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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Lt 108, 1902

    Faulkhead, Brother and Sister [N. D.]

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    July 14, 1902

    Portions of this letter are published in 2MR 251; 5MR 450. +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 brother and sister Faulkhead,—

    I was glad to read the letter that Sara received from you in the last mail. I will now try to write you a few lines, my dear brother and sister, whom I love and respect in the Lord. I thank you for the picture of your family. It is so lifelike that I felt almost as if I could speak to you. After the picture came, Sara laid it carefully away, thinking that I had seen it, and I only saw it recently, a few weeks since.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 1

    The Lord is very good to us. Thus far, we have been favored with much fruit from our orchard. Last year we had scarcely any. We laid out much labor on the orchard, but the late frosts killed the fruit just as it was forming so that we had very few prunes and very few apples. This year the prune trees are loaded, and we have had to buy large quantities of rope to tie up the branches so that they would not break under their burden. In spite of our care, some of the branches have already broken.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 2

    I feel very grateful to my heavenly Father for His goodness and His rich grace. I am doing all the work that I should do in speaking. We had an important meeting here a few weeks ago. Judge Arthur and his wife from Battle Creek were present. I had much to say in regard to the way in which the work for this time should be carried forward. The Lord helped me as day by day I spoke to the large congregations before me. I spoke several times during the week, and once on the Sabbath, and each time the Lord gave me words for the occasion.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 3

    After this strain, I felt the reaction somewhat, but I soon recovered. Last Sabbath I spoke in the Sanitarium chapel to a room full of people. Many of the patients were present. A brother and sister from Salt Lake City, who had never heard me speak, stayed over on purpose to hear me.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 4

    Sunday morning, Brother James, Sara, two of Brother James’s children, and I rode seven miles up Howell Mountain to get cherries—small, black ones, which were given us for the picking. Several others besides us were picking from the trees. The platform wagon was drawn under the trees, and Sara and I stood up on the seat and in this way reached the cherries. I picked eight quarts. We took home a large box of the fruit and put up thirty-seven quarts. So you see, Sister White is not decrepit yet.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 5

    I had been writing so continuously that I feared for my brain. This is the reason I went cherry-picking; and the change did me good.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 6

    Next morning, at half past six o’clock, I met a large number of the brethren and sisters in the Sanitarium chapel. I had promised to talk to them on the importance of taking our children from the public schools and putting them in church schools where they can be given an education in Christian lines. The Lord helped me to speak. You will have an opportunity to read what I said; for Brother Crisler reported my talk, and I will send you a copy.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 7

    Tuesday morning I was sent for to come to a committee meeting that the brethren were holding at the Sanitarium. I asked them what points they were considering, that I might know what to speak to them about. They did not tell me, and I then went on to tell them that during the night I had not been able to sleep. I had seemed to be in a committee meeting speaking to those present, giving them the instruction given me in reference to the work of our ministers and physicians and the necessity of reaching a much higher standard and of bringing more spirituality into the work. I spoke of the need of our ministers’ being free from business details, that they might go out to give the message of present truth to those who have not heard it; and I made special mention of Elder Corliss’s work.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 8

    The brethren told me that what I said was just what was needed; for they had been considering these very points. The meeting was reported, and I will try to see if a copy can be sent to you.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 9

    God is the Giver and Preserver of life, and He has a deep interest in us and our happiness. He does not want any of us to be presumptuous. He desires us to appreciate the life that He has given us. He desires us to understand that we do not glorify His name when we take on so many burdens that we are over-taxed, and, becoming heart-weary and brain-weary, chafe and fret and scold. Let us never, never abuse the precious gift of speech by finding fault or by giving expression to gloomy sentiments of unbelief.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 10

    The Lord has instructed me to say to those who are in His service that they are not to venture to tax their strength too severely. Those who do this, taking burdens that the Lord does not wish them to bear, will make a failure of their work. Take only the responsibilities that the Lord gives you, trusting in Him, committing the soul to Him as unto a faithful Protector and Helper. Do not imperil your lives in the effort to do something that you suppose is your duty. Thus, perhaps, by your death, you will make a gap that the Lord does not want made. Keep the heart pure and sweet and truthful and sympathetic. This will be best for all with whom you are connected.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 11

    Mothers should not accept responsibilities in the church that will lead them to neglect their children. Let every mother do faithfully the work given her in the church in her own house, fitting her children for a home in the courts above. The mother who walks with God will understand when she can safely engage in church work.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 12

    We are commanded in the Word of God not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Communion with those of like precious faith is a source of strength and blessing. It gives opportunity for an exchange of Christian experiences and is a means of increasing piety. It is the divine means of strengthening those who are weak in the faith and of converting those who know not the truth.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 13

    We are to grow in grace and in a knowledge of divine things, ever ready to impart to others, letting our light shine forth in clear rays. Our time is the Lord’s, purchased at an infinite price. The talent of speech is His, entrusted to us for the help and blessing of those around us. It is left with us to decide whether we shall speak words that will honor Christ, or words that will be a hindrance both to us and to those who hear. The conversation of the one who is truly united to Christ will be far superior to worldly chit-chat. His words will show that there is an unmistakable line of demarcation between him who serves God and him who serves Him not.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 14

    Fidelity under trial results in attributes that are well pleasing to God. It is a savor of life unto life to those with whom we labor. Our words are not to be of a kind that harass and provoke. The words and works of the true Christian are helpful and uplifting.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 15

