The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1


Lt 17, 1859

October 28, 1859, Hubbardsville, New York1 1EGWLM 746.1

Letter to
Friends at Roosevelt.
1EGWLM 746.2

Previously unpublished.

Misunderstanding the intent of the Laodicean message in New York State, particularly in Roosevelt. 1EGWLM 746.3

Dear Friends at Roosevelt:

I have a duty to do to free my soul in writing you. 1EGWLM 746.4

While at Dartmouth, Massachusetts, the state of the cause of God in different places was shown me,2 together with the different influences that have been exerted among the churches. I have been shown that wrong teaching and Satan's taking advantage of different temperaments, have placed things in a very discouraging situation in this state. Oh, the sad, sad work that has been made! 1EGWLM 746.5

I was shown at Dartmouth that the wrong instruction and influence that have been given in Roosevelt [New York] have not yet been swept away, but cleave to some like the leprosy.3 I saw that there was no need of the confusion that is there. Satan is unwilling to have wrong corrected in that place. I saw that there have been burdens and exercises there that the Lord did not give. 1EGWLM 746.6

After the message to the Laodiceans was given, some thought others were not as zealous in repenting as they should be, and instead of taking care of their own souls’ interest, they began to be burdened and to reprove and bear down upon their brethren.4 This was not their work; and while they were thus engaged they got into a worse condition than those whom they were reproving. I saw it was an individual work. “Be zealous and repent.” One is not to repent for his brother or sister, but for his own wrongs. Some have looked at and watched others and thought they were not moving fast enough—they did not move just to suit their idea of right—and impressions and burdens followed that God did not dictate. There was a bearing down upon others, binding burdens upon others that they should not bear. 1EGWLM 746.7

I saw that the Lord had shown sufficient to correct these evils, but with some there was an unwillingness to be corrected, and a tenacious holding on to these burdens and reproofs that the Lord was not in.5 I saw that individuals were looking back and seeking to straighten out the difficulty and select this impression or that burden to be of God. I saw that they had not wisdom to do this. They are just as liable to cherish an error or a wrong as the right. It was all darkness, their cutting and hewing, attending to others’ consciences instead of their own, endeavoring to keep their brethren straight and neglecting their own souls. They will have to yield that experience back there. It is impossible for them to separate the right from the wrong. They should lay it to one side and commence anew. God is just as willing to give them again all the good they had back there. But some have taken the position that if they yielded that experience they should have to give up their whole Christian experience. This does not follow. The Lord has shown them to be wrong, and the safest course for them is to give up that wrong. 1EGWLM 747.1

The Laodicean message was of God, but you were deceived as to the work accomplished by the message. There was not time given for the angels to do their work, there was not time given for the development of character. The angels of God are waiting for character to be developed and they are weighing moral worth. 1EGWLM 747.2

I saw that the great care some have had of Brother Ross [Alexander Ross]6 is uncalled for. They have watched him with jealous care when they should be attending to their own souls. They are not to give account for Brother Ross's sins, but to repent of their own sins and leave Brother Ross to the care of the angels of God. They will convict Brother Ross, and as the great principles of truth are received by Brother Ross, the purifying process will go on and purge away wrongs and convict of error and he will then obtain an experience worth everything to him. But the brethren have acted just as though the salvation of Brother Ross's soul was committed to them, that they must be conscience for him and tell him just what he must do. If he follows this, his experience will be founded in individuals instead of in God. 1EGWLM 747.3

This is not as God would have it. I saw that Brother Ross could do errands for the Lord, but his brethren are so fearful Brother Ross will get exalted that they exercise an oppressive spirit of bondage. Think ye that God's angels are all asleep? Cannot they convict of wrong? Leave them a chance to do their work, and begin to search diligently your own hearts. Self is not dead yet with many. Correct your own wrongs, and what if Brother Ross does become exalted? You will not have to answer for his wrongs. I have been shown that you have neglected the great principles of our faith, to descend to little particulars, finding fault with others. Begin to work in your own hearts, to set in order your own house. 1EGWLM 748.1

Brother and Sister Chapel [Levi R. and Jane Eliza Chapel]7 and Brother and Sister Arnold [David and Lucretia Arnold]8 have not understood the work of the Laodicean message, and they must search carefully and correct the evil. Others were engaged in the same work in the same spirit but I do not recollect them. You must leave the tangled mass and now dwell upon the great principles of our faith. Satan has been unwilling that you should understand this matter rightly. The Lord has been showing that things were not right for about two years,9 and yet you are all in blindness and plunging further and further into difficulty. 1EGWLM 748.2

At Pennsylvania the state of things in New York was shown me, especially Roosevelt and vicinity.10 Everything was shown that was needed to correct the evil. But in Ohio again these things were presented before me,11 and I saw the influence Brother Rhodes [Samuel W. Rhodes]12 had exerted, his wrong course, etc., and that it would be some time before its influence would wear away and these wrongs be corrected. I saw that the same spirit existed there at Roosevelt, and was pointed back to where Brother Truman Finch [Truman P. Finch] was connected with these things and saw that what he had to do was to correct his wrong course and remove the influence he had cast.13 And at the same time I saw that the wrong course of the church at Roosevelt had not yet been corrected and confessed. There was a great fear that if confessions of wrongs should be made, it would build up those who were thought to be wrong on the other side, and for fear of this there has been a scrinching, a shrinking from duty, that should have been immediately attended to when the message was given in Ulysses.14 But some were too generous, gave what was designed for them to their brethren, and have passed on, not making thorough work, until they have had less and less disposition to acknowledge their wrong course. 1EGWLM 749.1

At Dartmouth, Massachusetts, the state of the church in this state was presented before me again,15 especially the church at Roosevelt and vicinity. They were all tangled up because there was a disposition with some to maintain that God had led them when He had not. I saw that the Lord had borne long and patiently with the church there, but the angels are grieved, God's cause wounded and reproached. And I saw that God will not move on many hearts to receive the truth while there is no strength in the church to nourish them. They are standing directly in the way of the work of God, are growing blinder and blinder in mind and more subject to the temptations of Satan. More labor has been spent on the church in Roosevelt than on any other church in the state of New York. They will have to make thorough work and manifest a repentance that needeth not to be repented of, and then the stain will begin to disappear from Roosevelt. 1EGWLM 750.1

I saw you should print on your heart and memory the testimony given at Ulysses [Pennsylvania]. Confess your own individual wrongs, make no reference to the wrongs of your brethren, and then cry to the Lord earnestly for wisdom. Wait on the Lord and where you do not now see things clearly, you will; light will break in. Gather with the angels of God instead of scattering. Be pitiful; be courteous. Have bowels of compassion for your brethren. 1EGWLM 750.2

But it has been so different. There has been a blaming, an excusing of self, an accusing spirit against brethren. The third angel16 is bringing up God's people, elevating them, and fastening their minds and their affections on their eternal interests. A harsh, accusing spirit must be removed from the church before the church can flourish and exert a saving influence. 1EGWLM 750.3

In haste. 1EGWLM 750.4