Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Ms 93, 1907

Report of Berkeley Church Meeting

Oakland, California

February 17, 1907

Previously unpublished. +Note

February 17, 1907

Report of Berkeley Church Meeting, Held in Oakland, 25th Street

Elder Haskell: This meeting is really a continuation of the meeting held in Berkeley yesterday. As there may be some present who do not know the real status of things, it has been thought advisable to read the testimony Sister White read in meeting yesterday. Some may not know that we had a meeting last Wednesday night, of which Brother Cottrell took charge. The meeting was simply for each individual to confess his wrongs. It did not end so favorably as we hoped it would. Before the meeting was through, it turned somewhat into a throwing back upon Brother and Sister Rice, because of difficulties in the church. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 1

Knowing how Sister White felt, that when that matter ever came up she wanted to be present, on Thursday after the meeting I telegraphed to her, asking her if she would not like to come down and speak on the Sabbath. So she came down. I did not know what she would have to say, only I knew that she had a burden for the matters as they stood in Berkeley. I never had seen this testimony. She read a portion of this yesterday; and as there may be some here who were not present then, I will now read the whole document. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 2

(Brother Steele thought it too bad that so many were present to learn of the difficulties in the Berkeley church. Elder Haskell replied that he believed there were none present but what had already heard of the matters that would be presented.) 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 3

After the testimony was read, Elder Haskell said: I never had seen this until Sister White came down. Brother White gave it to me Friday, and I looked it over; but this is the first time I have read it to notice just how it reads. Now perhaps it will not be out of place for me, after the meeting yesterday, to say a few words in reference to Brother and Sister Rice. So I will say a few words of what I know. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 4

You will notice what this testimony said about Brother and Sister Rice’s watching for opportunities to labor for souls, and to hold Bible readings, and much more was said yesterday personally. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 5

Now I might say that I have been acquainted with Brother and Sister Rice probably as long as any person present in this room. When I first came to California in the seventies, I was elected president of this conference and held that position for over ten successive years. Brother Rice was then a young man. We found the tithe very low in the conference. Brother Rice took hold with me to increase the tithe. Some of the tithe was used for building meetinghouses, but I never believed in that. We took hold together to make a turn in their methods, and to get the tithes out of the meetinghouses, and to increase the tithes in the conference. There were men who had not paid tithes for years, well-to-do men, wealthy men. We did the best we could. I will say this, that we labored pleasantly together, and in three years the annual tithe paid into the treasury was $35,000. It required some labor. I think it has always held on since then. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 6

There were times when brethren would find fault with Brother Rice; and then I sometimes stood between him and his accusers. But I learned this one thing, that when Brother Rice went out to labor, he always gathered in some very precious souls. Sometimes they would be wealthy. They were of a class of people that were not always reached, and I took the fruit of his labors rather than the criticism of others, and I settled it in that way. We became intimately associated and very friendly. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 7

Since [then] he has labored in the islands and has returned. When we came here, I knew nothing of these troubles, except as it seemed to be in the air. Some brother would intimate that something was wrong, and I would ask, “What is the trouble? Tell me what it is. What has Brother Rice done?” But no one told me anything in particular. If I could have got at something definite, I might have known how to relate myself to the matter. I did tell Brother Knox that I thought the thing had better be investigated, but he said it had been investigated. I thought if they really had done anything that made them unworthy of the confidence of the people, it should be known; and if they had not, it ought to be known, and they should be vindicated, that all the workers might unite together. Still nothing of this kind was done; only in the air was this sentiment in reference to Brother and Sister Rice. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 8

While we worked here during the summer season—Brother Hibbard will testify to this, and those who were with our tent on Thirty-fourth St.—Brother Rice many times accommodated us by driving here and there with his horse. Frequently I would say to him when I would want something done, “You need not take the trouble to come down.” But he would reply, “That is what my horse is for,” and so he would come round with the horse, and do what needed to be done. And still these things were in the air all the time. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 9

