Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)

303/519

Lt 21, 1862

Friends

NP

1862

Previously unpublished.

Dear Friends:

It becomes my duty to write you. I have been sick in body and depressed in mind for about two weeks, up to last Wednesday evening. Then the brethren and sisters who had faith met together and we had a praying season. In answer to the prayers of God’s people victory came, and I was taken off in vision. Among other things which were shown me, I was shown the state of things at Marshall. I saw that things were in a dark, perplexed condition. Satan has controlled matters there and wrought in a manner to make the truth and its advocates disgusting to unbelievers. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 1

First I was shown the case of Brother Booth and wife. He was converted to the truth and meant to be a wholehearted Christian. He saw himself, his weakness and failings, and earnestly desired and longed for a reformation in himself, but the influence of his wife was detrimental to him. Her strong, fractious spirit controlled matters to a great extent. Her tongue has often kindled a fire and has been set on fire of hell. Her talk has stirred up the mind of Brother Booth, confused and irritated him, and wholly unfitted him to occupy any responsible place in the church. With such an influence at home, his judgment has been swayed from the right, has been perverted, and he has taken a wrong, inconsistent course. He has been overbearing, exacting, and has been very provoking to Sister Smith. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 2

I was shown that Brother Booth has been exalted and deceived in himself, and has not known what spirit he has been of. I was shown that many have been much deceived in his wife. She has felt the powerful influence of the truth, and has felt deep conviction of her wrongs and has at times felt humbled in view of these things, but there has not been wrought a thorough reformation. Pride has swayed almost her every action. She has never separated from the world in spirit or practice. Brother Booth is a poor man and it is his duty to live within his means, notwithstanding the wants and extravagant desires of his wife. It is sin for Brother Booth to gratify her propensity to dress and appear as she is not able. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 3

God is displeased with you both, and can never prosper and bless you until you pursue an honest, honorable course to all the world with whom you deal. Neither of you have a right to put things upon your back or in your house that you can possibly do without until you are free from debt and can say you owe no man anything. Your wife’s desire to keep up appearances has led you both wrong, and to be virtually dishonest. God’s truth, the precious cause, has been made disgusting by your course. It is your duty before God to live very plain, and even to suffer some for clothing and food rather than to withhold from others what is justly due them. You are accountable to God for the influence you have exerted and the reproach you have brought upon the cause of God. If you should in humility occupy that humble place or move in that sphere where you could consistently, without depriving others of their just rights, it would be more pleasing to God and more in keeping with your faith, and would have a far better influence. Had you stood right there would not have been the difficulty in Marshall there is now existing. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 4

Brother Booth’s wife’s desire to visit and talk and unite with the world has injured you both. She has the sad habit of exaggerating and talks so much she hardly knows what she says half the time, and to screen herself she readily denies or contradicts at one time what she says at another. Her word cannot be relied upon. She has not scrupled to lay conscientious souls in a falsehood who would sooner cut off their hand than deprive others of their just dues or do a dishonest act. It is her misrepresentations and talking from one to the other which has caused the mischief there. Pride of dress, self-esteem, and a strong, set will, have ruled her and unless she can see herself and there is an entire reform, there is no remedy for her; she must perish. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 5

I was shown in regard to her son. She has excused his wrongs and equivocated in regard to his faults and acted deception for him until he is aware of it and has grown hard and bold in sin. He is a reproach to Sabbathkeepers. The exceeding sinfulness of sin has not been impressed upon his mind as it should have been. Brother Booth’s wife has felt earnest to reach out, to go in company, and has talked, laughed, and acted like the careless world. I was referred to Titus 3:2, 3. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 6

In regard to matters of the church, I was shown that Brother Booth and wife have cruelly wronged Sister Smith and their behavior toward her has been aggravating. Also Sister Crouch and her husband have not been treated right. Brother Crouch was shown me as an ignorant, passionate man. Yet he has seen the force and harmony of the truth and loved it, and was seeking to overcome, but he has had but little encouragement. There is hope for him. His life has been rough, but truthful, and he has dealt honorably with his fellow men, has not been deceitful, and has not pretended to be what he was not. His brethren should have remembered the great sacrifice made for man’s redemption and should feel the worth of souls for whom Christ died. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 7

