Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)
Lt 11, 1882
Butler, G. I.; Stone, C. W.; Oyen, A. B.; Kellogg, J. H.
May 5, 1882
Portions of this letter are published in 11MR 202-203.
Brother [G. I.] Butler, C. W. Stone, A. B. Oyen and J. H. Kellogg:
Your communications were received and have been read, but just one week before they came, I had written two letters about twelve pages each to Brother [Uriah] Smith. Then I did not feel at rest and wrote a lengthy article which I sent to Brother Smith to be read to the church. Since then I have sent a letter of caution and warning to Brother Gage before I received your letter. I also have sent [a] letter to Elder [D. M.] Canright and had one all written to Elder Stone but have been waiting to get it copied. 3LtMs, Lt 11, 1882, par. 1
After I read yours, I concluded nothing further from me was necessary, but while riding in the cars yesterday to reach this, the Southern camp meeting, I could not read and could not write, and I thought much. It occurred to me that perhaps I should acknowledge the receipt of your letter and make some definite statements. 3LtMs, Lt 11, 1882, par. 2
You all know my position in regard to the matters that have occurred at Battle Creek in reference to the school, if you have heard or read the letter I sent. If you have not, please carefully read the contents of this long letter. 3LtMs, Lt 11, 1882, par. 3
You know that I have spoken very plainly to Brother [G. H.] Bell in regard to his defects. I have not, in all the trouble at Battle Creek, received one word from Brother Bell. If any of the parties who were in trouble had wanted to know if I had any light from God in reference to the matters that were questionable, they could have written to me. 3LtMs, Lt 11, 1882, par. 4
While I do not consider [that] Brother Bell has taken altogether a right course in the school and has shown a weakness of character, I know that most of those who have been so zealous in this matter, ready to condemn him, ought [to] have been confessing their sins before God and purifying their characters, making diligent work, lest they fail of the grace of God and find at last they are guilty of worse faults than those they condemn in Professor Bell. I have not the least countenance to give to Satan’s rebuking or reproving sin, but he has done it and others follow his example. 3LtMs, Lt 11, 1882, par. 5
God gave you light long ago to prevent this state of things, but the church at Battle Creek paid no heed. They have developed the feelings existing in hearts unsanctified by the grace of God. I rebuke the Satanic spirit in the name of the Lord. There has been a wrong course pursued on both sides. There has been much talk and much feeling and great lack of wisdom with both parties. But those who have pursued the course they have toward Professor Bell have done a work they will one day wish they had not done, for it savors of the spirit of the prince of darkness. 3LtMs, Lt 11, 1882, par. 6
I think Brother [S. N.] Haskell has made a mistake in having so much to say in exaltation of Professor Bell and Edith Sprague. I cannot harmonize with this. Will Brethren Butler and Haskell please remember how they felt and what they said in reference to my husband’s calling names and elevating this one and that one in the public print. Are they doing any wiser? I learn it is much easier to question and condemn than to do better yourselves. 3LtMs, Lt 11, 1882, par. 7
All this extolling Brother Bell and Edith Sprague I know is not right. Those who can read human nature and reason upon this matter must see the influence of such pieces in print upon those who have pushed and crowded Brother Bell. It is to make them crowd the harder, to make out a case. The least said on both sides in revealing difference of opinion, the better will it be for themselves, the better for the cause of truth, and in every way better for the ones you would extol. 3LtMs, Lt 11, 1882, par. 8
I am thoroughly disgusted with speaking in praise of any man or woman. They have not humility and grace to bear it. Unless Professor Bell walks humbly before his Saviour, he will stumble and fall. I see more to cause grief in his course than to elicit praise. Edith Sprague knows but little of experimental religion. The deep work of the Spirit of God ... [Remainder missing]. 3LtMs, Lt 11, 1882, par. 9