Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)



Ms 1, 1854

Reproof for Adultery and Neglect of Children

Brookfield, New York

February 12, 1854

Portions of this manuscript are published in CG 540; 1MR 33-34; 6MR 217-219; 7MR 1; 1Bio 290-292. See also Ms 3, 1854; RH 09/19/1854; Annotations.

I saw the situation of many in our meeting at Oswego. They were in the way of the work of God, especially at [Caughdenoy]. God’s frown was upon them, and some at [Roosevelt]. The ax has not been laid at the root of the tree. Those who have indulged in the wicked passions of the heart have been fellowshipped. If God had made Brother [Ross] overseer of the flock, he would have seen the corruption of the people. The ax has not been laid at the root of the tree. God will not look upon sin now any sooner than He did anciently when Israel sinned. Sins have not been held forth in their sinful character, but have been made to appear as though sins have been lightly regarded by God. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 1

I saw the seventh commandment had been broken by some who are now held in fellowship by the church; and in consequence God’s frown is upon the church. This sin is awful in these last days and the church has brought God’s frown and curse upon them by regarding this sin so lightly. I saw that it was an enormous sin, and that there have not been as vigilant efforts made as there should have been, to satisfy the displeasure of God and remove His frown, by taking a straight forward course with the offender. An awfully corrupting influence has been shed over the young. The young see how lightly this sin is regarded, and those committing this horrid sin, on confessing they have done wrong and are sorry, are restored to all the privileges of the house of God, and held in the embrace and full fellowship of the church, hence it has been thought a small sin to break the seventh commandment. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 2

This course has removed the ark of God from the camp. If there were no other sin to remove the ark from the camp, this would be sufficient to do it. Those who commit this sin should be suspended from the church and not have the fellowship and privileges of the house of God. Said the angel, “This is not the sin of ignorance.” It is a known sin, and will receive the awful visitation of God, whether committed by old or young. Never was this sin regarded by God to be so sinful as at present, because God is purifying to Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 3

Some professing the present truth can see and hear all the blazing truth for these last days calculated to arouse Israel, and with all this light, can sin with a high hand, give way to all the loose passion of the carnal heart, gratify their animal propensities, disgrace the cause of God, then confess they have sinned and are sorry. And the church receives them and says Amen to their prayers and exhortations which are a stink in the nostrils of God, and causes His wrath to come upon the camp. He will not dwell in their assemblies. Those who move on thus heedlessly plastering over these sins will be left to their own ways, to be filled with their own doings. Those who anciently committed these sins were taken without the camp and stoned to death. Temporal and eternal death was their doom; and because the penalty of stoning to death is abolished, this sin is indulged in beyond measure, and thought to be a small offence. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 4

I saw another individual who was very wrong in the sight of God and had transgressed God’s commandment and had dishonored his parents. Guile had been found in his mouth, he had taken the name of God in vain, and had desecrated the house where the saints had assembled to worship God, by giving way to passions of an unsubdued heart, and yet he has been held up and approbated by Brother _____ and daubed with untempered mortar. Also, his own relatives and M. have covered the sins of others. The ax has not been laid at the root of the tree. Wicked feelings that God abhors have been fostered, Satan has been well pleased, and laughed because grace was not sufficient to overcome the natural infirmities, but that evil passions and the rising of self would be indulged in by those who profess to be Christians—Christ-like. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 5

They have indulged in all the passions of the carnal or natural heart, been far from God, far from the truth, have been impatient, fretful, faultfinding, and the church has called it a small thing, and he has been exalted in his own eyes. God’s Spirit has been withdrawn from him, and he knew it not. He has not been willing to bear reproof, but has been ready to rise up in heart and justify self, was rich and increased in goods, had a whole spirit, would get angry, and all this has been nourished and fostered by some of the church. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 6

