Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years: 1862-1876 (vol. 2)


The Bloomfield Quarterly Meeting

Friday morning, April 24, James and Ellen drove over to Bloomfield to be present at the quarterly meeting that was to open that evening. Writing to Edson and Emma early the next week, she laid out the situation: 2BIO 410.2

The conference committee upon this coast was expressly notified to be here, for there was important business to be considered. There were decisions to be made, whether the people professing the truth would cooperate with us in widening and extending the work on this coast this present year. We wished to know whether they would hug the shore or launch out into the deep and let down their nets for a draught of fish in the deep waters. 2BIO 410.3

The ideas of our brethren have been too narrow and the work too limited. We told them if they were not calculating to do more the present tent season than heretofore, we wished to return east and attend the camp meetings. They should not pitch their tents in the smallest places, but imitate the example of Christ. He placed Himself in the great thoroughfares of travel where people were going to and from all nations of the world, and here in a most impressive manner did He give His lessons upon important truth.—Letter 23, 1874. 2BIO 410.4

Coming more directly to the point, she declared: 2BIO 410.5

San Francisco and Oakland, Santa Clara, San Jose (which is pronounced Sanas A), are large, influential cities. If we have the truth we have a great and important work before us. The world is to be tested. The world is to be warned, and the message of warning will be to them the savor of life unto life or of death unto death....

We are bearing the most solemn message that was ever given to the world. I have a part to act according to the light and ability God has given me. You have a part to act in letting your light shine forth to others. If you live only for yourselves, no “Well done” will await you. If I live for my own interest, no “Well done” will be spoken to me. 2BIO 411.1

We intend to put the armor on, moving forward in faith, and start a paper upon this coast. We must bring up the cause and work of God before we leave the Pacific Coast. God will work for us and through us and by us. If we have the truth, as we believe without a doubt we have, there is no time to be lost. We must work to get the message before all we possibly can.—Ibid. 2BIO 411.2

In another letter written the same day, Monday, April 27, she stated, “I entreated of our brethren to do something, to do it now.... Ministers have a work to do. Laymen cannot meet the accountability and be idle.”—Letter 19b, 1874. 2BIO 411.3

At the Bloomfield meeting, where these matters were earnestly discussed, the theme of “doing something and doing it now” seemed to dominate. 2BIO 411.4

She wrote: 2BIO 411.5

We have had many seasons of earnest prayer to God for wisdom to move in God's order. After much prayer your father expressed it as his opinion that now was the best time to start a paper on this coast, in accordance with the light the Lord had given in reference to it. We will move out cautiously. Your father's plans are these: to start a weekly paper; to have the type set and the printing done at some city on this coast. Oakland looks to us to be the most favorable point to commence the work....

This is the work of God. We take hold of it in the name of the Lord. He will give us strength. By faith we claim His power to help us. We feel that we cannot rest until we see the work moving forward more surely, earnestly, and upon a more elevated, broader platform than it has hitherto done on this coast.—Ibid. 2BIO 411.6