Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 3, 1862

The Cause in Wisconsin



Portions of this manuscript are published in 5MR 295. See also 1T 326-340.

I was shown in regard to the church at Marquette (Wisconsin) that an unwise course was taken in regard to the visions at the time of organization. There were those who were God’s people and yet suspicious of and doubting in regard to the visions being of God, and not attaching that importance to them as occupying that place in the church which the body believed they should. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 1

Some were skeptical, and they had had sufficient reason to be skeptical. The pretensions of Sister Steward to have visions, the fanaticism of the most wretched, revolting kind being the fruits, and the influence of the false exercises by different ones upon the cause in Wisconsin, were sufficient to make minds jealous of everything bearing the name of visions and spiritual exercises. All these things should have been taken into consideration and wisdom exercised, and no trial should exist against, or labor be taken up, with those who have never seen the individual having visions and have had no experience with the influence of the visions. Such should not be restricted from entering into organization and receiving the benefits and privileges of the church if their Christian course is correct. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 2

Here in Marquette there was a great mistake made upon this point. Some, I was shown, could receive the published testimony readily, judging of the tree by its fruits. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] Others are like doubting Thomas, they cannot believe the published testimonies or receive evidence through the testimonies of others, but must see and have the evidence for themselves. Such must not be thrust aside, but long patience, kindly forbearance, and brotherly love should be exercised toward them until they find their position and become established for or against. If they fight against the visions of which they have no knowledge, and souls are endangered through their influence, then it is soon enough to take up labor against such, that the weak be not led astray or corrupted through their influence. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 3

At the time the church was organized, some felt grieved and offended at the restrictions or conditions of membership, and their feelings of dissatisfaction have increased. Strong prejudice has governed them. Sister Cole was presented before me. A sister strongly opposed to my visions had carefully cherished every false report and communicated it to Sister Cole. There was such a bitter spirit of war against me when she knew nothing of me, had never seen me, and had nourished the most wicked feelings of prejudice against me. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 4

This Sister instructed Sister Cole, and thus she came to this place. She felt aggrieved because she could not unite with the church, and since that time she has exerted a strong influence against the visions and against me, relating things upon the evidence of hearsay that she did not know, just as though she did know them. She did not know but that the visions were of God. She was unacquainted with the visions and with the humble instrument, and yet has exerted a strong influence against me by reporting things which she has heard, and in this way she has nourished the prejudice received from different sources before coming to Marquette. She has not injured me, but the influence which God would have me exert by bearing the testimony He has given me to His people. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 5

Two individuals were singled out to me who were at war with the body. They were exalted in their own opinion and strengthened themselves constantly in looking back to a past experience. God has been with them and given them instruction in the past, but when it came to the point where they must learn, where they must receive instructions from others, self-righteousness deceived them and they thought because God had led and instructed them in some things in times past that they needed not to be taught. They knew it all. They despised instruction, cast the teachings of God through His servants and through visions behind them, and were constantly pointing to their righteousness, their prayerful lives, their devotion, and depending upon their own merits for salvation. Their lives were not marked with that humility which should ever characterize followers of Jesus Christ. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 6

When individuals become just in their own eyes, then Jesus leaves them to their own ways, to be deceived in regard to themselves. These individuals have had influence in this church at Marquette, and at the same time their spirit was at war with the work of God. They have a hard, self-righteous spirit, which has no union with the meek spirit of Christ. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 7

Then Riley Cooper was shown me, dwelling upon sanctification and consecration, when his heart is not right with God. He is deceived and deceiving others. His mind is scattered. He has no anchor to hold him, but his mind is floating here and there without any settled faith, and much of his time has been spent in relating to one and another reports and stories to unsettle minds in regard to my husband and myself, to do away with the influence of the visions, and throw the people into distraction. He knows not whom he is laboring for. God sends him not on any such mission, but Satan is using him as his agent to unsettle the faith of God’s people and to prejudice their minds against the truth of the third angel’s message and against the visions which he knew nothing about. He has stood in this position: “Report, ... and we will report it.” Jeremiah 20:10. False reports have been circulated and weak souls feed upon these things instead of clean provender thoroughly winnowed. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 8

Riley Cooper knows not the work he is doing. He advocates sanctification and is himself deceived and is deceiving others. Angels of God are at work to unite God’s people upon important points of present truth. But Brother Cooper’s faith is unsettled, and he is at work in an opposite direction from the Spirit of God, to unsettle the faith of all those whom he can influence, and this is done under a theory of sanctification. Unless he cherishes the light given, changes his course, and gathers with the body, God will suffer him to take his own course, and to follow his own inconsistent judgment. Such will not be responsible to any and will make shipwreck of the faith. The people of God who have honestly been deceived shall see those persons in their true light. Brother Riley Cooper has become bewildered and must change his course or he will be left in complete darkness. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 9

