Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 2, 1874

Loughborough, J. N.

Battle Creek, Michigan

August 24, 1874

See variant of last part, Lt 2c, 1874. This letter is published in entirety in 8MR 228-243.

Dear Brother [J. N.] Loughborough:

I hereby testify in the fear of God that the charges of Miles Grant, of Mrs. Burdick and others published in the Crisis are not true. The statements in reference to my course in 1844 are false. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 1

With my brethren and sisters, after the time passed in 1844, I did believe no more sinners would be converted. But I never had a vision that no more sinners would be converted, and am clear and free to state that no one has ever heard me say or has read from my pen statements which will justify them in the charges they have made against me upon this point. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 2

It was on my first journey east to relate my visions that the precious light in regard to the heavenly sanctuary was opened before me and I was shown the open and shut door. We believed that the Lord was soon to come in the clouds of heaven. I was shown that there was a great work to be done in the world for those who had not had the light and rejected it. Our brethren could not understand this with our faith in the immediate appearing of Christ. Some accused me of saying, “My Lord delayeth His coming” [Matthew 24:48], especially the fanatical ones. I saw that in 1844 God had opened a door and no man could shut it, and shut a door and no man could open it. Those who rejected the light which was brought to the world by the message of the second angel went into darkness and how great was that darkness. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 3

I never have stated or written that the world was doomed or damned. I never have under any circumstances used this language to anyone, however sinful. I have ever had messages of reproof for those who used these harsh expressions. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 4

We acknowledge to our grief that there was fanaticism in the State of Maine, and that this fanaticism sprung up in different places in different states. It became my unpleasant duty to meet this, and we labored hard to suppress it. We had no part in it only to bear a testimony decidedly against it wherever we met it. This reproof, borne to those who engage in fanaticism, set many against me. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 5

In regard to the charges of my introducing and engaging in the fanaticism of creeping, I will state, in the fear of God, I never crept as a religious duty, and never sanctioned or gave the slightest encouragement to this voluntary humility. I ever bore the testimony God gave me that He did not require this groveling exercise of His children. I was shown, and told them this, that the Word of God contained close tests and duties which were of a character to elevate and recommended them to the good judgment and consciences of His sincere children. But these acts of voluntary humility taken up by some inconsistent fanatical ones, who were ever going to extremes, had an influence upon honest souls who wanted to be right and humble and who submitted to groveling acts, which brought a reproach upon the cause of God. Duties were made by men, tests manufactured that God had never required, and which found no sanction in His Word. I state definitely I never crept when I could walk, and have ever opposed it. I was shown in vision, after I refused to accept this as a duty, that a bodily humiliation God did not require, but it was the fruit of fanaticism. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 6

Because I would not condescend to these fanatical man-made tests to humble us, I was accused of being proud and like the world, shunning the cross, not willing to humble myself. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 7

I might mention very many instances where I was pressed and urged, wept over and prayed for by zealots to come to these manufactured tests and crosses. I utterly refused to submit my judgment, my sense of Christian duties and the dignity we should ever maintain, as followers of Jesus Christ who were expecting to be translated to heaven by receiving the finishing touch of immortality. Had I united with those who were engaging in these fanatical acts, there would have been no separation in the feelings from me. They who had once rejoiced as they listened to the message which God had given me for them, turned from me, because I stood firmly against their fanatical movements. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 8

I am accused of traveling with Elder James White before our marriage. He did sometimes accompany us to appointments, always accompanied by my elder sister or my twin sister. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 9

I rejoice in God that not a spot or blemish can be fastened upon my name or character. Those who are vile themselves will be the ones who will try to think evil of me. We have in all our deportment, before and since our marriage, tried to abstain from even the appearance of evil. But the very ones God has called me to reprove and warn, because of their loose morals and for outbreaking sins, have judged me and have been embittered against me because I have exposed their sins which were covered up. They have sought to make my testimony of no account by their misrepresentations and malicious falsehoods. But I have gone forward trusting in God to vindicate my cause and to sustain me. If I was not engaged in His work I should not wish to be upheld. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 10

