Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Ms 23, 1889

Diary, November 1889

Battle Creek, Michigan

November 1-23, 1889

Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 211; 3SM 360; 11MR 109-113; 12MR 57.

November 1, 1889

Battle Creek, Michigan

I had an interview with Elder Van Horn. I agreed to meet the committee in council in regard to the refitting and making the meetinghouse a proper place wherein to worship God. Some were criticizing it as though it was extravagant. I laid open before these brethren what God required anciently of His people in all His service. He required the best offering they could give Him. We must not feel that anything in reference to the house where we worship God is good enough for this purpose. We must guard everything connected with the worship of God as sacred, and it must be kept pure, clean, and holy. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 1

The same principles of cleanliness and order must be carried into our own homes. As God’s own peculiar people, we should be neat and pure and clean, but not ornamental. We should be cleanly and pure and orderly in dress, and our houses and our premises should be clean and nice. We must not think that it is an evidence of pride if we do this. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 2

If we are encouraging cheap and common ideas in our home life, we shall be inclined to do the same in our Christian life, in the service of God, and it will be the men who do this who will criticize and pick flaws when praise and commendation should be given to men who are doing their best to meet the directions given by the Lord to ancient Israel to make all that appertains to the service of God pure and sweet and tasteful in arrangements. Nothing of this kind is to be criticized. But there are those who are educated critics. They think all must be coarse and rough and common, else we are not humble. Many the Lord change the hearts and opinions and manners of this class is our prayer. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 3

Sabbath, November 2, 1889

Battle Creek

I spoke to the people on Sabbath afternoon. I think I never saw the house so crowded as on this occasion. The side rooms had to be opened, and they were filled. The galleries were filled. I spoke from Revelation, 13th chapter, laying out in clear lines the position of the people of God for this time in regard to Sunday laws. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 4

Sabbath afternoon I read selections from the Testimonies and an address given November 13, 1883, in reference to these things. The house was crowded and the Spirit of the Lord set home the words spoken. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 5

The very limited and earthly apprehension which the disciples had of the teachings of Christ made it difficult for the Great Teacher to lead their minds into an understanding of heavenly things and determined the measure of His divine communications. He declared to them, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” John 16:12. He had many precious things that He deemed it necessary to withhold. They had been so little acquainted with spiritual truths and divine things that should He lay them open before them, they would not be appreciated. His work was especially to reveal the moral excellency of character which, the Lord requires, to awaken in His hearers their great want of a power which they in themselves did not possess that He might give them the grace to supply this lack. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 6

November 3, 1889

Battle Creek, Michigan

I arose at half past three and commenced writing. The first bell has rung for morning meeting. I must attend it. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 7

I attended the morning meeting, although I had to go alone. Brother Olsen opened the meeting by prayer. He prayed in the Spirit. His importunities were earnest, dictated, we believe, by the Spirit of God. Brother Kilgore prayed fervently. A hymn was sung. Brother Kilgore spoke pointedly. I then read paragraphs from Testimony No. 32, [part of Volume 5,] which referred to our time, and then I urged our brethren to become acquainted with the teachings that are in the Testimonies. God has given us light that we cannot disregard or treat with indifference or contempt. He has let light shine upon us in reproofs, in warnings, that we may, if we will, take hold upon it and escape the dangers that beset our pathway. When temptations arise, we may be guarded, and we may discern them because the Lord has pointed them out to us that we shall not be deceived. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 8

I was called from my room to have a visit with Aaron Hilliard’s youngest daughter. She commenced to weep, and when more composed told her pitiful story. She said she married an unbeliever, and he had proved to be a drunkard. He was no religionist; he was a saloon keeper; and she had evidence he was not true to his marriage vows. I tried to comfort her as well as I could, but there was little that could be said or done in her case. She wanted advice whether she best leave him. Here seems to be the point of her perplexity. Sometimes she is determined to leave him; then she can scarcely get the courage to do this. He says he will take the child—their only child, two years old—if she leaves him. Such cases are hard to reach, hard to help. She went away weeping. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 9

