Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4

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Lt 28, 1884

Brisbin, W. L.

Battle Creek, Michigan

November 18, 1884

Previously unpublished.

W. L. Brisbin:

Your letter I read last eve and am glad that there is some evidence that you are becoming a sane man. You have been all that you express in your letter—cruel in the treatment of your wife. She kept her own counsel. She was discreet and not like many women who would find relief in telling their troubles to others. She bore silently your abuse and your suspicions She carried her load upon her heart until it broke. Should I say you were not the cause of her death, I should tell that which is not true. Your course toward her was satanic. Satan was working in you to will and to do of his own good pleasure. You have carried out your own unhappy, uncontrollable, wicked temperament until its results was seen in the dead clay before you. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1884, par. 1

Jesus loved her. Jesus pitied her. Every pang of anguish endured from the blasting hail of your tongue was as if you had done this to Jesus Christ. Poor heart-sore, discouraged woman! None knew of her burdens and her griefs but her Redeemer, and in mercy He has given her rest. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1884, par. 2

But now the past with its burden of record is passed into eternity. You cannot undo the past. You cannot make restitution to the dead. It remains to be seen whether your course will be changed toward the living, whether you will so humble your proud, jealous, over-bearing spirit that God can give you a new heart, even a heart of flesh, that the hard, unpitying, loveless nature may be so transformed that your life will be fragrant with good works. Self must die. Self must be crucified. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1884, par. 3

The Lord loved your wife. She was precious in His sight. But your course has been an offense to Him, and your separation will be final unless you repent and become converted. The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin, even the scarlet sin. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1884, par. 4

As you did not respect and love your wife, there was not thoughtfulness and caretaking and dutiful behavior on the part of your daughter to her mother, who lifted too heavy burdens for her physical strength, who carried too heavy cares of heart troubles. If this child misses the care and attention and burden-carrying mother, I am not sorry. If she feels her own neglect of the dutiful help she should have been to her mother, this is as it should be. If it makes her a more thoughtful dutiful child, this is as God would have it. If your wife’s death works a transformation in the lives of those she left behind she will not have died in vain. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1884, par. 5

Now I know that Jesus will pardon to the full the blackest crimes if repented of and forever forsaken. I entreat of you to make thorough work. Do not let the impressions you now have wear away. The Spirit of God is appealing to you. Will you hear the voice of invitation and of mercy? Will you make a decided, determined effort for your soul’s salvation? Let nothing divert your mind. Let nothing hinder you from seizing the present moment to seek God by penitence and confession. Your work is before you—to reform, if you would inherit eternal life. With your present traits of character, you will never enter the pearly gates. Then make earnest work to cleanse yourself of all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1884, par. 6

I leave these lines with you, hoping and praying that they may do you good. In much love. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1884, par. 7

P. S. Please return this to me, as I have no time to copy it. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1884, par. 8