Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Lt 91, 1904

White, W. C.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

February 18, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 57; 1SM 79-82; MRmnt 105. +Note

My dear son Willie,—

We have been blessed with continuous rain so far this month. The rain has been steady, but gentle. Yesterday was a beautiful day, just like summer. The day before was very wet. Today the sun shines brightly. Yesterday I drove with Brother James to Dr. Burke’s place to see the black calf. I went more for the ride than for anything else, and yet I wanted to see the calf, to know if she were faring well after the long rain. But I could not get into the pasture, because so much rain has fallen. Brother James walked from the road to where the calf is. He says that the cow must be brought home. She will need care for the next two months, and then we shall have two cows to milk, besides the old black cow that we are now milking. 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 1

Your letter dated February 12 was placed in my hand at dinner time yesterday, and I read it with much interest. May called in to see me yesterday, and we had quite a long conversation. She asked me if Dores could stay with them till your return, to conduct family worship. Of course I consented. She was much pleased. She is very much pleased, also, that Nora is teaching the children. This takes a heavy burden off her. We shall do all that we can to supply your place while you are away, and to keep May from feeling lonely. 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 2

May and the children are well. We feel very thankful to the Lord that none of us are sick. We praise Him for His goodness and mercy. As I write I have a deep sense of gratitude for the loving watchcare of our Saviour over us all. As I read the Word of God and kneel in prayer, I am so impressed with the goodness and mercy of God that I cannot offer my petition without weeping. My heart is subdued and broken as I think of my heavenly Father’s goodness and love. I hunger and thirst for more and still more of Jesus in this life. Christ was crucified for me, and shall I complain if I am crucified with Christ? 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 3

I never felt a more earnest longing for righteousness than at the present time. In the waking hours of the night my prayer is, “Lord, teach Thy people how to seek and save the lost sheep.” 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 4

We know not what is before us, and our only safety is in walking with Christ, our hand in His, our hearts filled with perfect trust. Has He not said, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me, and He shall make peace with Me”? [Isaiah 27:5.] Let us keep close to the Saviour. Let us walk humbly with Him, filled with His meekness. Let self be hid with Him in God. 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 5

I had hoped to receive some word from San Diego before this time, but nothing comes. All we can do is to trust in God, leaving every matter in His hands. 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 6

I have written much today. My heart is drawn out in prayer to the great Physician. I am asking Him to let His healing power rest on my eyes and to give me clearness of comprehension. I cast myself, with all my infirmities, on the One who has given to all who are weary and heavy laden the invitation, “Come unto Me, ... and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me: for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] All who respond to this invitation will find rest in Christ. 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 7

Those who cherish and flatter self, fostering pride and vanity, giving to dress and appearance the time and attention that ought to be given to the Master’s work, are incurring a fearful loss. Many who are clothed in beautiful outward garments know nothing of the inward adorning that is in the sight of God of great price. Their fine clothing covers a heart that is sinful and diseased, full of vanity and pride. They know not what it means to “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” [Colossians 3:1.] 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 8

I long to be filled day by day with the Spirit of Christ. The treasure of His grace is of more value to me than gold or silver or costly array. When my sisters catch a glimpse of what Christ has suffered in their behalf, that they might become children of God by adoption, they will no longer be satisfied with worldly pride and self-love. No longer will they worship self. God will be the object of their supreme regard. 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 9

My heart aches as I am shown how many there are who make self their idol. Christ has paid the redemption price for them. To Him belongs the service of all their powers. But their hearts are filled with self-love and the desire for self-adorning. They give no thought to the words, “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Mark 8:34.] Self-gratification is hiding Christ from their view. They have no desire to walk before God in meekness and lowliness. They are not looking to Jesus. They are not praying that they may be changed into His likeness. Their cases are represented by the man who came to the king’s banquet clothed in his common citizen-dress. He had refused to make the preparation required by the king. The garment provided for him at great cost he disdained to wear. To the king’s demand, “How camest thou in thither not having on a wedding garment?” he could answer nothing. [Matthew 22:12.] He was speechless; for he was self-condemned. 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 10

Many who profess to be Christians are such only in name. They are not converted. They keep self prominent. They do not sit at the feet of Jesus, as Mary did, to learn of Him. They are not ready for Christ’s coming. 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 11

In the night season I was in a company of people whose hearts were filled with vanity and conceit. Christ was hid from their eyes. Suddenly, in loud, clear accents, the words were heard, “Jesus is coming to take to Himself those who on this earth have loved and served Him, to be with Him in His kingdom forever.” Many of those in the company went forth in their costly apparel to meet Him. They kept looking at their dress. But when they saw His glory, and realized that their estimation of one another had been so largely measured by outward appearance, they knew that they were without the robe of Christ’s righteousness, and that the blood of souls was on their garments. 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 12

When Christ took His chosen ones, they were left; for they were not ready. In their lives self had been given the first place, and when the Saviour came, they were not prepared to meet Him. 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 13

I awoke with the picture of their agonized countenances stamped on my mind. I cannot efface the impression. I wish I could describe the scene as it was presented to me. Oh, how sad was the disappointment of those who had not learned by experience the meaning of the words, “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” [Colossians 3:3.] 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 14

There are many professing Christians who know not Christ by an experimental knowledge. O how my heart aches for these poor, deceived, unprepared souls. As I stand before congregations, and see the self-sufficient, self-righteous ones, and know that they are not preparing themselves to do acceptable work for Christ, and to meet Him in peace, I am so burdened that I cannot sleep. I ask myself, What can I say to these souls that will arouse them to a sense of their true condition? Self is the all-absorbing theme of their life. I long to reveal Christ so plainly that they will behold Him and cease to center their attention on self. 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 15

Those who are connected with our institutions need the sanctifying grace of Christ. This they must have in order to reveal His meekness and lowliness. He is the example of what God expects all Christians to be. 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 16

Among those to whom bitter disappointment will come at the day of final reckoning will be some who have been outwardly religious and who apparently have lived Christian lives. But self is woven into all they do. They pride themselves on their morality, their influence, their ability to stand in a higher position than others, [and] their knowledge of the truth, for they think that these will win for them the commendation of Christ. “Lord,” they plead, “we have eaten and drunk in Thy presence, and Thou hast taught in our streets.” [Luke 13:26.] “Have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?” [Matthew 7:22.] 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 17

But Christ says, “I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me.” [Luke 13:27.] “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 7:21.] 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 18

There is no discussion; the time for that is past. The irrevocable sentence has been pronounced. They are shut out from heaven by their own unfitness for its companionship. 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 19

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built a house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” [Verses 24-27.] 19LtMs, Lt 91, 1904, par. 20