Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 9, 1888

Daniels, Brother and Sister [E. P.]

Healdsburg, California

August 10, 1888

This letter is published in entirety in PH096 57-63.

Dear Brother and Sister [E. P.] Daniels:

I have not yet received the letter which I sent you from Burrough Valley. I requested that it should be sent to me. Will you please send it, for I am anxious to see the character of the letter I wrote to you, which brought the answer you sent me in return. I asked you to return it to me, or a copy of it, but probably you have forgotten all about it. I would be pleased to have you send me a copy of the letter which I sent you from Basel, Switzerland, for the Healdsburg church. Sister Daniels said that she had the letter, or a copy of it. I am anxious to hear from you. How is Sister Daniels? Was she very sick? 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1888, par. 1

Up to this date, Brother Grainger has not returned from his tour. All are anxiously waiting for his coming, for the time to open the school is drawing near. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1888, par. 2

I have many things to say to you, but my writing presses me, so I suppose I must wait until the camp meeting to speak to you of them. If I could find time, I would love to be at Fresno over Sabbath and also spend some weeks in Burrough Valley, but it is not possible. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1888, par. 3

I hope you can be with us when W. C. White is here, which will be in about two weeks. Then you can see just how matters stand and do your part to make everything right. This is your first duty, and may the Lord help you that you shall not have run in vain, neither labored in vain. You need to be strong in God and in the power of His might, not strong in your own strength. It is time that you gave your brethren and sisters and the world an example of what a Christian minister should be, both in the pulpit and out of the pulpit. You are not safe unless you are daily learning meekness and lowliness of heart in the school of Christ. Every day we need the converting, transforming grace of Christ upon our souls. Every day we need the Comforter that Christ promised to send after He should ascend to His Father. He said, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. ... But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever things I have said unto you.” [John 14:16, 17, 26.] 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1888, par. 4

I pled with God in your behalf, that the Spirit of truth may abide with you, that the work of the Comforter may be seen and realized by you. You said in your letter to me that you would not labor again until you were a converted man, for this you thought from what I had written was your duty. I can tell better what I said when I have seen that letter, but, my brother whom I love in the Lord, this is the very point I urge upon you—and Christ promised the Comforter to “bring all things to your remembrance” [verse 26]—I want you to remember aright and to represent all things in a right light to your own soul as well as to others. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1888, par. 5

I dare not take back anything I said in that letter, for I am sure it is truth, and if you will only act upon it and not begin a tirade upon others, weakening your own soul, if you will indeed sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him who is meek and lowly of heart, you will be a converted man. You will exemplify Christ in your lifework. You will not preach one thing and practice something altogether different. All the graces you urge upon others will be presented in your character. You will be Christlike, having His divine mould upon you. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1888, par. 6

I do most sincerely hope and pray that you will see the necessity of bringing your living expenses within the limit of your means, so that you may not give to others a wrong example in your home life. The brethren who have placed their money in your hands, believing you to be in great need, should not long be kept waiting for their money. If anyone among us needs to practice economy and self-denial, it is yourself, for the money you received from others should be returned as soon as possible. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1888, par. 7

Brother Leininger’s family lives in accordance with the principles of strictest economy. They did not have a carriage until I told them it was their duty to provide one for Sister Leininger. Brother Leininger had conscientiously decided not to build a convenient woodshed and kitchen for his large family because he did not feel free to invest means in personal conveniences when the cause of God needed money to carry it forward. I tried to show him that it was necessary for the health as well as for the morals of his children that he should make home pleasant and provide conveniences to lighten the labor of his wife. Now, my brother, you would not think you could live as that family lives. You would not economize as that family has in order to save money in every way possible. You would think it your privilege to invest means in twenty ways for your own convenience, where he would not feel that he could indulge in the gratification of self in one way. He binds about his inclinations and wants, while you use means freely, and although you have [received] repeated cautions and reproofs on this point, you continue to pursue the same course, unless yourself and wife are converted. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1888, par. 8

When the transforming grace of Christ shall take hold upon your heart, the fruit of that grace will be seen. You will not receive means from your brethren, which you do not really need; you will not keep it in your possession and live in a style in which I would not dare to live and [others] would feel condemned in following. It is as much your duty to bind about your desires and to deny your inclinations, as it is my duty and the duty of others to abstain from the gratification of self. While you selfishly gratify appetite, you talk of poverty, of being perplexed for means; you borrow or receive gifts from your brethren although it works against you and destroys your influence. As a minister of Christ, you cannot follow this course consistently. As a lay member, if you give up preaching, you cannot do as you have done and be approved of God. You cannot afford to give to your children such an example, for it is not after the example of Christ. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1888, par. 9

Brother and Sister Daniels, I wish you could see the necessity of bringing yourselves to the habits of economy Brother Leininger has practiced. With all his little children, he thinks they must get along without a hired girl. I think they are straining the point here. You would not think for a moment you could do as they have done in order to save expenses. A practical knowledge of domestic duties would be the very best instruction your children could receive. Not one or two or three, but every one who knows you, even your best friends, have spoken in regard to your great expenses, and I have said nothing. They have said, “I do not, I could not expend money as they do and for the things they do.” I could not say to these friends that what they said was not true, for I knew it was. I have had the matter presented to me again and again. I have told you of these things in the fear of God, not to hurt you, but for your own good and for the good of your children. I know that neither you nor your children will be among the overcomers around the throne of God unless you make a decided reform. You have attempted to reform. After I wrote you from Basel, Switzerland, you made statements of what you would do, that you would never eat butter or meat. I knew enough of you and your appetite to consider this an unwise statement, for I felt sure you would break the strongest pledge on this point. You have indulged appetite to such an extent that after making such a decided change, you would only go back stronger than ever to your old habits. This is why I wrote you, remonstrating against your radical resolutions in this matter. You moved impulsively and not from principle, and all of your family are in need of reformation. If you do not make decided changes in all of these things, you will enter into temptations of which you do not now dream. You will not be a savor of life unto life, but of death unto death. I write this in the fear of God, because I have a love for your soul. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1888, par. 10

In your letter to me you said that you thought it was your duty to take charge of your own children as well as to work to save the souls of other people’s children. Would that this might be done, but I am obliged to tell you that your training would not be the best training your children could have. Before you can bring up your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, you need to have an element brought into your character which you do not now possess. You talk against our institutions, against our brethren in the presence of your children; you advance ideas without a thought on your part, which leave an unfavorable impression on their minds and which shape their destinies for this life and the future life. This work coming forth from your hands you must meet again in the judgment. Your unwise tenderness toward your children is cruelty of the worst kind. Could you see your words as they are in the books of heaven, you would be ashamed, for you speak without thought. This is why I have said you must be converted, and I say it still from the light God has given me. How long do you mean to remain in this condition? How long will it be before you will humbly seek God? How long will it be before you will feel it your duty to act upon the light that God has given you? How long will you stand where you are, with every avenue of the soul open to Satan’s suggestions and temptations? Is it not time that you were in earnest? Is it not time for you to begin to heed the light that God has given you, in place of following your own mind and judgment? Is it not time for you to begin to practice the teachings you have given to others? May the Lord help you to work as you have never worked before. I feel alarmed for you, for I know that you will not long stand where you are. Seek the Lord, I beseech you, while He is to be found. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1888, par. 11

Yours with great solicitude. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1888, par. 12