Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 105, 1886

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Basel, Switzerland

August 11, 1886

Portions of this letter are published in EGWE 211-212; 5MR 184.

Dear Children:

I feel thankful to the Lord for His mercy and blessings to us all. I have been afflicted for nearly one year with a troublesome tooth; at times it would be quiet. I wished to save it, if possible; but for days together I have had most keen suffering and have just endured this affliction of two weeks, but yesterday I decided it must come out, and it did come out. The doctor said he could put it back again. I told him, No. I had seen and felt enough of that offending member, and now I hoped for a period of rest. 4LtMs, Lt 105, 1886, par. 1

We have been holding morning meetings, commencing at half-past five o’clock in the morning. I give them a morning talk, then we have a social meeting. We felt that something must be done to arouse the workers in this building and the church members to a deeper piety and a firmer faith and more decided effort to do the will and work of God. Our meetings are doing good. I wish there could be something of this kind every morning in the Review and Herald office, presenting before the people that which the Lord required of them in His Word. While the important points of truth are made of deep importance to be presented to the people, the lessons in the Word of God in regard to practical godliness are not impressed upon them as they should be. We need to have the matter kept before the mind and we be educated to think upon these things, feeling that we must live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. The Bible should be studied diligently and prayerfully. If light reading is allowed to occupy the mind, there is a growing disrelish for the searching of the Scriptures. 4LtMs, Lt 105, 1886, par. 2

Well, the Lord has furnished us in His Word with light, great light; if we do not care to bring this light into our hearts, we will be deprived of it. I feel deeply in earnest to obtain all the light I can. 4LtMs, Lt 105, 1886, par. 3

Edson, do you know of any one who is competent to take my articles and prepare them for the printer? Marian Davis is an excellent worker. Sister Eliza Burnham was a good worker, but both of these could not keep pace with my everactive pen. Eliza is on her way to Australia, and I am left with only Marian; and Mary has other work to do so that my help is very much limited. I have piles of discourses reported and copied, but no one who has time to prepare them. 4LtMs, Lt 105, 1886, par. 4

Another thing, Edson, will you get me two good fountain pens. I do not know whether I have asked this of you before, but I wish them much. You can charge to me. 4LtMs, Lt 105, 1886, par. 5

I am sorry you did not get your pattern here for clothing by a French brother. I cannot send unless made up. I send Emma a shawl which I hope will please her, also a lace cape. We have to be very particular what we send, as the custom house officers are very particular in their examinations. I am having knit for you both socks and stockings. How do you stand in reference to these articles to wear? 4LtMs, Lt 105, 1886, par. 6

Aug. 12

Brother Schneppe I introduce to you as one who designs to give himself to the work of the Lord. We need him here in Basel, but he is obliged to serve in the army if he remains. In going to America, he loses his citizenship and can receive none of his father’s estate which portion will go to the government; but with our faith he does not hesitate to go to America. He cannot enter the army. He can speak some English, and I want you to see him, and he will tell you about us here. He has been the one who has brought us faithfully our kindling and coal since we have been here. He is a worthy young man. 4LtMs, Lt 105, 1886, par. 7

We had a letter from Brother Ings. He is safe in England, and they had a pleasant voyage. I have just come from morning meeting. My text was “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” [Ephesians 6:15.] I have now spoken seven times in the morning and three times on Sabbath in two weeks and two days. Two mornings we had Bible class. We have services every morning, and it has a good influence. It is giving them line upon line, precept upon precept, in short talks, and I believe it is doing them good. All these talks are reported. 4LtMs, Lt 105, 1886, par. 8

I see I have said nothing about our family. We are usually well. God’s special blessing is upon me, physically and mentally, and spiritually. 4LtMs, Lt 105, 1886, par. 9

Sarah is engaged writing, copying letters on calligraph and taking dictations. Mary is preparing history of travels and the morning talks and discourses for a book. Ella is playing earnestly with a little puppy. We brought her from Italy. She is not blessed as other children are with a mother who can give her her company and attention. Sarah has her room, small; it is her sleeping room. W. C. White and Mary occupy one small bedroom. They are just as full of business as they can be. Mary has worked too hard, applying herself too closely this winter, and she is not as well as I could wish. 4LtMs, Lt 105, 1886, par. 10

Kristine is busy with housework. Marian has her room a flight above in a small bedroom, busy as she can be. I have a good, large parlor. When we assemble night and morning for to seek the Lord, we read around and enjoy the exercise. Today we all for the first time since coming here go out to a place in the country to have a basket dinner, and I have promised to speak to them. I wish so much to see you. I long to be where I can speak straight English and not have two translators following me, but I am grateful to God that I can reach the people in this way. 4LtMs, Lt 105, 1886, par. 11

Oh, let us be grateful and happy; and the little time we have here, let us be fitting for heaven. The work of character building for eternity is to progress while life shall last. Children, you must reach a higher standard, and God help you to have daily home religion, deeper piety, deeper experience, more earnest faith, more of Jesus and less of self. It is too late to trifle, too late to be indifferent and frivolous. Be sober [and] watch unto prayer. 4LtMs, Lt 105, 1886, par. 12