Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10

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Lt 9, 1895

Bolton, Fannie

Armadale, Melbourne, Australia

November 7, 1895

This letter is published in entirety in FBS 46-48. +Note

Sister Fannie:

The past night my sleep has troubled me. I am communicating to you in my sleeping hours. I have been waiting, hoping that some word would be given me that would mark out the way of the Lord more distinctly, that I might know what to do. But I have had no additional light; therefore I must take heed to the light I have already had from time to time in the past. I shall not trace with pen the many things that have occurred in the history of the past. It would only make me live them over afresh. I merely state that what has occurred on this camp ground is not a sudden temptation, new and strange to the human agent. It is a line of thought that has been cherished, and that will continue to be cherished. It may be smothered, but I cannot flatter myself that it is dead, without a possibility of a resurrection. 10LtMs, Lt 9, 1895, par. 1

At the very time when you knew me to be suffering most <severely> with physical infirmities, at the very time when it was essential that I should have all my powers under full control, and that I should have the most favorable surroundings, to keep my mind in peace, and [rest in] the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, on this important occasion I am brought into perplexity and distress which is scarcely endurable. Impediments of a very trying character are thrown in my way to weaken my hands, to take all courage out of my heart, and [to] leave me to wrestle with uncertainties, to meet a harvest of unbelief and suspicion, which <you have created.> If true, as <you have> represented, God would set me aside, and take Fannie Bolton in my stead. These manifestations have been bewildering to me, and still are. I do not recover from the shock. Those who are supposed to help me should see me in my physical weakness, <carrying the heaviest burdens one can bear,> yet compelled to be distressed beyond measure by their attitude. But <the Lord says> they have no power to resist the devil, <or from his snare to go.> 10LtMs, Lt 9, 1895, par. 2

I will not attempt to say all that might be said, <for I have not physical strength.> I can but go <lightly> over the ground <in memory> of the last six or seven years, step by step, from point to point, and inquire, What am I? and what will God have of me? I am still in a maze of perplexity. But I see only one course open before me. If my life is worth saving, I must disconnect from Fannie. And this is, <I think,> her only hope. <Satan has supposed he could work upon your fruitful imagination to claim you have done a work God would not let you do—blend yourself with my writings.> It is a great trial for me to do this, for I have no one selected to prepare my articles. This may be in the providence of God. Perhaps He designs me to lay down my pen, and say, I have written enough, while I had thought I had many things I must write. Being dependent upon an editor to prepare my articles for the press makes my work difficult, and I am still in great trial. To get a stranger who is unacquainted with me, would be to go through the same experience that I have had with Fannie, <God forbid.> But I give Fannie up on this camp ground. If she <will> consecrate her abilities to God, and hide herself in Christ, she can find work. I will not hinder her. 10LtMs, Lt 9, 1895, par. 3

Notwithstanding all the repeated difficulties that Fannie has placed upon me in this line, not a trace of my pen has <been> communicated <in regard to> the state of affairs to any one in America, <with exception of Edson—I made a brief mention of it.> But something will have to be said now. A plain statement of facts will be necessary. This is due the conference, who have hitherto paid her for the work she was supposed to do when she came with me. I shall <try to> avoid making any reference to particulars. 10LtMs, Lt 9, 1895, par. 4

The warnings given to Fannie by the Lord have not been pleasant <for her> to consider, and she has not taken <any> heed to them. The precious matter placed in her hands she has not regarded as <precious and> sacred; she <has not> treated <them> as such <and cherished the light given.> She has not obtained knowledge by them, nor practiced the principles kept constantly before her. Familiarity with the most solemn messages that I have felt I must write, have bred contempt. They have become common to her mind. Therefore, for her soul’s sake, and in order to preserve my life, I must sever all connection with Fannie Bolton. 10LtMs, Lt 9, 1895, par. 5

I understand that she says she has plenty of work piled up before her which she can do. If sanctified, if holy, if cleansed in mind and purified in soul, if meek and lowly in heart, God will forgive the past, and work with her efforts. But if she works to obtain praise and glory for herself, she will work alone. I dare not trust her to handle my manuscript. I should ever be in uncertainty as to how it is treated if I take her testimony as truth. But this temptation will always be a dangerous one to her. If she uses her ability, given her of God, to exhibit what Fannie Bolton can do, she works in herself, and out of Christ. I now reluctantly and with grief in my heart say to Fannie Bolton: You are no longer in the employment of the General Conference in my behalf. 10LtMs, Lt 9, 1895, par. 6

Fannie, I forgive you for the pain and suffering you have caused me, and which has been so many times repeated. I forgive as I hope to be forgiven. Yet notwithstanding I forgive, I must do according to the light and warnings given me in the past in reference to the work God has given me, and in reference to your work in connection with me. You cannot discern the character of the work the Lord has given me to do, else you would not regard it as a common thing. Your soul is precious in the sight of God. By being converted daily from your own way, by accepting God’s way as a little child, you will find your only hope of heaven. You have been praised and exalted; you have been given credit for possessing great piety and disinterested devotion. This is a mistake. The emotional part of your nature has been called to exercise altogether too much for your own good and for the good of those with whom you associate. It has been keyed up to a high tension in your intensity of feelings. <In your meetings held for the youth, the Lord God has not blessed your efforts.> You do many things for which there is not found solid, earnest, abiding results. Self was mingled with everything, tainting and corrupting your service. It is always safe to use the holy fire of God’s own kindling, and no other. I ask you to read the 16th chapter of Numbers. If I have worked in self, my work will not stand; if I have worked in God, the work will endure. 10LtMs, Lt 9, 1895, par. 7

[Note:] Fannie must excuse me from having a private interview with her. I cannot bear it. Let this be read before Bro. and Sr. Prescott, Bro. and Sr. Corliss, Bro. and Sr. Colcord, and Bro. and Sr. Rousseau. Fannie should be present when it is read. 10LtMs, Lt 9, 1895, par. 8