Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 92, 1886

Walling, Addie

Basel, Switzerland

January 29, 1886

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 37.

Dear Niece Addie:

Why is it you do not write me? I am left to conjecture many things, and my mind is troubled. Whatever you have to do, my dear child, whatever studies you have, can be no excuse for your silence. If sick, there is someone who can pen a few lines to me, that I may not remain in uncertainty. If you are usually well, I cannot excuse your silence. You are the same to me as my own child. I have performed for years, since you were six years old, the duties of a mother. You have become interwoven with my life, a part of me, and if you are in trouble, if you have wants, if you need means, I expect you to come to me as if I were your mother. 4LtMs, Lt 92, 1886, par. 1

I hope that the purpose of my adopting you as my children will be realized—that of seeing you both useful women, children of God, forming characters for the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare for those who love Him. I greatly desire you should make this the aim, purpose, and pursuit of your life. This character building is a most important work. It is not a work that ends in this life, but which tells in the future life. What you make of yourself here through the merits and grace of Christ will be retained through eternal ages, and I am most earnest that you should not meet a low standard. “Learn of Me,” says the Great Teacher. “I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest to your soul.” [Matthew 11:29.] The peace that Christ gives will never, never bring sorrow with it. I am anxious that you learn daily in the school of Christ. I am hoping much from you. 4LtMs, Lt 92, 1886, par. 2

Do not become entangled in love affairs; do not be ready to yield your affections easily. Lay these things open to me ever, and if I see that you would be happy by taking this step, I would not throw obstructions in your way. But be very guarded. You will see articles in the Review and Herald upon the subject of marriage. This was written for a young man who was paying his addresses to Brother Vuilleumier’s daughter against the wishes of her parents. He was very ardent in his attachment, but he had not shown due respect to his own mother. He was self-willed, critical, arbitrary; and yet he did not reveal this side of his character to her. I wrote him this letter upon courtship and marriage with more personal instructions. Brother Albert Vuilleumier brought his daughter to this office. The letter written decided the matter. 4LtMs, Lt 92, 1886, par. 3

This letter was written in January. A card comes to us from Italy that the young man now is about to marry Sister Beaver’s daughter and has been paying his addresses to her since last June. There is a great deal of this work going on. Leland, who is at Oakland, is one of this kind who has two or three that he is vacillating between. He is not a man to be trusted, and I hope he will not obtain the affections of any worthy girl in Oakland, if she has any regard for her happiness. We may be spared. Do look closely to your motives, and be not deceived. 4LtMs, Lt 92, 1886, par. 4

We have attended the deathbed of Edith Andrews. She was petted, beloved, and worshiped by her young companions; but, Addie, she was unprepared to die. I labored with her, prayed with her, talked with her, and feared that after all she would not be able to see herself as she really was. She had been self-deceived, and when tested she was found wanting. She had encouraged the sympathy and attentions of young men, and they became infatuated with her ways, thought her very amiable; but she had not drawn them to God and revealed in her character the love of Jesus and the sanctifying power of divine grace. 4LtMs, Lt 92, 1886, par. 5

After I returned from Italy she was quite low, but I talked with her and I had written her plainly. She had made confessions and diligent work for repentance, and she was greatly blessed; in answer to prayer, light and peace came into her heart. I prayed with her, and the blessing of God came in rich measure upon us. 4LtMs, Lt 92, 1886, par. 6

But how sad I felt to look upon Edith and know that the work that should have been done in preparation for heaven had to be done on her deathbed. “Oh,” she would exclaim, “how hard to concentrate my mind. How difficult to think and act when so weak.” 4LtMs, Lt 92, 1886, par. 7

Addie, God forbid that you, my dear child, will ever have such an experience. You want to be getting ready now to meet your Saviour in peace or to die with the consolation you lived the truth, you loved the truth, you were willing to deny self to lift the cross in health, you gave to Jesus the very best of your life, you sought for heart religion, and you knew when sickness should come that you had surrendered all to God. Be sober and watch unto prayer. Critically examine yourself and make earnest work. Be sincere. Ever feel that you are in the presence of God and holy angels, that the Lord is to be pleased and honored and glorified. 4LtMs, Lt 92, 1886, par. 8

Be sure to write often to May and give her good counsel. I write to her about as often as I do to you. Addie, make your aim to be a noble woman, a sincere Christian. Have the truth at heart. I do want you to know for yourself the preciousness of a Saviour’s love. If Jesus is formed within, the hope of glory, you will surely reveal Christ in speaking of Him; if His peace is in your heart, you will surely express the same in your words and in your actions. Be true to yourself and be humble. Be not forward in speech, but be modest; never praise yourself, but think less and less of self and talk less of self, and lay all your burdens upon Jesus. May the Lord help you to win eternal life. Watch unto prayer, and set an example to others in not seeking and accepting the company of young men. In much love. 4LtMs, Lt 92, 1886, par. 9

Your Aunt Ellen. 4LtMs, Lt 92, 1886, par. 10