Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 53, 1876

Cornell, M. E.



Portions of this letter are published in TSB 171-172.

Brother [M. E.] Cornell:

I feel that it is my duty to write you and revive before your mind some things which the Lord has been pleased to reveal to me of your dangers which have wrecked your happiness in the past, brought great trials upon your fellow-laborers, and wounded the precious cause of God. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 1

You have but a faint sense of the anxiety we have felt on your account, and you know not the many prayers offered in your behalf and the earnest pleading with God to give wisdom that we may move understandingly in your case in giving you good advice and yet not discourage you. We have felt at times that it would be far better for the cause of truth on this coast if you had no part to act in it. You may labor for a time all right, but then again you forget the past reproofs God has given you and do not feel your need of constant grace to overcome the errors which have marked your life. You exhibit such great weakness, all unseen to yourself, that we have constant fear that you will do more harm than your efforts will be productive of good. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 2

We have questioned whether it would not be better for you to go East; then I have thought of your taking your wrongs and weaknesses with you, which would not help the matter but merely shift the burden from this coast to the East and you would be a greater perplexity to the brethren there than to those engaged in labor on this coast. I do not think your influence was what it might be in Napa. You made public your family troubles, for I met it everywhere I went. I think you are doing the same here. You divert the minds of those interested in the truth and gather sympathy to yourself, and you have been reproved for this as a wrong you should correct. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 3

The reason why you have so little of the Spirit and power of God is not because of physical weakness but because your heart is not right with God. You suffer your mind to center upon yourself. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 4

Unless you are constantly feeling your weakness and the necessity of entire dependence upon God, you are no blessing to His cause. You talk of your trials, and of your feebleness, and draw minds to you to pity and sympathize with you, when you are not a proper subject for this sympathy. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 5

Your heart is surely not right with God. Unless you are engaged in storing up knowledge, gaining an experience daily in divine things, feeling a continual growing strength of love for your Saviour and for those out of the truth, your mind and thoughts will be upon forbidden subjects that uproot spirituality and make you weak in moral power. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 6

God has shown me your case so fully [that] I dare not let you go on in deception as to your true condition. I greatly fear that you will fail of everlasting life, that after you have preached to others upon the binding claims of God’s law, you will fail to carry out in your own life the holy principles of the law of God, and will make shipwreck of faith. You are so much swallowed up in yourself that unless you are consecrated to God and have a living daily faith in God and obtain His grace and power you will be a hindrance to the advancement of the truth. I cannot see the cause of God marred and suffer through your inefficiency or through your blind mistakes. You must be a daily converted man or you are unfit for the sacred work in which you are engaged. I know more of your peculiar temperament and of your dangers than others can. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 7

Your trouble with the sisters has come in consequence of your drawing upon their sympathies. You relate your trials and enlist their pity for you whom they think a great sufferer. You then yield to your feelings [and] put on an appearance as though you were enduring almost martyrdom. You lead them out to give you care and attention which is not really proper and bring yourself into a position where you are easily tempted. You should have learned by your trials in the past to shun anything which has the least appearance of familiarity with the sisters, married or unmarried. Let your affections center upon God. Rely upon Him for support rather than on human sympathy. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 8

You are very weak in this direction. But the cause of God must not be marred with your weakness and indiscretion. This is your danger, and you are overcome and then a wound is brought upon the cause of God that can never be fully healed. My observation of your course while in Napa in making your family matters public, in giving up to your feelings, and in encouraging the sympathies of others for yourself, your complaining and giving up to your poor feelings since you have been in Oakland, is a most perfect part of the picture which was presented before me in vision, representing your character. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 9

I was shown that when you first felt the power of the truth in your heart you searched the Scriptures earnestly and were getting on the armor of righteousness. But of late years, especially since the separation from your wife, you have not devoted as much time to the study of the Word and earnest prayer. You have not natural abilities that will make you a laborer in the gospel field without closely searching the Scriptures. You have turned your mind in the channel of becoming a debater, but as far as strength of arguments is concerned, presenting all points of present truth with clear reason to sustain every point before opponents, you are very deficient. Assertions will never answer for proof. You too often have sought to engage in discussion, for here was the work you loved. When there is no special excitement and opposing influence to meet, you cannot always be depended on as a laborer. You do not enter into practical Bible subjects. Your interest flags and you do not feel liberty because you are not stimulated with the excitement of opposition. You have not a strong hold upon God and do not draw strength from Him. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 10

