Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1

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Lt 20, 1860

Friends in Mansville [N. Y.] and Vicinity

NP

1860

Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 290.

Dear Friends in Mansville [N.Y.] and vicinity:

Don’t allow any burdens bound upon you. Act with a clear conscience in the sight of heaven. Take a meek, humble, childlike course, but do not compromise your liberty for the fellowship of any. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1860, par. 1

You know what the influence has been in every place where the visions have been crushed and crowded out of meeting. Now, the visions can come from but two sources. They are of God, wholly, purely, or of Satan entirely. God does not work in co-partnerships with the devil. If they are of God, is there not the greatest danger in slighting them and smothering them? If they are of God, are they not to instruct and comfort God’s people? If they are of Satan, then the Sabbath-keeping remnant are woefully deceived and instead of being in the light are in a perfect deception of Satan. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1860, par. 2

“By their fruits ye shall know them.” Look at the lives of those who have opposed the visions. How long do they hold fast the truth? “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1860, par. 3

Just as soon as you begin to crush or smother the gifts of the church or to slight them, just so soon the blessing of God leaves that church. Here is where the war is coming against the remnant because they keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. I am sorry that this war is often started among brethren. They do not wait for the dragon host to make this war, but they fall under the temptations of Satan and commence the war themselves. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1860, par. 4

Brethren be free in the name of my Master, be free. Bear a free testimony whatever the consequence may be. Cling to God. Cling to the Mighty One; don’t let the enemy have the least advantage. There had better be three or five in your vicinity standing in the counsel of God than five hundred half-hearted souls that hardly know what they believe themselves. Take a firm, decided stand for the whole truth. Don’t be crushed by the powers of darkness. And be careful and don’t take extreme views or extreme measures. Hold your freedom with meekness, with humility. Don’t yield your sacred peculiarities which distinguish you from the world, from the nominal church and backslidden Adventists. There has been great labor, much perseverance, and a steady pressing through conflicts and untold trials to maintain the position we now occupy of bearing a decided testimony in favor of the gifts God has placed in the church. Is this position to be readily yielded? No, no. Has not the battle for years been on this very point? This position will not certainly be yielded now when so many victories have been gained. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1860, par. 5

The nominal churches are in darkness and corrupt. They have shut out the gifts God has placed in the church. May the Lord enable His people to take an exalted position and live pure, that sinners in Zion, and hypocrites, may not find a place among them. We must have vital Godliness and heart holiness. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1860, par. 6

If the question has been asked me about introducing the visions in meeting, I do not remember it, except by Brother Ballou. I then told him, as near as I can remember, to be very cautious not to take a course to irritate. But it is very wrong for those who come in among you, understanding your faith, and then seek to bind your feelings and testimony to suit themselves. If there are those who will pull off, let them go. If the old Messenger spirit is still in their hearts, it will work out. Do your duty, leaving the event with God. If they choose to separate from you, let them go until they are perfectly satisfied and get enough of it. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1860, par. 7