Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 22, 1893

Gage, Brother and Sister William

Gisborne, New Zealand

October 22, 1893

Portions of this letter are published in CTr 171. +Note

Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Gage
Battle Creek, Michigan

Dear Brother and Sister,

I have been much troubled in the night season, for I was conversing with you as a family. I was deeply moved by the Spirit of the Lord to tell you many plain things, my Brother and Sister Gage. Along the whole way of life that the children of God are called to pass, the Word of God has placed beacons of warnings, as well as guiding lights. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” [Psalm 119:105.] “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life,” to keep thee from evil. [Proverbs 6:23, 24.] 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 1

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of the mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” [Psalm 19:7-14.] 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 2

The Lord wants you as a family to be alarmed, for there are serious dangers in the family associations. Your son Fred is in a fearful position. I sent you a letter not long since in regard to his case. I was aroused in the night season and was taken by [my] guide to your home, and was bearing a most solemn testimony to you as a family. I inquired, why have you not heeded the counsels of God, and changed your location? Why have you been blinded to the situation of your family? Every soul is precious. Christ died to redeem the soul from ruin, and you need without delay to set your house in order. You need to be alarmed, for unless you awake you may inscribe upon your gates, in this house, such, and such, and such a soul made shipwreck of faith. Beware for through precept and example other souls will be irretrievably ruined. 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 3

The veil has been lifted. I have seen beneath it. A divine hand lifts the veil revealing particular events, and the moral likeness of individuals and transactions presented. O, if you, Brother and Sister Gage, had been standing in the counsel of God, you could have been blessed with discernment to understand the deep plotting of Satan, which you have been too spiritually blind to sufficiently discern, to change the order of things in your home. There needs to be a transformation, a thorough and entire renovation in your home. You have a work to do to shake off your stupor and sluggishness. Arouse to action. 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 4

I was carried back to trace from cause to effect. I was shown some things in the life history in connection with your family. My sister Gage, there have been decided defects in character which have imperiled the souls of its members. Of this you have been warned. Knowing these things, you should have walked in the counsel of God, with great humility, ever learning at the feet of Jesus how to lead and guide and counsel, and establish your children in faith, and purity, and singleness of purpose. You have had much light. When a man is placed in circumstances connected with religious privileges and advantages to learn wisdom, and to act wisdom, to save souls from ruin, if he does not live up to that light, darkness comes upon him, and how great is that darkness. Light has been shining all around you, but that light has not been appreciated. 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 5

I have been receiving light from the Lord. There has been a development of character in your children that should make you afraid, and your soul burdened. Cannot you trace from cause to effect? Paul Roth might have been far in advance of what he is today, had he not allowed his mind to be enamored with your daughter, and his companion in study, Brother _____ might have been far higher in the pursuit of his studies if he had not allowed his affections to go out for one who will not be to him the help he needs. 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 6

Both of these young men must be warned. I must write to them for the end is near. They would be glad to return to Battle Creek, but the farther they keep from Battle Creek, the better will it be for them. Had they attended diligently to their studies, and bound their hearts more and still more firmly to God, they would have made medical missionaries to have accomplished a work through Jesus Christ that would bring to them a precious reward. But their minds were diverted while in Battle Creek, and, becoming enamored, they have lost much which they might have gained in advancement in knowledge if they had braced themselves by prayer, and by diligent study to fit them for positions of usefulness and duty. 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 7

O, how little deep, earnest work the Spirit of God can accomplish in the human heart, when it is divided and misled by earthly idols. My heart is bowed down with a sorrow that I cannot express. I cannot even now say the things I may be compelled to say, but the time is not yet. Some things best be left unsaid. My present work is to arouse you. I might relate some things, but yet cannot for I am restricted to go no farther than to say, Set your house in order. Weed out and keep disconnected from every influence that is not wholly consecrated and sanctified. 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 8

It is seldom that one sin will stand alone or be restricted in the range of transgression to one precept or one prohibition of the moral law. There is ever a complication of disobedience, which leads the perverted conscience to a greater length of entanglement by entering to greater temptations and sinning more and more. I tell you in the name of God to awake. Had you pursued as parents a faithful continuous course of right there would be altogether a different history registered in the books of heaven. Satan is weaving his net to secure souls. O how specious the arguments of the great deceiver. 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 9

