Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 8a, 1890

Church, Brother

Battle Creek, Michigan

July 7, 1890

This letter is published in entirety in 20MR 93-98.

[The original copy of this letter contains unreadable words and lines, which have been indicated by ellipses.] 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 1

Brother Church:

The Lord, whose I am and whom I serve, has given me a message for you. You have thought much upon certain subjects which you deem of great importance, and have exercised your mind in order to bring your theories into logical shape, so that you could present them to others; but the Lord has not been your guide in all this work. From books you have read you have conjured up ideas and high sounding words whose meaning you did not know, but have searched out, and you have written and talked as though you knew much about the theories you advance, when in reality you knew little. Who is any wiser for your high-sounding words? Can you find anything in the work of Christ that is marked by this characteristic? No, not at all. Your only reason for doing this is that you might be exalted before the people. You are deceptive. What you believe to be of great value is simply a mixture of present truth and spiritualism. It is far from being clean provender for the flock of God. It has not been thoroughly winnowed from the chaff. You have failed to reflect rays of divine light. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 2

A chart was presented before me which you esteem very highly, on which you have tried to illustrate the plan of salvation according to your ideas and theories. You flatter yourself that this chart serves to illustrate the truth, and you have memorized the theories you have gathered from the books of men and from the inspired Word of God. True, you have searched the Scriptures, but you have placed precious gems of truth in a false setting to substantiate errors. You seek to bring the Bible to your own ideas, and you claim to be making the Word of God a foundation for all your theories. But you are building wood, hay, and stubble ... [one line unreadable] ... weaving for yourself and others only deception and delusions. I cannot sanction the work you are doing. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 3

When you talk long in meetings upon your chosen theories, you do not feed the flock of God. Your high-sounding words are not understood by them, no, and not even by yourself. God would have His children partake of the pure milk of the word, that they might grow thereby. You should call a halt and being anew to learn in the school of Christ, His meekness, His love, His lowliness of heart. You should begin again to copy the divine pattern ... [half a page unreadable.] 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 4

... What difference will it make, either in this life of in the life to come, whether or not men call you great? Too often the praise of man is only flattery that pleases the ear and [it] is destitute of every real value. You may pay large sums of money in order to obtain the exaltation of M. J. Church, but it will not exalt you one iota in the sight of God. Should the means that God has entrusted to you to advance His cause, to bring glory to His name, be expended to glorify poor, erring, sinful mortals? Unless one who does this is transformed through the grace of Christ, his name will not be found upon the records of heaven. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 5

I speak the things that I know in regard to this matter. When you humble yourself as a little child and sit at the feet of Jesus who is meek and lowly of heart, your name will stand registered in the books of heaven as a man in the sight of God. But all you now do is corrupted with self. That which Paul spoke to Timothy should be noted by you, “Take heed to thyself and to the doctrine.” [1 Timothy 4:16.] It is yourself that first needs looking after. Do you keep the way of the Lord? Is the inner man lacking? God will not accept your service or the service of any other man, whatever may be his position, unless he is first consecrated by an entire surrender of the world, to be a doer of the word and not a hearer only. Unless the root is holy, there will be no soundness in the fruit. I tell you before God, as His delegated servant, you are wasting your time, making no good, no real, genuine good, to yourself or to anyone else who may [accept] your theories. How much more ... [four lines unreadable] ... of heaven. Oh that you would be altogether what the Lord would have you to be! 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 6

Do you remember when we spent the night in prayer before God, that I spoke of a roll which contained a long list of names? Among them was your name, and against it a large sum of money was written off, with the charge that you had used this amount for the glorification of yourself. Oh, how I wish that you could see this as it was represented to me, and as all heaven looked upon it! There were very dark spots in your experience that I believed might not be explained to me; for I felt too much pained to see any more of your life. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 7

How many there are whose life-long ambition it is to be esteemed great among men, that like Jehoiada they may be inscribed in the city among kings, and have their names handed down as great men. God’s great ones have their names registered in the Lamb’s book of life; and if they remain faithful to the end they will have a purer, nobler immortality than earth can conceive of. They will have a crown of immortal glory that will never fade away. Then why seek for the honors of earth? Rather, live in such a way that it may be written on your gravestone, “He hath done good in Israel, both toward God and toward His people.” [2 Chronicles 24:16.] 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 8

