Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 17, 1894

Daniells, Brother and Sister [A. G.]

No. 3 George’s Terrace, Melbourne, Australia

March 6, 1894

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Daniells,

I have a deep interest and love for you both, but I must present to you some things that have been presented before me. You are both in need of constant connection with God. Bro. Daniells is in a responsible position, and the Word of God is to be his guide, his directory, his textbook. He must be constantly looking unto Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of his faith. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 1

My dear Brother and Sister, do you believe the Word of God? Are you doers of His Word? Is there on your part a daily consecration to God? Do you, Sister Daniells, realize that you must have a deeper heart-work? Self is often unsubdued, it is not hid in Jesus, and you do not realize the influence your words exert upon your husband’s mind. Through defective spiritual eyesight you may, both now and in the future, make mistakes which will result in giving your husband a wrong impression in regard to persons and things and will lead to a course of action that is not of the right order, because not prompted by the Spirit of God. You are in danger of viewing things in a wrong light; that which you regard as light and wisdom will often prove to be but sparks of your own kindling. The ideas and views which you have entertained are woven into your husband’s mind, and unless he is constantly in connection with God, receiving light from the Holy Spirit, he will be led into the same criticisms, and a mold will be given to the work that is not according to the divine similitude. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 2

I am terribly afraid of the spirit that is so ready to criticize, so wide awake to discover defects in <others, but especially> the workers whom God has used to His own name’s glory. I am sad, for I see no reason for the spirit and feelings and thoughts that have been expressed toward Sister Starr; and if two women can unite, as Sister Daniells and Sister Rousseau have done, to create so much that is objectionable in regard to Sister Starr, why should they not do the same in regard to me? I am no more safe from their criticism than she. I am afraid, I have been afraid, that the words I would feel it my duty to speak would be wrested and misapplied. I have feared to present to them personally as the light God has given me in reproof of wrongs, lest the truth should suffer by being mingled in their minds with rubbish, and thus have no effect. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 3

I have seen the net woven so artfully about both Sister Daniells and Sister Rousseau that it seemed impossible for them to break the spell or to discern the true nature of the accusing spirit with which Satan has imbued them. They have built up a structure without foundation. They could do the same with any other person, should they get on their track, who did not exactly meet their ideas. They have become hard of heart through envy, evil surmisings, and jealousies, and have, to a great degree, become unsusceptible to the influence of the Spirit of God. This spirit and habit of seeing others’ faults and commenting upon them is satanic in its origin, and when persons have once been overcome on this point, Satan’s magnifying glasses are before their eyes, to create mountains out of molehills. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 4

The opinions of Sister Daniels have a strong influence upon her husband, and he will be disqualified for his position unless he shall have clear discernment and refuse to listen to evil speaking. We should be careful how we question and criticize the course pursued by those who are not left in darkness, but are walking in the light as Christ is in the light. Elder Daniells, you must guard against allowing your wife’s feelings and impressions and imaginings to shape your discourses or leaven your mind. This has been done many times. If the enemy has access to the mind of Sister Daniells, then you are in peril. “The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” [1 Peter 4:7, 8.] Read 1 Peter 4:9-19. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 5

Now, Brother Daniells, I wish to speak to you particularly. You have been called to fill a responsible position as president of the Australian Conference but you should not feel that because of this you possess wisdom superior to that of your brother workers in the ministry, in whose record you have reason to feel confidence. If they are under God’s teaching, do they not receive wisdom to act a part in His cause? Do not cherish a spirit of criticism toward them. They must receive their orders and impressions from God. He is using them to do his work, and they have the cause just as much at heart as you have. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 6

When you think that one is making a mistake, your very first move should be to go to that fellow laborer, tell him your fears, and talk the matter over as brethren. Never, never bring one fault or supposed error before other brethren, or before your wife, until you have first gone to the one you think has made the mistake. Since I came to this country I have been writing to some of our good brethren in America, Elder Smith and others, in regard to this matter; therefore the principles are kept constantly before me. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 7

Be very careful on this point. Do not stand apart coldly and criticize. You may not always be on the ground where decisions must be made at once; in many matters, things will have to be carried forward without consultation with you. This principle the Lord presented to me distinctly in the case of Elder Butler. He was placed where God should be. His brethren should have considered that they were under the Captain of our salvation, that they must look to him, be guided by him, and use the wisdom God had given them to devise and to plan the work. But instead of doing this, they depended upon Elder Butler to be mind and judgment for them. Warnings were given of a character similar to that which I am giving you; yet Elder Butler came to feel injured, as if due respect were not shown him, if he was not consulted in every particular. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 8

I have been shown that this is not the prerogative of the president. The workers must have a chance to act upon their own judgment <under the moving influence which the Lord gives His workers> when a special work is assigned them. God will lead and guide and bless them. He will give them light as to what the people need. You are not the one to decide what shall be their course of action, and the portion of meat that is to come to the children of God. No man’s hand must be laid upon them, to hinder them. If mistakes are made, and the president of the Conference is aware of these things, let him not move a stone, or take one step to condemn or to criticize on account of any story he has heard from the lips of others, until he shall either see or communicate with the one that is thought to be in error. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 9

“Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” [1 Peter 5:3.] 1 Peter 5:1-10. One man’s mind, one man’s judgment, is not to be a controlling power, even though he is in the position of president, for that position does not give him infallibility. He is human and fallible, and will often need counsel from his brethren. The sharp traits of his character will be liable to appear, and will be as much more dangerous in him than in others as his responsibilities are greater than theirs. When, under trying circumstances, or in an emergency, ministers whom God is using in His cause exercise the best judgment they have, be careful how you censure or criticize. Even presidents of conferences have censured unjustly, when if they had been in the place of their brother, they might not have done as well as he did. This was the case in New York and in many other places, and decided testimonies have been given on this point. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 10

