Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)


Ms 105, 1906

The Work in Oakland and San Francisco


December 26, 1906 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 205, 284, 315; MRmnt 113; PC 140.

On Sabbath, Nov. 3, and again on Sabbath, Nov. 10, and on the following day, the Lord gave me strength to speak to His people in San Francisco. The meeting for Sunday afternoon was well advertised, and there was a good outside attendance from the city. I told the people that since I was fifteen years old, the Lord had been giving me special messages for His people. He has given me light to give to His people to prepare them to receive the truth and be sanctified by its power, that the Holy Spirit may come into the life and transform the character. Then the Lord can use them as vessels unto honor—messengers to prepare the way before Him. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 1

I was much pleased to have the privilege of speaking in the church at San Francisco. My husband and I and a few others worked together to obtain the means to erect this building, over thirty years ago. It would have been a serious loss if this church had been destroyed; but it was not seriously injured by the earthquake. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 2

The ventilation in the San Francisco church is not good, and after my return home, I suffered from the effects of breathing the impure air. The influenza was upon me. For over a month I felt unable to travel. However, my general health was good, and I was able to do considerable writing. And when, the second week in December, I received an invitation from Elder W. W. Simpson to come to Oakland and speak to the people on Sabbath, I had so far recovered from the influenza that I ventured to go. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 3

Elder Simpson has been holding meetings in Oakland for about two months, and his labors have been greatly blessed. For a few weeks after his meetings began, we were favored with remarkably good weather. The days were clear and mild, and the rainfall was very light. But the workers in Oakland have had to meet difficulties; for the tent has been blown down twice by severe windstorms, and badly torn; and toward the close of the series of meetings it rained for several days, and the tent company found it necessary to take down the tent for a few days and temporarily discontinue the meetings. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 4

The manner of Elder Simpson’s work reminds me of the efforts that were put forth in 1843 and 1844. He does not make prominent his own words, but reads the Bible, explaining one scripture by another. He dwells largely on the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation and uses many illustrations and suitable figures to impress the truth. To represent the beasts of Daniel and Revelation, he has prepared lifelike images of papier-mâché. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 5

Elder Simpson enters into no controversy with opponents. He presents the Bible so clearly that it is evident that any one who differs must do so in opposition to the Word of God. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 6

Friday evening and Sabbath forenoon, December 15 and 16, Elder Simpson spoke upon the subject of spiritual gifts, dwelling especially upon the Spirit of Prophecy. Those who were present at these discourses say that he treated the subject in a clear, forceful manner. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 7

Sabbath afternoon I filled my appointment in the large Congregational church that is now being used by our people. The room was filled, and the doors at one side were thrown up, that many might be accommodated in an adjoining room. I am told that between five and six hundred were present. It was with fear and trembling that I went to the service; for on Friday I was very poorly—so ill, in fact, that I hardly had strength sufficient to enable me to sit up. Sabbath afternoon I feared that it would be impossible for me to stand before the congregation for over half an hour. But as I spoke, the invigorating power of the Spirit of God came upon me, and I was enabled to speak for one hour and fifteen minutes. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 8

Such experiences remind me of what I passed through frequently in the earlier days of the message. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 9

For about a year after my husband died, I suffered greatly from sorrow. At that time I seemed to be hovering between life and death. My son Willie persuaded me to go a short distance in a phaeton to a camp-meeting which was then being held in Healdsburg. A sofa had been brought onto the platform in the large tent. Here I lay down, thinking I would deliver my farewell address. My face was as the face of one dead, without a particle of color. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 10

After a few testimonies had been borne, I asked Willie to help me to arise to my feet and let me lean on him. There I stood and began to tell the people that this was probably the last time they would ever hear my voice in camp-meeting. But after speaking a few words, I felt the Spirit and power of God thrilling through every nerve of my body. Those who saw me said that the blood could be seen as it came to my lips and my forehead, and my flesh took on its natural appearance. Mr. Montrose, in great surprise, remarked to one of his neighbors, “A miracle is being wrought in sight of this whole congregation!” I could not understand why all were looking so intently at me, some even arising to their feet. The Spirit of the Lord had healed me. During the remainder of the camp-meeting, I spoke several times. A large crowd was present on this occasion. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 11

These impartations of strength give me courage. The Lord is my helper. I praise Him with heart and voice for His wonderful mercies and His sustaining power. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 12

The efforts put forth in Oakland have borne fruit in the salvation of precious souls. Sunday morning, December 16, I attended a baptismal service at the Piedmont Baths. Thirty-two candidates were buried with their Lord in baptism and arose to walk in newness of life. This was a scene that angels of God witnessed with joy. Elder Simpson performed the ceremony. Several children were baptized first, and then the older ones. The entire service was impressive. There was no confusion, and occasionally a verse of some hymn of praise was sung. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 13

The Oakland brethren have decided on a location for their new church building. This lot is on [Twenty-fifth] Street, between Telegraph Avenue and Grove Street. Five hundred dollars has been paid to hold the property, but our brethren cannot be absolutely certain that the property is secure until it has gone through the probate court. So it will be a week or ten days before we shall know about it definitely. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 14

After the baptism, I drove with Brother and Sister Rice to see this property. It seems to be well located. We could not enter the house that is now on it, because we had no key. There is a good cement walk around the house, and at the back is a large yard. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 15

Sunday night, December 16, Elder Simpson gave his last discourse in this series of meetings, and the following day the tent was taken down. At this service, there were fully one thousand persons present to listen to the subject, “The United States in Prophecy.” Those who would refuse to render homage to the beast and his image were asked to arise, and nearly all present responded. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 16

