Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 29a, 1872

Cornell, M. E.


October 1872

Variant of Lt 29, 1872. See 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 success as a laborer; but this is not pleasing to God. Your labors in this direction are seldom what you flatter yourself that they are. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 1

Close investigation reveals that after these specially 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, 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 29a, 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. You 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 29a, 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 29a, 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 29a, 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. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 6

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 large 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 29a, 1872, par. 7

It is not the work of a gospel minister to lord it over God’s heritage, but in lowliness of mind, with gentleness and long forbearance, to exhort, reprove, rebuke 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. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 8

You neither of you had the fear of God before you in a high sense. Selfish love and selfish gratification have 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 29a, 1872, par. 9

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. Had you followed the light God has given, 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 been able but a small part of the time to discern 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 29a, 1872, par. 10

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 was 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, leading her captive at his will. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 11

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 had taken up this long-neglected duty with a cheerful spirit, she would not now be left captive to Satan to do his will, and corrupt her heart and soul in his service. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 12

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 29a, 1872, par. 13

The burden of care Brother Lyon had to bear was too much for his aged strength, and he was prostrated with keen sufferings. 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 burden that she well could, that her heart was well-nigh as unimpressible as a stone. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 14

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’s 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 this selfish woman. 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 29a, 1872, par. 15

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 Christ 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 29a, 1872, par. 16

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 brought the frown of God upon 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 29a, 1872, par. 17

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 been permitted to make 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 29a, 1872, par. 18

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 selfish and exacting and have frequently been unreasonable and given your wife occasion for trial. You have both 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 29a, 1872, par. 19

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 a minister bearing the solemn message of warning to the world receives the hospitable courtesies of friends and brethren, and neglect the duties of a shepherd of the flock, but is careless in his example and deportment, and engages with the young in trifling conversation, jesting, joking, and relating humorous anecdotes to create a laugh, he is unworthy of being a gospel minister, and needs to be converted before he 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 till they have a high sense of the sacredness of the work of a minister of Jesus Christ. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 20

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 Exemplar, they will find access to hearts and will win souls to Christ. Some ministers bearing the last message of mercy are too distant. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 21

They do not improve the opportunities they have of gaining the confidence of men and women who are unbelievers, by their exemplary deportment and 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 29a, 1872, par. 22

Some of our ministers carry too light responsibilities and shun individual care and burdens, and for this reason they do not feel the need of help from God as if they lifted the burdens 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. His work is more solemn and sacred than ministers 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. Brother [Cornell], 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 29a, 1872, par. 23

I was shown, Brother Cornell, in what marked contrast with the requirements of God’s Word your course of labor has been. 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 29a, 1872, par. 24

You have not felt a burden for souls. You have not gone forth to your labors weeping and praying for souls, that sinners 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 29a, 1872, par. 25

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 thought would be of a more pure and elevated character, and your sleep would be more natural and healthful. Your head would be less confused and stupid because of a 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 29a, 1872, par. 26

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 29a, 1872, par. 27

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. In short, yourself has been the theme of your conversation and 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 see 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. In every case when you speak to the people, 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. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 28

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. 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, you were so completely infatuated and bewitched that you were foolhardy. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 29

[Four pages missing here.] ... many times, if you could be left to yourself in your labors, where there was an effort to be made you could general through the matter in a much more successful manner than to have your brethren to consult and advise, caution, and hold you in check. I saw that in California you would have the opportunity you craved; you could move in your own judgment, and with your own wisdom, and then could look back upon the efforts of M. E. Cornell and the result of his management of a religious interest. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 30

As I look over the congregation in Woodland, I see this is one of the places that you had the most to do with the religious interest. I saw that you had shown in this effort that you needed to become a convert to the truth you preach to others. You should feel the sanctification of the truth first upon your own heart and in your own life, then your pulpit efforts would be enforced by your example out of the desk. You need to be softened, sanctified, before God can in a special manner work with your efforts. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 31

You have let slip the golden opportunity to gather a harvest of souls because it was impossible for God to work with your efforts, for your heart was not right with Him. Your spirit was not pure before Him, who is the embodiment of purity and holiness. If you regard iniquity in your heart, the Lord will not hear your prayer. Our God is a jealous God. He knoweth the thoughts and the imaginations 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 have been 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 chosen the society of young ladies, 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, and jesting and joking. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 32

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 give them frequently 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 investigating 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 29a, 1872, par. 33

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, you are affable, wide-awake, and accommodating. All these freaks are marked by witnesses and tell tremendously against you. When engaged in following your inclinations, you are like a boy. You act as childish as a boy and do great injury to the cause of God in this way. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 34

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 the 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 further in your self-sufficiency and spiritual blindness. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 35

