Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 16, 1885

Andrews, Edith

Healdsburg, California

January 15, 1885

Previously unpublished.

My dear Sister Edith Andrews:

I have been shown some things in regard to your dangers and your connection with others in your work. All the ability that God has given you is to be improved to His glory. Your thoughts and actions need to be closely investigated. 4LtMs, Lt 16, 1885, par. 1

There is one kind of education you need which you have not—that is to be devotional, to be unselfish in your home life. Your character should be molded after the divine model. 4LtMs, Lt 16, 1885, par. 2

You have had as your birthright traits of character transmitted to you which the grace of God would enable you to overcome, but these traits have been cherished as virtues. The Lord seeth not as man seeth. 4LtMs, Lt 16, 1885, par. 3

Your usefulness and religious life are affected greatly and unfavorably by this phase of your character. Your influence upon other minds is not good. False views of life prevail everywhere to a greater or less extent, and from erroneous ideas will grow other and greater errors which affect not only the make-up of your character, but that of those with whom you associate. Right thinking lies at the foundation of right action. You have ever been controlled to a great extent by your inclination to follow a course that pleases you. To control the desires and actions, to meet the mind and will of God, you have but little experience in this line. 4LtMs, Lt 16, 1885, par. 4

There are precious souls whose usefulness in this life has been greatly lessened, for their experience has been mingled with misconception and false ideas that have had a controlling power over physical and mental capabilities. These errors have detracted from their usefulness and also cut short the life God has given to be preserved for many years. 4LtMs, Lt 16, 1885, par. 5

You so relate yourself to others that self is served; self is made a center. You gather about you a few select friends, and these administer to your vanity and self-love. You pet them and they pet you and you live upon their sympathy and you injure them and they injure you. 4LtMs, Lt 16, 1885, par. 6

Each individual is one of a great whole—one member of a common body. They have a part to act in the great whole. They cannot break these bonds, although they may ignore them. They do violence to their character and prove a snare to others if they do not carefully study God’s plans and purposes in their relation to one another. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. God is love; and a heart imbued with the love of Jesus will fasten upon Jesus, the proper object, will love Him supremely; and the wealth of affection may flow in this divine channel without restraint or any danger. 4LtMs, Lt 16, 1885, par. 7

To love God supremely is obeying the first four commandments. The last six requires that man shall love his neighbor as himself. In obeying these last six commandments, God’s child cannot live for self and seek his or her own enjoyment and happiness with a disregard to the present and future happiness of others. When self-love is strong, there will be no love bestowed upon those who do not praise and flatter you. You will dislike to be with them. You want yourself to be highly thought of, appreciated, petted, adored. You are an injury to those who remain much in your company or whom you associate with. All that you do seems to be perfection to them. They are misled. They do not judge of your character correctly. 4LtMs, Lt 16, 1885, par. 8

There is with you a love for the society of young men, and you attract them to you. You give them encouragement. You love to be in their society. You lead them on that they think you have preference for them. They know not that you are a coquette, and they become less and less interested in the service of God. You have injured them. You have interposed yourself between them and their Saviour. Remember, it is with Him who looks on the heart that we have to do—as is the heart, so is our religion. All the heart, all the soul, all the affections God requires. Unless the law of God is written on the heart, we in truth never obey it. The truth of God cannot profit or illumine the soul while it assents to professedly believe without sinking into the heart, reforming the life and character. 4LtMs, Lt 16, 1885, par. 9

The love, the pity, the compassion of God may be revealed; entreaties the most touching, invitations most earnest, may be mingled with promises the most free, cheering, and ample, and the heart be proof against them all. The truth does not sanctify the soul. The professed love for Jesus exercises not a controlling power upon the will, the inclination, because the truth has not subdued and sanctified the heart. Unless your affections flow in a different channel and are withdrawn [from] mere human objects and earthly things, and set on things above, then you cannot be on the Lord’s side. The enemy finds a stronghold in the hearts of these, although their outward appearance may be very much like the life of a devoted Christian. The Heartsearcher knows that heart, that the love of the Saviour is not there. The foundation of spiritual upbuilding of character has not been laid. Christ is not in the soul, the hope of glory. There is no room in the heart either for the Spirit of God or the truth. Some idol has erected his temple there which is worshiped with the devotedness due to God alone. Hence the heart is closed against the truth. The affections are engrossed. The whole secret is the heart is not impressed and delights not in Him who is love. 4LtMs, Lt 16, 1885, par. 10

When the conscience is aroused, convinced, the heart, unless it immediately surrenders, [has] pain; unrest and absolute distraction are often produced by the conflict which is described in the Scriptures as the flesh warring against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh. The struggle ceases only when the soul surrenders to God. You have a work to do for yourself before you can be a blessing to others. Your influence is injurious to others. [For] these with whom you associate, religion has not taken the helm of life. The truth does not occupy the citadel of the soul. 4LtMs, Lt 16, 1885, par. 11

If you would have Christ formed within, the hope of glory, you must have a radical change. Your love for admiration must die, and Christ must be in you the hope of glory. This sentimentalism must die. This centering your love upon a few is not sanctified affection. It is not of holy, pure principle. This is a human element, not divine, not heavenly. Your uncle had much of this same element in his character which greatly injured his discernment and spirituality. We have had to meet this in our experience quite frequently. 4LtMs, Lt 16, 1885, par. 12