Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 39, 1888

Harper, Laura

Healdsburg, California

August 29, 1888

This letter is published in entirety in 19MR 217-221.

Dear Sister Harper:

I sent you a letter written from Burrough Valley, but I did not copy it and there are some ideas which I wrote under the movings of the Spirit of God and I want to preserve them; therefore I wish you to return to me the letter. Address me: Mrs. E. G. White, Healdsburg, Cal., Box 65. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 1

I seek to preserve every thought and every matter written when I am burdened and feel urged to write, and especially when the matter lies open before me as clearly as that did at the time I wrote. I wish it could have been received by you as truth, but as nothing seems to move you from your own determined purpose, I can say nothing further. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 2

The Lord worked for me and through me at the [Rural Health] Retreat in your behalf. The burden is no longer mine but yours. I have done my duty in the fear of God, and I humbly hope and pray that you may not move blindly in your own spirit and walk in the sparks of your own kindling. I have nothing further to say upon the point in question. If the Lord will only lead you, then all will be well. If you take your case in your hands, then you will follow your own mind irrespective of God’s leadings. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 3

I have not slept since 1:00 a.m., and I am writing to you while all the house are locked in slumber. I am pained when I think of your stubbornness on the matter we have all been troubled about, because I fear for your future. But if you choose your own way, then we cannot change your course. I see no signs of your spirit being in harmony with the Spirit of God, or being controlled by His Spirit. It seems that you have taken the bit in your own mouth and will do just as you choose. I see naught but an unsanctified will. I will not reproach you, but warn you to be careful what steps you take. With the feelings you now have you will make reckless moves which may plunge you into lifelong trouble. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 4

I have written to Brother Harper that he ought not to take the matter so to heart. He feels like death over the thought that he must give you up, but in this sad case it is the best thing he can do. But do not then receive any money from him or expect him to defray your expenses. While you consent to receive his money, of course it encourages him to be of the opinion that you will again live with him as his wife and be true to your marriage vows. But if you design to cut loose from him, it is in poor taste for you to accept anything financially from him. I see and sense your situation and feel deeply for you for I know, with the position you take, you must suffer in mind. But I am not pleased with your set and fixed purpose to carry out at all hazards your independent will. In doing this you will not bring happiness to yourself or to anyone else. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 5

I will not trouble you more with my advice unless I should have, as I did at the Health Retreat, a special word from God to you. I beseech of you to look and see what manner of spirit you are of, and see if it is the meek and lowly spirit of Christ. Without His Spirit, you are none of His. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 6

I have been laboring in Healdsburg for the last four weeks. I have spoken fourteen times. I have had a sharp, pointed testimony for the youth, and I am pained to the heart to see the little modesty and real, good, decent behavior in the young. [There are] young girls so forward as to make advances to young men; so destitute of Christlike humility and elevation of character. The young girls [are] flirting with young men, sitting in meeting and exchanging notes with them at the very time I am presenting a message from God to the people. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 7

The young women make advances to the young men and get up a flirtation with them. Their forwardness, their common, cheap talk and ways are offensive to God, and I told them last Sabbath that they were fast becoming like the Sodomites. And yet they profess to be Christians. What a good, gracious Lord we have to bear with such mockery of the Christian name and such perversity of character. I am disgusted and afflicted for my Saviour that those who claim to represent His character are being led and controlled by the wily foe, the great adversary of God and man. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 8

It seems that during vacation the young have tried to see how far they could venture upon the long-forbearance of Jehovah. I have been burdened over these things. It does seem that Satan has lifted his hellish banner in the families of professed Sabbath-keepers. Their young men and women only think of how they can get into each others’ society and break down all the barriers of reserve and true decorum. It is a pitiful condition of things. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 9

The family of Brother Adams is no help, but a living curse to Healdsburg, and unless they are converted—every soul of them—father, mother, and children will, I fear, lose their souls. There is a commonness, a low level which they keep which is no recommendation to our faith. It is not letting their light shine in a manner to lead anyone to glorify God. The fewer of such families that come to Healdsburg the better will it be for this church. My soul is sick and sore. I see nothing for this class that will elevate and ennoble, refine and purify, but the Lord’s close judgments. I mention this family as a sample of other families. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 10

The end is near. The time for God to work is about come. He will do terrible things in righteousness for those who have so great light yet have not lived up to it. Boys flirting with the girls and the girls flirting with the boys seems to be a passion which destroys even common sense and leaves the souls of youth who might use their talents to the glory of God as destitute of the Spirit of God as the hills of Gilboa that have neither dew nor rain. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 11

If you had been ever free from this spirit yourself, you would not be in the position you are. Unless the moral taste is refined, unless Christ becomes an abiding principle in the soul, but few of the youth will ever see heaven. They have misapplied their powers, perverted the privileges and opportunities given them, and will reap that which they have sown—a harvest which they will not be pleased to garner. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 12

Where great light has been given, great opportunities and privileges granted, there has been such a strengthening of unbelief, such determined resistance of light, such despising of God’s divine favors, that I can see nothing for these thus favored but terrible judgments and wrath. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 13

Wherever the intercourse between heaven and earth has been free and abundant and God’s gifts [have] been unappreciated, the long-forbearance and patience of God [will] finally be exhausted. Then the once blessed and once favored are abandoned and forsaken of God. It is a terrible thing to exhaust the divine patience. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 14

God today is as surely speaking by His servants as in past ages. He has His messengers today as in ancient times, but those souls who have not had divine enlightenment, [who] have had no deep and rich experience in the things of God, know not by experimental knowledge at what they stumble. They are infatuated; deluded by the enemy; rejecting offered mercy when the Eternal Father is seeking to save them by the cross of Calvary. Oh, that hearts might be touched by the love of Jesus! 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 15

God has made the mind, and man must make the character through the merits of Jesus Christ. How few are willing to deny self, to lift the cross and follow Jesus. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 16

But I only designed to address to you a few lines, but have written several pages. I have an interest for your soul that it may be cleansed from all defilement and be made a fit temple for the Holy Ghost. 5LtMs, Lt 39, 1888, par. 17