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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Lt 202, 1901

    Corliss, J. O.; Brown, Brother

    On the cars near Ogden, Utah, on the way to New York City

    November 8, 1901

    Portions of this letter are published in TMK 46.

    Dear Brethren Corliss and Brown,—

    My brethren, have you done all that you can do for Brother Myers? His case has been taken up and discussed, but, as with many other questions, it has been allowed to rest without anything further being done.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 1

    Brother Myers should have nothing to do with the care of the church. He is dying. I entreat those bearing responsibilities to visit our brother. The conviction has been forced upon my mind that you are not doing for this brother that which the Lord desires you to do. The plan that we suggested was the right one to follow.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 2

    Would either of you, my brethren, allow your mother, your father, or your brother to remain in the situation that you know this brother to be in? If you saw one of them in this condition, would you pass by on the other side? May the Lord give you right impressions in regard to this case. Neglect not Christ in the person of one of His saints.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 3

    Tests come to every one of us. God is testing you to see whether you will attend to the needs of this brother. My heart aches when I think of this true, faithful servant of God, who is worthy of everything that can be done for him.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 4

    You may refer to Brother Myers’ son as the one who should bear this burden. But he does not realize his obligation to do so. When father and mother pet and wait upon a son, doing everything for him that indulgent parents can do, yet neglecting to teach him the mutual obligations of parents to children and of children to parents, they cannot expect their boy in after-life to bear the responsibilities and fulfil the obligations that he should. The lessons that should have been imprinted on the mind of such a boy are never learned.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 5

    Parents should understand that if they desire their sons and daughters to bear their share of the burdens of the family firm, they must teach them in childhood the lesson that obligations are mutual. Instead of constantly helping their children, thus making them dependent and helpless, they should train them to do their part of the home work. Instead of allowing their children to remain free from all care, they should teach them their high privilege of caring for their parents—for those who have denied self in order to help them.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 6

    Those who in childhood and youth have been lifted over all the hard places are sadly deficient in their training. They lose the most beautiful, practical lessons that it is the privilege of man to learn. Obligations are mutual. Every child should understand that it is his privilege and duty to care for his father and his mother. How pitiful it is to see afflicted or aged parents suffering the sting of reproach on account of an ungrateful child!16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 7

    Fathers, do not shoulder the responsibilities that your children should learn to bear with willingness and perseverance. There is many a youth who will lean on a crutch, if you will furnish him one; and he will go through life destitute of the strength that he might have developed. I write these words because I know that many, many parents are making the great mistake of helping their children over hard places, instead of training them to tax mind and muscle to help themselves.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 8

    Brother Myers’ son may feel that he has on his hands all that he can possibly attend to; but let him do what he can for his father and mother; and when the time comes when he can do no more, he will have the pleasant memories that a sense of fulfilment of duty will bring to him. My brethren, please look into this case. Is the son’s heart locked by selfishness, or is he bound about by circumstances over which he has no control? If this is the case, encourage him to visit his parents and to perform for them deeds of kindness. Thus he can show that he wishes to do all in his power to help them. With a heart full of love he can bring them little gifts of fruit or something else. And he can kneel at the bedside in prayer.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 9

    But to return to the question: What do you intend to do for your brother? In every such case, let mercy and the love of God predominate. Improve every opportunity to help a brother in distress. The condition of this brother calls for real, genuine mercy. Our duty is plainly outlined in the Word of God: “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father in heaven also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” [Luke 6:36-38.] These are the principles that we shall do well to cherish; for by cherishing them we shall become complete in Christ.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 10

    Without the Word of God, we should never have known what this means: “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice.” [Matthew 9:13.] Mercy is kind, pitiful. Mercy and the love of God purify the soul, and beautify the heart, cleansing the life from selfishness. Let us seek for the faith that works by love and purifies the soul, bringing a glory into the life-service. Mercy is that love which is divine, and is shown by those, who, identified with God, serve Him by reflecting bright rays of light upon the pathway of human beings.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 11

    God’s love for the angelic host is as a part of Himself, direct and positive in its divinity. God’s love for the human race is a peculiar form—a love born of mercy; for the human subject is all-undeserving. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Mercy implies the imperfection of the object upon which it is bestowed. Because of man’s imperfection, mercy was brought into active existence. Sin is not the object of God’s love, but of His hatred. Yet He pities the sinner, because the guilty one bears the Creator’s image, and has received from Him the capabilities that make it possible for him to become a son of God, not through his own merits, but through the imputed merits of Jesus Christ, through the great sacrifice the Saviour has made in his behalf.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 12


