Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 5, 1866

Vision Regarding “Our Home”—Dansville, New York

Battle Creek, Michigan


This manuscript is published in entirety in 1T 615-620.

[First part missing] ... It was necessary for us to see and more fully understand that it was impossible for His people who obey the truth and keep His commandments to live up to their convictions of duty and unite with the leaders at “Our Home.” So far as serving God is concerned, our faith and their principles cannot unite any better than oil and water. It is only those of the firmest principles and of the greatest independence of mind, who think and act for themselves, having the fear of God before them and trusting in Him, who can remain safely any length of time in Dansville. Those who are not thus qualified should not be recommended to that institution, for their minds will become bewildered by their smooth words, and poisoned by their sophistry, which originates with Satan. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 1

Their influence and teachings in regard to the service of God and a religious life stand in direct opposition to the teachings of our Saviour and His disciples. By precept and example they lower the standard of piety and say that Christians need not sorrow for their sins, and need not separate from the world in order to be followers of Christ, but can mingle with the world and participate in its pleasures. These leaders would not encourage their adherents to imitate the life of Christ in prayerfulness and sobriety and dependence upon God. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 2

Persons of conscientious minds and firm trust in God cannot receive one half the benefit at “Our Home” that those can who have confidence in the religious principles of the leaders in that institution. Such have to stand braced against much of their teachings as far as religious principles are concerned, sifting everything they hear, lest they should be deceived and Satan obtain advantages over them. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 3

I saw that as far as disease and its treatment is concerned, “Our Home” is the best institution in the United States. Yet the leaders there are but men, and their judgment is not always correct. Dr. Jackson would have his patients believe his judgment perfect, even as the judgment of God. Yet he often fails. He exalts himself as God before his patients and fails to exalt the Lord as their only dependence. Those who have no trust or confidence in God, who can see no beauty in holiness or in the cross-bearing life of the Christian, with the common religionist of the day, can receive the most benefit at “Our Home” of any health institution in the United States. The great secret of their success is the control they have over the minds of their patients. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 4

I saw that my husband and myself could not receive the benefit at “Our Home” that many of different experience and of different faith could receive. Said the angel, “God has not designed that the mind of His servant whom He has chosen for a special purpose, to do a special work, should be controlled by any living man, for that is His prerogative alone.” 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 5

I saw that angels of God kept us while we were at Dansville. They were round about us, sustaining us every hour. But the time came when we could not benefit or be benefitted, and then the cloud of light which had rested with us at Dansville moved away, and we could find rest only in leaving Dansville and going among the brethren in Rochester where the cloud of light rested. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 6

I saw that God would have us go to Dansville for several reasons. Our position while there, the earnest prayers offered, the manifest trust we had in God, the cheerfulness, courage, hope and faith He inspired us with amid our afflictions, had its influence and was a testimony to all that the Christian has a Source of strength and happiness that the lovers of pleasure are strangers to. God gave us a place in the hearts of all of influence at “Our Home”; and in the future, as the patients now there should be scattered to their different homes, our labors will bring us again to their notice, and when we are assailed, some at least will be our defenders. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 7

Again, in going to Dansville, the Lord would have us benefitted by an experience which we would not obtain while at Battle Creek, surrounded with sympathizing brethren and sisters. We must be separated from them, lest we should lean upon them instead of leaning upon and trusting in the Lord alone. Separated almost entirely from God’s people, we were shaken from every earthly help and led to look to God alone. In thus doing we obtained an experience we could not have had if we were not at Dansville. When my husband’s courage and hope began to waver, then we could not benefit anyone at Dansville, and we could not be benefitted by a further experience in that place. God would not have my husband remain there shorn of his strength, but it was His will that in his state of weakness he should go among his brethren who could help him bear his affliction. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 8

In our affliction, while separated from God’s people, we had an opportunity to reflect and to carefully review our past life, to see the mistakes and wrongs, and to humble ourselves before God and to seek His face by confession, humility, and frequent earnest prayer. While engaged in active labor, bearing the burdens of others, pressed with many cares, it was impossible for us to find time to reflect and carefully review the past and learn the lessons God saw it was necessary we should learn. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 9

I was then shown that God could not glorify His name by answering the supplications of His people and raising my husband to health in answer to their prayers while we were at Dansville. It would be like uniting His power with the powers of darkness. Had God been pleased to manifest His power in restoring my husband, the physicians at “Our Home” would have taken the glory which should be given to God. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 10

