Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 6, 1854

Courtesy and Kindness

Lincklaen, New York

February 19, 1854

Previously unpublished. See also Annotations.

The Lord showed me in vision last evening, the state of things in Lincklaen and vicinity. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1854, par. 1

I was shown the shortness of time, and the importance of all realizing it and feeling the worth of souls for whom Christ died. I was shown the low state of the brethren, the ark of God was gone out of the camp. I was shown that a right influence had not been exerted by Bro. Rhodes; a good example has not been set, and darkness and weakness has been the consequence. I saw that Bro. R. had possessed an overbearing spirit in this vicinity, and has often hurt the oil and wine, has misjudged individuals, and has laid burdens upon them that did not belong to them. I saw that this has been done in the case of Brother and Sister Poole. Brother R. has spoken from the impulse of the moment or from impatient, fitful feelings which has caused a deep, a deep, wound that has never been healed with suitable confessions and a free acknowledgment of wrongs without qualifications and justifying self. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1854, par. 2

I saw that the lecturing brethren should above all others possess a kind, courteous spirit. They must bear and forbear and lay by a hasty, fitful, uneasy spirit, and for the sake of precious souls must bear to be opposed with a bitter spirit, and not retaliate. But if the messenger of God lets self rise and bears down upon the opposer with an impatient spirit, it is just what the opposer wants. He goes away with all the natural, irritable feelings of his heart awake, saying as he goes, I am as well off as he is. He is no better off than I am. I know he has not the Spirit of God. He is not a Christian. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1854, par. 3

But if the servants of the Most High should possess a meek, forbearing spirit, and for the sake of the souls of others if they have no hope of the opposer, suffer their abuse with patience, keep the heart uplifted to God, praying for strength, He would let angels of God strengthen them, and arrows of conviction would be fastened in the hearts of unbelievers. God would be glorified, and others would take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus. I saw that Brother Rhodes should not cut so much with his words, but hold forth the truth and let that cut them, and even exercise wisdom in this. Do not bring the most denouncing truths from God’s Word to bear upon the opposers, for it will only irritate and stir up their wrath. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1854, par. 4

I was pointed to Jesus. He knew what was in man’s heart. He took upon Himself man’s nature, yet He was the beloved of the Father, the Son of the Most High God. The hearts of all men, and the result and effect of every word He spoke He knew perfectly. And man, frail man, must not feel that he is authorized to speak with that authority, and rebuke in such a cutting manner and with that assurance, that the Son of man did. Weak, failing man knows not the effect of what he says. By being severe and rebuking in a sharp manner, [he may] drive souls from the truth and close their ears from ever listening to it, and they may be lost in consequence of some mismoves of the messengers, whose mission was to save souls. Who can tell the worth of a soul for whom Christ died? Christ pitied the fallen race of men and consented to give up the glory He had with the Father, and took upon Himself man’s nature, that He might sympathize with them in their woes, and then to die an ignominious death upon the cross to redeem them to His Father. He suffered every indignity, slight, and scorn without a retaliating look or word, when He could have had legions of angels to assist Him had He asked His Father. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1854, par. 5

Said the angel, Follow His example in these things and ye will adorn your profession. Servants of God are ye, coworkers with Jesus and the third angel. Do ye possess a gathering spirit? I saw that Brother Rhodes has not possessed the meek spirit of Jesus as he should, and unbelievers even in this place have been borne down upon, and testimonies have been borne them which God did not dictate and which wounded the precious cause of God. I saw that Brother Rhodes’ influence upon this band has not been good, but has injured some, and this is one cause of the church being in so low a state. I saw that some have carried out the example set them by Brother Rhodes, especially two of the Brothers Swan and a sister connected with them. Others have been influenced, but the ones mentioned above have greatly erred; they have given way to excitable, fitful feelings, and have, like Brother Rhodes, possessed an overbearing spirit. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1854, par. 6

I saw that the course taken toward Mr. Crandall was not right. Wisdom was not used, and great injury it has done some that he was connected with. Satan has taken advantage of and separated them from the people of God through the mismoves of the brethren and through Brother Rhodes’ lack of wisdom. The effect should have been studied, and the church must be willing to suffer something to save the souls of those he is connected with and over whom his influence extends. Although he may burden the meeting, bear it; call upon God for additional strength, and God will hear and will impart it. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1854, par. 7

I saw that every one that professes the truth, wherein they have manifested an overbearing spirit should take it away and leave the blood of his soul upon his own head. He may take advantage of the brethren’s confessions. If he does, he will have that sin to bear, and the brethren will be clear. I saw that Mr. Crandall was not right, and that he never has been fully in the angel’s message. He was living in open violation of the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day ... stranger that is within thy gates.” [Exodus 20:8-10.] I saw that God could not approbate him while transgressing this commandment. I also saw he not only transgressed it opening by suffering labor to be done by his son, his manservant and maid servant. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1854, par. 8