Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 10, 1862

Vision at Battle Creek, Michigan

Orleans, Michigan

November 26, 1862

Previously unpublished.

While in Battle Creek, November 5, some things were presented before me in vision. I was shown the churches in different places. I was shown the people of God in Greenville and other towns. I saw that all was not right, that there was a necessity of all arising and taking hold of the work in earnest. I was shown that some are a great hindrance to the brethren, and their crooked course has been a great discouragement to others who would be right. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 1

I was shown the case of Brother Merrill, that he had not realized the danger he has been in. I saw that the Cranmer party were a faction, a company like Dathan, Korah, and Abiram, who rebelled. They would not bear the straight testimony borne against wrongs and sin and poisonous indulgences and, like the ancient rebels, exclaimed, “Ye take too much upon yourself, seeing the congregation is holy, every one of them.” [Numbers 16:3.] 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 2

Satan was the first great rebel and many has he led on to rebel. God, I saw, was not with the Cranmer party, but Satan has had the control of many of them. He works through them and destroys souls. Brother Merrill was deceived by them and drew off from the body. He became bewildered in his views and feelings, and it was not in accordance with the will of God for him to hold any prominent position in the church. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 3

I saw that Brother and Sister Merrill have been trying to recover themselves from the snare of the enemy. They want to be right, yet they have not realized the corrupting influence of the rebellious party whom they once sympathized with, and how fully they laid themselves open to the attacks of Satan. Their judgment was perverted and their views and feeling are not always correct. Yet if they cherish the light which shines upon their pathway, [and] humble themselves before the Lord, He will lift them up and strengthen them to endure the refining process, that they may come forth as gold seven times purified. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 4

You will both have to live very near to God, or pride and the spirit of the world will rule. God’s people are owned and approved of Him only when separate from [the] world and living out the truth in its simplicity. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 5

I was shown the case of Brother Gravelle. His course has been wrong. He has not understood himself, and has not known what manner of spirit he was of. He has ever been forward among his brethren, self-confident, esteeming himself, and has proved a grievous trial to his brethren. He does not yet know the first principles of truth. He has taken hold of the truth, but the truth has not wrought that thorough work in the heart, and been carried out in the acts and life. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 6

He moves from impulse instead of from thought and judgment. He has not been any help in the meetings, but rather a hindrance. Instead of coming right down into the spirit of the meeting, bearing his own simple testimony and receiving instructions from his brethren, he wants to teach them, and his testimonies are unmeaning and not bearing any marks of the Spirit of God. He seems like one working in the air, grasping for an independence and originality which often makes him ridiculous, and brings such an unmeaning lack into the meeting. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 7

I saw that he had moved so much from impulse and excitement, and said and acted in a manner to grieve his brethren, and wrong them, and bring a reproach upon the cause of truth, that their patience has become nearly exhausted, and they have considered Brother Gravelle unworthy [of] their confidence and fellowship, unless he should straighten up the past and frankly confess his wrongs. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 8

Here I saw that they expected too much, for Brother G. moves from impulse and feels strongly and says many things that, after the excitement passes off, he fails to remember. It is impossible for him to recollect his words or acts. Brother G. needs to be thoroughly converted, and made over new. The grace of God will assist him to overcome if he can be made sensible of his lack, and in deep humility acknowledge it, and then let his brethren counsel and lead him, and in humility and self-distrust rely upon those who have judgment and principle. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 9

Brother G. has reformed in a degree. He had everything to learn, and to reform in everything. He loves the truth. His judgment has been convinced of the truth [and] fullness of our position, yet he has not practiced the truth he professed. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 10

The same spirit manifested in meetings and among his brethren he has carried out to a greater degree at home in his family. He has often been overbearing in his family, and ready to reprove and censure when it was undeserved, until his children have despised his undue authority and longed to be [out] from under it. There has been little love and forbearance and but little governing from principle, free from excitement and passion. He must learn to control himself. His wife has had a most hard, discouraging battle before her. She has tried to live [as] a Christian and do her duty, but the course of her husband has been very trying to her; and sometimes she has felt that the brethren and sisters were too hard and severe upon her husband. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 11

I saw that it was very natural that she should sympathize with her husband, but she must not stand between him and the brethren and shield him from the exhortations and reproofs of his brethren when he errs. There is a great work for him to do in order to be fitted for the kingdom of God. In the first place he must die to self and not let great Mr. Gravelle control, but rather the meek spirit of Jesus. It is his duty to take a very humble place among his brethren and not be given to so much talk and use such lofty expressions, but with humility talk nothing that even a child could not understand. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 12

I was referred to these passages: (James 1:26): “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” vss. 19, 20. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 13

Brother Gravelle is too often puffed up and deceived in regard to himself. I saw that his only safety was in being humble enough to receive the advice and counsel of his brethren, and being led by them, and be meanwhile making strong efforts to correct his wrongs. He must obey and live the truth, carry it out in his life, and reform; commence like a young convert, guard himself on every point, [and] try to make home cheerful and pleasant for their children. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 14

Brother and Sister Gravelle should unitedly take hold of this work, have things more in order in their house, be neat and tidy, and with much forbearance work for their children. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 15

I saw that some have taken sides with Brother Gravelle when he has been reproved, and have been foolish enough to sympathize with him in his wrong. This is a sure way to blind his eyes to himself and ruin him. Those who do this do not know what they are doing. Such must stand out of the way and let that censure rest upon individual wrongs that God designs should rest there. But Brother Gravelle’s organization is such [that] he deserves the pity of his brethren. He has almost everything to overcome and a busy devil to tempt him and to take advantage of his weakness. His brethren must help him. Their watchcare may save him from death, and his soul is precious. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 16

Brother Gravelle, I saw, must forever give up the idea of instructing his brethren. He has been deceived in many things, and thought that he could teach others. He needs continually that one should teach him. He has been deceived in thinking that he has had special light from God, special instructions from heaven given directly to him. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 17

God would not entrust anything very precious to his keeping, for he would make a wrong use of it and with it dishonor the Giver. God has never chosen him to preach to others. He has been a sadly deceived man, almost entirely unacquainted with the leadings of God’s Spirit. He would just as soon call evil good and good evil on account of his blindness. If a company visits him, he cannot judge rightly in regard to them. Those whom God has the least to do with, he thinks understand much of the Spirit of God. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 18

Unless he takes hold of the work in earnest to get right, he will fail—fail of heaven, be weighed in the balance, and found wanting. He has a work to do at home, and it is all that he can do to redeem the past, to undo the evil he has done in his family by his passionate temper and by his constantly reproving, constantly censuring, until he has provoked his children to wrath. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 19

[P.S.] Brother Maynard, please retain this in your possession. 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 20

E. G. White

I wish I had time to copy this and to send all that was shown in regard to others that have been wrong, but I must send this to you poorly written with poor pen and ink. Do what you can with it. I will send the remainder when I have time to write it. Please read this to the church. If Brother Gravelle wishes a copy, he can copy and you retain the original to refer to if wrong impressions are received in regard to any portion of it. E. G. White 1LtMs, Ms 10, 1862, par. 21