Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 3, 1861

Testimony for Mill Grove [N.Y.] Church



Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 230; 5MR 295.

I was shown the state of things at Mill Grove, [N.Y.] I saw that a heavy cloud was hanging over the church there. Some are trying to overcome, and show their faith by their works. Such have felt they have suffered much on account of the reproach needlessly brought upon them by a class in Mill Grove who had no desire, and made no efforts, for the truth to elevate them. Moreover these slack, untidy, uncultivated ones were ever dwelling upon pride, watching the dress of the sisters, their bonnets and their articles of dress. If they saw marks of neatness and taste, their testimonies and burdens would be upon pride. They were not content to see any moving above the low level upon which they stood. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 1

Some embraced the truth in Mill Grove years ago and have made no advancement. They have not felt the necessity of advancement and continual reform. Satan has used them as his agents to drag down and confuse. For years Solomon Cottrell’s family attended meetings, professing to be God’s people. They were a hindrance all the time. They were a living curse to God’s cause. The spirit of Solomon’s wife was always bitter against the gifts. Her own ways were right in her own eyes. She was joined to her idols, and although she professed to believe the truth she made no effort to have it elevate her. Their children came up uncultivated, with the same rebellious spirit, fighting the gifts of the church and—like their parents—opposing order, advancement, and system in the church. If they believed in the gifts which God had placed in the church, they knew that they must lay aside tea, coffee, and tobacco. They would not renounce all these things, therefore must fight the visions which cut off their idols. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 2

If the church had been in the place where God would have them, they would have had discernment, strength, and wisdom to have understood the character of that class and would have risen above the oppression brought upon them by the rebellious, and long ago separated from their fellowship Solomon Cottrell and the whole family—who were an annoyance and hindrance to those who would be right. The meetings were led by Solomon, whose heart was not right with God. With his lips he professed much love to God, but his heart was corrupt. He was self-righteous and pharisaical, notional, and without order, and would strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. I saw that God could not prosper meetings and grace those meetings with His presence, with such a leader. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 3

Brother Roswell Cottrell’s experience and influence in this work—his easy way of leaving everything with the Lord—has hurt the church at Mill Grove. His views were erroneous upon this point. It is not pleasing to God to have men leave with Him that which He has left with them. If Brother Cottrell had cheerfully taken that labor upon him which he had ought, and not shirked himself out of care and labor under the plea of “trusting in the Lord,” it would have been much more pleasing to God. And it would have saved his wife and daughter much weariness, care, and labor, had he taken his share of the burden and sought his ease less. God has left burdens for him to bear as a husband and father which Brother Cottrell has—apparently in a very consecrated, devotional manner—thrown back upon the Lord; but the Lord takes no such burdens which He has laid upon him to bear. The burdens thrown upon the Lord come back upon his wife and daughter. It is not in the order of God for Brother Cottrell to be eased and others burdened. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 4

Brother Cottrell has had strength to labor with his hands a great deal of time that he has been resting. He has not loved to labor with his hands, and for years has not performed enough manual labor for exercise which his health required. It now wearies him to labor. This is no evidence that it is not his duty to labor with his hands a part of the time. His muscles need to be taxed to bear their share of burden. Let them remain inactive and they lose their vigor; and by exercising and laboring with the hands [the muscles] cannot at once do their full amount of labor. They cry out in weariness. But soon, with use and taxing, they will do their part and bear their share of burden every time without inconvenience. To go into hard labor at once, after remaining inactive a long time, will exhaust wonderfully; but by taxing the strength gradually—a little more every day—much labor can be performed without injury, but will benefit the health. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 5

Brother Cottrell has been too indolent and has left things in a loose, slack manner. In this his example has injured the Mill Grove church. The first teachings and example in a church have much—very much—to do with the course pursued by that church afterward. It has been difficult to bring up a certain class in Mill Grove. They have not let the truth elevate them. Brother Cottrell has been very indolent and careless in regard to temporal things. In his business he has been slothful. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 6

A man who does not love manual labor and is naturally easy and indolent will never make a successful preacher. He will ever lack self-denial, perseverance, and energy. He will never make a thorough workman in spiritual things. There will ever be seen the love of ease and the dislike to exertion in matters of the church, and there will be no disposition to tax the mental faculties. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 7

