Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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1882

Letters

Lt 1, 1882

Testimony for Monterey Church

NP

1882

Portions of this letter are published in Te 217-220; OHC 255, 260.

I was shown some things in reference to the sad state of things at Monterey. Discord and disunion are doing their work in separating brethren. And why, I inquired, is there so much of this work practiced? Why are brethren so easily disaffected, suspicious, and jealous of one another? Why do they give confidence to those who have no love for the truth and withdraw confidence from those who are brethren in their profession of faith? Why do they not guard the reputation of those of like profession of faith? The answer was given me. The enemy of souls is especially engaged in this work to weaken the confidence of believers in their brethren. His object in thus doing is to weaken the force of the influence of the church upon the world and make of none effect the prayer of Christ. The burden of that prayer was that His disciples might be one as He was one with the Father; the oneness so close that, although two distinct beings, there was perfect unity of spirit, purpose, and action. The mind of the Father was the mind of the Son. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 1

No church will have strength unless they are constantly laboring for this harmony to exist between one another that Christ prayed to His Father might exist. Satan is well aware of the power upon the world that ever attends a united church. It has been the misfortune of the church at Monterey to be swayed by Satan’s temptations. They are not all governed by principle. Their minds and opinions are controlled by unprincipled men far more than by Christ and holy angels. Their position is alarming, for there are many names upon their church book which in the Ledger of Heaven stand among the number of those who are weighed in the balance and found wanting. Unconsecrated, unconverted, and unsanctified in thought, heart, and life, like the barren fig tree, they are cursed; their influence is blighting, and they are as mildew to the church. They flaunt their pretentious leaf-covered branches in the very face of the Almighty, while their boughs reveal to the search of the Divine Majesty “nothing but leaves.” [Mark 11:13.] Unless there are some who are vigilant, honest, earnest, and devoted in the work of God, this unconsecrated element has the stronger influence, and then the church fails to be a convincing power of the reality of religion and true godliness before the world. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 2

Christ prayed for oneness and unity among His disciples that the “world may believe that thou hast sent me.” [John 17:21.] The unity, peace, and harmony of the church are her credentials to the world of purity and of her genuine character. Satan has so worked by his artifice to introduce discord and dissension into the church that their claims to a high and holy character are not accepted by the world. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 3

I was shown Satan has worked with cunning. He has come in as an angel of light to sow discord between brethren. The temperance question is to be respected by every true Christian, and especially should it receive the sanction of all who profess to be reformers. But there will be those in the church that will not show wisdom in the treatment of this subject. Some will show marked disrespect to any reforms arising from any other people besides those of their own faith; in this they err by being too exclusive. Others will grasp eagerly every new thing which makes a pretense of temperance, having every other interest swallowed up in this one point; the prosperity and peculiar, holy character of our faith is ignored, the parties upon temperance are embraced, and an alliance [is] formed between God’s commandment-keeping people and all classes of persons. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 4

Dangers beset the faith of every soul who is not closely connected with God. He has given the word, go forward, to His servants. Years ago the light was given on health reform and temperance in all things. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 5

Temperance societies and clubs have been formed among those who make no profession of the truth, while our people, although far ahead of every other denomination in the land in principle and practical temperance, have been slow to organize into temperance societies, and thus have failed to exert the influence they might have otherwise. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 6

I was shown that the condition of the church at Monterey was peculiar. Many who, had they given as much zeal, and manifested as much missionary spirit in the work of reform among us as a people as they have given to the Red-Ribbon Club, their course would have been sanctioned by God. But the different organizations upon temperance are very limited in their ideas of reform. Those who give so great influence to the agitation of this question, and at the same time are devotees of tobacco, drink, tea and coffee, and indulge in health-destroying food at their tables, are not temperance people. They make weak and spasmodic movements, full of zeal and excitement, but they do not go to the bottom of true reform, and [in] a short time will show flagging interest, and a returning of many to their old wicked indulgences because they merely picked off the leaves of the tree instead of laying the ax at its root. This matter of temperance must go to the root of the evil, or it will be of but little avail. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 7

While our people mingle with the class who are enemies of Christ and the truth, they neither gain nor give strength. The loyal and disloyal may mingle together if they meet on the ground of the loyal, but men and women who are the bitterest enemies of the truth have been exulting that a union and harmony was being formed between them and those who believe the truth on their own grounds. Now the enemies of God’s commandment-keeping people can no more breathe the same air with the God-fearing, loyal, than traitors to our government can live in friendship with those who are true to their country. Our people cannot bring up these societies and clubs to thorough temperance. The carnal heart will plead for indulgence. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 8

We are not to take our stand with temperance clubs composed of all classes of men with all kinds of selfish indulgences and call them reformers. There is a higher standard for our people to rally under. We must as a people make a distinction between those who are loyal to the law of God and those who are disloyal. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 9

