Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)


Lt 288, 1906

White, J. E.

St. Helena, California

September 4, 1906

Portions of this letter are published in 6Bio 109.

Elder J. E. White

My dear Son:

Several times during the past few weeks I have made a beginning to write to you, but the letters have not been completed. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 1

I am much interested at present in the work in Oakland. Elder Haskell and his wife have made an excellent beginning. They are educating a class of students to support themselves by selling papers and books. I feel encouraged at the outlook. Elder Haskell conducts one class daily, besides helping in the evening discourses. Sister Haskell also conducts a Bible class and gives instruction in hygienic cooking. Her instruction in this line is very interesting to some who are not of our faith. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 2

Elder and Mrs. Haskell were planning to attend some of the camp-meetings in the south and east and then go to South Lancaster. He was present at the Oakland camp-meeting, held the latter part of July, and then they both were persuaded to unite for a few weeks with those who would remain to follow up the interest aroused by the camp-meeting. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 3

I attended the camp-meeting and spoke six or seven times. Each time the large tent was crowded, and some feared that I would be unable to make myself clearly heard by all. But the Lord blessed me with clearness of mind and strength of voice. I had a message to bear, and I was sustained by an unseen power. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 4

For several weeks before the camp-meeting, I had been suffering with influenza. It seemed that it would be impossible for me to speak at all; but although I spoke so frequently, I did not feel weary. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 5

The last Sabbath of the meeting, we had a revival service. After prayer by Elder Haskell, I spoke for about forty minutes. I called for those who would take a decided stand for the truth to rise to their feet. Nearly every one in the congregation arose. Then a call was made for those to come to the front seats, who desired especially to seek the Lord. As every seat was filled, it was necessary to ask those occupying the front seats to leave the tent. All the seats vacated at first were filled, and a second call was made for more seats. These were also filled. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 6

In speaking I had perspired freely, but I put on my fur cape and remained till the close of the meeting. As the congregation knelt in prayer, I felt the spirit of supplication and prayed earnestly for the blessing of the Lord. After the prayer, I spoke again to the people. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 7

As Elder Haskell spoke, I was reminded of the occasions years ago when he was laboring in Massachusetts with your father and me. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 8

Those who had come forward were requested to go to another tent, where they might unite in a testimony and praise meeting. Many of these offered themselves as candidates for baptism. Two baptismal services were held during the time of the camp-meeting and about sixty-five were baptized. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 9

Several of our brethren expressed themselves as believing that my strength and clearness of mind at these meetings were the result of God’s miracle-working power. Instead of feeling wearied after discourses, I felt refreshed. My voice was clear and filled the tent. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 10

The camp-meeting closed July 29, and most of our people returned to their homes. The large tent, however, was left standing, also about twenty of the smaller tents, to accommodate the workers who remained. It was announced that the evening services would be continued. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 11

Sabbath and Sunday, August 18 and 19, I spent in Oakland. The meetings were still in progress. Elder and Mrs. Haskell were conducting Bible studies in the forenoons, and in the afternoons the workers were going out and visiting from house to house. About forty were attending the morning classes, though not all of this number engaged in the afternoon work. I had great freedom in speaking to the people, who had assembled in the large tent, from Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, and San Francisco. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 12

The Lord has blessed the labors of Elder and Mrs. Haskell. One day, a lady—a stranger to Sister Haskell—slipped two coins into Sister Haskell’s hand. Sister Haskell thought it to be two quarters, but when she looked she saw that they were twenty-dollar gold pieces. Sister Haskell asked the lady if she had not made a mistake, but she replied that she had not. The lady refused to give her name, but it has since been learned that she is not of our people. Her husband is an influential man in the city. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 13

The labors of Elder Haskell are especially valuable, because he went through the early experiences of the message. With my husband, we were united in bearing a wonderful testimony; and we can remember the early experiences as we traveled step by step under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We drew our strength from the highest power that can be given to mortals. In answer to our prayers for guidance, the light was given to me in such a manner as to convince the congregations assembled. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 14

On one occasion I spoke twice in one day to a gathering of about twenty thousand. I had spoken to our own people, and after the discourse twelve men came to the stand and gave me an earnest invitation to speak upon the temperance question in a place a few miles distant. They said that they had given to the last woman who had spoken for them twenty dollars, but that they were willing to give me more than this. I told them I would try to fill the appointment, and that if I failed, my husband would come. They said that they wanted me; for a man would not have influence as would a woman in speaking against the tobacco habit. They said that on Monday night they could best secure the hall, and the appointment was made for that time. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 15