Brother Cottrell could do a great amount of good with his pen. His mental powers have not been troubled and overtaxed and worn as have those of some of the preachers. His bodily strength and nervous system have not been shattered, his thoughts can be clear upon important points of truth. He should use his pen. He could have employed time that has been lost in searching the Bible for evidences upon different points of truth, and letting his light shine. His brain should be taxed more, for he can bear it, and some others of our ministers’ minds should be taxed less. Brother Cottrell has a dislike to do anything laborious. His mind and body should be taxed more. He should feel that the cause of God is a part of him, that the paper publishing the truth is as dear to him as his children, that he has a responsibility resting upon him to make it interesting and profitable. No one is as much at leisure to set his mind to the work as he. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 8

I have been shown that it was of but little use for Brother Cottrell to engage with Brother Andrews in tent labor, for he cannot interest and hold a congregation, and too much labor comes on Brother Andrews. It would be better for Brother Cottrell to labor out by himself, and then his labor will accomplish more and tell for all it is worth. He should not go over and over where he has lived and where his lack has been so sensibly felt. There are churches that have no labor, places where they greatly need help. Brother Cottrell should take hold in some such place and labor to build up and strengthen. By persevering labor he can do much. He can show fruits of his labor, gain confidence in himself, and his gift will improve. In a new field Brother Cottrell could do more than to remain in one place year after year and go over the same ground. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 9

Brother Cottrell must counteract, by earnest activity and energy on his part, the precept and example he has acted out in Mill Grove and other places. Brother Cottrell must have more self-reliance and depend more upon his own energies. He notices every unpleasant feeling too much, and in his imagination suffers much where suffering does not really exist. He has rested so much and had so easy a time for years that he is not inured to any exertions; but God requires Brother Cottrell to be economical of his time and not lose so many hours for which he can show nothing. Such an example is a miserable one to set before the flock of God. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 10

Brother Cottrell should not engage in organizing churches, for he is not thorough. He does not go deep enough. He does not hew close enough, and some are brought into the church who are unfit and who prove a great burden to the church. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 11

A part of the time Brother Cottrell could labor to good advantage for the benefit of the cause of God. He could labor successfully by writing, taking the burden upon him to contribute more largely for the paper than he has yet done. He can accomplish more, as a general thing, by taking up items and writing upon them than he can by much preaching. It is his duty to study to do all he can to advance the cause of God, to advance the interest of the paper, and labor—not sparing himself—to convince souls of the truth. Brother Cottrell’s life, as to conversation and deportment, has been good. He has had some success, but has not accomplished what he might had he used the strength of body and powers of mind which God has given him. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 12

It is the duty of Brother Cottrell to labor as hard according to his strength, in the cause of God, and to provide for his own family, as Sister Cottrell labors according to her strength to provide for his wants and the wants of the family. It is Brother Cottrell’s duty to wake up and labor as hard as his brethren and sisters, who often labor under infirmities and with much weariness to provide for their families and have wherewith to aid the cause of God, and to help Brother Cottrell, among the rest. No one with Brother Cottrell’s health and strength should yield and give up to feelings of weariness and little infirmities. His natural indolence must be overcome or his reward will be very small in the kingdom of heaven. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much, and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 13

Brother Harvey Cottrell has had loose, slack habits of doing business. He has never seen the necessity of order, system, and organization in the church. He think if things were left more with the Lord and took their own natural course, come along as they would, it would look more like the Spirit leading the people and controlling the church. But there would be an unruly and evil spirit that could bring all the confusion necessary to satisfy the most disorderly and free, which would drive holy angels from them in disgust. Brother Harvey cannot see any need of the gifts and he has been a great hindrance to the church in Mill Grove. His wife and Mary have suffered in their feelings. They desire to press fully with the body and do the whole will of God from the heart. They fail in some things but God regards their prayers and their desires to serve Him. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 14

There has been a great lack in the Mill Grove church; there is still a great lack there. There is not one there of sufficient age, possessing enough force of character and energy, who is thorough-going and of sufficient influence, to act as leader in the church. There needs to be a reform there. This loose, slack manner of doing business must be corrected, and every true child of God who believes the truth from the heart should take hold of this work of reform. Brother Brooks is now the best one to fill the place of leader in the meetings. He has tried to exert a good influence. His life has not been such as to reproach the cause of God. His wife has tried to follow the Lord in humility and to do His will. God has His eye upon all the precious souls who would serve Him from the heart. Not one of them will be left to perish, although they may suffer much from surrounding influences. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 15

