Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 29, 1872

Cornell, M. E.


October 1872

See variant Lt 29a, 1872. Portions of this letter are published in 3T 227-243.

Brother Cornell:

You have not been circumspect in your deportment. You have not been careful in your life to copy the Pattern. Your influence has not been of that character which would do honor to the cause of present truth. Had you been sanctified by the truth you preach to others, you would have been of ten times more advantage to the cause of God than you have been. You have relied so much upon creating a sensation that without this you have but little courage. These great excitements and sensational interests are your strength and glory and your success as a laborer; but these are not pleasing to God. Your labors in this direction are seldom what you flatter yourself that they are. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 1

Close investigation reveals that after these exciting meetings there are but very few sheaves to be gathered. Yet from all the experience of the past you have not learned to change your manner of labor. You have been slow to learn from the past and shape your future labors in such a manner as to shun the errors of the past. The reason of this has been that, like the inebriate, you love the stimulus of these sensational meetings, and you long for them as the drunkard longs for the glass of liquor to arouse the flagging energies. These debates, which create an excitement, are mistaken for zeal for God and love for the truth. You have been almost destitute of the Spirit of God to work with your efforts. If you had God with you in all your moves, and if you felt the burden for souls, and had you wisdom to skillfully manage these exciting seasons to press souls into the kingdom of Christ, you could see fruits of your labors, and God would be glorified. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 2

Your soul should be all aglow with the spirit of the truth you present to others. Then after you have labored to convict souls of the claims the law of God has upon them, teaching them repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ, your work is but just begun. Your too frequently excuse yourself from completing the work, and leave a heavy burden for others to take up and finish the work you ought to have done. You say you are not qualified to finish up the work. Then the sooner you qualify yourself to bear the burdens of a shepherd or pastor of the flock, the better. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 3

As a true shepherd you should discipline yourself to deal with minds, and give to the flock of God each their portion of meat in due season. You should be careful and study to have a store of practical subjects that you have investigated and can enter into the spirit of, and can present in a plain, forcible manner to the people, at the right time and place as they need. You have not been thoroughly furnished from the Word of inspiration unto all good works. When the flock has needed spiritual food you have frequently presented some argumentative subject no more appropriate for the occasion than an oration upon national affairs. If you would task your soul, and educate your mind to a knowledge of subjects which the Word of God has amply furnished you, you could build up the cause by feeding the flock with proper food, which would give spiritual strength and health as their wants required. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 4

You have yet to learn the work of a true shepherd. When you understand this, you will have sufficient weight upon you of the cause and work of God that you will not be inclined to jest and joke, and engage in light and frivolous conversation. A minister of Christ, with a proper burden of the work and a high sense of the exalted character and sacredness of his mission, will not be inclined to lightness and trifling with the lambs of the flock. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 5

A true shepherd will have an interest in all which relates to the welfare of the flock, feeding them, guiding them, and defending them. He will carry himself with great wisdom, manifesting a tender consideration for all, being courteous and compassionate to all, especially the tempted and afflicted and desponding. Instead of giving this class the sympathy as their particular cases have demanded, and as their infirmities have required, you have shunned this class, while you have drawn largely upon others for sympathy. “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” John 13:16. “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:7. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.” Romans 15:1-3. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 6

It is not your place to lord it over God’s heritage, but in lowliness of mind, with gentleness and long forbearance, exhorting, reproving, rebuking, with all longsuffering and doctrine. How will the foregoing scripture compare with your past life? You have been cultivating a selfish temperament nearly all your life. You married a woman of a strong set will. Her natural disposition was supremely selfish. You were both lovers of self, uniting your interest did not help the case of either, but increased the peril of both. You were neither of you conscientious. You neither of you had the fear of God before you in a high sense. Selfish love and selfish gratification has been the ruling principle. You have both had so little consecration to God that you could not benefit each other. You have each wanted your own way. You each wanted to be petted, and praised, and waited upon. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 7

