Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 25, 1884

Whitney, Brother

Kansas City, Missouri

August 11, 1884

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Whitney:

I intended to pass on directly from here to Syracuse, but there [have] been urgent calls for me to spend a short time Sabbath and Sunday at Iowa camp meeting. I hope that this will not detract from the interest of the meeting in Syracuse. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1884, par. 1

Dear brethren and sisters who attend this meeting, do not, I beseech of you, neglect the work that ought to be done for you at the very commencement of the meeting. Remember that the ministers cannot make for you a profitable meeting. With what spirit have you come to this meeting—to be lifted out of your low estate by a wave of excitement? Have you come with hearts drawn out in love for the salvation of others? Have you come to selfishly be made happy yourselves, or have you come to let your light shine forth to others? 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1884, par. 2

The watchman upon the walls of Zion have a sacred and important work: to watch for souls as they that must give an account. You must be arising constantly to greater heights in Christian experience, in heavenly attainments, [and] in holy purposes. Your vigilance must increase constantly as we near the close of time. If souls are in danger and you are stupified and see not their peril and give no warning, their souls will be lost and you will be chargeable with their blood. It is not enough to do pulpit labor. Your work and your efforts must be to see and discover the dangers and give warning. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1884, par. 3

While this work rests upon the ministers, there are heavy responsibilities that rest upon every soul who professes the name of Christ, not one is excused in occupying a position of indifference and indolence. Our case is not to be consulted. [Our] pleasure is not to be thought of. There is earnest work to be done for Jesus in the salvation of souls. This is the all-important theme. Everything of a temporal character can bear no comparison with this. Every man, woman, and youth, God has claims upon you. He will hold you accountable for the good you might have done and did not do. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1884, par. 4

It is not enough that you are merely interested, and would interest others, to save your soul. You must remember you have personal work to do for other souls, to reach them where they are. Live out your profession of faith; humble your souls before God. But at this holy convocation work unselfishly. “Without Me,” says Christ, “ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Examine your own selves, see whether you be in the faith. Except Jesus Christ be in you, then ye are reprobates. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1884, par. 5

Have you this knowledge? If not, do not let day after day of the meeting pass and you be unfitted to be benefited. You want Jesus at the very commencement of the meeting; you want help which Christ alone can give you. Lay hold by faith the mighty Arm of your strength. Let your very first work be deep, heart-searching confession of sins. If a brother has aught against his brother, take it out of the way for Christ’s sake. In the very commencement of the meeting bring not the displeasure of God upon the whole encampment by your hidden sins. God requires of you to make wrongs right. If you have, any of you, been hard, censorious, unpitiful, let the confession be made and the heart broken before God. Clear the way that your personal sins shall not shut away from the encampment the sunbeams of Christ’s righteousness. Let the hard, sinful heart break and you have a heart of flesh. [Neglecting] this work of humiliation, of confession before God, has done such harm [at] every camp meeting. I now appeal to you who profess the truth to make crooked ways straight through the grace of Jesus Christ. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1884, par. 6

I call upon you who have long professed the truth to get out of the way that souls shall not stumble over you to ruin. Let those who profess the faith put away sin and be reconciled to God, and you will then see the salvation of God. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1884, par. 7

P. S. I will leave Iowa Sunday night if I can. Emma White will accompany me. I must sleep alone. Two beds will be necessary. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1884, par. 8