Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6

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Lt 9, 1889

Daniels, Brother and Sister [E. P.]

Battle Creek, Michigan

July 25, 1889

Portions of this letter are published in VSS 275; 2MCP 768.

Dear Brother and Sister Daniels:

I am surprised and burdened by the letter received from Sister Daniels, that you take things as you do. I believe that the Lord has a work for you to do and that at the camp meeting at Oakland the grace of God came upon you. But that which has caused me to tremble in your case is the very fact you are praised and extolled by human beings who do not know your weaknesses as I do, for the Lord has opened them out before me from time to time. When you become self-confident, when the large numbers praise you, then is your danger. Then Satan determines to seduce and destroy you. 6LtMs, Lt 9, 1889, par. 1

I have said nothing at all that should influence you away from your work. Is it so, my brother, that you brace [yourself against] all reproof, all warnings, as though you were above temptation? I warned you against clownishness in the desk or before the people. Do you not sometimes bring this acting into the sacred desk? You please the world; you attract the world. Is this an evidence that you are having a deep spiritual piety, sanctified to God through the Spirit? 6LtMs, Lt 9, 1889, par. 2

The very fact that many are looking to you and expecting counsel of you leads me to be afraid, for these souls should be taught in every discourse and in private labor also, not to make flesh their arm of strength, not to lean upon human wisdom. If they look to you and expect of you large things to correspond with your sermons in the pulpit, do you not see that your circumspect life and conduct out of the desk must be a living epistle, known and read of all men? We are “a spectacle unto the world, and to angels and to men.” [1 Corinthians 4:9.] If you think you are about right, you will not feel your need of the Great Physician. I love your soul, I know your dangers, and I set them before you because I am aware that you do not see your need of hourly dependence upon God. I do not see that the cautions and warnings given you are unnecessary. 6LtMs, Lt 9, 1889, par. 3

You are never in as great danger as when men praise you and call you a power in the pulpit. Oh, my dear brother, if you would only keep advancing, pressing forward toward the mark of the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus, humbling yourself and not putting confidence in yourself, then would my soul rejoice in the Lord. The lower you lie at the foot of the cross, the less will you see a sufficiency in yourself. 6LtMs, Lt 9, 1889, par. 4

I am sorry that I have grieved and disheartened you, for I had no intention of doing this. When praise and adulation is [given] you as though you were not a weak, erring, simple man, no doubt my words of warning strike so different a note that they surprise you. But, my brother, how do you know that you do not need every word that I have written to you? If you exaggerate these words and make them mean the worst, you will not receive the blessing that you might through them. If you have a strong assurance and hold upon God, these words written to you in love will not produce the effect to cut off your hold from above, but if you will closely examine yourself in the light of God’s Word, you will, if the Spirit of God impresses your heart, see that you stand in a dangerous position, that without constant watchfulness and most earnest prayer you will become careless and self-sufficient and your feet will slide. This is that which I fear and of which I shall warn you. Because I speak plainly, do not feel that I do not love your soul. 6LtMs, Lt 9, 1889, par. 5

I know that you may be in God’s hands a polished instrument of righteousness. I know also that you will be in danger of following your own mind and your own judgment and of doing and saying things which are not in accordance with your holy profession. Then your good will be evil spoken of, and the confidence placed in you will become weak and doubtful. Do not yield to temptation, but keep humble, meek, and lowly of heart. Do not lead men and women to trust in E. P. Daniels, but to trust in the living God. 6LtMs, Lt 9, 1889, par. 6

You have had precious glimmerings of light from the gates ajar, and your very best prospects and healthful religious experience lie not behind you, but before you. All the past, compared with what is to come, is but as a foretaste. You [should] hunger and thirst after righteousness more and more. 6LtMs, Lt 9, 1889, par. 7

I cannot see any light, my brother, in your having meetings for young ladies alone. Let there be experienced women to educate and train the young women in propriety of deportment and influence. Do not let them communicate their private history to any man living. This is not God’s order and you should not encourage anything of the kind. 6LtMs, Lt 9, 1889, par. 8

You have a work to do for the Master. Do it with fidelity, with sobriety, and with Christlike dignity, and let the truth that you shall speak do its work upon human hearts. Do not feel that I do not desire your prosperity, for I sincerely do. If I feel urged to speak plainly to you, I must not hesitate to do so—not that I wish to crush, no, no! Do not for a moment entertain such a thought but it is to lift you up nearer and closer to the great heart of Infinite Love. I know that you have a work to do, but “without Me,” says the Great Worker, “ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Let not my words wound you and bruise you, but consider them as “excellent oil, which shall not break my head.” [Psalm 141:5.] 6LtMs, Lt 9, 1889, par. 9

I want so much that you should stand forth unto honor as God’s chosen vessels. You are both very near my heart, and when I hear of your success, I am glad. But my only fear is that you will not keep the heart steadily fixed upon the Author and Finisher of your faith, that your hands will not always be placed in the hand of Jesus Christ, the language of your heart being, “Lord, lead me, guide me.” [Psalm 31:3.] Foes are constantly around you. 6LtMs, Lt 9, 1889, par. 10

Perhaps you may not just now see the need of such plain warnings, but only heed them, only shun everything that these warnings [set] before you, and the purpose of God will be gained. I know that you will be brought into trying places, and am I too anxious in your behalf that you shall escape every snare of the fowler? 6LtMs, Lt 9, 1889, par. 11

I want you to come off conquerors, and I greatly desire that your dear children shall be encircled in the arms of Infinite Love. I want them to be lambs in the fold of Christ. We must elevate the standard. If your children will give their young hearts to God, He will accept the offering; He will bless and save them. If your elder daughter will surrender to Jesus her will, her way, and her affections, if she will seek the Lord with her whole heart, He will be found of her, and He will say, “All thy sins are forgiven thee.” Then the language of her heart will be, “O Lord, I will praise Thee; though Thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortest me.” [Isaiah 12:1.] May not this be true indeed in the case of your daughter? “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” [Psalm 103:12.] “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God.” [Romans 5:1.] 6LtMs, Lt 9, 1889, par. 12

I wanted to write more largely but can write no more now. Do not exaggerate my words. Do not magnify them to your soul’s injury, for I have sincere Christian affection for your entire family. The letter to Paul ought to have been sent before this. 6LtMs, Lt 9, 1889, par. 13