Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)

230/519

Ms 4, 1860

Testimony for the Monterey Church

NP

December 1860

This manuscript is published in entirety in 15MR 326-337.

While at Battle Creek, Michigan, I was shown in vision the state of God’s people in Monterey. I saw that a great work must be done for many of them in order for the Lord to be glorified in the midst of His people. Those who do not make an effort to arise and zealously repent of lukewarmness and backslidings, God will spew out of His mouth. The time has come for God’s people to arise. They have had warning upon warning, which, for the time being, has had an effect; but not realizing their danger and making thorough work, they slide back again into the same indifferent, careless state. There are things in the church which must be corrected, for God is displeased with His people. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 1

Those who have earthly possession will have a work to do, a sacrifice to make. Their temptations and trials will come on account of their property. Satan and evil angels are zealously at work to encourage in them a selfish disposition, a love of the world. This can be overcome only by watchfulness and prayer. There is danger, danger on every hand, with those who have earthly possessions—danger of their loving them too well, danger of claiming as their own what God has only lent them to advance His work upon the earth. When the truth is presented in its clearness and is brought to bear upon the heart, some, while under the warming, quickening influence of the Spirit of God, get the sacrifice almost on the altar. But they do not consecrate all fully to God, and as the saving influence of the truth wears away they lose the spirit of sacrifice, the strong foe again obtains control of the mind, the love of the world revives, and again they hug it to their bosoms and serve their treasure instead of God. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 2

The battle is between truth and the love of the world. Which will obtain the victory? Will they suffer Jesus to captivate the heart, or will they let Satan control the mind and crowed out the love of truth, so that the angels receive the charge, “They are joined to their idols, let them alone”? [Hosea 4:17.] All must be given up for Jesus. There are idols that must be sacrificed, dross that must be consumed, in order to reflect the image of Jesus. Again and again has the heart been affected, but the world has come in and choked the good seed [so] sown that it has not produced fruit to the glory of God. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 3

The Lord has permitted Brethren Lay and Rumery to take hold of the truth, and the truth has been carrying on its purifying process in the heart. It has affected the life, and unbelievers are looking on and are surprised with the change they see. The heavenly treasure has been increasing in value to them, and the earthly decreasing and losing its attraction. These brethren are often strongly beset by the enemy, and have a hard warfare to get their possessions upon the altar. Satan and his evil angels are holding the possessions of earth in an attractive light that they may love them and idolize them. Satan and his angels would rejoice at their downfall, but angels of God are watching over them, bearing them up, that they may be an example to others that it is possible for the love of riches to be overcome, and the love of truth predominate. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 4

Especially will Brother Rumery have to be guarded by the Spirit of God, or he will lose sight of the heavenly attraction and will place his affections upon earthly possessions. He must be more willing to impart freely of his substance to aid the cause of truth and secure to himself a heavenly treasure. There is too often a shrinking from duty and an unwillingness to do all that God requires. There must be a union with the body. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 5

I saw that it was not only those who have property that are in danger and that have a work to do. There are individuals who are not right, who are selfish and are not governed or controlled by the Spirit of God. They have embraced the message, come right along with God’s people, without the thorough work of reformation being wrought in them. Their lives are not such as adorn the religion of Jesus and advance the cause of present truth. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 6

I was shown the case of Solomon Howard. He has been blind to himself. There is in him a great lack of self government and spirituality. I was pointed back and saw how it used to be with him—the passionate, wilful temper, the stubborn will, the fitful moves. There has been something of a reform, but he has been very slow to learn. The work is not thorough. He makes an idol of himself, indulges his appetite, and lives principally for himself. O that he could look back upon his past life and could see it as it is! He would be ashamed and alarmed at the little good he has done. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 7

