The Fannie Bolton Story

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Letter 131, 1896, pp. 1-3. (To Edson and Emma White, March 21, 1896.)

I cannot sleep past two o’clock A.M. I think of you away across the broad waters of the Pacific, and must visit with you by the pen words. If it were the will of our heavenly Father I would much prefer to talk with you face to face. FBS 124.5

Sarah McEnterfer and I left Cooranbong Station last Wednesday morning and came to Sydney. We called on Brother Israel and took dinner with them. Then we went to North Shore by cars and ferry boat; we took cars again, and then we walked to the home occupied by Brother and Sister Starr. It is built up on the side of a high rise of land, as in Black Hawk and Centerville. I remained with them until Friday. FBS 124.6

Friday morning I awoke at half past three. I had been sitting writing when a sweet peace beyond explanation or understanding came to me. I felt that I was in the presence of Jesus. A sacred, holy atmosphere surrounded me and there was presented to me a line of action that I should pursue. All the previous feelings and the matter that I was writing upon seemed to be removed from me and another matter was presented. I must take heed. I heard no voice, but the points presented were clearly laid out before me. FBS 124.7

I seemed to be taken away from myself, and to be in the presence of God. The question was, “What have you done with the request of Fannie Bolton? You have been sorely tried, but your Saviour has been wounded and bruised and put to open shame by this deceived, deluded child. It is My will that you bear with her, forgive her, and help her. If she goes from you, Satan’s net is spread for her feet. You alone can help her. She sympathizes with herself and will have those who do not walk in the light to view her case in a perverted light, to sympathize with her. And her own soul will be lost, and through her influence other souls will be deceived and lost. It is My will that you accede to her request. You are not to wait for an assurance of transformation of character. She does not have power to discern her own heart and the wily workings of the enemy. If she says she repents, if she reaches up her voice to you for help, My Spirit shall be with you.” FBS 125.1

Left to her own will and devising she will walk into the snares set by the enemy and will perish. True, discerning hearts would but feel righteous and indignant anger, while another class, who are also deceived in their own impressions of what constitutes Christian character, will look at this matter in a perverted light and will give sympathy when it is the worst thing they could do to fasten this soul in the darkness of eternal night. This poor, erring, bloodbought soul has been deceived and has practiced deception and falsehood. Satan has had the control, but I will give her another chance. It may be that she may form a righteous character and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. These deceived souls, if left to their own thoughts and devisings will not obey God’s law. FBS 125.2

I know this will sound very strange to you, but it is not strange to me now. I have had no liberty to do this before, but now I dare not move otherwise. I would not in my course of action in this case give to others the appearance that I was unforgiving, that I was driving from me anyone who was repenting and soliciting for the position she has held. Christ is to me my example in all things, and I greatly desire to represent Christ. Jesus is to me like a great Rock in a weary land. I want to be like Christ. FBS 125.3

Here is the Lord Jesus, looking with pity upon sinful, erring humanity in Fannie. Here is an opportunity to let her take hold of hope and faith and not become desperate. Here is a case I cannot reason out. In this case my wisdom becomes ignorance. Here my understanding is completely at fault, but I am sure what is my duty. And if Mary Clough Watson wants to unite with me and would solicit a place with me, shall I not give her one more chance? Yes, yes, yes. I will, and may the Lord help me that no soul shall say, “I called upon her saying, ‘I repent’ and she would not hear.” FBS 125.4