Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 30, 1905

A Visit to Redlands


March 6, 1905 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 03/30/1905, 04/06/1905. +Note

From San Diego, we returned to Los Angeles, and on Tuesday, December 6, we went to Redlands for a few days’ visit. A little way out from Los Angeles, the scenery became very uninteresting. We passed through much barren land. Here and there, the desert, by means of irrigation, had been converted into flourishing orange groves. But for miles and miles at a stretch the land was uncultivated. As we rode along, I remembered scenes presented to me years before of barren land, such as that through which we were passing, being cultivated and improved and, by irrigation, made to yield rich returns. I was instructed that this was an object lesson of the influence that the saving grace of Christ should have upon the hearts and lives of human beings. And had those to whom God has given the riches of the water of life realized the responsibilities resting upon them as stewards of the grace of God, and gone forth as faithful missionaries into all the barren places of the earth, the wilderness would have been made to blossom as the garden of the Lord. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 1

The dreary, uninviting appearance of the desert over which we were passing represented only too well the spiritual condition of many cities, towns, and country places—a condition that might have been changed had those who know the truth put forth earnest, self-sacrificing efforts to impart light to others. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 2

Places that have not yet been worked should long ago have heard the message. Those who are familiar with the teachings of God’s Word, those who understand the things that Christ has commanded, are required, as stewards of his grace, to perform faithfully their appointed work. The means entrusted to them they are to use in opening new fields, in teaching those who would accept the truth were it presented to them in the way that Christ presented it when He was upon this earth. All who have received the light of truth are held responsible to act their part in enlightening others. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 3

Of the Saviour’s work we read, “The people that sat in darkness saw great light, and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” [Matthew 4:16.] 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 4

“Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people. And His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy, and He healed them. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan.” [Verses 23-25.] 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 5

These words give an illustration of the way in which Jesus cultivated the soil of the heart. They point out clearly the work that we are to do, not in one place merely, but in every place. The light that God has graciously given to us we are to communicate to others. To every nation and kindred and tongue and people the warning message is to be given. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 6

We are to learn from Christ the science of soul-saving. He is the mighty Healer. In our work of preaching the gospel, we are to establish small sanitariums in many places. Sanitarium work is one very successful means of bringing the message of salvation through Christ to the attention of a large class of people who can be reached in no other way. Those from the higher walks of life will come to our sanitariums for treatment, and when they go away, they will tell others of the benefits they have received. Thus others will be induced to go. It is God’s design that our sanitariums shall act an important part in giving the message of Christ’s soon coming to those in the highways and byways. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 7

As we neared Redlands, the aspect of the country changed entirely. Cultivation and irrigation have transformed the desert into beautiful and fertile orange groves, which, at the time of our visit, were laden with fruit. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 8

On reaching Redlands, we went to the home of Brother and Sister E. S. Ballenger, where we were entertained during our stay. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 9

In this short sketch I shall not attempt to describe Redlands. One morning we took a long drive over the city. We drove through a beautiful highland park, known as Smiley Heights. This was once barren hills, but it is now covered with orange groves and with a great variety of ornamental trees and shrubs. As we drove higher and higher up the mountainside, which was so beautifully adorned, we were charmed with the scenery. From the top of the hill, we obtained a fine view of the city of Redlands, and as I looked upon it, I realized that just such places had been presented to me in vision as places to which we must give special attention. I had been instructed that in places similar to this, we would have opportunity to establish sanitariums, and that by means of these institutions, men and women would be taught the gospel of the physical and spiritual healing. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 10

On Sabbath morning I spoke in the pretty little church building that has recently been erected by our people in Redlands. There was a good attendance, some of the brethren and sisters from San Bernadino being present. The Lord gave me strength to speak for about thirty minutes. I felt so thankful for this; for I was just recovering from a four weeks’ sickness. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 11

The Lord blessed our meeting. In the evening, another meeting was held, at which Brother Ballenger and W. C. White spoke of the Glendale Sanitarium, and its needs, and invited those present to help in preparing the building for the reception of patients. The church members in Redlands are poor, but they gave liberally in response to this call. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 12