Christ did not seek to be thought great, and yet He was the Majesty of heaven, equal in dignity and glory with the infinite God. He was God manifested in the flesh. What a rebuke is the life of Christ to everything like self-conceit, self-exaltation, seeking to be great among men! He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Wonder, O heaven, and be astonished, O earth! The divine nature in the person of Christ was not transformed in human nature and the human nature of the Son of man was not changed into the divine nature, but they were mysteriously blended in the Saviour of men. He was not the Father but in Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and yet He calls to a suffering world, “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 11:28-30.] 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 9

My brother, the lesson of meekness and lowliness of heart you must learn more fully than you ever yet have done, or you will never see the kingdom of heaven. In your present condition you would even think in heaven that you could improve upon the management of Christ. In learning in Christ’s school ambition, pride, self-esteem, will all be subdued; self will be hid in Christ, and you will find peace and rest to your soul. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 10

We are to look constantly upon the meek and holy sufferer who in His own body bore our sins, who knew our griefs, who has carried our sorrows. In Him mercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace have embraced each other. Infinite wisdom, infinite love, infinite justice, infinite mercy, depths, heights, lengths, breadths, all passing knowledge, are found in Him. I call upon you to learn of the great Teacher the simple lessons of self-abasement, that you may unite with the family of God. When you do this, you will reveal the fact to the world, to angels, and to men. You will make it manifest that you have been with Jesus and learned of Him, that you are not walking in sparks of your own kindling, that you are not drinking of the turbid streams of the valley, but the water of life, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. When Christ is in you, a well of water springing up into everlasting life, you will not have such implicit confidence in the ideas and opinions of human authors; you will realize that you have learned of Him who is mighty in wisdom and counsel. Impressions that are vivid and forcible will be received from the Word of life; your ideas will not be stale and ... [Unreadable lines.] 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 11

... your mind that you can give to others. “Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?” [Jeremiah 18:14.] 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 12

It is a dangerous thing to leave persons in the path that you have taken for granted was the true path. I tell you it is not the Bible path. “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” [Jeremiah 17:5-8.] 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 13

My brother, not you only, but others also, have “hewn out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” [Jeremiah 2:13.] Have you felt the necessity of feeding the flock? ... You do not yourself understand enough to teach, and you must present the lessons of Christ in a clear, distinct manner so that people may see the practical application of them and set upon them to the saving of the soul. “Without me,” says Christ, “Ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Woe will be yourself, woe will be the church, if they accept any such confused, tangled theory; these themes will lead to discouragement and despair, because there is no Christ in them; there is no more light in them than there is in the traditions and commandments of men in the days when our Lord was upon the earth. Your theories are what may be termed “vain philosophies.” [Colossians 2:8.] The people are not fed by them. You put the crib too high. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 14

It is the duty of every minister of Christ to guard souls against presumption, to guard them against the belief that they can sin, that they are safe for eternity. On the other hand, it is the duty of ministers to see to make everyone realize the value of his privileges in the gospel. The sinner may have an understanding of the provisions for his salvation that has been purchased at infinite cost; he man know that he has a right to secure a title to an immortal inheritance. It should be set before the people that to mourn constantly over sin, to chasten themselves, is no evidence of Christian humility. To always be in doubt of your acceptance with God, to live under a cloud of God’s displeasure, is not true religion. You are to cease to sin because Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 15

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” [1 John 1:5-8.] 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 16

O, how many who claim to be the children of God are simply making a profession instead of doing the words of Christ. They do not carry out the principles of truth, but follow their own unsanctified way, not the ways of the Lord. Many claim to believe, but the truth is kept in the outer courts and is not brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul. Therefore, it does not sanctify the thoughts, the words, and the notions of those who profess to be the followers of Christ. A profession of the Christian religion, without a manifestation of its [practical] workings, is a stumbling block both to the brethren and to those desiring to be the followers of Christ. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 17

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [Verse 9.] We are to rest our faith upon the foundation of God’s Word. A happy flight of feeling is no evidence that we are or are not the sons and daughters of God. The Saviour of the world declares that the evidence of our acceptance is [sure if we] lay hold of the righteousness of Christ, the robe woven in the heavenly loom, by faith in His merits. We are to know the children of God by the fruits they bear. Good fruit is borne upon the Christian tree, but corrupt fruit is borne on a corrupt tree. Christ said of His disciples, “Ye are the light of the world.” “Ye are the salt of the earth.” [Matthew 5:14, 13.] 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 18

