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    12 A TESTIMONY PERFECTLY TIMED

    As Oliver Skinner started off to open the schoolhouse, he slipped a revolver into his pocket saying, “If Peugh puts Loughborough out of that schoolhouse today, he will do it over my dead body.”MML 79.1

    At our meeting I spoke from Philippians 3:14: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.” Near the close of my sermon, Mr. Peugh came into the yard. He saw that something had gone wrong with his plans. I announced a meeting there for the next Sabbath, then closed the service. The men then formed a cordon around the angry man until we had gotten off the grounds.MML 79.2

    The next week, Mr. Peugh went before the grand jury to make a complaint against me, and to request that my preaching be stopped. But the judge, having learned of his threat on my life and his unlawful closing of the schoolhouse said, “Mr. Peugh, go home and keep quiet, for by your own course you have laid yourself liable to prosecution.”MML 79.3

    While at Healdsburg on July 6, I was handed a copy of the California Christian Advocate which reported our meetings, comparing them with the Millerite movement of 1844. The editor had written, “Back then they harangued the crowds that came out to hear on prophecy. Finally, they set a time for the Lord to come, and on the appointed day, in their ascension robes, went into graveyards or climbed upon housetops.... This movement in Healdsburg is of the same character. The men conducting the meeting neither preach nor pray.... They have books to sell on Daniel and Revelation. The people need not fear that anything permanent will result from this excitement.”MML 79.4

    A few weeks later while I was sitting in the tent, the mail stage halted in front, and the driver said, “Here’s a letter for you folks.” It was addressed “To the Elders at the Tent in Healdsburg, California.” The letter read: “Excuse me for addressing you as The Elders at the Tent, for I do not know your names. You probably saw the article in the recent number of the California Christian Advocate reporting your tent meetings in Healdsburg. In that article it said you had books to sell treating on the book of Revelation. For 20 years I have been studying that book, and I have written to New York, Philadelphia, and other places to get some treatise explaining it, but have failed. I wish you would forward to me by Wells Fargo Express one of the books that you are selling on Revelation. Send it C.O.D., and I will remit the pay and be greatly obliged to you. William Hunt, Gold Hill, Nevada.”MML 79.5

    Here we had a verification of the scripture, “they can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.” The thrust in the paper against us had made a call for the truth. I made up a package of books for Mr. Hunt and sent them by mail to save expense. Then I wrote him a lengthy letter explaining about the editor’s slur against Adventists, and telling him of our people and what we were doing. I mentioned other of our books and our weekly paper The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald.MML 80.1

    On Aug. 1, when the Wells Fargo agent again handed me a letter from Gold Hill, Nev., he added, “There’s a money package for you at the office, but I could not bring it until you sign for it.”MML 80.2

    Mr. Hunt wrote that he had read through the entire package of material, and was reading it the second time. He was thankful he had found so much light and said he believed it all. He added, “I don’t want to lose your whereabouts, so when you leave Healdsburg be sure to give me your post office address.” He ordered the Review for a year, and also the other books I mentioned. “I send you by Wells Fargo, $20.” he wrote. “Take out the pay for the books, and put the rest in your pocket for yourself.”MML 80.3

    I sent him the books he requested, and told him I did not want to keep the money for myself. Soon he responded with another $20 to apply toward tent meeting expense. The correspondence continued until we had sent him a copy of everything the denomination published, including a set of the Testimonies. In response he sent a third $20, and told us he believed everything we taught and was shaping his affairs to keep the Sabbath. By this time we knew we need not be alarmed at a little reproach against us.MML 80.4

    On Sept. 3, legal papers were signed in Santa Rosa completing the organization of a society to hold church property. The way was then opened to erect a church building in that city,-the first Seventh-day Adventist meetinghouse erected west of the Rocky Mountains. We then moved our tent seven miles west of Sebastopol.MML 80.5

    Oct. 11, was set as the day to lay the foundation of the new Santa Rosa church. When my wife and I arrived at the time appointed, we were astonished to find the foundation already laid with joists in place for the floor. The brethren explained, “We got here early, so thought we might as well go to work as stand around waiting for 9 o’clocks to come.” I replied, “Alright! But if my eyes do not deceive me, the building you’ve started is more than fifty feet long. Didn’t we vote 30 x 50?”MML 81.1

    Mr. Walker, the head builder, replied, “When we measured of 50 feet, we decided it would be too small, so we took the liberty to add another 10 and stand the expense.”MML 81.2

    “California liberality!” I laughed.MML 81.3

    By early November the building was enclosed. We seated it temporarily with benches from the tent, and held our first meeting Nov. 21, with Elder Bourdeau speaking on the text, “I was glad when they said, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1 Some feared our church was built too large, yet it was filled to capacity the first day. At the close of the service, four candidates were baptized in Santa Rosa Creek. Bro. Hewitt let us live in one of his houses, and on Nov. 26, our daughter Patience was born.MML 81.4

    April 8-10, 1871, a session of our State Association was held in Santa Rosa. Merritt Kellogg, who had just moved here, was with us. This was timely, for Elder Bourdeau planned to return East to labor for the French people. To save expense, we had lived together as one family since our arrival in San Francisco. As we did final bookkeeping, a surprise balance awaited us. Our total fares from New York were met to the very penny by our total profit from the sale of books.MML 81.5

