Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 14, 1884

Newton, Brother and Sister

Crystal Springs, St. Helena, California

January 18, 1884

Portions of this letter are published in UL 32.

Dear Brother and Sister Newton:

I wish to present before you the case of your sister, Sister Golden. She is poor and has an invalid daughter dependent upon her. She has worked altogether too hard for her own and her sick one’s support. She can no longer work to earn means. She is supported partly by the church and partly by the town. I now ask you to be at least as kind to your own sister as are those to whom she can claim no relationship. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 1

Brother Newton, it is a duty resting upon you as a man, and doubly so as a Christian, to support your sister in her poverty. Let not the books of heaven show a neglect on your part to do your duty. I know that departure from God has a tendency to make the heart very unimpressible. I am sorry, very sorry, that Sister Newton, whom I have loved, has let the love of the world, love of self, selfishness, make her heart as hard as a stone; but, my brother, this does not make it necessary for you to be the same—to neglect your own flesh and blood and transgress the law of God. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all the mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Luke 10:27. Here is one nearer than your neighbor, one who has claims upon you. Are you doing your duty to your sister? Remember that the books of heaven will show your neglect. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 2

I am now taking care of my husband’s sister. She lives in a house which I bought for her in Battle Creek at a cost of one thousand dollars. She occupies a part of the house; the other part is rented for one dollar per week, which she receives toward her support. I pay the taxes. I have my own sister who is sick and helpless. I send her about ten dollars every month to help her in her affliction. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 3

My brother, you and your wife have everything comfortable; do not forget the poor and needy. Do not awaken the wrath of God against you to deprive you of health and of property because you shut up your bowels of compassion against your own relatives. You can do, and ought to do, something every month for your sister. If you will, you can send her means and never miss it. If Sister Newton feels no burden in this direction, she ought not hinder you from doing your duty. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 4

Sister Golden owes me one hundred and fifty dollars on her place besides the interest for several years. I now need this money. If you will settle the bill, I will give her the interest. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 5

I have supported one or two families besides my own for several years and think it my duty. We are commanded to be compassionate unto all, but especially to them that are of the household of faith. I have written an article for our papers concerning this subject. Read it carefully and thoroughly, and then see if, in the light of the law of God you can plead guiltless. See Deuteronomy 15:7-11. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 6

Will you take your Bible, Sister Newton, and search out carefully the texts bearing upon this subject? The Lord has shown me that you were far separated from Him. Love of the world has eaten out the love of Christ and the love of the truth. You might now have been a woman of great usefulness, a co-laborer with Christ, a blessing to His cause, but the plague spot of ambition, self-indulgence, and pride has brought hardness of heart and blindness of mind. I greatly fear that your eyes will never be enlightened. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 7

Oh, I am sorry. I am sorry that Satan has used you as his agent to take a course which has proven the ruin of your children and which will prove the ruin of your husband, unless he shall break loose from the world and make a determined effort to be true to the claims of God. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 8

Brother Newton, love God above wife or children or property, and serve Him with your undivided affection. The question is, Will you obey God? Will you be earnest and sincere in your profession of faith, or will you be like the fruitless branch, dry and sapless, to be cut off as worthless? 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 9

Oh, how much the young need help from those older in experience, older in years! But they are led astray by the thousand arts of Satan which he has employed to make the way to destruction easy and inviting. It has been, and still, is the study of thousands from generation to generation to increase the attractions of the broad road and to allure multitudes to walk therein. Satan laid the road and ever since it was cast up, he has been employing his own powers, and all who would lend him their services, to win others from the path of holiness and truth. He employs every talent that he can control to make the way to hell more attractive. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 10

Luther’s abilities, used for God, would have brought many souls from darkness to light. He would today have been one of God’s workman to minister to others; but the enemy of righteousness cast his snares about the mother, divorced her from God, and linked her to his side to work for him. In this work Satan has exulted. Oh, how much one strong, firm, unconsecrated woman can do on the wrong side! Pride, unsanctified reason, riches, power, genius, and pleasing address are enlisted in the work of making the broad road seem the way to life. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 11

