Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10

16/284

Lt 15, 1895

Belden, Frank

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

June 8, 1895

This letter is published in entirety in 17MR 107-118.

Mr. Frank Belden
4331 Indiana Ave.
Chicago, Illinois

Dear Nephew:

I received your letter, also the favor of your music book and songs and leaflets, from the hand of Ella May White, and I thank you for them. As soon as the Vancouver mail closes, I shall be pleased to examine your song book. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 1

You seem unreconciled to the statement you understand me to have made in a letter to Elder Olsen, that you were selfish in leaving the Review Office. You have mistaken my meaning. It was not the act of leaving the Office, but your spirit and course while connected with the Office that was presented to me as selfish. What I wrote to Bro. Olsen was not based on reports received from anyone, but on what the Lord had presented before me. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 2

The course pursued in regard to wages, at the time under consideration, was a purely selfish course, and was contrary to the principles on which the Office was established, the principles of self-sacrifice and of justice between man and man. Those who exerted an influence to increase the wages of the workers connected with the Office were displeasing God. There was a confederacy for the robbery of God’s treasury. One worked to secure higher wages for others so that the contrast between the wages of the workers might not appear disproportionate. All who acted a part to carry this influence were engaged in a selfish work, which will sooner or later react upon themselves unless they repent. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 3

Evil angels exulted, and the Lord said, “Shall I not judge for these things?” [Jeremiah 5:9.] “They have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction. But they have set their abominations in my house which is called by my name, to defile it.” [Jeremiah 32:33, 34.] 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 4

The Lord brought me by His Spirit into the very meetings where you were speaking in favor of the wages of one and another being raised. Then I was shown that the result would be separation from the Office because of the wrong course practiced in several lines. As I have said, your act in leaving the Office was not the objectionable point presented to me, but it was the various things enacted in the Office while you were presiding that were contrary to the will of God. In the counsels your voice was often heard, and I knew that your only deliverance from Satan’s snares would be for God to allow your own course of action to separate you from the Office. But I was surprised that the result came as soon as it did. The Lord let you have your own way, and Captain Eldridge made his own choice. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 5

When you insisted that you were doing all in your power to bring Great Controversy, and Patriarchs and Prophets before the people, I knew your statements to be untrue. Captain Eldridge and you confederated together to uphold [and] sustain each other, and worked according to your blindness of mind in using your influence to control the management of the books to make as high a show as possible in gathering means into the Office. The Lord brought me into your council meetings. I was bidden to mark the influences at work to repress Great Controversy that resulted in its falling nearly dead from the press, as was the case also with Patriarchs and Prophets. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 6

The most solemn promises were made to me by Brother C. H. Jones that if I would reduce the royalty on Great Controversy to ten cents, the Pacific Press would push the book with all their power. Yet in spite of these promises Bible Readings was brought in, and, being sold cheap hindered the sale of the books, that God had commanded to [be] written, that the light of truth might be given to the world, to prepare a people for the great day of God. Every appeal was made that I could make, but without effect. Stoutly and strangely was this unjust work carried forward. Brother C. H. Jones thought he did not do the right thing by me, but he must follow the lead of B.C. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 7

At the conference at Minneapolis, in the autumn of 1888, Captain Eldridge faithfully promised me that he would take hold of these works and push them the next spring. Did he do it? No, they were kept back decidedly, determinedly, and your voice did much to accomplish this; you discouraged their sale and exalted Bible Readings, and the influence of Captain Eldridge was united with yours. I have forgiven you this, and mention this matter that you may understand what the reference to selfishness means. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 8

Now my dear nephew, these matters were opened to me years ago. I had nothing to do with your leaving the Office, and in regard to the act of leaving I have made no charge of selfishness. Neither have I questioned your sincerity in casting lots, but I refer to the entire period of your service in the Office, and also that of Captain Eldridge, to your course in interposing to shut from the people the warnings given of God, and your exalting and pressing Bible Readings, declaring that only one book must be in the field at a time. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 9

You and Captain Eldridge manifested the same spirit and exerted the same influence at Minneapolis. When Captain Eldridge said to me, “Sister White, we shall take up your books in the spring, and push them,” I replied, “I suppose, Captain Eldridge, you will be as strenuous then as now in carrying out what you have maintained was the right way to do, to occupy the field with only one book at a time.” He said, “I suppose a man has a right to change his mind, if he sees differently.” 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 10

The very same thing you complain of in C. H. Jones, in reference to your book, was carried out in reference to Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets. The Pacific Press violated their solemn promise to me that if I would take ten cents royalty, they would give wide sale to the book. They would have reduced the royalty still more, but warnings were given me that I was encouraging a spirit of injustice, and that it was my duty to guard not only my individual rights, but the rights of others. I was to take my stand firmly, and not be swayed by men, however high their position, for their business transactions were not all directed by the Spirit of God. The Lord will vindicate only the truth, and all who practice injustice and double dealing God will judge. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 11

