Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 2, 1889

White, Mary

Battle Creek, Michigan

December 29, 1889

Portions of this letter are published in UL 377; OHC 318; FLB 99; 7BC 911-912.

Dear Daughter Mary:

We read your letter to W. C. White with a degree of sadness. We rejoiced that you were as well as your letter represented. Our prayers ascend to God two or three times each day at the family altar and in private for more and great things to be realized in your case. We shall hold fast the promises. We have a wonder-working God and we hold fast in faith. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 1

I am passing through a period of great exhaustion. My head is troubling me, but I am not discouraged. We have very bad weather. Nearly all of last month and this month have been warm, rainy, flat, spring weather. There is much sickness. Diphtheria is not prevailing very strong, yet it is not dead here by any means. Two of Will Kellogg’s children, the youngest and the oldest, are sick, and it is uncertain how it may result with them. Bert Loughborough’s boy is given up, I think, to die with the dreaded disease. The climate is such that throat and lung disease seems to prevail. My head has not been feeling well since the conference; it is so tired all the time that I cannot write much, but try to write a little each day. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 2

Now, my dear Mary, keep looking up to Jesus, for He is our only help. I tell you, the time has come when every soul who trusts in false hopes will be shaken out. It will not answer to take the eye off Jesus for one moment. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 3

I am questioning in my own mind whether it would be the best thing to do to have Rheba come to Battle Creek to the Sanitarium. I must have some talk with W. C. [White], when I can get a few moments of his time. He is just as full of business as he can be. He seems to be better in health than a few weeks ago. He practices now, using the clubs. I have not been favored with his presence in the carriage with me since we came from California. He never seems to have any time, and we have not been out much lately. The roads are so muddy, and then we have been having strong, high, gale winds. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 4

Last Thursday night the winds were very high. I thought the chimney had blown down, but it was two sky light windows [that] blew out and smashed all the glass, of course, but the frames were unbroken. Today we have had a hot sultry day and very high winds. We all feel much depressed, a feeling of exhaustion upon some of us. I have not sat up some of the time today. Well, I feel to praise God that Jesus loves us and my courage is good. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 5

I just read a letter in regard to a brother being discouraged because certain things did not come out as he expected. I thought, Doubt the Lord because things do not go right to my mind? No, how do I know that my mind is right? God knows what is best, and all this planning and human devising and the bracing of our own will against God’s will is the worst kind of folly. It is supposed that mistakes will be made by human workers and human inventions that the Lord does not recognize; then how foolish it is to cast away our confidence in God and His living oracles, for He is the only one Mighty in counsel who can set things in order that become out of joint through unconsecrated, human management. But there is no real cause for letting go of God. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 6

The heart surrendered to God’s wise discipline will trust every working out of His providence, because the ways and works of men may not be God’s ways and purposes. Temptation will come to discourage, but what is gained by yielding to any such temptation? Is the soul made any better by murmuring and complaining of its only source of strength? Is the anchor cast within the vail? Will it hold in sickness? Will it be the testimony borne in the last closing scenes of life, when the lips are becoming palsied with death? The anchor holds! I know that my Redeemer liveth. I have fought the good fight, henceforth there is a crown laid up for me and not for me only but for all of those that love His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7, 8. This is the battle cry of the faithful warrior, Paul. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 7

[One page is missing here.]

O precious, loving, long-suffering, long-forbearing Jesus, how my soul adores Thee! That a poor, unworthy, sin-polluted soul can stand before the Holy God, complete in the righteousness of our Substitute and Surety! Wonder, O heavens, and be astonished, O earth, that fallen man is the object of His infinite love and delight. He rejoices over them with celestial songs, and man defiled with sin, having become cleansed through the righteousness of Christ, [is] presented to the Father free from every spot and stain of sin, “not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” Ephesians 5:27. “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” Romans 8:33. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 8

Let every weak, tempest-tossed soul find anchorage in Jesus Christ and not become so self-centered that he can think only of his little disappointments and the interruption of his plans and hopes. Is not the subject of the plan of salvation all absorbing? If the infinite God justifies me, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died.” Romans 8:34. He has in His dying for man revealed how much He loves man—enough to die for him! The law condemns the sinner and drives him to Christ. It is God that justifies and pardons. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 9

Satan will accuse and seek permission to destroy, but it is God that opens the door of refuge. It is God that justifieth him that entereth that door. Then if God be for us, who can be against us? Oh, the bright, glorious truth! Why do not men discern it? Why not walk in its bright beams? Why do not all who believe talk of Christ’s matchless love? Truth will shine forth in the great Judgment Day! Then will everyone wonder that they were so blinded by their own perversity that they did not appreciate the things that are excellent. Every one who now would accuse God as did the devil will then have nothing to say. Every tongue will be silent. The condemnation passed upon the obdurate heart who has resisted the Spirit of God will be seen as God sees it, entirely just. And those whom God justifies, He also glorifies. Oh, what can finite mortals do when striving against God? Oh, that they could see themselves as God sees them! They would be ashamed of their weakness, their folly. God lives and reigns. All who are saved must fight manfully as soldiers of Jesus Christ; then they will be registered in heaven’s books as true and faithful. They are to work the works of Jesus Christ, fight the good fight of faith. If they disparage the rich and precious promises of God and credit every suggestion of Satan, then they will have no warfare against the artful foe, but will succumb to all his devices. The happiest and most satisfactory life lived in this world is the life of faith. But the natural temperament of man contributes nothing to this life of faith and encourages not the Christian warfare. All the courage and fortitude and soldierly bravery comes from Jesus Christ, the Captain of our salvation. This spirit of resistance against evil is supernatural. It is an enmity against Satan that is not natural, which springs from the life hidden with Christ in God. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.” Galatians 2:20. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 10

