Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Lt 48, 1907

California Conference Committee & the Brn-Srs. in Berkeley & Oakland

St. Helena, California

February 1, 1907

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 690-691; 3SM 408; 1MR 263. +Note

To the California Conference Committee and the brethren and Sisters in Berkeley and Oakland, Dear Brethren and Sisters: 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 1

For many years the importance of the work in Oakland and the surrounding cities has been presented to me. Before I left this country to go to Australia, I was instructed that special efforts should be put forth to proclaim the truth in the cities around the Bay. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 2

When I first learned that Brother and Sister Rice were planning to take up the work in Berkeley, I felt thankful. I encouraged them to work faithfully, believing that the Lord would bless their efforts; for it was in harmony with the instruction I had received that many laborers should be set to work in Oakland and the outlying districts. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 3

I was therefore surprised and deeply pained when, at the camp-meeting in San Jose in July 1905, one of my brethren came to me and stated that, in his opinion, it would be for the best interests of the work if Brother and Sister Rice should be moved from Berkeley and set to work in another place. He thought that the influence of Brother and Sister Rice had not been of the best character and stated that there were serious charges preferred against them by some of the members of the Berkeley church. He desired me to use my influence to persuade Brother and Sister Rice to locate in Santa Cruz. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 4

I knew that Brother and Sister Rice were not free from faults, but that they were striving to know and to do the Master’s will, and that they had talents that fitted them to reach men and women in the higher walks of life, and that through their labors many might become interested in the truth. I knew that a move would deprive an important field, of labor that was much needed, and also that a move would mean much to them personally; for they had just gotten fairly settled in a suitable home. I did not feel free to lend my influence to have them moved. Their removal to another field under such circumstances would cause an unfavorable impression to be left on the minds of those who, through their efforts, had newly accepted the faith. Moreover, if it were indeed true that they possessed objectionable traits of character, the case would not be made better by sending them to another field of labor; for they would carry with them their objectionable characteristics and methods. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 5

The following night the case was clearly opened before me. I saw that some of the members of the Berkeley church were confused, and that they were manifesting a spirit of criticism that was not right. Their tongues needed to be sanctified, that they might speak the truth in righteousness. Those who were so severely criticizing, and finding fault with Brother and Sister Rice, were doing a work that would not stand the test of the judgment. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 6

I saw that Brother and Sister Rice were laboring for a class that but few were trying to reach. They had worked earnestly and diligently in search of the lost sheep, ever standing ready to respond to the calls of those who were desirous of learning the truth. Through their labors some had been converted, and I was instructed that if all the members of the Berkeley church had manifested a Christlike spirit, and co-operated with the efforts of Brother Rice and his wife, many more might have been brought to a saving knowledge of the truth. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 7

But envy and jealousy and evil surmising had well nigh destroyed the healthy influence of the church in Berkeley. Unruly spirits, unconverted minds and hearts had wrought mischief, for which there should be sincere repentance. If those who were out of harmony had possessed greater spiritual discernment, they would have seen matters more clearly. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 8

In my talks at the San Jose meeting, I presented the principles that should govern God’s workers in their relations one to another. Had these principles been followed, peace would have come to the church and strength and efficiency to the Lord’s workers. Here are some of the thoughts presented Sunday afternoon, July 2, 1905: 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 9

“A true belief of the work of the Father and of the Son in our behalf is worth everything to us. It is a pledge of our salvation. The wounded hands, the pierced side of our Lord stand as a revelation of infinite love—love expressed for you and for me. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 10

“In view of a manifestation of such love, what is our duty?—We are to seek for that spirit of love expressed in the words: ‘Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me; and as I said unto the Jews, so now I say to you, Whither I go, ye can not come, so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’ [John 13:33, 34.] 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 11

“Why was this a new commandment? Christ in His death on the cross was about to give a manifestation of His love—such an expression of love as had never before been heard of. ‘A new commandment’—it is to love one another ‘as I have loved you.’ [Verse 34.] 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 12

“With many it has become a habit to seek for something to condemn in someone else. What God wants you and me to do is to take care of number one. And when you get in the right relation to God, when you see the need of that faith and love that is expressed in this ‘new commandment,’ and illustrated by the death of Christ, there will be a great change in the character of believers. There will be a great awakening among God’s people. Among officers in the church and in the conference, there will be a manifestation of the love of Christ. They will study to know the meaning of the new commandment. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 13

“Every member of the church has his appointed work; every one is to act his part. All are to unite in carrying the message to those who have not heard it. Every one is to join in giving the invitation, Come. And those who hear the call and respond to it are to carry the message further still, until there shall be no place where the invitation is not heard and the Word of God given. Christ’s work for the world is to be our work. We are to carry the light into the highways and byways, nigh and afar off until the gospel of the kingdom has encircled the globe. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 14