We must not be exclusive as a people; our light is diffusive, constantly seeking to save the perishing. But while we are doing this our strength of influence must ever be found with the loyal and true. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 10

Satan’s offense was disloyalty to God’s law. He carried in his rebellion a third part of heaven, and he is constantly at work in the same way to gain to his side subjects to give strength to his position. He has large multitudes who are working for his interests. The greatest efforts have been made to convince the rebels of the law of God of their danger and induce them to return to their allegiance to Him; but they refused to listen, trampled upon all admonitions and warnings, and despised and oppressed, in every way they could, those who were loyal. But a question arises upon the subject of temperance, and the greatest liberty is given those who have no love for the truth. They are allowed to go and come at pleasure; are helped up, sustained, united with. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 11

What is the influence of this? Could the enemies of God’s law be made to feel that their disloyalty, their despising the testing truth for this time, was either criminal or dangerous by mingling with them, then the object to be gained would sanction such a union. When they see that no such results follow in the case when men have been tested and decided against the truth, they should reason sensibly, and in no case [should they] make it a small matter to sacrifice their peculiar and holy character and unite their sympathies with the enemies of our faith, and withdraw them from those who have planted their feet upon the platform of reform, keeping all God’s commandments. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 12

Have these two brethren been answering the prayer of Christ that His disciples might be one with Him as He was one with the Father? Have they been seeking with all the tact and wisdom to have the church see eye to eye? If Brother Kenyon manages as miserably in his ministerial office as he has in the church of Monterey, his strength and the strength of the church would be for him to sit still. These two brethren have no idea of what they are doing. They are sacrificing the church to their ideas and their set notions. A thousand times had they better withdraw from, and even offend, those who have no sympathy with our faith, than to weaken and destroy the church as they have. Will they consider what they are doing? But they might have managed the matter without offense if they could have managed themselves and listened to counsel which was wise and timely. But to control themselves has been the battle. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 13

The house dedicated to the worship of God is not the place to bring in the class that come into the house of God and defile the temple of God with their intemperance in the use of tobacco while they profess to be temperance advocates. The coarse speeches, the noisy talk and actions, are not a credit to these brethren. It is not in God’s order, but there the brethren have persisted in these things. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 14

Brethren Day, J. L. Rumery and L. M. Jones, and a few others, have been for years the principle stay of the church; but the way these brethren have been treated, and their counsel set aside and despised, would break down all church order and authority, weaken their influence, and make of none account their counsel and opinions. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 15

While irresponsible men who have not sustained the church with their means, some of whom have known nothing of self-denial and self-control, have been following their example in disregarding those who have been the very pillars and backbone of the church. The course of Elder Kenyon in this matter shows a lack of wisdom and sanctified judgment that illustrates his want of spiritual connection with God and his unfitness to minister to the church of God in any place, until he shall see and sense the great peril he will place the cause in by his unconsecrated condition. His independence, his jealousies and surmisings are offensive to God. He has not the meekness and lowliness of Christ which every minister must have in order to build up the cause of God. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 16

Brother Kenyon, when he sees his error, will be in danger of moving as he feels, too strong. This will not answer. Brother Kenyon is frank, and when convinced of his mistakes will acknowledge them even to his own hurt. Some will despise him for this; but God will understand and grant him His favor. Satan will make the most of every circumstance, and it becomes us as the children of the light to walk discreetly and not be controlled by impulse or by circumstances. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 17

God designed [that] His church should be firmly united in the bonds of Christian union. This want of harmony in church members is not entirely a new evil. It is the development of a root of bitterness which has existed for long years and has never been fully eradicated. It is springing up again and again, and unless every fiber of it is rooted out, many will be defiled. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 18

When the temperance excitement started in Monterey, apparently a good work was done. Some were reformed from drunkenness, but they did not go to the bottom to root out the evil. But the way the matter has been managed by our people, there has come great harm from this excitement [which is] detrimental to vital interests and which threatens to distract and destroy the church. It is impossible for our people to harmonize with any party or temperance club when our faith is so dissimilar. But there has been a mistake made in managing this matter. There have been too strong feelings with both parties, and words, not the most wise, have been spoken. While one party has given the strength of their influence to the temperance club, there have been some who have felt that some of our brethren were too much swallowed up in this enterprise to the neglect of interests fully as important and far more essential for the spiritual growth of the members of the church. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 19

