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    December 4, 1902

    “To the People of the California Seventh-day Adventist Conference” Pacific Union Recorder, 2, 8, pp. 2-6.


    Dear Brethren and Sisters: In California there has been harvested this year doubtless the most universally abundant crop that has ever been known in the state. The season of busy, heavy work is past. The winter is now at hand. All this presents to us the best imaginable opportunity for the finishing of the blessed work of putting into the hands of the people that blessed book “Christ’s Object Lessons;” and, by this absolutely sweeping away forever the debt on Healdsburg College. And, as I said to the people at the Fresno camp-meeting, if our people in this conference will faithfully follow up the selling of that book from now until the annual meeting of the stockholders of Healdsburg College, the last of April, that meeting of the stockholders at that time will witness the entire clearing away of the Healdsburg College debt.PUR December 4, 1902, page 2.1

    This is certain; there is no room for any doubt about it. And that you may see this for yourselves, I present to you here the actual standing of that debt on October 31, 1901:—PUR December 4, 1902, page 2.2

    At the beginning of our “Object Lessons” campaign, in March, 1902, the amount of the actual debt, including interest accumulated, was $42,846.78. In the seven months from March 31 to October 31 there has been cleared of that debt $18,173.82 and of the accumulated interest $1,984.82, making in all $20,158.64, and interest $1,000, making in all $23,688.14.PUR December 4, 1902, page 2.3

    Thus, on the first day of November, 1902, there stands less than $24,000 indebtedness against Healdsburg College. And the number of “Object Lessons” that are already in the hands of the people for which the money has not been returned, and the number yet to be sent out to fulfil the proper and original quota, with the payment of the remaining unpaid pledges, are sufficient to sweep entirely away the whole debt from Healdsburg College, and even leave a balance on the credit side.PUR December 4, 1902, page 2.4

    Now what is there that could possibly hinder the accomplishment of this thing? The abundant crops have brought plenty of money to the people all over the state, and the season of busy work is past, so that there is nothing to hinder our people from freely engaging in this good work in these winter months. And since the original number to be distributed was only six books for each recorded member in the conference, a goodly number of which have been sold and the money paid on the debt; and since there are six months until the last week of April, who is there who will deliberately sit down, and listlessly fold his hands, and say that he can not sell one book or less a month?PUR December 4, 1902, page 2.5

    Please do not think that I am saying or expecting that it should take six months to do this. It can be done in a much shorter time. Indeed, who is there that is willing to take his stand and say that by simple, plain endeavor he can not sell a book a week? And only one book a week sold for six weeks by each recorded member of the conference would sweep away this whole thing in six weeks.PUR December 4, 1902, page 2.6

    Another thing: Please do not make the mistake that a good many have made, of thinking that in order to sell “Object Lessons” it is essential that every one must literally go out and canvass. You are not asked necessarily to go out and canvass. You are not asked necessarily to go out at all. All that is asked is that you sell “Object Lessons.” And many people are selling the book, and thousands of them have been sold, without the sellers going out of the house, or out of the shop, or wherever their daily occupation may call them.PUR December 4, 1902, page 2.7

    This, because people come to your home, on some errand, or for a friendly call; there is your opportunity to tell them the story of the book. Persons come to the shop to see you about a piece of work, there is your opportunity to call attention to the good enterprise of which the book is the key. People will come to you, perhaps, to buy something; you will go to people, perhaps, to sell, or to pay for something; there is your opportunity to call attention to “Object Lessons,” and the great work that is being done by it in Christian education.PUR December 4, 1902, page 2.8

    Some, by watching and using just such opportunities as these have readily and easily sold from twelve to forty. Some who are actually unable to go out of the house, or to be out of bed at all, have sold more than their quota by simply using opportunity that was offered in the coming of persons to visit them in their affliction. So it is not distinct canvassing ability or experience that is required in this. It is simply the willingness and thoughtfulness that will watch for opportunities and use an opportunity when it comes. This is not to say that you must not go out and canvass for the book. Do that if you choose. Do it if you can. But do not think that that is the only way in which it can be done.PUR December 4, 1902, page 2.9

