Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 102, 1886

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Copenhagen, Denmark

July 25, 1886

Portions of this letter are published in 6MR 143; 8MR 104-105; 10MR 380-381.

My very dear children:

What a pleasure it would be to me could I visit with you, but I shall not probably see you under one year from this time. If the Lord spares your lives and our lives, we will meet again. If this is not my heavenly Father’s will, then let it be as He wills, not as I will. 4LtMs, Lt 102, 1886, par. 1

We see work to be done and that we can do here in Europe, and we are not to choose our field of labor, to let the Lord choose for us. If the Lord will only accept such labor as we poor mortals can give Him, we will only be too glad. I can think of no greater honor that can be granted us than that of winning souls to Christ. “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3. 4LtMs, Lt 102, 1886, par. 2

Since writing the above I have been out to dinner, and we have [had] a long consultation with Brethren Matteson and Oyen, Olsen, Brorsen, in regard to the distribution of laborers. The brother we visited is a first-class carpenter and has embraced the truth, but because he is so good a workman, he got work, keeps the Sabbath, and is permitted to work on Sunday. He and [his] wife are both in the truth. 4LtMs, Lt 102, 1886, par. 3

We see so great a destitution of money and of laborers that we are perplexed to know how [to] fill the calls. The fact is they cannot be filled without more laborers shall take hold of the work. O that we had men who had the missionary spirit. Certainly those who believe the truth cannot be doing all their duty or there would be something done in these new fields. There are good fields to work in. They are more slow to move here, but they move slowly and surely when they do move. I speak once more in this place, then my work is ended for the present. We leave here tomorrow at 9 o’clock, and we shall not be sorry to leave these premises, although the location is good. It is a very lame hotel. We have miserably dirty beds, and it sickens us to sleep in them. We have not had a pillow case since we have been here, but a sheet is spread over the pillow which is dirty enough. Directly opposite us is the botanical gardens which is city property with artificial lakes, greenhouses, and almost every kind of trees and flowers; but I long for the Paradise of God when I shall not see poverty and misery. 4LtMs, Lt 102, 1886, par. 4

There are many costly buildings, but with all much poverty. Two thousand were fed last winter at the expense of the city, and these workmen who cannot get work have been selling off everything—beds, furniture—and lie on the naked floors; and what will these do in the winter in their poverty? Wealth and extravagance on every hand and poverty to match. 4LtMs, Lt 102, 1886, par. 5

Fifteen hundred carpenters cannot get work now, and last winter there were uprisings and revolt and crime. Hunger is a hard master. It will lead to doing desperate things. Copenhagen is a stronghold of the militia. There is a long string of blocks, the soldiers’ barracks, and a strong force is on hand constantly to be called upon to put down any riot or quell any violence. There was a strike here when we were here in the fall with the blacksmiths for higher wages. One leading blacksmith would not unite with the strikers, and a large body of soldiers was appointed to conduct him to his shop and from his shop and guard him while at work, else the strikers would have murdered him. There are fifteen hundred, in this city, worthy workers who are idle. Some help was given last winter to the very destitute. Some men came in, in the prime of life as well as the men of gray hairs, famished for the want of food. They had been unwilling to receive charity, but were driven to it by hunger. This winter will be worse. Work has been less, and men made desperate with hunger will do terrible things. Oh, how glad shall I be to see Jesus, our Deliverer, come and this terrible misery to come to an end. 4LtMs, Lt 102, 1886, par. 6

