Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 22, 1902

White, J. E.; White, Emma

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

February 1, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in 4MR 333, 336; 5MR 216; 5Bio 144-145. +Note

Dear children Edson and Emma,—

We are home again, and I feel so thankful. You know how I dreaded taking the northern route at that time of the year, when storms are so frequent, and trains are likely to be snowed in. We hoped against hope that when we reached Chicago we should be able to secure a drawing-room for my use. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 1

For awhile after leaving Nashville for Chicago, we found the road very rough. The train jerked and jolted. They put me in my berth as soon as possible, and Sara gave me treatment—a witch-hazel rub—and then, although the jerking and pounding went on, I slept well. On reaching Chicago, we found an automobile waiting to take us to the Sanitarium. From the train I got into a wheelchair, and two young men carried the chair down the steps as carefully as if I were their mother. I could not have been treated more kindly by my sons than I was by these young men. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 2

I was much exhausted when I reached the Sanitarium. Dr. Paulson was very tender of me and gave me an earnest scolding for leaving California at this time of the year. I took it, thinking I might deserve it. He told the truth from his standpoint and <perhaps from> my own. He was thoroughly indignant to think that the brethren had had no more mercy on me. “Why,” he said, “I wonder that you are alive. We have too much interest in you and your work to want to bury you. We want your life to be spared.” 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 3

He was certainly very much aroused as he saw my feebleness. He talked as if he could not be reconciled to what I had done. I told him that I might have made a mistake. “Yes,” he said, “I am sure of it. You will lose your life if you venture to travel at this season of the year. Circumstances will occur that you cannot control. The Lord wants no such presumptuous movements. Your life is too precious to be thrown away in this manner.” 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 4

We rested for several hours at the Sanitarium. I took some treatment. In the afternoon the automobile took us to the station. Willie had secured good accommodations. The cars moved as noiselessly as a person walking with slippered feet across a carpeted room. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 5

Feb. 2

I am improving somewhat in health. How good it is to be at home, with the long-dreaded journey in the past. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 6

Feb. 4

I am improving in health, but am still weak. I can get little exercise, for I am not strong enough to walk much. I ride out whenever the sun shines. The day we reached home, Sara went to Oakland to help her sister and her niece in their emergency. She herself was sick nearly all the time she was there. Her throat and mouth were very sore. Somewhere she had inhaled poison. But though she could not do much herself, her presence was a comfort and her knowledge and experience a great help. I missed her ever so much. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 7

Yesterday morning I could not sleep after one o’clock. I began coughing. I thought that Dr. Kellogg was sleeping in the bedroom under my room, and fearing to disturb him, I got up quietly and went to my office. In this room there is a lounge, and after taking a sponge-bath, and dressing, I lay down and slept from three till six. I was thankful for this blessing. But I felt weak all day. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 8

In the afternoon I had a conversation with Dr. Kellogg. I spoke very plainly in regard to the work and how it should be carried on. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 9

Dr. Kellogg has been visiting the Sanitariums in Colorado and Nebraska. He spoke two or three times in San Francisco, where an important meeting is in session. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 10

W. C. White spent two or three days at the meeting in San Francisco. But he came home a week ago, feeling that his family needed his help in moving into their new house. Besides the rooms occupied by Willie’s family, there will be room enough in the house for three or four families. I think four married couples are to have rooms there. Two of them have no children, and the other two have one child each. These people work in the bakery, and it is very convenient for them to have rooms so near their work. Mr. and Mrs Boeker will have rooms in Willie’s house. Mr. Boeker is the manager of the Food Company. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 11

I am so glad that Willie’s family is settled. It is not pleasant for them to be broken up as they have been. Willie left for San Francisco again on Wednesday, and returned to St. Helena Friday evening with Dr. Kellogg. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 12

I am sorry you have made your home in the office. I do not like this. I fear for your health. I wish you had a home separate from the office. But if it pleases Emma best to have rooms in the office, I have nothing to say. It would kill me to live in that part of Nashville. Emma’s health must be carefully guarded. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 13