What excuse did Brother C. H. Jones give for not keeping his word? He told me that it would not answer to push the Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets while the men in the Review Office stood in the position they did in reference to the matter, for they would be jealous of the Pacific Press. I said, “Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey.” [Isaiah 59:14, 15.] I have often quoted this as representing the course of the false shepherds, but I never expected to make an application of it to the treatment I myself received among our own people. But thus it has been presented to me. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 12

In these matters you, my nephew, were not guided by the Lord, but were walking contrary to Him. When I talked with you in my own room at Battle Creek, you stated to me things you may have imagined were true, but they were false. You said you did as much to recommend my books as you did for other publications, but that you dared not make a specialty of my books, lest others should say it was because I was your “Auntie.” I was disgusted at this talk. Precious truth and light given to prepare a people for the great day of God had been left in obscurity, and this was the flimsy excuse offered. More than this, you said, “I have not known of one soul being converted through the reading of Great Controversy, and I have known many souls converted through Bible Readings.” In the same talk you said, “I do as much to sell your books as I do Elder Smith’s. You believe they are inspired, do you not?” I said, “You may answer that question. I shall not.” 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 13

After I had witnessed the confederacy for raising the wages of the workers in the Office, the Lord brought me into the meetings of the auditing committee that settle with the ministers for their labor. Angels of God were there, making a record of everything done. Brother Henry’s voice was the controlling power, cutting down where ever he pleased, deciding the wages of the workers according to his ideas and feelings. How little did anyone think that the universe of heaven were noting every transaction. Brother Henry was not a poor man; he accepted large wages for himself and gave his strong influence of securing large wages for others in the Office. But these other workers, whose circumstances neither he nor other members of the auditing committee took pains to ascertain, were paid according to the impulse of this one man. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 14

This work will be met in that great day when every work shall be brought “into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.” [Ecclesiastes 12:14.] Jesus says, “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” [Revelation 22:12.] The Lord of heaven is not correctly represented by many of those who claim to be representatives of Him. They are transgressors of His commandments. But He declares, “Them that honor me will I honor.” [1 Samuel 2:30.] 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 15

All who were concerned in the payment of the large wages have been guilty of robbery toward God. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me, saith the Lord.” [Malachi 3:8.] And the result has been that God’s messengers and workers who are poor in earthly treasure are pressed into hard places. Some have large families, some have a father and mother to support, and it is a difficult matter to make ends meet. Did these men in the Office think of this? They will seek to pacify their conscience by some substitute of their own contrivance, but the books of heaven tell the story. The large wages they accepted for themselves and vindicated the acceptance of for others, they no more earned or needed than did some of those whom by their decisions they were limiting to a certain sum without a word of inquiry as to whether this would cause suffering or not. Is this doing as they would be done by? Is it loving their neighbor as they love themselves? 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 16

The law of God is a complete standard of righteousness. Man has not in himself sufficient wisdom to frame a perfect rule of right, and therefore God has given His law as a safe guide. Man is not left to his own fallacious reasoning in regard to his course of action toward his fellow men or his service to God. He is not left to stumble along, following the imagination of his own heart and mind. God calls the attention of men to a comprehensible rule of action, commandments that have God for their Author, the law pronounced by inspiration holy, just, and good. The service that God expects of His servants is not left to question and doubt. Will man love God supremely, and his neighbor as himself? 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 17

The Lord will not accept donations to His cause from means gained by the robbing of His treasury. This is not the way to make wrong deeds right. It will not blot out the record from the books of heaven. God requires strict impartiality in deal between man and man. “But 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.] 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 18

The eighth commandment is to barricade the soul, and hedge man in, so that he shall make no injurious encroachment—which his self love and desire for gain would make—from his neighbor’s rights. It forbids every species of dishonesty, injustice, or fraud, however prevalent, however palliated by plausible pretenses. The ninth commandment requires of us an inviolable regard for exact truth in every declaration by which the character of our fellow men may be affected. The tongue which is kept so little under the control of human agent is to be bridled by strong conscientious principles, by the law of love toward God and man. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 19

The last commandment condemns covetousness. Every selfish desire, every degree of discontent, every act of over-reaching, every selfish gratification works to the strengthening and developing of a character which will destroy the Christlikeness of the human agent, and close the gates of the city of God against him. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 20

There will be astonishing revelations when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened. The Revelator says, “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” [Revelation 20:12.] 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 21

O, I wish that men who filled responsible positions in the Review and Herald Office would carefully study the history of their works during their connection with the Office, and let their unfeigned prayers come up before God that His Holy Spirit shall quicken their consciences and memories. O that they might see the evil of practices utterly opposed to God’s holy law, and repent, and confess their sins before it shall be forever too late. They are transgressors of the law. He who offends in one point is guilty of all. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 22

