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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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    Lt 161, 1904

    Butler, G. I.

    Berrien Springs, Michigan

    May 18, 1904

    Portions of this letter are published in 5Bio 320. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    Elder G. I. Butler

    Dear Brother,—

    I have received your letter, also one from Edson. All that I can say now is, You should both be at this meeting. You may already be on the way. I hope so. I know not what I may be called upon to say to those assembled. But I am here and am expected to speak every forenoon at eleven o’clock.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 1

    One thing is certain: We need the clearest evidence of what the Lord would have us do. I will not dare to take responsibilities that He does not place on me. I see a work to be done in Washington and Takoma Park. I see there a class of people who have ears to hear and who stand among the highway hearers. As to fighting my way through in any place or on any subject whatsoever, this I shall refuse to do. If I can quietly bear my testimony, I will do that. But if going to Nashville means that I am to take burdens like those that I have been carrying ever since I came to America, I shall simply decline to go.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 2

    God forbid that these precious days shall be occupied in strife and contention. I will not consent to engage in this work. I shall pray the Lord to let me die rather than that I should live any longer with my mind wrought up as it has been, unable to be used for weeks together.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 3

    I do not want to say or do anything at Battle Creek. I have had an urgent invitation to go there and speak to the patients and to the young people. Some speak as if the Lord had wrought for His people in that place. I hope that He has, and I hope that He may continue to work for them. But I may not go to Battle Creek at all. I certainly shall not go if I can avoid it.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 4

    In order for my life to be spared, I shall have to be released from these burdens of contention that harass my soul so terribly. I know that I have a work to do in speaking to unbelievers in the city of Washington. Just as soon as I stand up to talk before those who have not heard the truth, I am greatly blessed by the Lord. And this shall be my work after I return to Washington. And after returning to California, I shall feel it my duty to labor for a time among unbelievers in Los Angeles and San Diego.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 5

    I am writing this seated on my bed, before any one in the house is stirring.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 6

    If our ministers can come together and treat each other as they should, overcoming their prejudices, ceasing their thrusts and surmisings, and putting off the war armor, some courage will come into our ranks.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 7

    I am resolved never again to imperil my brain as it has been imperilled. I will hope and pray and trust in my heavenly Father, who has wrought for me once more, when for weeks I thought that my brain power was gone beyond recovery. If I have any more such terrible experiences as I have had since coming to America, I shall be placed where I am beyond recovery. The Lord wrought for me in my own room at St. Helena, when the condition of my brain seemed beyond hope. In great distress I called upon the Lord. Night after night I labored in prayer. I said, “Lord, I cannot go to Washington. If you have a work for me to do there, I beseech Thee to deliver me.”19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 8

    I wrote to W. C. White, telling him that I could not go to Washington or to any place where I would be among believers who would lay their burdens on me.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 9

    Well, the Lord drew nigh. The change came instantly. The peace of Christ filled my heart, and my brain was entirely relieved. I was at rest. I started for Washington, stopping for a day on the way at Mountain View and looking at the place in a rainstorm. The moving of the Press is a right move.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 10

    During the whole journey I had none of the old, fearful pain in brain and nerve. I ended the journey comfortably and feeling well. I spoke three times while in Washington. Every time I went to the stand in fear and trembling, but God sustained me.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 11

    I did not want to come to Berrien Springs, but I am here, and I shall endeavor to stand before the people every day. But I will not touch any subject that will bring a burden upon my brain-nerve power.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 12

    Now, I have related to you the experience through which I have passed. If I can possibly avoid it, I will not run such a risk again.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 13

    I am hoping to see a change at this meeting. If this is the time to unify, then let us make every effort to place ourselves where we shall be one, as Christ is one with the Father. If this is done, we may expect to see the salvation of God. If it is not done, my labors henceforth will not be among our churches, but in new places, speaking to unbelievers, before whom I have the power of God.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 14

    I shall send a copy of this letter to Elder Haskell and to Edson.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 15

    In much love.19LtMs, Lt 161, 1904, par. 16

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