Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 82, 1887

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Basel, Switzerland

April 18, 1887

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 117; 3Bio 362.

Dear children Edson and Emma:

I have been having an attack of malaria, but not as severe as sometimes. I cannot walk much, and my horse is lame. One of the boys overdrove him to reach the depot, so I have not been able to use him since, except once or twice; then he had to walk every step. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 1

We had a snowstorm last Sabbath so that the ground was white; but it soon melted. Today the sun has been shining. I walked out a short distance, leaning on Sister Ings’ arm. Although sick, I have written some today. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 2

I do not forget to pray for you, that God will not leave you to your own mind and your own will and judgment, but that He will work in just that way that will be for your present and eternal good. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 3

I spoke to the church last Sabbath from Titus 2:6-8. “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 4

We are straining every power to close up our work here in Basel. I had some plain testimony to bear on Sabbath, followed by French and German interpreters. We had a social meeting, and many good testimonies were borne. I hope by putting them in mind of these things to so impress them upon their minds that there will be a response in decided action. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 5

I believe we are on the very borders of the eternal world, and I am seeking to keep in constant communion with God. I prize eternal life, and nothing shall separate me from the love of God. I want constantly to educate and train my soul to lean on Christ, to draw spiritual strength from Christ. God intends that we shall have an experimental knowledge of Christ, then we can be faithful witnesses for God, testifying of the grace of Christ in words and actions, by conscious and unconscious influence. I fear, greatly fear, that many of the youth connected with the work of God do not know my Saviour. When I think of the work that God is doing for fallen man, I am lost in wonder that God will take poor, fallen beings and bring to them moral power, that there will be the internal workings of His grace, transforming the character and making men fit for the mansions God is preparing for them—beings fitted for the presence of God, fitted to be companions with angels and to hold communion with God. Oh, how my heart yearns to be one who shall walk with Jesus Christ in the earth made new. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 6

I inquire what will be the day of God to D. M. Canright? What a leap he has made in the dark! I do not give him credit for honesty. I cannot do this. When I think of the light he has had, it makes me shudder to think of the judgment, when every case will be decided, and of what will be his confusion then. I feel sorry for his poor children. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 7

“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12. When I saw so many articles coming from his pen into the paper, I expected he would stumble. I expected he would fall under temptation. We feel very solemn as we think of this case. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 8

“Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light.” John 12:35. Our lifework now should be to prepare for eternity. We know not how soon our lifework here may close, and how essential that our low, sinful nature should be overcome, and we conform to the image of Christ. We have not one moment’s time to squander. We need to be daily preparing for eternity. Our lifetime is granted us to seek the boon of eternal life. God has granted us a probation; and if we live our three-score years and ten, how short is this period to work out our salvation! Then compare this period with the life that measures with the life of God. The short period of our test and proving may end any time. Then how earnest should we be to secure a clear title to a home in the earth made new! Habits have been formed that have retarded spiritual growth. Oh, that we all might have a realizing sense of the shortness of time. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 9

My anxiety is to do the work the Master has given me to do and let nothing divert me from this work; to have zeal and fidelity in holding forth the Word of life, “that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.” Philippians 2:16. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 10

Paul trembled for the entire result of his ministry, if the church should fail in fulfilling their essential co-operation. Preaching would effect nothing if Christians did not let their light shine and hold forth the Word of life. I feel thus day by day. My soul is humbled before God as I see the little power there is with the people who have so great light. I fear my own salvation is in jeopardy if those for whom I labor fail in fulfilling their God-given responsibilities. Whoever will not work and use his God-given talents decays and dies spiritually. Each individual is answerable for the efficacy of the gospel. He cannot shake off the burden, neglect, or forgetfulness by backsliding. Every ray of light he has had and not improved will rise up in the day of judgment as so many witnesses against him. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 11

My the Lord help us, dear children, to walk in the light as Christ is in the light. It is the only path of safety, the only path that leads to heaven. When I think that each soul must stand or fall for himself, it makes me feel very solemn. No circumstances can be urged that another’s unfaithfulness was the reason of our stumbling. God’s Word points out individual duty to bear fruit to the glory of God. The eye must be single to God’s glory, fixed upon Jesus constantly. We must keep Jesus the subject of our thoughts and seek for purity, for virtue, for holiness, that we may represent Christ to the world. There is work to do for the Master, and we are not excusable if this work is neglected. The sons of God are to represent Him and the power of truth in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom they shine as lights in the world. I want my march onward, steadily onward, and upward, for all eternity will tell of the progress I have made in this life. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 12

We must seek to be one with God. His interest must be our interest, His sentiments and designs ours. We know the love of God for sinners and the infinite sacrifice that has been made to save perishing souls; then let us unite with Christ in this great work. We must recognize our obligations to God and plead with Him for more grace, more strength and wisdom to become co-laborers with God in saving souls. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 13

I long to do the will of God. My soul burns with gratitude for His mercy and His lovingkindness. I long for opportunities to show forth the praises of Him who hath called me out of darkness into His marvelous light. I long to provoke others to love and good works. I am glad that we have a compassionate Saviour. I rejoice in His love. I have no doleful story to tell. Jesus is my hope and the crown of my rejoicing. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 14

May the Lord help you to discern the plain path of duty and to walk in it is my most earnest prayer. Oh, shall one of my children for whom I have labored and prayed be found missing when the righteous nation that has kept the truth shall enter in through the gates into the city? God forbid it, God forbid it. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 15

Our work is with the present life; we are to be children of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. We must, then, have untainted morals. Christians are Christ’s representatives in this dark world. He points to them as His sons and His daughters, and they are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. He says, These are My jewels, these are they who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. These shall reign with Me in white. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 16

Heaven, sweet heaven, I long to be there; and if I can meet my husband and children there, what a happy, glorious victory will be ours! God grant that this may be our happy destiny. It may be so, it may be so. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 17

Willie is very, very much pressed with work. They have been taking inventory, and how slow everything moves, all for want of a real managing ability at the head. But we hope that the work now being done will be productive of much good, and lay the foundation right, that the structure will be right. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 18

Marian has improved in health. She is deeply buried in Volume One. That work is nearly completed. I stopped my work on that to put additions into Volume Four. I work early and constantly until dark, then retire early and generally rise between three and four. I see so much to be done to set things in order. I talk, I pray, I write, and then must leave it all with God. Many nights I have awakened between one and two and have been so burdened that I have dressed and commenced writing. When the Lord sees fit to give me rest, I hope I shall be prepared for it. I see no rest for me in this world. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 19

Sister Ings is writing on the calligraph for Marian, getting copy all ready for printers. Mary White has every moment employed in writing, preparing manuscript, reading proof, when she is not compelled to take care of her children. In Mabel we have a sweet, good-natured, lovely little piece of humanity. She is not handsome, but she is beautiful to us. She is so remarkably good. We never look at her or speak to her, but she responds with her baby laugh. She is a little comfort to us all. She has had but one dress of red delaine which cost twelve cents a yard. This she has worn since January. So you see we do not lay out any large sum to dress the infant. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 20

We shall leave here for Prussia the twentieth of May for conference meeting. After that we go to Norway, to attend the first camp meeting held in Europe, then attend conference in Stockholm, Sweden, then in Copenhagen, Denmark; from there to England. We cannot determine how long we shall stay there. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 21

Yours with much love. 5LtMs, Lt 82, 1887, par. 22