Ellen G. White Writings

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Lt 2, 1909

Lt 2, 1909

Gotzian, J.

St. Helena, California

January 1, 1909

Portions of this letter are published in 1MR 332-333; 5MR 111.

Mrs. J. Gotzian, Madison, Tennessee, Dear Sister Gotzian:

I have read your letter, and I thank you for your interest. I desired very much to be at the meeting at Nashville, but I felt that I could not attend this meeting and go to Washington as well.

I have just had to hire fifteen hundred dollars from the bank in order to relieve Elder Haskell in a situation that was forced upon him. It related to a business transaction connected with the Buena Vista property. A lot containing over seventeen acres of land, situated next to the school property, one of our worker was thinking of purchasing for the purpose of establishing a cripples’ home, but was not willing to pay more than fifteen hundred dollars for it. The land could not be secured for less than two thousand. After the purchase was made, Brother Vaughan felt that he could not pay more than fifteen hundred dollars, and so the property was left on Elder Haskell’s hands. We felt that we could not let this piece of land go back into the hands of unbelievers, and Elder Haskell asked me if I would not buy it. I consented to do this, and the place is now in my name. To do this I have hired fifteen hundred dollars from the bank at eight per cent. Now Elder Haskell’s mind will be relieved, and he will not need to worry any longer. We do not know for what this piece of land will be used. It would make a splendid site for a church, but that matter can be decided later.

I understand that you have not seen this property at Sonoma. It is a large tract of land on which stands a large, beautiful building called “The Castle.” The building has three stories and basement, with twelve spacious rooms on each floor. The property is a mile or two from the town of Sonoma, and some distance from any house. I have paid one visit to this place, but at that time could not go any further than the second floor. I hope to visit it again as soon as the brethren have secured the abstract, giving them the right to take possession. Then I hope to drive over from St. Helena to Buena Vista and spend some time there.

We have been having new water pipes laid to the house from our spring on the hillside above the schoolhouse. This spring is on my own land and gives us an abundant supply of water. We have hired to help on the farm a Brother Merton who owns a small place in this valley. This brother is anxious to sell, that he may take his wife to a more favorable climate. We are hiring from this brother pasture land for our cattle. And now in addition to this outlay of means, I am borrowing money from the bank for the purchase of the lot at Buena Vista. We thank you for your offer in behalf of the Sonoma school. We need help just now.

Reports have just reached us of the awful earthquake in Italy, and of the thousands that have perished in the disaster. This is that of which Christ warned His disciples when He said that before His coming there would be earthquakes in divers places. This terrible destruction is only the beginning of sorrows. I feel sure that San Francisco and Oakland will again be visited with the judgments of God. O that the mighty power of God that is being revealed in the earth would make His enemies fear and tremble before Him.

The presentation in our schools should not now be as it has been in the past in introducing many things as essential that are only of minor importance. The light given me is that the commandments of God, the will of the Lord regarding each individual, should be made the chief study of every student who would be fitted for the higher grades of the school above. They are to gain a spiritual experience that will prepare them for the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven.

“In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”

All the Lord’s counsels for His covenant-keeping people are faithfulness and truth. It is the narrowness of our vision that prevents us from discerning His loving-kindness in the discipline to which He subjects His church.

I see so much for me to be thankful for in this my advanced age. My hours for sleep are limited; but when the nights seem long, I repeat the Lord’s words of comfort and hope and courage. We all need to grasp more firmly the encouragement and assurances He gives. We need to believe Him with all the heart.

I will close now. Be of good courage; be hopeful. Take firm hold of the promises of God; increase in faith and hope and cheerfulness. God bless you and strengthen you, is my prayer.

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