Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 17, 1863

Vision for Abbey Family

Brookfield, New York

Sometime after June 6, 1863 vision

Previously unpublished.

I will write or copy the vision:

I was shown that Brother and Sister Abbey should bring their temporal matters in shape to require less care and wearing labor. Sister Abbey displeases God by not using economy in regard to her labor. God has mercifully preserved her to her family, although her constitution has been shattered for many, many years. Her strength has been lent her; and yet she has used that strength, graciously lent her of God, unwisely and often foolishly. She has exhausted all her energies repeatedly and but just escapes paying the penalty with her life. A merciful God has listened to the earnest prayers of husband and children and time and again wrought for her recovery. Yet every one of those ill turns of extreme debility, brought on by overdoing and overtaxing the nervous system, is shortening her life. 1LtMs, Ms 17, 1863, par. 1

Brother Abbey cannot endure what he has done. Brother and Sister Abbey should so arrange their temporal matters that neither themselves nor their children should be overtaxed. They do not now have time as they should—neither do their children—for meditation, devotion and prayer. Christ is coming. We have but a few years to remain upon the earth. Parents and children should have time and strength to serve God and be fitting up for heaven. It will be very hard for these children to obtain a religious experience with all the burdens and cares they are obliged to bear, and the temptations they endure in consequence. 1LtMs, Ms 17, 1863, par. 2

This family has been asleep as to the subject of health. It is a duty which God requires of them to preserve their health that they may render to God service which is perfect and acceptable in His sight. There is altogether too much work performed by Brother Abbey’s family, and God is robbed of time which should be devoted to Him. Time which should be spent in cultivating the intellect has been spent in hard, wearing labor. Time which the parents should devote to making their children happy has been spent in labor until minds which would be excellent and elevated with prayer cultivation are dwarfed. There is no time for improvement of the mind. 1LtMs, Ms 17, 1863, par. 3

The head is the capital of the body. If the nervous energies are too greatly taxed there is a heavy draught upon the brain and the mind is enfeebled. It does not grow strong to endure trials, temptation, and petty annoyance. Therefore so much and such constant work is making it morally impossible for the children to render to God that perfect service which He requires. A proper amount of labor is not an injury but a benefit. Intemperance in labor unfits young and old to devote to God that time and service which are due Him. 1LtMs, Ms 17, 1863, par. 4

Brother and Sister Abbey, you have spent in labor time which was due your children, which you should have spent in making them happy and instructing them. No parents can have stronger love for their children than Brother and Sister Abbey. They would give their lives if it would save their children, were they brought to the test, but they have not been awake and realized that their children were every day laying the foundation for disease and premature decay. 1LtMs, Ms 17, 1863, par. 5

The children have been sorely tempted, while they have been obliged to labor so constantly, to see other children of Sabbathkeepers so free—especially Brother Wheeler’s children—and then means saved through their hard labor has gone to help Brother Wheeler’s family, who have had a very easy time and done as they pleased. Burdens rested upon them very lightly, while they [the Abbey children] were bearing burdens too heavy for their strength. Eleanor should remember that all will be rewarded as their works have been. 1LtMs, Ms 17, 1863, par. 6

Brother and Sister Abbey, God requires you to do some things to come into a different position. Samuel and Eleanor are children whom God has loved. They have some things to overcome in order to be right. Eleanor has a good heart, yet her mind needs cultivating. She has been too much neglected. She has not esteemed herself very highly. This is better than if she had thought more and more of herself than she ought to have. She has been intemperate of her strength, reckless of her health, and has a broken, diseased constitution; yet even now, with care and the blessing of God she can be quite comfortable. 1LtMs, Ms 17, 1863, par. 7

Samuel has too much upon his young shoulders. The happiest days he will ever see are passing, and yet he is reaping but very little benefit and happiness from them. His mind needs cultivating. These children must have a fair chance to serve God, to attain a Christian experience. Samuel must guard himself and not take upon himself unnecessary burdens. He is ambitious. His father and mother are ambitious, and have gone to the extent of their strength and must pay the penalty. They must suffer more or less as long as they live. It is not common or to be expected that people will work or push things through as they have done. They have erred in working as hard and accomplishing as much as they have. 1LtMs, Ms 17, 1863, par. 8

Samuel expects to see things pushed through as fast as it is in his mind to have them. When he sees that all is not accomplished that his nervous, ambitious temperament would wish to see, he feels annoyed, feels that things are not going right and he gives away to impatience. He goes beyond his strength and overworks to accomplish too much. He should take things more moderately and bear in mind that his father and mother have overworked, have been intemperate in labor, that he overworked. If others do not accomplish all he thinks they should, he should not feel troubled. Some may do all they ought, and yet Samuel thinks they do not go ahead fast enough. All of the family have been too fast, too ambitious, for their good except Rosetta and Lilly. Rosetta has been more favored than either of the girls before. 1LtMs, Ms 17, 1863, par. 9

Samuel is of a nervous temperament and feels that every one around him must work in earnest and make their time tell. Those who are dependent upon hired help will seldom have the amount done and in a manner that they would do it themselves. Things which cannot be done without taxing the strength should be left undone. Samuel must learn not to be troubled because those working with him do not carry out his mind and do as he would do. He wishes to have everything done orderly and thoroughly, and if he had less to do he would have all done well. He must not get nervous because others lack in these things. All are not constituted alike. Some have been brought up to take care, some cannot drive things through. They have nothing thorough in their organization. Some can accomplish more by taking time than to attempt to hurry. 1LtMs, Ms 17, 1863, par. 10

Samuel must encourage a spirit of forbearance. He lacks patience and often feels irritated if things do not go according to his mind. He must overcome, reform in these things, watch and pray, take time for reflection, control his feelings. He must live for God, set a good example before others, and study to show himself approved of God. 1LtMs, Ms 17, 1863, par. 11

Sister Abbey must cherish her strength and not exhaust her energies. By so doing she causes herself suffering, and she does not suffer alone but all the family with her, and the labor of the family is increased threefold. Added to this is the trouble of anxiety and sadness. It costs altogether too much for her to be reckless of her strength. God accounts it as sin when she uses up and exhausts her vital energies, whatever the action may be. 1LtMs, Ms 17, 1863, par. 12

Know ye not that your bodies are temples for the Holy Ghost? He that defileth the temple, him will God destroy. 1LtMs, Ms 17, 1863, par. 13