Said the angel, “God will be glorified in the restoration of His servant to health. God has heard the prayers of His servants. His arms are beneath His afflicted servant. God has the case, and he must, although afflicted, dismiss his fears, his anxiety, his doubts and unbelief, and calmly trust in the great, yet merciful God who pities, loves, and cares for him. He will have conflicts with the enemy, but should ever be comforted with the remembrance that a stronger than his enemy has charge of him, and he need not fear. By faith rely on the evidences God has been pleased to give, and he will gloriously triumph in God.” 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 11

I saw that God was giving us an experience which would be of the highest value to us in the future in connection with His work. We are living in a solemn time, amid the closing scenes of this earth’s history, and God’s people are not awake. They must arouse and make greater progress in reforming their habits of living, in eating, in dressing, in laboring and resting. In all these they should glorify God and be prepared to battle our great foe and to enjoy the precious victories God has in reserve for those who are exercising temperance in all things while striving for an incorruptible crown. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 12

I saw that God was fitting up my husband to engage in the solemn, sacred work of reform which He designs shall progress among His people. It is important that instructions should be given by ministers in regard to living temperately. They should show the relation that eating, working, resting, and dressing sustain to health. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 13

All who really believe the truth for these last days have something to do in this matter. This reform concerns them and God requires them to arouse and interest themselves in this matter. He will not be pleased with their course if they regard this question with indifference. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 14

The abuse of the stomach and gratification of appetite is the fruitful source of most church trials. Those who eat and work intemperately and irrationally talk and act irrationally. An intemperate man cannot be a patient man. It is not necessary to drink alcoholic liquors in order to be intemperate. The sin of intemperate eating, eating too frequently, too much and of rich, unhealthful food, destroys the healthy action of the digestive organs, affects the brain, and perverts the judgment, destroying rational, calm, healthy thinking and acting. And this is the fruitful source of church trials. Therefore in order for the people of God to be in an acceptable state with Him, where they can glorify God in their bodies and spirits which are His, they must with interest and zeal deny themselves, deny the gratification of their appetites, and exercise temperance in all things. Then may they comprehend the truth in its beauty and clearness, and carry it out in their lives, and by their judicious, wise, straightforward course, give the enemies of our faith no occasion to reproach the cause of truth. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 15

God requires all who believe the truth to make special, persevering efforts to place themselves in the best possible conditions of bodily health, for a solemn and important work is before us. Health of body and mind is required for this work, and is as necessary for a healthy religious experience and for advancement in the Christian life and progress in holiness, as the hand or foot is necessary to the human body. The great work God requires of His people is to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. All those who are indifferent and excuse themselves from engaging in this work, and leave this work which God requires them to do for the Lord to do for them, will be found wanting when the meek of the earth, who have wrought His judgments, are hid in the day of the Lord’s anger. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 16

I was shown that if God’s people, without making efforts on their part, wait for the refreshing to come upon them and remove their wrongs and correct their errors, and depend upon that to cleanse them from filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and fit them to engage in the loud cry of the third angel, they will be found wanting. The refreshing or power of God comes only upon those who have prepared themselves for it by doing the work which God bids them—cleansing themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 17

In some respects I was shown that my husband’s case is similar to that of those waiting for the refreshing. If he should wait for the power of God to come upon his body and to feel that he was made whole before he made efforts or acted in accordance with his faith, saying, “When the Lord heals me I will believe and do this or that,” he might continue to wait and would realize no change, for the fulfillment of God’s promise is only realized by those who believe and work in accordance with their faith. I saw that he must believe God’s word, that His promises are for him to claim, and they will never, no, never, fail. He should walk out by faith, relying upon the evidences that God has been pleased to give, and act towards the point of being a well man as much as possible. Said the angel, “God will sustain him. His faith must be made perfect by works, for faith alone is dead. It must be sustained by works. A living faith is always manifested by works.” 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 18

I saw that my husband would be inclined to shrink from making efforts in accordance with his faith. Fear and anxiety in regard to his own case has made him timid. He looks at appearances, at disagreeable feelings of the body. Said the angel, “Feeling is not faith. Faith is simply to take God at His word.” I saw that in the name and strength of God my husband must resist disease, and by the power of his will rise above his poor feelings. He must assert his liberty in the name and strength of Israel’s God. He must cease thinking of and talking about himself as much as possible. He should be cheerful and happy. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1866, par. 19