Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Lt 13, 1905

Haskell, S. N.; Butler, G. I.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

January 10, 1905

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brethren Haskell and Butler,—

I wish to write you a few lines. I have been instructed that cases regarding which it is difficult to decide will be brought before you. One such case is that of Brother W. O. Palmer. I wish to say that his case has been presented before me, and I was referred to the record of the way in which Christ treated the case of the woman brought to Him by the Pharisees to answer to the charge of adultery. Her case was held up by her accusers in the very worst light, but as they continued to urge the matter, the Saviour answered not a word. Stooping down, He began to write on the ground; and as they pressed nearer to see what He was writing, they saw, traced in clear characters, the guilty secrets of their lives. Rising and fixing his eyes upon them, Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” [John 8:7.] And stooping down, He continued writing on the ground. 20LtMs, Lt 13, 1905, par. 1

The woman’s accusers, their robes of pretended holiness torn from them, stood, guilty and condemned, in the presence of infinite purity. They trembled lest the hidden iniquity of their lives should be laid open to the multitude; and one by one, with bowed heads and downcast eyes, they stole away, leaving their victim with the pitying Saviour. 20LtMs, Lt 13, 1905, par. 2

Jesus arose and, turning to the weeping woman, said, “Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?” She said, “No man, Lord.” And Jesus said unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee. Go, and sin no more.” [Verses 10, 11.] 20LtMs, Lt 13, 1905, par. 3

You may be asked decisions against Brother Palmer. Before you do this, find out whether those who bring charges against him have gone to him, and in the spirit of Christ have labored with him, and whether, if they have been to him, and he has refused to listen to them, they have taken with them one or two others, according to the directions given in the Word of God. If the course that Christ outlines in His Word has been followed, you know from the Scriptures what course to pursue. But if these steps have not been taken, you have no right to drop Brother Palmer’s name from the church roll or to speak in condemnation of him. 20LtMs, Lt 13, 1905, par. 4

That which will bless humanity is spiritual life and obedience to all God’s commands. The work of each church member is to reach forward constantly toward the perfection of Christian character. The life of Christ is to be our example in all things. Every business transaction is to be in accordance with the principles laid down in His Word. Let church members walk and work in the meekness of Christ. Each one will have his hands quite full if he attends to his own case, striving to reach the grand ideal held up before him in Christ’s life of love and mercy. 20LtMs, Lt 13, 1905, par. 5

Those who are inclined to make discord in the church need to feel in their lives the transforming power of the grace of Christ. Those who, like ministering angels, work for the salvation of souls become closely allied to God. 20LtMs, Lt 13, 1905, par. 6

Strife and contention is bitter fruit and is not borne on the Christian tree. Let every church member pledge himself not to speak or think evil of any one. 20LtMs, Lt 13, 1905, par. 7

Those whose hearts are filled with the love of Christ will love one another as brethren. They will be pitiful and courteous in their dealings with those who were so precious in God’s sight that He gave His only begotten Son for their redemption. We should be careful how we treat the souls for whom Christ has died. Let us not forget that we are to show to the church and the world the sign of discipleship. The love of Christ, revealed in the life, is a strong argument in favor of genuine conversion. 20LtMs, Lt 13, 1905, par. 8