Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 22, 1867

Alchin, Brother


early 1867

See variant Lt 22a, 1867. This letter is published in entirety in 1T 543-549.

[First part missing] ... Of all men, Brother Alchin, you are the one whom the truth received on every point will benefit. You are a man that a spare diet will benefit. You were in danger of being stricken down in a moment and one-half of you becoming dead. A denial of appetite is salvation to you, while you look upon it as a privation. A thorough reform is needed in your family. 1LtMs, Lt 22, 1867, par. 1

You both have a responsibility resting upon you which you do not realize in regard to your children. Your youngest controls you too much and you are, through your affection for your child, doing her serious injury, making her unlovable. The growth of unsubdued evil in her nature is strengthening by letting her do very much as she pleases, and Satan, almost unchecked, controls the mind of your child. Satan knows that if the will of the child is not subdued to yield willing obedience to your requirements, she will not be in a condition to yield obedience to God. You are suffering her will to remain unsubdued, and you seek in every way to pursue a course which will not cross her path, for you expect a storm. 1LtMs, Lt 22, 1867, par. 2

Solemn obligations rest upon the parents to teach their children self-denial—denial of appetite, denial of self in little things. This is highly necessary in the education of all children. Especially should Christian parents so educate their children, to the end that they may become Christians. Why the youth are not more religiously inclined is because of the defect in their education. It is not true love that is exercised toward a child which leads the parents of that child to suffer or permit the indulgence of passion or disobedience against their requirements. Just as the twig is bent, the tree inclines. 1LtMs, Lt 22, 1867, par. 3

The mother should have the hearty cooperation of the father in her efforts to lay the foundation for a Christian education in her children. A doting father should not close his eyes to the faults of his children because it is not pleasant to administer correction. Never should the father interfere with the government or with judicious, deserved correction which the mother feels compelled to administer to her children. If ever the mother needs the hearty cooperation of the father, it is at a time when her affections are seeking to draw her from the present painful duty of teaching an erring, disobedient child submission and obedience to her authority. She has to nerve herself, bearing in mind the future good of her loved one. Her mother’s feelings of affection would lead her, even amid her administering correction, to do away all its influence by petting and indulging, lest she should lose the love of her child. You both need to arouse and with firmness, not in a harsh manner but with determined purpose, let your children see that they must yield to your authority and obey you. 1LtMs, Lt 22, 1867, par. 4

A father must not be a child, moved by impulse. A father is bound to his family by sacred, holy ties. Every member of the family centers in the father; his name is house-band, the true definition of husband. He is the lawmaker, illustrating in his own manly bearing sterner virtues, energy, integrity, honesty, and practical usefulness. 1LtMs, Lt 22, 1867, par. 5

The father in one sense is the priest of the household, laying upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice, the wife and children uniting in prayer and praise. With such a household Jesus will tarry, and through His quickening influence your joyful exclamations shall yet be heard here, and amid higher and more lofty scenes, “Behold I and the children whom thou hast given me.” [Hebrews 2:13.] Saved, saved, eternally saved, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, heirs now of immortality! Oh, how few fathers realize the responsibility resting upon them! How few have learned the art of governing their children, perfect self-control. When this is attained, it is easy to control, to educate the children to self-control. 1LtMs, Lt 22, 1867, par. 6

My heart yearns over the church in Bushnell, for there is work to be done there. There is material there for a good church but there needs to be considerable done to remove the rough edges and fit the members up to work harmoniously. It has hitherto been the case when one or two feel the necessity of arousing and standing unitedly and more firmly upon the elevated platform of truth, a portion will not arise. They feel within them a spirit to rebel against being urged and a stubborn spirit comes upon some, and when they should help they hinder. Some will not submit to the planing knife of God when it passes over them, and the uneven surface is disturbed. They complain of too close and severe work, and wish to get out of God’s workshop, where their defects may remain undisturbed. They seem to be asleep as to their condition, that their only hope is to remain where the defects in their Christian character will be seen and remedied. 1LtMs, Lt 22, 1867, par. 7

Some are indulging lustful appetites which war against the soul and are a constant drawback, a hindrance to their spiritual advancement. They bear an accusing conscience constantly and, if straight truths are talked, are prepared to be hit, and then feel as though things had been said purposely to hit them. They feel injured and grieved. If such would not be hurt they must get out of the way, so reform that the arrows of truth will pass harmlessly by them. But while they indulge in errors and in idols, and do not abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, they make themselves a mark for the arrows of truth to hit, and if truth is spoken at all they must be wounded. 1LtMs, Lt 22, 1867, par. 8

Satan tells some that they cannot reform, that health would be sacrificed if they left their tobacco, their tea, coffee, and flesh meats. They would for a time feel the change. Some have so benumbed the fine sensibilities of nature that it would require a little time for nature to recover the abuse which she has been made to suffer through the introduction into the system of a false stimulus which has depressed and weakened her powers. But give nature a little time and she will rally and again perform her part nobly and well. These idols are destructive to health and have a benumbing influence upon the brain, making it impossible to appreciate eternal truth. 1LtMs, Lt 22, 1867, par. 9

“Fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” [1 Peter 2:11.] Here is the battle with many. Will they abstain from these indulgences which weaken physical and mental force? If they do not they cannot have eternal life. They lose confidence in themselves, sacrifice their manhood, sacrifice their noble, moral independence, and are slaves to a hurtful, low, degrading habit. When, in the fear of God they rally and abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, then can they advance, and not before. They may try to carry these things along but they are fleshly lusts and constantly at war with the health and with spiritual growth. 1LtMs, Lt 22, 1867, par. 10

Again God requires parents at Bushnell to realize their obligations to their children, and to command their households after them. Children are not disciplined as they should be. There is a work for parents—to do their duty to their children, or the sin marked against Eli will rest upon them. 1LtMs, Lt 22, 1867, par. 11

There can be a work done in Bushnell if all who have embraced the Sabbath live up to the light which they have received. Do such realize that they are the lights which God has placed in Bushnell to be a savor of life unto life? Ye are the light of the world. Let your light so shine that men by seeing your good works will be led to glorify your Father which is in heaven. There are souls to be saved in and about Bushnell, and yet Satan is holding some as slaves to prevent their doing the work God has assigned them. What use are they making of the talents God has entrusted to them? I saw He would require of every one of you, His own with usury. Where is the improvement you have made upon the talents? God grant that you may arouse. I saw Brother Huggins surrounded with fiery conflict. 1LtMs, Lt 22, 1867, par. 12

[Note at top of handwritten page 5:] The very thing which will prove the greatest blessing to you, Satan determines to keep your mind in darkness upon. You combat that which would be a great advantage for you to receive. 1LtMs, Lt 22, 1867, par. 13