Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 92, 1903

Palmer, E. R.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

May 21, 1903

This letter is published in entirety in 21MR 17-19. +Note

Dear Brother Palmer,—

In the past I have felt perplexed about saying to you all that I desired to say; for I feared that you would not understand me. I now wish to say that had not the Review and Herald been destroyed, the plans that you and Elder Daniells were forming would have made it necessary for me to say many things to counteract what you were working to accomplish. In your feelings of opposition to the proper development of the smaller printing offices, and your desire to bring much of our publishing work to Battle Creek, you were on the wrong track. But the Lord has taken this matter in hand, in a way that must be recognized, and it is not necessary for me to carry this burden on my heart. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 1

There are some things that I must present to you. It is not best for you to take up work in Battle Creek. Had you decided to accept the invitations for you to do this, I should have felt it my duty to present to you as clearly as possible what the result would be. I will now say that your wisest course will be not to attach yourself to any large center. In such a place there are always many perplexities, and there are always influences that work counter to the right. You are not prepared, mentally or physically, to meet these things. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 2

My counsel to you is to take up the work in some new place. Try to build up a work that has not been shaped. In doing this your strength will be employed to far better advantage than in a place like Battle Creek, where the influences are so varied and so unsanctified, and where the elements of contention are so strong. Away from the confusion of Battle Creek, you would be of far more value to the line of work that you are best fitted for. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 3

Brother Palmer, the Lord has given you a special and important gift in your experience as a canvasser and your ability to teach others how to engage successfully in this work. You are not to become discouraged when you find that many do not see in all points as you do and that there is a diversity of plans. The Lord has not given you the responsibility of governing the work, but He has given you wisdom as a teacher, and He will help you to help others to learn how to carry the canvassing work forward to success. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 4

The Lord will give you strength to bear every burden that He has laid upon you. He will help you to make a success of the canvassing work. That which the Lord has fitted you to do in the education of canvassers is a much-needed work. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 5

It is not for me to lay out for you a definite line of work. But you should work, if possible, in some place where your mind will be kept in even balance, where you can be peaceful and quiet, where you will not be consulted on many questions. It is not best for you to have supervision over many things. Your mind should not be overtaxed. This would be a great injury to you. When too many perplexities are placed upon you, the blood rushes to your head, and you give way to an intensity of feeling that endangers your health. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 6

Place yourself, if possible, where you will have little cause to worry over the work of others. As a teacher of canvassers you have talents that will make you very useful in the cause of God. But you are not to stand as a dictator. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 7

If you should take upon you perplexities in which large interests are involved, the confusion that would come as the result of planning for the management of many things would not be for your own good or for the best interests of the cause of God. Those who would place upon you a variety of duties requiring the most careful management are making a mistake. Your mind needs to be tranquilized. You are to do a work that will not produce friction in your mind. You are to keep your conscience in the fear of God, according to the Bible standard, and you are to make steady improvement, that you may not be in any way unfitted for the work God has given you to do. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 8

You are not to place yourself where a multiplicity of cares will crowd upon you. And above all, you are not to forget that you have a church in your own home to care for. This point must be considered. You have children to guide and direct. In studying the differences in their dispositions and tendencies, you will gain a valuable experience. Do not try to embrace too much in your labors. If you do this, you will not have opportunity to study the characters of your children. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 9

I should not advise you to connect with any of our large institutions, to be exposed to the many temptations that will come. We all accept too much responsibility in connection with our work when we need instead more restraint and a deeper sense of what God is to us and what we may be to Him. How many there are who live under such a pressure of worry that they taste but little of the sweetness of God’s love. They do not know the meaning of the words, “That My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” [See John 15:11.] 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 10

Your dependence must be in God. You are not to let other men empty their minds into your mind. You are not to allow them by their persuasions to lead you into false paths. Put your trust wholly in Him who declares, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” [Hebrews 13:5.] 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 11

God has made a covenant of grace with you. Christ is your hope, your refuge. It will be well for you to consider carefully your accountability to Him, your need of walking in the ways of the Lord, so that you may be enabled to carry the responsibilities placed on you in consecrated, prayerful dependence on Him, with an eye single to His glory. God will help you to labor in a way that will bring encouragement and upbuilding to those who are striving to follow the Lord in self-denial and who cherish pure, unadulterated principles. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 12

Our salvation is not in our own keeping. It has been placed in the hands of our Mediator. We are safe only while we keep a firm hold on the unerring Guide. Our success is sure if we do not weave our natural inclinations into the doing of God’s work. When we bring self into our efforts, our feelings are stirred upon the least provocation, and we speak and act with an authority that God does not design His children to exercise toward one another. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 13

All who have a part in God’s work are to remember that He is the Ruler, and that those who have been appointed to take charge of His work must be under His rulership, body, soul, and spirit. And they are to remember that it is not enough that they do no wrong. They are not to suffer wrong to be done. They themselves must cherish a fear to offend God that will effectually restrain them from doing evil. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 14

He who is engaged in God’s service must look constantly to Jesus, filled with the determination to follow Him who gave His life for the life of the world. Our abrupt words and actions show a zeal that is not according to knowledge. We need always to be on watch, lest the policy of the world creep in and one-sided plans unbalance the mind. Many are in positive danger of being led astray because they do not realize that they are in positive danger. They breathe the tainted atmosphere of the enemy, and as a thief in the night deception creeps upon them. The clear spiritual vision is dimmed. A line of action formed on false conceptions is followed, and the Holy Spirit is grieved. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 15

With this I shall send to you something which I wrote several months ago about your work and that of Elder Daniells. You may have seen it. Please read it again. In it you will find encouragement and instruction. 18LtMs, Lt 92, 1903, par. 16