Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 72, 1894

Rousseau, Sister

Camp Ground, Middle Brighton, Australia

January 1894

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Sister Rousseau:

Are you going to let this meeting pass and not set your heart in order? Will you not seek the Lord, and be converted? My heart is sore on your account. I am unable to sleep nights, for I am burdened over matters that have been vividly impressed upon my mind. Sister Rousseau, you need the work of the Holy Spirit upon your heart. You have come to this country, and your influence should be such that those connected with you shall not be led into habits and customs and practices which God cannot approve. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 1

There were two reasons why I objected to your teaching dressmaking to the students in our school. One was that your health would not admit of your doing this. You need to preserve every spark of physical vitality, that you may be strengthened and established in the present truth, that you may be calm, collected, and reasonable in your consideration of what the truth demands of you in these last days. You need to heed the message to the Laodicean church, to heed the counsel of the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end: “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich.” [Revelation 3:18.] The gold is faith and love. Oh, you need both so much, so very much. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 2

You need to cultivate love that is of a different order and quality from that which you now possess. This matter has been, and is, urged upon me in so distinct a manner that I cannot rest until I shall tell you [that] you need the love of Jesus to take the place of the love which you now cherish. Your love is mingled with selfishness and dross, and if you do not exchange it for that which emanates from Jesus, you will feel the furnace fire upon soul and body until you are refined as silver and gold. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent.” [Verse 19.] You want an unselfish love. You place your affections upon objects that give you no spiritual strength, and withdraw them from objects that would be a benefit and a blessing to you. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 3

Jesus counsels you to buy of Him white raiment, “that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness to not appear.” [Verse 18.] Oh, that the Lord would present before you the necessity of all this before it shall be forever too late. You have had and are having great light, precious opportunities and privileges of knowing God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. If you open your heart to the light now shining upon you, and close it to Satan’s suggestions, you will then see your need of being clothed, not with your own righteousness, but with the righteousness of Christ. Oh you do need so much the divine eyesalve to anoint your poor diseased eyes, that you may see. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 4

I come to you now with a message which God has given me for you. You need to have your tendrils severed from every human being and object. Let your tendrils entwine about God. You have a work to do for yourself, in purifying the soul temple, a work that no one else can do for you. When you seek the Lord with all your heart, He will be found of you. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 5

My sister, you are certainly self-deceived. You judge of matters as you view them with the mind’s eye. “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” [Matthew 6:22.] Some things have been presented before me which I must present before you. If your mind were in unison with the Holy Spirit, your ideas and suggestions in council meetings would not so often differ from those of your husband and your brethren and sisters. It is plainly revealed to all present that there is not unity between you and your husband in your views and decisions. Too often you feel at liberty, before others, to express yourself in opposition to the suggestions of your husband, and the impression is given that you are not in agreement with him. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 6

Let me tell you how the Lord looks upon this spirit which you have so often manifested. This I know to be truth: better, far better, would it be if you had no connection with the school, for you are a detriment, a hindrance. You do not submit to the discipline of the Spirit of God; you are not educating yourself to be in harmony with the working of the Holy Spirit, and another spirit comes in and prompts you to speak things that are not wise. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 7

You need to cultivate affection for your husband. Your love flows in a wrong channel. It should be given where it belongs—to your husband. The confidence and affection you bestow upon others is not given because of really valuable qualities in them, it is not <because they have> a depth of experience or loveliness of character which wins your love, but there is on your part a selfish covetousness that reaches out for the dross of human sympathy. Deceptive influences satisfy the covetous longing of the soul for praise and appreciation. The door is open for the entertainment of ideas that <will exalt your judgment but> give the soul less and less moral elevation, less power to resist selfish inclinations. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 8

Wishes and desires grow by that which you give them to feed upon. Your thoughts take a wrong channel, and you are growing apart from your husband <and from God.> You are coming to regard yourself as of finer <texture of character,> and your judgment more correct than his. You are in some respects an unsatisfied, lonely woman, because you view things in a false light. Your husband is not perfect; <he has made mistakes,> he needs the grace of Christ every moment, but the Lord loves you both. Brother Rousseau is beloved of God for his steadfast integrity. Solid principles have been brought into his character-building. <And yet, he needs much more of the softening, subduing grace that was so abundantly manifested in Jesus Christ our Pattern.> 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 9

The association you have had with Sister Daniells has not done <either of> you the good spiritually that you think it has. Your mind has been supplied with a class of thoughts and a quality of affection that is not favorable to the spirituality, the growth in grace, <or elevation of character> of either of you. Sentimentalism is the true name for this close attachment. In its power for good it is as froth to the pure milk. My sister, your soul needs to be enlarged. The covetous propensity of the heart must be overcome. Self has, in some respects, been made a center. It is impossible for me to present your case as I would be pleased to do. I must hold up the mirror before you as it is. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 10

