Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 108, 1897

Regarding Matters at Battle Creek

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

September 1, 1897

Previously unpublished. +Note

Last night I was troubled and anxious for our brethren in Battle Creek. I heard words spoken that I will try to write out. A spirit was seen in the councils there at variance with the Spirit of God. Words were spoken that revealed a hard, criticizing, condemnatory spirit. One was justifying himself, and others were talking with a spirit that seemed anything but suitable for the occasion. These were trying to fasten many things upon A. R. Henry. Yet these very ones had united with him in the decisions made to deal unjustly with their brethren. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 1

For years this work has been going on. Selfish principles have been woven in, for the purpose of accumulating means in the office. Injustice has been seen. Men have taken every advantage possible when dealing with those of our faith. In grasping for higher wages, they separated from right principles, and showed that they were separating themselves from right feelings and methods. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 2

You thought that because you were working for the cause, your actions were not selfish. But if any should be divested of every tinge of selfishness, it is those who are acting a part in the work and cause of God. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 3

It is not A. R. Henry only that has been weaving selfishness into the Lord’s work, but the men who were connected with him, who planned with him, and sustained his methods and plans. You have turned men away from their rights, laying schemes, O how many, to defraud. Your brethren did not know what you were doing. Were you co-operating with God? No; for God always deals righteously, compassionately, tenderly. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 4

The Lord Jesus values man from altogether a different standpoint than do the men who have long been promoted to positions of trust, but in whose sight sacred things have lost their sacredness, and to whom souls are of little worth. It has been presented to me that Christlikeness in dealing with each other has been dropped out of the practice of those who are handling sacred things in the same manner that they would handle common matters. Common fire has been used in the place of the sacred. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 5

I beseech you for Christ’s sake to cease your unadvised words. Open the door of your hearts and let the sunlight of Christ’s righteousness in. It will be of no use for me to go with minuteness into the things that have taken place in your councils and board meetings. Not only one man but all of you have grieved the Spirit of God and done unrighteously. You have showed dishonesty by misapplying the means brought in by the people to advance the cause of truth and righteousness. You have had matters in your control, and you have used money to make an appearance in Battle Creek, thus crippling the work in other places. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 6

Great partiality has been shown. Warnings have been given, but they have not been heeded. False principles have seemed to have a bewitching power upon human minds. A spirit has been brought in that is entirely incorrect, and that can never bear the signature of heaven. Large and extensive buildings have been erected in Battle Creek, while the warning has been given that if those there believed the truth, they should go into the field and let the light shine to others. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 7

Heavenly blessings have been flowing toward Battle Creek. These blessings have been bestowed upon the people there that they might be filled with the missionary spirit, and go forth to labor in the cities and towns that know not the truth. The money expended in adding building to building should have been used in opening new fields and lifting the standard in every city in the United States. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 8

In order to save money, camp meetings have been held over and over again in the same place. They should have been held in new places, that the standard of truth might be lifted, and the message proclaimed, “The Lord is coming. The end of all things is at hand.” [See 1 Peter 4:7.] But unconsecrated hearts and unsanctified councils have been used the means necessary to do this in other directions, to gratify selfish ambition. God is not pleased. There is a dearth of means, and there will be a dearth just as those who are connected with the work of God neglect to humble their hearts before God. They must fall on the Rock and be broken, or that Rock will fall on them and grind them to powder. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 9

“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the grave the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” [Luke 24:45-49.] “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” [Acts 1:8.] 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 10

In the illustration of heaven and spiritual things, life is associated with light. If we have no light from the Sun of Righteousness, we can have no life. If we have not the knowledge of God, we walk blindly, as though stumbling our way, in the dark. Light and life are inseparable. He that has no light from God remains destitute of life. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 11

Just before His crucifixion Christ prayed for His disciples, “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.” [John 17:7.] What means this prayer? “Make these My disciples holy through knowing Thy word.” 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 12

Christ, the light of the world, shone in darkness in the world, and the darkness comprehended it not. Thus it has been with the managers at the very heart of God’s work. They have not been worked by the Holy Spirit. In the place of welcoming the light that came to irradiate the darkness, they erected barrier after barrier to prevent the Sun of Righteousness from shining in. They did not desire that kind of light. They wanted something that would please and glorify themselves. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 13

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.” [John 1:6-8.] This is the work that the Lord would have every minister gladly and heartily do. The servant of Christ is not to take Christ’s place or to arrogate Christ’s glory. He is to be simply a witness, pointing the people to the light shining in darkness, and saying, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” [Verse 29.] 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 14

Those in responsible places are not to plan and devise to get glory to themselves, but are to point all to the light of the world. They are to witness, not only in one or two places, but in all parts of the earth. If they colonize or crowd into one place, God’s displeasure rests upon them, because His workers must witness in cities and towns, and among all classes of people, communicating the light of truth. It is not God’s design that so many shall be localized in Battle Creek. The work should cover a larger space in different localities. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 15

God designs that a great work, covering much more ground, shall be done, that the truth may be carried to all parts of the world. But men whose hearts were not sanctified through the truth have been handling the work. They have not discerned that God can win converts to the truth through instruments willing to be worked by the Holy Spirit. God would have the office of publication kept pure and clean by righteous principles. Then He will advance His work through consecrated workers. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 16

I have little hope that I shall be understood. I have thought that Satan helps minds to misconstrue, misinterpret and misjudge everything I say, and I have less hope today of being understood than I have had at any time in my life labor, because men do not seek God and confess their neglect to heed His Word. Determined to follow their own course, they will develop the attributes of Satan in the place of the attributes of God. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 17

