Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 22a, 1867

Alchin, Brother


c. early 1867

Variant of Lt 22, 1867.

Testimony to Bushnell Church

My heart yearns over the church at Bushnell. There is a work to be done there. There is material there to make a good church if they will all come into working order. There needs to be considerable done to remove the rough edges and to fit them to work harmoniously. It has hitherto been the case that when one or two feel the necessity of arousing and standing unitedly and more firmly upon the elevated platform of truth, a portion will not arise. They feel within them a spirit to rebel against being urged. A stubborn spirit comes upon some. They don’t want to be hurried, and when they should help they hinder. Some will not submit to the planing knife of God. When it passes over them and the uneven surface is disturbed they complain of too close and severe work and wish to get out of God’s workshop where their defects may remain undisturbed. They seem to be asleep as to their condition, that their only hope is to remain where the defects in their Christian character will be seen and remedied. 1LtMs, Lt 22a, 1867, par. 1

Some are indulging lustful appetite, which wars against the soul and proves a constant drawback, a hindrance to their spiritual advancement. They bear an accusing conscience constantly and are prepared, if straight truths are talked, to be hit, and then grieve over the matter and feel as though things had been said purposely to hit them. If such would not be hurt they must get out of the way, for the car of truth must roll on. They must reform that the arrows of truth may pass harmlessly by them. But while they indulge in errors, cherish idols, and do not abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, they make themselves marks for the arrows of truth to hit, and if truth is spoken at all they must be hit. 1LtMs, Lt 22a, 1867, par. 2

Satan tells some that they cannot reform, that health would be sacrificed if they gave up their idols—tobacco, their tea, coffee, and flesh meats. The change even from an unhealthful, stimulating diet to a healthful, unstimulating diet would for a time make them feel worse. Some have so benumbed the fine sensibilities of nature that it would require a little time for nature to recover from the abuse which she has been made to suffer through the introduction into the system of a false stimulus which has had the influence to depress and weaken her powers. But give nature a little time and she will again rally and perform her part nobly and well. These idols are destructive to health, and have a benumbing influence upon the brain, making it impossible to appreciate eternal truth. 1LtMs, Lt 22a, 1867, par. 3

“Fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” [1 Peter 2:11]—here is the battle with many. Will they abstain from these indulgences which weaken physical and mental force? If they do not they cannot have eternal life. They lose confidence in themselves, sacrifice their Godlike manhood, their noble moral independence, and are slaves to a hurtful, low, degrading habit. When, in the fear of God, relying upon Him for strength, they abstain from fleshly lusts, then can they advance, and not before. They may try to carry these things along but in doing so they are constantly strengthening fleshly lust which is weakening the health and spiritual growth of the soul. 1LtMs, Lt 22a, 1867, par. 4

Again God requires of parents at Bushnell to realize their obligation to their children and in the fear of God control their own appetites and then teach self-denial and self-control to their children, and command their household after them lest the sin which rested upon Eli rest upon them. Children are not disciplined as they should be. There is a work for parents to do. Their children should be instructed by precept and example. 1LtMs, Lt 22a, 1867, par. 5

There can be a work done in Bushnell if all who have embraced the Sabbath live up to the light which they have received. Do such realize that they are the lights which God has placed in Bushnell, that to their friends and neighbors they will be a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death? “Ye are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14.] Let your light so shine that men by seeing your good works will be led to glorify our Father who is in heaven. 1LtMs, Lt 22a, 1867, par. 6

There are souls to be saved in and about Bushnell; and yet Satan is holding some as slaves to prevent them from doing the work God has assigned them. What use are they making of the talents God has entrusted to them? Said the angel, “God will require of every one of you His own with usury.” Where is the improvement you have made upon the talents? God grant that you may arouse, that your influence may tell, may be saving upon the community around. This is just what Satan is determined to hinder. He opposes the advance of every soul. He does not mean that they shall become Christ’s followers. Your course of action will tell whether you are gathering with Christ or scattering abroad. 1LtMs, Lt 22a, 1867, par. 7

God calls upon the church in Bushnell to awake, arise, and elevate the standard or their light will be turned to darkness. The Christian warfare is not child’s play, to be fought at will and let alone at pleasure. It is a reality. Satan and his angels will oppose every step of advance. Whosoever would win must fight. There are no idlers in this warfare, no spectators. It is to conquer or be conquered. What will you do? I have now written you as fully as I can what has been presented before me. God help you to see it, to feel it. Watch and pray lest that day come upon you as a thief. 1LtMs, Lt 22a, 1867, par. 8