Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8

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Lt 52, 1893

Rousseau, Sister; Walling, May

Wellington, New Zealand

April 24, 1893

Portions of this letter are published in 2MCP 772. +Note

Dear Sister Rousseau and May Walling,

I arise early this morning, have not slept since half past three. I would be much pleased to see you and talk over some things in regard to the life of Christ. This week I am going to write and do what I can and not neglect the many duties demanding attention to the souls of those who need help. The Lord knows just how much needs to be done, and how large a number who profess to believe the truth are slothful servants. I am very grateful to [our] gracious heavenly Father for His love toward me. I love Jesus, and know He will help and strengthen me. 8LtMs, Lt 52, 1893, par. 1

We have had rain now since last Monday, one part of one day there was only a shower, and then blessed sunshine. At noon we expect Brother and Sister Starr from Palmerston. We have missed them much during the past week, and are very sorry that it is necessary for Brother Starr to return to Melbourne. There is very much need that his work and mine should be united in New Zealand. If any one could possibly fill his place, I would not consent that he should go to Melbourne. His heart is in the work, and if he cannot be with me in connection with the work for the months to come, I shall be pleased to know that he will be a great blessing in the school in opening the Scriptures to the students. So I shall be reconciled, for the Lord knows all about the necessities in every place, and He will give increased grace where the work is the hardest and the most trying. I am glad, so glad, we have One upon whom we can rely, who will work with our efforts if we have living faith in Him. 8LtMs, Lt 52, 1893, par. 2

Sr. Rousseau, I have a deep interest in your husband and in yourself that you should both have living faith in the promises of God. I have felt some anxiety in regard to you and Sister Daniells. I <have> never seen any good in these close intimacies. While you may feel gratified and entertained, there is not the advancement there should be in full trust in Jesus and the power of His grace to supply every need, every soul hunger. The exchange of trials and sympathies <may be> gratifying, but there is great danger that the human agent will take the place where God should be. 8LtMs, Lt 52, 1893, par. 3

I write this because I have been troubled. There is <sympathy and> flattery given to each other, and it results in self-deception and positive harm. Where these partialities are indulged, they prove a positive hindrance in many ways, blinding the eyes to defects of character that need to be seen and overcome. These strong intimacies absorb the interest and affection of the parties; they are selfishly devoted to each other, and thus others are deprived of the society and association that might be a great help and blessing to them. I do not think either of you meant to do wrong, but I do know that all such partialities are deleterious to the parties in more ways than one. 8LtMs, Lt 52, 1893, par. 4

Now, my sister, I write because you will miss Sr. Daniells and will talk of the loss of her society; but I think the change will be better for you both. May Walling is one that needs guarding in this direction. She has such strong likes and dislikes, not altogether reasonable, not resting on a good foundation. It seems to be a part of her nature to fasten her affections upon one or two, and she cannot do too much for them. In her eyes they are perfection. She flatters them by her strong attachments, and they influence and flatter her; and she flatters them with her words, which is not wise, for she knows not the heart. If all this unbounded love went flowing toward God and Jesus Christ, there would not be such spiritual dearth in the human soul; there would not be so little love for Jesus. 8LtMs, Lt 52, 1893, par. 5

Now, I hope you will have spiritual discernment to see that it is important not to entwine your tendrils around any human being. I wish you to read this to May, as I have not time to write this matter for her. The very ones for whom she should manifest affection do not get any evidence of its existence in her. The manifestation of preferences and partialities is not favorable to spirituality. Were the subjects of these ardent attachments those who bore the closest resemblance to Christ in self-denial and self-sacrifice and in the possession of heavenly wisdom, if it were the attributes dwelling in Jesus, His loveliness of character, that formed the basis of this strong friendship and absorbing affection, then it would not be so objectionable; but it is not thus. 8LtMs, Lt 52, 1893, par. 6

When I see one poor, defective mortal reaching out the heart’s tendrils and fastening them upon another poor, defective human being, I am not well pleased. I call it sickly, diseased sentimentalism. It does not give evidence of spiritual discernment [or of] a healthy, balanced mind and good common sense. “Upward to God be your soul’s adoration,” whence are ever flowing the pure streams of salvation. When these strong attachments exist, their influence is always weakening to both spiritual and physical health. The ones to whom such strong preference is shown conclude that they must possess lovely traits of character which the most of humanity have not discernment enough to discover, and the influence of this leads them to reject advice and counsel <concerning their errors and faults. They blunt all the messages God gives them.> I have seen those who indulge these strong preferences, who sustain and pet and sympathize with one another, and bar the way so that no special good can be done for them through advice and wholesome reproof. All is commented upon and treated as uncalled for. 8LtMs, Lt 52, 1893, par. 7

There are persons <envious,> jealous and sensitive, as well as rebellious, when an effort is made to correct their wrong by those who see their danger and know that their life will be spoiled and their souls imperilled if there is not a decided change in their character. But whoever may warn and set forth principles before them, it is without effect. They have so much pride and morbid sensitiveness that their wrongs and mistakes will not bear the touch of reproof. Either by pen or voice they will make known their grievances to their bosom confidants, and the healing plaster is placed upon the bruise, so that the words of reproof and correction are without effect, and they withdraw their confidence from their best friend, for these loving confidences are the soothing balm. 8LtMs, Lt 52, 1893, par. 8

This is exactly the picture I present to you, which is true in every respect, that will be seen in many cases where there is less experience and less of divine wisdom. Therefore the positive danger. Sympathy is good, <wisely given,> but it must be judiciously imparted, with a knowledge that the subject is deserving sympathy. What shall be said of receiving advice and counsel? Proverbs 25:9-12. “Debate thy cause with thy neighbor himself; and discover not a secret to another: lest he that heareth it put thee to shame ... A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. As an earring of gold, and as an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.” 8LtMs, Lt 52, 1893, par. 9

When we can associate together to help one another heavenward, when the conversation is upon divine and heavenly things, then it amounts to something to talk; but when the conversation centers upon self and upon earthly and unimportant matters, silence is golden. The obedient ear will receive reproof with humility, patience, and teachableness. Then only do our communications with each other prove beneficial and fulfil all that God would have them. When both sides of the divine instruction are fulfilled, the wise reprover does his duty, and the obedient ear hears to a purpose and is benefitted. 8LtMs, Lt 52, 1893, par. 10

I write this not only for your own consideration, but that you may help any one on these points where I know eternal interests are involved. You will see these ardent friendships, <and then> please give words of counsel. 8LtMs, Lt 52, 1893, par. 11

In much love. 8LtMs, Lt 52, 1893, par. 12