I think we should feel thankful that our home is in America, but we are not safe unless God protects us even there. For these men who are dissatisfied with kingly rule and heavy taxation are emigrating to America and are making their riotous speeches in cities there to arouse the working class to make a raid upon the rich and rob and plunder those who have property. These uneasy, dissatisfied elements are increasing in power. Every year the swellings of wrath, tumults, and fierce riots are increasing in Europe. The signs of the times tell us we are surely in the last days. This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come. We can see these perils more distinctly here in Europe. Things are rapidly developing. All are ranging under their respective banners; all are preparing for some great event; all are watching for the morning. One class is watching and waiting for their Lord, while the other class is waiting for what Lucifer may perform of his wonder-working power. Kingdoms are in uncertainty, one watching jealously the other. Soldiers are being drilled constantly, preparing for war. There is a rending apart of kingdoms. The stone cut out of the mountains without hands is surely to smite the image upon the feet. The King of Prussia, I think it is, dare not go out of his domain unless the whole passage of his journey is barricaded with soldiers. He seems to be a prisoner in one sense in his own kingdom. Other kingdoms are in jeopardy. They dare not travel for fear of their lives unless in the very heart of a bodyguard of armed soldiers. 4LtMs, Lt 102, 1886, par. 7

Where, we ask, is the happiness in such a life? The Lord is our refuge. There is a defense in the midst of us, mightier than all the powers of kingdoms. The glory of the Lord, He will be our front guard, He will be our rereward, our very present help in time of trouble. All things earthly will be dissolved, and the apostle asks, “What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” 2 Peter 3:11, 12. 4LtMs, Lt 102, 1886, par. 8

The forces of the powers of darkness are mustering for the closing work of this earth’s history. Oh, how earnest should we be to examine ourselves. We are in positive danger of losing our souls when we are criticizing others, remarking others’ failures. We must “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5. 4LtMs, Lt 102, 1886, par. 9

Now we should think of our state before God, how carefully should we seek to obtain a knowledge of ourselves from the Word of God. Where shall we stand in the future crisis that shall come? Shall we stand as children of God at His right hand or as disobedient, unthankful, and unholy at His left hand? The unsearchable riches of Christ should engage our attention now. The honor that cometh from God is above every earthly honor. Our souls must be securely riveted to the Rock of Ages. 4LtMs, Lt 102, 1886, par. 10

I feel interested for you and for the church in Battle Creek, that you shall all be strong in the Lord. I hope you will study your Bible. Whatever God has written, it is surely worth our while to study. We want to study the Bible. We want to know for our individual selves what is truth. The way to have clearness of perception, to distinguish truth from error, is to be searching the Scriptures daily. If we individually seek with all our powers to perfect a perfect character, then we will have a perfect church. The purity of our individual character, the piety of our daily life, will be the piety of the church. Each in his sphere is to do his work with persevering fidelity. God has left each of His followers a work to do for Him. All selfishness is to be laid aside, the honor of God to be kept constantly in view. Inward Christianity is what is needed. The vital forces are in the individual heart. It is not building up the church to have our names on the church record, but it is in being Christians. The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, ceremony or form, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. We should all seek for unity, for love. All dissension should cease. The inward work is to go on in the heart. The Word of God is God’s voice to us. The Word is to be studied, obeyed. It is spirit, power, and life to the soul, and yet how few are interested to search its pages. Light and trifling reading occupy the precious moments that ought to be devoted to the searching of the Scriptures. We want to pray for the Lord to teach us His truth from His Word, else our feet will be found standing on sliding sand. 4LtMs, Lt 102, 1886, par. 11

We cannot swerve from truth. We must hold fast our integrity. We must keep God’s honor constantly before us. We want to make sure work for eternity. I hope, my children, that you will be imbued with the Spirit of Christ and be constantly drawing near to God, that God may draw near to you. Oh, what rich blessings are for us, [that] the peace of Christ may be brought into our hearts and we reflect the Spirit of Jesus to others. May the Lord enlighten you both daily. Do not rest unless you know that Jesus is indeed formed within, the hope of glory. Seek most earnestly for a deeper experience, a more devoted faith, the meekness and loveliness of Christ. Love to you, my dear children. Walk in the light as Christ is in the light. 4LtMs, Lt 102, 1886, par. 12


P.S. I enclose in this a letter to May that you may read and then send to May Walling, Healdsburg, care of Fred Harmon. I have used up my paper writing Will and must write upon loose pages. 4LtMs, Lt 102, 1886, par. 13