Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 146, 1897

White, J. E.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

June 21, 1897

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Son Edson:

The American mail arrived yesterday, July 20. We were much pleased to receive a letter from you. Some of the letters I receive in the mail, I read at the table, while the others are eating a simple supper. I do not eat the third meal. I find that it is much better for me to live on two meals, and I feel no necessity for the third. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 1

I am pleased with the plan upon which you are working. It is the correct plan. You will observe in the teaching of Christ that this was His method. Clear, plain, and simple were His parables, conveying truth to the hearers. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 2

If, under the guidance of the Spirit of God, you can work up books and pamphlets, it is well. I have thought, that as soon as The Life of Christ is off my hands, I shall undertake the same kind of work that you are doing—get out small books one after another, and then, it if is thought best, bind them together in small volumes. And the more simple the books are, the better will be their effect on the people. It is getting above the simplicity of the work that has been our weakness. Our strength is in God. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 3

Let me tell you, Edson, I am glad to hear you say that you will keep out of temporal business matters. You know that from time to time flattering prospects have been placed before you, making it appear that by investing a small amount, you would reap a harvest. But when have your expectations been realized? Or your harvest garnered? Too often it has seemed like sowing to the wind, and reaping the whirlwind. As a people, we are being severely tried with empty treasures. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 4

Economy can now be made as interesting as a mathematical problem. But I cannot but see that in our institutions, the cause has been followed by the effect. The temptation to invest means in building in Battle Creek has been readily entered into. Of these buildings, the Lord says, “I take no pleasure in them, because the money invested in every additional improvement robs destitute fields, where the standard of truth has been raised, of the buildings so much needed to advance the work of God.” 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 5

More means should not be invested in Battle Creek. Let those who believe that we are living in the very last days of this earth’s history learn that a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things he possesseth. “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches. But let him glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” [Jeremiah 9:23, 24.] There is a great treasure in these words. Beams of light from the Sun of Righteousness are shining forth. Let us grasp them, my son; let us appreciate them, let us live them and practice them. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 6

I was much pleased with the copies of your letters to Lane and others. Your reasoning is correct. The past neglect of the Southern field is not corrected by the course of action being followed. I felt sorry that means were laid out on the boat, for all such things furnish men excuses for not following the light that God has given in clear, plain lines. Walk in the light, and you will not walk alone. The heavenly Watcher observes all things, and when His people walk in accordance with the light given, God will turn His face toward them in love, and bless them. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 7

Be sure to give your brethren no occasion to cherish feelings of distrust and suspicion, and justify the course taken toward you and others in methods of dealing. Walk with your eye fixed on Jesus. I would be glad to have you connect with the work in Australia if it is God’s will; but if not, I will say, “Thy will, O Lord, not mine, be done.” [See Luke 22:42.] Let your soul be stayed upon God, and whenever the light shines directing you here, come, and we will welcome you. But, my children, keep fast hold of Christ’s hand, and walk in the light as He is in the light. He has a work for you to do, and He has told you what it is—“preach the Word; be instant in season, and out of season.” [2 Timothy 4:2.] 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 8

Remember that your failures in the past have given to those who have wished to justify their own course of action a plaster to cover the work that God has condemned in them. This will just as surely be repeated if you give them reason. Question your own judgment in taking hold of any line of temporal business. Keep to your appointed work, searching the Scriptures and teaching the Word of God, and doing the very work that you say you are doing—simplifying everything you write to use in your teaching. We must not give our mind up to model and re-model when means are so much needed to advance the work of God. This work must be first and last to us. It must be our center. We must bind about all our necessary desires. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 9

But it will be a very poor policy to endanger and sacrifice life and health, even supposing that by so doing you could prevent evil speech or evil supposition. Keep your own council. Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 10

There is need of perfect unity in the church of God. All kinds of calamity are trying the nations that have so long trampled the law of God; and this is only the beginning of the end. Those who claim to be Seventh-day Adventists will be tried as by fire. There are tares among the wheat, and the untrue will be separated from the true. They will go out from us because they are not of us. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 11

“To try” often means to weary, to perplex, to harass, to provoke; but it is the inspiration of Satan that leads those who claim to know and believe the truth to do this work. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 12

To “try” also means to test. All things are to be shaken that can be shaken, that those who cannot be shaken may remain. But the test and trial brought upon us must not lead to much talk. “Be still, and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10.] The Lord is seeking to draw men to Himself by the cords of love. Ever be kind, patient, and self-respectful, whatever may be the opinions of others. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Your trials will then become blessings. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 13

We are now living in perilous times. There is suffering in our world that is not dreamed of, bloodshed and revolt and crimes. We are living in times that try men’s souls. We are in the crucible, and the dross will either be separated from us, or we will be consumed with the dross. The way in which we bear ourselves when the pruning of God is upon us will show what manner of people we are of. Bear your test and trial my children, that you may come forth as gold seven times purified. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 14

Satan’s eye is upon us as intensely as is the eye of the Heavenly Watcher. He watches to see if he cannot stir up the passions of the soul and make him who is striving for the crown of life, run uncertainly, and become weak, impatient, complaining, now exalting, then desponding, lamenting and regretful. We can be hopeful, trustful, patient, knowing how to wait as well as labor, drawing consolation, even from apparent defeat, having caution in judgment, and industry in a large way. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 15

Edson and Emma, your souls must be riveted to the eternal Rock. You will see men who have advocated the truth, and who ran well for a season, making not straight but crooked paths for their feet; and by these crooked paths, the weak are led out of the way. Men who have thought to attain to the fullness of Christian perfection have fallen over some stumbling block. They are weighed in the balance and found wanting. Their aspiring hopes have sunk into the shadow of darkness. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 16

The church has been, and will be, tried by the incapacities of men who have been entrusted with responsibility they know not how to carry. Failing to seek wisdom of God, they lead others into false ways. They present to the flock of God food that tastes strongly of self. Your part of the work you know. Let not Satan blind your spiritual perceptions. Cling to the source of your strength. God alone, through His grace, can make you complete in Him. Fear not. God will decide the issue. Work faithfully and prayerfully in Bible lines. Keep the standard uplifted to the height that God requires. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 17

We are not to wait for great men to do the work. Do what you have been told to do by the Lord, and He will take care of the results. With earnest prayer and watching, you must work with such material as you have. Show your faith in God as the great Master worker. Christ prayed with strong crying and tears. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Beseech the Lord to take the leadership of your every enterprise. He will hear every heartfelt petition that the work you undertake may be His work, the cause you undertake His cause. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 18

Let your feet be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. There are those who will not engage in self-sacrificing missionary work, who occupy their minds in imparting low, cheap, insinuations. They have no practical experience in any line of earnest work. They are under Satan’s training, and they only understand the art he teaches them. Walk humbly with God, remembering that you are only the feeble instrument by which He does the work. Marshal every physical, mental and moral power to the Lord’s side, walking in Christ’s footsteps, and saying, “In God we trust.” 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 19

I believe I have answered your question in reference to getting out books, pamphlets, and tracts. Just as long as God gives you mental capability to search the Scriptures for yourself, do not cease your study. Sink the shafts deep into the mine of truth for precious ore, and present to others every jot and tittle of the heavenly treasure. Make it shine in its native simplicity. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 20

I here close for the present. The mail goes again one week from next Monday. You will then have a few lines from me. 12LtMs, Lt 146, 1897, par. 21