Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16

99/447

Lt 95, 1901

Belden, F. E.

St. Helena, California

July 23, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in 9MR 372-373.

F. E. Belden

Dear nephew,—

I received your letter and have read it carefully. And now I wish to express, not my mind, but the mind of God. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 1

It would not be for the best for us to connect in my work. Your letter utterly forbids any partnership. I had hoped that for your sake this connection might be made. I see that you are not long for this life, and I want you to realize that to a large degree you have brought your trouble upon yourself by your lack of spiritual power. You are full of criticism, full of self-exaltation. Unless you humble yourself before God, you will never hear the benediction, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:23.] 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 2

You have had a hard time, and you will continue to have a hard time until you become meek and lowly in spirit. You are in need of daily conversion. Did you realize what Christ is to you and what you are to Christ, you would never trace such words as are contained in your letter to me. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 3

I feel very sorry for you, but my work is of such a character that I cannot accept your service. I know that you are not bound up with Christ. Your letter testifies that you have placed yourself on an exalted platform, a platform on which we cannot place any of our workers. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 4

Your past experience does not give evidence that you have been following the meek and lowly Jesus. He was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. But He humbled Himself in our behalf, taking the place of a servant. And He says to us, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Matthew 16:24.] “Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] When you accept this invitation, you will express yourself in an altogether different way. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 5

Your letter has decided me with regard to connecting with you. I think I am drawing near the close of my labors, and I must have the very best talent in my work that I can secure. But at the same time, my workers must not be of that class who feel that they are head and shoulders above all others. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 6

Those who are now in my service are of one heart and one mind. We counsel together. Heart blends with heart and mind with mind. There must be no variance, no contention, in my work. I could not employ one with so much self-exaltation as you reveal when speaking of your knowledge and capabilities. No one enters my service but to serve, to the best of his ability, with others. I have no desire for one of large gifts to connect with me unless he gives evidence that he is learning daily of the meek and lowly Saviour. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 7

I feel deeply for you, and yet I am utterly unable to help you. I must leave you with God. I am sorry that notwithstanding your past experience, you have not a correct idea of yourself. I am carrying a heavy burden for others of the same stamp as yourself. Light is given me regarding the trouble they will be to the cause of God unless they see themselves as they are, and are broken by falling upon the Rock. The Lord Jesus cannot abide with them unless they are divested of all self-sufficiency. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 8

This is your difficulty. It is your father’s difficulty. I shall be so glad when the Spirit of the Lord Jesus is revealed in your experience. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 9

If you were tenfold more capable than you are, it would not be the slightest inducement for me to connect with you; for I know that a work must be done for you that has not yet been done. When your life is hid with Christ in God, you will reveal another spirit. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 10

Your connecting with the parties you mention would kill your influence as far as the truth is concerned. Great spiritual blindness is upon you, else you would not for a moment have favored such a proposition. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 11

Every good and wise thought comes from above. God gives wisdom; and as we seek diligently to improve every talent, we become more and more Christlike in our words and works. The Saviour is controlling the mind, the will, the heart. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 12

God is to be acknowledged as the Giver of all good. All the glory is to be returned to Him because in His great mercy He gives men opportunity to co-operate with Him. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 13

The salvation of your soul is of far more importance to you than anything else. But as long as you keep yourself in your own hands, estimating yourself so highly, God cannot use your talents to advantage, and the light will finally be removed from you. Unless you make a change, you will lose your first love. You need less of self and more of Christ. The Lord will receive you when you humble your heart before Him. But you are now working against your present and eternal good. O that light may come to your soul! O that you may see that which you do not now see! 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 14

We feel now that it will be best for you to take the offer Dr. Kellogg has made you. May the Lord by His Holy Spirit enable you to see and understand that by your actions you are placing yourself in an unfavorable light, and that unless you are changed, your brethren will not care to connect with you. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 15

Your connection with Captain Eldridge and his connection with you was an injury to you both. You brought into the Review and Herald Office a spirit which wrought disaster difficult to remedy. Thus God was dishonored. You may have seen and repented of the wrong done, but the seed has borne and continues to bear its fruit; and you have had to suffer the consequences of your seed-sowing. You did more than anyone to bring one whom the Lord was using into a position of the greatest trial by hindering the work that I was trying to do. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 16

Captain Eldridge had not the advantages or the light that you had. He was, I believe, trying to do right. But your expressions, so similar to the expressions you use in your letter to me, had their influence, causing others to treat me with disrespect. This has been opened to me, and I have continued to hope that you would show that repentance that needs not to be repented of. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 17

