Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 40, 1879

Loughborough, J. N.



Portions of this letter are published in ChL 68; 8MR 105-106.

J. N. Loughborough:

[First page missing.] ... Now I wish to introduce another subject. It is in regard to your work in Europe. You are now in a new field, and it will be important for you to keep close to Jesus Christ, or you will make some sad errors. You have defects of character which will become stronger if not depressed. You need special grace, for I am of the same mind I have been. You are not in possession of those qualities which will make you a successful missionary where you are not known. You want to see the work of God prospering in your hands, and you have an earnest desire to have the praise of doing a good work. But be careful. You feel that you must embrace everything, that you must have the credit of leading out in everything, and must keep everything under your jurisdiction. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 1

I knew that you never should have gone to Europe alone, for this reason: you devote much time to little particulars, and the work that you can do which others cannot do you neglect. You are so very particular to have everything done in a certain way, and are so determined in the matter, that it is next to impossible for anyone to work with you. If help should be sent to England, you would keep them doing unimportant things in the place of taking them into your heart and teaching them to be useful, so that you could go out in broader fields. There is much of self in this. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 2

Help will have to come to Europe, for you have not, in all respects, the qualifications for a missionary. You are too narrow. You will consider it a large work to send out papers and devote time to minor things in financial matters. While you are doing this you are preaching, but your preaching is dry and has but little grace because your own soul is not drinking of the water of life. The only way you can have success is to draw daily from the wells of salvation. Jesus in you, the hope of glory, will break down the cold, formal barriers that will be found in Europe. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 3

You feel anxious about your personal appearance—in brushing your clothes and arranging your hair and having everything faultless so far as outward appearance is concerned—while your soul is frequently snarled up and dusty and spotted. You need to seek God in prayer with penitence that His grace shall come into your heart before you come before the people. Your discourses are not to be found fault with, but the people are not fed. They are without the love of Jesus. Now if some of your exactness and criticism were exercised upon your own soul, and you felt that your own spirit must be softened and subdued, that you must have the love of Jesus in your heart, and if you devoted more time to prayer, angels of God would be round about you. Angels of God would help you and break down the barriers which hedge up your way. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 4


When the darkness of unbelief is so dense and far-reaching, the revealing of God’s glory, the Shekinah of His presence will scatter the darkness. We must work in Jesus. His grace must be sought for, cherished, and exemplified in our lives. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 5

The people are pouring in. We seem to be barricaded with vehicles of every description. Elder Haskell had a good congregation this morning, and the Lord gave him freedom in speaking. This afternoon there were about one thousand who listened with the greatest attention. I spoke one hour and three quarters upon Christian temperance. I felt deeply that the subject of reform is what the people want at this time of self-gratification and indulgence of appetite. Many pressed their way to the stand and thanked me. They said they had received more light than in any temperance discourse they had ever heard. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 6

Our brethren and sisters are feasting. They have had a hard time to maintain the truth amid the hardest opposition. The people now assume a different attitude. They see that God is with this people. God has rolled away their reproach. Outsiders say all the country around about is stirred. The wonderful meetings are the theme of conversation everywhere in surrounding towns. Those who had heretofore looked down upon Sabbathkeepers and held them in derision, have changed their attitude. They see that this people have reasons for their faith. The Lord spoke through the weak instrument this afternoon, and I praise His holy name for it. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 7

The crowd has dispersed mostly. Elder Haskell is talking to the people upon missionary work. God is giving him access to the hearts of His people. Oh, that we may see in greater power the workings of the Lord in our midst! 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 8

Last night I dreamed that you were preparing for meeting. You were brushing your clothes with great zeal. You were saying sharp things to your wife, and all the while, you were very exact in your outward appearance. But I waited and looked to see you bowed in earnest prayer before God, and did not see it. You looked over discourses you had learned by heart, and you repeated these to the people, and there seemed to be none of the melting Spirit of God to urge home the truth to the hearts of the people. I awoke troubled and perplexed. I said, I will write to Elder Loughborough what I have been shown of his dangers. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 9

You well know I did not encourage your going to Europe, and for the reason that you were not qualified or fitted for the work that must be done in opening a missionary field in Europe. You have defects of character that would become stronger if not depressed and overcome. This work of obtaining the victory is no small work. The special grace of Christ alone is sufficient, and when you rely upon your own efforts you will see but very little done. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 10