Then we went South, but felt it to be our duty to return. Then you know we had no place to meet. The tent was blown down, and we had no place to go. Brother Rice continually said, “My latchstring is on the outside, come up here.” So we went to his house. We were glad to go for several reasons. These things were in the air, and I thought I could discern something if I were there; and another thing, we did not know of any other place to go. And they bid us welcome. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 10

So we went there, and I was actually surprised. I found Sr. Rice was always holding Bible readings, and almost every night when she was at home she had visitors. They would come in the first part of the evening, and they would remain till ten or twelve o’clock. One day I was there, and the telephone bell rang. I answered the call and found a man in Alameda whom they had helped. He said he was strongly attached to Brother and Sister Rice, because they had helped him in the earthquake, or sometime in the past, and he wanted to know if they would be at home that night. “I have a friend,” he said, “whom I want saved; he feels inclined to give his heart to God.” So if Brother and Sister Rice were going to be at home, they would gladly come up that night. Well, they came up. They were two as intelligent young men as you often see. We had a praying season with them, and then wife and I went to bed. In the morning I asked them about their interview. They said they had a very precious interview, and that it lasted until twelve o’clock that night. That is only one case of many that I positively know of. Nearly every night somebody comes up there for a Bible study. Now that has been their work to my certain knowledge. I have marveled at the work they have done constantly in going to so many places to hold Bible readings. I wonder how she keeps up her strength. I could not stand it to be up so late nights, and to be going as they have been going. These are facts that I know of, and I am only telling what I know. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 11

Sister ________ told me about her sister. Said she, “I cannot get her to take her stand. Should I not send her up to Sister White?” I told her that Sister White could not help her; for she was overburdened with her writing. It was only a day or two afterward that I saw this woman out there to Sister Rice’s, and she went off happy. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 12

Now I do not say these things because of the personal things here in Oakland, but it is principle that ought to be guarded against with all our laborers everywhere. If there is one class of people on the face of the earth who should stand united, it is those who are laboring for souls. I remember a remark one time that was dwelt upon by Sister White when I was president of the conference, that we should be united and bear with one another. Afterward we had a meeting of the ministers, and Brother Healey, he said this way, said he: We are always defective, and one should follow the other and make up his defects, so we may present ourselves before the people as one solid company. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 13

I believe the testimonies. More than that, the testimonies would not need to come if we knew all our defects. It is when we are mistaken that the spirit of God comes in to help us out. That is the way it has always been ever since God had a people on this earth. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 14

E. G. White: I feel an intense interest that every one of us should disappoint the enemy. There are two spirits striving for the mastery, and it depends very much on what course we pursue which side will gain the victory. There is a duty resting upon every one connected with the work in Oakland, and especially in Berkeley, where there have been trials and difficulties. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 15

I must tell you that the spirit that has been manifested by some individuals is not in accordance with the Holy Spirit of God. I have feared to say anything that might increase the difficulty. I know that as these matters are presented to me, some souls will take their stand on the right side, and others on the wrong side. It behooves every one of us to know how our individual case stands before God. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 16

After the baptism of Christ, He went into the wilderness, where He fasted forty days and forty nights, and then it was that the devil came and tempted Him. “If You are He whom You pretend to be—the Son of God—” he said, “why don’t You make bread out of these stones?” “It is written,” is the answer, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” [Matthew 4:1-4.] 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 17

The Son of God would not enter into controversy even with the devil. Satan wanted Him to work a miracle for His own benefit; but He refused to do it, and quoted a scripture to authorize His refusal. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 18

“Then the devil taketh Him into the holy city, and setteth Him upon a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down; for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.” [Verses 5, 6.] What did Satan leave out in this quotation? It was the words, “In all Thy ways.” [Psalm 91:11.] The angels would keep Christ in all the ways of God. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” [Matthew 4:7.] 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 19

We have nothing to do with the proving of truth. What we have to do is to plant our feet on the eternal platform of truth and to stand on the affirmative. The time will very soon come when we shall be brought before kings and rulers, when we shall be accused of one thing and another of which we are not guilty. For that time the Saviour has given the instruction: “When they shall deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be given unto you that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” [Matthew 10:19, 20.] 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 20

“Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then said Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” [Matthew 4:8-10.] Sometimes we must speak so decidedly that we shall not be misunderstood. After Christ had passed through these temptations, he fainted and was apparently dying. But there were angels of God, on whose bosom He leaned. They strengthened Him and provided Him with food. Then He was fitted to go out and proclaim the truth in correct lines with the power of the Spirit. After He had preached in the most powerful manner He said, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, then for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.” [Matthew 11:21-24.] 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 21

What was the matter? The people of these cities would listen to Christ, but they would not carry out what He taught. They did not work out the principles of righteousness. He wanted to unite them with Him in the work, but they would not do it. Their own pride of disposition, their own defects of character stood in the way. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 22

So we often find it today, as we labor from place to place. Our work is often difficult, and seems to produce but little effect. But we do not feel discouraged. There are those who claim a great deal, but they are not true; they cannot be trusted. What God wants is not self-exaltation, but self-humiliation. Some think they are converted when they are not. They have a little semblance of Christianity. If everything goes just exactly to suit their minds, they will be quite peaceful; but if they are crossed, then there is an uproar. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 23

Satan is working to his utmost to make himself as God, and to destroy all who oppose his power; and today the world is bowing before him. Nearly the whole world is wondering after the beast. Satan’s miracle-working power is being employed to confirm his claims, and his agents are working with intense activity. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 24

Dear friends, let us humble our hearts before God. The troubles here have been in existence for a long time. An influence has been exerted that would estrange hearts from God. He invites all to stand in their lot and place. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 25

While some have been picking flaws, I ask you, Who has been doing a work? Who has been bringing souls to a knowledge of the truth? Will you consider this? I know whereof I speak, because these matters have been presented to me. While many have seemed to be indifferent, Brother and Sister Rice have done all in their power to reach souls. They have not in these efforts studied their own will and their own way. But some would incriminate the very ones who have been putting themselves to inconvenience to be a help on the right hand and on the left. They have been objects of envy and jealousy and evil surmising. Some whose hearts are not right with God have been zealous in searching for faults in these laborers. They had something to say about Brother and Sister Rice, something to find fault with. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 26

Whenever I have come to Oakland, someone has borne the burden of providing for me and my attendants. Brother and Sister Rice have given me the use of their own bedroom, and we have eaten at their table. Brother Rice has met me at the train with his horse and carriage. Thus he has saved the expense of expressage on our baggage. Some have been anxious to investigate Brother Rice’s financial dealings to know if he has put every dollar into the cause. Let them consider what he has saved to the conference in this manner. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 27

We do not say that Brother and Sister Rice are faultless in everything they have said in connection with these trials. It would be almost a wonder if they were. Brother Rice is a man of very firm disposition, and when he takes a position that he believes to be right, he holds to it tenaciously. He may carry that a little too far when it comes to a difference of opinion. It is difficult for him to yield. Perhaps to some men younger than he, he may appear to be stubborn. But who shall say what is the very best thing that shall be done under all circumstances? 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 28

Were there not others of our brethren in Oakland and Berkeley who had opportunity to do as Brother Rice did in caring for those who were in want and suffering after the fire in San Francisco? Why did they not see their opportunities, and stand right up to help and strengthen the needy? Brother and Sister Rice gave the outcasts a welcome. There were refugees in tents all around them. These campers had permission to use the house and had many liberties. Did you not all see this? Could not some of you have come and said to Brother and sister Rice, “Won’t you let us share with you in this burden?” But who did this? 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 29

It is best for us to take a true position. It is best for us, instead of manifesting envy and jealousy and evil surmisings, to take a position to recognize the burdens and the responsibilities that were carried all those weeks in providing for this and that and the other emergency. You who have not tried it know nothing about it. Suppose that others had tried to link right up with these burden-bearers, and say, You must not bear this burden alone; let us unite with you, and we will bear the load together. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 30

