Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 26, 1885


Basel, Switzerland

December 24, 1885

Portions of this letter are published in EGWE 89.

This morning Sr. Edith Andrews fell asleep about half-past five o’clock. Her last hours were without a struggle. She had suffered considerable pain in her left lung up to the time I came from Italy, one week ago last Thursday. I visited her last Friday, and she talked very freely with me. Said she had read and reread the testimony for her, and she had made every effort in her power to correct every wrong in her course with others. She said sometimes she felt the blessing of the Lord, and then again she thought she had done so wrong the Lord would not accept her as His child. She wanted to know if I thought the Lord would forgive her. I assured her that He would, that He had pledged His word that He would pardon every transgression, if we would only return unto Him with true repentance and contrition of soul. I believe, Edith, you have done this; and wherein you are too feeble to do the work as thoroughly as if you were well, Jesus’ precious mercy and merits supply the deficiencies on the part of His repenting, humble ones who seek to take hold of His strength. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1885, par. 1

In this feebleness, I presented before her the words of promise from God. “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Exodus 34:6, 7. Thus God has proclaimed His character Himself. Will you, my dear child, believe Him? What sins can be too great for Him to pardon? Every soul is precious in His sight. He is merciful, infinitely more willing to pardon than condemn. He is gracious. He is touched with the feelings of your infirmities. He knows your weakness. It would have been much better had you obtained the experience of becoming acquainted with God when in strength; then you would have been able to trust Him fully whom you had proved; but you have made your best efforts, and now Christ stands ready to supply where you lack. His merits will be imputed to you; His boundless goodness will heal your backslidings, and He will accept today the best you have to give, and He will love and bless you. “He is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” [2 Peter 3:9.] “He doth not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.” [Lamentations 3:33.] He suffereth long and is kind. His love is without a parallel. He is slow to anger and of great kindness. He has waited and waited for you to give Him your affections, an undivided heart. God will never leave nor forsake one penitent soul that looks to Him in faith. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1885, par. 2

You can show honor to God by believing fully in the merits of Jesus Christ. We have a Saviour that can save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. He did not leave a sinking, doubting Peter to perish. The hand thrown up in appeal to Jesus with the prayer, “save, Lord, or I perish,” was immediately responded to. [Matthew 14:30, 31.] He did save him fully. He will save you because you ask Him in faith. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1885, par. 3

I cannot express the comfort these words brought to Edith. The tears came from her eyes and dropped from her cheeks while she looked so peaceful and at rest. She said, “I believe He accepts me. I believe He loves me, and I, all undeserving, have His peace.” 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1885, par. 4

I prayed with her. She was blessed and relieved of pain in her left lung, and it did not return. Again she was comforted and had no more afflicting doubts. While praying, I felt that Jesus came very near to us. I felt the assurance that Jesus did pardon her transgressions. All present were melted into tears. Our hearts were filled with peace and love to Jesus. Edith had no more trouble of mind, for she knew the Lord blessed her then in answer to prayer. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1885, par. 5

Sunday I was called to her bedside in the early morning. She was greatly distressed for breath. She gasped out, “Sr. White, pray for me.” I dropped upon my knees and poured out my soul before God with strong crying and tears. The Lord heard, the Lord answered, relief came, and Edith responded quite strong and heartily, and at the close praised God. Bro. and Sr. Whitney followed in prayer. We felt that Jesus’ presence was in the room, saying, “Peace be unto you.” Our hearts were filled with joy, comfort, and love. How precious was Jesus to us in this trying hour. Edith had the evidence as she has never had it before, that Jesus loved and blessed her. I talked with her some and told her that she need not feel that she must have her mind laboring and strained in her feebleness, but when tempted by the enemy, that Jesus will not save her such a sinner, as she had often expressed to me; but all she had to do was to look and live. Say to Satan, “Jesus is my Saviour, He has bought me by His precious blood. Jesus, ‘simply to Thy cross I cling.’” She seemed comforted, relieved, blessed. She thanked me that I had prayed with her and comforted her. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1885, par. 6

She said, “I have no longer any fears. I am willing to go. Hope thou, O my soul, in the Lord. I am trusting in Jesus, no longer in myself.” Words came to me so encouraging to speak to the afflicted one, telling Jesus who had passed through death and brightened the portals of the tomb, that when Jesus, the Life Giver should come in His glory, He would call up His faithful believing ones to a glorious immortality. You may say, Edith, “I commit the keeping of my soul to God as unto a faithful Creator.” 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1885, par. 7

At night I was called again. She was supported by Bro. Whitney while strangling for breath. Every breath was an agony. I dropped on my knees and again besought my heavenly Father to give Edith relief from this terrible distress. Our prayers were heard, relief came. Said she, “Praise the Lord, He has heard prayer. I feel so much better.” 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1885, par. 8

Again I pointed her to the strong helper, the precious Saviour, and she felt the assurance of His love. Said she, “Oh, how good is the Lord, He loves me, even me. O I thank you Sr. White, I thank you; you have comforted me, and the Lord has blessed me.” The Lord gave me words to speak to Edith, and I felt indeed that angels of God were round about the child. For two days she has not seemed to have a clear mind, but has not suffered much except with restlessness, until she fell asleep in Jesus this morning, half-past five o’clock. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1885, par. 9

There was also another death last evening. Sr. Keller was expecting to attend the missionary meeting, and was copying her missionary letter, when she said, “My head pains me.” Her daughter went to lay down the little child she was holding, and when she got back her mother’s head was bowed upon the table—she was dead. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1885, par. 10

We feel that we are admonished to be ready, for our probation may close when we least expect it. I had great comfort in telling Edith of Jesus, who is the Life Giver. She at the edge of the grave, I could in all faith tell her of Him who is the resurrection and the life of the soul and the body. That those who sleep in Jesus, will He bring with Him from their graves. The light of Jesus irradiates the grave and lights the beyond with its blessed rays. Edith was not afraid to die. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1885, par. 11

Let us be making our preparation for heaven. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1885, par. 12