Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6

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Lt 83, 1890

White, W. C.; White, Mary

Battle Creek, Michigan

March 13, 1890

This letter is published in entirety in 1888 627-635.

Dear Children, Willie and Mary:

Yesterday [Wednesday] I called a meeting of the prominent ones, Elders U. Smith, Leon Smith, Olsen, Fero, Watt, Prescott, Waggoner, McCoy, Larson, Porter, Colcord, Ballenger, Webber, Dan Jones, Wakeham, G. Amadon, Eldridge, Breed, and Prof. Miller. After prayer by Brother Smith, I said that Brother Waggoner had some things to say which I wished them to hear, which would disabuse some minds. He then took up the Sabbath School lessons, explaining the last lessons and the imputation that rested upon him as though it was done designedly. This, with Brother Jones’ explanations, took about one hour. All had liberty to speak as they saw fit, asking any questions. All these things seemed to be satisfactory. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 1

Then I commenced giving my experience in California with certain ones, and the ever-ready evading of the testimonies. “It is Sister White’s mind, her opinions; and her opinions are no better than our opinions, unless it is something she has seen in vision.” I told the outcome of the matter. I told of my labors to get the messengers and message to have a fair chance in Minneapolis. I told freely of the interviews I had with the [Review and Herald?] Board, of the prejudice existing in minds, of the talk in the houses, of the words spoken that angels had registered in the books of heaven, of the lightness and trifling of Brother Rupert in the room which Brother Smith occupied. I spoke of Brother Smith having no interview with me, not coming to me to find out where I stood, what I believed or did not believe, the unwillingness to unite in seasons of prayer. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 2

The power resting upon me when I spoke to the people was abundant evidence that God was with me. But the old spirit, such as that of the Pharisees, possessed them and blinded their eyes and confused their judgment. They knew not any more than the Jews what manner of spirit they were of. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 3

I spoke of the meetings here in Battle Creek since the conference—that my testimony had been made of none effect. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 4

Waggoner spoke well. I know that a favorable impression was left upon minds, and there was no rising up, no spirit of opposition. I inquired, “How could you, Brother Smith, treat me as you did? How could you stand directly in the way of the work of God?” 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 5

It was finally simmered down to this—that a letter had come from California to Brother Butler, telling them that plans were all made to drive the law in Galatians. Then this was met and explained, that there were no plans laid. You can see how these explanations must have looked to those present. I told Brother Smith he ought to be the last one to hedge up my way, and by his own attitude give strength to doubts and unbelief in the testimonies. He had abundance of evidence that my testimonies had not changed in character, in influence, since he had become acquainted with me. He knew more about them and the place they should fill in the work than any other man living. He had been connected with my husband and myself from his youth and therefore he was more responsible than any other one. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 6

March 16 [Sunday]

I have learned that the meeting we held last Wednesday was very much a success. I think those who have made so much out of so very little, were much surprised at the outcome or showing up of the matter by E. J. Waggoner and myself. At the Thursday morning meeting, Brother Larson spoke, getting a little nearer the light. Brother Porter spoke, but there was a holding back—nothing free and clear. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 7

I was almost hopeless in reference to expecting a general breaking up of the soul under the influence of the Spirit and power of God. I was weary, O so weary. Thursday I was sick. Did not sit up much. I was unnerved, and could not do any writing. Friday morning I was sick; did not attend meeting in the morning. I was exhausted all day. I was asked to speak Sabbath but had not the strength. I sent word for Brother [Dan] Jones to invite Elder Waggoner to speak. There seemed to be a little reluctance, but finally he was invited and gave a most precious discourse on the message to the Laodicean church—just what was needed. This was another rich blessing to the church. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 8

In the afternoon another meeting was held in the office chapel. I was not able, but Brother Olsen seemed anxious for me to be present and I consented to do so. I spoke three times—very short twice, once a little longer. Elder Olsen talked well. He has been giving excellent talks. They are right to the point. Brother Porter talked, but was not free. Brother Eldridge spoke of the meeting held a few days before to investigate some things, as being excellent. He said that it was thought they had something to fight, but it was only a man of straw. He was relieved, for he was happily disappointed. Larson spoke well. Brother Porter spoke, but not as clearly and to the point as we might have expected. Oh, how hard for these men to die! 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 9

Brother Dan Jones then spoke. He stated that he had been tempted to give up the testimonies; but if he did this, he knew he should yield everything, for we had regarded the testimonies as interwoven with the third angel’s message; and he spoke of terrible scenes of temptations. I really pitied the man. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 10