My brother, in order to be a successful missionary you must understand yourself and must rely wholly upon Jesus as your helper. You want to see souls coming to the truth and the work of God prospering in your hands, but you will never see this unless you consecrate yourself more entirely to God and cleanse the soul temple of everything that mars and stains and defiles it. Then you are prepared for the dews of heaven to refresh your own soul. You want the praise of doing a good work, but if you have this you must labor unselfishly and must work with the glory of God in view. You need the grace of Christ. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 11

As a part of your religious duty, you should cultivate an amiable disposition. You indulge in words and criticism in regard to little matters. These lead to a violation of the gospel precepts which enjoin upon every follower of Christ, as his sacred duty, to be kind and courteous, and to cultivate love, peace, and good will. You and your wife should cultivate Christian courtesy, simplicity, openheartedness and frankness toward each other and toward every soul brought within the sphere of your influence. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 12

You will, I fear, make a similar mistake to that you made in California, if you seek to gather everything into your arms and to put your stamp and mold upon everything in connection with your missionary work. This great work has its different departments. While you do one branch of the work, you cannot possibly do all; and while some others will have to connect with you in the work, be careful not to feel that you must have every part of it under your immediate supervision and control, for then you will give others no room to obtain an experience. You will be head and brains and mind and judgment. This you acted out in California, and because of this, we have not the right kind of workers educated to take hold of the work and bear responsibilities. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 13

Do not make a similar mistake in Europe. Let others develop. Give them a chance to work. Censure them not. Shut them not away from your confidence as though you were the only man that had an interest in the work and in the labor, and were taught of God how to conduct the work. Open your heart and have confidence in your brethren. Selfishness is cherished. Empty it out of the soul, that its polluting influence shall not leave its dark spot on your mission work. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 14

Who will be sent to help you we cannot say, but I will say that whoever may labor in connection with you, they will have severe trials to bear, for they will feel the want of that confidence and sympathy they have a right to expect of you. You will let coldness, formality, and reserve be too distinctly seen and felt. This will hurt them, but you will hurt yourself far more. You have, I have been shown, neglected large responsibilities, while you bring your mind to embrace small matters which others could and should do equally as well as yourself. But the loss of a few pennies in any enterprise seems to you so large and would grieve you so sorely, that you feel that you must have everything under your inspection; therefore much good and great work is neglected for things of minor consequence. You should have been engaged in broader plans and the execution of them, keenly observant of any talent or influence that you could obtain to bring into service. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 15

Now, brother, do not let this management be repeated in Europe. If help comes to you in England, make the most of it. Educate still others to do the work, not through your eyes and judgment and through your inventive faculty, but in using their own powers. By practice they will become skilful workers, and you will be free to go out into new fields. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 16

Seek to widen out. Let your preaching be with power and spirit—not the repetition of old discourses, but let fresh, new manna be given to the hungry sheep. You must draw daily from the living fountain of the waters of life. Jesus is waiting for you to ask, that He may bestow rich blessings upon you. You take far greater pains with your external appearance than with the preparation of the soul. Let not your soul become marked, dusted, and spotted with fretfulness and with censuring, but open your heart to the bright beams of righteousness. You need to seek the Lord by earnest prayer. The soul preparation is what we all need, before we can have power with the people. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 17

You want the angels of God to work with your efforts and break down every barrier that would hedge up your way. It is the purpose of God that you shall be a free man. But you can forfeit your freedom by circumscribing the course of others and taking away their freedom of action. You are in danger of losing tender compassion and faith. There is no kingdom of God for you unless you exercise tender compassion and forgiveness toward others. God is love. “This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12. With the measure wherewith grace is melted to us, so must we mete to others that we may not offend God. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 18

What you need is more of Jesus and less of self. The soul temple needs dusting. Your habits are not right. Your words and your spirits are impatient. You need to learn in the school of Christ. Your habits—in tone of voice, in manner, in language, and in movements at home—must be altered. Self appears altogether too much and Jesus and His sympathy and His love too little. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 19

You will be inclined to assimilate the habits of the people in England, and to think this will give you more influence. You wrote that you were trying to become as English as possible, that the prejudice against Americans may not stand in the way of presenting the truth. But if you possess kindness and tenderness of soul for every one around you, if you esteem others better than yourself—if you just pattern after Jesus—you will have an influence. If you attempt—in dress, in the ordering of your house, in your manners—to be English, you will have a very little influence. Act out the American. No one expects you to act an Englishman. No one will respect you any more for adopting English speech, English hours, English customs. Just carry all the Americanism you can into your England Mission, and let England see you are not at all ashamed to stand under the stars and stripes. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 20

