Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 5, 1868

Testimony Concerning Battle Creek Church

Battle Creek, Michigan

June 30, 1868

Previously unpublished.

I was shown June 12 that the church at Battle Creek had been fast becoming like worldlings, especially for a few years in the past. There has been an influence to encourage a love of the world and to foster pride and selfishness. This influence has spread everywhere. A condition of things now exists in the church which is truly alarming. This is all the more displeasing to God because it has been found to exist to an alarming extent in the men who should be the freest from all such spirit—men who occupy responsible positions in the Office, men who are of just that stamp to please those who are deficient in spirituality and Christian grace. Brethren Aldrich and Walker are of this class. Heaven mourns over the tendencies of these brethren to pride and love of the world which have had their influence upon very many—an influence which the curse of heaven is upon, which will bring dearth to the soul. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1868, par. 1

I was shown, Brother Aldrich, that you have not exerted a correct influence in the church at Battle Creek and in the cause of God which He has been pleased to unite you unto. You need a fresh conversion. You are decidedly a worldly business man. If God designed you to act in that capacity He would not have placed you where you are. He designed no such thing. He designed you to become a spiritual worker, to feel an interest in the spiritual and temporal prosperity of His people whom your position gave you an acquaintance with. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1868, par. 2

You are not one who faithfully points out errors and wrongs in those around you; for this reason many have received the impression that you were a man of so fine and sensitive a nature that you could not do this. How shortsighted is man in this respect! How little can they read the heart and how wide of the mark would be their estimate of the intents and purposes of the heart. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1868, par. 3

Brother Smith is a man of exactly the description above. He will, when the burden is so felt by him that he dare not restrain, speak and lay before those in danger their true situation. Yet his whole being shrinks from being a reprover, and God has not laid this much-to-be-dreaded burden upon him. He has a different work for which he is fitted. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1868, par. 4