Manuscript Releases, vol. 3 [Nos. 162-209]

Previously Unreleased Materials on the Morning Star

No one in the ranks of Sabbathkeepers has worked more unselfishly than Edson White. He thought he was doing a necessary work in preparing a boat as his home. The Lord showed me that Edson would be in danger if he entered into business management. He is adapted to another work, the work of seeking and saving lost sheep.... 3MR 262.2

Edson did heed the testimony, as he thought, but by fitting up his boat he incurred debts. This placed him at a great disadvantage and in an embarrassing situation, which the Lord did not want him to occupy.... Those who ought to have shown sympathy would give him no words of encouragement—Manuscript 154, 1899, 7. (General manuscript “Restitution Due to the Southern Field,” typed November 18, 1899.) 3MR 262.3

The great wheel of God's providence is turning. God will work with you. I have not dared to write out that which I hope to write in regard to perplexing questions. I have some matters which I wrote in Battle Creek, April 28, 1901. This I shall have copied. When the warnings were given me in reference to your engaging in the boat business, the Lord saw the result of the whole matter. He saw the opportunity it would give the enemy to misconstrue and magnify every jot and tittle of what was done. Therefore you were warned to beware, lest you should give occasion for criticism from those who would make the most of your every mistake. There are those who make a man an offender for a word. You know that all I said has been fulfilled.... 3MR 263.1

The Lord has sustained you and blessed you. He has signified that your work in the South is acceptable to Him. If men had ceased to find fault, if they had gone to work themselves, instead of placing stones before the wheels of the car someone was trying to push uphill, the Lord would have been better pleased. The Lord does not commend those who have hindered instead of taking hold to help to draw the load. He has blessed the workers who in the emergency acted a noble part.... 3MR 263.2

It has been presented to me that the work of the Lord will advance in the South, but it will be under greater difficulties. There will be great opposition.—Letter 10, 1902, pp. 5-6. (Letter to J. E. White and wife, January 27, 1902.) 3MR 263.3

When Edson's letters presented the work that he was doing in the Southern field by his boat, used as a meetinghouse, when he told of the gathering of the children for Sunday school, of the invitations he received to hold meetings, of the souls who were becoming interested in these meetings, of the naked to be clothed and the sick to be helped—and nothing in the way of means to carry forward the work—the work that should be done was presented to me in the night season. Not only was there presented to me the field in which he was at work, but several places where, in the providence of God, he would be called to work. The eager faces, the earnest desire, the hunger of soul expressed, were before me, and I said, “What can we do for this people that are now so interested, when the situation is so discouraging?” 3MR 264.1

My Guide said, “This work will be sowing seed for time and for eternity.” And then the instruction was given, “The angels of the Lord will go before him. He will be accounted out of line. But many ought to be out of the lines that have been maintained to be the regular routine, and unless they themselves come into line, they will say, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we.’ Unless that temple is purified, cleansed, sanctified, God will not give them His presence in the temple of which they boast”.... 3MR 264.2

The situation was again presented, and the urgency of occupying the fields that were presented to me, then being worked under the supervision of God, using Edson White as His agency to open the field. But there were no others that would think of touching that portion of the field or would engage in working it. Those who should have rejoiced to see something done were determined to give no recognition to Edson White or the work, because he did not work in the regular lines. God has presented before you how He regarded the regular lines. The regular lines had need to be broken as a potter's vessel is broken, and reconstructed.—Manuscript 29, 1903, 1, 3. (General manuscript, “The Southern Work,” Undated.) 3MR 264.3

We are just about to leave here for a trip of six or seven days up the Cumberland River, in The Morning Star. Our party will consist of Brethren Magan and Sutherland, your Uncle Edson, and your Aunt Emma, your father, your grandmother, Sara, Brother Crisler, who returned from Graysville yesterday, Maggie, Edson's stenographer, and several others.... 3MR 265.1

When Edson was going up and down the Mississippi, he acted as pilot and captain; but he has not pilot's papers for the Cumberland River, so he has secured a pilot. He wishes to learn all about the navigation of this river, so that he will be able to pilot himself.—Letter 191, 1904, p. 1 (To Mabel White, June 7, 1904.) 3MR 265.2

We are all on board The Morning Star. We came on board night before last, and left Nashville the next morning. We are now tied up by the riverbank at Edgefield Junction, one mile from where Brother W. O. Palmer lives. It is Thursday morning. I have been up an hour and a half, but none of the others have shown themselves yet. They were working late last night. 3MR 265.3

