Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 140, 1905

“We had a very pleasant journey ... ”

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

January 30, 1905

Variant of Lt 55, 1905. Portions of this manuscript are published in 1MR 140-142.

We had a very pleasant journey from College View to Battle Creek. We were given a hearty welcome by the friends at Battle Creek. I was treated with all the attention possible by Dr. Kellogg. He urged me to go to St. Louis and bear my testimony there. He treats me with great consideration. I could ask no more from him on this line. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 1

During my stay in Battle Creek I spoke five times, three times in the Tabernacle and twice to the patients and helpers in the sanitarium. I had a message to bear, and the Spirit of the Lord seemed to impress those present. I know that God gave me strength to speak. On Sabbath there were three thousand people present in the Tabernacle and on Sunday about two thousand five hundred. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 2

The meeting on Sunday afternoon was attended by many of the citizens of Battle Creek. They paid the best of attention. At this meeting I had opportunity to state decidedly that my views have not changed. The blessing of the Lord rested upon many of those who heard the words spoken. I said: You may be anxious to know what Mrs. White believes. You have heard her speak many times. She has spoken to you in the park close to the Tabernacle more than once. She has spoken in the large tent and at the camp-meetings held in the suburbs of Battle Creek. The message that she bears today is the same that she bore then. She has the same service to do for the Master that she had when she addressed the people of Battle Creek years ago. She receives lessons from the same Instructor. The directions given her are, “Write the messages that I give you, that the people may have them.” These messages have been written as God has given them to me. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 3

I have written many books, all of which will stand the test of investigation. Of myself, I could not have brought out these books, but the Lord has given me the help of His Holy Spirit. These books contain the instruction which for nearly half a century God has been giving me. They contain light from heaven and will bear the test of investigation. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 4

The message that my pen traced, when explanations regarding the truth for this time were first given me, has in no respect been changed. The question is sometimes raised, “What if Mrs. White should die?” I answer: The books that she has written will not die. They are a living witness to what saith the Scriptures. They contain the instruction that for nearly half a century my pen has been tracing. Some of these books have been translated into many languages. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 5

The truth that we proclaim today is the same truth that we have proclaimed for the last fifty years. We can say, as John says in his first epistle: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” [1 John 1:1-5.] 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 6

I assured the people that I had the same message to bear to them that I had borne when speaking in the park opposite the Tabernacle, in the large tent, and at the camp-meetings. I have had no reason to change my faith. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 7

During this discourse, I said that I did not claim to be a prophetess. Much is being said in regard to this, and I desire to make an explanation. God has given me a work that comprises more than is embraced by the name of prophetess. My work includes much more than this name signifies. I regard myself as a messenger, entrusted by the Lord with messages for His people. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 8

The Lord has given me great light on health reform. In connection with my husband, I was to be a medical missionary worker. I was to take the sick to my home and care for them. This I have done, myself giving the women and children most vigorous treatment. I was also to speak on the subject of temperance, as the Lord’s appointed messenger. I have been called to many places to speak on temperance before large assemblies. For many years I was known as a speaker on temperance. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 9

I was instructed that I must ever urge upon those who claim to believe the truth the necessity of practicing this truth. This means sanctification, and sanctification means the culture and training of every capability for the Lord’s service. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 10

I was charged not to neglect or pass by those who were being wronged. The Lord presents such cases before me; and disagreeable though the duty may be, I am to see that justice is done. I am to present the necessity of maintaining justice and equity in all our institutions. Ministers who have faithfully done their work are not to be neglected when they have become feeble in health. If they are not unselfishly helped, I am to bear a decided testimony and see that the matter is adjusted. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 11

If I see those in positions of trust neglecting aged ministers, I am to present the matter to those whose duty it is to care for them. Our conferences are not to disregard the needs of those who have borne the burdens of the work. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 12

It was after John had grown old in the service of his Lord that he was exiled to Patmos. But God did not forsake him. Christ knew where to find him, and on that lonely isle he received more communications from heaven than he had received during the rest of his lifetime. Of this we read: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John; who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein; for the time is at hand.” [Revelation 1:1-3.] 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 13

After my marriage I was instructed that I must show a special interest in motherless and fatherless children, when possible taking them under my own charge and finding homes for them. Thus I would be giving others an example of what they could do. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 14

I have felt it my duty to bring before our people that for which those in every church should feel a responsibility. I have taken children from three to five years of age, and boys of twelve and upward, under my care. In Australia I carried on this work, taking into my home orphan children who were in danger of being exposed to temptations that might cause the loss of their souls. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 15

I have had the privilege of taking into my home from time to time boys from ten to sixteen years of age, feeding and clothing them, and giving them a training for service. These boys have now grown to manhood, and I meet them now and then as I travel from place to place. Some of them occupy positions of trust in our institutions. One of them has long been a valued worker in the Review and Herald Publishing House, having charge of the presses. I met him during my recent visit at Battle Creek, and I felt as a mother does when meeting her son. And he was just as hearty in his expressions of tenderness and love as he would have been were I indeed his mother. He has been a professing Christian ever since he was a lad. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 16

Another boy whom we took as a member of our family became a printer and stood for years as foreman of a department in the Review and Herald. He is now connected with my son Edson in his work in the South, and his services are most highly prized. He is one of the elders of the Nashville church. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 17

While we were in Australia we worked as medical missionaries in every sense of the word. I made my home an asylum for the sick and afflicted from Cooranbong and the surrounding districts. My secretary, who received a training in the Battle Creek Sanitarium, stood by my side and did the work of a physician and a nurse. We did not charge anything for her services, and we won the confidence of the people by the interest that we showed in the sick and afflicted. After a time the Health Retreat at Cooranbong was built, and then I was relieved of my burden. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 18

To claim to be a prophetess is something I do not do. If others call me one, I have no quarrel with them. But my work has covered so many lines that I cannot call myself other than a messenger, sent to bear a message from the Lord to His people and to take up work in any line that He points out. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 19

I wanted to remain in Battle Creek for another week, but Sister Marian Davis was very sick, and we feared that she might die before we reached home. She was very anxious to see us, and we decided to hasten home. Our folks at home were very much relieved by our return. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 20

We found Sister Davis very sick. She was at the sanitarium, receiving the best of care, and her sister Mrs. W. K. Kellogg was with her. About a week after our return she rallied, and for a while we hoped for her recovery. But her strength suddenly failed, and on Tuesday, October 25, she passed away. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 21

On leaving Battle Creek we bought our tickets through to Los Angeles, and these tickets allowed us to spend a month at St. Helena. We had been at home for three weeks, and the physicians thought that Sister Davis might linger for some time, so we decided to go South, planning to leave home on Monday. But something prevented us, and we decided to wait till the next day. On Tuesday morning a telephone message came from the sanitarium that Marian had been unconscious since seven o’clock a.m. She remained thus until four that afternoon, when she quietly breathed her last. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 22

A beautiful spot in the St. Helena Cemetery was chosen for her grave, and the dear, helpful worker rests in her narrow bed until Jesus comes. No more trouble will come to her. At seventy-seven I am still toiling, but am not worth much at present. We are all in the hands of the Lord. I trust in Him, for I know that He will never leave nor forsake those who put their trust in Him. I have committed myself to His keeping. 20LtMs, Ms 140, 1905, par. 23