Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7

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Lt 46, 1891

Gates, Elsie

Sydney, Australia

December 15, 1891

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister Gates,

I have been deeply pained by your course of action. I have tried to help you as I have helped others, but you refused my advice; you would heed none of my counsel. You interpreted our interview with Sr. Ings in such an objectionable light [that] it gave Dr. Burke an excuse to write me the letter he did, upon which I pass no comments, for the letter speaks the true heart of the man. I need not have expected anything better of the interview I had with you, for I have met this same spirit in others who were deceived and under the spell of the enemy. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 1

It is his bewitching spirit and power which has captivated you. Your heart was steeled against anything I might say. You did not so much as admit a possibility that you had made any error in your course of action, although I presented to you the plain words of Christ how we should treat those who we suppose are in error. Had you accepted of the warnings given you at Healdsburg, you would have recovered yourself out of the snares of Satan, but my words were to you as an idle tale. Dr. Burke and yourself were united to walk in the sparks of your own kindling. You would not come to the light. Dr. Burke would not come to the light lest your deeds should be reproved. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 2

Dr. Burke is acting over his first course which he pursued to the Institute—that of a traitor. I was sure he would be brought over the ground again, tempted and tried on the same points under which temptation he fell and separated from the institution to work out his own plans. That trial, I was shown while in Salamanca, N. Y., had come. I was shown he would have light set before him, and would have opportunity to choose between God and Baal. Unless he separated in heart, in spirit, in principle, from those who had not the fear and love of God and the truth, he would bind up his interest with those who were under the control of Satanic agencies, and he would firmly resist the reproof of the Spirit of God, would be led by the seductive power of Satan and his agents, to war against the remnant people of God. His heart was not in the truth. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 3

You considered your course, Sr. Gates, was correct, but you have been under the spell and deception of Satan. Your heart was full of sympathy for those not of our faith, and had you possessed the genuine love of Jesus Christ in your heart, you would have had sympathy and love of a far higher order and quality for those who are children of God, walking in the way of His commandments. Your course of action has not been left for you to mark out, for Jesus has laid it out in straight lines before you—just the steps which you are to take towards others whom you suppose to be making mistakes and are in error. You have paid no more regard to the special directions given you of Jesus Christ than you have to the reproof and counsel of Sr. White. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 4

You refused to come over to hear me speak, because the ideas which I expressed did not agree with your ideas. I presented the words of Christ Jesus, and you have so manifestly disregarded His rules given you how to treat those of like faith, it greatly disturbed you to have those rules set before you which you have so decidedly departed from. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 5

Dr. Burke writes I behaved myself so badly in my conversation with Sr. Gates and Sr. Ings, he refused to see me or have any conversation with me. I earnestly set before you the grievous error you were making in connection with Dr. Burke, accusing and planning against our own people who love and fear God, and the sin of taking up the words and the accusations of the enemies of Christ and the truth, receiving their words and acting upon their reports, devising plans against them without saying one word to them, they supposing you were their friend, and you working secretly against them, but not having any words with them, and setting before them the things whereof they were accused. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 6

When I asked you to state to Sr. Ings her offense, you named one thing. She told you there was no truth in the statement. There was a sick patient who had made trouble all through the institution with bitter speeches. The woman accused Sr. Ings, and insisted upon her being removed from the Sanitarium. Other charges that Sr. Gates claimed to be abundant, she would not bring before her that she might know whereof she was accused. She utterly refused to state them in the presence of Sr. Ings. And yet it is expected of Dr. Burke and yourself, and those united with you in the work of accusing, that Sr. White will through her influence remove Sr. Ings from the Sanitarium, because of statements and accusations made by sick patients who hate the truth. One of these patients was asked if she would go to hear Mrs. White speak. She answered, “No, I am not going to hear that fool speak.” 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 7

I told Sr. Gates that the Board of Directors would have to have all these matters come before them and that the reasons would have to be stated why Sr. Ings was discharged, for none of these moves could be done in secret or in an underhanded manner; that if this was the kind of work she was going to give herself to, she was not a safe person to be employed by the sanitarium, because neither justice, righteousness, nor mercy were the principles acted upon. Should I be placed in the same position again, I could not feel less indignation against the un-Christlike attitude assumed by Sr. Gates, and the un-Christlike course pursued in the plans desired, in complete and perfect harmony with sinners and unbelievers, in accusing one of the children of God, and refusing to present before the one accused the faults or errors which had led to this purpose of separating her from the sanitarium. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 8

When Elijah was accused of Ahab, “Art thou he that troubleth Israel?” the charge is laid decidedly back by Elijah upon Ahab, “I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.” [1 Kings 18:17, 18.] Ahab might have said, “Elijah behaved very badly, he talked severely with me, he accused me of forsaking the commandments of the Lord and following Baalim.” I reproved Sr. Gates of not following the commandments of the Lord. The Lord commanded, Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy might, mind, heart and strength and thy neighbor as thyself. The work that had been going on was more after the order of Satan’s working than the way Christ had enjoined upon His disciples. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 9

