Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 70, 1895

Responsible Men in the Review Office

Norfolk Villa, Prospect Street, Granville, N. S. W., Australia

June 9, 1895

Previously unpublished. +Note

To the Responsible Men in the Review Office:

When the news came that my son Edson had strayed from the fold, I scarcely dared to inquire, What course has he pursued that no one feels it a duty to work diligently for his soul? For a time I could get no light from heaven in regard to his condition; but I prayed night and day. For many months I had been a great sufferer; much of the time I could sleep only two hours at night. But. Oh, how my heart longed for my son. My cry went up to heaven in his behalf. I knew that he was far away from God, and I wrestled in prayer for him, while all were lost in slumber. 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 1

One night the matter was opened before me, the reason of his straying from the Lord, the reason of his unbelief, one point after another. <He did obey the message from God to go forth and speak His word to the people.> I saw the careless indifference manifested toward him <at the very time he needed help;> I heard the words falling from the lips of men who had not made straight paths for their own feet, and, but for whom, Edson White would not have been where he was. Although this was no excuse for him, for he knew the truth and its claims, yet it was a great temptation to him. <Had he followed the light given him of God through His appointed agencies, he would not have been in darkness but in a bright and shining light.> 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 2

I had tried to think that his case had been handled wisely by those who ought to know how to deal with minds that are fallen under temptation. <I dared not object to their course until the Lord presented matters in their true light.> But I had plainly presented before me the great want of Christ’s love and the wrong judgments and conclusions in his case. His motives were misjudged, and the worse construction was placed upon his course of action. If his conduct had been just what it was imagined, then he was <the> one who needed special care, as a sick person needs treatment. But <wounded,> bruised by the enemy, he was left to perish. 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 3

I shall not attempt to present the half that was then presented to me <in mismanagement of souls with which you are brought in connection,> but I knew that I had a son straying in the wilderness, and where was the tender shepherd to hunt for the lost one? I looked at one, then at another, and still another, of those whose hearts should have been drawn out in love and sympathy and earnest labor for the very one who needed their help. I saw none who took upon themselves the travail of soul. The many had educated and trained themselves to censure, to condemn, to repulse with harsh and stinging words that wound to the quick. <Those very words were as appropriate to themselves as to him, but that was not apparent to them.> 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 4

O, I thought, must this terrible experience be permitted in my family to bring vividly to my soul, in the case of my own son, the great neglect of so many to labor for those that are ready to perish? Did I need this experience to make me feel as never before the peril of souls under temptation and treated with indifference and contempt, [with] no hands stretched out to save? Must God’s professed people in their unchristlike attitude toward the erring be presented in the case of my own son before I should bear a testimony, decided and earnest and unflinching? Should I press home to the hearts of those who seem to be without feeling that, unless they fall on the Rock and are broken, the outcome of their selfish, self-centered course will be that the Rock will fall upon them and grind them to powder? 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 5

God will be honored in all who come near to Him. Cold hearted worldliness is excluding from the heart the love of Jesus. Says the Alpha and Omega, “I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thy first love.” [Revelation 2:4.] Words as written in characters of fire were presented before me as inscribed on the very walls of the printing office, on the walls of the council rooms, “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” [Revelation 3:1-3.] 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 6

When the truth is received, it works upon the heart, purifying it from all selfishness and worldliness. As we draw nigh to God, we feel as never before the sense of sin, of righteousness and judgment to come. We feel the deepest interest and most tender sympathy for the very ones who need our help; and if we are patient, if we do not magnify before us errors and misdeeds, if we will exercise that love which Christ is continually exercising for us in our mistakes and errors and our forgetfulness of His claims upon us, we shall know how to save those who are ready to die. 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 7