If an opposing influence should arise, your combative spirit would strengthen for the occasion, your zeal would lead you to forget your poor feelings and your troubles, and you would feel quite strong and would rise above depression and infirmities to which you now yield. When there is an effort to be made to calmly present the truth in an intelligent, forcible manner before the people, sowing the gospel seed, relying upon God to help you, you often fail, for you have not an experience in this work which you might have. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 11

I was shown that you are ever inclined to gather sympathy to yourself, and to center your mind upon yourself and to talk of your labors wearing you, of your weariness, and of your being taxed. You complain of suffering with sickness. All this is brought in unnecessarily to excuse the absence of the love of God in the heart, and is time worse than thrown away. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 12

Under some circumstances you could manifest earnestness, but you cannot exert the right influence until you have the living principle within you to labor whether you feel like it or not. Feeling should be no criterion for Christians. You never can do justice to the cause of God until you cease to be controlled by feeling and cease to move by impulse. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 13

I was shown that upon many points you are very weak. I have fears that you will never see and feel the sinfulness of this weakness so that you will not continually be falling back under temptation and trial. God will be to all who seek and cling to Him a tower of strength. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 14

If you labor with another and see that your fellow-laborer is more acceptable with the people than yourself, your courage is gone. You are shorn of your strength. There is not a deep principle underlying the springs of action that you can draw upon in an emergency. There is not a reserve power to carry you over the points of temptation where Satan assails you. You fall under his power nearly every time you are assailed. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 15

You lack moral power, humility, and faith in God under all circumstances. In the desk you need to cultivate a solemn, dignified deportment in keeping with the important message you bear, which is testing the world. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 16

You suffer yourself to be overcome with discouragements when you do not have liberty before the people. This should drive you to close searching of heart and earnest prayer to learn the cause, to ascertain if the trouble does not rest with yourself. If you would plead with God in humility, He would appear for your salvation. But you are not naturally devotional and you allow your thoughts to wander from God upon forbidden things, and then you have not confidence to come before God. You cannot pray in faith, for your heart is not right with God. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 17

You cannot be a laborer that can be depended upon under discouragements as well as in prosperity until you cease to talk and think so much upon yourself and cease to draw the sympathies of others to yourself. You can be happy only in consecration to God, and you lack this greatly and have lacked it all your life. If you could see how much harm you do in your listless, complaining ways, you would change your course at once. You would forget self in doing others good. I saw your disposition to complain, and feel that you are working hard and deserve sympathy, hurts your influence. You frequently do not work as hard as you should. Your brethren who have much less physical strength perform a greater amount of labor than yourself. They work with a cheerful heart, feeling that they are workers with Christ. God sustains them. In regard to your physical strength I saw that you have a good capital of health but your own peculiar temperament, your love of appetite and inclination to indolence, are your greatest enemies. Your labors in the cause of God have been no greater than those of your brethren who stand in the front of the work. Should they pursue the same course you do, the cause of God would indeed languish. From what God has been pleased to show me in reference to your case, much of the time you do far less labor than some of your brethren who do not have the health and strength which you have. If your heart were right with God you would cease your complaining, and the gratitude of your heart would be expressed in words of praise and glory to God for His mercies to you. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 18

You are frequently inclined to shun taxing labor and responsibilities under a plea of inability. Your brethren who have labored in connection with you could not depend on you when there was real need of your help, for you were imagining yourself in need of rest and would plead poor feelings and leave a double burden upon your fellow laborer who needed rest and care even more than yourself, but because they did not keep constantly complaining, you have thought them stronger than you. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 19

You love to be petted and to be waited upon and sympathized with. You love to have the sisters doing offices for you which you should do for yourself. While feeble sisters are pitying you and sympathizing with you, they are frequently suffering with pain and weariness which you have never experienced. These things displease God and make you weak and inefficient. You are deluding yourself with the idea that you are indeed a great sufferer when you are not. Your brethren have labored right on under greater mental and physical suffering than yourself, and no one but God knows how hard times they pressed against their infirmities to do good in the great work they loved so well. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 20

