Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 25, 1886

Bourdeau, D. T.

Basel, Switzerland

January 10, 1886

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Brother Bourdeau:

I was glad to receive such cheering news from you and your work. I hope that the interest will remain good and increase. We do not expect that the interest in such a place as Genève can be worked up in a few days or a few weeks. Keep your strength good as far as possible, that you may be prepared for an emergency. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1886, par. 1

I do not know whether your sending your teacher to Italy was wise or not. It may be it was wisdom to do this, still it is not for her interest as I view the matter. You may not be aware that every proofreader has to have some knowledge of standing at the case and setting type. They do not take hold of the work as making it a special business, but when they have not the special work of proofreading to do, they are to stand at the case and employ their spare time setting type; for this is a part of the education positively necessary to make a good proofreader. As we view matters, she is losing time. She could be obtaining a drill that would make her a successful worker and give her a permanent business in connection with our offices and she receive the benefits spiritually of the influence of those who have experience in the work. It may be a good thing for Bro. A. C. Bourdeau, but will be no special advantage to her in obtaining advanced knowledge. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1886, par. 2

I did interest Bro. Whitney in her case and was in hopes that she would come for her sake and her future good. And now as the matter is arranged as it is, I do not see why that A. C. Bourdeau needs to be confined closely to Torre Pellice, Italy. Why would not the best plan to be carried out now be to have him connect in the work with you, and you labor together in the interest that is now started in the work that is to commence at Lausanne, and in the interests at other points that are coming forward. He might work in these places if he can work anywhere. There seems to be no opening where he is, unless he should go into the stables. I cannot think that this is the best course for him to take; it might belittle his influence for laboring in halls. And still there is another drawback. It will be dangerous for him healthwise. His liver is not in an active condition, so that he can readily throw off impurities. He needs to breathe as pure air as possible and should avoid inhaling the impurities of the stable. His temperament is sluggish, and infirmities increase this difficulty. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1886, par. 3

He is inclined to occupy his time and thoughts with small home matters, which another could do just as well as he. He has now another to board and pay wages, which increases his expenses. He writes that she is a help to his wife in the work about the house. It is not a blessing to his children to have the way closed up so that it will not be necessary for them to have employment in helping Martha do the work, as they have nothing to do outside the family. But as this arrangement is made, there is no reason that I can see why A. C. Bourdeau at this time could not be spared to work in the interests now started in Switzerland. I hope that we shall all move wisely and in the fear of God. I fail to see wisdom in this arrangement that has been made as far as the teacher is concerned. If there had been no opening for her here, then it might be in order. As it is, she is losing time. She will have to go over the same ground at some future time that she would have to go over now, to commence at the lower round of the ladder and know every step that she goes over and become an intelligent worker. I have deep interest for those who recently embrace the truth, that they shall have every advantage in gaining an experience. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1886, par. 4

You did not speak in your last letter in regard to your health. Are you improving? You can have hope and courage in looking away from yourself and your infirmities to the sympathizing Healer. Jesus lives and reigns! He is your present help in every time of need. He loves you, and He cares for you; and while engaged in His work, you may take hold of His strength. There is a great work to be done in such a place as Geneva. But Satan will oppose every step of advancement that is made to enlighten the minds and save souls. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1886, par. 5

I am pleased with the account you gave of coming close to hearts in the family circle. May God give you strength to do this work in which you are engaged. Be cautious about overdoing. I believe God is willing to give His workers help, but they must not be presumptuous. They must rightly relate themselves as far as they can understand to the laws of health, and then God will do for them what they cannot do for themselves. Keep the right hold from above. Of ourselves we can do nothing, in Christ we can do all things. Do not allow yourself to become nervous. Take rest if it is possible for you to rest, and then lay hold on Christ by living faith. As a family you want Christ as a living guest. You want the protecting care of angels when you go out and when you come in, when you lie down and when you rise up. And faith must be in lively exercise. Do not allow depressing feelings to discourage you and weaken your faith. Talk faith, act faith, and faith will bring the returns. I have a special interest in yourself and your family. Jesus wants you to be at peace and rest in Him. Only believe and look to Him continually, and He will be a blessing to you and yours. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1886, par. 6

I am so glad that you feel encouragement in your labors. I hope you will see still greater tokens of the manifest power and blessings of God. He does not want His workers to labor under a cloud of discouragement. You are not to look at your infirmities and failings in the past, but look to Jesus who is willing to save to the uttermost all who believe in Him. Our warfare here will soon be ended; and if we shall trust God fully, we shall receive the “well done,” the heavenly benediction from the lips of the Master. [Matthew 25:21.] Work on in faith. Look up and not down, and Jesus will be the health of your countenance and your God. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1886, par. 7

Love to yourself and family. 4LtMs, Lt 25, 1886, par. 8