Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 11a, 1884

Smith, Brother and Sister [Uriah]

Healdsburg, California

February 19, 1884

This letter is published in entirety in 19MR 77-80.

Dear Brother and Sister Smith:

I thought I would commence this letter at all events, then I shall obtain a better opportunity to finish it. I have been wanting to write you for some time. And I have so much wished [during] this cold winter weather that you were all in California. We have had most lovely weather in January. Dr. Chamberlain and I would take our canes and climb the mountains in St. Helena. As she was sitting upon a rock on the twenty-third of January, with the warm sun shining upon her, with no outward wrappings on, bareheaded, I remarked I would be glad if her friends in Battle Creek could see her in the warm sunshine on the hillside. It was like a June day in the East. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1884, par. 1

I received much benefit in my three weeks’ visit in St. Helena. I would write until weary and then go out and walk and climb the mountains. The scenery is most lovely, exceeding any picture of loveliness I have ever seen. Brother Smith’s artist’s eye would take in the scenery and enjoy its beauty, if possible, more than myself. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1884, par. 2

I feel like expressing my feelings right here. I do wish someone would come in to take charge of the Review and Herald and let you go free. I believe you could do great good in the field—now, at this very time—in giving your clear and powerful discourses on [the] United States in Prophecy. I wish your entire family were located here in California. Can you not work to that point, that not another severe winter like the present shall be spent in the East? 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1884, par. 3

I am happy to report I am in excellent health. I have proscribed all meat, all butter. None appears on my table. My head is clearer, my strength firmer and my conscience more free, for I know I am following the light which God has given us. I write from fifteen to twenty pages each day. It is now eleven o’clock and I have written fourteen pages of manuscript for Volume Four and seven pages of letters to different ones besides this. I feel continually grateful to God for His merciful kindness. I will not allow one feeling of ingratitude to be harbored. When I think how weak and feeble I was when I started on my eastern journey, and how the Lord sustained me and blessed me, and returned me back in safety, my heart is filled to overflowing with His great love. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1884, par. 4

We have, Sister Harriet, everything to be thankful for, that Jesus is our Advocate and that He pleads in our behalf. As I write upon my book I feel intensely moved. I want to get it out as soon as possible, for our people need it so much. I shall complete it next month if the Lord gives me health as He has done. I have been unable to sleep nights, thinking of the important things to take place. Three hours’ sleep, and sometimes five is the most I get. My mind is stirred so deeply I cannot rest. Write, write, write, I feel that I must, and not delay 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1884, par. 5

Great things are before us, and we want to call the people from their indifference, to get ready for that day. Things that are eternal crowd upon my vision day and night. The things that are temporal fade from my sight. We are not now to cast away our confidence, but to have firm assurance, firmer than ever before. Hitherto hath the Lord helped us, and He will help us to the end. We will look to the monumental pillars, reminders of what the Lord hath done for us, to comfort and to save us from the hand of the destroyer. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1884, par. 6

We want to have fresh in our memory every tear the Lord has wiped from our eyes, every pain He has soothed, every anxiety removed, every fear dispelled, every want supplied, every mercy bestowed, and strengthen ourselves for all that is before us through the remainder of our pilgrimage. We can but look onward to new perplexities in the coming conflict, but we may well look on what is past as well as what is to come, and say, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” [1 Samuel 7:12.] “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” [Deuteronomy 33:25.] The trial will not exceed the strength which shall be given us to bear it. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1884, par. 7

Then let us take up our work just where we find it, without one word of repining, imagining nothing can come, but that strength will come proportionate to the trial. Our children are in the hands of God. Our faith must awaken to grasp the promises and we not repine, we not be mournful, for then we dishonor God. We must encourage a cheerful, hopeful frame of mind. Our present peace must not be disturbed by anticipated trials, for God will never leave nor forsake one soul who trusts in Him. God is better unto us than our fears. If we would encourage a diligent remembrance and recital of our mercies, counting up instances in which God has wrought for us, has been better to us than our fears, in which He has interposed His power and His grace when sorely perplexed, sustained us when falling, comforted us when sorrowing, we would see that it is unbelief to distrust God or be filled with anxiety. Let mercies be remembered and enjoyed daily. We must live by faith daily. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1884, par. 8

I do not know what called out these remarks, only the thought that many will look away from present duties, present comfort and blessings, and be borrowing trouble in regard to the future crisis. This will be making a time of trouble beforehand, and we will receive no grace for any such anticipated troubles. Rejoice in God always. Today praise God for His grace, and continue to praise Him every day. When the scene of sore conflict comes, we have learned the lesson of holy confidence, of blessed trust, and we place our hands in the hands of Christ, our feet on the Rock of Ages, and we are secure from storm, from tempest. We are to wait on our Lord; Jesus will be an ever-present help in every time of need. We may be glad in the Lord. We may show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. My meditation of Him shall be sweet—of Him to whom I have committed the keeping of my soul. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1884, par. 9

I was much pleased to read just at this time the piece in [the] Review upon diet. It came in just the right time for me, for I am laboring on this point and needed just what is there published. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1884, par. 10

Well, this must go to the mail. When you can find time, write me, both of you. I will be very glad to hear from you. Love to Anna. May the Lord give her a precious experience in His service, and may the younger children learn in the school of Christ to be children of Jesus Christ, is my sincere desire and prayer. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1884, par. 11

In much love. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1884, par. 12

Were Sister Ings’ red stockings sent with the things she sent for? If not, will you send them by mail? She wants them. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1884, par. 13