Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 139, 1902

White, J. E.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

September 9, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in 4MR 22.

Dear Son Edson,—

I have received your two last letters and will now answer as best I can. This is the last morning I shall have at home for perhaps a month. I have not been able to sleep past one o’clock, and I have risen to seek the Lord in prayer. I feel my helplessness, my dependence on the Lord, and I ask Him to teach me, to guide me, to strengthen me, that I may stand in my lot and in my place. We are living in a time when we must constantly seek help from the Lord, and we shall receive if we ask in faith, nothing doubting. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 1

After reading your letter, I can only say to you, Follow the convictions of the Spirit of God, in harmony with your brethren. Watch unto prayer, and then commit the keeping of your soul to God, as unto a faithful Creator. He will keep that which is committed to His trust. Look to Jesus. The enemy will seek to spoil your life, but trust in the Lord. Draw nigh to Him, and He will draw nigh to you. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 2

The Lord God of heaven is constantly at work for us. His angels are ministering spirits to all who will receive their guardianship. Human impulse will try to make us believe that it is God who is guiding us when we are following our own way. But if we watch carefully, and counsel with our brethren, we shall understand; for the promise is, “The meek will he guide in judgment; the meek will he teach his way.” [Psalm 25:9.] We must not allow human ideas and natural inclinations to gain the supremacy. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 3

I have considered that which you have written in regard to your boat’s being fitted up and used as a missionary agency to convey workers to places that otherwise they could not reach. I have been shown how when you first went to the Southern field you used this boat as your home and as a place on which to receive the people. The novelty of the idea excited curiosity, and many came to see and to hear. I know that through the agency of this boat, places have been reached where the light of truth had never shone—places represented to me as “the hedges.” [Luke 14:23.] It has been the means of sowing the seeds of truth in many hearts, and many souls have first seen the light of truth while on this boat. On it angel-feet have trodden. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 4

Yet I would have you consider the dangers as well as the advantages of this line of work. The greatest caution will need to be exercised by all who enter the Southern field. They are not to be ready to trust to unchristian feelings or prejudices. The truth is to be proclaimed. Christ is to be uplifted as the Saviour of mankind. But unless men of extreme caution, men who trust in the Lord, knowing that they will be kept by His power, are chosen as leaders and burden-bearers, the efforts of the workers will be in vain. The brethren are to consider all these things and then move forward in faith. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 5

One thing I urge upon you: the necessity of counseling with your brethren. There are those who will feel that anything you may have to do with boats is as a snare; but, my son, if there is a class of people in out-of-the-way places who can be reached only by means of boats, talk the matter over with your brethren. Pray earnestly in regard to it, and the Spirit of God will point out the way. I see no reason why a boat should not be utilized as a means of bringing to those in darkness the light of Him who is “the bright and morning Star.” [Revelation 22:16.] 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 6

As a people, we have been so often reproved for doing so little, that we should not hinder with discouragement any effort to extend the influence of the truth. Be careful that the enterprise you speak of does not cripple other lines of work. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 7

I should be very glad, Edson, to have you visit us; but the Lord understands. I do not want you to leave a work, in which you are needed, to come to my home. The service of Christ must always come before anything else. I accept your reasons for not coming. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 8

Walk humbly with God. The Lord will be nigh unto you in all things that you call upon Him for. The best way to succeed in all enterprises for the advancement of the truth is to go promptly and steadily forward, willingly making the sacrifices that God’s cause demands and trusting Him whose we are and whom we serve to supply our temporal needs. It is easy for Him who owns the world and who has at His command the resources of heaven to increase or diminish the possessions of human beings. He will see that those who serve and obey Him have all things needful. The Lord is not unmindful of the wholehearted service offered Him. No work done in faith will be in vain. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 9

God calls for earnest, persevering effort to press the battle to the gates. There is service to be done for the Master. Wherever there is work, there should be men and women on hand to say, “Here am I; send me.” [Isaiah 6:8.] Wherever there is work to be done, let God’s people take it up and do their best. If they leave untouched the work He gives them, they will lose the precious blessings that come to those who advance in spite of difficulties. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 10

There are many who sit contentedly under their own vine and fig tree, doing nothing for the Master. The Lord did not give light to His people to amuse them, to please them. Wherever there is true conversion, there is a reformation, a consecration to God. Every one who with genuine faith believes in Christ enters into His service. Our faith must now be a faith that is constantly increasing. God’s people are no longer to sit at their ease, waiting for an opening, when it is their duty to make an opening and then go to work. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 11

The Life-giver is constantly imparting His life to those who take it that they may impart it. Where there is constant receiving, there should be constant giving. The thoughts, the impressions, that we receive from God are to be shared with others. To impart increases the power to receive. Giving to others what we receive from God, “grace for grace”—this is the genuine enjoyment of spiritual life. [John 1:16.] None are to look upon the blessings they receive as their own, to be hoarded for self. These blessings are to be given back to God by being used to help some soul to the platform of eternal truth. All may learn, if they will, that the blessing of receiving is very closely related to the blessing of imparting. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 12

In God’s work there is need of constant self-sacrifice. Said the apostle Paul, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” [Philippians 3:8.] 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 13

Christ was engaged in public ministry for only three years and a half, but His whole life was a life of ministry. He sought to teach men and women the great truth that the law of service is the law of life. Taking upon Him our nature, He came to this earth, all seared and marred as it was by the curse, to be the example for all men. He was the Redeemer of mankind. Though He could not abide on this earth in bodily form, He would abide in the hearts of His followers. He would not leave them to meet unaided the opposition they would receive from the world. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 14

“Ye have heard how I said unto you,” He declared, “I go away, and come again unto you.” [John 14:28.] “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. ... I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. ... At that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him.” [Verses 14:19, 18, 20, 21.] 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 15

My son, has not God fulfilled His Word? Have you not recently had the assurance of His love? “Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] Though the heaven of heavens cannot contain God, His chosen temple is the heart of the humble and contrite. His blessed presence fills the soul with light and grace and strength. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 16

May the Lord bless and teach and guide you, is my prayer. 17LtMs, Lt 139, 1902, par. 17