Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 27, 1879

Cornell, Brother and Sister

Camp ground, Lyons, Michigan

September 25, 1879

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Cornell:

I have received no response to my letters to you. I know that there is work enough to be done, but I also know that that work cannot be done aright unless you are connected with God. You need to closely examine yourselves whether you be in the love of God. Your jealousy, your envy, must be put away. Your relatives when they came from Texas with their version of things in accordance with the selfishness of their hearts, you were affected. Impressions were made, and when we came and took hold to help the church, we had none of your help. I bore a testimony for you and others. You made no response, but from the letters we have received from you, we knew that you and your wife are in no condition spiritually to labor for the salvation of others till you know how your souls stand before God. 3LtMs, Lt 27, 1879, par. 1

I feel a responsibility in your case. The mold that you would give the work in a new place made me afraid to have you commence in Denver. The first work with you is for yourselves. If this work is not entered upon by you two selves, unless the Spirit of Christ is working in your hearts and you are having a daily consecration to God and are sanctified with the truth you preach to others, you need a work of conversion, both of you. You have been tempted by the devil, and selfishness is natural to you both. I implore you to not enter upon work in any place till you know that your will and way are surrendered to God. Tarry ye in Jerusalem till ye be endowed with power from on high. Where Sister Cornell first became weak years ago was she did not accept the light given her of God and act upon it. She followed her ways, and Satan led her into his satanic delusion. Where you became weak, Elder Cornell, and subject to Satan’s temptations was in neglecting to follow the light given you of God. You professedly received it, but did not reform. Now the work is before you. You withdrew yourself. You did not lay hold with us as though the work were of God and you had an interest in it. Jealousy and envy and evil surmising kept you from good. 3LtMs, Lt 27, 1879, par. 2

I have not a particle of confidence in your labor because you have a knowledge of the theory of truth. But if you feel humble and sense your own weakness and live, both of you, lives of continual repentance before God, you will be strengthened with power from God to overcome self which needs a daily death. Unless you have the transforming power of God upon your own heart and you overcome your peevishness, fretfulness, and jealousy, you might just as well labor with your hands; and a great deal better, God will not accept your labors, and you will mar and wound the cause you profess to be serving. 3LtMs, Lt 27, 1879, par. 3

I deeply regret that James and his family are in Boulder City with their present spirit and experience. They will be a load stone to the church. Why did not you come up when Elder Corliss was laboring in Boulder City? You kept back. You did not co-operate and left him to go forward alone, and then you complain of being left out and of having no voice in matters of the church. You could have had a voice if you were not acting like a petted, spoiled child as you have done again and again in your life. Had you felt as much interest for the souls of men and women and the prosperity of the churches [as] you felt for your own self, you would have pursued an entirely different course. Your labors cannot be effectual unless you put away this miserable unchristian spirit. Angeline, you cannot have the Spirit of God while your reading is of the character it is. Not a word have you responded to my letters. Had you any sense of the wrong course you were pursuing in your influence in this respect, the injury done to your mind in reading, you would have responded _____ to die and Christ to rule in your mortal body. 3LtMs, Lt 27, 1879, par. 4

I wish I could help you to see these things as I see them in the light of God until you make God your strength and have the sanctifying influence of His grace. You should not labor anywhere. Your jealousy is offensive to God. 3LtMs, Lt 27, 1879, par. 5

Now, my dear brother and sister, I have a deep interest for you, but I should perjure my own soul should I cease to warn you. You need to be converted. Will you, O will you come and perseveringly remain where God can own and bless you, or will you bolster up yourselves, become ensnared, and perish? Look well to your own spirit, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, and He will lift you up. You will gain nothing by lifting up yourself. Your deportment, your private and public influence, must be such that you will be living epistles known and read of all men. Angels will then minister unto you. Angeline can be a co-laborer with God. Her heart imbued with His Spirit, her ... [remainder missing.] 3LtMs, Lt 27, 1879, par. 6