Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)

134/469

Lt 130, 1902

White, J. E.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

August 14, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in UL 241; 7BC 966; SpTB #19 29-31. +Note

Elder J. E. White

My dear Son Edson,—

I wish you were here now, and that you could remain with us for a time to enjoy our fresh fruit and vegetables. I wish you could have come several weeks ago, at the beginning of the fruit season, and spent several months with us. We have been almost living on fruit. Early in the summer we had excellent strawberries. Later on we has cherries, loganberries, blackberries, and peaches. We are still eating and bottling peaches and have several trees of later varieties that have not ripened. For several weeks we have had all the apples that we could use. We are now enjoying the sweet corn grown in our garden. It is the sweetest corn that I ever tasted and is rich and nutritious. The tomatoes are just beginning to ripen. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 1

We have opportunity to buy all the fruit that we care to use, at low prices. Thus far, we have bought only blackberries and apricots for bottling, having sufficient of other kinds on our place. Blackberries of an excellent quality sell for three cents a pound; peaches, a cent and a half a pound. If you were here, you could dry some peaches. We have good facilities for drying fruit. A furnace, a dryer, and large drying trays came with the place when we bought it. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 2

I am so pleased that we have so much fruit from my own place. There is still a chance for you to enjoy some of it. If Emma would come with you, I know she would enjoy it too. We now have apples, peaches, and nectarines. The early peaches are nearly all gone, but others are coming on, and we shall have all the peaches we can use until the end of the season. The plums are not yet ripe. Our tomatoes are ripening fast. The vineyard looks well, and there is promise of an abundant yield. Soon our prunes will be ripe enough to pick and dry. These prunes are similar to the ones that we sent to you last year. If you could find room in your trunks to take some of them home, you would avoid having to pay so much freight. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 3

I think that I will have a crate of blackberries put up for you, if you like them. Do you care for them? 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 4

Willie’s children Ella and Mable have been away from home all summer, working in fruit orchards at Cordelia and Vacaville. They began when the cherries were ripe last May. Many whole families go to the large orchards during the fruit season, living in tents and caring for the fruit. Ella and Mable and Sister St. John tented together. Sometimes our ministers and their families go into these fruit-camps and speak to the people on Sabbath and Sunday. Our girls have opportunity to do much missionary work. Those in charge of the orchard where they work were unbelievers, but they told them to eat all the fruit that they wanted while in the orchard, and to take to their tent all they desired to use at the table. The owners of the orchard in Cordelia thought much of the girls and were as kind to them as if they had been members of their own family. They told them that whenever they wanted to go for a ride, they were welcome to a horse and carriage. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 5

I wish that you and Emma would come to California and stay with us for a while. The weather just now is beautiful. If you wish, you can help me by planning for my books. If you do not wish to do this, you need not. I am sure that in this place you could find the rest you need. Will you not leave the South for the present, and make us a visit, that we may talk and plan together about book-making? The Lord would be pleased to have us do this. You could do much more here toward preparing your books than you can in Nashville. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 6

When you come, you can have a large room in my house, and eat at our table. We have an excellent cook, and our family is so small that we shall not be at all crowded by your coming. My family consists of Marian, Sara, Maggie, Clarence, and Mrs. Nelson, my housekeeper. Miss Peck and her mother live in the little red cottage that for a while after coming here we used as an office. We now have a new office, of eight rooms, and you could have a room in it or in the house. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 7

There is all the room that you would wish to use for writing. My upstairs piazza has been enclosed with glass windows. This is a good place in which to write while sitting in the sunshine. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 8

The work on my new room over the kitchen is progressing. The plastering has just been finished. Soon the room will be ready for me to occupy. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 9

Willie has three vacant rooms in his house. The family that has lived in them has just moved to a house owned by the Bakery. If you should prefer, you could live in his house, occupying these rooms. In that case, you could keep house for yourselves, or board with his family, or with ours, just as you choose. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 10

Can you not come to California at once? I believe that the Lord would be pleased to have you come; and if the work is so that you feel free to leave it, do not wait, because soon there will be camp-meetings to attend. We would be glad to have you attend these meetings, if you should so desire; or, if you do not, you can spend your time as suits you best. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 11

