Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7

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Lt 55, 1891

Burke, Dr.

Healdsburg, California

September 29, 1891

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Burke:

I am about to say some things to you which I know are important to you and to others. There is not the best condition of things existing at the Health Retreat. I am fully aware, and I am as fully convinced, and that [which] is needed is more of Jesus and less of self. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 1

You spoke of changes that must be made in the Health Retreat and mentioned the matron. Now, my brother, if you have seen things and heard words spoken yourself by Sister Ings that you could not tolerate as spoken to sick patients, then you have a work to do, to go directly to her, talk with her frankly as a Christian should talk to a Christian. But do not talk with others until you have done your whole duty to the one whom you think has erred; but show wisdom in all your words, in your purposes and actions. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 2

Are you not standing under great responsibilities? Should not you give to all with whom you are associated a firm steady light in influence, which will be a blessing to the world? 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 3

I have been shown my brother, you need to overcome some defects in your character. You listen to that which others say and form your opinions altogether too hastily from hearsay, and you judge unjustly sometimes. You need to act with much consideration. You need to consider that the church militant is not the church triumphant. Earth is not yet heaven. The church is composed of imperfect, erring men and women. The training, disciplining process is to be carried on throughout the entire period of probation, and the work of Christians is not to keep silent in regard to the defects and mistakes and errors of those who are seeking to do the will of God. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 4

But there is a cross to be lifted not easy to the natural heart. Speak with the one supposed to be in error. We are constantly to bring into exercise the words of the Apostle, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5), and when we discover things that are wrong in our ways, we are not safe an instant if we do not put them away and take God’s way. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 5

There will be in the true Christian constant growth in exercise of charity one for another, helping each other, strengthening, forbearance, and in the many Christian virtues. Every soul who is associated in the work of God needs a daily consecration to God. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 6

There will be false brethren in the work, but this should not stumble or surprise us, but if there is a neglect on the part of yourself or Elder Fulton, or anyone who are laborers together in the Health Retreat, to kindly point out the mistakes and errors that you think you discover, then unfaithfulness stands written against you. There is no special evidence that you love with a sincere, Christlike love unless you feel you cannot suffer wrong upon a brother. Our prayers should be, Help us to help each other, Lord. The temptations of Satan come to every soul, assailing their weak points of character. Your great peril is the love of praise and flattery. You are liable to be deceived by this lip service and meet with loss because of this defect. Again, you will, unless guarded, be led into false paths by receiving and acting upon what someone tells you, when it is your duty to make every effort to find out whether these reports coming to you are correct or through the failing of your brethren or sisters to keep the way of the Lord. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 7

They do not obey God’s Word. They do not go directly to the one in error and thus show true Christian love and show them where they err. This is a cross they do not care to lift; but if it were lifted every time according [to] the direction of Christ, what a change would be in our institutions! What a change in the church! But it is shunning the cross that will make men and women disregard the words of Christ, and there is partiality and hypocrisy practised by some constantly. They will talk over the errors and mistakes of those they have every reason to believe sincerely love God and love the truth and love the souls for whom Christ has died, as much as they love themselves. The want of frankness and sincerity leads to numerous sins—sins of prevarication and deception. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 8

The love of Jesus in the heart never leads one to flatter or praise or glorify another, and never leads to harshness, to impatience. The words of Christ are applicable to every one of us. “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine eye?” etc. [Matthew 7:1-4.] 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 9

Is it not time we were Bible Christians, that we are doers of the Word and not hearers only? We are in an enemy’s land. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 10

Then let us be exceedingly jealous of our own spirit and attributes that we be not found warring against one another, and weakening one another because we imagine evil things. There is no respect of persons with God, high or low, rich or poor, learned or ignorant. “We are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] Then let us guard the interest of one another, doing in every case as we would be pleased to be done by. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 11

We must individually make straight paths for our feet lest the lame be turned out of the way. Satan has his bribes for every soul and they will come in temptation to every soul, and unless we have self hid in Christ, unless we are as humble as little children, having an eye single to the glory of God, Satan will deceive and destroy us. Satan sees, my brother, every weak point of character in you. I know your case has been so presented before me that you are in great peril of making wrong moves and walking in the sparks of your own kindling, in plans which appear to be right, but I lift the voice of warning, Watch and pray, else you will become the helpless prey of the powers of darkness. Listen only to the voice of the true Shepherd. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 12

I dare not withhold the light God has given me. For I tell you the enemy is counseling you to do those things that will entangle you. You have a desire for more power, you want to handle large responsibilities because you do not really know your own weakness on some points. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 13

Never flatter any man and never be gratified with flattery yourself from any man. It is all hell born; it deceives, it blinds the eyes. It turns the eyes from God to poor human creatures. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 14

God has placed us in this world to say to the sinner, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] There are so many false maxims, so many things of which we are to be afraid, because the Spoiler of souls is upon our track. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 15

In the hands of God you can be made a vessel unto honor. The molding and fashioning under the hand of Christ will make you just the vessel the Lord wants you to be. But let no hand but Christ engage in this work and the agencies He has ordained. God will make you a man of moral power, steadfast to principle, firm as a rock to resist everything that will tarnish Christian fidelity. 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 16

God has a special work for everyone to do, as He had for Saul. It is the wisdom and glory of everyone’s life to do the very work given Him by God and then it can be said of Him “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 17

The world will be glad to make a place for you, the world will extol you, the world will voice the words and spirit of Satan and make you think that a broader sphere of action would be more in keeping with your ability. But temptations are lurking in your path. If you lose heaven, you lose everything. It were better that you had never ... [Remainder missing.] 7LtMs, Lt 55, 1891, par. 18