God gave me a message to bear; I have not shunned to declare His counsel; and there are many more words I have to speak and to write—words which have been given me of God, but the time has not yet come. God has given me my words. Read 1 Kings 21:7, 13. “And the word of the Lord came to Elijah, Arise, go down to meet Ahab, king of Israel, which is in Samaria. And thou shalt speak unto him saying, ... Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, Oh mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord. Behold, I will bring evil upon thee.” [Verses 17-21.] 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 10

When God sees the secret workings of an evil work, He sends reproof and warnings. If they will hear and repent, the Lord will turn away from the evil He purposed to do. If they refuse to humble their hearts, then the Lord will leave them to act out and reveal the motives which prompt to action. I have spoken to you the word of the Lord, and you refused to be corrected. You have charged upon me as the Jews charged our Saviour of casting out devils through Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. This is the way the Jewish leaders viewed the works of Christ. Can I be surprised that Satan should stir up the elements of evil to charge his servants with the same? Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 11

Now I have borne a decided message to those connected with the sanitarium. Dr. Burke has refused to hear or receive counsel of God. You have followed his example. I am sorry for you both. But your position is no more than can be expected by the part that has been borne in harmonizing with the ungodly elements, and having no conscientious tender regard for those who have for years devoted their life to the service of God. They have erred, they have been reproved, they have received reproof, they have humbled their hearts before God, and the promise is fulfilled to them, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:9.] 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 12

Please read 1 Samuel 15:10. “Then came the word of the Lord to Samuel saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king; for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments.” These words are applicable to Dr. Burke. Oh, how this word distressed Samuel. “And it grieved Samuel, and he cried unto the Lord all night.” [Verse 11.] Samuel was not reconciled to the words of the Lord which he must speak to Saul, yet he knew his place was to obey. “And Samuel came unto Saul, and Saul said unto him: Blessed be thou of the Lord; I have performed the commandment of the Lord. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” [Verses 13, 14.] Read verse 15. “Then said Samuel, Stay and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said unto me this night. ... And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel? ... Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fall upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord?” [Verses 17, 19.] 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 13

Now mark the spirit of justification in Saul in place of repentance for his disobedience. “And Saul said to Samuel, Yea I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and hath gone the way that the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of the Amalekites, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, and chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.” [Verses 20, 21.] Here the words of [Saul] contradicted his own statements of denial. “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in sacrifice and offerings as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. Rebellion (mark the words) is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he also hath rejected thee from being king.” [Verses 22, 23.] Read (verse 24) and onward. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 14

A similar spirit has been cherished, and the sin of Saul in disobedience to the light given of God has led to justification of self, and to vindicate a wrong course of action contrary and in opposition to the word of the Lord. The Lord declares that to obey the word of the Lord is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. Satan holds his temptations in such a light before the mind that rebellion will be repeated unless there is the transforming grace of Christ daily upon the soul and the character. Dr. Burke has the spirit of rebellion in him; he has never fully expelled it from the soul. He betrayed sacred trusts once, and will do the same again, for his only safety is to maintain a daily life of humility before God. When he thinks his judgment supreme, the Lord leaves him to reveal his own weakness and sinfulness and foolishness. He does not know what manner of spirit he is of. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 15

Now my sister, your case is different in many respects from that of Dr. Burke’s. You have moved blindly under another spirit. You have taken a wrong course, you have had wonderful sympathy for those not connected with God, and have become [an] accuser of your brethren and sisters. The Lord sent you a message which you refused to even hear or receive. You justified your course that you had obeyed the word of the Lord, when your course was directly opposed to His word, and the counsel of the words of Jesus; and because I had a decided testimony to call you to obedience of the words of Christ, you place the worst construction on the words God gave me to speak to you, and chose to follow in the sparks of your own kindling. As I have placed these words of Christ before you, I need not repeat them. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 16

Please read 1 Peter 3:8. “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous, not rendering evil for evil nor railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing, knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye might inherit a blessing.” [Verses 8, 9.] Verses 10, 11. “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open unto their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” [Verse 12.] 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 17

I have seen the sinfulness of an overflux of sympathy and love for those who are not the obedient children of the commandments of God, while there is not a correspondingly greater degree for those who are seeking to obey and serve the Lord Jesus. Laborers together with God are exhorted to warn every man and to teach every man in all wisdom, that they “may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, whereunto I also labor, striving according to the working which worketh in me mightily.” [Colossians 1:28, 29.] Here is the conscientious faithful work to be done by the followers of Christ. Colossians 2:2, 3. The Word of God abounds with admonitions and injunctions how Christians should treat Christians. Read Galatians 6:1. If there are mistakes made, they are to be treated with all patience and earnest effort to lead them to see the mistakes and correct them; for the unfallen universe of heaven is interested in these souls struggling for eternal life, beset with temptations, and Satan upon their track to oppose every effort they may make to overcome. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 18

You show not the least sympathy for the children of God. But such an abundance of sympathy and love and care for those who neither love nor fear God is not according to the principles of Christ, and is not the fruit of a sound Christian experience in Christ Jesus. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 19

Now, I leave these words with you my brethren, to use if you deem wise for Sr. Gates or any of our people who are confused or unsettled in mind. I expect you will have a great trial of your faith, but God help you to cling to the blessed words of Christ. Rivet your souls to the eternal Rock. Jesus will be your all and in all; in every hard place He goes before you. 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 20

In much love, 7LtMs, Lt 46, 1891, par. 21