Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6

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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6

1889

Letters

Lt 1, 1889

White, W. C.

Chicago, Illinois

April 7, 1889

This letter is published in entirety in 1888 286-291.

Dear Son Willie:

We feel deeply grateful for the blessing of God that has come into the meeting here. We have all been blessed indeed. There began to be a break on Thursday, and on Friday the meetings were excellent, but oh, how hard it was to educate the people to look away from themselves to Jesus and His righteousness. A continuous effort has had to be put forth. I am sure that those who are present began to see now what they had lost in the past by their unbelief and by the Christless sermons that have been presented. If this message that has been preached here is not present truth for this time, I know not how we can determine what is truth. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 1

Did I tell you that Mrs. Miles Grant was one of my hearers last Thursday? I had an introduction to her in my room, and we had a pleasant visit. She said that she did not know that I would care to meet the wife of Miles Grant, as he and I were such sharp antagonists, but I said to her that I had made no raid upon her husband, [that] it was he that had followed me and made a raid upon me. She talked very pleasantly and commended the manner in which we are doing our work in such cities as Chicago. She said that she had told her husband that as a people, we were showing a commendable zeal in live missionary work, while they, as a people, were doing very little and were really dying out for want of just such methods of labor as Seventh-day Adventists were employing. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 2

Friday morning the work of the Lord was manifested in our meeting. Hearts were moved upon by the Spirit of God, and good confessions were made. My heart rejoiced as I heard the people acknowledge that they were obtaining an education in faith which they had never had before and that Jesus was precious to their souls. They said that they had never before known by an experimental knowledge what the love of God was, but now they had heard, they had believed, and they would go forth to preach as they had never before preached the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. They felt that indeed they had had a new conversion. Their souls were free, their sins forgiven, the love of Jesus was in their hearts, the tenderness of heart, the contrition of spirit that makes evident the work of the Holy Spirit and grace of Christ in the soul. The Sabbath came to us as a joy, a blessing. We hailed the Sabbath with grateful hearts as the best Sabbath we had ever enjoyed. The half-past five meeting commenced where the evening meeting closed. Every heart seemed to respond to the love of God, and souls were burdened to express the precious love they had found. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 3

The universal testimony now is that they regret most deeply that they had not seen and known before what they now understand. They now have the assurance of the favor of God and have the indwelling peace of Christ. One soul after another has testified to a new conversion. Our meetings have been truly melting seasons. We know that Jesus has been in our meetings. Joy and tears have been mingled. I rejoice in the Lord to see the good work progressing. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 4

On Sabbath forenoon Brother A. T. Jones gave a discourse full of the meat and fatness of good things. In the afternoon I spoke of the precious plan of salvation with much freedom to a large audience. I remained through a blessed social meeting, and how different were the testimonies from those we heard at the beginning of the meetings. They were full of joy and praise to God for the precious light that souls had received. The brethren expressed themselves as so much better acquainted with God because of the light that they had received. They comprehended to so much greater a degree His character, His goodness, His mercy, His love. They knew more of what it meant to have living faith. They said that they had a more intelligent idea of what it means to abide in Christ and to have Him abide in them. Many testimonies were borne by the ministering brethren to the effect that they could now see how little of the righteousness of Christ they had brought into their discourses, how ignorant they had been of the Scriptures and of the power of God! They felt that they could now go forth to their labors with new courage and hope, that they could now present Jesus and His love to the people. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 5

From the commencement of the Sabbath to its close it was a day of especial blessing, and it forms one of the most precious pictures that I have to hang in memory’s hall to look upon with delight and rejoicing. Good is the Lord and greatly to be praised. Brothers Kilgore and Starr sent telegrams to some of the brethren in adjoining churches who were absenting themselves from the meeting because of their temporal affairs. They arrived on Friday and rejoiced as they drank in the spirit of the meeting. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 6

Sunday, April 7, is in the past. The chapel was filled, and the halls and rooms adjoining were also well occupied. The meetings began at half-past five in the morning and continued through the day with scarcely any intermission. Some time was devoted, of course, to obtaining refreshments. Elder Jones and myself occupied the preaching hours, and the Lord imparted to the speakers His grace in rich measure. The congregation were deeply interested, and many who were undecided have balanced in the right direction, and we believe that many more will decide for the truth as a result of this meeting. The sweet peace and quietness of God seem to be in all. There have been no outbursts of fanaticism, but rather the peace and joy that is born of heaven has been manifested. With tearful eyes and trembling lips, testimonies have been borne, full of faith and hope, courage and joy. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 7