These feelings and fears were correct, for many have neglected the weightier matters, and the spiritual interests and peculiarities of our holy faith and position, making us a separate people, have been lost sight of. Our unbelieving friends have stood exulting while they see the dissension in the church that has grown out of our people uniting with the Red-Ribbon Club. They have had no sympathy for us as a people upon the subject of temperance. They are far behind, and have ridiculed our people as fanatics upon health. They are willing now to be favored and receive the strength of our influence while they come no nearer in sympathy to our faith; when, if the matter had been managed discreetly, it might have had that influence upon some to change their opinion of our faith. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 20

If the temperance club had been left to stand on its own ground, we, as a people, standing upon our advanced ground, keeping respectively the high standard God has given us to meet as necessary to our position and faith, there would have been a much more healthy influence existing upon the temperance question in the church than now is revealed. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 21

Brother Charles Jones as the elder of the church has not taken a wise or prudent course. He has had influences brought to bear upon him that God had naught to do with. Brother Jones has not, considering his office, labored for the good of the church. He has not had moral backbone for years to stand fully for the right and swerve not an inch from principle. He has been swayed by influences that were opposed to the Spirit of God. While there are excellent traits of character possessed by Brother Jones that have caused his being selected as the best man for elder of the church, he has been very deficient in some respects. There have been some things in his organization which have worked greatly to the detriment of the church. He has not been vitalized by the Spirit of God and leaned wholly upon Him. He has moved very blindly and inconsistently at times, and it has been difficult to determine on which side his influence was strongest. He should stand strong and wholly free from persons disaffected, full of murmuring, and complaints. He has allowed his sympathy to be with this class too much and has been undecided and half with one side and half with the other side, when he ought to have been firm and fully decided. He has not stood free and clear. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 22

His home influence is of a character to unman him. This influence is constant and continually wearing. His wife is imaginative, a chronic grumbler, and unless her spirit changes, she will never enter the kingdom of heaven, for she would annoy and make unhappy the whole company of the redeemed. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 23

All who enter heaven will learn the song of heaven, and that song is praise, thankfulness, and joy. If she finds not something to be dissatisfied with there and complain and murmur about, she would not have anything to employ her time in this line of business. In heaven, there are no frowns, no whining, no complaining, but joy, joy, wholly, continually, through eternal ages. If Sister Jones has never learned the song here of happy contentment, of praise, of gratitude, of love, peace, and joy, she cannot learn it in heaven. All must learn the song here on this side in order to sing it there. The same will be the case with all such grumblers, murmurers, whiners, and faultfinders. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 24

Brother George Russ’s wife has learned the art of complaining, scolding, and fretting. Is that the song she expects to sing on the other shore?—because none will be there, only those who can sing the angels’ strains. All scolders, all fretters and unbelievers, which means those who are ever questioning the right, will be left on this side; so none may deceive themselves. If they do not cherish love for one another here, they will not have love for the heavenly beings there. All the principles existing in heaven must be learned and practiced here, then they will be practiced on the other side. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 25

The Lord would have Brother Charles a free man; but if he is ever free, he must take altogether a different attitude than he has hitherto. He should be a straight, square man, wholly on the side of those who have been free from questioning, doubts, and disaffection. When he stands firmly for the right, because it is right, God can bless him and make him an efficient worker. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 26

Brother Kenyon has not shown the wisdom of God in his course. He has not pursued a course in accordance with the Word of God. He is altogether too independent and self-sufficient. He has become self-inflated. He thinks too much of himself. He quarrels and shields himself. He is ready to defend himself, and he is very zealous of himself. All this spirit must be removed from him and he learn of Christ, who was meek and lowly of heart, if he would find rest to his soul. All this defense of self is egotism. He has removed his eyes from Jesus and centered them upon himself. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 27

These two brethren have made a mistake. If they had respected the efforts which have been made by God’s servants to perfect union and harmony, there would be today a much happier state of things. God is not pleased with the course these two men, Brother Jones and Brother Kenyon, have pursued. Brother Kenyon has used sharpness and keen, cutting remarks to his brethren, wholly unbecoming one who professes to be a minister of Jesus Christ. His home influence is not what it might be, and should be, to please God. He must feel and act at all times with sanctified judgment. Satan comes in through the unconsecrated wives of men who might be, although not great men, good men, and accomplish good work for souls. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 28

Christ prayed that His disciples might be one as He was one with the Father. This sacred union all should labor to preserve, and all the true followers of Christ will labor unselfishly for this union. The Christian sustains relations not only to the church, but to the world, and we owe duties to the world as well as to the church. We are as children and servants of Jesus Christ, and our great aim and ambition should be to strengthen and confirm, and to elevate the church of God upon the earth, ever seeking to maintain [its] peculiar and holy character before the world, continually exerting our influence for good upon the church and upon the world. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 29