... John said, when he saw Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] But ... all these dark problems and mysterious theories which lead men to think that they may do something to merit the favor of God is full of danger. It leads men to [trust] in their own citizen’s dress, and to refuse the wedding robe of the righteousness of Christ, which only will make them [ready] to appear before God. Anything less than entire dependence upon Christ does despite to the Spirit of Grace, and [will so mislead souls] that they think they can obtain something that is unobtainable, namely, worthiness in and through themselves to earn the approval of God. They are made to believe that they [can make] themselves good enough to pray in such a manner that God will hear them, but this is a delusion. The righteousness of Christ is a free gift received by faith, and it is the beginning, the [middle, and the] end of the only thing God will accept. Jesus became our Substitute, our Surety, and it was necessary for Him to die in order that man might be saved. Man is a fallen being; his faculties are weakened; he is incapacitated for any successful [battle] with evil. It is only as the divine Son of God [shall give] divine power to combine with human effort that man may be an overcomer. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 19

... Man cannot successfully cope with the enemy of his soul, but the Son of the Highest came to our world to give strength to man, that he might wage a successful warfare with Satan. Man has destroyed himself; he has not the power which our first parents had before the fall. He is utterly void of the ability to have the holy desire to advance one step in his way back to God, to do the things that are pleasing in the sight of heaven. Self-sufficiency is only inefficiency. The law of God denounces all sin. “The word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of the soul and the spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” [Hebrews 4:12.] Even the imaginings of the heart, every [thought] of wickedness, small or great, is open before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 20

On the mount, Christ clearly defined the principles of the commandments of God; and he who knows the truth as it is in the law, knows the truth as it is in Jesus; for the righteousness of the law is the righteousness of Christ. This righteousness we may claim by faith; and through faith in Christ man works out his own salvation with fear and trembling. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:13.] The sinner will then “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;” he will “be renewed in the spirit of his mind,” and “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” [Ephesians 4:22-24.] The truth as an abiding principle will be brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul, and this is the truth as it is in Jesus. No man [is capable] of leading the sheep and lambs of God’s flock without this genuine experience. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 21

The shaft must be sunk deeper into the mines of truth that we can have access to spiritual riches. We must [commune] with God that we may be able to discern the character and work of the Son of God and be able to reveal the power of His grace to others. As we behold the truth as it is in Jesus, we will receive increased knowledge, and increased knowledge will [aid] our souls’ salvation if we are obedient. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 22

You are to strive for the crown of immortal glory, yes, to strive, but in the strength of Him who gave His life for us, and who has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. It is only through Him that you can strive successfully. The lessons of Christ have been sinfully neglected. It is Satan’s design to keep the practical truth in the background. Jesus has not been lifted up among us as He should have been, and the state of helplessness, confusion, and destitution in the churches has been the result. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 23

Thank God, it is not essential that we have numerous talents and cultivated minds in order to understand how man is to obtain salvation. We have reason to bless God night and day that the poor have the Gospel preached to them. The Bible language will be intelligible to those who are hungering for salvation. As I listen to lectures and doctrinal discourses, I have felt in my soul like crying out, Speak to the perishing souls of man concerning what they must do to be saved. Tell them what Jesus has done for them, and what He is to them. There must be more preaching of Christ and Him crucified. The life, the character, the patience, the meekness, the lowliness of Christ needs to be often rehearsed in the pity and love of Jesus, that the hearts of men may be melted and subdued and drawn to Him who can impart His own righteousness to us. The presentation of the dry theories of man is fruitless. The theories you have woven are mingled with the truth, but if they are followed they will imperil the soul. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 24

Brother Church, you should not feel that you are the only man who has wisdom to guide the church in Fresno. Woe would be the church were this the case! You may spread yourself like a green bay tree; you may use the means in your possession to build structures that will glorify you, but will they infuse life and godliness into the church? No. You lead men to walk in the sparks of your own kindling, to lie down in sorrow. Some church, some [mission], some of God’s instrumentalities would be crippled for the want of every misspent dollar. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 25

You place your hand upon anything you possess and say, “It is mine, it is mine.” “Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. ... But unto the wicked God saith, What has thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.” [Psalm 50:2-5, 16, 17.] 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 26