You have discourses all framed. Throw every one of them away and then set your own heart in order. Let the door of the soul be thrown open, not to let England in, but to welcome the Lord Jesus, that the Sun of righteousness may pervade your soul. I know, my brother, your dangers. I know that Annie and yourself need the meekness and lowliness of Christ, that you may not be shut up to yourselves, but will do your missionary work in the spirit of the meek and lowly Jesus. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 21

Oh, I feel sorry that you are alone. It never should be, for I would not in any case have your mold placed upon the work in Europe. My soul says, God forbid. Your narrow, penurious spirit I fear will not be repressed. I fear you will not develop, and fear you will narrow yourself to just a small work, and be afraid a few cents will not be treasured if others are entrusted with the work, and you will neglect precious souls for whom Christ has died. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 22

There is a large field of labor. You can work if you are only humble. Think less of how you appear in the sight of mortal man and more—a great deal more—of how you appear in the sight of a heart-searching God. He wants you to cultivate kindness, courtesy, and love in the home circle. Elder Loughborough, repress your criticism of every soul but yourself. Then examine yourself, whether you be in the faith. Know whether Christ is indeed ruling in your heart. Somehow your case forces itself upon me today, and I must warn you not to act like English people, not like yourself, even, but like Jesus. Represent Jesus. Love the poorest, the weakest, the humblest, for they are Christ’s property, just as precious in His sight as you are to Him. Oh, how much we all need a daily conversion to God. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 23

I am in earnest. Elder Andrews should not have gone to Switzerland and remained there alone. You could have been a help to Elder Andrews and he could have helped you. But both of you want to be head, both want to place your own mold upon the work. God grant that you may place the image of Jesus on the work. If you do this you will be raising up missionaries who will, if you have wisdom, be instructed and educated to aid and carry forward the work. But neither you nor Elder Andrews is wise in this direction. You do not make use of talents right within your reach; you are not enlisting into the service men who will scatter far and wide an influence for God. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 24

Rise early in the morning, and devote precious hours to searching your hearts and to prayer. I see great dangers ahead. You cannot accomplish much unless you pray much. Jesus is your helper. Time is short. Do not waste hours in self-pleasing, but do all that you can in the [love] of Jesus. Carry out simplicity in dress and in manners. Do not ape English gentility. Annie can exert an influence in coming close to those whom she can help. She can be kind and sympathetic, loving as Christ loved. There are conscientious lambs of the flock that need to be fed with milk. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 25

Carry out every ray of light God has given you in regard to simplicity of dress and kindliness of manners. We must eat, we must drink, and we must be clothed, but let these matters have only their due attention. They are very apt to attain altogether too much importance while the soul culture is made secondary. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 26

I have been telling the people today that no woman has a right to put a stitch of ornament on any article of dress or furnishing, or provide one superfluity in food. Because she belongs to God, her time and talents belong to God. While engaged in these things she can be doing work for the Master and, by intellectual culture, can be fitting herself for religious duties. Then women will come nearer to the Saviour’s requirements. I have tried to impress upon all present their individual obligation. I impress it upon you both, that you may, by your life and course of action, impress it upon others. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 27

If you have success in your mission, you must put “I” out of sight and live with an eye single to the glory of God. You are now in England. Seek to make yourself the right man by abiding in Jesus Christ. Do not be every preparing to work, but branch out and work, and wheel in all the talent and help you can get. There will be talent. There is precious talent. Avail yourselves of it. He is a wise general who will teach others to do. You both have a work to do for yourselves. You want in you the living springs of benevolence, faith, hope, and courage to push the work against seeming impossibilities. Jesus went about doing good. You are both too selfishly inclined to keep things within yourselves. Let not yourselves become a center. Reach out. Embrace others. Be open, confiding, generous, unselfish. Do not narrow down the work. Oh, put on Christ, put Him on by living faith! 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 28

If I did not know you both I would not write as I do, but I anticipate that there will be no great work done, because you do not work right. You do not know how to make the most of every privilege and every talent. You would rather do all yourselves than have others do the work and have their share of the credit. Oh, how can the Lord do much with us when we strive so feebly to represent Jesus? I know you will not be successful unless you know your weakness and lay hold on the strength of Jesus. You want your hearts to be not moral icebergs, but sympathetic, kindly, looking away from self, working out of self, having the good of souls constantly in view. Encourage Christian association and confidence. If Jesus is in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life, you will refresh all around you. Never by your coldness repel; never by your indifference lead others to think you cold and unloving. Jesus loved the weakest, the humblest. The ignorant are to be informed, the weak strengthened. I beg of you not to lose sight of the work. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 29

But now is my time to speak. The last hymn is now being sung. God bless you both, for you are dear to Christ, and dear to me, His humble servant. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1879, par. 30