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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Lt 117, 1899

    White, J. E.

    “Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

    August 11, 1899

    Portions of this letter are published in OHC 174, 184, 274. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    Dear son Edson:

    You must not let your feelings run so high. You cannot leave a correct impression upon minds when you take the words I have written and make it appear as Elder Tait’s book must be drawn from the field. I do not wish the things I write to be circulated in such a way as to make dissension and confuse minds that are not able, because not cultivated, to distinguish between right and wrong. I am pained because so little humble, Christlike love is cherished in hearts today.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 1

    If I had light on the points you mention, I should be very loath to give it. If Elder Corliss has not stated things correctly, he must answer for this to God. It was certainly not a wise thing for you to burn his manuscript, for you know not what might arise from him. I consider the condition of the man’s head, and feel sorry for him. And I am more sorry than I can tell you that you have anything to do in bookmaking with him.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 2

    Do not allow your mind to dwell upon things that will not lead to peace and unity. Cultivate meekness, love, and true Christian courtesy. We must learn of Christ. If it is our duty to work and wait, then so be it.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 3

    Edson, my dear son, and Emma, my daughter, I love you both; but there is a great deal of mischief working which will make hearts sad. If I could shield you, I would. But you know that Jesus is a very present help in every time of need. Do not be troubled by what other people think or say. God help you, my son, to stand on the platform of eternal truth. Do not be troubled, but cling to the Lord; He will never fail you. Encouragement from humanity is not abiding, but looking unto Jesus you will always find encouragement.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 4

    The Lord is merciful, full of tender compassion and loving kindness. When mistakes are made, because the counsel of the Lord is not followed, sorrow always come from some source. But the question is asked, “Will the Lord cast off forever, and will he be favorable no more? Is his mercy clean gone forever? Doth his promise fail forevermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious; hath he in his anger shut up his tender mercies?” [Psalm 77:7-9.] He who is able to rest in the Saviour will have peace and joy. My son, you may have Jesus for your friend.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 5

    You might better suffer wrong than do wrong. If your book, The Coming King, does not have a sale which answers all your expectations, take the whole matter to God. Should anything be presented as light to decide in your favor the matter of which you write, do you not see that the impression would be left on minds that it is because you are my son and have influenced me that your testimony is received. The Lord does not work in this way; and I have not, neither do I ask or hope that the Lord will give me, light upon these points.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 6

    The whole matter must be left unanswered, unless you have strong evidence to prove the matter yourself. Farther than that, I have not, I assure you, the slightest faith that the Lord will adjust these personal questions, even to vindicate the right, for this would open a door to many to question the truth of the testimony coming from God. It might be positively and truly from God, yet the enemy would present temptations, and many unwise words would be spoken.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 7

    Take heed as to what you say. There is a promiscuous pile of rubbish, in the shape of words, which needs to be cleared up and buried. These words might better never have been spoken, for they make a vast amount of mischief. Let each one look to his own spirit. Let each one look to his own heart and life, and by the help of God cleanse himself from everything that defileth. Then he will be prepared as a cleansed vessel to receive the holy anointing oil. The prophet of the Lord asked the question, “What be these two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? ... Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” [Zechariah 4:12, 14.] The golden oil is poured into clean, pure vessels, to be imparted to others. This is what every soul needs. We want the holy communications from heaven, and less rubbish of talk that only piles up difficulties. We want none of self and all of Christ.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 8

    I do not think any one designed to do anything to stop or interfere with the sale of your book, although it has resulted thus. The least said about this matter the better for you and me. The more you fret over it, the worse you will feel. I have not a word more to say than I have said in reference to the subject. Neither you nor I are at liberty to say what books shall be published and what books shall not be published. Light was presented to me in regard to the management of the book Bible Readings. Wrong principles were brought in, in the handling of this book, which for two years kept the books the people should have had out of proper circulation.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 9

    These books contained the very light which the Lord instructed me the people should have. They needed the lessons and messages contained in Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets. I did all I could do, and suffered much agony of soul, because of the way in which the books were treated, and the Lord will not condemn me.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 10

    Now, Edson, the very best thing you can do is to come to Australia and help me. W. C. White cannot do this work. I have been waiting for years, but he is a manager, and is called here and there, so that I have not his help, and now I call for you to come and help me; but do not come with a complaining spirit. Do not come if you yourself have no light to come. But I tell you that it is best for you to absent yourself from America for at least two years. We can prepare books adapted for the Southern Field. Just as surely as you shall try to set things right in America, a strength will be exerted against you that will discourage and weaken your hands.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 11

