Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 73, 1894

Rousseau, Sister

No. 3 George’s Terrace, Melbourne, Australia

March 2, 1894

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Sister Rousseau:

I have received and read your letter, and wish to say [that] in the position you now are, I cannot help you, I cannot do you the least particle of good. I would not undertake to mingle, in your mind, a “Thus saith the Lord” with your ideas <and imaginings> of what Brother and Sister Starr have said and done. As long as you view these things as you now do, I have nothing to say. When the Lord urges me to speak, it will be to both yourself and your husband. I shall have no secrets from him; everything must come to the light of day. If you think I have published the matter of your position in regard to your husband, I am sorry. I have not done this, but it would make no difference in your mind whether I do or do not deny the charge. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 1

There is very much to this matter, both in your case and in that of Sister Daniells. Satan has been weaving his web about you both; he is jubilant, and the Spirit of the Lord is grieved. I have neither time nor strength to devote to this matter. When you shall fall upon the Rock and be broken, then the Holy Spirit of God can make you new in mind, in soul, and in body; but I have no hope of saying or doing anything that will help you, until you are melted over and changed, decidedly changed. In order to have the mind of Christ, you will need to be converted as thoroughly as the sinner who has never known the Lord. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 2

Brother and Sister Starr may make mistakes, but this fact does not justify your course toward them. The church militant is not the church triumphant. Every individual member has a battle to fight, a close, hard conflict before him. There is no release in this warfare. Your expressions before others, in meetings and out of meetings, <which is an implied> thrust at your husband <is an offense to God;> you give the impression that you are undergoing great trials of which others know nothing. Is this the way you are to travel heavenward? Did they have the matter laid open before them <as it is,> they would see things in a different light, but you give them food for surmising. You are working on Satan’s side, and know not what you are about. You exercise your tact and ingenuity in weaving a web that clothes you in the garments of a martyr. If you only knew, if you could turn your eyes from yourself long enough to see the other side of the question, you would be entirely disgusted with your history since you have been connected with the school. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 3

Sister Starr was unwilling to stand as matron of the school, for she did not think herself sufficient for the place. We <knew how hard we had to> urge her to do this, for it was our only resort. We told her that Sister Daniells and Sister Rousseau would help her, and she might consider that the three together might possibly make one. The outlook was not favorable or pleasant, but Sister Starr consented and has far exceeded our expectations. But she soon saw she had no encouragement in her position or work from Sister Daniells or Sister Rousseau. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 4

Can you look at this side of the question long enough to see that Sister Starr was much disappointed? Was it not grief and trial to her for these two sisters to become criticizers? Had it not been that the Lord understood the situation, and braced her for the duties she had consented to do, she would have refused to bear the responsibilities that must necessarily come upon her. There was much praying done by Brother and Sister Starr. Everything did not move like well-adjusted, well-oiled machinery, but the Lord was at the helm. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 5

Sister Rousseau and Sister Daniells linked their forces together and opened to each other the secrets of their hearts, which should never be revealed outside of the family circle. They bound themselves together, sympathizing with each other. I have been shown that the Lord had a great blessing for you three, but you dissolved partnership because everything did not meet your ideas. You left Sister Starr to bear heavy responsibilities, while you stood off to question and find fault. Had you in the name of the Lord taken hold with her, uniting your interests as one, you would have realized a blessing, not only spiritually, but physically. You would have had the sustaining power of God, the presence of One who hath said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] Your linking up together, in the Spirit of Christ, would have been health and sufficiency to all three. <You have missed a rich blessing.> 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 6

When Sister Daniells and Rousseau linked their interests together, and freely opened to each other their feelings, they thought it was the most happy association for both, but God did not bless them in this companionship. <There was a Witness present.> The Lord has witnessed in you an increase of suppositions and of deceptive imaginings that have become more and more perverted, and that have leavened others. You have been sowing seed which has not been springing up unto everlasting life. It is yielding a harvest which neither of you <will> care to garner. But you have both been reaping somewhat of that which you have sown. The deceptions become yet stronger, and as the harvest appears, you accredit to another hand the sowing of the seed which has caused Sister Rousseau so much sorrow. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 7

Sister Rousseau has nourished false ideas, and if she cannot be made to see and forever discard them, she will continue to have all this terrible agony to the end of the chapter. She will never bring her husband to see things from her standpoint as long as he has Christ for his teacher. She cannot make her husband over so that his identify shall be submerged in hers. God does not lead him into that channel. He must individually act his part for himself. He must look to God for himself, and trust in His guidance. He is in a responsible position, and God has given him favor with the students; while he is firm, he may always be kind; but to yield and consent to things which are not for the moral interest of the school would be the betrayal of a sacred trust. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 8

In every emergency which Brother Rousseau has had to meet, there has been a Witness ever present to render help when it was needed. This Witness has seen that Brother Rousseau did not receive sympathy and encouragement from one who might have given him great courage. But instead of doing this, you were led by the temptations of the enemy to brood over your own supposed wrongs. Satan deepened the impression upon your mind, and thus you have brought a discouraging burden upon your husband which the Lord alone can understand. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 9

These things have greatly injured your health; the association with Sister Daniells has been a detriment to you both, and should never have been. There have been sharp and bitter jealousies, envyings, evil-surmisings, making a mountain of difficulty out of a molehill, and there has been real hatred, as the result of evil thoughts that had no foundation in truth. This has been just as Satan desired it to be, because of the depressing influence it would have upon Brother Rousseau in addition to his many burdens. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 10