    I have a message for those who are bearing responsibilities in God’s institutions. The Lord calls upon you to bring His grace into your service, into your thoughts, your words, your deportment. Do not leave your religion at home. After communing with your heavenly Father, praying for grace and strength for the day, do not go to your business with a surly, dictatorial, overbearing spirit and a sour, disagreeable countenance. You are to exert a holy influence, because you are Christ’s representatives. You are to fill the room where you are with a fragrant influence that is a savor of life unto life.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 16

    You are to treat with Christian courtesy all with whom you have business dealings. Unless you do this, you can never be fitted for the heavenly courts. Remember that angels are recording your words and actions, and even the expression of your countenance. By revealing Christlikeness in business dealing, you will do more for the Lord than by teaching a class in Sabbath school each Sabbath.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 17

    The Lord hears the petitions of His people when they mean what they say and when they reveal a determined purpose to live in harmony with their prayers. But He cannot honor those who get up from their knees and go to their business to speak harsh, angry words, which are entirely out of place, even supposing that the one to whom they are spoken is in the wrong.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 18

    There is no reason why we should speak and act in an unchristlike way because an error has been made. Thus the wrong is aggravated. Let no one, because he is master of the situation, feel it his privilege to lord it over those who are serving. Thus is aroused in them a spirit of retaliation, causing them to lose confidence in us as Christians.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 19

    The Lord requires us to bring our religion into our business life as verily as into the assembly for His worship. How does He regard the testimonies borne on the Sabbath by those who during the week left their religion out of their work and spoke harsh, unfeeling words? What impression do these testimonies make on those who have been hurt and wounded by the harsh words?17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 20

    Those who control others should first learn to control themselves. Until those in responsibility learn this lesson, they cannot act the part of a Christian in their work of overseeing others. They are to abide in Christ, speaking as He would speak, acting as He would act—with unfailing tenderness and compassion. They are not to think, because they are in a position of responsibility, that they are at liberty to bear down on those connected with them. To the one who manages, God has given a measure of power, but this power he is to exercise in a pleasing and agreeable manner.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 21

    Let those who have been exalted to the high position of managers in the Lord’s institutions, who are set as guardians of their fellow workers, pray to the Lord most earnestly for His grace. Before they enter into the business of the day, let them make a solemn pledge that they will not abuse the gift of speech by speaking harshly to those who come to them to receive directions. Let them remember that they themselves are ever to be under the control of the Spirit of God, rendering prompt and cheerful obedience to His commands. Let them submit to Him in all things and make a solemn covenant with Him that they will set a guard over the door of their lips, remembering that they are representatives of the heavenly kingdom, and that, therefore, they are to live lives of a higher order than the worldling who has not received Christ. Let them remember that they are living epistles, known and read of all men. They are to be one with Christ, ever looking to Him, and from Him receiving strength for every conflict.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 22

    O what a power for good a converted man—transformed daily—can exert to bring blessing and gladness to the world. When the church is imbued with the spirit of obedience and love, the members will exert in the world a saving influence, and God will withhold from them nothing that will crown that influence with success and victory. Men and women are His agencies for the salvation of souls. Those who are filled with an earnest desire to draw sinners to Christ have the sympathy and co-operation of the heavenly universe.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 23

    True Christians are just what the name signifies—Christlike in character. God says of them, “This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.” [Isaiah 43:21.] “They are my witnesses, my chosen representatives in an apostate world.”17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 24

    The message of John the Baptist is to be reiterated:: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] From sanctified lips are to fall the words, “Let the people praise thee, O God, let all the people praise thee; and let the whole earth be filled with His glory.” [See Psalm 67:3; 72:19.]17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 25

    God sees and tenderly sympathizes with those who are tempted. He hears the voice of supplication and distress. Not a groan, not a tear, not a sigh escape His notice. Did not Christ come to this world to work out the plan of redemption in man’s behalf, to show him how to overcome the temptations of the enemy? Will God, then, withhold from His children anything that will perfect their characters?17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 26

    “The elders who are among you I exhort, who also am an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” [1 Peter 5:1-3.]17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 27

    In the charge to feed the flock of God there is a threefold duty. “Feed the flock of God”—by preaching to them His Word, by giving them earnest, personal labor, by setting them a right example. “Feed the flock of God,” “taking the oversight thereof,” having a personal care for the blood-bought heritage committed to your charge, “being ensamples to the flock”—following Christ in self-denial and self-sacrifice, in the life revealing holiness to the Lord. All this is to be done of a ready, cheerful mind, “neither as being lords over God’s heritage,” tyrannizing over them with human tests. The truth of God’s Word is to be the test.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 28

    I have not written to you before because I have not been able to. I have been under a heavy strain. My mind would not let me rest. But at last my brain gave out. I suffered great pain in my head and eyeballs. I have not yet fully recovered and cannot endure much taxation. I am sleeping better than I was but cannot find the rest that I need so much, because I have a great deal of writing to do.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 29

    I am sitting in my room on Sabbath morning thinking about the perplexities of the work, and wondering, “What shall I do?” when a little bird hopped on to the windowsill and poured forth such a flood of song as set my heart free for a time. I believe that the bird was God’s messenger to me. I am determined to put my trust in the Lord. I thank Him that I have been so wonderfully sustained. I want to do much more work for Him before I lay off my armor.17LtMs, Lt 108, 1902, par. 30

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