Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Lt 29, 1905

Bradford, Sister

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

January 1, 1905

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 392-393; 1MR 256; 5Bio 358.

Dear Sister Bradford,—

I have just read your letter. For some time past I have been doing much writing. There have been many important matters to complete, and I have become so thoroughly exhausted that it has seemed difficult for me to rest. Last night I was unable to sleep after one o’clock. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 1

I was away from home during the greater part of last year. We left home in April, and with the exception of three weeks, we were away till the end of December. We reached home from the East about the middle of October, expecting soon to go on to Los Angeles and San Diego. We found Sister Marian Davis very sick, and as it seemed impossible that she could live long, we waited that we might be with her during her last days. But our tickets, which had been bought to Los Angeles, were good for one month only after we reached home, and as the physicians at the sanitarium thought that Sister Davis might linger for two or three weeks, we made preparations to go South and return soon. At first we planned to leave home on Monday, October 24, but something prevented us, and we decided to wait till the next day. On Tuesday morning a telephone message came from the sanitarium to say that Marian had been unconscious since seven o’clock A.M. She remained unconscious until four o’clock in the afternoon, when she breathed her last. The funeral service was held the following day, and she now lies buried in the St. Helena Cemetery. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 2

For twenty-five years Sister Davis had been a most faithful helper in my work. She was greatly appreciated by me and by all who were acquainted with her and her work, and we miss her very much. Of her it can truthfully be said: “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, ... that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.” [Revelation 14:13.] 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 3

Friday, October 28, we left home for Southern California. We spent the Sabbath at Fresno, at which place I spoke to our people. But I will not take time to enter into the details of our trip. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 4

While at Los Angeles, we had opportunity to become acquainted with the work that has been done there by Elder Simpson. He has been used by the Lord to bring many souls to a knowledge of the truth, twenty-five having begun the observance of the Sabbath as a result of his ministry in Los Angeles during the past summer. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 5

For a long time we have seen the importance of having a sanitarium established near Los Angeles. A restaurant and treatment rooms have been conducted there, but it is impossible to care properly for patients in the heart of the city, where the din and confusion can plainly be heard. Recently a large building, eight miles from the city, in a beautiful, retired spot, has been purchased by our people for sanitarium work. The property includes five acres of land. This property has been held for fifty thousand dollars, but it was offered to us and purchased by us for twelve thousand dollars. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 6

Every year great numbers of tourists visit Los Angeles and San Diego, and sanitariums have been established in these places that they may stand as lights, giving the last message of mercy to all who come within the range of their influence. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 7

We are to work in the highways as well as the byways. We feel that the Lord has greatly favored us in the purchase of this property. During my stay in Los Angeles, two of the rooms in the new sanitarium were placed at my disposal. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 8

When this property was first brought to our attention, we had nothing with which to purchase it. But our people have taken hold well and have done their best. The property in Los Angeles is not yet entirely paid for, but the ones from whom it was purchased have given us liberal terms and easy payments, so we have been able to begin work there. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 9

The work has been begun in Washington, D.C., none too soon. It should have been started there twenty-five years ago. At present there is a strong agitation in favor of a Sunday law for the District of Columbia, and our workers are laboring with all their might to present the facts regarding the Bible Sabbath and to prevent the enforcement of a Sunday law. The daily papers are publishing articles on both sides of the question. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 10

It has seemed almost impossible for me to carry all the burdens that are laid upon me. While I was speaking in the tent at the Omaha camp-meeting, I took cold, and this cold has clung to me ever since. During the four weeks that I spent in San Diego, I was sick all the time. I isolated myself from the rest of the family, not wishing to expose any one. I have not yet completely recovered from this sickness, but I can see that I am improving. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 11

I supposed that you were coming to Melrose while I was there, and that I should see you then. Had I know that you were not coming, I might have made a visit to New Bedford, though my health seemed to forbid it; and besides, I had appointments for the Middletown camp-meeting and for Battle Creek and Omaha. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 12

I have many letters to write, but I shall try to write to you again soon. I am interested in you and your husband and in Brother Gilbert Collins. I wish that he might help in establishing a sanitarium in New Bedford. But while many suitable places for sanitariums may be found, the greatest difficulty, my dear sister, is to find the talent necessary to conduct these institutions aright. If such a work is started without the help of those who can carry forward the work wisely, the results will be worse than if the matter had been delayed. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 13

Many of our people who are now congregated in Battle Creek should be out in the harvest field. But many seem content where they are. I feel so sorry that they do not awake to the importance of the time in which they are living. Thousands in the world are calling for the Word of God. But the Lord will open the way for His work to be carried on, if we will trust in Him. Look up, not down, my sister. Keep the windows of the soul opened heavenward, that the sunlight of heaven may shine in. May the Lord bless and cheer you. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 14

January 11

I completed your letter this morning, but the noon mail brought me a letter from Brother Haskell, enclosing a letter from Brother Uchtman, who is laboring in New Bedford. Since reading the letter from Brother Uchtman I feel like writing you a few lines more. I am glad that these letters have come at this time and that I know that the Lord has begun a good work in New Bedford. Do not worry, my sister. The Lord is acquainted with your situation. Nothing escapes His notice. He will hear your prayers; for He is a prayer-hearing and a prayer-answering God. Put your trust in Him, and He will certainly bring relief, in His own way. I am very thankful for what I hear of the blessing that has attended the work in New Bedford. Let us trust in God, and let our faith take hold of Him most earnestly. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 15

If Brother Gilbert Collins does not feel free to give his means to establish a sanitarium at this time, it is best not to urge him. The ideas that we think are good may not always be the best. Let the Lord’s way be established. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 16

O how I long to see the work going with power in New Bedford and Fairhaven, and in many other places just as greatly in need of the truth as these places. We hope that sometimes a sanitarium may be established in New Bedford. Medical missionary workers are needed in such cities. But, dear sister, it requires talent of no ordinary ability to manage a sanitarium. Men of experience, tried and tested, must take hold of the work. That part of the workers who undertake to establish such an institution are experienced and qualified is not sufficient. For their own sake, for the sake of the institution, and for the sake of the cause at large, it is important that a complete corps of well-qualified men and women be found to enter upon the work. The Lord’s eye is over the whole field; and when the time is ripe for an institution to be started in a certain field, He can turn toward that place the minds of the men and women best prepared to enter the institution. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 17

There are many lines of work to be carried forward. There is an opening for well-trained nurses to go among families and awaken in households an interest in the truth. There is urgent need of many evangelists and Bible workers in such cities as Boston and New Bedford. Such workers would find many opportunities to sow the good seed. There is work for every energetic, thorough, earnest worker. The teaching of Christ, the simple truths taught by His parables are just as much needed today as they were when He was in the world in person. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 18

It is getting dark, and I must close. I would say in closing, Be of good courage. Do not think that you are forsaken. Trust in the Lord; and in His own time and way, He will bring the truth to New Bedford and Fairhaven. 20LtMs, Lt 29, 1905, par. 19