Where is seen tenderness? Where is pity? Where is compassion? Where is the appreciation for the souls for whom Christ has died? Through whom is Christ working to reveal His meekness and lowliness? Men that ought to have walked in the light have confederated together to bring in a state of things that God could not endorse. He could not bless them or the work that came from their hands. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 18

The same want of love and Christlikeness is revealed by those who seek to make A. R. Henry’s deficiencies apparent, in the place of confessing their own sins, humbling their own hearts, and showing their sorrow by strengthening and sustaining God’s work, not seeking to carry forward an order of things that God will permit to be carried out. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 19

This evil has been done in united action. Men do not well, to try now, to shield themselves and fasten their guilt upon one or two. Their hearts must change. Those in connection with the work of God must watch for souls as they that must give an account. Those who are looked upon by the people as counsellors are not to fasten the people to themselves. Turn their sympathies to Jesus Christ. Lift them above poor, erring mortals, until their eyes shall rest upon Christ and Him crucified. Those in the ministry are to let the light shine forth to others, not in botch work, not in selfish actions, but in clear, distinct rays of tenderness, lowliness, and meekness. They are to give a representation of the light that shineth in darkness. It is not numbers that gives strength to all lines of the work. It is the ministration of heavenly intelligences. Constantly God’s servants are to say, by precept and example, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” [Verse 29.] 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 20

“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” [Verses 9, 10.] O to what depth of darkness men may sink when they degrade all their powers to the service of Satan! Christ came to His own, and His own received Him not. The very people to whom the Lord had committed the sacred oracles refused to receive the Messiah. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 21

What a terrible truth this is! Souls are today hanging in the balance. What work have you done for your own souls? Have you humbled your hearts before God? Have you rent your souls and not your garments? Behold, the Judge standeth at the door. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 22

As the Lord gave up Jerusalem to its fate, because true repentance was not found in it, because the people did not appreciate the salvation brought to them at such an infinite price, so the Lord will scatter from Battle Creek those who have despised His warnings and walked in fraud and wickedness, exercising oppression and speaking loftily. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 23

I address you, my brethren, who are handling sacred things. For your souls’ sakes turn to the Lord with an undivided heart. By confessing just a little, and then justifying yourself, you show that you have a divided, unsubdued, unrepentant heart. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on his name.” [Verse 12.] Prayerfully confess your own wrongs, remembering that you are not A. R. Henry’s sin-bearer. If you had to bear your own sins, you would surely perish. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 24

Christ is the Sin-bearer. Confess your faults one to another, and rend your hearts and not your garments. My brethren, humbly ask Brother A. R. Henry’s forgiveness for helping him into darkness and error by your own lack of principle. You have a work to do that you will never discern until you look away from other’s wrongs, and repent and be converted. When you are converted, you may be able to save other souls from death, and hide a multitude of sins. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 25

The Lord can do much for the soul that will receive His grace. When that grace enters your hearts, you will realize that the souls for whom Christ has died are precious. You will then redeem the time. You will find time to pray. You will find time for silent communion with God. You will find time to spend in the house of worship, and you will visit your fellow men, and will cease not to teach and to preach Jesus Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 26

Come together, I beseech you, and if it is a possible thing, let not this matter of A. R. Henry’s come to trial. You will far better glorify God by humbling yourself than by braving the matter out. If you are kind and conciliating, you may save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 27

The Lord would have every soul afflict itself before Him. He would have you humble your hearts and seek His grace, that this great evil may not come upon His people, for He is to be glorified. But very little of the Spirit of Christ has been manifested. If A. R. Henry carries through his satanic projects, it will be to the denying of the Spirit of God. Brethren, do not let him ruin his soul. Unadvised words, calculated to rouse his combativeness, have been spoken in your councils. Consider how much you have grieved the Spirit of God by your own course of action. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 28

Many subjects will arise that are excellent in themselves. But can A. R. Henry appreciate excellent things? He has an evil spirit, and he is determined to destroy his intellect, and you do not seem to know how to act the Christian. The redemption of the soul is a matter of supreme importance. Must the soul of A. R. Henry be lost? Must he lose eternal life? Christ calls upon you to co-operate with divine agencies. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 29

It is the duty of every professed Christian to use great diligence in carrying out the spirit of the Word of God. By the principles of truth you are bound to love souls as Christ loved them, and to strive to promote His glory. We are to cultivate sympathy for every soul in trouble, helping them out of the snare of Satan, not pushing them in. Thus we can promote the glory of God by disappointing the enemy. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 30

It was not to the apostles alone that the command was given, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” [Mark 16:15.] The command has a broader meaning. “Let him that heareth say come.” [Revelation 22:17.] When the people of God in Battle Creek shall obey the Word of the Lord, the Holy Spirit will be their guide and counselor. 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 31

There is only one way in which souls can be tested and tried and proved. The test of obedience is deeds, brethren, not profession. Deeds mark all God's faithful ones. “If we say we have no sin, ... we make Him a liar.” [1 John 1:8, 10.] God is holy, and it is with Him that we have to deal. Hopeless indeed would be our condition if in His great mercy God had not made known unto us the precious truth. “If we confess our sins, He faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [Verse 9.] 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 32

Pardon and healing are offered to us. God has not cast us off. If we walk in the light, not trying to hide ourselves and our sins from God, but honestly confessing our sins, a message of peace comes to us all. The cleansing blood will be our science and our song through eternal ages. Let no self-deception hold us in its snare. Take heed to your way and to your works. “Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.” [1 Peter 3:8.] 12LtMs, Ms 108, 1897, par. 33