Lt 29, 1886

Lt 29, 1886

Hanson, Brother and Sister

Basel, Switzerland

February 7, 1886

Portions of this letter are published in EGWE 153.

Dear Brother and Sister Hanson:

I have not lost my interest in you, but my heart is still burdened on your account. I hoped to have written to you three weeks ago, but through our labor in Italy, and much labor in speaking and writing which came upon me here, I could not endure the burden. Congestion of the brain and eyes compelled me to lay aside the pen. Last Wednesday I was taken with a chill lasting two hours. I had a very sick day and have not been able to sit up but little since. It seems a very strange thing to have to give up and lie in bed, but this morning I came near fainting away. I am propped up in bed with pillows, trying to write a few lines to you. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 1

Soon after we returned from Norway, a German who was attending the theological college here in Basel took his stand upon the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. He had many inducements presented by an uncle and his parents to continue to study and obtain an education. The professor told him he could keep the Sabbath and still continue his studies. They introduced him to ministers who argued with him, but they brought only customs, practices of men, and the testimonies of the fathers. Like Luther, he told them if the fathers found their evidences in the Scriptures, he also had reasoning powers and could find evidences there. They either did or did not obtain their light from the Bible. If they did, he could go to the same Bible, and if they did not, then it was only the judgment and doctrine of men and not that which he would want to risk his soul upon. He told them that his soul’s salvation was altogether of too great consequence to risk any uncertainty. As they could not prove that the first day was the Sabbath, he told them his feet must stand upon the platform he had chosen until a plain “Thus saith the Lord” should be shown as evidence that he was not right. He had many arguments with them and finally told them he must leave them. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 2

The Lord was at work upon the heart of this young man. No one went after him, but he came to solicit conversation with the young men at work in the office, presenting everything before them which appeared to be objectionable. He told the professor that if this were truth, he had a work to do, not only to believe it, but to teach it to others. Well, he has come out free and strong. When leaving the school, he did not know what he should do. But in answer to that question, he said, “I am strong, and I will engage in manual labor. I am not afraid to work.” Brother Whitney then suggested that he come to the office and work on the German paper. He was much surprised at this offer, but glad to have some part in the work. He came here and is just the help they needed. He understands the printers’ trade, as they afterward learned. This is the Lord’s work; and as every soul is precious, we feel to greatly rejoice. Others in this theological college are interested and inquiring in regard to the truth. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 3

Yesterday our hearts were made glad to know that a businessman living in Basel, but employed in a bookbinding establishment about thirty miles from here, came to our meeting and kept his first Sabbath. This help is also needed very much in the office. He is an intelligent man and will have an influence over others. As yet no public labor has been put forth for the Germans in Basel. But the Lord is at work upon hearts. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 4

We have letters from Italy, not the part that I visited, saying that by accident they had obtained an old, worn French Signs and became interested in it. They noticed that it was issued at Basel and so sent on and wanted more papers. Other letters have been received from the same party, wishing the editor to thank Mrs. White for her articles which they said were of great value to them. We have also received letters from France. Several have embraced the truth there by reading the papers and have sent in several subscriptions for the paper—one letter from a young man who wanted the paper sent on for a time, saying that he would try to pay for it. He is an apprentice in a bank and does not receive wages. They sent him the paper, and he wrote again saying that he would like the paper continued, that his father and mother had been opposed to his reading it, but now they were interested in it themselves, and he desired that it should not be stopped. He asked if they would take a blank book (a register) for pay. He does not know how glad they are to let him have the Signs if he cannot pay a cent. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 5

Letters come from India and Russia, stating that a number are keeping the Sabbath there. One from Russia was signed by five persons who expressed their appreciation of the paper. So the good work is going on. Brother Conradi is here now, and he thinks of visiting Russia soon as there is a deep interest already awakened there through reading. I am glad Brother Conradi has come, for he is a successful worker among the Germans. After he shall spend a few months in Russia, he intends to return to Basel and labor in this place, the Lord willing. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 6

I hope you will be strengthened, settled, established in the faith. The work is bound to go forward and triumph whether we go forward with it or not. It will be victorious. The question is, Will we be victorious with it? I want that you should feel the need of a deep work of grace in your own hearts. Remember that Jesus has bought you with the sacrifice of His own life. “Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 7

That which you need, my brother and sister, is the converting grace of God upon your own hearts. You need the Spirit of Jesus. You both need to learn in the school of Christ meekness and lowliness of heart. You do not feel your need of deep inward piety, and here is where you are being self-deceived. I feel that you are delaying the decisions you ought to make for your own good and for the good of others. God shows no special favoritism to elevate one above another. He requires the whole heart, the entire affection. God expects and enjoins upon every man to do his duty, not to profess a knowledge of Jesus Christ and the truth and have no fruit appear. Small or great, learned or unlearned, rich or poor, it is just the same requirement. Every one is called to act just according to the ability God has given him. He must render his service, or there will be guilt on his conscience and peril to his soul. No one can afford to lose heaven. Remember the words of Christ to all of His disciples, “Ye are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14.] God depends on those who know the way to show it to others. God has entrusted to men the treasures of His truth. The inward grace will be revealed in the outward action. It is faith and trust and confidence we want in God. It is not the eloquent speech, the intellectual acquirements that make the influence far-reaching. We need that spirit that will show to others that we have been learning in the school of Christ and that we copy the Pattern given us. We want a heart not lifted up into vanity; and mind not centered on self, but drawn out to bless others. God notices these humble works, and they outweigh every other consideration. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 8

