Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 119, 1902

An Appeal for the Work in Southern California

Fresno, California

October 8, 1902

Portions of this manuscript are published in HFM 84. +Note

Dear brethren and sisters,—

I have recently attended the Southern California camp-meeting which was held at Los Angeles. There was good attendance of our own people, and some interest was manifested by the people of the city. There were one hundred and thirty-five tents on the ground, occupied by about four hundred campers. On Sabbaths and Sundays there must have been about six hundred Sabbath keepers assembled. During the meeting much attention was given to medical missionary work. This will be a prominent feature of the work in this Conference, because of the thousands who come to Southern California for their health. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 1

While at Los Angeles, I received the blessing of the Lord in large measure. At times I felt so weak physically that I feared I could not stand before the people. One Sabbath afternoon, as I was about to start for the meeting, a great weakness came over me, and I feared that I should not be able to speak. But I decided to go, and as I waited in the large tent while the opening exercises were going on, I sent an earnest prayer to God for help. I pleaded with Him to speak to the large congregation assembled. He heard and answered my petition. As I rose to my feet, I felt as if the everlasting arms were round about me, and I knew that I was leaning upon a power that never fails. I spoke for over an hour, and then, feeling that I must acknowledge the blessing that God had given me, I knelt on the platform, and offered thanksgiving to my heavenly Father in my own behalf and in the behalf of those who had listened to the message that God had given me for them. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 2

I have not a doubt but that angels from heaven were in the assembly, and that those present, believers and unbelievers, were under the influence of the Spirit and power of God. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 3

During the camp-meeting I spoke seven times, and the Lord was my constant Helper. I praise Him; for He is my physician and my dependence. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 4

During my stay in Southern California, I have visited places that in the past have been presented to me as suitable for the establishment of sanitariums and for a school. For years I have been given special light that we are not to center our work in the cities. The turmoil and confusion that fill these cities, the conditions brought about by the labor unions and the strikes, would prove a great hindrance to our work. Men are seeking to bring those engaged in the different trades under bondage to certain unions. This is not God’s planning, but the planning of a power that we should in no case acknowledge. God’s Word is fulfilling; the wicked are binding themselves up in bundles ready to be burned. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 5

We are now to use all our entrusted capabilities in giving the last warning message to the world. In this work we are to preserve our individuality. We are not to unite with secret societies or with trades unions. We are to stand free in God, looking constantly to Christ for instruction at every step. All our movements are to be made with a realization of the work to be accomplished for the Lord. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 6

I have been instructed that the work in Southern California should have advantages that it has not yet enjoyed. I have been shown that in Southern California there are properties for sale on which are buildings which could be utilized in our work, and other places with orchards and other improvements, and that these properties would be offered to us at much less than their original cost. In these places, away from the din and confusion of the congested cities, we can establish sanitariums in which the sick can be cared for in the way that God designs them to be cared for. In our efforts to help the sick, we are to take them away from the sights and sounds of the cities, where they are continually annoyed by the noises of trams and streetcars and where there is little besides houses to see, to places where they can be surrounded by the scenes of nature, where they can have the blessing of fresh air and sunshine. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 7

This subject was laid out before me in Australia. Light was given me that the cities would be filled with confusion, violence, and crime, and that these things would increase till the end of this earth’s history. There is much to be said on this point. Instruction is to be given line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. And our physicians should be the first to see the advantages of a retired location for our sanitariums and schools. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 8

Properties such as those to which I have referred are being offered to us, and some of them we should purchase, when it is plain that they are what we need. Where there are orchards on these places, so much the better, but in some places where the land is bare, the buildings may be just what we need, and trees can be set out on the land. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 9

The fact that in many cases the owners of these properties are anxious to dispose of them, and are therefore willing to sell at a low price, is greatly in our favor. We must study economy in the outlay of means. At this stage of our work, we are not to erect large buildings in any of the cities. And we are not to follow extravagant or unduly large plans in our work in any place. We are to remember the cities that have been neglected and that must now be worked. The people in these cities must have the light of truth. In our establishment of sanitariums, we are not to spend large sums of money in the erection of costly buildings; for there are many places to be worked. We are to secure the advantages that the Lord desires us to have. We are to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves in our efforts to secure country properties at a low figure, and then as are to work the cities from these outpost centers. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 10

