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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Lt 182, 1903

    Belden, F. E.

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    August 13, 1903

    Portions of this letter are published in PM 173.

    F. E. Belden

    My dear nephew,—

    I am sending you a copy of a letter I wrote last March, but which was not sent.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 1

    I am well aware of the conditions existing in both the Review and Herald Publishing Company and the Sanitarium. I have received instruction as to why these large buildings were destroyed by fire. I am sure that unless the management of these institutions is conducted more after God’s order, there will be further revelations of God’s displeasure. I have one more testimony for the Sanitarium that I thought had been sent. But unless the Lord gives me a decided message, I shall have nothing further to say to those connected with these institutions.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 2

    The Lord has condemned many things in connection with the Sanitarium and the Review and Herald. I have been given most decided testimonies for both these institutions, and I have been distressed because they seem to have accomplished so little. Those to whom they have been sent do not believe the messages. They do not see the need of the reformations for which God calls. If men had their way, they would pervert the meaning of the destruction of these institutions. But it will be best for all to heed the words of God. He will not change in order to come into harmony with the opinions of men.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 3

    There may seem to be just as much evidence as has ever been seen of the prosperity of the Sanitarium in Battle Creek. But even though thousands of people should patronize the institution, and though some should be converted, this would be no evidence that the will of the Lord has been done in its re-establishment in that place. Worldly patronage will not make the institution a success.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 4

    “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaves, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” [1 Corinthians 5:6-8.]18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 5

    There are many who might do much good if self were not interwoven with their work. We are painfully shocked as we see a world lying in wickedness. If those to whom God has entrusted precious talents had been true to Him, if they had allowed self to be hid with Christ in God, there would now be memorials in every city in America. And the Southern field would have received its proportion of means and laborers.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 6

    The unwillingness to make restitution for the robbery of the past years, and to redeem the time, or to reveal the evidences of a new heart, places many of our brethren where their work is not acceptable to God. The work of repentance and conversion of heart and mind has not been effected. God’s perfect will has not been met in their lives.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 7

    In my diary, I have a written history of the work of unconsecrated minds in the Review and Herald office. I know of the wicked course pursued in suppressing Patriarchs and Prophets and Great Controversy, at the time when these books should have been widely circulated, and putting Bible Readings into the field. In this transaction the pattern of self was drawn by the men who had control of this work. I am authorized to say that if Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets had been circulated as widely as Bible Readings was circulated, so many people would not have taken their stand on the wrong side of the Sunday question at the time when this question was agitated.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 8

    The books that should have been circulated at that time were withheld from the canvassers. Had right steps been taken, the canvassing work would have occupied a place of honor. But the large profit from the sale of this cheap book so inflated the canvassers and the managers of the Review and Herald that they lost their spiritual perception and were unable to reason from cause to effect. For every dollar that was taken in by selfish scheming, there has now been a loss of many dollars.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 9

    For the evil course taken in suppressing the sale of these books that should have been put into wide circulation, you and Captain Eldridge must largely answer.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 10

    Your voice was first in advocating the proposition to pay higher wages to the workers in the Review and Herald office. This suggestion should never have seen the light of day.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 11

    These two evils—the perversion of the canvassing work, and the increase of wages—were an evil leaven that leavened the whole lump. Elder Olsen did not stand stiffly for the truth, refusing to receive the evil leaven.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 12

    Notwithstanding the many testimonies sent to the leaders of the General Conference and of the Review and Herald, no reforms were seen among them. Wickedness and unfair dealing were still carried on. I am instructed to tell you that you became so puffed up and leavened with malice that you lost your spirituality. The difficulties you created have not yet been remedied. I was instructed that many of the plans you devised for making money from the authors of books would come upon your own head. You are now reaping what you have sown.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 13

    I have read your letter carefully, and I believe that what you state is all true. But I have no heart to write concerning the conditions now existing in the Review and Herald office; for I would be obliged to show how the present state of things came about. You yourself brought in much of the evil leaven that has leavened the lump.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 14

    I have had a picture presented to me of the council meetings that you and others held in connection with the Review and Herald. I heard your voice in loud tones denouncing and even sneering at others. The Spirit of God was not allowed to work in these councils. The Lord was not invited to be present. The managers felt no need for the testimonies that He was sending them.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 15