You said last night that doctors could not tell what ailed you. True, they could not tell what ailed you. No earthly physician could prescribe intelligently for your disease, because you have no real disease. He who made man out of the dust of the ground understands your case. Your imagination is diseased. Your thoughts are morally diseased. You are sound as far as physical strength is concerned. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 21

You are not a real Bible student. This deficiency is bad for you, and unless you correct it, it will destroy your usefulness. You idle away much precious time upon unimportant things while things of great importance are neglected. If you would grow in the knowledge of Bible truth, that you may become a thorough workman that needeth not to be ashamed, you must from the Scriptures furnish yourself for all good works that you may become an able preacher of righteousness. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 22

Your thoughts are not in obedience to Christ. Purify the fountain and the stream will be pure. You will certainly lose heaven unless you are a thoroughly converted man upon these weak points in your character. I saw that you talked much of your troubles and [of] how hard you have labored. This was in nine cases out of ten a delusion. You have allowed your imagination to dwell upon these things, while Satan has held his magnifying glass before you until it has seemed a reality to you that you were excessively taxed and were passing through trials of a most grievous character. Many of your trials and afflictions you have brought upon yourself through your own wrong course. Then cease to talk of your trials and your weariness and your infirmities. Remember the grace of God does not abide with any soul unless they make special and earnest efforts for it. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 23

You have a daily and hourly warfare before you to overcome your besetments and to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord; you have no time to lose, not a moment. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 24

With you the seed of truth fell not on the best of soil, and this truth will not grow successfully without careful culture. The truth is of heavenly origin and is opposed to the heart’s natural disposition. It is only by earnest and diligent toil that you will bring all your powers into subjection to the Spirit of Christ. You have a special work to keep under your body lest while you have preached to others you yourself should be a castaway. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 25

When you are repining and complaining of sickness and overwork, and that you are exhausting your strength, just bear in mind you are deceived. It is in doing these things you ought not, and suffering your imagination to run as it will, that places you in a condition of almost inefficiency and will finally bring upon you permanent disease. You should give others an example of faith and confidence in God which you do not. In your life, in your words and deportment, you do not rightly represent the religion of Christ. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 26

You do not prize your Bible as you should. Its sacred and rich promises do not inspire you with hope and faith and courage. In your hours of thoughtful meditation you may dig down into the deep mines of truth. You may gather comfort, hope, and joy—precious wealth indeed with which to enrich your soul. You need to educate your mind to run in the right channel, to draw from God’s Word the comfort and encouragement which you now seek to draw from your brethren and sisters by appealing to their sympathies. A familiar acquaintance with practical Bible truths will arm the soul with weapons to meet the strongest opposition of opponents. If used constantly, and not left to rust, it will be like a sharp two-edged sword. Use will keep the sword of the Spirit ever polished. You leave the Word of God, which is full of exceeding great and precious promises to the faithful soul. I warn you not to hew out for yourself broken cisterns which hold no water. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 27

The intellect and affections you must bring under the influence and control of the Spirit of God. Your mind is so constituted that it will be constantly employed either for good or for evil. You have the power to train the mind and control its workings and to give direction to the current of your thoughts. Others cannot do this for you—you must do this for yourself. But to do this will call forth effort and toil. This work cannot be done by giving loose rein to the imagination. The thoughts must be resolutely and perseveringly brought into subjection to the Spirit of Christ. You have not had such control over your thoughts that you could confine them easily with any satisfaction upon proper subjects of meditation. Unless the mind and thoughts are preoccupied with meditation upon Bible truth, trifles will occupy the mind and the current of thoughts will be frequently upon forbidden subjects, which will surely bear their evil fruit and lead to wrong actions. In close searching of the Scriptures with an attentive mind, the soul becomes imbued with the Spirit which attends the Word of inspiration. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 28

