Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 15, 1859

M, Brother and Sister



Previously unpublished. See also Annotations.

Dear Brother M and Wife:

Duty compels me to write you a few lines this morn. 1LtMs, Lt 15, 1859, par. 1

While in Rochester, N.Y., I was shown a number of individual cases. Among them your case was shown me. I feel sad as I write. Things were opened before me and I saw the course that you had taken. 1LtMs, Lt 15, 1859, par. 2

Sister M, you are not right. God is displeased with you. You have a bad disposition and O, how weak are your efforts to overcome it! You have a fretful and stubborn spirit and I was pointed back and saw that you never yet have subdued this disposition. You never yet have obtained the victory over it. 1LtMs, Lt 15, 1859, par. 3

I saw that you should be grateful that God has given you a good husband, but you have not realized this. You have given way to self, and it has not only injured you and strengthened you in this great evil, but you have fretted at and ruled your husband until his disposition has greatly changed. If you continue as you have, there will be danger of his affections being weaned entirely from you and he will wish he never saw you. His married life has not been happy. It was in your power to make him happy. You were the object of his choice, but he never looked deep enough into your disposition and inquired, Will she be a help to me in spiritual things? Will she help soothe my careworn spirits? Will she by patient perseverance, help me overcome my evil besetments, or by fretfulness and impatience cause these evils to grow upon me, make my home unhappy and discourage me in my Christian walk, and prove a stumbling block in my efforts to obtain the victory over self, and to my overcoming at last and having eternal life? 1LtMs, Lt 15, 1859, par. 4

I saw, Brother M, that before your marriage you enjoyed religion. But you enjoy but little of it now. You fear your wife’s tongue. It is an unruly member and it is often full of deadly evil, for it is set on fire of hell. She makes herself miserable, and you, too. Instead of possessing a cheerful, contented, and happy frame of mind that every Christian should possess, it is fretting, blaming, and groaning. Is God pleased with all this? No, no; His frown is upon it. Brother M, you have felt at times almost like giving up the battle, laying down the weapons of your warfare; but bear up with good courage. Impatience in your wife has begot impatience in you. 1LtMs, Lt 15, 1859, par. 5

Your wife, I saw, did not honor you. She does not consider it a blessing to her and condescension in you to marry her and provide for her a home. This is the case. Thus God looks upon it. You have a better husband, Sister M, than you deserve. But often, before company and alone, you speak disrespectfully to your husband until he has begun to lose his own self respect and to place himself beneath the position that God has qualified him to fill. 1LtMs, Lt 15, 1859, par. 6

Said the angel of God to Brother M, Assert your liberty. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:10. Sister M, I saw that you have been impatient if your husband did not bow or submit to every wish of yours. You have been exacting and fault-finding. I saw, Brother M, that you should stand at the head of your family. God requires it of you. Keep your spirit free. 1LtMs, Lt 15, 1859, par. 7

Sister M, you are too meddlesome, too free to talk. May the Lord show you yourself, your own heart, and may you with earnestness and zeal make strong efforts for eternal life. You have no time to lose. Your disposition has never been lovely, but now you can overcome if you will make strong efforts to do so and obtain strength from One that is mighty to save. “My grace is sufficient for you.” 2 Corinthians 12:9. You must make thorough work or you will be weighed in the balance and found wanting. A thorough reformation must take place with you or you will find no shelter in the day when the fierceness of Jehovah’s wrath is poured upon the heads of those who have slighted salvation, and made no effort to overcome their carnal hearts. Jesus is your Pattern. Imitate His lovely character, then you will be happy and all around you will feel happy. 1LtMs, Lt 15, 1859, par. 8

Brother M, in the name of my Master, I would say, Go free. Shake off every shackle; break every cord. Possess patience and meekness under all circumstances, however trying it may be to human nature. Heaven, sweet heaven, is worth making any sacrifice or effort for. Elevate yourself; lay hold of God. He loves you yet. Press for the mark of the prize. 1LtMs, Lt 15, 1859, par. 9