Lt 29, 1868

Lt 29, 1868

Wicks, Brother and Sister

Greenville, Michigan

March 17, 1868

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Wicks:

Brother Wicks made a sad mistake in shifting the responsibility of his stewardship upon his wife, and she made a sad mistake in urging him to do so. The Searcher of hearts, to whom the intents and purposes of every heart stand faithfully revealed, was acquainted with the motives and purposes, and this transfer of property was not from motives which would stand the test of the judgment. 1LtMs, Lt 29, 1868, par. 1

Sister Wicks’ peculiar traits of character are penuriousness, selfishness, acquisitiveness. In order for her to be benefited by the mediation of Christ and inherit eternal life she must be an overcomer and imitate the character of her divine Lord, doing good to others, living for the benefit of others, loving others as Christ has loved us. She is a stranger to the precious gift of love possessed so largely by our Saviour. His life was characterized by noble, disinterested benevolence. His whole life was not marred by one selfish act. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” [1 John 2:6.] 1LtMs, Lt 29, 1868, par. 2

“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world.” [1 John 4:17.] “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” [2 Peter 1:4.] 1LtMs, Lt 29, 1868, par. 3

The work of overcoming Sister Wicks knows but very little about, and when Brother Wicks transferred his stewardship to his wife, he took a similar course to the man to whom was committed the one talent and he hid it in the earth, and when God called him to account, excused himself by saying, “Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.” [Matthew 25:24, 25.] What the man with the talent was afraid of was that all the improvement of his talent would be required of God. This led him to pronounce God a hard man, and in order to keep from God that improvement which He required of him, he hid it in the earth, lest God should be benefited with it. 1LtMs, Lt 29, 1868, par. 4

Both Brother and Sister Wicks are at fault and will be no better able to stand the test of the judgment than the man with the one hidden talent. Brother Wicks’ shifting the responsibility upon his wife does not ease or lessen his accountability one whit. When he made the transfer he pleased the enemy, his wife, and himself. Satan generaled the matter and exalted because both were ensnared. This property transferred to her was a stumblingblock to her, and she has made no advancement in the Christian graces since. She had a great work to do before to overcome intemperate, hurtful habits which were warring against the soul, beclouding her intellect and benumbing her sensibilities to that degree that it was impossible for her to discern sacred things, and blunting her perceptive faculties, thus making it impossible for her to rightly estimate or value the atonement or the worth of the soul and everlasting life. 1LtMs, Lt 29, 1868, par. 5

God calls upon these two to overcome while they have an Advocate with the Father, to make thorough work for eternity, to have their sins go beforehand to judgment that when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord their sins may be blotted out. Unless they are both thoroughly converted and are partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, they will never possess the heavenly treasure, never dwell with the self-sacrificing, self-denying Son of God, but will through their earnest efforts to save their lives here, lose their lives eternally. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” [Matthew 16:25-27.] 1LtMs, Lt 29, 1868, par. 6

Brother Wicks possesses a different spirit from that of his wife, but unless he will act upon the light God has given, and see the snare of Satan, he will be drawn under the cloud of unbelief and yield the conflict. He has loved to listen to the truth, but has been too much of a forgetful hearer and not a doer of the work. He should be a doer of the work. His wife’s spirit cannot harmonize at all with the spirit of truth and holiness. He has thought to save himself trials by yielding to his wife. From what I saw, darkness has so long enveloped her, and the Spirit of God has had so little to do with her, that she will fail to make the efforts that are absolutely necessary for her to break through the snare of Satan. If so, Satan will use her as his agent to ruin her husband and be a stumblingblock to others. 1LtMs, Lt 29, 1868, par. 7

Sister Wicks has habits which are steadily undermining her constitution, and which will eventually leave her a wreck. She can now do something toward placing herself in a better condition of health. She cannot glorify God in her body and her spirit which are God’s while she is indulging the use of poisonous stimulants. She flatters herself that these are strengthening her, that she cannot live without them, but this is a mistake. They are taking from the strength of the nerves and using up her future resources of strength. She may have everlasting life if she will deny herself, take up the cross, and follow Christ. She has a work to do which no one can do for her—to cleanse herself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. 1LtMs, Lt 29, 1868, par. 8

Tea, coffee, snuff, and swine’s flesh are not the nourishing substances God would have us introduce into the system. None of these can build up the system, but they tear down. Sister Wicks, while you use these hurtful things, you are benumbing the fine, sensitive nerves of the brain, making it utterly impossible to discern sacred things, to value the atonement and to see the necessity of purity and holiness of life in order to meet the measurement of God. It is for you to decide whether you will have life or death. 1LtMs, Lt 29, 1868, par. 9

I saw that there was a great work to be done for Sabbathkeepers and they must do this for themselves. One cannot do the work of another. Each must do his and her own work. Many will fail to come up to the standard and sell eternal life for their present enjoyment and for the sake of gain. 1LtMs, Lt 29, 1868, par. 10