After a while I arose and said some words to the point. “Now,” I said, “I have heard your words, and if you have been, my brethren, so sorely tried on the testimonies, there should be something that you can clearly define in me, my work, or in the testimonies themselves, that has caused you all this doubt and unbelief. Can it be possible that men of sensible, critical minds will be so credulous as to receive the sayings of men and their suppositions, gather up reports and place so great confidence in imaginings, and withstand all the evidence that God has been pleased to give them, at and ever since the Minneapolis meeting, to confirm their faith in the testimonies on Bible grounds, applying the test Christ has given them—‘By their fruits ye shall know them;’ a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit, neither can a good tree bring forth corrupt fruit [Matthew 7:20]—and yet know not in regard to the testimonies, whether they are of heaven or hell? 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 11

“Will you thinking men please to put your thoughts upon these matters for a time, and then consider what spirit is actuating you, and has been moving you at and since the Minneapolis meeting? Your questioning would certainly be sensible if directed to the very things you might well question, and your faith become strong in these things you might safely believe. If you have not had evidence that the testimonies bear the divine credentials, will you tell me what will the Lord give you in the gifts to His church that do bear the stamp of heaven? Will you please let your reasoning criticize some of these matters and settle them satisfactorily to your own minds? Will you not be obliged, as candid men, to say you have been working in the dark, away from light and evidence and truth? This spirit does not bear the marks of the divine, but of the power and subtlety of the enemy of God and of man. I say it is from beneath and not in harmony with the Spirit of God, or with the message He has given His servants to bear at the present time. When the Lord sends us light and food that all the churches need, we may well expect that the enemy of all righteousness will do his utmost to prevent that light coming in its native heavenly bearings to the people. He lays hold of minds full of unbelief and doubts to wheel into his service, to serve his purpose, to intercept the light that God means shall come to His chosen ones.” 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 12

Brother Olsen labored well, but there was no decided break. Sunday morning, although weary and almost discouraged, I ventured into the meeting. I said nothing until the meeting was about to close, and then I made some very close remarks. I kept before them what they had done to make of none effect that which the Lord was trying to do and why. The law in Galatians was their only plea. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 13

“Why,” I asked, “is your interpretation of the law in Galatians more dear to you, and you more zealous to maintain your ideas on this point, than to acknowledge the workings of the Spirit of God? You have been weighing every precious heaven-sent testimony by your own scales as you interpreted the law in Galatians. Nothing could come to you in regard to the truth and the power of God unless it should bear your imprint, the precious ideas you had idolized on the law of Galatians. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 14

“These testimonies of the Spirit of God, the fruits of the Spirit of God, have no weight unless they are stamped with your ideas of the law in Galatians. I am afraid of you, and I am afraid of your interpretation of any Scripture which has revealed itself in such an unchristlike spirit as you have manifested and has cost me so much unnecessary labor. If you are such very cautious men and so very critical lest you shall receive something not in accordance with the Scriptures, I want your minds to look on these things in the true light. Let your caution be exercised in the line of fear lest you are committing the sin against the Holy Ghost. Have your critical minds taken this view of the subject? I say if your views on the law in Galatians, and the fruits, are of the character I have seen in Minneapolis and ever since up to this time, my prayer is that I may be as far from your understanding and interpretation of the Scriptures as it is possible for me to be. I am afraid of any application of Scripture that needs such a spirit and bears such fruit as you have manifested. One thing is certain, I shall never come into harmony with such a spirit as long as God gives me my reason. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 15

“You have not commended your doctrine, in some things, to my mind and to other minds. You could not have given a better refutation of your own theories than that you have done. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 16

“Now brethren, I have nothing to say, no burden in regard to the law in Galatians. This matter looks to me of minor consequence in comparison with the spirit you have brought into your faith. It is exactly of the same piece that was manifested by the Jews in reference to the work and mission of Jesus Christ. The most convincing testimony that we can bear to others that we have the truth is the spirit which attends the advocacy of that truth. If it sanctifies the heart of the receiver, if it makes him gentle, kind, forbearing, true and Christlike, then he will give some evidence of the fact that he has the genuine truth. But if he acts as did the Jews when their opinions and ideas were crossed, then we certainly cannot receive such testimony, for it does not produce the fruits of righteousness. Their own interpretations of Scripture were not correct, yet the Jews would receive no evidence from the revelation of the Spirit of God, but would, when their ideas were contradicted, even murder the Son of God. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 17

