Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 158, 1900

Wilson, Sister [G. T.]

Crystal Springs, St. Helena, California

[November] 12, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in 1MR 306; 5Bio 29, 31. +Note

Dear Sister Wilson:

I have only a short time to write and get this letter in the mail. I have been driven nearly to distraction to get time to communicate with you, my beloved sister. I do not cease to pray for you. There have been continual calls for Sister White to attend meetings. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 1

We reached Oakland late in the day Friday. Sabbath I was solicited to speak in the Oakland church in the afternoon. The notice had gone out, and the church was full. The Lord gave me special freedom. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 2

The first part of the next week was devoted to househunting; but after being conducted from place to place for days, we could find nothing that was suitable. Then I said, I have come to the conclusion that I am done with househunting. When the Lord opens some place for me, I will gladly accept the favor. Marian was in a hired room, for which I paid five dollars a month. Willie hired a small cottage at fifteen dollars a month. Four rooms were rented as working rooms for ten dollars a month. Sister Peck and Maggie occupied two of these rooms, doing their own cooking over an oil stove. They lived principally on bread and fruit. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 3

We went up to St. Helena Thursday morning. Before I had taken off my things, I was relating my experience in househunting, and my disappointment, and Sister Ings said, “Well, below the hill there is a place that is just the thing for you. It is Robert Pratt’s place.” I thought it was the place of our Brother Pratt, who died some years ago; but, lo, it was a house I had looked at and admired, and had thought it a most beautiful place. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 4

Brother Burden had purchased the place, paying one thousand dollars down, with two thousand dollars to be paid in one year. The rest might run, by keeping up the taxes, paying when it was convenient. I at once took the place, his goods, Pratt’s goods, two horses, three carriages—one nearly new—a covered carriage like our phaeton, only not so easy and roomy, but very easy riding, two one-seated phaetons, one of which has a cover, one very nice platform wagon, a sulky, and a farm wagon, and implements for farming. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 5

The house was completely furnished. For this place I paid six thousand three hundred dollars. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 6

Afterward we sold <ten> acres of land for one thousand dollars and five acres for one hundred and seventy-five dollars. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 7

This is a most beautiful location. The surroundings are lovely. Ornamental trees from various parts of the world, flowers, mostly roses of a large variety, an orchard containing a thousand prune trees which are bearing, another orchard nearer the house, and still another orchard of olive trees, are growing on the place. In the orchard near the house are apple trees, fig trees, apricots, cherries, and pears. We have sold our olives for fifty dollars a ton. I suppose there are not quite a ton on the trees. We have grapes in abundance, far more than we can handle. Next year we shall sell the crop for making sweet wine, which has a ready market. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 8

On this place was a small cottage for workmen to live in. I have had it raised from the foundation and sealed inside. It provides us with four office rooms. The work on it cost two hundred and fifty dollars, and it may come to three hundred. Our workers have just got into it. We have had to buy office desks and typewriter desks and other furniture to carry on our work. Our preparation in this line is just finished. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 9

Marian came yesterday to take up her work. Up to the present time she has been at the sanitarium taking treatment. Sister Burnham has come from Oakland to help us in the preparation of books which we desire to get out. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 10

As soon as we reached Crystal Springs, I was solicited to speak in the sanitarium chapel. This I did Thursday night and Friday night. There was a large house full to speak to, and all seemed much interested and pleased. Sister Ings is overjoyed that we are here. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 11

Sabbath we went on the cars to Napa, where a district camp meeting was being held. I spoke at this place. Brother Irwin had come from Battle Creek to counsel with us. Edson was also to come for counsel. I spoke in the tent to the people assembled at Napa. At the morning service I was moved by the Spirit of God to bear a most decided testimony. After I had spoken, many came forward for prayer. This meeting was a great success. Much tenderness and weeping were seen in the meeting. The nurses from the sanitarium were much broken in spirit, and sought the Lord most earnestly. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 12

We returned to St. Helena in the afternoon, and there I met my son, James Edson White, whom I had not seen for nine years. He looked considerably worn, but I was very glad to meet him. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 13