As I see the willingness to let souls go, and turn from them, as in the case of my own son, who would have appreciated help if it had been proffered him, I set my heart to do the bidding of God; in the power of His Spirit, I will bear the message <given> me, to show the defects of those who are indifferent, careless, hard-hearted toward the very ones that in the sight of <the heart-searching> God are not as guilty as themselves. There are ministers and people who know the truth in regard to these matters, but they have felt themselves dependent upon the men whose course toward the erring they know is not right, and they fear to alienate themselves from them. Oh that there might be men who would act with a single eye to the glory of God <and keep the way of the Lord to do justice and exercise mercy and love.> 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 8

The word of God bids me bear a plain testimony, and sometimes in agony of soul, sometimes with an impelling spirit, I move forward trusting the result with God. But since my severe affliction, I <learned my lesson> to move forward depending on no man, waiting not for the approval <or consent> of any man. I have devoted my heart, with all the vigor of my being, to the work of seeking to waken a spirit of love and tenderness in the breasts of those who have manifested so little love. I cannot, dare not, flatter any man. A heavy burden rests upon me today. 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 9

Light from the Lord is given to you who are connected with the Office. I must speak in regard to another who has erred from the way. Whatever course Frank Belden may have taken, you have pursued a course toward him which you cannot justify in the judgment. For a time you confederated with him, but when he changed his attitude in regard to your confederacy <in some things,> the same selfish, one-sided dealing practiced toward others marked your course toward him. All <may suppose> that I have justified the conduct of Frank Belden. <I have not dared to do this.> But the fact remains that there are those who have practiced double dealing and have pursued toward him a course that God condemns. Will you consider this matter? Are you willing to run the risk of having the same thing acted over in your own case? 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 10

The Investigative Judgment will soon pass upon the living. I will not flatter your souls, saying peace, peace, when you cannot have peace. On every side are souls for whom Christ has given His own blood, to save them from ruin; and what have you done to save them? Have you lifted your hand to bless by words and deeds, the ones whom you can help and bless? 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 11

God has given Frank Belden talents for usefulness, but they have been tarnished. By what? By the influence and principles of men in positions of trust. Oh, that the sense of eternal realities may now give Frank a repentance that will not need to be repented of. God saw that his connection with his associates in the office and in business capacity for years has not been a savor of life unto life. I thank the Lord that Frank is separated from the Office, and that under whatever circumstances God has permitted, he has been walking in humility and learning a lesson which otherwise he might never have learned. 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 12

“The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” [James 3:17, 18.] “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” [James 4:10, 5-8.] 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 13

Who among you is consciously following the example of Christ? Who is growing into Christlikeness? The Lord says, “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and (not weaken and overthrow) strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” [Revelation 3:1-3.] It was the Lord who permitted Captain Eldridge and Frank Belden by their own action to separate from the Office, not because they were more blameworthy than their associates, but because their eternal interest was in peril, and the separation from the Office would change their spirit. Scenes of trial would show them how little dependence can be placed on men who will flatter with their lips; let adversity come, and then when true friendship is of highest value, it is not. 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 14

The close friendship of Captain Eldridge would, if sanctified, have been a benefit to both, but it proved a snare. Frank could have done Captain Eldridge much good, and Captain Eldridge could have done Frank much good; but it was otherwise. There is need of a revealing of the true standard of character. God wants that His love, the beauty of His character, shall captivate the soul. 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 15

Oh, how little has God been glorified by your association one with another. We are safe only in seeking sympathy of that quality which exists in the bosom of Him who values men so much that He gave His life for them. He loves us with an everlasting love. If you will make Him your trust, the same God who formed you in the beginning and who created you anew in Christ Jesus, will through His grace work day after day a change in you. He who has begun a good work in you will perform it unto the day of Christ’s second appearing. In all who follow Him, God demands perfection of character. If you will receive Christ and believe in Him as your personal Saviour, you are members of His body, a part of His living, working agency; and if you follow on to know the Lord, then shall you know His going forth is prepared as the morning. 10LtMs, Lt 70, 1895, par. 16