Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 60, 1888

Daniels, E. P.

Healdsburg, California

August 12, 1888

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Daniels:

I received your letter, written to me a few days since, in regard to Brother Sawyer. I have talked with him and set the matter plainly before him and cannot know what he wishes to do. I think you had better talk with or write to him, but do not set out the place in glowing colors. I dare not do this, but leave him to his own judgment. By communicating with him, you may learn more particulars. I sincerely hope that Brother Cushing will obtain no place in the valley until he is a thoroughly converted man, for he would [be] holding his present views [and] be a curse to Burrough Valley. I am sorry that your wife is sick, and I hope she will not have a hard attack. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 1

I think it is time we were closely examining our own hearts to see whether we be in the faith and love of God. I tell you, if there is not an awakening among us who have had so great light and so many privileges, we will sink to ruin, and our fate [will] be worse than that of Chorazin or Bethsaida, for if the mighty works that have been done in these had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in dust and ashes. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 2

I am alarmed for you and for your children because your wisdom seems in some respects to be foolishness. When I saw when in Fresno the cards prepared and sent out by your daughter, invitations to a gathering, a party at your house, I thought as many others must think, “Vanity of vanities, your little boy sick, just escaping with his life, the mother worn out with watching, while the daughter and sister who ought to [have] shared this taxing care was amusing herself.” 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 3

When I was her age, yes, younger than she was, cart and oxen could not have drawn me from my mother’s side. Had your daughter done her duty, she would have remained with her mother, but it was the mother’s fault that she did not. And the little weight these serious things in life have upon her mind is revealed in the way that mind works in actions. Serious and solemn impressions have no abiding influence upon the mind, and in the place of encouraging in your child that which you would condemn in others, you should restrain and lead her mind in the right channel. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 4

I am sore distressed over the outlook of your family, for I see but little firm, steady, God-fearing course of action pursued that God can approve. I am sad over these things. You told several with your own lips that you had purchased a horse and saddle, etc., for Zua, and she was to take it to Oakland, and it would cost you not much less than from three to four dollars per week to keep the horse. And then comes up to mind that which looks to others like ingenious methods of your obtaining money [and] helps by laying bare your necessities, and how difficult it is for you to support your family. Every little needless indulgence will force upon minds, “My children cannot have these things and I have felt great sympathy for Elder Daniels and have tried to help him.” 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 5

May the Lord help you, my brother, to come speedily to your senses and move like a man with a well-balanced mind, and may you take up your work with heart sanctified [and] lips sanctified, and [may] you walk humbly with your God. It is high time that you were deeply in earnest for the salvation of your soul and the souls of your children. Your calling, your work require this. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 6

My soul is weighed down with grief for I know unless you are a transformed man that you will be anchored nowhere long. Oh, seek the Lord, seek the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is nigh. I entreat of you to humble your heart before God and never, never give over the effort till you are a different man. Let all your influence be on the Lord’s side. Let your children see in you a firm, unwavering principle. Let them see that you are not a creature of impulse, for you have a molding influence upon them. They copy the pattern you give them. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 7

But I shall plead with you and exhort you until I see a change for the better in you. I want to say to you, my brother, that we are nearing the close of time. We want not only to preach present truth in the pulpit, but to live the truth out of the pulpit, our words and works corresponding with our teachings in the pulpit. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 8

I expect you wish Sister White would let you alone, but I dare not do this. I want you should closely examine the foundation of your hopes of salvation. While you have stood in the position you have as a herald of truth, a watchman upon the walls of Zion, [you] cannot have [your] interests interwoven with any mines or real estate business and yet do that work which effectually is sacred, where the souls of men are at stake, where eternal interests are involved. The interests cannot safely be divided, and this is especially so in your case. You have talked the advantages of investing in lands in Fresno. To many you have represented the advantages to be gained in a money point of view. This was your part of the contract, and again and again have you been engrossed in picturing out the advantages of the purchasing of lands in Fresno. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 9

When you were, as an ordained minister of Christ, pledged to the giving of soul, body, and spirit to the work of the salvation of souls, receiving money from the treasury to support you and your family in [your] own humble, economical manner, your talk was calculated to call the attention and money of men and women away from the business of promoting the Redeemer’s kingdom on the earth and beget within them a desire to withdraw their means from our institutions and place it where it would double itself in a short time with the pleasing prospect [that] they could help the cause a great deal more in so doing. You may not have advised them knowingly to withdraw their means from the cause of God, but they had no means to handle unless they did do this; and it has been done while your attention has been directed to mines and real estate. There has not been with you the cultivation of heartfelt piety. There has been a feverish desire to obtain possession of means. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 10

We individually hold a relation to souls who may, through the merits of Jesus Christ, seek for immortality and eternal life. The purity, the sincerity, the real consistency and piety is affected by our words, by our works, our deportment, our prayers, our faithful discharge of our duty. Ye are the light of the world. The ministers of Jesus Christ must inculcate both on the church and [on] individuals that all profession of the faith, even as Seventh-day Adventists, does not proceed from heartfelt piety and is powerless for good [if] they are false guides. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 11

Religious light is to shine forth from the church and especially the ministers in steady, clear, unfaltering rays. It is not to flame up on special occasions and then grow dim and flicker as if about to go out. The excellency of the religion of Jesus Christ must ever shine in the character of true believers. Then we adorn the doctrine of Christ our Saviour. The excellency and also the power of the gospel is revealed, and each individual member of the church is bound to be in living connection with the source of all light and to be [a] spiritual worker, doing his part to reflect light in good works to our world. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 12

Especially should the minister keep himself from every worldly entanglement and bind himself to the living Source of all power that he may represent correctly what it means to be a Christian. Christ expects you, as His employed servant, in mind, in thoughts, in words, in actions, to be like Jesus. [He] expects every man who opens the Scriptures to others to do his duty, not to work unwisely, but to carefully and intelligently exercise his powers in his work that he will not destroy or over-weary nature so that he is unfitted to do good work for the Lord. Every soul is called into active labor in the vineyard of the Lord in some of the various departments of the work, and the shepherd of the flock is [to] lead and guide his flock. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 13

The tongue of the minister is not to be employed in telling the best means to bury his money in the earth. He is [to] tell him how to invest safely in the bank of heaven, and may the good Lord give you spiritual discernment is my prayer, for you will as surely make shipwreck of faith unless you are in a different condition spiritually than you now are. You work with your statements of your tongue away from Christ. You need the converting power of God, and unless you are changed, you will surely let go your hold of the truth, and although you should gain the whole world and lose your own soul it would be a poor bargain for you to make. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 14

I will write no more now, but beg of you to be true to your soul’s interest. Cut loose from everything that in any way shall divert your mind from God and the great work for this time. My heart is sick and sad and sore as I contemplate your condition and that of your family. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 15

I love your souls and want to see you striving earnestly for the salvation of yourself and the salvation of your dear children whom I know are managed very much after the same order Eli managed his children. 5LtMs, Lt 60, 1888, par. 16