“‘As I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’ [Verse 34.] Christ’s love for us led Him to Calvary. Laying off His royal robe, stepping down from the high command of the angels in heaven, He came as a lowly babe, born and laid in a manger in Bethlehem. He might have brought with Him to this world legions of angels. But no! He came to fill the humblest position, to bear all the temptations to which man is subject. Thus He gave to the world an example of what humanity is to become. He was tempted just as strongly as any member of the human family can be tempted. Through His ministration He has made it possible for us to become partakers of the divine nature. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 15

“‘As I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’ [Verse 34.] Then what is our work? It is to seek earnestly for that love that Christ will give to each of His followers in they will eat of His flesh and drink of His blood. This means to receive His words and to open the Word of life to others. ... 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 16

“If each one of us will humble his own heart, take heed to his own individual course of action, and in word and spirit take the Word of God just as it reads, we will see one of the greatest reformations passing through our churches that we have ever seen. God calls upon us to take hold upon Him and to work intelligently. In many of our churches true missionary work is a dead letter. ... 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 17

“When you feel discouraged and disconsolate, do not run to your neighbor with your troubles. This is not right—man leaning upon finite man, or man dealing with man as though he were appointed to do a work of lifting up or casting down his brethren, as he thinks best. God calls for everyone to stand in a sanctified knowledge that Christ is abiding in him, and he in Christ. Then when he is in trouble, he will come right to the Word, and see what it says. ‘I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you,’ is the promise. [John 14:18.] ... 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 18

“As you follow in the line of duty, as you seek to save souls ready to perish, as you go out in the different towns and localities around here, as you labor in Oakland and other cities, teaching others to serve God, and to glorify Him, the light of heaven will come into your souls. Christ will stand close beside you. He will impress and convince the minds of those for whom you labor. ... 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 19

“When we associate together, let us not pick flaws in one another. The Lord is grieved when we do this; for we reveal that Satan is at work among us, to make the soul weak and sick spiritually. Let us press together in the work, showing sympathy and love for one another. Instead of drawing apart and criticizing the work of one another, let us encourage one another and labor for each other’s conversion. Let us pray with one another and speak kind, helpful words that will help them to come into right relation with God. May the Lord let His Holy Spirit rest upon each one of us, that we may see of His salvation as we have not yet seen it. ... 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 20

“What is soon coming upon us? Seducing spirits are coming in. If God has ever spoken by me, you will before long hear of a wonderful science—a science of the devil. Its aim will be to make of no account God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Some will exalt this false science, and through them Satan will seek to make void the law of God. Great miracles will be performed in the sight of men in behalf of this wonderful science. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 21

“But in the midst of these great deceptions, it is our privilege to hide ourselves in Jesus Christ. It is possible for us to seek and to obtain salvation. But God calls us now to take off from His workers every domineering hand; for God forbids this. Let each understand his individual duty before God and do that duty humbly. He is not to consider himself a master, with controlling power to exercise upon his brethren. The Word of God is to be taught and practiced. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 22

“God is our Commander and our Ruler. We have a Saviour, and we are not to exchange His Word for the word of any man. God wants us to come into right relation with Him. He wants every voice to be sanctified. He wants all there is of us, soul, body, and spirit, to be fully sanctified to do the will of God. It is time that we began to know that we are fastened to the Lord Jesus Christ by a living, working faith; it is time for us to take hold of the Spirit of God and to let our works show that we are under His control. Let us believe in Him, and trust in Him, and we shall see His mighty power working among us.” 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 23


In the Word of God there are definite rules laid down to guide us in dealing with the erring. Unless these rules are followed, confusion will result. The Bible rule should be strictly obeyed. Christ has outlined our course of action; let us follow it to the letter: 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 24

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” [Matthew 18:15-17.] 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 25

“One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” [Deuteronomy 19:15.] 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 26

“Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.” [1 Timothy 5:19.] 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 27

The heart of Christ yearns for the salvation of men, and He is jealous for the influence of those who are working with Him for their fellow men. Therefore those who think that the appointed workers are in error should have gone to them kindly and talked the matter over with them privately. But, instead of this course being followed faithfully, reports have been circulated by unsanctified lips, and these reports have become greatly exaggerated. Had some of the members of the Berkeley church humbled their hearts before God, there would have been a far different state of things, and the Lord would have worked to add souls to the church. But the Spirit of the Lord was grieved by the jealousy, the evil surmising, and the evil speaking. Words were spoken that never would have found utterance, if those who spoke them had been under the influence of the Holy Spirit. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 28

In church membership, there are various minds and various experiences; and unless these minds are brought under the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, hereditary and cultivated tendencies will be manifest in evil surmising and evil speaking. Unsanctified tongues will create a mountain of difficulty. But if all will bring themselves under the rule of the law of God, there will be an altogether different showing. If all will humble their hearts before God, and seek diligently to cleanse from their characters everything that Christ condemns, there will be seen the manifestation of the spirit of light and liberty. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 29

Some have felt troubled because Brother and Sister Rice have each been drawing wages from the conference. But it is in harmony with the instruction that has often been given to me, that women who labor with their husbands in gospel work should be paid for their services. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 30