We have reason to praise God with heart and soul and voice. After the evening meeting baptism was administered to eleven candidates in the baptistry. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 8

Now that the enlightenment of the Spirit of God has come, all seem to be learning fast; but at first the lessons presented seemed strange and new, and their hearts and minds could not take them in. More real good could now be accomplished in one day than in one full week before, because they have now opened their hearts to Jesus, and He is abiding with them. All regret that they have been so long ignorant of what constituted true religion. They are sorry that they have not known that it was true religion to depend entirely upon Christ’s righteousness and not upon works of merit. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 9

April 8, half-past 10 a.m. We had a most precious meeting at half-past five this morning, and it would have done your soul good to have heard the heartfelt testimonies that were borne. Brother John Sisley bore a good free, heartfelt testimony. Brother Ballenger proclaimed himself a converted man, and there is a right ring to his testimony. He says he can take hold of the work now as he never could take hold of it before, because he simply did not know how to exercise faith and cling to the righteousness of Christ. I wish you could see and hear Elder Kilgore. He talks things right out. He weeps and rejoices. He says he has had a new conversion, that his eyes are opened, that he no longer sees men as trees walking in his religious experience, but that he sees clearly that it is Christ’s righteousness that he must rely upon or he is a lost man. Brother Tait is also out into the clear light, and his testimony rings out in decided tones. He has found Jesus and is so happy. He says that there are young men at this meeting who have been brought into the truth through his labors, and we can judge how glad he feels to hear them express their joy and gratitude for the light that has shown upon us, and to see the deep movings of the Spirit of God on their hearts. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 10

Oh, if they had only known when they first embraced the truth that which they now understand, how much further advanced they might have been in the divine life! Oh, how much time, how many opportunities have been left unimproved, because the people of God have not brought faith and love of Jesus into their religious experience! Brother Tait says, “Oh that I had preached the gospel of Christ to the souls for whom I have labored, how much better it would have been for them! But I will preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified in all my ministerial labors henceforth.” 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 11

Brother Kilgore is just as happy in the Lord. He now sees the mistakes he made at Minneapolis and is so glad of the privilege of these meetings. This morning’s meeting was, as some expressed it, the best of the wine at the last of the feast. Such happy faces! Such thankfulness and joy was expressed by the people of God that were all glad in the Lord. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 12

Willie, I am in distress for the poor sheep in Iowa. What have they done that they must be left unvisited? The sin of the shepherd should not be visited upon the sheep. I am pained at heart to think of those who are laboring for the churches in Iowa. Could not the camp meetings be arranged so that Brother A. T. Jones could go with me to Iowa? We could go without waiting for these blind shepherds to signify their wishes to have us come. You know I told you that the people gave an invitation by a rising vote for me to attend the Iowa camp meeting. I will go if it can be arranged so that Brother Jones can accompany me. If this cannot be arranged, please state the same. If it can be so managed, let me know at once. Many of our brethren expect me to attend the Illinois camp meeting, but I think they have got a good start at these meetings and that we could go elsewhere, where they know nothing of our labor. I have not thought of this because anyone has proposed it, but because I feel that the poor sheep need the very help that we can give them. Let me know by telegraph what your mind is. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 13

I think that Elder A. T. Jones should attend our large camp meetings and give to our people and to outsiders as well the precious subject of faith and the righteousness of Christ. There is a flood of light in this subject, and if he goes to the canvassers’ meetings only, how can the light come before the largest number? You cannot expect that any of the canvassers can present this matter in the light in which he presents it. I think that it is robbing the churches of the light and the message for the present time for him not to attend the camp meetings. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 14

Let the outsiders understand that we preach the gospel as well as the law, and they will feast upon these truths, and many will take their stand for the truth. Please think this matter over carefully, and then after prayer over it, make your decision. I will send this proposition at once. I cannot see why half the time spent at Kansas might not be given to Iowa or to some other needy place. I am willing to go where I am most needed. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 15

A far greater number should have been to this meeting, for the truth has been given, line upon line and precept upon precept. Brother Jones has patiently instructed the people, speaking four times each day. The third discourse was given at four o’clock to the Scandinavians on the west side. 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 16

I will now close. I desire to hear from you as soon as possible and if you see any way that I can attend Pennsylvania and Iowa camp meetings make it known to me. I mean to attend both these meetings if I can. Much love to dear Mary. May the Lord bless her abundantly is the prayer of your 6LtMs, Lt 1, 1889, par. 17

Mother.