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    October 23, 1888

    VOL. 2. - MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., - NO. 4

    Fifth Day’s Proceedings

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    MONDAY, Oct. 22, 1888.

    The fifth meeting of the conference was held at 10:30 a. m. Prayer was offered by Elder Wm. Covert.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 11.1

    The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved after which a portion of a letter from Elder George I. Butler, the president, was read by the secretary. The condition of Elder Butler’s health was reported by himself to be somewhat improved.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 11.2

    Elder W. C. White continued his report, giving statistics concerning the condition of the work in the various foreign missions. From the written report furnished by Brother White, we glean the following facts and figures.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 11.3


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    From the following tabulated report we see that there are in our foreign mission fields:GCDB October 23, 1888, page 11.4

    17 American and 9 native preachers Total, 26
    1    ”      ”  6    ”   licenciates 7
    7    ”      ”  5    ”   editors and office managers Total 12
    10    ”      ”  4    ”   Bible workers 14
    50 male and 50 female canvassers 100
    (All but six of these are native laborers.)
    30 male and 24 female workers in printing offices 54
    (These are those not otherwise counted.)
    This gives a total of 213

    Forty of these are laborers who have been sent from America, and of the 172 native workers 22 are preachers, editors and bible workers; 96 are canvassers and 54 are employees of the printing houses.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 11.5

    As the question has been asked, what it will probably cost to maintain our foreign missions on their present scale of work, and it seems very desirable to know beforehand how much we need to raise during the year for this work, we have endeavored to examine the accounts of the year and comparing with the amounts paid our missionaries in 1887, to secure an approximate estimate of next year’s expenses, provided we make no addition to our present corps of workers. Our estimate is as follows:GCDB October 23, 1888, page 11.6

    Australia, 5 native and 4 American lab. $2,000 00 $4,730 00
    British, 9 native and 9 American laborers 1,175 00 6,861 00
    Central European, 27 native and 5 Am. lab. 3,500 00 4,286 32
    Scandinavian, 7 native and 6 American lab. 1,551 00 5,127 49
    South Africa, 2 native and 4 American lab. 1,620 05 1,320 30
    Total $9,911 00 $22,315 23
    To this may be added:
    Annual loss on “Present Truth”, (16 page semi-monthly) $1,200
    Rent on British Mission office,salesroom and A.M.School 1,300
    Loss on the French and German journals, pub. at Basel 1,800
    Loss on Scandinavian journals, pub. at Christiana 800
    Expense of maintaining the missionary ship, with a crew of 5 men, and 4 competent laborers 3,500
    Total $8,600

    To this might be added the probable expense of some of the most important enterprises which we ought to engage in at once:GCDB October 23, 1888, page 11.7

    A city mission and canvassing school in Hamburg $2,000 00
    For ship mission work 1,000 00
    To send and maintain 2 laborers in Russia 1,700 00
    To issue Russian publications (tracts, pamphlets and letters) 2,500 00
    To issue tracts and leaflets in other tongues in which we now have nothing 2,500 00
    Grand Total $60,526 22

    Our brethren sometimes ask, will the cause in these mission fields ever be self-sustaining? In Switzerland it is so nominally; in New Zealand it is the same; in Victoria, Australia, it would be so if the brethren confined their labors to that colony, but Victoria is only one of the five Australian colonies, and shall we expect the three or four churches of that colony to bear the burden of sending the truth to New South Wales, to South Australia, to Queensland, and to Western Australia? This example illustrates the whole question. Our churches raised up in foreign lands are just as faithful as our American brethren in paying their tithes, and are liberal according to ability in sustaining missionary enterprises. Shall we stand quietly by, waiting for the cause in these countries to gain strength to carry the Message to the great mission fields around? Or, will the American brethren continue to use the experience and financial strength which God has granted them in pushing forward the work in foreign lands? It seems to me there can be but one answer to such a question.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 11.8

    There is a most promising field now open in Holland. Shall we furnish the necessary means to issue the publications needed in this country? I believe our brethren will say yes.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 12.1

    Another question which is sometimes raised is this, will our mission printing houses ever be self-sustaining? The answer is much the same as that about the missions. The larger books being published pay their way, but there is not sufficient profit on these to bear the expense of translating and publishing new books. There is now a great demand for tracts in the Russian language. The expense of translating and publishing these will be considerable, and the returns for the first year or two will be very slight.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 12.2

    There is also a call for books in the Polish and Hungarian languages. Also, the Finnish, Armenian, Portuguese, Spanish, Greek, Chinese, Indian, Hawaiian, and the native tongues. Shall we print them? Or, shall we wait till our office in Basil can save enough money from the sale of the few German and French books which are now paying a small profit to bear the expense of this new enterprise?GCDB October 23, 1888, page 12.3

