Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)



Ms 1, 1853

A Vision given at Jackson, Michigan, June 2, 1853

Jackson, Michigan

June 2, 1853

Portions of this manuscript are published in 13MR 359-360. See also Annotations.

I was first shown that when Brother Rhodes first came to Michigan many things he did not see in their true light, and he would have been a much more effective laborer if he had possessed more of a calm, meek, forbearing spirit. But his hasty, overbearing spirit was much against him. Many more would have embraced the truth if he had not possessed such a spirit of severity. Some that witnessed his labors would say: “Well, it is just as we have been told, Those that teach the Sabbath have a bad spirit.” And they decided that the message was not of the Lord. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 1

I also saw that Brother Rhodes had a hurried, excitable spirit, and that it had a great effect on the brethren at Jackson. From what God had shown through vision in favor of Brother Rhodes, the brethren put the utmost confidence in him, as though he would not err. The wrong impressions were given concerning the brethren’s property, as though it was a burden to them, and they must get it off their hands as soon as possible or it would crush them, and they must lay up their treasure in heaven, &c. Brethren Bowles and Case thought they must do as Brother Rhodes did, and carry out the hasty, harsh, severe spirit; for he was in union with the brethren, and he must be right, and it was safe to do as he did. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 2

I saw that the brethren that had property had the greatest confidence in Brother Rhodes, and they commenced to sacrifice their property, and handed it out without having the true object set before them, (the suffering cause,) and they handed out freely, too much and too often. I saw that the teachers should have stood in a place to correct these errors, and exerted a good influence in the church. Money was made to be of little or no consequence, the sooner disposed of the better, and Brethren Holt and Rhodes set a bad example to those who had property (and those who had not, also,) by accepting large donations, and not giving the least caution to those who had means, to not use it too freely and carelessly. And by accepting such a large amount of means without questioning whether God had given them light to bestow so largely, [they] sanctioned the brethren giving too freely and bountifully—those who gave not being particular to enquire into the necessity of the case whether there was actual need or not, and finding out how it was bestowed or disposed of. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 3

Those who had means were thrown into great darkness and perplexity, and Brother Case was hurt by too much means being put into his hands. He did not study economy but lived extravagantly, in his travels laid out money here and there, to no effect, spread a wrong influence by his being so flush with the Lord’s money, and would say, to others and in his own heart, to himself, there is means enough in Jackson, more than can be used up before Jesus comes. And some were very much hurt by such a course, and came into the truth wrong, and not realizing that it was God’s money that they were using, and not feeling the worth of that means. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 4

And I saw that these poor souls who have just embraced the third angel’s message, and have had such an example set before them, will have much to learn, to deny self and suffer for Christ’s sake. They will have to learn to give up their ease and cease studying their convenience and comfort, but bear in mind the worth of souls, and if they feel the “woe” upon them, they will not be for making great preparations and fixings outwardly to travel in ease and comfort. And those who have no calling have been encouraged into the field. And those who do not travel at all have been affected by these things, to not feel the need of economizing, denying themselves and putting into the treasury of God. They would feel and say there are enough others who have means enough, they will give for the paper—I need not do anything—the paper will be supported without my help. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 5

I saw that Brother Case knew not what trials and sufferings and privations were, and he has not heeded the vision given concerning following the desires of the eyes as he should, and has erred many times since in the same way. I saw that there had been a careless, profligate use of the Lord’s money, by Brother Case, and he has not got rid of this error yet, nor seen it in its true light—has much to learn yet, and others have been affected by these things somewhat, by some of the messengers not setting the right example, or casting the right influence. I saw that these things must be understood in their true light, and these evils which have grown out of false teachings must be corrected, and right impressions be cast. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 6

I saw an oppressive spirit exercised by some of the brethren toward others. Brother Bowles has partaken largely of this oppressive exalted spirit. So, also, has Brethren Case and Russell, drunk deeply of it. Some others have been affected with it. The little leaven has almost leavened the whole lump, and in order for sweet union and harmony to be in the church this unholy leaven must be entirely purged from it. I saw that it was impossible for the church to love one another as Christ has loved them, until they give up that their opinion is better than their brethren’s. They must have a spirit of humility, and be more ready to see their own faults, than their brethren’s, and say less about their brethren’s faults. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 7

