Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7

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Lt 61, 1891

Bangs, Lizzie

Battle Creek, Michigan

February 21, 1891

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 193.

Dear Sister Lizzie [Bangs]:

I have just received and read your letter. I will say with those you mention, I cannot see how you can write with such a crippled hand, and I feel very sad over your condition of helplessness. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 1

For about two years it has been a time of financial pressure with me. Willie’s family was a great anxiety to me. Mary, dear Mary, was precious, very precious to me. How I loved her. She had a bright intellect and was a thorough general in home and in every place. Never was there a word passed between us that was unpleasant; never a thought to be confessed by either of us on her deathbed. I felt so sorry for her. I sent her one hundred and ten dollars in money to get her an easy phaeton to ride in. She drove the horse herself and when she came to Denver, where we were attending a camp meeting a few months before she died, she drove the horse all around the city. I felt that I could not have her want for anything. Then after her death I furnished Willie three hundred dollars to get the family to Battle Creek, where they now reside in a home of their own. The three hundred was a loan, which he will repay soon. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 2

I furnished a house for Mary Chase, my husband’s sister, and paid five dollars per week for a woman to take care of her, and supported two women beside Mary Chase until within two weeks of her death. Then my workers have to receive seven dollars and a half per week and board themselves. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 3

I am getting out a number of books, which requires money to get them published and bound. When they are finished I receive a royalty. On the temperance book sent you, I have ten cents per copy. Have I sent you Patriarchs and Prophets? If not, I will send it to you. For that book I receive fifteen cents per copy; on Volume 4, Spirit of Prophecy, twelve and one-half cents per copy. But these books have but just begun to be pushed in their sale, and I expect to be able to settle my debts and then stop interest on ten thousand dollars. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 4

I have real estate but cannot sell it at present without great sacrifice. I am praying to my heavenly Father to open the way for me that I can dispose of property which is only a care and perplexity to me, and I have that confidence in God that I believe He will hear my prayer and will bring me out of all my perplexities. But I shall not forget you, Lizzie; whatever pressure I am in I shall try to do something—not as much as I desire to do, but I shall not forget you in your affliction. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 5

I have had another ill turn since I wrote to you. For a little time—twenty-four hours—my life hung in the balance. I was completely exhausted. We have been having for six months a ministerial institute where the Bible is being carefully studied, and two hundred ministers are in attendance. Our meetings have been highly profitable and from this meeting the ministers will go all over the world to preach the gospel. I am earnestly solicited to give them a talk every day, but this I cannot do and still do my writings. I tried to answer their requests and overdid, and the result was nervous prostration. I am now, through the mercy of God, climbing the hill again and am learning to say No to the many requests for me to speak to them. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 6

My only helper is the Lord. When I get into these hard, suffering times I try to be quiet in God and trust fully in Him, asking His forgiveness for my imprudence. I love to speak of Jesus and His matchless love and my whole soul is in this work. I have not one doubt of the love of God and His care and His mercy and ability to save to the utmost all who come unto Him. That which I have seen of His precious love is a reality to me. The doubts expressed by those who know not the Lord Jesus Christ have no effect on me. God so loved the world that He gave His only beloved Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 7

Don’t you believe on Jesus, Lizzie? Do you not believe He is your Saviour? That He has evidenced His love for you in giving His own precious life that you might be saved? All that is required of you is to take Jesus as your own precious Saviour. I pray most earnestly that the Lord Jesus shall reveal Himself to you and to Reuben. Your life in this world is not one of pleasure but of pain; and if you will not doubt Jesus but believe that He died to save you, if you will come to Him just as you are, and give yourself to Jesus and grasp His promises by living faith, He will be to you all that you can desire. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 8

To everyone inquiring, “What must I do to be saved?” I answer, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not doubt for a moment but that He wants to save you just as you are. He says to the Jews, “Ye will not come unto Me that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.] Let not this be said of Reuben and you, and your helper in your household. Jesus wants to save you, to give you peace and rest and assurance while you live, and eternal life in His kingdom at last. No one will be compelled to be saved. The Lord Jesus forces the will of none. He says to all, Choose ye this day whom ye will serve. The mind and heart given to Jesus Christ will find rest in His love. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 9

