Manuscript Releases, vol. 11 [Nos. 851-920]


MR No. 886—Professor G. H. Bell

The Bell School—In regard to Brother Bell's school, I know not. Write us more definitely terms and studies.—Letter 8, 1868, p. 2. (To J. E. White, March 9, 1868.) 11MR 201.1

We feel so great an interest for Lena. We propose to have her and her sister who is at Brother Olmstead's come to Battle Creek, and we will have a care for them and labor especially for their salvation. We will have them attend Brother Bell's school. He may do them good. Perhaps we may, in the strength of God, remove this prejudice that has closed about this poor child.—Letter 1, 1870, pp. 4, 5. (To Brother King, February 19, 1870.) 11MR 201.2

Criticisms of Professor Bell—In reference to Brother Bell: He may move unwisely, but it would not do to separate him from that college. Small matters may arise that need correcting in Brother Bell, but I should not make any move without [unless] most positive inconsistencies arise. Excuse me from expressing myself thus freely. You are on the ground and if you converse with Brother Bell yourself, you may learn that there are two sides to the story. There are so many ever ready at Battle Creek to load our guns. We should take nothing as sure until we are most thoroughly convinced ourselves. We believe that God will guide you in judgment. 11MR 201.3

We feel anxious to learn how matters stand in Battle Creek. Do not put too much confidence in Brother N. He lacks experience. He will work against his own influence. In his management in school he has some peculiar ways that injure his influence as a teacher very much. I have not conversed with Mary and Willie as to what I have written, but speak of things that I know myself from high authority.—Letter 3, 1876, pp. 2, 3. (To James White, April 4, 1876.) 11MR 201.4

Praise and Criticism of Professor Bell—You all know my position in regard to the matters that have occurred at Battle Creek in reference to the school, if you have heard or read the letter I sent. If you have not, please carefully read the contents of this long letter. 11MR 202.1

You know that I have spoken very plainly to Brother Bell in regard to his defects. I have not in all the trouble at Battle Creek, received one word from Brother Bell. If any of the parties who were in trouble had wanted to know if I had any light from God in reference to the matters that were questionable, they could have written to me. 11MR 202.2

While I do not consider Brother Bell has taken altogether a right course in the school and has shown a weakness of character, I know that most of those who have been so zealous in this matter, ready to condemn him, ought to have been confessing their sins before God and purifying their characters and making diligent work lest they fail of the grace of God, and find at last they were guilty of worse faults than those they condemn in Professor Bell. I have not the least countenance to give to Satan's rebuking or reproving sin, but he has done it and others follow his example. 11MR 202.3

God gave you light long ago to prevent this state of things, but the church at Battle Creek paid no heed. They have developed the feelings existing in hearts unsanctified by the grace of God. I rebuke the satanic spirit in the name of the Lord. There has been a wrong course pursued on both sides. There has been much talk and much feeling and great lack of wisdom with both parties. But those who have pursued the course they have toward Professor Bell have done a work they will one day wish they had not done, for it savors of the spirit of the prince of the power of darkness. 11MR 202.4

I think Brother S has made a mistake in having so much to say in exaltation of Professor Bell and Edith Sprague. I cannot harmonize with this. Will Brethren G and S please remember how they have felt and what they have said in reference to my husband calling names, and elevating this one and that one in the public print. Are they doing any wiser? I learn it is much easier to question and condemn than to do better yourselves. All this extolling Brother Bell and Edith Sprague I know is not right. Those who can read human nature and reason upon this matter must see the influence of such pieces in print upon those who have pushed and crowded Brother Bell. It is to make them crowd the harder, to make out a case. The least said on both sides in revealing differences of opinion, the better will it be for themselves, the better for the cause of truth, and in every way better for the ones you would extol. 11MR 203.1

I am thoroughly disgusted with speaking in praise of any man or woman. They have not humility and grace to bear it. Unless Professor Bell walks humbly before his Saviour, he will stumble and fall. I see more to cause grief in his course than to elicit praise.—Letter 11, 1882, pp. 1, 2. (To G. I. Butler, C. W. Stone, A. B. Oyen, and J. H. Kellogg, May 5, 1882.) 11MR 203.2

White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

October 6, 1981.