Years ago many places in Southern California were presented to me as very important fields, needing earnest labor. While at Redlands, I recognized it as one of these places. Light was given me that the unworked condition of the cities of Southern California is a dishonor to those who know the truth. Recently Elder Simpson held tent-meetings in Redlands, as a result of which many new members were added to the church. For this we praise the Lord. But there is still much to be done in Redlands. We need now to put forth earnest efforts in the cities of Southern California. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 13

On reaching Redlands, we learned that Brother J. A. Bowles had died a few days before. I felt so sorry to think that I could not meet him once more and have prayer with him. As we passed by his flourishing orange grove, we thought of the kindness he has so often shown in sending us presents of oranges. Brother Bowles was a sincere Christian and ever showed a deep interest in the work and cause of God. He rejoiced greatly when he saw souls accepting the truth. He is resting now, till the last trump shall sound and the dead in Christ shall rise to meet their Lord in the air. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 14

An appointment had been sent out that on Sunday morning at eleven o’clock I would speak in our church at Riverside. Sister McEnterfer and I drove across with Brother Bowles’ son and his wife. On the way we passed through miles and miles of orange groves. A wonderful work has been done in bringing water from the mountains and from wells and irrigating the land so abundantly that it yields rich harvests of beautiful fruit. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 15

On reaching the place of meeting, we found that here at Riverside, also, our people had recently built a beautiful house of worship. The church was well filled. Several not of our faith were present. I was able to speak for an hour, and all seemed interested. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 16

For a year or two Dr. Leadsworth has been operating treatment rooms in Riverside, and at the close of the meeting, I went there to rest for a little while before taking the train for Redlands. Here we met Brother and Sister Towle, old friends from Maine. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 17

On our way back to Redlands, as our train passed through miles of orange groves, I thought of the efforts that should be made in this beautiful valley to proclaim the truth for this time. I recognized this section of Southern California as one of the places that had been presented to me with the word that it should have a fully equipped sanitarium. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 18

Why have such fields as Redlands and Riverside been left almost unworked? As I looked from the car window, and saw the trees laden with fruit, I thought, Would not earnest, Christlike efforts have brought forth just as abundant a harvest in spiritual lines? In a few years these towns have been built up and developed, and as I looked upon their beauty and the fertility of the country surrounding them, there rose before me a vision of what the spiritual harvest might have been had earnest, Christlike efforts been put forth for the salvation of souls. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 19

The Lord would have brave, earnest men and women take up His work in these places. The cause of God is to make more rapid advancement in Southern California than it has in the past. Every year thousands of people visit Southern California in search of health, and by various methods we should seek to reach them with the truth. They must hear the warning to prepare for the great day of the Lord, which is right upon us. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 20

In His work, Christ met the people where they were. Much of His public labor was done in Capernaum—a great thoroughfare of travel. Peoples from many lands passed through the city or tarried for rest in their journeyings to and fro. Here Jesus could meet all nations and all ranks, the rich and the great as well as the poor and the lowly, and His lessons would be carried to other countries and into many households. Investigation of the prophecies would thus be excited, attention would be directed to the Saviour, and His mission would be brought before the world. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 21

We are called upon by God to present the truth for this time to those who, year by year, come to Southern California from all parts of America. Workers who can speak to the multitudes are to be located where they can meet the people and give them the warning message. Ministers and canvassers should be on the ground, watching their opportunity to present the truth and to hold meetings. Let them be quick to seize opportunities to place the gospel of present truth before those who know it not. Let them give the message with clearness and power, that those who will may hear. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 22

I have longed to see men moved by the Holy Spirit meeting those people with the message borne by John the Baptist, “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 3:2.] 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 23

This is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” [Verse 3.] 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 24

“Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan,” went out to hear John the Baptist, “and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.” [Verses 5, 6.] Just such a work as this can be done today in Southern California. 20LtMs, Ms 30, 1905, par. 25