Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17

372/469

Ms 124, 1902

The Work in Nashville

St. Helena, California

May, 1902

This manuscript is published in entirety in 1888 1772-1779.

From the light given me, I know that the Lord used Edson White and W. O. Palmer to do missionary work in the South. This field has been represented to me as a field sinfully neglected by those who believe the truth. God’s people have not done the work that ought to be done there. The Lord accepted these two souls, brought from darkness to light, and put it into their hearts to do a work in the Southern field. The history of these workers has revealed much that cannot be repeated here. But the Lord has shown me that He has accepted Edson White’s work and has preserved his life when in perilous places. He has put His Spirit upon him and has opened the way before him and given him success. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 1

The establishment of the work in Nashville was in God’s order. In and around Nashville there are large colleges built for the education of the colored people. These grand buildings stand as representatives of a great and good work that is being done for this race. The Lord has favored and blessed those who have given themselves to this work. It was in the order of God that Seventh-day Adventists should enter Nashville. I was instructed that memorials for God were to be established in this place, not right in the city, but at a little distance from it. Efforts were to be made to reach both the white and the colored people. The medical missionary work was to be established there; for it is the right hand of the gospel. But the work would have to move slowly; for there was not much means with which to carry it on. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 2

The work was not to be carried forward as a private business, but as a Conference enterprise. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 3

A deep interest should be shown in the building up of the work in and around Nashville. A sanitarium should be established. If possible, a building already erected should be secured, if a suitable one can be found in a favorable locality. As soon as possible, steps should be taken to advance this work. When this institution is established, it will have great influence among the people. Let us ask the Lord to open the way for this work and to lead us in its advancement. We have a God who hears and answers prayer. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 4

In this work, one man’s mind is not to control. The work is to be done in the fear of the Lord. All the brethren are to have a voice in the final decision. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 5

The Lord in His providence will work on minds as He has worked in the past, leading men to favor our people by offering them property at low prices. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 6

Mistakes have been made in the work in Nashville, but let not those who have acted no part in the work give expression to unkind criticism. If the brethren consider their own mistakes and errors, they will refuse to be the first to cast a stone. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 7

Investments have been made in the work in Nashville that might better not have been made until there was a better showing there. Some of the money spent in buildings should have been kept until actually needed for printing materials. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 8

The work of expending means required a man who had not so many and so varied responsibilities as were resting upon Edson White. He should sit with the leading men in counsel; for he has been chosen and accepted by God to do a work in the Southern field; but he should have given the financial management of affairs into the hands of a man wise in management, who had not so many burdens resting upon him. While other men are to stand in their places as leaders in their lines of work, he is to occupy his position as leader in his specific line of work. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 9

All these men who act as leaders are to be subject one to another. The voice of no one of them is to be heard above all the rest in settling important questions. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 10

I have much to say, but not now, in regard to the way in which the work should be carried forward. I have felt very desirous that Edson should carry forward the work that the Lord has said he should do in the ministry of the word. If he will give himself to this work, if he will humble his heart as the heart of a little child, if he will depend on his heavenly Father, God will bless and strengthen him. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 11

He is to unite with his brethren, some of whom have already been his associates in labor. Elder Butler is president of the Southern Union Conference, and I believe that this is right. The men who have been placed in office are to carry forward their appointed work. By walking humbly with God, they are to learn how to bring their different lines to perfection. There is to be perfect unity among the workers. They are to respect and uphold one another, each esteeming the other better than himself, each standing steadfastly at his post of duty. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 12

Brother Palmer is very much worn and exhausted. He cannot continue to carry the responsibilities that he has been carrying. He must lay off some of his burdens. Edson White is not to have the deciding voice in framing and carrying out financial plans for the work in the South; for these matters mean very much. The work must be carried forward in straight lines. Edson and Brother Palmer are not to be laid aside, but connected with them are to be other men, men of wisdom and intelligent understanding. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 13

To Edson White I am instructed to say, Cut down your work to that which you understand best. You have carried so many responsibilities that you are nearly bankrupt in mental and physical strength. Do not try to rush things as you have been doing. You cannot afford to sacrifice your needed rest and sleep in order to drive forward your work. You are wearing out altogether too fast. With overtaxed nerves, aching head, and sleepless nights, you have been losing ground physically, mentally, and spiritually. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 14

The Lord would have you make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way. He desires both you and Brother Palmer to stand with all the armor on, prepared by sanctified experience to show yourselves strong men. He wants you to be successful in your work. There are those who will misrepresent your motives, as they have misrepresented them over and over again. Therefore move with moderation and great caution. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 15

You have felt your trials pressing you sorely. But has not Christ borne all that you are called upon to bear? He can make you rich even amidst the humiliation of the deepest poverty. You may feel that you are accused wrongfully. Was not this the daily experience of your Master? Bear patiently all that comes. In the last great day those who have been so ready to judge will be greatly surprised by Christ’s estimate of character. To those who in sincerity have followed righteous principles will be given a great reward. Nothing has ever been thought or said or done that has escaped the Lord’s notice. He knows the motives that prompt men to action. Therefore have courage in Him. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 16

The work in Nashville demands our first attention. I was a little surprised at first to know that five hundred dollars from the funds of the Southern Union Conference had been apportioned to the work in Graysville, while there was such need of means in Nashville. But the light given me was that this was the right thing to do. Brother Kilgore has helped the work in mission fields. He has not been wanting in liberality; and now, if means have been sent to Graysville to help the work there in an emergency, let no one question the matter. All the workers should be filled with a noble spirit of helpfulness and of willingness to use the Lord’s money where it is needed most. Graysville needed money at the time that the five hundred dollars was sent there; and when the work there is firmly established, and the time comes for a school and a sanitarium to be built at a little distance from Nashville, the workers can with confidence call for help from Graysville. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 17

We are in this world to help one another. In Christ’s work there were no territorial lines, and those who attempt to make such lines in Christ’s work today might better pray, “Lord, give me a new heart.” When they have the mind of Christ, they will see the many parts of the Lord’s vineyard that are still unworked. Never will they say, “Our means is needed to carry forward the interests we have in hand. It is of no use to call for means from us.” 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 18

For their usefulness and success, the Lord’s servants are dependent on Christ. He reads their hearts. He knows their motives and purposes, and He calls upon them to separate from themselves everything that would prove a hindrance to their success in presenting the truth for this time. This is the work that is to be made first of all. As they give themselves to it, success will surely crown their efforts. Angels of God will impress hearts, and many will be brought into the light of truth. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 19

“I therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” [Ephesians 4:1-7.] 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 20

We are to learn from past experience how to avoid our failures. We pray to our heavenly Father, “Lead us not into temptation” [Matthew 6:13], and then, too often, we fail to guard our feet against leading us into temptation. We are to keep away from the temptations by which we are easily overcome. Our success is wrought out by ourselves through the grace of Christ. We are to roll out of the way the stone of stumbling that has caused us and others so much sadness. 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 21

Listening to the words of Christ, we are safe. Whatever your calling, whatever your hope, listen! “If any man will come after Me,” He says, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] Obeying these words, in entire dependence on the Saviour, go forth to give to the world an example of what it means to be a Christian. Yoke up with Christ. This is the only bond of the gospel. Learn daily how to carry out more acceptably the instruction Christ has given. Live as becomes the subjects of His kingdom. To carry out the words “Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in heaven”—this is our lifework. [Matthew 6:10.] 17LtMs, Ms 124, 1902, par. 22