Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 35, 1896

Hardy, Brother

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, Australia

July 14, 1896

Previously unpublished. +Note

Brother Hardy:

I have some things to say to you, and I shall not feel free until I have said them. Sister Hardy visited me yesterday for the first time since coming to Cooranbong, to ask my advice in regard to her son Ebbie going to Africa on the steamer which sails in September. She told me that you had sent for your son to come to you, in order that you could care for him, and he care for you if you were sick. Your wife has moved from Sydney and is settled in a retired location on the banks of Dora Creek. Moving is expensive business. I enquired very minutely into her financial prospects, and what provision you had made for her, and learned that you expected her to live with her children. I promised to see her today, and tell her, as best I could, how to manage. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 1

Last night I was in conversation with you. The Lord gave me a most solemn, positive message for you. The incidents of your life experience I again laid out before you. I have not time now to place on paper the things which the Lord opened before me, but will write fully of these things for the next mail. Sufficient light was given me so that I could advise your son in no case to be induced to leave his mother. When you left your children in her hands to care for and support, without help from you, she did her duty to them. She toiled in weariness, and God helped her. After you came back to her, she worked hard to sustain herself and her children, and now, when she is nearly sixty years old, you leave her again. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 2

You are earning large wages, but instead of making provision for her by sending the means to sustain her, you call her only unmarried son from her side to look after you, and you after him. Your wife has been wronged by you exceedingly. Could you do any greater wrong than to leave her to toil and support your children? And now, when she has exhausted her vitality, and has fled from the city, and is living here in a little shanty that is bare and cold and comfortless, but which, by dint of exertion, has been fixed so that they will not actually suffer, you call her son to leave his mother and come to you. I told Sister Hardy that I knew God did not require this of her; she must hold fast to her son. As for her being dependent on her daughters, or her married sons, she is best alone by herself, with her son to care for her. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 3

I cannot now tell you the things I shall be obliged to write you, but I warn you to change the unfeeling, selfish, heartless course which you have pursued toward your wife, if you expect the Lord to have pity and mercy upon you. I can trace no language with my pen that would be strong enough to express the way in which God regards your course of action. You have capabilities to earn money, and your wife, in her weak and worn out condition, should be amply provided with means enough to give her every possible comfort. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 4

What restitution have you made to your wife for deserting her to live with another woman and raise up a family of children? After forsaking your wife, who is regarded as precious gold by the Lord, who purchased her with His own blood, and living in adultery for years, you came back to her. She ought never to have connected herself with you again, but her tender, forgiving spirit did not cast you off. That foul blot upon your life stands registered in the books of heaven, and will remain there unless you sincerely repent before God, and confess your sins and your iniquities, and make restitution as far as it is in your power to do so. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 5

When you neglect the wife you have acted toward so selfishly, when you do as you are now doing, you bring back all the sins of which you have been guilty, and which are charged against you in the books of heaven. How does that God who notices every little brown sparrow, so that not one falls to the ground without his knowledge, look upon your present heartless course in leaving your wife dependent upon her children after she has carried the burdens that she has. What is worse, she has had to meet your passionate outbursts of satanic temper. I have seen it all. I have several pages which I kept back from the testimony given you before. The Lord bade me present that which I did, and if you had heeded the testimony, and repented and turned from your evil course of action, it need not have been known by you that I had the history of your past life presented before me. I must now send you this matter which I have had copied on the typewriter; for it is again presented to me. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 6

Do you mean to place yourself, as did Judas, beyond the reach of repentance? Will you deprive your wife of the money which is justly her due for bringing up your children? Your wife is the Lord’s child. Will you leave her neglected, to wrestle her way through the world, to carry burdens, when strength and vital energy are no longer hers? What kind of a heart can you have? What is it made of? Is it a mill stone? 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 7

I beg of you to tell me, when you answer this letter, what you mean to do. You need to exercise your reason in this matter, if you have never done so before. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 8

I have kept the darkest representation of your case to myself. O, how thankful I felt that you did change, but the change was only partial. You did not hold fast to God. You did not say, Lord, if I have taken aught from any man, I will restore him fourfold. You left your children for your wife to support. What have you done toward restoring that which you have robbed from her? Where is your sense of justice? 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 9

I did so hope that you would be a man, and have a human heart. I did so hope that you would confess the wrongs done to your patient, suffering wife, who was left to struggle with the whole burden earlier time, and to gratify your love of change. You took another woman. Will you right this wrong, or will you leave this large debt unpaid, and leave your wife to struggle along broken down in health, enfeebled by the care and burdens that have been so constant as to leave no time for ease, quietude, or resting spells. What will you answer to the Lord for this wicked, unrighteous course. When the Lord shall say, Who required this at your hands, what will you say? 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 10

The wrong you have done is not charged as being done to your wife, but to Jesus Christ in the person of His saint. “Verily I say unto you,” said Christ, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” [Matthew 25:40.] Jesus Christ identifies His interest with suffering humanity. Your wife is His property, bought with the price of His blood. But you have permitted her to work like a slave to support herself and her forsaken little ones. This will all appear against you in the books of heaven unless you repent and confess your sins to God. I beg of you for your soul’s sake to make no delay. God has borne long with your perversity. He has given you more than one test and trial. Shall the mandate at last go forth, “And after that thou shalt cut it down”? [Luke 13:9.] 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 11

We are nearing the judgment. Can you not see that your course of action has been of such a character as to destroy the confidence of your children in your Christianity? It is your influence which has barred the way against their receiving the truth. Can it be said of you, “Not easily provoked”? [1 Corinthians 13:5.] When business matters disturb your mind, you fly into a passion with any one whom you dare attack. Though he may be innocent of blame, you make him suffer. Your wife has been the object of your anger, because you knew she was afraid of [you]. Upon her you have acted out your violence, and when you did this, you were imbued with the spirit of Satan. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 12

