Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 27, 1892

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Preston, Melbourne, Australia

May 29, 1892

Contains formerly Undated Ms 73. Portions of this letter are published in HP 147, 155; OHC 241. See also ST 11/21/1892. +Note

Dear Children:

I was feeling disappointed in not receiving any letters from you in the last mail. Then I took Willie’s mail and found one from Edson to him. I read it and was thankful for this much. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 1

Willie left Melbourne last Wednesday for Adelaide. Bro. Curtis was urgent that he should come, as he must consult with him upon some very important matters and his closing up in Adelaide. I received a line from Willie stating that Adelaide was a clear case of “love at first sight.” While there he will try and find a convenient location for Sister Tay and May and me for two months of the severest winter weather. I very much dread to move, for I continue to suffer much pain in both hips and in my knees and shoulders. I require every convenience. I cannot get a chair that rests me. It must be upholstered, and the shape just right, or else I get very tired, and have to change, change. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 2

I am well suited with the house in which we live; but the fire places are so constructed that there is not enough heat thrown out to sufficiently warm any room to make it a safe place in which to take treatment. I have managed to take treatment, but I have taken some colds in so doing. I hope that stove will come to us from Healdsburg, then we shall burn far less wood, and heat the rooms comfortably. I have a room thirteen feet by ten; have a fire all day in [the] fireplace, and when I retire the cotton sheets are so cold I have shaken with chilliness. [I] have had to have bottles of hot water to my feet and to my stomach. In the day time, I keep comfortably warm with our wood fire. We buy wood by the hundred weight. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 3

I do not want to move anywhere unless necessary. Our brethren were going to move us to Adelaide before Willie returned from New Zealand because they became so much concerned for me. They almost made me feel I must go, but they felt very bad over the idea of our going. But it occurred to me that I must not get anxious and worn with planning for moving and at the same time expect to be benefited healthwise. The Lord had opened the way for us to locate here, and however much I may suffer, I must be patient and wait the word of the Lord. I said to my friends, No, I cannot move. I must wait the unfolding of God’s plans. He will make known where He would have us be. The church at Melbourne feel very badly at the thought of our leaving this place. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 4

I <know [that] unless we are constantly looking to God for instruction> we are in danger of getting impatient, as did Saul when Samuel did not come just when he was expected, and he got into a fret about it and decided he would move independently of Samuel, and he rushed into the performance of a work God had not given him to do. <Was he not king? Was he [not] equal to any office?> I have need to wait on the Lord and watch what He wants of me. It will not amount to anything to make duties for ourselves, and be full of our own schemes and contrivances. I find I have lessons to learn. <And I know you have most important lessons to learn, to bring your wants within you means and study economy.> 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 5

The direction given to Moses was, “See that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.” [Hebrews 8:5.] Although Moses was full of zeal to do God’s work, and he could have the most skilful, talented men to carry out any suggestions he should make, he must not make a single thing, a bell, a pomegranate, a tassel or a fringe or a curtain, or any vessel, except according to the pattern showed to Him as God’s ideal. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 6

And Moses waited, and God called him into the mount and opened to him His own mind. In everything God’s ideas stood clear and distinct before him, and the Lord covered him with His own glory that he could live through and see the things to be made as they were in the mind of God. Forty days the communications were given to him, and when he descended to the foot of the mount, he was ready to give the exact pattern that was shown to him in the mount. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 7

I have contemplated these matters much during my protracted sickness, and I have been deeply impressed that where many have erred was in not being careful in following God’s ideas—but their own. Christ Himself declared, “The Son of man can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.” [John 5:19.] So utterly was He emptied of Himself that He made no schemes and plans. He lived, accepting God’s plans for Him, and the Father unfolded day by day His plans. If Jesus was so wholly dependent and declared, “Whatsoever I see the Father do, that I do,” how much more should human agents depend upon God for constant instruction, so that their lives might be the simple working out of God’s plans. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 8

O, that failing, erring mortals would be content to seek wisdom from God and be entirely submissive in working out His thoughts and exemplifying His ideas. If ever mortals needed to send to heaven an earnest cry, “Lord, show me thy way; teach me how to keep the way of the Lord,” it is now. Only those will have a fitness for the mansions above who give to God full and implicit obedience. God knows that we would not appreciate His rarest gifts if we were not perfectly submissive to obey Him, <and always keep His glory in view.>. And in keeping the way of the Lord there is great reward. Tempted we shall be by the adversary of souls to deviate from God’s way and <follow our own imperfect judgment> and to feel no special interest to search the Scriptures to find out if we are walking in the sparks of our own kindling or seeking the light which God has given us. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 9