If there had been a good and saving influence exerted in Mill Grove, there would be now a flourishing church. There has been much labor bestowed in Mill Grove, but there has ever been a class there whose influence has been such as to counteract the efforts which have been made. Satan has been willing, and has exulted, that a certain class should profess the truth and manifest considerable zeal, for he can present them as the representatives of Sabbathkeepers. Their disgusting manners and loose, slack habits, and their miserable influence generally might keep out the sensible and intelligent who would be an honor to the cause if they should obey the truth. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 16

Satan would rather have a certain class be Sabbathkeepers, for they serve his purpose in an excellent manner. If there is a tent meeting or general conference, those who have the least influence, whose appearance and general deportment is no recommendation to Sabbathkeepers, but a reproach, who don’t know when to speak and when to keep silent, will be sure to get to the meeting if possible. If they have unruly, uncultivated children, they will take them along. It is very unpleasant for those who have to weary themselves to entertain them. It is exceedingly trying to the patience of those who attend the meetings out of a sense of duty to do all the good they can, for these persons of uncultivated habits stand directly in the way of unbelievers. The most cutting truths presented, which—if received by them in the heart—would condemn their lives and tear them all to pieces, they will assent to and shed tears over. Yet their lives are a living reproach; their uncultivated manners are a reproach; their slack, untidy dress and self-righteous conversation is a reproach. They are a burden, but never know it. They keep souls out of the truth. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 17

The poor and ignorant are not to be excluded from the privileges of the church, but they should be taught their place, and then should keep it. There should be a saving influence in the church to teach them their place, not to put themselves forward and exercise themselves in things which are too high for them. If these poor souls would find their place and keep it, the church would have a more saving influence. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 18

Mr. York is numbered with the church but he is no benefit to the church. His influence has only been an injury to the cause of God. In his business he moves from place to place and everywhere he is known he is a miserable representative of Sabbathkeepers. Those who know him are led to say, “If Sabbathkeepers are like Mr. York and Mr. Davis, I don’t want to be a Sabbathkeeper.” These men talk much in a very boasting, exalted manner in regard to themselves. They can pray and talk in the most important meetings long and earnestly, but it is all a sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. There is no humility there. They are full of self-righteousness and are of that class who will say in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:22, 23. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 19

These men express much love to God and to the truth in words, but they are not converted to God. Peter followed Christ when He was upon earth. He manifested much zeal for his Master. He thought himself the most devoted and zealous of Christ’s followers. And when Jesus said to him, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” [Luke 22:32], Peter was offended that his Master should express doubts in regard to his faithfulness. He asserts that although all men should be offended yet he would not; he would even die for his Lord. But he was ignorant of himself, and when he was brought to the test, to endanger his life for his Master, he openly denied Him and protested with cursing and swearing that he knew not the Man. Jesus looked upon Peter and then he remembered the words of his Lord. This boastful confidence was gone; he realized his weakness and then trusted in God for strength, instead of in himself. He was converted and then could strengthen his brethren. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 20

The greatest lesson many have yet to learn is to know themselves. They are ignorant of themselves. Mr. York and Mr. Davis, and some others whose names I cannot now call, express much love to God and the truth in words, but they are not converted to God. They are not acquainted with themselves. They do not search their own heart and walk tremblingly and fearfully before the Lord. They profess to leave everything with the Lord and to have much faith, but it is words and noise instead of faith. They do not know what a humble, self-abasing, God-trusting faith is. They are puffed up and exalted. Their fruits, their works, testify to the nature of their faith. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 21

God is not pleased or His cause benefited by persons embracing the truth without being reformed and elevated by the truth, but coming along with their untidy, loose habits, and making no effort to reform. The lives of such are disgusting to unbelievers and to the true, orderly children of God. If there is a conference, this certain class will generally attend. If they would remain at home it would be far better for the cause of God, and then they would not be in the way of unbelievers. Their presence is not needed. They are only a burden and hindrance, and they will be doing a good work if they will stay at home and confine their influence to as small a circle as possible. They could benefit the cause much more by being economical of their time. Instead of spending time to attend meetings where they are only a burden, they had better be laboring with their hands to obtain means to pay for their paper and obtain religious books upon present truth with which they could inform themselves, and also have something to expend in dress to make a more decent, respectable appearance among Sabbathkeepers where they live. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 22

