Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16

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Lt 54, 1901

White, J. E.

St. Helena, California

June, 1901

This letter is published in entirety in 19MR 146-151.

My dear son Edson,—

I am again much burdened as I see you selecting words from writings that I have sent you, and using them to force decisions that the brethren do not regard with clearness. I have received letters from Elder Daniells and Elder Kilgore, asking me to send them instruction at once, if I have any light in reference to the points you have quoted from my letters. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 1

Your course would have been the course to be pursued if no change had been made in the General Conference. But a change has been made, and many more changes will be made and great developments will be seen. No issues are to be forced. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 2

All the light that God has given me is that the work has been greatly hindered by the books’ having to pass through so many hands. Each publishing house that handles a book must be remunerated for its work. There is need to consider whether the book work cannot be handled in some improved way. There is something wrong in the tract and missionary work, when so much money is needed to sustain it, after all the advantages it has had. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 3

The books should certainly be brought before the people without having to pass through so many hands, but we must move guardedly. Our words and actions must be such that they will bless others. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 4

Remember, Edson, that you are not to carry your own ideas against the judgment of the brethren and the general interests of the cause. Elder Kilgore is to be your counsellor. Things will adjust themselves if we will make our interests secondary. The Lord Jehovah is our strength and our shield. He has work for you to do, for me to do. By our faith and works we are to declare that God is our wisdom, our sanctification, our righteousness. He has given us the strongest encouragement to draw nigh to Him, and the nearer we come to Him, the nearer we come to the law of harmony and unity and holiness. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 5

The practical lesson we are all to learn in genuine Bible religion is that we are to be of one mind and one judgment, that the law of God is a law of love to God and to man. Even disappointment and suffering is made unto us a means of sanctification. It elevates and purifies the soul, helping us to work out the will of God. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 6

God desires us to understand that we are never to try to rule or to seek for the supremacy. Active humility and true goodness are to be constantly cherished. The spirit is to be softened and subdued. God will lead every one who will be led. My son, do not manifest a dictatorial spirit. Work with an eye single to the glory of God. Whatever may come into your experience, remember that the heavenly Father knows all things, and that He will set things in order if we are not in too great haste. He is our sanctification and righteousness. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 7

For what is the Christian to live? The answer comes, He is to live in this world [of] sin and strife and variance as a peacemaker, doing all in his power to advance the work of God. “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” [James 3:13-18.] 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 8

June 5

Dear Son Edson, I have received your letter, also letters from Brethren Daniells, Kilgore, and Sharp. It hurts me to think that you are using words which I wrote prior to the Conference. Since the Conference, great changes have been made. Do not urge that mother has said thus and so. I know that reforms are to be made, but when I am not present to hear the words that are spoken, I cannot advise you to select a few words from a letter I have written, and use these words to forbid a course which the brethren wish to pursue regarding the publication and handling of books. Changes have been made, and I trust that our brethren who are interested in the book work will manifest an unselfish interest in the disposal of books for the Southern field. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 9

A terribly unjust course has been pursued in the past. A want of principle has been revealed. But in pity to His people God has brought about changes. I think that when I took my writings out of my satchel to give you something in regard to the Southern work, I must by mistake have given you that which I did not mean should fall into the hands of you or any one else. When the Lord takes hold of the work as He did at our last Conference, your mother can stand back and not be brought so prominently into matters. And oh, how pleased I am when this can be so. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 10

In the name of the Lord I charge you, in whom I have the deepest interest, not to make the burdens resting upon me doubly hard to carry. The course of action which before the Conference might have been a necessity, is no longer necessary; for the Lord Himself interposed to set things in order. He has given His Holy Spirit. I am confident that He will set in order the matters that seem to be moving wrong. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 11

The less you try to control matters, the better will be your influence. And you must not, my son, use my name in such a way that you will come in between the people of God and your mother’s influence, to weaken that influence in any respect. There is danger that in your zeal and ardor you may hurt your influence and my influence, so that I cannot in a crisis, as at the last General Conference, do the work that God has spared my life to do. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 12

There is now to be no swaying of things in wrong lines. All are to work in perfect harmony. Unify, unify is the word from heaven. The work of bringing about perfect harmony cannot be done in a moment. It will take close examination and careful study on the part of those who bear responsibilities. Not a selfish thread is to be drawn into the web. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 13