Who has been benefited by his life? He has been ready to shrink from every opportunity or opening to benefit others or do them good. There have not been in his experience living spots of self-denial to make others happy. Selfishness, self-interest, has reigned supreme in his heart. It is interwoven with his very life, and he has everything to learn if his life be filled with good works. He has so long indulged in this selfish course, so long been unwilling to deny himself to make others happy, that his case looked very dark to me and entirely hopeless unless he takes hold of the work in earnest and denies himself, denies his appetite, and does his part to defray the expenses of the church. He eats of the loaf, professes to believe the truth, and it costs him nothing, while he feasts his appetite and cannot endure that anyone should be favored or benefited by him. God despises such a spirit, and all his prayers and exhortations are a stink in His nostrils while he possesses this spirit. Says the True Witness, “I know thy works.” [Revelation 3:15.] A faithful record is kept of it all. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 8

There is a great lack of individual responsibility, of principle. Unless he takes hold of the work in earnest, God’s people will pass along and leave him behind. Those who will be easily offended because of the straightness of the truth and the plain testimony will mar the truth of God and pass along half-hearted, neither cold nor hot, weighing down the church until God spews them out of His mouth. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 9

I was shown the lack of family government. Their children control them. Sister Howard has petted and indulged and yielded to almost every wish of their children that there might not be an outbreak, for then the father’s passion is aroused and he corrects his children unreasonably, in blind passion. He must first govern and subdue himself, then can he understand to move with an even hand to subdue the tempers of his children. He has moved from impulse, with enraged feelings, which has been a ruinous example to the children. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 10

Parents should subdue the will of their children with patience, firmness, and decision; and if they bring them to the house of God, have them understand it is not a place for them to act as they please, a place to feast and to manifest their set will and passionate temper. The worshipers in God’s house are disturbed by unruly children. God’s wrath is kindled because of these things. These unruly children should not be present when the ordinances are celebrated. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 11

While these evils remain untouched everything passes along smoothly, but when the straight testimony comes and reproof and rebuke are given, there is a rising up against the straight testimony. It does not agree with the carnal mind, their carnal security is disturbed, they resist the work of God, and some will fall off. The names of those who will be purified, made white, and tried are borne into the sanctuary and mentioned by Jesus to His Father, and they are brought before the special notice of God. But those who choose their own selfish course, their own dark way, will be permitted to go on. Satan will control the will, and they will lose everlasting life. Those who are saved must yield their will, their way, and be controlled by the Spirit of God. They must die daily all the way along; die, die to self, and be purified by the truth. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 12

(Brother and Sister Howard, Senior) I saw that old Brother Howard has been under the cloud in darkness but the cloud was passing away. The spirit of his companion is displeasing to God. She does not take a course to make herself and Brother Howard happy. There is too much fretting, complaining, and groaning. I saw that she did not look upon her past course in the right light. Had she conducted herself properly they need not now be homeless and Brother Howard be compelled to labor so hard to obtain the necessaries of life. Brother Howard’s course has been all wrong in the past, but it was the injudicious, determined course of his wife that drove him to desperation. She should now take a very humble place in the church, for she has brought a stain upon the cause of God. I saw that she must yield her set will, her complaining, and possess a cheerful disposition, yield to her husband and make him happy. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 13

I saw that Sister Sarah Jones partakes of the same spirit as that of her mother. Brother Charles and Sister Sarah have erred in bringing up their child. He was not subdued young. Old Sister Howard petted and indulged her children until they have no power of endurance. A little difficulty or trial cast them down. Instead of developing a character and enduring trial and bearing with courage and perseverance, they sink under the cloud. Said the angel, “If thou hast run with the footmen and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace wherein thou trustedest they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?” Jeremiah 12:5. The time of trouble is before us, and if there is lack of courage and ambition now, how will they pass the fearful scenes of that trying hour? 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 14

Some make their lives almost useless by thinking they are more afflicted than they really are. The Lord calls for a reform. Sister Sarah must exercise faith and wipe the disagreeable frown from the brow, and rather have it lightened up with the Spirit of God. Patience and endurance will effect a great work. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 15

