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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Lt 146, 1903

    Friends in Australia

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    July 15, 1903

    Portions of this letter are published in VSS 285-286.

    Dear Friends in Australia,—

    We are doing what we can to carry the truth to those around us. Three open-air meetings have been held at Calistoga, in the Hot Springs Park. I spoke at each of these meetings. I did this that I might reach those who do not attend church. The Lord greatly blessed me in this effort.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 1

    For nearly a year, Brother James, my farmer, has been holding a small Sabbath school at Larkmead, a place six miles away. The Catholic priest did all that he could to break up this school, but we think that some good will result form the effort that Brother James has put forth. There is one family that we hope will accept the truth. The leaven has been put into the meal, and it will work. The influence of what has already been done has been felt in the neighborhood.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 2

    At Yountville, about twelve miles from here, is the State Veterans’ Home. In this home there are about nine hundred old men who at some time have fought in the war.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 3

    Some months ago, a small company from the Sanitarium began to go to this institution every other Sabbath to hold a song service, taking with them books and papers for the soldiers.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 4

    When Brother Irwin was here, he went with the workers to the soldiers’ home and spoke to those of the men who were at the song service. He found here a comrade who had stood by his side in battle and who had been with him in Andersonville Prison.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 5

    Miss McEnterfer went with the workers one Sabbath, and a soldier by the name of Foy made himself known to her. He is a brother of John Foy who works at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Once while he was on horseback, his horse fell, and his leg was broken and had to be amputated, so that he walks on crutches. We are expecting him to come and make us a visit some day.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 6

    At first but few of the members of the Home came to our services, but the attendance has been steadily increasing, and now from sixty to seventy men come in every time that a song service is held.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 7

    A few weeks ago some of the soldiers expressed their desire for a Bible study. Thus the way has opened for instruction to be given in regard to the truth.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 8

    So you see we have a large missionary field within the short distance of twelve miles. Brother Stevens and Elder Taylor have been taking a leading part in the work at the soldiers’ home, and Dores Robinson has recently joined them. Sister Peck has charge of the singing. The singers spend considerable time in practice, that their songs may make the best impression possible.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 9

    A few Sabbaths ago, Sister Peck, who has been teaching the church school here, took with her about twenty of the children to sing to the soldiers. Mr. Mooney, a livery man in St. Helena, lent them a large stage and two horses for the occasion, and also provided a driver. Sister Peck had drilled the children thoroughly, and they sang beautifully. The soldiers were much pleased and are requesting that the children come again.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 10

    The effort that is being put forth is bringing the truth before these soldiers. The interest is growing steadily. Those in charge of the home have expressed their pleasure at the good influence our people seem to have exerted.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 11

    Some of the men are already becoming convicted of the truth. A few weeks ago, an intelligent-looking man, about sixty-five years of ag,e told one of our brethren that before our people went there to sing, he had spent most of his time drinking and carousing with some of the other men, but that since they had been coming, he had found a more profitable way of employing his time. He said that he had given up drinking and was reading Desire of Ages. He thinks Desire of Ages is the best book he has ever seen and is reading it over and over again. He says that every time he reads it he finds it more interesting. A great change has been wrought in this man by the meetings held and the reading matter given him. Another old man is reading Daniel and the Revelation.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 12

    The workers went to Yountville last Sabbath and had a very interesting time. They found that some of the men have begun to meet in the grove during the week for Bible study and prayer. When they had finished the service in the chapel, they were requested by the hospital steward to sing to the men in the hospital. They went to that building and sang a few songs while standing on the verandah surrounded by men in wheel chairs. Through the doors opening on to the verandah, other men could be seen reclining on their cots. Then the singers were asked to go into a different part of the building and sing again. This they did. The aged and infirm men to whom they sang were much affected and begged them to come again, saying that the singing had done them good.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 13

