Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 8, 1860

Andrews, J. N.

Battle Creek, Michigan

June 11, 1860

Portions of this letter are published in 1Bio 417.

Dear Brother John [Andrews]:

While at Knoxville, Iowa, some things were shown me in regard to the state of things in the office and at Battle Creek. I saw that there were grievous things in the office. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1860, par. 1

Harriet [Harriet Newall Smith (née Stevens)] has felt very wrong toward James [James Springer White] and has had a bad influence upon Uriah [Uriah Smith]. I was pointed back to Paris and Rochester [and saw] that the past has never been straightened. The feelings then were that James was censorious and severe and that reproofs were given which were not needed. I saw that the reproofs given in Paris were no more severe than the case deserved, and you two families linked together strengthened each other’s hands against Brother White and were free to exchange remarks concerning him, calculated to injure him. There was deep selfishness manifested in Paris, which was very displeasing to God, but those reproved for this despised [the reproofs], chose their own course, and shut their eyes from the light, notwithstanding the multiplied evidences that the Lord had given them of the correctness of the visions. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1860, par. 2

Opinions there formed with you and Harriet, you brought with you to Rochester and to Battle Creek, and they still cleave to Harriet like the leprosy. She has a greater desire to please her relatives and particular friends than she has to please God. When Harriet is consecrated, then she can be of use in almost any station, but when she lacks consecration or when a reproof is given in the office, the old feelings and prejudices arise that existed in Paris. They have never been confessed and healed, but the pestilent matter is ready to break forth at the least rupture. These things have affected Uriah, and instead of James and Uriah standing together in their work, which is so closely connected, there has been no union between them. There has been, on Uriah’s part, a lack of confidence in James that is occasioned by the long, connected chain of circumstances as far back as Paris. I saw that there was no union or real belief in visions with Uriah and Harriet, and yet they are right at the head of the work of God. And I saw that you have not taken a decided position in regard to the past, and your position influences Harriet and Uriah much. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1860, par. 3

I was shown that the work of God could go on in this way in the office no longer, that God’s work in the past should be acknowledged and a decided stand taken upon it or it should be rejected as of the devil. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1860, par. 4

You and others in Paris have let your feelings and impressions stand in the way of the testimonies given of God, and when reproofs have been given, they have been utterly neglected. Selfish feelings have kept those in Paris from receiving the testimonies given. You first sympathized with them and began to move in the fog, and at the time the office was removed to Battle Creek, your influence went on the side of the enemy. I saw that God would have us leave Rochester just when we did, and there has been a lack of frank acknowledgment on your part and that of Uriah, Harriet, and others, that our leaving Rochester at the time we did was the special work of God, notwithstanding the most positive evidence has been given to seal that whole work as of God—the prosperity God has given the office and the cause since the removal to Battle Creek. Yet there has not been straight work in acknowledging this as God’s special work. Things are left at loose ends in a fit state for Satan to tangle into a perplexing knot. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1860, par. 5

The dissatisfaction and warfare against the reproofs and visions borne in Paris and Rochester must be seen, felt, and acknowledged or they will be subject to wrong influences and the temptations of the devil. They will appear to be united with us, but when plain dealing or reproofs are given all the past is called up and the same warfare commences and they sympathize with those who are wrong. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1860, par. 6

The influence and feelings which existed in Paris have affected your judgment and still sway your mind. If one has been reproved or censured, you have weakened yourself and displeased God by sympathizing with him. You forget that in doing this you are a coworker with the evil angels. God lays a burden on His servant, that things are not right. He must bear a plain testimony. It is not pleasant for him to do this. He would gladly be excused, but must do his duty regardless of consequences. Who, then, deserves the sympathy—the one who feels the burden and in the fear of God discharges his duty, or the erring one who caused this burden by grieving the Spirit of God? 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1860, par. 7

Some are constantly complaining of his severity, but are they to be judges whether an erring individual should have a severe or a mild rebuke? The work of all is not the same. One fills one office, another some other, differing office. Just as long as God has a church, just as long as He has a people, He will have those who will cry aloud and spare not, who will be His faithful instruments to reprove selfishness and sins and will not shun to declare the whole counsel of God, whether men will hear or forbear. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1860, par. 8

I have ever been shown that individuals will rise up against the plain testimony, for it does not suit their natural feelings. They would desire smooth words spoken unto them and to have peace cried in their ears, but this is not the work God has assigned us. Individuals have been watching James with jealousy and suspicion, and feelings of prejudice have been communicated to each other while he was left in darkness as to the real state of their feelings. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1860, par. 9

I saw that a great trial was before the church at Battle Creek, and that James must be careful whom he trusted or confided in, for he was watched by those in the office, especially Uriah and Harriet. The messages which God gave in Paris have been doubted; the plain reproofs my husband there gave were not received. He was looked upon as being hard and severe, but I saw that had he borne a more mild testimony he would have merited the displeasure of God. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1860, par. 10

The feelings of those in Paris were not in union with the spirit and work of God, and they had not the least realizing sense of the sacrifices and self-denial that must be made by them, as well as others, to fill their place in the work of God. Instead of putting away their wrongs, they dwelt upon Brother White’s harshness and linked together in their unbelief and dissatisfaction. Satan helped them in the matter until great darkness covered them as to their true state. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1860, par. 11

Brother John, you sympathized with those in Paris. Your judgment and sympathy were perverted and you too often stood on the side of the enemy’s ranks. This arose from not having your sympathy and influence with those whom you should have confidence in, and letting those stand alone who were not in sympathy with the work of God. Satan has had his will in the matter and shaped things to please himself. Satan has been working secretly to affect and tear down the work of God. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1860, par. 12

I saw, Brother John, that you have suffered in your mind extremely. Satan magnified many things before which you stumbled, and you have looked at matters in an entirely wrong light and presented them before others. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1860, par. 13