Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 9, 1901

Farnsworth, Brother and Sister [E. W.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

January 18, 1901

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Farnsworth,—

Your letters have been received and are very much appreciated. I have not answered them as I should, for lately I have been unable to write. I attended the Week of Prayer meetings in San Francisco, and during the first meeting was struck nearly breathless. I felt unusually well that Sabbath morning as I entered the church. But there were two stoves in the building, and in each a fire was burning. Sabbath school had just been held in the room, and as the ventilation was imperfect, the air was full of poison from the many breaths and the exhalations from the bodies of the people. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 1

Elder Corliss was speaking when I entered, and his face was very red from the heat. The day was not a cold one, and no fires should have been lit in the stoves. If this was the usual temperature of the room, I do not wonder that so many of the people had colds and coughs. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 2

As soon as I entered the room, I felt an exhaustion coming over me, and I told Brother Corliss that I would not be able to speak because I had been poisoned by the deadly atmosphere. I thought that I would remain and hear Brother Corliss speak, but I was soon convinced that if I stayed, I should fall to the floor. I felt myself growing worse and worse, when a hand was laid on my shoulder. It was Sara. I thought she was away, as she had purposed to be; but when she put her hand on my shoulder saying, “Well, mother, how is it?” a thrill of joy came over me and tided me past the crisis. Sara helped me off the platform, into an adjoining room, and out into the fresh air, and I felt better; but the poison was working in my system. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 3

I spoke on Sabbath, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday afternoons in San Francisco. Then I went to Oakland and spoke on Sabbath and Sunday to the church there. I came home on Monday and kept thinking I would get rested, but there was much to do, and I neglected myself. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 4

On Friday I fainted as Sara was giving me a bath. Sara and Maggie lifted me out of the tub and carried me to my bedroom. All that night and all the next day I lay in a half-unconscious state; and for nearly three weeks I have hardly left my room. For the last day or two I have been better. Last night I had a hard time. But I told the Lord how much I needed strength, and He heard my prayer. Today by request I spoke in the Sanitarium chapel. The room was full, and many of those present were not of our faith. The Lord strengthened me and gave me great freedom in speaking. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 5

Yesterday I took breakfast with the family and united with them in morning and evening worship. But I suffered for this venturesome act and shall take my meals in my room till I grow stronger. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 6

Thus severely has the poison air affected me. I have coughed a great deal—a nervous, continuous cough, which has been a great strain upon me. But I have nearly recovered from this, I think. Now I want to gather up my strength for letter writing; for the Australian mail goes in two or three days. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 7

We were very glad to hear of the camp-meeting in Bendigo. On no account must our camp-meetings be hindered or carried forward weakly. Each year camp-meetings must be held in new places where the truth has never been heard. Aggressive warfare must be carried forward. The Lord said, “Add new territory.” Now is the time to take hold of this work. Now is the time to bear a decided message. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 8

I am very glad that in this camp-meeting you presented the third angel’s message and all it embraces, without beating about the bush, and leaving the decisive question till the end of the meeting. It should be a matter of the very first consideration, that the people may have time to think of it and of the evidences which substantiate the truth. The Lord help us to do this work as it should be done, is my prayer. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 9

Brother Farnsworth, in one of your letters you spoke of my place here, saying that you did not suppose that I would ever take upon me the burden and perplexity of another farm. This is the way I felt when I left Australia. We had no more idea of settling here than you had. We did not seek this place. The Lord was in the matter of our getting it. He placed us here. Brother Burden can tell you all about this. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 10

The place cost me in all about six thousand three hundred dollars, which is to be paid off in instalments of one thousand dollars a year, with interest of 6 1/4%. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 11

There are fifty-five acres in the place, most of which is planted with prunes and grapes. There is also a small orchard of different kinds of fruit. We shall not try to dry the prunes, but shall sell them by the ton. The grapes we shall treat in the same way. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 12

There are some things I wish to say to those in Australia upon whom the burden of responsibility rests. I very much desire that Brother Burden and his family shall be appreciated. Had it not been for the knowledge I have of the situation in Australia and the need of consecrated workers there, and had it not been that I know that Brother Burden could not carry the burdens at the Retreat without endangering his life, we could not have been prevailed upon to send Brother Burden away from the hillside. The entire working-force at the Retreat is in a dyspeptic condition and needs renewing with new blood. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 13

