Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 200, 1903

Butler, G. I.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

September 10, 1903

Portions of this letter are published in SpM 260-261; 2MR 66-67. +Note

Dear Brother Butler,—

I have received and read your letter of August 28. I fully sympathize with you in your perplexities. I, too, have much to perplex me; but I am determined not to become discouraged and faithless. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 1

While looking over some old letters this morning, I found the one that I enclose to you. It was written in Sands, Virginia, in 1890. I thought that I would have it copied and sent to you; for perhaps you might get some help from reading it. And you may be able to read it in some of the meetings that you attend. I know that it contains instruction that our people need. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 2

My brother, I do not think that you ought to do as much as you are doing. It will not do for you to make heavy drafts upon your strength. Take time to rest. I know that you feel an intense interest in the progress of the cause of God, but you must not use up your vitality so completely that in the future you will have no deposit from which to draw. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 3

We have before us stern, earnest work, and we must be prepared for it. With clearness and power we are to proclaim the messages given to John for the churches when in vision the Lord appeared to him on the isle of Patmos. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 4

If things were as they should be in the households that make up our churches, we might do double service for the Lord. The light given me is that a most decided message must be borne in regard to health reform. Those who use flesh meat strengthen the lower propensities and prepare the way for disease to fasten upon them. There are those among Seventh-day Adventists who will not heed the light given them in regard to this matter. They make flesh meat a part of their diet. Disease comes upon them. Sick and suffering as a result of their own wrong course, they ask for the prayers of the servants of God. But how can the Lord work in their behalf when they are not willing to do His will, when they refuse to heed His instruction in regard to health reform? 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 5

For thirty years the light on health reform has been coming to the people of God, but many have made it a matter of jest. They have continued to use tea, coffee, spices, and flesh meat. Their bodies are full of disease. How can we, I ask, present such ones to the Lord for healing? 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 6

The condition of things among us has called for the testimonies of the Spirit of God, and these have been given, and yet many who claim to believe the truth persistently disregard light and evidence. It is very hard to reach such ones. They will not heed the light, and as a result they are in darkness. They choose darkness rather than light. How long will the Lord bear with them? Let them remember that light rejected becomes to the rejecter darkness that grows more and more dense. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 7

Brother Butler, keep your heart stayed upon the Lord. He lives and reigns. He is our general. Look not to man. Believe not every report that comes to you. Be as a man who has ears, but hears not, and eyes, but sees not. David says, “I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus was I as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.” [Psalm 38:13, 14.] Let the watchmen of God keep their own counsel. They will be troubled as they bear their message, but the Lord will help them. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 8

Satan will do that which will close the Southern field against the truth, if the Lord does not interpose. And the trades unions will be one of the agencies that will bring upon this earth a time of trouble such as has not been since the world began. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 9

In regard to what you write about Brother and Sister Hughes, I assure you that nothing like extravagance was seen in their work in Australia. Do not allow prejudice against them to enter your mind. Do not allow them to be condemned before you have carefully investigated matters. In their connection with the school in Australia, Brother and Sister Hughes sacrificed and labored and gave of their means to help the school. They were never extravagant. It must be a mistaken report that has been borne in regard to their work at Huntsville. I feel very deeply interested in Brother and Sister Hughes. I know how earnestly they worked for the interests of the school in Australia. I am deeply grieved as I think of the trouble that is brought into our work by unsanctified words. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 10

I have been shown that with proper management the Huntsville school and the Graysville school could be self-supporting. But I was instructed, also, that the difficulties to be overcome in the Huntsville school would be far greater than in some other schools. A school for colored students cannot be compared with or treated in the same way as a school for white students. Not all that ought to have been done for the Huntsville school has been done, and those who take the management of the school in the future will have a trying time. But God will be with them if they make Him their dependence. This school has land, and the cultivation of fruit should be carried on; but the school cannot do this without help. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 11

Since writing the above, I have been down to breakfast. I will now add a few words to this letter. I want you to get all the help you possibly can in your work. I know that you cannot help feeling troubled as you see the shortcoming of those who know the truth, yet are not sanctified through the truth. Let us do our best and then trust the Lord to do what we cannot possibly do. Our work is to be placed on a higher plane. We are to have a faith that will not fail or be discouraged. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 12

I have not much confidence in doing a large amount of work for those who already know the truth. Nothing will stir the South like taking hold of the work in new places. The cities are to be entered. But to try to bring those who know the truth, yet do not do their best, up to where they ought to be is, I must say, almost labor lost and greatly hinders aggressive work. Let the workers press into the cities still in ignorance. Let men and women be trained to conduct schools and sanitariums for white people. Let colored workers be educated to labor for their own people. And let the workers all remember that no raid is to be made on slavery and cruel task-masters. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 13

God does not expect His workers to attend to trifling matters. They are to preach the gospel. They will find that short discourses are the most effective. In every place in which the work is begun, the standard is to be raised higher and still higher. The truth of Christ’s soon coming is to be proclaimed. And all the workers, whether they speak from the pulpit or give Bible-readings, are to be taught to speak in a clear, expressive manner. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 14

I must stop now. I have not slept since one o’clock this morning, and I keep falling asleep with my pen in my hand. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 15

Be of good courage in the Lord. 18LtMs, Lt 200, 1903, par. 16