Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 25, 1891

Sisley, Brother

Battle Creek, Michigan

January 12, 1891

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Sisley,

Today I received a letter from Sr. Lockwood, and enclosed was a letter which you had written to them. I want to set this matter before you in its true light. From different sources have come to me complaints of Brother Lockwood because he did not send money to school the Lockwood children, and a sort of murmuring against Brother Lockwood because he does not help the family. 7LtMs, Lt 25, 1891, par. 1

Now, I am prepared to answer the matter better than anyone else. I have been connected with them for years; I know they strain every point to live economically, and neither one is situated where they can earn anything. Their whole burden is to live on the interest of their money in my hands. I pay them regular interest, 7% on $4000.00, and I have been very liberal with them because I knew just how hard they were struggling to get along. While they cared for my property, I supported them and paid them something besides. Now they support themselves; they are not where there are any Sabbathkeepers unless they shall, through their labors, bring some into the truth. 7LtMs, Lt 25, 1891, par. 2

They have a cheap little home which they could buy now, if they could pay for it, for $175.00 less than the price asked for it, but it is impossible to raise the money now unless he breaks into the $4000.00 I hold. Now this I will not consent for him to do, for the interest he must have; and unless positively obliged to use it for living expenses, he must not decrease the four thousand. I am, by his own choice, his guardian and I act as faithfully this part as if put there by law. He has a small place valued at about six hundred dollars. I have written to the Health Retreat to purchase it and send him the money at once to put into the place he has bargained for. 7LtMs, Lt 25, 1891, par. 3

I know just how these good souls, Bro. & Sr. Lockwood, are situated, and those who would draw upon him to consume this little must be ignorant of their real situation. He is a poor cripple, liable to lose the power to do work, and walks, as I have seen him, on his knees. The well limb has given out once, to my knowledge. He cannot wear his wooden limb all day without great nervousness and suffering. Some days he cannot wear his limb, and has to lie in bed. 7LtMs, Lt 25, 1891, par. 4

Now I am worried about them, as to what will become of them, far more than I am about the children, although I am interested in those dear children. When I know Bro. Lockwood is shattered all to pieces, and yet will contrive every way to sustain himself, then to have first one and then another keep presenting the case of Martha and her children to him, makes me feel bad. If there is need for Martha to be helped, do not go to a poor man who is a cripple and who is shattered all to pieces. 7LtMs, Lt 25, 1891, par. 5

You, my brother, could earn more in one month than Bro. Lockwood could earn in four years; yes, more than that. You can command high wages; he can earn literally nothing. Now if your sister and her children need help, I think you, whom God has prospered, are just the one to help her. You could do this and live comfortably besides, but I feel bad to have you look to that poor, broken down one-legged man, who can do no work to earn any money, to put Martha’s children through school. Consistency is a jewel, and discernment is a treasure, and sympathy for the very ones who need sympathy is valuable. 7LtMs, Lt 25, 1891, par. 6

The boys are old enough and strong enough to earn money to support themselves and pay for their own schooling, if they had any disposition to do it. When I see those who are doing well, having employment and earning good wages, seeking to cast a burden upon a man who is a cripple and all used up, I want to say, “Call a halt” and begin to look closely into matters and do your own duty in the fear of God. He gave Martha a buggy this last summer. 7LtMs, Lt 25, 1891, par. 7

If [Sr. Lockwood] could earn anything, or he in his crippled state had health so that he could earn something, then there would be more consistency in your making demands upon them. As it is, I see no duty resting upon them. If he can make out to care for himself and burden no one, I will bless the Lord for this. I love them both, and I know what they have both suffered. Christ identifies His interest with these precious souls. Let those relatives who are walking on two good limbs, who are not shattered and torn to pieces, come to the front and do that which they are abundantly able to do, and not press a burden on Bro. and Sr. Lockwood. 7LtMs, Lt 25, 1891, par. 8

There are those who would have taken his place for far less than it was sold for and those who could have looked after his interest and saved him quite a little sum, but selfishness and a grasping spirit forbade it. My heart is sick and sore as I witness selfishness and greediness and covetousness on the right hand and on the left. Bro. Lockwood must not be drawn upon. Just as long as he can crawl, about he will do it. Several times I have seen him walking on his knees, and on one occasion, in great pain. I think the Lord will not let him lose the use of both his limbs, but after he has worked a few hours he becomes so nervous he is almost distracted, and his wife has to rub him for hours at a time to soothe him so that he can get any relief. 7LtMs, Lt 25, 1891, par. 9

I write you this because if you know all about it, I think you would not look to him in expectation of help. I write this because I feel there is a necessity for my writing it. 7LtMs, Lt 25, 1891, par. 10

With much respect, I remain, 7LtMs, Lt 25, 1891, par. 11

Your sister in Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 25, 1891, par. 12