Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9

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Lt 6, 1894

Bolton, Fannie

Melbourne, Australia

February 10, 1894

This letter is published in entirety in FBS. +Note

Dear Sister Fannie,

I received and read your letter, and assure you that my heart is deeply touched by its contents. I accept your confession. As far as yourself and your connection with me personally is concerned, I have and do freely forgive you. I have declined to see you for the reason that I am not clear in reference to the future. I want to keep this question constantly before God, and view the future of our relationship to each other in the work in His light, and move in His counsel, <who is too wise to err, and too good to do us harm.> He sees the end from the beginning. He knows all things. Past, present, and future are all clear to Him. <Not so to me; you are a mystery to me.> 9LtMs, Lt 6, 1894, par. 1

If it is for our good and His glory that we cooperate in the work, understanding more fully its sacred character, seeking to meet the highest requirements through the grace of Jesus Christ freely given to His workers if they ask Him, I shall be relieved. I would accept the situation and seek in every way to do this, His work which He has given me to do, in all meekness and lowliness of mind, in order that the glory shall not come to the human agents, but flow back in rich streams to Him who has given wisdom and ability to do the work. 9LtMs, Lt 6, 1894, par. 2

The Lord is acquainted with us individually. Every one born into the world is given his or her work to do for the purpose of making the world better, and in doing our God-appointed work, we make ourselves better, for in doing the work given us of God, we individually live out the law and the gospel. Each one has his sphere, and if the human agent makes God his Counsellor, then there will be no working at cross purposes with God. He allots to every one a place and a work, and if we individually submit ourselves to be worked by the Lord, however confused and tangled life may seem to our eyes, God has purpose in it all, and the human machinery, obedient under the hand of divine wisdom, will accomplish the purposes of God. As in a well-disciplined army, every soldier has his allotted position and is required to act his part in contributing to the strength and perfection of the whole, so the worker for God must do his allotted part in the great work of God. 9LtMs, Lt 6, 1894, par. 3

Life as it now appears is not what God designed it should be, and this is why there is so much that is perplexing, for there is much wear and friction. The man or woman that leaves the place God has given him or her, in order to please inclination and act on his own devised plan, meets with disappointment, because he has chosen his way instead of God’s way. There are those who accept positions of responsibility, but fail to sense the responsibility, and thus do haphazard work <without at all understanding its character.> Others accept a work for which they have no fitness, and they have no appreciation of the fact that they are under rule to God, and are ever striving to guide themselves, and to control their own being. 9LtMs, Lt 6, 1894, par. 4

Other individuals study to have their own way, and work out their own plans, and God erects His barriers and does not allow them to do as they would. They are the Lord’s by creation and by redemption, and He will not allow them to have their own way, and be ever trying to set aside the will of God for some plan of their own. They are to fill the place God allotted to them and do the work the Lord has given into their hands. Willfulness and inclination cannot be the masters of the situation. 9LtMs, Lt 6, 1894, par. 5

Our heavenly Father is our Ruler, and we must submit to His discipline. We are members of His family. He has a right to our service, and if one of the members of His family would persist in having his own way, persist in doing just that which he pleased, that spirit would bring about a disordered and perplexing state of things. We must not study to have our own way, but God’s way and God’s will. 9LtMs, Lt 6, 1894, par. 6

I feel now, my sister, that let God speak, and we will say, “Not my will, but Thy will, O God, be done.” [See Luke 22:42.] I know that human beings suffer much because they step out of the path that God has chosen for them to follow. They walk in the sparks of the fire they have kindled themselves, and the sure result is affliction, unrest and sorrow, which they might have avoided if they had submitted their will to God and had permitted Him to control their ways. God sees that it is necessary to oppose our will and our way, and bring our human will into subjection. Whatever path God chooses for us, whatever way He ordains for our feet, that is the only path of safety. We are daily to cherish a spirit of childlike submission, and pray that our eyes may be anointed with the heavenly eyesalve in order that we may discern the indications of the divine will, lest we become confused in our ideas because our will seems to be all-controlling. With the eye of faith, with childlike submission as obedient children, we must look to God, to follow His guidance, and difficulties will clear away. 9LtMs, Lt 6, 1894, par. 7

The promise is, “I will instruct thee, and teach thee, I will guide thee with mine eye.” [Psalm 32:8.] The Lord has promised to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. Shall we take God at His word? If we come to God in a humble and teachable spirit, not with our plans all formed before we ask Him, and shaped according to our own will, but in submission, in willingness to be taught, in faith, it is our privilege to claim the promise every hour of the day. We may distrust ourselves, and we need to guard against our own inclinations and strong tendencies, lest we shall follow our mind and plans and think it is the way of the Lord; but let us never disbelieve the Word of the promise. 9LtMs, Lt 6, 1894, par. 8

True and abiding happiness can never be derived from any human being. We may have special, select friends that, all unperceived and unacknowledged by us, we place in the heart where God should be, and we can never perfect a round, full, Christian experience until every earthly support is removed, and the soul centers its entire affections about God. “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” [Psalm 127:1.] 9LtMs, Lt 6, 1894, par. 9

There is need of watching unceasingly the natural affections and tendencies of our own hearts, lest we become estranged from God and place our affections on human beings to the dishonor of God, for our happiness will be imperilled unless we watch and pray and cherish the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. We must make God our trust. 9LtMs, Lt 6, 1894, par. 10

Now, Fannie, I am desirous for your best good, and wish that you may not have the least bit of vanity of mind in any direction. I am burdened for you. I want that you should make a success of overcoming every temptation to be vain, or worldly, or self-sufficient, for it is death to spirituality. It places our souls open to the suggestions of Satan. Oh, I am sure our sisters from America in many respects have done great harm in influence to the work of God among the people of this country. The converting power of God must be daily realized in their hearts and upon their characters, else Satan will use them as decoys to souls, although they may be zealously engaged in missionary work as far as appearances go; and yet God has been dishonored. God has not been glorified in all things, and heaven is disappointed. 9LtMs, Lt 6, 1894, par. 11

I send these lines to you to give relief, if possible, with the assurance that I will seek to know the will of God in reference to our future work. 9LtMs, Lt 6, 1894, par. 12