    Every new book of considerable size requires $1,000 or $2,000 of capital to meet the expense of translating and type-setting, and to buy the stock upon which it is printed. The “History of the Sabbath” in German and French is now in process of publication. This large work put into two languages will require $2,000 or $3,000 of capital. Shall we go forward with the publication? Or, shall we stop for lack of means? This illustrates the publishing problem as it presents itself in each of the mission offices. I believe we should be profoundly thankful that the Lord has opened the way so that our books will sell in these mission fields.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 12.4

    We see that new books will constantly be called for in those countries where work is now most successful as well as for the new fields not yet entered, and as the publication of each new work requires capital, we shall need to set apart each year a liberal sum for this purpose.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 12.5

    The Australian work can probably be carried with Australian capital, and it may be that the increase in the African stock can be provided for in the same way, but the Scandinavian house will no doubt require an increase of three or four thousand in their stock.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 12.6

    The advantages of printing for Great Britain and the colonies in London, are such that we believe $10,000 should be invested there, and as much more in the work at Basil.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 12.7


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    The past year has witnessed some increase in the number of Sabbath reapers in the Scandinavian countries. A tent meeting has been held in Sweden, conducted by J. R. Ericksen. They have had a large hearing, and some 18 or 20 have commenced to keep the Sabbath. Two churches have organized up to the present time, one at West Boda, with 16 members, and one at Getille with 14 members. The whole number baptized during the year was 47. A good degree of interest is manifested in many places to hear the truth. The churches have not received the help so much needed, especially in the line of tract and missionary and the Sabbath School work. Since the close of the mission school 28 colporters have been at work, and have had a good degree of success, so that with a little encouragement they have paid their own way. The aggregate amount of book sales up to September 1, as near as we can learn amounts to $5,410.09. Sweden seems to be a good field for labor, but we lack both men and means to push the work as would be desired.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 12.8


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    Here also an increase of interest is manifested. A tent meeting has been held at Holbek the past summer with a good degree of interest. Quite a number have commenced to obey the truth. One new church was added to the conference. The whole number baptized was 40. Since the close of the mission school 14 colporters have been at work. The amount of book sales was about $558. Here too, we find many calls for labor, and a rising interest in a number of places. The obstacles in the way of the canvassing work are very great, as the law of the land is opposed to us in selling books the way we do. Here also the tract and missionary work, and the Sabbath School work have been neglected. The reason for this neglect is that we have not been able to get around.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 12.9


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    Here we cannot present so much apparent success, yet we have many encouraging features. Since the close of the conference Bro. Brorson has labored in the Northern part of the kingdom and met with very encouraging success. On different islands there he has found people very much interested to hear the truth. In one place 18 had commenced to obey the truth, at his last writing. There are also Sabbath keepers at other places and many other open places to present the truth. Also in the south of Norway we find an interest is being awakened at different places. Much could be done if we only had the needed laborers and means with which to carry the work forward. Here in Norway we have 7 active colporters. Since the close of our mission school they have disposed of about $1,461.21 worth of books. All of them are of good courage and some of them are meeting with very good success for this country. Besides this there are others working mostly for our health paper, some who are not of our people.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 12.10


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    We have now in all 24 churches, with a membership of 766, and of scattering Sabbath keepers not yet organized into churches 265, making a total of 1031 Sabbath keepers. Still this is not complete, as a number has embraced the truth more recently that had not been placed with these figures. We have now 40 colporters, and 8 ministers. We have sold about $8063 worth of books, wholesale. We have printed 4000 “Life of Christ,” Swedish, and 400 “Life of Christ,” Danish, 4000 Swedish “Home Hand Books,” and 4000 Danish; the number of tracts and pamphlets, Swedish and Danish, different sizes, from a four-page tract to the largest size of pamphlets, 135,000 copies. Have printed 24,000 Tidendes, 24,000 Harolden, 90,000 Danish “Health Journal,” and 50,000 Swedish “Health Journal.” Have 4000 subscribers for the Danish Health Journal, and about the same for the Swedish; and with the blessing of God our courage and prospects are good.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 12.11