The Lord saw your dangers and sent you warnings through testimony time and again, that your eternal interest was endangered unless you overcame your love of self and conformed your will to the will of God. Had you heeded the admonitions and warnings from the Lord, had you turned square about and made an entire change, your wife would not now be in the snare of the enemy, left of God to believe the strong delusions of Satan. You, Brother Cornell, would now be a strong and efficient laborer in the cause of God, qualified to accomplish tenfold more than you are now competent to do. You have become weak because you have failed to cherish the light. You have not been able to discern but a small part of the time the voice of the True Shepherd from that of a stranger. Your neglect to walk in the light has brought darkness upon you, and your conscience by being often violated has become benumbed. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 8

Your wife did not believe and follow the light the Lord in mercy sent her. She despised reproof, and herself closed the only door through which the voice of the Lord could be heard to counsel and warn her. Satan was pleased, and there was nothing to hinder him from insinuating himself into her confidence, and by his pleasing, flattering deceptions lead her captive at his will. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 9

The Lord gave you a testimony that your wife was a hindrance to you in your labors, and that you should not have her accompany you unless you had the most positive evidence that she was a converted woman, transformed by the renewing of her mind. You then felt that you had an excuse to plead for a home, and you made this testimony your excuse and worked accordingly, although you had no need of a house of your own. Your wife had duties to do to her parents, which she had neglected all her life. If she, with a cheerful spirit, had taken up this long-neglected duty, she would not now be left captive to Satan to do his will, and corrupt her heart and soul in his service. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 10

Your want of a home was imaginary, like many of your supposed wants. You obtained the home your selfishness desired, and you could leave your wife comfortably situated. But God was preparing a final test for Angeline. The affliction of her mother was of that nature to arouse the sympathy in the heart if it was not thoroughly seared and calloused by selfishness. But this providence of God failed to arouse the filial love of the daughter for her suffering mother. She had no home cares to stand in her way, no children to share her love and care, and her attention was devoted to her poor self. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 11

The burden of care Brother Lyon had to bear was too much for his aged strength, and he was prostrated with keen suffering. Surely then, if the daughter had a sensitive spot in her heart, she could not help feeling and arousing to a sense of her duty to share the burdens of her sister Cornelia and her sister’s husband. But she revealed by her indifference and by her shunning all the care and burdens that she well could, that her heart was well nigh as unimpressible as a stone. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 12

To be close by her parents and yet be so indifferent would tell against her. She communicated the state of things to her husband and invited him to urge her presence in Maine to aid him. Brother Cornell was as selfish as his wife, and he sent the urgent request for her to come to him. How did angels of God, the tender, pitying, loving, ministering angels, look upon this act?—the daughter leaving for stranger hands to do those tender offices that she should have cheerfully shared with her burdened sister? Angels looked with astonishment and grief upon the scene, and turned from selfish Angeline. Evil angels took their place, and she was led captive by Satan at his will. She proved to be a great hindrance to her husband, for she was a medium of Satan, and his labors were of but little account. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 13

I saw that the cause of God would have stood higher in Maine if that last effort had not been made, for the work was not completed. An interest was raised but left to sink where it could never be raised again. I ask you, Brother Cornell, to compare these Scriptures relative to the work and ministry of Jesus with your course of conduct through your labors as a gospel minister, but more especially in the instance I have mentioned where duty was too plain for any mistake, if the conscience and affections had not become paralyzed by a long course of continual selfishness and idolatry of self. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 14

In the act of leaving your parents in their sufferings and necessity for help, the church was obliged to take this burden and watch with the suffering members of Christ’s body. You both, in this heartless neglect, disgraced yourselves. God does not pass such things lightly by. They are recorded by the angel. God cannot prosper those who go directly contrary to the plainest duty specified in His Word, showing the duty of children to their parents. Children who feel under no more obligation to their earthly parents than you have done, but can so easily step out from all their responsibilities relative to them, will not have due respect for their heavenly Father. They will not reverence or respect the claims that God has upon them. If they disrespect and dishonor their earthly parents they will not respect and love their Creator. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 15

Your wife transgressed the fifth precept of the decalogue in neglecting her parents. “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” [Exodus 20:12.] This is the first commandment with promise. Those who dishonor or disrespect their parents need not expect that the blessing of God will attend them. Our parents have claims upon us that we cannot throw off or lightly regard. But children who have not been trained and controlled in childhood and have made themselves the objects of their care, who have selfishly sought their ease and avoided burdens, become heartless and disrespect the claims of their parents who watched over their earliest infancy. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 16