Let not evil speaking so leaven the mind that unjust suspicions shall be entertained. Let there be no variance between brethren, no discord, no emulation, no strife. We are called to think the best of all. If Elder Butler had done this, if he had refused to listen to the suggestions of his wife, and not been influenced by what he thought to be her superior discernment, he would never have made the record he has made, but would have carried the banner of truth forward to complete victory. Let the workers be loyal and true to one another. God abhors the evil surmising, the withdrawal of sympathy and affection for one another because of some supposed mistake. How much better to go in faith and love to the brother we think to be in error, and say, “Let us talk this matter over,” and then consider the matter fairly, in brotherly love, with the spirit of Jesus. O how near the heavenly angels would come to brethren who should thus practice the words of Christ! There would be manifested a most precious phase of the perfection of Christian character. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 11

We are called to work circumspectly toward all. We are not required to search the characters of our brethren, as many search the Scriptures, in order to make apparent the differences that exist between us and them. God calls upon all who name His name to be one. We are called to walk in love one toward another as dear children, and in so doing this door that so often flies open to criticism will be firmly closed. The Lord would work in mighty power with His children if they would be kind, respectful, ever tender and loyal to guard one another’s interest. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 12

God sends the dew, the clouds, the showers, and the sunshine upon the just and the unjust, and He desires us to manifest the same beneficent spirit. Shall we practice the principles of true godliness? The Lord calls upon every individual worker to search and see what manner of spirit controls him. If God were as exacting toward us as many human beings are toward their fellow men, probation would have ended long ago, and we would now be in hopeless despair. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 13

Let us individually study what manner of spirit we are of, and be very careful that we do not misrepresent Jesus. God requires that every one who believes in Jesus shall aim at perfection of character. Ample provision has been made, that the fallen sons and daughters of Adam may fulfill the Saviour’s injunction, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48.] The wise man says, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise.” [Proverbs 13:20.] Be sure that the effort will cost us something; it will require strict watchfulness over ourselves. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 14

We need to realize more fully the dignity conferred upon us in that we are accepted as the sons and daughters of God, as a part of the great firm that is to represent Jesus Christ to a dark, disobedient, sinful world. It is of no use for us to preach grace and righteousness if we do not bring the same into our practical life. God has not laid it upon human beings to deal with others in highhanded justice, to catch up one or another for a supposed wrong, and judge and condemn him. The Lord requires that those who have the light of grand and holy truths should practice the truth, for we are to be the representatives of the truth, else it is no truth to us. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 15

We shall have associates, and necessarily feel their influence. There are mysterious links that bind souls together, so that the heart of one answers to the heart of another. One catches the ideas, the sentiments and spirit of another, and as friends are thrown into each other’s society, the same character is, to a great degree, developed in both. If this companionship is pure and holy, it is a great help, but if it is tinged with selfishness, with bigotry and self-righteousness, it cannot build up a healthy character, but is a power that will tend to destroy. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 16

My sister, the Lord calls you to come up higher. Your close intimacy with Sr. Rousseau has been an injury to you both. You have not been gathering light but darkness to your souls. The confidences you have exchanged have not imparted to you clearness of perception to discern the true and valuable traits of character in others. Your conversation has not been spiritual; your souls have not been surrounded by a pure and holy atmosphere. You have climbed upon the judgment seat and have encouraged and strengthened unholy surmisings, evil speaking, even borne false-witness. Example always tells decidedly for good or for evil. If your conversation is not upon truth and righteousness, you reveal that the fountain of the heart is not pure. The Lord reads the heart. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 17

Be not deceived in fancying it a blessing to have a bosom friend. In the name of Jesus I testify it is a snare. Turn your attention to Him who is first and last and best in everything. It is not safe to depart from the Word of God in anything. Search the Scriptures; we have there a standard by which to estimate character, even the divine similitude. By this perfect model let conversation and character be fashioned. I urge upon you as missionaries who have come to this far off land, practice the truth, carry out its lofty principles in your life. Ever remember, “Ye are laborers together with God,” moral representatives of Christ. [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Let your life be hid with Christ in God. 1 Peter 1:1-3; 1 John 1:4-10; Revelation 3:1-5. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 18

It is no benefit to us to have a name as Christians and not to be Christlike. To claim to live [a Christian life] while the eye is not single to the glory of God, makes the professed Christian a snare to souls. I may preach the gospel, give Bible readings, teach in the Sabbath school, visit the sick, help the poor, and be full of religious activity, and yet never enter the heavenly courts and sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 19

Sr. Daniells, less activity and more devotion and consecration to God, a daily conversion, being emptied of self and made by the Holy Spirit a vessel unto honour, will enable you to be good and to do good. To maintain a good name, a reputation for piety, is in itself of no value. Self-righteousness may secure the approbation of men. You may be esteemed as an active worker, a gifted talker, a zealous missionary, as one possessing faith, but the soul is in imminent peril. Strenuous efforts are made to keep up the activity, but scarcely a jot of glory flows back to God; you do not, in all things, labor as if you knew that His all-seeing eye is upon you, and all your works are done in the presence of the angelic host. There must be much humility, a daily emptying of self, and drawing nearer to God by earnest supplication, that the vacuum may be supplied by His Holy Spirit. Self is the great enemy you have to wrestle against. 9LtMs, Lt 17, 1894, par. 20