Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 159, 1900

Irwin, G. A.

Crystal Springs, St. Helena, California

December 16, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in 5Bio 45-46.

Dear Brother Irwin:

I have just read your letter. I am glad you received in season that which I wrote concerning the change in the time and place of the General Conference [session]. It was at some cost to myself, in ideas and feeling, that I wrote as I did. For a week before I fully consented to go to Battle Creek, I did not sleep past one o’clock a.m. Some nights I was up at eleven o’clock and many nights at twelve. I have not moved from impulse, but from the conviction that at this time I must begin at Jerusalem. 15LtMs, Lt 159, 1900, par. 1

I cannot see that much confusion needs to exist which telegrams cannot remedy. 15LtMs, Lt 159, 1900, par. 2

The deep regrets of many that the conference was to be held in Oakland came to me across the Rocky Mountains. Had not a change been made, the impression would have rested upon minds that the conference was held in Oakland because of Sister White’s choice. To bear all the responsibility of having the conference in Oakland was a burden too heavy for me to carry. 15LtMs, Lt 159, 1900, par. 3

I made inquiry, and found that the cost of holding the conference in Oakland would be from five to eight thousand dollars. I had no desire to shoulder this responsibility. If my journey to Battle Creek will save the conference five thousand or even one thousand dollars, I will go. 15LtMs, Lt 159, 1900, par. 4

Then in the night season, I was standing in the tabernacle at Battle Creek, and the Spirit of the Lord gave me freedom to present practical godliness in clear, distinct lines before the people. Several times this representation was impressed upon my mind. More definite light came to me. Yet it was some time before I could make the decision. Some weeks ago I wrote you a letter, which I did not send, regarding this matter. 15LtMs, Lt 159, 1900, par. 5

For some things it would be a great advantage to hold the conference in Oakland. Our workers in California, ministers, physicians, and directors, need to have a different mold. There is a narrowing up, a binding about. Pharisaical rules are formulated and presented to the workers, which remind me of the rules made by the Pharisees in Christ’s day. Lax methods have confused the spiritual senses and blinded the spiritual eyesight. Scarcely any of the workers are vivified by the missionary spirit which leads men to go forth into new fields, adding new territory to the Lord’s kingdom, and planting the standard in towns and cities which have never heard the truth. There seems to be a stagnation in the work. Ministers are hovering over the churches when they should be out in the field, proclaiming the warning message to a world lying in sin. I am pained day and night at the outlook. We need to see the true working of the Holy Spirit upon individual character. 15LtMs, Lt 159, 1900, par. 6

I would be pleased to avoid this journey to Battle Creek, if I thought I would be justified in so doing, but I am sure I shall not feel clear in staying here. I must meet the people in Battle Creek. I am instructed that my message must come before many people; therefore I may have to work in some camp meetings, for I have been doing this in the night season. 15LtMs, Lt 159, 1900, par. 7

I will try to send you copies of letters written at different times. I have only one copyist, Maggie Hare, and the last mail to Australia was too much for all of us. Willie was compelled to be in Oakland, and we drove the mail through ourselves. 15LtMs, Lt 159, 1900, par. 8

There are days on which I have carried a heavy burden. I write some things, then I am called upon to attend meetings at the sanitarium, Healdsburg, and San Francisco. Then my head refuses to have any more tasks put upon it. Stop I must. Then I get into the carriage and ride. If the weather had not been so wet lately, I could have had some physical exercise. But for about a month it has been almost continuously foggy and rainy. 15LtMs, Lt 159, 1900, par. 9

I have no fireplace in my room, and I cannot endure stove heat; therefore I write in a cold room, with no fire, protecting myself as best I can. But I have learned one thing. I can endure cold better than most people. 15LtMs, Lt 159, 1900, par. 10

Since coming here, I have driven twice to Healdsburg, speaking there three times. I was specially blessed by the Spirit of God when I met with the students the first time, and also when I spoke to them about two weeks ago last Sabbath. The church was full, quite a number not of our faith being present, among them a Baptist minister and two ministers of other denominations. I know that the Lord blessed me indeed. 15LtMs, Lt 159, 1900, par. 11

On Sunday afternoon I spoke again to a well-filled house. During the entire morning I was in conversation and council. I was making my home with Sister Bond, but was invited to take dinner at Brother McClure’s. There I will get a little rest from talking, I thought. But no; I got no rest. Yet notwithstanding my fatigue, the blessing of the Lord came upon me in the meeting. I know that God was present, for rich currents of His grace came to my soul. After I had finished speaking, I was not in the least weary, but was full of hope and courage. This helped me to decide to do the work given me, “beginning at Jerusalem.” [Luke 24:47.] I dare not do otherwise than say, “I will go to Battle Creek, trusting in the Lord God of Israel.” I will therefore gladly accept the time you propose, April 2, for the commencement of the meeting. I think this will give us time to issue some small pamphlets. May the Lord help me, is my prayer. 15LtMs, Lt 159, 1900, par. 12

With much love to Sister Irwin and yourself. 15LtMs, Lt 159, 1900, par. 13