Brother Cornell, you have been selfish in these things yourself, and greatly deficient in duty. You have required attention and care, but you have not given the same in return. You have been childish and exacting and have frequently been unreasonable and have given your wife occasion for trial. You have been unconsecrated and astonishingly selfish. You have made but little sacrifice for the truth’s sake. You have avoided burdens as well as your wife, and have occupied a position to be waited upon, rather than to try to be as little burden as possible. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 17

Ministers of Christ should feel it a duty binding upon them, if they receive the hospitalities of their brethren or friends, to leave a blessing with the family by seeking to encourage and strengthen the members of the family. They should not neglect the duties of a pastor as they visit from house to house. They should become familiar with every member of the family, that they may understand the spiritual condition of all, and vary their manner of labor to meet the case of each member of the family. When ministers bearing the solemn message of warning to the world receive the courtesy of friends and brethren, and neglect the duties of a shepherd of the flock, but are careless in their example and deportment, and engage with the young in trifling conversation, jesting, joking, and relating humorous anecdotes to create a laugh, they are unworthy of being a gospel minister, and need to be converted before they should be entrusted with the care of the sheep and lambs. Ministers who are neglectful of the duties devolving on a faithful pastor give evidence that they are not sanctified by the truths they present to others, and should not be sustained as laborers in the vineyard of the Lord until they have a high sense of the sacredness of the work of a minister of Jesus Christ. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 18

When there are only evening meetings to attend, there is much time that can be used to great advantage in visiting from house to house, meeting the people where they are. And if the ministers of Christ have the graces of the Spirit, if they imitate the great Example, they will find access to hearts and will win souls to Christ. Some ministers bearing the last message of mercy are too distant. They do not improve the opportunities they have of gaining the confidence of men and women who are unbelievers, by their exemplary deportment, their unselfish interest for the good of others, their kindness, forbearance, humbleness of mind, and their respectful courtesy. These fruits of the Spirit will exert a far greater influence than the preaching in the desk without individual effort in families. But the preaching of pointed, testing truths to the people, and corresponding individual effort from house to house to back up pulpit effort, will greatly extend the influence for good, and souls will be converted to the truth. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 19

Some of our ministers carry too light responsibilities and shun individual care and burdens. For this reason they do not feel the need of help from God as [they would] if they lifted the burdens [that] the work of God, and our faith, requires them to lift. When burdens in this cause have to be lifted, when brought into strait places, they will feel the need of living near to God that they may have confidence to commit their way to Him and in faith claim that help which God alone can give. They will then be obtaining an experience every day in faith and trust which is of the highest value to a gospel minister. The work of a gospel minister is more solemn and sacred than they generally realize. They should carry a sanctified influence with them. God requires that those who minister in sacred things should be men who feel jealous for His cause. The burden of their work should be the salvation of souls. You have not felt as the prophet describes, “Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach.” Joel 2:17. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5, 6. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 20

I was shown in what marked contrast, Brother Cornell, your course has been in your labors with the requirements of God’s Word. You have been careless in your words and in your deportment. The sheep have had the burden to care for the shepherd—to warn, reprove, exhort, and weep over the reckless course of their shepherd, who, by accepting his office, acknowledges he is a mouthpiece of God, yet he cares far more for himself than he does for the poor sheep. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 21

You have not felt a burden for souls. You have not gone forth to your labor weeping and praying that souls might be converted. Had you done this you would be sowing seed which would spring up after many days and bear fruit to the glory of God. When there is no work you can do by the fireside in conversation and prayer with families, you should then show industry and economy of time and train yourself to bear responsibilities by useful employment. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 22

You and your wife might have saved yourselves many ill turns, and been more cheerful and happy, had you sought your ease less and combined physical labor with your study. Your muscles were made for use, not to be inactive. God gave Adam and Eve in Eden all that their wants required, yet their heavenly Father knew that they needed employment in order to retain their happiness. If you would exercise the muscles in laboring with your hands some portion of each day, combining labor with your study, your mind would be better balanced, your thoughts would be of a more pure, elevated character, your sleep would be more natural and healthful. Your head would be less confused and stupified because of congested brain. Your thoughts upon sacred truth would be clearer, and your moral powers more vigorous. You do not love labor, but it is for your good to have more physical exercise daily, which will quicken the sluggish blood to healthful activity and will carry you above discontent and infirmities. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 23