    Please, also, do not think that we who are in charge of affairs at Healdsburg College are sitting down there only with open hands to receive what you send in, and have that to pay the debt. We are steadily working on that debt from our side of the matter. We have, first of all, settled that when the college is by this campaign cleared of debt, it shall remain so: and that while the college is being cleared of it, we will not continue to make more debt. This required that we should bend every endeavor possible to make the college, in its regular work, self-supporting. This in turn required that we should bring in trades and occupations which, kept in steady operation, would be both self-supporting, and an aid to students in gaining an education. And this endeavor the Lord has so blessed and prospered that, within the single year from the beginning of October, 1901, the trades and industries put in operation at Healdsburg College have already enabled us to clear away $10,500 of the debt.PUR December 4, 1902, page 2.10

    It is a fact that the clearing of this $10,5000 of the debt is due directly to the successful establishment of the trades and industries in the work of the college; for that $10,000 was a fund that had been deposited by the donations of liberal-hearted brethren, the interest of which—$500 a year—should be given to worthy students to assist them through college in their education. Now the establishment of the trades in the college enables the worthy student to pay his own way through college, to obtain the same or even a better degree of education, and enables him to leave the college at the end of his course in possession of an honest trade by which he can make his way anywhere. Having organized this plan, we presented to the brethren who had donated that fund of $10,000, the case as here stated. We asked them whether they would transfer that $10,000 to the general account of the college, so it could be used in maintaining the trades and causing the trades to maintain the students in their course of education, thus enabling the student to finish his course of education in possession of a good trade. They readily agreed that this was far better, and gladly gave to us written instruction to transfer that fund to the general account of the institution. This has been done, and so $10,000, and $500 annual interest, has by this one turn been cleared away from the college debt, and this as the direct consequence of the establishment of the trades and industries for the employment of students in the school.PUR December 4, 1902, page 3.1

    Yet this is not all. It is only proper to say that the managers and teachers in Healdsburg College are making donations and real sacrifices to help in this work. For instance, the college had no respectable wagon to convey students and visitors to and from the depot and the students’ home. The managers and teachers in the summer school last summer donated money to buy the material for a good, three-seated, two-horse, covered spring wagon, and the college blacksmith built it and had it ready for use, though not entirely finished, at the opening of school, October 15.PUR December 4, 1902, page 3.2

    The college trade in fire-wood has grown so that there is a steady demand for a considerable supply. There was therefore great need of a shed in which the wood could be sawed, split, and stored in rainy weather. It would cost about $350, and we could not go in debt for it. The managers and teachers began the enterprise by giving liberally of their own means toward buying the material. And now we are asking every person who owes the college (we do not mean pledges toward paying the debt, but those who have been students and who may yet owe something on their account) to pay something, however little of what he owes, and thus enable us to put up that shed without debt.PUR December 4, 1902, page 3.3

    I do not mention these things as of special merit on the part of the ones in responsibility at the college, but only to give you substantial assurance that on our side we are really putting our interests and energies into the clearing away of this debt, while asking you on your side to take hold now in this best of all times to finish up that thing. In addition to this, the teachers and students last spring sold six hundred copies of “Object Lessons,” and now they are arranging to go out and do again the same thing, or even more.PUR December 4, 1902, page 3.4

    Brethren, this work is going on; the debt is being paid; and, while the debt is being paid, the institution is being put upon such a basis that, when the college is once cleared of debt, it shall forever remain so. Come, brethren and sisters all, please join us in this grand gospel work, that, in every sense and in every phase, is true Christian education.PUR December 4, 1902, page 3.5


    At the late camp-meeting and conference at Fresno there was unanimously passed by delegates and people the following recommendation:—PUR December 4, 1902, page 3.6

    “9. We recommend to the prayerful consideration of our people in this conference the advisability of paying a second tithe, for the support of the church-schools and other financial needs in our churches.”PUR December 4, 1902, page 3.7

    This was done after the study of the Bible and careful thinking on the subject. There was a serious consideration of the manner of our raising means for the support of the different phases of the cause, apart from the direct work of the gospel ministry. The work of the gospel ministry is supported according to the Lord’s directions, by the Lord’s tithe. But there are other phases of the cause of God that are important and worthy of liberal, systematic support, such as the poor, the church-schools, the furnishing of light, fuel, and general expenses involved in keeping up the regular worship.PUR December 4, 1902, page 3.8

    Our church-schools have come to stay; they are in the order of God, and will remain as long as the work of the third angel’s message continues in the earth. It is therefore easy for all to see that it is proper that there should be some systematic means by which the church-schools shall be properly supported.PUR December 4, 1902, page 3.9

