You should be careful not to introduce the subjects of present truth everywhere. You can do more in living the truth than in talking it to others. You can do very much by example. You need to be very circumspect in your business transactions, to carry out in them the principles of your faith. Be faithful in deal, thorough in labour, ever bearing in mind that it is not your employer's eye alone that is to inspect your work, but that the eye of God is upon all the transactions of your life. Angels of God are viewing your work, and it should be a part of your religion to have every piece of work marked with truth and faithfulness. "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much." God wants to make you right, holy, and true.
You do not speak wisely and judiciously to your wife and children. You should cultivate kindness and gentleness. Your children have not had the best influence and example before them. They should not control you, but you them, not harshly, not overbearingly, but with firmness and steadiness of purpose.
Sister L, you have a great battle before you in order to
overcome. You have let self keep the victory. Your stubborn will is the greatest enemy you have. You have an unsubdued temper, and do not control your tongue. The lack of self-control has been a great injury to yourself and to your family. Happiness, quietude, and peace have abode in your dwelling but a short period at a time. If your will is crossed you are easily irritated, and then you speak and act as though a demon had possession of you. Angels turn from the scene of discord where angry words are exchanged. Many times have you driven the precious, heavenly angels from your family by the indulgence of passion.
Like begets like. The same spirit which you manifest has been reflected upon you again. Your children have seen so little affection, tenderness, and gentleness that they have had nothing to win them to the truth or inspire them with respect for your authority. They have so long partaken of the evil fruits borne by you that their disposition is bitterness. They are not altogether corrupt; there are left beneath the uncultivated exterior, good impulses, which might be reached and brought to the surface. If your religious life had been more even, exemplifying the life of Christ, things would be different in your family. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Just such as the seed you sow will be the harvest which you will gather. If gentle words were the order of the day in your dwelling, such fruit would you receive.
A heavy responsibility rests upon you. In view of this, how careful should you be in all your words and acts. What kind of seed are you sowing in the hearts of your children? The reaping time--oh! remember, the reaping time is not far distant. Sow no foul seed. Satan is ready to do that work. Sow only clean, pure seed.
You, my dear sister, have been jealous, envious, and fault-finding. You have thought you were neglected and despised.
You have been too much neglected, but you have a work to do for yourself which no one can do for you. It will require effort, perseverance, and earnestness to obtain the victory over long-established habits which have become as second nature. We have the tenderest feelings for you, with all your errors and faults; and while we shall take the liberty to tell you your faults, we pledge ourselves to help you in every way we can.
I was shown that you do not possess that filial love which you should. The evil in your nature is exercised in a most unnatural way. You are not tender and respectful to your parents. Whatever may be their faults, you have no excuse for the course you have pursued toward them. It has been most unfeeling and disrespectful. Angels turned from you in sadness, repeating these words: "That which ye sow ye shall also reap." Should time continue, you would receive from your children the same treatment which your parents have received from you. You have not studied how you could best make your parents happy, and then sacrificed your wishes and your pleasure to this end. Their days upon earth are few at most, and will be full of care and trouble even if you do all you can to smooth their passage to the grave. "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." This is the first commandment with promise. It is binding upon childhood and youth, upon the middle-aged and the aged. There is no period in life when children are excused from honouring their parents. This solemn obligation is binding upon every son and daughter, and is one of the conditions to their prolonging their lives upon the land which the Lord will give the faithful. This is not a subject unworthy of notice, but a matter of vital importance. The promise is upon condition of obedience. If you obey you shall live long in the land which the Lord your
God gives you. If you disobey you shall not prolong your life in that land.
Here, my sister, is a subject for your prayerful consideration and earnest meditation. Closely examine your own heart as in the light of eternity. Hide nothing from your examination. Search, oh! search, as for your life, and condemn yourself, pass judgement upon yourself, and then by faith claim the cleansing blood of Christ to remove the stains from your Christian character. Do not flatter or excuse yourself. Deal truly with your own soul. And then as you view yourself a sinner, fall, all broken, at the foot of the cross. Jesus will receive you, all polluted as you are, and will wash you in His blood, and cleanse you from all pollution, and make you fit for the society of heavenly angels, in a pure, harmonious heaven. There is no jar, no discord, there. All is health, happiness, and joy.
