Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 5a, 1890

Baker, Brother

Crystal Springs, California

May 24, 1890

Variant of Lt 5, 1890.

[Brother Baker:]

I must say some things to you, Bro. Baker. Your course is censurable. You knew the course of Elder Rice and others connected with this institution, and you knew how difficult it has been to remove the impression once. If you had the sanctifying grace of Christ in your heart, you would take heed to your ways and abstain from even the appearance of evil. I cannot feel that it would be wisdom that you should act in the capacity of Superintendent to the Health Institute, for you are not a wise man. You know the history of the past; you know the reproach that still clings to the Institute and notwithstanding the disgrace that has come upon this institution, you have been traveling in the same path. You are here, away from your family, away from your wife; you are a married man and should either be with your wife, or, if there are reasons that justify this separation, then you should pursue altogether a different course than you have done. You have been doing a work which will open the door of temptation to many souls. You may reform your ways, see your mistakes, but the impressions you have made upon minds you will not be able to remove. They may be lost in consequence of these impressions. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 1

A married man with a family ought to be with his family and not be separated from them unless there be clear reasons for his so doing. The people in St. Helena are not ignorant of the great curse which fell upon this institution in consequence of the immoral conduct of several who have been connected with the institution, and you, Bro. Baker, are watched with critical eyes. Your attention to young ladies is altogether uncalled for. You are out of your place in your giving the Chittenden family so much attention. Mrs. Chittenden has done her work in ruining one good man. All that matter was opened before me to read as an open book. I was told in the night season that you were not qualified to be trusted with large responsibilities, or even limited responsibilities, unless you were an entirely repentant and reformed man. God cannot be with you while you pursue the course you have done. I was, in the night season, called by [my] guide who said, “Follow me.” I was then shown your boyish familiarities with girls, and your particular sympathy exercised toward Mrs. Chittenden and her daughters. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 2

The mother keeps her bed much of the time when she should be up on her feet engaged in some useful employment in the care of her family. Your familiarities with the mother and the daughters was open before me. Your favoritism, your attentions and gifts, all speak louder even than your flattering words. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 3

The universe of heaven looks upon you with reproof. You are doing things displeasing to God. You have made the most of Bro. Biter’s mistakes and Bro. Rogers’ defects. You have presented them to Dr. Burke, but did you speak truthfully and frankly of Bro. Baker’s weakness and errors? Could God, who reads the heart’s motive, be pleased with your tearing others down to lift up yourself? Dr. Burke looks upon you as a man in whom he can confide. But Bro. Biter’s case, and the case of Bro. Rogers stands far more favorable in the heavenly books than your own. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 4

I was carried back to chapters of [your] experience in the past. You have things to make right. Please do not delay for the end is near and you would not want to meet the record in the judgment as it now stands. You have been planning to do the work devolving upon a superintendent, and Dr. Burke thinks you can be a great help to him, but his confidence in you is misplaced. God sees your weakness; Dr. Burke does not discern it; he cannot read your heart. If he leans on you, it will be leaning on a broken reed. You need a great work done for you. Yourself and others were baptized under the labors of Eld. Daniels. I was sorry when I heard this, but I hoped that it was a good work and that the reformation that I had been shown must take place in you had been done. But from the light [in which] your case has been presented to me from the Lord, I have not confidence that the genuine work of the Spirit of God was felt upon your heart. “If ye then be risen with Christ seek those things which are from above where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.” [Colossians 3:1.] If you have a new heart, you have new motives of actions. Your course of conduct would be such that believers and unbelievers would have an example of a Christ-like character. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 5

I have had presented before me your case as God views it, and I now present it to you. Better, far better, would it have been had you been disconnected from the Health Retreat months ago. This freedom and gallantry toward young ladies is not the outgrowth of the tender, sympathetic, Christlike sympathy. There has been a decided neglect on your part to give the due, Christlike sympathy and Christian politeness to some of those wholly deserving, whose cause you should [have] searched out even as considerable disadvantage to yourself. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 6

All these acts, which would have been better left undone, and these acts for those [for] whom Christ has died, are written in the books of heaven. You need a decided work of investigation of yourself. If you look upon the past as matters unworthy to be mentioned, you will repeat them. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 7

There must be a new moral taste created by the purification of the soul temple. I entreat you to put away your excuses, for you have none. Your ideas need a moral renovation, then you can see things in altogether a different light. Unless this change takes place and you cease to criticize others and amplify their defects and are bound to your short comings, you had better not remain connected with the Institution. God calls upon men who are pure in heart and undefiled in thought to do his work having a eye single to His glory. It is a God who looks upon the heart that we individually have to do. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 8