After returning from their work in the Islands, Brother and Sister Rice purchased a small home for themselves. While he was working in the office, his wife was laboring from house to house in ministerial lines. She found access to many homes of the higher classes, and they thought that it would be for the glory of God if they might have a home to which they could invite those who were interested in the truth, and where they might entertain our ministering brethren who visited the churches near them. So they worked early and late to complete an addition to the house they had purchased. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 31

Those who thought that Brother and Sister Rice should be uprooted from the place in which there was such great need of labor, and where they had just begun a good work, did not fully consider whether they themselves would desire to be moved in such a way. Brother Rice and his wife did not feel free to leave their field of labor, while on every side doors were opened, and calls were being made by those who desired to have the Scriptures opened to them. Had they heeded the suggestion that [they] should leave Oakland and go to Santa Cruz, I was prepared to tell them that they were making a wrong move. The enemy would have counted it a victory, if their work in Oakland and Berkeley had been uprooted, and the impression become current that they were not qualified for the sacred work in which they were engaged. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 32

In giving them souls for their hire, the Lord has manifested His acceptance of their labors. They are God’s property. For mistakes in the past, they have been reproved and corrected, because the Lord loves them, and desires them to be saved, and to have a part in His work. When any one confesses his sin, the Lord pardons and cleanses. “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” [Hebrews 12:6, 7.] How glad we should be that our mistakes are not incurable! 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 33

In our dealings with one another, we all need the divine tenderness of Christ. Those who manifest a desire to labor for souls should be strengthened and encouraged. If they make mistakes, let their brethren labor with them kindly, earnestly, to help them to see the will of God. There is need that each examine carefully his own frailties, before condemning others. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 34

In our cities there is a great work to be done. This work must be carried forward intelligently and solidly. The Lord will co-operate with all who will be worked by the Holy Spirit and who will seek for the meekness and lowliness of Christ. Let no one praise his own works, but let him draw attention to the sanctifying grace of God as revealed in His Word. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 35

God’s work calls for many who are now resting on their lees. Many will engage in house-to-house labor, after they have sought the Lord with heart and soul. A life of dependence on Christ will fit us to promote His cause and glory on earth. There are many fields where labor must be begun. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 36

Often in the visions of the night, I find myself entreating men and women to be converted, and I awake actuated by the spirit of urgency that has seemed to me a living reality. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 37

The officers of our churches should be men who possess truth in the soul—humble, praying men—men who will be a living example of faith and piety. God does not estimate men by position or rank or wealth or profound learning, but by their humility of heart and their willingness to learn in the school of Christ. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 38

Those who are truly consecrated to the work of soul-saving will not cease from their evangelizing efforts. Men in the humble walks of life are to be encouraged to take up the work of God. As they labor, they will gain a precious experience. There is a dearth of laborers, and we have not one to spare. Instead of discouraging those who are trying to serve the Master, we should seek to encourage many more laborers to enter the field. All who commune with God will find abundance of work to do for Him. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 39

Those who go forth in the spirit of the Master, seeking to reach souls with the truth, will not find the work of drawing souls to Christ a dull, uninteresting drudgery. They are charged with a work as God’s husbandmen, and they will become more and more vitalized as they give themselves to the service of God. It is a joyous work to open the Scriptures to others. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 40

Let all our ministers be sincerely in earnest in regard to the future world. Let all their works testify that they are born of God. As the physical body is in constant need of the vitalizing air, so the life of the soul is kept in healthfulness as one is guided into all truth. The life must be constantly stimulated by truth that sanctifies the soul. Those who are exalted in their own supposed superior wisdom need to consider that unless they have that faith that works by love, purifying the soul, and enlarging the intellect; and unless they hold up the divine standard, their work will be a failure. Before engaging in any enterprise, let them first seek the Lord in prayer, asking Him to co-operate with them. God will encourage the humble, the pure, and the upright in heart. Those whom the Lord leads will deal uprightly with God, and with men. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 41

My brethren in the ministry, watch diligently, lest the continuous engrossment of the mind in business shall extinguish the purity of the soul life and crush out that godliness that needs to be strengthened in every action. Unless in this life we live out the principles of heaven, we shall never gain an entrance into the city of the redeemed. Now is our opportunity to cultivate the heavenly graces. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 42

Make the Word of God your study and your standard of duty. With all meekness and reverence put your trust in the Holy One. Read and understand how to combine in daily action the principles: “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” [Romans 12:11; 1 Corinthians 10:31.] 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 43

“Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy.” [Revelation 3:4.] It will profit us to cultivate the pure principles of heaven in this life, and to hold fast our integrity in honoring Christ as our Redeemer, who gave His life to secure for us an eternal inheritance. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 44

Brethren and sisters, let us cultivate unfeigned faith. Let unbending uprightness and lofty integrity characterize our every action. Let us give Christ the first place in our hearts. Let us make Him the man of our counsel. Looking unto Jesus in true simplicity, we shall inherit the overcomer’s reward. 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 45

Let the language of every trembling soul be: “Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.” “Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” [Psalm 73:25, 24.] 22LtMs, Lt 48, 1907, par. 46