You need to arouse, my brother, from mental indolence in regard to becoming thoroughly furnished to all good works. In searching the Scriptures you need to regulate your mind to think habitually, carefully, and intelligently upon Bible subjects. You ought now to be a giant in the truth; but your mind is dwarfed. Let your mind dwell upon the atonement, the sufferings of Christ, the character of God, the special providences of God, [and] upon eternal life. Here are subjects for thought and study which may be continued through eternity. You would not blush to take these meditations with you into the eternal world. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 29

You may study with profit your own depravity, and your unworthiness of the rich gift of the grace of God. You may dwell upon the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. In this theme angels, pure angels of God, always find enough to interest them and call forth profound thought and the deepest admiration for the plan devised by Jesus Christ for the redemption of depraved man. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 30

God wants you to employ your own powers rather than to seize upon and be benefited with the products of others’ exertions. You kindle your torch by others’ fire too much. There is a sacred fire of God’s own kindling. Use that fire. You will be more benefited by the exertion of your own mind than by the thoughts borrowed from others. Your reasoning powers are not large because you have not exercised them as you might. This faculty will be greatly strengthened and enlarged by use and cannot be strong without exercise. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 31

I was shown that you carry your whining and complaining even into the meetings. You spend precious time in preliminaries, excuses, and apologies that are entirely unnecessary. These delays before coming to the subject of your discourse hurts your influence as a speaker. The people become weary and you lose precious time in explaining your unfitness to labor. You do obtain sympathy from some in these unnecessary apologies but you disgust others. There are those who, when interested in the truth, will esteem you as Christ’s ambassador and will be constantly pitying poor Brother Cornell. They will pet your ailments and wait upon you, when you are frequently far better able to wait upon them. I was shown that had you improved your advantages and been a persevering learner in the school of Christ, you would have now had a symmetrical character and have attained the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus. Had you continued to grow in grace and the knowledge of the truth you would now be an able workman in this important time. You could have been a polished instrument in the hands of God to be used to His glory. But you have not made progress as you should. Your reasoning is not deep and clear and conclusive. You have too superficial a knowledge of the truth because you have not applied yourself closely to the study of the Word that you might be thoroughly furnished to all good works. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 32

Your mind, as well as that of others who are preaching present truth, is not as clear as it would be should you feel the importance of physical exercise and not let one day pass without some exercise in useful labor. You need to use the muscles. Your poor feelings would not get the victory over your judgment and your will if you combined physical exercise with your mental efforts. You should rise above your feelings, resist depressing influences, call willpower to your aid and with an eye single to the glory of God press your way through discouragements, resisting indolence. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 33

Your face has an expression of distress. The tones of your voice even have a distressing, depressing whine which is becoming habitual. Joy and peace and happiness in your heart will be reflected in your countenance. You will not then go around as a cloud of darkness but as a sunbeam. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 34

The more constantly your hands and heart are employed in good works the less you will think of yourself. You will forget your poor feelings. Every muscle in your body should be brought into active exertion every day if you want health. You should be regular in your meals and eat only the plainest food and should not taste anything between your meals, not even fruit. When it is not possible for you to obtain physical exercise in good works by benefiting others, you should be extra careful not to eat largely, but restrict your diet. Your system is burdened frequently by too much food when you exercise so little. It is impossible for men and women to have health while they eat their usual allowance and do not exert their muscles. Indolence makes a slothful mind. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 35

You complain a great deal, Brother Cornell. Does it do anyone any good? Why then keep it up? I saw that you should cease these fretting, whining complaints and talk faith, hope, courage, and you will have faith, hope, and courage. You need to pray a great deal more than you have done, and pray in faith for strength to overcome your weaknesses of character. Refuse to talk in regard to your wife or your troubles. If you engage in manual labor some portion of each day and devote some time to the study of the Scriptures you will have greater moral power. God has given you good machinery in your body to be put to use, not to rust with inaction. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 36

Your sickness is more imaginary than real. You have not labored with cheerfulness except when under the pressure of excitement, when you were flattered by praise. You need to see where you have failed in order to correct these errors and perfect Christian character. This grumbling has become second nature with you, and is certainly against you. You will not always feel the same. You will frequently have poor feelings, but if you are controlled by feeling and have not moral power to resist and bear up above your feelings, you are unfitted to overcome the perils of these last days, and must be overcome by the temptations of Satan. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 37