    Those who have robbed the Southern Field of its facilities are not to answer to you or to me. It is the Lord who has been robbed, and aside from bearing my testimony concerning the matter, I can do nothing. The Lord alone can take this matter in hand. I have written some very straight things to those who have been actors in the matter, but farther than this I shall not take any active measures. I shall leave the burden of the message upon the men to whom it is given.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 12

    Will you leave the jangle and perplexity that now exists and join your mother in the work here? I hope the Lord will let you view this matter correctly. The sea trip will be a blessing to you, and the climate here will bring back your strength. I shall do nothing at all to compel you to come, but the way is open for you, and I will pay your fare. We may never meet on this side or on the other side of the great ocean. I know not how long my life may be spared, but I am now much more healthy than I have a right to expect. The Lord is good and greatly to be praised.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 13

    Now, Edson, seek the Lord. Ask Him to teach you, to guide you. Do not talk much. Considering the existing state of things, silence is eloquence. Let your speech be guarded. As you do not wish to be criticized, be sure not to criticize anyone. Guard your mind. Guard your words. “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” [Matthew 12:37.] When Satan can get up some scheme to cause difference and alienation, he is in the very height of his bliss. He knows that in unity there is strength, that in dissension, faultfinding, and disunion there is weakness. The enemy is very unwilling to let go his object—to weaken the confidence of brethren in one another. The testimonies of reproof are not sent for that purpose, but to purify, to correct errors, to cleanse the soul-temple from its moral defilement.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 14

    Unity in diversity or individuality is the figure God presents before us. Every branch is to bear the fruit of the vine stock, which represents Christ. There are a variety of branches. No two are just alike. This reveals God’s great plan.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 15

    The warning given to you, my son Edson, was to be a safeguard to you to prevent the very things which have occurred. The embarrassment brought to yourself, the temptations brought to others, is the very result I was shown would come if you carried out the enterprise you intended. I saw that you would be represented as an unwise manager, who absorbed money in the work without economizing. The past will be repeated, men would say, so presenting the danger of your financial management that they would have, they think, an excuse for their course of action. This was no excuse for them. But I had no burden to create more difficulties than already existed.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 16

    We must ever bear in mind that Satan is working hard to secure every soul. We must work on the Lord’s side, not giving the least occasion which any one can take advantage of. Every one who names the name of Christ is to adorn the doctrine of Christ our Saviour by a well ordered life and a godly conversation, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price, which is an ornament which comes alone from God. He who possesses all the treasures of earth and heaven has given us a true estimate of the inward adorning, the divine gift, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 17

    I need this, I must have this priceless treasure every hour. Then let us be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. I do not question but that you, my son, the child of God, have had many things to vex you, and sometimes your talent of speech is unwisely used to express your feelings. Now, my son Edson, whom I love in the Lord, is it your purpose to obtain and keep the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit? Possessing this, you will have favor both of God and with men. Words spoken hastily wound and bruise souls, and the deepest wound is made upon the soul of the speaker. Christ’s gift, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, is authoritatively declared by Him who can make no mistake to be of great price. We must each find out its worth for ourselves by seeking it from God. However men may estimate us, if we wear this ornament, we bear the sign of our discipleship with Christ. We are estimated by the Most High, for the ornament we wear is in His sight of great price. This precious gem is to be sought for. The exhortation regarding it is particularly addressed to women, but it is applicable to both men and women. Both need to wear this ornament habitually.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 18

    As Christ’s purchased possession we are of value with God. In all our relations to one another and to God we need to pursue daily a course that God can approve. We must show that we have learned in the school of Christ His meekness, His lowliness of heart; and this is the best fruit we can bear to the glory of God. I know that you can make yourself, through much watchfulness and prayer, through the grace given by God, a wise steward. Then you will reveal precious, fruit-bearing qualities.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 19

    To every soul things will come to provoke, to stir up anger, and if you are not under the full control of God, you will be provoked when these things come. But the meekness of Christ calms the ruffled spirit, controls the tongue, and brings the whole being in subjection to God. Thus we learn how to bear with the censure of others. We shall be misjudged, but the precious ornament of a meek and quiet spirit teaches us how to bear, how to have pity for those who utter hasty, unadvised words.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 20