You should not neglect diligent study. You should pray for light from God that He would open to your understanding the treasures of His Word that you may be thoroughly furnished unto all good works. You will never be in a position where it is not necessary for you to watch and pray earnestly in order to overcome your besetments. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 24

Brother Cornell, you will need to guard yourself continually to keep self out of sight. You have encouraged a habit of making yourself very prominent. You have frequently spoken of your family difficulties, of your wife, and of your poor health. This has been the theme of conversation. In short, yourself has come in between you and your Saviour. You should forget self and hide behind Jesus. Let the dear Saviour be magnified, but lose sight of yourself. When you see and feel your weakness you will not feel that there is anything in yourself worthy of notice or remark. The people have not only been wearied but disgusted with your preliminaries before you present your subject when you speak to the people. In every case where you mention the name of your wife in public, and your trials, you lower yourself in the estimation of the people and suggest suspicions that you are not all right. Then when you pursue the course you have done in San Francisco, you confirm their suspicions. Your reputation does not stand very high with the worst enemies we have, the First Day Adventists. They have carried your imprudent, reckless course to the eastern states, making the most of your blind folly. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 25

You have the example of ministers who have exalted themselves and who have coveted praise from the people. They were petted and flattered by the indiscreet until they became puffed up, and trusted to their own wisdom and made shipwreck of faith. They thought that they were so popular that they could take almost any course and yet retain their popularity. Here has been your presumption. When your deportment gives gossiping tongues facts as subject matter to discuss, and your morality is seriously questioned, you cannot call this jealousy or slander on their part. The facts in the case are [that] you were so completely infatuated and bewitched that you were foolhardy, and you cared not to break the spell of this bewitching influence. You are following close in the track of these poor deluded souls who have sacrificed manhood, honor, and purity for a momentary pleasure which leaves the sting of death behind. Mark those whose course you should abhor and then forbear to take the first step in the direction they have traveled. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 26

You have been so self-sufficient, blinded, and deluded by the devil that you could not discern your weakness and many errors. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:22-26. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 27

[Four pages missing here.] ... God. He knoweth the thoughts and the imagination and devices of the heart. You have followed your judgment and made a sad failure when you might have had success. There is, Brother Cornell, too much at stake in these efforts to do the work negligently or recklessly. Souls are being tested upon important, eternal truth, and what you may say or do will have influence to balance the decisions they make either for or against the truth. When you should be in humility before God, pleading for Him to work with your efforts, feeling the weight of the cause and the value of souls, you have been in the society of young ladies, and regardless of the sacred work of God and your office as a minister of the gospel of Christ, you were standing between the living and the dead. Yet you have engaged in light and frivolous conversation, jesting and joking. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 28

How can ministering angels be around about you and shed light upon you and impart strength to you? When you should be seeking to find ways and means to enlighten the minds of those in error and darkness, you are pleasing yourself and are selfish to engage in a work you have no inclination or love for. If our position is criticized by those who are investigating, you have but little patience with them. You frequently give them a short, severe reply as though they had no business to search closely for themselves, but to take all that is presented as truth without closely criticizing for themselves. In your ministerial labors you have turned many souls away from the truth by your manner of treating them. You have not always been impatient and unapproachable. When you feel like it you will take time to answer questions candidly, but frequently you are uncourteous and exacting. You are pettish and irritable, like a child. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 29

You do not consider your position as a shepherd of the flock, or the consequence of your actions. You act out just as you feel. When in the company of young ladies you are gallant, affable, wide-awake, and accommodating. All these freaks are marked by witnesses and tell tremendously against you. When engaged in following your inclination you are like a boy. You act as childish as a boy. You do great injury to the cause of God in this way. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 30

Satan sees that you are a man who has strong passions. Through the lower passions he designs to work your ruin. The enemy of souls has destroyed many through their animal passions. Moses Hull was overcome because he was a slave to the lower passions. You are acquainted with the warnings given to him. You can see the track he followed to his ruin. You are in the same danger, and your shipwreck of faith will be as certain as his unless you see your danger and make a decided change before you go on any farther in your self-sufficiency and spiritual blindness. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 31

