Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 65, 1890

Olsen, O. A.; Jones, Dan T.

Petoskey, Michigan

July 27, 1890

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brethren Olsen and Dan Jones:

I have some things I wish to bring before you. Our people should have a place at Petoskey and at Bay View, and there should be trained workers at the several points of resort on this beautiful lake. Here are the most favorable mission fields just within our reach, right in our own borders. I can recognize this as one of the many places in Michigan to which the Spirit of the Lord called us as an important field in which to work. 6LtMs, Lt 65, 1890, par. 1

Here are all classes of people and Sabbathkeepers are scattered throughout this region. Some will do honor to the cause, others will be a curse. But I distinguish points in this part of the great vineyard that I can say with assurance, It is one of the places that has been sadly neglected, where there are more favorable chances of doing good then in many cities where it is deemed worthy to have missions. 6LtMs, Lt 65, 1890, par. 2

Why should not Seventh-day Adventists be represented here? I know that they ought to be. We know that Dr. Lay has been located here for some time, but he has not been the man capable to lead out courageously in an aggressive work. He has ever had home drawbacks; his wife and children have been a heavy oppression, a strong element to hold him back from making any decided advance here in Petoskey. He stands a far better chance in regions round about. He himself is of good repute in Petoskey as a man strictly honest, his word reliable, his deportment that of an intelligent Christian, so we have not his influence to bar the way. He will stand firmly with those who will labor to advance the work and cause of God in this place and the region round about. 6LtMs, Lt 65, 1890, par. 3

I want to go to the homes of some of those who came across from the other side of the bay. I want to see them in their homes. I greatly desire that Elder Olsen, Brother Dan Jones, and W. C. White, and others if they can come, will visit this place. I may tell you, but you cannot take in the situation as if you should see for yourselves. Agencies must be set in active operation to do something here this very season. I was going to say, if possible, but it is possible; commence to do something now and we will keep the work advancing all through the winter. If I had not encouraged the brethren to expect me to spend some months in New England, I would think this a better place to remain most of the winter. I see possibilities and probabilities, with the right kind of labor, for a large church in this place. I am anxious and feel that something should be done. 6LtMs, Lt 65, 1890, par. 4

Will you, Brother Olsen and W. C. White, come here to spend a week or two weeks? You may think you must go to the place where our brethren are assembled in, but what rest of mind will Brother Olsen obtain there? We can secure tickets for a private company to go on the boat to different important points. A company of ten or fifteen will go at the limited rates, but the captain does not want the matter made known to others. Perfect freedom for a short time in such a place as this, to be on the calm waters of the lake and to enjoy the refreshing breezes, will be a rest and will invigorate all who shall come. I will not say more on this point now. 6LtMs, Lt 65, 1890, par. 5

I will, now my pen is in my hand, say a few words in regard to Elder Corliss. He is to have an operation performed on his head. He wanted it done at once, but the physician writes him it cannot be done before the first of next week. I think we have not had all that tenderness and charity for Elder Corliss that we should have had, considering his affliction. He has been a good, intelligent worker, and he has told me that his difficulty of head came upon him in consequence of overwork while he was in Australia. He consulted physicians. They told him that his difficulty would increase upon him and advised him to leave for America. He asked the doctor or surgeon, “Am I in danger of insanity?” He answered, “Worse than that.” He understood, then, he would become an idiot. He felt, for the sake of his wife and children, he must preserve his life and he came to California, from there to Battle Creek. His labors were accepted in Battle Creek. He had most to do in preparing the Bible Readings, which has had so great sale and brought thousands of dollars into the Review Office. 6LtMs, Lt 65, 1890, par. 6

Now if he feels it is his due to have his expenses paid from Australia for the work of editing Bible Readings could not the few hundred dollars he asks for be granted him out of the thousands that have been received for that book? Were my husband alive, I know what he would do in this matter, for he appreciated all such labor more than many of our brethren do. If you cannot feel it would have a right influence to pay his expenses from Australia, then the part he did in getting out Bible Readings should have commanded of the Review and Herald special remuneration. I am thinking that a kind of an iron rule, heartless feelings, will be woven into the work, which will bring the displeasure of God upon us. I want you to candidly and prayerfully consider these things. I do not want to feel, as I have been feeling because of my neglected books, that I would pray—if I am unfortunate—I should not be left to fall into the hands of a board where Brother Henry is voice for the board and authority for decisions brought before the board. The less men of this make-up have to do with decisions of this character, the better. 6LtMs, Lt 65, 1890, par. 7

Testimony upon testimony has been borne upon this point. The peculiar traits of character of Brother Hart, Brother Sisley, and Brother Henry have swayed matters of the board in wrong directions. Decisions have been made which God had nought to do with. These decisions were not on the side of mercy, equity, and justice. 6LtMs, Lt 65, 1890, par. 8

There are testimonies which I have sent to Brother Henry alone which I shall feel it my duty to let you have. A man placed as he is in his family and in constant irritation because of the spendthrift, gambling habits of his son [is in continual perplexity]. The disrespectful talk of the son to the father and the father’s exasperating talk to the reckless, miserable son are liable to occur at any moment. Both lose all self-control. Then let Brother Henry come into one of your board meetings after one of these terrible collisions and every jot of mercy and kindness seems to have turned to gall. 6LtMs, Lt 65, 1890, par. 9

Knowing these things as I do, you must not be surprised at the words I write to you. I hope that Brother Dan Jones will not be molded by this kind of a spirit which has been presented to me, hard as iron and devoid of pity and compassion. Time and again have I repeated the word of the Lord to A. R. Henry and he has needed the reproof. Because he has not fatherly love, the course his children pursue is turned to gall. And his own management of his children, his threats to them of what he would do and never does do, have lost for him the confidence of his children. 6LtMs, Lt 65, 1890, par. 10

When men are placed in positions of so much consequence, where their word becomes a ruling power, it is best to see the influence they have in the management of their own children and how they come forth from their hand. The board have inclined, as I have been shown, to mercy and compassion and kindly consideration; but one voice has been sure to incline the other way, and that voice has carried—to the disapproval of God—in your board meetings. There will be accounts that A. R. Henry will have to answer to in the judgment, as well as his brethren who have been controlled by that voice to fail to do the things which they ought to have done to show compassion, that heart sympathy, which Christ would have expressed in His decisions were He presiding in these board meetings. But when the heart is divested of tender compassion and pitying love, then the Lord leaves your assembly for you to act out the human in the place of the divine. 6LtMs, Lt 65, 1890, par. 11

I write this because I know it is truth and the Lord would have me present these things before you. A man situated so that systematic quarrels are existing in his family knows not what spirit he is of. He cannot suddenly obtain the meekness and the lowliness of Christ, or have his heart imbued with love. It is the work and warfare of a lifetime. I beg of none of you to be hardhearted and feel that your business demands it, for it requires no such spirit. Be pitiful, be courteous, is the word of God to you. 6LtMs, Lt 65, 1890, par. 12