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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Lt 226, 1901

    Peck, Sarah

    Nashville, Tennessee

    December 24, 1901

    Previously unpublished.

    Dear Sister Sarah Peck,—

    It is evening. I have been very ill, and it seems very much like the siege that I had one year ago after being poisoned with the impure air in the church in San Francisco. The severe, cold snowstorm in South Lancaster was so unusual to me that I could not become braced against it, but my throat and lungs were in need of rest, perfect rest, after the long strain upon them at the General Conference—that long journeying from Battle Creek to Minneapolis and on to the different places.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 1

    Several times I spoke twice each day, and on two occasions three times on that trip, and spoke 23 times in 23 days, feeling all the time intensely. It was not a thing I ought to have done in any wise. Coming from Portland through the mountains on the cars was severe to my throat and lungs that I had used altogether too much. You will understand this better than many who do not know me as well as you do. But I will close.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 2

    December ____, Friday morning. We have not forgotten you, but have been quite sick and have little strength. Nevertheless I will write. We are now in Edson and Emma’s home. Last night, or this morning at half past two o’clock, we were at Nashville. Met Edson and two men accompanying, with a chair—a wheeled chair—and took me quite a long distance to the elevator that conveyed us up a long flight of stairs where the double-seated phaeton was awaiting us. It was quite cold; had been raining. We went the distance of two miles and a half, and came to the place where Edson and Emma abode temporarily.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 3

    I had a large, pleasant room prepared for me, a stove open as a fireplace, and here I remained about two weeks. Then [I] thought I could use a smaller room just as well and would be much less exposed to callers. Last Sunday we changed. The large room was Edson’s office, opening into another room for his helpers.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 4

    All the time the hammering has been going on, and the colored people driving up with barrels [of] the bricks to make the outside finish, and they seemed to think it was just as essential [to] holler and sing and give orders as to work. This did not soothe the nerves very much.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 5

    But I endured it very well; but Sunday I nearly collapsed. I have been pale as the dead ever since I left New York for South Lancaster, but that day I feared I could not live. But I did get through it somehow, and have not been as bad since.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 6

    W. C. White was at Graysville, but left Friday at nine o’clock and returned the next Monday. Graysville is nearly 200 miles from Nashville—I am told about 175 miles. I dare not go to Graysville to tax my strength one jot more than is required. Every change of place means more or less taxation in that change, and a supposition that I am better than I really am; and then there is conversation, and that is worse than traveling. But I have reason to be thankful that I have not entirely succumbed to the traveling, the intensely cold weather, and the changes of bed and food; I will not complain. The undertaking was too much for me.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 7

    Sarah has had a very hard strain upon her, for she has at times just about given up hope for my life. It has been something of [an] extra burden she should not carry. She has a severe cold, and you know, I suppose, I had not a thought of going to South Lancaster. I knew not that there was the New England conference to be held there, but thus it was. And of course they thought Sister White must be there. I spoke in that conference three times, at the Sanitarium three times; I could do no more.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 8

    The work in Greater New York was taxing and in Trenton there was a trial. It was cold and they opened registers in my sleeping room, and the poison gas nearly ended my life. I cannot describe the sensations. It was just fearful. I found my way to Sarah’s sleeping room and told her [to] come to my room. She worked over me, I think, one hour. And all this extra care for me was done in the great goodness of their souls for Sister White. Well, I do praise the Lord for His preserving care.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 9

    Sabbath morning a carriage took us a short distance where there was a baptism of several. Elder Franke was administrator. Everything was done in a neat, orderly, appropriate manner, and the presence of the Lord was there. Not only were the candidates appropriately prepared with their black serge dresses, but robes also for the men are considered essential, and I say Amen. [Elder Franke] himself had a surplice and it was placed over his rubber suit, and I have never seen a more correct burial in the watery grave than the symbol before us on that occasion. The candidates were covered over reverentially, just as it should be. There is [a] science in [the] form of baptism, as in every action that is required in doing service to our heavenly Father.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 10

    We had to go quite a distance to the little hall. Hired a poor, small, inconvenient affair, but it was the very best that they could do. Two hundred and fifty were crowded in, and I need not tell you the atmosphere was full of malarial poison. The Lord helped me to bear a powerful testimony to these believers, and they listened with intense interest. There was a testimony meeting, and there was such gratitude expressed that the Lord had sent the truth to them. I rejoice in this work that has been done in Trenton. And now a meetinghouse must be built, and already a fund is started, $200 raised, and the place where to locate this house for the Lord is yet the problem. Trenton is the capital of New Jersey, and there is much work to be done to follow up the interest Elder Franke has created by the help of the Lord. There are places all through New Jersey to be worked. Oh, where are the reapers?16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 11

    But I must close this writing, for I am becoming weary. I will now say that [the] meeting was excellent.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 12

    After I had spoken, there was a little lumber room [a room used for storing old furniture, etc.] Sarah and I went into. Took my cold bath and then went again into the congregation and there were so many excellent testimonies borne. It was rainy and [there] was a cold wind. We drove about three miles to the boat, and oh it was so blustering, [and] the long passage to get on board. We then took [a] hack and our luggage and rode to the mission. All this was in the face of a gale. I spoke Sunday afternoon, and the Lord gave me special power.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 13

    Monday we were all ready with our luggage to go on the hack ordered, but no hack came at the time appointed. I suppose the one who was to attend to the matter was drunk, and as we were all ready we would not unpack, and therefore we had to be in the night cold, bitterly cold. Changed cars at Worcester, and then were too late to get on board the regular train, and went 15 miles on the electric car called Street Accommodation Car, and we were thankful for this chance. We did not get to South Lancaster until eleven o’clock, and all these things prepared me for my present state of feebleness. But now I will write no more of this matter. Do not think I have in any way forgotten you or your mother or any member of my family, only I have not written you.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 14

    I realize how you are situated. My dear sister, I ask you not [to] worry. Do your best. God is your helper and your God, and put your trust in One who knows all things. I have never in my experience with you felt otherwise than the most interested one could be in your work in which you are engaged. And whatever has been your experience, I have not felt like placing the least censure on you. Now [I] will say, Do not feel overloaded as a cart beneath sheaves. Do what you can do in the wisdom which God giveth. Be assured you shall not be blamed. Be of good courage in the Lord. I have some realizing sense of this matter that you are carrying, and I sincerely hope you will obtain all the help possible from Brother Clarence and Marian who has [had long] experience, and rest in the Lord; He is too wise to err and too good [to] do us harm.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 15

    Now, I am not discouraged, neither am I going to be in haste and rush my workers. Never, never shall this be. Light, precious light, God has given sufficient, abundant, and He will have all to prize what they do have; and to blame God for anything, it shall never be on my part. And I am glad you are with us now. Rest in the Lord, and I know you will do the very best you can, and I know that [you] will not betray sacred trusts but will be true as steel to principle. I write this definitely, that if anything should occur that I should drop at my post of duty, I want a testimony borne from my hand that our attitude toward each other is that of tender, loving affection; that I appreciate your talent as increasing in efficiency, and I have not one criticism to offer, for I believe you have done your best. I want you to be cheerful, of good courage, and may the Lord bless and comfort you, is my most earnest desire and prayer.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 16

    I hope your dear mother is well, and I hope will continue well. I close up this amid the rattle, bang of luminous fire crackers, and other things. I am of good courage although compassed with infirmities. It is nearly daylight. I shall not even read this, for I am tired.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 17

    Yours in love.16LtMs, Lt 226, 1901, par. 18

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