Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 23a, 1890

Saterlee, Annie

Battle Creek, Michigan

January 14, 1890

This letter is published in entirety in TSB 137-140.

Annie Saterlee:

I have a few words to write to you. For some years your course has been open before me in connection with the family of Ira Abbey, but these are hidden chapters in the experience of you both, which may have been surmised by some, that have been binding you together in unholy companionship. I hear that you and your brother have been converted, and if this report is true, you will bring forth fruit for repentance. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper.” [Proverbs 28:13.] 6LtMs, Lt 23a, 1890, par. 1

You have held a strong influence over Ira Abbey. Your connection with him has been of that character that you well know, [and] unless repented of and confessed, you will never see the kingdom of heaven. Can you sell your soul so cheaply? Is it possible that sin has lost its hideousness to you? 6LtMs, Lt 23a, 1890, par. 2

I have not the slightest confidence in him whom I have long called Brother Abbey. His course has been opened before me in plain, distinct lines. No one knows that which I know of the wretched past. I never meant anyone should know of it, but the end of Ira Abbey’s life is not far off, and shall he go into eternity with his sins unconfessed, unrepented of? What will you say when you shall stand before the judgment bar of God? He has so long been following the impulses of his own corrupt heart, that sin does not appear to him exceedingly sinful. 6LtMs, Lt 23a, 1890, par. 3

Now as your thoughts have been awakened to the serious thoughts of the salvation of your soul, I hope you see the hatefulness of sin; I hope you will now confess your sins before it shall be forever too late. If Ira Abbey dies as he is now, fastened in iniquity, what will you both have to meet in the judgment? Your course has been a sad and distressing course in this matter. Did you think that God did not see these things? 6LtMs, Lt 23a, 1890, par. 4

You have turned from Sister Abbey, turned from the only ones who seemed to be able to make her happy, in order to pursue your own course of sin, and God’s eye has been upon you. He has marked your deceptive course. You have alienated the affections of Ira Abbey from his long-suffering wife. You have held your influence over Ira Abbey and he dare not break it; he dare not displease you. You have misstated, falsified and borne your accusing statements against their own children, and have led him to think that his own children were not true and faithful to him, but were his enemies. You have, like the arch deceiver, framed lies, and have worked upon a mind that was degraded and cheapened, and perverted by his own sin to make him view things in altogether a distorted light. 6LtMs, Lt 23a, 1890, par. 5

Now, if God has touched your heart, as I sincerely hope He has, you will humble your heart, you will fall upon the Rock and be broken. You will confess your sins, and forever forsake them and begin a new life. You will now have things brought to your remembrance, in regard to your course of action toward a worn, burdened child of God, Sister Abbey. She has had her faults, but she has not despised reproof. She has ever been ready to bow to the light and will of God. 6LtMs, Lt 23a, 1890, par. 6

But as your case has been opened before me, and as your sins have been pointed out to me, I have kept them to myself, hoping that a time would come when your hard spirit might be softened. I now implore you to seek the salvation of your soul before it shall be forever too late. The sins of fault-finding with Sister Abbey are light in comparison with your sin and that of her husband. You have both been weaving a net about yourselves that has been growing firm as bands of steel, but the judgments of God will not be long deferred, if you continue on in the way you have been. 6LtMs, Lt 23a, 1890, par. 7

God keeps a record of the sins of nations and of individuals, and when they have reached a certain measure they are full; then, when the long forbearance of God is exhausted, His wrath slumbereth not. If necessary, I can show you the reproofs given Ira Abbey. I can no longer call him Brother, for he is not a Christian. I have labored to keep him from the depths of despair, all the time hoping that he would see the evil of his course, that he would repent before he had grieved away the last ray of the mercy of God forever. But I have been shown that he sets his mind and heart against right doing and receives your cruel influence as truth. You have helped him to turn from those who are his true friends, who would exert an influence to save his soul. 6LtMs, Lt 23a, 1890, par. 8

It is time for me to speak. Ira Abbey does not want me to come to his home. He does not want me near him, for he fears God will rebuke his wicked course and yours. I dare not keep these things from you. I hope you will now seek the Lord with your whole heart that you may find Him. Better go in humility all the rest of your life, than to lose your own soul and be the means of other souls being lost through your course of action. Sin does not appear exceeding sinful to you, but God says, “I know thy works.” [Revelation 3:15.] So [to] every deception you have practiced, every false word you have uttered, and to every unholy action, there has been a watcher from whom you could not exclude yourself. 6LtMs, Lt 23a, 1890, par. 9

Little did Belshazzar think on that night of that sacrilegious feast that there was a messenger from heaven watching his every movement; and that night the performance in that palace brought the figures of his evil works to their full measure. He was no longer to be protected and shielded by God. The restraining power was no longer to ward off the evil, he was to fall, his kingdom was to pass into other hands, and his body was to be slain. 6LtMs, Lt 23a, 1890, par. 10

My heart is full of sadness. I inquire, Must these souls be left to come up in the second resurrection? Left to be outside the city of God among dogs and sorcerers and adulterers and those who loveth and maketh a lie? What can I say to you? You have a strong, hard spirit, unless you have fallen upon the Rock and are broken. 6LtMs, Lt 23a, 1890, par. 11

The Lord has said, “Come, let us reason together; ... though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” [Isaiah 1:18.] “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is nigh. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” [Isaiah 55:6, 7.] “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” [1 John 1:9, 10.] 6LtMs, Lt 23a, 1890, par. 12

I beseech of you, let the work go deep, make thorough work. In the place of carrying your supposed grievances to Ira Abbey, a poor, erring, sinful mortal, to obtain sympathy, take your grievance to Jesus. He has invited you, “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest; take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls, for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28, 29.] 6LtMs, Lt 23a, 1890, par. 13