Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Lt 3, 1905

Jones, C. H.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

January 4, 1905

Portions of this letter are published in 1BC 1110.

Dear Brother C. H. Jones,—

I have written a letter to all who are bearing responsibilities as leaders in the work of the Pacific Press, and now I wish to write you personally a few lines, which I earnestly desire you to read carefully and prayerfully, that you may discern the high, noble principles that are to be carried out in the life practice. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 1

I do not see how it will be possible for me to attend the meeting at Mountain View. But I have often talked with you and before you in regard to the way in which those who are bearing responsibilities should conduct the work. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 2

Your course in connection with the work of God has not been in all respects a pattern for others to follow. There have been and there still remain in your mind mixed sentiments. You are placed where you have opportunity to favor yourself in many ways, and this you have done in certain business lines. The Lord does not record this to your credit. These things may in your view be passably right, but there are some things that are not right, and I am obliged, though with much regret, to state a few points regarding them. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 3

You have sometimes accepted favors for yourself. If others should do the same in this respect, proportionally, as you have done, a condition of things would be brought in that the Lord condemns. There are matters that must be investigated by our brethren who are bearing responsibilities in the work, in order that the standard of unselfish action may be maintained. The Lord expects those who occupy offices of trust in connection with His work to purify their souls by obeying the very highest principles of truth. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 4

To you and to brother Frank Gage I am instructed to say, Be afraid lest you yield to the temptation to follow your own inclinations. Others have done this; but this is no excuse for you. The standard of principle sometimes followed by Brother W. C. Gage was a very objectionable one. Never should we follow the devising and policy of the world as he has done. The business dealings carried on in connection with the Signs office are all to be true, clean, and fragrant. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 5

God is in earnest with us. He would have us put self out of sight. The advantages that you have taken to yourself may not be made apparent to some who shall investigate the matter. The questionable things may, from a worldly standpoint, be justified, but they can not be from a Christian standpoint. I write this to warn you not to vindicate yourself from a worldly point of view; for this would hurt your future influence as a worker in connection with the cause of God. Your judgment in regard to the justice of some business transactions has been dimmed. The advantages that shall come to those connected with the cause, because of their connection with it, are not to be regarded as a personal matter, to be used for personal advantage. The benefits accruing to any one because of his connection with our institutions are not to be appropriated for selfish advantages, but are to be placed to the advantage of the institutions. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 6

It is your privilege to obtain an experience of that which you now have. God is saying to you, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] The standard of the world is not to be the criterion for Christians. Settling matters from the standpoint of the law by worldly lawyers has brought great entanglement upon the work and cause of God. The way in which men, connected with the Battle Creek Sanitarium, sustained by worldly lawyers, have carried out their own plans and have swayed things in harmony with their own ideas has been opened before me, chapter after chapter. I can see it all as plainly as if I had been present. But I do not wish to specify these matters to the managers of the institution; for it would be of no use. There are wrongs that will never be made to appear as they really are. Therefore I shall not specify any particulars. It would be of no use. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 7

But I do wish to state that the rule followed by worldlings who do not recognize the law of Jehovah, as the standard that all must reach, is not the rule that is to be followed in our institutions. Worldly policy in business dealing is not to be brought into the cause of God. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 8

Brother Jones, you have been led to take steps in business transactions that are not right. You have erred in judgment. Closely investigate all your business transactions; for we are living in the day of judgment, when every case is to be tried. Every weakness, every misleading transaction should now be repented of and forgiveness earnestly sought. Search for the selfishness that has developed, and examine it in the clear light of the Word of God. And then make these things right if you would stand acquitted in that great day when every man shall be judged according to his works. God expects a man who has had the experience that you have had to stand as a veteran in His army. He calls upon His people to stand, and having done all, to stand. What is meant [by] “all”? [Ephesians 6:13.] Read the words of Christ in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, and you will see. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 9

Let us keep in view the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for those who are engaged in the battles of the Lord in this world. Let us look away to the city “which hath foundations, whose maker and builder is God.” [Hebrews 11:10.] We are engaged in a stern warfare, and we are to fight manfully. And let us never forget that those only are crowned who fight lawfully. In all good works we are to enter into partnership with Jesus Christ. Day by day we are to keep the way of the Lord, saying humbly and gratefully, “Lord, I have done as Thou hast commanded me. What shall I do next?” Every day, with Bible in hand, we are to learn in Christ’s school the lessons taught by Him and His apostles. Never are we to do that upon which He could not place His commendation. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 10

My brother, in this life we are to prepare for the future immortal life. This is our work. We are to become familiar with the Levitical law in all its bearings; for it contains rules that must be obeyed; it contains the instruction that if studied will enable us to understand better the rule of faith and practice that we are to follow in our dealings with one another. No soul has any excuse for being in darkness. Those who receive Christ by faith will receive also power to become the sons of God. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 11

Your sister in Christ. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 12

P.S. I have been given a representation of things that occurred at the death of Brother Lunt. Before this, his daughter Charlotte had given him a small sum of money. After his funeral expenses were paid, I think there was something left. This money rightly belonged to his wife, who had done her duty faithfully in caring for her sick husband. It should have been placed in her hands. But that small amount of money was made to appear as not belonging to Sister Lunt. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 13

The impression made upon the widow by the course followed was very painful. Had Brother and Sister Jones placed in her hands the money which had they been in her circumstances they would have claimed as their own, the approval of God would have rested in their unselfishness. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 14

God calls us to do unto others as we would wish them to do unto us. Every effort should have been made to show Sister Lunt that the faithful care she had given her husband was appreciated. But instead, a distressing and humiliating impression was left upon her mind. The outcome of the transaction was that the pleasant relationship that had existed for years was decidedly changed. A door that should have been strictly guarded was left open for temptation to enter. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 15

God weighs motives and actions. Every dollar of the money left unused should have been freely given to Sister Lunt. Sister Jones would have been highly aggrieved had she been similarly treated. Both she and her husband would have pronounced judgment upon such a course. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 16

In the lives of all there are times when tests and proving come through circumstances. If the unselfish spirit of Christ is revealed, great good is the result. If the mind is controlled and guided by the Spirit of God, the actions will speak for themselves. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 17

“If any man will come after Me,” Christ says, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] Opportunities come when character is revealed, and supreme decisions are made. My brother and sister, such an opportunity came to you, and [you] failed. May the Lord help you to make this matter right. May He help you to make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. 20LtMs, Lt 3, 1905, par. 18