Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)

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Lt 268, 1906

Kress, Brother and Sister [D. H.]

Oakland, California

August 20, 1906

Portions of this letter are published in TMK 210; LDE 114; ChL 12. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Kress:

We left St. Helena last Thursday morning and have spent Sabbath and Sunday with the church in Oakland. After our camp-meeting, which closed about two weeks ago, the large tent was left standing, and a company of workers remained and are living in tents on the ground. I spoke in the large tent last Sabbath forenoon, and also Sunday afternoon. On Sabbath there was a large attendance. Our brethren and sisters came from the churches in Berkeley, Alameda, San Francisco. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 1

During the camp-meeting I spoke to the people six times. The Lord gave me strength and the holy, quickening influence of the Holy Spirit. I was greatly surprised that I had so much strength. For several days before the meeting, I had been very feeble; and unless the Lord had given me of His special blessing, I know I could not have spoken as I did. Notwithstanding the great effort I was obliged to put forth in making myself heard by such large crowds, I felt no more weary than I used to when I was many years younger than I am now. I feel so thankful to God for such a testimony of His care for my body and mind in my old age. And I praise Him for the decided victories gained at this camp-meeting. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 2

On the last Sabbath of the meeting, we had a revival service. Elder Haskell opened the meeting with prayer, and I spoke for about forty-five minutes. Elder Thompson then spoke and called upon those who wished to make a special consecration to come forward. As there was not a vacant seat in the tent, the people were asked to vacate the front seats, and the people came forward till every seat was occupied. Then a second call was made for more seats in front, and others left to make room for those who still desired to come forward. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 3

My soul was stirred within me for those people, and the spirit of intercession came upon me. I addressed them the second time and urged all to take a decided stand for Christ. I made an earnest appeal for parents and children to unite in a work of reform. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 4

We are glad that Elder Haskell and his wife are uniting with the workers in Oakland who are following up the interest awakened by the camp-meeting. Elder Haskell helps in the evening services for the public, and they both conduct Bible classes for the workers. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 5

Truth, precious truth from the Word of God, is to be presented, both in public and in families. We have a message that is to prepare a people to stand amid the perils of the last days, and we need the deep moving of the Spirit of God upon mind and soul and character. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 6

Truth will stand every test that is brought to bear upon it. It cannot be overthrown by the sophistries of Satan. The more it is assailed, the more bright and clear it will shine out. As we see indications of the active, earnest efforts of the enemy, shall we not make determined efforts to give the message in clear, decided lines? Shall we not stand forth in the power and spirit of God and receive and impart lessons from the great Teacher? 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 7

I am so grateful to God for the great love He has manifested toward us. The life of Christ was a complete sacrifice, and our lives are to be an imitation of His example. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 8

“O Lord, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy name; for Thou hast done many wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For Thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.” [Isaiah 25:1, 2.] 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 9

Let us anchor ourselves to the words of the Lord God of Israel. We have seen the terrible destructions that have been wrought in San Francisco and are reminded of the words that the Lord has spoken: 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 10

“Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: and the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; that when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.” [Isaiah 28:1-4.] 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 11

These words were repeated to me during the past night, and many more, which I have not the time to write out. I have had clear representations of what will occur in rapid succession at various places. Then the words were spoken: 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 12

“But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.” [Verses 7, 8.] 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 13

Even in the cities where the judgments of God have fallen in consequence of such transgression, there is no sign of repentance. The saloons are still open, and many temptations are kept before the people. Those who sell the alcoholic drinks are protected by law. The liquors are adulterated with substances, often more poisonous even than the alcohol, and those who drink them lose their judgment. Men in responsible positions love these poisonous beverages, and many families are cursed by strong drink. A reform is possible, but the cases of many who have formed the habit of drinking intoxicating drinks are well-nigh hopeless. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 14

The question is asked: 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 15

“Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: for with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to the people. To whom He said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 16

“Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 17

“And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the over-flowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself upon it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.” [Verses 9-22.] 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 18

This entire chapter portrays the true conditions in our world today. (Isaiah 29) should be studied by those who have cast the truth behind them and are deceived by seducing words. To those who have once known the truth, but who have turned aside from it, the Lord extends the gracious invitation, “Return unto Me.” 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 19

The Lord calls for the conversion of parents and children who have not known the truth. Let those who do know the truth sign the pledge of total abstinence, and present it to their children, and to others. On no account are parents to be neglectful of the training of their children for the higher education—the fear of God, and the keeping of His commandments. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 20

Fathers and mothers are in duty bound to give to their children an education in the words of Christ to His disciples. Let the children be restrained from every gratification of a perverted appetite, lest the foundation be laid for intemperate habits. They should be encouraged in a love for the reading of the Bible. Let no temporal advantages tempt parents to neglect the training of their children. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 21

Whenever possible, it is the duty of parents to make homes in the country for their children. The children and youth should be carefully guarded. They should be kept away from the hot beds of iniquity that are to be found in our cities. Let them be surrounded by the influences of a true Christian home—a home where Christ abides. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 22

The gospel will mold the character aright. We need to walk softly and prayerfully before God; and instead of expending much care upon the outward appearance, be sure that the garments of character are kept unspotted. Our children are to be fitted to enter the course in higher education in the heavenly courts. 21LtMs, Lt 268, 1906, par. 23