Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 42, 1891

Gates, Elsie

Healdsburg, California

October 25, 1891

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister [Elsie] Gates,

I feel that you should not leave the Sanitarium, Crystal Springs. If you should leave with your present feelings, your usefulness would close, I fear. But if you have committed an error, it is not too late for wrongs to be righted. Do not allow the enemy to have a controlling power upon you. I have a great desire that your prayers and my prayers should be answered, that the wrongs that have been existing at the Health Retreat may be healed by humbling the soul before God, each and every one searching his own heart, comparing his and her course of action with the written Word, and see if each one has not something to do to set his own feet out and away from false paths into the true path that is cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 1

I was thoroughly alarmed when in Salamanca, New York, last November, when the light was given to me in clear lines where there were demoralizing influences at work in our institutions. The enemy was having a decided influence because there was not a keeping of the way of the Lord, but there was a course being pursued by those who professed to be Bible Christians entirely contrary to the Lord in their treatment of one another. There was not that Christlike watching for souls, guarding the souls of those associated together of the same faith, interested to give all the strength possible to each, that they may perfect Christian character. The institutions were receiving a worldly mold because they did not follow out to the letter the words of Christ and be strictly doers of His words in their treatment of one another. Those who are, as missionaries, giving Bible readings are the very ones who are not only to explain the Scriptures in their natural simplicity, but to practice them, teaching in their associations with those of like precious faith. 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 2

I was alarmed for the outlook of the Health Retreat. The course of action pursued toward those who were of our faith was not in accordance with the principles of the words of Christ, given in plain lines, to be presented by those who follow the Lord Jesus, aiming to reach the standard of Christian perfection. 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 3

Dr. Burke’s course is not a Bible course. He will not be approved of God in walking directly contrary to the words of Christ, and in this course of dealing with the children of God he is by his example standing in a high position of trust, educating others who respect him to pursue a similar course, which is simply un-Christlike. Christ identifies His interest with His people, His disciples. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me. If we can all bear in mind that we are dealing with Christ in the person of His believing children, there will be altogether a different course pursued toward them than yourself and Dr. Burke have pursued. 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 4

I would be unfaithful to my holy trust should I sanction this course in you or him or anyone who has in a less or larger degree participated in this kind of un-Christlike work. There is no kind of virtue in the sight of God for anyone in our institutions to link up their interests with the unbelievers so decidedly and sympathetically as to partake of their spirit of questioning and finding fault, and accepting evil reports of those whom you know have no connection with God. 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 5

Their words are accepted as verity and truth without sifting the matter to the bottom and finding whether these things are so, [to] act upon and second the prejudiced passions and evil-mindedness of unbelievers to humiliate by this course of action the ones who are seeking to serve God. There is a right way which is the Bible way, and I propose that Bible readings be given to believers and unbelievers in the lessons of Jesus Christ He has given so explicitly in regard to the manner of dealing with those who believe in Him. 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 6

If Dr. Burke hears from the lips of unbelievers words of censure spoken against any one of our faith, if he acts upon these words as he has done, he becomes a partaker with them as accusers of the brethren, and thus it stands charged to him in the books of heaven. There will be unreasonable patients who have educated themselves to find fault with everything that did not meet their minds, who will accuse and may storm and rage against one [or] another of the workers. Whose agents are they? Satan’s agents. He works through these willing subjects. 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 7

Now I have been shown that the words of these unreasonable accusers have been acted upon when the workers were not at fault, but were doing their duty to the very best of their ability. But sympathy was bestowed on the ones who were acting under the direct power of Satan, and the worker, a child of God, was not visited, was not talked with, and all the facts presented that the case might appear; but Dr. Burke held himself entirely aloof, did not do his duty as a Christian, but passed judgment and condemned and hurt and bruised the souls of the servants of Jesus Christ in unfair decisions. 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 8

Now God’s blessing will not rest on that institution where such things are practiced. God’s Word will ever bear the divine credentials, not the stamp and superscription of the enemy. Let Christians cherish the principles of Christianity. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another.” [John 13:35.] 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 9

There must be no working in secret, no working in an underhanded way by any one, or against any one in our institutions, with believers or unbelievers. Everything must be open, frank and reasonable. There must be fair, open work. There must be cherished the Spirit of Christ. The workers often need encouragement. The workers need words of sympathy and Christlike tenderness and would appreciate it and would do the work with cheerfulness and be brave. But when they are feeling that they are left to the mercy of fretful, unreasonable, sick patients who only need to speak the word and it shall be acted upon at once without any trial, any unprejudiced jurors to decide the cases, what courage could they have, constantly expecting and trembling lest a blow is struck by an unseen hand in the dark, and their fate decided and they expelled? 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 10

There have been persons retained who have no connection with God, an offense to God; but those who had not spiritual eyesight would separate from the institution those who should remain and retain those who should be discharged. Now all these things must be corrected. All these things must be controlled by the Spirit of our loyal leader, Jesus Christ. There must be no partiality shown to those who are not believers, in preference to those who are believers. This work God would have come to an end. 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 11

There will be mistakes made by the workers, over-wearied, overcharged with cares and responsibilities; there will be forgetfulness; there will be sometimes impatience. These things may demand to be treated with a reprimand. “Let him that is spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself lest thou also be tempted.” [Galatians 6:1.] Try to reform, not destroy them who believe in Jesus Christ. I feel very sad over these matters, for if this state of things continues, Satan will work his cards to suit his satanic majesty, and the very ones who will be saving salt in that institution will be worked out, and a class occupy their place who will not improve the condition of things a whit. But Satan has had his way in bringing his power to bear upon human minds, deceiving them, darkening their understanding because they did not strictly adhere to the Bible rule. A spirit of criticism, of telling things in secret, of whisperings of scandal, will fill the institution, and confidence in friend, confidence in the love of brethren will no longer exist. But envy, strife, love for praise, love for flattery, bitterness, love of supremacy, will be the elements that are circulating through the institution. 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 12

God has answered the prayers that have been offered, not in the way you suppose, but He has revealed the rest of the difficulties. “I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou hast fallen, and repent and do thy first works, or else I will come unto thee quickly and remove thy candlestick out of thy place unless thou repent.” [Revelation 2:4, 5.] Let the words of the True Witness be heeded, be watchful and strengthen the things that remain that are ready to die, for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 13

It is high time we understood on whose side we are working. The children of God are few in the world. Satan and his hellish arts are exercised against them to annoy and destroy. Shall these few turn their weapons against one another, shall they weaken and destroy one another? This is the thing they will do if the same spirit is allowed to exist and prevail that has been strengthening at the Health Retreat. 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 14

God requires that His followers be bound together in firm strong bonds of love and faithfulness. Every soul has his or her own battles to fight, every soul has victories to gain; not one is perfect before God; not one is out of danger, and every one has human weaknesses. Then let each seek to help another, not to weaken and tear down. Let the spirit of secrecy, doing things in an underhanded manner, come to an end. The very ones who ought to know are left in utter darkness and ignorance of the work going on against them, and by whom? Those of their own faith, instigated by the children of disobedience, children of the wicked one. Seek the Lord, and let every soul seek the Lord; let there be true contrition of soul, look away from others’ faults to your own errors in neglecting to do your duty in not walking in the way of the Lord. Now it is not too late for wrongs to be righted. Take hold of this matter for your soul’s sake, and for the sake of other souls, and make wrongs right, and remain to work in the Sanitarium in a higher, purer, holier manner. 7LtMs, Lt 42, 1891, par. 15