For most of the time while we were in Nashville, the weather was rainy. Yesterday, our first day on the boat, was beautiful, and this morning the sun is shining brightly, and the day promises to be clear. I got up as soon as I could see to prepare for my writing. It is now about half past four. 3MR 265.4

Brother Sutherland and Brother Magan are with us on the boat. Ever since coming to Nashville, they have been diligently looking over the country for a school location, and they have found some desirable places for sale. 3MR 266.1

We are taking this trip in the boat to see the country still farther, and to see what can be done to open up work in the South. Notwithstanding this field has been kept before our people for many years, not all that might have been done has been done. We still have a work to do. A beginning has been made in Nashville, and aggressive work has been done, but there is still more to be accomplished. More decided efforts are to be made. 3MR 266.2

Today we shall go farther up the river, and “view the landscape o'er” to see if we can find a location farther away from Nashville than the places that the brethren have yet looked at. They would choose for their work a place at least fifty miles from Nashville, but it may be wisdom to locate nearer the city than this. 3MR 266.3

Brother Sutherland thought that perhaps he ought to return to Berrien Springs immediately upon reaching Nashville after this trip; but we do not think that this would be wisdom. Early next week we have an important meeting to attend at Huntsville, and it is very important that our brethren should be at that meeting; for decisions are to be made as to what shall be done with the Huntsville school. The future of this school is hanging in the balance. And if Brother Sutherland and Brother Magan are to work in the South, they should have every opportunity to understand the outlook, and to see the probabilities and possibilities of the work here. I do not think that they should return to Berrien Springs before visiting Huntsville with us. I wish to talk with them more than I have. I have not been able to talk with them much since they came; for I have been quite ill. The labor at the Berrien Springs meeting was all that I could endure, and I have been feeling the consequences. I am sure that Brother Magan and Brother Sutherland ought to be at the Huntsville meeting. We must all consult together, and decide important matters. Our brethren are to be on the ground, and they must not rush away until some matters are settled. They must know what the Lord would have them do.—Letter 193, 1904, pp. 1, 2. (To Mrs. Druillard, June 9, 1904.) 3MR 266.4

We have had a very pleasant visit here [Nashville, Tennessee]. We found Edson so busy that he could hardly take time to sleep or rest. He and his wife have rooms above his offices; but when we came, they gave up these rooms to us, and took up their quarters in a small cottage on the place. 3MR 267.1

We have enjoyed the society of our children very much. Soon after we came here, Edson took us all for a trip up the river in his steamer, The Morning Star. Brethren Magan and Sutherland were here, looking for land on which to establish a school for the training of teachers, and we thought that perhaps it might be well to look for a way up the river. Then, too, Edson was very weary, and so was I, and we thought that a few days’ rest and quiet would be a blessing to us both. And it proved to be a very great blessing. I was able to sleep well every night while on the boat. The rest and peace did me much good. The scenery was beautiful, and we all enjoyed looking at it.—Letter 213, 1904, p. 1. (To Brother and Sister Richart, June 30, 1904.) 3MR 267.2

During the time that we spent in Nashville, we had many profitable counsels in regard to the work. We also spent considerable time in looking at properties for sale. On the way down the river, we looked at a four-hundred-acre farm that Brother Magan and Brother Sutherland thought would be a favorable place for the training school that they wish to establish near Nashville, and the moderate sum for which it could be purchased seemed to point it out as the very place for our work here. The house is old, but it can be used until more suitable school buildings can be erected. 3MR 268.1

Other properties were examined, but we found nothing so well suited to our work. The price of the place, including standing crops, farm machinery, and over seventy head of cattle, was $12,723.00. I felt so thoroughly convinced that it was a favorable location for the work that I advised our brethren to make the purchase. 3MR 268.2

The place has been purchased, and as soon as possible, Brethren Magan and Sutherland, with a few experienced helpers, will begin school work. We feel confident that the Lord has been guiding in this matter. 3MR 268.3

Possession can not be taken of the house until September. Brethren Magan and Sutherland have returned to Berrien Springs, to bind off their work there, and to raise funds in the North for the new training school. 3MR 268.4

After our trip up the river, we visited Graysville and Huntsville. We found that the work at Graysville had made encouraging advancement. But the Huntsville school must be given assistance. Bricks can not be made without straw. 3MR 268.5

I need money to use in the work. I hope that you may have an opportunity to sell my Healdsburg place. I have felt that I ought to receive $3,000 for it. At one time you asked me if I would accept $2,800, and I hesitated. But now I would be glad to sell it for $2,800 if I could have the money to use in this time of necessity. Please advertise the place for sale, in the Healdsburg paper, and also The Signs of the Times.—Letter 245, 1904, pp. 1-3. (To Elder N. C. McClure, July 12, 1904.) 3MR 268.6