“These things will bear your consideration. Jesus found no place for the precious lessons He came to the world to give to those who would receive them. He represented the situation of the Scribes and Pharisees by old, dried-up skin bottles, that could not hold the new wine of His kingdom; and He had to make the bottles into which He could put the new wine. He found a place for His truth in the heart of a Samaritan woman, and she a sinner. He made a bottle for the wine of His kingdom when He called Matthew, the publican; He made bottles into which He could pour the new wine when He called the fishermen.” 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 18

Brother Dan Jones spoke in the Sunday morning meeting, after I had said things as above, and he looked as if he had had a spell of sickness as he made some acknowledgments and took his position on the testimonies. Brother Porter spoke to the point. He made humble confession with tears and broken utterance, and he regretted the course he had pursued. He said, “Sister White, be assured our prayers shall go with you. We will sustain you as you go forth to your trying work. We believe that your work is of God.” Here we saw that the Lord was moving upon hearts. We were gaining victories and we praised the Lord. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 19

Monday, March 17

This morning meeting seemed to be solemn and the work deepening. Howard and Madison Miller were both present. Brother Olsen spoke as if inspired of God. The Lord helped me to say some important things. I then mentioned the names of Brother Madison and Howard Miller. Madison arose, and with much weeping said he saw himself as miserable, wretched, blind, and naked. He said he had been watching to see the work and those who were engaged in it. He saw that those who opposed their spirit to the spirit of the message that had come to us for more than a year, had not the spirit of labor, but were sinking down into darkness. He was not fit to labor himself until he was altogether a different man. His testimony was fully as much to the point as that of any who had spoken in the line of confession. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 20

We expect Brother A. T. Jones tonight or tomorrow morning. We thought it best to make as thorough work as possible, that the laborers may go forth with the accompaniment of the divine Spirit. The Lord is at work, and we rejoice. When Brother Jones shall come, we shall have another select meeting to call forth all the objections that have been created, and we will get these snags out of the way and make those who have talked of these things bury them, if possible, never to be resurrected. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 21

I write you these particulars because I know that you have a special interest in them. We mean, the Lord helping us, to have the plowshare of truth go deep and thorough this time. I believe the Lord will work in power. I have spoken every day since one week ago last Sabbath, and sometimes twice each day. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 22

Dear children, I expect to leave next Thursday, unless the work forbids it. If it is best, I will leave Thursday. If it seems necessary to remain, I will not leave until Sunday. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 23

Emma and I went to see Rheba last night. She was in bed. Said she had slept quietly most of the day. I had been unable to call on her for a few days. She is very cheerful. Has no pain, has good appetite. She rides out every day in rolling chair, when not too cold and stormy. She says her grandpa says she looks much better than she did. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 24

I read your letters—Mary’s, Willie’s and Sister Kelsey’s. I do not think Mary had better tax herself to write. She wants to be at rest as much as possible. I had a good season of prayer with Rheba. I am glad she is so cheerful and contented and all her wants are supplied. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 25

And now, I have just read your letter in which is contained the advice in regard to Sister Clay. I will think of these things and try to move wisely. The money from Boulder came safely and I am glad that matter is no more to be a worriment to me. I hope you will not keep under the high pressure plan. I hope you will be exercising all that is possible in the open air, Willie. There is need that we jealously guard our strength and that we do not work imprudently, and I believe the Lord will help us from His abundant mercy. I have not been able to do much writing for a few days. I have been too heavily burdened, but the Lord is good and greatly to be praised. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 26

Afternoon. Sister McOmber came today with her sister to take treatment. She is in good health, but I think she would not feel like going far from home, as her parents are aged and she feels she should be nearby. She and Emma are now visiting Rheba. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 27

I think the change in [Spirit of Prophecy] Volume 1 will be well. I can see great advantages in this and it pleases me, although there will necessarily be a delay. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 28

I am convinced that Satan saw that there was very much at stake here, and he did not want to lose his hold on our ministering brethren. If the full victory comes, there will go forth from this meeting many ministers with an experience of the highest value. We hope and pray. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 29

Love to you all. I think of you and pray for you every day. May the Lord bless you abundantly is my prayer. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 30

I have this afternoon received a letter in response to the one written to Smouse, that we could have the use of the money loaned to me for one year longer, but as it was given for only one year, I had better renew the notes. He would let me have the money for seven percent although he could get more, but as it is to be used in the cause he was satisfied with it; and he says at the end of another year, he can extend the time, he thinks, if I wish. 6LtMs, Lt 83, 1890, par. 31