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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Lt 17, 1903

    Arthur, Judge Jesse

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    January 14, 1903

    This letter is published in entirety in 13MR 120-128. +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.

    Judge Jesse Arthur

    My dear brother in Christ,—

    I received your letter today and after reading it wished very much that I could be with you and talk with you.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 1

    My nephew Frank Belden has written me several letters regarding matters in Battle Creek, but these letters I have not read, for his own sake, and for the sake of those who, when I send the reproofs that God gives, are liable to be tempted to think and say, “Somebody has told her or written to her.” I shall not read these letters of Frank Belden’s now, and perhaps not at all. It is not best. Notwithstanding all the evidence that men have had that the testimonies given me are of God, when their own plans are interrupted and hindered by these testimonies, they say, “Somebody has told her.” The testimonies cannot help those whose faith is of this texture, and I am obliged to lose confidence in them as trustworthy men who will be true to themselves and to God.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 2

    I know that matters in Battle Creek are in a most precarious condition. For two months recently I suffered great distress of mind. For more than a month I was unable to sleep past twelve o’clock, excepting once or twice. At a council held at my house here, I spoke words which gave liberty for certain things to be done in a certain place. I was reproved by the Lord. For three nights in succession scenes were presented before me in which I saw what the result would be of following the plans of men instead of the plans of God. A horror of great darkness came upon me. As soon as possible I wrote a letter saying that I had been wrong in sanctioning these plans, that God did not endorse them.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 3

    In one of the scenes presented to me, I saw a sword of fire stretched out over Battle Creek.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 4

    But the terrible burden that came upon me at that time was taken away. The next news I heard was that the Review and Herald Publishing House had been destroyed by fire.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 5

    I am sure that nothing in regard to Review and Herald matters will be decided until the next General Conference.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 6

    I do not now expect to attend the General Conference. I should not dare to go; for I am very much worn with the responsibilities that I have been carrying since the Fresno camp-meeting. It is like this: When I stand before congregations of our people, I feel very intensely, because I understand the peril of those who as blind men have followed their own counsel. Were I to go to the Conference, I should be compelled to take positions that would cut some to the quick. It greatly hurts me to do this, and it is a long time before I recover from the strain that such an experience brings on me. When the Lord bids me speak, I am obliged to lay aside my own inclinations, and bear the testimony that He sends, whether men will hear or whether they will forbear, whether they are pleased or displeased.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 7

    You, my brother, know but little by personal experience of me and the work that the Lord has given me. But some of those who know of my experience, and who have had all the evidence that the Lord will ever give them, evade the truth when the straight testimony comes to rebuke some of their plans. They say, “Someone has told Sister White.” I cannot place any dependence on the faith of such ones in the Lord’s word. When all is in their favor, they may appear to believe. But when the Lord in His mercy shows them that their course is not in accordance with truth and righteousness, when their plans are interfered with, they give way to unbelief, showing that they have no real confidence in the word of the Lord.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 8

    I am glad that you could be with us in the meetings held when you were at St. Helena, because you have had little opportunity to learn of the character of the work that the Lord gave me when I was but sixteen years old, work which ever since He has sustained me in doing. I know that the Lord gave me the words to speak that you heard when you were here. His power and grace sustained me. His power was with me all the way through the last General Conference, and had the men in responsibility felt one quarter of the burden that rested on me, there would have been heartfelt confession and repentance. A work would have been done by the Holy Spirit such as has never yet been seen in Battle Creek. Those who at that time heard my message, and refused to humble their hearts before God, are without excuse. No greater proof will ever come to them.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 9

    The result of the last General Conference has been the greatest, the most terrible sorrow of my life. No change was made. The spirit that should have been brought into the whole work as the result of that meeting was not brought in because men did not receive the testimonies of the Spirit of God. As they went to their several fields of labor, they did not walk in the light that the Lord had flashed upon their pathway, but carried into their work the wrong principles that had been prevailing in the work at Battle Creek.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 10

    The Lord has marked every movement made by the leading men in our institutions and conferences. It is a perilous thing to reject the light that God sends. To Chorazin and Bethsaida heaven’s richest blessings had been freely offered. Day after day the Prince of life had gone in and out among them. The glory of God, which prophets and kings had longed to see, had shone upon them. But they refused the heavenly Gift, and of them the Saviour said:18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 11

    “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.” [Luke 10:13-15.]18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 12

    So today, upon those who have had light and evidence, but who have refused to heed the Lord’s warnings and entreaties, heaven’s woe is pronounced.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 13

    The Lord bore long with the perversity of Israel, but the time came when the people passed the boundaries, and fearful punishment fell upon those who, having had great light, refused to repent and be converted, that Christ should heal them.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 14

    Brother Arthur, I feel the most tender interest in you and in your connection with the Seventh-day Adventists. I am aware that you have seen among our people many things of an objectionable nature. You have seen them cherishing that which, considering the sacredness of their faith, they should not tolerate. The Lord Jesus looks upon you very tenderly, with great compassion and love. There is a narrow path for you to travel and a strait gate for you to pass through. And One is your Leader, even Christ. Remember always that He is acquainted with every temptation that comes to you. Ever trust Him and ever follow Him in meekness and humility. He is able to do as He has promised. “Behold the Lamb of God,” John said, “which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.]18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 15

    My brother, when you were in St. Helena, plain evidence was given you that the message of the Lord came at that time to His people. Then will you not hold fast to the truth, and believe the word of the Lord, whatever others may say or do to counterwork that which the Lord has declared to be His will?18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 16

