Lt 56, 1884


Lt 56, 1884

White, W. C.; White, Mary

Syracuse, New York

August 24, 1884

Previously unpublished.

Dear Willie and Mary:

Yesterday was a trying day for me. I was in the morning meeting and felt urged by the Spirit of the Lord to present before them the true state of indolence and indifference of the laymen [in] looking to and leaving the work to be done by the ministers, when every one of them that had reasoning powers when they became servants of Jesus Christ pledged themselves as men and women to labor in His service for wages, the gift of eternal life. Yet there were but very few who felt under any obligation to use their ability, their tact, their inventive powers, all their capacity in the interest of their Employer. They devoted all their powers to serving their own selfish interest, and if they did even care for their own souls, they neglected the souls around them, the property of the Master. This was their work, to labor in His vineyard, but their powers were reserved for themselves to glorify themselves, to devote to their different enterprises, and the very work they were hired to do they left undone. The Lord had not given them a different set of faculties than their ministering brethren, but their ministering brethren put them to work in the interest of the One who employed them, while the larger number neglect the appointed work given them by their Master and devoted all their time and powers to serving themselves. Lt56-1884.1

The worldly, temporal interest was made first; the Master’s work came secondary or lastly and was in almost every case neglected and negligently done. This is the reason that the churches all through the land are in a neglected or languishing condition, like a neglected field left to haphazard, scarcely any time spent in its cultivation. Lt56-1884.2

I presented before them that the most terrible, fatal delusion was upon souls, that Satan had so blinded their understanding that they could not sense the claims of God upon them and neglected to use their powers in His service, robbing thier own souls of a genuine experience of the things of God and robbing the world of the light of a precious experience which should shine, through them that would constitute them the light of the world. Lt56-1884.3

I told them their ideas were all perverted. The things which should be the highest, the first, and that demanded the strength of thought, tact, wisdom, perseverance, diligence, earnest, and untiring effort, were almost wholly neglected for self-serving, self-pleasing. If they devoted a small remnant of their time to forethought, to study, to advance the cause of their Master, they thought the Lord was under obligation to them. Everything they had regarded in a perverted light, and when they came to their senses, they would see that they were symbolized [in a parable]. The man that Jesus addressed, “Son, go labor today in My vineyard,” said, “Yea, Lord,” but did not go. While the one who refused, repented, and went afterward. Which did the will of the Master, he who assented to the call but would not work, or he who refused and then afterward did repent and did work in the vineyard? [Matthew 21:28-31.] Lt56-1884.4

Now God wants workers and not those who claim to be obedient but do nothing to improve or exercise their ability in the very work they are bidden to do. These things are not urged home upon the people. The burden is borne too much by the ministers, and the laymen [are] left to employ all their powers in temporal, worldly things. Lt56-1884.5

Well, I tried to urge these things upon the people and they felt it. All day Sabbath we had a large congregation, as many outsiders as our own people. In the afternoon I spoke to 1,000 people, and all listened with deepest interest. There was deep feeling in the congregation as I dwelt upon the days of Noah and our time. I called them forward. The tent was crowded, every seat filled and the tent packed. I hesitated to make the move, but Oh, I am glad I did. After a little while there was a decided move and one hundred and fifty responded in that large congregation. I stood two hours upon my feet, talking all the time. We then had a praying season and divided up into divisions in the tents while those who came forward remained in the large tent. They say the meetings in all the tents were excellent; especially was the meeting a success with those who came forward. They report deep feeling, and nearly all talked. The melting spirit of God was there and the testimony of all was, “This has been a precious, blessed Sabbath day to our souls.” Lt56-1884.6

Now this morning there is a meeting to raise means. I do not go out in the meeting. Money matters are not my work. After Brother [S. N.] Haskell left, I was obliged to take the heaviest part of the work and carry it. I do not see in both these camp meetings that the proper things would have been presented before them had I not come. God has given me a message for the people. There is all the chance before me to use myself up for there are but few who give the trumpet a certain sound. Lt56-1884.7

We, Elder [Uriah] Smith, his wife, Sister McOmber, and myself start Monday evening for Worcester. Emma [White] goes with Lucinda [Hall] and Mary Abbey to Brother Abbey’s to visit and see if engaging lightly in picking hops will not benefit her. Bro. and Sister Abbey and Eleanor are here at the meeting. Lt56-1884.8

Yesterday, in the morning, during the morning meeting, Lawyer Aims drove up in a carriage and urged me to come to his [home] to see his wife’s sister who was very sick. She came to the meeting but was unable to attend. I felt reluctant to go, but as the request came from an unbeliever, I told him I would go. I called upon Elder Smith to go with me. We had a very pleasant ride, and we found one of our sisters in affliction with nervous prostration or slow paralysis. We comforted her, prayed with her and she was blessed; and then we were brought back in style again to the camp. This lawyer, Aims, is a noble man among men, kind, sympathetic, benevolent. Oh, if such would give their talent to God, to plead the higher law, how glad should I be. I stopped here to go into [the] morning meeting and talk to them in regard to their obligation to sustain the cause of God. I think they will raise the ten thousand. Lt56-1884.9

I am getting hungry. I ate nothing since yesterday noon, and after my constant hard labor, I am wanting my breakfast. Today is another hard day for me. May the Lord help me. He is my strength. Lt56-1884.10