Let us think of the sufferings endured by the Son of God. Behold Him dying upon the cross amid the deepest gloom. The darkened heavens and the convulsed earth, the rent rocks, give but a faint emblem of the state of His mind as He cried, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” [Matthew 27:46.] How can this be explained? Did the Father forsake His Son, whom He calls His only-begotten Son? His well-beloved Son of whom He said, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”? [Matthew 3:17.] Oh, the reason was that Jesus was the sinner’s substitute and surety. He took the penalty which the sinner deserved upon Himself in order to give the sinner another trial, another chance, to prove his loyalty to God and keep His commandments. There are only two classes in the whole universe: Those who believe on Jesus Christ and those who will not believe. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 10

When our transgressions were laid upon Jesus, He was numbered among the unholy because the sins of the whole world were laid upon Him. The curse of sin Christ bore for us that we should not perish. He was treated as a transgressor in order that the sinner might have His righteousness. He was condemned for our sins in which He had no share that we might be justified by His righteousness in which we had no share. And whether we refuse to accept of Jesus Christ and to stand up for Jesus or not, He has evidenced His love for us and stood up for us that the billows of the wrath of God shall not pass over us and drown us in perdition. When He was under condemnation and the cruel sentence of death was passed upon Him by wicked, unreasonable, unjust accusers at Pilate’s bar, Jesus answered them not a word. Why was He silent? The Majesty of heaven was answering the prophetic past. “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 11

Jesus the compassionate Saviour was never silent at the sight of human woe. When He had the poor sinner inquiring the way to life, He instructed him. But when at Pilate’s bar they condemned Him to the cruelest, the most ignominious and shameful of deaths, He had not a word to say. His silence was not because He was guilty. He was the embodiment of purity and holiness. He could have spoken with power when the spies came to take Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. A few words from His lips sent that murderous throng reeling and falling to the earth as if smitten by a bolt of the wrath of God. The reason of His silence was that He had voluntarily given His life for the life of men. He was not compelled to do it, but “the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” [Verse 6.] As the wages of sin is death He had not a word to say, for He had freely offered to bear the sins of the guilty sinner. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 12

Then you, my dear sister, Reuben, and your attendant, have reason to hope in His mercy and to believe on Jesus Christ, that He can save you. Why? Because you are guiltless? No; because you are sinners, and Jesus says, “I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” [Mark 2:17.] When the devil whispers to you, There is no hope, tell him you know there is, for “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] What more could God do for you, more than He has done, to make you love Him? Lizzie, believe, simply believe that Jesus means just what He says. Take Him at His word and hang your helpless soul on Jesus Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 13

Dear sister, it is no wonderful thing that you have to do. You feel poor, suffering, and afflicted, and Jesus invites all of this class to come to Him. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Do not cast away such rich promises as these. The hands that were nailed to the cross for you are stretched out to save you. You need not fear as you lie on a bed of sickness and death. Friends may feel sorrowful, but they cannot save you. Your physician cannot save you. But there is One who died that you might live through eternal ages. Just believe that Jesus will hear your confession, receive your penitence, and forgive every sin and make you children of God. Jesus pleads in your behalf. Will you give yourself in trusting faith to Jesus? I long to take you in my arms and lay you on the bosom of Jesus Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 14

I am praying for you all, that you might melt your hearts in view of the love of Jesus and accept His love and have His peace and joy and righteousness. You need the hope which Christ will give you to bear your severe affliction. With Jesus as your blessed Friend you need not fear to die, for it will be to you like closing your eyes here and opening them in heaven. Then we shall meet never more to part. You must accept of Jesus. He longs to give you His peace and the light of His countenance. Lizzie, my heart longs to see you trusting in Jesus, for He can give you His grace to bear all your acute sufferings. He loves you. He wants to save you. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 15

Well, Lizzie, I expect to see you this summer. I had thought to go to California, but my children will not hear a word in regard to this. I shall go to Petoskey, Northern Michigan, and write. Then if the Lord will, shall be at the eastern camp meetings and will come and see you, my dear sister. There are several pulling me East to the Maine meeting, and they say that they cannot be refused, so there is some hope. I send you a draft for five dollars. I wish I could make it twenty. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 16

Your sister. 7LtMs, Lt 61, 1891, par. 17