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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Lt 252, 1903

    Burden, Brother and Sister [J. A.]

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    November 16, 1903

    Portions of this letter are published in Ev 103. +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 Burden,—

    I wish to write you a few lines. In the night season I was talking with you both, speaking words for your encouragement. Lift your eyes to Jesus. Nothing that we do is of any worth unless we cherish the sweet spirit of Jesus. Walking in Christ and living for Christ, we live by the Word of God; and perfect obedience to this Word never brings bondage. Do not look on the dark side, but on the bright side. Do not keep your mind fixed on the disagreeable things of life. Gather up all the pleasant things possible. This you must do in order to have health and peace and joy in the Lord.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 1

    The path to heaven is so plain that the wayfaring man need not err therein. The captious critic, marking out a way for others, will make crooked paths for his feet, and his way will be dark; but the one who loves Jesus supremely and his neighbor as himself will bring brightness into his path, as he follows on to know the Lord, and those connected with him will not stumble.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 2

    Individually we want to know the way to heaven. Let us study the chart that shows the way, pointing out the waymarks. Follow the directions closely. Let your prayer be, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.” [Psalm 119:18.] Looking to Jesus, you will by beholding become changed into His image. Look; and the glory of the Redeemer will shine upon you, to be reflected by you to others.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 3

    But if you look at the imperfection of your fellow beings, you will become changed into the likeness of imperfection. My brother, my sister, look to Jesus, that you may become changed into His likeness.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 4

    We are to live, not to please ourselves, but to please the Lord. Gather to your souls the divine rays of light. Talk faith, live faith. Bring into the daily life the brightness of Christ’s life.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 5

    “God is love, and he that dwelleth in God dwelleth in love.” [1 John 4:16.] It is your privilege to declare that you know by experience that the Lord is gracious. Jesus loves you. Only believe this, and your cheerfulness will represent Him. Talk faith, and you will have faith.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 6

    Many obstacles will be placed in our pathway as we journey heavenward. Satan will place things before us in a false, disagreeable light, if we give him the least encouragement. Then, looking upon these things in his light, we shall reflect the unpleasantness to others. God says to us, “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire.” [Revelation 3:18.] He desires us to gain a precious, valuable experience. The way in which He asks us to gain this experience may not be the way that we would choose, but it is the way of God’s choosing. Thus He is proving and trying us.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 7

    Dear friends, should you not shine as lights in the world? Look up! look up! Talk faith; talk brightness. Rebuke the enemy, who is seeking to throw over you a cloud of disagreeable misrepresentations. He would have you think that this cloud is caused by your best friends. Pray; and believe that He who is the fountain of light will give you light. Let the bright rays of the Sun of righteousness shine into your hearts.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 8

    I have had most trying scenes to pass through recently. At times it has seemed that our brethren were blind. Many of them talked and acted like blind men. When my message sent by God came to them, they did not heed it, but went on just as before. Again and again this has occurred. It has caused me great anguish. I have been kept so busy writing out instruction that would guard against the evils coming in that I have not had time to write, as I very much desired, on Old Testament history from the time of Solomon.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 9

    But the Lord knows. He brought me from Australia to meet this crisis, and He will not leave me to die under the burden. It has been a constant conflict. But in our home we have no dissension, no words of impatience. My workers are different in temperament, and their ways and manners are different, but we blend in action and stand united in spirit, seeking to help and strengthen one another. We know that we cannot afford to be at variance because we differ in temperament. We are God’s little children, and we ask Him to help us to live, not to please ourselves and to have our own way, but to please and glorify Him.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 10

    As you and I were talking together in the night season, we spoke in regard to Brother Sharp. The question was asked, “Ought he to be retained in his present employment?” I said, “Brother Sharp’s case was presented to me many years ago, when he first took his position on the side of truth. He was at that time holding a position of trust, but his employer would not allow him to stay and keep the Sabbath. He fought a severe battle over this question. We carried his case to the Lord, and he took his position firmly on the side of right.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 11

    “He was discharged. One day a gentleman entered the store where he had been employed, and asked, ‘Where is Mr. Sharp?’ On being told that he had been discharged, he asked, ‘Was not his work satisfactory?’ ‘He was trustworthy in every respect,’ his employer answered, ‘but he wanted to keep the seventh day as the Sabbath. That is why he was discharged.’ Said the other man, ‘I fear that you will not find another so true and conscientious to take his place.’ He then took Brother Sharp’s address.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 12

    “Sister Sharp had not at this time taken her position on the side of truth, and when she heard of her husband’s discharge, she could not control her feelings. She could not see how their family would be supported. She was in feeble health, and her feelings were so highly wrought upon that she fell to the floor in a faint. The physician was called, but it was a long time before she came to herself. They feared that she would never recover. The physician said that it was a very close call.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 13

