Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)


Lt 123, 1904

White, J. E.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

March 29, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in 1MCP 103-104, 235, 318; 2MCP 466-467; HP 74, 164, 186, 231; MM 101-102; CTr 170; 8MR 334; 12MR 40. +Note

My dear son Edson,—

Your letter is received. I have just had a conversation with Elder J. A. Burden, who has recently returned from Australia, and I will not read your letter till the morning; for I am weary. Meanwhile, I assure you that I am united with you in desiring to see the work in the South moving forward rapidly. Be careful not to make any move that will retard this work. There is much to be done; but the Lord would not have you or me fret our lives away and lose our faith and courage, because this work does not move as fast as we think it ought to. The Lord will help us if we will keep the word of His patience. I sometimes ask myself whether it can be my duty to go on writing the same things over and over again, just because our people will not heed what is already written. I do not wish to overtax myself and unbalance my mind by trying to perform impossibilities. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 1

Let us encourage our hearts in hope. Let us pray much and quietly wait for the Lord to do His work. Let us do what we can in simplicity and with the grace of Christ, not exercising our powers in things too high for us. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 2

April 1

Sara went to Oakland this morning to spend a few days with her sisters. Early this morning Walter Harper called, requesting an interview with me. I was obliged to refuse; for I had had an ill turn, and I felt that I must give my brain rest. Later in the day Willie told me that he was going to drive to St. Helena to hire some money from the bank to send to San Diego, and I said that I would drive down with him. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 3

I think I have told you before about the sanitarium property about five miles out of San Diego, which we are trying to secure. We feel sure that sanitarium work ought to be established in this part of Southern California. For some time bath-room work was carried on in a small building in San Diego, which was once used as a saloon. A very good work was done, but the building was too small and the facilities too few for the work to be done that ought to be done. The sanitarium property that we are thinking of purchasing consists of a building of fifty rooms and twenty acres of land. The building was erected for sanitarium purposes, but has not been in use for several years. About two years ago it was offered to us for twelve thousand dollars; a year ago it was offered for eight thousand; and now Sister Gotzian and I are arranging to purchase it for five thousand dollars. We shall hold it ourselves only until we can arrange to place it in the hands of our brethren. We are also trying to secure an option on some property just across the road from the sanitarium. We think that when sanitarium work is established, this property can be divided up and sold at profitable prices. Thus we could obtain means for the furnishing of the sanitarium. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 4

We shall move very quietly and very surely, and we shall be certain that the business arrangements made are such as will stand. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 5

While we were driving to St. Helena, we met Brother Harper, and we asked him to ride with us. He showed me a check for one hundred and twenty-five dollars, which he said he was going to send you on the sale of your books. Some time ago Brother Harper sent me ten dollars for the work. The other day I received ten dollars from a sister and one dollar from another sister. This makes twenty-one dollars. This money we have sent to you. I intend that all money coming into my hands in this way shall go to the Southern field; for I regard it as the most needy. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 6

Resting in God’s Promises

Let us have a revival of our faith. My son, let us, you and me, set an example of doing our best to clear the King’s highway; and after we have done this, let us place everything in the hands of God, saying, “Lord, I have done my part. I believe Thy promises. Wilt Thou not now give evidence of Thy working?” He will hear and answer. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 7

Blessed Jesus! It is Thou who hast unlocked to Thy people the gates of prayer. Without Thy wonderful humiliation, Thy wonderful sacrifice, they would have remained forever closed. There is indeed enough in the Word of God to encourage us, to strengthen us to believe and hold fast to the arm of God’s power. It was the Saviour’s atoning sacrifice that set ajar for us the gates of hope. He invites all who are weary and heavy laden, and this means you and me, to come to Him and find rest. “Take My yoke upon you,” He says, “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 11:29, 30.] 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 8

Christ’s sacrifice has opened for us the heaven He desires us to reach, and His patience, forbearance, and grace keep it open. The comforting assurance is still for us, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Verse 30.] 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 9

I greatly fear that we are in danger, by worrying, of manufacturing yokes for our necks. Let us not worry; for thus we make the yoke severe and the burden heavy. Let us do all we can without worrying, trusting in Christ. Study His words, “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” [Matthew 21:22.] These words are the pledge that all that an omnipotent Saviour can bestow will be given to those who trust in Him. As stewards of the grace of heaven, we are to ask in faith, and then wait trustingly for the salvation of God. We are not to step in before Him, trying in our own strength to bring about that which we desire. In His name we are to ask, and then we are to act as if we believed in His efficiency. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 10

I am confident that we lose many precious blessings by failing to bring our needs and cares and sorrows to our Saviour. He is the wonderful Counsellor. He looks upon His church with intense interest and with a heart full of tender sympathy. He enters into the depth of our necessities. But our ways are not always His ways. He sees the result of every action, and He asks us to trust patiently in His wisdom, not in the supposedly wise plans of our own making. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 11