Sister L, you have not been indifferent to your salvation. You have, at times, made earnest efforts, and have humbled yourself before the church and before God; but you have not received that encouragement which you needed, and which Jesus would have freely given you had He been upon earth. Love is wanting in the church. Love for the erring is covered up with selfishness. There is a great lack of this precious grace among God's people. You have thought that the people of God were indifferent to you, and your soul has rebelled against it. They have not felt right nor talked right. They have not pursued a right course. They are not justified in this. Heaven frowns upon it. Jesus pities you, and He invites you, weary, and heavy-laden, to come to Him and learn of Him who is meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your soul. The yoke of Christ is easy, and His burden is light. When perplexed, worried, and annoyed, flee to the Burden Bearer; tell it all to Jesus. Your brethren and sisters may not
appreciate your efforts, and may never know how hard you do try to obtain the victory; yet this should not discourage you. If Jesus knows, if He is acquainted with your sincere efforts, be satisfied.
There must be a thorough reformation in your life, a transformation by the renewing of your mind. God requires His people to help you because you need help, and you should be humble enough to be helped by them. When tempted to give loose rein to the unruly member, oh! bear in mind that the recording angel is noting every word. All are written in the book, and, unless washed away by the blood of Christ, you must meet them again. You now have a spotted record in heaven. Sincere repentance before God will be accepted. When about to speak passionately, close your mouth. Don't utter a word. Pray before you speak, and heavenly angels will come to your assistance and drive back the evil angels, who would lead you to dishonour God, reproach His cause, and weaken your own soul.
Especially have you a work to do to confess with humiliation your disrespectful course toward your parents. There is no reason for this unnatural manifestation toward them. It is purely a satanic spirit, and you have indulged in it because your mother has not sanctioned your course. Your feelings amount not only to positive dislike, decided disrespect, but to hatred, malice, envy, jealousy, which are manifested in your actions, causing them suffering and privation. You do not feel like making them happy, or even comfortable. Your feelings are changeable. Sometimes your heart softens, then it closes firmly as you see some fault in them, and the angels cannot impress it with one emotion of love. An evil demon controls you, and you are hateful and hating. God has marked your disrespectful words, your unkind acts to your parents, whom He has commanded you to honour, and if you fail to
see this great sin, and repent of it, you will grow darker until you will be left to your evil ways.
The Lord is ready to help all who need help and feel that need. If you see your poverty and wretchedness before God, and earnestly take hold of His strength, He will help, and bless, and impart to you strength, that by your good works you may lead others to glorify our Father who is in heaven. Will you see yourself? Will you submit your will and ways to God? Will you seek for pure and undefiled religion before God? Oh, what will it avail you to pass along in this wretched condition! You have no happiness yourself in this way of living, and those around you have no happiness in your society. Surely you make for yourself a great amount of misery; and such a life as you have led is not worth much. Why not, then, be reconciled to God? Die to self and be converted, that Jesus may heal you. He wants to save you, if you will consent to be saved in His appointed way. May the Lord help you to see and correct every error is my prayer.
Brother L, you should be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. Be careful of your words. Let not Satan make you a stumbling block to others. There is a failure in your business transactions. You slight your work. You get through with it as soon as you can, thinking that it will do, when it is not well done. You lack thoroughness. You should cultivate taste and order in all you do. That which is worth doing at all is worth doing well. If you lack faithfulness in your business life you will lack in your religious life, and in the day of God the balances of the sanctuary will reveal the fact that you are wanting. This lack is a reproach to your faith. Unbelievers charge it to dishonesty, and say: "If it is such men that keep the Sabbath, I don't choose to be of that sort."
As men prove your work and find it deficient in durability, nicety, and order, they say you are a cheat, and many hard
speeches have been made over it. Many oaths have been uttered over your work, and God has been blasphemed. You do not mean to be dishonest, but there is a slackness in your jobs. You think your employers are too particular, that you know what will answer as well as they; and hence this slack, loose, unfinished style attends your labour to a great extent. You should improve in this matter. You should be honourable in all your labour, and close up your work in a manner that will bear the inspection of God. Scorn to slight any job. Be faithful in that which is least.
Try to help your wife in the conflict before her. Be careful of your words, cultivate refinement of manners, courtesy, gentleness, and you will be rewarded for so doing.