I saw the lack of government with their child. The mother and grandmother have indulged and sympathized with and excused the wrongs of the child until evil has strengthened with his strength. They have lacked an even hand and have not moved with decision. Sometimes his faults have been corrected and reproved, and then at other times neglected. There has been a lack of decision. He has not been restrained and subdued as he should have been. This has at times called forth great severity from the father on account of the indulgent course of the mother and grandmother. There has been a wrong all around, and the child has thought his father too severe, has despised parental authority and been impatient of restraint. God has noticed these things. The boy’s heart is fully set in him to do evil and to have his own way. Satan controls his mind. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 16

Unless there is a reform, Sister Sarah will know what trials are, for God will enter the dwelling and cause sadness. Long has Brother Charles [Jones] stood up with feelings of heartache and afflictions of body and has thought he would suffer on until God delivered him. He has borne burdens, endured trials. Sister Sarah should stand by his side and encourage him instead of being in a situation ever to be helped and to demand sympathy herself. There must be a change, a reform, or one or the other will fall under. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 17

I saw that Sister Sarah had not received or believed the message that had been given her, but had felt like concealing it from everyone. She can make no progress until she makes straight work of the past, overcomes affectation and complaining, and exercises the strength the Lord has given her. Although she may suffer pain, yet she should not give up to every feeling of infirmity and repining. Bear up against it. Giving up to every infirmity pleases the enemy and magnifies these infirmities until the life is useless. The course that should be pursued is to seek God earnestly for strength. Bear up, bear up; talk faith, act faith; manifest courage. Although the body feels the effects of the curse, there must be a pressure against it. Sarah sinks under it. She thinks she is worse off than she is. She talks of her infirmities, thinks of them, and makes no effort to overcome them—all of which make life miserable. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 18

Others, with greater infirmities, bear up against them, and although they suffer some, they attend to their daily duties and the Lord assists them. And now, unless there is a reform with Solomon and Sarah, unless they are torn all to pieces and made over new, unless they lie broken at the foot of the cross, their spirit can never mingle with God’s people. Sarah can be a help to Charles if she will get right and possess another spirit. If this change does not take place, either Charles or Sarah will sink. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 19

It is time for God to work. It is time for a reform. God has beheld the selfishness, the lack of doing others good, of her life benefiting others. Self demands every extra effort. These things must be seen, and when there is a true sense of feeling over these things, it will bring her to the borders of despair. Brother Charles must move carefully, keep his mind in the right channel, fill his place in the church, and sympathize not with wrong. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 20

The straight testimony must live in Monterey, even if it cuts off the right arm and plucks out the right eye. God calls for straight and thorough work. He is purifying unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. The Lord wants Brother Charles to be a pillar in His church and adorn His cause. God has given him an excellent spirit, which He calls him to exercise in His church. If Satan can destroy his usefulness, his object is gained. He must watch against Satan’s devices, and stand with firmness and decision, possessing freedom of spirit. He must wrestle for victory, press for the light, and leave all darkness behind. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 21

I was shown the case of Brother and Sister Kenyon and Sardis. His will has not been restrained as it should have been. He has not, for a great length of time, regarded parental authority; has been set to have his own will, carry out his own way. Said the angel, “He has broken God’s commandments, a number of them, which makes him guilty of all.” 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 22

I was pointed back many months ago and saw a heavy mist come over him which increased to a black cloud. His situation was represented to me as being fearful, dreadful. He has given way to his own passions until they have obtained the victory and he is bound by the strong foe. Said the angel, as he pointed to Sardis, “Dishonesty, deception, covetousness, and vileness.” He has long been a reproach to God’s cause. These things have cursed the church until God is waiting to free them. If Sardis will even now make thorough work, humbly confess his wicked course, submit to the judgment and will of his father, the Lord will have mercy and pity him. Unless he sees his wrong and makes thorough work, he will surely lose everlasting life and be separated from his people forever. In this age the child takes the place of the father, and in order to have peace the parents take the place of the child, and this is reversing the order in which God has placed these things. Children have no just sense of the respect and regard due their parents who have suffered so much care and anxiety for them. These things cause the frown of God to rest upon the church, and there must be a reform in order to remove the frown of God from His people. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 23

