Lt 131, 1899


Lt 131, 1899

White, J. E.


September 12, 1899

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Son Edson:

I have some things to say to you. Be careful in your book making. You are in danger of making large calculations, as you have done many times, which will involve you in difficulties. Concentrate your mind on the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not undertake to make books without studying to see how you can do this without involving yourself in debt, thus burdening your books before they are printed. Move slowly. Do not try to change the present edition of The Coming King. It will be a selling book. After you read the light recently given me, you will see that you, as well as I, and all who handle the books, will have to be converted. We are living in the most critical period of this earth’s history; and the Lord requires you to move guardedly. There are those whom you can take into your confidence as counsellors. Lt131-1899.1

The idolatry of picture making is coming to a dangerous pass. Those who ought to have experience in these matters are being led to consent to the expenditure of means by the false representation that the money thus expended will be brought back again in the greater number of books that will be sold, because of the illustrations. If this picture making craze shall go on as it is now doing, the Lord will make manifest His displeasure; for the means thus invested should be used in sending the truth into new territories. But I have dwelt on this point largely elsewhere. Lt131-1899.2

I shall get out the parables without such a large number of illustrations. Whatever others may say will not move me. Mount of Blessing was kept out of the field for a long time on account of the illustrations. All I could say would not work a change although I was deeply impressed in regard to the matter. Now that I have light, I shall certainly act upon it. I will not invest so much money in illustrations that my books cannot be bought by those who need them and would appreciate them. Lt131-1899.3

We must never get above the simplicity of the work. We must walk humbly with God. Ministers should feel free to carry books with them, to dispose of wherever they may go. Much of this work was done in the early history of the cause of God. Ministers acted as canvassers and colporteurs. They took books with them and sold them, using the means obtained to help in the advancement of the work in places where help was needed in building churches. These can speak intelligently regarding this method of work, for they have appreciated the light given. Lt131-1899.4

Wherever a minister goes, he can leave a book in the family with whom he stays, either selling it or giving it to them. The Holy Spirit will attend every worker, for God’s work is to go into all the world, vindicating the claims of Jesus Christ, and writing His name on hearts. The Holy Spirit’s work is to control the human agent through his capacities and powers, throwing light into the understanding, and leaving a keen, clear-cut testimony against sin. Lt131-1899.5

On this point I will bear testimony in the name of the Lord. The instruments the Lord employs may be humble men, who have not been ordained to the ministry. They may be regarded by some as inefficient; but if they can pray, if in simplicity they can talk the truth because they love it, they may advance the truth through the power of the Holy Spirit. As he presents the truth in simplicity, reading from the Word, or recalling incidents of experience, the Holy Spirit makes an impression on mind and character. The will becomes subordinate to the will of God; the truth heretofore not understood comes to the heart with living conviction, and becomes a spiritual reality. Lt131-1899.6

Edson, I pray for you, that the Lord may lead you, that I shall not be made very sorry by your involving yourself in debt any longer. The Lord has been dishonored by the hasty movements which have involved you in debt, and drawn funds from me to cancel these debts. Thus I have invested thousands of dollars over and over again. Edson, before you build your tower, stand some time in counsel with God and your brethren. I am now trying to wipe out that debt at the Review and Herald Office, and therefore cannot make the advance moves that I ought to be making in new places. Lt131-1899.7

Build no towers without sitting down and counting the cost, to see whether you will be able to finish. If you have any outstanding debts, such as that of Mrs. [Sarah] Ross, if there are any of whom you have borrowed money, pay back every farthing before you engage in other investments. I write you this because the name of the Lord is dishonored, and your influence injured. When you take a straightforward course in these things, you will have done that which the Lord requires of you. Owe no man anything. Lt131-1899.8

Let The Coming King remain as it is. The Lord can work in your behalf if you will walk humble with Him. Do not think I do not understand the difficulties through which you have been passing. But notwithstanding these difficulties, you must bear in mind that in the past your course has not been a financial success. I am dealing with these cases more or less all the time, and therefore I feel that I must warn you to keep out of debt. Settle every debt you have, for it is your duty to do this. Do not borrow. Borrowing makes it hard for you. When you obtain the victory over this vexing point, you will remove one great temptation from the minds of your brethren. You have given them occasion to doubt you and distrust you, to think that you are unreliable. Do not be a stumbling block to any one. Lt131-1899.9

Let The Coming King remain as it is. Do not take time and money to change the book. I greatly wish that you could be with us for a time, that Willie and myself could help you in your book making. But I have no more to say on the point of your coming to Australia. Concentrate your mind on the work. Decide what you want, and then do not keep changing your mind, for this changing makes great perplexity. Make no changes unless it is a positive necessity. These matters have been presented to me. You cause sorrow and perplexity in many ways to others, and the sure result is that they cause you sorrow, because they do not show you warmth of affection and confidence. They are afraid you are going to make them trouble. Lt131-1899.10