Manuscript Releases, vol. 5 [Nos. 260-346]

30/99

MR No. 287—The Work in Washington

In the city of Washington there is much to be done. I am thankful to God for the privilege of seeing the land that has been purchased for our institutional work in this place. The securing of this land was in the Lord's providence, and I praise God that our brethren had the faith to take this forward step. 5MR 116.1

As I look over this city, I realize the magnitude of the work to be accomplished. Let every professing Christian feel the necessity of self-denial. Let every one guard against the tendency to expend for the gratification of mere vanity, money that belongs to God—especially in this time when our people are making every effort possible to build in the capital of the nation memorials that will stand in vindication of present truth. Let us study the use of every penny. Some may have formed habits of extravagance; let every such a one now choose another way—the way of obedience and self-denial. 5MR 116.2

God now calls upon every believer in this center to act his individual part in helping to build up the work that must be done. If you do your duty faithfully, you will find no time for dwelling upon the little trials and annoyances and perplexities that come to you. As the result of laboring earnestly to provide facilities for the salvation of unbelievers, and for the training of many of our own people for soul-saving service, you will find that your souls are refreshed with heaven's richest blessings. 5MR 116.3

In some respects the situation in Washington reminds me of our pioneer experiences in Cooranbong, Australia. There we secured fifteen hundred acres in the heart of the woods, and began the work of establishing a school. With willing hands the workmen toiled early and late. One by one, at great personal sacrifice to many of our dear brethren and sisters in Australia, the school buildings were erected. 5MR 116.4

Before this work was finished, the problem of providing a meetinghouse at Cooranbong arose. This problem proved to be a perplexing one. It seemed that we had done about all we could, and that it would be impossible to raise means sufficient for erecting a suitable house of worship. Finally, during a council meeting in which the matter was receiving consideration, I offered to go through our settlement, and try to secure gifts of labor and material. Accompanied by my secretary, I visited the workmen living for miles around, and solicited help. Just at this time it happened that several of the carpenters who had been laboring on the school buildings, were temporarily out of employment; and these men generously responded, offering to work on the proposed meetinghouse at a very low wage—less than one-half the usual rate. Several worked for nothing a portion of the time. 5MR 117.1

The erection of the meetinghouse was pushed forward rapidly. In the providence of God, two hundred pounds came to me from the Wessels family in Africa, just as we were ready to secure lumber; this money brought great relief, as it enabled us to proceed without delay. Many smaller gifts came in. Within a remarkably short time, the building was completed. 5MR 117.2

It looks as if we may hope to have here in Washington some experiences similar to those we had in Australia, and to receive the same blessings that we received there. May God help us to do what we can in this place. May He give us hearts willing to make sacrifices. Oh, I am thankful, so thankful that the work which for nearly twenty years I have hoped would be done at the nation's capital, has now been begun! As we plan and labor, let us do a great deal more praying than talking. If we lean heavily upon the Mighty One, and live on the plan of addition, the heavenly graces will be multiplied unto us, and we shall see of the salvation of God. 5MR 117.3

Sometimes I hardly know how to express my gratitude to God because the work in this place has actually begun. We are to remember that we can now see simply the alpha; we desire to see the omega. Having begun, let us not cease our efforts before completing the work. Christ declares, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending.” He has been with us at the beginning; and He will round out all the work we shall do, if by faith we continue to walk in the way in which He leads. 5MR 118.1

Let us talk faith, and not unbelief; let us praise God, and go forward. The Lord is good, and greatly to be praised. At every step let us praise Him from whom all blessings flow.—Manuscript 106, 1904, 7-10. (Sermon, “Words of Encouragement,” Sabbath, April 30, 1904.) 5MR 118.2

For many years there was nothing in the city of Washington to represent our faith but a small meetinghouse. During the past two years another meetinghouse has been bought and paid for. This building has been rededicated since we came to Washington. It stands in this important city as a representation of another world than this—the kingdom of heaven; of other laws than the world honors and obeys; of enjoyment and power of a higher order than men possess; of a faith of which Christ is the Alpha and Omega. 5MR 118.3

I thank God that we have this commodious meetinghouse in Washington. It is a memorial of God's truth, a sign that He has a people who keep His law, acknowledging Him as the supreme Ruler.—Letter 247, 1904, p. 2. (To W. R. Young, July 19, 1904.) 5MR 119.1

Last Sabbath [May 7, 1904] I spoke in our new church. [The Memorial or M Street Church, 12th and M Streets, Washington, D.C.] The building was rededicated, and I was asked to preach the dedicatory sermon. The Lord helped me, giving me words to speak which I am told were wholly satisfactory. 5MR 119.2

I hope that you will all be greatly blessed by the Lord. In our seasons of family worship my petitions ascend for you all. Be of good courage in the Lord. Glorify Him by praise and thanksgiving.—Letter 157, 1904, p. 3. (To Mrs. M. J. Nelson, April 28 and May 10, 1904.) 5MR 119.3

We were taken to have a hasty look at the church. Its appearance is good, with frontage of stone. Within is a pleasant auditorium for the people to assemble. The windows and front doors are ornamented with stained glass, beautiful in appearance. Four chairs, such as are used in churches, are on the platform, which was well proportioned. The pulpit and highbacked chairs harmonized. Seats and arms are covered with red velvet of the material generally used. I did not spend much time taking in all the advantages of that church building, but I praise the Lord that every debt is paid. Much means have been invested besides the sum of the building as it stood, to make it what it should be—complete in repairs. It is now all finished. There are several rooms. One opens from the auditorium and is seated with chairs for Sabbath school. If the house should need enlarging, the partitions could be removed and thus the extension easily made. Washington within a short distance of the Capitol is a victory gained, and it comes to us in the order of the Lord, who has looked upon the necessities that must be supplied. I wanted to praise God aloud for this nice building, all ready now to be rededicated to the Lord, in which His people shall serve Him.—Manuscript 141, 1904, 4. (Diary entry for April 24, 1904, from diary, April 1-30, 1904.) 5MR 119.4

Released January 20, 1972.