Elder Files and his wife, Brother Haskins, Elder White, Miss Foss, and myself, went in company to New Hampshire. I had a testimony to bear. While there I was shown that great reproach was being brought upon the precious cause of God in Maine, and it was springing up in other states. I saw that I must go back to Maine and there bear the testimony God would give me for those who were in error. I was shown the course some were pursuing whom I had previously had great confidence in as ministers of righteousness. The dangers that were shown me and the evils which would extend in consequence of these errors burdened me, and my grief was so great I could not rest. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 11

Again I was shown the cause of God was suffering, souls were in danger, and Satan was triumphing, that the truth of God was covered with reproach by men who professed to love the truth. Some men and women had acted out their natural temperament, were harsh and denunciatory, overbearing and self-confident. They had by their inconsistent, fanatical course caused unbelievers to hate them, and those who bore the Advent name were brought into disrepute. The innocent suffered with the guilty. I was shown that some were thrown into prison, and severe measures were being pursued by those who had authority to prevent the evils they saw which were increasing. The hatred of many of the world against the preaching of the time of Christ’s coming was increased as they saw the inconsistencies of those who had believed in the time. They exulted in the wisdom and prudence which they thought they had in opposing the preaching of the time. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 12

Again I saw that God was grieved, that His frown was upon the existing errors of some of His professed people. Said the angel, “Go and tell them the things which you have seen, and My spirit shall attend your testimony whether they will hear or reject. You must not withhold the message I give you to bear.” We went immediately to Maine, and found indeed a fearful state of things. We met with a few of the brethren and sisters and the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I was taken off in vision. I was shown the individual cases of some present. J. Turner and J. Howell were among the number presented before me. J. Turner was present. As soon as I came out of the vision I related what I had seen, which was confirmed that same day by his wife, and brethren and sisters who were acquainted with his sinful course. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 13

I was shown that God had a work for me to do amid dangers and perils, but I must not shrink. I must go to the very places where fanaticism had done the most evil, and bear my messages of reproof to some of those who were influencing others; while I should give comfort and encouragement to those who were timid and conscientious, but deceived by those they thought were more righteous than they. I saw that we would be in danger of imprisonment and abuse. Although I should have no sympathy with the deceived, fanatical ones, no difference would be made, for anyone bearing the name of Adventist would have no consideration shown them. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 14

I was young and timid, and felt great sadness in regard to visiting the field where fanaticism had reigned. I plead with God to spare me from this—to send by some other one. The Spirit of the Lord again came upon me, and I was shown my faith would be tested, my courage and obedience tried. I must go. God would give me words to speak at the right time. And if I should wait upon Him, and have faith in His promises, I should escape both imprisonment and abuse; for He would restrain those who would do me harm. If I would look to God with humble confidence and faith, no man’s hand should be laid upon me to do me harm. An angel of heaven would be by my side and direct me when and where to go. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 15

I waited no longer, but went trusting in God. I saw most of the brethren and sisters. As I warned them of their dangers, some were rejoiced that God had sent me; others refused to listen to my testimony as soon as they learned that I was not in union with their spirit. They said I was going back to the world, that we must be so straight and so plain and so full of glory, as they called their shouting and hallooing, that the world would hate and persecute us. Our brethren had hardly faith enough to let us go. They thought we were presumptuous to place ourselves in the way of an excited and wrathful community. We did not listen to their suggestions, but followed the Lord’s bidding. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 16

We had interviews with several families at the same time, who were brought together in a most wonderful manner. Many having no knowledge of the meeting, but were moved by an earnest desire to go to a certain brother’s house, came, and the rooms were well filled. This occurred at three different points, giving me opportunity to bear my message to them. At one house in Orrington, the door was closed upon me as they saw me coming, but in the name of the Lord I opened it. They said Phebe Knapp was in vision. She was crying out in a most pitiful manner, warning against me. I knelt by her side and asked my heavenly Father to rebuke the spirit which was upon her. She immediately arose, her agony and burden ended. I then addressed those who were present in the name of the Lord. I reasoned with them, and rebuked their fanatical spirit, and showed them the inconsistency of their course. I told them they refused to speak with me, and feared if they looked upon me I should so affect them with darkness that God would be displeased with them. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 17