Can you not come now and be with us for a few months? W. C. White is giving almost his whole time to my book work and at present is working hard to get out Testimony 35. We have excellent help in Sister Peck, Maggie Hare, and Clarence Crisler. We are all encouraged to give ourselves fully to this work. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 12

In the night season I am talking with you and Willie, and we are planning work that will help the Southern field. You are united with me, just as the Lord has specified should be the case. This is God’s plan. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 13

Our way seems to be hedged up. Difficulties thicken around us. But we know that Jesus had difficulties to encounter even before He came to our world. You remember that through satanic agencies He was hindered from answering Daniel’s prayer immediately. Delay comes to us today because all will not respond to the word of God. Let us allow the Lord to do with us as He will. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 14

The light given me now is that the books that are needed are now to be prepared. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 15

I am writing this just before my bedtime, by the light of the setting sun. The sunset is beautiful. When you come, you shall have the room from which you can get the best view of this lovely valley. I am writing with my left eye bound up, for it is very painful. I must stop now and go to rest. I shall finish in the morning. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 16

August 15, 1902

Last night I had a wonderful experience. I was in an assembly where questions were being asked and answered. I awoke at one o’clock, and arose. For a time I walked the room, praying most earnestly for clearness of mind, for strength of eyesight, and for strength to write the things that must be written. I entreated the Lord to help me to bear a testimony that would awake His people before it is forever too late. I was glad that there was no one in the room below me. Sara and Maggie usually occupy this room, but during the summer they sleep in a tent pitched under a great live oak tree growing close by the house. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 17

My soul was drawn out in the consideration of matters relating to the future carrying forward of God’s work. Those who have had little experience in the beginning of the work often err in judgment in regard to how it should be advanced. They are tempted on many points. They think that it would be better if the talented workers had higher wages, according to the importance of the work they do. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 18

But one of authority stood among us in the assembly in which I was present last night and spoke words that must decide the question. He said, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, trace His work after He assumed humanity, and remember that He is your pattern. In the work of soul-saving, His <divine-human life in our world> is to be your guide. He made the world, yet when He lived on this earth, He had not where to lay His head.” 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 19

Were the most talented workers given higher wages, those who do the more laborious part of the work would desire larger wages also, and would say that their work is just as essential as any work that is done. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 20

Work is to be carried forward in many lines. New territory is to be annexed. But no Jerusalem-centers are to be made. If such centers are made, there will be a scattering of the people out of them, by the Lord God of heaven. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 21

The work of God is to be carried on without outward display. In establishing institutions, we are never to compete with the institutions of the world in size or splendor. We are to enter into no confederacy with those who do not love or fear God. Those who have not the light of present truth, who are unable to endure the seeing of Him who is invisible, are surrounded by spiritual darkness that is as the darkness of midnight. Within, all is dreariness. They know not the meaning of joy in the Lord. They take no interest in eternal realities. Their attention is engrossed by the trifling things of earth. They make haste unto vanity, striving by unfair means to obtain advantages. Having forsaken God, the fountain of living water, they hew out for themselves broken cisterns that can hold no water. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 22

Let it not be thus with those who have tasted the power of the world to come. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 23

Should our worldly enterprises succeed, it would be because we have left the truth in the outer court. We would have no money left in the treasury with which to do missionary work. On every side selfishness would exhibit itself. Truth would not be extended, but would be limited in its working. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 24

Sow the seeds of truth wherever you have opportunity. In establishing the work in new places, economize in every possible way. Gather up the fragments, let nothing be lost. The work of soul-saving must be carried on in the way that Christ has marked out. He declares, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Matthew 16:24.] Only by obeying this word can we be His disciples. We are striving for a kingdom and a crown. We shall obtain both by wearying Christ’s yoke and learning of Him. “Follow my example,” He says. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 25

We are nearing the end of this earth’s history, and the different lines of God’s work are to be carried forward with much more self-sacrifice than they have yet been. The work for these last days is <not a work for display, but of consecrated service; it is> a missionary work. Present truth, from the first letter of its alphabet to the last, means missionary effort. The work to be done calls for sacrifice at every step of advance. The workers are to come forth from trial purified and refined, as gold tried in the fire. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 26

