Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Lt 71, 1904

Irwin, Brother and Sister [G. A.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

February 6, 1904

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Irwin,—

I am sorry that you were disappointed in not hearing from me. For weeks I have been able to do very little writing because of brain weariness. Then, too, in writing to so distant a field as Australia, I have to be very careful; for I find that the disposition to criticize words and statements is not dead. I must not write unless I know that what I write will not be misinterpreted, made to prove an injury rather than a blessing. I am unable to write as I might if some who receive my communications would not turn them to disadvantage. 19LtMs, Lt 71, 1904, par. 1

I have to save my strength to meet the perplexities that I must meet from day to day. Many important meetings are held at different places in this country, and those carrying on these meetings beg me to furnish them something to be read to the people assembled. 19LtMs, Lt 71, 1904, par. 2

Lately for some nights I have not been able to close my eyes in sleep until one o’clock. At last I reach the place where I am forced to stop work. My brain will not work. As soon as I begin to write, the blood rushes to my head. There have been days when I have scarcely dared to walk across the floor, for fear that I should fall headlong. I am just recovering from the results of a long period of overtaxation. The reaction from the heavy strain was so severe that I almost feared for my life. 19LtMs, Lt 71, 1904, par. 3

Be assured that I shall never lose my interest in the work in Australia. But if you could know the perplexities that come to me from day to day, you would not wonder that I do not always find time to write to you. I am trying constantly to help souls tempted and tried by the enemy. Then there are ministers, men of superior talents, who are going back to the doctrines that we supposed they had left behind and bringing them into their discourses. My soul is filled with an agony of distress for these persons. If we do not watch for souls as they that must give an account, Satan will surely obtain the victory. This we cannot afford to allow him to do. 19LtMs, Lt 71, 1904, par. 4

Thus it is. When a letter comes to me from such ones, I go over and over the matter with them in the night season, writing to them, pleading with them; for I know that Satan is playing the game of life for their souls. 19LtMs, Lt 71, 1904, par. 5

We must have on the whole armor; for the very ones who ought to stand as strong men reveal that they are as weak as children. Thinking that they must magnify their own opinions, they are becoming weaker and weaker; Satan is obtaining victories over them which place them where they cannot be regarded as reliable in emergencies. They are losing continually, when they might have the strength which God alone can give if they would learn of Christ to be meek and lowly. “My yoke is easy and My burden is light,” He declares. [Matthew 11:30.] When men surrender their wills to His will, they yoke up with Him and gain victory in every conflict. His yoke is easy. But the yoke that men manufacture for themselves are heavy and galling. 19LtMs, Lt 71, 1904, par. 6

I have to keep writing and praying. In the night season I plead: “O Lord, have compassion on me. Preserve my eyesight and give me clear spiritual discernment. Give me an unfaltering faith, which will never become confused or confounded.” 19LtMs, Lt 71, 1904, par. 7

The Lord is my strength and my consolation. In His strength I will go forward. He lives and reigns, and I will cling to His arm; for it never fails. 19LtMs, Lt 71, 1904, par. 8