Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 25a, 1889

Eldridge, Brother

Denver, Colorado

September 8, 1889

This letter is published in entirety in 21MR 432-435. +Note

Dear Brother Eldridge:

The Lord gave us a prosperous journey. The rain commenced to fall as we reached Chicago, and we did not have much dust, for the rain extended nearly to Denver. We found a neat little encampment and about one hundred people on the ground. We had a good meeting Sabbath. Brother Owen spoke in the forenoon upon the coming of Christ, and I spoke in the afternoon from (John 8:12); then we had a social meeting, and many excellent testimonies were borne, and my soul was refreshed. I think it would have been difficult to have spoken to thousands of people for I was weak; but the Lord helped me to speak His word to the souls present. This is the workers’ meeting. The camp meeting proper begins Monday. 6LtMs, Lt 25a, 1889, par. 1

We came direct to Denver and met Willie on the campground. The atmosphere has revived me somewhat, and I am thankful to God. I have had some conversation with W. C. White, and he has for the first time presented before me in written manuscript thoughtful, studied plans which meet my ideas. I see that something must be done more than has been done and is being done <in getting my publications before the people.> There must be more God-fearing workers in the field. These plans will, I feel assured, meet your mind, and are what are needed to the success of our work. Time is short, and our working forces must be well-disciplined and organized to do larger work. 6LtMs, Lt 25a, 1889, par. 2

The words of Christ are to have greater force with our people than ever before. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” [Acts 1:8.] 6LtMs, Lt 25a, 1889, par. 3

Here is the worldwide message to be given, and there must be educated ability to comprehend the greatness and the value of the work and to act a part in it, not from a money standpoint, but from a sense of the necessity of the case. The time demands greater efficiency and <greater earnestness> and extension. There is no time to be lost. 6LtMs, Lt 25a, 1889, par. 4

In regard to Dr. Kellogg’s books, and the position that they should occupy in the field, deserves careful thought. While on the cars coming from Battle Creek to this place, I have been calling up the things which the Lord has been pleased to present before me upon the subject of health reform. I have in the fear of the Lord presented this matter before the people as the Lord has presented it to me <for years in the past.> I have seen our people standing in a much better position on this question than at the present time. I am sure upon one point, that Brother Butler’s position in regard to this question—his ideas and his work in reference to it—is not in harmony with the light given me of God. Years ago I had a testimony of reproof for the managers in our camp meetings bringing upon the ground and selling to our people cheese and other hurtful things and presenting candies for sale when I was laboring to instruct the young and old to put the money <they had> expended for candy in the missionary box and thus teach their children self-denial. 6LtMs, Lt 25a, 1889, par. 5

This order of things has changed of late; within four years there has been a different order of things which I do not favor. Temperance has been at a low ebb. I cannot sanction this state of things in the light of <the Bible and> the testimonies given me of God. I know that Elder Butler has been opposed to health reform. I advocate no extremes. But as I was looking over my manuscript after leaving California, I saw the decided testimonies borne and the dangers of our people imitating the customs and practices of the world. My heart is sick and sad over this state of things, and I do think that the light which has been given should be gathered up and made to shine. 6LtMs, Lt 25a, 1889, par. 6

Because some things have been strongly put by Dr. Kellogg and because some have <misapplied and distorted> the matter, it should not <force> any of us [to] the opposite extreme. Health reform will reach a class, and has reached, a class that otherwise would never have been reached <by the truth.> There is a great necessity for labor being put forth to help the people, believers and unbelievers, at the present time by health talks and health publications. I cannot see why the health books should not have a <prominent> place as well as the other publications, notwithstanding human prejudices <to the contrary.> But I have not, as I have told you, carried any special burden of this work for a few years. My mind has been so fully occupied with the burden upon me of getting before the people the light having special reference to these last days and the great crisis before us. The world is to be warned, and I have felt so deeply over Volume 4 [The Great Controversy] standing still as it has done, that all other consideration of books for which I was not personally responsible has not been my burden or consideration. 6LtMs, Lt 25a, 1889, par. 7

I have now fully decided to do something and do it at once. As time is passing and Frank and yourself acknowledge [that] you are powerless to exert an influence to change this order of things and that Volume 4 should receive consideration as well as Bible Readings, that the very light God has given shall come to His people, I must put in operation or devise some plan that the people, believers and unbelievers, shall have the light. I will no longer wait for others East of the Rocky mountains with pen and voice to place this matter in its proper bearings before the people, but I will take the responsibility of doing it myself. 6LtMs, Lt 25a, 1889, par. 8

I do not demerit Bible Readings. It is a book which will do a great amount of good, but it can never take the place that the Lord designed that Volume 4 should have in the world and among our people. I have spread before them the light given me of heaven in that book. In conversation with Frank [Belden], he was constantly referring to Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation—that no more had been done for that than for Volume 4. I consider that that book should go everywhere. It has its place and will do a grand good work. It is a light, [an] <intelligence>, which the world needs. I place no demerit on it, but the arguments used in this line lift no burden from my weight of responsibility. 6LtMs, Lt 25a, 1889, par. 9

I know that no other one, not even Frank nor yourself, can see and sense this matter as I do, <and I will not expect it.> Therefore, all the excuses made by Frank present to me a positive necessity of my doing something and doing it now. If Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation does not receive the sale it should, if Bible Readings is carried to the neglect of other publications highly essential for the people to have, that neglect will not excuse the matter <of why> Volume 4 should not be pushed and its circulation be tenfold what it has been the present year. 6LtMs, Lt 25a, 1889, par. 10

It is a duty we owe to our people and to God to send every ray of light given me of God, demanded for this time, to every tongue and nation. I am not pleased with the existing state of things. I am sorry and distressed, and as Brother Belden declares he cannot alter this state of things in his work, I am compelled to see if I can do anything to improve the matter. To wait longer would be a neglect of my duty. I cannot with a clear conscience let the time pass as it is, nothing scarcely having been done in the east in handling Volume 4. I have talked with Willie in regard to the Review and Herald handling Volume 1. He has, I think, set before you his reasons why the Pacific Press should handle it. The reasons are, I think, sound, and the experience that we have had in regard to Volume 4 the present year shows that there is a consistency in this matter and a principle which must be maintained. 6LtMs, Lt 25a, 1889, par. 11

I deeply regret that I have been passive so long, waiting for someone to do a work which I thought not exactly appropriate for me. I ask God to forgive me for this careless neglect on my part, waiting for my brethren to do a work which God has given me. I have had no evidence that He has laid the burden upon them. This matter I have trusted would be impressed in its relative importance upon their minds, and it would not need any particular urging from my pen or from my voice to have it stand where God designed it should, but if the burden has been given me, if the matter has been presented to me in its sacred solemn importance to present a light appropriate to do a work for this <very> time, I must see that it stands in its proper place, and I must not cast down the burden at the feet of my brethren as though they would understand and appreciate these things as I have felt them and their importance as God has made me to feel them. 6LtMs, Lt 25a, 1889, par. 12

I must do my work and not look for my brethren to do it for me. I have expected too much of my brethren. I must look to God, the Captain of my salvation, and obey His orders. I make no complaint of my brethren. You say you have done your best. I receive your testimony, and I do censure myself that I have let things rest as I have done. I do condemn myself, but I will seek, in the fear of God, henceforth to take up my appointed work and let nothing interfere between God and my duty. I will now try to set this matter before the people. I will now, if God will help me, do my work to the best of my ability. I look at myself and consider my days are few now, but while life lasts, [I] will be faithful to my trust. May the Lord help and bless you, is my prayer. 6LtMs, Lt 25a, 1889, par. 13