Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 10, 1901

Palmer, Brother and Sister [E. R.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

January 21, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in PM 298-299; 5Bio 36. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Palmer,—

I was pleased to learn by letters from Cooranbong that Brother Palmer had decided to accept the position of General Canvassing Agent for Australia during the year 1901. This is in accordance with the light which has been given me. I know that you are needed in Australia until there is a better educated force to carry forward the canvassing work in that field. We would have been pleased to have had you work in America, but you are greatly needed in Australia, and we are pleased with your decision. The Lord will help you and bless you as you try to educate canvassers to work intelligently. 16LtMs, Lt 10, 1901, par. 1

Canvassing is an important work, a work equal in importance to the ministry of the Word. Matters must be so arranged that canvassers shall have enough to live on without over-drawing. This door of temptation must be closed and barred. However honest a canvasser may be, circumstances will arise in his work which will be a sore temptation to him. Let the barn be locked before the horse is stolen. This is the best way. 16LtMs, Lt 10, 1901, par. 2

I hope that some means will be devised to make canvassing a more safe and successful business. In the past much trouble has been caused and much money has been lost through the actions of our tract societies and publishing houses. Thousands of dollars have thus been consumed which might have been saved to advance the work of God. And the loss of the money is not the greatest calamity. The worst of it is that very often the poor canvasser loses his reputation and the confidence of his brethren, and has to hobble through life with this drawback. 16LtMs, Lt 10, 1901, par. 3

Much is said after the mistake has been made, but sanctified foresight would have saved much money and preserved the reputation of the canvasser. 16LtMs, Lt 10, 1901, par. 4

It is our work to bar every path that leads to temptation. The Lord desires us to close the door against Satan’s entrance. I fear that we do not always remember the wiliness of the foe with whom we have to contend. He has a masterly mind and a keen insight. Let us in our work remember the harm it is in his power to do if we give him the opportunity. Let us take warning from the way in which things were allowed to run in Scandinavia until now. When means are needed for aggressive work, all the money that can be raised must be used to save the institutions in Denmark and Norway. We are trying in every way to lift the load of debt from the publishing house in Norway and the sanitarium in Denmark, and we hope and pray that the Lord will open the way so that relief will come. He will, we believe, if we do our part. 16LtMs, Lt 10, 1901, par. 5

Some may ask, “Why, if there is such need of money in the work, did Sister White purchase a house and farm?” This was not my planning. The Lord placed me here. We should not have had enough money to make the first payment, only that the Sanitarium purchased land to the amount of one thousand dollars. 16LtMs, Lt 10, 1901, par. 6

This covered the first payment. The next one will soon be due, and I expect to have enough to meet it. This home was provided for us by the Lord, and I have not a doubt but that He will enable us to meet the payments as they fall due. I shall not worry or fret over this matter. And when the Lord signifies that it is our duty to turn this place over to the Sanitarium, we shall be ready to obey. 16LtMs, Lt 10, 1901, par. 7

We have all been astonished at the low price for which I bought this place. The house all furnished, with carriages, horses, farm implements, and fifty-five acres of land, most of which is planted with prunes and grapes, cost six thousand three hundred dollars, which is to be paid in instalments of one thousand dollars. 16LtMs, Lt 10, 1901, par. 8

We could not possibly have found a place better fitted for our work. The Lord has certainly favored us, and I am greatly encouraged, because I know that the good hand of the Lord has been with me. The knowledge of the working of Providence in our behalf is worth more to me than gold and silver and precious stones. 16LtMs, Lt 10, 1901, par. 9

I sold all that I had in Australia. I came here and found in waiting for me a house more valuable than “Sunnyside,” and more completely furnished. 16LtMs, Lt 10, 1901, par. 10

I will leave Brother Burden to tell the rest. But I thought that if you had this written statement from me, it might be a help to you in meeting questions. 16LtMs, Lt 10, 1901, par. 11

There is a good orchard of prunes on the place, and in the season I shall ship quantities of these to the Southern field. There are two springs on the place. The water comes from the mountains, and is pure and sweet and refreshing. The springs have been so developed that we shall always have all the water we need. The water is laid on all over the house. We greatly enjoy our quiet home in the valley, and we thank the Lord for all His great blessings. 16LtMs, Lt 10, 1901, par. 12