Children, my heart-longings are that you may both be vessels unto honor, prepared for the Master’s use. O, that the work of the grace of God may so go forward in your hearts that you may see the matchless charms there are in Jesus. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 10

<Do not spoil your influence for Christ’s, I plead.> Whatever your temperament may be, [whatever your] <hereditary and cultivated tendencies may be,> there is a character to be formed after the divine pattern. We have no excuse for retaining our own mold and superscription of nature, for Christ has died that we may have His mold and His superscription. We cannot retain our own self and be filled with the fullness of God. We must be emptied of self. If heaven is gained by us at last, it will be only through the renunciation of self, and in receiving the mind, the spirit, and will of Christ Jesus. <Our own way must be overcome.> Pride [and] self-sufficiency must be crucified, and the vacuum supplied with the Spirit and power of God. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 11

<Are we willing to pay the price for eternal life?> Are we ready to sit down and count the cost, whether heaven is worth such a sacrifice as to die to self and [let] our will be bent <and fashioned> into perfect conformity with the will of God? Until this shall be, the transforming grace of God will not be experienced by us. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 12

Just as soon as we present our emptied nature to the <Lord Jesus and His> cause, He will supply the vacuum by His Holy Spirit. We can then believe He will give us of His fullness. He does not want us to perish. We do not want more of God <any> more urgently than He wants all that there is of us to be consecrated to His service. Children, I long that you shall both abide in Jesus Christ and be receiving His blessing and diffusing it to others. Life is short, but eternity is endless. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 13

<Children,> our life here is a short period at best, and what and whom are we living and working for? And what will be the outcome of it all? 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 14

The religion of Jesus Christ we need daily. Everything we do or say comes under the notice of God. We are a spectacle unto the world, to angels and to men. Whatever we are at heart will be revealed in character and will have an influence on those with whom we associate. Our words, our actions, are a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. And in the judgment we shall be brought face to face with those whom we might have helped in right, safe paths by choice words, by counsel, if we had connection with God daily, and a living, abiding interest in the saving of their souls. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 15

If the Lord has blessed us with a perception of truth, and has given us the light of His Word, we are to let that light be seen in being doers of the Word; let its bright rays extend to others to cheer and bless all that are in the house. If we do not trim our lamps with the grace of Christ abundantly provided for us, <the> light burns dim, and if neglected, dies out. You, my son, are brought in connection with many people, and you can represent the character of Christ only as you copy the Pattern. If from the treasure of the heart you bring forth good things, then your light shineth to those who are in darkness. If you indulge in <a hasty spirit and give utterance to passionate words,> slang phrases, and foolish talk, you bring forth from the treasure of the heart evil things. These evil things do more mischief than you have any idea of; seeds are sown to produce their harvest; one thing is certain, you spoil your influence as a Christian. You do not exalt the character of Christ in your <own mind, neither do you do this in your> words and actions. The Lord Jesus calls upon you to place yourself in the channel of light and show the results and thoroughness of your faith in Christ as your personal Saviour. Christianity is not to be put on <as a garment> and <put> off at will, but you are constantly to be clothed with Christ’s righteousness as a garment. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 16

Edson, do not rob God of the service He requires of you. Halfhearted service is of no value. Have you not tried your own way again and again? In following your independent judgment, have you not virtually said, “Lord, I want not thy way, for it does not please me. I want my own way, and if I cannot do as I please, I will not serve the Lord at all?” <You do not suppose you do this, but your actions speak louder than your words. Shall there be a thorough change?> 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 17

Have you not let go of Christ to follow your plans? Did Jesus Christ, the Majesty of heaven, have His way? Behold Him in travail of soul in Gethsemane, praying to His Father. What forces these blood drops of agony from His holy brow? O, the sins of the whole world are upon Him <because the human agents wanted to [do] as Satan proposed for them to do, and Jesus suffered for their sins.> It was separation from the Father’s love that forced from His pale and quivering lips the cry, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” [Matthew 26:39.] Three times was the prayer offered, but followed by: “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” [Luke 22:42.] This must be our attitude: “Not my will, but thine, O God, be done.” This is true conversion. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 18

The church of Christ is to represent His character. Its members, if their names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, will be united by a vital connection with Christ, as the branches are united to the living vine. “For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified.” [John 17:19.] He devoted himself entirely to the work of saving souls. He left the glories of heaven and clothed His divinity with humanity and subjected Himself to sorrow and shame and reproach, abuse, denial, and crucifixion. Though He had all the strength <of> passion of humanity, never did He yield to temptation to do one single act which was not pure and elevating and ennobling. “I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified.” 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 19