Now brethren and sisters, what we want is for every one to look out for number one, and see where he himself has failed of doing his duty. We know that Brother and Sister Rice have had reproof, and we know of several others who have had reproof, and what did they do? They came right up like men, and they said, It is true; we will not go against the testimonies. At first it was a question. They had a severe trial on some points, but they gave up their own opinion and said, “We will take our position on the side of the testimonies, because we know they are of God.” Then shall we not thank God that they were honest enough to take their position upon the right platform, and to say, “We believe in the Testimonies, and we are going to act upon them.” 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 31

For years the work in Oakland has been presented to me, and when I heard that Brother and Sister Rice were entering Berkeley, I said, “Good, that is just what should be done.” I did not suppose that a hand would be laid upon them to hinder them from doing that which they could do. I thought that everybody would rejoice and thank God that the work was being done. But you do not seem to understand. You seem to have lost your bearings. I want to say, “In the name of the Lord, come together. Let there be a searching of heart.” 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 32

God wants laborers. He does not want in His service those who will go from house to house tattling and accusing their brethren; for this the Bible forbids. He does not want those who will tear down the very ones who are building up a work that should be sustained. God does not want our minds occupied with these evil surmisings. Shall we now lay down the weapons of our warfare? Shall we show ourselves of a clean heart and of a pure mind? Let us draw near to God, that He may draw near to us. If we have wronged our brethren, let us ask their forgiveness. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 33

Would that we all might realize how Christ looks upon these matters. Will not those who have done this work of carrying evil reports—which have been false—repent with a repentance that needeth not to be repented of? Let them show that they are willing to come right to the point and confess their sins. I want to say, Let no one give a listening ear to slander. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 34

And to Brother Rice I would say: If you get in controversy over some point that does not involve a vital question, do not hold to your position with such firmness and determination as to give the impression that you are stubborn. It would be better for you to yield. Let your heart to be softened by the love of God. I want you to feel that the love of Christ constraineth you. You have naturally an unyielding disposition, and when you think you are right, you hold very strongly to your position until you are thoroughly convinced that you are wrong. But, Brother Rice, we have a God, a Saviour, who has said, “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” [Matthew 12:37.] 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 35

In the name of the Lord God of Israel, clear the King’s highway. You who have piled up the barriers, take them out of the way. Remove the stumbling blocks. You can never be right until you do, and it would be useless for you to think of harmony unless you shall put out of your heart and out of your mind these accusations and suspicions. Do not catch at straws and magnify them. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 36

But I would say to those who can reach the higher classes, Continue in your labors perseveringly. Enter every place that you can enter. Keep at your work in the name of the Lord God of Israel, and do not allow yourselves to be confused nor hindered. Some must labor in these bay cities, and my soul has been burdened over it ever since I came from Australia. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 37

We want to see the salvation of God in our midst. Time is rapidly passing. The end is near. Soon we shall be in the position of which Christ spake: “they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.” [Luke 21:12.] 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 38

But we must not be foolhardy. If they persecute you in one place, flee to another. This is what Christ did. Again and again He had to leave places where He was proclaiming the greatest truths that ever came from human lips. When His life was endangered, He quietly removed Himself from the midst of the angry people. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 39

Now I will not say more, only if you are not right with God, break loose; do not wait for another meeting, but humble your hearts now before God. If hearts ever needed to be broken before God, it is those who have stood right against the laborers who have worked with all their powers to bring the truth to those in the highways and in the byways. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 40

Brother Steele: I would like to say a few words. I hope the brethren and sisters will pray for me while I talk, that I may not say anything that will injure the sweet Spirit of Christ or harm the cause. We all love the truth and each other. It seems to me that this matter that seems to be used to hinder the work of Christ could be very easily settled. To my mind it seems to me so easy, if any one would follow the Word of the Lord, it could be settled right in a moment; it is the easiest thing in the world. But if I am stubborn, and I will not do it, then it cannot be settled, can it? 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 41

Now I do not want to be praised by anybody, I do not want you to praise me. I am not as good a man as I ought it be, and Jesus said, There is none good, no, not one. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 42

