Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2


Chapter 47—A Forgetful Hearer

Dear Brother Y,

In the last view given I was shown that you do not understand yourself. You have a work to do for yourself which no one can do for you. Your experience in the truth is short, and you have not been thoroughly converted. You place a higher estimate upon yourself than you will bear. I was pointed back to your past life. Your mind has not been elevated, but has dwelt upon subjects not calculated to lead to purity of action. You have had habits which were corrupt, and which have tainted your morals. You have been too familiar with the other sex, and have not possessed modesty of deportment. You would be well suited were there greater familiarity encouraged between men and women, much after Dr. A's theory. Your influence at ----- was not good. You were not a proper person for that place; your light and trifling conversation disqualified you to exert a good influence. The character of your music was not such as to encourage elevated thoughts or feelings, but rather to degenerate. 2T 321.3

For some weeks in the past your influence has been improving; but you lack firmness of principle. You are deficient in many things, and in some things you must know where you fail. The follies of your youth have left their impress upon you; you can never recover what you have lost through impure habits. These things have so benumbed your sensibilities that sacred things are not clearly discerned. You cannot, with your present experience, resist temptation. You cannot endure trials. You are not sanctified through the truth. You have taken hold of the truth, but it has not taken hold upon you to transform you by the renewing of your mind. You are a self-deceived man. Oh, do not, I entreat you, remain deceived in regard to your true condition! You have not felt deep conviction because of your sins, and in humility sought the Lord with anguish of heart that your transgressions might be blotted out. You could not see that your ways were so sinful before God. Therefore the work of reformation has not been wrought in your soul. 2T 322.1

You have clothed yourself with a self-righteous garment to cover up the deformity of sin; but this is not the remedy. You know not what true conversion is. The old man is not dead in you. You have a form of godliness, but not the cleansing power of God. You can and do talk and write smoothly, and as far as your words go, they may possibly be correct; but the true language of the heart is not spoken. You are enough acquainted with yourself to know this. Your case is perilous; yet God pities you, and will save you if you fall all broken at His feet, feeling your impurity and vileness, your rottenness of soul, without the transforming power of God. 2T 322.2

My brother, I do not wish to discourage you, but to lead you to investigate your motives and acts as in the light of eternity. Break away from Satan's snare. Do not, I beg of you, lead any person to think of you in a more elevated light than you can bear, for when this deception shall be removed, and your true self appear as you are, there will be a reaction. You do have convictions of the Spirit of God and feel the force of truth when you listen to it; but these sacred, softening impressions wear away, and you are a forgetful hearer. You are not established, strengthened, and settled in the truth. You have thought it best for your interest to adopt the truth, but you have not yet experienced its sanctifying influence. Now we would entreat of you, be not deceived, God is not mocked. It is not too late for you to become a Christian; but do not move by impulse. Weigh every move well, and deceive not your own soul. 2T 323.1