“May 10, 1876
“Dear Sister Lucinda:
“We received your letter last evening. We also received one from James. Lucinda, I have no idea now of exchanging a certainty for an uncertainty. I can write more, and am free. Should I come east, James’ happiness might suddenly change to complaining and fretting. I am thoroughly disgusted with this state of things, and do not mean to place myself where there is the least liability of its occurring. The more I think of the matter the more settled and determined I am, unless God gives me light, to remain where I am. I can never have an opportunity such as God has favored me with at the present. I must work as God should direct. I plead and entreat for light. If it is my duty to attend the camp meetings, I shall know it.
“Mary is now secured. I may lose her if I should go east. Satan has hindered me for long years from doing my writing, and now I must not be drawn off. I can but dread the liability of James’ changeable moods, his strong feelings, his censures, his viewing me in the light he does, and has felt free to tell me his ideas of my being led by a wrong spirit, my restricting his liberty, et cetera. All this is not easy to jump over and place myself voluntarily in a position where he will stand in my way and I in his.
“No, Lucinda, no camp meetings shall I attend this season. God in His providence has given us each our work, and we will do it separately, independently. He is happy; I am happy; but the happiness might be all changed should we meet, I fear. Your judgment I prize, but I must be left free to do my work. I cannot endure the thought of marring the work and cause of God by such depression as I have experienced all unnecessarily. My work is at Oakland. I shall not move east one step unless the Lord says “Go.” Then, without one murmur, I will cheerfully go, not before.
A great share of my life’s usefulness has been lost. If James had made retraction, it would be different. He has said we must not seek to control each other. I do not own to doing it, but he has, and much more. I never felt as I do now in this matter. I cannot have confidence in James’ judgment in reference to my duty. He seems to want to dictate to me as though I was a child—tells me not to go here, I must come east for fear of Sister Willis’s influence, or fearing that I should go to Petaluma, et cetera. I hope God has not left me to receive my duty through my husband. He will teach me if I trust in Him.
“I am cheerful and happy. My nerves are getting calm. My sleep is sweet. My health is good. I hope I have not written anything wrong, but these are just my feelings, and no one but you knows anything about it. May the Lord help me to do and feel just right. If things had been different, I might feel [it was my] duty to go to camp meetings. As they are, I have no duty. God blesses me in doing my work. If I can get light in [a] dream or in any way, I will cheerfully follow the light. God lives and reigns. I shall answer to His claims, and seek to do His will.
“In love.” (Disponível em https://egwwritings.org/?ref=en_Lt64-1876; acesso em 20 fev. 2021).
“May 12, 1876
“Dear Sister Lucinda:
“I wish you would write some news. Write often.
“I have decided to remain here, and not attend any of the camp meetings. I dare not go east without an assurance that God would have me go. I am perfectly willing to go if the light shines that way. But the Lord knows what is best for me, for James, and the cause of God. My husband is now happy—blessed news. If he will only remain happy, I would be willing to ever remain from him. If my presence is detrimental to his happiness, God forbid I should be connected with him. I will do my work as God leads me. He may do his work as God leads him. We will not get in each other’s way. My heart is fixed, trusting in God. I shall wait for God to open my way before me.
“I do not think my husband really desires my society. He would be glad for me to be present at the camp meetings, but he has such views of me, which he freely has expressed from time to time, that I do not feel happy in his society, and I never can till he views matters entirely differently. He charges a good share of his unhappiness upon me, when he has made it himself by his own lack of self-control.
“These things exist, and I cannot be in harmony with him till he views things differently. He has said too much for me to feel freedom with him in prayer or to unite with him in labor, therefore as time passes and he removes nothing out of my way, my duty is plain never to place myself where he will be tempted to act out his feelings and talk them out as he has done. I cannot, and will not, be crippled as I have been.” (Disponível em https://egwwritings.org/?ref=en_Lt65-1876; acesso em 20 fev. 2021).
“May 16, 1876
“A letter received from my husband last night shows me that he is prepared to dictate to me and take positions more trying than ever before. I have decided to attend no camp meetings this season. I shall remain and write. My husband can labor alone best. I am sure I can.
He writes [that] Walling wants me to bring the children over the plains to attend the Centennial. But they have crossed the plains for the last time, to pay out fifty dollars. If he wants them, he can come and get them. [The following sentences were written in the margin of the first page of the letter: “This arrangement of Walling’s to have his family go to the Centennial, May does not like. She does not want to see Walling, and is opposed to going east. I shall not go east. I am decided. I get no light to go anywhere. EGW.”] I could send them by Brother Jones, but it would be to have them no more under my charge. I have too much care to prepare these children even for a journey. James did not express his mind in the matter. He takes exceptions to the sketches of life in Signs. Shall stop just here. He only mentions one thing, the putting in of [Israel] Dammon’s name. I think he would be satisfied if he had the entire control of me, soul and body, but this he cannot have. I sometimes think he is not really a sane man, but I don’t know. May God teach and lead and guide. His last letter has fully decided me to remain this side of the mountains.