The steamer Morning Star has been a blessing in its past service. This was the light given me when I was in Vicksburg. From a letter to Edson, dated September 9, 1902, I extracted the following: 3MR 269.1

“In answer to your question as to whether it would be well to fit up your steamer Morning Star to be used for the conveyance of missionary workers to places that otherwise they could not reach, I will say that I have been shown how, when you first went to the Southern field, you used this boat as your home, and as a place on which to receive those interested in the truth. The novelty of the idea excited curiosity, and many came to see and hear. I know that, through the agency of this boat, places have been reached where till then the light of truth had never shone—places represented to me as ‘the hedges.’ The Morning Star has been instrumental in sowing the seeds of truth in many hearts, and there are those who have first seen the light of truth while on this boat. On it angel feet have trodden.... 3MR 269.2

“One thing I urge upon you: the necessity of counseling with your brethren. There are those who will feel that anything you may have to do with boats is a snare; but, my son, if there is a class of people in out-of-the-way places who can be reached only by means of boats, talk the matter over with your brethren. Pray earnestly in regard to it, and the Spirit of God will point out the way. I see no reason why a boat should not be utilized in bringing to those in darkness the light of Him who is ‘the bright and morning Star.’ 3MR 269.3

From the many remarkable and interesting experiences that Edson and his associates have had on The Morning Star, and because of the part it has acted in an important and blessed work, Edson has regarded it as different from an ordinary piece of property, and so have I. 3MR 270.1

I have hoped that the way would open for it to be used again in a similar work.... 3MR 270.2

If the steamer is to be a consumer and not a producer, if it is to be a constant bill of expense, it would better be sold. 3MR 270.3

I spoke advisedly when I said that the Lord had made The Morning Star a means of bringing souls to the knowledge of the truth. From the light given me when I was at Vicksburg, I considered that the boat had been preserved of God to do a similar work in the future. I expected that the boat would do a similar work in other places, under the care of judicious workers. But it has done no such work for years. When it sank, I said, This is a lesson for our instruction. 3MR 270.4

Edson is correct in saying that I encouraged him to think that the steamer might do a work similar to that which it had done in the past, in reaching with the truth people who could not otherwise be reached. I did really expect, not from any definite instruction given me, but from what I had seen of the work of the steamer in the past, that the Lord would still use it.—Letter 201, 1905, pp. 1-4. (To the officers of the Southern Missionary Society, July 17, 1905.) 3MR 270.5

When you were here last January, I did advise you not to sell The Morning Star. I have seen how the Lord moved upon the hearts of our brethren to provide funds to build the boat, how He guided in planning its construction, and how the angels of God have preserved it in its work, and guarded your life from the perils that surrounded you. Nothing less than the loving care of the life-preserving Saviour kept you in the perils through which you have passed on The Morning Star. This boat was often an asylum of safety, enabling you to leave places where, even though you knew it not, your life was in danger, and to accomplish a work in other places where people were not so bitterly opposed.... 3MR 271.1

I remember the rest that I enjoyed last summer on The Morning Star. At the Berrien Springs meeting I had carried a heavy burden, and for several nights had been unable to sleep. With Brethren Magan and Sutherland and W. C. White, I accepted your invitation to take a trip up the river in your boat, looking for land suitable for a school location. I remember the many precious seasons of prayer we had together while on this trip. Soon I was able to sleep at night, and felt free from all symptoms of nervous prostration. This rest was a great blessing to me.... 3MR 271.2

When with the other disasters, the boat sank, I felt that the Lord was working with you, and I had nothing to say. I could not advise you make no effort to save it, and I said nothing to you concerning what you should do with the boat. But I find by some of my writings about that time that I entertained the thought that if you could not sell the boat to good advantage, it might be taken on to the land and put to some good use. Thus it would serve as a memorial of what it had done in the past in opening up the work in the Southern field. 3MR 271.3

An interpretation has been given to me of the sinking of The Morning Star. This boat was unsafe. There were in it unperceived defects. In His mercy the Lord permitted the boat to sink while no one was on board. If these defects had not been discovered, lives might sometime have been lost. While the Lord could see and understand the unsafe condition of the boat, human agencies knew not the danger. You have great reason for rejoicing that the heavenly Watcher permitted the boat to sink without loss of life.—Letter 293, 1905, pp. 1-3. (To Elder James Edson White, September 26, 1905.) 3MR 272.1