Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 115, 1897

Tenney, Brother [G. C.]

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

July 5, 1897

This letter is published in entirety in FBS 80-81.

Dear Brother Tenney:

I received your letter. I am sending you a copy of a letter I have sent to Fannie Bolton. You can see from this letter that I regard Fannie as one who cannot retain a spirit of contrition for any length of time. She is so inflated with Fannie Bolton that she does not know herself a few moments after she has expressed deep humiliation because of her own course of action. She springs into life speedily, and blossoms out wonderfully, dwelling on the goodness, love, mercy, and forgiveness of God toward her, taking all the promises to herself. 12LtMs, Lt 115, 1897, par. 1

In the past she has expressed wonderful sorrow for her wicked course of action, but she does not stay penitent. She does not continue to be contrite in heart. She flashes forth, thinking she is inspired by God. While she was praying the Lord that if it was right for her to marry Caldwell his wife might get a divorce from her husband, she told me that as she talked and gave Bible readings, the people turned pale to hear her talk, and she thought she was inspired by God. Her imagination is very strong, and she makes such exaggerated statements that her word is not trustworthy. 12LtMs, Lt 115, 1897, par. 2

I feel so sorry that these productions of hers ever entered our papers. Brother Schowe from Pennant Hills, who has long been a Government schoolteacher, recently made me a visit. He accepted the Sabbath in 1894. He seems to be a man of good sense and excellent education. He is a regular subscriber for nearly all our papers, the Review and Herald, and Youth’s Instructor, etc. He opened the subject himself, and said to me, “Sister White, did you notice those strange articles in the Review and Herald? I thought it a little strange that such productions should be suffered to go through the papers.” He had no knowledge whatever of the course Fannie had pursued toward me. I told him that I did not read the articles till my attention was called to them by others. Then I read one in the Review, and one in the Instructor. Brother Schowe said, “Miss Bolton must have lost her balance of mind.” 12LtMs, Lt 115, 1897, par. 3

O, I am so sorry and ashamed to have the paper go to others with such articles as this in it. Piece after piece from Fannie’s pen appears in the papers. What does it mean? When I can find them, I will send you copies of some letters written by me to her, and her answers. When she was in my family, it seemed that Satan used her as his agent to invent those things that would make the whole household miserable. She would have her times of confession, and would then say all that one could ask another to say. But she would go over the same ground again and again, each time worse than before, until I decided that Satan’s temptations, working upon her desire for recognition, were so strong that she had no power to escape from the snare. She was one with the enemy, working in his service. 12LtMs, Lt 115, 1897, par. 4

Now, my brother, if it had not been for these articles in the Review, I would have held my peace. I thought that if Fannie would only keep away from me, and trouble me no more, I would not expose her, but would let the poor, deluded, misshapen character alone. But when she figures so largely in our papers, I must speak. I dare not keep silent. Such productions do no one any good, and the blessing of the Lord cannot attend them. 12LtMs, Lt 115, 1897, par. 5