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The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials - Contents
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    Chapter 86—To W. C. White


    Petoskey, Mich.

    August 19, 1890.

    Dear Son Willie:

    Your letter was received yesterday morning. I was glad that you expressed your mind in regard to California. I suppose you read the letters that came from California. You read, doubtless, the letter from Elder Fulton desirous for me to come to the camp meeting. You mentioned you thought it might be duty for me to spend the winter in California. I thought if this was my duty it must certainly be the best thing to be at the camp meeting where I could reach the most people at once and would accomplish more than to have matters drag all through the winter, and I think so still, but I am not very well settled to go to California under existing circumstances.1888 688.1

    It seems to me as you present the situation in California it is a poor time to make the change in California, transferring Elder Loughborough to another conference. As to Elder Haskell, to have merely a figurehead to manage in California is not doing much for California. I would advise no changes be made until there is some one who will do better than Elder Loughborough. I know that Elder Loughborough has had a hard time and his health is poor, that changes should be made; and if Underwood is still in his opposition state, at war in feelings against A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner, keep him east; do not let him have a wide territory where he can circulate and sow broadcast the seed of envy, jealousy, and rebellion. I had hoped he had become more humble and that the Lord would use him, but if there is no one who can be trusted to manage California do not make it worse for California by taking away Elder Loughborough. I know it to be where he will have less responsibility and more to stand by him and not work against him.1888 688.2

    How long before Elder Haskell will go to California and do the work the conference demands? I suggest that there be no moves made until you know for certainty that you are helping California and not robbing the conference of the help they so much need. To take away Elder Loughborough and leave nothing in addition is not, it appears to me, just the way to work. I do not care to go to California unless it is my duty to do so. You will be in the East and to stand there against existing elements with no one who has sufficient influence to back me is poor policy. I believe I have had enough of it. If the Lord has a work for me to do He is willing I should have the assistance of my children. They should help me, else it is my duty to cease traveling.1888 689.1

    I would come back to Battle Creek now if I thought it was best, but Marian shows in her complexion signs of malaria. I want she should stay here long enough to get rid of this yellow skin. If the weather keeps as cool as now we shall have to strike our tents and go to Battle Creek, for this house cannot accommodate us all and we do any writing.1888 689.2

    I think now I shall take advantage of the matched flooring in the tent and the boards connected with it and board up a shanty. The tent is a poor, leaky, cold concern. When it rains and the wind blows it is no sure protection. How is the weather there in Battle Creek? If I thought it was healthful I would return with my workers, but it is more healthful here and I want to run no risks. I shall therefore dispense with the tent, put up a frame and rough board it for protection for kitchen and drying room and all purposes, put stove in the drying room that Marian and Sister Whitney, may be comfortable. They have no place for stove, no room for stove; two beds are in the room. It is a poor show for them. I have a good room with stove in it.1888 689.3

    I hope you will have wisdom and I hope to have wisdom to move discreetly in all things. I have sent to Healdsburg for money due me on fruit and lumber wagon. With this I expect to purchase land to build me a cottage next summer. If I board up the floor that is now laid and take down the canvas I think we will be just as comfortable as the cottage of Brother Salisbury's. I shall write as well and much as I can and not weary me.1888 690.1

    I am anxious to begin on Life of Christ as soon as possible. I feel more earnest to get off my writings than to do anything like speaking. I had much freedom in speaking last Sabbath and shall speak next Sabbath, if the Lord will.1888 690.2

    I have Garmire to meet and I have put everything in writing so that he cannot misstate me. He has a fine family of children, very bright, good looking, and well behaved. These children think everything of Sister White and I want to save them if possible, but Garmire is a zealous worker, seems to be honest, seems to want to be right. Then comes in Parmalee and his wife and Sister Marks. They want to get a house here in Petoskey. I hope they will not do so, although I have no genuine evidence that Sister Marks is not a child of God and seeking to do the will of God.1888 690.3

    August 20. I expected to complete and send this letter yesterday but did not do so. Several things came up. Sister Parmalee and Sister Marks called upon me and Sister Marks had a long talk in regard to things she said were said about her. She denied the verity of these things. I refused to become mixed up in them and she complained that Elder Van Horn had not treated her as a Christian gentleman, neither had Elder Webber. She said they did not ask her or come to ascertain facts but came to condemn her and she was abused by them. I can say but little and will not engage in this matter, and told them so. If the woman has been treated wrongfully, I am sorry. Since some have treated me as they have done without the least occasion to do so I think they will do almost anything and they think they are doing God service. I shall be extremely careful that I am not found on the side of those who censure and condemn from hearsay lest I offend one of God's little ones, for Christ says it were better that a millstone were hanged about the neck of such an offender and that he be cast into the depths of the sea.1888 690.4