I was visited by Brother Prescott. His brethren wish him to be ordained, but he is undecided what is best to do in this matter. I could only say I could see nothing to hinder this move being made if he in his judgment considered it best. His duties as principal of the college were important and large and his responsibilities many. If he could serve the cause of God any better in receiving ordination and credentials, it would be best; but it must fall back upon himself to decide that matter according to circumstances and the dictates of his own conscience. He had several things to bring before me. One was the case of our brethren’s and sisters’ disrespectful irreverence manifest in the Tabernacle where we go to worship God—talking and leaving the meeting before it is closed, and their children behaving disrespectfully in the church. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 10

I had a conversation with Brother and Sister Starr in reference to Christmas offerings and in reference to Sister Lockwood, whose children need to attend school, but there is but little prospect of this unless they should receive assistance to do this, in point of means. We shall try to bring this matter to a favorable issue. Other points of interest were discussed. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 11

I visited Elder Littlejohn and took dinner with him and his family. Sisters Josie Jones and Alice Bartlett were also visiting with us. We had a pleasant interview. Brother Littlejohn has sold out, and we tried to persuade him to go to California. He promised to think of it. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 12

After returning home we had an interview with Dr. Hill’s [?] wife and daughter. Took treatment and retired. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 13

November 4, 1889

Battle Creek, Michigan

I awoke at three o’clock a.m. and commenced writing. It is a fair day. The stars are shining and the weather is very mild. I have rested well during the night and praise the Lord I am in good health. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 14

November 5, 1889

Battle Creek, Michigan

I arose at four o’clock a.m. I realize I worked too hard yesterday. I wrote 40 pages for my soul was deeply stirred by the Spirit of the Lord. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 15

I attended early morning meeting; made some remarks. Elder Olsen spoke a short time, then many excellent testimonies were borne. This ends our early morning meetings. Conference closes tonight. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 16

I was called into the meeting this forenoon and read the matter which I had been writing. The burden of my mind was that many resolutions brought up in our General Conference were unnecessary to be brought before that body. Especially, the resolution advising the brethren in the South to refrain from labor on Sunday was not in the order of God, for it was recommending them to respect and reverence this child of papacy, and elevating and respecting it is a species of idolatry. We should be very careful in our counsels to our brethren at this time of peril, lest we should be found unfaithful servants, working contrary to God’s will and His purpose, and acting the part of traitors, betraying sacred interests. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 17

We should also be careful that we do not recommend our Southern brethren to defy the laws and show a presumptuous spirit. That kind of labor which would be the most striking should be avoided, such as sisters washing and displaying their clothes upon the line, when their neighbors surrounding them would be irritated, considering it a defying of the law of the State. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 18

Noisy work should be left for another day. The most quiet work should be carried on in a quiet manner. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 19

The writings were read and readily responded to and Brother Dan Jones proposed that the resolution be laid upon the table. The vote was put and unanimously carried. I had an interview with Brother Nicola. We parted in good feelings, and he invited me to come to their general State meeting. I visited Elder Littlejohn today. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 20

November 12, 1889

Battle Creek

Sister Mark visited me. I was interrupted by Brother Amadon, stating Sister Cummings had sent for several to come to their house. Her mother was in great suffering. She especially desired that I should come. I had suffered much with my teeth, but I did not feel that I could resist this appeal. Brother Amadon and his wife, Sister Cummings’ eldest daughter, Sara McEnterfer, and myself went out six miles to visit Sister Below and her afflicted family. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 21

We learned that Sister Below had for forty-eight hours been more or less unconscious, or her mind had given way. It was sad to see her sitting up in a chair, bloated with dropsy. The right side was more afflicted than the left. Her lower limbs and right arm were bandaged up. The skin had burst and the water was oozing through. Thus quarts of water were discharged daily. This daughter of Abraham was a great sufferer. I told her Sister White had come. She roused up and smiled as I took her left hand, which was free from the disease which afflicted the rest of her body. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 22