“He has in his letters to me written harshly in regard to Edson, and then told me that he did not write to call me out. He did not want me to make any references to Edson. I wrote thus—I give you the words, for he has returned the letter: ‘Will you, please, if you are happy, to be thankful and not agitate disagreeable matters which you feel called upon to write me, to make no reference to them. Please take the same cautions yourself. When you wish to make these statements in reference to your own son, please lay down your pen and stop just there. I think God would be better pleased, and it would do no harm to your own soul. Leave me to be guided by the Lord in reference to Edson, for I still trust in His guiding hand and have confidence He will lead me. The same guiding hand is my trust.’
“He has felt called upon to press upon me the danger of being drawn in by Edson and deceived by him. He has felt called upon to write in regard to my danger of being deceived by Sister Willis, in regard to my being called to Petaluma, et cetera. I hope [that] when my husband left he did not take God with him and leave us to walk by the light of our own eyes and the wisdom of our own hearts.
“In his last [letter] he repeats [that] he does not want me to make any references to what he writes till ‘You see things differently. And be assured of this, that none of these things sink me down a hair. I shall be happy to meet you and Mary at the Kansas camp meeting provided that, with the exception of a direct revelation from God, you put me on a level with yourself. I will gladly come to that position and labor with you, but while entrusted with the supervision of the whole work I think it wrong to be second to the private opinions of anyone.
“‘The moment I come to this I can be turned by the will of others’ infallibility. When I cannot take this position I can gracefully cast off responsibilities. I shall have no more controversies with my dear wife. She may call it a ‘mouse or a bat’ and have her own way. If she doesn’t like my position in reference to Edson or other matters, will she please [keep] her opinion to herself and let me enjoy mine? Your remarks called me out. And now that you cannot endure my speaking as plainly as you do, I have done.
“‘As to your coming to Kansas, I am not the least anxious. Judging from what I can gather from that last page, I think we can better labor apart than together until you can lay down your continual efforts to hold me in condemnation. When you have a message from the Lord for me, I hope I shall be where I shall tremble at His word. But aside from that, you must let me be an equal, or we had better work alone.
“‘Don’t be anxious about my dwelling on disagreeables any more. I have them in my heart. But while on the stage of action I shall use the good old head God gave me until He reveals that I am wrong. Your head won’t fit my shoulders. Keep it where it belongs, and I will try to honor God in using my own. I shall be glad to hear from you, but don’t waste your precious time and strength lecturing me on matters of mere opinions.’
“There is considerable more of the same kind.
“Now, Lucinda, my course is clear. I shall not cross the plains this summer. I would be glad to bear my testimony in the meetings, but this cannot be without worse results than we could gain.
“Will you not write me something in reference to these things? Why do you keep so silent? How is James’ health? I had a dream that troubled me in reference to James.
“What is your mind in reference to the children?
“In haste.” (Disponível em https://egwwritings.org/?ref=en_Lt66-1876; acesso em 20 fev. 2021)
“May 17, 1876
“Dear Sister Lucinda:
“I am sorry I wrote you the letters I have. Whatever may have been my feelings, I need not have troubled you with them. Burn all my letters, and I will relate no matters that perplex me to you. The [Sinbearer] is my refuge. He has invited me to come to Him for rest when weary and heavy laden. I will not be guilty of uttering a word again, whatever may be the circumstances. Silence in all things of a disagreeable or perplexing character has ever been a blessing to me. When I have departed from this, I have regretted it so much.
“You knew when you left that there was no one I could speak with, however distressed I might be; but this is no excuse. I have written to James a letter of confession. You may read all letters that come from Oakland to him, and remail [them to him] where he is. I know not who to send letters in the care of at Kansas.
“I received last night a letter from James expressing a very [different] tone of feelings. But I dare not cross the plains. It is better for us both to be separated. I have not lost my love for my husband, but I cannot explain things. I shall not attend any of the eastern camp meetings. I shall remain in California and write. The last letters have fully decided me. I regard it the light that I have asked for. I would have come to the Kansas meeting but felt forbidden to start. It is all right. The Lord knows what is best for us all.
“I have no confidence that it was your duty to go east when you did. Had you remained, I might have accomplished much more. But I understand all the circumstances, and have not a word of censure to lay on you or my husband or anyone.
“I am writing frequently twenty pages a day. I have dropped Sketches of Life, but [we] have got off two more forms [of] the testimony. One more form will complete it. Mary Clough is just the same; she works with interest and cheerfulness. Shew proves to be a precious help; I don’t know how we could keep house without him. He makes bread, just excellent pies, buns; and cooks vegetables. All that they have paid him as yet is two dollars each week, till last two weeks, two and [a] half. Shall pay three in two weeks more. Mary [is] teaching him to cook. He is neat; takes care of the whole house.
“Where is Frankie Patten? Is she coming or not? Why do you not say something about these things?
“Love to all.” (disponível em https://egwwritings.org/?ref=en_Lt67-1876; acesso em 20 fev. 2021)