Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 3, 1872

Waggoner, J. H.

Battle Creek, Michigan

February 1, 1872

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother [J. H.] Waggoner:

I was shown December 10, 1871, that you were not living in the light, and had not been gaining strength in God for some time back. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 1

I was shown that in the work done for the church in 1870 there was a neglect of reliance upon God. Brethren Waggoner, Andrews, and Bell worked too much in their own spirit. They felt too strong in themselves. When Brother Waggoner thinks a person is wrong, he is frequently too severe. He moves from impulse and fails to exercise that tender compassion and consideration he would desire to have shown him should he be tempted. He is also in danger of misjudging and erring in dealing with minds. This is the nicest work that mortals can ever engage in. It is a most critical work, and requires clear discernment and the finest discrimination. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 2

Brother Waggoner’s discernment and discrimination have been perverted through the unsanctified influence of his wife. These defects are serious drawbacks to his engaging alone in church difficulties. He is affected too much by what others tell him, and he is apt to decide according to the impressions made upon his mind in reference to persons, and to deal with severity, when a mild course would be far better. When Brother Waggoner decides that a person is wrong, he is tenacious to press the matter through without compassionately helping them to the light. These things have injured the influence of Brother Waggoner. He should shun being drawn into church trials and deciding cases and settling difficulties, for self is so apt to come in and control matters. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 3

Sister Dodge was not dealt with as she should have been. If there was a precious, God-fearing woman in Battle Creek, it was Sister Dodge. If there was one person above another worthy of a position in the church, it was this humble-minded woman. Sister Hewitt was a good woman, beloved of God and faithful. There was nothing worthy of remark or severe censure in her case which would shut her out of the church. I will not, neither can I, now enumerate all the mistakes and errors of that spring. You all had a zeal for the Lord. You all wanted to do His work faithfully; but you were, none of you, in good working order. You were not sufficiently imbued with the Spirit that dwelt in the bosom of Jesus. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 4

Brother Waggoner’s discernment and judgment have been perverted through the influence of his wife. These things in connection with her have made him a weak man and are a serious drawback to his engaging alone in church difficulties. Brother Waggoner is of a peculiar temperament, which has been decidedly and unfavorably affected by his connection with his wife. She has deceived him and drawn upon his sympathies. She is hypocritical, affecting disease and pain when it does not exist, drawing upon Brother Waggoner and others, wherever she is, for care and attention when he and they need it more than she. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 5

Satan has been on the track of Brother Waggoner for years. If he had followed the light given years ago in putting out his children where the example and deceptive, lying influence of the mother would be counteracted by correct discipline, he could now have realized the precious result of such action. These children, who have been so long associated with the mother, who was a medium of darkness, have become imbued with her spirit, thoroughly educated in deception and falsehood and self-sufficiency. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 6

When you have frequently censured your brethren at the instigation of your wife, it has injured you terribly. Her satanic, lying spirit has separated you in the past from your brethren. Finally she was left to pursue her own course, following the promptings of her unconsecrated heart. Then you could have been free from her and God designed that you should be free from her, but Satan was not willing to let loose his hold on you through your wife, and have you situated so that his power could no longer pervert your judgment and cloud your discernment. Your wife affected repentance, but this was not genuine any more than was Esau’s. She had sold herself to work wickedness. Hypocrisy and iniquity were in her heart. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 7

The law of God and the laws of the land freed you from your wife, but this golden opportunity you let pass, and you voluntarily went back to your wife, fastening the chains of bondage upon yourself. When you went back to her bed, you displeased God and weakened your own soul. In this you followed not the light of God, but your own inclinations. Your stay with your wife at the Health Institute, your apparent fondness and demonstration of affection for her were not in accordance with the light of the Spirit of God or in accordance with propriety in review of the past. Her silly talk, her vanity and foolish, childish conversation, hurt your influence. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 8

Your connection with her was displeasing to God and weakened you physically, mentally, and morally. Her whining, groaning, and drawing upon others for sympathy has affected you. You began to look to yourself, talk to yourself—of your weakness, your infirmities, your feebleness, your aches, your pains. In short, your mind was in danger of running in the same channel that your wife had so long been in, and you were nursing and petting your ailments when you should have attempted to do nothing until you could do it with courage and hope and faith, forgetting yourself in your interest for souls. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 9

You were not as careful as you should have been with Addie James. She might have been saved from insanity if greater care and more tender, thoughtful compassion had been exercised. You pressed that case too hard and that, with other things, resulted as it has. You were not merciful and compassionate in the case of Jennie Gayer. You could have comforted her; you could have helped her mind. You were wronged by the course she and others pursued, and she repented, but you did not forgive and take off the burden you had laid upon her. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 10

You are in danger of being too severe. You are in danger of censuring where censure is not deserved. You are naturally overbearing and should guard yourself on these points. The truth, handling the arguments of truth, is your forte. Here you can be successful if you are of a humble spirit and make God your trust. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 11

I saw that you have a valuable gift in laboring in word and doctrine. If you will separate yourself from influences calculated to draw upon your sympathies, and consecrate yourself to God without reserve, He will make you a vessel of honor. You have exercised too little faith, and talked too much of your feelings, your infirmities. You strengthen unbelief by dwelling upon poor feelings. God has wisdom and strength for those who labor in faith. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 12

I saw that God has been leading you closer to Himself. If you will trust wholly in Him and move forward, relying upon His strength, He will be to you a present help in every time of need. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 13

I was shown that the Lord would have His servants free to labor in the field. The minister’s time should not be devoted to the work in the office. There are men who can do the work there that cannot go out to labor in word and doctrine. No minister should confine his labors to that office. Brother Smith should go out and labor occasionally. He has a precious gift and he should not confine himself wholly to the office, but go out and speak as the way opens. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 14

The Lord would have Brethren Andrews, Waggoner, Smith, and White draw in even cords. These should stand together, sustaining one another and sustaining the work. All these four should feel a willingness to bear responsibilities in the cause of God. Each of these men has a particular work for which he is best adapted, which he loves, but his attachment to one particular branch of the work should not lead him to neglect the heaviest and most perplexing part, leaving it for one to bear alone. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 15

My husband has borne too many and too heavy burdens in the cause and work of God. If others would take a share of the burdens and educate themselves to have a more general interest, the burdens need not crush out the life of my husband. There is talent among Seventh-day Adventists if they will use it. The same careful judgment and keen intellect exercised in the upbuilding of the cause of present truth, which is now exercised in doing that which Christ has forbidden them to do—laying up treasures upon earth—would prove a splendid success if exercised in the special work of God. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 16

In haste. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1872, par. 17