Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 23, 1871

Cornell, M. E.

Battle Creek, Michigan

December 27, 1871

Portions of this letter are published in TSB 166-168.

Dear Brother [M. E.] Cornell:

You will see before this reaches you that the Lord has again visited His people by giving me a testimony. In this view I was shown that you were not standing in the clear light and you are in danger of bringing a reproach upon the cause of God by moving as you happen to feel. It is Satan’s intent to destroy you. He is seeking to keep your mind in a constant state of agitation, stirring it up that it may cast up mire and dirt instead of the peaceful fruits of righteousness. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 1

Calm your feelings, commit your case to God and trust wholly in Him. I saw you seeking to stir the feelings of your wife. You had a spirit of retaliation. This is not the Spirit of Christ, and every approach you make to this, you give Satan the advantage. You are placing yourself upon the enemy's ground. Your wife deserves your pity. Poor deceived woman selling herself to the enemy, deceived by Satan to believe a strong delusion that she may be damned. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 2

If you are clear, if you discern the darkness and the workings of Satan with all deceivableness of unrighteousness, be thankful to God, for it is only His grace that you are not in a like deception. If you have feelings of triumph, if you have feelings of retaliation or that savor of a revengeful spirit, you will be in danger of stumbling where your wife has stumbled, although you may feel strong in your own strength. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 3

We know that you have been sorely and deeply tried. God is now testing and proving you. How will you bear the test? 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 4

Will this severe and fiery trial lead you to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ? Shall this furnace in which you are tried, remove the dross and tin and leave only pure gold? Your character has been defective, you have been selfish. You have been easily exalted. God would now have you see where you have erred and set about the work of correcting your wrongs. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 5

Consider yourself lest ye also be tempted and stumble and fall. Be not high-minded, but fear and tremble before God. We are amid the perils of the last days and I greatly fear that you will make a shipwreck of faith. I know that your will is not in subjection to the will of God. Self is clamoring for the victory. You, my dear brother, have been deeply affected with selfishness, as well as your wife. When the call was made for your home, you did not need it. Your wife had duties to do and obligations to fulfil to her mother which are resting upon every child, no matter of what age. Your selfish feelings dictated your desire for a home, and then after the liberalities of your brethren had secured for you a home that your wife might be settled and not travel with you, you did use your home but very little. Your restless, selfish feelings prompted you to send for her to be with you, directly contrary to the testimonies which God had given you. She being with you crippled your labors. She considered herself only. She influences you by her strong spirit and has withdrawn you from fields of usefulness time and time again. Satan has used her as his agent to counteract the influence of your labor. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 6

When in Maine, there was a place not a great distance from Norridgewock that you raised an interest. Opposition was strong and you needed much faith and courage to persevere in your efforts and make the work a success. Your wife’s unconsecrated strong will resulted in your giving up that hard place of labor. If you had persevered, you would have gained a great victory. Notwithstanding the discouragements, many were getting interested and no less than twenty-five souls would have been the result of a faithful, continued effort. These souls, united with the truth, would through their influence have convinced others and they in turn still others. This failure was a terrible neglect of your trust. And this all, through the influence of an unconsecrated wife whom the Lord had warned you to leave at home, for she was a hindrance to you. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 7

In her leaving home, she manifested supreme selfishness. She went in direct opposition to the commandments of God. She did not honor her parents. Her selfish nature was afraid some responsibility would rest upon her and that she would be required to have sympathy and care for her own father and mother who were both suffering under severe affliction. To get rid of doing her duty to her afflicted parents, she chose to go east to her husband who was doing far better without her influence. The selfishness and willfulness of this woman has proved her ruin. It was impossible for her to love God with all her heart, mind and strength, for she loved herself better than God. She apparently served God when it was convenient and when it did not interfere with her will or pleasure. But when duty crossed her wishes, she readily laid it down and followed her own will. There are others who are doing the same and they will sooner or later stumble and fall among the dark mountains of unbelief. “His servants ye are to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey.” [Romans 6:16.] 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 8