[I said] “Am I not the same as when I came to you with the power of God resting upon me a few months since? I hold the same views as when we parted in union, love, and Christian fellowship. Who has changed since that time? Not [I]. You have changed. You believe the dead are raised. You have been baptized in the faith of the resurrection of the dead. I know this is all a delusion. Satan has been trying to deceive you. When Christ the great Lifegiver shall come in the clouds of heaven, to raise the dead, there will be a terrible earthquake. The trump of God will be heard resounding through earth’s remotest bounds, and the voice of Jesus will call forth the dead from their graves to immortal life. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 18

“You have not seen Christ coming with power and great glory which shall illuminate the earth from east to west, from north to south, like the lightning’s flash. God has sent me to tell you that you are doing great injury to His cause. You take a blind, unreasonable position, and create hatred and prejudice by your fanaticism and inconsistencies. You call forth persecution and create prejudice unnecessarily, and then feel that you are suffering with Christ.” 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 19

Before I left, the delusive spirit of Satan was checked. They seemed softened and said God loved me and that I was right. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 20

The last meeting we there held was especially solemn. The poor souls who had not the privileges of meeting for a long time were greatly refreshed. While we were praying and weeping before God that night, I was taken off in vision and shown that I must return the next morning. I had not refused obedience to the Spirit of God, His hand had been with me, and His angel had accompanied us and hid us from the people so that they did not know we were in the place. But our work was done; we could go; the emissaries of Satan were on our track, and we would fare no better than those who had been fanatical and wrong, and suffered the consequences of their inconsistent, unreasonable course by abuse and imprisonment. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 21

Early in the morning we were taken in a small row boat to Belfast. We were there placed on board the steamer and were soon on our way to Portland. We had been visiting two weeks among those who had been cursed with the fanatical course of men who were practicing voluntary humility. The few who assembled on Sunday, the last meeting we had, were enabled to avoid the vigilance of the jealous citizens, and God was worshiped without boisterous noise and confusion, but with calm dignity. The melting Spirit of God subdued hearts, many tears were shed and penitent confessions made. As we left, we felt that we had done all we could in reproving, warning, comforting, and encouraging. We were free from the blood of all in that place. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 22

We soon received letters from Orrington stating that when these brethren returned they were met by a number of exasperated citizens, who had come early to find those who had dared to hold meetings in Orrington. At our meeting Sunday one of the enemy’s agents, who had been an Adventist, informed the citizens that we were holding meetings in Orrington. Our brethren informed the angry men that we were not in Orrington, but far away. They whipped and abused the men who had taken us to the boat. The house where we had tarried was searched in vain for us, and they were greatly disappointed because they could not find us. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 23

We visited from place to place, fanaticism raging, and brethren believing the truth were not permitted to visit one another, but were imprisoned and beaten. But we rode through these very places in broad daylight, visited from house to house, held meetings, and bore our testimony, showing them how God regarded their errors. We comforted the fearing and desponding, and rebuked those who were pressing their fanatical errors upon others. We had very precious seasons, and many showed their gratitude to God by weeping and rejoicing that relief had been sent to them. Others stubbornly refused to listen to the warnings and reproofs given. This class went on from bad to worse until their shame was made manifest to all. God gave them over to their own ways to be filled with their own doings. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 24

We were sent to Garland, Maine, where we met Elder Dammon and many others in meeting and bore our testimony, that they were in error and delusion in believing that the dead had been raised. I told them that God had shown me that Satan had been introducing fanatical errors, that he might deceive and destroy their souls. When Christ should raise the dead there would be no small stir. He would ride forth with power and great glory, escorted by the heavenly angels, with songs of triumph and victory. “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” Then (not weeks, nor months, nor years, afterward, but then at that very time) “we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” [1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.] 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 25

