Lt 80, 1886

Lt 80, 1886

Church at Healdsburg

Christiania, Norway

July 9, 1886

Previously unpublished.

I would address the church at Healdsburg, for I am troubled much in regard to matters in Healdsburg. Brother Butler wrote me a very good account of things there and I was pleased with the report, but he expressed in his letter the favorable part of the outlook. That night I had presented to me the dangers. The Spirit of the Lord led me through different scenes at Healdsburg, and I am more troubled and fearful now in regard to Brother [E. P.] Daniels than at any previous time since he has been in California. He is in need of an influence to balance him constantly. When engaged in anything relating to business matters, his ideas are so exaggerated and he has the faculty of presenting the matter in an exaggerated light before others. He talks strong and raises hopes and expectations that can never be realized and then the disappointment of those who have been deceived by his glowing representations is sometimes very great. 4LtMs, Lt 80, 1886, par. 1

Elder Daniels enters so heartily into matters, he puts so much confidence in what he can accomplish, that he will not realize his own expectations, and he will certainly injure himself and become involved and drag others with him into difficulties that he cannot extricate them from. The experience which he had in Michigan I fear is being repeated. Now there are many things I may say in the future. At present, I will say to the church, Be careful. Do not ruin Elder Daniels by placing great confidence in his judgment. He moved unwisely in Michigan and was full of ardor that he could gain means, and he mercifully was hedged up in his way. If he had succeeded, it would have been to the ruin of his soul. If he succeeds now in his enterprise, it will endanger his soul’s eternal interest. I know whereof I write. And I would say that it was because Elder Daniels was having a hard time I tried to help him in advising his coming to California; but as I view the outlook now, had I the ground to go over again with the aftersight I now have, I would not have encouraged his coming to California. Elder Daniels should be in the field laboring if he has tack as I have tried to impress our brethren in regard to laboring for the salvation of souls. Then let him go to work and be out in the field where laborers are very much needed. 4LtMs, Lt 80, 1886, par. 2

I have not felt that it was in God’s order for Elder Daniels to set up a school in Healdsburg of any description. The result will not be as the beginning. I have been taught by the Spirit of the Lord how these movements are affecting the school in Healdsburg, adding nothing to its strength, but drawing away from the college, and the result which will not be good on either the students or upon those who engaged in this business. If Elder Daniels is moving without due forethought, he should now consider, for he will not be able to carry through that which he has undertaken. Should he attempt to carry out his plans, he will for a time seem to prosper; but he is not a safe financier, and those who are drawn in by his glowing, high-toned descriptions will surely be disappointed, and before the world Elder Daniels will be regarded as a man who has made false statements, as a man who is a schemer, as dishonest. Now this would reflect on the college, make it suffer, and bring us into disrepute in the eyes of the community in Healdsburg, and a state of things would exist that would be detrimental all around. He will have gained only hatred and ill will from many, his motives be misjudged, and the cause of God would gain nothing but to be branded with the defects of one of its ministers. 4LtMs, Lt 80, 1886, par. 3

I know what I am talking about. Let all the strength that is needed be attached to the college and make it complete as possible, but let not a branch of education be started on an independent plan. I would discourage everything of the kind, and I would urge that Elder Daniels go into the field to his work as a minister, and I would advise that our brethren and sisters should not place great confidence in his management of business, for they will not only injure Elder Daniels, but will injure the college. The Lord has shown that a college should be established in California, and this has been done according to the Lord’s directions in Healdsburg as the most proper place. Many appeals have been made to engage the interest of our people to send their youth to the college. Now any enterprise that shall be started to weaken the college or lesson the interest in it, or to draw away the students, is not after God’s plan and would not result for the best interest of the church. 4LtMs, Lt 80, 1886, par. 4