Never did He <waste> words or feelings or actions. He devoted the whole of Himself to God in an infinite sacrifice to redeem the world. What a wholeness in His life, His character! The plan of salvation, that expresses the love, the benevolence of Jesus Christ toward man was devised prior to the commencement of time. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 20

“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known, by the church, the manifold wisdom of God. According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Ephesians 3:10, 11.] This eternal purpose embodied, before the universe, glory of divine love in the salvation of man. Charged with His <exalted> mission, Jesus came into the world as the visible representative of the invisible God. He said to Philip, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” “Henceforth ye know the Father, and hath seen him.” [John 14:9, 7.] “I and my Father are one.” [John 10:30.] 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 21

I cannot express to you the height, the depth and breadth of the Saviour’s words. But as little knowledge and wisdom as I have, to me they are clothed with a mysterious power that can only be spiritually discerned. In my long hours of sleeplessness, I go over and over these words, and they seem to mean so much that my mind persists in trying to grasp them <until I can indeed bring them into my life experience. Will you, [my] brother, my sister, do this? Will you make straight paths for your feet lest the lame be turned out of the way?> 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 22

In order to save fallen man, under a sense of the infinite magnitude of the task, Christ undertook to represent to the world the character of God in His great love for the world. Nothing was allowed for a moment to divert His attention from the object before Him. Every thought and purpose of His life was to carry out the plan of God laid before the foundation of the world. Said Christ, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life for the sheep” [Verses 17, 15]; that is, “My Father hath so loved you, that He even loves Me more for giving My life to redeem you. In becoming your substitute and surety, by surrendering My life, by taking your liabilities, your transgressions, I am fulfilling His will and vindicating His law of justice; you receive in Me its full penalty.” 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 23

This is a love which passeth knowledge. Shall we not be filled with astonishment at the amazing riches of the grace of Christ? Jesus alone could do the work. Knowing the height and depth of the love of God, He engaged to come into the world to represent it. Nothing less than the infinite sacrifice made by Christ in behalf of fallen man in coming into our world could express the love of God to man. It is impossible for us to conceive of the riches of His grace, abundantly provided for all who should believe on Jesus Christ. Having thus Himself represented the love of the Father, He has enjoined upon every soul that believes to represent Jesus Christ to the world, and thus multiply the character of God in their own lives and character. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 24

“As thou hast sent me into the world, (making me thy messenger) I have sent them into the world,” to be witnesses for me. [John 17:18.] God calls upon each of His followers to do that which He hath done efficaciously for the Father—to represent His goodness, His mercy, and His love to the world—making them partakers of His divine nature, that they <all> through believing in Christ as their personal Saviour should not perish, but have everlasting life. Thus these human agencies may so co-operate with the divine that others shall be saved through their instrumentality. All that are truly converted are commissioned of God to be lightbearers to the world. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 25

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” [Ephesians 3:17-19.] It is the privilege and duty of every child of God to obtain day by day a living experience in the religion of Jesus Christ, through a connection with Christ, and [to] go forth in His Spirit, with His mind, as human agents co-operating with the divine, bearing to the world the message of the love of God to man: that Christ is our Advocate, that the bow of promise encircles the throne, that the Lord is waiting to be gracious. This work must not be set aside because it requires self-denial and self-sacrifice. Looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith, we must see there our Pattern. <Study the self-denying, self-sacrificing life of your Pattern. Bring your wants within your means.> 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 26

All the heavenly intelligences are looking with intense interest to see what the human agencies will do at this time. They are as ministering spirits sent forth to minister unto them who shall be heirs of salvation. Jesus has died that the world might believe in Him and not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus now says to the sincere, believing ones, “You have given yourselves to Me, and I have given you to the world as My representatives. Ye are to be no more children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine. You are My witnesses, dedicated to Me, that ye should go forth in a high sense to represent the gracious character of God.” 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 27

All hardness of heart will be melted under the softening, subduing influence of the matchless love of Christ. He calls upon every man and woman to bear about in body the dying of the Lord Jesus. We are under obligation to task to the uttermost our capability. Our talent is to be brought into highest service to diffuse the light and grace we have received. There will not be exhibited a disposition to tear down, but [rather] the mind and spirit which dwelt in Christ Jesus, to restore, to build up. Jesus was to the world a fountain of healing mercy for the saving of the world, that the justice and love of God should be presented to the world by precept and example. The nature of man, renewed by grace, will be full of tenderness, sympathy, and love. Thus the character of God will be unfolded to the world as it is, and Satan will not be able to fasten the minds of all humanity in his snare, charging God with his own attributes, misinterpreting His character. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 28

