Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4

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Lt 10, 1883

Bangs, Lizzie

Oakland, California

April 8, 1883

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister Lizzie:

I have recently received a letter containing the sad intelligence of brother John [Harmon’s] death. I have just written a sympathizing letter to his wife. She said she would send me a paper containing particulars, but as yet none has come. As soon as I receive the paper, will have the notice published in our papers. 4LtMs, Lt 10, 1883, par. 1

I felt that I could not have [it] so, that brother John was silent in death. I had so many fond hopes that he would come West. He gave me this encouragement in his last letter. I feel sad for the one left a mourner. I have an experience in this. Two of our brothers and two of our sisters are now sleeping in the silent grave. How long the remaining ones will be spared, we know not. 4LtMs, Lt 10, 1883, par. 2

I have felt fearful I should never meet you and my remaining sisters in this world again, but it may be that the Lord will grant us another opportunity. I greatly desire this if it is for His glory. I have been fearful one or both of us might fall by death. 4LtMs, Lt 10, 1883, par. 3

I have had special seasons of most earnest prayer that you would take a decided stand for Jesus. I know you love the Saviour, but I want you to acknowledge Him openly as your only hope. I have asked this of the Lord. Will you tell me, dear sister, how you feel in this matter? Do you trust to your morality, or do you rely upon the merits of the blood of Christ? This is my only hope. I dare not trust in any goodness of my own as a sinner. I must come to Jesus with repentance and claim His merits as all-sufficient. 4LtMs, Lt 10, 1883, par. 4

I do not want you to rely upon any human opinion. One says, “If I am only sincere, God will accept me.” Another says, “It matters not what a man believes, if his conduct is only right,” by which he means, if he is tolerably moral and does no criminal action, this will be enough. But all of these are making a fatal mistake. They all take the position that man is not utterly ruined and lost as to require a new nature, a new purpose which Christ alone ... [remainder missing]. 4LtMs, Lt 10, 1883, par. 5