You need to see yourself as you are. You need thorough conversion, a new life. You need to boast far less of your own capabilities. “Let another man praise thee, ... and not thine own lips.” [Proverbs 27:2.] You are in danger of losing your soul. Your self-esteem is not wholesome to yourself or to your family. O that you were a humble Christian! O that there could be seen in you the fruit borne by a good tree! 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 18

You have not cherished in your heart the truth that works by love and purifies the soul. Read the sixth chapter of John. Study the meaning of eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. See how eternal life is gained. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 19

The mighty cleaver of truth is separating from the world all who will accept Christ as a personal Saviour. These God brings into His workshop, and day by day with hammer and chisel He works to remove their rough edges, preparing them for a place in His kingdom. Great changes will be made in those who are taken out of the world to shine in the courts of the Lord. There is to be an inward transformation, the results of which are revealed in the outward life. All that the Christian says or does is to show that he is preparing for a better world. Every step is to be a step of advance. There will be constant conflict, and the human agent must himself decide whether he will have victory or defeat. The Lord draws near to the eager, anxious soul who is striving for the victory. Each temptation overcome marks a triumph. Each night of conflict and trial bravely borne hails the dawn of a better day. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 20

The Christian lives his religion in his home and brings into it all the transactions of every-day life. It regulates his thoughts and controls his words and actions. In his family he is patient and self-denying. In the smallest as well as the largest things of life he is thoughtful for others. He shows that the highest aim of his life is to meet the divine standard. This is the fruit that appears when the love of God abides in the heart. It is not fruit tied on for the occasion, but the result of a healthy growth. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 21

Nothing so helps a man to honor God in the home, in the church, and in the world as a correct knowledge of himself. When he knows the limit of his power, the extent of his ability, his weakness, guarded against, becomes his strength. He concentrates his mind upon some practical object. But wide pretension ends in nothing. For want of self-knowledge you have made many mistakes. You need now to take up work which will give you the most favorable opportunity for forming your character anew. Die to self and live to Christ. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 22

Christ speaks to you the words He spoke to Nicodemus: “Ye must be born again.” [John 3:7.] Seek God with all the heart, that you may be converted. Make your religion a personal matter. Instead of talking so much, obey the words, “Be still, and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10.] The influence you exert in your home is not savory. You need to change right about. If you are saved, it must be by humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God. Under the divine influence of truth, set your words and actions in order. Christ formed within, the hope of glory, will make you a happy man. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 23

Those who have received a knowledge of the truth are under obligation to live and work as a child of God. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 24

A professed Christian died, and his death was spoken of as though it were well with him. But one came to the front and said very solemnly, “We must enter heaven while living upon this earth, or we can never enter the city of God. The character formed here must be after the likeness of Christ’s character, or we can never hear the welcome, ‘Come, thou blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the earth.’ [Matthew 25:34.] 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 25

“The man preparing for heaven must bring heaven into his family, into the church, and into his dealing with the world. Was this man, whose life account has just closed, a Christian? Did he let his light shine in good deeds and pleasant words?” 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 26

The answer was, “He did not talk much of his religious experience or of his hope of heaven. He was a professing Christian, but in no way distinguished for piety. During his life he did not talk much of Bible truth, but he died peacefully.” The answer came, “The life, not the death, gives assurance. You say that those who knew him best valued him most. For what did they value him?” His friends spoke of his goodness to the poor, “But,” they added, “he was not spiritual-minded.” [How] can this be? Must not all who truly believe in Christ be spiritual-minded? 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 27

The speaker asked, “Had this man on the robe of Christ’s righteousness?” One replied, “I am not in the habit of viewing things as you view them, but I am very sure that our friend will be saved.” The answer came, “If he had been a faithful servant of God, his voice would have been heard giving expression to his love for his Creator. He could not live in eternal association with the children of the heavenly King, if on this earth his heart was not in harmony with them. If he did not love God supremely and his neighbor as himself, if he was selfish, cruel, exacting, grasping advantages to the injury of his neighbor, if he did not repent and make restitution, how could he meet in loving companionship those he had injured? Talk of a tranquil death will not give him entrance to heaven. The instruction in the first chapter of second Peter is definite and explicit. It outlines the character that must be formed by those who gain an entrance into the city of God.” 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 28

These were the words spoken, and those who listened said, “Hereafter we shall look upon the present and the future life in a different light from what we have in the past.” 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 29

“Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” [Matthew 7:13, 14.] Those who are learning of Christ will practice His meekness and lowliness of heart. The exalted view they have of Christ leads them to take a very humble view of their own defective characters. 16LtMs, Lt 95, 1901, par. 30