God’s people have been burdened and imposed upon for a long time by Solomon Cottrell’s family. They would attend meetings anywhere within their reach, go a considerable distance to crowd themselves into meetings where their room was much more to be preferred than their presence. Their hearts were full of rebellion. They had no union with the body. The meetings did not improve them. They would return home from the meetings to make their bitter remarks upon this one and that, and the different articles of dress and the preaching which did not suit them, and against the gifts. Any system or discipline they opposed. The church should have taken a straightforward course and dealt with plainness and due severity, and in the name of the Lord shaken off these dead weights long ago. The church should have left them to go with their kind. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 23

Those who will remain low and will not be elevated and disciplined by the rules of the church, those who will not be elevated but fight against reform, order, and advancement, should not be dragged along against their will. And if they choose to intrude among those who love order, system, and discipline, and annoy them with their bold and rebellious speeches, the church should cut loose from them and leave them. It is a wide world. They can take the course which they love and leave the saints to enjoy their peace, order, and system without intruding themselves among them. If such ones are dealt with there will always be enough to sympathize with them. However great the wrong of some may be, there are those who will sustain and excuse them in sin and sympathize with them if the church deals with them. Why, even Satan had sympathizers when he rebelled, and the sympathizers were turned out of heaven with Satan for their rebellious sympathy. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 24

Mr. York is everywhere introducing the Sabbath, getting into a discussion with unbelievers upon disputed, doctrinal points. His talk sets those with whom he talks farther from the truth. He makes those with whom he talks despise him. He is so boastful, so exalted in his own eyes, and all Sabbathkeepers are judged, by some who are prejudiced, to be like him. He increases prejudice against the truth, for his works and his daily walk are not according to his talk or his profession. He is not an imitator of the holy Pattern. His general course and the course of Mr. Davis are a reproach to the cause of present truth. They talk or say and do not. There are several of this same class in Mill Grove and in surrounding towns. Ye shall know them by their fruits. “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:16-20. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 25

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 26

The character of every man is made manifest by his fruits. His words and profession are of no value in the sight of God. His works, his acts, testify of him and reveal the heart and true purpose of the man. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 27

Those who are so ignorant of the grace of God upon the heart should in humility learn of Christ and should be very modest in their conversation. They had better be reserved about introducing the truth to unbelievers until they can adorn it by good fruits, and by their daily walk show that they have been learning of Him who is meek and lowly of heart. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 28

There are those at Mill Grove and vicinity who are sincere in their faith and who earnestly desire to advance with the people of God. Some have opposing companions and friends, which has made the battle very hard for them. And then to have the additional discouragement of having in the church professed Sabbathkeepers who are rebellious and undisciplined, who are slack and loose in all their business transactions, and yet are zealous to attend meetings and take an active part, is heart rending. They come full of darkness and their course—their daily walk and general deportment—is a continual reproach to the cause of God, and they keep those out who love order, cleanliness, discipline, and refinement. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 29

Sister Eggleston has been in danger of going to the opposite extreme in some things. Her husband is not in the faith. The influence of those who professed to be Sabbathkeepers, yet bore no fruit to the glory of God, has been such as to disgust him and cause him to shut his eyes to the light. He thinks that a great portion of Sabbathkeepers are like a certain class in Mill Grove, and he and other unbelievers think it is their faith—their peculiar views—which makes them what they are—slack, untidy, and undisciplined; and although their judgment is convinced that we have the truth, the inconsistent lives of professed Sabbathkeepers shut them away from the society and influence of those Sabbathkeepers whose life and influence would be a recommendation to their faith. Sister Egleston’s husband would now be established in the truth if there had been a right influence among Sabbathkeepers in and about Mill Grove. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 30

God requires His people to arise and shake off hindering clogs, and then when laborers come among them they will be benefited and will not stop to notice this article of dress and that apron or bonnet, but all will take hold earnestly to arise. Each will attend to his and her own case. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 31

“Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” Zephaniah 2:3. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 32

The meek of the earth who keep God’s commandments are here addressed. All should lay hold of the truth and let it elevate them. They should take hold of the work in earnest. Some are very fearful of being like the world, and those who express the most fear in this matter are those whose lives are not circumspect and a recommendation to their faith. Their fear should be exercised in a different direction, and they fear lest they give unbelievers occasion to speak reproachfully of our faith. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 33

