Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Lt 49, 1904

Harper, Sister [F.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

January 24, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in 2MCP 501-502.

Dear Sister Harper,—

I have felt somewhat anxious in regard to you. What are your plans? Will you tell me what you intend to do? Six months ago I wrote to your husband in regard to you. Things were opened to me that showed me that you were not altogether happy in your married life. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 1

Walter is quite set to have his own way and to carry out his own plans. But his ways are not always the ways of wisdom. I told him that it would be better for him not to write to you urging your return; for this would only worry you. I cannot uphold him in urging you not to stay with your mother and help her. She is your mother, and there are duties that you owe her. I cannot ask you to disregard her need of your help. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 2

Seek counsel from God, and then follow His will. Your husband should not be so determined that you ought to be separated from your mother. He will see this in a different light, because the Lord has presented the matter to him through His servant. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 3

Your husband has made a mistake in failing to provide you with a home. Rented rooms would have been better than nothing. I do not think he realized how keenly you have felt your position and your separation from your mother and other relatives. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 4

Walter has done much good by his canvassing, but he has not gained the experience that he ought to have gained. He has given himself up almost wholly to the work of selling books. He has not entered into evangelistic work as thoroughly as he might, considering the class of people for whom he worked. Still, he has sold many books, and we cannot estimate the good that these books may do. I have regarded it as his work to sell books in the highways and the byways, and in this work he has been very successful. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 5

But he should have remembered that when he married you, he brought into his life an interest that must come first. A man should not take a woman away from all her former home associations and then leave her without a home. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 6

Walter should give you a portion of his earnings, that you may have something for clothing, for gifts to the work of God, and something also with which to help your mother. He and you should unite in helping her. He took you away from your home; and financial aid, at such times as it is needed, is the least return that he could make your mother. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 7

I know that you have not spoken a word to me in regard to this matter. I have not asked your husband for any particulars, and as you have not given me any, I am in the dark. But I know that you must have needed means to help in the care of your grandfather. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 8

You have never spoken one word of complaint to me in regard to your husband. But I know that he and your mother can never harmonize until there is a decided change in both of them. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 9

Now, my dear sister, I do not ask you to leave your mother. Your place is with her until there is a decided change in the minds of all concerned. For the last few years your mother’s experience has been a very trying one, and it would be very hard for her to give up her daughter. Watch and pray, and trust the living God. You have one Master, even Christ; and you are not breaking the laws of the marriage relation by giving your widowed mother the help that she needs. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 10

I think that it would be well if matters could be so arranged that you could live near your mother, and yet be with your husband when he can be at home, and then with your mother when he is away. But you can study this out with Walter. You need to get together, and seek the Lord, and then heed the light that He sends. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 11

When Walter was here last, he placed twenty-five dollars in my hand to be used as I thought best. He made some remark, which I did not hear, about five dollars of it being a sin offering. I have thought since of this remark, and I think that he meant me to send this money to you. We shall get a draught today for the amount and send it to you with this letter. Please accept the money as part of your right as Walter’s wife. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 12

The Secret of Unity

The cause of division and discord in families and in the church is separation from Christ. To come near to Christ is to come near to one another. The secret of true unity in the church and in the family is not diplomacy, not management, not a superhuman effort to overcome difficulties—though there will be much of this to do—but union with Christ. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 13

Picture a large circle, from the edge of which are many lines all running to the center. The nearer these lines approach the center, the nearer they are to one another. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 14

Thus it is in the Christian life. The closer we come to Christ, the nearer we shall be to one another. God is glorified as His people unite in harmonious action. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 15

In the wonderful prayer that Christ offered for His disciples just before His crucifixion, He said, “I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest save them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” [John 17:15-19.] 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 16

“Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.” [Verse 17.] “Sanctify their understanding. Make them holy through obedience to Thy Word. Strengthen their faith. Fill their hearts with an earnest purpose to do Thy will. Mold and fashion them in harmony with Thy will. Make them complete in Thee.” 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 17

The truth of God, with its refining, purifying influence, must do its work on the hearts of human beings before they can be accepted by God. Christ cannot present us to God as complete in Him until we have been conformed to His will. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 18

Let us strive to answer the Saviour’s prayer, that we may be one, as Christ and the Father are one. Those who are thus joined to the Lord are stamped with the same superscription, influenced by the same power, knit together in the bonds of Christian love. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 19

“Neither pray I for these alone; but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” [Verses 20, 21.] 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 20

I do not pray for those only who are now My disciples—the eleven and the seventy—but for all who shall afterward believe on My name. All are embraced in the prayer for oneness. All are given opportunity to show the world that God loved His earthly children as He loves His only begotten Son. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 21

The members of Christ’s body are to unite in harmonious action, part acting in harmony with part. The glory of God is reflected from those who labor is love and unity, working in Christian fellowship. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 22

“And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” [Verses 22, 23.] 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 23

These words seem almost too much for us to grasp. But they are true. God does indeed love human beings as He loves His Son. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 24

Workers for God are to set a Christlike example in spirit, in word, in deed, showing that they are sanctified through the truth. Thus they bear testimony to the world that God sent His Son to save sinners, to purify and ennoble sinful human beings. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 25

May the eyes of God’s people be opened, that they may see the importance that the Lord places on the oneness of His people. May their hearts be so filled with the desire to answer Christ’s prayer that they will allow nothing to keep them from fulfilling God’s requirements. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 26

“The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 27

“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless, we, according to His promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for these things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” [2 Peter 3:10-14.] 19LtMs, Lt 49, 1904, par. 28