Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1

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Lt 2a, 1856

Loveland, Brother and Sister

Battle Creek, Michigan

January 24, 1856

Portions of this letter are published in RC 351; 1Bio 335-336; 10MR 21. See also Annotations.

Dear Brother and Sister Loveland:

We received a letter from Sister Loveland. It was a sad letter, and we felt bad about things in your place. 1LtMs, Lt 2a, 1856, par. 1

But, dear sister, you must not sink down discouraged. The faint-hearted will be made strong; the desponding will be made to hope. God has a tender care for His people. His ear is open unto their cry. I have no fears for God’s cause. He will take care of His own cause. Our duty is to fill our lot and place, live low, humble at the foot of the cross, and live faithful, holy lives before Him. While we do this we shall not be ashamed, but our souls will confide in God with holy boldness. 1LtMs, Lt 2a, 1856, par. 2

God has released us from burdens; He has set us free. Ever since the conference we have been rising. Our meetings have increased in interest every Sabbath. I have been trying with all my heart to shake off the shackles that bound me. And for weeks and months I can say I have been free, and free indeed, and again I have a testimony for the children of God. I am determined to work out what God works in. Salvation I prize above everything else. My eternal interest engrosses my whole attention. 1LtMs, Lt 2a, 1856, par. 3

God has wrought for us in a remarkable manner since the conference. My husband has been much afflicted. Incessant labor has nearly carried him to the grave. But our prayers have ascended to God morning, noon, and night for his restoration. All medicine has been entirely laid aside, and we have brought him in the arms of our faith to our skillful Physician. We have been heard and answered. An entire change has been wrought for him. The disease has left his lungs and made its appearance upon his thighs and limbs in the shape of large red blotches, and we believe without a doubt, if he is careful of the health God has given him, his strength will increase and he will be able to overcome the disease that has fastened upon him. 1LtMs, Lt 2a, 1856, par. 4

Dear Sister, it would be impossible for me to go into a recital of the sufferings I have passed through, the anxiety, and the dread thought that I should be left a widow, my dear children without a father’s care. The scene has changed. God’s hand has mercifully been reached down to our rescue. My husband enjoys good health, and my children are rugged. They never enjoyed so good health before. Little Willie is healthy and very pleasant. 1LtMs, Lt 2a, 1856, par. 5

I never took so much comfort with my family as now. Our family has always been so large. But now we only number eight and I can enjoy the company of my children, they can be more under my own watchcare, and I can better train them in the right way. All of us are united for the blessing of God, and morning, noon, and night His sweet blessing distills upon us like the dew, making our hearts glad and strengthening us to fill our place and glorify our Redeemer. 1LtMs, Lt 2a, 1856, par. 6

Dear Sister, our enemies may triumph. They may speak lying words, and their slandering tongue frame slander, deceit, guile; yet will we not be moved. We know in whom we believe. We have not run in vain, neither labored in vain. Jesus knows us, dear sister. A reckoning day is coming and all will be judged according to the deeds that are done in the body. My eye is fixed upon the mark of the prize, and in the strength of God I will make my way straight through here. 1LtMs, Lt 2a, 1856, par. 7

It is true the world is dark. Opposition may wax strong. The trifler and scorner may grow bolder and harder in his iniquity. Yet, for all this, we will not be moved. We have not run as uncertain. No, no. My heart is fixed, trusting in God. We have a whole Saviour. We can rejoice in His rich fulness. I long to be more devoted to God, more consecrated to Him. This world is too dark for me. Jesus said He would go away and prepare mansions for us, that where He is we may be also. [John 14:2.] Praise God for this. My heart leaps with joy at the cheering prospect. 1LtMs, Lt 2a, 1856, par. 8

Religion is made to dwell too much in an iron case. Pure religion and undefiled leads us to a childlike simplicity. We want to pray and talk with humility, having a single eye to the glory of God. There has been too much of a form of godliness without the power. The outpouring of the Spirit of God will lead to a grateful acknowledgement of the same; and while we feel and realize the wondrous love of God, we shall not hold our peace, we shall sacrifice to God with the voice of thanksgiving and make melody to Him with our hearts and voices. Let us plant our feet upon the Rock of ages and then we will have abiding support and consolation. Our soul will repose in God with unshaken confidence. 1LtMs, Lt 2a, 1856, par. 9

Why do we so seldom visit the fountain when it is full and free? Our souls often need to drink at the fountain in order to be refreshed and flourish in the Lord. Salvation we must have. Without vital godliness our religion is vain. A form will be of no advantage to us. We must have the deep workings of the Spirit of God. My whole soul is interested in this last message of mercy to be given to the world. We are to be purified and refined under this message. 1LtMs, Lt 2a, 1856, par. 10

Dear sister, do not be discouraged. God is sifting His people. He will have a clean and holy people. We cannot read the heart of man. God has not placed in man a window, that we can look into his heart and see what is there, but He has opened ways to keep the church pure and clean. A people has arisen, a corrupt people that could not live with the people of God. All their evil passions must be gratified. They had a suitable time to repent if they would, and overcome their wrongs, but no. Self was too dear to die. They nourished it and it grew strong, and they separated from the peculiar, self-denying people of God. 1LtMs, Lt 2a, 1856, par. 11

I thank God for this way that has been opened to save the church from the frown and wrath of God that must have come upon them if these corrupt individuals had remained with them. Every honest one that may be deceived by this people will have the light in regard to them if every angel has to leave glory to visit them and enlighten their minds. We have nothing to fear in this matter. As we near the judgment, all will manifest their true character and it will be made plain to what company they belong. 1LtMs, Lt 2a, 1856, par. 12

The sieve is going, and let us not say, Stay Thy hand, O God. We know not the heart of man. If God causes the feelings of the heart to be manifested and gives you sight of what is in the heart by the words of the mouth (by the fulness of the heart the mouth speaketh), let it not afflict your soul too much, although your hopes may be cruelly disappointed. But the church must be purged, and will be. “Fret not thyself because of evildoers.” [Psalm 37:1.] God reigns; let the people tremble. 1LtMs, Lt 2a, 1856, par. 13