    When the circulation of my books was hindered by the managers of Review and Herald, the Lord instructed me to take from them all the work on my books and to supervise their publication myself. But I feared that should I do this, it would arouse a strong spirit of antagonism toward me on the part of the managers of the Review and Herald. I have since been shown that had I done this, the true state of affairs would have been brought before our people, and there would have been a different showing during the past few years. The power that was vested with you and A. R. Henry and Captain Eldridge would have been removed.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 16

    I must now do that which I should have done then. I am called upon to bring before our people the reasons of the destruction of the Review and Herald building. This history will involve you, with others. I have long kept quiet, but I must now present the fact that the testimonies the Lord has sent to you and to others have been regarded as idle tales. I must be true to my duty.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 17

    God did not endorse the expenditure of the money in the Colorado Sanitarium when this money was sorely needed by the workers in Australia. This money was not invested where it should have been.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 18

    Of what use is it to trace this matter further? The policy of oppression that you helped to inaugurate has at last affected your own case.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 19

    The part you have acted has grieved me sorely. “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Matthew 16:26.] I must tell you that unless you are reconverted, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Your self-esteem is abhorrent to God. Until you can put away your self-esteem, and realize that you are but a child in genuine experience, you cannot be entrusted with the work of God. If you ever enter the kingdom of heaven, it must be as a little child.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 20

    When you see yourself as you are, when you are ready to accept the estimate that Christ puts upon your character, you will believe His words, “Without Me, ye can do nothing;” you will realize that your great swelling words of vanity have been out of place. [John 15:5.] Unless in past years you have exerted a Christian influence, and have let your light shine forth in good works, you have nothing whereof to boast.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 21

    Christ is the vine; His disciples are the branches. Believers are members of His body, living stones in His holy temple that is being built for the habitation of God. To every stone its place is appointed.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 22

    We are called to co-operate with Christ, not to work independently. Such a thing as spiritual selfishness is not mentioned in the Word of God. A selfish, authoritative spirit is not actuated by Christ. Nothing less than a full acceptance of the Son of God as your personal Saviour will give you an honorable place with Him in His kingdom. “He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.” [1 John 5:12.]18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 23

    I would not seek to discourage you in putting forth efforts for good, but I must tell you that you have done more harm than you can realize by finding fault with and criticizing others. Your talents may be of use somewhere if you repent. But I am very sad as I think of your past history. You have capabilities, but your self-esteem leads you to swell to such proportions that, unless you change, you cannot fit into any place in the Lord’s work. I have an interest in you that you may humble yourself, wear the yoke of Christ, and learn His meekness and lowliness of heart.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 24

    God has not given to you the work of uprooting the tares. Your own life has been a sad mistake. It is not your place to stand as a director of others. In your natural temperament, you have traits of character that do not fit you to be a vessel unto honor. When you learn of Jesus, you will represent Him in character.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 25

    At one time I desired you to connect with me in my work. You yourself chose not to do so. And since I have seen the manifestation of your spirit of superiority and your lack of humility, as shown by your various devisings, I have been glad that you were not connected with me.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 26

    Unless you are begotten by the Word of truth to be conformed to the image of Christ, you will never see heaven. But there is hope for you. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 5:20, 21.] “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men.” [Titus 2:11.] By virtue of His death, the Lamb of God taketh away the sin of the world.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 27

    I am sorry for Captain Eldridge. He was worked by others. It would have been much better for him if he had not been connected with you. Your influence has done more to make him what he is than has the influence of any one else. If you can find him now, seek to remove every stumbling block you have placed in his way. Tell him that you have hurt his soul by your unchristlike deportment. My heart greatly longs for you. I cannot endure the thought that you will continue to criticize others, while you neglect to criticize yourself. Begin this work at once. Make thorough work for eternity. As you behold Christ, you will have new views of your defective character and will be led to seek God with all your heart.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 28

    I beg of you for your soul’s sake, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near.” [Isaiah 55:6.] Ask Him to take away your sins.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 29

    “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ.” [Acts 3:19, 20.] His grace will be imparted to every one that repents. I will stop here, and may the Lord bless you, is my prayer.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 30

    In earnest love for your soul,18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 31

    Your aunt.18LtMs, Lt 182, 1903, par. 32

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