Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 194, 1902

Daniells, A. G.

St. Helena, California

December 7, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 251; 5Bio 194-196. +Note

Elder Daniells

Dear brother,—

I have been looking over some things written in my diary in regard to you. The Lord has opened many things before me. When you were here, you laid before me the condition of things in the publishing house at Nashville. You spoke of the terrible financial embarrassment resting on the work there and gave me the impression that the brethren did not think that anything could be done to set things in order, because Sister White would exert her influence to prevent them from doing what they thought necessary to put matters on a proper basis. Questions were asked me, and I answered them in the light of your representations. I said, “If what you say is correct, I will not stand in the way of your doing what you think ought to be done.” You said that if you could adjust matters as they would be adjusted if the difficulties existed in any other place, the work would be placed on a sound basis. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 1

The interview was reported and written out, and a copy was given you. The night after, and for several nights following, light was given me regarding the matters of which we had talked; and a heavy burden came upon me. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 2

While at Fresno, I was in the night season in a meeting where the room was darkened, as if a blanket of darkness had been drawn over the assembly. Some one was speaking. The voice was the voice of Elder Daniells, but the words were those of Brother E. R. Palmer. In that meeting, the Lord laid on me a heavy burden, a burden that I could not lay off. Soon after, I was asked to speak in a morning meeting, and I consented, not knowing how my mind might be led. You know the result of this meeting. My message to Brother Jones and Brother Corliss was to them a savor of life unto life. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 3

Just as Elder Jones was leaving for Battle Creek, I sent him a message of warning, and a little while after, I received from him a letter expressing his thankfulness, accepting the testimony and declaring his determination to act upon it. He said that he had separated from that which the testimony warned him against, and that his wife was now a happy woman. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 4

This was an encouragement to me. But the burden that had come upon me after my interview with you still rested heavily upon me. I could not rid myself of it. I could not sleep. The Lord reproved me for accepting any man’s version of matters, even Elder Daniells’, when He had already given me instruction. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 5

I never remember feeling more pained than I did after speaking as I did in the interview with you. I had nothing to say in favor of Nashville. The Lord reproved me for this, and pointed me to those who by His appointment were laboring in Nashville. I was cited to the experience of the Lord’s people as recorded in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth chapters of Ezra, when those who were not in harmony with God tried to hinder the work that He had said should be done. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 6

That there should be an attempt to counterwork the Lord’s plans, and to hinder the good work being accomplished in Nashville; that Elder Daniells and others, notwithstanding the light that God has given, should join in this attempt, is an offense to God. He will not endorse their work, nor countenance their course of action. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 7

A decided call will have to be made for our people to come up to the help of the Lord. The whole history of the work in the South will have to be presented to our people, to remove the false impressions made by misrepresentation. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 8

We do not say that in the work at Nashville every thing has been done in the wisest way, but every stroke that the workers have made has been to them a lesson of instruction. They have labored with intensity and untiring zeal. Those who have done nothing to help, but everything to hinder, might better have been helping the workers, encouraging them with their prayers. All that the Lord has permitted to come upon these workers in trial and grievance was sent to correct their mistakes and to keep them from making further mistakes. These workers were untried. Who among those who have lifted their voices in questioning and recrimination and accusation would have worked any more wisely, or with more self-denial and self-sacrifice? “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.” [John 8:7.] 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 9

Brother Daniells and Brother Palmer, whatever may be your future, you have made and are making mistakes. The work that you have done by leavening minds with distrust will not be easily undone. You have believed false statements made by those whose understanding was confused. Had you been placed in the position of those you criticize so severely, you would not have done so well, in many respects, as they have. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 10

Our people in America, Brother Daniells, needed not to be inspired with a spirit of suspicion. You have listened to false reports, receiving them as truth, and reporting them as such, weakening the hands of those who have done a good work in the Southern field. The word of the Lord is, Let every mouth be silent, every word of accusation hushed. God will call men to account for the suffering they have caused His workers. My brethren, you are just as you were represented to me. A dark blanket covers your perceptive faculties, and yet you work with as much earnestness and zeal as if you were controlled by the Holy Spirit. You know not what spirit you are of. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 11

The finishing of one duty is to be a preparation for the performance of the next. But you have neglected one duty to grasp another that the Lord has not given you. Thus your spiritual eyesight has been beclouded, as it was beclouded in Australia. The performance of your duty in harmony with the messages God sends will bring light to your souls and to the souls of others. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 12

In all our efforts for reformation, the Word of God is to be our guide. We are ever to show a cheerful readiness to bring about the union that Christ prayed should exist among His followers. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 13

There are those who have not felt pleased with the effort to make Nashville a center. But if they had walked in the counsel of the Lord, they would have seen that it was His will to make Nashville a center, that in this place different interests could be established and carried forward, and that the work in this city was to be a sample of the work that should be done in other places. The preliminary work that has been done in Nashville should have been done years ago. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 14

I was bidden to call for means for the Southern field, where workers were laboring with the greatest self-denial to advance the work. But some of the money raised in response to the calls made was diverted into other channels. God saw the pressure for want of means. He marked the spirit of opposition manifested. The way in which this field has been treated is an insult to Him. Money has been kept from it that should have been used to establish a school and a sanitarium near the city of Nashville. The establishment of these institutions should now be advanced as rapidly as possible. In connection with the school, industries should be started that will provide the students with employment that will help them to be self-supporting. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 15

The establishment of these institutions is the work now before us. Let no selfish threads be drawn into the web. Let all remember that the word of the Lord is that the cities must be worked. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 16

At present I have no idea of attending the General Conference, wherever it may be held. But I dare not say that I will not go. If the Lord bids me attend this meeting, I will go, but if He gives me no orders, be assured that I will remain where I am free from strife and contention. I shall use my time in preparing the testimonies for publication. I must prepare for our people the instruction given me in regard to the Southern field. The Lord commands me to speak, and this I shall do. I have been instructed to bear my testimony with the decision of authority, as a messenger from the One who knows the history of the work in the Southern field from the beginning to the end. 17LtMs, Lt 194, 1902, par. 17