Home piety, sweet, satisfied contentment you both need. No faultfinding, no grumbling, no pettishness, no harshness, no scolding, no severity. Let kindness and love be the rule of your household. Are you truly converted? The truly converted soul is illuminated from on high, and Christ is in that soul a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Whoever refuses to shine dishonors Jesus. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 9

The truth as it is in Jesus does much for the receiver, and not only for him, but for all who are brought within the sphere of his influence. His motives, his words, his actions will be misrepresented and falsified; but he keeps straight on, for he has a hell to lose and a heaven to gain. He is not looking and considering his present convenience, he is not ambitious for display, he does not crave the praise of men, but he keeps straight on, his eye fixed upon Jesus. His hope is in heaven. He will do right because it is right, and because it is such alone that will have an entrance into the kingdom of heaven. He is kind, humble, thoughtful of others’ happiness. He will never answer, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” [Genesis 4:9.] He loves his neighbor as himself. He is a true, bold soldier of the cross of Christ. He holds forth the Word of life. He gains an influence, and the prejudice against him dies away, and his piety is acknowledged. His Bible principles are respected. His manners are not harsh and dictatorial like the godless. He is reflecting light from heaven upon men. Thus it is with all those who are truly converted. They bear precious fruit, and in so doing walk as Christ walked, talk as He talked, work as He worked, and the truth as it is in Jesus makes its impression in his home, in his neighborhood, and in the church. He is building a character for eternity. While he is working out his own salvation with fear and trembling, he is carrying out before the world the valuable principles of truth, showing what the truth will do for the life and character of the genuine believer. He is unconsciously carrying forward a vast, sublime experiment in the presence of the world which is in its character and influence far-reaching, silently undermining the foundation of false religion and false science. Such a man you must be. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 10

I know your brethren will never say to you what I say, therefore I feel it necessary to speak the words I know no one else will speak to you. I do not want that you or your wife shall meet with so great loss as to lose the heavenly mansions. Heaven is worth everything to us. Eternal life is worth a lifelong, persevering, untiring effort. We are required to put forth an energy and zeal proportionate to the value of the object we are in pursuit of. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 11

I want you and your family to be Christians in every sense of the word and you show in your character charity and the sanctifying power of the truth upon your life. Then your works will stand the test of the judgment. For all our works will be tried by fire. But, my brother, your works are not of the right character now. Should the fire of the last day kindle upon them as they now are, they would prove unworthy—hay, wood, stubble. Do not think this severe. It is truth, I know what I am writing about. Self has been mixed and mingled with all your doings. Will you come up to the high standard? It will be like learning the first principles of what constitutes a Christian character. Christ said to the apostle Peter, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” [Luke 22:32.] This is the very work you must have done for you before you can do this work. You can, if you will, be a strong man in God. You have talents of ability that God has entrusted to your keeping to be sanctified to His service. But if not, all your ability will prove dangerous to others, leading them to walk apart from truth, apart from Christ. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 12

The church in Christiania needs very much done for them. God forbid that you should by precept or example bar the way to this essential work. Will you work with Jesus? Will you be true to the Lord who has bought you? Will you push into the background all matters of minor consideration or of imaginary importance? You want so much to be baptized into a larger faith, a larger charity or love. You want greater reverence for things of eternal importance. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 13

The church in Christiania must become more humble, have more fervent zeal for Christ, be more patient, more kind, more teachable, more Christlike in every respect, for they must by their character exhibit the sanctifying power of grace to the world. It is impossible for me to impress upon your mind too strongly the extent and power of an influence which flows from examples of individual piety and from the exhibition on a larger scale by the church of the sanctifying influence of the truth upon the character. It will be seen that the church who are professedly keeping all of God’s commandments are doers of the Word. Their principles are living, active principles. There is a much greater ingathering yet to be realized in Christiania if the church will come into a right position before God, each seeking to set his own heart and his own house in order. Talk less, and let true inward piety shine forth in good works. The church should find fault with none of its brethren or sisters. This is Satan’s work. But be kind, cultivate love, and gentleness. Pray more, read your Bibles more. Be diligent students in the school of Christ. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 14

March 14, 1886


I have been holding this letter, hoping to be able to write more; but since my health has improved, I have been so pressed with other writing, it has been impossible. I will not keep you waiting longer, but will send this now, and will write again. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 15

Hoping to hear from you soon, I am 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 16

Yours in the work. 4LtMs, Lt 29, 1886, par. 17