While I was repeating this Scripture, Elder Dammon arose and began to leap up and down, crying out, “The dead are raised and gone up; glory to God! Glory, glory, hallelujah!” Others followed his example. Elder Dammon said “Don’t be tried, Brother White. I cannot sit still. The spirit and power of the resurrection is stirring my very soul. The dead are raised, the dead are raised, and gone up, gone up.” 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 26

Our testimony was rejected, and they clung tenaciously to their errors. Elder Dammon and several others were baptized many times and frequently by the hand of a woman, Mrs. Ayers, a female preacher who had drunk deep of fanaticism. We had done our duty, and with hearts filled with sorrow we turned from these our brethren that we had loved, reluctant to leave them in error and delusion. These souls that I had warned turned from me because I had told them they were in error and in darkness. Many of this company went on farther and farther in delusion and deception, following impressions and impulse rather than the Word of God, until they became disgusted with their own wicked course. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 27

A fearful stain was brought upon the cause of God which would cleave to the name of Adventist like the leprosy. Satan triumphed, for this reproach would cause many precious souls to fear to have any connection with Adventists. All that had been done wrong would be exaggerated, and would lose nothing by passing from one to the other. The cause of God bleeding. Jesus was crucified afresh and put to open shame by His professed followers. The anguish of my spirit could not be described. My tears and prayers went up to God for His bleeding, suffering cause. I could see nothing that I could do to help those who refused to be helped. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 28

Now the very ones who were deepest in fanaticism cruelly charge upon me that delusion which I had not the slightest sympathy with, but from which my soul recoiled. And I bore a straightforward testimony to condemn these fanatical movements from first to last. Mrs. Burdick has made statements which are glaring falsehoods. There is not a shade of truth in her statements. Can it be she has repeated these false statements till she sincerely believes them to be truth? 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 29

I believed the truth upon the Sabbath question before I had seen anything in vision in reference to the Sabbath. It was months after I had commenced keeping the Sabbath before I was shown its importance and its place in the third angel’s message. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 30

It is utterly false that I have ever intimated I could have a vision when I pleased. There is not a shade of truth in this. I have never said I could throw myself into visions when I pleased, for this is simply impossible. I have felt for years that if I could have my choice and please God as well, I would rather die than have a vision, for every vision places me under great responsibility to bear testimonies of reproof and of warning, which has ever been against my feelings, causing me affliction of soul that is inexpressible. Never have I coveted my position, and yet I dare not resist the Spirit of God and seek an easier position. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 31

The Spirit of God has come upon me at different times, in different places, and under various circumstances. My husband has had no control of these manifestations of the Spirit of God. Many times he has been far away when I have had visions. When our plans have been laid according to our best judgment, I have frequently been shown that if we followed our pleasure in these things we should not follow the leadings of God’s Spirit. We have been warned of dangers and been corrected of errors. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 32

I have never seen any persons crowned in the kingdom of God, only on conditions [that] if they were faithful they would receive the crown of immortal life in the kingdom of glory. I have never stated that this one or that one was doomed or damned. I never had a testimony of this kind for anyone. I have ever been shown that God’s people should shun these strong expressions which are peculiar to the First-day Adventists. These very expressions have been used unsparingly by John Howell, the first husband of Mrs. Burdick. But I never uttered them myself to any living mortal. These very fanatics have made these wholesale statements, and have talked of God as irreverently as they would of a horse or of common things. Sacred things are brought down upon a level with common things. The elevated dignity of the religion of Christ is lowered unto the very dust. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 33

I have no recollection of being in meetings with I. C. Welcome. It might have been, but I have no acquaintance with him, and never knew him by sight. Before 1844 I sometimes lost my strength under the blessing of God. I. C. Welcome may have confounded these exercises of the power of the Spirit of God upon me with the visions. I had no visions in the winter, near spring, after the time had passed. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 34

Elder Dammon had the most positive evidences that the visions were of God. He became my enemy only because I bore a testimony reproving his wrongs and his fanatical course, which wounded the cause of God. The prejudices they have fostered against me are unreasonable and wicked. The very same course that the Jews pursued toward Christ, my professed Advent brethren feel it a virtue to pursue toward me, when every argument fails against the truth. There is one bond of union between all those who oppose God’s law; that bond is to use their smut and blacking against me, and present me as their unanswerable argument. They say I am possessed of a demon. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 35

