(Written July 29, 1901, from Elmshaven, St. Helena, California, to Brother and Sister Burden.)
I did not think it possible for me to write you anything this mail, but I have a few moments and will begin and write until the mail goes, which is at 2:00 p.m., and it is now nearly dinner time.
We are always glad to hear from you and how the work is progressing. We feel sad that so many distressing necessities are pressed in upon us, as the big sinking institutions in Scandinavia and the great necessity of the work in the Southern field; and everything seems to come in a great rush crying, "Send us money, send us money." We will have to meet the demand as soon as possible, but the comfort is that the Lord is our bank; He can furnish us means. "I will not fail nor be discouraged," must oft be repeated.
The Lord will work in our behalf when all connected with the institutions and the medical missionary work will consent to drop their own way and take up the Lord's plans. When men begin to weave in the human threads to compose the pattern of the web, the Lord is in no hurry. He waits until men shall lay down their own human inventions, and will accept the Lord's way and the Lord's will.
I have written matters for the churches and sent them to Elder Farnsworth. You will probably see it.
I can't get this copied--have no time--but if you read without perplexity letters from my own hand, I can do as I am doing now. While my editors are preparing the matters to send, I will drop a few words to you with my pen. I
would give you a relation of an experience Sarah and I had in going to the top of Howell Mountain, but I can't do it for this mail. Will try to prepare it for next mail. I am straining every nerve and muscle to meet the many varieties of difficult problems which must be met.
This is the time that all we do in the cause and work of God must be "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing." The present state of the church is far behind the correct standard, and the backsliding has been so gradual and so imperceptible that it is a hard matter to represent its true, lamentable condition. The members of the church seem to settle in so low a grade that no power but the Lord God of Heaven can place her where the evil shall be seen and corrected. There are existing evils in the church which no human power can heal. We must hold the standard high, and then in our own words and attitude and actions represent "the One altogether lovely." All misapprehension produces unkindness consciously or unconsciously, and then unkindness provokes retaliations, and strife propagates itself. I am thankful that Christ has given us such a clear, definite expression of His will that if we will to do the will of God, we shall not fail to know of the doctrine whether it be of God. We need the divine virtues brought into our life constantly.
It is well for us to dwell often upon the words of Christ in Matthew 5. I was reading in Proverbs 18, "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is a folly and a shame unto him." I feel deeply [that] we must give most earnest labor through the grace of Christ to work to break up in the church the many words that tend to separate very friends. Let us represent this evil as it is.
I have to stop now. E.G.W.
I must say a few words more. I send these few words to you regarding Stephen Belden in Norfolk Island. He was sustained there by the conference. I thought it best for him to be near us in Sunnyside, and therefore was at the expense to have him leave his island home. After a time Elder Nobbs urged him so persistently to come back to the island, stating that they needed him there as a counselor and as one who could enlighten them in many ways and act a part in their meetings. I read these letters and finally gave my consent, saying that I would see that the N.S.W. Conference would help him to about two or three dollars per week. I think it should be three at least. Brother Nobbs is now sick, and upon Stephen Belden falls the burden of holding the fort until there can be some man sent.
I left, I supposed, explicit orders with Brother Hindson to this work of sending at least that which would in money be two or three dollars per week, and a box of flour, oil, and such things as they have to buy and pay very high for on the island. But I judge from Brother Belden's letter that nothing has been sent. I feel very sad over this. I gave $1,400 from my own resources at one time for the Health Retreat. Now, this matter should be as just and right without any of the reasons I have written, but the matter for some reason has fallen through, and now, understanding the situation, I say, Send three dollars per week and let Brother Belden live and not be pressed for want of food. This is due them by the conference.
I will now close this, for the mail goes in about half an hour, and I have fourteen pages of manuscript to read.--Letter 181, 1901. Ellen G. White Estate Washington, D. C. Jan. 22, 1988. Entire Letter.