I saw that there had been no trusting in God by Brother Case; for if he was at any time a little perplexed or brought into a strait, instead of crying to God, and trusting in Him, he had murmured against those who had the means, and then when the brethren did help it was not prized. There was an ungrateful, unthankful feeling like this: it was no more than they ought to do—the means was the Lord’s &c. This feeling, I saw, was all wrong and hid God’s face from those who had it, and this spirit and feeling which is so cruel must be seen and confessed, and put entirely aside or it could not be blotted out, and the same evils will again occur, and the ark of God be stayed as it has been for many months. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 8

I saw that the dreams of Brother Miller, in Oswego, were a device of the enemy, and Brother Rhodes was captivated with them, listened to them, followed them, for a time, and made much of them. I then saw that his hasty visit to Michigan, and right back in a few days, spending so much means, cast a wrong influence as though means was very plenty, at his command, and was all wrong. If it had been right God would not have suffered him to come to Michigan in darkness, but would have enlightened his mind as to the true situation of the church. Wisdom would have been given him to have moved right, and checked wrong influences and upheld the right. But I saw almost every move made by Brother Rhodes while in Michigan the second time from the East, was all wrong. The church was not benefited, and the frown of God was not removed from the church but remained there still. Some were thrown into great trial, others were exalted, and Brother Rhodes had something of a spirit of lording it over God’s heritage. Rebukes were given by Brother Rhodes which came not from God, but which were in himself, and God had nothing to do with it. Brother Bowles and Case had the same spirit and they followed Brother Rhodes, and lorded it over God’s heritage. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 9

And those who had means were thrown into a great darkness and perplexity, not daring to question into any move of Brother Rhodes, or inquire into anything on account of being rebuked or repulsed by Brother Rhodes’ severity, and they were thrown into a state of fear, afraid to speak out things that they had seen and known. And these things must be confessed and taken out of the way before Brother Rhodes can be free, and move in the wisdom of God. He will fall into the snare of the enemy, and be left to make wrong moves. He cannot make straight paths for his feet until he takes up the wrongs behind him. I saw that Brother Rhodes had exercised this severe spirit in other places, and others have been influenced in the same manner, partaking of the same spirit. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 10

I saw that this feeling that the messenger’s course must not be questioned, and that their judgment and understanding is correct in almost everything, and that they must be exalted above the brethren, is all wrong. There has been a lording it over God’s heritage. I saw that those who profess to be teachers, should be patterns of piety, meekness and great humility, possessing a loving, kind spirit, winning souls to Jesus and the truth of the Bible. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 11

I saw sensitive feelings of the messengers fearing lest others will think they are wrong. I saw that there was great backwardness in some of confessing their faults, fearing lest the confidence of the brethren in them will be destroyed. All these feelings, I saw, must be overcome and given up before the church can be in a healthy state. I saw that those who profess to be servants of the living God, to lead souls to Christ, must be willing to be servants of all, instead of being exalted above the brethren, and they must possess a kind courteous spirit. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 12

I saw that Brother Rhodes must break in pieces before God, and confess many things that he has done wrong. I saw an evading confession by Brother Rhodes, and excusing over all mismoves instead of coming out frankly and honestly and with childlike simplicity take all wrongs out of the way. I saw that Brother Rhodes had labored and labored to show that he was not wrong. I saw that if Brother Rhodes has moved ever so honestly yet if he has been wrong or done wrong, and afterwards evidence comes that he has done wrong, he must cease to confer with flesh and blood, and must confess his errors with meekness and humility. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 13

Errors and wrongs must be confessed thoroughly, and honesty cannot stand as an excuse for not confessing, and by confessing it would not lessen the confidence of the church in the messenger that has erred, but would set a sweet, childlike example to the church, and a spirit of confession would be encouraged in the church, and sweet union would be the result. Humility, I saw, was lacking in Brother Rhodes. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 14

I saw that Brother Bowles going West was all wrong and grew out of the wrong action and influence in the church by Brother Rhodes. I saw that death, death, followed Brother Bowles. He was lifted up and exalted by the devil, thinking he was something when he was nothing. I saw that he had not seen his mismoves and his exalted feelings, and his being so puffed up by the enemy, thinking that he was doing a great work when some souls were pushed off where it seemed as though there was no possibility of reaching them. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 15