When Monday came, I labored most earnestly. About one hundred of our people were baptized; and when the afternoon came, I felt so tired that it seemed I could not read the texts in the Bible. But I felt that I must keep my appointment. Elder Haskell drove us in his easy carriage the distance of five miles. We went into the hall by a side entrance and found upon the platform about twenty influential men. After the prayer I arose to speak, but felt so weak that it seemed at first that I could not stand. But as has been the case on many other occasions, the power of the Holy Spirit rested upon me, and I was strengthened. This effort took away the bitter prejudice that many had cherished against Seventh-day Adventists, and I received invitations to speak in several places. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 16

After I had been speaking a short time, a temperance hymn was sung, and during the song a collection was taken up. This collection they afterward urged me to accept, but I refused to receive a penny. I told them that I would donate the amount to the temperance work in which they were engaged. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 17

During the discourse, as the power of the Lord gave force to the words and the arguments presented, some of the men on the platform grasped my husband’s hand and pressed it so hard that he said they made it lame. After the meeting, many came to shake hands with us and to thank us for the discourse. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 18

The Lord was with us then; but, Edson, I felt the power of God just as decidedly on the camp-ground in Oakland as I did in the earlier days of the message. The sweet peace of God was upon me, and I felt refreshed rather than wearied. I praise the Lord with heart and soul and voice for His wonderful blessings to me. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 19

A few days ago, our brethren were obliged to vacate the place they had been occupying with the tents, as a circus was coming to occupy the grounds. The tents, however, will soon be put up again on a lot of ground in some other portion of the city. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 20

Last Friday morning I made another trip to Oakland. As the large tent had been taken down, our people secured the use of the Congregational church for our Sabbath services. On Sabbath morning Elder Haskell spoke in the church in San Francisco, in the church that had not been destroyed by the earthquake; Sister Haskell spoke to the church in Alameda; Brother Dores Robinson in Berkeley; and Elder Hibbard in Oakland. In all these churches the appointment was given out that I would speak in the afternoon. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 21

When I reached the church, I found the hall crowded. I felt impressed to urge upon all our people present the necessity of taking a decided interest in working Oakland. We must not leave the enemy to come in and sow his tares among the precious seeds of truth that have already been sown. Let all realize the solemnity of this truth. There are many religious movements, many “isms,” but Christ will identify Himself with the needy souls who are seeking after truth. We need true workers, workers whose hearts and minds are imbued with the truth, who will act a part in bringing the truth to other minds. Every Christian should be a missionary, working for the salvation of souls. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 22

The children in our families need thorough instruction in the Bible. Let every soul put his talent of means and his talent of speech into the service of God. We are not to condemn others, but we must win them to a knowledge of the truth. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 23

Because of the importance of this work, I have urged that Elder Haskell and his wife, as ministers of God, shall give Bible instruction to those who will offer themselves for service. There are souls everywhere that can be impressed. The love of Christ must be in the soul, and there must be a sympathy with Him in an intense desire to win souls by a close study of the Word of God. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 24

God will use humble men. He will make of every consecrated man a light-bearing Christian. Not the most eloquent in speech, not those who are the best versed in so-called theology, are always the most successful, but those who will work diligently and humbly for the Master. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 25

Christ says, “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in their midst.” [Matthew 18:20.] The blessing of God is not always in proportion to the number who gather. They receive the blessing who are meek and lowly, who have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 26

Before I finished my discourse, I asked all to arise who would stand faithfully by Elder Haskell and his wife, by Elder Hibbard, and those who were laboring with them. I urged them to consider that now is the opportune time to work Oakland, and that to every man is given his work. I asked, “How many will pledge themselves to be in earnest in this work?” The whole congregation responded by rising, and we hope that much good may be accomplished by their united efforts. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 27

On Sunday afternoon, I spoke again to our people, assembled in the Congregational church. The next morning, we came home on the train to St. Helena, and I have been busy writing ever since my return. I expect to go again to Oakland at the end of this week. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 28

I would be pleased to see you and Emma. I believe that she would have many advantages if she were here. I do not wish to urge you against your judgment, but if Emma will come, I will give her a hearty welcome to my home and will see that everything possible is done for her. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 29

I have written you quite a long letter and will now have it copied and sent to you. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 30

With love and in haste. 21LtMs, Lt 288, 1906, par. 31