Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 7a, 1897

Evans, I. H.

Stanmore, New South Wales, Australia

December 22, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in PM 235.

Dear Brother Evans:

The Mail via Vancouver brought me a few letters from America. I received your letter, and will answer it at once, lest I shall neglect it. The many things that are urging themselves on my mind, and the ill turns that I have had from overwork, make it hard for me to keep always in my mind the letters that need answering, so if at any time I do not respond, it is not because I have any wish to neglect important communications. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 1

I was somewhat surprised when Brother Prescott told me that he had made selections and compiled the book Christian Education. I understand, as he wrote or said to me, that I would do what I pleased with the book. He gave his time and asked nothing for it, excepting that a few copies were to be published for the benefit of our schools. But from the private letters I have written on education, the Review and Herald published a separate little book. Of this edition I received just one copy. I do not, under the circumstances, consider this just right. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 2

I think that if Brother Prescott had any donations to make of his time, he might appropriately have made it so that it would be of advantage in this far-off field. Here new fields are constantly opening before us, and every camp-meeting held means that we must build a church, to accommodate those who take hold of the truth. In this place there are forty new Sabbathkeepers, and the interest does not diminish. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 3

Two weeks ago last Sabbath I was solicited to come to this place from Cooranbong. We have most interesting meetings in the tent. I spoke to the people Sabbath and Sunday. I had freedom in speaking to them. Ever since the camp meeting closed, meetings have been held in the tent on the same ground where the camp meeting was held. The people are so impressed with the meetings that the interest continues to grow. There is no stopping place. Meetings are held on Sabbath and Sunday and every evening during the week except Monday night. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 4

A suitable house has been hired to accommodate the mission workers. Brother and Sister Haskell, Brother and Sister Starr, and Brother and Sister Wilson are here, and they are doing all that they possibly can. During the day they go from house to house, giving Bible readings. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 5

We have faith to believe that no less than one hundred will embrace the truth as a result of this effort. The class that is interested are men and women of intellect, and seem like men and women of solid worth. None of them are rich, yet most of them are in business, earning good wages. The first thing in which they are interested is to have a meeting house. The land at which we have looked will cost seven hundred and fifty pounds. It is in a central and beautiful location. The decision regarding it is to be made today or tomorrow. Then we can call upon the people to make their donations, that a house of worship may be built in as few weeks as possible. This building will cost quite a sum of money, but it must be done. We must “arise and build.” [Nehemiah 2:20.] 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 6

Now you can see why I must use the income from my books to the best advantage for advancing the work here. I see so many things that must be done in order to make even a beginning, to raise the standard in these new fields. From every direction I hear the Macedonian cry for help, “Come over and help us.” [Acts 16:9.] I also have calls to assist young people to attend school, and also to open primary schools in different localities, where the children may be educated. This is work that must be done. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 7

I wish to make some additions to Christian Education, and then if the Review and Herald wish to carry it, they can do so if they will pay me a small sum as royalty, to be invested in the education of many who cannot attend school and pay their own expenses. In Melbourne I bore the expenses of no less than fourteen. During the first term of the school in Cooranbong, I carried several through school, paying their board and school expense. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 8

I would be pleased to hear from you as to whether my suggestions are accepted. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 9

My brother, the painful part of your letter is no surprise to me. Notwithstanding the warnings given, men have gone directly contrary to these warnings, as if they cared not for them at all. Their great zeal to take over the institutions for the care of the sick, which are weighed down by debt, is a blind piece of work, for the worst sickness exists at the very heart of the work. The centralization scheme was an enterprise that should have been abandoned, after the warnings given. The men who have done just what the Lord told them not to do, who have involved the Conference in financial embarrassment, should be on the ground, that they might see and understand the result of their unwise moves. They put out their own eyes and blinded their understanding. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 10

The people have lost confidence in the management at the center of the work, and they have every reason for doing this. But if the men who cherished the principles that led to disaster could see the result of their wrong course of action, if they would humble their hearts before God, confessing their sins, the Lord would pardon their transgression and forgive their sin. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 11

The principles upon which the men in responsible places have acted in regard to the publication of books, the unfair way in which they have treated authors, those whom Christ died to save, is a disgrace to the name of Christian. When men are deceived and deluded by Satan, they make remarkably strange tracks. They would not take heed to the words of counsel given by the Lord. Their selfishness and lack of honest dealing has dishonored God. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 12

Prosperity would have attended the Conference and all the lines of the publishing work if the men in responsible positions had moved wholly in the fear of the Lord, irrespective of consequences. But the publishing house let The Great Controversy fall dead from the press, and crowded in and carried Bible Readings; and from that time more decidedly dishonest schemes were acted upon to get possession of books. There were men who no longer worked in the fear of the Lord, but entered upon flattering schemes. They swayed things just as they pleased, and for years kept from the people the book they needed. The Lord removed His favor because of this wrong course of action, and the things that these men thought to do by unfaithful scheming, has brought a dearth of means. The same spirit that led them to pursue a selfish, ungenerous course when dealing with authors has defiled their spiritual honor. The Lord would not uphold the course they pursued. He declares, “I hate robbery for burnt offerings.” [Isaiah 61:8.] 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 13

When I left Battle Creek, I had no idea that I would remain away longer than two years. But the Lord let men have their desire, that the one through whom He sent warnings and reproofs should be removed. They were permitted to walk in their own ways, and be filled with their own doings. Poor, unconsecrated souls, they have walked in the sparks of the fire of their own kindling. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 14

My brother, I feel sorely grieved that the old hands are being sent away to different places, leaving a terrible load upon some who in the past have not been directly connected with our institutions. I have not words to express my sorrow for you all, my sorrow for those who have sustained men who were leading them into a pit, when they knew it would be to their own ruin and to the harm of the cause of God. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 15

“Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways and will heal him; I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is afar off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord, and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” Isaiah 57:16-21. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 16

The fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah points out the evil and the remedy for the diseased soul. Let this chapter be received as warning and instruction, for the Lord God of Israel calls for a decided reformation, not only among the young people, but among the instructors of the young. “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, neither is his ear heavy, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” [Isaiah 59:1, 2.] A decided change is called for. The work of repentance and reformation has not gone deep and thorough. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 17

Whatever course A. R. Henry may have taken, let none of those who have had and who still have a connection with the work, lay their mistakes and sins upon him. The salvation of the soul is an individual work. They will have to answer to God for the sins they have committed. They have the Word of God, and if their hearts had been humble, if they had walked in the light, they could have said, by their words and their works, I long after God, even the living God. 12LtMs, Lt 7a, 1897, par. 18