Lt 161, 1899

Lt 161, 1899

Bicknall, Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

October 12, 1899

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Bicknall:

I cannot sleep, and I commence my writing at half past one o’clock. I feel burdened in regard to your case. I understand that you have stated I have written to you to hold your position where you are. Will you please send me a copy of this communication, for I cannot remember writing any such words? But, my brother, when you know that you are not wanted in the position you now occupy, it is certainly your duty to leave that position, and not follow your own independent judgment. You must take in the situation, and not be stubborn in this matter. Under the circumstances it would be altogether wise for you to withdraw yourself and receive counsel. Cannot you reason from cause to effect, and see that by the determination you manifest, you are bringing in a state of confusion which will destroy your influence for good? 14LtMs, Lt 161, 1899, par. 1

I am sorry you have taken the position you have, and that you use the testimonies to sustain you in your own way, thus destroying the influence these testimonies should have on the minds of those with whom the Lord would work. The Lord never has inspired you to do this. I am very sorry indeed, for you are giving positive evidence that you are not the man for the place, that you need the converting power of God upon heart and character. 14LtMs, Lt 161, 1899, par. 2

“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation: because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot. ... Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth, through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently; being born again: not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth, and abideth forever.” [1 Peter 1:14-19, 22, 23.] 14LtMs, Lt 161, 1899, par. 3

The burden of the Lord is upon me to speak words of counsel to you which I should have no occasion to speak if you were walking humbly before God. Do not at any time or in any place imperil the cause of God by your firm, determined will. Let that will be merged into the will of God, and you will be safe. When you set that will against the will of your brethren, it is a powerful will exercised in the wrong direction. We are nearing the great day of God. The Lord requires you to listen to the counsel of your brethren. 14LtMs, Lt 161, 1899, par. 4

You greatly need the softening, subduing influence of the Spirit of God upon your heart. “Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man can see the Lord; looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” [Hebrews 12:13-15.] Will you, my brother, consider the influence of your words and actions upon the souls of others? 14LtMs, Lt 161, 1899, par. 5

God calls upon all who are teachers of the truth to be humble men, for the Holy Spirit can work men who are meek and lowly in heart. When you have learned of Christ, you will reveal the meekness and gentleness of Christ. You must give evidence to all men that you are taught and led by God. What good can you accomplish by striving to hold a position which you are not best adapted to fill? It may be all true that you think your measurement perfect, but is it thus? From the light given me of the Lord, I know that you do not understand yourself or discern your own unfitness for the position. You have been on trial, but you have not given evidence that you are in the right place. 14LtMs, Lt 161, 1899, par. 6

The Lord proves and tries men. He permits them to come into places, that through test and trial they may reveal certain traits in their character which they should see. If they are not self-conceited, they will see that they cannot fit into every position in which they may be placed by circumstances or through lack of judgment. If a man does not go on from strength to strength, increasing in adaptability, all his work in connection with his brethren will bring constant jars and serious consequences. Others can see his defects, which he is too blind to discern. Shall the whole firm of workers suffer because of the deficiencies of one? Or will that one have enough of the grace of Christ to accept the views of his brethren, bearing the burdens of the institution, and place himself in another line of work? Will he submit gracefully to the decisions of men who have as much discernment as he, and, where the judgment of his own case is concerned, much more? 14LtMs, Lt 161, 1899, par. 7

I submit this to you as it is, my brother and sister. Receive it, and act upon the light given. 14LtMs, Lt 161, 1899, par. 8