My son, at times I am troubled about you. It may be for your present and eternal good for you not to have your own way. But you do not always take advice kindly when your way is crossed. At times your indignation is aroused. You need at this time to be under the special grace of the Holy Spirit. You are in danger of being impulsive, in danger of saying and doing that which hurts your influence. This you cannot afford to do. There is too much at stake. If you expect your brethren to have confidence in you, you must work carefully and circumspectly. You cannot always safely carry out your own wishes or follow your own will. You need an experienced counsellor. I would be much pleased if Brother Rogers were with you. He is a man of good judgment. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 14

You are in danger of using money unwisely, of investing it in enterprises that will not always bear close investigation. Again and again God has helped you. And in many ways the scarcity of means from which you have suffered has been a blessing to you. But the lessons you ought to have learned years ago you did not learn. The apparent advantages to be derived from your plans were to you as the mirage in the desert is to the traveler. Though the prospect was flattering, the reality brought failure and disappointment. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 15

One thing you must do if you desire the peace of God. You must follow the light God has given you in the warnings and reproofs He has sent you. The Lord is earnestly striving to keep you steadfast and immovable, always abounding in His work. This is the will of God concerning you, even your sanctification. So long as you keep hold of the hand of God, heeding the instruction you have received to devote yourself to the ministry of the Word and to the preparation of books for the press, thus laboring with pen and voice for the conversion of souls, the Lord will be with you. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 16

I desire every jot of your influence to be refined, purified, sanctified. I want you to be constantly preparing for entrance to the heavenly courts. Daily my heart goes out in prayer for you, that you may put on Christ. I have never given you the least encouragement in your boat-building. After I said what I did in the Review and Herald Chapel in condemnation of the course some had followed, what kind of an impression would be made upon minds of our people if you should speak of all you do as having your mother’s sanction? 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 17

My son, will you take hold of the ministerial work and the work of preparing books as God desires you to do? Give this question careful, candid consideration. If you put your heart into this missionary work, it will be all the burden you ought to carry. I have been shown that if you and Brother Palmer undertake to carry on the manufacture of health foods, it will be altogether inconsistent with your missionary work. From the way in which matters have been opened before me, should you take up this work, you would be engaging in a work that would disqualify you for engaging in lines of work more decidedly spiritual, which are now the most important. There are others who can carry this line of work. If the Southern Union Conference desires to take it up, well. If it chooses men who have ability to handle it successfully, great blessing will result. But strict economy will have to be practiced in order to make this business a success. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 18

To every man is given his work. And God has given both you and Brother Palmer a work to do. Your lines of work differ somewhat, but each is of weighty importance. You should not covet any more responsibilities than you can carry, and at the same time keep the love of Christ dwelling in the heart and expressed in the life. Both you and Brother Palmer have all the work you can carry and keep your souls fresh in the grace of Christ. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 19

If the Lord were to bid you take up the manufacture and sale of health foods, He would sustain you. But you would have uphill work. You would meet trials and criticisms that you are ill-prepared to meet. Your nervous system has been overstrained. This brings weakness of judgment and a feeling of nervous hurry. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 20

Pray, O pray, and watch unto prayer. Keep out of all controversy. The Lord desires you to show that you are not standing on the side of controversy. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 21

I am instructed to say to you that you are both in danger of using God’s property—your physical strength—recklessly. Neither of you is in perfect health. You should strive with the greatest solicitude to keep the machinery of the body in the best working order. You should take time to consider, time to pray, time to exercise faith. You should keep a strict guard over yourselves, being careful not to overtax the nervous system by taking too many responsibilities. If you gather to yourselves more burdens than you can carry, you will meet with decided failure. Not only will your spiritual experience be endangered; your physical health will be impaired. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 22

My son, the light given me is that Brother Palmer is in danger of being influenced by you in too many ways. Brother Palmer has been reckless in the expenditure of means. At one time he entered into business that was not of a kind to give him the experience essential for his present and eternal good. At that time he had plenty of money, and he did his soul great harm by spending this money lavishly in company with his associates. He desired to appear liberal, and money slipped through his fingers. This experience was an injury to him. His enterprises for making money did not fulfil his expectations. Some who were associated with him were terribly disappointed. All this hurt his experience. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 23

