Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 17, 1898

Jones, C. H.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

February 4, 1898

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Brother Jones:

I have received your letter in regard to the shares in Healdsburg College. I am of the same mind as you. But when I see that the brethren in California have so little regard for the word of the Lord, as in the case of Brother Leininger, I know that prosperity cannot attend those who neglect this work. I call upon you in the name of the Lord to no longer neglect your God-given duty. Take that man and set him on his feet. Let every one who would obey God’s Word help Brother Leininger, not letting him sink by any means. 13LtMs, Lt 17, 1898, par. 1

God tests His people in these cases, to see what is in their hearts. We cannot with safety swerve from truth; we cannot violate justice. When we see a brother falling into decay, we are not to pass him by on the other side, but are to make decided and immediate efforts to fulfill the Word of God by helping him. It is cold-hearted indifference that makes hearts hard and unimpressible. We cannot work contrary to God’s special directions without the result of our work being reflected back upon us. It should be firmly settled, rooted, and grounded in the conscience, that whatever dishonors God in our course of action, cannot benefit us. 13LtMs, Lt 17, 1898, par. 2

The Lord has spoken, and His Word must be strictly obeyed. It should be written upon the conscience, as with a pen of iron upon a rock, that the man who violates the true principles of mercy, compassion, and righteousness is not conducting himself so that God can co-operate with him and bless him. We are to know that if we are Christians at all, we must be Christians everywhere. 13LtMs, Lt 17, 1898, par. 3

In the directions given by God to Moses we read, “At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbor shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbor or of his brother; because it is called the Lord’s release. Of a foreigner thou payest exact it again; but that which is thine with thy brother, thine hand shall release; save when there shall be no poor among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it: only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all these commandments, which I command thee this day. For the Lord thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee; and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.” [Deuteronomy 15:1-6.] 13LtMs, Lt 17, 1898, par. 4

God is a witness to all transactions, in the home and in the market place. We are either serving Him by doing all He tells us, or we are turning away from His Word, sinning against Him in spirit and works. Thus we become unfaithful stewards of His means. 13LtMs, Lt 17, 1898, par. 5

The man who has been free to help when help was needed should be carefully considered when prosperity no longer attends his course. “If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: but thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou give him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee. Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. For the poor shall never cease out of the land; therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.” [Verses 7-11.] 13LtMs, Lt 17, 1898, par. 6

The Lord will withdraw His prosperity from him who passes these special directions by because selfishness exists in the heart. Those who are in responsible positions should be faithful in all things. They should be tender-hearted, pitiful, courteous. These traits of character we are all to cherish. 13LtMs, Lt 17, 1898, par. 7

We are being tested and tried in the case of our Brother Leininger. This case is passing in the books of heaven, to stand for or against those in California who claim to be believers. My brethren in California, I address you. Do your duty to your brother who has fallen into decay. I do not envy Brother Cook the record he will meet in the books of heaven. What are our brethren in California thinking of that they should let Brother Leininger’s case go without doing anything for him? 13LtMs, Lt 17, 1898, par. 8

I leave this matter in your hands. Before anything is done for Sister White in regard to the shares in Healdsburg College, I want Brother Leininger’s case attended to. I want it to be understood that I would not withdraw the old shares I have taken in our institutions, only the shares of Mrs. Scott. I want the money I have thus invested, to advance the work in this field. But much as I need the means to invest in the cause of God, I will wait until you first help Brother Leininger to his feet, and remove from you the reproach of God. Let my case wait until Brother Leininger is helped. 13LtMs, Lt 17, 1898, par. 9

The result of this marked indifference to one who has come into strait places, one who has invested his means in foreign and home missions, is harmful. The men who are appealed to for money will say, I will not do as Brother Leininger has done. If I give of my means to advance the cause of God, I may come into the same strait place, and be left to go to the wall. No one would have any sympathy for me. They would pass me by on the other side. Men see revealed by those in responsible positions a spirit like that of the priests and Levites. Such cases as this will result in the withholding of thousands from the work and cause of God, more than all that could be taken from it to help such men as Brother Leininger. 13LtMs, Lt 17, 1898, par. 10

Let us see again what the Lord says. “And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen into decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve him, yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. I am the Lord your God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.” [Leviticus 25:35-38.] “And I will bring a sword upon you that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant; and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you: and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.” [Leviticus 26:25.] Is it not best to work on correct principles? 13LtMs, Lt 17, 1898, par. 11

“And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make thee afraid. And I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land, and ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword, and five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you, and I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.” [Verses 6-12.] 13LtMs, Lt 17, 1898, par. 12

Read this chapter carefully. Do not refuse to be enlightened by God’s Word. Let no hardness of heart come into your souls. Let brotherly love be cherished. I ask you to put Brother Leininger on his feet, and then let him get out of Healdsburg. See that he is placed in a situation where he can support himself. But bear in mind that I will certainly do all that you refuse to do. “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] Those who read these lines should bear in mind that God may bring you over this same ground. I am more sorry than I can express that I am compelled to write such things to you who have your Bibles. Your duty is plainly defined. Oh, how hard it is to deny self daily, to take up the cross, and follow Jesus. I now leave this with you. 13LtMs, Lt 17, 1898, par. 13