    We now need a worker who can visit the home during the week and labor personally with those who are interested. Last Sabbath one man asked one of the workers to come to his room and talk with him; and next Sabbath some one will go to the home to talk with this man and with any others who may so desire. The work at the Veterans’ Home at Yountville should by all means go forward.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 14

    All around us there are souls who need the gospel. Who needs it more than these aged men? We believe that reformations will be seen in the home; for there is abundant evidence that the Spirit of God is working on the hearts and minds of some there.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 15

    The invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb is to be given to the aged men in the soldiers’ home at Yountville and in similar institutions in other places. I believe that many of them can be won to Christ. By prayer and tender sympathy we are to lead them to seek refuge in Jesus. They may feel His converting power. Their souls are precious in the Redeemer’s sight. He loves them with a deep, far-reaching love. Then shall not we, men and women of God’s appointment, show as deep an interest in them? Shall we not be laborers together with God in their behalf? Shall we not improve every opportunity to lift up before them a crucified and risen Saviour?18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 16

    Let the worker realize that he is only an instrument in God’s hands. He is to labor in connection with Christ, depending on the grace and strength of God to enable him to present the glories of the heavenly Canaan to those who even in their old age need to learn that those who come to Christ He will in no wise cast out.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 17

    Let the children be encouraged to act their part in this work. There is in the simplicity of childhood something that has the power to break the spell of habits and customs of years.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 18

    “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” [John 14:1-3.] What precious words these are to speak to aged men such as those in the Veterans’ Home! What hope and joy may thus be brought into their lives! We have a message that they need, O so much. We have not a moment to lose. Let us with all tenderness persuade them to come to the Saviour. Jesus is seeking through us, His agencies, to draw them into the fold. Let us tell them—these old men, who one by one are going down into the grave—that Christ has given us a message for them. Let us tell them that as soon as they receive Christ as their Saviour, the privileges of sonship are theirs. They are children of God. “If children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” [Romans 8:17.] Tell them that Christ wants them to be subjects of his kingdom. He says, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” [John 14:19.] The kingdom was prepared for them before the foundation of the world. It is the Father’s good pleasure to give the kingdom to all who love Him and keep His commandments. He will keep them by His power if they will give their hearts to Him. If they will come to Him, they will find rest in a Saviour’s love.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 19

    The Lord would have us do our very best, as wise men and women, to draw these aged men to Jesus, that when the “house of this earthly tabernacle” shall fail, they may die rejoicing in the hope of a home in the kingdom of God. [2 Corinthians 5:1.] Christ will accept all who believe in Him. If these aged men accept Him as their Saviour, their life will be hid with Christ in God. When He who is their life shall appear, He will call them from their prison house, breaking for them the fetters of the tomb.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 20

    I know that to those in our prisons the Word of the Lord should be given. To them the gospel is to be preached, even as it was preached to the dying thief on the cross. The Lord will accept all who will receive and believe on Christ.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 21

    There are many places in which as yet no memorials for the Master have been established, many men and women who have never heard the message for this time. To us is given the commission, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:19, 20.]18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 22

    Every one who believes the truth can do something for its advancement. God is calling, all heaven is waiting, for human agencies to take up their appointed work. Oh, if we only knew how short is the time left us in which to work, we would do our utmost to point sinners to Christ. In the last great day, how bitterly we shall regret the waste of the time that we could have given to the saving of souls ready to perish.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 23

    It is not eloquent speakers that are needed, but humble, earnest workers, men who have childlike trust in a higher strength. It is the men of prayer, who seek the Lord with humble, contrite hearts, that are men of power. They will be enabled to lead sinners to the marriage supper of the Lamb. I often think of the words, “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” [Ephesians 6:15.] If we will take up our work with hearts melted by God’s love, we shall see the salvation of God.18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 24

    May the Lord bless you all, and give you His Holy Spirit, that you may be filled with faith, and courage, and hope, and that you may “hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” [Hebrews 3:6.]18LtMs, Lt 146, 1903, par. 25

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