I saw that Brother Rhodes would yet have to see and feel that he has exercised an oppressive, over-bearing spirit towards his brethren and sisters, and had felt a kind of a spirit of lording it over God’s heritage. All these things, I saw, must be confessed and taken out of the way. I saw that they must strive to quicken their memory and not be too willing to forget. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 16

I saw that the wrongs of the church and messengers must be seen and confessed before the grievous wound could be healed. Troubles have been in Jackson, and they would seem at times to be healed but it has been slightly. The pestilent matter has been left deep and unobserved, to burst out again and make it almost incurable. The wound has been healed slightly, and has not been probed to the bottom yet. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 17

I saw that Brethren Case and Rhodes have nominally admitted and acknowledged the visions but have not followed them out, but have resisted the conclusion that the visions would bring them to if they fully believed, and the effect that the Lord meant that it should have upon them, and His design in giving the vision had many times failed by these brethren closing the eyes, evading the point &c. I saw that Brother Case had followed the desires of his eyes of late. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 18

I saw the chart-making business was all wrong. It originated with Brother Rhodes and was followed out by Brother Case. Means have been spent in making charts and forming uncouth, disgusting images to represent angels, and the glorious Jesus. Such things, I saw, were displeasing to God. I saw that God was in the publishment of the chart by Brother Nichols. I saw that there was a prophecy of this chart in the Bible, and if this chart is designed for God’s people, if it [is] sufficient for one it is for another, and if one needed a new chart painted on a larger scale, all needed it just as much. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 19

I saw that it was a restless, uneasy, unsatisfied, ungrateful feeling in Brother Case that desired another chart. I saw that these painted charts had a bad effect upon the congregation. It caused a light, chaffy spirit of ridicule to be in the meeting. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 20

I saw that the charts ordered by God struck the mind favorably, even without an explanation. There is something light, lovely, and heavenly in the representation of the angels on the charts. The mind is almost imperceptibly led to God and heaven. But the other charts that have been gotten up disgusted the mind, and caused the mind to dwell more on earth than heaven. Images representing angels look more like fiends than beings of heaven. I saw that the charts had for days and weeks occupied Brother Case’s mind when he should have been seeking heavenly wisdom from God, and should have been growing in graces of the Spirit and the knowledge of the truth. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 21

I saw that if the means that have been wasted in getting out charts had been spent in getting out the truth clearly before the brethren, in publishing tracts &c., it would have done much good and saved souls. I saw that the chart-making business has spread like the fever. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 22

I saw that Sr. Palmer had been proud and exalted, and had been worldly-minded, that she had not possessed right feelings and a right spirit towards unbelievers. There was a feeling of hatred in her heart toward them, and words were spoken concerning them which should never have been said, and God had been grieved and Jesus wounded by these things. I saw that the Christian should have noble feelings, and all the scorn and derision of unbelievers should not move them, and cause a disturbed feeling to arise in their hearts, and anything like retaliation should never be felt or resorted to by Christians. I saw that Sr. Palmer must get very humble and low before God, and humble herself greatly before Him, and make haste to get right before God, lest His sweet Spirit be entirely grieved away. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 23

I then was pointed again to Sr. Palmer. Said the Angel, it does not belong there. Words were spoken but not the ones that were said that she spake. I saw words spoken that were wrong, that should not have been spoken, and which in no way could glorify God; but which were the fruits of the risings of self. But the words which were considered the most sinful she did not speak. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 24

I also saw that the testimony of a child should never be received against the testimony of a child of God, unless other persons of experience in the things of God, and to be relied on, should hear and witness the same. Great carefulness should be used on this point. I saw trouble between the two families before this circumstance happened, or was brought up, which caused the one to be willing, yes, too willing, to see the faults of the other, and Bro. Case’s daughter had indulged in very wrong feelings toward Sr. Palmer, and she was willing to make it appear worse than it was. I saw that it was a great lack of judgment crediting her testimony and pressing it upon others to do so. I saw that there has been a thrusting with side and shoulder by Brethren Case [and] Russell. Brother Bowles has possessed the same spirit, and has formerly done it much, and oppressed the children of God, and hard, harsh, bitter, cutting words have proceeded from his mouth. He must search after these things, and take them all away, confess them, lest they appear before him when there is no mediator to stand between an offended God and guilty man—when there is no atoning blood to wash away the stain of sin. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 25