This is the spirit which was manifested by the antediluvians. There was violence in the land. The people followed out their own imagination. This you have done. Do not make the list already charged against you any more severe and grievous. Turn from your sins and iniquities, and seek the Lord with all your heart. Do your duty to your wife. Your debt to her can never be paid; it has accumulated altogether too long. Selfish and covetous, you have grudged every penny that has come into her hands. She has borne with your unchristian course like a Christian, and if she endures a little longer, the diadem of glory will be placed upon her brow. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 13

Can the Lord open to you the gates of the city of God? Can He say to you, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”? [Matthew 25:21.] I so much hope you would be convicted of the robbery which you had practiced toward your wife, for the Lord has pronounced it embezzlement. You have robbed her of that which was her right, and thrown upon her weak shoulders the care of your numerous children. I beg of you to do justice to the woman you have abused and loaded down with such heavy burdens. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 14

I meant to have talked with your wife, in order to see if you had made wrongs right, but no words passed between us until yesterday. I asked her plain questions, which she answered. “What is your husband sending you for your support?” I asked. She said, “Nothing.” I looked at her in astonishment. “Nothing?” I repeated. “No,” she answered. “What does this mean,” I said. “I thought that he was converted, and that a decided change would be made. I thought that he would feel that he could not do too much to repair the injuries he has done in casting the burden of the support of his children upon you, leaving you. Has he done nothing to return to you the means which was rightfully yours?” With the tears rolling down her cheeks, she answered, “He tells me to make my home with the children, and send my son to Africa.” “God will visit him in His wrath,” I said. “He idolizes money. He has robbed you.” 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 15

Look at this matter. You bring children into the world, and then in the place of standing beside your wife to help to share the burdens, you forsake her and take another woman, and rear a second family. All that labor you should have done, bringing every dollar into the house for the support of your rightful family. After you came back, you never confessed your sins. There is not a semblance of a chance for you to enter the kingdom of heaven unless you are thoroughly converted, and pay your honest debts for the support of your children. God holds this charge against you. You will see it, and you will hear it proclaimed in the ears of the assembled universe. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 16

Is your discernment so deficient that you cannot see what you have done to one of the very best of women? And now you would deprive her of her only unmarried child, for fear you might need him if you were sick. Would not your wife need him were she sick? Is your health of so much more value than that of one of the most true and forbearing women in the world? I said to your son, “Never leave your mother. If your father is so selfish and self-centered that he has not the heart that is in common humanity, it is time for you to do your duty to your mother.” 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 17

Your work is to make haste and retrieve the past. Make thorough work for eternity, for God has a controversy with you. Unless you do repent and become Christlike, the judgments of God will not long be delayed. O may God help you to see these things as they are. Redeem the past. Make restitution. Christ died to redeem your soul, but you have made such a record that your name will be blotted out of the book of life unless you are convicted and converted. You had had no love for your long-suffering wife. If you had, you would have revealed it. The Lord will pardon if you will now clear the track, remove the stumbling blocks you have laid in the path of your wife and children, for them to stumble over to perdition. God help you, is my prayer. Unless you repent, and make restitution to your wife and children as far as is in your power, you will never see the kingdom of heaven. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 18

July 15, I rise early this morning, and will add to what I have written: Do not, I beseech you, longer neglect the work you have left undone. You have never done justice to your wife. I understand that you are now earning a pound a day. How much of this do you propose to send to your wife, to begin to make restitution for your past course in begetting your children, and then leaving your wife to labor as no woman should labor, while you were raising another family? Send your wife half of your earnings, not as a gift, but as the payment of a just debt. Little time is now left of your probation. Will you, at this eleventh hour, repent before God? 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 19

There is a great risk for you in pursuing the course you have done. A Watcher is writing every action of your life. Rule your passions. Your appetite is your god. You worship yourself, but not a trace or fiber of selfishness will ever enter the city of God. A worldly spirit has a treacherous power over you. God must be first and last and best in everything. Self must be hid in God. Your will, your appetite, your unholy passions, must be overcome, or you will lose heaven. You have a work to do to right, as far as possible, your past cruel wrongs to your wife and children. This must be done, else you evidence before the universe of heaven, that you have no conception of the character of those who shall be clothed in white raiment and walk with Christ. Eating and drinking is your god. Money is your god. With the stamp of character you now possess, the seal of the living God will never be placed upon you. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 20

The angels of heaven that are ministering to your wife, angels that do always behold the face of God, have witnessed your oppression, your overbearing, your masterly spirit toward one of God’s beloved, a daughter of Abraham. She is God’s own property, bought with a price, and your treatment of her is charged against you as done to Christ in the person of His saints. Christ identifies His interest with that of His own blood-bound inheritance. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 21

Make it your lifework to reform. Make no delay. Satan has his net all ready to close about you. Flee to Christ for refuge. I want you to be converted, to be transformed. That Watcher who gave the denunciation against the king of Babylon, is waiting to see if he will be compelled to say of you, “Hew down the tree, cut off its branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit.” Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and then, as he stood before the monarch of Babylon, he gave him counsel, “Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.” [Daniel 4:14, 27.] The judgments foretold came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 22

Unless you do show mercy toward a wise, diligent, care-taking, God-fearing, God-loving wife, the Lord will deal with you without sympathy, without mercy, without compassion. 11LtMs, Lt 35, 1896, par. 23