    It has been found that these necessities, which are perfectly proper, have, without any established system, caused such an encroachment upon the Sabbath and the Sabbath worship as to give to the Sabbath and our Sabbath meetings too much of a cast of an opportunity for raising funds. This is true, not only concerning the Sabbath, but, in the absence of any systematic plan, the necessities of the cause have required that in general meetings precious time has had to be spent in urging, and at times excessive urging, the people to give. Indeed, the spirit of prophecy has spoken, long ago, to this effect, thus: “The raising of money has been carried to extremes. It has left a bad impression upon many minds. Making urgent calls is not the best plan of raising means. The calls for means at our large camp-meetings have been hitherto attended with comparatively good results, so far as the wealthy are concerned, but we fear the result of a continued effort to thus replenish the treasury; we fear there will be a reaction. Greater efforts should be put forth by responsible men in the different churches to have all follow the plan of God’s arrangement. If systematic benevolence is carried out, urgent calls for means at the camp-meetings for various enterprises will not be necessary. God has devised a plan by which all may give as He has prospered them, and which would make giving a habit.”PUR December 4, 1902, page 3.10

    These things have caused the brethren all over the land to consider and inquire whether there is not a better way than we have found for raising means for the different phases of our work. This led to the searching of the Scriptures, to see whether we have been following fully “the plan of God’s arrangement.” This searching of the Scriptures brought brethren in different parts of the country, at the same time, and without any communication with one another, to the plan of God’s arrangement, as in the second tithe; for it is the truth that in the Bible, in the plan of God’s arrangement for the support of His cause, a second tithe is as clearly arranged as a first. This is so plain that after two sessions of Bible study on the subject at the camp-meeting, the delegates and the people unanimously passed the recommendation quoted at the beginning of this communication, and a large number of them there took their stand upon it, and publicly declared their intention of immediately putting it into operation in their affairs.PUR December 4, 1902, page 4.1

    We take it that all our people stand in about the attitude of one of our sisters, who said: “I have not studied up the subject myself, but if the second tithe is revealed in the Bible, that is enough for me. I will recognize it.” Accordingly, the object of this communication is not to make an argument upon the subject, but merely to state to you the circumstances under which the recommendation was made, and to set down for your consideration the Scriptures and the truth, and make plain the fact that a second tithe is as really a part of “the plan of God’s arrangement” as is the first tithe.PUR December 4, 1902, page 4.2

    The first tithe, we all know, was devoted to the ministry in the Lord’s service in the sanctuary, and so was wholly the Lord’s, as it is written: “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service.” Numbers 18:21. And, “The priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes.” Nehemiah 10:38. And of this the Levites gave a tithe, even a tithe of the tithe, to the support of the priests.PUR December 4, 1902, page 4.3

    Thus what we recognize as the usual tithe, or the first tithe, was wholly devoted to the Levites with the priests. “The tithes of the children of Israel, when they offered as an heave-offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit.” Numbers 18:24.PUR December 4, 1902, page 4.4

    But the second tithe was retained by the person who tithed it, and was spent by him in whatever way he might choose, only in the service of the Lord.PUR December 4, 1902, page 4.5

    Thus the first tithe was given away by those who tithed to the Levites. It was called directly “the Lord’s” (Leviticus 27:30), and was wholly devoted to the service of the Lord, in the Lord’s way, as He should direct, in the ministration and service of the priests and Levites in the sanctuary and among the people, while the second tithe, though also devoted to the Lord’s service, was left altogether to the choice of the one who tithed it as to how he would spend it or devote it to the cause of God.PUR December 4, 1902, page 4.6

    Accordingly of this tithe it is written: “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which He shall choose to place His name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the Lord thy God hath blessed thee: then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose; and thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, and the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.” Deuteronomy 14:22-27.PUR December 4, 1902, page 4.7

    This is also commanded in Deuteronomy 12:17, 18: “Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand; but thou must eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates; and thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.” Also in verses 5 to 12: “But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come; and thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: and there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee. Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatso- ever is right in his own eyes. For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you. But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God giveth you to inherit, and when He giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the Lord; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.”PUR December 4, 1902, page 4.8

    Every third year there was a special use of the second tithe, as it is written: “At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates; and the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee), and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.” Deuteronomy 14:28, 29.PUR December 4, 1902, page 5.1