But while Sister Rousseau has not had the Spirit of Jesus and the sustaining power of God, I saw the Lord looking pityingly upon her. I heard these words: “O that she would love and fear me! If she would look away from herself to me, then she would be wise and a blessing; but pride is her handmaid, and selfishness her leader. She is wasting her energies on mere suppositions, fastening her affections upon the unreal, and cultivating a disrelish for that which is enduring and satisfying.” 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 11

God has given you powers that if exercised, baptized in sanctifying grace, would make you wholly useful; but under the power of an intense imagination, words and actions are misconstrued, interpreted to mean alienation and doubt and censure and reproach. Through this self-deception, numberless hours are passed in sadness and sorrow. God will not hide Himself in these wonderful secrecies which have a deceiving power to act and react upon the human agent. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 12

The sharp, two-edged sword of God’s Word must cut away these supposed disappointments, and pierce the joints and marrow, before there will be correct thinking and correct acting. The fault is not that which has been supposed. It is not with the circumstances, but with a perverted mind and a mistaken view of things. You expect happiness to come to you through others instead of going to work to make happiness for yourself by surrendering soul, body, and spirit unreservedly to God. This getting the feelings worked up, tormenting yourself with supposed troubles, fears, and forebodings, is a species of insanity. Satan is at work to create morbid fancies and exquisite anguish, until any blessing God might place within your reach would be interpreted into a curse. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 13

Sister Rousseau, you covet some fancied good which selfishness craves, while you are constantly overlooking and under-valuing the good that is proffered you. You have precious treasures, but cast them aside for things less valuable. You do not recognize the present duties and obligations, but the mind’s eye is looking far off for something to alleviate misery which is a creature of your own fancy. You shadow the present with discontent, while duties that lie close at hand are left undone. The reveling <in> memories of the past, while you forget the advantages of the present and dwell upon possibilities and unreal creations of fancy, unfits the mind for real, practical life. Everything that transpires is thought to conceal a hidden evil which must be unmasked. You think that things are conspiring against you, and you work yourself up until you harbor insane fancies. You think you have seen more trouble than any other being, and you charge all your unhappiness upon someone who, you suppose, is working you harm. You do not dream that you are the author of a large share of your own sufferings. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 14

You are, you think, very conscientious, very discerning and righteous. Your ideas of your superior goodness and blamelessness make it next to impossible to help you. While you possess traits of character that are valuable if under the control of the Spirit of God, you do not realize that you lack anything. All the failure is on the part of others, <of> those who love you best. You judge them unrighteously. If you yourself were faultless, you would not suffer so terribly through the supposed faults of others. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 15

My sister, you throw the blame of your unhappiness upon Brother and Sister Starr. In doing this you bear false witness against them, and cast upon them the blame that is due to your own want of judgment. You have been guilty of doing the very work that you have charged upon others. The work which God approves as noble, you have made contemptible in the eyes of others by casting suspicion upon the motives of those connected with you. You have charged Sister Starr with coldness. But what has been your attitude toward her? Have you not estranged yourself by coldness and distrust, by cherishing feelings that made you uncomfortable and unable to see anything good or valuable in her? 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 16

Sister Rousseau and Sister Daniells, I tell you in the fear of God, your association together, marking and commenting upon the deficiencies of others, and exalting your own merit and aptness is a terrible snare. Had you possessed true refinement, you would not have done this. If the Lord should take all the unfavorable things that are true of you, my sisters, and make a scourge of them to punish you with, you would be wretched indeed. Yet you would, by your charges, inflict exquisite suffering on others because you imagine they have purposely inflicted suffering upon you. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 17

Your words may be unjust, but they do not fail to cause suffering. It would be painful and humiliating to anyone to think others had such an estimate of them. Oh, look at your words, consider what spirit caused their utterance. All the excellencies have been passed by, but every little thing that could be looked upon as faulty has been interpreted to mean a great deal. Thank God, many things that human beings would comment upon as evil do not appear thus on the books of God. Every one has imperfections, but let each look to himself, and see the faults in his own character, rather than in the character of others. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 18

I was brought by the Spirit of God into a room where I heard expressions in regard to Sister Starr. <There was> a repetition of what the different individuals had said and how the students expressed themselves. Then I saw a curtain lifted, and One was standing with a book, tracing the words spoken, while deep sadness was upon his countenance. My Guide spoke solemnly, “Bear to them the message that God saith, Neither will I be with you any more until ye put away the accursed thing from among you.” [See Joshua 7:12.] All such confederacy, such surmising and evil speaking as has been indulged in, is from beneath, from him who is the father of lies, an accuser of the brethren, and a murderer. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 19

Satan has been gaining victories that must be seen in their true bearing. The root of bitterness has been springing up in hearts, and thereby many are being defiled. The thoughts that have been cherished are unjust, false, and cruel. The evil must be seen, its deceptive influence must be broken, or the pestilent matter will gather and burst forth again, and the evil will become incurable. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 20

I know whereof I affirm, for God has presented these things before me in various ways. I know the peculiar material with which we have to do. When these sisters enter upon a wrong course, it is difficult to correct them; it is exceedingly hard to change the current of thought, to purify the stream and make the bitter water sweet. 9LtMs, Lt 73, 1894, par. 21