Lt 262, 1899

1899

Lt 262, 1899

Jones, C. H.

NP

Circa 1899

Not sent.

[Dear Brother C. H. Jones:]

I had a very trying day yesterday. Could not sleep after twelve o'clock p.m. and had an unpleasant day. Rode out but it did me no real good. Took treatment and went to bed. This morning I am better. Slept until 3:00 a.m. Lt262-1899.1

Brother Jones, I received and read your letter, and I am the one to be greatly surprised that you caution me to not let anyone receive the idea that I receive royalty from the published testimonies. What do you mean? Do you think I am trying to conceal anything in reference to my books? Have you not had evidence that I am one with the cause of God; that I call nothing my own; that I have borrowed, or rather hired, at least twelve thousand dollars on which I pay interest to press the work in Australia because I must see it established in righteousness? My brethren in America are not doing their part to open the work in new fields. Lt262-1899.2

I am so sorry that every evidence that I could give has still left upon your mind a cloudy impression of suspicion and criticism, ready to think thoughts that ought never to enter your minds. You must study deeper, my brother, from cause to effect. My conscience is clear before God. I value earthly possessions, gold or silver, as nothingness in comparison with the souls for whom Christ has given His life. And if the work had been done in American cities, in California and east of the Rocky Mountains, that God made it possible for you to do, there would today be memorials in cities nigh and places afar off where houses of worship would stand as God’s memorials, as in Oakland, and a much larger number would be representing the truth of God in many places. Lt262-1899.3

I felt a heart weariness and death-like sickness come upon me as I read your representations and see that you and [other] ministering brethren are so dull of comprehension. Would you have me produce bricks without straw? Where shall I obtain the money to pay my workers to produce books? I thought after reading your letter that, as far as I am concerned, the farther I am located from our institutions and from those who stand in responsible places, the better, far better, would it be for me in the accomplishment of the work God has given me to do. You seem to be so shortsighted. Would you be so shortsighted concerning your own work? I know you would not. Would it not be according to the law of God for you to be as sharp in looking at the things of others as well as at those things you are handling? I will propose to you [that you] make no charge for the press work, and I will donate the manuscript, and then sell them for their net value and put the money in the cause. Lt262-1899.4

The words of your letter surprised me very much and revealed to me that I need never expect that brethren and sisters who ought to comprehend are in mind and heart and spirit where they can possibly understand the nature and character of the work God has given me to do. They seem to suppose they know, when this letter from you reveals to me an inwardness of willing ignorance of human comprehension which should not be entertained. Am I to be compelled to specify things and explain that which should be self-evident to any intelligent mind? You should not be surprised, nor any other of our brethren, that I receive royalty on the testimonies that I give to the people. Whoever gave you or any other man the supposition that the important task of preparing the manuscripts was a free gift? Elder Butler thought at one time that the testimonies should be given to the people without anything in the line of royalty coming to me. Some of our brethren have thought and spoken that, too. Lt262-1899.5

In Australia I have had a very hard, laborious work to do; so also has W. C. White. He is called to take the responsibilities, largely, in councils, and I have had no help except for a typewriter and Sister Davis, who is intelligent in regard to my work. Those who have little experience with me and the laborious work every day of my life are unable to comprehend the matter by telling them. It is not possible for their minds to have any just appreciation of my work or that perception to understand. I was so pleased to obtain help of one who I knew respected the testimonies but who, as a minister, was receiving three pounds per week. But I did not hesitate to employ him. His health was not good. Lt262-1899.6

While this matter had all been published in small pamphlets as private testimonies for the churches, composing a book to be circulated for all our people demanded the most careful labor to prepare. To have just that much done cost three pounds per week and was a slow process. Then, after this work was done, when my mind was in its most clear and unburdened condition, I must go over every line of the work prepared to examine every word, that nothing should be placed in the book that could open the door for naturally severe men to use one expression [that would] encourage them to use the words in the Testimony as a whip to apply to scourge others—work some were ever ready to do, and have done, and will continue to do, because they have not the wisdom of the serpent and the harmlessness of the dove. Lt262-1899.7

I dare not place in manuscripts for publication many words entirely as they [were meant to] be, as I have spoken them and they have been reported—just as they came from my lips, just as God has moved me to speak—knowing that some who handle them may interpret these words to suit their own unsanctified spirit to bruise and to wound souls. Yet others will take the words to serve their own purposes to gain some point, and, in repeating the testimonies with a spirit of their own, make them of none effect. Every word was truth, but the great want of love and kindness and the Spirit of God to properly give the interpretation of the things written has led me to great carefulness, [because the] impression that I know should be present with the testimonies borne [is lacking, and it] makes me afraid. Lt262-1899.8

