Grace Wilder Letters
July 15, 1886 (From Grace to Robert while at Mt. Hermon, Portion)
We were looking for your letter and were so glad to get it. Of course I have my compunctions as to your Base Ball exploits. Just think of the frame of our Athletic men and don't expect too much of your thin arms…. Do you see much of Mr. Moody? I do want to know all about it - especially the nice friends you are making - what a host of grand men you are having all around you. There must be a reciprocal enthusiasm that you can really feel. As the Armenian proverb puts it - "Grape looks at grape and ripens ……" the Rutland trip… If Father is no worse, you expect to go don't you?
Father is just about as he was when you left. He sleeps about five hours - but dear brother he does suffer very severely for about an hour every day. I try to keep up the conversation at the table but, you know, I can't fill your place at this time…
By the way, there is one thing I omitted to tell you that is to be on the look out for especially helpful tracts. Mr. Moody may suggest some which he has found very useful…
Do you see much of dear Dr. Gordon?
I suppose you have a Missy. Meeting next Sunday. Will remember you. G
Princeton July 28th 1886 (While Robert was at Mt. Hermon)
Your letter has come. I have never read such intensely interesting extracts. I tried to go through the description of the Friday meeting aloud to father but my feelings were almost too much for one. I don't see how you can suppress a genuine Methodist - "praise the Lord." The Holy Spirit is surely working among you. I am trying to help you as I promised and even prayer seems a tremendous responsibility when such things are at stake. "He uses the weak things." May He work mightily through you - is my great prayer. I would say I don't leave the Convention where you have such a work - and I really don't see any need of your being here before the last of next week. Father is waiting a reply from the hospital.
Father read aloud your article. He is much pleased with it. I will keep it until you come for I have a proposition to make. Many thanks for the enclosed. Mother and I went to the Salvation Army meeting last evening. She says she felt she could give a word of testimony. I do feel that they are doing a good work. I wonder if Mr. Moody would hesitate to give them hearty sympathy and help. Mr. Tomlinson and Mr. Legget spoke in the meeting but I must keep the rest till you come. Ed started last Friday for Colorado. He seems very restless on religious subjects. Mother and I have been especially praying for him. Could you have him remembered in some of your meetings? He really is a sick man.
With heaps of love,
Your own loving,
P.S. Please remember me to Mr. Wishard. I almost envy you young men when I think of the host of girls that might be enlisted also. G.W.
Mother seems to think there is danger of you overtaxing yourself. Do be careful. G.
January 17th 1887
What a precious dear boy you are to write me so often! Really I don't want you to send such long letters home for I know this is some nervous strain. It seems as if our praise time has fully come. You must feel that it almost crowds out prayer. By the way Robert, I am trying to pray more at any time just as the desire comes. Waiting for a special time so accumulates requests that they seem to become a little burden on the mind. I wanted to seen you something helpful and the thought came to tell him to take everything to Jesus just so as not to carry the burden a minute. If we could only realize that every such prayer sent up is immediately heard. I am so like the man who accepted a ride but carried his bundle on his back all the time.
Don't you think we ought to be careful not to carry the burden of souls? In such work as you are doing you cannot "lean too hard" for He knows the weight of the responsibly.
This morning I have been impressed with the command "fear not" just the message for me for I must be careful your two last letters have made me fearful that your planning too many meetings (this is because your given an earthen vessel). Is it not better to have one meeting and ask the students to make effort to have all present?
When too perhaps "fear not" is the best word I can send you. "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The lord is my strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid?" Not even of or own mistakes, should we?
You asked about Will. He seems very thoughtful and sad at times but has not spoken of missions. Ed is suffering from his throat. Father has had several very good days lately, but suffered yesterday. Robert Carter published Modern Missions, Just think of 1000 converts? Did you receive a few copies of circulation and pamphlets sent to Mt. Hermon? Perhaps still better suggestions as to your work on being able to get students to send a report letter. G.
January 24th 1887
I don't know how to express what I feel about your last letter. Indeed "what hath God wrought" Don't you began to feel as Mr. Moody says-"nothing is so humbling as true success in God's works?" When I read your works and feel as full I do rejoice that I can pray. The little pamphlets too is being used but it is His blessing and in spirit of the mistakes. I don't know but I have been having "the Blues" not exactly the thought but I have been seeing more clearly the sad mistake I made in it. I should write differently another time. More of the tender and more simply. The present number we are using are running out but I hesitate to get more printed. Do you see Dr. Dirkets magazine? The last one has an article on the new project of sending missionaries thoughts. Father exclaims- "I thank God I have lived to see so much"
Do you think it can do any harm to give an account of your meeting in the next Review? Please send me the signs according to Colleges for Iowa if you think it will be well to have them for the Review. It's certainly inspiration. Please send as soon as possible. Oh Robert we can't realize the extent of this work. When I hear the earnest prayers and know of the hundreds of meetings in this city and yet we do not hear of great revivals. I cannot help thinking that God's hand is holding above us a great blessing ready to be poured down as soon as the tithes such as are now coming in are gathered. I will try to remember especially the subjects you mentioned and let us ask for more "faith."…..
Your loving and rejoicing,
February 1st 1887
I fear you did not receive my letter with enclosure form Mrs. Gates. Please return the letter when you are through with it. I hope you will think every change in the new pamphlet is for the better. Please send me an address so I can send you one. Miss Havens pamphlet has come. I thank you for sending it. May I keep it a little longer? Let us pray especially for the Spirit. It is a help to feel that we are uniting in the same desire. God must be teaching you how to rest on Him.
Father is glad to get the letters from Mr. Studd and Mrs. Cronther. Please do not let Mr. L. know I sent you this but in your next free time just give a expression of your view if you differ or agree. It might not be best to change now.
Father suffered much last night and seems weak today.
I received the list just a little to late for the Review and your letter giving Grinnell to was not with me. The list can be continued in the March review. We do not hear a word of Mr. Foreman. This is the month for you to come East. How I do want to see you. We will have a praise meeting wont we?
Grace E. Wilder
April 29th 1887
It seems as if I write such scraps of letters to you but thinking that June will bring us together and knowing that I am having little opportunities to speak, I will not try to send much but such a thought as it is given.
One, I think perhaps you can use a look at Luke 17:14, "As they went they were cleansed." They start to tell the high priest that they are healed and yet no sensation and in fact no healing takes place until they are on the way. All the wonderful miracles occur because they start on the simple word of Jesus "Go show yourselves." How much more reason these men had to say- "Why it is absurd for us to take a step toward the priests while we are just as leprous as ever. Then how do we say we cannot obey Jesus' last command until we feel we are fit for it?
Compare the two go's in Luke 17:14 and Matt. 28:7 and the results of the obedience.
As the lepers go they are cleansed. As the women go to tell "Jesus meets them." When the disciples go into Galilee they see Jesus!! The great lament of the church now seems to be lack of spirituality or realizing the presence of Jesus. Perhaps there is a Galilee for us and we are not meeting Him because we are not where he has said he will be with us. Matt. 28:18-20. I am thinking more about your thoughts of this promise "lo I am with you" being conditioned. How we do need to pray that the Holy Spirit will help us to take first the right view of the Last Commandment especially with all the questions that come up about it. Thank you for remembering me so often. Your card from Peoria has come and I will answer Mr. Van Schoick. I make the number 1,889. I count all you send because in this list the 101 at Mt. Hermon was not put down. So if they sign in the colleges it is not counting them twice. Oh that God might be praised for this number.
Happy love from yours,