Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 19, 1859

Chamberlain, Sister

Newport, New Hampshire

October 4, 1859

Previously unpublished. See also Annotations.

Dear Sister Chamberlain:

Duty compels me to write you a few lines. About one year ago when we visited the East, things were in great confusion. We were obliged to see things in the utmost confusion and suffered much in mind on account of this wretched state of things. I was shown in vision while at Clinton the cause of this confusion. At the same time I was shown that it would be of no use for Brother Barr to travel among the churches East, for he could not do them good; that he had better be laboring in a humble way, working with his hands, than to do this; and that he possessed too much dignity, etc. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1859, par. 1

While at Dartmouth, Mass., a few weeks since, again the power of God rested upon me and I was wrapped up in a vision of God’s glory. In that vision I was shown the state of things in Connecticut, in Massachusetts, in Maine, and in New York City. My soul was wrung with keen anguish as I saw the state of things. I was shown that the ministers, or those who professed to be servants of God, had caused much of this sad state of things for lack of real spiritual intelligence. Ministers of God should understand their work and their calling. They should not give the least influence to a hurried, fanatical spirit. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1859, par. 2

I saw that Brother Barr had done this, and when the message to the Laodiceans was given, a hurried fanatical spirit came in and burdens and exercises were had that the Lord was not in. No time was granted individuals to develop character. Angels of God were patiently waiting to weigh moral worth, and to mark the development of character. But some went ahead of the angels and were burdened and exercised because the work was not closed up at once. They did not wait patiently for the Lord to test character and to spue out the lukewarm, but took that work into their own hands; and unless they could see individuals coming up to the point they thought they should reach, they pushed them off. A fear came over them—fear to associate with the ones they thought spued out of the mouth of the Lord. Why did they not read the connection—Revelation 3:18-22? A strange, fearful, excitable, fanatical spirit came in and bore rule. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1859, par. 3

I saw that if Brother Barr had understood his duty, he would have checked this spirit at once. But he was not standing in the counsel of the Lord. I was pointed to the work in Connecticut. O, what a work! The brethren Graham were led by a wrong spirit. Those burdens and exercises they had were not of the Lord. They were in a deception. Brother Barr encouraged this, and by his words created a fearful excitement when Sister Lyman was set aside by one of these burdens. Brother Barr said, “‘He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.’ [Proverbs 29:1.] Who goes next? There may be hope today; tomorrow it is gone.” 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1859, par. 4

I was shown Sophronia C. mixed up with these strange exercises; and the burdens and exercises for Mary North and John Wilcox were uncalled for. It was not of God. They were made to believe that they had greatly sinned where there was no sin. Their thinking of marriage might have been injudicious; further than this they were not guilty, and the treatment of Mary was cruel in the extreme. God loves Mary and John. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1859, par. 5

Then the moves Brother Barr made in your place were not actuated by the Lord. It was in his own spirit he came to you. His influence over you and the burning of those pictures and the cases was not right. I was shown that this was a loss that need not to have been. The cases could have been exchanged for something useful. And then again I saw that there was destruction of property that was not your own. It belonged to another. And if you could not conscientiously keep it you should have handed it to the owners and then you would be clear. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1859, par. 6