I was shown the case of Brother Russ. He indulges too much in unbelief. The Lord calls upon him to stand with the church, throw his whole interest into the work. He must exercise the gift the Lord has given him and use his influence to God’s glory for the upbuilding of His cause. He must let his influence be exercised to encourage the church, to stand with them, instead of discouraging them. If he will press with the people of God he will feel his heart bound with theirs. Unless he does this he will place himself where he is subject to the temptations of the enemy and will become estranged from God’s people. Brother and Sister Russ must arise together. I was shown that there were those in the church who were ever ready to sympathize with the wrong and shrink from the straight testimony, fearing it will drive off some that might otherwise remain in the ranks of Sabbathkeepers. I saw that there had been many unconsecrated ones in the church at Monterey. Their hearts were unsanctified, unsubdued. God’s frown was upon them, and after being often reproved, if they do not reform they should be cut off from Israel. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 24

The overthrow of Brother Curtis was his own set, stubborn will—his unwillingness to be influenced by the judgment of the church. The first great evil was the lack of family government. Sister Curtis was at fault here. She has too often indulged and put her children forward, and her husband corrected the children in passion, yet the interference of Sister Curtis made matters worse. She was too indulgent. Both were indulgent, and when the church felt compelled to move and cut off those who were only a curse, Brother and Sister Curtis both rebelled. The course the church pursued should have been carried out at an earlier date. Such trash, such clogs, should quickly be cut off from God’s people. The church should move with judgment and discretion, but these cases are too plain to need delay. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 25

Brother Pierce’s family are too ready to sympathize with their children, and however crooked, are unwilling for the church to take action in their case. But this is wrong. God will have only those in the church who are earnestly striving to be right. Opportunity is given to develop character, and if members of the family develop a character unworthy [of] the Christian name, they have no right to the privileges of the house of God. False sympathy must die. It commenced in heaven at the fall of Satan and has existed ever since. This sympathy has blunted the straight testimony. It pleases Satan well. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 26

I was shown in regard to the poor—objects of charity. I saw that the stewards of God have no duty in the case of those who will persist in using tobacco, coffee, and tea. Some of the poor are apt to place all the straight testimony upon the shoulders of the men of property, but there is something for them to do, a work that they must engage in. They must deny appetite. Here they can make a sacrifice. God calls upon them to do it. And after they leave off these hurtful things, if they get into straitened circumstances while exerting themselves to do the best they can, it will be a privilege for their able brethren to help them out of difficulty. Many of the poor lack management and economy. They should make great efforts to reform on this. They lack judgment and should not depend on their own judgment but counsel with their brethren who have judgment, and then take their advice. But it is too often the case that those who lack judgment and management are averse to seeking counsel, therefore they make bad moves and suffer in consequence. They seem to think their judgment is sufficient. If those who are in poor circumstances take this humble course and rely upon the counsel of their brethren, then are brought into strait places, their brethren should take hold and relieve them cheerfully. But if they will not do this, but choose their own course and their own judgment, and suffer in consequence, it is better to let them learn by the things they suffer. God’s people must be subject to one another, counsel and advise with each other, and the lack of one must be supplied by the sufficiency of the other. There is a lack of humility. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 27

The Laodicean message loses its influence too soon. It must affect the church. The counsel of the True Witness is not heeded. The church does not zealously repent. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 28

I was shown the case of Brother Day. His interest is in the truth and he considers nothing too dear to sacrifice for the truth. I was pointed back to a certain time and saw that he had done more than God required of him, which has caused him embarrassment. He moved too strongly. He saw that there was need for something to be done and was disgusted by the slow course of those who could do something. Their unwillingness grieved him. He saw that the lack must be supplied and he moved strongly and the burden was not equally divided. Brethren Lay, Rumery, Kenyon, and Pierce should not have been so backward, but should have shared the burdens at the very time they ought to be borne. Brother Day became impatient and his brethren were grieved with him, but their error was greater than his. Brethren Pierce and Kenyon have not been as willing to bear their part of the burdens as they should have been. This lack injures their own souls. They must prize the truth above everything else and be willing to sacrifice for the truth. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1860, par. 29