Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 21, 1867

Children; [White, J. E.]

Enosburg, Vermont

December 29, 1867

Portions of this letter are published in HP 362; 3MR 128-129; 5MR 392.

Dear Children:

I have for some reason felt anxious for you. I expected to find a letter from you here at Enosburg but was disappointed. I sent you a Christmas present. Let me hear from you. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 1

Now, my dear son, I want you to qualify yourself by studious habits for to attend medical college. Be careful of your means. You will want them all. If you dress and live simply and are economical, we will provide your clothing. Don’t let quarters and half dollars slip from your hands here to purchase things you may think that you need, for a neck ribbon or for slips or for any trifling article. If you will preserve carefully your means, we will, as I have said, see that you have suitable clothing. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 2

Guard against being fickle-minded and changeable. You may qualify yourself by obtaining a thorough knowledge of the common branches of education that you may be fitted for any post of duty. I wrote you a letter of twenty pages but do not yet send it, as I read it to Brother Andrews and he urges me to send it to the Review. I will send these lines now and the other shall be forthcoming. We do not forget to pray for you. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 3

Our meetings in this place have been exceedingly interesting. But we have labored with all our energies. Sabbath meetings were held in the morning, forenoon, afternoon and evening. Ordinances in the evening. Through utter exhaustion, I could not attend the evening meeting. Attended morning meeting and then came home to rest while your father preached upon the law and gospel. Had an intermission of fifteen minutes and then I took the stand. I do not allow myself to eat dinner before speaking. I choose to speak on an empty stomach, and then the brain power will not be called to the stomach to take care of its burden. I had much liberty in the Lord in speaking. We then returned home. Brother William Barrows and wife came to the meeting forty miles. They were not keeping the Sabbath, but always feel that when Brother and Sister White visit the state they must certainly see us. They came to see us at Brother Daniel Bourdeau’s. We immediately commenced to talk upon the subject of religion. We conversed with them more than one hour, and your father talked to them urging them to obey God, to submit. We pled the prayers of his dying mother, and yet it seemed hard for him to decide to say, As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. They wept freely. We knelt down and poured out our souls in earnest prayer. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 4

Brethren Andrews and Bourdeau were lying down to rest, but their slumbers were disturbed and we soon heard them responding. We held fast the promises of God, praying, believing and entreating for these souls. Finally the power of Satan was broken. They decided to obey God, and then the husband and wife embraced each other, wept, weeping freely upon each other’s necks, and vowed together to help each other in the Christian warfare. We then went directly to the meeting. A large congregation was present. Your father talked a few minutes, then Brother Andrews. I tried to talk, spoke of Moses dying upon Mount Nebo viewing the promised land, Adam’s fall, and his repentance, his resurrection from the dead and again entering Eden, the meeting of the two Adams,—Adam the first and Christ the second. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 5

The people witnessed to the testimony borne, and there were but few dry eyes in the congregation as I described in the best language I could use, but so very feeble, the beauty of heaven. We labored for the youth. Brother and Sister Barrows bore a most decided testimony for the truth. A large number of youth came forward for prayers. Brother Williams has embraced the truth within about three weeks. He brought his wife to the meeting. She was convicted, and your father’s discourse upon the law and gospel decided her. She has taken her position with her husband and expressed such gratitude to God that she had heard the discourse from Brother White and could now see her way clearly. Oh, thank the Lord that we see some fruits of our labors. May the Lord bless you Edson, my dear son. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 6

Do not neglect to watch and pray. The family are just getting up. I have risen early to write to you. I am very anxious that you should succeed in the Christian warfare. Show moral courage, fortitude, a becoming meekness and appropriate zeal, Edson. The eyes of angels are upon you constantly. Be circumspect, live for God, for heaven. Adorn your profession with a well-ordered life and godly conversation. Seek to do good. Help those who need help. Pray much, this is your strength. Says Christ, Ask and ye shall receive. [John 16:24.] Ye receive not because ye ask not. Help us in the great work, Edson, in which we are engaged, that with us you may share in the reward at last. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 7

Be faithful, be true, be pure in heart, holy in life and conversation. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 8

In your correspondence with Emma, or anyone, don’t make any rash advances or engagements until the whole matter is submitted to God. Find out the will of God concerning you. You are His, bought with a price, then glorify God in your body and spirit which are His. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 9

We know not what is before us, or what God would have us do. We are decided to be faithful, be true, be honest, be cheerful and happy, and to rest not without the assurance that our ways please God. This, my son, you may have and may grow in grace and the knowledge of the truth. Live in reference to the better, the immortal life. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 10

In love to all inquiring friends, 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 11

Your mother. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 12

Oh, shall my soul and your soul be fearfully pierced through by the cutting words, “It is too late; it is too late.” But oh, who will describe to you the lamentations that will arise when at the boundary line which parts time and eternity, the righteous Judge will lift up His voice and declare, “It is too late.” Long have the wide gates of heaven stood open, and the heavenly messengers have invited and entreated, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17. “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart.” Psalm 95:7, 8. But at length the mandate goes forth, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 13

The heavenly gate closes, the invitation of salvation ceases. In heaven it is said, “It is done.” Such a time is not far distant. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 14

I plead with you to make sure work for eternity, to lay hold on the hope set before you in the gospel. Strive to enter in at the strait gate, for if you merely seek, you will not be able. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 15

The world is loaded down with the curse which sin brings. It is literally deluged with sin, with violence and corruption as in the days of Noah. And yet at this fearful period of our world’s history, many are asleep. They cease to make efforts to become Christians. Self-gratification and carnal security will imperil the eternal welfare. Is not this foolhardy? Satan’s followers may call it honorable, praiseworthy, to manifest that independence of mind that will lead you to regard with indifference your former instructions and make you think you have found a better way. As you listen to these suggestions, you are becoming hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 16

Honesty, nobility, purity of soul, fellowship with God and angels, the heavenly hope, the eternal inheritance, the joys unspeakable and the bliss immeasurable, are your birthright, and will you barter away these treasures for sinful pleasure? Will you squander the priceless gift of time which rightly improved will entitle you to all these advantages? Beware of the pleasures of sin. Flee youthful lusts. Hate even the garments spotted with the flesh. Solemn is the apostolic charge, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” Hebrews 12:14-17. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 17

What shall worldly pleasures avail you when all the world shall be overwhelmed as was Sodom and destroyed like Gomorrah? These cities are set forth as examples to other sinners that they know that their day is coming. For “as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” Luke 17:26-30. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 18

Too late will sinners realize that they have sold their birthright. The crown that they might have had shines upon the brow of another. The inheritance which they might have had is lost. Beware how you trifle with temptation. Beware how you boast of your strength. Christ is your everlasting strength; confide in God, lay hold of His strength and He will bring you off conqueror and you will wear the crown of victory. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 19

Dear Edson, don’t despise the counsels of your mother. I entreat of you to seek God with all your heart. Delay not while it is called today. “If ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart.” [Psalm 95:8.] 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 20

May God bless my efforts for your good is my prayer. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 21

In much love from your anxious, praying mother. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1867, par. 22