She said, “I am so glad you have come. I did not think you would come.” I spoke to her of the precious Saviour. She responded and said, “He is good. So good. He died for me. He is my only hope.” I said, “You may trust Him fully.” She responded, “Whom should I trust if I could not trust Jesus, who suffered and died for me?” She said, “I am so unworthy.” “Yes, but your worthiness is in Christ Jesus. He has covered you with His own righteousness, and He has registered your name in the Lamb’s book of life. He has pardoned your sins and will blot them out of the book of remembrance.” Tears rolled down her face, and she said, “I trust only in Jesus. He has been good and gracious to me.” 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 23

Then she seemed to doze, but interest would flash up occasionally through the clouded chambers of the mind, and she was ever ready to respond to that name, dearer to her than anything else in the world—Jesus, ever precious to the Christian’s ears, Jesus, the world’s Redeemer. Her customary habits were strong even in her dissolution. She dropped her handkerchief. I picked it up. She said quickly, “Don’t trouble yourself, Sister White.” Occasionally she would inquire, “Is Sister White gone?” I took my place where her eyes could rest upon me when she was not in her worn-out sleep. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 24

She was reminded that she came to me after the birth of Willie White, thirty-five years ago, and took such excellent care of me, knowing just what to do. “Oh,” she quickly responded, “It was poor work that I did.” I assured her it was good work, and I had never forgotten it. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 25

We knelt in prayer and Brother Amadon and myself prayed. The Lord seemed very near to us in that room of affliction. Sister Cummings was nearly worn out and was threatened with sickness. We prayed earnestly for her, that the Lord would sustain and comfort her. We said farewell to the sick soul. She said, “Will you come again?” I said I would, if I was able. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 26

November 13, 1889

Battle Creek

I could not get off my mind the burden of the afflicted family at Sister Cummings’. I called upon Sister Amadon to consult with her in regard to going out again to visit the afflicted ones. She was not at home. Then I called upon Sister Mira Cornell. Found Brother and Sister Cornell at home and told them my anxieties, but it seemed because of other duties I could not well go. They said that they would go out, and did so, but the sufferer was at rest. She slept in Jesus. Her pain, her sorrows were forever at an end. The funeral is to be held at the house Friday, the 15th. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 27

Friday, November 15, 1889

Battle Creek

The request was made that I should, if possible, be present at the funeral services of our Sister Below at the house at half past ten a.m. I complied with the request, and we found two rooms well filled with people from Battle Creek. One room was assigned to the special friends and the bereaved. Elder Smith spoke appropriate words for the occasion, and I also spoke about ten or fifteen minutes with much freedom upon the hopes, the faith, and the exemplary Christian character of our sister. We followed the procession to the burying place and then returned to our home. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 28

I have written to Rural Health Retreat, four pages to Elder Fulton, and four pages to Sister Maria Loughborough. Visited Sister Mark from Washington, D.C., and we had a precious season of exchanging thoughts. I listened to a most remarkable experience. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 29

Sabbath, November 16, 1889

Battle Creek

I spoke in the Tabernacle to a house well filled. What a solemn position to have before me about one thousand people, and I a weak child of God! Oh, that God would give me words to speak that shall reach hearts is my constant prayer. I spoke from Colossians 3:1-4. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things that are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 30

The Lord gave me of His Holy Spirit while I sought to present before the hearers the high claims of God upon us and our possibility of meeting these claims through the merits of Jesus Christ. If we seek those things that are above we shall obtain the Holy Spirit of God, the very thing we need to arm us with the mind which was in Christ Jesus our Lord. The entire chapter contains lessons for every follower of Jesus Christ that no one need to be blinded or deceived. If we are fruit-bearing trees in the Lord’s garden we will not bear evil fruit. We will bear rich clusters of precious fruit to the glory of God. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 31

