Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 178, 1896

Corliss, William Burr


Circa April 1896

Probably written to William Burr Corliss. See Lt 15a, 1896 and Lt 165, 1896. Previously unpublished. Not sent. 

I will write to you, young man, that I have a sincere interest in you, because you are not the owner of yourself. Your heavenly Father is your Creator and He gave Christ as your Redeemer. Therefore, you are of considerable consequence with God. You are bought with a price. Your life is precious because the Lord bears with your perversities, and, whatever they may be, I am not writing this letter to condemn or discourage you but to impress you with the fact that the very business you are engaged in is the spoiling of your own life through mistaken notions. Whatever their hereditary or cultivated tendencies may be, the lives of young men are a serious matter with Him because it is a life ransomed by a price that cannot be computed. 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 1

You have been a self-indulgent youth, easily influenced into evil, catching up the wrong habits and the wrong practices of those who love the evil rather than the good. You have a father and mother that love the Lord, and both are possessed of more than common, ordinary ability. You have been entrusted with talents which, if you knew how, you could by diligent service improve, to make something of yourself by giving your heart to God fully, wholly, without any reserve. The Lord would give you, in wearing His yoke, a rest to your soul, and you could be made a vessel unto honor. Will you take your own way and work out your own ideas independent of your parents? 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 2

Christ, your Redeemer, invites you to “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart and ye shall find rest unto your soul, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] Your great pleasure has been to do as your please, however much pain you bring to the heart of father or mother. Will it pay, young man? I have a great desire that you should accept the invitation of Christ and wear the yoke of Christ. I know that you can if you wear Christ’s yoke. Live not to please yourself but be what you can be through earnest endeavor, a laborer together with Christ because you wear His yoke. Your life in this world, if improved, can make the world better for your having lived in it. 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 3

Through a faith connection with Jesus Christ and seeking to walk in His footsteps, you can be like Him in character—pure in your purposes and strong in strife to win the crown of life. Lives with whom you have connection will be purer and stronger through your influence that has been purified by the truth. You know the Word of God but not practically. Now is the time for you to be given to understand you have talents to use with which to accomplish the purpose God has for your life. A young man with father and mother, sister and baby brother, has a most serious responsibility resting upon him. 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 4

Can you take in the matter as it is, that your life, of which your father has been so proud, is disappointing him and is a great grief to his heart and his life? Your mother that should have joy and gladness feels a sadness and a weight upon her spirits. You can change all this if you will. It rests with you. They have loved you and their hearts go out after you. They have placed much hope upon you that you would become a child of God and turn your feet in the path that leads to life eternal. They have indulged your wishes more than was good for you. It made you selfish and want to live for your own gratification of self. But if you only knew what a disappointing matter it is to your father and mother, you could not do as you have done. They have hoped; they have prayed and tortured their souls over you, and the pain of heart is with them just about a continual thing, and the result will be weakening the life forces. Although you do not sense the matter, it is like a continual, grave sorrow in the heart. They made a mistake in indulging you to your own injury, but do not let there continue to be an injury. 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 5

Show yourself a man. “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is nigh. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” [Isaiah 55:6, 7.] The Lord is good and merciful. He will receive you if you will come to Him and let His Holy Spirit into your heart with His transforming grace. Then how great a burden would you lift from the hearts and minds and souls of your parents. Your life as it has been is casting reflections upon your parents’ training and educating. Your course is a reproach upon them. But you may change all this. Your course of conduct may be representative of truth. You can be an argument in favor of truth and righteousness by the transformation of your own soul through the reception of the precious grace of Christ who gave His life for you to make that life a blessing in this world. 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 6

If you come to the Lord just as you are—needy, dependent—and ask Him to receive you, to pardon you, He will do it. You can cast the most serious reflections upon your father by continuing to pursue a course that is opposed to truth and righteousness. You may come, you may give your heart to the Lord and reveal the proof of the power of the truth upon the human heart and soul of the believer. This is the credential you can bear of what the truth can do to soften and subdue the heart of the wayward who considers it is his privilege to have his own way. Will you consider the things that I write unto you? It is the course you have pursued that keeps the household in distress. Your mother feels that if she should go to America that her son could be where he can have encouragement and not be censored and found fault with and criticized. 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 7

