Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Ms 43, 1891

Diary, June 1891

Petoskey, Michigan

June 5-30, 1891

Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 34, 170; 3Bio 492.

June 5, 1891

[Petoskey, Michigan]

Up to this time I have had many letters to write. I have devoted most of four days to writing on the life of Christ. So many important letters to answer, which I cannot neglect, give me limited time to do the work I desire to do. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 1

June 9, 1891

Petoskey, Michigan

It is a beautiful day. Marian, Sara, and I drove out of Petoskey about two miles to the nice place we found yesterday. Sara took her calligraph and copied. I wrote many pages to the Ohio Mission. Marian was preparing the matter to be struck off on the calligraph. This was a pleasant time for us all. We took our dinner and enjoyed it much, although we all worked very earnestly. I wrote diligently until past four, then we returned to our home in Petoskey. All day was devoted to writing in regard to missions. Abundance has been written and published upon this matter; but those whose hearts are not right, those who are not answering the prayer of Christ “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth” [John 17:17], will not walk circumspectly, and that the Lord Jesus is too ashamed to call them brethren. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 2

June 10, 1891

Petoskey, Mich.

This day was devoted to preparing and writing out articles for the missions, as to how they should be conducted. In afternoon I wrote a few pages on the miracles of Christ. Sent off four letters to different ones to pay their pledges for Petoskey meeting house, for we are short of means to go on with building. I paid my pledge today. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 3

June 11, 1891


Arose at four o’clock a.m. We have had rain during the night. There is a heavy fog this morning, and I am unable to see the lake or anything at a distance. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 4

June 25, 1891

Sherman, Michigan

I left Petoskey this morning at twenty minutes before nine o’clock, for Sherman, Michigan. A letter from Dr. Talbott, containing a draft for $100 for the Petoskey church, was brought to me on the cars. We were thankful to our heavenly Father that He opened the heart of our brother to thus donate. Prior to this he had sent a draft for $50.00, and he gives encouragement that he will send another donation in September. Thank the Lord that there is a prospect for a church being erected in Petoskey. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 5

I was accompanied on my journey by Dr. Lay and Sister Starr. I was not able to sleep much through the night previous, but I obtained some sleep in the cars. We reached Cadillac about half past one. We were pleased to meet Brother McKeyes, who conducted us to a very nice park near the depot. Here we ate our lunch and enjoyed it very much. The strawberries were good and everything was relished. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 6

We made our way only a few steps to the depot but the cars were delayed; and when we stepped on board three drunken men, accompanied by a woman, went into the passenger coach. The men—could they be called thus in truth? What countenances they bore! The image of God was obliterated. Their countenances were besotted. The maudlin, drunken song was on their lips. They showed that reason had been bartered away at the liquor saloon. There was no appearance of the divine image about them. They were swaggering about smoking their cigars. Their thick, incoherent speech, their silly laugh, their debauched appearance, was most painful to behold. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 7

(Isaiah 3:9-11): “The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.” But “Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.” 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 8

The conductor did not allow these brutish men to remain in the passenger coach but put them in the freight car. As they were obliged to leave the coach one of these men went to his wife, and after searching some time she placed in his hands the brandy bottle. He clasped it eagerly in both hands as if it were a precious treasure and they passed out, one with the bottle, another dancing like a fool. We were glad when the door closed upon them. I thought, To save these souls Jesus gave His precious life that through His grace they might overcome debased appetite and passions and become sons of God, children of light and not of darkness. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 9

The precious hours of probation were employed by these men in the gratification of perverted appetite and lust. What pain of heart I have when I behold men drinking until they lose all decency of speech, making themselves brutish with poisoned liquor. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 10

June 26, 1891

Sherman, Mich.

