Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 14, 1902

Irwin, Brother and Sister [G. A.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

February 4, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in CM 140-141; 10MR 224-225. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Irwin,—

I cannot write you much of a letter; for I have just written a communication of some length to Brother Caro. I felt that I should not let the time for this mail pass by without writing something to him. I am very desirous of doing everything possible to prevent him from making shipwreck of his faith. I hope the words I have written to him will be of a character to help him. I hope you will all try to help him, and not allow him to become desperate and make moves ruinous to his soul’s salvation. At every step we need to move guardedly. Satan is on the track of every one. He is trying to turn men from the truth, and cause them to believe fables. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 1

If Brother Caro had followed the light God has given him, he would now be a man whom the Lord could use. But his early experience has been defective. In obtaining an education, he did not begin right. There is danger in giving to him the leading position in one of our institutions. By this you would virtually say, “We have confidence in the man, because he has proved himself to be sound, thorough, and trustworthy.” But in the past he has revealed a decided weakness, which would place the new sanitarium in peril, if he were given control. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 2

We are thankful that in Greater New York doors are opening for the truth to find entrance in many hearts. Elder Haskell and wife are of good courage in the Lord. Certainly they have a grand opening. Before Elder Haskell’s special effort was begun, there were some good workers in Greater New York. But until Elder Haskell and wife went there, the way was not fully opened. Brother and Sister Haskell began their effort quietly in some of the immense blocks in the City, doing house-to-house work. This is as it should be. Already a good company has been raised up. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 3

Apparently the Mission in Greater New York is well provided with an excellent force of workers, and the work is advancing in accordance with the faith of the laborers. Elder Warren, who is now with them, is an earnest, wide-awake speaker. I see by the daily papers that the weather in New York is now very cold. Elder Haskell has gone to South Lancaster for a ten-day rest. His wife joined him later, and will take a week’s rest. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 4

We all need to be wide-awake, that as the way opens, we may advance the work in the large cities. We are far behind in following the light given us to enter the large cities and erect memorials for God. Step by step we are to lead souls into the full light of truth. Many seem to be longing for spiritual food. We are to continue working until a church is organized and a humble house of worship built. I am greatly encouraged to believe that many persons not of our faith will help considerably by their means. The light given me is that in many places, especially in the cities of America, help will be given by such persons. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 5

Since coming to America, we have had much more wearing labor to do than we had in Australia. If I were to choose, I should much prefer the Australian field. God is helping us to set things in order. But this work has nearly killed me. We need to do much more. There is most difficult work to be done now to set in order the ministry and the churches. We cannot afford the time to go through a long process in order to have things done exactly in accordance with our ideas. If we set about the work most earnestly, we shall see something accomplished. Our institutions are making desperate efforts to free themselves from the load of debt under which they labor. We see encouraging features in this work. The terrible financial condition of the Scandinavian institutions will, we hope, be successfully relieved. But this effort makes it hard to do many other things that we should have been glad to see accomplished. We want to move no faster than we can carry the work solidly. We must now finish that which has been begun in the South and in Greater New York. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 6

The fields are ripe, ready for the harvest. “Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” This is so. “And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” [John 4:35, 36.] 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 7

All who know the truth should be impressed with the importance of giving their knowledge to others. We now need to train men, and set them to work, giving them every facility for the impartation of truth. We need producers, as well as consumers. There are scarcely enough laborers at this time. Scores of men and women might be set to work. This need should have been foreseen. We must learn to provide for emergencies. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 8

I have a message for all our people, and especially for those living in California, to awaken, spread their tents, and enlarge their borders. Men and women must act an earnest part in saving souls. The present crippled state of things must end. Our church members must awaken to the situation. They should begin work where they are. Everywhere are persons who know not the truth. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 9

The heathen in the cities at our doors have been strangely neglected. No organized effort has yet been made to save them. We now desire to convert the heathen who are in the midst of us—those who are living within the shadow of our doors. A new song is to be put in their mouths, and they are to go forth to impart to others now in darkness the light of the third angel’s message. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 10

Canvassing for our publications is an important and most profitable evangelistic work. In Australia many should be engaged in this line of work. While we have said much in regard to canvassing for the health books—and we still feel that we should circulate these books—yet more decided efforts should be made to carry our important religious books to the people. Our publications can go to places where meetings cannot now be held. In such places the faithful evangelistic canvasser takes the place of the living preacher. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 11

Ministers must not hover over our churches. They must sow the seeds of truth where they have not yet been sown. Those for whom we have never labored are now to have our attention. Work is to be done in various ways. Humble men willing to make sacrifices and to work as Christ worked are needed. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 12

During the life of Jesus on earth, He frequently said to His disciples, “Follow me.” “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23.] Obstacles will certainly confront us on our way; but we must bravely, uncomplainingly press onward. The Lord is good. He is a present help in time of trouble. If we tell the Lord all our troubles <and we believe His Word>, He will hear and answer prayer. He invites us to come to Him. “Ask,” He says, “and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” [Matthew 7:7.] The treasure-house is full. We may draw from it continually. Never will it become exhausted. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 13

Is the Lord ever wearied with our prayers? No, no. When we importune Him with earnestness of heart, He hears. He will say to us, “Here I am.” [Isaiah 58:9.] We need never be discouraged. If we had to depend upon ourselves to work out the problem of salvation, we should be distrustful of self and be full of trying perplexities. But this burden has not been laid upon us. Hear and understand this most precious invitation given to every human being: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke the yoke of restraint, submission, and obedience upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Shall we not individually say, “By the grace of God, I will comply with the conditions”? 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 14

About two weeks ago I returned from my trip in the East. I was very sick all the time I was in the East. But the Lord in mercy has spared my life. I have every reason to praise Him with heart and soul and voice. O how thankful I am to be in my quiet home once more! I have suffered much; but my life is spared. I thank the Lord; for I have much to do. I shall be very careful of my strength. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 15

In love. 17LtMs, Lt 14, 1902, par. 16