Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Ms 50, 1890

Diary, December 1890

Lynn, Massachusetts

December 4-9, 1890

Portions of this manuscript are published in MR1033 36-40.

December 4, 1890

Lynn, Massachusetts

Wrote six pages to Sister Ings. We left Norwich a little after eight o’clock. Rode three miles to the village in the streetcar. Waited about half an hour and then stepped into the car. I had some talk with Elders Robinson and Farman in regard to their tarrying in Norwich over the Sabbath. Much needs to be done for the church in that place. They need a personal experience in the truth and in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent into the world. Some talk was made in regard to sending Brother Farman to Putnam to help us in the change of cars which we must make at that place, since Sara was nearly sick with the effects of her fall the previous night, but I thought we could manage. Sara agreed with me that we would not make any extra expense. We had no trouble in making the change. We were met in Boston by Elder Fifield, who took the weighty part of the baggage. We took a hack across the city and then were seated in the cars which would take us to Lynn. We were pleased, after making one more change, to enter the house over which Sister Whaff presided. She is one of the members of the Vunderlind [?] family of Richmond, Maine. We were made welcome in her home, and a pleasant room was ready for us. I could not commence my writing until my trunk came, then it was too late to see by daylight. On the cars I wrote five pages to be sent back to the church at Norwich, and I wrote twelve pages by gaslight, that the letters might reach them before the Sabbath. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 1

We are making our home with Sister Ellen Whaff. Her maiden name was Vunderlind. She has three children, all living with her. Her eldest daughter, Addie, works in the shoe business, having good wages. Her youngest daughter, Bertha, is working at bookkeeping at eight dollars per week. She is economical and very active. Sister Whaff is in trouble. Her husband does nothing in paying his board and is a great burden. He is a man for whom wife and children have lost all respect. This is one of the sorest trials to the entire family. Sister Whaff pays rent on a large boarding house and then furnishes and rents rooms. Her children all pay their board. The father does nothing toward the support of the family and makes it very unhappy for the family. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 2

Friday, December 5, 1890

Lynn, Mass.

I have not slept since three o’clock. I arose at four and sent earnest supplications to heaven for light and for grace to do the will of my heavenly Father. I shall surely receive for I have the pledged word of Him whom I cannot doubt, who has said, “Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” [Matthew 7:7.] There has nothing failed me of all the promises which the Lord has made. He has been better unto me than my fears. I will not allow doubt to shroud my soul. I will cherish faith. I will make God my stronghold in every time of trouble. What should I do without Jesus? What could I do if left to my own ignorance and feebleness? But thank the Lord, I am not! I realize that special assistance and special blessings come to me when I am suffering with infirmities, and I testify that the Lord is my strong tower. Unto Him I run and am safe. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 3

Sabbath, December 6, 1890

Lynn, Mass.

I spoke to the people assembled on the Sabbath from John 14. The Lord gave me freedom in speaking to the people. Many had just come into the faith. One family, all at home—father, mother, and three children—embraced the truth. The father is a cousin to Edwin Burnham, a First-day Adventist. He was considered one of the most eloquent preachers among the First-day Adventists. He opposed the Sabbath of the fourth commandment with great vigor. He made most extravagant expressions. He stated that the law of God was an old thunder and lightning law, a bloody law, that it was not possible for man to keep that law—that they never could keep it; it was dead and buried and did not deserve a gravestone. He said he always felt better after he had given the law a good run. And now here is a relative by the name of Burnham who had, with nearly all his family, taken hold of the Sabbath! Two children are absent. One is attending Elder Moody’s school and the other is a daughter of talent connected with some literary business of Sabbath schools in Worcester. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 4

We had a social meeting and thirty-eight testimonies were borne in quick succession. All seemed thankful that they had embraced the truth. I have seldom been in a more cheerful meeting, where all were rejoicing in the love of God. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 5

They were an intelligent, noble-looking people. I know the Spirit of the Lord was in the meeting. I know that several were not there because they had not decided to follow the light. There was light and truth unfolded to them. They loved the truth, but they knew that as soon as they should decide to keep the Sabbath they would lose their employment, and how would they and their families live? How could they walk out by faith? The Lord alone can help them in this time of test and trial. Will they yield all for the truth’s sake? 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 6

Here is the family of Brother Burnham. Once he was a wealthy man, but by some means he lost his property, and he would not consent to settle the matter, with those whom he owed, upon half terms. He paid every debt. It took his all, and his wife’s property also, to settle with every creditor to the last farthing, so that he could hold up his head as an honest man. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 7

