Lt 17, 1884

1884

Lt 17, 1884

Hemstreet, Brother and Sister

Oakland, California

April 29, 1884

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Hemstreet:

I wanted to see you both together before I left Healdsburg, but I was too weak to have the conversation with you [that] I knew it was my duty to have when I was able. Lt17-1884.1

I have not felt that you have dealt as you should with me. The condition of my place when you left it was very bad, and my heart was sick at the sight of things. You were your own servant. You had no one to say to you to do this or do that. You did just as you pleased. Those who, from time to time, were at my place stated to me that you were not the man for the place, for you left everything in a very slack, loose way. You frequently lay in bed until seven and frequently eight in the morning and your time was not well put in. But I determined to have no words or feelings over the matter. You cut down some trees and you used the wood yourself, but that time was charged to me. Lt17-1884.2

Now when I look to see how much you accomplished for the rent ($15.00 per month) after I ceased to pay your wages, I see but very little you have done. I should not have said you must move from the place, for I felt sympathy and pity for you. [But] when you proposed to move yourself, I was relieved of a great load. I had no hope of selling the place while you were on it. I shall never feel that you have done faithful work and put in your time as faithfully as you would if hired to do a day’s work now for strangers. Lt17-1884.3

I should not mention this but for your own good. You recommended yourself highly as one who would know how to take care and keep up a place, but you did not do it. I feel that I have paid you more money for your work than your labor was worth. Why I write to you now is that I feel sad over these things, because I know that unless you shall be more thorough, more faithful to others than you have been to me you will injure your own soul. There is nothing in the religion of Jesus Christ that will warrant or excuse the least unfaithfulness in a workman and that will excuse slackness and carelessness and untidiness. You have not done by me that which you promised to do. I have had just about as much care and worriment over that place—yes, more than if you had not been on it. When I think of the money I laid out on that place for labor put on it, for the same amount of money that I paid you, much more should have been accomplished. I cannot see anything that I have failed in my duty to you, unless it was to talk to you faithfully in regard to slack habits. It is not right. It is not as God would have it. You will have to correct these slack, untidy, uncleanly habits, or you will not have the favor of God. Lt17-1884.4

Time is money. If you do not make a good use of your time, if you are not in the habit of getting up early and being at your business in the morning you lose hours that might be spent in a profitable manner. You may reckon up how much time is lost in bed or in some easy, careless way through the day—perhaps nothing less than two to four hours a day. If you were working for yourself these hours reckoned up by the weeks and months and years [would be] a great loss. Lt17-1884.5

You can ill afford it. If working for me, or any one, it is no less so. If you have done no better for others than you have for me you have made them suffer loss. Such things I cannot feel are right. Lt17-1884.6

I am convinced that had you been diligent, not slothful in business, you would not today be without a home. You have managed badly for yourself. You may have managed as well for me as you have done for yourself but the loss you have sustained in your easy, careless neglect in the little things, as well as the larger matters, has left you at your age without a home, with a large family of children. Lt17-1884.7

Now, I feel deep pity for you, and I do not feel clear before God unless I tell you frankly you are not right. Your management is not right. You need to correct your habits and use wisely your time if you expect the approval of God and [to] hear at last the “well done, good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:23.] Will you please look carefully and prayerfully over this matter? Your habits have so long been slack and careless and negligent, you do not see and sense it yourselves, but God is not pleased with you in these things. I cannot longer hold my peace. If you are as unfaithful in the service of God as you have been in temporal things, I fear you will be weighed in the balance and found wanting. You are kind-hearted and have had some burdens to bear that you should not have taken on because you were unable but this will not excuse the defects that must be corrected. One hundred dollars I have had to expand on my house, inside and out to put it in a presentable condition, as good as when you went into the house. We left the house clean. Things inside and out were in a far better condition when you went on the place than when you left it. This is not as it should be. I do not feel satisfied. Lt17-1884.8

You made a plain statement in regard to your horse that it was worth $90.00. This was considered, by those who saw it, a larger price by ten or twenty dollars than you could sell the horse for when the horse was, for no fault of mine, injured on my hands. I told you you should not lose anything by the horse. I asked you the value of the horse. If you had said eighty dollars I should have felt that it was right. When you said $100.00, I felt that that was not right, that there was in you a spirit to take advantage of the circumstances because you could do this. This I did not think was fair dealing, but I have become used to just such things among my brethren. They seem to think that Sister White has means and it is right to make all out of her they can. I have borne it, but I think you have not any reason to feel that you have had a hard chance. If you have you have, only yourselves to blame. I was not to blame for your sickness in your family, which made it hard for you. God has not bound upon you these heavy burdens. You have taken this burden upon yourselves. Lt17-1884.9