I saw that the weakness of [the] Jackson Band was known all through Jackson; also, in other places, many had been weakened and burdened by Brother Case spreading or introducing the trials of [the] Jackson Band to almost every place he went. This, I saw, was all wrong and God was displeased with such a course. I then saw that we should never intimate our trials in any way to the wicked. I saw that Satan had laughed as he saw those who professed to have wisdom from God, and believing they were having the last message of mercy to the world, should make the wicked acquainted with their troubles and trials, and let them in to see the weakness of the Band. I was pointed back to the time when Hezekiah led the enemies into the house of God, and shewed them the sacred, secret things there, the vessels of gold &c., of the temple, which was a heinous sin in the sight of God, and He pronounced a heavy curse upon them. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 26

I saw that it was a shame to those who are teachers to set such an example to the flock. I saw that great dishonor was brought upon the cause of God by letting the wicked (who are abhorred of God and who had such a wicked, ungodly spirit that there was nothing that was too hard for them to say or any suffering too severe for them to inflict upon the saints if it was in their power) know their weakness even so much as to come to them for testimony. If they had been left to do this, decide the case of the church on such testimony, God would leave forever those who did it, in perfect darkness, unfit to have to do with the holy cause of God. I saw that we had nothing to do with the wicked, that the affairs of the church should be kept in the church. That we have no confessions to make to the wicked, unless we have done them a personal injury. I saw that Brother Case’s course had most effectually destroyed the confidence of the church in his judgment, also, his influence in Jackson was gone. My feelings were intense as I saw these things. I saw that Brethren Case, Russell and Bowles had all erred in their feelings toward the wicked; they have felt a spirit of hatred in their hearts towards them which was displeasing to a holy God. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 27

I saw that Brother Case has not known yet what wants and trials are in regard to means since he embraced the third angel’s message; therefore he has not, neither his wife or daughter, felt thankful and grateful to God for opening the hearts of His children to bestow donations upon them. I was pointed back to the time where and how the third angel’s message found Brother Case. Said the angel: Look back and remember what God and the truth have done for thee, do not forget it. I saw that the brethren had done for and treated Brother Case as parents would treat their children, and there was but little thankfulness or gratitude in return. I saw that they had not prized the help and assistance of their brethren. There has been a lack of humility in the family. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 28

I saw that Brother Case’s daughter did not mean to lie about Sr. Palmer, but she thought she heard her say something much as she told, and she was willing to have it look worse than it was, and as bad as possible. I saw that she must get rid of her pride and get humble before God, with her father and mother, and confess heartily to God and the church. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 29

I saw that Brother Russell had been exalted in his own eyes. He has been humble in times past, and enjoyed pure religion; but he has got to have a great work done for him before he will again understand the movings of the Spirit of God and flourish in the Lord. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 30

I saw Brother Case has indulged in wrong feelings, and talked it over and over, at home and abroad, and all the family partook of a jealous, wrong spirit, when even if others had been wrong, it was no excuse for them to sin. I saw that Brother Case loved his ease too well, and indulged himself altogether too much. He knew not what it was to suffer for the truth’s sake. He has not learnt yet half that he will have to learn. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 31

I saw that Brother Russell has had a hard, oppressive spirit and Brother Case’s daughter has indulged in very wrong feelings and her parents have not checked it by example or reproof, but encouraged it by example. I saw that a great work must be done for Brother Case or he would be laid aside as unfit to carry the truth of God to others, and unfit to be an example to the flock; for if he remains as he is, his influence will be as it has been, death, death, death. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 32

I saw that the Lord had been displeased with some of the brethren for following the desires of their eyes, and getting costly Bibles when a cheaper Bible contained all the words of God, and answers the same purpose. I saw money had been wasted in this thing to gratify a selfish feeling. I saw that the messengers must be examples to the flock, and every cent and dollar that has been misspent would have to be rendered an account for in the day of judgment. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 33

I saw that the understanding that Brother Bowles got of the trial some time back was nearly right; but it was not a revelation he had but his understanding was convinced, and then it was he moved all wrong, and threw everything into confusion. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1853, par. 34