There is, my sister, a principle that must be maintained at any cost to self, <if we maintain our loyalty to one another.> Temporal things may be used so as to become a blessing or a curse. You need not stand outside your husband’s love except as you choose to do so. But there is something to be done on your part. <Do not educate yourself to be firm and set in your own way and walk in the fire and sparks of your own kindling.> Cherish love, and do not feel it your duty to manifest variance with your husband. When you have given your opinion in opposition to his, you have been, I am sorry to say, <often> on the wrong side. Do you think you have the mind of Christ? If in spirit and principle you had been under the control of the Spirit of God, you would not have pursued this course. You need to be a diligent student in the school of Christ. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 11

Among the things which we must carefully consider is included our relation to our friends and relatives. While it is right to give them love, tender affection, we should not manifest an unbecoming or selfish fondness. God alone must possess the supreme place in our hearts. The large confidence and tenderness bestowed upon human beings often runs into a selfish idolatry of the human. If indulged, it will kill the love of God in the soul. The love and confidence so freely given to special ones belongs to One who does not receive it. Be jealous of yourself. Where we do not love as we ought, we shall soon love as we ought not. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 12

I do not expect that you will understand my words unless you receive the divine enlightenment. The affection that should flow out in the proper channel is barred by misconceptions and sympathy for yourself which will continue to strengthen while you give it food by constantly cherishing ideas and fancies of your own creating. You will never become what God would have you [become] unless you are a laborer together with God. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in you to will and to do (not your way, not after your ideas, not according to your sentimentalism, but) of His good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 13

The affections are sacred, and they should be kept in subordination to the Spirit of God, else they will be constantly wandering away from God, interfering with our duty to Him, and creating in the soul coldness toward the objects upon which they should center. The passionate affection created for individuals is not reasonable, neither is it sanctifying, in its indulgence; its influence tends to place an idol where God should be. You have a deeper experience to gain. <I beseech of you to forever cease your comparisons of former days with the present.> 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 14

Fasten your affections upon God. Supreme love for your Saviour will lead to true, sensible affection for the servant of Christ whose life is characterized by sound principles, [who] will be of service in any place where he may be. [Your husband] is a sound, sensible man. Your habit of differing with him is growing upon you, your ideas and sentiments often prove misleading, because you are not learning your lessons in the school of Christ. You entertain and follow principles which are not after the divine likeness. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 15

The solemnity of the day of God is upon us. The apostle admonishes us, “This I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives, be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.” [1 Corinthians 7:29-31.] Consider these things. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 16

The wife and the husband are not to regard themselves as the principal object of each other’s thought and the burden of the mind. They should not seek to engross each other’s sympathy and affection, and feel a soul hunger because of their desire <in this> respect is not appreciated or realized. Selfishness upon this point is a terrible tyrant. You need to be transformed in character, then your selfish ideas will not become supreme; you will see things in a new light. You cry out in your soul, “Come back, my early days, come back.” This is the selfish yearning of the soul. You can never be sanctified through the truth unless you are willing that your life should be controlled by <Christlike> principles. Self-renunciation, self-sacrifice, is the true law of life. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 17

All the nicety and exactness which you have thought essential in regard to your outward appearance, it is of far greater consequence for you to exercise in regard to the inward adorning. “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also who trusted in God adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.” [1 Peter 3:3-5.] “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with plaited hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” [1 Timothy 2:9, 10.] 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 18

My sister, you would not be qualified to teach dressmaking to the students of our school until you conformed to the lessons given us in the Word of God. You would bring in some things which would be in accordance with your taste, but which would reveal that you had not an eye single to the glory of God. Your instructions, carried away from the school and given to others, would not be <in all respects> the kind of education God desires His people to have. You need to learn in the school of Christ lessons which, if you have ever learned, have been forgotten. Little do we individually consider the result of our failure to obey conscientiously the teachings of the Word. Many are, by their example, leading others to meet a false standard. When we devote much labor to that which concerns the outward appearance, the mind is diverted from matters of eternal consequence, the inward adorning, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 19

When those who claim to believe the truth spend time and money merely to make the outward appearance attractive, they do not put forth strenuous effort to cultivate the beautiful traits of character which are of value with God. These little things which savor of self-indulgence and self-pleasing <form themselves into> stumbling blocks; they bar the way to prevent the human agent from walking in safe paths and <by their example> leading others in safe paths, even the way cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. These things that tend to gratify pride and foster love of <appearance and> praise obscure the vision, so that the faults that mar the inner life and stain the soul are not discerned, and the fragrance of Christian character, which is always acceptable to God, a meek and contented and quiet spirit, is not appreciated. To consume God-given time and means in pleasing our fancy is a species of idolatry of self. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 20

Every teacher of youth, every one who labors in the missionary work, needs to learn and to practice daily the lesson of self-denial. We are not to follow our own ideas and imaginings as to what we may or may not do. We are to follow the Pattern, Jesus Christ. The principles that characterized the life of our Lord <it> is safe for us to copy. 9LtMs, Lt 72, 1894, par. 21