The Lord calls upon men to unite with Christ by wearing His yoke. But He tells them that they are to refuse the yoke that human hands would place on them, for this yoke would be galling and oppressive. There are those who refuse to wear the yoke of Christ, and yet would place upon the necks of others a yoke of human manufacture. What a terrible deception! what inexcusable ignorance! It is as night amid the full blaze of gospel light. Such ones are not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can they be until they pass through the death struggle and are born again. Then their experience will be of worth in God’s cause. All through their experience are woven the threads of worldly wisdom. They look upon their work as meritorious, but in the day of judgment they will learn—unless they learn it before—that they are corrupted with selfishness that is abhorrent to God. They have locked their hearts against Christ’s entrance, and unless they repent and open to him, they must one day hear the words, “Depart from me.” 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 27

Filled with the knowledge of the will of God in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, walking worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all might according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness—such were the early disciples. They sought above all things to know the will of God. Do these words represent the church in its present condition? Many who now think they are in the truth are far from practicing the principles of truth. The reason of the weakness and inefficiency of the church is that many of its members do not do the will of God, but follow their own impulses. They are not led by the Spirit of God, but by another spirit. They know not the meaning of the written Word. Like Paul, they are alive without the law. When they bring into the practical life the holy precepts of the law, they will be able to say from experience, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.] 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 28

God has a work to do in many hearts, if they will allow Him. They must have a complete transformation of character. This is their only hope. Some now in the work will have to pass through the furnace of affliction before they will see the need of having all dross burned away from their religious experience. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 29

The church must and will shine forth “clear as the sun, fair as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners.” [Song of Solomon 6:10.] God’s servants must, by laboring together with Christ, roll away the curse that has made the church so lukewarm. “I know thy works,” God declares, “that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” The chastening reveals a hope of reform. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” [Revelation 3:15-21.] 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 30

“Unto me who am less than the least of all saints,” writes the great apostle to the Gentiles, “is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ; 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 3:8-11.] 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 31

When these words are believed and lived, the church will have a heaven below in which to go to heaven in. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 32

I cannot now write all the instruction given me. These words were spoken: “Some are reckless, insensible of the results of sin, heedless of warning. Soon the handwriting on the wall, now unintelligible to them, will be read. But, like Belshazzar, they seem unable to see their peril. A straight testimony must be borne to our churches and institutions, to arouse the sleeping ones.” 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 33

When the Word of the Lord is sought for and followed, steady advancement will be made. Let us now see our great need. The Lord cannot use us until He breathes life into the dry bones. I heard the words spoken: “Without the deep moving of the Spirit of God upon the heart, without its life-giving influence, truth becomes a dead letter.” 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 34

Will we now use our power in an opposite direction from what it has been used and work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God that works in us, to will and to do of His good pleasure? Let there be a humbling of the soul before God. No longer rush on unthinkingly. God is waiting for you to draw near to Him, that your purposes may change, that more of the purity and meekness and lowliness of Christ may be brought into your work. You have shown independence in walking in your own way, in following your own counsel, as if you could counterwork the divine purposes. Show now a willingness to turn to the Lord; for why will ye die. Be as independent as it is possible for a man to be in heeding the message to the Laodicean church. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 35

It is time that we made a move to seek God while He may be found, to call upon Him while He is near. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God; for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [Isaiah 55:6-9.] 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 36

Yes, this is God’s plan. Let us come to Jesus just as we are, and He will fulfil His Word. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 37

The experience that I had last night has impressed me very deeply. I seemed to have Christ close beside me. I was filled with hope and courage and faith and love for souls. I pleaded with God to sustain me, and He lifted me up and made me to triumph in Him. I know that the Lord will work for His people when they will sanctify their souls by obeying the truth. Then the whole being, body, mind, and soul, will be in harmony with God. Loving God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves, we shall possess a freedom crowned with glory. 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 38

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” [1 Corinthians 2:9.] 17LtMs, Lt 130, 1902, par. 39