Yesterday we reached this place and brethren met us at the cars with a carriage to take us to the home of Brother Mesick [?]. We were taken to a large farmhouse with convenient large comfortable rooms. We were made welcome to all the hospitalities of the home, and we felt grateful to our heavenly Father for so good a home in which to rest and to be comfortable. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 11

I was not able to sleep as much as usual because of the injured hip and limb which has afflicted me for many years. If the bed is hard, the sciatic nerves in the hip become very painful. Nevertheless, I attended the half past five meeting and was able to speak to the little company under the large tent about thirty minutes. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 12

We found, up here in Northern Michigan, a good place for the tents; and the city of cotton tents presented a neat, attractive appearance. There was one tent upon which was inscribed “Reception Tent,” and there were good, sizable tents for meetings for youth. I was much pleased with the order and arrangements, which bespeak wisdom to exemplify our faith, and to testify that those who believe the truth feel the responsibility of having their encampment correspond, as far as possible, with the importance of the message which they bear. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 13

Anything like disorder or a lax, loose arrangement would not be pleasing to our God. In and about our encampment, wherever these gatherings shall be, a testimony should be borne to the people in their homes and especially upon the encampment that neatness, cleanliness, and order are a part of our religion or are the fruit we bear of good religion. Thus the appearance of our encampments is bearing its testimony to all believers and unbelievers that the worship of God must be regarded as sacred service. Nothing must be tolerated on the ground which is slack and uncleanly, lest the Lord shall pass by and witness these offensive things—in Bible language, “see your uncleanness.” [Deuteronomy 23:14.] 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 14

We want to do all in our power to show that we revere God and desire the presence of holy angels and the presence of the Captain of the Lord’s host upon our encampment. When we consider and obey God, in that everything is done to make the encampment cleanly, wholesome, and attractive—even here in Northern Michigan where poverty is not rare—we know that the universe of heaven looks down with smiling satisfaction. This is one way of presenting the influence of the truth upon minds and characters and making right impressions as to the character of our religion. It shows that the doctrines we believe do not degrade the receiver. They do not make men and women who believe the truth coarse and rough and untidy and uncourteous. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 15

The religion of Jesus Christ never degrades the receiver. If it finds men and women earthly, common, coarse, unkindly in words, harsh in speech, selfish and self-caring, truth received in the heart commences its purifying, refining process. In words, in dress, in all our habits, there is seen reformation and those things that please God. Then all the world may see its influence in the transforming process. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 16

Truth refines the taste and sanctifies the judgment. It elevates, ennobles, and is silently and constantly doing its leavening work till the whole being is cleansed and made a vessel unto honor, under the operation of the Holy Spirit, to make the receiver of truth fit for the society of pure and sinless angels. Under the sanctifying influence of truth the receivers become children of God, members of the royal family above, children of the heavenly King. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 17

A salvation which was purchased for humanity at such an infinite cost should be held in the most precious vessel by every believer. That which is of such value should ever be highly regarded and not cheapened and made common by the coarseness and roughness retained by those who receive the truth. The characters of the receivers of truth will just as surely be leavened with the transforming power of the truth. Neatness and order are harmonious with the truth. The human mind may be limited in its range of knowledge, but it is broadened through diligent study of the Word of God, in order to practice godliness. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” [Psalm 119:105.] By meditating upon the Word of God and practising the truth, we eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” John 6:54, 55. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 18

Friday, excellent discourses were given through the day. In the afternoon I again spoke to the people. I had freedom in speaking to the people from (Luke 3:2-18), seeking to impress the people with the necessity of being converted, fruitful trees in the Lord’s vineyard, and the terrible denunciation if we continued year after year to disappoint the expectation of Christ until the mandate goes forth, “Cut it down. Why cumbereth it the ground?” [Luke 13:7.] 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 19

I invited all to come forward who were not having the evidence that they loved the Lord with their whole heart and mind and soul, and those who had not taken their stand for Jesus. About sixty came forward. Many were seeking the Saviour for the first time. Nearly all, young and old, bore testimony. Some confessions were made of their sins and mistakes. Then earnest prayer was offered and the blessing of the Lord was in our midst. I was so thankful to see the movements in this meeting. We do wish to see the Bible truth that is presented convicting hearts and the people in penitence and tears acknowledging their sins. Shall our faith grasp the fullness of grace which is now waiting to be bestowed upon us richly? Shall we see still greater things in this time of determinedly seeking the Lord and with weeping confessing our sins? We knew the Spirit of the Lord Jesus was in the assembly and a special work was being done for them, when testimonies were borne right to the point. There was weeping and rejoicing in these meetings. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 20

Sabbath, June 27, 1891

Sherman, Mich.