See to it that no such sentiments are advanced that man, by a certain process, by his own efforts, may become good enough to enable acceptable prayer to God, may then receive the new birth, and be no more tempted by sin. Why is it that some men are always inclined to go to extremes? When the view is presented that after the new birth men will not fall into sin, those who are led to believe that they have reached this perfection, have received the new heart, flatter themselves that they will sin no more, and then when they find themselves tempted and overcome ... [several lines unreadable]. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 27

Let those who suppose that they have penetrating minds seek to realize as they open the Word of God that they are in the presence of the Majesty of heaven; let them cover their heads before God, and bow their knees in admiration and awe; and with the docility of a little child, let their will be brought into entire submission to the will of God, and let them then come to the searching of the Scriptures. Let those who would know the truth realize that Christ is by their side. Let them come with a willingness to have their ideas corrected by the word of prophecy. Come with a determination to yield anything and everything that cannot be substantiated by the Holy Oracles. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 28

The Holy Spirit alone can illuminate the understanding and prevent the inclination to wrest the Scriptures to sustain a favorite philosophical theory. Never open the Bible without praying that the Lord may teach you and guide your mind to a correct understanding of His Word. ... [next sentence unreadable]. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 29

Brother Church, you feel that it is your privilege to say many things to the church that, instead of giving light, cast a shadow of darkness. You place stumbling blocks before the feet of the people. Your words lead into a mist, for you have gotten above the simplicity of the truth that must be taught to the people. You must [abandon] the study that you have engaged in for years, or you will [preach] fables for truth. Through dwelling upon your theories [you are] disqualifying yourself for the giving of an intelligent reason for our faith. Your words and expressions are ambiguous. You sadly failed to instruct and to interest the church. The people of Fresno have not received their portion of meat in due season and would famish immediately if they were dependent only upon this kind of nourishment. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 30

I tell you plainly that the Lord has not laid upon you the work of the ministry. [You may] serve the cause the cause and the church of God in many ways if you are a humble, consecrated, pure, and devoted man. But without a connection with heaven your human wisdom will be foolishness. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 31

The church must come up to a higher standard; they must have increased discernment. They are bound about by poverty of soul and they must obtain spiritual riches. But they know not that they are wretched, poor, miserable, blind, and naked. I plead with you to dwell upon the life of Christ, to present His lessons that are simple enough to be understood by a child. You are in need, great need, of having your lips touched with a divine coal from off the altar. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 32

I cannot admit that you are qualified to hold a position of elder of the Fresno church. Your idea of independence of mind is not a Scriptural one, and it is not your privilege to rule over the church of God. You have neither experience nor wisdom necessary to deal with human minds as Christ would have you. You have not that living connection with God that you should have. You are not learning daily in the school of Christ how to supply the deficiencies that exist in your education and experience and practical godliness. You are far from being a man of spiritual and heavenly growth. You have not the qualifications necessary to make you a presiding power in the sanitarium, or to have the oversight in the church. You are a man of decidedly strong tendencies, and if people do not meet your ideas you are ready to cut them, to have nothing to do with them, and you are not at all careful in your condemnation of those who differ with your ideas. If you think they do not give you credit for having advanced spiritual knowledge, you have no use for them. Your likes and dislikes are strong and not after Christ’s order. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 33

The Fresno church was presented to me as in a very distracted condition, while you represented it to me as in harmony. This shows your lack of spiritual discernment. Most earnest work needs to be done in the Fresno church that things may be set in order. The Lord arranges His plans in heaven with the design that men shall be laborers together with Him in their appointed places, and reflect the light given them of God upon others. The work of God is not to be planned and executed with rashness, with unsanctified hearts and minds, and in a loose, slipshod manner. God is our chief magistrate, and He guides and rules the churches in every land. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 34

The apostle writes, “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom of patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 35

“And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” Revelation 1:9-20. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 36

The True Witness declares, “I know thy works.” [Revelation 3:15.] “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” Revelation 3:1-4. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 37

My brother, you have thought that you were laboring in the interests of the church, but you were not doing so, for you were not walking softly and humbly before God. You do not have wisdom from above; you are not walking closely with God. You do not discern that the kind of labor that you are giving the church is not the kind of which it stands in need. You have had an experience in a kind of work that does not tend to encourage devotion or cultivate piety, or make you spiritually minded that you may understand the way of the Lord, and enable you to work for the best interests of the church. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 38