There is one power on earth that claims to make wrong right. But God has never given that into the hands of any man to make anything right. He does not ask us to uphold anything that is wrong, but He does ask us to labor for those. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 43

When the word came to me that there were some of the sheep hurt, I went to the parties, Brother and Sister Rice, and I said to them, One poor sheep is injured, you had better go and see them. Well, he wanted to know how, and I told him how it was. Well, he said he did not think he would go, but would wait and let the thing develop, and find out where the sore was so he could put his hand upon it. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 44

This thing has been going on over two years, hasn’t it? I thought it was almost dead and buried so far as I was concerned. The question has come in my mind, Are all the souls in the Berkeley church in jeopardy, and to be lost for two? didn’t Jesus die for every one alike; doesn’t He love every one alike? Then are they all wrong, and only two in the right, is that the fix? is that so? Is there no truth in these things, as has been said? Is that true, too? If that is a fact, you had better quit saying anything. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 45

Now Brother Rice has acknowledged the very thing which has stood in the way, and which has been kindled by his own doings. Sister Rice has acknowledged the very thing the talk has been over. Brother Rice has taken tithe, and has used it for his own personal benefit, and claimed it was right to do so, and that it is not wrong to do it. Now these are plain facts. I am going to be plain with you all. Now, can the church in Berkeley say that these things are right, as long as they do not acknowledge that very wrong? What is the cause of it all? 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 46

As for Brother and Sister Rice doing so much for the refugees, they did do a noble work, and I did rejoice; I just felt happy to think they could do it, because they had the dispositions to do it, they had the love in their hearts to do it, and they had the way to do it. They had the chance to go to the conference, and get the tents, and could have them pitched and rent them, and they trusted him because the conference trusted Brother Rice, and knew that he could do the work, and I was real glad. They did a noble work in that. They are kind-hearted people, and they have ability to reach souls that I cannot do anything with, because I have not the ability to do it. But I can go with the leaflets and hand them to the people. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 47

You want to know where I stand on the testimonies. I have taken the position that Isaiah says, to “Bind up the testimony, seal them among My disciples.” [See Isaiah 8:16.] That our people have been doing. There are some things in them that I do not understand, that I cannot see. Most of them I can, but I leave the rest with the Lord. ... 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 48

I also take the position that the testimonies are the eyesalve of the Laodicean church. And whenever you come across a member of the Berkeley church that studies the testimonies you will find a spiritual-minded person. Although I cannot comprehend all these things, I just leave them with the Lord. Now if Sister White should do something, as she is human, as prophets sometimes do wrong, but if she should do something that would bring reproach and evil, would you throw away what God had said before? I would stand on the testimonies still that God had given us. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 49

Brethren and Sisters, we have got to be firmly grounded in the truth, and it has got to be a personal work, too. I love Brother and Sister Rice, and I will do anything in the world to remove anything out of their way to save souls. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 50

Brother Hughes made a denial of the reports that were in circulation about the expensiveness of their home, also of the report that Brother Rice had baptized him while he was using tobacco. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 51

Sister Haskell: The time has come when I would like to offer my testimony. I never knew Sister Rice until we came here last August, when we met her on the camp-ground. I had known Brother Rice slightly twenty years ago. When we came to the camp-ground after the camp-meeting, we found our tent furnished. We began to inquire if there were no restaurant on the grounds. No. We had nothing but our trunks, we had not even a spoon or anything to cook with. I went over to the store and got bread and butter, and some things so we could eat a little lunch. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 52

Brother and Sister Rice came down and said, What have you got here? They insisted on our coming up to their house and getting a meal. They then furnished us with dishes, cooking utensils, a stove to heat the tent, and even provisions to set us up, so that we could run nicely in the tent. Until we broke up camp, that was about all I saw of them personally. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 53

Then we stayed with Brother Hibbard two weeks on Sixty-second Street, and this gave us a chance to see a little more of Brother and Sister Rice. I noticed that if anything were wanted in the camp, Brother and Sister Rice were always called on; if anything was to be looked after, they were there and looked after it. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 54