I was present by the Spirit of God in some of your exercises in singing. I was made to read the feelings that existed among that company, you being the prominent one. There was petty jealousy, there was evil surmising, there was evil speaking. I was bade to look at the after influence of these singing parties, and I saw they had a tendency to demoralize. There are flirtations carried on, coquetry, [and] undue familiarity; and a married man like yourself had better be on his knees in prayer to God, seeking wisdom how he may keep his soul unstained from the moral pollution of this degenerate age. The heart service God requires. The forms, the profession, the lip service is as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. The singing in worship is more display than singing with the spirit and the understanding also. The state of the heart reveals the quality of the religion of the professor of godliness. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 9

Bro. Baker, the law of God must be written on the heart or, in truth, you will never obey it. Keep your soul with all diligence. The ten commandments written merely on the tables of stone could not guide the Hebrews; neither can the truth of God profit or illume the soul while it is merely assented to by the understanding and is not engraven on the soul by the Spirit of God. How few men know the guilt which lurks in the human heart ready to spring into action at the first favorable opportunity. The truth of God may be of no value to the one who claims to see it because it does not sanctify the soul temple. It will not answer for anyone connected with the Health Retreat to retain selfish ideas and feelings and plans for his own uplifting by pulling another down. God sees the heart and He reads the purpose of the mind. It should be written upon the conscience as with a pen of iron upon a rock that the man who expects true success in violating the eternal principles of right and wrong to carry out his plans, is written in the books of heaven as not only foolish but wicked. Can men forget that God seest me? Will you, my brother, turn away from idols? 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 10

Your moral sense has become beclouded. Will you pray to the Lord to bring all things to your remembrance that you may see things in their true bearing? Your attention to young ladies and women, whether they be widows or those who really desire to be widows, should cease. Wear not the religion of Christ as a cloak but [put] on the Lord Jesus Christ. The conversation of the man who claims to believe present truth for this time, must be in heaven, and not in words or deportment or [on] common, cheap, earthly, sensual things. Christ’s holy mission must be adopted, else that man is walking contrary to Christ, deceiving the world and betraying the truth. Why, oh why, do professed Christians keep so low a level when they have a pure, perfect, and holy gospel? The world side of our religion should be watched with jealous care. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Let the question be asked, “Am I a Christian? Do I love my neighbor as myself? Do I observe the golden rule, do unto others as I wish others to do unto me, and am I a Christian? Can I taint and pollute my soul with simple, corrupting imaginings?” It was sin that crucified the Redeemer of the world. Men called upright do strange things, so utterly contrary to the oracles of God. Their uprightness is a pretense before Him who looks on the heart. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 11

I am not to study and plan for my own interest. I must keep my own soul pure and give an example to youth and all with whom I associate, to leave a bright track heavenward and block the path that leads to debasing sins for I am accountable for the souls for whom Christ has died. I stand related to them in the web of humanity and I must follow the example of Christ, sanctifying myself that they also may be sanctified. If one is dishonest or licentious, I must show my faithfulness to rebuke and expel the evil that it shall not become contagious. I can connive at no deception in order to raise the moral tone of all I associate with. I must keep my own soul in the love of God. I must have personal soul culture. I must give attention to the training of my principles. I must set the example I wish others to follow. Oh, the sin of selfishness is eating out of the character the pure principles of righteousness. I tell you, the Christian need never fear to be resolutely honest. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 12

The world is under the control of the Being whose laws may be respected. He who sees the end from the beginning will bring order out of confusion. He will work for His own name’s glory. “I have seen the wicked in great power and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” [Psalm 37:35-37.] Have we not seen this verified in our own experience? Man lives not by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 13

Should the management of matters at the institution be committed as fully as you wish into your hand, there would be some grave blunders made, for you have not that wisdom which is from above. You would use your influence to place men in positions of trust who could not adapt themselves to the situation. Some men have no faculty to deal with human minds. Set them over men to order and correct, and there will be confusion and rebellion at once. He has not the oil of grace to keep the human machinery working without friction. The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, and the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 14

I leave these lines with you. In several places last night, references were made particularly to your case; but I did not read the same, calling your name. I thought to save your feelings, but I question whether this was the best way to do. Perhaps had I brought out your name, I might have still questioned whether that was wisdom. I want to move discreetly, for the glory of God and the good of souls. I send this after what was read [the] past night. I think this will be sufficient. 6LtMs, Lt 5a, 1890, par. 15