I was not able to sleep until a late hour and do not feel as refreshed as I could wish in the morning. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 21

I spoke in the afternoon from (John 14), seeking to impress upon the hearers the necessity of living faith—that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. The importance of believing fully that Christ is our personal Saviour is a necessity to our spiritual growth in grace. The treasures of the grace of Christ were unfolded to the people—that the Lord was ready and had made every provision on His part, but it is the lack of faith in the human agent that hinders. Man, the human living agent, must cooperate with God. As sinners we must repent of sin. We are not to wait till we suppose we will make ourselves good enough to come to Jesus and ask Him for His pardon and His grace, but we must come just as we are, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, the only One who can make us pure and keep us pure and holy and obedient. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 22

Christ is our highest model. “Be ye followers of Me,” is the invitation from Christ Jesus. [1 Corinthians 4:16.] The fruit He bore was perfect obedience to the Word and will of God. He said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me.” John 4:34. Benevolence and meekness were revealed in His life and character, and we must be like Jesus in our life practice. His example is to be kept before us. We do not half study His life and practice it, else we do not practice His Word. If we thoroughly do His will as He has revealed it, we shall know of the doctrine. We should not make movements in our own unsanctified natural temperament which divorces the soul from God. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 23

June 28, 1891

Sherman, Mich.

I awoke at four a.m. and feel indeed grateful to my heavenly Father for the precious night’s rest I have enjoyed. I attended the half past five morning meeting and spoke to a goodly company assembled under the tent. Colossians 3:1-17. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth,” etc. The Lord gave me much freedom. I spoke about one hour and I am thankful that the word was not in vain. I felt the burden of the people and the necessity of the transforming power of the grace of Christ affecting heart and character. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 24

Elder Van Horn spoke well in regard to the efforts to erect a meetinghouse in Petoskey. We had a nice little shower upon the tent which made it necessary to cease speaking. It was soon over and I resumed my speaking. It is cloudy and there is a misty rain, yet the carriages continue to come from fourteen, sixteen, and twenty miles distant. One wagonload of about ten persons came sixteen miles and was at our half-past-five-o’clock meeting this morning. This manifests interest. Teams have been coming in all day. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 25

The tent was quite well filled this afternoon. I spoke with freedom from (1 John 3): “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God,” etc. The people listened with deep interest, and the power and Spirit of God, I knew, attended the word spoken. What solemnity was upon me as I presented the love of God and the importance of a response from us to all this wonderful display of the love of God to fallen man. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 26

June 29, 1891

Sherman, Mich.

I arose early in the morning—four a.m.—and packed away my things preparatory to leaving for Petoskey at half past nine a.m. Attended morning meeting and read and made some earnest appeals in regard to our churches in Michigan being what God would have them to be. I felt deeply over the existing state of things. At Traverse City was a divided church of Seventh-day Adventists. After speaking in the morning meeting one hour and in the afternoon for above one hour, I had held a special meeting with the members of the Traverse City Church and labored to have them see the sinfulness and offense to God of their present attitude. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 27

They were working directly contrary to the solemn, earnest prayer of Christ to His Father that His disciples might be one as He was one with the Father. That prayer reaches down along the line to our time. What a position is this for fallen man to attain through obedience—oneness with God through Jesus Christ! To what heights we are permitted to rise if we will have respect unto the recompense of the reward! We are to receive power from God that human nature, under the divine working, may not always be perverted and not always be under the depraving, corrupting influence of sin. Human nature, through Jesus Christ, becomes allied to angels—yes, even to the great God. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 28

June 30, 1891

Petoskey, Mich.

I commenced my writing at about four o’clock. Amid the hammering and pounding I have tried to write. Rode out about half a mile. Picked clover heads [for] about thirty minutes. Rode out again to the stores to get curtains for windows. Found twenty curtains that had been ordered for Harbor Springs, the best material, but they were not wide enough for their windows. They sold fixtures and curtains for thirty-five cents a curtain. The material is excellent. They are rather wide for my windows, but we can make them do nicely. Elder Fargo leaves tonight for Greenville. He came to Petoskey last Monday night. 7LtMs, Ms 43, 1891, par. 29