We must learn to walk by faith. Feeling is no criterion. Satan knows how to overcome you because you depend so much upon feeling and do not see the necessity of exercising faith. All he has to do is to play upon your feelings and he can gain the victory and you [will] be disappointed and discouraged. Without faith it is impossible to please God. You want to know what intelligent faith is, that when the battle goes hard you may not look at the things which are seen and lose your courage and Satan gain the victory. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 38

I saw that you have much to learn in the Christian warfare, much experience to gain in order to outgeneral the enemy and bring victory to the cause of truth. When everything of importance is pending in relation to the success of truth, you are frequently where God cannot especially bless you and the cause of truth is dishonored, when if you had been the man of God and faith you should have been, victories would have been gained for the precious cause of truth. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 39

You so frequently allow your mind to be engrossed in yourself, and talk and draw sympathy to yourself, that the influence you exert is sickly and tastes so strongly of M. E. Cornell that the work is spoiled. The influence of those who have had your labors—unless they can have a new conversion—will not be healthy in the cause of God. You ought to see this. You ought to feel this. If you cannot make a radical change upon the points where you have failed so many times, the cause of God would be in a more healthy condition without than with your labors. The cause is in constant danger of being marred through your course of action. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 40

You were represented to me like a man carrying a lantern in a dark night. He has the light but he keeps his body between the light and the people following him. Thus is it often the case with you. You have the truth, you seek to lead the people, but your own individual self stands between the light and the people [so] that the light does not benefit them by shining upon their pathway. Please, in the name of my Master, stand aside and let the light come to the people. Let self be hid behind Jesus. Let the truth shine forth in its divine clearness and not become clouded with your dark body. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 41

Much of your poor feelings will disappear if you will live in accordance with the laws of God, established in your being. You should eat regularly of simple, healthful food. And when you do not have physical exercise every day you should eat sparingly and not become dissipated by overeating or eating between meals. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 42

You can bear much physical exercise in useful labor and your health positively demands it. If you become weary in laboring, it will not hurt you but will do you good. You do not love taxing labor. If you and the ministers who preach to the people would combine physical labor with their mental efforts, their minds would be more vigorous, their thoughts more clear, there would be double energy in their preaching, and their physical health would be confirmed. They could bear deprivations and hardships without murmuring and without falling under them. Our ministers should become intelligent upon the point of exercising their muscles as well as their brains. They lose much in point of usefulness and success because they do not use every part of the living machinery of the body. It is this humoring and petting self and shunning physical exercise that frequently makes men inefficient to bear and to endure trials and toil in the Christian warfare. They are not willing to go without the camp, and cannot endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 43

I feel in my very soul that you have reached a crisis in your life’s history. You have dwelt upon the thought that you were not well but feeble and exhausted and nervously shattered, until this has become a fixed thing with you. Others have, through this undue sympathy, helped you forward or confirmed the idea until you have held to this view of your case with singular firmness, considering it is a delusion of the mind. You have, as the result of your ideas, become weak and inefficient, a slave to circumstances. You have not faith and confidence in yourself or in God to face stubborn difficulties, and firmly press through them undaunted and with unwearied energies. You faint in heart at little obstacles and discouragements. Your ailments and poor feelings are more in consequence of your own thoughts and of your diet and lack of physical exercise than of settled disease. Your system becomes clogged, your liver inactive and the impurities are not thrown off from your system till nature—which is still strong—makes her voice heard in remonstrance by pains and aches that she may rid the system of accumulated impurities that are warring against health and life. Right living, proper abstinence, with proper exercise of every muscle in the body, will save you these miserable attacks. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 44

You can do more for yourself than anyone can do for you. God will not work a miracle to keep you or any of His children in health while you are pursuing a course which will result in sickness. Oh, how much has this self-indulgence, in more ways than one, robbed the cause of God of days of labor. Who will be accountable for this loss of God-given probationary time? How many sinners have gone down to their graves in darkness who might have been warned, if ministers had preserved health by strictly living in accordance with the light God has given them in regard to the treatment of their own bodies! 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 45