Christ’s followers should be sanctified, soul, body, and spirit, through the grace of Jesus Christ. We are not only to claim to believe the words of truth, but we are to reveal to the world the works of righteousness as the fruits of that faith. Every soul claiming to be a follower of Christ is to bear fruit which testifies to the virtue of his faith in Bible truth which purifies the soul. This is living the higher life which Christ came to our world to demonstrate. He came to reveal, in His character, the truth which refines heart, mind, and body, even the whole man. Who, I ask, are walking and working out before the world Christ’s life, in truth and holiness? 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 32

November 17, 1889

Battle Creek

I arose at five o’clock. Slept more hours than usual last night, and I praise the Lord for His goodness and His love toward me. I had a season of earnest prayer that the Lord will strengthen my soul and give me His grace and bless me and make me a living channel of light to His people. Today I employed a portion of my time in preparing a scrapbook with appropriate pieces for my granddaughter Ella May White who is in Colorado. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 33

I rode out in the forenoon. There was a cold wind, but it did me good. I spoke at half past six o’clock at the sanitarium to the patients. There was a room well filled and many noble, intelligent faces. Some were lying on lounges, some were in wheelchairs, some were brought in on couches. They listened with apparent interest. I know the Lord Jesus was in that room. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 34

I spoke from (Isaiah 50:10), “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” The Lord gave me freedom in speaking to these afflicted ones. Isaiah 51. The Word speaks to us in language that we should not disregard or misunderstand. Will we in our day seek the Lord? Will we make diligent work for repentance of all our sins and work righteousness? I am feeling deeply over the lack of faith that now endangers our people. The grace of Christ is so much needed in true virtue of character. I was glad to be able to speak to many a word of hope and courage. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 35

November 18, 1889

Battle Creek

I arose at four o’clock a.m., built my fire, and offered to God my prayer for His blessing, with thanksgiving for His mercies during the night past. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 36

I thank the Lord for a dream that was given me. [See Ms 28, 1889 for the rest of this entry.] 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 37

November 22, 1889

Battle Creek

It is the same dark and cloudy weather that we have had for the entire month with the exception of a few days—three, I believe, in all—of partial sunshine. But now we feel the need of making all the sunshine we can in our home because we have it not without. In our religious work we should never utter a discouraging word. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 38

I received comfort and peace in asking my heavenly Father for His grace and for heavenly wisdom to conduct myself in a Christlike manner, that the religious life will not be repulsive but attractive. I prayed most earnestly that the Great Physician would relieve me of physical infirmities that I might do better work for the Master. If it is His will, I must patiently wait on the Lord for His blessing and submit to being unable to work because of physical infirmities; I will not repine. God has a place and purpose for us all, and in His good pleasure He will give me strength and grace to do His will and to honor His name by active service again. Although I feel it impossible, yet strength cometh to me. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 39

At about half past eleven o;clock a.m. Brother Prescott called. He is the president of our school and we have had many precious seasons of communion together in regard to the best plans to uplift the students religiously. We believe Brother Prescott is a man fitted for the work in which he is engaged. The question is constantly arising and has to be met and treated with great wisdom: Are we, as Seventh-day Adventists, doing what we should do in combining religious education—which is science—with the education of science in our schools? 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 40

We conversed together upon this matter and could not arrive at any other conclusion than that our former position on this question is correct. We cannot go back upon this important subject of keeping the education of every faculty equal. Each is to be improved by all the advantages within our reach, always making the most of our opportunities that all the powers of our being may be consecrated wholly to the service of God. The teachers in our colleges may do a high, noble, holy work in educating the youth that they may reach the highest standard in intellectual acquirements. There is no danger of their soaring too high, if balanced by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 41