We are now a sect everywhere spoken against, and we are by some accounted the offscouring of all things. Many unbelievers say it is only the weak-minded and the poor, low class of society who believe these singular doctrines. And the inconsistent course of some professed Sabbathkeepers gives them occasion to say such things. “We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” 1 Corinthians 4:9. It is of the highest importance that Sabbathkeepers live out their faith in every particular. They should be prompt and neat, and keep their business matters all straight. If they believe the truth from the heart, they will do this. The truth will, if carried out, reform their lives. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 34

None should be so fearful of being like the world that it will lead them to be careless in their houses, leaving things in disorder and uncleanness. It is no pride to be neat in dress, cleanly in person, orderly and tasteful in their household arrangements, in their yards, and around their houses. These outside appearances tell the business character of those living in the house, and not only this, but the religious character of its inmates. It is impossible for a slack, disorderly person to make a good Christian. Their lives, in temporal and religious things, are just as disorderly as their dress, houses, persons, and premises. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 35

There is order in heaven. There are rules and regulations which govern the whole heavenly host. All move in order. All there is cleanly, all in perfect harmony. And everyone who will be counted worthy to enter heaven will be thoroughly disciplined and will be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. The uncultivated have spots and wrinkles upon them now. They had better lose no time in commencing the work of cleansing themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. God loves purity, cleanliness, order, and holiness. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 36

God requires all His people who lack these qualifications to seek them and never rest until they obtain them. They must commence the work of reform and elevate their lives so that in conversation and deportment their acts, their lives, will be a continual recommendation of their faith and will have such a winning, compelling power upon unbelievers that they will be compelled to acknowledge that they are the children of God. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 37

God does not require His people to take a course merely to make the world hate them and be their enemies. If they do this, of what advantage will it be to spend time, strength, and means to spread the truth? Those who profess the truth should be living examples, living epistles, known and read of all men, and should ever introduce the truth in a manner which will commend itself to the understanding and good judgment of the intelligent and honest unbeliever. To have novices continually babbling upon the Sabbath and present truth will only make the truth disgusting and will cause it and its true believers to be reproached. Ignorant boasters had better hold their peace—“whose mouths must be stopped.” Titus 1:11. They should show their diligence and zeal in laboring with their hands and attending to their own souls, setting their own hearts in order. This I greatly fear they will never do. They had rather be attending to other people’s matters and babbling upon things of which they have no knowledge. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 38

There is quite a large class, not in Mill Grove alone, but scattered all through New York, who are faithful to attend all the conferences if it is possible, while they bear no fruit at home. Sister Paine, her husband and her parents—especially her mother and her sister—are of this class. They are burdens in the meetings. Sister Paine is almost constantly fretting and scolding and making the life of her husband very miserable. She has ruined the children she volunteered to become a mother to. She has, by her fretting and scolding, driven almost every good principle from their hearts and has planted thorns in their place. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 39

Her continual faultfinding destroyed the courage of the children. All their acts, all their moves, were looked upon with suspicion, until they lost all desire to try to please her. They felt that they could not please. Their sins rest very much upon their stepmother. These children had but very few encouraging words. They have had but little peace and happiness at home. Sister Paine has quarreled with her husband and children nearly every day of her married life. She thinks she has had a hard time. She has not had a very pleasant life, but if she had acted her part as a faithful, tender wife and mother she would have shut out many trials which have arisen by her complaining. She thinks her course righteous, justifies herself; but O, how hard has she made it for those motherless children! And yet she comes to the conferences and appears so earnest and sincere in her profession, and talks and prays with feeling—often in tears—and then returns home from the meeting to reproach, fret at, and scold her husband. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 40

Brother Paine has not taken a wise and judicious course—has suffered his children to do wrong and has not corrected them—but the course of Sister Paine has not helped the case. Her lack of patience has led him to sympathize with his children and take their part, which has helped to hurt them. There has been a wrong on both sides. Sister Paine would have her husband shut the door against his children. She has felt wrong. His children are wicked, but the father and mother are both to blame. Upon the mother rests much of the sins of the children. She did not win the hearts of the children and let her heart go out in love for them. She was too selfish. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 41