The expenses connected with these meetings have been fully one thousand dollars. Collections have been taken in the congregation only once a week, but these, with donations that some have given privately, have paid all these expenses; so the effort has cost the conference nothing except the salaries of workers. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 17

The liberality of many from the outside has been surprising. Elder and Mrs. Haskell, on several occasions, received liberal gifts from strangers. One afternoon, after I had spoken in the church, a man handed Elder Haskell one hundred dollars and then left the buildings quickly and could not afterward be found. On another occasion, a lady slipped two coins into Sister Haskell’s hand. These proved to be two twenty-dollar gold pieces. Sister Haskell afterward met the lady, but she did not wish to tell her name. It has since been learned that she is the wife of an influential man in Oakland. These things have greatly encouraged our workers. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 18

In these meetings we have seen evidence of the deep moving of the Spirit of God. Truly the Lord has wrought on minds. Our people need now to be aroused from the lethargy that has come upon them. The language of every heart should be, Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 19

On Friday, the 14th, despite my illness, I had a long interview with Elder Simpson. He told me that there is a call for him to go to Southern California to take up work in Los Angeles, Riverside, Redlands, and San Diego. During the winter months many tourists visit the cities of Southern California; and as the rainfall is not so heavy in the southern part of the state, it is thought that he can labor to better advantage there than in Oakland and San Francisco. He told me that as soon as possible, however, he expects to return, to continue his labors in Oakland and San Francisco. It will probably be necessary for him to make a short visit to Oakland during the month of January, in order to baptize a score or more who accepted the Sabbath truth during his meetings, but who are not yet ready for baptism. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 20

I dared not say to him, Stay; for I saw the situation. In San Francisco and neighboring cities, the rents are exceedingly high; and our brethren have been unable to find a hall suitable for holding meetings. The rainy season is now on. I should have been pleased, had it been possible to perfect arrangements to continue the public meetings; but it may be advisable to wait for a more favorable season of the year. There is, however, much house-to-house work to be done by faithful laborers. Our efforts are not to cease because public meetings have been discontinued for a time. So long as there are interested ones, we must give them opportunity to learn the truth. And the new converts will need to be instructed by faithful teachers of God’s Word, that they may increase in a knowledge and love of the truth and may grow to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. They must now be surrounded by the influences most favorable to spiritual growth. The churches at Oakland and Berkeley should now purge out the old leaven of evil speaking and hypocrisy, of jealousy and malice. The truth must be expressed in word and in spirit; every act should be a revelation of Christian refinement. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 21

The work in Oakland must not be cut short. For years I have pleaded that an earnest effort be put forth in this city, and now that this is being done, let us go straight forward in right lines. There is to be no variableness, neither shadow of turning, in the presentation of truth to the people in Oakland. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 22


I am very grateful to God for what I have heard and seen of the results of Elder Simpson’s meetings in Oakland. I am glad that he exalts the Word, allowing the Bible to speak for itself. This is the most effectual way. This is the way the truth was preached in the early days by our ministers. I am pleased with the manner in which our brother has used his ingenuity and tact in providing suitable illustrations for the subjects presented—representations that have a convincing power. Such methods will be used more and more in this closing work. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 23

I am more thankful than words can express that so many people in Oakland have had an opportunity to hear the truth of the Bible, presented with force and clearness. This is the manner in which it was proclaimed in 1842, 1843, and 1844. I remember one series of meetings, held in a large Baptist church. Many families would come every day from quite a distance, bringing their lunch and remaining till after the evening service. No unnecessary words were uttered by the speaker, but the Scripture was clearly presented. Frequently a call would be made for those, who believed the truths that were proved by the Word, to rise to their feet, and large numbers would respond. Prayers were offered in behalf of those who wished special help. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 24

To my ministering brethren, I would say: Every fresh display of the conviction of the grace of God upon the souls of unbelievers is divine. Everything that you can do to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth is a means of allowing the light to shine, the light of the glory of God, as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ. Direct the mind to Him who guides and controls all things. Christ will be the manna and the spiritual dew to these newly converted souls. In Him is no darkness at all. As men of spiritual understanding conduct Bible studies with them, telling them how to yield to the power of the Holy Spirit, that they may be fully and firmly established in the truth, the power of God will be revealed. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 25

In the discourses let nothing of a theatrical nature be introduced, no sharp thrusts given. We cannot expect that eyes that have been blind will be at once opened to see all things clearly. Let labor be put forth wisely for those who are interested. Show those who have seen the truth how to experience its power in their hearts. Thus the truth imparted will be as a nail driven in a sure place. Many are ignorant of vital godliness—of the truth in the life practice. The Lord will work with power upon the hearts of all who seek Him. There must be a practical reception of Bible truth. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 26

The Lord Jesus sent a mighty angel to make plain to John, by the use of symbols, the things that were to come to pass until the coming of Christ. He was bidden to write the instruction in a book for the benefit of the seven churches. This writing we now have preserved in the book of Revelation, but this book is understood by only a very few. It contains the message for the last days, and we are to dwell much upon these prophecies. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 27

Explaining scripture by scripture—this is the work that should be done by all our ministers who are fully awake to the times in which we live. The Lord will guide His ministering servants. He will lead them in ways that they know not. They will bear aloft the lamp of life in the dark places of the earth and hasten the coming of our King. 21LtMs, Ms 105, 1906, par. 28