Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 69, 1902

Burden, Brother and Sister [J. A.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

April 28, 1902

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear brother and sister Burden,—

I will try to write you a few lines in response to your short letter of the last mail. I thank you so much for your letter. It was like a drink of cold water to a thirsty soul. I thank the Lord with heart and soul and voice that you have made a beginning in Sydney. This is indeed a move in the right direction. May the good work make rapid advancement. The Lord will give you the victory. He will prepare the way before you. You have had a long, trying struggle. Now light is breaking through the darkness. You have fought a hard battle. We have felt so sorry for you. If we could, we should have sent you means to help you in the work. But I have been greatly straitened financially. The General Conference has not been able to pay me what is due me. In order to make the annual payment on my place, we thought that we should be forced to hire money from the bank at eight per cent interest. We had arranged for a loan of one thousand dollars and had written and signed a note for this amount. Friday afternoon my son was just starting to town to deposit our note in the bank, when, lo, the mail brought us a letter from the treasurer of the General Conference containing nearly a thousand dollars, enough to meet my present need. So, instead of borrowing money from the bank, we deposited money. Thus the Lord has worked for us. 17LtMs, Lt 69, 1902, par. 1

I have been praying that the Lord would open the way for the purchase of the three hundred acres of land near the Sanitarium. This land is offered for three thousand dollars. You will remember that before you went away, we looked at this place. We wish to purchase it as a site for an orphanage. We must have this land, if the Lord wills; for in many respects it is well suited to the purpose for which we desire it. We think that the way is opening for us to purchase it. 17LtMs, Lt 69, 1902, par. 2

Christ’s Object Lessons is doing a good work. The effort to sell the book is giving our people in this country an experience they have never had before. In every sense of the word, the work is an object lesson. The purpose for which the plan was proposed will be accomplished if God’s people will press on from point to point. 17LtMs, Lt 69, 1902, par. 3

The sale of this book has meant a great dearth of means for me; but I do not regret any loss I have sustained. I shall gladly stand back, and let the work advance, until there goes up the shout of victory, Grace, grace unto it. The Lord sees the wonderful fabric that He wishes His people to weave in His loom through the sale of Christ's Object Lessons. I do not want to spoil the beauty of the pattern by giving way to pride and selfishness. No; I desire, through self-sacrifice, to understand the meaning of living faith in Christ, who is our sufficiency, our all and in all. We need daily to gain a clearer understanding of Him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It is our blessed privilege to stand in the radiance of the love of God. All power, all wisdom, is at our command. We have only to ask. But we must ask in faith, nothing doubting. A fountain has been opened for Judah and Jerusalem. Every thirsty soul may come and drink of the water of life. 17LtMs, Lt 69, 1902, par. 4

Since coming to this country, I have met with afflictions that have tried my soul. But at every point I have been given strength to hold fast. I have not felt any inclination to murmur or complain. In the wakeful, painful hours of the night, I could praise God; for joy and trust and confidence and increased consolation were mine. On my journey to and from New York, it seemed at times that I could not survive, so weak and sick was I. But I was content to live or to sleep in Jesus. In the end, all things shall work together for good to them that love God. I want to do all for God that I possibly can, that at last I may lay my crown at Jesus’s feet, whose I am by creation and by redemption. I have learned the sweetness of perfect trust in Him who gave His life for me. 17LtMs, Lt 69, 1902, par. 5

Brother Burden, I am rejoiced to learn that your brethren in Australia believe you and your wife to be the very ones for the place you occupy. May the Lord bless you and keep you in all your ways as you seek to accomplish his purpose. 17LtMs, Lt 69, 1902, par. 6

I have felt afraid that you might have to sell some of the Sanitarium farm to outsiders in order to get money to complete the building. Do not sell one rod of the land to outsiders. You and your brethren will have to arrange the matter of providing homes, <some> on the Sanitarium land <or near by> for the workers who will be immediately connected with the institution. 17LtMs, Lt 69, 1902, par. 7

If you will walk humbly with God, He will be with you. But beware of self-exaltation. When one engaged in the Lord’s work exalts self, he loses the strength that comes from unreserved surrender to God. 17LtMs, Lt 69, 1902, par. 8

You have long been hindered in the work on the Sanitarium. It was not God’s will that this should be. I have prayed for means for the Sanitarium. I have made appeals. But many needy fields have been calling for help. The institutions in Scandinavia have been in a pitiable condition. The effort to lift them out of their embarrassment has drawn heavily upon our resources. 17LtMs, Lt 69, 1902, par. 9

We are enjoying the beautiful things of spring. The valley is filled with flowers. The mountains are covered with verdure. I know of no other place that displays so much of the beauty of God’s creation. I praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works. 17LtMs, Lt 69, 1902, par. 10

The day before yesterday we had the first fruits from our farm for this season—a dish of ripe strawberries. All our family had some, and greatly enjoyed them. 17LtMs, Lt 69, 1902, par. 11

I should be so pleased to see you all again. When I left Australia, I verily thought that I should return in two years. But I fear that I shall never again cross the Pacific Ocean. 17LtMs, Lt 69, 1902, par. 12

We want you to return to this country when your work in Australia is finished. But that will not be very soon; for there is much work to do there. We rejoice to hear your reports of success. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” [Psalm 103:1.] There is light, light ahead. “Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, Rejoice.” [Philippians 4:4.] Be strong in the Lord, my brother, strong in His strength. Advance step by step. Every step taken is a step nearer the gate of the New Jerusalem. 17LtMs, Lt 69, 1902, par. 13