Brother Paine is far from being right. He had a retaliating spirit. He uses indulgences which injure his health. Idols have not been entirely renounced. Habits which are evil are growing stronger upon him. His example is not worthy. He has but little happiness in this life. Sister Paine’s mother was a fretful, faultfinding woman and led her husband an unhappy life. Neither of them have been any ornament to the cause of God. Their children are worthless members of society. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 42

Almira has no higher thoughts than of herself—how she can dress and have an easy time in life, how she can live and not exert herself much. She would let her parents suffer rather than exert herself for their benefit. She would sooner take from them than help them. She has no honor for her parents and no disposition to labor and toil for them as a faithful daughter should to care for and support them. She has but little natural affection and filial love. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 43

The son has been a curse to himself and all who are acquainted with him. Better, far better, would it have been for the cause of God if this class of Sabbathkeepers had never come out to keep the Sabbath. They have only been a burden. They have never felt the saving, transforming influence of the truth upon the heart. They do not seek to elevate their lives to the gospel standard, but are no farther advanced than when they first professed the truth. The path of the just shineth more and more unto the perfect day. They are not the just, for they make no advancement. Self rules, self controls. Unless there is an entire reform, unless their lives are more in accordance with the life of Christ, they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. They will be weighed in the balance and found wanting. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 44

I was shown that ministers who bear the truth should be thorough laborers. There are those who can be helps in the church who are not qualified to give themselves wholly to the work of preaching the message. I saw that there are many who could help in matters of the church and who can labor to win souls to the truth who have not the special work of preaching the message. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 45

I was shown that Brother Saunders was not qualified to give himself to the work of traveling and preaching the message. He has never yet felt the woe upon him. He has never yet felt the burden of the work. He has accomplished some little good but has come far short of doing the work of a minister. He has not felt the importance and solemnity of the work or the worth of souls. He lacks spirituality and devotion and experience in the things of God. There is not that deep heart work which is required to maintain a Christian life. As a speaker he can interest more than Brother Cottrell. He is a more acceptable speaker than Brother Cottrell, and if his whole heart were in the work, would accomplish more than Brother Cottrell. It requires experienced, godly men to deal with human minds and to win souls to Christ. In Brother Saunders’ present state it would be just as well for the cause of God, and far better for himself, to labor with his hands, for he is not fitted for a laborer in the cause of God. He has not improved and advanced as he might and as he should. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 46

Brethren Cottrell and Saunders are not in the right place. They should be where they can feel more responsibility and where their labor is needed, where there is a company around them who need their help and can be brought out through their labor and established in present truth. Brethren Cottrell and Saunders settling in one house is wrong. One is not calculated to benefit the other. Both feel too little burden and responsibility; one is not prepared to help the other and they do not exert an influence to stir up each other. Both lack the spirit of labor, and if they labor at all it should be where there is something to call them out, where they will be thrown upon their own responsibility. They have leaned too much on others and have not had self-reliance and acted like men laboring for perishing souls. The church cannot be especially benefited with the labor of either of these brethren, for those of experience in the church are in advance of these brethren. These men, if they labor at all, must drink a little deeper at the fountain of truth, and be stirred and be zealous, and act as though what they have to do must be done quickly; and some they must save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garments spotted with the flesh. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 47

Brother Cottrell has not the missionary spirit. He must overcome his natural indolence before he can be of use in the cause of God. God will accept no laborer in His vineyard who does not take hold of the work in earnest. One can never make unbelievers tremble or be convicted that what he preaches is truth without some earnestness and energy. Brother Cottrell has his mind too much exercised to have an easy time, to shun burdens. It is of but little use for Brother Cottrell to labor with the tent, for he cannot interest a congregation unless his delivery and manners are improved. He would do better to start out alone and by his labor raise up souls to obey the truth and thus give full proof of his ministry. For him to go with Brother Andrews would only use up his time and he would not have enough labor to perform, while Brother Andrews would have double labor. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 48

Brother Andrews should have a laborer with him who can interest and bear his full half of the burden while the tent season lasts. A laborer is worthy of his hire. And when the church pay for a workman, they expect he will work and show some fruit of his labor. And the church of God should feel a responsibility upon them to pay workers liberally and not leave these men who are skillful in handling the Word of God to serve tables. Money should not be taken from the treasury of God to support men who are not skilled workmen, men whose labor they can just as well as not dispense with. God wants thorough and skillful workmen in His vineyard, and requires the church to sustain them liberally. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1861, par. 49