There is not a moral precept enjoined in any part of the Bible which is not engraved with the finger of God in His holy law on the two tables of stone. A copy was given to Moses on Mount Sinai. The first four commandments enjoined upon man his duty to serve the Lord our God with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the mind, and with all the strength. This takes the whole man. This requires a love so fervent, so intense, that man can cherish nothing in his mind or affections in rivalry with God; and his works will bear the signature of heaven. Every thing is secondary to the glory of God. Our heavenly Father is to be ever cherished as the first, the joy and prosperity, the light and sufficiency of our life, and our portion forever. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 23

O, if men in exalted positions only knew their weakness and God’s strength and sufficiency and fullness, they would pray most earnestly, Let Thy word be my counselor. I tell all who have any connection with our institutions, Take counsel with sanctified reason, surrendered wholly to God, then you will be guided by the Lord. Many of you have kept the truth far away from the citadel of the soul. A man cannot continue in sin and be a Christian. Christ always separates the contrite soul from sin. Men may labor in connection with the work of God as did Noah’s carpenters, and yet resist the divine influences. The Spirit of God is beckoning heavenward, to imperishable honors. The love of God pervading the soul possesses a recreated power through the Holy Spirit. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 24

God will not hold him guiltless that does not set the Lord ever before him. He will walk contrary to those who walk contrary to Him. He will visit “the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate him; and will show mercy unto thousands of them that love him and keep his commandments.” [Exodus 20:5, 6.] The heart’s inclinations are true when they remain under the restraint of the holy precepts of Jehovah. O, that men would fear and tremble before the Lord God of hosts. He has made sufficiently plain His claims upon the human agent. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 25

The law speaks condemnation to those who are [not] doers of His precepts. God will accept no plea that man can offer to obtain acquittal. There is no power in law to save the transgressor of law. But Christ, who gave himself as the world’s sin bearer, becomes the Mediator for man, and the Sin-pardoner for all who come confessing their sins and accepting Him as their Saviour. “As many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” “And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” [John 1:12, 16.] 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 26

The last six precepts of the law are comprehended in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The very ones who are in need of your love and sympathy are to be helped. We are to cry to God daily, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” [Psalm 51:10.] And what will be the answer? “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” [Ezekiel 36:26, 27.] 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 27

Then a spirit of kindness will be manifested, not by fits and starts, but continually. There will be a decided change in attitude, in deportment, in words and actions toward all with whom you are in any way connected. You will not magnify their infirmities; you will not place them in an unfavorable light. You will work in Christ’s lines, manifesting to others the love that Christ has manifested for you. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 28

Instead of exposing and publishing one’s faults to others, you will put forth the most patient efforts to heal and bind up. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” [Galatians 6:1.] A harsh spirited man is unrefined, coarse; he is not spiritual, he has not a heart of flesh, but a heart as impressible as a stone. His only help is to fall on the Rock, and be broken. The Lord will place all such in the crucible, and try them in fire, as gold is tried. When He can see His image reflected in them He will remove them; but if there proves to be no genuine gold, then they consume like dross. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 29

The Lord has his eye upon every soul. All are the purchase of the precious blood of the Son of God, and in dealing with souls valued at such a price we are to exercise kindness and forbearance, even as we would desire to have exercised toward ourselves. If those in positions of trust fail to exert this kind of influence, which is the keeping of the law of God, then by precept, by example in business lines, they mold the sentiments of those connected with them, and unless they repent, the Lord in His providence will remove them, and the results of their work will react upon themselves. When they were sowing the seed, they did not reflect that a reaping time was coming. We should never forget that whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap. The religion of Christ is to take possession of the whole being, and give force and power to all our faculties, renovating, cleansing, and refining. It manifests itself without parade and high sounding words, but is shown in an upright and unselfish life. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 30

Lest a single statement of the precepts of Jehovah shall be evaded or forgotten, lest we should indifferently regard their claims, God declares that to all [who] transgress that law they are a ministration of death. [2 Corinthians 3:7.] The heavenly council, having arraigned and convicted the law breaker, pronounces His condemnation; and there is nothing in himself to save him from the sentence and penalty of death. “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.” [1 Corinthians 15:56.] 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 31

I write this especially at this time because the leaven of disobedience and transgression of the precepts of Jehovah has been working in many minds, and the result is that hearts need to be purified, refined, and sanctified, that they may become vessels unto honor. We need to preserve contrition of heart, and to say with Paul, “Thanks be unto God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “My beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” [Verses 57, 58.] 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 32

Let the words of the beloved disciple be considered and practiced: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” [1 John 5:1.] If all would take heed to these words and obey them, we should see in all our institutions a different state of things. The souls of the workers would be surrounded by an atmosphere that is healthful, like a precious odor, a savor of life unto life. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 33

“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” [Verses 2-4.] “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God will love his brother also.” [1 John 4:20, 21.] 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 34

I have been called to hear the loud voices in the determination of decisions against one and another who are chosen of God and precious. Some things in these persons did not please the men in authority, and their case was not dealt with according to the law of God, in kindness, but according to human prejudices. O, so much of this work has been done by men who have not the Spirit of God, but are really agents through whom Satan can perform his work. 10LtMs, Lt 15, 1895, par. 35