Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 58, 1874

Littlejohn, Brother

Battle Creek, Michigan

November 4, 1874

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Littlejohn:

I have received and read your letter and it has left me with an aching heart. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 1

I fear that you are not moving with your usual caution and calm judgment. The tone of your letter is not such as would lead me to the conclusion that your feelings are all right and actuated by the Spirit of God. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 2

I am forced to conclude that influences not direct from God have had much to do in bringing you to your present state of feeling. Your positions, I fear, are not right, and if carried out as expressed in your letter, I am fearful will result in great harm to the cause of truth. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 3

You are taking a very exaggerated view of matters which under different circumstances and influences you would condemn in others as not correct. I cannot now write all that I would be glad to write. I have not read your letters to my husband and do not feel that it would be wise to do so. It would only start him on a train of painful reflections, which could do no good but might cost him his life. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 4

From all that God has been pleased to show me from time to time, I can say decidedly that you are upon the wrong track. I beg of you as God’s humble servant to do nothing rashly, and make no hasty moves. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 5

It was no fault of my husband that his articles on Leadership were not copied in the Review. He supposed they would be, but matters of greater importance at that time demanded his immediate attention, and crowded many things off his mind that he otherwise would have thought of. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 6

I related to Brother Butler what you said before me, also to my husband, but the burden and pressure of labor in that large meeting were so great that many things were crowded out which under different circumstances would have received attention. Brother Waggoner was sick with ague and of no courage of heart, dead and lifeless. You may say my husband was the cause of this, but not so. It was his own course that brought him into that condition of mind and body. My husband and myself urged Brother Andrews to be perfectly free and not leave the burden of the meetings upon him, for he was worn and could not and ought not to take it. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 7

Brother Butler had the blues, for what cause no one could tell. Even he himself could give no reason. Twice my husband left the grounds to return to his home to get a little rest from perplexing cares and burdens of the meetings. He saw that important decisions were to be made, and he felt that God must give special help in the matter. He urged out Brethren Andrews, Butler, and Waggoner to retirement from the grounds for seasons of prayer, and these seasons were attended with the signal blessing of God. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 8

Brother Waggoner and my husband, while alone before God, were greatly blessed, so that both fell to the ground twice under the special power of God. Brother Waggoner came into the meeting on the grounds, his face so changed, all lighted up and shining with the glory of God. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 9

God did a great work for Brother Waggoner at that camp meeting, also for Brother Frisbie and others. I was sick during the first week of the meeting. Sunday I was unable to sit up, and all through the meeting I was unable to labor only as I was sustained by the Spirit to bear my testimony. Several times I felt utterly unable to get upon the stand, but when once there, the Spirit of God came upon me in such measure that I was as strong as I have ever been in my life. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 10

I was unable to attend any of the business meetings, and had no voice in anything. When the responsibilities were laid upon my husband, I knew nothing of it. I was in my tent, too feeble to sit up, and upon that special occasion deep sleep came upon me and I was oblivious to everything. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 11

What they did do and what positions were taken I could not know, not being present. One thing I did know, and that was that the Lord, from that meeting, gave my husband a renewal of health and strength that he had not had for years before. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 12

I hope the position of such men as George Lay, who has a spirit to war against the Spirit of God will not have too great an influence upon your mind. That it would have been best to rescind the vote in regard to leadership I am not certain. With a few minds it might have been better [to do so], but as far as the majority was concerned, [it] would, I think, have done harm and placed Brother Butler in a wrong position before them. I thought, upon reflection, that the least said about it before that crowd the better it would be for the interest of the cause. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 13

The dangers you see in reference to Brother Butler’s position, [which] he maintains strongly, do not exist and says that you would not disagree with him if fairly understood. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 14

I had greatly hoped that at some point of the meeting you would be present. I made inquiries in regard to you and was informed that it would not be best for your health to come to the meeting, so I had to give that up. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 15

I thought that nothing could be done in reference to the subject until all parties could have their minds brought more directly to leadership and thoroughly canvas the matter and get a fair understanding of the positions of all. We talked about Brethren Butler, Andrews, White, and Smith going out to see you during the meeting or immediately following, but I was too thoroughly wearied after the meeting to have any special anxiety about any matters myself. I was unable to attend the Vermont camp meeting. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 16

Brother Littlejohn, I know, from what the Lord has been pleased to show me from time to time during the last thirty years, that you are taking the wrong track. You do not view matters correctly. My husband has made mistakes in some things, but yet I see that God uses him, and that the Lord in a special manner has given him His Spirit. But your position is not a safe one. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 17

In regard to leadership, my husband has made known his position. He expected it would be copied in Review, but it has not been. Brother Butler returns from California very soon. We will see him, for we expect him to Battle Creek. Will it be possible for you to meet us at Battle Creek when Brother Butler shall return? Your letter I will lay before these brethren, and all you have written shall be duly considered. Be assured that everything shall be done that can be done to relieve your mind of its embarrassment and burden. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 18

We have great respect for you, and we love you as a servant whom God has chosen and qualified for His work. We should feel the deepest sorrow to have you take the steps you suggest. Will Brother Littlejohn please write out a position upon the subject of leadership which God would have His people take in reference to the work to be done in advancing His cause? Will you, my brother, give us your position, if you are able from the Word of God, upon order in the church. You have no doubt thought upon this subject much. Will you give us your views in regard to the management of the work in the churches here upon earth? 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 19

Your sister in Christ. 2LtMs, Lt 58, 1874, par. 20