland, whether children shall obey their parents, shall honor them according to the fifth commandment, or whether they will set aside the rules laid down in the Bible and be controlled by impulse. We think in this case the Bible will be the guide and rule in this matter. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 15

I can tell you, I find abundance of work that keeps coming ready to my hand, and I see no place to rest, even in Europe. I think I will purchase me a horse and carriage and ride out daily. I do not take pleasure in the rides taken with a coachman or hackman. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 16

Well, I am certainly doing more work than at any other period of my life, and I am thankful that the Lord has given me strength to work. I hope that Brother Conradi will come to work awhile with Brother Ertzenberger. When he shall come, we will have meetings here in Basel; and I believe souls will embrace the truth. I do wish that there were a man well balanced, who understood French, who could labor in Europe. Brother Daniel understands enough. He has a quick mind, much power of brain, and could do a good work if he were more evenly balanced; but the case stands as it does. We will have to pray that the Lord will raise up laborers in His vineyard. We need them, one hundred where there is one, if there could be means to sustain them. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 17

We are doing so little compared to what should be done in warning the world. I think too much, carry too heavy a load on this matter. Oh, I wish I did not feel so intensely, for it keeps me awake, planning, many of the hours at night, when I should be asleep. I hope I shall be able every day to lay my burden on the Burden-bearer. If I could say anything to help our people to see the wants for this time! If I could only arouse them to obtain the missionary spirit! Oh, if the Lord would only set the matter home to their hearts! I see so much want, so great a lack in the workers, so little devotion, so little self-denial, so little spirit of the real laborer, that my heart aches. Time is passing, the end of all things is at hand. He that is to come will come, to call us individually to account for our stewardship. What use have we made of our talents, of our means, of the great light God has revealed to us from His Word? Oh, what do the heavenly books testify of us? The record of every day’s work is passing up to God. Have we served ourselves or Jesus Christ? Have we engaged heartily in the work represented by the proclamation of the third angel’s message? What are we doing? Time is passing into eternity with its burden of record. Oh, how light many are, how trifling! 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 18

How many are now sighing and crying for the abominations done in the land? How many are consecrated to the work of God and have not a divided interest? How many are feeling the burden for perishing souls? Many will realize the curse that came on Meroz because they feel no burden when the Word of God plainly reveals the position we are standing in as a people. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 19

I see our work has but just begun here; I see so much to be done, and I am doing too much. I wish I could do the work of ten. I would gladly do it. But I can only do the work of one—poor, frail at that. May God work Himself. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 20

In regard to writing in the future, I cannot say. I must write. I think I can do it as well here in Europe as in America. Make just such arrangements as you please. If Marian is worn and has her plans arranged to stay, I can send writing there; but if you think it advisable for her to come, all right. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 21

I have sent by Brother Kellogg to get me a filter in London. I do not think it is safe to use this hard water, either to drink or to cook with. We have a stove that is a treasure. It is something of the same nature as the ones we saw in Sweden, but brown, highly polished. It is an ornament; consumes but little coal. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 22

We all miss you, Willie; will be glad when you return. They write from California that there is but one copy of first volume of Spirit of Prophecy in the office. They are seeking to hurry up the work. I see not why it cannot be put in the hands of the printers. The matter is out, and enough to make a book. It may be I shall have to supply one chapter, but why not have it printed at once? I think that the matters in regard to Grant should be here, that we can meet him if necessary. But with me, I shall never mention his name but go straight forward in my work. This is best. I will not contend with those wicked men. I think it had a good influence in Italy to go right forward and say nothing of Grant. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 23

I am going to try to rest some, and may the Lord help me. I am His property. Well, I will write no more now. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 24

May the Lord give you wisdom in counsel is my prayer morning, night, and noon and return you back in safety. Will Elder Waggoner come with you? 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 25

Much love to you all, children—Edson, Emma, Willie. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 26


I want you, Willie, to put in the hands of Marian the means that she needs. I want her to find rest in some way. She must have it, and I lay my commands on Marian to rest. If she can find it in Battle Creek, all right. If not, let her go to some place. If she does not, and you do not think it best for her to come here, I want her to rest. She is of great value to me in my work, and I want her to have means that she will feel free to rest and only do my work for which I will pay her well. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 27

Tell her I have just one minute ago read the letters in which she has specified the improvements to be made in articles for Volume 1. I thank her. Tell her that she has a point about Zedekiah’s having his eyes put out. That needs to be more carefully worded—also the rock, when the water flowed—something in reference to this. I think I can make the articles specified more full; and as I am famous for moralizing, this will be no cross. Tell her to write to me, as I prize her letters as if she were my own child. I will write to her when I am more rested. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 28

Mary and Sarah are full of business. Christine is good, tender; so tender and kind and motherly to Ella. I think her a treasure. We feel that without you something is wanting. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 29

Well, my dear Willie and Edson and Emma, let us draw very nigh to God. Let us live daily as we would wish we had lived when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, and when every one will be rewarded according to his works. I am not cast down nor discouraged, but I feel weighed down as a cart beneath sheaves. We have had several days of beautiful weather. It has commenced raining this afternoon. Tell Mary to find me some histories of the Bible that would give me the order of events. I have nothing and can find nothing in the library here. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 30

It is getting dark, and I am resolved not to use my eyes or brain by candlelight. Well, may the Lord direct in all things—you and us here. Will you see if Aunt Mary is comfortable? Make her a present for me of ten dollars if you think her needy, but do not let my Marian go pinched. If she needs clothing, just get it for her. Make her a New Year’s present for me. She has pinched and cramped herself in many ways, dear, precious child. I love her much. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 31

The Lord is good. Praise His holy name. Ella is well and happy. She is a real good little girl. What do you think of my purchasing a horse and carriage? I must do something of the kind for my health. I have had considerable lameness with my hip, and I dare not tax it greatly and walk much. I think of my home and horse and carriage and wish I could enjoy them, but then I am not disposed to cut short my stay here in any wise for these things. I want to spend some time in England in the most favorable season of the year, when there is the least fog. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 32

We expect a letter every day from you. I hope it will come, for we want to hear from you. Brother Kellogg left here last Sunday night for London on his way to Christiania. I tell you, I felt sorry to have him go. He expects to meet you in Christiania. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 33


I cannot go through this. I have been interrupted so many times and I am too tired to correct my mistakes. 4LtMs, Lt 38, 1885, par. 34