Australasian Union Conference Record


March 1, 1901

Work in San Francisco


It would be difficult to describe my feelings as I stood before the San Francisco Church, Sabbath November 10, and looked over the large congregation. My mind went back to the time, twenty-four years ago, when my husband and I were planning for the building of a house of worship in San Francisco. Some, when they saw the plan, said, “It is too large. The house will never be filled.” At the same time we were erecting the first building of the Pacific Press and the meeting-house in Oakland. How great was the anxiety felt, and how earnest the prayers offered to God that He would open the way for the advancement of these enterprises! AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 1

At that time I dreamed that I saw two bee hives, one in San Francisco and one in Oakland. In the hive in Oakland the bees were diligently at work. Then I looked at the hive in San Francisco, and saw very little being done. The hive in Oakland seemed to be far the more promising. After a time my attention was again called to the hive in San Francisco, and I saw that an entire change had taken place. Great activity was seen among the bees. They were earnestly at work. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 2

When I related this dream, it was interpreted to mean that in San Francisco there was a great work to be done. There were among us at that time only a few men to whom we could look for large financial assistance. Believers were few in number, and we needed much courage and much faith to brace us for work. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 3

We prayed much in regard to the necessities of the cause and the meaning of the dream, and resolved to venture out in accordance with the light given. My husband and I decided to sell our property in Battle Creek, that we might use the proceeds in this work. We wrote to our brethren, “Sell everything we have in Battle Creek, and send us the money at once.” This was done, and we helped to build the churches in Oakland and San Francisco. And the Lord revealed to us that although at first the work in San Francisco would move slowly, yet it would make steady advancement, and San Francisco would become a great centre. The Lord would inspire men by His Holy Spirit to carry forward the work with faith and courage and perseverance. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 4

Before leaving Australia, I dreamed that I was standing before a large congregation in San Francisco; that the Lord gave me a message to bear, and freedom in bearing this message. The people had ears to hear, and hearts to understand. When we entered the San Francisco church Sabbath morning we found it crowded to its utmost capacity. As I stood before the people, I thought of the dream and the instruction which had been given me so many years ago, and I was much encouraged. Looking at the people assembled, I felt that I could indeed say, The Lord has fulfilled His word. After I had finished speaking, all who wished to give themselves to the Lord in solemn consecration were invited to come forward. To this invitation two hundred persons responded. This was a time of precious refreshing. We knew the angels of God were with us. The room was pervaded with the atmosphere of heaven. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 5

Among those who came forward were some who were entering the Lord's service for the first time, and some who had been attending our meetings and had become interested in the Advent message. May they decide to place themselves wholly on the Lord's side. May they have the courage to receive and live the truth. I felt from my heart that we could say to them, “Come thou with us, and we will do thee good; for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel.... It shall be if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the Lord shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee.” AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 6

We were much pleased by the spirit shown by those assembled. They freely acknowledged the goodness and mercy of God, offering Him praise and thanksgiving. The Lord is glorified when His people praise Him. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 7

At the close of the meeting many pressed forward to take my hand and welcome me back to America. I was very glad to meet them. From Elder J. O. Corliss, who is pastor of the San Francisco Church, we learn that there are many lines of Christian effort being carried forward by our brethren and sisters in San Francisco. These include visiting the sick and destitute, finding homes for orphans, and work for the unemployed; nursing the sick, and teaching the love of Christ from house to house; the distribution of literature; and the conducting of classes for healthful living and the care of the sick. A school for the children is conducted in the basement of the meeting-house. In another part of the city a workingmen's home and medical mission is maintained. On Market Street, near the City Hall, there is a bath establishment, operated as a branch of the St. Helena Sanitarium. In the same locality is a depot of the Health Food Company, where health foods are not only sold, but instruction is given as to reforms in diet. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 8

Nearer the centre of the city, our people conduct a Vegetarian Cafe, which is open six days in the week, and is entirely closed on the Sabbath. Here about five hundred meals are served daily, and no flesh-meats are used. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 9

Dr. and Mrs. Dr. Lamb are doing much medical work for the poor in connection with their regular practice; and Dr. Buchannan is doing much free work at the Workingmen's Home. At the Medical and Dental schools in the city, there are about twenty of our young people in attendance. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 10

We earnestly hope that the steps taken in the future in the work in San Francisco will still be steps of progress. The work that has been done there is but a beginning. San Francisco is a world in itself, and the Lord's work there is to broaden and deepen. Souls are to be sought for. The word of the Lord is to be declared, line upon line, precept upon precept, that His name may be glorified. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 11

God will use consecrated ability in His service. As His servants impart to others that which they receive, He will intrust them with more to impart. And as they are enabled through His grace to accomplish good, they will ascribe all the glory to Him who is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last. Thus divinity and humanity work together. Men become labourers together with God, working out their own salvation with fear and trembling, realizing always that it is God who works in them to will and to do of His good pleasure. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 12

There is a great work to be done in San Francisco and Oakland. The Lord will use humble men in these great cities. He can work with those who will labour in His fear. He will give evidence of His power to sincere workers and to sincere inquirers after truth, those who desire not only to know but to do His will. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 13

There are men and women whom the Lord, through peculiar circumstances, will bring to the front in His work. These will be men and women who have consecrated themselves to Him. As they walk before Him in faith and trust, He will lead them to places of usefulness and honour. To those who rely upon Him He is a present help in every time of need. Those who honour His name He will qualify for important and perilous service. They may not have time to obtain all the education they desire, but the great Teacher understands. What He calls for is the willing devotion of heart and mind. When this is given Him, He will fit the givers for His service, in spite of apparent difficulties and obstacles. In His name and in His strength they will go forth to conquer. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 14

God is testing the motives and principles of men and women. Strong faith and much prayer will bring heavenly angels to our side. By patient continuance in well-doing, we become channels of light. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 15

Those who are willing to be emptied of self will be fitted for the Lord's work. There is work for all who will deny self and lift the cross. Through the help of the Holy Spirit they will gain the victories which God desires them to gain. Wisdom and strength will reward energy and perseverance. These are God's gifts to the diligent, humble worker. AUCR March 1, 1901, par. 16

Mrs. E. G. White