Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 25 (1910 - 1915)


Lt 18, 1910

Cottrell, H. W.

Mountain View, California

January 27, 1910

Portions of this letter are published in PC 305-306; 6Bio 282. +Note

Elder H. W. Cottrell

Dear Brother Cottrell:

I am instructed by the Lord to say to our brethren and to you that it is not the will and mind of the Spirit of God that your brethren should place you in positions of large responsibility, while you determinedly maintain your own ideas; for these ideas are not all correct, and the Lord will hold our people responsible for pursuing a wrong course. It would also be doing an injury to yourself to sustain and uphold you in wrong decisions that have been made. 25LtMs, Lt 18, 1910, par. 1

I am instructed by the Lord to advise our brethren to choose some other man to stand in your place as president of the Pacific Union Conference. This would make it less difficult than otherwise for you to put away some traits of character that are not Christlike. In your present state of mind, it would not be a blessing for you to have to remain in positions of large responsibility, as this heavy burden would place you in situations where you would be strongly tempted to have your own way and would make it increasingly difficult for you to overcome objectionable traits of character. 25LtMs, Lt 18, 1910, par. 2

I feel sorry to say to you, my brother, that you have grieved the Spirit of God, and we cannot at present feel clear to ask you to continue in the position you have filled in the Union Conference. In some respects, you have not been a wise counselor and leader. You have taken upon yourself heavy burdens that the Lord has never called you to bear. 25LtMs, Lt 18, 1910, par. 3

When a man in responsibility takes the position that it is his privilege to form opinions that he need never give up, no matter what circumstances may arise, and no matter what further light may shine on his pathway, that man is in grave peril of making mistakes. No man’s judgment is to be regarded as a safe and infallible guide. There is a certainty in sanctified submission to the will of God, and this is the only certainty that any man has the right to stand by. Any other position of certainty than this, of humble submission to the will of God, is unsafe and is liable to lead a man to lose his hold on God and mar his religious experience. 25LtMs, Lt 18, 1910, par. 4

Many trials come to all who are called to engage in the work of God. Those who have the responsibility of locating and fostering our sanitariums and training schools need the advice and counsel of men of sound judgment—men who trust not in their own supposed wisdom, but who stand ready to advance by faith in the opening providences of God and who constantly look to the Lord for wisdom and guidance. 25LtMs, Lt 18, 1910, par. 5

I am hurt to the heart and soul and mind. The traits of character, my brother, that you have manifested at times leave us no choice but to counsel the brethren not to place upon you heavy responsibilities, the carrying of which would give you but little time in which to reflect. The Lord has helped you many, many times in the past. He has richly blessed you in your labors; and He now stands ready to help you to overcome these objectionable traits that have been developing, and strengthening, as you have endeavored to carry burdens that the Lord has not called any man to bear. The Lord desires to fit you for continued usefulness in His cause, to the glory of His name and the salvation of many precious souls. 25LtMs, Lt 18, 1910, par. 6

Seventh-day Adventists have been set as watchmen and light-bearers in our churches everywhere, and especially in the cities. As God’s people, we have been entrusted with the work of saving souls. Upon us is shining wonderful light. In years past, the first and second angels’ messages have been proclaimed, and now the third angel’s message is being given to the churches that have fallen. The Lord is opening the way in a remarkable manner for His people to give the warning message to those who have never yet heard the truth for this time. No other work that we might do is so important as is this. The third angel’s message means much to us all. It means much to unbelievers, also, whether they shall receive and believe and live out this third angel’s message, which includes the other two messages of (Revelation 14) and the proclamation of which makes prominent the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. 25LtMs, Lt 18, 1910, par. 7

Solemn is the message we have to proclaim. As a people, we should guard against anything that would hinder the progress of this message. With courage and unfailing perseverance, we are to bear the responsibility that has been placed upon us. Faithfully we are to warn the world and exalt the Sabbath of Jehovah—that Sabbath which was instituted in Eden, observed by patriarchs, proclaimed from Sinai’s height, and emphasized at the time of the giving of the two tables of stone to Moses, when “the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among His people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” [Exodus 31:12-17.] 25LtMs, Lt 18, 1910, par. 8

In this our age of the world, we claim to be, in a special sense, the Lord’s chosen people, as did Israel of old. And we are, indeed, the Lord’s covenant-keeping people, pledged by our baptismal vows to walk in newness of life, and in obedience to all the commandments of Holy Writ. The Lord God of Israel is our God, whom we serve. Throughout the ages, the Sabbath of Jehovah has lost none of its meaning. It is still a sign between God and His people and will ever remain a sign. 25LtMs, Lt 18, 1910, par. 9

Those who have the responsibility of locating and keeping in operation our sanitariums and schools are ever to bear in mind that these institutions are to be regarded as divinely appointed agencies for the restoration of the entire man—physical, mental, and spiritual. In planning for the establishment of sanitariums in places where God has designated we should do a special work, we are to allow no selfishness, no personal ambition to mar the work. Over and over again I have repeated that the establishment and maintenance of sanitariums is ordained of God for the advancement of His cause in the earth. While Christ was on this earth, He ministered to the needs of suffering humanity. He is our example. We are to labor intelligently; and in planning for the extension of sanitarium work, we are to seek to secure the very places that God indicates are most suitable for carrying forward this line of our work. 25LtMs, Lt 18, 1910, par. 10

In the providence of God, there come to His people, in times of need, favorable opportunities to secure valuable facilities that can be utilized wisely for the rapid advancement of the cause. At times, the Lord has specified that we should come into possession of properties in certain localities where we needed to gain an entrance for the proclamation of the third angel’s message. The idea that we are not to purchase any such properties, unless first the money is in hand, is not in accordance with the mind of God. Again and again, in years past, the Lord has tested our faith by opening the way for us to secure places possessing advantages at a cost far below their real value and at a time when we had no money. We have, at such times, met the situation by borrowing money on interest and advancing in harmony with the command of our divine Leader who bade us advance in faith. These experiences have been attended with many perplexing problems; but the Lord has helped us through them all, and His name has been glorified. Had we hesitated, the precious cause would have been retarded rather than advanced, and, in many cases, opportunity would have been given our enemies to triumph over our failure to secure these advantages placed within our reach. In such matters as these, we are to learn to walk by faith, when necessary, as some have walked in the past. 25LtMs, Lt 18, 1910, par. 11

Light has been given that it is best to establish our sanitariums outside the cities. Some of our physicians have spoken in favor of locating our sanitariums in the cities. It is difficult to understand why any one should plan to establish a large sanitarium in a city. The very atmosphere of the cities is objectionable. We must conduct our sanitarium work in places suitable for the recovery of the sick. The more attractive the surroundings, the better. In the gardens of nature, the sick rapidly find something to please. Their thoughts are uplifted to the Creator. Let us thank God that so many of our sanitariums are established in pleasing country locations, and yet within easy reach of important centers of population where there are many people to whom we are to communicate a knowledge of saving truth. 25LtMs, Lt 18, 1910, par. 12

It is the favorable situation of the property that makes Loma Linda an ideal place for the recovery of the sick and for the warning of many who might otherwise never hear the truth for this time. It is God’s plan that Loma Linda shall be not only a sanitarium, but a special center for the training of gospel medical missionary evangelists. 25LtMs, Lt 18, 1910, par. 13