There is no lax discipline in Battle Creek or in Healdsburg. Just as long as you carry with you your unconverted heart, you will meet with all the difficulties in any place where order and discipline are maintained. There is no school in any of our churches that will be more considerate and forebearing than they have been in this school. Your parents want you to receive an education, that you can unite with them in their work for the Lord. But you can spoil your own life and spoil the life of your parents who are inclined to blame the school for your wayward course. It is a trouble thrown back to your father and your mother to give up their fond hopes of you. They are willing and enjoy laboring in this country, and the Lord would have them remain, but their hopes will be disappointed should they leave this country for to follow out your thinking that you should not be so much criticized elsewhere. 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 8

We have the truth which will prove to you to be sacred and eternal truth. Let me tell you, young man, you will carry your own wicked heart with you, and every move you make under the training of Satan lessens your hope of becoming a young man who is under the control of holy angels. The Lord understands it all. You will only confuse and create a worse state of things with yourself and your parents. God is not leading them to America. It is wholly on your account that they go. Neither your mother nor your father will be following the leadings of the Spirit of God but the working of the enemy on your mind to ruin your soul, if possible, and place them in great embarrassment, which they do not discern. They think they should do everything possible for you, to watch and keep guard over you, their child. 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 9

But I know that which the Lord has revealed to me: that it would be the enemy working upon your mind to place you in such a position as would keep them unsettled and unhappy. To follow your course of action will finally unfit them both for the work the Lord has given them to do. They will lose largely in spiritual discernment, for this is Satan’s snare to disqualify them for the work. If you could only know what harm you have done, and will continue to do, knowing full well you have worked in deceiving your parents. 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 10

But I will not by any means look upon your case as hopeless, but as one whom the Lord is ready and willing to receive if you will only come to him and begin to work most earnestly in different lines. I would say you would but disappoint the enemy to return to the school. If you will change your attitude and exert your talent of influence for good as zealously as you have worked in the service of the enemy to please the father of all evil, then the Lord will work with you. And your parents will no longer be so amazed by Satan’s ingenious methods to separate them from those who are doing the best they can under difficulties. Satan works so that your parents will feel hard and strange and dissatisfied with the teacher all on your account. 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 11

Why not now break this spell? Why not now turn unto the Lord and break with the enemy? Why humiliate your parents? Why dishonor them and make their life so hard and trying? When your course of action shall be changed everything in reference to your father and mother will be changed. Individually every soul has all the trials that Satan can bring upon them, and when he makes the son a medium of his communications and artful disceivings, he hopes to obtain the full control over father and mother and the younger members of the family. I know I am not writing to you fables but facts. “Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?” [Ezekiel 33:11.] 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 12

I have a proposition to make: Return to the school in repentance and seek the Lord with all your heart and no longer stand under the guidance and ruling power of Satan. You have now an opportunity to come to the Saviour just as you are. Repent and be converted and help your parents in the place of hindering them and making their trials so severe. If you decide that you will come back to the school and pursue an altogether different course of action, and cultivate the talents God has given you in order to do good and be a blessing to yourself, to your father and mother, and seek to make them happy, the teachers will do their uttermost to help you, to cooperate with you in forming a character that God shall approve. If you have no intention of making any change, then of course, that matter is at an end. 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 13

You would have no better opportunities or privileges in any other school if you should continue to pursue the course you have done—to lead, as well as being led, into evil. Going to America would not improve your mother’s or your father’s health, for their hearts are sore and they grieve and have much sorrow. Your father will not ever find a place where he is more appreciated than in this country. All love him and want to help him and can be a blessing to him if you will be determined that Satan shall not work you, and through you work the students of the school, and your own parents be deceived. I have had a view of your life. I have been permitted to see the outcome of indulgence in gratifying the inclinations of a baby or a child or a youth. In doing this your life has become misshapen, and a very crooked piece of work is your character building. 11LtMs, Lt 178, 1896, par. 14