If those who have been in the church for weeks and months have not learned the straightness of the way, and what it is to be Christians, and can not hear all the straight truths of the Word of God, it were better that they were cut off from Israel. It is too late in the day to feed with milk. If souls a month or two old in the truth, who are about to enter the time of trouble such as never was, can not hear all the straight truth, or endure the strong meat of the straightness of the way, how will they stand in the day of battle? Truths that we have been years learning must be learned in a few months by those who now embrace the Third Angel’s Message. We had to search and wait the opening of truth, receiving a ray of light here, and a ray there, laboring and pleading for God to reveal truth to us. But now the truth is plain; its rays are brought together. The blazing light of truth, when it is presented as it should be, can be now seen and brought to bear upon the heart. There is no need of milk after souls are convinced of the truth. As soon as the conviction of truth is yielded to and the heart willing, the truth should have its effect, the truth will work like leaven, and purify and purge away the passions of the natural heart. It is a disgrace for those who have been in the truth for years to talk of feeding souls who have been months in the truth, upon milk. It shows they know little of the leadings of the Spirit of the Lord, and realize not the time we are living in. Those who embrace the truth now will have to step fast. There will have to be a breaking up of heart before the Lord, a rending of heart, and not the garment. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 7

Those who have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly must humble themselves greatly before God, and it may be His wrath will be turned away from Israel and He will march through their midst again in power. Said the angel, “Fearful is the work of the third angel, and awful is his mission. He is to select the wheat from the tares, and bind or seal the wheat for the heavenly garner.” 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 8

I was then pointed to [Brother Ross], of whom the angel said, “Ye have not been a co-worker with the Third Angel. Ye have not separated the vile from the precious.” I then saw that death, death had reigned in your midst. I was then shown that Elizabeth did not die having her work all done. As life was held up before her, she failed of a triumphant victory. The hearts of many who prayed for her to be raised up were not right in the sight of God. Some who professed to lose their strength were not exercised by the Spirit of God. Many shouted when it was no shouting. A soul was going into the grave unapprised of it, but she will be saved. Others will have to bear the sin of her not being a triumphant overcomer. She was not accountable for the lack. All impatience or fretfulness should have been corrected by those who watched over her, that she might be reconciled to live or die. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 9

The next thing shown me was the sins of parents in neglecting their children. I saw they would have an awful account to give. They have fostered and cherished the evil tempers of their children until God’s frown was upon them and their children. They have forgotten that which was written in the Holy Word, “He that spareth the rod hateth his son” [Proverbs 13:24], and the children are left to come up instead of being brought up or trained up. The poor little children are thought not to know or understand the meaning of a correction at the age of eight, nine, or ten months, and they begin to show stubbornness very young, and it is cherished and nourished by its parents till their evil passions grow with their growth and strengthen with their strength. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 10

The house of God is desecrated, the Sabbath violated by Sabbath believers’ children. They run about the house, play, talk, and manifest their evil tempers in the very meetings where the saints have met together to glorify God and worship Him in the beauty of holiness. The place that should be holy, and where a holy stillness reigns, and where perfect order, neatness, and humility should exist is made to be a perfect Babylon, and a place where confusion, disorder and untidiness reigns. These things shut out God from our assemblies, and cause His wrath to be kindled that He will not be pleased to go out with the armies of Israel to battle against our enemies. He would not give the victory in Oswego meeting. The enemies of our faith triumphed. God was displeased. God’s anger is kindled that His house should be made like Babylon. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 11

Parents, I saw, stood in the place of God to their children, and they will have to render an awful account whether they have been faithful to the little few that have been committed to their trust. I saw that you were rearing children to be cut down by the destroying angel unless you speedily turn square about and be faithful to your children. Think you that God can cover or hide iniquity in children and preserve them whom He hates? No, never. God hates unruly children who manifest passion and evil tempers, etc. He can not save them in the time of trouble. They will be eternally lost through parents’ neglect. Their blood will be upon their parents. How can parents be saved with the blood of their children upon them, when they might have saved their children? God says, “I know Abraham, that he will command his household after him.” [Genesis 18:19.] 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 12