Brother Crouch is not a sinner above all others. No, no. God pities him. Said the angel, “Whosoever will, let him come and partake of the waters of life freely.” [Revelation 22:17.] He has been pushed back, discouraged, because he was uncouth and rough. Yet God can polish and refine him and fit him for the heavenly casket. He must strive hard to be an overcomer and lay aside every idol [so] that he may be accepted of God. His words have not been choice. He has lacked wisdom and has done wrong. But I saw that those who had experience and knowledge have the greater sin in the sight of Heaven. They have come far short of the mark. Their course of conduct has not been circumspect and faultless. They are worthy of blame. They gave Brother Crouch occasion. They have laid stumblingblocks in his way. They have not tried to help him who most needed help, as did our blessed Pattern, but they crowded and despised him whom God has pitied, loved, and wished to save. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 8

Sister Crouch has loved the truth and she has been determined to live and practice it, and be a consistent Christian. Yet amid the perplexing homemade trials manufactured by those who should be ensamples to the flock, she has lost her whereabouts, and has lost her courage and fortitude. Yet, amid all, she has loved the truth. She has felt impatient and manifested it; she has felt disgusted and grieved and has not in patience possessed her soul. She has spoken unguardedly but has loved and honored truthfulness and honesty and has not departed from it. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 9

I was shown the case of Sister Smith. She has difficulties and discouragements at home and has not always manifested that independence in her family that it was her privilege and duty to do. Yet she has sought to maintain her faith and live in peace and union with her family. This was right, but she should not suffer herself to be bound. She has not been free from errors and failings. Yet her course has been far more pleasing to God than those who have pressed her and falsified her, and sought to crush her. She has had trials that some others have not had, yet she has had but little sympathy and help from those who have not had so many causes for trial as she has had. Those who have sought to crush her have a work to do to take it all back. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 10

I was shown the case of Brother and Sister Wright. They have moved very blindly, very much in the dark. They could have seen and understood the spirit of Sister Booth, from observation, and if they had stood free in God could have discerned the spirit, acts, and words, and the character developed. But they failed to see. I could not understand this at first. Then I was shown that there was a cause. Neither Brother Wright nor his wife deny themselves as they should. They are poor and will ever remain so if they pursue the course they have. They must practice self-denial and economy. Sister Wright has a strong love for visiting and this leads to much expense and is detrimental to her spiritual enjoyment. This undue or extravagant love for visiting often leads to expense and is a snare. I was referred to Titus, where Paul gives him instruction to instruct the aged women that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed. [Titus 2:3-5.] 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 11

It is your duty, both of you, to find the very sweetest, happiest, and best enjoyment at home amid your own family. A true and loving Christian is seldom lonesome. He will derive elevated joy and sweet consolation from Jesus, and common visiting, common conversation upon commonplace, worldly things will be disgusting and offensive to a true and living Christian. It is not always duty to be to the expense of hiring a team to attend distant meetings and spend time and money, but it is wrong and an evil to leave home and visit so much. Sister Wright must plan to save and economize in expense and the time of her husband. Here is an opportunity for self-denial on her part. She should not seek her own pleasure but study the united interest of both. It is not their duty to deprive themselves altogether of the privileges of assembling with the people of God, but they must not carry the matter too far, but study whether it is duty. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 12

I was shown the case of a sister in Marshall—I cannot name her—who has been no honor to the truth or the cause of God. Yet Sister Wright’s love of visiting has led to an intercourse which has not been beneficial to either party. There must be a change of the course of action and also a change of views with the sister shown me or she will only prove an injury to the cause of truth. She has given occasion for the unbelievers to blaspheme. She has not abstained from the very appearance of evil, but has laid stumblingblocks in the way of others. She must see this and make an entire change, shape her course so that it will be in keeping with the truth, or she had better leave the ranks of Sabbathkeepers and go where she can get along without discipline or reproof. God’s people must take an elevated course and leave the world, its folly, its vice, and those who love it, to themselves. Brother and Sister Wright have a work to do. Brother Wright has been exalted and he must see himself and then he can reform. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 13

I was shown that Brother Waggoner did not stand in the light when he went to Marshall and he saw matters through Brother Wright’s eyes, viewed everything as Brother Wright viewed it, and decided just as Brother Wright would have decided it. Yet he knew nothing of the true state of things in Marshall, and was exceedingly oppressive without investigating matters. He jumped at conclusions without knowledge and left souls bound who should have been encouraged and made free; and he released and caused to triumph those who should have been left heavily burdened. I saw that Brother Waggoner’s judgment is so often perverted through the influences he is brought under at home that he should be excused from engaging in important decisions in church trials. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 14

(Signed) E. G. White

Sister Smith, please read this yourself; also read it to Brother and Sister Crouch, Brother and Sister Wright, and then send it to Brother and Sister Booth for them to read and return again to me. 1LtMs, Lt 21, 1862, par. 15