When we returned from Loma Linda, Brother and Sister Rice brought us in and entertained us in their home. I thought we would watch and see how things went. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 55

Sister Rice asked us several times to take the Bible class, but we never took part in any of their Bible classes. I wanted to see what was going on. We would sometimes go through the room. I was many times a long time coming down the stairs, longer than was necessary, so I would hear what was going on. I noticed that when Bible readings were being given, they were giving clear expositions of Scripture, and the people were interested. More than once I have seen companies in two rooms. One would be in the parlor and the other in the dining room. This continued night after night. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 56

I have given Bible readings for twenty years; but it was a new experience to me, and I studied over it quite a little to see why these people would come to them so much—strangers would come in from all parts of the city. After I had been there two weeks, and saw the work they were doing, I told my husband one day, If I know the work of the Lord, these people are doing it; they are teaching the people, and I do not know why it is the Lord sends all these people to them, unless it is to demonstrate before the people that their work is of God, and He wishes to show it by sending the people to them, and without their having to go out and hunt for them. Strangers came in sometimes, friends of those that they had held Bible readings with. One evening, a doctor came from the city. A friend of his said he was getting tinctured with Spiritualism, and he came more than one evening, and I overheard them. I am not in the habit of being an eavesdropper, but I will confess that I stood where I could hear, and they were both talking with him, and pleading with him, and showing him from the Scriptures the error of Spiritualism. I could see the man’s face—an intelligent-looking man—deeply interested and deeply moved. If I know the work of the Lord, this bears His credentials. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 57

After further remarks by Brethren Haskell, Hibbard, Giddings, W. C. White, and Brother Kilgore, speaking of their contact with Brother and Sister Rice, and of their kindness through the earthquake experience, Elder Cottrell suggested that they seek the Lord together. W. C. White led in prayer and was followed by Elder Haskell. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 58

Mrs. E. G. White: (Praying) Thou hast presented before us how cruel it is to depart from Thy Word. Thy Word is given to us, and we are to follow it to the letter. O God, we beseech of Thee, for Christ’s sake, that Thou wouldest open the blind eyes, open the hearts and soften the hearts, that such a thing shall never exist again in any church, and that every one shall seek to draw together in even cords. Rebuke the sins, and save Thy people, we pray Thee, from taking such positions that souls may be lost as the result. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 59

O God, there have been these rumors, these stumbling blocks laid before Thy servants, and they should be deeply repented of. Lord, wilt Thou have compassion? Wilt Thou pardon all the mistakes that have been made, and wilt Thou give Thy people understanding that they may be one as Christ is one with the Father? 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 60

And now, Lord, we know there are but very few who have carried the heavy burdens that Brother and Sister Rice have carried. We have seen how Thou dost regard it. O God, it is all written in Thy book, and may they not become discouraged. But we ask Thee, my heavenly Father, that Thou wouldest open ways before them that they may sow the seeds of truth. O Lord, my heavenly Father, we pray Thee to give them physical strength, to give them clear discernment, give them an opening where they can get in more and more, and that they may do the work that Thou hast opened before them of making plain to others Thy holy Word. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 61

We know, Lord, that Thou art a merciful God, and we pray that all this evil speaking and everything of that nature may be put away. Thou hast bidden me to present to the people that they are laborers in Thy cause, and that they are to continue in their work to win souls to Thee. We have not one laborer to spare. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 62

O God, pardon those who have been so indiscreet in talking, and who have taken wrong positions. Lord, have compassion upon them. We want them to see their errors. We want them to understand that Thou hast been greatly dishonored, and that it is time to remove the stumbling blocks out of the way, that their own souls may stand clear and free before Thee. O my Father, I beseech Thee, for Christ’s sake, that every heart may have a clear conception of duty, that every one may repent before Thee. Thy work, O God, has been hindered. We are so sorry. We ask Thee to forgive; we ask Thee to pardon, Lord, and to give wisdom to Thy servants that they shall move discreetly, and in the honor and glory of God, that everything that has been a stumbling block may be removed. We long to see Thy people come up to a higher platform. We do not want them to build upon the sand, that when the floods shall come and the rain shall pour upon their house that it shall fall, because it is not founded upon the Rock, Christ Jesus. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 63