    As I prayed for you in your home at Battle Creek, did you not have evidence that the Lord heard my prayer? I know that Jesus came into the room where we were. I know that He took away my weariness. It was no small suffering that I was trying to brace myself to bear. In the strength of the blessing then received, I traveled more than three thousand miles, speaking twenty-three times during the twenty-three days of my journey, sometimes speaking twice a day and sometimes three times.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 17

    I know that at that time blessing came to you in a healing current. I know that the Lord blessed and healed us both. You cannot have forgotten this experience. Was it not an assurance that the Lord was with His servant?18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 18

    My brother, your part is to cleave to the Lord. Do not be afraid to acknowledge His goodness and His love. Give to Him all the praise and glory. Remember that in these days of peril and unbelief and skepticism your safety depends on believing in and trusting Christ as a personal Saviour. The experience you are to gain is to strengthen you in the faith. You have had a decided experience. You gave yourself to the Lord to be led and guided by Him. Cleave to Christ as a personal Saviour. Hold fast the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end. With the dear family who believes with you, live for God, and you will all win a crown of immortal life. Never lose eternity out of your reckoning, and trust the Lord implicitly.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 19

    The injunction to cleave to the Lord will be precious to us if we will understand and obey it. Trust constantly in God. Have unswerving faith in Him because of the unmistakable evidence given you of His love and power. Never does one stretch out his arms in faith to the Saviour, but there are placed around and underneath him the everlasting arms, and he is comforted and sustained.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 20

    My brother and sister, lean your whole weight on Christ. He will bear you up. Fortify your children by wise instruction and by steady advancement in spirituality. Let them see that you have firm faith in the truth and a genuine love for Him who bears you up in His arms. Christ is your life, your light, your crown of rejoicing. His Spirit, striving with you, daily gives you a fresh and constantly growing experience in the knowledge of God and of Christ. Daily you learn lessons that keep you clinging so closely to the Life-giver that no power can shake you off.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 21

    My brother, you can be a great help by speaking words in season to the feeblest of God’s children, the poor and needy, and not to these only, but to those in the higher classes. We are liable to forget how some of this class long for some assurance, some spiritual hope.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 22

    Love is the connecting link between your heart and the heart of Christ. We love Him because He first loved us. Repeat often to your children the lessons of the Saviour. Christ holds you as a family in His arms of love. From Him your heart received the life-current. Let it be seen that this is actually a part of your daily experience. Spasmodic impulses are not reliable. Christ’s work has in it good reason and wise method. Do not allow your hope in Him to be affected by circumstances. Educate yourself to persevere in receiving grace from Him and imparting it to others. Thus you can exert a strong influence for good. You can be a great blessing if you will obtain the rich treasures of grace, and give them to others, speaking wise, appropriate words, leading, drawing souls to Christ, teaching them to love and appreciate Him whose they are by creation and by redemption. Lay up treasure beside the throne of God by bringing souls to Christ. This is the work that the Saviour values. Those who faithfully do this work will one day sit with Him on His throne.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 23

    What a good work we may do if we cleave earnestly to the Lord. My brother, fasten your heart to the heart of Christ. Teach your dear ones to love Jesus. In simple words tell them of His love. O how many there are who need to be taught to love Jesus. How many there are who need to be helped by words spoken in season, who are longing for something that will bring to an end the monotony of their aimless lives, but who fear to speak of their longing. Go to them with a heart overflowing with love and sympathy. In helping them, great blessing will come to you. Simply and earnestly tell them of your experience. Simplicity of godliness means much.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 24

    We are to cultivate a keen appetite for righteousness. God’s Word declares, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” [Matthew 5:6.]18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 25

    Now a few words on another subject. My brother, you need not afflict your soul with regard to your future work. Hide self in Christ. Do not worry. The storm will come, but Christ is at the helm. The ship is not left to the guidance of inexperienced hands. Your help will be needed in the work of reconstruction to be done in the future. I pray that you may be weighted with the Holy Spirit.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 26

    “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more as ye see the day approaching.” [Hebrews 10:23-25.]18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 27

    May the Lord help us to hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering. And may He help us to provoke one another to love and to good works. It is the unselfish love and compassion that we manifest, the tender interest that we show, that provokes to love and to good works. And these efforts bear fruit to the glory of God.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 28

    Rest your soul on the Lord. Be assured that Jesus has a care for you and for your family. He knows the end from the beginning. He thought of us before we thought of Him. His heart is stirred with divine compassion for all who need His words of encouragement and hope. His love for us was fully manifested in the sacrifice that He made to redeem us. He gave His life as a ransom for sinners. He so loved the lost race that He died for them. Those who are walking in His footsteps will, by tender compassion and unselfish interest, provoke one another to love and to good works.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 29

    Satan strives to bring into the church envy, suspicion, and evil surmisings. We are hoping and praying that the church may be purged from this evil and that the compassion of Christ may be kindled in every heart. Christ has left us an example, that we should follow in His steps. He always drew near to the most needy, the most hopeless, and, attracted by His sympathy, they came close to Him. He assures every suffering, needy, sinful soul that he will never want for a great Physician to give him spiritual help. We stand too far away from suffering humanity. Let us draw nearer to Christ, that our souls may be filled with His grace, and with a desire to give this grace to others.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 30

    My brother, look to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. Leave yourself in His hands. He is your hope, your crown of rejoicing.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 31

    In much love to you and your wife, and to your children, whom I love, and in whom I have a deep interest,18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 32

    Yours in the Master’s service.18LtMs, Lt 17, 1903, par. 33

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