Brother Cornell, you are not having the greatest trials that ever came to mortals. God has been in His providence removing obstacles out of your path and has been testing and proving you to see if you will perfect Christian character and be pure in thought, in words and actions, and fitted for a pure and holy heaven. You have no excuse why you should not make a success of overcoming, yet I must say I fear you will fail. Your own lustful passions, I fear, will prove your overthrow. You have a work before you to do. Will you do it? 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 46

You are naturally impulsive. When your combativeness is raised you have a fund of sharp bits and side thrusts to meet an opponent, and frequently resort to criticism unbecoming a minister who is bearing the last message of mercy to men. There is power in the truth with a right hold on God furnished with polished weapons from God’s Word. We need never resort to unfair means, relating little stories to place the opponent in a light to appear ridiculous. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 47

Upon these occasions you are like a roaring torrent. You may overwhelm your opponent, but vainly we listen for the loving, powerful voice of God to be heard in it all. Let the circumstances change, let the excitement pass away, and you frequently resemble a stagnant pool. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 48

An accidental occasion will raise you upon the pinnacle, calling out all your powers, but the force is soon spent and you fall back into a lifeless state until again aroused by some excitement. You become uneasy and tired of a long, calm, steady pull in laboring to convince the understanding of the people by strong arguments adduced from the Word of God. Such minds as these accomplish but little. They lose more in their listless, lifeless state than they gain in the pitch of excitement. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 49

You need to cultivate steady, uniform, unyielding energy. You cannot gain this without an entire surrender to God. The influence of the Spirit of God will have a direct power to call the force of the intellect and the affections into the most healthful state of action. God calls for the whole heart, the strength and might; and the grace of God is sufficient for you that you may meet the mind of the Spirit of God. Divine power will work with your human efforts and you may stand forth a successful workman in His cause. Let the Spirit of Christ clothe you with righteousness and stimulate you by its mighty life-giving force, and you may make a success in winning souls to Christ. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 50

Economize your moments by studying the Word, in earnest prayer, in faithful labor by firesides, and in physical, useful labor, and we shall not hear this complaining of ill health and nervous prostration. You will not have time to think of yourself. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 51

Assert your Godlike manhood. Free yourself from the fetters of Satan which hold you in the veriest bondage. Put away the carnal mind which is at enmity with God. Overcome your childish whining; put it away forever. You can but die. It would be much better for you to die in real wear and service in God’s cause than in shunning burdens and responsibilities and dying in imagination. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 52

Angels of God are not attracted to your presence while you have so much self in all you do and while you have so little faith. You do not rightly represent Jesus Christ. You profess to be His ambassador and keep up a continual whining and murmuring. Put it away. Put it away. Angels are disgusted with this. You may be a cheerful, happy Christian, bearing a countenance that attests that the Sun of Righteousness sheds His bright beams upon your heart and that the Lord is the health of your countenance. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 53

A cheerful Christian, whose cheerfulness does not consist in light and trifling conversation but flows from inward peace of mind, will carry sunshine with him everywhere. You are not thus, Brother Cornell. You do not serve God with delight, but more like a spoiled, petted child. You serve Him at will and let it alone at your pleasure. You shirk taxing burdens. You fail to manifest the love of Christ and the power of divine truth in the heart [so] that you can accept trials and afflictions joyfully. You do not make melody to God in your heart. Your greatest satisfaction is in being praised and to feel that you are estimated. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 54

A gloomy and dejected Christian is out of place anywhere. If the Word of God dwells in you and abounds, you will know how to shed the reflection of His glory upon the work—so sacred and so holy—in which you are engaged. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 55

One who teaches the truth to others must have plenty of material and power to use that material to advantage. The Word of God is that material. It thoroughly furnishes the minister of Christ to all good works. But if the builder cannot use the material provided for him in the Word of God, and builds with wood and stubble, his labor is all lost, for his works will be burned. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 56

You cannot, without a different experience, build up a church of living characters, for you have not the love of Christ in the soul as it is your privilege to have. When the undying love of Christ possesses the soul and affections, it will be seen; it will be felt. The love of Christ then constraineth the possessor. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 57