Your ways, your methods, are not God’s ways or God’s methods. You feel at perfect liberty to complain of those whom God has ordained to work for the upbuilding of His cause. If their ideas conflict with your ideas, you criticize and condemn them; but you have no right to do this. In doing this you are not strengthening the things that remain, that are ready to die. Men who have had a long experience in the cause of truth have not had an easy, self-indulgent experience; they know what hardships and privations are; they know what self-denial and self-sacrifice is. They have had to economize, for they have not worked for riches, but rather invested their all in the cause of God. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 39

God is not all pleased with your speeches against Elder Loughborough. I have been shown that you have had more to say and more to do to instill doubt in the minds of others than any one else in regard to him. To pronounce judgment on this one and that one, to make sweeping denunciations against the institution that God has established, is not your work. Elder Loughborough should be relieved of many wearing responsibilities, and the reports you have circulated in regard to him are an offense to God. It is easy to criticize a thing after it is done, suggesting improvements, to point out defects when a work has been accomplished, not so easy to appreciate the value of what has actually been done. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 40

When you see supposed defects in the brethren who are preaching the Word of God, you talk of their mistakes and seek to uproot the confidence that others have in them, simply because they do not meet your ideas; but are your ideas without a flaw? Are your ways perfect before God? Has He placed you on the judgment seat to discover defects in others, to denounce and condemn them? I tell you He has not; it is a work you have taken upon yourself. In place of humbling your own heart before God you have watched for something to accuse in your ministering brethren. Elder [E. P.] Daniels has helped you, and you have helped him in this work which is condemned of God, for it is most cruel work. To accuse others is to work in harmony with the great adversary of souls, to bring deception upon others. Satan is an accuser of the brethren, and all this accusation on your part will not make right one of your own errors, will not make less grievous one of your own wrongs. The spirit of criticism fastens you in the snare of Satan, for he desires you to think yourself better and wiser than your brethren. When you closely examine your own case, when you are sure that you are a doer of the words of Christ, that you are walking in His footsteps, you will not have time or desire to weaken your brethren. You will know how displeasing to God it is. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 41

You should not stand ready to pick flaws, to criticize any man whom God has placed in a position of trust. It is true that every man is imperfect, but God has chosen to connect His ... [several lines unreadable]. If they [will] seek to lay aside everything that will [lead] to spiritual declension, they may grow up into Christ, their living Head. When I realize your position before God, I feel deeply moved over your strong assertions against your ministering brethren. Those whom you criticize are not all perfect in judgment, but I know they would rather sacrifice their lives than the principle of truth and righteousness. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 42

For Christ’s sake, for your soul’s sake, I entreat you, do not talk of the deficiencies of your brethren! Go to work for yourself. Do not any longer grieve the Holy Spirit of God. The question is asked, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” And the answer is, “He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoreth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” Psalm 15. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 43

The ministers whom you condemn God has ordained to do a work for which He has not qualified you. Money cannot supply your deficiency. Your prejudices, preferences, dislikes, your sweeping condemnation of both the Healdsburg College and the Health Retreat have been active influences in encouraging fault-finding, jealousy, evil surmising throughout all the churches. When your ideas and expectations are not met, you have talked out your dissatisfaction, but God has not prompted you in your independent spirit, in your accusation of His instrumentality. There can be no unity where such things exist. Confidence cannot live amid suspicion and evil surmisings. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 44

I opposed the building of the sanitarium in Fresno because the Lord had shown me that you were in no way fitted to manage such an enterprise; and since the time I spoke to you by pen and voice, I have been still further enlightened by the Lord in regard to this matter. He has presented before me your spirit and attitude in regard to the church built in Fresno. Your motives were actuated by spiritual pride, and made a grand investment for display. This never should have been. A building erected at less expense, with more simplicity would have been more pleasing to God. It would have been proper to build a plain, comfortable, respectable house for the worship of God in keeping with our faith. But there was no call for any such building as has been put up. Wisdom was not manifested in the direction. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 45

There are missionaries working in Europe who lack comfortable clothing, who scarcely have food enough to sustain their families, and every needless article of dress, every needless expenditure for the sake of display—to glorify self as did Nebuchadnezzar—is placed on the losing side in the books of records. There is need for every dollar of means that God has entrusted to men. You need, oh, so much you need at this time, to buy the gold of love and faith, that you may be rich, to buy the white robe of Christ’s righteousness that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not appear at the tribunal of God. You need to buy the eyesalve that your eyes may be anointed, that you may discern things as God looks upon them. 6LtMs, Lt 8a, 1890, par. 46