Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10

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Lt 14, 1895

Bolton, Fannie

Armadale, Melbourne, Australia

November 23, 1895

This letter is published in entirety in TSB 208-209.

Fannie Bolton:

I have been considering your case in connection with [W. F.] Caldwell, and I have no other counsel to give than I have given. I consider you have no moral right to marry Caldwell. He has no moral right to marry you. He left his wife after giving her great provocation. He left her whom he had vowed before God to love, to cherish while both should live. Before ever she obtained her divorce, when she was his lawful wife, he left her for three years, and left her in heart, and expressed his love to you. The matter has been negotiated largely between you and a married man, while he was legally bound to the wife he married, who has had two children by him. 10LtMs, Lt 14, 1895, par. 1

I see not a particle of leniency in the Scriptures given either of you to contract marriage, although his wife is divorced. From the provocation he has given her, it was largely his own course of action that has brought this result, and I cannot see in any more favorable light his having a legal right to link his interest with yours or you to link your interest with his. 10LtMs, Lt 14, 1895, par. 2

One thing is settled. I could not connect either of you with me if this step is taken, for I see this matter in a light that the Scripture would condemn your connection. Therefore I wish you both to understand that from the light which the Lord has given to me regarding the past and the present, I could not think of employing either one of you if you take this step. 10LtMs, Lt 14, 1895, par. 3

I am astonished that you should for a moment give thought to such a thing, and place your affections on a married man who had left his wife and children under such circumstances. I advise you to lay your thoughts and plans regarding this matter just as they are before our responsible brethren, that you may receive their counsel and let them show you from the Law of God the error into which you have fallen. You both have broken the law even in the thinking that you might unite in marriage. You should have repelled the thought at its first suggestion. 10LtMs, Lt 14, 1895, par. 4