    The following was read from Eld. O. O. Olsen:GCDB October 23, 1888, page 12.12

    I wish to set before you some plans which are in my mind as to how to best forward the work here. I meet many perplexing problems. It is one thing to get people out to keep the Sabbath, believe in the non-immortality of man, etc.; it is a very different thing for them to get hold of the spirit of the message and become identified with this work and its object. They first meet with some opposition, but the last is ten-fold more difficult. I think you understand me. People who merely keep the Sabbath and believe in some of the leading doctrines that we hold, yet after all have never gotten hold of the spirit of the message, can not be heartily with us. They mean well, and think they are all right, but they do not know why. This is the greatest difficulty at the present stage of the work in this field. Yet here is our only hope. If we cannot gain this, all is lost. To reach this point by directly educating these older people is not possible. If we cannot gain it by educating the youth I cannot see how it is possible to gain it at all. If there is need of schools in America for our young people, we need it ten times more here; for we have ten times the difficulties to meet from this standpoint than you have in America. Our churches over here are now increasing in numbers, consequently we have a large number of youth and children to care for, and it is a study how we shall relate ourselves to this. Our work is in need of educated youth. I see an opening from this standpoint that has created in me some courage if we can carry it out.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 12.13

    Here are some of my present projects. In reference to Bro. Ottosen. Since I became acquainted with him, I have felt for him the deepest interest. He is far on the way to finish his education as a doctor. It has been a question for him and also for us whether he should continue his course, or give himself more directly to the message. We have all wavered somewhat. We need an educated physician among us in the Scandinavian branch of our work, but I could not feel that it would meet the object by his going on in his studies and taking up his practice outside of any special connection with this work. What was dark in the education of the young has been the fact that we have not had anyone to educate them. And now Bro. Ottosen is the only man that we have over here who can help us in this.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 13.1

    In talking over this matter with him the problem now shapes itself like this. While Ottosen still pursues his studies he can, and is, willing to give a part of his time to educating our young people. This coming winter he will give us three months, Feb., Mar., and April. Next year he can give us six or seven months. That is as far as we can plan now. But this will be a beginning. Now I propose in the time of our school to gather young people from fifteen to twenty years of age, and have them taught in the most practical branches to begin with. Also to instruct them in the truth, the T. & M. work, Sabbath School work, etc. We have a few young people who already have a start, so that with a little more help they could be available for teachers among our churches. My plan is, as I have intimated, to have these teachers instructed in these branches of the work so that when they come to a church these teachers can be a help to the church. Now I do not mean to say that these young people shall come into the church and be said to rule over them, - No! - No! But I do mean that when the church seeks one of these young people to come and teach their children that they shall have a preparation. And while the teacher thus quietly gathers the children about him and gains their confidence, the children try to lead the parents to Christ. In this way we reach the hearts of the parents, and thus the way is opened to impart to them instruction in some of these lesser things that we cannot now. These young people we can educate into the machinery of the Third Angel’s Message, but not the older people; but through the young the old will be helped, and be the back-bone of the work after all.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 13.2

    This is the way it worked in our first experience in America, and from this little experiment made here, I am fully persuaded that we can do the same here. I do not mean that we will not meet with any difficulties in this plan. I know we shall; but God will help us, for this is his work.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 13.3

    I have given you a very brief outline. Will you encourage me in this? Please give advice. And will you allow that some of the mission funds be used in supporting Bro. Ottosen in this work? For it will be utterly impossible to think that this enterprise can be self-supporting?GCDB October 23, 1888, page 13.4

    To my mind there is light in this view of things, and if we shall not be able to reach a certain point in this way, I do not know how we can reach it. But I have hopes that this will succeed.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 13.5

    In two or three places here in Denmark they have already commenced a school for children. It is very humble indeed, and makes no pretentions. They obtained one of our young sisters to teach the children. She holds her school in private houses. She has four places in one town and stays two days in each place. Humble as it is, this has worked well, and altogether this sister has had but a small chance, and can only teach the first principles, and has been but little instructed in the truth, yet it has been a real help in the church in several directions. Placing this by the side of my own experience I am fully persuaded of the utility of this idea.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 13.6

    If we do not do something in this line the most valuable of our young people here will leave for America, and we will be left to plod along as well as we can. There is very little here to hold them. They cannot have access to the schools and are educated only to the most limited extent. This is the reason why we cannot now find any that have education to take hold of the work in an intelligent manner.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 13.7

    Bro. White stated that the question would doubtless be raised whether our foreign publications might be made self-supporting.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 13.8

    Under the existing state of things this would be impossible. Papers are published very cheaply in Europe, especially in England, and in order to sell our publications there at all, they must also be furnished at a very low rate, so low that with a small edition, as we now publish, there must be a constant financial loss. If we could publish in editions of 100,000 or more, the foreign papers would be self-supporting.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 13.9

    The necessity of establishing schools in the various countries of Europe, where our young people can be properly educated in the work, was also dwelt upon by the speaker; this at the present time seems to be an absolute necessity. The work will be greatly retarded there unless such schools can be established.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 13.10