    Thus for the two years they were not to eat or consume any of this tithe within their gates; but must take it, as it was or in money, up to the place that the Lord had chosen, and there they were to use it. Then the third year this tithe was to be laid up within their gates, and there consumed in hospitality to the stranger, fatherless, widow, and Levite, who should come and eat and be filled and rejoice. It was only the carrying out of the principle taught in the giving and distribution of the manna in the wilderness: “He that gathered much, had nothing over; and he that gathered little, had no lack.” Through the second tithe the Levite, the fatherless, the widow, and the poor, who had little or nothing, shared in the abundance of those to whom God had given abundance.PUR December 4, 1902, page 5.2

    Then, when this had been performed according to the word of the Lord, the following direction was to be followed, and the following blessing asked: “When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; then thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of Mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all Thy commandments which Thou hast commanded me; I have not transgressed Thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them; I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead; but I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord my God, and have done according to all that thou hast commanded me. Look down from Thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Thy people Israel, and the land which Thou hast given us, as Thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey.” Deuteronomy 28:12-15.PUR December 4, 1902, page 5.3

    Also on this subject of the second tithe, indeed, of the two tithes, the spirit of prophecy has spoken, and made it very plain, as follows: “To promote the assembling of the people for religious service, as well as to provide for the poor, a second tithe of all the increase was required. Concerning the first tithe, the Lord had declared, ‘I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel.’ But in regard to the second He commanded, ‘Thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which He shall choose to place His name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.’ This tithe, or its equivalent in money, they were for two years to bring to the place where the sanctuary was established. After presenting a thank offering to God, and a specified portion to the priest, the offerers were to use the remainder for a religious feast, in which the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow should participate. Thus provision was made for the thank offerings and feasts at the yearly festivals, and the people were drawn to the society of the priests and Levites, that they might receive instruction and encouragement in the service of God.PUR December 4, 1902, page 5.4

    “Every third year, however, this second tithe was to be used at home, in entertaining the Levite and the poor, as Moses said, ‘That they may eat within thy gates, and be filled.’ This tithe would provide a fund for the uses of charity and hospitality.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 51, first two paragraphs.PUR December 4, 1902, page 5.5

    In the Hebrew literature outside of the Bible there is also direct reference to the second tithe in such a way that it is perfectly plain that it was a recognized and an established thing among them. In the book of Tobit it is written: “The first tenth part of all increase I gave to the sons of Aaron, who ministered at Jerusalem; another tenth part I sold away, and went and spent it every year at Jerusalem.” Chapter 1:7, 8.PUR December 4, 1902, page 5.6

    And Josephus says: “Let there be taken of your fruits a tenth, besides that which you have allotted to give to the priests and to the Levites. This you may indeed sell in the country, but it is to be used in those feasts and sacrifices that are to be celebrated in the holy city.”—Book 4, chapter 8, section 3.PUR December 4, 1902, page 5.7

    It is perfectly plain that a second tithe would put into the hands of our people an abundance from which they can easily sustain all the funds and demands that arise in the work of the Lord—for the poor, for the church-school, for church expenses, for calls at general meetings and camp-meetings, etc. It will make a supply, always ready, from which each one can give liberally, as the Lord has prospered him, and without any urging at all, much less any extreme or undue urging.PUR December 4, 1902, page 5.8

    From this it need not be concluded that this will exclude all offerings on the Sabbath. Offerings on the Sabbath are right, for the Scripture says, “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.” Psalm 96:8, 9. Thus the regular Sabbath offering in the Sabbath-schools can continue, and any other offerings that the people may choose to make.PUR December 4, 1902, page 6.1

    The great thing, not the only one, however, that the second tithe will do is that it will put into the hands of our people a ready fund, from which, at their choice and as the needs of the cause may be, they can give easily and liberally, without urging or pressure, and without pledging and being constantly in debt. It will make our people forehanded instead of behindhand,—“the head and not the tail,“—financially ready; and with such a training they will inevitably be a people generally financially successful, lending to many nations,—yes, through liberal gifts to missionary work, etc., lending to every nation and kindred and tongue and people, and not borrowing.PUR December 4, 1902, page 6.2

    There is blessing in it; who can refuse to receive the blessing?PUR December 4, 1902, page 6.3

    Respectfully submitted,PUR December 4, 1902, page 6.4

    CAL. CONFERENCE COMMITTEE,PUR December 4, 1902, page 6.5

    Per A. T. Jones.PUR December 4, 1902, page 6.6

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