The cities will become as Sodom, filled with iniquity and confusion. We are to take our students from the temptations offered by the liquor saloons that in the cities are seen on every hand, to quiet places, where the ears will not be wearied by constant noise or perverted by blasphemous language. We are to place our youth where they will be surrounded with the beautiful things of God’s creation. God lives and reigns, and He desires His people to be wise to secure the good and refuse the evil, which corrupts the thoughts and defiles the soul. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 11

During this visit to Southern California, we have seen many desirable properties that are offered for sale. Our brethren have purchased for an intermediate school one such property at Fernando, a town of six hundred inhabitants, about twenty miles north of Los Angeles. The property consists of twelve and a half acres of land, a large school building, and a boarding house. The school building is a modern, two-story brick structure, with an attic that can be improved and used as sleeping rooms. On the first floor there are fine recitation rooms and a chapel that will seat about two hundred. The second floor has seven good school rooms. The attic has been divided into fourteen sleeping rooms and two work rooms. The other building is a two-and-a-half-story structure and is well adapted for a girl’s dormitory for which purpose it was built. The Conference has purchased a seven-roomed cottage adjoining this property. The cottage stands in an orange grove of two acres. The whole investment as it now stands is only about ten thousand dollars. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 12

From the roof of the school building there is a beautiful view of the surrounding country. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 13

Our people opened their school at Fernando last week with forty students. On my way from San Diego to this place, I had the pleasure of attending the opening exercises. Before I had the privilege of seeing this place, I urged its purchase without delay, because I could plainly see, from the description given me of it by letter, that it closely resembled places presented to me by the Lord as places that would be offered to us at a low price, and I had no hesitancy in advising its purchase. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 14

After the Los Angeles camp-meeting, we went to San Diego. Here our people are conducting a hygienic restaurant and a food store and treatment rooms in the very best part of the city. The work is carried on in rooms once used as a saloon. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 15

Those in charge of the medical work in San Diego have more patients than they can care for properly in their small quarters, and for a long time they have been pleading with us to help them to get a suitable place for sanitarium work. While we were in San Diego, we drove to a place five miles out of the city, to look at a property offered for sale at a reasonable figure, which the brethren there thought would be suitable for sanitarium work. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 16

The building on this property was erected as a sanitarium and is a mile and a half from a railway station. It stands on a rise of ground, and commands a view of the whole valley. All around, though at some little distance, are large residences, standing in the midst of flourishing orange groves and orchards. The building itself stands in twenty acres of land, part of which was once an orange grove. But the house has been unoccupied for several years, and most of the trees have died for want of care. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 17

As I said before, the building was erected for a sanitarium. It is three stories high and is one of the most thoroughly constructed buildings that I have ever seen. There is nothing extravagant about it, but taste and skill have been brought into its erection. There are about eighty rooms in the building, all of which are airy and well lighted. In each bedroom there is a large closet for clothes and a stationary washbowl. The building was erected fifteen years ago, but was occupied only for a short time. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 18

I have never seen a building for sale that was better adapted for sanitarium work, and we believe that it should be secured for our work. Dr. Whitelock is now negotiating for its purpose, and he thinks that it can be bought for about eleven thousand dollars. The cost of the building, without the land, was more than twenty-five thousand dollars. There are twenty acres of land in the property. There were once forty, but part of the land was sold at a time of pressure for means. We think that this land also should be purchased, if it is for sale, that there may be opportunity for the erection of inexpensive cottages for the accommodation of helpers. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 19

I now ask my brethren and sisters who have means to spare that is not invested in the Lord’s work, to help us, by sending as either gifts or loans of money, without interest, to purchase this property. Soon a large number of tourists will be coming to San Diego to spend the winter months. It would be greatly to the advantage of our work if this property could be purchased at once and the sanitarium opened this winter. We ask our brethren and sisters to help us to purchase this place which God has certainly opened the way for us to secure. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 20