As the church is pure in principle, it will have an influence. As the truth sanctifies, softens, and subdues the receiver, having a power to transform the life and character, the world will be convinced that God is with him. True reformers have opened to them the sweetest springs of happiness ever experienced by mortals. Bible truth does not make men narrow, but it will liberalize and ennoble the nature, bringing the heart in sympathy with every grand endeavor and purifying reform in our world. The words of Isaiah will be fulfilled with such: Then shall “thine health spring forth speedily, and thy righteousness go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.” Isaiah 58:8. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 30

The unselfish worker, be he minister or layman, is in his efforts to bless others made happy himself. He is brought in close connection with the Divine Master who, for our sakes, became poor that we through His poverty might be made rich. He gave His life for a ruined world, leaving us an example that we should follow in His footsteps. Then, when the Ledger of Heaven shall be opened, and every man shall be rewarded as his works have been, the approval of heaven will rest upon the faithful workers. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 31

In Monterey there is a class that has never been any strength to the church. If there was anything they could question and find fault with, they were the ones who, instead of helping the church bear the responsibility, would throw their whole weight on the side to discourage rather than to build up. Their weight of influence on the right side has been but a cypher. On the wrong side, they show perseverance, independence, and stubbornness. This shows [that] if they were sanctified to God they could be what they are not, and never have been nor ever will be, till they are converted men and women. These self-caring, uncontrollable elements are generally found to be those who will take sides with those who stand under the censure of God. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 32

There are those who have not accepted temperance in all things. They have not been true reformers. Temperance has been preached to them and presented to their conscience for years, but without effect. A temperance movement is brought in by outside parties, and some are reached. Why? Because they set their hearts against the truth and reform among Sabbathkeeping Adventists. They had no sympathy and union with those who were seeking to come up upon the broad platform of reform from a religious standpoint. But when those who had no sympathy for our faith showed interest in temperance, it was a sharp rebuke to those who had been privileged with great light and great opportunities and yet stubbornly refused to be reformed. A class of the same order as themselves, having a lower standard, has an influence upon them, [and] grasps the light requirements. As far as the temperance cause advances, we would sanction, but ever hold aloft, the higher standard, while none who views reform from a Christian standpoint should discourage any advance in this direction from unbelievers. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 33

There has been altogether too little missionary effort by the members of the church at Monterey. They should be constantly reaching out to relieve the miseries of others; to enlighten those who are in ignorance of our faith; to feel it their work to relieve oppression wherever they find it; to break from the limbs the bands of oppression and deliver from the iron power of vicious habits; to lead bad men and women up to a higher public and social position; to encourage their capabilities and increase their happiness. These objects will be dear to the heart of every follower of Christ. Every true Christian is a reformer. There must be a continual change for the better to improve men and the condition of society generally. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 34

Changes are not always reforms for the better. The question for us to settle is whether we will be identified with certain movements and organizations which claim to be adapted to benefit society. If these parties are what they claim to be, they deserve the support and sympathy of all Christians. If, on the other hand, they have no foundation in principle, no actuating spirit of beneficence which characterizes reforms, we may not mistake our duty. The Word of God is the infallible guide. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16. All this, saith the Lord, will be our motto, giving us every needed direction. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 35

What God forbids we must labor to extirpate. What God requires we must seek to build up. Every proposed course of conduct must be brought to the Bible test. On this unshaken and immovable basis they may rest. Temperance from a Bible standpoint we may respect and uphold. Temperance which is carried a few steps and no farther will cease to be an influence for good. God is leading His people upon the subject of temperance. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 36

Part II

In order to have a healthy body, the blood circulating through the veins must be pure; in order to be pure, it must have pure air and pure food. The use of improper food and the inhalation of impure air cause disease, which appears in various forms. The purity and soundness of our religious life is dependent not only on the truth we accept, but on the company we keep and the moral atmosphere we breathe. Faith, elasticity and vigor, hopefulness, joyfulness, doubts and fears, slothfulness, stupidity, envy, jealousy, distrust, selfishness, waywardness, and backsliding, are the result of the associations we form, the company we keep, and the air we breathe. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 37

The indulgence of wrong associations will have its baleful results. The privileges and sources of truth may be kept open to the soul, the Bible may be read and prayer be offered, yet there will be no increase of spiritual health, no growth of soul, so long as the air which is breathed is bad. All the efficacy of religious advantages is counteracted by the restraints of wrong associations. The social intimacies of the world are of a character to counteract religious exercises. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 38

The greatest care should be exercised by believers to place themselves in close connection with God and with those who have been taught of God. It is painful to see those who have believed present truth walking into Satan’s net. There are so many professors of the truth who have not Christ in the heart; therefore their religious experience is valueless. The Christian course is a battle and a march. The struggle must be lifelong and must be prosecuted with all that restless energy which the immense interest involved demands. For we are partakers of Christ and of all the benefits He has to bestow, “if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end,” maintaining to the last our Christian integrity and purity. [Hebrews 3:14.] “Ye therefore beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” 2 Peter 3:17. Considering that a mistake where eternal interests are involved would be fatal, how earnest should be the effort to gain the prize of immortal life! 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 39

