Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)

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Lt 102, 1895

Davis, Marian

Armadale, Melbourne, Australia

October 29, 1895

This letter is published in entirety in FBS 41-44.

Dear Sister Marian:

I write you a short letter to tell you some things that I must open before you. While in Cooranbong, I had a presentation of Fannie talking to different ones, exactly in the same strain as that we had to deal with two years ago. At three different times I was brought into a room where all seemed dark as a cellar. I could not see the faces of those present, but heard her voice. She was in a most excited manner saying the very same things she said in Melbourne, stating that her talent was not acknowledged, that she brought her very being and life into the work, and yet she was set aside as a nonentity while Sister White got all the credit of the matter published. She was so very earnest and enthused that her statements would be taken as truth by anyone who did not know what my writings were before she had any connection with me and my work. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 1

Again the matter was presented to me as I have told you and her in the matter that came up at Melbourne. She claimed to put her words in my manuscript, and these were called “beautiful words,” but said Fannie Bolton, they were her own words. Then she talked fluently, saying that she had left everything and had given her life to be engaged in my work. Many statements after this order were presented in most earnest fluency, and all seemed to receive her words as truth. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 2

Again, after I returned to Granville from Cooranbong, matters were presented before me, and warnings were given that a trial was before me. I was instructed that among those connected with me there was working an undercurrent of deceptive influences and that unless there was a cleansing away of all such influences, great harm would result to the cause of truth. I told you, Marian, that I was deeply burdened. I knew that Fannie’s interest was not in the work. I had no harmony with her. I have felt, when I put writings in her hand to be copied, that there was some power between her and me, and the impression was “Withhold, withhold.” I could not interpret my impressions nor the figures presented to me to teach me. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 3

It was her own proposition to come to Armadale, Melbourne, and she made the conditions herself. I asked her if it was safe for her to attend the camp meeting, for if she should be urged to take the children’s meetings, she would be inclined to do this, and then she would be of no use to me, for she would have to give her whole time to that work. She said, “I could not take the children’s meetings. It is too hard for me. It just takes every bit of power in me. I shall want to attend some meetings in the evenings, occasionally in the daytime, but I will be ready to help you in your work.” 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 4

But as soon as we were on the ground, it was not easy to get persons to take the children’s division, and now comes in the great urging for Fannie to engage in this work. I said, “No, it must not be. I have work for Fannie.” But she greatly desired to attend children’s meetings, and to instruct them. I had two articles to be prepared for the mail, and Fannie read Wednesday and Thursday. Fourteen pages were prepared for the mail, and nothing more has been done by her during this meeting. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 5

After I had received the warnings I have mentioned, I asked Sara if Fannie had said anything to her in regard to me and my work and her work in connection with me. She evaded the question and said that Fannie wanted to take the children’s meetings, if I would give my consent. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 6

I said, “Is this all, Sara?” 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 7

She answered, “No, and I do not want to tell you what she said.” 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 8

I replied, “I believe it is my duty to know, for I am warned that Fannie is my adversary, and that she will misrepresent facts regarding her service in the work which will place me in a wrong light before the people.” 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 9

She then told me the tenor of the conversation that she had with her. She referred to the notice in the paper, the Echo, that Professor Prescott had compiled a book on Christian Education, and here his name appears and, she said, “Myself and poor little Marian are unnoticed, set down out of sight.” She talked very strongly, making statements of the magnitude of the work she had done, and mourned because, although her talent was depended upon to prepare copy for the printer, her help was not acknowledged. She said, “You read the notice, Sara.” 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 10

She then raised her hand, pounded it on the paper on the table, and said with vehemence, “It is a lie! a lie! a lie!” 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 11

I sent for Brother Prescott and told him I was sure that Fannie was working most decidedly in the same lines that she had worked in America, pouring into other minds her version of things regarding her talents brought into the work there, because of which I had released her then from my services. I told him of the painful experience I had passed through in Melbourne at the Brighton camp meeting two years ago, similar to what I passed through in California at one time, that had nearly cost me my life. Now, I said, “She is taking the work up just where she left it two years ago.” 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 12

I said, “What is your opinion of this spirit, and this talk that is leavening the camp?” “Oh,” said he, “I knew all this just as you have told it, in America. She came to my wife and me and laid it all open before us again in Cooranbong.” Then he told how he met the matter. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 13