    Any unpleasant spirit displayed is sure to arouse the demon of passion in unguarded hearts. Unholy anger needs not to be strengthened, but bridled. It is a spark which will set on fire untamed human nature. My son, avoid speaking words which will stir up strife. Rather suffer wrong than do wrong. God requires every one of His followers, as far as is possible, to live peaceably with all men. Let us remember that angels of God are our companions, and they must be respected as God’s messengers. If words are spoken and charges made to provoke you, the best reproof you can give is to remain silent, as though you heard not. Those who are so wanting in grace as to speak unadvisedly and provokingly would not in such a frame of mind appreciate any words which might be spoken. They need treatment, a good footbath, with cold water to the head, before it would be safe to speak even reasonable words to them or make any reply to their charges.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 21

    We are all to remember that we are under the yoke of Christ, and we must not disgrace our Saviour or the yoke He has invited us to wear. We will just as surely rule our spirit as we wear the yoke. Christ has said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] It is the work of the Holy Spirit to make us willing to learn of Jesus, who was Himself meek and lowly in heart.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 22

    When we are humble, we are ready to be educated by the great Teacher. He will let us know ourselves, and we will learn to serve God in His own appointed way. Jesus has left us an example, that we should follow in His steps. “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let us rather be healed. 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.” [Hebrews 12:12-15.]14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 23

    How often, my son, when bruised and broken, by carrying out your own ideas, which were flattering in anticipation, but which proved to be as a mirage in the desert, you have longed to grasp an outstretched, strengthening arm, and to hear the words, not of recrimination, but of friendly cheer, which the Lord has mercifully provided for the tempted.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 24

    How oft, after following your own supposed wisdom, when bruised by disappointment and well nigh broken by the fierce anxiety of battles without and still more from battles within, you have only half felt your mistakes were due to yourself. The Lord certainly did not bring misfortune upon you, but He left you to reap that which you had sown. Those who should have helped you did not. Wounds which might have been avoided were painful for you to bear. They soured your spirit and made you desperate. At times when you suffered, I have passed through the suffering with you. Your lesson has, I trust, been learned. It is not in man to direct his steps.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 25

    Why I refer to this is to remind you that you have had an experience. Remember to a purpose. Whatever man as weak as thyself may do, consider thyself lest thou also be tempted. You have grasped encouragement, help, and sympathy from your sympathizers, and have depended too much on man and not enough on God. The insufficiency of your own human nature, the promptings of your trusted strength, have been the cause of bringing you into hard places. Bear in mind that others are passing over the ground over which you have travelled. They have no more judgment and strength to resist temptation than you had. Be not ready to judge others, if you do not want to be judged.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 26

    The fact is, the Lord has been greatly dishonored by the perversity of His sons and daughters. Let Him not be grieved by any words or acts of one in reference to another. As long as we are in this world, we must be linked one with another. Humanity is interlaced and interwoven with humanity. As Christians, we are members one of another. The Lord has made us thus, and when disappointment comes, we are not to think the worst of one another. We are individual members of the general body.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 27

    In helplessness and disappointment we are fighting the battles of life, and the Lord designs us as His sons and daughters, whom He calls His friends, to help one another. This is to be a part of their practical Christian work. “Who is my neighbor?” [Luke 10:29.] Read and understand. It is the very one who needs help the most. Thy brother, sick in spirit, needs thee as thou needed him. He needs the experience of one who has been as weak as himself, who can sympathize with and help him. The very knowledge of his own weakness helps that one to help another in his weakness.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 28

    Let it not be that the sympathetic cords, which should be quick to vibrate at the least touch, shall be cold as steel, frozen, as it were, and unable to help where help is needed. There is a work to be done in human hearts to make them keen and true and sensitive.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 29

    Precious help is provided for every one of God’s believing children. In Christ Jesus divinity enshrouded in humanity moved among men, bearing the clear credentials of heaven. He suffered in man’s behalf. The necessities and woes of the human race pressed upon His divine manhood. He, the Son of God, was not dependent on human sympathy, but He did not check or repulse it. Amid the conjectures and prejudices of the priests and rulers, who were always criticizing, always accusing, He found a quiet resting place in the family at Bethany. There strife, prejudice, and enmity were not. There He had not to meet words that would sting and bruise the soul. There He found rest and freedom from the strife of tongues.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 30

    In the sixth chapter of John, He tells priest and ruler, Jew and Gentile, that He is the bread of life. Except we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we cannot have life. We must be Christlike. Let us strive to make our lives what Christ designs them to be, full of the fragrance of love to God and our fellow men, full of Christ’s own divine Spirit, full of holy aspirations toward God, rich in the beauty of Christlikeness.14LtMs, Lt 117, 1899, par. 31

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