Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)
Lt 101, 1902
Waggoner, E. J.
“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California
June 30, 1902
This letter is published in entirety in 21MR 72-73.
Elder E. J. Waggoner
I have read a copy of your letter to Professor Prescott in regard to connecting with the school at Berrien Springs as Bible teacher. I cannot approve, in all respects, of the proposition that you have made. I think that the terms upon which you consent to accept the invitation settle the matter. It is evident to me that these propositions are not prompted by the Holy Spirit. It is evident that you do not fully understand your own spirit nor the situation at Berrien Springs. Other letters have come to me, showing plainly that some are placing a low estimate on the work of Brother Sutherland and his associates at Berrien Springs. 17LtMs, Lt 101, 1902, par. 1
Brother Sutherland is a man who loves and fears God. For the last few years, his and Brother Magan’s work has been a work of wrestling, just the kind of work to fit young men to be wise, trustworthy stewards of the grace of Christ. At one time, when Brother Sutherland was making a mistake, advocating extreme ideas, the Lord corrected him, pointing out the right way. Brother Sutherland accepted the reproof, and the Lord has blessed him as he has tried to walk in the light. Brother Magan also has gained a valuable experience. 17LtMs, Lt 101, 1902, par. 2
My brother, if you can come to Berrien Springs, and as Bible teacher take your place in the school with your brethren, having confidence in them, believing that God has been leading them in their work, as He has been leading you in your work; if you can come trusting yourself in the hands of God, willing to do the work He calls you to do, without insisting on the carrying out of such propositions as were made in your letter, then come. But if you cannot come unless these propositions are accepted, I could not advise you to come. We do not know the end from the beginning. God does not want you or me, in our human judgment, to lay down such plans for the future. God’s hand leads those who will be led. His righteousness goes before them. 17LtMs, Lt 101, 1902, par. 3
I have confidence that the teachers in the Berrien Springs School are servants of Jesus Christ—humble men, who are seeking most earnestly to glorify God. Take your place with them as a learner. Christ says, “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.] 17LtMs, Lt 101, 1902, par. 4
If you see light in coming to Berrien Springs and taking your place with your brethren as a learner of the kind pointed out in these words, remembering that your brethren love the Lord, and are striving as earnestly as you are to do His will, and that neither you nor they are your own supervisors, but that you are laborers together with God, come; and as you unite with your brethren as a co-laborer with Jesus, you will see of the salvation of God. 17LtMs, Lt 101, 1902, par. 5
Distrust of brethren must be laid aside; for it brings bondage. In the harvest field there are many sowers and many reapers. To all is given the admonition, “Be diligent workers, steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” [See 1 Corinthians 15:58.] What can be said more? “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. ... Giving diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:5-8, 10, 11.] 17LtMs, Lt 101, 1902, par. 6
Let us humble our hearts before God. As we draw nigh to God, He will draw nigh to us, to work in us and by us and through us to the glory of His name. But if we weave self into the web, the pattern will be spoiled. 17LtMs, Lt 101, 1902, par. 7
May God help you, my brother, whom I love in the Lord, to make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. 17LtMs, Lt 101, 1902, par. 8
I write this letter because I dare not refrain from sending you these words. Be hopeful. Be of good courage in the Lord. 17LtMs, Lt 101, 1902, par. 9