Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 25, 1874

Smith, Brother and Sister [Uriah]

Oakland, California

May 6, 1874

Portions of this letter are published in 2Bio 413-414; 5MR 315.

Dear Brother and Sister Smith:

We are now attending meetings in this city. The large tent is pitched and meetings have been held in it since last Thursday. The First-day Adventists have no hold here. We felt that the time had come for something to be done in California. Immediately after sending the dispatch to Battle Creek, the burden for California rolled upon us as it had not before. We began to labor for individuals in the church with good success. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 1

We have seen and felt that the idea of our ministering brethren was altogether too contracted. They were for pitching the tent in small places, but shunning the large cities, I had dreams that in thus doing they were not doing the work God would have them do. Jesus placed Himself in the great thoroughfares, where was the stream of travel from all parts of the world. His object was to extend to all nations a knowledge of His mission, the great plan of salvation. We should do the same when there is ability in men to bring the truth before the people in a judicious, capable manner. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 2

The tent [meetings] have started in Oakland. Our meetings have been excellent. Elder Cornell preached the first two nights upon spiritualism, taking advantage of an excitement in Oakland created by the work of the spirits. Chairs were moved, trunks thrown about, and night after night, shrill screams were heard. In this manifestation, Satan seemed to overdo himself and really hurt his own cause. Elder Cornell’s discourses took well. The tent was crowded both nights. There have been meetings every night and all day Sunday, Brother Canright has spoken several times with acceptance. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 3

Sabbath we met with the church in San Francisco. Our meeting had an excellent influence upon the brethren and sisters there. They are coming out of their darkness and are becoming settled, rooted, and grounded in the truth. My husband invited them to come to Oakland to the meeting under the tent Sunday, and [said] he would give them all a dinner of strawberries and bread. We had a large number to feed. Strawberries were 20 cents per pound. Yesterday we bought them for a bit a pound. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 4

The Lord met with us Sunday. I spoke to a good audience for one hour in the afternoon. Brother Cornell spoke in the evening. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 5

Last night Brother Canright spoke to a full tent. They were as attentive as if they were all believers. An interest is aroused here and is increasing and deepening. We find men and women who have been all through the Advent Movement and some who have observed the Sabbath once, but given it up. Brother Canright spoke upon the signs of the times. He was very solemn, and a deep solemnity seemed to rest upon the hearers. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 6

If a church can be brought out in Oakland it will give great strength to the cause upon the Pacific Coast. Everything is now favorable for a work being done here of some importance. The cause is the Lords, the work is His. He can open the way before us to His own glory. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 7

We wish it distinctly understood that we do not remain away from our brethren in Battle Creek because we feel any coldness or feelings of drawing off. We feel great nearness to our people in Battle Creek and we would choose to be with them could we feel that the Lord would direct our course to you. We have greatly desired to be in your midst and enjoy your sympathy, be blessed with you and converse and pray with you. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 8

We have prayed much over this matter, and we dare not follow our inclinations. Now seems to us to be the time to make more earnest efforts and do a greater and more extended work. There never can be a more favorable opportunity than the present to unite our forces in pushing the work forward. God will work with our efforts if we will only trust wholly in Him and His power. If we, in humble prayer, make God our strength we can see no chance for failure or defeat. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 9

We think now of starting a paper in Oakland in connection with the tent. My husband thinks a weekly paper could be published with no more expense than at Battle Creek. My husband thinks of having a Daily started in connection with our efforts here, and then put the same matter into a Weekly. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 10

It is indeed a great venture to start in at Oakland. This city is indeed a Paradise of beauty. The wealthy of San Francisco have made their homes here, while they attend to their business at San Francisco. I never was in a place where there were as many splendid residences as here. The shrubbery is beautiful. Trees and flowers in the greatest abundance flourish everywhere. The trees are the choicest, the flowers the most rare and lovely. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 11

We have had strawberries for more than a week. They are now plentiful in market for one bit a pound. There are green peas and new potatoes and vegetables of all kinds and in abundance in market. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 12

I have had some fears of my lungs, but in this matter I have no fears if God really makes it our duty to remain in Oakland. We have felt like taking hold, in faith, of the arm of God and through importunate prayer move His arm to be reached down to work with our efforts. Our faith is too weak. We ask and receive not because we do not ask in faith. We entreat the prayers of the people of God in Michigan for the success of our extended efforts this summer. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 13

Time is short, and what is done must be done quickly. This is a worldwide message and we have no time to rest upon our lees. We must awake to action and duty. Is the world to be tested upon this message? It is then a worldwide message, and is not to be confined to a corner. It must be agitated, agitated. The work does not depend alone upon the ministers. The church—the lay members—must feel their individual responsibility and be working members. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 14

We think with pleasure of our last visit to Battle Creek. We received a good letter from Sister Smith and we enjoyed its reading much. Write us, both of you. We would be glad to hear from you any time. Tell your children we have great desire to hear that they are living to please God and that their young hearts are devoted to His service. The Saviour has given them tokens of His love every day of their lives. Will they respond to these evidences of the love of Jesus for them? 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 15

Tell little Annie we often speak of the wonderful work the Lord has wrought for her in preserving her life and restoring her to health. All that Jesus asks in return for these great blessings is her love to Him. Jesus loves little children. He said “Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:16. Jesus will love to bless little children. He accepts their efforts to love and serve Him. His angels will be attracted to good children, Annie. The dear Saviour will be better to you even than your dear father and mother can be, if you pray to Him and trust in Him and obey Him. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 16

P.S. My husband is of good courage. When he sees the work moving he feels happy. Today he is over the bay in San Francisco. 2LtMs, Lt 25, 1874, par. 17