Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 2, 1873

Brethren in Monterey


January 1873

Portions of this letter are published in 1MCP 229.

To the Church in Monterey

I was shown December 10, 1872, your condition. I saw that as a church you were enshrouded in darkness and that the frown of God was upon you. You had [been] privileged with great light, but you had not walked in the light which God had permitted to shine upon your pathway; you had, as a church, turned from the light and chose to follow your own judgment, and the light that you had became darkness. Testimonies God has given you showed you your duty. But how have these testimonies been received? They have been regarded with indifference and positive neglect by some, while others have despised them and turned from them to do as they pleased. Had our labors been appreciated above worldly gain, had the souls of your fellow men been estimated in comparison to the infinite price paid, and had the church fulfilled their duty in seeking to save precious souls, there would have been many added to the church in Monterey, such as should be saved. And the church would have kept themselves alive by exercising their ability to save souls. While working for others, the truth, which was to them of infinite value, they would have presented before others in a manner to arrest the attention and arouse a spirit of inquiry. The agitation of the truth would have necessarily brought the people professing sacred truth to the Word of God, and to earnestly pray for divine aid to reach the minds of those in darkness. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1873, par. 1

A church will not live unless they are workers. Some professed Sabbathkeepers in Monterey have come very near doing despite unto the Spirit of grace. God has given you at Monterey evidences of His power that but few churches in the truth have had. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1873, par. 2

The place has, at times, been almost shaken by the power of God. You have seen that God has worked through His humble instruments. God has spoken to the church, and more definitely to individuals, but with what careless indifference have the words of reproof and warning been received! 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1873, par. 3

This is the reason of your present darkness and backsliding. You have neglected and made light of the Testimonies God has given you. What other means has God in reserve to reach you? You had the Word of God with its plain reproof and instruction, but this you did not heed. You had the light and example of Christ, your great, perfect Pattern, but this was not in accordance with your perverse wills and unconsecrated lives. Therefore, you did not delight in studying the Word of God, but walked indifferently over the plainest injunctions of your Saviour to follow your unconsecrated hearts. Then the Lord sent you reproofs through testimony, but this you doubted and slighted and some rejected. What means has God in reserve to meet the case of a disobedient, selfish, wayward people? 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1873, par. 4

His Word has been slighted and the revealed will of God through testimonies despised. How can God reach the church when you live in open violation of His revealed will in the Holy Scriptures, and virtually say by your course of action, “God does not mean what He says”? In order to bring you to see and understand the claims of His Word upon you, He speaks through the gifts of His Spirit. But in your stubbornness and willfulness, as did the Jews, you close your ears and hearts and say, “These also are idle tales, this is not the work of God, but a demon.” Some have not come out in word and ventured quite so far as this, but this has been the sentiments of their hearts. They have despised the light given of God, and that light has become darkness to them. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1873, par. 5

The light upon health reform has been slighted and trampled upon. God has, in His providence, been leading His people to deny, restrain, their appetites and become temperate in all things, that they may preserve to themselves a good degree of physical strength, that their brain and nerve power should not be enfeebled, but that their minds may be clear to discern sacred and eternal things. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1873, par. 6

Said Paul, “With my mind serve I the Law of God.” [Romans 7:25.] Becloud this mind through indulgence of animal appetite and passions, and the moral powers are weakened, so that the sacred and common are placed upon a level. You are a backslidden church. Impatience, faultfinding, envy, and jealousy exist. Search and learn how these evils have found so large a place in the mind and heart, and separated brother from brother. Hatred and malice have existed in the place of peace and love. God’s cause has been reproached and put to open shame, because you have not had the grace of God and self-control. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1873, par. 7

The love of property has been eating out the vitals of the professed Sabbathkeepers. Selfishness and an avaricious spirit have taken possession of heart and life. There has been unhappiness in families. Some parents have behaved like undisciplined, uncontrolled children. Bickerings and strife of words have driven the angels of God from families, and evil angels have taken their place. O, how God has been dishonored and His Spirit grieved. The only hope of the church is thorough repentance before God, and entire consecration to Him, seeking the Lord with humility and with brokenness of heart. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1873, par. 8

There is a blessing or a curse set before the church in Monterey. A blessing, if they will be willing and obedient; and a curse, if they rebel and receive not the light God has graciously given them. God will not be trifled with. He will come near you by His judgments if you continue in hardness and impenitence. Light or darkness is before you; you can choose which you will. You have greatly separated God from you. Angels were shown me as looking upon you sadly and saying, “This people are ready to perish! Ready to perish! and the enemies of God to exult in their destruction.” God pities the youth in Monterey. They have had such miserable examples before them. But these youth of Monterey, I saw, could obtain a living experience in spiritual things if they will now be in earnest; but they have no time to lose. They can be instruments of righteousness to their other young friends if they will deny self and bear the cross of Christ. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1873, par. 9

The church in Monterey should not cease their efforts until they find Jesus precious to their souls. They need the testimonies which will prove as an anchor to them. Some have not dared to stand for the truth of the testimonies, but they have wilted and become weak and inefficient through their cowardice. It will require more than an ordinary effort for the church in Monterey to clear their souls from sin and roll back the cloud of darkness which encloses them. God will be found of those who seek earnestly for Him, but there will be a dying to self, and individuals in struggling to the light will have severe conflicts and buffettings of Satan. It will be indeed like the death struggle. Men have wanted their own way and God has let them have it, but sent leanness into their souls. Now He invites them to seek the true rest in Him by cheerfully taking His yoke and bearing it. O, how light will this yoke be to the consecrated soul! 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1873, par. 10

May God help you to work fast while mercy lingers. It is an individual work. Not one can be excused and yet be clear before God. Christ died for you, and what are you willing to do for Christ? You must arouse. It is the last invitation of the Spirit of God, and if no response is now made, the Spirit will not come again to entreat. O, what stupor! What blindness! What death has been upon that church, ready to perish! O, that they may so repent of their backslidings that the wrath of God may be turned from them and His holy love and power come in and reign in the hearts of each and all. In haste. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1873, par. 11