Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Lt 205, 1905

Evans, I. H.; Washburn, J. S.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

July 19, 1905

This letter is published in entirety in SpM 377-381.

Elders I. H. Evans and J. S. Washburn

Dear Brethren,—

I am very grateful to God that the one-hundred-thousand-dollar fund has been made up and that we have had the privilege of seeing the substantial and appropriate school buildings that have been erected at Takoma Park. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 1

Near the close of the General Conference, in the night season, many matters relating to the work in Washington and in Nashville were opened before me. We seemed to be in a council meeting. Elder Haskell, Elder Butler, and several others were talking together. Elder Haskell was telling of the opportunity that had come to them to purchase in Nashville a good church building in an excellent location. He said that five thousand dollars was asked for this church building and that the people in Nashville and the surrounding vicinity could not raise the money. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 2

The question was asked, “Has the full amount of the Washington Fund been raised?” The answer was, “Yes, it has, and several thousand dollars overflow has come in.” A prayer and praise service was held. After the meeting a piece of paper was placed in the hands of Elder Haskell. Unfolding it, he read, “This is to signify that we deem it to be the wise and Christian part to act toward our brethren in Nashville to place the first five thousand dollars surplus that has come into Washington in the hands of these faithful servants of God, that they may secure the house of worship in Nashville, which they greatly need. We deem that it is but loving our neighbor as ourselves to make this transfer of means to a place where at this time there is so great a necessity.” 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 3

After seeing this representation, I awoke, and I fully expected that the matter would take place as it had been represented to me. When Elder Haskell was telling me of the perplexity that they were in to carry forward the southern work, I said, “Have faith in God. You will carry from this meeting the five thousand dollars needed for the purchase of the church.” 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 4

I wrote a few lines to Elder Daniells, suggesting that this be done; but Willie did not see that the matter could be carried through thus, because Elder Daniells and others were at that time very much discouraged in regard to the condition of things in Battle Creek. So I told him that he need not deliver the note. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 5

But I could not rest. I was disturbed and could not find peace of mind. I was instructed that I had a message to bear to our leading brethren: to Elder Daniells, Elder Prescott, Elder Washburn, and Elder Evans. I was instructed that I must present before them the self-denying labors of Elders Haskell and Butler, and say, “Beware what impress you leave upon the minds of these tried servants of God, whose influence is of the highest value. They have known the truth from the earliest period of our work and have sacrificed for the truth’s sake.” 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 6

Moreover, I was instructed that I must call attention to the history of our first work among the people, when these aged pioneers were men of earnest, enduring action. These men have their work to do, an important work. Even in their age their testimony and their endeavors bear witness that the wheels of providence are not constructed to stand still or to move backward. In their labor is their happiness. It is not work that wears men out, but sadness, anxiety, and worry. If Elder Haskell and Elder Butler break down, it will be because of the heavy perplexity that has come upon them in trying, without sufficient means or helpers, to accomplish the urgent work before them in the southern field. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 7

The great Medical Missionary, who has purchased men with the price of His own blood, knows what it is to work under discouragement and perplexity. He has carried many burdens, and His untiring labors made Him very weary. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 8

Christ was the mighty healer. Of Him we read, “And Jesus went about all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues, and teaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” [Matthew 4:23.] His method of labor is our example of the way in which we are to work. Our missionary efforts are not to be confined to a few centers. In all the world we are to preach the gospel of the kingdom. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 9

Elder Butler and Elder Haskell are to be given the assistance and the advantages that will make their efforts successful. They are to be sustained in their labors. The Lord would have those of His people, who are willing to give of their means for the advancement of His work, now turn their attention to the work in the South, and especially just now to Nashville. Twenty times as much could have been accomplished in the South as has been accomplished had the sanitarium work been built up and had the necessary schools been established. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 10

The Lord’s tried servants in Nashville are becoming worn out and disappointed. Few realize the value of these staunch, old soldiers. Sometimes they are not given the credit due them. These pioneers in the work are to bear the message given by John: 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 11

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested unto us); that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 12

“This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” [1 John 1:1-10.] 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 13

These matters are fresh in my mind; for they have been revived and repeated since last Sabbath evening. In this letter I can give only a jot of the history of the self-denial and sacrifice with which the work was carried forward in the beginning, and how earnestly the laborers worked to meet emergencies. Elder Haskell has labored unselfishly and untiringly to raise money for the General Conference and for the Review and Herald and other institutions. His persevering, self-sacrificing zeal carried him long distances through the heat of summer and the cold of winter. On one occasion he drove a long distance in the winter in Minnesota. I think it was then that he froze his hands, causing himself great suffering, but he got the money that was needed. Though weary and worn, he had no thought of laying down the armor, but fought his way through every difficulty. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 14

I want our brethren to read the first four verses of the first chapter of First Thessalonians, and to enter into the spirit of the writer: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God our Father; knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 15

Of Elder Haskell and Elder Butler, God says, I will guide them. I will put My grace in their hearts. Because they have not been turned away from the truth to give heed to seducing spirits, but have stood firm, declaring the message given them, they are to be highly esteemed. They will not exchange the faith that they have boldly and fervently proclaimed for another doctrine, which is not true. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 16

I am glad that these men are still able to do solid, substantial work. They must have greater encouragement in point of financial assistance in their work in the southern field. Their efforts have brought many souls into the truth, and they must not be left to wear out their souls in discouragement. The southern field is a very hard, needy field and must have assistance. Chosen men should be appointed to receive the funds that will now be called for in behalf of the enterprises that must now come to the front in this most needy field. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 17

Over and over again the light has been given that a special work is to be done also in Huntsville. Men who are rooted and grounded in the truth in all its bearings are to be placed in charge of that work. A beginning has been made on an orphanage for colored children, but this work stands unfinished. On the beautiful farm of over three hundred acres, God purposes that an efficient missionary training school shall be conducted, which will develop many workers for the colored people. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 18

A small sanitarium should also be established in connection with the Huntsville school. The sanitarium building should not be of a shoddy character, neither should it be narrow and contracted. It should be build substantially, and there should be in it room for the physician and nurses to carry on the work of healing the sick and giving patients and students an education in regard to the right principles of living. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 19

I now make a call that means shall be sent direct to Nashville, that the fruit of the gospel in good works may appear. The work there is to be supervised by men who understand what needs to be done and who have learned how to economize. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 20

The work in the South must now receive attention. It has stood in an unfinished condition long enough. I now expect that the necessities of this work will be seen and understood, and that our people everywhere will be encouraged to send donations great and small to Nashville. The workers there have waited patiently until the Washington Fund should be made up. This fund has been made up, and help should now be given to Nashville to carry forward the work that must be accomplished. 20LtMs, Lt 205, 1905, par. 21