Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 10, 1870

Dayton, Sister

Oneida, New York

August 5, 1870

Portions of this letter are published in UL 231.

Dear Sister Dayton:

I will not delay writing you that which the Lord brings to my mind. Your case was presented to me two years ago. I then saw you were a deceived woman. You thought you had a clear light from God but it was darkness. You have had views and an experience peculiar to yourself and not in harmony with the people whom God is leading. You thought you had a work to do and you have not been especially led of God. You have been sanguine in your own ideas. You have had a diseased imagination and you would be in the utmost danger of insanity. You take extreme views. You feel that God is especially leading you, and you have been and will be a great burden to the people of God. You have so set a temperament, are so persistent that you are not in a position to receive instruction from God's servants. You are not teachable. You do not realize that you are in danger of being deceived. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1870, par. 1

These last days are days of fearful peril and all should encourage humility and meekness, and to admit the danger of their being deceived. You, my sister, I saw, would injure the cause of God unless you were teachable, subject to the body. God is leading a people, not one or two upon a track, peculiar and separate from the body. A people God is leading. The prayer of Christ to His Father was “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” [John 17:11, 17.] 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1870, par. 2

There is no such thing as an instantaneous sanctification. It is an every day work. Says Paul, “I die daily.” [1 Corinthians 15:31.] He received a conversion daily to God. As the truth and Spirit of God revealed to him the defects in his character, he put away his wrong, died to self and “cleansed himself from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of” the Lord. [2 Corinthians 7:1.] 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1870, par. 3

This is the everyday work of every follower of Christ—through the acceptance of the truth to have that truth do its work daily upon the heart until the entire being, even the thoughts of the mind, be brought into thorough subjection to the will of Christ. The theory of the sanctification the Methodists have is a delusion of the enemy. Many have entirely erroneous views of the work of regeneration upon the heart. It is not the work of a moment, of an hour or of a day, but with the Christian, the work of a lifetime. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1870, par. 4

Your peculiar ideas have had so powerful a control upon your mind, you could not dwell upon anything else. In meeting, you thought it your special duty to urge your opinions. You have taken your position above the church, as though you were exalted and in the light and they must come up to your position, receive your views. You are fanatical; you have not a healthy imagination. Your influence will do harm, and only harm, unless you become humble and teachable. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1870, par. 5

Dear Sister, you have not been guided by the providence of God. You have burdened and oppressed the church. They have not all been patient with you. They have felt exceedingly tried and have not all manifested the Spirit of Christ. You have felt that you were persecuted for Christ’s sake. But from the light that God has given me, when one takes the course you have pursued and have cherished the views you have cherished and persisted in retaining so long, unwilling to be instructed, it is a most difficult case to handle and frequently divides and ruins the prosperity of the cause where such [a] one lives. Satan is most successful when he can cover up minds in this kind of pious, sanctified consecration, which has no part in the sanctification brought to view in the Word of God. It is, in short, a spurious article, that article you possess. You received your views of sanctification from those who claim to be sanctified and holy, who have no love for the law of God and who have no love for His appearing. You received your light from a corrupt source, the stream that came from a corrupt fountain is impure. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1870, par. 6

As I write to you, your case is more plain and clear before me. You have allowed your views of sanctification to unite you to those who were grossly corrupt. You have not obeyed the Word of God and abstained from all appearance of evil. Satan has desired your soul that he might sift you as wheat. Your holy, sanctified union, as you have termed it, with individuals has been a delusion of Satan. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1870, par. 7

Hosts that were as corrupt as hell you have been united with, and called this the union which exists between Christ and His Father. You have been led through your perverse ideas of sanctification to depart from the Word of God. You have a work to do to break all in pieces and give up your experience in the past few years and become as a little child and be converted, be humble and teachable, that God may lead you. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1870, par. 8

Your heart is not right with God. You have a work to do to yield your will to the will of God. You should be led instead of seeking to lead. You will have to be broken in pieces before God and make thorough work or you will be unable to recover yourself out of the snare of the devil. You have been taken captive by him and have had your mind controlled by him. I saw that you should turn square about. Give up your will, your way, your ideas and be willing to be instructed. Become meek and lowly. Seek for Bible holiness, Bible sanctification. You have adopted Methodist sanctification, which is not in accordance with the Word of God. You have become terribly entangled in the snare of Satan, and will have to work earnestly to recover yourself from his devices. You have not exerted that influence at home you could have done had you possessed true, genuine sanctification. You have a work to do that no one could do for you. May God help you to take hold of this work earnestly. Do not leave this ground until you free yourself from the snare of Satan. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1870, par. 9

You have neglected your present work and your present duty to perform some great work the Lord has not given you to do. Your duties to your family is the work God has laid upon you to perform. If you do this faithfully, you will receive a reward. If you neglect the sacred duty, you will receive the reward which comes to an unfaithful steward. The duties of today are resting upon you. Take up these duties, these burdens, in the fear of God and make your ways and works perfect before Him. You have brought reproach upon the cause of God. Wipe it out and redeem the time. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1870, par. 10