Lt 2a, 1880

Lt 2a, 1880

Haskell, [S. N.]; Butler, [G. I.]; and Whitney, B. [L.]

Battle Creek, Michigan

November 8, 1880

Variant of Lt 2, 1880. Previously unpublished.

Dear Brethren [S. N.] Haskell, [G. I.] Butler, and B. [L.] Whitney:

We are very busy at our work. We never saw more to do than at the present time. Articles for Signs, matters for sanitarium are crowding in, and the looking over and revising of letters to my children keep me fully occupied. I cannot sleep more than four hours each night, and frequently not more than three. I wrote you a letter, but I have mislaid it. It was written more than a week ago, but as it does not appear, will write you again. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 1

My husband appears well, kind, and cheerful. We have purchased a home about one mile from the city on Goguac Road. We shall move in as soon as we can get the people out who are in it. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 2

In reading the letter I have written to Willie, I find some things plainly stated in reference to the things I had been shown in reference to the office of publication being involved, and that there had been, with [B. L.] Whitney and yourself and Willie, a mistake in lowering the prices of our books to so low prices that the office would not prosper. This was a poor policy. These plans appeared right to you both, but it was the worst thing you could do for the office. It belittles the value of the books, and when once placed at so low a figure, it will be very difficult to increase prices so that they will be placed at their proper value. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 3

Another mistake, I was shown, was in regard to our ministers. They have but little to encourage them. Their wages are placed way below that of men who are day laborers, and they have sacrifices of no ordinary character to make. And while there is no more encouragement given them, but little can be expected in the increase of laborers. The work of the minister is belittled. Satan tempts men today as he ever has done, and there will soon be a dearth of ministers. I am alarmed at the prospect, and must say: hold on, Brother [S. N.] Haskell; hold on, [B. L.] Whitney; hold on, Brother [G. I.] Butler. Study from cause to effect a little more critically. There must not be one-sided view taken of these things. I was not a little surprised and I must say, alarmed at the outlook. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 4

You know I have felt a deep interest in the tract and missionary work. It may be my strong and urgent appeals have done much to mould matters as they now exist, but the last view shows me there is great danger of running everything into the tract and missionary work. This vigilant missionary work is a wheel within a wheel, but at the same time, it must not swallow up other interests. The office of publication must not be crippled in any sense to keep this branch in vigorous action, leaving the matter of profits to the Tract and Missionary Society, while but little profits, if any at all, come to the publishing house. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 5

Now these things must not continue as they are. When the resolution was adopted that this small source of income, besides the small wages, was cut off from our ministers in the selling of our publications, I said to myself, “There will be a serious reaction to this.” Of this I am sure. The heart and soul is being taken out of the ministers by these movements, and I must not keep silence. The interest of every part of the cause is dear to me as my life, and every branch is important. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 6

I was shown that there was danger of making the tract and missionary work so absorbing that it will, through a multiplicity of plans, become perplexing and intricate. “Too much machinery,” was repeated to me by the angel. With greater simplicity in our Sabbath School work and less machinery and mechanical arrangement in missionary work, more would be accomplished at less expenditure of means. There is a getting above the simplicity of the work. I find these things written, and I must get them before some of our working men. Now is the time to work and work in God. Out of God our work will be as nothing. There must be more encouragement given to our ministers. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 7

The only reason that my husband’s influence today is not what God designed it should be in every respect is because he was not always patient, kind, and forbearing. Severity and too much dictating became interwoven with his character. You have seen and felt it. Others have felt it. What was the reason of his possessing this trait of character, which has marred an otherwise symmetrical character? The work of God requires no such element in its advancement. Repetition of this very course of action made it habit. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 8

You, my brother, are in grave danger of falling just where he failed. You are in danger of mingling self with your work, and of being dictatorial, exacting, and overbearing. Unless you are guarded you will assuredly fail on this point. Your feet will slide unless you place them on an even path and grasp firmly from above. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 9

Eld. [B. L.] Whitney is growing into a sharp, domineering, ruling power. He must see and sense this and reform in this particular, or his labors will prove a failure. Unless he has the kindest regard for the feelings and rights of his ministering brethren, he will lose their love, their affection, and their respect. This domineering spirit, exercised in sharp, cutting and over-ruling words will become a habit, which will become a ruling power. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 10

The position of my husband, his age, his affliction, the great work he has done in the cause and work of God, has so fastened him in the affection of his brethren, that many things he might say that savors of sharpness would be overlooked in him that would not be regarded in the same light if spoken by younger ministers. They will find themselves out of the confidence of the church and brother ministers where this spirit is exercised. Those who can see these things, of which they have complained in my husband, must not go and do likewise, and ten times worse. Such a manifestation is so inappropriate, so unbecoming, and entirely out of place that the frown of God is upon it, and He will in no case sanction any such spirit. I entreat you, Brother [S. N.] Haskell and Brother [G. I.] Butler, to never even put on the garment of severity and ruling. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 11

I was shown in my last vision, Brother [S. N.] Haskell, that you and Eld. [B. L.] Whitney were in danger of giving an example of extravagance to the brethren in expenditure of money for books not on present truth. Many who do not need these books, whom they will not benefit at all if offered for sale by our ministers, will purchase them if the statement is made that the profits on such books go to the Tract and Missionary Society; and the money thus expended should have purchased publications on present truth, which they needed. There should be a leaving off before there is a beginning to purchase costly Bibles. When poor ministers see these good and extravagant Bibles, they will have them who are the least able, and as a result they cannot supply themselves with works treating on our faith. You need to study carefully and critically how to best present the simplicity of our faith in everything. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 12

You are in danger, my brother, of making mistakes, of doing too large a business and of making a failure. As a people we are spreading over a greater work than can be looked after and kept in working order. While we should be ever ready to follow the opening providence of God, we should occupy no more ground in branching out than there are help and means furnished to care for these interests. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 13

While there are large and broader plans, there must be encouragement given to our young ministers to act in the work, and to be trained and educated to carry it forward. I was astonished, as I was shown how little encouragement our ministers have, that they will cling to the work and do anything. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 14

The course pursued in the East toward Eld. Lane, I saw was after the eastern fashion, but not after God’s plan. The course pursued towards [J. O.] Corliss and Lane was after the [D. M.] Canwright order, but not after God’s order. The course Eld. [B. L.] Whitney is pursuing is after Eld. Whitney’s ways, but not at all Christlike. There must be more of Christ’s spirit and less of self—less sharp dealing, and more compassion, and mercy, and the love of God. Unless Jesus comes in and self is subdued and trampled down, we shall not prosper as a people. I speak what I know and testify of what I have seen. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 15

I beseech you, my brother, to labor in God wholly. Do not have too many plans, but do let the work be carried on healthfully, circumspectly, and with a thoroughness that will not ravel out. God will work with you and through you if you are right in His sight. Make your way perfect before God. He knows your need. He is acquainted with all your infirmities. He will help you by His power if your trust is fully in Him. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 16

I feel a great burden for Willie. Poor boy, he is carrying terrible burdens, but God can help him. I believe He will not leave him destitute of His spirit. Let your heart strengthen itself in God. I have wanted to write to you and to New Hampshire, but I am full of writing, full of work. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 17

Your sister. 3LtMs, Lt 2a, 1880, par. 18