    Who will take the responsibility and the trouble of looking after the son of Sister Cudney? Who will stand by his side, praying with and for him, and advising him? Who will, in Christ’s stead, seek to save a soul from death, hiding a multitude of sins? Who will be Christlike toward the erring one? Will you give him another trial? You have the advantage of years of experience, and yet you make mistakes. But God does not cast you off. He gives to every son and daughter of Adam the privilege of another trial every time they fail. He regards with mercy the erring children of men. They are the children of His redemption. Through the gift of His Son He has revealed His infinite love and mercy toward mankind.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 13

    In the church militant the children of men will be ever in need of restoration from the results of sin. Words are easily spoken and often are of little value; but mercy practiced in the daily relations of man with his fellow man is one of the principal means of attaining perfection of character; for only those who walk with Christ can be truly merciful.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 14

    In our life-work we are all dependent on one another. Almost invariably a man who is superior to another man in some respects is inferior to him in other respects. Every human being on earth is subject to temptation. And all are in need of human influence and sympathy.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 15

    Some men have made a marked failure in dealing with the youth. Just as these men, so unwilling to show mercy, have dealt with the youth, failing to take into consideration their inexperience, so the Lord will deal with them. Shall a man who himself has marked defects of character sit in judgment upon the course of an inexperienced youth? I might say more in regard to that which I know concerning the failures of the men in positions of responsibility who have acted mercilessly toward youth of very little experience. God holds every such man accountable.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 16

    I have a request to make: For Christ’s sake, give Sister Cudney’s son another trial for six months. And even if at the end of that time he still proves unworthy, if he still disobeys as he has disobeyed, I will not promise that I should not plead for him, after knowing all the circumstances; for God might put it into my heart to plead then as I now am pleading. “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” [Luke 6:36.] Mercy is an attribute that the human agent may share with God, thus co-operating with Him. As did Christ, so man may with his human arm lay hold on the divine arm, coming into connection with divine power. We do well, then, to be merciful, even as our Father in heaven is merciful. To man has been given a service to perform for his fellow man, in order that he may be a laborer together with God.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 17

    All who desire to perfect a Christlike character must ever behold the cross on which Christ died a shameful death to redeem mankind. They must have in their hearts the same merciful spirit that led Him to make His infinite sacrifice for their salvation.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 18

    Mercy and love are attributes that are nearly lost from the hearts of many, many members of the church. If the human agent for whom Christ has given His life does not show a merciful spirit to his fellow men, he himself need not expect to be shielded by the mercy of a just God. He is dependent on the mercy that God has enjoined him to exercise in an effort to restore every unsaved soul brought within the sphere of his influence; and if he refuses to share this divine grace, he will sometime find himself beyond the mercy of God, when he himself is in need of the mercy of God and of his fellow men. He who co-operates with God by showing mercy, brings himself into a position where God will extend mercy to him; for he is in harmony with the divine attributes.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 19

    God’s love and mercy are ever extended toward sinners. Shall men who themselves have sinned against God refuse to forgive and accept a repentant sinner? Just as they deal with a fellow being who in spirit or in action has done wrong and afterward repented, so God will deal with them for their defections of character. God loved us while we were yet sinners. How clear and unmistakable the line of duty is made by the words, “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” [Verse 31.]16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 20

    Through John the Revelator, Christ has said, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Revelation 2:4, 5.]16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 21

    I cannot write all that I should like to say to you. But I ask all who have anything to do with boys and girls, to deal with them mercifully. Set them a good example in your own life. Remember that they are the purchase of the blood of Christ, the younger members of the Lord’s family. All who are one with Christ have a desire not to discourage and destroy, but to restore the image of God in man. Those who do this are working in Christ’s lines. Those who cherish hereditary and cultivated selfishness, judging by an arbitrary standard the youth who are in need of tender mercy and fatherly counsel, should bear in mind that they will themselves be judged by the same standard that their exacting judgment demands of these ignorant, inexperienced youth. God will judge by their own standard those who, notwithstanding their privileges and opportunities, have not lived up to the standard that they have held up for others. In the sight of God their course of action is much more dishonoring to Him than is the course of those whom they so mercilessly condemn.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 22

    To you who are supposed to be acting in Christ’s stead, I present these matters as they have been presented to me. We are all being tested and tried by these questions. I shall have more to say at some future time.16LtMs, Lt 202, 1901, par. 23

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