Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 54, 1886

Stewart, Sister


April 4, 1886

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 103.

Sr. Stewart:

Both your letters were received. Your supposition was right in regard to the first letter’s not having sufficient postage. We receive quite a number of such letters, because they do not understand that it requires more postage coming to Europe than on letters in America. We very frequently have to pay from six to twenty cents extra because of deficient postage. 4LtMs, Lt 54, 1886, par. 1

You express a desire for me to describe the things concerning the New Jerusalem. I positively decline to do anything of the kind. My powers would be inadequate to do this or even make an approach [to] it, and I advise you not to make any attempt to have a particular representation which will carry the impression that it is the representation of the New Jerusalem. The most eloquent representation of the New Jerusalem is [but] to make [an] attempt to present it. 4LtMs, Lt 54, 1886, par. 2

Any one who is dealing with the future unseen world may best describe its untold glories by quoting the words of Paul, “Eye hath not seen; ear hath not heard; neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those that love Him.” [1 Corinthians 2:9, 15.] I feel that many approach sacred things as though their finite powers were capable of taking them in. “And it came to pass when Joshua stood by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with His sword drawn in His hand: and Joshua went unto Him, and said unto Him, Art Thou for us or for our adversaries? And He said, Nay; but as Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto Him, What saith my Lord unto His servant? And the Captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standeth is holy. And Joshua did so.” [Joshua 5:13-15.] 4LtMs, Lt 54, 1886, par. 3

There are so large a number that tread on holy ground with unsanctified feet that we are very cautious even in statements that we present to them in regard to sacred and eternal things, because finite and common ideas become mixed with the holy and sacred. Man may try with his intrusted and cultivated powers to represent something of heaven, and he will make a blunder of the whole thing. 4LtMs, Lt 54, 1886, par. 4

Your power as an artist will, when stretched to its utmost capacity, fall down faint and weary in seeking to take in the things of the unseen world, and yet there is an eternity beyond. With these statements you will excuse me from attempting to portray before you anything concerning the works of the great Master Artist. 4LtMs, Lt 54, 1886, par. 5

Let the imaginations of the people be on the highest stretch to contemplate the glories of the New Jerusalem, and yet they have but just entered upon the borders of the eternal weight of glory that shall be realized by the faithful overcomer. Put off thy shoes from off thy feet for the ground whereon thou standeth is holy. This is the very best answer I can give to your question. 4LtMs, Lt 54, 1886, par. 6

My health is improving. 4LtMs, Lt 54, 1886, par. 7

Yours with respect. 4LtMs, Lt 54, 1886, par. 8