Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 20, 1894

Eldridge, Brother and Sister

Williams St., Granville, Australia

April 14, 1894

This letter is published in entirety in 1888 1227-1232.

Dear Brother and Sister Eldridge,

Your case is urged upon my mind—your spiritual condition as it was after you accepted the truth, and as it is at the present time. Your principles are not now what they should be or what they might have been if you had appreciated the light of [the] Sun of Righteousness and had walked in its rays as they shone upon your path. The Lord brought you, Brother Eldridge, in connection with His established institutions because He had blessed you with talents, which, if sanctified, would be a blessing to His cause and work. But without the Holy Spirit of God to bless and encourage your advancement as a learner, you would not obtain the experience essential for you as a wise manager in a line of work demanding faithfulness in every particular. Unless you should submit yourself to be educated and taught of God, you could not fill successfully the position to which you were called. There must be no confederating together on the part of any of the workers to carry out their own purposes, for one would surely mislead another. 9LtMs, Lt 20, 1894, par. 1

The union between yourself and Frank Belden did not aid either of you in gaining the experience essential for you individually. You were both entrusted with sacred responsibilities. You were both on trial, under the proving of God. This responsible position called for daily and hourly experience in spirituality, in devotion to God. There was no lack on the part of God; every provision had been made whereby you might individually receive the power essential for the perfection of Christian character. The Lord does not desire that our individuality shall be destroyed. It is not His purpose that any two persons shall be exactly alike in tastes and dispositions. 9LtMs, Lt 20, 1894, par. 2

All have characteristics peculiar to themselves, and these are not to be destroyed, but to be trained, molded, [and] fashioned after the similitude of Christ. The Lord turns the natural aptitude and capabilities into profitable channels. In the improvement of the faculties God has given, talent and ability are developed if the human agent will recognize the fact that all his powers are an endowment from God, to be used, not for selfish purposes, not to get a name or to secure large wages, but for the glory of God and the good of our fellow men. Under the training of God the understanding is to be opened to receive the impress from God. 9LtMs, Lt 20, 1894, par. 3

The light of truth is to be a working agent, for true faith works by love and purifies the soul. All selfish purposes are to be expelled from the soul. The truth, if fully accepted, will prove all-sufficient to mellow the soil of the heart, making it ready for the precious seed to be sown continually by the Husbandman, that there may be a harvest for the Master. Heavenly influences are at work to build up and to improve the mind, enabling it to appreciate high and holy interests. The mind that is ever reaching upward, heavenward, will form [a] correct estimate of men and of the business connected with the work. Under the control of the Holy Spirit, it will look at a subject on every side, and will be enabled to judge correctly. 9LtMs, Lt 20, 1894, par. 4

In the offices of publication at Battle Creek, as in the conference at Minneapolis, diverse influences arose. In the providence of God these are a test of character. Will men be influenced by men, or will they have the fear and glory of God in view? Will they give evidence of real depth of piety, praying and seeking God that they may form a right estimate of men and of subjects, appropriating all that is good, and refusing to garner the chaff? 9LtMs, Lt 20, 1894, par. 5

God designed to work mightily by His Holy Spirit in that Minneapolis meeting for all who would submit their way and their will to Him. He would make that occasion a most precious school for all who would be teachable. However weak and imperfect in themselves, if they realized their weakness and their spiritual ignorance, they would receive divine strength and enlightenment. In that time of perplexity, if instead of sporting, jesting, and ridicule, there had been earnest prayer and an effort to promote harmony and unity, most precious victories would have been gained, which would have placed the work years ahead, and saved many souls. But the giving up to Satan’s arrangements, and acting out Satanic attributes on that occasion, caused the record to be entered in the books of heaven, “Untrustworthy when important interests are at stake.” 9LtMs, Lt 20, 1894, par. 6

God would have His people sensible at all times, moving as under the eyes of the whole heavenly universe. Then when differences arise, there will be a burden of responsibility upon every soul. The fear of God will lead to solemnity, care-taking, and earnest prayer, not to lightness and trifling, not [to] playing upon words, not to jesting and joking. All will be weighted with a sense of the consequences depending upon their own individual actions and decisions. If all the brethren at Minneapolis had been seeking the Lord with humility of mind, there would have been no conflict, no clashing, no uncourteous words, nothing unwise advanced. But men who were capable of being entrusted with great interests desired to reveal their executive ability in guiding the vessel through the breakers to the harbor. They did not wait for divine guidance. 9LtMs, Lt 20, 1894, par. 7

After we left Minneapolis, the battle had to be fought over and over again. Time was lost, souls lost, lives imperiled, all because men felt sufficient in themselves and were not careful to keep the way of the Lord. The testing process is going on with every individual. Every movement is made before the whole heavenly universe. Whatever position men occupy, just as soon as they lift up their souls unto vanity they are left to make their own way without the help of God. He cannot co-operate with them. 9LtMs, Lt 20, 1894, par. 8

The Lord laid upon me a burden in regard to the publishing house at Battle Creek. In the council room at the tabernacle, I read a message to a large number assembled. The same matter was afterwards repeated to the managers of the publishing house. All was done that I could do. I had the matter copied and placed in the hands of responsible persons, to see that the will of the Lord was carried out. But time passed, and the necessary changes were not made. 9LtMs, Lt 20, 1894, par. 9

The message laid out in clear lines, the principles that should ever govern the office of publication. It was stated that if selfishness should be developed, if the men in office should accept large wages, the blessing of the Lord could not attend the institution until these things should be corrected. The spirit of the councils was not approved of God. There were unholy confederacies, one worker upholding and sustaining another. God was displeased. “Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth.” “But woe unto him that striveth with his Maker.” [Isaiah 45:9.] 9LtMs, Lt 20, 1894, par. 10

The Lord was testing and proving men. O, if they had been divested of self, if they had turned from the course of selfishness, and as God’s peculiar people had chosen to carry out His wise and gracious purposes, what a blessing would have resulted, not only to the individuals themselves, but to their families and to the church and the institutions that God had established. But alas, instead of obeying the voice of God, listening to the warnings and admonitions He had given, they gave heed to the counsels of their own hearts, and to words from the lips of men. Thus they imperiled not only their own souls, but the souls of others through their influence. 9LtMs, Lt 20, 1894, par. 11

O that they had humbled their hearts in penitence and contrition! Then the divine shekinah would have poured its precious, glorious light upon the Lord’s instrumentalities, and every heart would have been made to rejoice. If they had walked in His way and kept His statutes, the Lord would have confirmed them in their petition, and would have given them His grace and wisdom. Prosperity would have attended them just as long as they walked in humility, taking Christ as their Pattern. Their prosperity would not have been as the fluctuations of human power. O, why do not men look into the mirror of God’s Word, and read their character? Why do they not heed the divine instruction with reference to the friends they make, the intimacies they form, that mold and fashion the character? 9LtMs, Lt 20, 1894, par. 12

The Lord looks with pitying tenderness upon Brother Eldridge. He has been commander so long that it is very difficult for him to submit to be under the discipline of God. His ways seem right in his own eyes, but he cannot be commander in institutions where God presides, unless he shall first learn to obey. 9LtMs, Lt 20, 1894, par. 13