Do not cease to pray. If the answer tarry, wait for it. Lay all your plans at the feet of the Redeemer. Let your importunate prayers ascend to God. If it be for His name’s glory, the soothing words will be spoken, “Be it unto thee according to thy word.” [See Exodus 8:10.] 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 12

Faith and Courage

We can never weary Christ by earnest supplication. We do not depend on God as we should. Let us leave unsaid every word of complaint. Talk faith and courage, while waiting for God. Praise the Lord, my children, praise the Lord. Be afraid to doubt, lest this become a habit that will destroy faith. The dealing of the heavenly Father may seem dark and mysterious and unexplainable; nevertheless we are to trust in Him. I am determined, with the help of God, to look on the bright side. I am determined to let my light shine forth in cheerful, encouraging words. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 13

Let God see in you, my son, a meek and quiet spirit. Do what you can in the grace and spirit of Christ, and stop when another spirit comes in. Speak gently. Speak words of kindness, words of uplifting; for this is the fruit borne upon the Christian tree. Overcome all harshness. Rash speeches do much harm to the souls of those who utter them and to the souls of those who hear. Eternity alone will reveal how greatly those who made these speeches needed to humble their hearts and make confession to God. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 14

The New Commandment

Just before Christ left His disciples, to enter upon His great conflict with the powers of darkness, He said to them, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [John 13:34, 35.] 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 15

Have our church members learned the science of this love? Do they love one another as Christ has loved them? I tell you that there are very many who would be found wanting on the point of Christian love, were they weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. We need now to guard the spiritual soundness of our faith in Christ and treat the soul most carefully, lest we catch the coldness of worldly influences. God bids His people watch and pray always, lest they enter into temptation, breaking away from the heavenly current of life. Those who live in accordance with the ways of the world, speaking the words and following the customs of the worldling, cannot possibly observe the laws of heavenly origin. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 16

There is spiritual life for every church member. We all need to apply the Word of God most earnestly to ourselves. We need to live in a higher, purer atmosphere. If we have the faith that works by love and purifies the soul, we shall be partakers of the divine nature. Then we shall have spirit and life and health. When the Word of God is brought into the daily life, there will be spiritual soundness. The powers of the soul will be exercised unto righteousness and godliness. Christ will dwell in our hearts, and the presence of His Spirit will be revealed by a healthy spiritual growth. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 17

Deceptive Theories

How untiringly God has kept guard over His church. Shall we not act our part, that He may give us the grace that will enable us to attain to perfection of Christian character? Do not allow yourself to be led to think that you will live in heaven while in this fallen world. Those who think this keep their minds on the strain for some wonderful experience that will waft their souls into a refined, spiritual atmosphere. But this is not the true science of Christian experience. When they suppose they have reached spiritual heights of refinement, Satan, in the garb of an angel of light, presents to them indulgences in which he makes it appear there is no sin. I would warn you against these apparently refined doctrines which say that sin is not sin and teach the possibility of living a spiritualistic life above the grossness of sin. I write this because there are minds entering into temptation in regard to this refined science of spiritualistic attainments. You will meet this science, and you will hardly know how to handle it. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 18

We have reached the perils of the last days, when some, yes, many, shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Be cautious in regard to what you read and how you hear. Take not a particle of interest in spiritualistic theories. Satan is waiting to steal a march upon every one who allows himself to be deceived by his hypnotism. He begins to exert his power over them just as soon as they begin to investigate his theories. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 19

In the book Living Temple, there were threads drawn into the pattern that are the subtlety of the serpent’s charm. I could bear a more decided testimony, but I do not wish unbelievers to know all that I know to be true in regard to the book. I supposed, after I had spoken so plainly in my testimonies, that every copy would be withdrawn. When I learned that many copies were still being circulated, I said: “Dr. Kellogg is still in the grasp of Satan’s specious snare. He is blind to the working of the enemy. He has linked his arm in the arm of Satan, and the enemy’s sentiments have come to look spiritually beautiful to him and have been reproduced by him. The weak and the spiritually ignorant are led blindfold into bye- and forbidden paths by smooth, beautiful, deceptive spiritualistic ideas. ... 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 20

I wish to warn you plainly, my son, against the deceptive charm of the serpent. Keep entirely free from all spiritualistic presentations; for they mean a departure from right. We are to keep the truth in righteousness. Never are we to step over the line that God has made on to Satan’s ground. He will fascinate the senses of those who do this, leading them to choose evil in the place of good. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 21

Living for Christ

One thing we must not forget; that in order for our character building to be pleasing to God, we must constantly advance in spirituality. We must regard as worthless anything that lessens faith and confidence in our Redeemer. The more light there is shining into our souls, the greater the demand upon us to reflect that light to others. God desires you to let your light shine forth to the world. He will be glorified in our individual reflection of His character. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 22