O my Saviour, my Saviour, Thou canst do a work that none of us can do. Thou canst impress the heart. Thou canst convict the soul; and Thou canst help us to see the great mistakes that have hindered Thy work, and that have wounded Thy children. And we ask Thee, Lord, to sweep back all these objectionable things, and to let the sunlight of Thy presence come in, with Thy pardon. O that Thou wouldest write pardon in Thy books. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 64

O God, I ask Thee to let Thy grace in rich measure be given to the members of the Berkeley church, that everything may be cleansed, and that they may all see the right side. We ask Thee, Lord, that Thou wouldest take this work in Thine own hands, that those that are worthy shall be encouraged to take hold of Thy work, and that those who are mischief makers, and who do not rid their souls of this, shall not be sustained in hurting the souls of others. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 65

Lord, I ask Thee to rebuke the devil. I ask Thee to rebuke Satan, O Lord. Let us be free. We want to see the salvation of God. We want souls to be reached with the truth. But O my Father, help every one to learn discretion. May we walk softly and tremblingly before Thee, O Lord. Keep Brother and Sister Rice in the hollow of Thy hand, for we need their labor. We pray Thee to give them an open door, that they may find access to souls that shall be converted. And, Lord, we ask that every one of us may have Thy abiding grace, that we may have a sense of what our duty is, and know what our work is, that where there are now a few at work, there may be many more who shall take hold of Thy service. Arouse Thy people, that they may put on the armor, and that many may engage in house-to-house labor. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 66

Lord, help us, bless us, give us Thy grace this very hour. Precious Saviour, wilt Thou heal this awful difficulty? Wilt Thou heal it, and O may the work of grace go on; for it is not finished yet. Let it go on until Thy church shall be throughly clean and every fibre of the root of bitterness which has been working shall be put away. Let Thy light shine into the chambers of the mind and into the soul temple. Bless every one who has tried to take every difficulty out of the way, and may he have liberty and freedom in the knowledge that his mistakes are pardoned, and Thy blessed name shall have all the glory. Amen. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 67

W. T. Knox: Thirteen months ago I became acquainted with the troubles that exist. It was probably fifteen or sixteen months ago that I first heard of it. I appeared in this matter only in the attitude that Brother Cottrell has. First, I was called by the church, and then by the conference to investigate this difficulty. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 68

I am perfectly free in saying that of the long list of charges that were submitted, in my judgment, a great portion of them had simply to be brushed aside, as they did not seem to be of a character that we could investigate. I am glad for the progress of this meeting. I trust, however, that there will be thorough work done, and that we shall not be satisfied with half-way measures. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 69

At the time of the last conference, in the evening, I called the laborers together, and spoke to them of the great desirability and the great necessity of our being most closely associated together, and that no variance or difference could be between us, that every one of us should feel for his brother or sister worker. At the close of that meeting Brother and Sister Rice both came to me, and we had a good talk together. There were assurances passed between us all that we were going to work close together during this coming year. I believe there is going to be close co-operation between me and Brother and Sister Rice. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 70

Brother Rice then spoke at some length, still affirming that he had not intentionally done wrong, that while he was not convinced that he had done wrong in using money that had come to him in time of need, and, as he considered, in answer to prayer, yet he felt that if this was to be an occasion of stumbling with his brethren, he would not allow a matter involving only a few dollars and cents to stand in the way of harmony. He would give up his opinion in this matter and would turn back to the treasury of the conference what he had thus appropriated. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 71

This concession on the part of Brother Rice seemed to bring a freedom to many. Several members of the Berkeley church expressed their purpose to lay aside all differences and to forgive, as they wished to be forgiven. 22LtMs, Ms 93, 1907, par. 72