God help you, Brother Newton, not to make shipwreck of faith. If you continue to pursue the course you have taken, you will go farther and farther into darkness, as your wife has done, and will set darkness for light and light for darkness. You will have the same carnal security, the same iron determination to follow your own judgment at the risk of losing eternal riches. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 12

God meant that your family should be blended into one symmetrical crown of beauty, to be His chosen, His beloved. But the temptation came in the form of worldly ambition. A choice made in the wrong direction has set them in different paths. From slight beginnings they have gone to great extremes, until the gulf which separates them from God and the truth seems almost impassable. The first step taken in the wrong direction might have been prevented by the mother. But the world was her idol, the god she has worshiped with a determined zeal that shows the fascinating power of Satan. How many hundreds of souls might now have been wholly on the Lord’s side had not mothers blocked the way with their unconsecrated lives, their worldly ambition! 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 13

It seemed to Eve a small matter to pluck of the forbidden tree; the fruit was pleasant to the eye and to the taste and seemed desirable to make one wise. But what terrible results! It was not a small matter to thus forfeit her allegiance to God. It opened the flood gates of woe to our world. Oh, the amount of evil which will come from one false step! Not to the earth must our eyes be fixed, but upward to heaven. We must pass through dangers and difficulties, making advances at every step, gaining victories in every conflict, rising still higher and higher; the air becomes purer as the soul is brought nearer to heaven. The earth holds no attractions now. The heavenly landscape opens with clearness and beauty. The Christian sees the crown, the white robe, the harp, the palm branch of victory; immortality is within his reach. Now the earth sinks out of sight. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 14

Let no one trifle with conscience as Sister Newton has done. God’s Spirit still strives with her; but I fear that conscience is too much blunted to feel the influence of the Spirit. If we lose everything else, we should keep conscience pure and sensitive. When asked to go where there is the least danger of offending God, doing that which you cannot do with a pure conscience, do not fear or hesitate. Look the tempter firmly in the face and say, No; I will not imperil my soul for any worldly attraction. I love and fear God. I will not venture to dishonor or disobey Him for the riches of the world or the love and favor of a host of worldly relatives. I love Jesus who died for me. He has bought me. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 15

I am the purchase of His blood. I will be true to His claims, and my example shall never be an excuse for any to turn from the straight path of duty. I will not be the servant of Satan and of sin. My life shall be such as to leave a bright track heavenward. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 16

A single word for God, a firm, silent resistance even, would save not only your souls, but hundreds of others. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 17

Brother Newton, you are asleep when you should be watching. The bewitching power of Satan has held you and led you into temptation. How many are misled by the demons of darkness when they are not watching unto prayer. The spirit of worldliness and love of gain have perverted your senses. You have none too much time to make earnest efforts for eternal life. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 18

I would plead with your wife, but this is useless. No words from my lips or from my pen will break through the crust of worldliness and unsanctified worldly policy. God’s power may reach her and tear off from her the garments of self-righteousness and bring her to the feet of Jesus. But God alone can do this. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 19

The time has come when every soul must stand or fall according to his own merits. A few righteous acts, a few good impulses, may be presented to the mind as evidences of righteousness, but God requires the whole heart. He will accept no divided affections. The whole being must be given to Him, or He will not receive the offering. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 20

We must now be learning the lessons of faith if we would stand in that time of trouble which is coming upon all the world to try them who dwell upon the face of the earth. We must have the courage of heroes and the faith of martyrs. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 21

Do not turn away from the instructions and admonitions of God’s servants who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Do not look for guidance to men or women whose wisdom is of the world, whose skill and adaptability is for worldly advantage, for these will soon feel the horrors of despair which will find no relief, no comfort, no hope. They forsook the plain path of duty, of trust in God, of prayer, faith, and humble obedience. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 22

Brother Newton, come out wholly on the Lord’s side and do your work for time and for eternity. Move now, before it is too late. Sell off part of your farm. Sell that ye have and give alms. Provide yourselves bags that wax not old, a treasure in the heavens. I will make this appeal to you for Christ’s sake. 4LtMs, Lt 14, 1884, par. 23