You have deeply injured the cause of God by your blind folly. You have been infatuated. You have tempted the devil to tempt you. You have walked into temptation. You have not abstained from the appearance of evil but have given the enemies of truth occasion to reproach our faith and have brought great perplexity and discouragement upon those who had but just commenced to see the light upon the fourth precept of the decalogue. And while you are advocating the binding claims of God’s holy law, Satan spread his net for you, and a bewitching influence fastened upon you and you walked straight into the snare prepared for you, like a fool to the correction of stocks. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 32

The blot you have brought upon the cause of God in San Francisco will never be fully effaced, so that you can stand in the estimation of the people as you might have stood. Your course of conduct is highly censurable in preferring and planning for the society of ladies. These things have been marked by the friends of present truth as well as by the enemies of our faith. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 33

We are living in a fearfully corrupt time. Moral power with many is exceeding weak. Iniquity abounds. You are acquainted with the prevailing sins which are fast piling up the cup of iniquity of those who practice them. The wrath of a pure and holy God is to fall in judgment upon the sinners who have polluted the earth by their transgressions. And when a watchman upon the walls of Zion gives evidence by his deportment that the prevailing sins which pollute the world have attractions for him, and his morals are weakened and his deportment is even questionable, his crime in the sight of God is very aggravating. A fearful record stands against him in heaven, and a fearful retribution awaits him unless he shall humble his heart and sincerely repent before God, and the rest of his life be a life of repentance. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 34

Your danger is permitting your thoughts to run upon forbidden subjects. Satan is permitted to control your thoughts. Even the thoughts of your heart must be brought into obedience to Christ. “Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5. If the fountain is pure the streams issuing therefrom will be pure. From the same fountain cannot proceed sweet water and bitter. Your fruits testify of you. “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20. Your words and actions are the fruit you bear. You have not moved from principle but from impulse. Your lower passions have taken the lead. You have been fascinated with young ladies, and your conversation with them has been highly censurable and not in accordance with your high calling as a minister of Christ. You talk with them in reference to marriage when you should be talking upon the truth. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 35

Your mind takes a low turn. You have strong friends, but if they knew one half that has been opened before of your course they would be astonished and confounded. I have not told you all the particulars that have been presented to me. I have felt that it was my duty to wait and see if the work on your heart would lead you to go any further in confession than that which was brought out. The things brought out plainly you admit, but is this confession? I think not. You have not taken the lead in anything in confessing. You wait till you know that others know your imprudence and wrongs, and then you admit them. You feel remorse and regret, but repentance is not deep enough to prevent you, were you again tempted, from being overcome. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 36

There was one women presented before me in connection with yourself. This woman has a strong power and her influence deceives. She has natural vivacity and vanity, and her appearance is deceptive. She feels at liberty to indulge in what she regards as innocent diversion, which sullies her reputation and weakens all the superior faculties of her mind. You have been charmed and infatuated, and have fallen in love with this charmer. She puts on an appearance of great innocency, and yet she is a most dangerous woman. Her manners and conversation lead gentlemen on to be fascinated with her, and they feel that they can take great liberties with her and then she coolly repulses them. You have been charmed and placed yourself where you would be under the power of temptation. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Your words and actions are the fruits you bear. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 37

God reads the secrets of the heart; the intents and purposes of the soul are open before Him and the heavenly angels. What a thought! Nothing is concealed from the notice of the Great I AM, and every secret act will be opened to the view of the pure angels. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 38

Brother Cornell, I was shown that you need the transforming power of God in order to have wisdom and experience to become skillful in winning souls to Christ. You have about lost the best part of your life in that you have failed to obtain that experience in the knowledge of godliness so essential for a minister of righteousness. Your weak moral powers have not been growing stronger by discipline, but weaker. You have now with your weak strength to redeem the past mistakes of your life. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 39

The principles of religion do not regulate the conduct of this charmer. The modesty which is essential to our sex is wanting with Mrs. Harris. She has a boldness, a familiar confidence and unabashed countenance which seems to set the company she is with at defiance. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 40

She converses with gentlemen with about the same unreserved freedom she does with ladies. It is proper that woman should have a native dignity which is becoming in every true lady. She should have a modesty which will be to her a safeguard from the familiarities of men. She may have personal charms, a gentleness of spirit and manners. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 41