The heart not given entirely to the control of Jesus Christ has a door open for Satan to enter, and the arch-deceiver weaves about the soul ingenious apologies in performing its hidden purposes of evil. All these excuses and pretensions are seen of God, and are as spider webs in the eyes of Him who never slumbers or sleeps. O how readily will the human soul find out poor and wretched excuses to deceive and cover up their own course of evil which they pursue. There is an exact judge who weigheth actions. He cannot be deceived; neither can He be mocked. He will one day strike off the covering, unveil the conscience, and sweep away these excuses as smoke. 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 10

The Lord God hath a witness to every transaction. Elisha’s reproof to Gehazi when he denied having left to follow Naaman [was]: “whence comest thou Gehazi?” The answer is, “Thy servant went no whither.” Then the stern reproof came which showed he knew all. “Went not my heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and olive yards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and men servants, and maid servants? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed forever.” [2 Kings 5:25-27.] The Lord had revealed the whole matter. The interview with Naaman, the minutest incidents of the scene were accurately presented before him. O the workings of the powers of darkness are so deceiving! 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 11

Elisha revealed to Gehazi, the very thoughts of his heart, and that he would enrich himself with the earthly treasure from Naaman. There was a man who should have been a standard-bearer in the army of the Lord, [but] through Satan’s temptations his course of action was a stumbling block to Naaman, upon whose mind a wonderful light had broken and he was favorably disposed toward truth, to serve the living God. Gehazi went from his presence a leper. The Lord calls upon you to seek His counsel, to be true to your own soul and to God, and to seek most earnestly to recover yourself and your children from Satan’s snares. 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 12

I speak to you, Brother Gage, there has been a spiritual decay for years going on with you. You are quickly and often decidedly affected by influences. This deterioration has been revealing itself in your character. A man falls imperceptibly in secret before others suspect the true features of his case. No human eye discerns the descending steps one after another; the presumptuous actions are the blossoms of the fruit. The fruit has been ripening by secret influences—unwatchfulness, and but little praying. 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 13

Self-conceit has divorced the soul from God, and the sins over which you were, when once aroused by the Spirit of God, watchful to resist, has overcome them. You will do the very things at which you would have started in surprise, if told that you would do. But of the very things for which you treated Professor Bell with gloves of steel, you are more guilty than he and deceived through Satan’s specious devices. “Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.” [1 Corinthians 10:12.] This caution of Paul to the Galatians you fail to consider, under the moving of the powers exercising you in an evil work. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one; in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself lest thou also be tempted.” [Galatians 6:1.] 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 14

The holy shrinking from even the appearance of evil, you have lost. If we [should] carry many souls forward, only a few years in their history, and then present to them a picture of what they will be, they would start back and cry, Impossible! I can never sink so low as that! The deceitfulness of sin. How it blinds the eyes and infatuates the whole man. A bewitching power binds him thread after thread until he is in complete captivity. “Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth.” [Galatians 3:1.] 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 15

It becomes every soul to distrust himself, to watch and to pray. O, how much need had you, Brother Gage, when at Petoskey to have made one in that meeting from commencement to the close. How much need have you to pray every hour. “Hold up my goings in thy paths, that thy footsteps slip not.” “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there by any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” [Psalm 17:5; 139:23.] O how many go of their own accord in the way of temptation inviting the devil to tempt them to their ruin. The heart is all prepared to receive the temptation Satan has been preparing for the occasion. He carefully and adroitly studies his ground, and the subject he has his eye upon and lays his snare accordingly. 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 16

When a believer allows himself to be placed in temptation, he is almost always a prey to Satan’s devices. The world has had your mind, your heart, your energies, and all has been under a skilful, trained hand to ruin you and yours. My brother, did you consider your dangers for this time? “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” [2 Timothy 2:15, 16.] 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 17

Will you consider, “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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” [Ephesians 6:12-18.] 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 18

It is now time when every energy of the soul needs to be aroused that we shall not be ignorant of Satan’s devices. God forbid that you should be one of the foolish virgins, having the lamp, but no oil of grace to replenish your lamp. You promise fair now to be, as represented in the parable, a foolish virgin. 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 19

“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. ... Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:18, 20.] The predominant character of the acts of men is a certain index of the state of the heart. 8LtMs, Lt 22, 1893, par. 20