Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 51, 1891

Van Horn, Brother

Grand Rapids, Michigan

May 1, 1891

Previously unpublished.

Brother Van Horn,

I am now at Brother Moore’s. I see that he is about settled to change climate to go to California, where his daughter is now living. I do not think he should go until some suitable help is put here in Grand Rapids. 7LtMs, Lt 51, 1891, par. 1

Have you given up Grand Rapids? Is it a place that it will not pay to be worked? Why has the mission nearly, entirely, been brought to an end? Why has the property of the mission been scattered to the four winds? Why are there missions started and after great expense and a beginning made, uprooted? Is this work right? I know that the city should have its Bible workers, its canvassers, and should have had this all the time that it has not had it. While there has been Brother Moore, a good worker, why have there not been laborers put into this field? They are at the expense of supporting Brother Moore here and the believers hire a good hall. Why not make the most of the situation? 7LtMs, Lt 51, 1891, par. 2

I have been making inquiries, and it looks to me that there had been most unwise management. Brother Miller is blamed for it all, but what were you doing that you could not discern where his movements were unwise and what discouragement would be brought upon the church in this place as the result of these movements? What kind of good is supposed would come out of tearing up everything when the work had only been begun and started at great expense? All that I can see in these movements is Howard Miller feeling, I will be first, I will rule or ruin! But why did you sanction such movements? Now, for Christ’s sake and for the sake of His cause, let everything be done that can be done to counteract the past wild movements, building up and tearing down. Workers should be in here all the time. 7LtMs, Lt 51, 1891, par. 3

Dr. Kellogg has sent in several to work in his line, and why not select some workers to give Bible readings? Why not send in those women who have solidity and experience to work in this place? This ought to be done. Then in Ionia should be those who will go from house to house, giving Bible readings. Here are places at our very doors that should have work done among them, but nothing is being done. My heart aches. I am sick and sad to see so little being done in Michigan when there should be a much larger work done. 7LtMs, Lt 51, 1891, par. 4

Michigan has been kept before me for the past ten years. Over and over has it been presented to me that there should be one hundredfold more being done than was being done. We must do more, far more, than we have yet done. The Lord means we shall be aggressive, that we shall push the work, and not, as now, have the work to push us. 7LtMs, Lt 51, 1891, par. 5

Muskegon must be entered. Select workers should go there. Put Elder Corliss or some other man there with another laborer united with him. Elder Corliss, W. C. W. writes me, returned to Battle Creek with no place assigned him to labor. Now, we cannot afford to lose time. We want to move with alacrity. May the Lord revive and quicken us to decided action is my prayer. There is need of caution but much more need of promptitude of execution on your part and more keen foresight. God will do much for us if we have faith. 7LtMs, Lt 51, 1891, par. 6

Here, I find, is a Brother Ross, who has been greatly discouraged because his case has been mismanaged, and I fear you do not move wisely. I fear you have such a desire to save means in some lines you will discourage those who have ability to work. If Brother Ross received the idea that you encouraged him that his expenses would be paid for his attending the Minister’s school, why not do the thing he supposed you encouraged? In some of these matters I cannot see that you move wisely. I am much troubled over these matters. When we need workers so much, even if it is some expense to the conference, let them be fitted up, and placed in working order. 7LtMs, Lt 51, 1891, par. 7

Where is Brother Palmerlee? Find out if you can. Has he not done all he could to confess his error in Battle Creek? Then why should not that confession be accepted? Why should not he be received into the confidence of the brethren? I like not the movements of these things. I want to see greater spiritual discernment. I heard Brother Palmerlee went away from Greenville to find work on the railroad because he must do something for himself and his family. Find Brother Palmerlee, make inquiries in regard to him. Set him to work in some place, for there is enough for each and all to do. I believe Brother Palmerlee to be a Christian. If he has committed errors, that is no reason he should be dropped out or set aside. Look at the course Christ pursued. He did rebuke Peter; He did rebuke John; He did rebuke Judas; but He did not forsake them, but worked with them still until their characters were more thoroughly developed. 7LtMs, Lt 51, 1891, par. 8

You need, Brother Van Horn, a man selected to work with you, as I said to you at Potterville, who will be quick and sharp to discern opportunities and openings, to strike quickly and at the right time, not heedlessly. But I think you fear too much of being blamed by the conference committee that you fail to do the very things you should do. 7LtMs, Lt 51, 1891, par. 9

In regard to Palmerlee, I fear there is a mistake and [he] is left to drop out when he might be doing a good work in some places where it is best for him to go. Let him be encouraged, and let him be employed by the conference and work where he is best fitted to work. There is a great dearth of laborers, and while there may be some who do not labor wisely at all times, there may be a dropping [of] these out who could do much work necessary for someone to do. Seize every ability and set them at work. Do not think that Brother Moore has been complaining to me of you, for he thinks highly of you. I have asked him some questions and he has answered them the best he knows how. We must work economically, but it is not best to be a penny wise and a pound foolish. It is not best [to] leave undone things which ought to be done for fear of being blamed. 7LtMs, Lt 51, 1891, par. 10

May the Lord give you understanding in all things is my most earnest prayer in your behalf, and in my own behalf, and in behalf of other laborers. I have much to say but cannot say more now on these points, I have the fullest confidence in you as a Christian, but I know there are defects in your management and wish that these could be removed. 7LtMs, Lt 51, 1891, par. 11

With respect. 7LtMs, Lt 51, 1891, par. 12

[P.S.] Please return this to me after reading it, as I cannot copy it. 7LtMs, Lt 51, 1891, par. 13