Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 3, 1858

John and Mary Loughborough


Circa March 1858

Portions of this manuscript are published in 10MR 281. See also Annotations.

I was shown the case of Brother and Sister Loughborough. I saw that Sister Mary had stood in Brother John’s way; that she had not been consecrated to God; that she understood but little of what it was to deny herself for Christ’s sake; that instead of studying her own ease, inclinations, and wishes, she should lie passive in the hands of God, and study His holy will, and instead of following out her own will, be ready to inquire, What wouldst Thou have me to do, Lord? 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 1

I saw that for some time past, Sister Mary has had a rebellious spirit, has been self-willed; that her will had not yet been broken; that that will was her idol, and that idol would shut her out of heaven unless speedily sacrificed. I saw that she did not bring the coming of the Lord as near as she should, and that her mind, instead of being at Rochester, should be all swallowed up in the work of God, and she should be seeking opportunities to help her husband, to hold up his hands, and to labor wherever there was an opportunity. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 2

I saw that Sister Mary had murmured against God and against her husband. Satan was constantly harassing her mind about going to Rochester. I saw that when God called Brother John to Rochester, then it would be time enough for her to think of going, but it was all a snare of Satan for her to feel that she must go to Rochester. I saw that God had nothing for Mary to do in Rochester, and she had nothing in God’s Word that would bear her out in going there. All her desires to go arose from wrong feelings. I saw that she gave herself up to weak, childish feelings. She had made efforts to overcome herself and her wishes, but they were altogether too weak and feeble. She must have determination in this matter, decision, and not be tossed to and fro, and be so changeable. It is high time that her childish feelings were put away, and as God had favored her with a kind husband, one whom He has chosen to labor for Him and sound the last note of warning, she should feel a grateful feeling instead of murmuring, and should submit to his wishes, not so reluctantly, not so sadly, but with cheerfulness. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 3

I saw that Brother John has been too lenient. If Sister Mary yields to such childish feelings as she has in times past, Brother John must be as decided as he would be with a child. But it should not be so. Mary should be a companion for John, one with whom he can consult and advise, and she should be the tender, affectionate wife, to watch over him, to study to ease his burden instead of adding to it, to study to help him instead of hindering, that she, with him, may share in the reward and be the means of doing good here and making others happy. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 4

I saw that Satan had tried to put jealous thoughts into Mary’s mind—that there was a lack of love on John’s part to her. But it is not so. The lack of love is on Sister Mary’s side. There is a lack of love on her part. I saw that this discontented, homesick feeling which Sister Mary indulges in is all of the enemy, and binds a heavy weight upon the spirits of John. When he goes into meeting he often has to labor through this oppression upon his spirits, when he is trying to present the truth to hundreds, and when the decision of souls for life or death would result from that meeting. And I saw that unless Sister Mary stood out of Brother John’s way, God would move her out of the way, for He has already been trifled with, and the tender Spirit grieved almost entirely away. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 5

I saw that God had given her sufficient warning three times before, but these warnings had been but little regarded. Again He had warned, and unless Sister Mary moves speedily from the critical situation she is in, it will be forever too late, for God will not bear always. He will give her up to her unsubdued, unsanctified will, to follow her own ways and be filled with them, and finally to be weighed in the balances and found wanting. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 6

I saw that Brother John must go forward and be decided, and serve God for himself, if he had to separate from Mary and go to heaven alone. God would pity him, angels would pity him and would strengthen him to endure; and if he took a straightforward course, and put his whole confidence in God, He would make him a triumphant overcomer. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 7

I saw that God had wrought for Sister Mary, and that she could save her own soul and be a help to others. God did make her a help to her husband when she first went West. Her efforts were accepted of God. But the ever-busy enemy was not firmly and decidedly resisted and she was taken in the snare. The enemy knew that there was no way that Brother John could be affected and his spirit depressed like having Sister Mary differing from him, and then seeing her weeping around, unreconciled to God’s will, unprepared for Christ’s coming, and taking a course to effectually ruin her own soul. These things were like a lead weight upon his spirit. I saw that instead of this Sister Mary should stand in a place to hold up the hands of her husband, and by cheerful looks, words and actions cheer his spirits; she should be ready to pray with and for him, and then with him she will share the reward. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 8

I saw that Mary had limited the Holy One of Israel. The Lord saith, My grace is sufficient for you. Sister Mary says, No, Lord, it is not. I have tried my best to overcome and cannot. Satan stands laughing because grace is not sufficient to overcome the natural infirmities. I saw that Sister Mary could overcome. I saw that all of Sister Mary’s inclinations and will and wishes must bend to the cause of God, and instead of Sister Mary’s saying, I will do this and that, she should say, If the Lord will, I will do this and that. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 9

I saw that Sister Mary must be consecrated to God, must take hold of the work in earnest, redeem the time and make a strong effort to subdue her will, die to self, and be determined to be contented and not make herself, as well as those around her, perfectly miserable. A thick, heavy cloud, I saw, had hung over her, and the evil angels had access to her to tempt and annoy her, and unless she had more of a fixed, settled determination she would certainly be overcome and lose her soul. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 10

I saw that Mary must be sober and be a living example to those around her; she must have her words and actions tell for God, and shed a holy influence around her. She must not measure herself by others. Christ is her Pattern and Example, and by following Him she will partake of His divine character, but if she leans on any arm of flesh, and makes man an example, she will surely come short. Any other one’s course will be no excuse for Mary, for Christ is the Pattern to be followed. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 11

He was a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He bore the slight and indignity of man and opened not his mouth. He was hung on Calvary’s cross to make a way of escape for lost man; and shall we sinners for whom Christ died and made such a sacrifice complain or think anything that we may suffer hard? To look at the matter in its true light, shall we think that we sacrifice anything? O, what is our sacrifice? We change bad for good, evil and sin for righteousness, death for life. Says Jesus, My yoke is easy and My burden is light. We believe it, Lord, therefore will we bear it without a murmur or complaint. God will accept no half-hearted work in this matter. We must make a whole sacrifice, die to self, have our wills and desires sanctified. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 12

Mary, I saw that your will must be swallowed up in the will of God. You must have a fixed determination to yield your wishes and desires, and must be willing to suffer anything and everything for the cause of God, instead of for your pleasure. You must think of the suffering cause and perishing souls, and must remember that Christ is soon coming and we are to be judged according to the deeds done in the body. Heaven is worth everything. Mary has not realized the worth of her own soul, has been careless, and has hardly thought or realized that God read her very thoughts, and that all these unreconciled, wilful feelings were known to God. I saw that it was time that Sister Mary was alarmed about her own salvation; that unless she was diligent now she could not redeem the time. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 13

I saw that Brother John must keep humble, must watch, and must live very near to God. He has a vigilant foe to contend with who is ever watching for an opportunity to weaken him. His darts are flying thick and fast. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1858, par. 14