Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 63, 1902

A Partial Outline of the Beginning of J. E. White’s Work in the South

Nashville, Tennessee

December 4, 1901

Previously unpublished. +Note

A heavy burden is resting on me in regard to the Southern field. Last night the greatness of the work to be done in the Southern field and the need for this work were presented to me. If this work is not done, the Lord will hold His people accountable. I was shown the indifference, of those who for so many years have had the light of truth, to this work which is so close to them and which is in such great need of help. 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 1

The Lord impressed Edson White and Brother Palmer, who were both reconverted by His Spirit, to take up the work in the Southern field. In obedience to the Lord’s call, they went to this field to do a work that others felt no burden to do. 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 2

By means of a small steamer, they visited places to which they could not otherwise have obtained access. An excellent work was done. Men were employed to do the work that needed to be done on the steamer. Some of these men were unconverted when they took up the work on the boat. The Lord wrought in their behalf, and some were brought to a knowledge of the truth, in their turn becoming active missionaries. These souls are of more value in the Lord’s sight than gold or silver or precious stones. He used them to reach other souls. 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 3

Sunday school was held on the boat for the colored people. Thus these people became interested in the truth, and they invited the missionaries to speak to them in their churches. Not only the white people, but the colored people were given an opportunity to hear the truth from the Word of God. In several places the way was opened for the further proclamation of the third angel’s message. 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 4

I am instructed to give this outline of the beginning of the work; for it was a beginning in harmony with the mind of the Lord. This was the best way in which these places could be entered. 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 5

The work was not always pleasant, or the way smooth. The work has been done under the most discouraging circumstances, because many who ought to have assisted, stood back, and did next to nothing. The struggle was hard and trying as the workers went from place to place, endeavoring to arouse an interest in the truth. But God was guiding and directing, and much good has been accomplished, though the work has been carried forward amid much discouragement. 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 6

God helped the workers in a special manner by arousing the interest of some of their brethren. Brother Smouse’s interest was awakened, and his help was indeed a godsend. The Lord greatly blessed the numerous, small offerings sent by many through him. The gifts, great and small, that have been made to the work in the South, are all recorded in the books of heaven. 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 7

As the work advanced, churches were organized and schools established. A church was organized in Vicksburg, and a mission home and church building were erected. These are neat, commodious buildings. The basement of the church is utilized as a school room in which church school work is carried on. 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 8

On my way to the General Conference, I preached the dedicatory sermon of the Vicksburg church. All present felt the blessing of the Lord. 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 9

Later on, the work was started at Nashville. At this place there is now a little company of earnest workers who are striving with all their power to carry forward the Lord’s work. A publishing house has been established in Nashville for the printing of literature suitable for the different classes of people in the Southern field. This work will need to be sustained for a time, by gifts and offerings, just as the publishing work in Battle Creek and the publishing work in Oakland were sustained when they were first established. 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 10

Medical missionary work is to be carried forward in the Southern field. This work is more needed in this field than in any other part of America. A sanitarium has been opened in Nashville. This must be given support. Medical missionary work is indeed the helping hand of the gospel ministry. It opens the way for the entrance of the truth. 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 11

These newly established interests should receive help from our people. Those living in places where the work has been long established should remember the needs of the preparatory work to be done in Nashville. This place has been selected as a center because of the large educational institutions situated in and near it. In these institutions there are those who are doing a noble work for the people of the South. They must be given an opportunity to hear the message that is to prepare a people to stand in the day of the Lord. 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 12

I am instructed to say that slowly, but surely, the wheel of Providence is turning. We know not how soon our Lord will say, “It is done.” “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” [Revelation 16:17; 22:11, 12.] 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 13

Great and solemn events are about to take place; and the Lord says, “I will scatter; and I will also gather together a people to serve me.” God’s judgments are in the land. The warning message is to be proclaimed. With earnest effort, God’s people are to strive to establish memorials for Him throughout the Southern States. 17LtMs, Ms 63, 1902, par. 14