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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)

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    Lt 174, 1903

    Harper, Walter

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    August 5, 1903

    Portions of this letter are published in PM 297.

    Dear Brother Harper,—

    I have not yet been able to find what I have written to you, but as soon as I find it, I will send it to you. I write to you as one who I believe is determined to do his best, be the consequences what they may.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 1

    I have not written one word to your wife or her mother. I know that there are difficulties on both sides. But I have decided to take no part in the matter. I am overwhelmed with writing that concerns the whole cause of God. Ever since returning from the General Conference, I have been trying to place before our people the instruction that the Lord has given me for them.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 2

    I wish to explain what I said to you in regard to not writing to your wife about returning to you. I thought that should you write to her on this subject, it would harass and perplex her. I said, Just let the matter rest for a little time, and things will adjust themselves.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 3

    You can see the predicament that your wife is in. If she shows her love for you, her mother’s jealousy is aroused. Your wife is a Christian. She has trials at home. Her mother’s influence over her is not in all respects what it ought to be. Your mother-in-law’s attitude toward you is not right; nevertheless your wife has duties in connection with her mother that will call her away from you more or less, wherever you may be.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 4

    I have not been shown that your mother-in-law should live with you and your wife. Unless her spirit and experience change, it cannot be your duty to receive her as a member of your family. I know that unless she makes a radical change in her habits of life, she cannot be approved of God. This I shall write to her. O how I wish that we were all what God desires us to be.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 5

    What I meant by what I said about extravagance is this: You see something that you fancy, and you buy it for a friend. You do this in the goodness of your heart, but your expenditures are not always wise. You have spent money for dress goods and for pieces of furniture. This you did when you were staying with Brother and Sister Jones, giving Sister Jones the things you bought. It would have been better for you to pay your board instead of laying out money for presents. You would better have paid a reasonable sum for your board, and then with the money Sister Jones could have bought things that she really needed.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 6

    I write you this, not to condemn you, but to advise you. You have always had confidence in me, and the money you have placed in my hands for the Lord’s work I have invested where it was most needed. I have not in a single instance been remiss in this.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 7

    I would not advise you to build at the present time. I think that it would be much better to rent a house or some rooms till you have opportunity to know more about your wife’s wishes in the matter. I did not suppose that you would build; for full of changes as your life is, this might not be best. But I certainly think that your wife ought to have some place that she can call her own, even if it is but rented rooms. Such was all the home that for some time, while we were travelling about, we had.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 8

    You have given your whole time to a good work, and you need more rest than you give yourself. You have worked as an evangelist, and your words and deeds have opened many doors for the entrance of the truth. I have not a doubt but that the Lord has given you your work. He has greatly blessed you in your canvassing. This is because you have kept at the work and have given Him the glory.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 9

    I spoke very plainly to you when you were here, but I shall not say to your wife and her mother the things that I said to you. This would give your mother-in-law an opportunity to treat you as if she were entirely in the right and you entirely in the wrong.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 10

    Be quiet and patient. I have not said a word concerning your affairs to any one but Sara, and I shall be extremely careful not to blame you; for it would not be right to do this. I would rather that for the present you should keep to yourself all that I have said and written to you. Rest assured that I shall say nothing to lessen any one’s confidence in you.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 11

    Be of good courage. Make no unadvised movements. Continue the work that you have been doing. Do all that you can to win souls to Christ.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 12

    I pray that the Lord may be with you and that His peace may fill your heart. You can indeed praise the Lord for giving you such wonderful success in your work.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 13

    I hear often from Willie in regard to the removal of the work of the Review office from Battle Creek. The Lord has helped the brethren to settle with A. R. Henry. The publishing company is now entirely free from him. This is a great victory.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 14

    By this time the goods of the General Conference office are being taken in furniture vans to Washington. The Lord gave the brethren great victory as they read in the Tabernacle the instruction that has been given in regard to moving from Battle Creek, and as they have made preparations to move. Elder Daniells writes, “You told us to move forward step by step, but your son says that we have done more than that; we have gone by leaps and bounds.” They feel sure that the Lord has helped them at every step. I rejoice to hear this good news. The enemy has tried to hinder the brethren, but everything has given way at last. The Review and Herald and the Instructor will soon be moved to Washington and in the future will bear the imprint of Washington, D.C.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 15

    The end of all things is at hand. Let us work for God. Let us trust in Him and glorify His name.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 16

    May the Lord bless you, is my prayer.18LtMs, Lt 174, 1903, par. 17

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