Through the week our counsels went on, while I took treatment when I had opportunity. Important matters were considered. Brother Irwin spoke in behalf of the school at Battle Creek. Dr. Kellogg had offered to purchase the school buildings. Brethren Irwin, Magan, and Sutherland thought best to sell, though at a loss, and establish a school out of the city, upon a large tract of ground. I laid the matter before them. Had not the Lord in their emergency made provision to relieve the school building from debt? If this sale should go forward, the amount received would be far below the value of the buildings. We did not want it said or have it appear to the world that we were obliged to sell because we could not pay our debts. If this bargain should be closed, the vital interest in the plan of freeing our schools from debt would be lost. What need then to create funds? the people would ask. The life that should be put into the liquidation of the debt would be extinguished. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 14

I told them to hold right on where they were until the plan of selling the book which God had moved me to present to the schools to clear their indebtedness, should be fully worked out. Then the staff would be in their own hands. The school would own the property, and would have a clean page upon which to write the records of the next school year. Or, if they saw fit to dispose of the building after the debt was paid, they could do this, and remove to the country. This matter was clearly seen, and all who had met for counsel were relieved. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 15

But, O, I was so tired, with the settling of the purchase of my place, selling a portion of my land to the sanitarium, and the many and varied things to be heard and duly weighed. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 16

On Friday I went once more to Napa, where we spent Sabbath and Sunday. We rode in the sanitarium carriage, and I was very comfortable. I spoke on Sabbath and first day, giving a decided testimony. On Sunday many outsiders were present. The Lord gave me a testimony for the hearers. I spoke for an hour and a half in the most solemn manner. The Spirit of the Lord was upon me, and it seemed that I could not go. James Edson White spoke in the afternoon with great clearness and force. I wanted to be present, but dared not presume, for I had already gone far enough. Edson is reported to be as able and effective a speaker as we have in the ranks of Sabbathkeepers. He speaks in a clear, simple manner, with much power. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 17

At the close of the afternoon meeting we prepared to drive back to St. Helena. I had strength to go about half way. Then my hip and whole side and kidneys began to be troublesome. I changed to the front seat, but could not obtain relief. The pain was very great. I tried to walk a little, but could not stand erect. Then I put the cushion in the bottom of the carriage, and knelt on them, but this gave no relief. I had to endure the suffering for several miles. When I reached the sanitarium, a wheel chair was brought and took me at once to the treatment room. For one week I was like a broken piece of china. I had good treatment. When I came to our present home, I could not stand erect, and could walk only by the use of a cane and the arm of an attendant. But I could move about a little, and I thanked the Lord that my feebleness was not of long duration. For some time I took treatment, and now I feel no ill effects. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 18

I have spoken about ten times at the sanitarium, once at St. Helena, once at Calistoga, and three times at Healdsburg. The Lord has blessed me in a marked manner. I see as I never expected to see that the good hand of the Lord is with me. O it has been so wonderfully apparent in providing this beautiful home in this retired place! I was visited by the angel of the Lord on the boat, and instruction was given me, which I do not yet dare to speak. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 19

I will sometime give the whole history of my experience on the boat. It is so solemn, so sacred a matter that I do not feel like talking about it; but one thing I do know, of which I may speak, and that is that it was in order of God that I came to America just at this time. It was against my wishes, for I wanted to remain in Australia. I loved the people and I loved my work. I have not lost my love for Australia, nor my interest in the workers there. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 20

The Lord will help all who take hold with good courage and humbly do His work with all honesty and earnest zeal and with fidelity. The end is near, and I will say to those I love in every place, Be of good courage in the Lord. Ministers and people, the Lord is our Rock. We may be secure. The Lord will not leave His people to the will of the enemy. He will carry us through all the strait places. He can spread a table for us in the wilderness. We want not human zeal, but a zeal for the success of all our institutions. They are God’s instrumentalities. They must be kept free from all selfishness. They must be witnesses for the truth of God for this time. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 21

O let us feel that we are rich in the mercy and grace and love of God. This is our property. God’s honor must be preserved in His institutions. They must never be corrupted, never <come under the control of human organizations who work out their will and ways. Never by> word or deed let those connected with them make Christ ashamed. Christ and the Father have identified their interests with these institutions, and with all suffering humanity. Then let us blend with God, and identify our interests with these arms of His power. They are His human agencies. God and heaven and angels are united with us in the work of making these institutions a success. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 22

In much love. 15LtMs, Lt 158, 1900, par. 23