In advising Brother and Sister Burden to go to Australia, I followed the light given me by the Lord; and I want you to use your influence to prevent Brother Sharp, whom I sympathize with, and love in the Lord, from making the mistake the sanitarium at the Retreat made, of thinking they could do without Brother Burden. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 14

One thing you must guard against. Dr. Caro and Brother Sharp are not to unite as superintendents of the new Sanitarium. I have been instructed to say that Brother Sharp is making a mistake in supposing that he can do all the work connected with the management of the Sanitarium. No one man should carry all these responsibilities. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 15

I wish to tell you in confidence that Brother Sharp is not a level thinker. I fear that he will be permitted to take responsibilities which he cannot possibly carry, thereby doing himself harm, and leaving many things undone which should be done, but which Brother Sharp is not willing that anyone shall do but himself. I write this because I know Brother Sharp’s peril. In the night season I was in council meetings where decisions were being made, and my heart was faint within me. Brother Sharp was represented to me as grasping several lines of work, and in a very spirited manner refusing to let others share these responsibilities with him. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 16

Brother Sharp does not know what he is doing when he holds to these varied responsibilities. If he continues to cling to them, he will imperil his life, depriving himself of power to do the work which he could do without breaking down. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 17

The Lord is not in this. Brother Sharp’s family needs more of his care. What would his children do if he should lose his health? 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 18

Not only will Brother Sharp lose his health in trying to carry so many responsibilities, but the cause will suffer loss, because he will not be able to do the right things at the right time. But I shall write no more on this subject now. I am fearful that what I might write would cause confusion. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 19

More sanitariums should not be established in Australia until the one now in process of erection is finished. With regard to your sending the one hundred pounds to New Zealand, I think you did what you thought was best, but I cannot see the wisdom of sending the money there when the Sydney Sanitarium is in such great need. It requires all the money that can be raised. If sum after sum is diverted, the prospect is poor for its completion. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 20

As to the loan of $10,000 from Sister Gotzian, this is still in a doubtful position. Sister Gotzian has done all she could and we have done all we could, but the money was loaned to the Battle Creek Sanitarium, and the time of the loan will not expire for a year. How the matter will come out, I cannot now say. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 21

We are now straining every energy to save the institutions in Denmark and Norway. These institutions must be helped to their feet, or the cause of God will be disgraced. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 22

I wish to speak a word with reference to Dr. Caro. I feel very tender toward him. I am so sorry that in some respects, by trying to keep up appearances for the sake of outward show, he has spoiled his record. He has made a mistake in thinking he has been given the work of establishing sanitariums throughout Australia. He is not fitted for any such responsibility. When he felt humble, the Lord gave him His Holy Spirit to enable him to reach the higher classes by his work in connection with the camp-meetings. But his work after the Maitland camp-meeting resembled the action of the Israelites in asking for a king. They desired an earthly king, that they might be like the nations round them, and a king they would have, notwithstanding the warning of the Lord. They renounced the divine theocracy for the sake of being like other nations. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 23

When I saw Dr. Caro’s course after the Maitland camp-meeting, I was strongly impressed that he had been weighed in the balance and found wanting, and that unless he changed, he would imperil the cause. Had he followed the light given him, had he let God be his helper and sufficiency, he would have come out after the Maitland camp-meeting humble and grateful, with a bright experience. But he took himself out of the hands of God, and put himself under worldly, fashionable influence. Thus he thought to raise himself, but instead, he lowered himself in the estimation of the people. He acted like a man dazed, unable to comprehend spiritual things. He looked at things from a worldly standpoint, and his work did just what Satan desired it to. It was of a character to lessen his influence. Had he realized that he was sacrificing his influence and imperilling the work, he would have humbled his soul before God. The work is not to be endangered a second time as it was after the Maitland camp-meeting. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 24

I do not see a particle of light in Dr. Caro making his home at Sister Tuxford’s. She is not a health reformer, and neither is he, in the fullest sense of the word. I am not in favor of Sister Tuxford taking a prominent part in giving cooking lessons, as one who is representing our people. I am a friend to Sister Tuxford, but I know that Dr. Caro’s mixing up with her is not good, and will be no benefit to either of them. Poor souls, they both need the deep moving of the Spirit of God. 16LtMs, Lt 9, 1901, par. 25