Well I did not expect to write in this style, but I have written this and for some purpose. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 11

[The following paragraphs were attached to Lt 2, 1889 but may not be a part of the original communication.] 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 12

... that others do not live consecrated, self-denying, self-sacrificing lives, shall I become discouraged and trample the mercy and love of my blessed Lord under my feet? Nay, I tell you, nay. I shall, if I have tasted of the powers of the world to come, say, “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17, 18. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 13

Why should we be depressed and talk discouragement? Why yield to despair? Christ is our life, our consolation, our only hope. If we let go of Jesus, we have nothing to hold on to. Jesus has risen from the dead, and perpetual grace in ever-flowing streams is blessing those who will, if athirst, come unto Him and drink. Jesus, precious Saviour, I love Him because He first loved me. Disappointments and trials should not win us away from Jesus, but bind us to His great heart of infinite love. Every child of God will be sifted as wheat, yet not a grain will fall to the ground—severely tempted, but never failing; though in the furnace, yet not consumed but refined as gold seven times purified. Because Christ lives, we shall live also. Christ abiding in the soul will not allow it to be overcome. He watches His precious gold. I long to present Jesus as He is to everybody, to the whole world, as the Chief among ten thousand and the One altogether lovely. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 14

When sin is striving for the mastery in the heart and guilt burdens the conscience and unbelief as a thick cloud interposes between the soul and God, who is our helper? Whose love is extended as the scepter of peace which brings our hearts to repentance? Whose light dispels the darkness but the bright beams of the Son of Righteousness? And when the life forces seem to be weakening, and the eye grows dim, and the pulse feeble, and the heart refuses to do its work, who in that solemn moment draws near, unseen by mortal vision, and whispers words of promise and hope and courage and peace? The soul is in converse with eternal realities. “Fear not,” says the Angel of peace, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” John 11:25, 26. Jesus, precious Saviour, is all and in all to the soul. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 15

I receive many letters from individuals who are trying to frame their own destiny without committing their souls to God. They are eagerly looking for some wonderful work to do in a mission field and seem to think that missionary work can not be accomplished just where God in His providence places them. They would mark out their own path, but the Lord, who understands them better than they understand themselves, bars their way in His loving care and interest for them and does not permit them selfishly to seek the gratifications of their own ambitions and neglect the homely, but just as sacred, duties that lie right next them. Poor souls, they are not willing to give up their own way and accept God’s way. If God should let everyone do as he pleases, conceit and pride would be fostered, and the grace of humility in the heart would not be cherished. True culture is only possible for those who are truly humble. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 16

The things we may so much desire to do may become a reality after God has proved us in the school of experience and among our greatest blessings may be counted the thing we were not privileged to do, that would have barred the way from doing the very things best calculated to prepare us for a higher work. The plain, sober duties of real life were essential to prevent the fruitless striving to do things that we were not fitted to do. Our devised plans often fail, that God’s plans may for us be a complete success. Oh, it is in the future life we shall see the tangles and mysteries of life, that have so annoyed and disappointed our fond hopes, explained. We will see that the prayers and hopes for certain things which have been withheld have been among our greatest blessings. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 17

These words I wrote for the benefit of the entire family, but especially for the benefit of Mary and the young men. When we have the grace of God in the heart, there will be a burden for sins day and night. Every idol will be dethroned, and Christ reign supreme without a rival. The truth of God is no longer kept away from the center of the being. He who has surrendered his heart to God will have his name registered in the book of life. The man, then, who has made the surrender can go forward from strength to strength, repressing sin by looking constantly to Jesus and availing himself of every means in his power, arousing every energy to be laborers together with God. If any man will not work, neither shall he eat, applies to the spiritual, religious life as well as to earthly, temporal things. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 18

Paul not only endured the taxation of the physical powers in common labor without one feeling of either belittling or degrading himself, without discontent, but he bore the burden, at the same time exerting the activities of his mind to advance and attain in spiritual knowledge. He taught, and he practiced the lessons he taught. He had repeated visions from God, and from the light given, he knew every man must be a worker with brains and muscle and sinew. This faithful disciple of Christ and apostle of Jesus Christ was dedicated without reserve to the service of God. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 19

Nothing will be sufficient for us unless Christ dwells in our hearts by faith. The truth of God’s Word must be our property. Christ must be our personal Saviour and pardon of sins be our individual experience. Christ must dwell in the heart as the blood circulates through the body as a vitalizing power. We must make Christ our Saviour; then there is contentment, peace and hope and joy in the Holy Ghost. We cannot always be on our knees, but we may be always in the Spirit, constantly advancing. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 20

May God help you that every member of your household shall be living representatives of Jesus Christ. 6LtMs, Lt 2, 1889, par. 21