In Los Angeles also the medical workers are in great need of a suitable place in which to carry on their work. Los Angeles is a center for tourists from all parts of America, and it is surely time that we had a sanitarium near that city. For two years past, our medical work there has been carried on in rooms over the hygienic restaurant, but these rooms were not at all suitable, and now they are needed for the accommodation of the restaurant workers. For the present, Dr. Evans is carrying on work in Pasadena, where he has opened treatment rooms in a large building in the center of the city. We have looked at several properties near Los Angeles, and we are sure that something suitable for sanitarium work could be secured at little cost. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 21

From the light given me when I was in Australia, and renewed since I came to America, I know that our work in Southern California must advance more rapidly. The people flocking here for health must hear the last message of mercy. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 22

For years the work in Southern California has needed help, and we now call upon our brethren and sisters who have means to spare to put it into circulation, that we may secure the places so well suited for our work. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 23

God has not been pleased with the way in which this field has been neglected. From many places in Southern California the light is to shine forth to the multitudes. Present truth is to be as a city set on an hill, which cannot be hid. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 24

Southern California is world-renowned as a health resort. Every year many thousands of tourists come here. These must hear the last warning message. We are called upon by God to explain the Scriptures to these people. We are not to build hotels for the accommodation of tourists, and we are not to establish sanitariums in the cities. We are to establish our work where we shall be able to do the most good to those who come to our medical institutions for treatment. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 25

Workers who can speak to the multitudes are to be located where they can meet the people where they are and give them the message of truth. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 26

What will you do to help, brethren? Will you put the Lord’s money into circulation to advance His work? Will you respond at once to this appeal? We so greatly desire that these favorable openings may be taken advantage of. If we do our duty, the Lord will give us many souls for our hire. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 27

The aim and burden of our work is to show that the truth uplifts and saves. Missionary work must be done. The world is our field of labor, and we must meet the people where they are and give them the message. God desires His workers to develop the capabilities and powers that He has given them. It is His purpose that they shall constantly increase in usefulness, ever gaining greater ability to win souls to Christ. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 28

John writes, “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come, and worship Him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” [Revelation 14:6-11.] 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 29

“After these things, I saw another angel come down from heaven having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” [Revelation 18:1-5.] 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 30

If these words do not arouse our people from their listless attitude, what shall be done for them? I call upon them to look on the fields; for they are white. The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. There are many, many cities waiting to be entered. There are many, many parts of the Lord’s vineyard destitute and unworked. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 31

At this time more is needed than activity in business lines. All the workers are to consecrate themselves to God, placing in His work all their talents and laboring earnestly to win souls to Christ. It is God’s purpose that His people shall bear aloft the banner on which is inscribed the words “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] Through the agency of the Holy Spirit, the principles of the law of God are to obtain the victory. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 32

Into the service of God we are to bring life and animation. If we ask Him in faith, He will give us His Holy Spirit. Earnest, persevering efforts must be put forth to secure every advantage that will extend the influence of the cross of Christ. God’s work is not to be done in a haphazard way. It is to be carried forward with sanctified order and with such consecration and simplicity that the self-denial of Christ will be revealed in all that is done. It is to be demonstrated that the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Nothing but heart-obedience will secure salvation. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 33

Human influence sanctified by the love of God—this is what is needed now in the work of the third angel’s message. We are not to yield to the temptation to enter into business transactions that will not allow us to labor with earnest interest and disinterested effort for the souls that are out of Christ. We are to live the life of the Saviour. He is to be revealed in our spirit, in our words, in our prayers, in our deeds. We are to be bound up, body, soul, and spirit, with His great plan of mercy. Our characters are to be a reproduction of His character. When God’s people show the interest that they should in the work of soul-saving, many precious souls will be brought to a knowledge of the truth. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 34

Any line of work from which is left out the essence of true service might better be turned over to the world. The talents of God’s people are to be employed in lines of work in which they can be laborers together with Him. The will of Christ is to be our will. Union with Him means freedom of action. It means activity in the work for the accomplishment of which He gave His life. Anything that interposes between us and this work is to be discarded as a hindrance to true advancement. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 35

May God bless you, my brethren and sisters, and help you to realize that you are His, to do His will. 17LtMs, Ms 119, 1902, par. 36