For some length of time I have been paying two pounds per week for one to classify and examine all the writing that has been collecting in testimonies for many years, and to select the portions that give light upon various points—of correcting evils in the family government and in the church government, in warnings, in restraint, and in encouraging the ones who need to be strengthened and sustained. [Two lines torn here.] ... the particular things they wish to bring to pass would not mix in them words of interpretation, so that the congregation cannot possibly distinguish what is testimony from the Lord or what are the words of the man who handles them. These things, in preparing testimonies, are the most severe on me of any class of labor possible. Lt262-1899.9

I think it is above twelve years that there has not been any testimonies prepared and got out in book form. But I have worn out typewriters and paid for the labors of persons to use these typewriters and the paper and all things required to reproduce copies to go all over the world where our people are. I have many hours less sleep than persons usually have; I am awakened at all times of night to write with an intensity that no one can understand. [Two lines torn here.] Lt262-1899.10

“Ye have eyes but ye see not.” [Jeremiah 5:21.] If it was thus in Christ’s day, it is no less thus in this our day. Christ, the greatest Teacher the world ever knew, on occasions when He knew His words were misinterpreted, said, “Ye hear my words but ye understand not.” Said He on one occasion, “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my words.” Truth was not palatable to them. “Because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? and if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not because ye are not of God.” [John 8:43, 45-47.] [Read] Isaiah 6:8-11. Lt262-1899.11

There are at this time many things that might be said that have to be left unsaid, for the people have not been imbued with the Spirit of God to take them in. A view of God’s infinite majesty and holiness will bring a deep sense of their own deficiency of spiritual understanding. The great work to be done in our institutions requires plain, direct, decided testimony—for they are just as much in need of them as the people in Christ’s day. Lt262-1899.12

What, Brother Jones, do you mean and what are you talking about, as though I must say nothing about receiving the means expended for help in bringing out the Testimonies, means which I have to pay for collecting and preparing this matter for the Testimonies. I have never had anything to conceal. It would be just as appropriate for our people to advance the idea of my having no remuneration for Desire of Ages, Patriarchs and Prophets, Great Controversy, and all the other writings. I did not suppose anyone was in darkness upon this point. Therefore I will inform them. Lt262-1899.13

Of the testimonies, these are the most difficult matters to manage, because the varied minds will interpret them to mean that which they do not mean. It requires most taxing and perplexing discretion as to what shall come in print and what shall be withheld. We do not desire to make bare our weakness to unbelievers, lest they will glory in the fact that Sabbathkeeping Adventists are faulty and love of the Lord does not convert their souls. I shall, I hope, ever carry myself and the work the Lord has given me to do in accordance with the instruction I have received from the One who has given me my work to do—the most trying and difficult work that can ever be given to human agencies. Lt262-1899.14

I did not suppose that persons of reasoning faculties would suppose that the light given of God for the people could be prepared for publication and brought out without the most critical, taxing preparation so that our own people shall be benefited and that every word should be so carefully guarded that the unbelieving world cannot take occasion to reproach our people. When the numbers of unbelievers were few, the matter could be handled with much less difficulty. I have to cut out some statements from the private testimonies, that the cause of God shall not be dishonored, and thus our precious work shall not become the sport of Satan’s handling. These testimonies have been sent to the ones to be warned and reproved. But the way the testimonies have been handled has made it a necessity to present the matters before the household of faith, and the truth must appear as it is, for one claims Sister White has said in testimony this, and another, that, and the other, something else. I now have to present the matter as it is. Lt262-1899.15

A small portion only will appear now. I cannot give the strength and time I desire before this coming Conference. I am not at all worried about my debts, although they are heavy. I have a desire to be in a position where I can settle them, but if I can still see a chance where I can rally my brethren by my own example, taking hold and doing something to extend the work, I shall not stop to get out of debt first but try to create interests which will be producing and not continually consuming. Lt262-1899.16

I have had the key presented to me how the cause of God can be advanced and the subject agitated, and then the presentation will make its own impression. But as sure as the beginning is made, there will be obstacles. I want to stand in that consecrated position where I dare, in the name of the Lord, to obey the command from divine instruction, “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.] Lt262-1899.17

You express, perhaps, the thoughts of many, but truth is truth, and I am to stand clear in the sight of God and never expect to be understood by many in this life. Many will continue to use the testimonies as they are doing. That which points out their individual defects in character they choose to war against, and they say, I do not believe that. They will continue to cover their faults as with a garment, but the Lord’s words are not changed, whether you receive or reject it. Lt262-1899.18