When at Healdsburg camp meeting, I remembered some things but could not gather them [as] clearly as I wished to before the engagement was entered into in regard to my place. I was told that you had managed such places, knew just what should be done, but I felt not clear. Willie thought that it must be [that] you would be just the man for the place for you were highly recommended. Still I did not want to leave my house, [which] I had just cleaned and at considerable cost placed in a wholesome condition again, misused as it had been. But while the meetings in the winter were held at Healdsburg, then the matter was all clear before me—your past, your present state. I could not see that anything could be done to better things and I let them go—but feeling that when a favorable opportunity presented I would lay these things before you. Lt17-1884.10

You have a work to do for yourselves or you will be made to suffer more keenly than you have done the consequences of your own course of action. When these things came vividly to my mind last winter, I felt glad that it was not an unbeliever whose place you had rented for I could bear it better than others. Lt17-1884.11

I was shown that you have not felt that it was a part of your religion to be economical of time, to plan your work wisely and to make your time tell to the best account. When you had things, you did not manifest zeal and diligence to take care of these things you did have. Self-indulgence and an easy, careless neglect have lost for you property which today might be yours if you had worked and used the intelligence God has given you. Lt17-1884.12

There is a careless abandonment of temporal things that is against you. Temporal concerns are a cross to some who are religiously inclined, but Christianity was never designed to encourage idleness or any neglect. While we are still in the world, although not of it, we are to be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] The great question for you to settle is how you may [serve the Lord]. Lt17-1884.13

I told you when you went on the place you must not let your cattle into where my trees were planted but this you did, with the assurance to me that it would do no harm, [that] the cattle would not hurt anything. Lt17-1884.14

You stated the children would watch them. I knew that this was doing me a wrong. You ought not to have done thus to your own property. It is a careless, easy, thoughtless neglect of my property. There are many trees injured in my orchard. Every tree is money to me. But it is just such things that have taken money out of your pocket. It is just such things that were done by my tenant before that worked me out of an orchard that might have been bearing now and in good order. I consider, and I think every one who is acquainted with the matter will consider the same, that you have not done justice by me in the care of my place. Lt17-1884.15

I would have just as freely offered you $30.00 a month or more as Burges if I had any courage you would keep things up, but your time that I had paid you for, you had not well put in, and I do not feel that you have done me justice. These things God sees, and they are registered in the books of heaven. Lt17-1884.16

Another matter: your calf was offered for $20.00. Your neighbors said $15.00 was all that it was worth. I saw the calf about the premises. The neighbors said you ought to take it away. I offered you just $5.00 more than I considered that calf was worth because it was wonted to the place and you were a poor man. But I hear that you now have come up $5. All right! If you can get the $25.00, I shall be glad to have you, but this manner of dealing does not carry a right appearance. It has seemed to me that you thought I could command money readily and in our deal you would get all that you could possibly get. I do not enjoy this appearance very much but I will not have unkind feelings and I open these matters before you that you may see and understand the matter. I do not want the calf. I do not want the cow. I do not want the horse, only must take it and shall pay you all you ask if it is $100.00. And then the responsibility will rest upon you. I thought, from some remarks made by Bro. Waggoner that you thought I did not pay you enough for your cow. I paid you all I thought the cow was worth and, I think, just $10.00 more than it was worth. And I have had only one mind about the matter from the first. If you have thought I have taken advantage of you in any particular, I will restore to you four-fold. Lt17-1884.17

When you made the remarks you did in regard to removing the dressing from the farm, with the remarks that it was all you had taken off from the farm, I was convinced you regarded the whole thing in the light as though you were doing me a favor, when I have felt for a whole year burdened and distressed that you were doing me a positive injury every week you remained on the place. Lt17-1884.18

Everything about the place looked as if things were going to loose ends and had a run-down condition. I do not want to take one penny’s worth of advantage of you, [and] I want you to deal only fairly and squarely with me. As it is, I have thought it wisdom that we should have no deal with one another. I decided not to do this. This will close a door of temptation to you. Lt17-1884.19