Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 184, 1902

White, W. C.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

November 21, 1902

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear son Willie,—

Since you left us, I have not been sick, but greatly burdened. I have had a visit from Edson, but we did not talk about matters at Nashville. Before he came, I had written many things regarding the work there. Little by little the situation was laid before me. I could not spend time in visiting with Edson while he was here, so anxious was I to get ready the matters that had ben urged upon my mind, that I might send them to the council. For many nights I had not slept past twelve o’clock. 17LtMs, Lt 184, 1902, par. 1

It rained nearly every day while Edson was here, and we could not go out much. Most of the time he spent in your office, writing, and I in mine. I think we rode out together once only. I was so weighed down with the burden of the matters presented to me that I had not but little time for conversation. 17LtMs, Lt 184, 1902, par. 2

Edson and Emma were heartily received by the members of my family. On Sabbath morning Edson spoke at the Sanitarium. A wealthy family from the Southern states happened to be present, and they said that they received much good from the words spoken. When Emma was introduced to them, one of the women said, “White! That is the name of the speaker, is it not?” When Emma told her that it was her husband who had spoken, she grasped her hand more firmly, and said, “I am so glad to meet you. The words that I heard this morning have been a wonderful blessing to me. They did my heart good.” 17LtMs, Lt 184, 1902, par. 3

Edson said that he was much blessed while speaking. He and Emma and Sister Hall took dinner at the Sanitarium. It did Edson and Emma much good to be so heartily received. 17LtMs, Lt 184, 1902, par. 4

On Sunday morning Edson spoke to the workers in the Food Factory. 17LtMs, Lt 184, 1902, par. 5

Lately my mind has been drawn to the work that needs to be done for our people. Things have been revealed to me that make me afraid. In the night season I was in a meeting where One of authority gave much instruction. Among other things, he said, “Seventh-day Adventists are on losing ground in every place where they have established institutions; and the reason for this is that they have lost their first love. Let them remember from whence they are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else God will come to them quickly, and will remove their candlestick out of his place, except they repent.” [See Revelation 2:4, 5.] 17LtMs, Lt 184, 1902, par. 6

There has been such strife of tongues, such neglect of the work that ought to be done, that much, very much, has been lost. In the place of making centers of influence for the Lord’s work, men spend their time criticizing and condemning what others are doing. Thus they have done for years, and the saddest part of it all is that they do not realize that they are among those who have lost their first love. They think that they must make others walk in straight paths, when they themselves are constantly making crooked paths for their feet, by their unchristian course strengthening the spirit of strife and dissension. 17LtMs, Lt 184, 1902, par. 7

The Lord looks upon such ones with great displeasure. The One who was instructing us, said, “It is the duty of each one to do all in his power to put down strife for the supremacy. It grieves him to see the unwise, injudicious encouragement given to those who are so ready to make unfavorable reports concerning the work of others, while they stand by as criticizers, ready to make a man an offender for a word. Unless they put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness, they will be rejected by God. Let them study carefully the parable of the man who came in to the wedding supper not having on the garment provided for the guests. Let them remember that while they are watching and criticizing others, they are neglecting to put on the robe or Christ’s righteousness. They have supposed that the highest place was their right, because they could skilfully detect the mistakes made by others. Thinking of the faults of their brethren, they have forgotten their own. They have neglected to look at themselves in the divine mirror. Their building is going up without symmetry or artistic skill. They are too busily engaged in watching the work of others to build symmetrical characters for themselves. 17LtMs, Lt 184, 1902, par. 8

Those who give themselves to the work of spreading evil reports have no desire to put on the garment of Christ’s righteousness. They may claim to have a knowledge of the truth, but the truth does not work in their lives with sanctifying power. They may seat themselves at the Lord’s table, but they have not clothed themselves with the garment of righteousness provided for them, and they are dismissed from the heavenly banquet. 17LtMs, Lt 184, 1902, par. 9

I have been instructed to warn our people no longer to accuse others, but to empty their hearts of all selfishness, that in their spirit and words and acts, Christ may be revealed. God’s people are to show an appreciation for one another, esteeming others better than themselves. Then they will be prepared to help and strengthen one another, speaking words of hope and cheer, making hearts glad instead of sorrowful. 17LtMs, Lt 184, 1902, par. 10

This is the message that I am bidden to give to ministers and people. They all need to feel the transforming influence of the grace of Christ. They need to receive the Holy Spirit, that they may work in Christ’s lines. 17LtMs, Lt 184, 1902, par. 11

Let no one become so self-centered that he will fail to see that the Lord has appointed to every one a work. Let each do his best. This is all that the Lord requires of any one. Let our people read to a purpose the instruction given in the seventeenth chapter of John. The lessons of this chapter are not carried out in their daily practice. The Lord is not glorified in their lives, because they do not cherish love for one another. When their hearts are filled with the love of Christ, backbiting and criticizing will cease. No longer will Seventh-day Adventists weaken one another’s hands; for they will love one another as Christ has loved them. 17LtMs, Lt 184, 1902, par. 12