Parents, it is your duty to have your children under perfect subjection, having all their passions and evil tempers perfectly subdued. I saw that if they were carried to the house of God, they should be made to know where they were, that they were not at home, but where God met with His people, and they should be kept quiet from all play and running about, and then God will deign to meet with His people. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 13

The truth, I saw, had but little effect. When it was talked, there seemed to be no power in it to stir the depth of the soul. A death-like stupor has hung upon the people of God. The reason is, the ark is not with them, for the holy commandments have been broken, and God has taken it away in His anger. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 14

Parents, correct your children; commence while young, while impressions can be easily made and their evil tempers subdued, before passions take deep root and are strengthened with their strength. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 15

I then saw a lack of cleanliness among Sabbath-keepers. I saw that God would have a clean and holy people, a people [in whom] He can delight. I saw that the camp must be cleansed or the Lord would pass by and see the uncleanness of the children of Israel and would not go forth with their armies to battle, but would turn from them in displeasure and our enemies would triumph over us, and we left weak in shame and disgrace. I saw that God would not acknowledge an untidy and unclean person as a Christian. His frown was upon such. Our souls, bodies, and spirits are to be presented blameless by Jesus to His Father, and unless we are clean in person and pure in heart, we can not be presented blameless to God. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 16

I saw that the houses of the saints should be kept tidy and neat from dirt and filth and all uncleanness. I saw that the house of God had been desecrated by the carelessness of parents, with their children, and by the untidiness and uncleanness there. I saw that these things should meet with an open rebuke, and if there was not a change immediately in some that profess the truth, in these things, they should be put out of the camp. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 17

I then saw the corruption of these last days. Some of those who profess the present truth are corrupt, and the same sins exist now that existed before the destruction of the old world. The world is almost ripe for destruction. Correct your children in love, not in passion. Do all your part, and God will do His. God despises our prayers for our children until we have done all on our part to save them. God corrects His children when they go astray from Him, and parents should correct their children when they disobey them. Correct their tempers. Above everything take care of them on the Sabbath. You may as well violate the Sabbath yourselves as to let your children do it. If you suffer your children to play upon the Sabbath, God looks upon you as Sabbath breakers, or commandment breakers. Your children should be made to mind you. Your word should be their law. Parents, take hold of this work, for the destroying angel is soon to pass around and slay utterly both old and young, men, women, and little children. O do not be found wanting when weighed in the balance. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 18

I saw then that they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. I saw that the hearts of the young were now filled with the thoughts of getting married. Some of them became disobedient to their parents, got wanton, and many without consent of their parents or the church of God, and not having God in all their thoughts, and not inquiring whether it was His will or pleasure or not, do not marry to glorify God, but to glorify their loose passions and their depraved lusts. Such sins as this brought destruction upon the old world, and destroyed those who would not have God in all their thoughts. Awful sins of these last days are to bring the unmingled fury of God upon the world. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 19

I then saw the appetite must be denied, that rich food should not be prepared, and that which is lavished upon the appetite should be put in the treasury of the Lord. It would tell there, and those who denied themselves would lay up a reward in heaven. Pride and idols must be laid aside. I saw rich food destroyed the health of the bodies and was ruining the constitution, was destroying the mind, and was a great waste of means. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 20

I saw some who were sickly among the saints, made themselves [so] by indulging the appetite. If we wish good health we must take special care of the health God has given us, deny the unhealthy appetite, eat more coarse food with little grease. Then you can consistently ask God’s blessing upon such food as is congenial with your natures. We must pray as did Solomon for food convenient for us, and act accordingly, and God will bless us. Some Sabbath-keepers make a god of their bellies, waste their means in getting rich food. Such I saw, if saved at all, would know what pinching is unless they deny their appetites and eat to the glory of God. There are but few who eat to the glory of God. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1854, par. 21