    Just before the conference adjourned, the president of the Inter. T. and M. society announced the following committees for that society: On nominations: J. D. Van Horn, Wm. Ostrander and Geo. Starr. On plans and resolutions for the future of the society: W. C. White, G. G. Rupert, R. Conrad, A. T. Robinson, and C. Eldridge.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 13.11

    Meeting adjourned to 2:30 p. m.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.1

    SIXTH MEETING, 2:30 P. M

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    Prayer by J. D. Van Horn. The minutes of the previous meeting read and approved. The interesting report presented in the forenoon meeting was referred to by the president, and L. R. Conradi, of Germany, was called upon to make some remarks upon the subject of Foreign Mission schools. Bro. Conradi remarked that it was a question as to the feasibility of a training school, but in Basel, Switzerland, a few were gathered and instructed and soon took hundreds of orders for books. A few hours each day was devoted to study, and as a result they soon proved the possibility of the canvassers sustaining themselves by the sale of books.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.2

    The laws in different counties being different, caused some inconvenience but we are overcoming these difficulties and our canvassers are generally succeeding.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.3

    In the north of Germany some few workers have been started, also in southern Germany. Some 35 are now at work in the German field.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.4

    At our camp meeting, which we held with some considerable trepidations, we gathered our workers and canvassers, and the first week was given entirely to the canvassing work. This stirred an interest among others and as a result we had an excellent meeting. Several from large cities have written, asking for instructions. One sister gave her money, then herself to the cause. Her course was questioned but her faith was rewarded with success. I believe laborers could be multiplied if we had schools.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.5

    Why could we not have hundreds just as well as the few we have? I know of no field where I think canvassers could do better than in the German empire. The spirit “go to work” helps our churches also. In France we have quite a success but they need instruction, and if our workers could have help, all Europe would soon be lighted up with the Third Angel’s message.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.6

    One church has furnished from 24 members, eight canvassers. Many who embrace the truth have to give up their work, and this canvassing work is a good opening for them, but they need instruction and this necessitates instructors and schools.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.7

    A course of lectures cannot fully develop the people without schools of instructions. Some will develop as ministers and others as canvassers. They feel the importance of the work in the foreign field as we do not here. We have tried to send them out singly, but as they went into the large cities they became discouraged. They needed instruction. Others will be discouraged or encouraged as those who first enter the field succeed or fail. At first it was thought that a salary would be necessary to sustain canvassers, but after the instructions at our school they returned to the field and made it a success.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.8

    Our agents last year sold nearly $10,000 worth of books.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.9

    In Germany the laws are better than in Switzerland. Small pamphlets and tracts sell there readily.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.10

    It seemed wiser to instruct the canvassers and get them started, than to preach much. In one city they took 1,000 orders, and in another 500. Expenses are greater in our foreign countries than here in America.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.11

    School laws are very oppressive to those who desire to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.12

    Russia is calling for instruction, but ministers cannot teach the children as we can here. The native teachers can do much better than foreigners. My only hope is to instruct the native talent, which can best be done by bringing them out into some other country where we can have a school and instruct them.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.13

    It will cost something at first, but I believe it will soon be repaid in dollars and cents and bring many precious souls into the kingdom of Christ.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.14

    The president remarked that we could all see from Bro. C’s. remarks that it was important to have schools for the instruction of canvassers.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.15

    Brethren Beldon and Eldridge stated that it would take from five to 15 years to canvass the United States for one book at the rate the work was done the past year.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.16

    Said the chairman: The financial backing of our publishing houses in Europe, is in the United States. Capital must be had and a load is to be carried.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.17

    About ten years ago the work began in the British field.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.18

    Most of them who first embraced the truths were poor and the difficulties were so great that they could not live and keep the Sabbath. Last year we conceived the idea of removing the publishing house to London, that we might get an outside influence and provide work for many who would be thrown out of employment.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.19

    A good brother offered to pay the rent for a year if it would not exceed $500.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.20

    We have moved and you have heard the report of the result. Success is attending our efforts. Many who have embraced the truth are workers, and have been, in the churches from which they came. We must have work for them. Some of them have clerkships, but are willing to give up their positions to labor in the truth.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.21

    We must give our literature for foreign lands the mold of the press in the countries to which they go. It will cost to prepare cuts for this contemplated change and will add largely to our expense and burden.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.22

    On motion the secretary’s report on foreign missions was accepted.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.23

    Moved that the chairman appoint a committee of five to take into consideration the demands for educational efforts in connection with our missions; to recommend plans for the education and training of workers to work among the foreign people of America, and to conduct a council of the foreign laborers present at this meeting.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.24

    On motion the conference adjourned to the call of the chair.GCDB October 23, 1888, page 14.25

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