What the people in Monterey need is religion. They want good, humble religion—the softening, subduing grace of God upon the heart, crucifying self with the affections and lusts. Weakness and vacillation will never secure respect to the Christian profession. It is impossible to reach men where they are and elevate them unless some confidence is inspired in them for your sincerity and piety. You can never reach them by stepping down from the platform of truth and reform, but by bringing others up to that platform which God’s Word has provided for you. If men opposed to our faith see that you who profess it are earnest, steadfast, and uncorrupted at all times and under all circumstances, and that you abide in Christ the living Vine, and are unshaken followers of truth and reform, you will reflect the Spirit and character of Christ. In your business, in the associations with believers and unbelievers, in the sanctuary, at home, in every place, you will show the influence of a Saviour’s love which will have a controlling influence upon unbelievers. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 40

Genius, talents, and money are not essential in order to exert this influence; but it is essential that you abide in Christ, and that He abide in you, for thus your fruit will be unto righteousness. There needs to be converting power in the church. The individual members in the church must cultivate simplicity and love for each other. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 41

We raise our voice and cry to every believer in the present truth: If you would have spiritual health, look to your lungs. Look to your spiritual food. Cultivate a love for the society of those who are pure and good, if you would have Christ formed in you as the life of the soul. The health of the soul depends upon the breathing of a good moral atmosphere. And it is essential for spiritual muscle and strength that the soul have exercise. Work must be done by putting forth spiritual activity in improving opportunities to do good. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 42

A healthful, growing Christian will not be a passive recipient among his fellows. He must give as well as receive. Our graces are increased by exercise. Christian society will furnish us with pure air to breathe, and in breathing it we must be active. The Christian work performed, the sympathies, encouragements, and instructions given by us to those who need them, the self-restraint, love, patience, and forbearance which are needed [to be] exercised in the Christian work, will create in ourselves faith, obedience, hope, and love to God. Sons and daughters of God must breathe a pure atmosphere in order to have spiritual health. The more faithful in the discharge of Christian duties, the more soundness will they develop. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 43

Many would not be ready, should they be stricken down with disease and death claim them. Their portion would be with hypocrites and unbelievers. They have no time to waste in contention or in self-pleasing. Let all humble their unconsecrated souls before God ere it shall be too late. Seek God with all the heart that you may find Him. As soon as Jesus is enthroned in the citadel of the soul heart will respond to heart; there will be love, gentleness, and courtesy towards one another. This is the work for all Christians now. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. You have no time to lose in this work. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 44

The Ledger of Heaven shows that souls are unready for their last change. Self and selfishness have a controlling power upon minds. The meekness of Christ is needed. To bear His yoke and to lift His burden will be of the highest advantage to the prosperity of the church and its individual members. It is a terrible misfortune and dishonor to God to be dwarfs in religious growth. God has not been honored by the individual members of the church at Monterey. What a power for good might that church have been! What beams of light might have shown forth from her if her members were workers in the cause of God, using their increased ability to build up the church instead of weakening and discouraging it. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 45

I was shown there had been strong feelings and speeches with the different parties in Monterey. But had all responded to the wise counsel given them from the servant of God and yielded their own will and opinions, all difficulties might have been settled long ago. There should be a mutual humiliation before God. Every one should look to his own soul’s interest. It is all that each can do to set his own house in order. When his heart is right he will have nothing to separate him from his brethren. It is the outcropping of the natural heart which creates these envyings, jealousies, and strifes. When the heart is right before God then there will be harmony with the brethren. The health of the soul depends very much on the moral atmosphere you breathe and the food you give your soul. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 46

Growth in grace will render a man conscious of his own nothingness and his entire dependence upon God. Such an experience is educating, disciplining, and developing the spiritual powers. The more the soul hungers and thirsts for spiritual food, the more grace will God bestow. Every measure of grace bestowed capacitates the soul to receive and enjoy a still greater measure of the love of God, and [it] is brought into closer relationship to Jesus Christ; and yet there is an infinity beyond. If your faith grasps with simplicity the promises, you will be victor over the powers of darkness. This is the victory, even our faith. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 47

Temperance means a great deal more than temperance societies make it to be. All which takes the name of reform is not reform. There are counterfeits so near like the true that many are deceived and take the counterfeit for the genuine. The counterfeit Satan uses to beguile, betray, and ruin souls. It is a good work to remove the curse of intemperance and prohibit intoxicating liquors. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 48

