Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 29, 1882

Edwards, W. H.

Healdsburg, California

June 14, 1882

Portions of this letter are published in 10MR 386-387.

Dear Brother Edwards:

Will you please see Brother C. W. Stone and ask him to return to me the letter written in response to the letter written to me with statements coming from Stone, Oyen, and Kellogg? I want to know just what I wrote them. Will you please do me this favor? [The reason] why I write to you [is that] I thought Brother Stone might be away at some camp meeting. I directed my letter to him. Will you, as soon as you can, get this letter and return [it] to me? I have written to Elder [Uriah] Smith for the last four letters I have written to him. I want these letters now. If he is not at home, will you see Sister Smith and have these letters at once returned to me? I will return them again if desired. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 1

We are at present having quite a houseful of company. Sister Jones and her family are here. Sara McEnterfer and Phoebe Lunt are at Brother Robert’s—[the one] who married Lizzie Arnold. Mary K. White, her mother, little May Jones, and baby Ella have been with us more than a week. We have a very beautiful home in the country about three miles from Healdsburg. It is retired. The scenery is delightful. I expect to spend my time mostly at Healdsburg and Crystal Springs at St. Helena. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 2

Please tell me how matters are at Battle Creek. Is the school in a prosperous condition as is represented in the Review? Sister Colridge said, “Why do they publish an untruth?” Is the school flourishing? I do not believe it is. She and her son believe Brother McLearn to be an excellent man. I believe when he came to Battle Creek he was determined to do his duty, but students and church members have sacrificed him. I have the most sincere pity for him and for his family. I feel sorry indeed for this state of things. Had the church stood right, this state of things would not be. His course toward Brother [G. H.] Bell was not justifiable, and Brother Bell with his sensitiveness has not acted discreetly. Will you tell me if there promises to be any better condition of things? I dare not write to those who have taken strong ground for Brother Bell or those who have been sustaining Brother McLearn. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 3

I have matters in preparation for a circular to send to Battle Creek in the form of a pamphlet. I understood Brother Smith took the position that my letter to the church was not a testimony, only a letter, and thus he has made efforts to make it appear [as such], and it falls helpless to the ground because Brother Smith has pronounced against it. I am stating what I have written, and it will be forthcoming when I feel urged to send it. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 4

I think there have been strong moves and unwise moves on both sides of the question, and that, if love and kindness had been the law, all of this might have been avoided. But the gossiping tongues set on fire of hell have done their mischievous work. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 5

I have light in regard to this work, and I feel that it should appear; but I have been held under restraint for some time because the Lord required it of me. At the right time I wish to speak as the Lord shall dictate. My great burden has been because I see the church so devoid of judgment and discernment. The love and pity and kindness of Christ have not been exercised, and I know that many whose tastes are corrupt, whose opinions God does not respect, have taken strong positions against Brother [G. H.] Bell. Their dislike of him, because he has not hesitated to tell them the truth, has been the reason for their raid against him. It has not suited them, neither has it suited them to have reproof from the Spirit of the Lord. Truth, pure truth, they do not love to hear. The regenerating power of God needs to go through the church. All those who have been earnest in this contention need to have the softening, subduing power of God. A new heart, a new life will create a new moral taste. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 6

Time is short; eternity is near. Souls are precious; and how many will receive the wrong impression and be balanced in the wrong direction by this unwise contention, eternity will reveal. The words from God in counsel, in advice, in warnings have not been sought out carefully and listened to. The words have appeared to many as strange things because they are not careful to see the true import of the information the Lord has graciously given them. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 7

There are many who profess the truth in Battle Creek who know nothing of the import or design of the testimonies of the Spirit of God. They see things, which as they may hastily read, cut across or condemn some of their sinful indulgences, and they lay it down and make no further effort to search and see what they can do to set their own hearts right with God. There is nothing in the testimonies interesting to the self-indulgent, to the carnal mind blinded by sin. They cannot discern spiritual things. When the eyesalve is applied, then they can discern all things clearly. There are those in your midst who do not stop at neglecting to heed the words of counsel from God to them in testimony, but they despise and hate the testimonies of the Spirit of God and do not care to know them. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 8