I feel no spirit of hatred against these poor prejudiced souls who are deluded and blinded by error, and are in so great darkness they trample under foot the law of God. They are so filled with bitterness against this holy law, the foundation of God’s government in heaven and in earth, they cannot find words sufficiently strong to express their contempt of God’s law, which the inspired Apostle calls “holy, just, and good.” [Romans 7:12.] I have left my case in the hands of God. He knows all. He can hold in check the prejudices and opposition of our enemies. He can turn their devices against themselves. He can make their bitter speeches and their enmity rebound upon their own heads. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 36

Christ’s life of self-denial and suffering is before me, and this hushes every murmuring thought, every dissatisfied feeling. The life of Christ’s followers will be beset at every step with trials, vexations, and hindrances, which will work for their good in developing character and gaining an education in the school of Christ that is of the highest value. In this conflict the Christian character is made strong. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 37

During the entire life of Christ He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and had to endure the contradiction of sinners against Himself. His own nation was the most embittered against Him. The chief priests and the elders had the most to say. It was they, the most professedly pious, who declared He cast out devils through Beelzebub the prince of devils. But they could not through their opposition stop Him in His work. Evidences multiplied daily of His divine power as He wrought in curing the sick and raising the dead. They then assigned these mighty works to the power of a demon. Can I expect any better lot than the divine Son of God? Shall I complain? God forbid. If my work does not stand in God, let it come to nought. If it be of God, man’s hatred and opposition cannot overthrow it. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 38

Again we look at the life of Christ. He was poor, and suffered hunger and fatigue. He was tempted by a vile foe, and His path was made rough and obstructed with difficulties and obstacles. The Pharisees and Sadducees had one bond of union, which was opposition to Christ. They not only refused to receive His testimony themselves, but they perverted His testimony and sought to ensnare Him in His words by subtle questions. They called Him a winebibber because He sought to reach men where they were by eating at their tables. For His condescending love and great mercy He was the more hated by those who wished to destroy His influence. Because He claimed His oneness with the Father, they charged Him with blasphemy and madness. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 39

Even the common people, who were astonished at His miracles and charmed with His works of wisdom, pointed sneeringly at His origin. His own neighbors in His native town refused to accept Him as the Messiah, and refused to hear Him as a prophet of God. His own brothers did not believe in His being the Son of God. They became impatient that His life was without display and worldly honor. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 40

Even His own chosen disciples, notwithstanding their great respect for Him, their faith in His divinity and that He was their long-expected Messiah, reproved Him because He did not fulfill their expectations, and establish a temporal kingdom and exalt them to positions of honor. He frequently stood forth alone in His sorrows, griefs, sufferings, and necessities. The Saviour of a world died like a malefactor. The government and the people refused to accept Him who came to save them. He was forsaken of His own disciples; denied by Peter; betrayed by Judas, [who was] urged on by the spirit of Satan. Rude soldiers mocked Him. The violent mob, instigated by the chief priests and elders, cried, “Crucify Him.” [John 19:6.] He was seized in the night and hurried to the judgment hall. He was arrayed in an old purple, kingly robe, and hurried from tribunal to tribunal. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 41

A crown of thorns was placed upon His sacred brow. He was insulted, smitten, scourged, spit upon, and hung like a criminal between two malefactors. Oh! what amazing condescension! what infinite love! He never coveted applause, or feared the threats of the world. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 42

In consideration of the example of the Majesty of Heaven, who bore the griefs of man and made their necessities His own, shall we, poor sinful creatures, shun the sufferings and trials our Saviour bore with such meekness and dignity? If my Master suffered thus, shall I murmur? Shall I seek ease and honor? God forbid. Let me suffer trials and reproach with the Master. I am in excellent company. He has said, “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad (when ye suffer reproach for His name’s sake), for great is your reward in heaven.” [Matthew 5:12.] 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1874, par. 43