Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 16, 1863

Testimony Regarding the Church at Mannsville, New York


late 1863

Previously unpublished.

I was shown that the Mannsville church was not advancing. Every one should begin to work off against his or her own house. Not all understand themselves. Had the church been wise, had they been prepared to have appreciated the work of God among them, Emory Fish’s course would have been shown long ago. As it is, I feel delicate about placing the view in regard to him in the hands of the church. They are not clear-sighted, discerning, reasoning from cause to effect. They move too much from impulse, from feeling instead of from calm forethought and principle. They do not dwell enough upon the truth [and] its holy, elevating principles, but descend to little things, picking at straws, watching little articles of dress, and having burdens which God does not lay upon them. By thinking upon these little things they manufacture burdens which are not laid upon them, [and] keep [their] minds upon these little minor things calculated to destroy spirituality and heavenly discernment. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1863, par. 1

Sabbathkeepers have an abundant large field to occupy the mind. Search the Scriptures, search themselves. Dwell upon heavenly elevating truth. Talk the truth. Let that cut, not their speeches and words. To bear down in their meeting upon articles of dress are things below the notice of Sabbathkeepers. Higher things should elevate the mind. Speeches made in meetings upon these little things disgust unbelievers and drive the Spirit of the Lord away from your midst. There is too much noticing others’ wrongs, others’ course—what this one does and that one says. Let such things be rebuked, but let each attend to his or her own case. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1863, par. 2

God will never condescend to assist Mannsville church out of their manufactured trials until they see the wrong of such a course and work themselves. If they make trials, they must work their way out of them the best they can. All had better seek the Lord with deep humility and search their own hearts. This work will be large enough for them to attend to at present—each to examine to see whether they be in the love of God, each study to show themselves approved unto God, each seek to excel in the Christian graces, each possessing forbearance, love, and compassion for their brethren. When the church in Mannsville take hold of this work in earnest, God will help them. And not before. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1863, par. 3

Deal with minds carefully. Use the case of Emory Fish with great caution. Let not this matter be published to the world, or made more extensive than is necessary. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1863, par. 4

In haste. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1863, par. 5