Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years: 1862-1876 (vol. 2)


A Second Candid Letter

In the next letter on file, begun five days later and finished on the sixth, Ellen White spoke of the blessings of God in her work at the camp meetings. She wrote under the dateline of Battle Creek, July 8, 1874: 2BIO 434.6

I feel more and more every day that I have no time to lose. I must bear my testimony to others and work earnestly to get before others the light which God has given me. I do not feel that I am my own, but bought with a price. The claims God has upon me I feel deeply, and I mean to answer them as far as possible. I will not allow feelings of sadness and depression to destroy my usefulness. 2BIO 435.1

I do not forget you. I feel deeply sorry that you have things in your mind just as they are in regard to me. I can say I know you view things in a perverted light. I have in the past felt so depressed and saddened with the thought that it might always be so, that life has seemed a burden. But I don't feel so now. Whatever you may feel and whatever thoughts you may have shall not swerve me from believing and trusting in God. 2BIO 435.2

Things seem an unexplainable mystery—that you cannot find rest and peace unless you succeed in bringing me into positions I cannot see and cannot possibly submit to be placed in. I see no consistency or generosity in this, only a feeling prompted by selfishness in persistently dwelling upon things that tend to alienate our hearts rather than unite them. 2BIO 435.3

I long for perfect union, but I cannot purchase it at the expense of my conscience; but if you feel that God is leading you in dwelling upon the things you have dwelt upon in your letters, I will try to feel all right toward you. Of course I cannot feel that thorough satisfaction and confidence that you are being led of the Lord. I can but feel that the enemy is making you miserable by keeping your mind upon matters that are of no profit, but only an injury. 2BIO 435.4

I want you to be happy. Your health and life depend upon your being happy and cheerful. No matter what course others pursue, this need not have such all-controlling power over your mind. Just as long as you will let the wrongs or supposed wrongs of others depress and dishearten you, you will have enough of this business to attend to.—Letter 40, 1874. 2BIO 435.5

This was a soul-stirring letter in which she attempted to direct her husband's attention to the real issues, the attempts of the great adversary to hinder the precious work in which they were both engaged. She continued: 2BIO 435.6

Satan sees your weakness in this respect, and he will make every effort to attack you just where he has succeeded so often. He means to worry out your life upon these points. God wants you to live, and to keep your mind free, that He may make you a channel of light and communicate His light through you to others. Satan knows that you can be a great encouragement to the people of God. 2BIO 436.1

Satan knows all he has to do is to work upon the minds of some who are not living in the light, and get your mind exercised in regard to them, and then his object is gained. I have been shown that very many pages have been written, dwelling upon the inconsistency of others and filled with your discouragements while Satan was exulting because your pen was not tracing lines that God could sanction and bless, and cause to react upon you in great and precious blessings, giving you sweet and precious peace which passeth knowledge. 2BIO 436.2

God has given you a pen which should never be used to discourage and dishearten His people. Light, precious light, from His presence He will let beam upon you to be imparted to others, if you will only resist the temptations of the devil to write and talk out your feelings of trial, your temptations, and your discouragements. You might have written volumes upon subjects of present truth which would be immortalized by saving souls, while your time and pen have been employed in scattering clouds of darkness because you happened to feel dark. God could not and did not bless you in this work, and you were sinking yourself lower and lower while you were giving utterance to feelings and impressions which were the temptations of the enemy. 2BIO 436.3

God wants you to live. I want you to live and I want that our last days shall be our very best days. My heart is sad many times, yes, every time I think of you. How can I be otherwise?—Ibid. 2BIO 436.4

She could take no pleasure in recreation while James was so burdened and troubled in mind. She mentioned this point: 2BIO 436.5

This morning at three o'clock, I called Brother and Sister Gaskill and Willie to go out about five miles to pick cherries. I remain alone till afternoon, when they will return. I have no desire to go on any pleasure excursion without you. I do not care to go anywhere only where duty seems to call; but I do not mean that Satan shall succeed in destroying my usefulness because I know that my husband has so erroneous a view of me. 2BIO 437.1

I have work enough to do in writing and in visiting those who are sick and afflicted, who are in sorrow and distress. I have a testimony also to bear to God's people, and I shall go forward clinging to the hand of my dear Saviour, for He is exceedingly precious to me. 2BIO 437.2

I shall not walk alone or in darkness. I have perfect confidence in God, for I have had my trust and faith greatly strengthened upon this journey. If we have to walk apart the rest of the way, do let us not seek to pull each other down. I do believe it is best for our labors to be disconnected and we each lean upon God for ourselves. I am writing some every day, doing all I can. 2BIO 437.3

In much love, I remain, 2BIO 437.4

Your Ellen.

Letter 40, 1874.