The followers of Christ will hail all reforms upon this point as a blessing to society, for all Christians know that no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God. The Bible pronounces a fearful woe on him who putteth the bottle to his neighbor’s lips. But this act is like picking the leaves from a green tree, leaving its roots firm as ever to send forth its foliage again the coming season. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 49

Temperance must go deeper and broader than it is carried on by temperance societies generally. To give these societies a prominence above temperance and reforms as held and advocated by our people is a decided mistake; it is coming down from the elevated platform of Bible temperance upon which God has placed us, to a low level which may be well represented by picking the leaves from the living trees; the tree is not killed by this act; its life and vigor remain and send forth new leaves again. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 50

In all temperance reform there should be a constant appeal to the Word of God. A “Thus saith the Lord” should be brought home to the heart, governing the actions. God forbid our carrying eating, drinking, or dressing, to excess. (Intoxicating drinks [are] to be discarded entirely.) 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 51

Our faith as reformers requires us to labor to extirpate, while we must seek to promote that which will improve principle and moral power. The light shining from the Word of God is comprehensive and appropriate for every phase of family and church interest; and every element of reform or course of action must be brought to the unerring judgment of inspiration. True wisdom, sanctification, and righteousness are found in its pages. It is the wisdom of God applied to human affairs. All genuine reforms rest on this unshaken basis. There are counterfeit reforms, glossed over with sanctity and truth, apparently very advantageous, but dangerous; for they only take a step and cease to reform. They lead away from the Holy Scriptures and its claims. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 52

God’s claims are broad and high. [They] take in all His requirements in His law—Sabbath reform and thorough temperance in all things. Can we as a people unite as one to all intents and purposes with those who ignore reforms that are required in His Word, and who are antagonistic against the most sacred claims of God in regard to His law? Can we mix, mingle, and bind up our best interest in these bundles or societies? The loyal and true cannot assimilate their interest and action with any class of people claiming to be reformers who stop short of reform. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 53

While no hindrance should be placed in the way of genuine reforms, and all assistance should be rendered them which we may give them, great caution should be given not to exalt these half or quarter reforms above the interests of the genuine reforms and temperance in all things, and thus let down the standard of true temperance and reform which has existed among us as a people for nearly twenty years. [It] is a sad mistake to exalt these reforms as though unbelievers had obtained a start or advance over those who, had they followed the light God has given, would have been marching steadily forward in reform for many years. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 54

If the unbelievers choose to take steps in reform, hold out your hand to them but do not step down among them to work from their standpoint of reform. It is a shame to those in Monterey who have had great light and truth upon temperance, that they have not received and practiced it more thoroughly. Had they cherished and lived up to the light, they would be far in advance of what they now are. Some are far behind worldlings upon the point of temperance in all things. Let not this class who have always been self-indulgent and a hindrance to the church now accept from the world the reform they refused to receive from God’s Word and from His delegated servants, and rush forward upon the spur of excitement and triumph over those who have tried steadily to hold the fort against the most discouraging influences. There have been those who have been impulsive, unconsecrated stumbling blocks in the church all the way along. They are dead weights to the church, a continual curse, and some of those are the ones who now exult in making a display, of showing great zeal in the Red-Ribbon Club, [and] who triumph over those who have been the pillars and backbone of the church. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 55

Can our ministers and elders be so blind as not to see and sense danger? Watchmen who claim to be placed by God upon the walls of Zion to watch for dangers and perils and raise their voices, have lost the wisdom and power of discernment, and have given the peace and safety cry, “All is well,” while danger and peril threaten the spiritual life and vitality of the church. Were the watchman connected with God, he would see, sense, and feel these dangers, and would be wise as a serpent in regard to these reforms, while he would be harmless as a dove. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 56

Elder Kenyon has become lifted up. He has become self-sufficient [and] independent and [has] taken responsibilities God has never laid upon him. Brother Charles Jones has imperiled the prosperity of the church. The alliance these men have formed with the world and the church has been one of the greatest evils, and would sap the life and vitality from the church. Had these men stood in the light, God would have led them and taught them. Their relation to the unbelievers, as far as reforms are concerned, would have been pleasant and satisfactory, and yet they held the peculiar, separate features of our faith which distinguish God’s commandment-keeping people from the world. There are those who are unacquainted with the workings of God’s Spirit. Men who are in converse with God and distrustful of themselves will learn to guide by the Bible standard. The commandments of God given to man are the basis of all true reform, and [no reform] will be lasting and thorough if this great rule of action is laid aside, as nothing can be a substitute for it nor devised to take its place. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 57

Those who disregard the authority and plain teachings of the Bible and who propose to reform society while in hatred of the law of God, not acknowledging its claims, cannot ennoble or elevate our people. When we know what genuine reforms bearing the signet of divine authority are, then every member of the church should make it the aim and purpose of his life to promote these with the utmost steadfastness and unwavering courage. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 58