I greatly desire that you shall have an ambition to live a life that will make others better—a life which will show that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. I greatly desire that you shall be able to say with the apostle Paul, “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” [Galatians 2:20.] In perfect content, resting in the love of Christ, trusting the Redeemer and Life-giver to work out for you the salvation of your soul, you will know, as you draw nearer and still nearer to Him, what it means to endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. God desires us to rest content in His love. The contentment that Christ bestows is a gift worth infinitely more than gold and silver and precious stones. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 23

Love the right because it is right, and analyze your feelings, your impressions, in the light of the Word of God. Misdirected ambition will lead you into sorrow as surely as you yield to it. I am trying to catch the very words and expressions that were made in reference to this matter, and as my pen hesitates a moment, the appropriate words come to my mind. I want you to understand me. Cherish an ambition that will bring glory to God because it is sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Let the holy oil, which comes from the two olive branches, burn with a holy radiance upon the altar of your soul. The work of these olive branches represents the richest impartation of the Holy Spirit. Zechariah says: 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 24

“Then answered I and said unto Him, What are these two olive trees, upon the right side of the candlestick, and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto Him, What be these two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And He answered me, and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my Lord. Then said He, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” [Zechariah 4:11-14.] 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 25

“Then I turned,” the prophet continues, “and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold, a flying roll. And He said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. Then said He unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth; for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it. I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by My name; and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and it shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.” [Zechariah 5:1-4.] Every evil worker will receive at God’s hand according to his works. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 26

I want your ambition to be a sanctified ambition, so that angels of God can inspire your heart with holy zeal, leading you to move forward steadily and solidly and making you a bright and shining light. Your perceptive faculties will increase in power and soundness if your whole being, body, soul, and spirit is consecrated to the accomplishment of a holy work. Make every effort, in and through the grace of Christ, to attain to the high standard set before you. You can be perfect in your sphere as God is perfect in His sphere. Has not Christ declared, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect”? [Matthew 5:48.] 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 27

You are not to regard yourself as merely a passive recipient of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has entrusted to you precious talents, and He requires the improvement of these talents. Interest from the principal lent is His due. You are to be a worker together with Him. Submitting your will to His will, you will improve in speech and in spiritual conceptions. You will be enabled to give the people, through your prayerful efforts, that which God has given you. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 28

You are carefully to guard the powers of the mind. Your thoughts are to be kept under the control of the Holy Spirit. You are never to forget the words, “We are laborers together with God. Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] It is your work to advance toward perfection, making constant improvement, until at last you are pronounced worthy to receive immortal life. And even then the work of progression will not cease, but will continue throughout eternity. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 29

Danger from Overwork

There are before you grand possibilities. But your ambition and ardor must be bound up with the will of Christ; then they will not be intemperately exercised. You will realize that you are the Lord’s purchased possession and that you are not to injure His property. You will use the powers of mind and body wisely in such a way that will enable you to do a work that will endure through all eternity. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 30

Never forget that you are not your own, that you have been bought with a price, and that you are, therefore, to glorify God in all that you say and do. You dishonor your Creator when you allow the powers He has entrusted to you to be overtaxed. You may have much enthusiasm. You may have a strong desire to see the work advancing; but because of this you are not to treat yourself as you have done. Seek wisdom from God. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and it shall be given him.” [James 1:5.] Your work is to gain perfection of character by receiving and imparting the grace of Christ. But with many other laborers, you have overdrawn your bank account of strength. Then you are obliged to pay the penalty in a wearied brain and feeble nerve power. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 31

But how easy it is, when you know that God is lifting with you, to perform your work with peace and joy, with His grace in your heart. How easily the work is done when you realize that Christ is by your side. How uplifting and strengthening the influence of His Spirit! Every line of the work seems to move in harmony. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 32

Allow me, for you are my son, to speak plainly. You have longed for greater opportunities to do the great work God has given you. You have felt unreconciled to be hedged in by lack of means and facilities. Keep your energies carefully trained, prepared for the doing of the work you long to do. Listen to the counsel of God. Do your best, calmly, and under the control of the grace of Christ. You have felt keenly desirous of seeing many lines of work established in the South; for you have felt that this would be an honor to God. But your trials are many and hard to bear. It is difficult for you to control your feelings when you see an unwillingness on the part of some to do the work that ought to be done. Again and again you resolve not to be easily provoked, not to fret over imaginary vexations. But trials come in the form of severe disappointments. In the effort to reach your expectations, you strain every nerve and muscle to improve the opportunities that come. You are grieved because there are those who do not do their part; and under the influence of the strain that you have placed upon yourself, you lose your self-control and speak unadvisedly. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 33

