Ellen G. White: The Lonely Years: 1876-1891 (vol. 3)


Concern for Edson

Ellen White felt considerable anxiety for Edson. He had returned from Oakland to Battle Creek, purchased a modest home, and was devoting his time to Sabbath school work, with which he was officially connected. She feared for his negative influence, for it seems he had not become any more responsible financially than when he was managing the publishing house in Oakland. In one letter to him, written April 22, 1881, she made it clear that the counsels and cautions given to him in her letters did not originate with her but from a higher source, the Lord Himself: 3BIO 157.2

Now, Edson, will you please read over the cautions given you of the Lord. Do not think your mother deceived and too cautious, exaggerating matters. I know your dangers; I know the power of habit upon you.... I thought your first anxiety would be to get out of debt.... 3BIO 157.3

Now, my son, consider the warnings given you of God. Are these to be set aside and wholly disregarded? ...I beg of you, for your mother's reputation, for your wife's sake, and for Christ's sake, to develop more caution and economy of character. I have felt bad to see the testimonies of caution and reproof have so little weight with you. Your failures in the past were in consequence of indulging your own ideas and plans just as you are doing now, without moving safely and surely. ... 3BIO 157.4

God is bringing you over the ground again, testing, proving you. Will you withstand temptation and, as tried gold, endure the test?—Letter 3a, 1881. 3BIO 157.5

With the coming of spring she was eager to get out into the flower beds. She wrote to Mary in Oakland: “I have a favor to ask of you. Will you get a small box and put in it small pink roots and slips, a few choice rose cuttings, fuchsia, and geraniums, and send [it to] me?”—Letter 3b, 1881. Still waiting for the package she hoped Mary would send, she wrote on May 15: 3BIO 158.1

We have the most beautiful situation in Michigan.... I have been gathering up shrubs and flowers until we have quite a garden. Peonies, I have a large number of them; hope to get California pinks. I want to get some of that green bordering we get from Sister Rollin.... I wish I had some seeds from California.—Letter 4a, 1881. 3BIO 158.2

It was a joy to Ellen White to be sufficiently recovered to be able to tend the garden a bit and to get back to her writing. 3BIO 158.3