Manuscript Releases, vol. 19 [Nos. 1360-1419]


MR No. 1390—Letter to a Discouraged James White; Work in Washington, Iowa

(Written from Washington, Iowa, July 2, 1874, to “My Dear Husband.”)

We are now in our Washington home. It looks pleasant here, as it always does, and it surely is attractive. I should love to live here if it were the will of the Lord, but we are only pilgrims and strangers and I do not think we can have any certain home in this world. So I am content to obey the call of God to go here or there. 19MR 185.1

I do wish we could get even five thousand for the place and then the interest on the money would be worth something to us. Washington property is low, but the place is building up slightly. There is a nice large brick college just erected—nearly completed—and there are very fine buildings that have been erected since we were here. Washington is, I think, a very pretty place, and I should think we might sell. 19MR 185.2

Our field is the world. God has honored you with the precious and important work of starting the publication of truth upon the Atlantic Coast. Twenty-six years later He has honored you again with the trust of the publication of the truth upon the Pacific Coast. Your way may not always seem clear to you, but God will lead you if you take on no extra anxiety. “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,” were the words of our Saviour just before He left the world for heaven, to plead in our behalf before His heavenly Father. 19MR 185.3

We are justified to walk by sight as long as we can, but when we can no longer see the way clearly, then we need to put our hand in our heavenly Father's and let Him lead. There are emergencies in the life of all in which we can neither follow sight nor trust to memory or experience. All we can do is simply to trust and wait. We shall honor God to trust Him because He is our heavenly Father. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15). There is no difficulty, no sorrow, no dark future, no impending trouble that cannot be met and conquered by the thought, “I know that my Redeemer liveth. My Father knoweth the way. He will lead me safely. I have put my hand in His; He will not suffer me to stumble or my feet to slide.” I want this perfect faith and perfect confidence and unwavering trust. 19MR 186.1

We go to Battle Creek today and we earnestly pray that God may go with us and His blessing abide upon us. 19MR 186.2

I have attended four camp meetings and have tried to do my utmost for the good of souls. I have had but little thought of self, but have worked in any spot I could to do good to others. I have not forgotten you upon the Pacific Coast. We have all prayed earnestly for you. We so long to see you elevated above the trials which have had such a depressing influence upon your life, to discourage and poison the happiness of your life. God has given you a good intellect—I might say a giant intellect. Satan does not mean that your life shall close in honor and victory. The cause of God cannot spare you without experiencing a great loss. 19MR 186.3

When you are free from dark and gloomy, discouraging feelings, no one can speak or write words that will sway so powerful an influence as yourself, and gladness, hope, and courage are put into all hearts. But when you feel depressed, and write and talk under the cloud, no shadow can be darker than the one you cast. In this matter Satan is striving for the mastery. You blame others for your state of mind. Just as long as you do this, just so long will enough arise to keep you in this state of turmoil and darkness. The course which others pursue will not excuse you from trusting in God and hoping and believing in His power to hold you up. 19MR 186.4

You must not accuse me of causing the trials of your life, because in this you deceive your own soul. It is your brooding over troubles, magnifying them, and making them real which has caused the sadness of your life. Am I to blame for this? 19MR 187.1

I must be free from the censures you have felt free to express to me. But if I have to bear them, I shall try to do it without retaliation. I never mean to make you sad. Your life is very precious to me and to the cause of God. And it is not so much that I am afflicted with your distrust and suspicions of me that troubles me, but that you let it afflict you. It wears upon your health, and I am unable to remove the cause because it does not exist in reality. 19MR 187.2

I am trying to seek strength and grace from God to serve Him irrespective of circumstances. He has given me great light for His people and I must be free to follow the leadings of the Spirit of God and go at His bidding, relying upon the light and sense of duty I feel, and leave you the same privilege. When we can work the best together we will do so. If God says it is for His glory we work apart occasionally, we will do that. But God is willing to show me my work and my duty and I shall look to Him in faith and trust Him fully to lead me. 19MR 187.3

I do not have a feeling of resentment in my heart against you; the Lord helping me I will not allow anything to come between you and me. I will not be depressed neither will I allow feelings of guilt and distress to destroy my usefulness when I know that I have tried to do my duty to the best of my knowledge in the fear of God. The help from God and special freedom in speaking to the people for the last four weeks have been a great strength to me, and while I cling firmly to God He will cling to me. 19MR 187.4

Battle Creek, July 3, 1874—Dear Husband: Arrived here this afternoon. Our brethren are expecting you and are greatly rejoiced at the prospect of your coming to Battle Creek. We cannot write much in regard to matters here, for we have but just come, but I think all matters are in a very good condition considering the sad death of Brother Woolsey. 19MR 188.1

I received no letter from you here. Brother Smith received a card from you saying you anticipated being at the eastern camp meetings. I shall be very glad to see you. May God give you clear light and much grace to know your duty and do it. 19MR 188.2

In much love to each member of the family, especially to yourself. 19MR 188.3

Brother Butler has gone to his Mount Pleasant home to rest. Brother Haskell has hastened on to Massachusetts.—Letter 38, 1874. 19MR 188.4

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

May 12, 1988.

Entire Letter.