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. 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 29a, 1872, par. 36

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 filling 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. When a watchman upon the walls of Zion gives evidence by his deportment that the prevailing sins which pollute the world have attraction 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 29a, 1872, par. 37

Your danger is permitting your thought to run upon forbidden subjects. Satan is permitted to control your thoughts. “Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5. If the fountain be 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, and your mind takes a low turn. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 38

You have strong friends, but if they knew one-half that has been opened before me 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 29a, 1872, par. 39

There was one woman 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 placed yourself where you would be under the power of temptation. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 40

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] covered from the notice of the great I AM, and every secret act will be opened to the view of the pure angels. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 41

Brother Cornell, I was shown that you needed 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 29a, 1872, par. 42

The principles of religion do not regulate the conduct of this pleasing siren. 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. 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; she may be ever courteous, yet at the same time free from affectation and softness. 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 29a, 1872, par. 43

Mrs. Harris is not a woman that possesses the genuine article of love. She is [of] a passionate temperament, but passion and love are two different qualities. True love elevates the soul. It is warm, sincere, and steady, while passion is fickle and insincere, seeking gratification at whatever cost. This article passes for love, but it is of too base a quality to bear the sacred name of love. It would imperil the reputation of friends in courting attention. The love of Mrs. Harris is of that variety as to be not only undesirable but dangerous. A woman who can encourage the attachment of a minister of Christ, a married man, because his attention is highly gratifying to her vanity, and allow him to imperil his reputation, his name, and his soul, is unprincipled, and would stoop to almost any subterfuge to compass her purpose, and then would glory in her power. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 44

I must speak plainly. Your conduct, Brother Cornell and Mrs. Harris, has been highly censurable. You have taken liberties with each other which should never be between even natural brothers and sisters. You have sinned against God, but this is not all. You have brought a deep wound upon His precious cause and greatly burdened the work of God in San Francisco and in Woodland. A concealed golden wedge and a Babylonish garment troubled the entire camp of Israel in bringing the frown of God upon the people because of the sin of one man. Thousands were slain upon the battlefield because God would not bless and prosper a people where there was even one sinner among them who transgressed His word. This sinner was not in holy office, yet a jealous God could not go forth with the armies of Israel to battle with these concealed sins in their midst. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 45

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 an abomination in the sight of 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 29a, 1872, par. 46

I cannot portray in language to you 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. 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 29a, 1872, par. 47

She has not principle. Every dishonest act God frowns upon. Mrs. Harris has not a high and elevated sense 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 fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 48

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. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 49

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 have 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 29a, 1872, par. 50

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” 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. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 51

But Brother Cornell, God is very pitiful, for He understands our weakness 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 that we shall make peace with Him. Oh, what gratitude, what joy should we feel that God is merciful! 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 52

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 29a, 1872, par. 53

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. 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, your 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 29a, 1872, par. 54

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 29a, 1872, par. 55

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 the treasures of practical subjects that he can present to the people which will not cause levity or the semblance of a smile, but will solemnize the minds and touch the heart, and arouse the moral sensibilities to the sacred claims God has upon the affections and life. Those who labor in word and doctrine should be men of God, pure in heart and life. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 56

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 indiscretion 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 29a, 1872, par. 57

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 and against God. Your discernment is blunted, and sacred things are placed upon a level with common. God is dishonored, 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 29a, 1872, par. 58

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 he gratifies his desire for stimulus. While under the influence of this stimulus the brain is clouded, the nerves 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 he 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 consequences risked. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 59

Your case, Brother Cornell, has been similar to this. The accountability of a minister of Christ warning the world of a coming judgment is as much more important as eternal things are of more consequence than temporal. If the minister of the gospel yields to his inclination rather than to be guided by duty, if he indulges self at the expense of spiritual strength, and as the result moves indiscreetly, souls will rise up in the judgment to condemn him for his unfaithfulness. The blood of souls is found on his garments. It may seem to the unconsecrated minister a small thing to be fitful, impulsive, and unconsecrated, to build up and then to tear down, to dishearten, distress, and discourage the very souls that the truth you have presented has converted. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 60

It is a sad thing to lose the confidence of the very ones you have been laboring to save. The result of an unwise course pursued by the minister will never be fully understood until the minister sees as God seeth. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 61

I was shown that, although Brother [M. G.] Kellogg has not the experience in addressing the people, or the tact in discussion as Brother Cornell, yet his labors taken as a whole are more valuable than the labors of Brother Cornell, for his spirit is kind and tender, he is benevolent and self-denying, and his exemplary deportment wins the hearts of all. His influence is constantly to build up, while Brother Cornell will build up, and then tear down. Brother Kellogg stumbled over the question of the round world, yet God would not leave him in confusion because he was honest of heart. His hand upheld him, and swept back the cloud of unbelief which had confused his mind. The whole transaction was the work of the enemy to destroy Brother Kellogg. But the Lord overruled the matter to disappoint the enemy and get glory to His own name. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 62

