Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 9a, 1889

Daniels, Brother and Sister [E. P.]

Ottawa, Kansas

May 12, 1889

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Daniels:

We are on the campground in this place. We find much hard work to be done, and may the Lord help us to do our work with fidelity. I had a dream last night and was in a meeting where you were, and my guide said, pointing to you, “He is not right with God. He will endanger souls. He has taken upon himself a work that the Lord has not placed upon him. He is in danger of entertaining wrong ideas, and these ideas he communicates to others, unless he walks humbly with God day by day and minute by minute. He puts confidence in himself, becomes self-sufficient. He does not give his mind to the work which he has to do. He has altogether too much to say with regard to marriage of young people. His heart is not right with God, and he will, if he does not change his course of action, mar the work of God.” 6LtMs, Lt 9a, 1889, par. 1

The spell of temptation comes upon Elder Daniels with power, and he seems helpless to resist the suggestions of Satan. His tongue will utter perverse things. Unless his heart is sanctified, he will set a train of thoughts in action that will do great harm, for the very ones he talks with need altogether different sentiments presented to their minds. Satan is ready to stir up elements in the heart that will lead to depravity, and if you are not careful, you will be Satan’s agent to do his work. I heard some of the words you have addressed to young ladies and to married women that you had better never uttered. All this cheap, common talk does harm and only harm. Be circumspect in your conversation with both men and women. You are a careless talker, and while you flatter yourself that you have discernment, you make assertions for truth that is no truth, and you are so strong in your talk that many think that your suppositions are only truth when they are error. 6LtMs, Lt 9a, 1889, par. 2

Elder Daniels, you need to be under the controlling influence of the Spirit of God, or you will disgrace yourself and wound and bruise the cause of God. I have not a particle of confidence in you unless you are constantly seeking wisdom from above. Your human tendencies are not of an elevated, ennobling character. You do not bring into the pulpit that solemnity and solidity and dignity that will elevate the sacred truth you claim to believe. There is in you a strong tendency to go to extremes. You are not well balanced. Appetite and passion will clamor for indulgence and gratification, and the enemy is watching for a favorable chance to overcome you. The eager, intense nature of yours, the ambition, the yearning affection, and the habit of years will be in favor with the drawings and allurings of the tempter. Reason and conscience will urge you in one direction to Jesus, to purity, to self-control, while the enemy will be urging on your own human feelings. You talk at random, you talk extravagantly, you talk foolishly. 6LtMs, Lt 9a, 1889, par. 3

Never, never carry your clownish inclinations with you into the desk. If you talk with young ladies or married women, be guarded. Start no thoughts in their minds that will in the least prove a temptation to them. Could you hear the authoritative utterance of God in reproof, then your human nature would be humbled. You would bow in humility before God. But there is not with you confidence in the judgment of your brethren, and unless there is one by your side whom you can respect, you will think he does not understand as well as yourself, and you will go on just the same, holding him in derision. 6LtMs, Lt 9a, 1889, par. 4

You must, if saved in the kingdom of God, be Christlike at home and abroad, in health, in sickness, when amid the world, when in the sanctuary. I know you are in danger, and I write you this letter to warn you. When the heavenly record bears testimony of your fidelity and when Christ shall come to give to every man as his works have been, every trial patiently endured will receive a reward. Will you read carefully 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13. If you will just make this your experience, as God requires you to do, you will have a hope that maketh not ashamed. “For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: but even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: but as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: so being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. For ye remember, brethren, our labor and travail: for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: as ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13. 6LtMs, Lt 9a, 1889, par. 5

The Lord reads the heart. After you have been blessed with a measure of success, you become careless. You talk and conduct yourself in some things in a manner not approved of God, and your good becomes a matter of question; there is not propriety in your speech or consistency in your actions. Oh, my brother, settle into God. This I say unto you, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Here is your great warfare; you are never safe trusting yourself. 6LtMs, Lt 9a, 1889, par. 6

The Lord Jesus was tempted of the devil in all points like as we are, yet without sin. Live what you preach to others, or you will be found wanting in the day of God. We read, “Christ suffered being tempted.” [Hebrews 2:18.] The conflict was long and earnest, and His divine soul was wrung with anguish, but He yielded not in thought, in word, or in deed. Temptation is not sin; but it is the yielding to temptation that brings bondage and condemnation. The strength of virtue, or character, and of piety is according to the power through faith in Christ Jesus to resist the temptations to evil in the time of conflict. To man so hasty and impetuous you have acted at times like a man bereft of his reason. It may be represented like one turning himself away from Christ and rushing headlong into a course of action which destroys confidence in you and reveals that you have not stability of Christian character. 6LtMs, Lt 9a, 1889, par. 7

If we are easily jostled or stumble, our strength is small. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man”—it is no strange thing that has happened unto you; trial will be proportioned to your human strength and not beyond your ability to bear—“but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” [1 Corinthians 10:13.] “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation.” [2 Peter 2:9.] 6LtMs, Lt 9a, 1889, par. 8

My brother, I deplore the fact that our brethren and our sisters put too great confidence in you as a devout Christian man, led and taught of God in all things because, as His instrument, He has used you to do some work for Him and success has at times attended your labors. But when you come to depend on yourself and become self-sufficient, Jesus leaves you to your own human weakness, and you have not discernment. You become reckless and say and do things that hurt your influence. Then minds are sorely perplexed in reference to the work they thought was of God; everything lies confused in their minds; the sacred and common are so intermingled that they cannot be disentangled. The only means by which you can, as man, become well balanced, so as not to wound and bruise our Saviour, is to have no confidence in yourself, in your finite wisdom, till, living by every word of God and by constant prayer, you will obtain that insight into your own motives and so sense your own weakness that your dependence will be fully and entirely upon God. The armor of truth on the right hand and on the left will render you strong to do right and only right. You will not in words or in character lie against the truth. 6LtMs, Lt 9a, 1889, par. 9

All heaven is watching to see what characters we develop. You may demonstrate your devotion to God out of the desk. Here is your great failure, to mingle the sacred and the common. There is in this a marring the work of God, and eternal things are brought down upon a level with common things. Your heart is not safe for a moment unless it is preoccupied with the truth of God. If you would prevail over the forces of death and hell that are seeking to overcome the people of God, you must learn to pray earnestly to God for that help which He alone can give you and by living faith lean in confidence upon Him who hath loved you and given His life for you that you might in His name come off more than conqueror. There is omnipotence in prayer which will give you the victory. Pray without ceasing. Let your soul breathe forth your prayers to God at all times and in all places. 6LtMs, Lt 9a, 1889, par. 10

Your prayers coming forth from unfeigned lips will be music in the ears of God. 6LtMs, Lt 9a, 1889, par. 11