Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 197, 1902

White, W. C.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

December 9, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 629; 5MR 142. +Note

Dear Son Willie,—

I have received your letter and was very glad to hear from you. We had received no letter from you for more than a week, and I was much troubled for fear that you might not be well. I had almost decided to telegraph to you, when we received a letter from Marian saying that she had heard from you. I was much relieved to know that you were not sick. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 1

I wish there were among us as a people more good Christian religion. There would then be fewer board meetings, and much time and money would be saved. The lack of Bible religion necessitates much talk about what ought to be done. Did we live the words of Christ, we would be brought into such close contact with Him who is wonderful in counsel that we should know what to do to advance the work of God. When we take Christ as our pattern in character building, we shall make decided advancement; for we shall follow our Leader. Until we do this, our much talking will be of little avail. Talk is cheap. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 2

When we are filled with a desire to be like our Saviour, when we refuse to weave self into the work that we do for the Lord, when we look away from finite counsel to the One who is too wise to err and too good to do us harm, we shall be strong in the strength of the Lord. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 3

In order to see God, we must humble ourselves. I would not depend on the judgment of men who trust to their own methods and plans. When we accept Christ’s words and Christ’s plans, we shall not place self where Christ should be. We shall not think of going beyond His plain directions. We shall shun even the shadow of self-exaltation. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 4

God has a much higher standard for His people to reach than they have reached in the past. O, what is there that will give them a consciousness of the responsibility resting on them to be Christlike in word and act? I shall try to arouse their slumbering senses by writing, but not by speaking. The awful sense of my responsibility takes possession of me. I do not desire to feel less keenly my obligation to the higher Power. That Presence is ever with me, asserting supreme authority and taking account of the service that I render or withhold. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 5

There is altogether too little fear and reverence and love for God, and altogether too great an enlargement of self. I am afraid. I want to be as much alone with God as I possibly can. I do not want to mingle in the large assemblies of our people. I have been shown so clearly that many are yielding to the passion to be first, the desire to occupy a high place, that I tremble for our people and wonder what course the Lord will next take with them. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 6

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” [Exodus 20:3.] This command must be more sacredly observed if we would fulfil the grand purpose of God for us in our creation and redemption. We must rise heavenward, making God first and last and best in everything. He is our sole, supreme, and everlasting good. Before we are ready to enter His kingdom, self must be crucified. When self is made first, God is put aside, and the sweet sense of His presence and His love is lost. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 7

God points out the path of duty, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” [Isaiah 30:21.] In that path lie self-denial and the cross, but it is the only path of peace and safety. I am sorry to say that many are turning their backs upon this path, and are walking in the companionship of self—a companionship that they have every reason to dread. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 8

The divine revelation and commission given to Moses made him great. He would not cease pleading, “Show me thy glory,” and the Lord made His glory pass before him. [Exodus 33:18, 19.] Moses talked with God face to face, as a man talketh with a friend. Naturally he was diffident, slow of speech, hesitating, self-distrustful; and the sense of his inability drove him to God to plead for the people under his leadership. But he was eloquent as he pleaded with God in behalf of his people. He presented them before the Lord, saying, “O, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now if thou wilt forgive this sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” [Exodus 32:31, 32.] 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 9

Such is the sentiment of every soul upon whom is placed the responsibility of souls, and who strives to do the will of God. It was mercy that ruled in the leadership of Moses. It was mercy that spoke through the words and deeds of Christ. Not one thread of harshness was drawn into the web. To those who at this time take their position to move under the command of Christ Jesus, God will give great kindness, patience, long-suffering, gentleness, with a trusting heart. Christ bears their burdens with them. He is afflicted in all the afflictions of His people. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 10

These men are to be true representatives of Christ. They are to rely constantly on His wisdom. This is necessary for the safe guidance of those whom they lead. In their work there is need of constant praying and believing, and of receiving the great gift of God’s grace, that they may have to impart to others. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 11

That which God requires in His workers is a humble, trusting, obedient heart, and the willing service of the whole being, heart, mind, soul, and strength. Flattery is a curse to any man. Proud superiority is a curse. Increase of power is nothing. “Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] All the real power that man has comes through the meekness and lowliness that he has learned from Christ. Nothing can give greatness of soul save hiding the life in the pure life of Christ. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 12

The Lord chooses men to do His work, and He keeps them in His service as called and chosen until they begin to feel a sense of self-importance and do not lean their whole weight upon the wisdom of the Master-worker. Then He leaves them to walk alone; for Christ will not glorify man. His name is to receive all the glory. When a human being is called by God to His service, his work is set before him, and great responsibilities are laid on him. These responsibilities he can bear if he learns daily to wear the yoke of Christ gracefully. “Learn of Me,” said the One who made all things; “for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 13

Every day God’s workers are to be partakers of the divine nature, having overcome the corruption that is in the world through lust. They are men that God has chosen, and He will work through them and with them, enabling them to scatter blessings wherever they go, and to build up the work where God is building, strengthening the hands of the laborers, and discerning with clear perception who are doing something to advance the work. They are co-laborers with Christ, representing His character in goodness and compassion and tenderness and love. They have a high and holy work to do in union with the great Sin-bearer. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 14

The stubborn and hardhearted, unless they reform, will be separated from the work. The Lord Jesus cannot accept the labors of any man who has lost his first love. He may have the capabilities essential for the work, but unless the love of Christ is burning on the altar of his heart, the want of that love will be seen in all his work, and Christ will be misrepresented. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 15

Courage and self-reliance are essential in the work of God, but without love they are as a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. All along the path we travel we are to leave waymarks of the love of Christ. This love, acted out in the life, always brings a response. It causes gratitude offerings to be brought to God by those who appreciate the grace of goodness. God’s co-workers will be acknowledged as their upward and downward strokes are made in harmony with the great grace of the Saviour, who offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sinful race. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 16

Those who are connected with God as His co-laborers can reveal greatness of soul only as they comprehend the exalted dignity of the work in which they are engaged. A true estimate of the sacredness of this work can be gained only as we behold it in the light of Christ’s compassion. He made an infinite sacrifice in order that men and women might be co-workers with the Father and the Son. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 17

Christ expects each of His workers to do His work. This He has commanded in His word. “Follow Me,” is His call to them. He came to our world to give men an example of a pure and perfect life. He who in God’s service sacrifices all of self and selfishness finds his reward in the work of seeking to save the lost and in the joy that he feels in seeing sinners brought to the Saviour. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 18

Those who live to serve self will soon grow weary in the service of Christ; for they want the glory themselves, and in Christ’s service, all the glory is to be given to God. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 19

The Lord wants men to forget themselves in the effort to save souls. Our life is worse than a failure if we go through life without leaving waymarks of love and compassion. God will not work with a harsh, stubborn, loveless man. Such a man spoils the pattern that Christ desires His workers to reveal to the world. God’s workers, in whatever line of service they are engaged, are to bring into their efforts the goodness and benevolence and love of Christ. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 20

God calls for light-bearers who will fill the world with the light and peace and joy that come from Christ. God will use humble men, men who will cherish a sense of their weakness, who will not think that the work of God depends on them. Such men will remember what the service of God demands from them—the propriety of speech and action that God calls for. They will reveal that Christ dwells in the heart, imparting purity to the whole being. 17LtMs, Lt 197, 1902, par. 21