There is no going back to reform; its movements are aggressive. Genuine reforms are always attended with loss, sacrifice, and peril; opposition is provoked, calumny and hatred are called out, the better rejected for the worse, and evil chosen in the place of good, because selfish, ease-loving men and women do not wish to be stirred up and be obliged to change their habits and customs. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 59

They love their own way and opinions. They do not want their aspirations and ambition to be broken in upon, and thus they gain a new experience. They love self-indulgence, pride, and lust for worldly gain. Time is not changing things for the better, but for the worse. The pure, truth-loving, God-fearing ones can no more unite, mingle, and be buried up with the corrupt and godless, than in the days of Christ, or the great apostle, when he exclaimed, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you and I will be a father unto you and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 60

The corrupt are on every side, and their voices are heard in advocating reform, and yet they love not reform and purity to that degree that they will break from their corrupt soul and body indulgences. They are ready to sacrifice whatever is dearest to man or most highly prized by our Lord on the smoking altar of their avarice and greed. They are martyrs to depraved appetites and debasing passions. Many will sell their honor, overreach their neighbor, build up their houses, and add land to land that they may secure ungodly gain; they fill their barns with plenty, and heap to themselves earthly treasures to gratify their lusts for worldly honors and distinguished position; wild license and lax principles they call liberty; and the voices of this class have mingled with the cry of reform and temperance. The curse of God is upon these ambitious money-catchers who sell their souls for gain. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 61

Genuine reformers will always receive abuse, hard speeches, and outrage. But God would have His people move steadily forward, disregarding complaints, tattling calumnies and falsehood, and do their appointed work, accomplishing the object they have in view, submitting their lives, their labors, and the result, to the dispassionate judgment of sensible men and women, and awaiting the final vindication and triumph of that day when every man’s work will bear the test of the judgment, when the Ledger of Heaven will bear the just record of deeds, whether they be good or evil. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 62

Monterey has wanted men who make no compromise for their own advantage or profit, who have engaged in the hardest work, performed the hardest duties from principle. Men and women of God must feel the consciousness of great talents entrusted [to them] for improvements and growth, for which they will sacrifice all praise and appreciation of their fellow men, yield up all the applause which they might gain if they did not take their unpopular position upon the truth against the errors and vices of their fellow men, and stand firm as a rock to truth and principle and insult, reproach, and hatred. These men are like the gold of Ophir. Satan could not buy them with his flatterings [and] worldly inducements; their fellow men could not swerve them one hair from their integrity. How differently are these regarded by their contemporaries and by their God, who is the correct Judge of motives, purposes, and results. When one, from conscientious motives, departs from the customs and established habits of the people, [he will feel] the hatred kindled in the hearts of those who will not exchange error for truth and darkness for light. [This hatred] will be felt by all reformers. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 63

But this is not the worst danger that has threatened the church at Monterey. The flattery which seduces and perverts judgment and puts out spiritual eyesight is the most to be feared. Some will be deceived by appearances; some will be coaxed against their conscience and be thrown off the track by surrounding influences. Profession of friendship leads some a long distance from the only true path of duty and safety. Prudence and cautiousness are indeed Christian virtues to be prized by men; but when these traits degenerate into timidity, cowardice, and selfishness, they are walking away from the Light of the world. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 64

Wealth is committed to men to be used in doing good by blessing humanity, building up the cause of truth, and sending missionaries to those who are in darkness. When these purposes are accomplished, God is glorified; but every additional dollar which fastens a man in pride and causes him to estimate himself as of more value than his fellow because of his increased wealth makes him a fool in the sight of God. That which leads him to hoard and retain his means to glorify and honor himself is a curse to him. Said Christ, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:24. Christ did not estimate riches as a curse when the faithful steward appropriated it to right objects for which it was intrusted. Houses, lands, and bank stock do not make a man of value with God. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 65

The world views the wealthy man in an altogether a different light from what God views him. In the eyes of the world, a rich man is estimated as a man of importance, while with God he is called a fool because he trusts in his money and is not seeking for a moral fitness for the heavenly treasure. Riches were not sufficient to save the inhabitants of the Noachic world, but proved their ruin. A beautiful country and exceeding great riches did not make Sodom of value with God, but the abuse of the wealth God had given them brought their utter destruction. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 66

So men in this age of the world who have acquired means will become self-important, self-sufficient, and practice oppression, crime, and fraud to accomplish their ends; but every act is registered in heaven, and in God’s own time these abuses of His gifts will receive, for the works which they have done, the retributive justice of God. Every dollar intrusted to them to be blessed to God’s glory, which has been appropriated to the glorifying of themselves will then be required of the Master. For it was His means they have squandered in the place of putting it to a good use. The means that have been gained by fraud will be a swift witness against them in that day when every case will stand in review before God. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 67