When one who claims to be a Christian is unforgiving, harsh and critical, accusing and denunciatory, he is doing the very same work that Satan is doing; he is denying Christ <under> the pretense of representing His grace. God calls for the highest capabilities and talents to be purified, refined, softened by the grace of Christ, that the whole being may convey to the world the character of God. Jesus Himself could not express in words to the understanding of man the love of the Father; He could only say, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] But He did express the love of God in His actions. Never can we equal the goodness and the love of Jesus, but He calls upon every man and woman and youth and child to behold Him, and by beholding His perfection of character, to become changed into His image. Call every talent into exercise to copy the Pattern. As Christ died to save man, He calls upon us to live as seeing Him who is invisible, that we may save souls. In all our business calling, we should let Christ preside, let His spirit and His mercy and His love be prominent. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 29

Edson, I would not mark out your way before you, but I would say, Seek the Lord most earnestly, and He will show you His way. Do not delay. Eternal life at the right hand of God is worth a lifelong, persevering, untiring effort. Look to the cross of Calvary. <Behold the Lamb of God, the divine Son of God suffering the most ignominious death to save you. He taketh away the sin of the world.> 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 30

Edson, break away from the enemy. Make a decided effort; be no longer halfhearted. It is life or death with you, and when you surrender all, then Jesus will open for you ways that you may serve Him with every power of your being. The Lord would have you gather up the rays of light and be [a] witness for Christ. Speak often one to another upon faith, upon the revealings of the Lord to His people. Speak often one to another <words of faith, of thanksgiving to God.> The Lord calleth thee; respond to His call. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 31

How have I written this? I have an adjustable table, with my writings on it. I have a large, hair cloth chair which I try to make as easy as possible by putting in it a pillow, then a cushion on top of the pillow. May has prepared a large stool, two feet long and made soft with pillows. She draws this up, and I extend my limbs on it. I have a light paper board that I put in my lap and write on it. I cannot raise my arms to write. My shoulders and arms suffer much pain. I sit in this position one or two hours, then May comes in and changes me—puts me on to the bed, bolsters me up, in a half-reclining position, then places the lap robe over me [and] air pillow under my limbs. I have been sitting in this position two hours, quite comfortably, but now I must change again. To sit with my limbs down naturally is most painful to me, especially when I attempt to rise; it is some moments before I can stand on my feet and walk without support. After a few moments I begin to make a trial to walk, and succeed after a fashion. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 32

I am suffering considerable pain all the time, but the nights are hardest; they are so long. The first day of winter has commenced. It is the first day of June, and the nights are long and tedious. But I shorten them by prayer. I am not discouraged; I am cheerful. I felt at first that I could not bear this inactivity. I think I fretted in spirit over it, but I have come into a better frame of mind. The Lord, who numbereth the hairs of our head, knoweth all things; and He will restore me to health in His own good time. I will seek the Lord most earnestly daily. I know He gives me of His grace day by day, and He will not forsake me, praise His holy name! 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 33

I fear I am making my letter too long, but today my mind seemed to be impressed by the Spirit of God to address you. My last letter may have seemed to you unnecessary. I cannot tell how you may receive my words, but I feel deeply that the time has come for you to make decided efforts, in and through the grace of Christ, to reach a higher standard. The church may individually be all that they profess to be; if they will seek the Lord with all the heart, they will be filled with the Spirit. Jesus Christ is the Pattern, and every one who copies the Pattern, will estimate the value of his own soul as Christ’s purchased possession. He will see that the Lord requires <all the> members of His church, as living human agencies, to exert a sanctified influence in unity to build up the Redeemer’s kingdom in the earth. The careless inaction, the indolence, the neglect to improve a single faculty and entrusted capability which might have been employed for blessing humanity, <is> to rob the world of the promised influence of the Holy Spirit which might have accompanied with its presence the living witness for God. <A> message from heaven is sent to the world by chosen ones to proclaim the power of grace and salvation in <a> consecrated life; if <one> is not sanctified, this power is lost. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 34

There is a necessity for examining on what ground you are founding your hopes for eternity. I leave these lines with you and plead with God day and night that the life of Edson—that was given to us in answer to prayer when he was eighteen months old, and that was again spared in answer to prayer when you were four years old in Rochester, New York—may be a noble life. May you be sanctified and holy that you may be molded as a vessel unto honor. Shall this be the case, Edson? God grant that it may. 7LtMs, Lt 27, 1892, par. 35