She may be ever courteous, yet at the same time free from affectation. The sentiment of this age that a woman may allow innocent freedom, provided she preserves her virtue, is the same spirit which prevailed in the days of Noah, which led to every species of corruption. It is just as indelicate, dangerous, and as fatal now in corrupting the heart as in the days of Noah. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 42

Mrs. Harris has neglected her duty as a wife and mother. Had she unselfishly in the fear of God taken up her life duties lying directly in her path, and been satisfied to perform her work, taken care of her children and training them for God, she would have saved herself and others many trials. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 43

[One page is missing here.] ... In this case the sinner is a minister of the gospel, and a professed follower of Jesus Christ, the woman bearing the name of a Christian sister. Notwithstanding the apostle’s warning was before them, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” [1 Thessalonians 5:22], yet they persisted in pursuing a course unbecoming Christians. Your familiarities with one another have been abominable—an abomination in the sight of a holy God. Said the angel, pointing to Elder Cornell, “Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? Thou that abhorest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou God!” Romans 2:21-23. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 44

I cannot portray to you in language the injury you have done to the cause of God. The Lord could not work through you or bless your efforts. How could He do this when your thoughts and affections were upon a woman, while you have a lawful wife? While preaching in the desk, with Mrs. Harris before you, you have been like a man thrown off his balance. Mrs. Harris invites the society of gentlemen and seeks to attract them. And she has gloried in her power, not because she really loved you—for she is not capable of possessing the article of genuine love. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 45

She has not principle. Every dishonest act God frowns upon. Mrs. Harris has not a high and elevated sense of Christian character, of purity and holiness. Her conscience is not tender. God requires His people to be holy and to keep themselves separate from the works of darkness, and to be pure in heart and life and unspotted from the world. The children of God, by faith in Christ, are His chosen people; and when they stand upon the holy ground of Bible truth they will be saved from the lust of the flesh and from fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 46

Your ill health has been in consequence of your own course. You have had a fevered imagination, and when your body and mind should have been at rest you have been wide awake giving loose rein to your thoughts. You have been like a man bewitched, a slave to the charms of a woman, professing to believe all the commandments of God, yet transgressing them every day. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 47

Elder Cornell, you have stood directly in the way of the work of God. You have brought great darkness and discouragement upon the cause of God. Elder Cornell, you have been blinded by the devil. You have worked for sympathy and obtained it. Had you stood in the light you could have discerned the power of Satan at work to deceive and destroy you like Samson’s Delilah. Could you not discern the difference between the love of Christ and the lust of the flesh? 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 48

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lust.” Galatians 5:24. The children of God do not eat and drink to please the appetite but to preserve life and strength to do their Master’s will. They clothe themselves for health, not for display or to keep pace with changing fashion. The desire of the eye and pride of life are banished from their wardrobes and from their houses, from principle. They will move from godly sincerity and their conversation will be elevated and heavenly. The above is in marked contrast to the life of Mrs. Harris. Her life is in marked contrast to the life of Christ. Strict equity and justice should mark the course of every true follower of Christ. You have not carried out the principle of loving your neighbor as yourself. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 49

But, Brother Cornell, God is very pitiful, for He understands our weaknesses and our temptations, and when we come to Him with broken hearts and a contrite spirit He accepts our repentance. As we take hold of His strength to make peace with Him, He promises we shall make peace with Him. Oh, what gratitude, what joy should we feel that God is merciful! 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 50

Brother Cornell, since you came to California you have failed to rely upon the strength of God. You have dwelt upon yourself and made yourself the theme of conversation and of your thoughts. Your trials have been magnified to yourself and others, and your mind and theirs have been diverted from the truth, from the Pattern which we are required to copy, to weak Brother Cornell. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 51

When out of the desk you should have been feeling the worth of souls and seeking opportunities to present the truth to individuals. You have not felt the responsibility devolving upon a gospel minister. Jesus and righteousness were not your themes, and many opportunities were lost that might, if improved, have decided more than a score of souls in California to give all for Christ and the truth. But the burden you would not lift. There was pastoral labor involving a cross which you would not engage in. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 52

