First Letter To Henri Frey (Letter 36, 1887)

Ellen G. White 


The following paragraphs come from the first letter written by Mrs. White to Henri Frey, an employee of the church's office in Basel Switzerland.


Recognize Your True Condition

You cannot do justice to the work in which you are engaged, because you do not bring the wisdom of God into your labor.Your hands are not clean; your heart is defiled; your practices are not right. You need a thorough conversion, and your moral taste needs to be entirely renovated. You need to cultivate the idea that you are handling sacred things, because you are connected with the work of God. Your heart will not be made better while the light of truth is shining all about you and you keep its pure principles out of your life and apart from your character. {Lt 36, 1887, par. 1}

Unless you feel the need of a thorough transformation, you will ere long be separated from the work of God; you will not, you cannot do justice to the work of God. There will have to be a decided change in the moral atmosphere that surrounds your soul. You are not being sanctified through the truth; your thoughts are not elevated, ennobled, refined. You seek a low level, low and common; your influence is not good. Your associations are of that character to tarnish the moral atmosphere. Evil angels are around you, pressing their darkness upon you. {Lt 36, 1887, par. 2}

Break From The Power Of Satan That Holds You

You need to act now to break the power of Satan that holds you before you can place your feet in the footprints of Jesus, to be self-denying, pure, and uncorrupted even with bad examples on all sides. While the worldlings would be glad to see you adopting their habits and their ways, you have not moral courage enough to say, I am Christian, trying to be a child of God. {Lt 36, 1887, par. 4}

Thoroughly Examine Every Habit

It is essential that you thoroughly comprehend the importance of starting in your lifework with correct principles and a proper theory of lifeLet young men burst from the bondage of all unmanly selfish indulgences and unscholarly habits, and like a brave, high-toned spirit resolve to stand in their God-given manhood as masters of themselves. Let them constantly ascend to meet a higher level. Let their eyes be single to God’s glory, and let them closely examine every habit, every practice in the light of God’s Word, scorning to be deceived by the devil. Let them bring every motive and every habit and phase of their character to God’s holy standard of righteousness, for they will all be brought into judgment. {Lt 36, 1887, par. 5}

Touch Not

Make it the law of your life to touch not, taste not, handle not beer, fermented wine, tea, coffee, or tobacco. Having deliberately decided to be a man, free yourself from every lust which wars against the soul, adopt a right principle of action in all things, reverence and obey God. Make it the purpose of your life to be all that God designed you should be. Let no temptation be of sufficient attraction to you to swerve you from principle. Then God will be to you a present help. He will give you His wisdom as a lamp to your feet. {Lt 36, 1887, par. 8}

Conscientious Surrender Essential

You know scarcely the first principles of true godliness, but you may know; you may arise from this grossness, from this earthliness, and repress all sensuality. Firmness and sanctified decisions are what you need to turn square about, to repent of your sins, to be converted and make it the law of your life to be true to yourself and true to your God. Then, while you work out your salvation with fear and trembling, it is God that worketh in you to will and to do of His own good pleasure. No halfway purpose will do. For you it must be a thorough decision. A conscientious surrender of your entire life to God is essential for you. {Lt 36, 1887, par. 9}

Maintain An Intimate Connection

Both the understanding and the heart need to constantly maintain the most intimate and conscious connection with the pure, sacred springs from which they will derive their light and inspiration. {Lt 36, 1887, par. 11}

Grace Of Christ Can Be Implanted

Your heart must be changed, its principles elevated, and your heart beat, and your eye flash in response to the deep, holy principles which your own strenuous efforts may combine with the grace of God implanted in your natureYour morals then will be sound, your principles firm. In this aim you may be ambitious, for you are drinking from the true source of wisdom and virtue. Behold in the cross of Christ the only safe and sure path for you to reach true elevation in this life and the great reward of eternal life. {Lt 36, 1887, par. 12}

Self-Respect Important

The Word of God forbids our attaching undue importance to our works, but it nowhere forbids self-respect. There is a conscious dignity of character which is not pride or self-esteem, but is the safeguard of youth. He is impressed that he has a reputation to sustain, a character to lose or to keep. In God’s inspired book you will have a faultless instructor, an unerring counselor, an unfailing guide. {Lt 36, 1887, par. 14}

Be Like Daniel

Let the youth consider that they can serve God by a consistent Christian life in any place and amid any surroundings, if it is their duty to be in such a place. If God calls them, in His providence, as He did Daniel, to positions of trust where temptations would be constantly assailing them, in the place of thinking it impossible to serve God, they would know that the grace of God would brace them to meet and resist temptation in every form. They must not limit the power of God. The great and all-wise God who has given ability and powers to man will give him work corresponding to his ability. {Lt 36, 1887, par. 15}

Imagine the temptations found in such a court as Babylon, and at a period of life when temptations have a peculiar power to tarnish and pollute morals. It was just such a situation as we would consider favorable for a man to lose his soul in. Certainly it would not be chosen by a man who wanted to save his soul. Daniel and his associates feared God. They determined not to yield their faith or their principles. They were young, and these four youth, in God’s own providence, were placed in this perilous position that through them God’s power might be revealed. These men were not God-fearing and God-loving because circumstances favored it; the godliness was within themselves, and they clung to it and held it fastCircumstances were continually of that nature to subvert, to attract, to lead to self-indulgence, to crush out godlinessBut it was not crushed; genuine purity and God-fearing principles were interwoven with their life and character. {Lt 36, 1887, par. 16}

Many blame their circumstances and plead as an excuse for their condition that they are unfavorably situated, being thrown into the society of the irreligious and self-indulgent and intemperate. But do not let yourself be deceived. You can shape your surroundings, in the place of bending and being molded in character by circumstances. Godliness will stand the test, because it has a living root to sustain it, a wellspring from which it draws its nourishment. {Lt 36, 1887, par. 17}

True Secret Of Success Is The Love Of Truth And Righteousness

The true secret of every true follower of Jesus, and his continued, unsullied integrity, is that he loves truth, he loves righteousness. His moral taste is not depraved; and although surrounded by evil, the deep work of the truth wrought in his heart keeps the soul true and steadfast to God, even in very bad circumstances. This is the fruit that grows on the Christian tree, the faith that realizes the presence and help of God at all times. There is a constant dread of incurring the displeasure of God, whom they reverence and whom they love. It was this principle that preserved Joseph amid temptation. You must cultivate real faith in God, in His gracious goodness, faith in His presence. You must pray as you have never prayed before. {Lt 36, 1887, par. 18}


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