Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6

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Lt 58, 1890

Rogers, Brother

Battle Creek, Michigan

March 1, 1890

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Rogers:

I have had in the night season matters opened before me relating to the Health Retreat. Some things I have written, some things I am about to write, which have special reference to yourself. 6LtMs, Lt 58, 1890, par. 1

I was sad to have opened before me the fact that you have not been a strength to the Health Retreat. You have been a hindrance. We either gather with Christ or we scatter abroad. Now, my brother, I was brought at different times where I had an opportunity to hear your words, sometimes only a hint, sometimes a word or two or suggestion, or a word dropped by you or Jenny, and at other times the spirit of criticism and of proposing what ought to be done and what might have been done, giving a decided version of things as though your wisdom was of a superior quality. All this has hurt. It has been wrong. It has not been exerting the right influence. Then I entered the church at St. Helena. I heard your remarks which were sweeping down upon them in condemnation. Who gave you, my brother, the orders to sit in judgment upon the church? What good does it do? Not a bit. You make yourself very unsavory. 6LtMs, Lt 58, 1890, par. 2

I saw God had not placed the whip in your hands, neither will He ever do it. The words spoken to me were that you knew not what manner of spirit you were of. You move according to your feelings and do not always give meat in due season to the flock of God. God’s people are a unit. God does not come to Bro. Rogers and give him special, new light for the people when he has not walked in and practiced all the light God has already given to His people. You do not realize that you are constantly on the stretch to make it appear that you have some ideas in advance of your brethren ministers. 6LtMs, Lt 58, 1890, par. 3

Then what was the fruit? Those who are not discerning, who are ever seeking for something new, will follow that something because they have no root in themselves. The impression you leave on some minds is that you are a wonderful somebody that is far ahead of all the ministers. Now, if God has been imparting such light to you, why do you not do [as] other men do, go out and labor for others? But the root of all this is in the unsanctified self-esteem and ambition. You are not to feel at liberty to call the church to you; there is a place of worship on the hill where the church can assemble to have religious services, and the influence which you exert is not sound and healthful. 6LtMs, Lt 58, 1890, par. 4

You do not sustain the institute. Jenny worships you and you are her god, and I fear you will both miss of heaven. You know the truth. Why do you not go to work in some part of the vineyard? Why, when there is such need of workers, do you feel no burden of souls? Why do you not go without the camp bearing the reproach? 6LtMs, Lt 58, 1890, par. 5

The whole matter of your experience upon the hill has been laid open before me and the Lord knows it all. He does not look upon it as Jenny does, neither as you do. Your work is to give yourself wholly to God. Keep step and step with God’s people and God’s work. You are certainly self-deceived. You have not been gathering experience in the cause and the advancement of the work. You cannot keep in unity and harmony with the workings of the cause of God unless you place yourself decidedly as a worker in the channel where God is working. The Lord does not give you a certain special work to do and the laborers who carry the load, who have the burden of all the church upon them, are kept in darkness. But your fruit, your hints, your suggestions imply this. Open your heart to all the knowledge God gives, but in this time of great need do not feel that you can sit down in your house and call the church to you. It is not working in God’s order. 6LtMs, Lt 58, 1890, par. 6

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” Matthew 13:33. The work shows enlargement. It advances by growth. If you can have a work placed right before you where there will be no special responsibilities to bear, where there is no risk to be run, nothing to be ventured, you may do something if it is in your own way. For years you might have been consecrated to the work of God, keeping pace with the work, but you have lost years where “unfaithful servant” is written against you. Then when unoccupied, [when] you [are] not working in the line of your brethren, the devil gets up some sideshow which fruit is not good. It draws men to you, not to Jesus Christ. 6LtMs, Lt 58, 1890, par. 7

It is for the glory of God that the excellent treasures of His truth were committed to earthen vessels. Those who are living and walking in the light of Jesus are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? There are those who have lost their saving qualities as salt. Covetous, selfish, backsliders in heart, walking [in] the sparks of their own kindling, having a transforming influence; they sow doubts, they criticize everything, they think they have a sound faith in a sound gospel. But when the Spirit of the third angel’s message gets hold of your heart, when you sense the work for this time, you will no longer exercise your ability on the hillside, but you will go forth to speak to those who have not the light of truth. 6LtMs, Lt 58, 1890, par. 8

Can the leaven work when it is not put in connection with the meal? Is it your clear view of the momentous questions that are about to open before us that makes you so passive and noncommittal? In these days of great enterprises and great duties God has left His work in the hands of His church. He has assigned the great duties, the mission of saving sinners. It must be preached in all nations. It must leaven the whole lump. What have you been doing? Waiting for one to carry you to a field of labor? Cannot you go forth and venture labor as God’s workmen? Labor not to present ideas of your own and tell the people where the ministers err. That [is] not your business. Preach the truth. These side issues are the devil’s game to make us so engaged in little items where they cannot agree, as you have been doing your part in this mischief. When light of the third angel’s message shines, it seeks constantly to diffuse itself. 6LtMs, Lt 58, 1890, par. 9

There is not the spirit that pleases the Lord on the hillside. If families were not nearer than five miles, the hillside would be in greater prosperity. They are too many to watch every little transaction and talk it about to many that think they must be especially favored. They are not helps but a great burden of hindrance because they are susceptible [to] any words that would be dropped that active minds can construe into something to be surprised at and wonder about. They are no strength in a crisis. Their whole weight would be exercised to [the] weakening, and not the strengthening, of their institution. 6LtMs, Lt 58, 1890, par. 10

I propose that advice be given by our conference for these families to help the cause of God upon the hillside by taking themselves away. The Spirit of the Lord has been grieved, the institution, if they were Christians, daily Christians, would have been strengthened and not burdened by their presence. Yourselves have kept something at work—not the transformation of the grace of Christ, but a foreign substance set to work to counteract the very work the Lord would have wrought in St. Helena. But when her betrayers, her supposed friends, work in disguise as her enemies, Satan is exultant. If you cannot work in California, do go east from whence you came and work there. The kind of fruit you have borne has not placed you in the affection of your brethren. You are not doing the [work] God has given you to do. 6LtMs, Lt 58, 1890, par. 11

The testimonies I have had to bear to M. J. Church and to those he has leavened with his influence ... [Letter unfinished.] 6LtMs, Lt 58, 1890, par. 12