Angeline going to Maine as she did, was a most heartless affair, and evidenced her unfeeling temperament, which we seldom see in a civilized country. She knew not as her parents would live two weeks. But as she had during her life made everything subservient to self, she would sooner sacrifice the lives of her parents than to arouse her selfish, indolent nature to exertion and filial duties. She left the care of her parents to drop upon her sister and husband, who had a true sense of her duty and obligation to her parents. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 9

Brother Cornell, the interest can never be raised again in that community in Maine as it was when you were laboring there. What account will you render to God for being withdrawn from the work by the will of your wife? God had warned you that this would be the case. You manifested a selfishness and a lack of wisdom when you settled in Boston and sent for your wife, when you proposed a team being gotten up for you partly by donation, and there are many things of like character which have been a detriment to your influence and shut you away from the favor of God. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 10

In my last vision I saw that it had been a wrong plan to give our ministers homes or to help them to means to purchase homes. It had been the means of destroying souls. I was shown that if means are provided by the brethren to secure homes for ministers, these homes should be deeded to the cause of God and held as the property of the association. And all who have been helped to homes through the liberalities of their brethren, should pay for their homes by returning their means as fast as they have a surplus or an amount over and above what is required for their sustenance. I have no more to say on this point. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 11

But, Brother Cornell, I was shown that you now should be very circumspect in your deportment and in your words. You are watched by enemies. You have great weaknesses for a man that is as strong as you are to move the crowd. As you are now separated from your wife there will be suspicion, and jealousy and falsehoods will be framed if you give no occasion. But if you are not cautious, you will bring a reproach upon the cause of God which could not soon be wiped away. You may feel, as I saw you had felt, that if you were not going to live with your wife, you wished to be free from her. You are restless, uneasy and unsettled. Satan is tempting you to make a foolish man of yourself. Now is the time for you to show yourself a man, to exhibit the grace of God by your patience, your fortitude and courage. You are better away from your wife, but you have no evidence that your wife has violated her marriage vow. You need not be in anxiety to separate yourself from her or to provoke her to separate from you. You are in no need of a wife, but you do need sound judgment and heavenly wisdom. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 12

Your wife has been a curse to you, but if you remain true to God, true to your own soul, you may claim the promise, If you forsake houses, lands, father, mother and wife for Christ’s sake and the gospel, ye shall have an hundredfold in this life, and in the world to come life eternal. If you are required for the sake of Christ to be separated from home and the society of your wife, God will raise up many homes and those who will care for your comfort and supply your wants. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 13

You need to consecrate yourself to God and not dwell upon your troubles. Be careful how you are enticed to make women your confidants or to allow them to make you their confidant. Keep aloof from the society of women as much as you can. You will be in danger. Remember we are living amid the perils of the last days. Almost everything is rotten and corrupt. Look to God, pray, O pray, as you never have before, to be kept by the power of God through faith. In God you can stand untainted, without a stain or blemish. Fasten your hold upon God. Look to Him in faith that you may be a partaker of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. God will bring you off victorious if you will live a humble life of prayer and dependent trust. Leave your wife in the hands of God. Set your own heart right; purify your soul by obeying the truth. Do not worry yourself out of the hands of God, but rest, O, rest in His loving arms. Do not be in a hurry to get out of the furnace. Patiently wait till Jesus sees fit to take you out. When His image is reflected in you, then He will take you from the furnace purified as gold. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 14

My soul is deeply moved as I have a solemn sense of the shortness of time and see so much to be done in warning sinners. A great work, a solemn, sacred work is before us. Shall we do this work in a manner which will clear us from the blood of the souls of our fellow men? 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 15

Brethren Loughborough and Cornell, work while the day lasts. Do not think that you of yourselves can engage in this great work. Secure the Lord to be with you by holy living and earnest, fervent prayer. Remember Christ poured out His soul with strong crying and tears. Brethren, link your souls with Christ. Die to self, die to sin, but live to God and honor Him daily. If angels prepare the way before you, you can have access to hearts. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 16

In our last journey we have seen the work of God in power upon the hearts of unbelievers. Jesus lives and will impart His power to you to work with you if you will only believe. If you trust merely to the arguments upon Bible truth, you will fail to see the work you can and should see accomplished. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 17

God help you to have your hold strong upon the mighty One. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 18

In haste and love. 2LtMs, Lt 23, 1871, par. 19