Again I was shown Brother Welcome. He is upon the wrong track. He is not in union with God’s people. He is not in union with the third angel who proclaims a solemn message to the inhabitants of earth, and yet the garment of sanctification is thrown around him and many are deceived thereby. I was directed to his labors. He fails to bring out souls into the truth and to establish them upon the third angel’s message. He presents a theory of sanctification and it is but theory with many. The theory of holiness is received but not practically carried out. Some make the garment of sanctification a cover for their sinful course, a course directly opposed to the law of God. And this profession of holiness does not lead them to abstain from the very appearance of evil, lest the faith be blasphemed. By their fruits ye shall know them. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 10

Brother Welcome, whose theme is sanctification, has a scattering influence. He does not gather with Christ. He does not bring out souls and establish them upon the important, saving truths of God’s Word which will separate them from the world and unite them with God’s peculiar people. He is deceived; he knows not what spirit he is of. He is at war with God’s people who are being led out upon the important truths of His Word. He is uniting his influence with the dragon host to oppose those who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 11

His influence as far is the Sabbath is concerned is the same as that of the Seventh-day Baptists. Separate the Sabbath from the message, and it loses its force and power, but the Sabbath connected with the message of the third angel and the testimony of Jesus—the whole taken together—cannot be overthrown. They have a power and force which affects and convicts the unbeliever and infidel and brings them out with some strength to stand and live and grow and flourish. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 12

God’s people in Wisconsin must separate from these influences and stand out clear from them. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 13

I was shown the case of Chaffee, that he professed to be sanctified and yet his heart was not right. Sanctification is good if those who teach it are sanctified, are consecrated to God, but all are not. Their hearts are not all right. Evil exists in the heart and is acted out or carried out in the life. The cause of God is reproached and the enemies of our faith have reason to reproach us because of these things. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 14

Because the offender puts on the air of an innocent man, a holy man, is no evidence he is right. His deeds, his works, testify of him. By his fruits ye shall know him. Consciences are seared, but the day of retribution is coming and every man’s work shall be made manifest, of what sort it is. Corrupt hearts may teach the Sabbath. But God says—and I was pointed to Chaffee,—“What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.” Psalm 50:16-19. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 15

I was shown some things in the church that are not right and that are a hindrance to the advancement of God’s people. I saw that Brother Mackey was not right, was not standing in the light or counsel of God. He was exalted in his own eyes; he thought that he understood matters better than others in the church. I saw that he was not always acquainted with the spirit which actuates him. I was shown that he has thought he has been exercised by God’s power, but he is mistaken. He has been affected with the spirit of fanaticism and yet he has not realized it. He has been led by the spirit which led Sister Steward, yet he has thought he was standing entirely clear from that spirit. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 16

I was shown that Brother Mackey’s physical strength or the nervous system has been exercised more than the heart, for if the heart were exercised it would tend to make Brother Mackey humble, to make him think less of himself, to increase his love for the brethren, and lead him to exert a holy influence upon all around him—upon unbelievers. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 17

But his mind has been scattered. He has dwelt upon fragments of God’s Word which are not of vital importance and has spoken out these things to different ones, which would lead unbelievers to think that these sentiments were the faith of the body. Our faith is not rightly represented by Brother Mackey’s talking the truth anywhere and everywhere, not in an acceptable manner. This has made our faith disgusting to others. Brother Mackey says so many things he does not remember half he does say. He moves from impulse instead of from sound judgment and reason. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 18

Brother Mackey, you are not right, and yet you have such an exalted opinion of yourself that it does seem to you that you are all right. But you have a work to do, a close, heart-searching work, before you can realize your position as God has revealed it to me. It is very hard for you to see and acknowledge or confess what you do see; and until you do see and have humility enough to confess your faults, you are in danger of wounding the cause of God by your inconsistent, unwise moves. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 19

You have laid obstacles in Brother Elken’s way and have injured those who are outside. You, who are still keeping the Sabbath, have censured and wounded and said many things unjustly, and you must take it all back and commence anew. You should not let souls stumble over you to destruction. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 20

Some souls who were acknowledged as being united with the church would not be subject to the light which they acknowledge is from God any sooner than those outside who keep the Sabbath. The reason for this is that hearts are not right with God and self is unsubdued and will not yield to the light given. The first cause of this difficulty and darkness was the exalted feeling of Brother Mackey. He aspired to be in a position in the church but he could not. He has thought that he could understand and manage matters of the church better than any of his brethren, but he is mistaken entirely. If he had the management he would manage the church to pieces. Here has been Brother Mackey’s great failure—to aspire to that which he cannot fill. And all these evils have grown out of it. Brother Mackey felt dissatisfied because he was not in office, and he said many things to those who were there striving with all their energies to do right. They were laboring under discouragement, and they did not receive from all in the church that help they should have received. Brother Mackey is deceived, but God will not leave him yet. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1862, par. 21