I saw angels of God watching the impressions you make and the fruits you bear out of meeting, and your general influence upon believers and unbelievers. I saw these angels veil their faces in sadness and turn from you reluctantly in sorrow. Frequently you were engaged in matters of minor consequence, and when you had efforts to make which required the vigor of all your energies, clear thought and earnest prayer, you followed your pleasure and inclination and trusted to your own strength and wisdom to meet, not men alone, but principalities and powers, Satan and his angels. This was doing the work of God negligently, placing the truth and cause of God in jeopardy, and periling the salvation of souls. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 53

An entire change must take place with you before you can be entrusted with the work of God. You should consider your life a solemn reality, and that it is no idle dream. As a watchman upon the walls of Zion you are answerable for the souls of the people. You should settle into God. You move without due consideration, more from impulse rather than from principle. You have not felt the positive necessity of training your mind. You have not felt the necessity in your own case of crucifying the old man with the affections and lusts. You need to be balanced by the weight of God’s Spirit that all your movements may be regulated by His Spirit. You are now uncertain in all you undertake. You do, and undo; you build up and then you tear down. You kindle an interest and then from lack of consecration and divine wisdom you quench it. You have not been strengthened, stablished, and settled. You have had but little faith. You have not lived a life of prayer. You have needed so much to link your life with God, and then you will not sow to the flesh and reap corruption in the end. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 54

Jesting, joking, and trifling conversation belong to the world. Christians who have the peace of God in their hearts will be cheerful and happy without indulging in levity or frivolous talk. While watching unto prayer they will have a serenity and peace which will elevate them above all superfluities. The mystery of godliness opened to the mind of the minister of Christ will raise him above earthly and sensual enjoyments. He will be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The communication open between God and his soul will make him fruitful in the knowledge of His will, and open before him treasures of practical subjects that he can present to the people, which will not cause levity or the semblance of a smile, but will rather solemnize the minds and touch the heart and arouse the moral sensibilities to the sacred claims God has upon the heart, affections, and life. Those who labor in word and doctrine should be men of God, pure in heart and life. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 55

You are in the greatest danger of bringing a reproach upon the cause of God. Satan knows your weakness. His angels communicate the facts of your weakness to those who are deceived by his lying wonders, and they are already counting you as one of their numbers. Satan exults to have you pursue an unwise course because you place yourself upon his ground and give him advantage over you. Satan well knows that the indiscretions of men who advocate the law of God will turn souls from the truth. You have not taken upon your soul the burden of the work, and labored carefully and earnestly in private to favorably impress minds in regard to the truth. You frequently make yourself enemies by your abrupt manners. You too frequently become impatient, irritable, and childish. Unless you are on your guard you prejudice souls against the truth. Unless you are a transformed man, and will carry out in your life the principles of the sacred truths you present in the desk, your labors will amount to but little. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 56

You have a weight of responsibility resting upon you. It is the watchman’s duty to ever be at his post, watching for souls as they that must give an account. If your mind is diverted from the great work, if unholy thoughts fill the mind, if selfish plans and projects rob of sleep and in consequence the mental and physical strength is lessened, you sin against your own soul. Your discernment is blunted, and sacred things are placed upon a level with common, God is dishonored, and His cause reproached. The good work you might have done had you made God your trust is marred. Had you preserved the vigor of your powers to put the strength of your brain and entire being in the important work of God without reserve, you would have realized a much greater work and it would have been more perfectly done. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 57

Your labors have been defective. A master workman engages his men to do for him a very nice and valuable job which requires study and much careful thought. They know, as they agree to do the work, that in order to accomplish the task aright, all their faculties need to be aroused and in the very best condition to put forth their best efforts. But one man of the company is ruled by perverse appetite. He loves strong drink, and day after day gratifies his desire for stimulus. While under the influence of this stimulus the brain is clouded, the nerves are weakened, and his hands are unsteady. He continues his labor day after day and nearly ruins the job entrusted to him. That man forfeited his wages and did almost irreparable injury to his employer. He has, through his unfaithfulness, lost the confidence of his master as well as his fellow workmen. He was entrusted with a great responsibility, and in accepting this trust acknowledged that he was competent to do the work according to the directions given by his employer. But through his own love of self, the appetite was indulged and the consequence risked. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 58

Your case, Brother Cornell, has been similar to this. The accountability of a minister of Christ warning the world of the coming judgment is as much more important as eternal things. [The remainder is missing.] 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1872, par. 59