Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 133, 1903

Brn-Srs. in America

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

July 5, 1903

This letter is published in entirety in RH 07/28/1903. +Note

My dear brethren and sisters in America,—

For some time I have been strongly impressed that decided efforts should be put forth to proclaim the testing truths of the third angel’s message in the city of Washington, the capital of the American nation. It is a sad thing that our record stands as it does, showing so little accomplished in this city. If there is any place in the world that should have the full rays of present truth, it is Washington, the city that is the very heart of this nation. Those who act a prominent part in framing laws for the nation should understand what is written in the law of God, which lies at the foundation of all right laws. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 1

There has been on the part of our people a great neglect of stewardship. God has looked with displeasure on the neglect that has been shown to this city. He has given us the commission, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:19, 20.] 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 2

Oh, how much we lose by failing to do as Christ has instructed us to do! In the first of Acts are recorded special directions that Christ gave to His disciples in regard to proclaiming the gospel. “When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 3

“And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” [Verses 6-11.] 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 4

After this the disciples were filled with holy boldness; for had they not the assurance that Jesus would be with them always? They knew they had a Friend at court. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 5

“Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath-day’s journey. And when they were come in, they went into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphæus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren.” [Verses 12-14.] 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 6

“When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 7

“And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. ... Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judæa, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians.” [Acts 2:1-5, 9-11.] 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 8

In the days of the apostles, Jerusalem was a great center of influence, and in this place light from heaven was to shine in its most powerful rays upon the Lord’s witnesses who were to bear the gospel message. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 9

Read the whole of the second chapter of Acts, and see if you are not convinced that there has been a decided failure to understand that one of our first duties is to make at the nation’s capital a special representation of the truth for this time. Why did we so long pass by Washington, neglecting to establish one signal memorial in this city? Let us determine that we will no longer be unfaithful stewards of this part of the Lord’s vineyard. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 10

Our brethren in Washington have been favored in finding properties suitable to use in carrying on various lines of our work. This is a fulfilment of the light given me, that in different sections of the country we should be able to secure, at low prices, properties that could be utilized for our institutional work. In Washington a few months ago a meetinghouse, in good condition, and admirably adapted to the needs of our work, was offered for sale at a price much below its first cost and was purchased by our people there. I am glad that this church is so nearly paid for. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 11

Since medical missionary work, when carried on as God has appointed, is indeed the helping hand of the third angel’s message, we should without delay take advantage of the favorable openings for beginning this work in the vicinity of Washington. If there is one place above another where a sanitarium should be established and where gospel work should be done, it is in this city. We cannot estimate how great an influence would have gone forth from Washington in favor of the truth had a sanitarium been established there twenty years ago. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 12

Our printing plant in Battle Creek is to be moved. In searching for a favorable place for this institution, let our brethren investigate the advantages that might be gained by a removal to Washington. Our publishing house should be situated where its influence will accomplish the most in the promulgation of truth. The Lord will guide us in the selection of a place for this institution. We will let Him work out His purposes. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 13

Above all other places, the capital of our nation should now have an opportunity to hear the message for this time. Satan is working there against Jehovah with all his might. I present this to you as a matter that is stirring me mightily. One thing is certain; we shall not be clear unless we at once do something in Washington to represent our work. I shall not be able to rest until I see the truth going forth from this place as a lamp that burneth. We are many years behind in giving the message of warning in this city. Again and again the Lord has presented Washington to me as a place that has been strangely neglected. In looking through my dairies, I have found some things that I wrote more than twelve years ago in regard to the work in Washington and the necessity of establishing there some memorial for God. The following was written March 12, 1891: 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 14

“Nearly the entire day I have been entertaining visitors who desired counsel. Brother Robinson, superintendent of the New York and Washington district, came in company with Brother Wright to consult with me in regard to the advisability of building a church in Washington, D.C., combining a church, a mission home, and a reading room in one building, to cost probably twenty-five thousand dollars. They proposed to invite our brethren all over the field to give one hundred dollars each toward this enterprise. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 15

“When we were in Washington during the week of prayer, I had made a similar suggestion to Elder Washburn, saying that as the situation appeared to me, important interests should be established in this city. I could see no better way of letting the light shine forth from the very seat of government, the capital of the nation. It seems strange that some memorial of present truth has not been established there before. I advised that a meetinghouse be built. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 16

“The brethren of the Washington City church are poor; and while they will do all that they can, they are not able to carry the whole burden. The church must be located in a desirable part of the city. The purchase of a suitable lot and the erection of a plain but large, well-ventilated, and skilfully constructed building—something that will stand as an object lesson of neatness and thoroughness—will require a considerable sum. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 17

“Other visitors came in, and I closed this interview in regard to the work in Washington.” 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 18


In my dairy of 1889—fourteen years ago—I find precious matter in regard to entering new fields. I will quote a few paragraphs: 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 19

“True missionary workers will not colonize. God’s people are to be pilgrims and strangers on the earth. The investment of large sums of money in one place is not in the order of God. Plants are to be made in many places. Schools and sanitariums are to be established in places where there is now nothing to represent the truth. These interests are not to be established for the purpose of making money, but for the purpose of spreading the truth. ... 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 20

“The principles of present truth are to become more widespread. There are those who are reasoning from a wrong point of view. Because it is more convenient to have the work centered in one place, they are in favor of crowding everything together in one locality. Great evil is the result. Places that should be helped are left destitute. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 21

“What can I say to our people that will lead them to follow the course that will be for their present and future good? Will not those in Battle Creek heed the light given them by God? Will they not deny self, lift the cross, and follow Jesus? Will they not obey the call of their Leader to leave Battle Creek and build up interests in other places? 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 22

“It is not God’s plan for our people to crowd into Battle Creek. God says: ‘Go work today in My vineyard. Get away from the places where you are not needed. Plant the standard of truth in towns and cities that have not heard the message. Prepare the way for My coming. Those in the highways and hedges are to hear the call.’ 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 23

“God will make the wilderness a sacred place, as His people, filled with the missionary spirit, go forth to make centers for His work, to establish sanitariums, where the sick and afflicted can be cared for, and schools, where the youth can be educated in right lines. ... 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 24

“There is a great work to be done. All around us are souls perishing in sin. Are we doing what we can to save them? The commission given to the disciples is given to us, and to us also is promised the power promised to them—the power that they received on the day of Pentecost, when, like a rushing, mighty wind, the Holy Spirit came down and filled the room in which they were sitting. Under the influence of this power, they went everywhere, preaching the Word, and thousands were converted.” 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 25


What a work might have been accomplished, if we had done our duty years ago! Can we stand clear in the sight of God, if we now fail of understanding our duty? The Lord calls on us to awake to a realization of the opportunities presented before us to let our light shine in the city of Washington, by establishing there memorials that will hasten forward the proclamation of the third angel’s message to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 26

Let us take hold of the arm of infinite power. Let us walk humbly before God, but let us be giants in meeting discouragement and difficulty. We must have increased faith. Let us praise God. He is our strength, our shield and our defense, our front guard and our rearward. 18LtMs, Lt 133, 1903, par. 27