    This interview brought so vividly to my mind the past—the rejection of that which I knew to be the message and works of God, and how offensive was the position of some of our leading brethren in the sight of God—that I shall not be one who will come down with severity on those who are honestly trying to have faith and do something, although they may make mistakes and some ardent ones may receive ideas and impressions and carry things in their excitable spirit to extremes. Here I let the matter rest.1888 691.1

    I received the envelope of letters last evening, and read them. You speak of the things that were at Fred Wallings being a bad-looking lot. I perfectly agree with you. If this had not been the case they would not have remained there as long as they have. There is a set of springs, upholstered. These I wish Andrew to take to the Sanitarium and have overhauled and new cotton and excelsior or hair of cheaper quality put in them. Old quilts or comforters will do for bathroom. They also should be taken to Sanitarium and thoroughly cleaned, then the spring bed can be used by yourself or by me. The coarse clothing will do nicely in winter. The rag carpet can be sent to Sanitarium and washed, then that can do in bathroom or trunk room. Let this be attended to by Addie.1888 691.2

    I say with you, if Jones can use Rogers in the boarding house he would do, I believe, first rate there. I shall advise him to do this.1888 691.3

    I am not inclined to go to California Conference unless I decide to spend the winter there, and Marian means to be with me wherever I am that we can work together. You know that I have not done any of my book writing to speak of since I came from Europe because of this terrible burden upon my soul of seeing men who are connected with our institutions so blinded by the enemy they cannot distinguish the voice of the True Shepherd from that of a stranger. They gather about their souls garments of unbelief and walk in the sparks of their own kindling. This has nearly broken my heart. With this is accompanied a spirit of iron. There is not the sympathy and love and tenderness of Christ, but an unfeeling heartlessness that is surely satanic in its character. All this has been so presented before me that I no longer feel it to be my duty to labor and wear out my life for this satanic spirit to come in and work with might and main to counteract all that I should attempt to do, either by pen or in letter writing or by voice. When my brethren decide to stand by me and second my efforts, and call things by their right name, then I shall feel that God will have me attend the large gatherings.1888 691.4

    A spirit has come in among us that is bold, defiant, persevering, to resist the Spirit of God. And I am bound not to kill myself unless the Lord directs me to do it in meeting and combating it. I shut myself up to my writings. But if I go to California this winter I should be at the camp meetings where my voice could reach the many and not have to meet the underhanded spirit cropping out here and there at different points, with less power of influence to check it, and with so few stanch men to stand with me. No; if I go to California it must be to attend their camp meetings. I should feel better out of the sight and hearing of Battle Creek and those who have not the least interest in me except as they want me to give influence to something they may say or do, or to put myself in the gap if there are disagreeable things to be attended to.1888 692.1

    The last lines in your letter advise me to work on the Life of Christ. This I intend to do, if I remain here. We like the atmosphere, but there will have to be some things done to make us more comfortable—not much, but a little—if we stay through October. I would make a little shanty of wood. Lumber is cheaper here than at Battle Creek, and then wood is cheap and stoves would do the rest to keep us warm in rainy weather. When the sun shines it is beautiful.1888 692.2

    Your letter is now answered. I will answer Jones’ letter today. I have written Brother Church, as Brother Saunders requested. I have written to Burrough Valley urging that a buyer be found for my place. Brother Hagar told me when I was in Oakland that he was making every effort to sell his property in Oakland and then he would buy the land I had in Burrough Valley. I received the letter from Adams of Oakland but do not understand what he means, whether it is the little house in Oakland I sold to A. T. Jones or the whole property. I think he means simply the house I sold. In that case I think there will be nothing particular coming to Mrs. Scott as the interest must have overreached the amount she paid for the property. You can reckon unpaid interest on the property for five or six years.1888 693.1

    I think my letter is plenty long enough and I will close this. You did not tell me whether you had made a trade for the Osborn property. Please mention this in your next letter.1888 693.2

    Much love to Mary Mortenson and the dear children. The ravine is full of blackberries just beginning to get ripe. I wish the little ones were here. Sister Whitney and Marian yesterday afternoon picked five quarts of nice raspberries.1888 693.3


    P.S. Write at once what you think of this appeal.1888 694.1

    I have sent you an appeal written to be put in the hands of the presidents of our conferences. I want to send one to Brother Jones but waited to hear what your thought of it.1888 694.2


    [Send manuscript of Life of Christ and old large letter book.]

    Copied from handwritten letter
    as grammatically corrected.
    November 25, 1958.

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