Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Lt 276, 1907

Burden, J. A.


September 5, 1907 [typed]

This letter is published in entirety in PC 288-290.

Elder J. A. Burden
Loma Linda, California

Dear Brother Burden:

I have read with much interest your letter regarding the camp-meeting. 22LtMs, Lt 276, 1907, par. 1

I have a message to bear to some who hold positions of responsibility in the Southern California Conference. They have lost from their experience that true fervor which the presence of the Holy Spirit gives, and which would teach them to subdue self and walk humbly in the way of Christ. The responsible worker who will not become a humble follower of Christ will do great harm to the cause of God by molding and fashioning the experience of the conference to a common, cheap standard. The sacred work that we handle will never, if performed in a spirit of consecration, cheapen the experience of a single soul. 22LtMs, Lt 276, 1907, par. 2

That man is unfit to be the president of a conference or a leader among God’s people who has not broad ideas and views. It is the privilege and duty of those who bear responsibilities in the cause to become learners in Christ’s school. The professed follower of Christ must not follow the dictates of his own will; his mind must be trained to think Christ’s thoughts and enlightened to comprehend the will and way of God. Such a believer will be a learner of Christ’s methods of work. 22LtMs, Lt 276, 1907, par. 3

A mistake was made in the methods that were adopted to clear the schools in California from debt. The book Christ’s Object Lessons was given to relieve the indebtedness of our schools. But this plan has not been presented in our schools as it should have been; the students and teachers have not been educated to take hold of this book and push its sale for the benefit of the educational work. The plan that has been followed of calling on our people to support these schools must not be continued; for this is giving to our teachers and students, and to our people in general, a wrong education. They must not be so instructed that they will forget the needs of other fields outside their own. 22LtMs, Lt 276, 1907, par. 4

In the cities of Riverside, Redlands, and San Bernardino, a mission field is open to us that we have as yet only touched with the tips of our fingers. A good work has been done there as far as our workers have had encouragement to do it; but there is need of means to carry the work successfully. It was God’s purpose that by the sale of Ministry of Healing and Christ’s Object Lessons the necessary means would be raised for the work of our sanitariums and schools, and thus our people be left free to donate of their means for the opening of the work in new fields. If our people had engaged in the sale of these books as God purposed they should, we would now have the means to carry the work in the way the Lord designed. 22LtMs, Lt 276, 1907, par. 5

Wherever the work of selling Christ’s Object Lessons has been taken hold of in earnest, the book has had a good circulation. And the lessons that have been learned by those who have engaged in this work have well repaid their efforts. Our people should all be encouraged to take a part in this missionary effort. Light has been given me that in every possible way instruction should be given to our people in the best methods of presenting this book to the people. We have been instructed that at our large gatherings workers should be present who will teach our people how to sow the seeds of truth. This means more than instruction in how to sell the Signs of the Times and other periodicals. It includes such books as Christ’s Object Lessons and Ministry of Healing. These are books which contain precious truths, and from which the reader can draw lessons of highest value. 22LtMs, Lt 276, 1907, par. 6

At your recent camp-meeting was any one appointed to present the interests of this line of work to our people? If this was not done, you lost a precious opportunity of placing large blessings within the reach of the people, and an opportunity of raising means for the relief of our institutions. My brother, let us encourage our people to take up this work without further delay. Let those who have had experience in the sale of health foods interest themselves in the sale of Christ’s Object Lessons and Ministry of Healing; for here is food unto eternal life. Los Angeles has been presented to me as a very fruitful field for the sale of these books. I know that every household in the land would be benefited by their presence in the home. 22LtMs, Lt 276, 1907, par. 7

Those who bear responsibilities in our sanitariums and schools should act wisely in this matter, encouraging all by this means to gather the money required to meet the expenses of the different institutions. We have need of workers in Southern California who have clear spiritual eyesight, men who will weigh matters wisely and can see afar off. If our workers were more fully consecrated to the cause of God, a much more effective work would be done. 22LtMs, Lt 276, 1907, par. 8

God’s Spirit is grieved because His people are so slow to understand that which the Lord requires of them. Our workers should present these books to our people at our large and small gatherings and call for volunteers who will engage in the sale of them. When this work is entered into with the earnestness which the times in which we live demand, the indebtedness that now rests upon our schools and sanitariums will be wiped out, and the people who are now being called on to give of their means to support these institutions will be free to donate their offerings to missionary work in other needy places. 22LtMs, Lt 276, 1907, par. 9

Great good will result by bringing these books before the women of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Invite these workers to your meetings, and give them an opportunity to become acquainted with our people. Place these books in their hands, and tell them the story of their gift to the cause and its object. Explain how by the sale of Ministry of Healing patients will be brought to the sanitarium for healing who could never get there unaided, and how through this means also sanitariums will be established in places where they are needed. If our sanitariums are managed wisely by men and women who have the fear of God before them, the workers in the temperance cause will not be slow to see the advantage of this branch of the work. If you will in earnestness and faith work out the plan that God has laid down, angels of God will attend your steps, and the blessing of heaven will be upon your efforts. 22LtMs, Lt 276, 1907, par. 10

I send you these lines because I see that there is need of a deeper intuition, a wider perception on the part of our sanitarium and educational workers if they would get all the benefits that God intends shall come to them through these books. I ask you, Brother Burden, to read these words to our people, that they may learn to show the wisdom of a sound mind. The Lord gave me His Holy Spirit to enable me to write the manuscript for this book; the Review and Herald and the Press donated the labor required to prepare it for the public; and God now calls upon our people, men and women and youth, to make the most of this gift to His cause. Let the students, under wise directors, be set to work to sell the books, and let all understand why they are engaged in this missionary enterprise. The blessing and approval of God will rest upon those who make the effort. 22LtMs, Lt 276, 1907, par. 11