What privileges and opportunities and blessings are being slighted! What a time of peril we are living in! Oh, how careful, how watchful should we be lest we fail of the grace of God and lose our title to the immortal inheritance! If we lose heaven, we lose everything. Souls, precious souls, are perishing all around us, and Satan’s work is, through his deceivableness of unrighteousness, to get up some contention that will break up the unity and harmony of God’s people, that, while they are engaged in strife among themselves, he can secure to himself many souls. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 9

We want moral power now more than at any former period in our lives. We need the Spirit of the Lord to clothe every word with power, that hard, sinful hearts may break and be renewed, made alive in Christ. Oh that the incessant prayer may be offered, “Spirit of the living God, we want Thee! Thou art the Source of our success. Without Thee we can do nothing.” 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 10

Dissension and confusion are Satan’s work. The church is not clean in this matter. Will not God require the blood of souls at the hands of the church? There is truth in this: If the watchman warn them not, they shall perish, but their blood will I require at the watchman’s hands. Who can say at the judgment, “Sinner, I am clean of your blood. I have not, by precept or example, confused and perplexed your ideas of what constitutes a Christian life”? 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 11

Oh there is careless preaching, careless praying in regard to things which concern our eternal interest. We have need to be doubly in earnest or we shall let these things slip to which we should pay heed. Many are doing next to nothing. Christianity is at a low ebb. We can succeed in doing wondrous things for God if we are converted, pure, and undefiled from the world. God’s people are languishing; the coldness and lethargy of these times are upon us; laxity and false theories are leavening our people. God help us to awaken before many more souls are beguiled and many more go down to death unprepared. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 12

Many professors of the truth are sleeping the sleep of death. “Let us not sleep,” says the apostle, “as do others.” 1 Thessalonians 5:6. What is spiritual sleep? It is spiritual insensibility, and even those who have been the best of workers for Christ fall into slumber sometimes through lack of being watchful and guarding of themselves. Once the thought that some help could be rendered to sinners would awaken a response in the heart, there would be earnest action. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 13

Every one who is asleep is subject to strange illusions. Judgment is not preserved; fancy holds control of the brain. Sleepy Christians are subject to just such strange imaginings. They have not clear ideas; they have not clear judgment. Strange thoughts come which they never had before. Strange doubts crowd into the mind. The old landmarks seem indistinct and strange. Once they held by the pillars of the faith with a firm hand, but now their hands are slipping off. Pride and love of ambition possess the mind. There is a flattering of self that they are “rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing,” while exactly the opposite is the condition of the church. [Revelation 3:17.] 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 14

The Lord is coming. “Let us not sleep, as do others; but watch and be sober.” “Ye are all children of light, and the children of the day.” “Yourselves know perfectly (should you arouse from your spiritual stupor) that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:6, 5, 2. Oh, that the church in Battle Creek would know that the day of the Lord is right upon them! He will come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Will any of us wish to be sleeping when the Lord comes? 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 15

“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.” Matthew 25:5. Who have oil in their vessels with their lamps? Should the Saviour come at this time would not many of us be afraid to meet Him? Could we hail Him with joy, saying, “Lo, this is our God: we have waited for him, and he will save us”? [Isaiah 25:9.] Are we ready for His appearing? Is the soul temple cleansed of its defilement? Would we want Christ to come and find us in disunion, in strife with one another? Would we want Christ to come and find us in frivolous amusements, in concerts which some patronize? We want to be found waiting and watching with our garments made white and clean in the blood of the Lamb. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 16

There are faithful men and women in Battle Creek, and may the Lord take charge of these jewels. Much love to your wife and all dear friends. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1882, par. 17