The eldest daughter, unmarried, was a principal in the dressmaking establishment. She employed many hands and her business was to cut garments exclusively. She was receiving forty dollars per week and had invested her money to secure a home for her parents. A one-thousand-dollar mortgage is yet to be paid. After accepting the Sabbath, she received little patronage and was obliged to quit the business. Then she could not obtain work—could get nothing to do. This was her hour of test and trial. She was much tempted, when she saw every way closed before her, but on this Sabbath she bore a clear, decided testimony, rejoicing in the truth. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 8

Her eldest sister, at home, is a widow with one child eight years old. She is an excellent-spirited woman. She is an artist and is employed by an establishment to make pictures to represent the poems or the prose they send her. She showed us some very fine specimens. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 9

The youngest daughter is a school teacher. She has left for Connecticut and is to teach school and board with a Baptist minister. May the Lord make her strong in Him, and may she have the help which the Lord alone can give her, is my prayer. She is quite young, but all this family bore their testimony, and we know the Lord has been working on their hearts by His Holy Spirit. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 10

It makes my heart rejoice to see any souls taking their position on the truth, and I again rejoice that the testimony that the Lord has given me for His people is received. While standing upon my feet speaking, I receive more clear and precious ideas of truth. Words seem put into my mouth to give to the people. I praise the Lord for this and every token of His love to me. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 11

Sunday, December 7, 1890

Lynn, Mass.

I have reason to be thankful to the Lord for His goodness, His mercy, and His love to me. I slept well last night. I offered up my petition to the Lord for His grace, His Holy Spirit. I wrote several pages. I spoke in the afternoon upon Christ’s riding into Jerusalem. There was quite a number of First-day Adventists present. After I ceased speaking many were introduced to me. One lady spoke to me and asked me if I knew her. I told her I did not. She said her name is now Gallusia; it used to be Eunice Parkes. She was our close neighbor. We were well acquainted with her in our girlhood. She wished me to call upon her. I am trying to visit and write too, which keeps my time fully employed. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 12

Elder Fifield and his wife visited Brother Burrows [?], after the meeting, to give a Bible reading on the ordinances, especially the washing of the feet of the disciples by Christ, and His injunction to His disciples to follow His example. Next morning [Dec. 8], the poor soul came in much trouble to see Elder Fifield, but he was gone. She said she had not slept any during the night. She was so distressed over this matter. She did not feel that she could obey the command of the Saviour on this point. I talked with her some time in reference to it. I told her Jesus knew just what His disciples needed to reveal to them the pride of their hearts, and He had humbled Himself, girding Himself with a towel and washing the feet of His disciples. Peter said, Lord, Thou shalt never wash my feet. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 13

Monday, December 8, 1890

Lynn, Mass.

I have been earnestly engaged in writing and in repairing my clothing. Did not walk out all day. I am in deep perplexity. I do not understand why the burden is constantly weighing me down, why I am filled with remorse for those who are connected with the publishing interest in Battle Creek. I am hearing the words spoken in reference to myself and my work. I feel an intense desire to get Patriarchs and Prophets and Great Controversy before the people, because the very light they need is contained in these books. Why have those who have accepted the publishing of these books no burden? Why have they interposed the Bible Readings, as if filling the world with this book were all that was needed? I know Satan is working this matter, not the Lord. The voice of God is not to be concealed in the works in print before the people. A great pressure is upon me. I cannot rest. I will have to do something. If my sons would only stand with me, I would take the responsibility of handling the books myself. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 14

Tuesday, December 9, 1890

Lynn, Mass.

Devoted some time to prayer. Rose at five o’clock. I wrote letters to Burleigh Salisbury, to Dr. Lay and family, also to Sister Appley, and a letter to the church at Norwich. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 15

We had an appointment to take dinner with Brother and Sister Burnham. We walked nearly one mile, and it was snowy underfoot. We had no rubbers. We found them pleasantly situated. After we reached the house, which was in the outskirts of the city, we had a very pleasant visit with the family and then prayed with them, and the Lord drew near by His Holy Spirit. All seemed to be much gratified by the visit. We walked a portion of the way back. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 16

I felt much exhausted after arriving at my stopping place, and retired at seven o’clock. I designed to make one more visit and attend the prayer meeting in the hall, but I knew it would be presumptuous. It is an exhausting process for me to visit. I feel much the same responsibility as when before the people. I know that light must be shining in all that is said and done, to reflect the light upon those with whom we visit. 6LtMs, Ms 50, 1890, par. 17