The soul all aglow with love to God and love for souls will never come to a standstill in his resources. At the very point of exhaustion, his power, as it lies in God, is invariably renewed to carry through the effort at any cost. It is not eloquence or oratory but the love of Christ in the heart—revealed in the countenance, in the words, and in the actions—that convicts the unbelieving. The love of God which constraineth the ministers of Christ will have tireless persistency and perseverance, that no obstacles can daunt or overcome. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 58

Those who bear a part in this great work must submit their necks to the yoke of Christ, and learn of Him who was meek and lowly of heart. If you follow the Lord in humility, bearing the yoke of Christ cheerfully, forgetful of self and reaching by faith to take the work God gives you with thankfulness that He considers you fit for any work, you will surely make progress and there need be no limit to your attainments. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 59

There are many dangers to encounter, many difficulties to overcome. But One mighty to save and strong to deliver has pledged His word that He will never forsake us. “Lo, I am with you alway;” “Fear thou not,” says Christ, “for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God.” [Matthew 28:20; Isaiah 41:10.] Take hold of these promises, rise up in the strength of God, and He will help you. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 60


Much of your precious time is occupied in writing private letters to the married and unmarried sisters. Considering your weakness in regard to this matter, I believe it to be positively wrong. You encourage the sisters to write to you, and young sisters have asked my advice in regard to the propriety of writing to Elder Cornell. “He said that these letters from me were a comfort to him.” I was asked by some of our most influential brethren of this matter. They said that they did not feel that it was as it should be—young ladies and married sisters receiving letters and answering letters from you. It resulted in no good. Its tendency was not good. Its influence could not be beneficial in any way. It was opening a door of temptation for them and for you. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 61

I agree perfectly with this view of the matter. You should keep just as far from danger as you can. Your babyish spirit reaching out for sympathy and help from others is not right. I was shown that while your time is engaged in so much letter writing you neglect other duties which are very important. I designed to have written this to you long ago, when my mind was refreshed by the advice asked. I felt sorry, Brother Cornell, that you should not have a clearer sense of the propriety and fitness of things than to be writing letters all over, especially to the sisters. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 62

This propensity to gather encouragement and sympathy from the sisters is a snare of Satan. I beg of you to study your Bible and devote to prayer, humble, earnest prayer, the time you spend in letter writing. Wrestle with God as did Jacob until you prevail. We want you to be a free man in God, to consecrate yourself wholly to Him. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 63

It is so hard for you to preserve consecration to God. You need to make earnest efforts in this direction. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 64

I have no hesitancy in saying I have many doubts of your being in the way of your duty in devoting so much time to your specimens. Why were not you laboring at Cloverdale or some of these many places where the truth has not been preached? Had you gone to work in the fear of God I believe He would have sustained you. God help you to make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 65

You need to guard your weak points, that the cause of God should not be made to suffer for your weakness and your indiscretion. The work of God for this time is a most solemn and important one. Men of thought as well as men of action are needed for this time. Ease is not to be thought of. Every additional ray of light you receive from God will be obtained only through earnest prayer and close application to the study of the Word. You should dig after knowledge as men search for hidden gold. You lack resolution, manly strength of purpose, and moral power. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 66

Since I visited Napa I have felt a constant burden for your case. It was evident that you had called forth the sympathy of the people for M. E. Cornell. I tried to find out what you had been doing so long in Napa, and I could not see that you had done them good. You had worked at your specimens, and when your attention is on these things you had no mind for anything else. I feel it my duty to say that I believe your time was as good as lost. While you were professing to be a blessing to the people in Napa, you were really doing them harm. But it suited your inclination to pet yourself and have the sympathy of the friends in Napa. There was work enough to be done in many places. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 67

If the burden of the work had been upon you, you could not have been held in Napa; but you have not felt the weight of the cause of God. Cloverdale might have been entered, and you could have been giving a course of lectures there, and there are other places you might have visited. But it was your pleasure to remain in Napa, and I believe your time was lost. You excuse your conscience, that you needed rest; but the rest you have taken did not build you up in health. Had you been at work for God you would have received strength to have done the work so important to be done. You allowed Sister Cummery, who was a sick woman, to be anxious for you, and to wait on you when you were not half as sick as you thought. I judge from your temperament and the many times you have been in a similar condition, drawing upon others for sympathy, thinking yourself very sick when you might have borne above it. Had you put yourself into the work you would have thrown it off. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 68