    Beginning May 5, Merritt Kellogg and I held tent meetings at Bloomfield. The interest and attendance was splendid until June 9, when a smallpox epidemic broke out. Dr. Kellogg then used his medical skill in the homes of the afflicted ones. His kindness and successful treatment created a very favorable impression and an interest in our health message. By June 25, the danger was over and we continued our meetings.MML 81.6

    While holding a second series of meetings in Bloomfield during December, I noticed a stranger in the audience paying very close attention. Afterwards, one of the members introduced him saying, “Here is a man from Nevada who is staying at our lodging house and wishes to speak with you.”MML 82.1

    “And his name is William Hunt,” I said, “with whom I have been corresponding since July, 1869.”MML 82.2

    “I am the man,” responded the stranger. “I have come to spend a few days here before leaving the United States.”MML 82.3

    He stayed at Bloomfield five days, and before leaving asked for a set of charts, and any books he might not already have. He said, “I’m going to sail for New Zealand, and if things do not open up there, I shall go to the diamond mines of South Africa.” 1William Hunt did go to the diamond fields at Kimberly, and with literature introduced S.D.A. teachings into South Africa.MML 82.4

    After paying for the charts, he handed me a ten-dollar gold piece as a present, saying, “I shall probably never see you again, but you will hear from me after a while. I shall, by the Lord’s help, ever faithfully obey the truth.”MML 82.5

    During the winter of 1870-71, Elder Miles Grant, a First-day Adventist minister from New England, came to San Francisco and raised a great interest in prophecy. Later in the spring, a revivalist from the East held successful tent meetings here. We felt it would be wise to erect our tent in the city just after these meetings closed. So on June 14, our meetings opened on Market St. with every seat filled. On the second evening, Elder M. E. Cornell arrived from the East to assist me. We continued our meetings until July 27, when the northwest trade winds became so cold we accepted an offer to meet in the Baptist Church on Sixth Street.MML 82.6

    An experience came to us in January, 1872, which served to confirm the faith of that young church in the spirit of prophecy. Elder Cornell persisted in an independent course which I felt would bring reproach upon himself and upon the cause. Innocent as it seemed, he conducted himself injudiciously with a lady of the congregation, showing partiality which aroused comment among the enemies of the faith. Although far from the borders of immorality, I reasoned with him that he should shun every appearance of evil. He said it was nobody’s business, and that he could walk the streets with whomever he pleased. The older church members saw the evil of his waywardness and were ready to subject him to censure, but the younger ones sided with him.MML 82.7

    Thus the matter stood on Sabbath, Jan. 27, when it was decided than an investigation must be made and action taken. To all appearances a division in the church was inevitable. A meeting was appointed for 9 a.m. Sunday morning. I spent much of the night in prayer. On the morning of the 28th, as I started out for the meeting, I met my fellow-laborer on the sidewalk, near my boarding place, weeping. He said, “Brother Loughborough, I am not going to that meeting today.”MML 83.1

    “Not going to the meeting?” I asked in astonishment. “Why, that meeting relates to your case!”MML 83.2

    “I know,” he said, “but I am all wrong. You are right in the position you have taken in reference to me. Here is a letter of confession I have written to the church. It is better that you read it to them, and better for those who might sympathize with me if I were not there.”MML 83.3

    “But what has happened to make such a great change since yesterday?” I inquired.MML 83.4

    He explained, “I went to the post office last night after the Sabbath, and received a letter from Sister White,” he said handing me the letter. “Tell the church I accept it as a testimony from God, and that I repent.”MML 83.5

    The letter read, “I was shown, Brother Cornell, that you should be very circumspect in your deportment and in your words; you are watched by enemies. You have great weakness for a man that is as strong to move the crowd as you are. Separated from your wife as you are, suspicion and jealousy will frame falsehood if you give no occasion; but if you are careless, you will bring a reproach upon the cause of God which would not soon be wiped away. Satan is tempting you to make a foolish man of yourself. Now is your opportunity to show yourself a man, to accept the grace of God by your patience, your fortitude and courage. Be careful how you are enticed to make woman your confidants, or to allow them to make you their confidant. Keep aloof from the society of women as much as you can; you will be in danger.”MML 83.6

    But we must go back. This counsel came to Sister White in a vision shown her on Dec. 10, 1871, while traveling in Vermont. She began to write out the part relating to Elder Cornell on Dec. 27, but she did not complete it at that time. Early on the morning of Jan. 18, 1872, she awoke with the impression, “Write out immediately the testimony for California and get it in the very next mail. It is needed.” Then the impression came a second time. She arose quickly and completed the letter. Before breakfast she handed it to her son Willie saying, “Take the letter to the post office, but do not put it in the drop. Hand it to the postmaster, and have him be sure to put it in the mail bag that goes out this morning.”MML 84.1

    At that time it required nine days for overland mail between Michigan and California. Had the letter arrived a day later, there would doubtless have been a sad rupture in the church. Had it come several days earlier, the church would not so readily have seen its force. Our members in San Francisco saw at once that no person on the west coast could have communicated that information to Mrs. White in time for her to write that letter, for the state of things which had developed did not then exist. The perfect timing of the counsel confirmed the church in the Spirit of Prophecy.MML 84.2

    On April 25-28, 1872, we held a California State Meeting at Santa Rosa. Sensing a debt of gratitude to the General Conference, a fund of $2,000 was raised for a mutual obligation fund, and sent to Battle Creek together with an invitation for Elder and Mrs. White to spend the winter of 1872-73 with us. As we studied the needs of the field, it was agreed that Elder Cornell and I should hold the next tent meetings at Woodland, twelve miles from Sacramento.MML 84.3

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