Brethren Loughborough and [M. G.] Kellogg have labored untiringly and unselfishly with the deepest interest, feeling that the cause of God was a part of them. These men have worked. Brother Loughborough has economized. Brother Kellogg and his wife have in times past lacked economy. He has earned means quite readily and spent it just as readily. They had a lesson to learn in this direction. Brother Kellogg has been willing to do anything which would advance the cause of God. In some cases Brother Loughborough and Brother Kellogg have deprived themselves of things which they needed for health and comfort that they might advance the work of God and give no occasion to those who were weak in the faith to reproach them because they had an avaricious spirit. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 63

Brother Loughborough has deeply sorrowed for his mistakes in the past. In his efforts to shun everything which had brought the displeasure of God in the past he has narrowed down himself and family to a very small sum to sustain them. He has carried his economy too far. He has not allowed his brethren to do for him what they could easily have done and what they should have done for their own good. His labors in California have richly earned for himself and family a comfortable support without care and embarrassment on his part. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 64

Brother Loughborough has been in earnest and determined to wipe out the mistakes and errors of the past by a repentance which needeth not to be repented of. He has felt that the records of his deeds in heaven should be in the future such that he would not blush to review them. In the point of dollars and cents, he has felt very anxious that no record should appear in the day of accounts against him of his appropriating anything to himself that should rob the Lord’s treasury. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 65

Your course, Brother Cornell, was presented to me in marked contrast to the course of these brethren. You have been selfish and grasping. You have sought to benefit yourself from the treasury of God. You have not, during your ministerial labors, been conscientious in regard to receiving presents and means. Had you done as Elder Loughborough has done to correct his past errors you would not now be in so great weakness and danger. You have never seen yourself; you have never gone to the bottom. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 66

You have felt ready to confess when reproved by the Lord, but at the same time your feelings had no depth. You would do the same things when you were placed under similar circumstances. You repented in your spirit and strength but did not become converted, transformed by the renewing of your mind. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 67

Brethren Loughborough and [M. G.] Kellogg had families. They had home cares and anxiety. They had burdens to bear in the cause and work of God. Yet they zealously toiled on and did not become weary in well doing. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 68

Your life has been to enlist the sympathies of the people. You have your strong friends and your strong enemies. Your friends are so unwise as to praise you, to wait on you, and glorify you, which has greatly injured you. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 69

You were sent to this coast not so much because the cause needed you here but because we wanted to save you from the delusive, bewitching influence of Spiritualism, which we felt you were too weak to resist. Our pity and love for you led us to advise you to come to California. Had you, like a man of faith, fortitude, and courage arisen above your home troubles, and had you put your trust in God, you would have realized His promise verified to you, “I will never leave nor forsake thee.” [Hebrews 13:5.] You have been so very weak and childish; you have not come before the people with a deep sense of the sacredness of the work. Had you trusted in God and put self out of sight you could have done tenfold the good you have done. You petted your poor feelings and made but little effort to rise above them. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 70

But I have been shown, had you had pure and elevated thoughts, and had your lower passions been under the control of reason and intellect, your health would have been far better. But few could pursue the course you have done and not be sick. All this arises from your selfish indulgence during your life. God would test and prove you on this point, and you have signally failed to bear the test of God. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 71

Oh, how soon would you wipe out the sorrows of your married life, because your wife has yielded to a satanic delusion, by severing the ties that bind you to her by your marriage vow, and while she yet lives uniting yourself in marriage to another. Oh, inconsistent, fickle man, your course has made you a reproach, a derision, but what do you care for this if you could only succeed and your desires be gratified? May God pity you, for you need His pity. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 72

I was shown that take your labors as a whole, you have been a greater injury to California than benefit. The cause in California does not stand as high as it would had you remained away. In view of the above [I am amazed] when I hear the statement of my brethren in regard to Brother Cornell’s accepting more means than Brethren Loughborough and [M. G.] Kellogg, while your heart and soul has not been in the work, but you have had your mind and time occupied with your specimens and bewitched with your love for a woman. How inefficient have been your labors; you have not born burdens. You have not felt the weight of the cause of God upon you. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 73

And your avaricious, selfish disposition would lead you to take means you have not earned. You have manifested that you are as unprincipled as the woman you have so much desired to marry. You nor Angeline would take burdens upon you, yet you have felt free to take nearly all the means you could get, while you had a surplus. Some of our brethren who had helped you to means have not had the comforts of life. 2LtMs, Lt 29a, 1872, par. 74