A worldly rich man will be, in the day of judgment, the poorest and most to be pitied of any man before the judgment throne. They sold themselves for paltry gain and their reward will be as their works have been. These rich men, poor as far as the knowledge of God is concerned, placed themselves higher than men who had moral worth, because the world regarded it in this light—not because the Saviour regarded it thus. They would not be practical Christians themselves, and those who would, they hindered. This is the case with some men in Monterey who are ensnared by Satan. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 68

The Son of God was the Light of the world. He was manifested that He might draw all men unto Him; but He declares He came not to send peace on earth, but a sword. [Matthew 10:34.] His followers must walk in the light of His glorious example without questioning, Is it convenient for me to do this? Christ does not consult your convenience. He did not consult His own convenience, but left the royal courts of heaven, laid aside His royal robes, and for our sakes became poor that we through His poverty might be made rich. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 69

And now Jesus inquires, What will man do for Me? What will he do for himself to secure his own salvation? At whatever sacrifice of ease or reputation, at whatever peril of property or life, at whatever cost of self-denial and persevering labor, at whatever sacrifice of property or even life itself, he must maintain the reformatory doctrines of His gospel and push the triumphs of His cross, upbuild His kingdom and wage continual and earnest warfare against sin and ungodliness. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 70

But all this great work must be done with the Spirit of Christ—in the spirit of unvarying kindness. Reforms must move slowly. Men will close their ears to the warnings of God sent by His prophets. They will listen to the voice of their own traditions and contend for old customs. They will spurn the richest proclamation of mercy and love ever made to man; and they do this, not as the result of excusable ignorance, but because their stubborn hearts choose selfishness and corrupt notions. They love position, influence, and authority, and the indulgence of sin. Intemperance in every form is doing its health-and soul-destroying work. To merely give influence to a society, to merely single out one great evil and continue to cherish all the habits and indulgences which first created the existing evil, will avail but little. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 71

Intemperance in eating, drinking, and dressing is a desolating curse to our world. The conflict to overcome and reform appetite and unholy desires will be fierce and deadly; but to the overcomer is presented the immortal crown that fadeth not away. Those cherishing the darling idol tobacco will seek to create an interest in the temperance cause to put down liquor. What right has this class to talk temperance while they are in the slavery of the defiling habit of tobacco? How can our people mingle with societies and clubs who are corrupt? It is coming down from our high position. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 72

Before our people organized a temperance society themselves, there was a door open for them to unite their influence and connect with the temperance society already to be formed, but now there are societies founded on the broad plan, sweeping away tobacco, tea, coffee, and all stimulants, to stand forth as reformers. We cannot stop at this low standard of half or quarter reforms; we cannot attach our names to a pledge presented by a society which indulges the use of the body- and soul-destroying narcotic, tobacco. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 73

There is a deadly hatred in hearts against the commandments of God, which is the basis of all reforms. How then can we unite with this class? How work with them? How form a society with them? How is it possible to work successfully in their way and after their order? Satan well knows that union and harmony in Christ are the most powerful, convincing arguments to unbelievers. Christ prayed [that] His disciples may be one as He is one with the Father, “that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” [John 17:21.] While all heaven is interested in the salvation of men, and constantly ministering in their behalf that they may be one in mind and judgment and spirit, Satan is diligently at work to hinder this unity by sowing his seed of envy, suspicion, and strife, which will blossom into jealously and bitterness and discord, that the mighty, convincing credentials in the minds of the church, of the divinity of Christ, might be removed. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 74

The beauty of disinterested benevolence and holiness characterized the life of Christ. He was the model of goodness and perfection. As His followers, we are to imitate His example of purity and loveliness. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 75

Never will the church in Monterey prosper until its members commence the work of reform in their own hearts and cleanse the soul temple. How easily satisfied are most of Christ’s professed followers if they come up to a few points of self-denial and reform. Men are never to be content with their moral development and spiritual attainment. There is no halting place this side of heaven. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 76

The children of God can grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. And no one is meeting the mind of God unless his movements are continually onward and upward in his Christian experience; [unless he is] never satisfied [and has] a constant hunger and thirsting after righteousness in spiritual life—a hunger as oft recurring as for food to satisfy bodily hunger. There is ever a higher standard to reach, and no one should be satisfied while there is anything yet to be gained. Mild sympathy, love, gentleness, kindness, and fruitfulness in the Christian graces are to be sought after with hungering and thirsting of spirit, as real as we hunger for food to satisfy our temporal wants. 3LtMs, Lt 1, 1882, par. 77