Thus you lessen your influence for good. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 34

You must hold firmly to the One who has all power in heaven and in earth; and although you often fail to reveal patience and calmness, you are by no means to give up the struggle. You are to resolve again, this time more firmly, to be an example of Christian patience under every provocation. And you are never to take your eyes off your divine Example. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 35

Faithful in That Which is Least

It is by faithfulness in the little things that we become trustworthy sentinels. Guard carefully against the little irritations, not allowing them to harass your soul, and you will gain many victories. And when greater troubles come, you will be prepared to resist the enemy manfully and nobly. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 36

I often think of the case of Naaman. He wished a great blessing, even cleansing from leprosy. Hearing of the power of Elisha the prophet, he went to him, to know what he might do to be healed. And Elisha sent him the message, “Go wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come to thee again, and thou shalt be clean. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 37

“But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 38

“And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he said to thee, Wash, and be clean? 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 39

“Then went he down, and dipped himself in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh came again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” [2 Kings 5:10-14.] 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 40

Each soul inherits certain unchristlike traits of character. It is the grand and noble work of a lifetime to keep under control these tendencies to wrong. It is the little things that cross our path that are likely to cause us to lose our power of self-control. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 41

The Lord will honor those who in this life have been faithful in the little things. He declared, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” [Luke 16:10.] He will not be found wanting when the greater tests come to him. Those who honor God in the smaller duties of the daily life will develop into men and women of sound judgment. Whatever trial may come to them, they will stand firm for the right. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 42

God will understand you as you open your heart to Him. He knows what discipline each one needs. If you ask Him, He will surely give you power to resist evil. Your faith will be increased, and you will give evidence to others of the keeping power of God. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 43

Your strength and growth in grace come only from one source. If when you are tempted and tried you stand bravely for the right, victory is yours. You are one step nearer to perfection of Christian character. A holy light from heaven fills the chambers of your soul, and you are surrounded by a pure, fragrant atmosphere. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 44

We have a special work to do, and heaven desires that we shall perform this work in the fear and love of God, constantly growing in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. My son, I ask you not to labor imprudently. Give your brain periods of rest. I write this because I may never see you again, although I hope to; and if the Lord will, we shall see you not many weeks hence. But in case my life should not be spared till then, I write you this letter, that you may have my words to study and repeat to others. Stop overworking. In the end you gain nothing by it. You are mortal, and you must guard your strength. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 45

Right Thinking

The power of right thought is more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir. I know that if all our church members were right thinkers, we should be spared many church trials. We need to place a high value upon the right control of our thoughts; for such control prepares the mind and soul to labor harmoniously for the Master. It is necessary for our peace and happiness in this life that our thoughts center in Christ. As a man thinketh, so is he. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 46

Our improvement in moral purity depends on right thinking and right acting. “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. ... For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man.” [Matthew 15:11, 19, 20.] 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 47

Evil thoughts destroy the soul. The converting power of God changes the heart, refining and purifying the thoughts. Unless a determined effort is made to keep the thoughts centered on Christ, grace cannot reveal itself in the life. The mind must engage in the spiritual warfare. Every thought must be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. All the habits must be brought under God’s control. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 48

We need a constant sense of the ennobling power of pure thoughts and the damaging influence of evil thoughts. Let us place our thoughts upon holy things. Let them be pure and true; for the only security for any soul is right thinking. We are to use every means that God has placed within our reach for the government and cultivation of our thoughts. We are to bring our minds into harmony with His mind. His truth will sanctify us, body and soul and spirit, and we shall be enabled to rise above temptation. The words that we speak will be wise words. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 49

April 3

I began this letter several days ago, but was called away to something else and finished it on Sabbath. I hope to see you ere long, and I ask you not to enter into any new enterprise without the counsel of your brethren. The men that you have chosen are not prepared for such work. I have no evidence that labor of this kind would give them the right experience. Work of this nature needs men who are sound in the truth, men who are not easily tempted. There is a picture before me that I cannot efface—a picture of the gospel wagon and the influence that was exerted by its work. Wait for a little while, and see what the Lord will do for us. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 50

This morning I read a letter just received from Dr. Paulson, and I rejoice to tell you that he is coming out all straight. I am so thankful. I hope that he will wholly recover himself from the snare of the enemy. I will send you a copy of what he has written. O what a wide swath Satan thought he could cut in our ranks through the sentiments contained in The Living Temple. Dr. Kellogg did not know what he was doing when he gave expression to those sentiments. For years he has brought so little of true Bible teaching into his life that he has been as a man blindfolded. It made me heartsick to think that men like Dr. Paulson and others should be led astray by these sentiments. But I know that the Lord will care for His own. 19LtMs, Lt 123, 1904, par. 51