Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 38, 1888


Healdsburg, California

August 11, 1888

This letter is published in entirety in 16MR 174-179.

My dear Sister:

I received your letter this morning and will reply briefly. I have no recollection of receiving a letter of the character you mention. I will look through my writings when I have more time. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 1

I have been pressed beyond measure of late. I returned to my Healdsburg home to rest and to take care of my harvest of fruit—peaches, plums, nectarines, and pears—and as we could not sell them, we have been obliged to dry them. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 2

There has been quite an interest in Healdsburg among outsiders to hear Mrs. White speak, and I have been the only one in the place to speak to the people upon the Sabbath and First Day evening. We have had good attendance. Last Sabbath two Methodist ministers were present; also a professor who has long been connected with some institution of learning but is now laboring in Mexico as a missionary; and a prominent man, an agent for the home for the homeless in San Francisco, attended our meetings. The two last mentioned have become deeply interested in the Sabbath. The Lord has given me largely of His Holy Spirit, for which I praise His name. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 3

This is an important place. Our school is here established, and we have a new church erected. Two large canneries are in active operation which bring in workers from surrounding towns, and here is a missionary field. Our brethren and sisters work in the canneries and are associated with those over whom they can exert an influence. We have seen plenty of opportunities to labor in the Master’s vineyard. I think I have not attended so excellent a social meeting here as we had last Sabbath. The Lord was indeed present, and that to bless. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 4

But I am wandering from my subject. Dear Sister, you state that “some claim among other things that there is dishonesty in suppressing your former writings.” Will those who say these things please give proof of their statements? I know that this has been often repeated but not proved. “Claiming that in your original testimonies, volume 1, which they have preserved, you distinctly declare that you were shown the day and hour of Christ’s second coming. Their argument is that this statement of yours will not stand the Bible test, as Christ Himself declares that no man knoweth the day or the hour, no not even the angels of God, hence [you] have withdrawn the first editions and revised them leaving out the above, [and] also printed a tract declaring we are not a class of people who set the time, (entitled Is the Time Near?)” 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 5

Will these good friends who are troubled concerning these statements please ask the individuals who claim to have the original copy of [the] first edition to let them see the statement they claim it contains. If they have the book, they should be willing to show the statements, paragraph by paragraph. I have no book and never have written one containing any such statement; and any book I might send you, the parties might claim was not the one containing the said statement. But if parties claim to have such a book, certainly someone who thinks these statements correct could have access to it. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 6

In my first book you will find the only statement in regard to the day and hour of Christ’s coming that I have made since the passing of the time in 1844. It is found in (Early Writings, 11, 27, 145-146) [pages 15, 34, and 285], present edition. All refer to the announcement that will be made just before the second coming of Christ. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 7

By turning to page 145 [page 285, present edition] and reading from the commencement of the chapter, you will see that the statements made refer to the deliverance of the saints from the time of trouble by the voice of God. Please obtain this book, if you do not have it, and read the statements therein. They are just as printed from the first article published. “The sky opened and shut and was in commotion. The mountains shook like a reed in the wind and cast out ragged rocks all around. The sea boiled like a pot and cast out stones upon the land. And as God spoke the day and the hour of Jesus’ coming and delivered the everlasting covenant to His people, He spoke one sentence, and then paused, while the words were rolling through the earth.” 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 8

This is a portion of the paragraph. The statements in pages 11 and 27 [pages 15 and 34, present edition], refer to the same time. They contain all that I have ever been shown in regard to the definite time of the Lord’s coming. I have not the slightest knowledge as to the time spoken by the voice of God. I heard the hour proclaimed, but had no remembrance of that hour after I came out of vision. Scenes of such thrilling, solemn interest passed before me as no language is adequate to describe. It was all a living reality to me, for close upon this scene appeared the great white cloud upon which was seated the Son of man. But read the book itself. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 9

It was this oft-repeated charge of suppression that led us to determine to gather up all my earliest publications and re-publish [them] in the book called Early Writings by Mrs. E. G. White. We printed this little book to be scattered everywhere that all might, if they chose, become acquainted with facts. But this did not, only for a time, quiet their reports. They came again just as fresh as if that book had never been printed. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 10

I was a firm believer in definite time in 1844, but this prophetic time was not shown me in vision for it was some months [weeks] after the passing of this period of time before the first vision was given me. There were many proclaiming a new time after this, but I was shown that we should not have another definite time to proclaim to the people. All who are acquainted with me and my work will testify that I have borne but one testimony in regard to the setting of the time. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 11

I have been shown that our disappointment in 1844 was not because of failure in the reckoning of prophetic periods, but in the events to take place. The earth was believed to be the sanctuary. But the sanctuary which was to be cleansed at the end of the prophetic periods was the heavenly sanctuary and not the earth as we all supposed. The Saviour did enter the most holy place in 1844 to cleanse the sanctuary, and the investigative judgment had commenced for the dead. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 12

I have been repeatedly urged to accept the different periods of time proclaimed for the Lord to come. I have ever had one testimony to bear: the Lord will not come at that period, and you are weakening the faith of even Adventists, and fastening the world in their unbelief. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 13

There have been plainly set before me events of great and thrilling interest which must transpire before Christ will come. Satan will move mightily from beneath and will delude the world, while the Lord God Omnipotent will move from above and prepare a people to stand in the great day of His wrath. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 14

The time-setters have pronounced the curse of the Lord upon me as an unbeliever who said, My Lord delayeth His coming. But I have told them that the books of heaven would not make my record thus, for the Lord knows that I loved and longed for the appearing of Christ. But their oft-repeated message of definite time was exactly what the enemy wanted, and it served his purpose well to unsettle the faith in the first proclamation of time that was of heavenly origin. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 15

The world placed all time proclamation on the same level and called it a delusion, fanaticism, and heresy. Ever since 1844 I have borne my testimony that we were now in a period of time in which we are to take heed to ourselves lest our hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon us unawares. Our position has been one of waiting and watching, with no time proclamation to intervene between the close of the prophetic periods in 1844 and the time of our Lord’s coming. We do not know the day nor the hour, or when the definite time is, and yet the prophetic reckoning shows us that Christ is at the door. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 16

We have not cast away our confidence, neither have we a message dependent upon definite time, but we are waiting and watching unto prayer, looking for and loving the appearing of our Saviour, and doing all in our power for the preparation of our fellow men for that great event. We are not impatient. If the vision tarry, wait for it, for it will surely come; it will not tarry. Although disappointed, our faith has not failed, and we have not drawn back to perdition. The apparent tarrying is not so in reality, for at the appointed time our Lord will come, and we will, if faithful, exclaim, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us.” [Isaiah 25:9.] 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 17

I have also been pronounced a deceiver because I have said, “The Lord will soon come; get ready, get ready that ye may be found waiting, watching, and loving His appearing.” But in the Revelation I read this statement, “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” “Behold, I come quickly: Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” [Revelation 22:12, 7; 3:11.] Was the One who bore this testimony a deceiver because the “quickly” has been protracted longer than our finite minds could anticipate? It is the faithful and true Witness that speaks. His words are verity and truth. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 18

If I have failed to make this matter plain which you wish to understand, write me again and I will endeavor to make every point plain and clear. But I must plead not guilty to the charge of seeing in vision that the Lord would [come] at a definite day and hour which has since passed by. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 19

I must now close this letter. I have been interrupted many times to give counsel to those who [have] called me. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 20

May the Lord bless you and your dear friends is my prayer. 5LtMs, Lt 38, 1888, par. 21