Afterward I sent for Sister Prescott and talked with her. She had told Fannie that all this was the work of Satan to control her mind, that he, through her, could cut the heart of Sister White. After this I called both Brother and Sister Prescott together and consulted as to what should be done. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 14

Monday I spoke with Fannie after meeting and she was very desirous that I would consent for her to take the children’s meeting. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 15

I said, “Fannie, do not engage in any kind of work for others on this ground but yourself, until your heart is changed and you have a new heart, a new mind. If any one on this ground needs to search as with a lighted candle his own heart, it is you. I do not ask you to do another stroke of work for me on this ground or ever hereafter. I remove all objections as far as my work in connection with you is concerned.” She went to bed sick, and was sick all last night. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 16

I have endeavored to find out other parties with whom she had talked. From one of our ministering brethren, I learned that while at the school she opened her grievances to Brother and Sister Malcolm, who were then new in the truth. She presented the matter to them in such a way that they thought injustice had been done to Fannie and Marian. They knew nothing of me and my work, and Fannie represented that she and Marian had brought all the talent and sharpness into my books, yet you were both ignored and set aside, and all the credit came to me. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 17

She had underscored some words in [the] book, Christian Education, “beautiful words,” she called them, and said that she had put in those words, they were hers. If this were the truth, I ask, who told her to put in her words in my writings. She has, if her own statement is correct, been unfaithful to me. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 18

Sister Prescott, however, says that, in the providence of God that very article came to them (Brother and Sister Prescott) uncopied and in my own handwriting, and that these very words were in that letter. So Fannie’s statement regarding these words is proved to be untrue. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 19

Monday Fannie asked if I could pray with her. I told her, “Yes.” But when I came home, I was too feeble. I could not talk with her or pray with her. I shall not talk with her again if I can help it. She can talk fluently, has no lack of words, can talk six words to my one. She must no longer have the slightest connection with me. If I had only carried out my conviction two years ago, I should have done my duty. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 20

I write you this, that you may know that I will not take so much as a shoe string from her wonderful talent. She may now exercise that talent as she chooses and swell into the large place she thinks she should occupy. I have not a particle of confidence in her present position as a Christian. She has proved herself a traitor. If you had not tried so hard to keep her with me, through your sympathy, I should have severed all connections with her before this. How much harm she has done me and may do me in the future, God alone knows. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 21

If after this meeting Fannie shall come to Granville, you must not put one line of anything I have written into her hands or read a line to her of The Life of Christ. I would not have any [advice] from her. I am disconnected from Fannie, because God requires it, and my own heart requires it. I am sorry for Fannie, but nevertheless it is truth. If God will help me then, I will praise His holy name. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 22

I want no further deceptions. I am sure the Lord is holding me up and strengthening me. I felt this morning that the Lord had taken this matter out of my hands, and others must now handle it. Fannie now feels, as the matter has come out, about as she felt at Melbourne two years ago, but her repentance then was short lived. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 23

She now tells others she feels very badly and wants me to forgive. This I can do, but can never connect her with me again. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 24

She becomes at times as verily possessed by demons as were human beings in the days of Christ. And when these paroxysms are upon her, many think she is inspired of God. She is fluent, her words come thick and fast, and she is under the control of demons. Then she claims that she has done the very things in my service I have told her in no case to do, that she has substituted her words for my words. This is bad enough. But when she takes the position that she has made my books, my articles, and is responsible for the beautiful language, it is evident that Satan can, through her, do me any amount of harm. She can do more to implant doubts and sow seeds of evil than any person I know. She is a dangerous helper to me. She shall never have a chance again of mingling Fannie Bolton’s wonderful talent with my work. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 25

She had nothing to do with my work until after the meeting at Minneapolis, yet the Lord had kept and helped me up to that time. After she went to Ann Arbor she did a little for me. She asked for some articles of mine to take with her to Ann Arbor, saying she loved the work. But I now think that she wished to use the pretext that she was employed by me in order to gain the confidence of others, because I trusted her as my agent to prepare copy for my books. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 26

I see my folly now. I have not, since she came with me to Australia, had real peace and happiness with her. I have felt no peace, comfort, and companionship with her, and yet I have tried to hold on to her. 10LtMs, Lt 102, 1895, par. 27