    “Brother Sharp was afterward employed by the man who had inquired about him from his former employer. He worked very hard, having oversight of all the business accounts, and his brain was overtaxed. His employer had him leave his work for a time and paid him his wages during his absence.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 14

    “I believe Brother Sharp to be an honest, conscientious man of the best of principles. His experience in the Summer Hill Sanitarium, in connection with Dr. Caro, was no help to him. But I sincerely hope that he will be given some place in the work where he will feel that he is doing the will of the Lord. The light given me in regard to him is that he puts his whole being into his work and that he must be guarded. He must not be allowed to do too much sedentary or brain-taxing work. He has a little flock to watch over, and they need a father’s wise instruction.”18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 15

    I write you this for fear that unwise moves, which the Lord cannot approve, will be made. Every soul is precious in God’s sight. I highly respect Brother Sharp. I would not have him put in a hard place. We must all try to help one another, making the path of our fellow workers as pleasant as possible.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 16

    Brother Burden, if you feel that your duty in Australia is done, and that you cannot be free and happy there, would you feel inclined to come to California? There is a work to be done in Southern California. But I have no special light in regard to this. I cannot see why you cannot find freedom in carrying forward the work of the Lord in Australia. If you will only keep your mind free from petty things, not allowing them to depress you, you will find that in learning of Christ, there is rest and peace. It is in the place in which God puts us that we can best learn to be workers together with Him.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 17

    Last night I prayed to the Lord for understanding in regard to some things that were perplexing me. The great Teacher presented matters so clearly that as soon as I awoke I wrote out the instruction given me. It is as follows:18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 18

    “Not all who in the providence of God are associated together have the same stamp of character. His workers have different likes and dislikes. They have inherited different traits of character. To every one will come, in some form, a crucial test. One may be tried because others do not seem to appreciate his gifts and do not think and act in harmony with his ideas. It seems difficult for some to blend with those who are different from them. If one clings to his own hereditary and cultivated traits and his own special ideas, he will find that others are just as tenacious of their peculiarities and their special way of doing things. He who holds with a firm grip his own opinions and way of thinking, refusing to change his course in order to blend in harmonious action with others who, as verily as himself, are conscientiously serving God, needs to examine himself critically and place himself under the discipline of Christ.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 19

    The prayer that the Saviour offered for His disciples just before His crucifixion contains precious lessons, which all are to heed. “I sanctify Myself,” Christ said, “that they also may be sanctified.” “Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.” [John 17:19, 17.] Truly agreeing on the principles of the Word, we shall not allow differences of opinion to become mountains of difficulty. We shall not hold to our own preferences, our own ways and ideas.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 20

    We gain a real Christian experience by putting Christian religion into practice. The Bible is our director, our lesson book. Study and practice its teachings, bringing them into all the details of life. Thus, Christ declares, we are to be His witnesses before a world lying in sin and ignorance.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 21

    We know, my dear brother and sister, that you have had a rich experience in practical self-denial. Thank God for this. You have stood bravely in your lot and place, lifting heavy burdens of responsibility. This was a training school for you, and what you have done has made you witnesses to practical godliness. The establishment of the Sanitarium as it now is is largely owing, under God, to the unselfish efforts put forth by you, Dr. M. G. Kellogg, and others united with you. The time of reaping will come. Good results have already begun to appear. Converts have been made to the truth, in their turn to convert others. This should bring joy to the hearts of those who had a part in the establishment of the institution.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 22

    If you will just take hold with your fellow workers, not cherishing differences, but blending as Christians, you will gain an experience that will be more precious than gold. You may indeed be co-laborers with Christ. We love to think of you in connection with the Sanitarium farm. Outdoor employment and freedom from heavy responsibilities are best for you. You will win if you learn from Christ, not trying to carry burdens that are too heavy for you. I most earnestly desire that you shall both be genuinely brave, that your hearts may be filled with fortitude and courage.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 23

    Do not suppose that you will ever be situated, in this world, where there is nothing hard or trying.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 24

    In the Christian life there are triumphs to be gained, not triumphs that will bring human ovations and praise, but triumphs that God alone will recognize. Everything depends on your possessing the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Perfect faith is a loyal, tested faith, and it makes perfect the possessor.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 25

    I must [close] now, for the mail goes today; and there are others to whom I wish to write. May the Lord give you His grace, my dear friends. We will all unite with you in pressing the battle to the gates. We love you both in the Lord. Christ loves you with a love that is more precious than gold or silver or precious stones. Walk by faith, not by sight. Bring uplifting, sanctifying grace into your own lives and into the lives of others. Then you will be all light in the Lord. Close the windows of the soul earthward and open them heavenward. “Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, Rejoice.” [Philippians 4:4.]18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 26

    In much love.18LtMs, Lt 252, 1903, par. 27

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