Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 14, 1885

Talk/Talk Before the European Council

Basel, Switzerland

September 21, 1885

Edited variant of Ms 19, 1885. Portions of this manuscript are published in 1MR 151-153; 5MR 308-311.

We know best how this cause started. We have studied in every way ways and means in order that we might have something to carry us from place to place in the cause of truth. To reach the very first conference that we ever had in the State of Connecticut, my husband worked at cutting cordwood at twenty-five cents a cord. He was not used to work, and the rheumatism came in his wrists so that night after night he was unable to sleep because of the pain. Our prayers ascended night after night that God would relieve him from pain. He would say, “Wife, we must be sure to keep five dollars by us, and if we come short of means we will not use that five dollars.” 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 1

I have fainted on the floor with a sick child in my arms more than twice for the want of food to eat. Then the word came, “Cannot you come and hold a meeting with us in Connecticut?” When my husband settled with his employer he had ten dollars, and with that we made our way to that conference. 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 2

It was there that the work began to branch out, and here is where he began to do his first publishing. He was a lame man, caused by cutting the ankle bone in his youth, but he walked nine miles to the printing office to carry his paper. At another time he took his scythe and went into the field to mow grass in order to get means to carry him to the conference in New York. And so the truth of God began to spread in New York, and this is a little sample of the way that we first introduced the truth into different places. 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 3

For months my husband worked, handling stone until the skin was worn off his fingers and the blood dripped from the ends of his fingers. This was in the very places where he had spoken in the desk before thousands. Even then he did not obtain the money for his hard work. Do you know the remembrance of this is the very best part of my experience? He went through the streets of Brunswick, Maine, with a bag upon his shoulders containing a little rice and meal and beans to keep us from starving, and when he came into the house, singing, I said, “Have we come to this, husband? Has the Lord forsaken us and our work?” 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 4

He lifted up his hand and said, “Hush, hush, the Lord has not forsaken us.” 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 5

I was so faint that as he said this I fell from my chair onto the floor. The next day we received a letter entreating us to go to another place to hold a conference, but said he, “I have not a penny. What shall I do?” But he went to the post office and came back with a letter containing five dollars. We felt very grateful for that. We called the family together and bowed down before the Lord and gave thanks. That night we took our passage for Boston. This is the way that we commenced this work. 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 6

At one time the light came that we must go to Portsmouth, about ninety miles distant. But we had nothing to go with. I said to my husband, “I shall get ready. I shall put on my dress to go.” There we sat in our house, and soon there came a man driving as fast as he could drive. He had come thirteen miles that morning. He dropped his lines and hurried into the house. “There is some one here,” he said, “that wants some money. I have come at top speed and could not hold my horse back.” My husband said, “We must go to Portsmouth, but we cannot get to the cars unless you take us there.” He hurried us into his wagon, and we just reached the cars. He gave us fifteen dollars to get us there and back. 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 7

This is the way the Lord has taught us to trust in Him. This is the way the truth has entered many places. And for years we worked constantly day and night in order to carry forward this work. I might stand here and relate instances such as I have given you till tomorrow morning, but I will present only these few. I want to tell you now that we have been working to the utmost of our ability to establish missions in different places. 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 8

At the time when the mission was first started here, I had received a present of a nice silk dress. It cost forty-five dollars. I looked at that dress and thought of our friends over here. Brother Andrews had just sent in a letter, stating that there was a certain work that they wanted to do, but they had not the means. Now, I thought, these friends, out of the kindness of their hearts, have made me this present; now it is my privilege to use that gift in such a way that they might lay up treasure in heaven. 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 9

I went to one of our merchants, a Sabbath-keeper, and said, “Sell that dress for all you can get for it.” He sold it for fifty dollars. Then I sent that money on here to the mission. The very act of my doing that brought in at that very time means from other individuals, and Brother Andrews wrote back to us that the very sum he wanted came at that time. 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 10

We are establishing missions and building meetinghouses in America. I have had some property I could not sell; and as I could not sell, I hired money and tried to invest it where it was most needed in the cause. Already we have placed thirty thousand dollars in the treasury of heaven. 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 11

Our treasury now is, I might say, about empty. In many places we have had very close financial pressure. A night or two ago I dreamed that I was pleading with God. I awoke myself, pleading with God, presenting before Him our empty treasury, pleading with Him to send means to advance His own cause and work. I propose, brethren and sisters, that we present our empty treasury to God in living faith and ask Him to supply our needs. 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 12

In California we wanted so much to build a boarding house for our students. I said to Willie, “All we can do is to pray.” All we could do was to send up our earnest petitions to God for that object. With many tears we did it. Then I went into my room and commenced writing. I heard a knock at the door and opened it to Sister Scott. She said, “I have some money that I want to put into the cause. Do you know where it is needed most?” 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 13

“Yes,” said I, “we have just been pleading with God to send us some means.” 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 14

“Well,” said she, “I can let you have $5,000 and help you to find more. I have felt such a burden that I feel it a relief to get rid of it.” The tears ran down her face. 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 15

She was thankful that she could discharge this burden. And so we had money to start our boarding house. 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 16

Why cannot we come to God with these matters? I think we depend too much upon others. Now let us have living faith in God. I have lain awake night after night until I have gotten into an almost sleepless condition since I have been here, turning over in my mind how we can reach these men, and I am in just as much perplexity as when I commenced. I can see no other way but that we must pray. The Lord has gold and silver, and the cattle upon a thousand hills are His. And while we rely upon Him and do the very best we can, He will send help to advance His cause. 4LtMs, Ms 14, 1885, par. 17