Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 21, 1896

Colcord, W. A.

Avondale, Cooranbong, Australia

January 7, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in 9MR 272-273.

Elder W. A. Colcord
North Fitzroy, Victoria

Dear Brother:

I do not want to be over anxious in regard to my writing, but I am much perplexed in regard to the situation. I want to get out several books as fast as possible, and therefore I thought you would bring things to a head ere this—would surely have something decided; but was disappointed that matters delayed so long. I do not think it is as it should be. If you cannot keep two editors, why not say so, and have this matter settled. If Eliza [Burnham] is settled to have her own way, and to refuse my urgent solicitations, then I ought to send to America at once. I said I would pay her the same per week that she has been receiving. Some one told me that her salary was $8. I understand she said she was having the easiest time she has hitherto had. 11LtMs, Lt 21, 1896, par. 1

Now I know that Eliza is not a well, strong person. I know she needs to guard herself carefully, but then she must expect less wages, because she has not the strength and vitality to put into the work. I know her work is valuable. I understand that she says she has put in ten hours per day labor for me when she was working for me. This was never required of any of my workers. When the mails are closing, then extra time may have been given, but if she put in her labor, as she no doubt has done, it was not because it was exacted of her, but she did it herself. 11LtMs, Lt 21, 1896, par. 2

Neither Marian nor anyone is required to do just so many hours. Whenever they ask, a day is given off, and not a word said as to whether they have put in their full time; not a question or a criticism made as to time or amount of work done. They are left individually on their own responsibility. Over and over I have repeated, Do not work when you do not feel well. I make no account of days when they do not do anything for me, whoever it may be. I never question their time, only to say, Let their wages go right on, when sick, when attending meetings, or when engaged in work for themselves. 11LtMs, Lt 21, 1896, par. 3

In regard to Fannie, she has done very little of the work for one year. Since the Ashfield camp meeting, her mind has been diverted to other things, preoccupied with things that were of no service to the cause of God, and Satan has worked upon her imagination. It is not the work connected with me that has prostrated her nervous system. It is practicing a course of secrecy and deception and wrongdoing. It is not the requirements made upon her, but it is kindling a fire and walking in the sparks of her own kindling in connection with her wonderful desire for another woman’s husband—lovesick sentimentalism. 11LtMs, Lt 21, 1896, par. 4

It was not my work when at Preston that had that effect on her, that caused her to be nervously prostrated. It was her lovesick sentimentalism for a man in America, who has given up the truth. She expected he would write her, renewing his attentions to her, but no letter was received, and she almost blasphemed God because of His Providence. She would ask, “Why does God permit these things to be?” in such a spirit of vehemence and rebellion that I was frightened. 11LtMs, Lt 21, 1896, par. 5

Now the appearance is that poor Fannie has broken down in her work for Sister White, as though I had worked her to death. This is not the truth, but such it will be regarded. Fannie has had her own way, and must suffer the result of her own course of action, but I must have the stigma, and the impression will go forth that poor Fannie is worked to death. I feel very sorry for the girl. I feel very sorry that she is suffering, but wrong impressions will be made in regard to my work. I have written this very hastily to go in the morning mail. I will write with reference to Melchizedek <in the future.> 11LtMs, Lt 21, 1896, par. 6

Brother Colcord, I have received the impression that you want short articles for the paper, and more of them. I have not felt any special burden to measure the lines that I write. I think if there is more put into the paper of living religious practice, it would certainly be of great value, for this is what the people need. To keep out the living experiences, and yet present the controversial, is not according to the light which God has given. 11LtMs, Lt 21, 1896, par. 7

You have a very large field to select from in the many testimonies. In Christian Education there is a rich supply; but if you think [it] not best to select and use these things God has given for the instruction of His people, and all to whom they may come, then you are right in laying them on one side. But if those things are of value, let them speak. 11LtMs, Lt 21, 1896, par. 8

I am a little puzzled over this matter. The request made is for “short articles, Sister White.” This cannot always be, therefore I leave you my books to select from, which would be new matter to the readers in this country—Australia and New Zealand—and just what they need. I have felt no burden to write for the paper, because you had a new field of matter for this country, which would be a blessing to those who receive it. Selections are made of matter, apparently to fill up, from other papers. What the people want is instruction: What shall I do that I may save my soul? We need more, and still more, of vital godliness brought out in the papers. 11LtMs, Lt 21, 1896, par. 9