Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)

422/519

Ms 7, 1866

Testimony Concerning Brother and Sister Wicks

NP

1866

See 1T 528-531, 534. Previously unpublished.

Sister Wicks has habits which are steadily undermining her constitution and which will eventually leave her a wreck. She can now do something towards placing herself in a better condition of health. She cannot glorify God in her body and her spirit, which are God’s, while she is indulging the use of poisonous stimulants. She flatters herself that these are strengthening her, that she cannot live without them, but it is a mistake. They are taking from the strength of the nerves and using up her future resources of strength. She may have everlasting life if she will deny herself, take up the cross and follow Christ. She has a work to do which no one can do for her—cleanse herself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 1

Tea and snuff and coffee and swine’s flesh are not the nourishing substances God would have us introduce into the system. None of these can build up the system, but they tear down. Sister Wicks, while you use these hurtful things you are benumbing the fine, sensitive nerves of the brain, making it utterly impossible to discern sacred things, to value the atonement, and to see the necessity of purity and holiness of life in order to meet the measurement of God. It is for you to decide whether you will have life or death. [A portion is missing here.] 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 2

Brother Wicks made a sad mistake of shifting the responsibility of his stewardship upon his wife, and she made a sad mistake in urging him to do so. The Searcher of hearts, to whom the intents and purposes of every heart stand faithfully revealed, was acquainted with the motives and purposes, and this transfer of property was not from motives which would stand the test of the judgment. Sister Wicks’ peculiar traits of character are penurious, selfish, acquisitive. In order for her to be benefited by the mediation of Christ and inherit eternal life, she must be an overcomer and imitate the character of her divine Lord, doing good to others, living for the benefit of others, loving others as Christ has loved us. The precious gift of love, possessed so largely by our Saviour, she is a stranger to. His life was characterized by noble, disinterested benevolence. His whole life was not marred by one selfish act. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” 1 John 2:6. “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: Because as he is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4. 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 3

The work of overcoming Sister Wicks knows but very little about, and when Brother Wicks transferred his stewardship to his wife, he took a similar course to the man to whom was committed the one talent [and] who hid it in the earth. When God called him to account [he] excused himself with saying, “Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed; and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.” Matthew 25:24, 25. What the man with the talent was afraid of was that all the improvement of his talent would be required of God. This led him to pronounce God a hard man. And in order to keep from God that improvement which God required of him, he hid his talent lest God should be benefited with it. 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 4

Both Brother and Sister Wicks are at fault, and will be no better able to stand the test of the judgment than the man could with the one hidden talent. Brother Wicks’ shifting the responsibility upon his wife does not ease or lessen his accountability one whit. When he made the transfer, he pleased the enemy and his wife and himself. Satan generaled the matter and exulted because both were ensnared. This property transferred to Sister Wicks was a stumblingblock to her and she has made no advancement in the Christian graces since. She had a great work to do before to overcome intemperate, hurtful habits which were warring against the soul, beclouding her intellect, and benumbing her sensibilities to that degree that it was impossible for her to discern sacred things, and blunting her perceptive faculties, making it impossible for her rightly to estimate or value the atonement or the worth of the soul and everlasting life. 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 5

God calls upon these two to overcome while they have an Advocate with the Father, to make thorough work for eternity, to have their sins go beforehand to judgment, that when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord their sins may be blotted out. Unless they are both thoroughly converted and are partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption of the world through lust, they will never possess the heavenly treasure, never dwell with the self-sacrificing, self-denying Son of God, but will through their earnest efforts to save their lives here lose their lives eternally. 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 6

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Matthew 16:25-27. 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 7

Brother Wicks possesses a different spirit from his wife, but unless he shall act upon the light God has given and see the snare of Satan, he will be drawn under the cloud of unbelief and yield the conflict. He has loved to listen to the truth but he has been too much of a forgetful hearer, not a doer of the work. He should be a doer of the work. His wife’s spirit cannot harmonize at all with the spirit of truth and holiness. He has thought to save himself trials by yielding to his wife. From what I saw, darkness has so long enveloped her, and the Spirit of God has had so little to do with her, that she will fail to make the efforts that are absolutely necessary for her to break through the snare of Satan. If so, Satan will use her as his agent to ruin her husband and be a stumblingblock to others. 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 8

*****

I saw that a great work is to be done for Sabbathkeepers and they must do this work for themselves. One cannot do the work of another. Each must do his and her own work. Many will fail to come up to the standard, and sell eternal life for their present enjoyment and for the sake of gain. 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 9

I was shown that the subject of usury should engage the attention of Sabbathkeepers. Wealthy men have no right to take usury from their poor brethren, but from unbelievers they may exact usury. “And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him. ... Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.” Leviticus 25:35-37. 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 10

“Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of anything that is lent upon usury: unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it.” Deuteronomy 23:19, 20. 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 11

God has been displeased with Sabbathkeepers for their avaricious spirit. Their desire to get gain is so strong upon them, that they have taken advantage of their poor, unfortunate brethren in their distress and have added to their already abundant means when their poorer brethren have been distressed and necessitated for the same means. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 5:7) is the language of their heart. 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 12

A few years since some of the poorer brethren were in danger of losing their souls through wrong impressions. Everywhere Satan was tempting the poorer brethren in regard to the wealthy. The poorer were looking to be favored, and expecting to be favored, when it was their duty to rely upon their own energies, and had they been favored it would have been the worst thing that could be done for them. All through the ranks of Sabbathkeepers, among the poorer class, Satan opened the door of temptation before some that he might overthrow them. Some have lacked judgment and wisdom in their poverty, have taken their own course, have not been willing to ask advice or to follow advice, and have had to suffer through the fruits of their miserable calculation; and yet these same ones would feel that they should be advantaged by their brethren who had property. 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 13

These things needed to be corrected. This first-mentioned class did not realize the responsibilities resting upon the wealthy or the perplexity and cares they were compelled to have because of their means. All that they could realize was that these men had means when they wished to handle it, while they were cramped for the same. But the wealthy have, as a general thing, regarded all the poor in the same light, when there is a class of poor who are doing the best in their power to glorify God, to do good, to live for the truth, and such were of solid worth. Their judgment was good, their spirit precious in the sight of God, and the amount of good that they accomplished in their unpretending way was tenfold greater than that accomplished by the wealthy, although they might give large sums on some occasions. Yet they fail to see and realize the necessity of doing good, of being rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate. 1LtMs, Ms 7, 1866, par. 14