The fear and knowledge of God are to be combined with all their education. The knowledge of God, the understanding of His will in His Word as far as finite minds may grasp it, incorporated into the thoughts, interwoven in the character, will make efficient men. The study of the Word of God will give knowledge as to how to do the work of God intelligently and acceptably. The mind will become sanctified through watchfulness and prayer and will be enriched, enlarged, and broadened in comprehension. There will be constant self-improvement, constant going forward and upward to meet the highest standard, because they are seeking to be made partakers of the Divine nature. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 42

Daniel was closely connected with the Source of all wisdom, and this knowledge was to him more precious than the gold of Ophir. He kept his religious training equal with the advantages which were within his reach of becoming a wise and learned man in the sciences. Daniel worked with his entrusted capital of talent. He was aroused by the situation in which he found himself in the king’s court of Babylon. He cooperated with God to use every power God had given him that he should not be second in anything. And we read, “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” Daniel 1:17. Because Daniel was connected with God, the secrets of the Lord were opened to him, for they are “with them that fear Him.” Psalm 25:14. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 43

“And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” Daniel 1:19, 20. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 44

If the Lord God of heaven and earth will become the teacher of men, will they not have the very best kind of knowledge for this world, as well as for the next? This world is our preparatory school. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 45

Continual growth in religious wisdom and intelligence did not in any sense disqualify these youth for the faithful, intelligent discharge of the important duties assigned them in the business transactions pertaining to the kingdom of Babylon. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 46

The schools, the colleges, and the seminaries for the educating and developing of the mind are essential for the formation of character. Natural and mental resources come alone from a knowledge of the laws which God has established in nature and in our own human structure, and obedience to these laws must be observed or our lives will prove a failure. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 47

Under the controlling influences of Jesus Christ, the human intellect can achieve wonderful things. If ten righteous persons would have saved ancient Sodom from destruction, of what value is righteousness for every nation! The cultivation of the intellect alone, disconnected from moral and religious education and training, would have a baleful influence. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 48

Christ came to our world to destroy nothing but the works of the devil. In this age the Lord can better impress His children in forest homes and in the wilderness to do service for Him than in the bustle and confusion of city life. The Lord understood all about the settlement of America, and He moved upon the oppressed Pilgrim Fathers to make that land their retreat from religious persecution. In the wilderness in this strange land the exiles found want, deprivation, and terrors by day and night. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 49

November 23, 1889

Battle Creek, Michigan

It is the holy Sabbath. I arose in the early hours of the morning and presented my humble request to my heavenly Father for the grace and Spirit of God which I so much needed today. I then put my heart in a trusting frame, believing I find peace and quietude in committing my soul to God as unto a faithful Creator. I must be a whole-hearted, decided Christian in all things. I must be persevering. I must not trust in myself alone as capable of perfecting a Christian character. If I do, I shall certainly fail. While it is my privilege and duty to grasp and improve as a blessing every gracious opportunity, every means possible for the improvement of my mind and the strengthening of my soul, I look alone to Jesus who is the true Source of all power to mold my character after the divine Pattern. While I will look to Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of my faith, catching the divine rays of light from heaven, I am daily pressing forward toward the mark for the prize, believing that what grace has begun, glory shall crown in the kingdom of God. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 50

Friday, November 22, 1889 Elder Prescott, who is the principal of our college, made request for me to meet with them Sabbath afternoon in their social meeting in the college. I had been suffering with infirmities and thought it not prudent to do this. But my heart was turned toward the students and my great interest and desire for the welfare of their souls made me earnest to go. We found a large number of the students assembled. It was not only a precious occasion but a blessed sight to see the attentive, earnest, intelligent countenances. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 51

Professor Prescott spoke most appropriate words in regard to the lesson of Christ in the figure of the vine and the branches—appropriate words indeed and so applicable to the individual cases of all present. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 52

I then spoke for about thirty minutes in regard to the importance of Bible and religious education combined with the education in all the sciences. I tired to present the importance of a living connection with God as essential for all their education. The elevation of man is because of the cultivation of the superior faculties with which God has endowed him. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1889, par. 53