I feel deeply in regard to matters in Healdsburg. I am afraid of the elements that are at work under the inspiration of Elder Daniel’s glowing anticipations. It is here he needs the judgment of well-balanced, experienced minds. It is here that we want to move guardedly, and it is here Elder Daniels should consult with those who are engaged in the interest of the college at Healdsburg. It is not merely the educational advancement that is required to make a successful school, but it is the spiritual and the moral tone that is to be preserved. It is the education essential to qualifying men and women as workers in the cause of God; to have Elder Daniels present glowing advantages to be gained will work upon certain minds to think they can gain means much faster. These descriptions are like air-castle building; it is like a blown-up bubble which expands, soars about grandly for a moment, bursts, and is not. Here is where Elder Daniels needs to be restrained. If he is for mammon, then let him go into the wide world and get it. If he is to encourage a spirit in others that they cannot work without high wages, then let these go into the world and work out their ambitious projects. But those who would engage in doing good, in seeking to be a blessing in doing work for the Master, then let them show a disposition to unite all the powers God has given them to the building up of Christ’s kingdom. 4LtMs, Lt 80, 1886, par. 5

I tell you, Elder Daniels today is in great danger because of the unwise confidence some have regarded him, and he is in financial matters a weak man. He knows not where and when to bind about his desire for things that come into his mind or appear to his sight. He would find a way for unlimited means to do some wonderful thing that exploded in its getting up. We must be very careful what influence we have before the world, else we be stigmatized as sharp, calculating men and women. Be careful how you build structures upon a false base. The world cannot be our criterion. We cannot connect with worldly men and yet be found faultless before God. In the world it is considered a matter of course to prevaricate, to boom everything; and pretentious deceptions are practiced, lies are spoken, lies are acted, deceptions practiced, and the conscience is silenced with the idea such things are common; but with those who are engaged in giving the last message of mercy to our world, they should keep clear of all things of this character. I could name some who are in danger in Healdsburg, if they make any trade of false representations. They have records in the books of heaven they will be ashamed to look upon—dishonesty in business transactions, breaking the commandments of God. The father of lies takes possession of mind and soul when engaged in a business transaction. They wrong their brethren by false representations, and not only their brethren, but those not of our faith. 4LtMs, Lt 80, 1886, par. 6

Religion is never in a single instance to give way to business; such dismiss the Word of God from their counsels. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not covet; thou shalt not bear false witness—all are violated in a dishonest action. He has in thus transgressing laid his soul a victim on the altar of mammon. He has through cupidity, through love of making the most out of the occasion for himself, deliberately set aside one of the plainest, simplest injunctions of the Word of God. The god of traffic is the god of fraud. Adventists should stand free from the slightest stain of reproach. We can see nothing so calculated to make religion an offense and the truth of God a matter of scorn as to give the impression that Adventists will take advantage of you if they can. “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11. “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Colossians 3:17. 4LtMs, Lt 80, 1886, par. 7

The church in Healdsburg may stand forth as the light of the world. One pursuit, one passion, one object of interest after another sways the heart, and if these objects are not after the Bible rule, [they] involve the ruin of some one. If the eye is single to the glory of God, the object will tend to dignify and ennoble, for it is pure and holy. 4LtMs, Lt 80, 1886, par. 8

The Word of God does not repress earnestness, zeal, and activity, but opens before the worker true and holy channels through which his zeal may flow which shall not only save his own soul, but the souls of others. All who wish to advance and to rise, the Bible puts in their hands a light; and if followed, they will rise to become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. 4LtMs, Lt 80, 1886, par. 9

The Bible points to heaven where are unsurpassed riches and treasures that cannot be estimated. To those who want happiness the Bible points to Jesus who offers peace such as the world cannot give or take away. It is the peace of God. Men have not too [many] aspirations, but they need to be directed not suppressed. Nothing that God has given to man is to be extinguished. All is to be sanctified, refined, purified, ennobled. Then let every power, every faculty be employed in the fullest sense to the glory of God, not to the glorifying of any mortal man. Praise no man, flatter no man, but praise Jesus and talk of His love and tell of His power. 4LtMs, Lt 80, 1886, par. 10