Keep close to your Redeemer. He has helped you in a marked manner, favoring you with privileges and opportunities. If you will continue to learn of Him His meekness and lowliness, He will give you rest and peace. Make God your counsellor. If you think there is a wrong understanding at the Review and Herald or among the men at present in authority, do not move hastily. Be calm. They are on test and trial, and you, my son, are also on test and trial. If you will walk wisely, the Lord will work for you. Let your determination be, In all my service to God I will endeavor to renew on earth the harmony of heaven. Place yourself where the prayer, “Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in heaven,” is fulfilled in you. [Matthew 6:10.] Amid the strife and discord that predominates on the earth, the lives of God’s people are to answer this prayer. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 14

My son, do not attempt to do great things in your own strength. Counsel with your brethren. If you do not do this, it will often be said of you, He is determined to have his own way. You will be misunderstood. Leave with God the wrongs which you think exist. Be easily entreated, and be not easily provoked. Do not speak angry words because of something you have heard. This hurts your influence. May the grace of God help you to have patience. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 15

From the light given me by God, Elder Kilgore should be your counsellor. Do not wrestle as you have done in the past to carry things in your own way, and then be filled with tumult and restlessness. If you are not guarded, you will allow your feelings to rise to the highest pitch of distress, and will then forget that you are not in a position of perfect faith and humble trust. Learn to look upon things which do not appear straightforward without being made unhappy and wretched. We must learn to suffer annoyances from others without becoming irritated. Try to meet disappointment and hindrance without taking it so much to heart. Let not God be dishonored by a single murmur from your lips. We can afford to part with anything in this world, but we cannot afford to part with God as our wisdom. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 16

Nothing will move us if the mind is stayed on God. You must be calm. A disturbed mind cannot enjoy the peace of Christ Jesus. You are surrounded with token after token of the working of the Holy Spirit in behalf of God’s cause. The enemy has worked through some to block your way, but the Lord has worked to make this of the greatest advantage to you. You have obtained an experience in preaching the Word and in laboring together with God. The Lord desires you to understand that He has preserved you as you have labored in the Southern field. By His might and power He has kept His shield over you. When men refused to work in accordance with the light given, the Lord worked in other ways to bring about the prosperity needed for the carrying forward of His work. You must acknowledge His power as your wisdom and your sufficiency. God has greatly loved you, and again and again has preserved your life by spreading His shield over you. He has been your rock of defense. He desires you to have a clear perception that He has opened the way for you in Nashville, that by the advancement of the work in this place the way might be prepared in other places. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 17

Keep the way of the Lord in justice and judgment. Make no urgent calls upon the Review and Herald. Let them do what they will. We hope that they will so repent of the past that the Lord can blot it out of His book. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 18

Did you realize how many times the Lord has ordered your way, that the will of Satan should not be done on you and your life extinguished, you would not stumble along complainingly. Walk always before God in humility. Trust fully in Him. Let the words on your lips be pleasant words. Censure no one. Educate yourself to excuse and pity all who make mistakes. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 19

I can write no one. Only be sure to remember that the Lord has managed matters for you because you have put your trust in Him. He will bring to pass that which He desires to do if you will hide yourself in Him. Be of good courage in the Lord. Remember how merciful and kind He is, how great has been His keeping power over you. That which men have failed to do, God has done. Honor Him. Be an example of piety to all with whom you are connected. Let God do all judging. Your work is to love and serve God and to be a help to others. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 20

Fight the good fight of faith. Overcoming requires constant watchfulness and unceasing prayer. Let not your words in the desk be contradicted by your words out of the desk. The love of Christ is progressive. By constant effort you will grow in the knowledge of God. It costs something to be pure, holy, and undefiled. But remember that he that offendeth not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Put your hand in the hand of Christ, saying, Lead me, keep me, bless me. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 21

This morning Sara and I will drive to Vallejo, thirty-five miles from here. Then a brother will take the horse and buggy over on the boat, and we will go on to Oakland by train. I am taking the buggy to Oakland that I may have a chance to ride out while there. 16LtMs, Lt 54, 1901, par. 22