Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 48, 1891

Burke, Dr.

Battle Creek, Michigan

January 6, 1891 [Completed Sept. or Oct., 1891]

Portions of this letter are published in 9MR 72.

Dear Brother Burke:

While at Salamanca, N.Y., in November 1890, I had a very remarkable experience. I had been greatly afflicted and discouraged in consequence of physical suffering; pain in my head and ears was almost unbearable. Yet I filled my appointments. The last time I spoke, because of gatherings in my head I told my son I must return home at once, although important meetings were before me in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Washington, D.C. I could scarcely hear my own voice and was so weak. I staggered as I walked. I went to my chamber and knelt to pray, when the whole room was lighted up with the presence of Jesus. I was lifted above all discouragement and was made all light in the Lord and praised Him aloud. This night many things were opened before me in regard to our institutions. The condition of conferences and churches were shown me and I immediately wrote out many things in my diary. 7LtMs, Lt 48, 1891, par. 1

When I returned to Battle Creek, there was the Ministerial Institute and the Conference, wherein I labored exceedingly hard, then went to Petoskey to rest. But the college institute was nine miles from Petoskey at Harbor Springs. Here I labored for five weeks, then returned to Battle Creek and attended the Michigan Conference, and then left for Colorado and California. 7LtMs, Lt 48, 1891, par. 2

I had written some things to you while in Battle Creek, but could not find the matter in my tarry in Petoskey, and wrote you in May and mentioned the fact that I had a letter written but could not find it. 7LtMs, Lt 48, 1891, par. 3

In the night season again were the Health Retreat matters opened before me. I had not received any communication from any one at the Health Retreat to arouse my fears, and Sister Ings always wrote encouragingly, spoke of you as being hard at work and feared that you would not be able to endure such constant labor. Nothing was said. Elder Fulton wrote that reports were out that you were designing to leave the Retreat, but said, “He has not mentioned the matter to me and I think that it is not true.” 7LtMs, Lt 48, 1891, par. 4

This is all the information I received from any source, but the things presented before me alarmed me. 7LtMs, Lt 48, 1891, par. 5

I was carried back to the time of your connection with the Health Retreat. Everything at that time was not favorable for anyone connected with it because God was not made first and last and best in everything. There was need of persons closely connected with God who would, with humble hearts and well-balanced minds, show sound judgment in steering the ship through the breakers of difficulties; but no man was there sufficient for the occasion. Your experience was not of a correct order. You were not sanctified through the truth and made many grave blunders, and so did others. 7LtMs, Lt 48, 1891, par. 6

The Lord sent you warnings through His servant from Europe, but you refused to hear. You tore yourself away and would not come into line. Will you read these warnings and see how closely you are acting them over the second time? 7LtMs, Lt 48, 1891, par. 7

All these things might have been avoided if the love of God was in the heart and love of self was crucified. You left the institution and this was wrong. You set up your practice in St. Helena. This was not right, and now comes an experience which was very trying to you and to others. The worldlings formed around you, and you formed a close confederacy with them, and Satan laid his snare for your soul. The enemy exulted in the whole matter. 7LtMs, Lt 48, 1891, par. 8

You arranged yourself on the enemy’s side and strengthened the hands of the enemies of truth, and what hard work you made for those who were trying to do the work of God and stand to their post of duty. You were received back again, notwithstanding. The Lord permitted you to pass over the ground again and have a second trial. 7LtMs, Lt 48, 1891, par. 9

The experience you needed you did not obtain. You have had the matter presented before you in distinct lines. Will you heed the light given? The impressions made on your mind in receiving so much praise and flattery, has marred and warped the accuracy of your religious experience. Your mind is confused, clouded. You do take glory to yourself and want to move in your own independent judgment because you have come to think that judgment is sufficient and neither man nor God has any right to interfere with your ideas and course of action. These ideas must be changed and you learn as a little child of the Master, and your will and your way be under the control of the Lord’s will and the Lord’s way; and the Lord is now testing you to see if you will become as a little child and if you refuse reproof; if you will not be admonished, then you will not be led and controlled in heaven if you were there. 7LtMs, Lt 48, 1891, par. 10

Now is your test, now is your day of opportunity. You have been lifted up and God calls upon you [to] humble yourself under the hand of God and He will lift you up. Let God do all the exalting, not man, who knows not Jesus Christ or the Father. You want spiritual life in Jesus Christ, to die to self, and unless you become as a little child, teachable, molded and fashioned after the divine model, you will never enter the mansions of bliss. 7LtMs, Lt 48, 1891, par. 11