Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 32, 1889

Tyszkiewicz, Brother

Battle Creek, Michigan

March 3, 1889

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Tyszkiewicz:

I received your letter just before the Sabbath. I had a letter written for Dr. Maxson and wife in reference to this very matter. I will say that Brother and Sister Maxson were the occasion of great sadness to my soul. From the light which I had received of the Lord, there was a great need of their help at the [Rural Health] Retreat. Here was an institution that the Lord had been pleased to signify should be established and should live and prosper. But unfortunately the enemy came in with his temptations. 6LtMs, Lt 32, 1889, par. 1

Elder Rice was superintendent and managed very indiscreetly. His course was, after a time, entirely wrong, and Dr. Maxson and wife were in sympathy with him. There were a number linked together in a bad cause, and things went in a hard way. These elements were unconsecrated, and Dr. Maxson and his wife placed themselves with their influence on the wrong side with Elder Rice, thus placing things in such an attitude that we knew not what we could do to again have things placed right and straight. 6LtMs, Lt 32, 1889, par. 2

Dr. Maxson had far more confidence in Elder Rice than in me and my work for the time being. He did not think that this was the case at the time, but Elder Rice has confessed to me since that he knew that it was through his influence that Dr. Maxson left the Health Retreat. He meant that he should leave. He said that he was all wrong himself and meant to brave it out the best way he could and be revenged on me and the Health Retreat. He was working diligently to this end, when, at the April meetings in Oakland, the Spirit of the Lord took hold upon him and set him to confessing his sins. Dr. Maxson and his wife have acknowledged that they were wrong in leaving the Retreat in the way they did. After they left, I was compelled to write many letters to prevent them building a rival institution in Fresno. 6LtMs, Lt 32, 1889, par. 3

I think Dr. Maxson and wife have worked with success in Fresno, but I cannot see how they can be clear before God to go right along without making restitution for the injury they have done the Health Retreat by not devoting their experience and ability in doing the very work the Lord designed they should do and which they ought to have done, in the place of hurting us by leaving at the time and in the manner they did leave and then bring all their powers to a point in Fresno to create another institution in the same state. 6LtMs, Lt 32, 1889, par. 4

Through the mismanagement of Elder Rice, thousands of dollars were expended for naught, and the debt thus incurred by his own mismanagement was left on the institution to discourage and embarrass the institution, and with all this he made no effort to get donations or even to borrow money whereby the debt could be lifted. This does not look like straight work to me. I believe if you have money to invest on interest, you would serve the cause of God best to help the institutions already established, that are struggling for an existence. If it is necessary for an institution to be established in Fresno, let those parties who are abundantly able and who have the interest right in their midst, take hold of the enterprise. They can know its value better than one who is not on the ground and who, like yourself, is not acquainted with the parties concerned. I do not feel reconciled to the idea of having means gathered up for a new institution to be built, when there is one already built which the Lord has said was in His order and should be sustained but is left to languish, crippled by financial embarrassment because of the unconsecrated elements that have worked against the prosperity of the institution and have brought upon us and upon the institution burdens that were most difficult to be borne. While the enemy through his temptations was leading souls away in deception, I was passing sleepless nights, and my prayers were going up to God for Him to work in our behalf. 6LtMs, Lt 32, 1889, par. 5

Now in consideration of these things, the twentieth part of which has not been written, how can I say to Dr. Maxson and wife, both of whom I respect in the Lord, that it is their duty to build up an institution at Fresno, when it is the order of God that the means should flow in another channel? I will write you some things which I have written to Brother and Sister Maxson. Would that the Lord would give them sleepless nights since they have moved so unadvisedly, as He gave to Ahasuerus, king of Persia, that those interests which they have neglected because they have followed their own will and way might be forced upon their conscience in some way by the Holy Spirit, that memory may be aroused, and they will review their mistakes and make restitution for their injury to the Retreat. I believe this will yet be done, if they are walking in the light and not following their own desires. God ordinarily works through very simple means, and in memory’s hall will be furnished pictures of the past transactions that need not only be seen and confessed but rearranged, if their possessors have stepped out of the order of God. Minds that have been under a deceptive influence and for a time have done harm to one of God’s instrumentalities have a work to do to heal the one they have made by the reception of the renovating power of God’s Spirit which leads to the making of wrongs right. 6LtMs, Lt 32, 1889, par. 6

While things were going entirely wrong, Brother and Sister Maxson were in darkness; they did not discern the evil. But when I reproved [them] most earnestly because I knew that the burden was upon me, their course of action was of a character to make of none effect all the work the Lord was seeking to do through me. How then can I honor a movement that follows the same order as those of the past, after they left the Health Retreat? I would not write you this if I did not think it was my duty. I have forgiven everything, but I think God would be pleased to have them make some movements, even at a sacrifice to themselves, to do the work which they have left undone. 6LtMs, Lt 32, 1889, par. 7

I have nothing to say as to how you shall use your means, but I would say that the Health Retreat has suffered severely by those who have been connected with it. It has suffered because, through the influence of these unconsecrated men who have used their power in a deceptive way, Dr. and Mrs. Maxson have given their sympathy on the wrong side, so that it made our work tenfold harder than it would otherwise have been to correct existing evils. This sympathy was wholly on the side of the wrongdoer. Now there are things that must be made right in restitution before the Lord will be pleased. If you could loan the institute at St. Helena money and connect with that institution and build it up that it might recover from the wound it has received, I believe that God would bless you. But I urge nothing. I invite you to go to the Health Retreat and see if you cannot assist in the great work we desire to do there. 6LtMs, Lt 32, 1889, par. 8

There will be meetings in April in Oakland and in St. Helena when some important decisions will be made, and I hope you will be able to attend. My son will write you about the educational work that we desire to accomplish, if our physicians will work unselfishly and in harmony. 6LtMs, Lt 32, 1889, par. 9

Yours with much love. 6LtMs, Lt 32, 1889, par. 10