After you and Brother Palmer have been for some time separated, the Lord has brought you together again, that you may be a help to one another. But I am afraid for you both. Be sure that your words are right words. Do not become careless in regard to the influence you exert over each other and the impressions you make on each other. You must each guard carefully against standing in each other’s way. God desires you both to work earnestly to help yourselves and each other. You are His property. He has full right to direct and order your course of action. If you plan unwisely in regard to the use you make of the powers Christ has entrusted to you, you forfeit rich privileges and deprive yourselves of the advantages that Christ is able and willing to give to those who serve Him in truth. Thus you serve the enemy, and in so doing you cast a shadow over your fellow beings. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 24

You have been chosen by God as missionaries. But you are both in danger. My son, the Lord desires you to guard your weak points of character. Let your words be wise and well chosen. Redeem the time. Brother Palmer is in danger in his association with business men of the world. You both need to remember that you are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 25

Men are watching you, to see the effect of your faith and religion. Some, seeing that you are industrious and enterprising, will suppose that you are sharp, keen business men. But they do not understand your weaknesses. Others will say, They are ambitious, scheming men. If you show that you are men of prayer, men of self-control, patient, kind, unhurried in speech, those with whom you are brought in contact will see that your religion is a reality. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 26

In His prayer for His disciples, Christ utters words that need not be misunderstood or misinterpreted. He said: “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. As thou has sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” [John 17:15-19.] 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 27

A most solemn responsibility rests on me to say to you, Your only hope is in God. Before giving us the baptism of the Holy Spirit, our heavenly Father will try us, to see if we can live without dishonoring Him. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Do not think, my children, that you have received all the spiritual help you need. And do not think that you can have great spiritual blessings without complying with the conditions God Himself has laid down. James and John thought that for the asking, they could have the highest place in the kingdom of God. Oh, how far short they fell of understanding the situation! They did not realize that before they could share Christ’s glory, they must wear His yoke and daily learn His meekness and lowliness. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 28

The Lord will save to the uttermost all who come to Him. But His law is to be obeyed and honored, not regarded indifferently. Those who strive for the crown of eternal life have a race to run and battles to fight. The cross comes before the crown. All who gain rest will learn by experience that Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden light. Learn of Christ. Thus you will find rest to your souls. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 29

The Lord has repeatedly told you, Edson, that He has laid upon you the burden of opening the Word of God to your fellow men. In the humble and intelligent performance of this work is the assurance of acceptance with God. His Word is, “Go, ... teach all nations;” and to the command is added the promise, “Lo, I am with you alway.” [Matthew 28:19, 20.] The Lord requires of us nothing that He does not give us power to perform. The disciples obeyed the command to bear witness for Christ, and of their experience we read: “They went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” [Mark 16:20.] To you as well as to the disciples these words may be spoken. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 30

My children, whom I love in the Lord, I ask you to consider the words I have written. My son, you are not above temptation. You need to dedicate yourself unreservedly to God. The Lord through your mother has encouraged you. But by indiscreet moves you can put a blight on it all. Remember that your danger lies in mingling with the ministerial work that which should not be mingled with it. Put no yoke on your own neck, and refuse to let any other human being put a yoke on you or bind you with cords that will keep you from doing the grand, sacred work that God has entrusted to you. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 31

Temptations will come to you, but do not fail to give full proof of your ministry, showing that you realize that you have been appointed to do the work of Christ in our world. Keep your soul from any defilement. Sinners are to be saved, not alone by the preaching of the Word, but by the lives revealing the power of the grace Christ longs to bestow on all. We are to represent Christ as Christ represented the Father. Do you, my son, realize that you are to work the works of Christ and live His life? 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 32

God has given Brother Palmer another <call to His work>, and his eternal interests depend on the course he shall pursue. Conformity to the will of God is his only safety. And in this matter much depends, my son, on the course you pursue, on your spirit, your words, your actions, your religious experience. You can be either a help or a hindrance to Brother Palmer. Remember that the Lord has associated Brother Palmer with you that you may be a help to him and that he may be a help to you. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 33

My son, live very near the mercy seat. Then by the grace of Christ you will be enabled to reflect the precious light of His example. Let no thought or murmuring enter your mind because you are restrained from gathering so many responsibilities that you would have no time to pray, no time to gain strength to reveal the likeness of Christ—the way, the truth, and the life; the fountain, the source, of all refreshing, invigorating influence. 17LtMs, Lt 22, 1902, par. 34