God will not sustain you in giving your mind—under an excuse of resting—to gathering large collections of specimens. This has been a snare to you. Your time has been nearly lost—yes, I fear worse than lost. You are of that kind of mind that you cannot give your mind so fully to this work of specimen collection and yet be all free to study the Word of God, feel the burden of the work, and be qualifying your mind for action at any moment in the cause and work of God. Like a child you were shown me, all engrossed in the business of hunting curiosities. You could endure taxation and weariness in this direction, but when you were needed to put forth the same amount of exertion to hunt up the precious souls for whom Christ has died, the precious pearls that will finally shine in the courts of the Lord, you were easily discouraged. The heavenly cabinet of glory is not yet furnished and adorned. If you put your soul into this work as zealously as you have done in the specimen business, you would see many more gathered to Christ than you have seen. There is none too much of you if the entire strength of your being is put forth with the greatest earnestness in the work. Your divided, lifeless efforts in the cause of God have not been acceptable to Him. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 69

God can give you rest in Him while you are engaged in doing His work, but He will not give you strength from His divine presence to serve your pleasure and to follow your inclination while you do not feel the solemn work of God weighing down your soul. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 70

You are frequently tempted of the devil and the devil knows where and how to tempt you. He sows his seed on ground that has been prepared for him beforehand. He touches chords in you that will respond to the touch. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 71

If you had put your faculties to as vigorous and persevering use, and directed them to a given object to do all the good possible for you to do to save souls, as you have worked to gather your specimens, you would have seen a glorious success as the result. If you will not put your energies into the work, and rise above your feelings and indisposition of body, you cannot think of having the joy and grace and strength that will come to the devoted, disinterested laborer who is working for the glory of God. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 72

You cannot expect your mind to be all prepared, furnished, and disciplined to take hold of a work so important, so deep and broad as the present truth, when you have not taken the pains to qualify that mind for the effort before you. Your work will not and cannot show to advantage beside that of those who have employed their time and their powers for the purpose of engaging in work to the very best advantage, that they may not be found unprepared when their work must be proved. The work of cultivation you have neglected. When you should have been setting a high price upon your moments, as though they were precious gold, you have idled them away and have nothing to show for it. You have not increased your stock and power of thought that your soul might be invigorated, prepared for action at any moment. We hold grand and elevated truths, which if contemplated and studied will awaken and lead forth the mind from the narrow boundaries of worldly, selfish thoughts into the vastness of the Infinite. It is impossible for the thoughts to be brought into contact with the elevated, ennobling themes of truth for this time without being influenced by them. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 73

I have written this letter to you without reading the testimony given to you as published in Testimony No. 22. I have this morning been able to borrow the Testimony, and I find the very things I have written you here plainly stated. Have you taken heed to the cautions given in that Testimony? Have you made yourself familiar with all points of the subjects brought before you? I beg of you to read that Testimony prayerfully and see where you have failed to follow it. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 74

When you meet the mind of the Spirit of God you will be a truly converted man. In place of using your time in things not essential, you will be cultivating your intellect and storing your mind with useful knowledge, that with this material you may build for God’s glory. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 75

With you, Brother Cornell, your religion has consisted mostly in controversy. You have taken a course to provoke discussion and to hurry an issue upon the objectionable features of our faith. A work is before you to qualify yourself as a teacher, not merely upon one branch of the work but in all branches of the work. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ... And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15, 24, 25. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 76

Oh, my brother, unless you do come into a more close relation to God, you will be separated farther and farther from Him, will have less and less of His Spirit, and will be overcome by the enemy of truth. May God help you to work for daily consecration to God. Throw your entire interest into the work. Stand up like a man for God and for the truth, and He will sustain you. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 77

You stand before the people before you pray or preach, telling how feeble you are, and yet are, as you stand before them, a perfect representative of health. This is against you and against the cause of truth. All that God requires of you is to do the best you can and not make your weakness disgusting to the people. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 78

Please return after reading. 3LtMs, Lt 53, 1876, par. 79