Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 55, 1876

Cornell, M. E.



Previously unpublished.

[M. E. Cornell?:]

[First eight pages are missing.] I fear and sorrow lest I shall be compelled to expose your sinful course. I cannot see the cause of God imperiled by your corrupt doings. You cannot serve Jesus at one moment and Satan the next. I have waited patiently for you to have the spirit of confession. You have led out in nothing. You have made some acknowledgments in general terms, but specified nothing. When your wrongs have been reproved you have admitted you were wrong, that is all. Matters have been set before you which you dared not deny, and you admitted it was so. This was no confession on your part. There are definite acts and actual sins for you to confess. God has been waiting for you to confess these wrongs and defiling sins, but you have not done this. You have tried to appease your conscience without making thorough confessions, and you have fallen again and again under temptation, and you have no strength to withstand temptation. You have hardened your heart. “He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Proverbs 29:1. I have seen actual occurrences. I have heard words you have uttered to girls and women. But I will not confess, for you to merely admit these things. I want you to lead out and make confessions yourself. 3LtMs, Lt 55, 1876, par. 1

You have through imagination been in a feverish state, your base passions aroused, clamoring for indulgence. You could not have a calm mind. You could not delight in the study of the Scriptures. 3LtMs, Lt 55, 1876, par. 2

Your actions were not at all in harmony with God’s Word. Your thoughts were impure, your soul stained with sin. If you still intend to go on as if nothing particular had happened, thus living a life, I shall speak plainly and expose you. God knows we have borne until forbearance ceases to be a virtue. It is crime now to be silent longer. I want to hear from you before I shall do anything. 3LtMs, Lt 55, 1876, par. 3

No one would be more rejoiced to see you a thoroughly converted man than myself. I have waited, hoping and praying to see you feeling under conviction of sin. If, like Paul, you could from the heart say, “sin revived and I died” [Romans 7:9], there would be some hope for you; but as the case now stands there is nothing to build hopes upon. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Happy is the man that feareth alway; but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.” Proverbs 28:13, 14. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. 3LtMs, Lt 55, 1876, par. 4

You have lightly passed over the most revolting, disgusting acts, and then have looked round with an injured, innocent air saying, “What have I done that I should not have the confidence of my brethren?” Your conscience is seared, your imagination grossly corrupt. Did you imagine that your going into a new field would cleanse you from the stains of sin which have slimed your path in another state? Did you think that God could accept your labors any sooner in Texas than Colorado or Michigan? Does distance cover or blot out sin? God does not connect with you, although some may receive the theory of the truth by your repeating it. I entreat you to make thorough work before it shall be forever too late. “Repent and do your first works.” [Revelation 2:5.] 3LtMs, Lt 55, 1876, par. 5

I have simply no confidence in you. I abhor, I detest your mean, corrupt, contemptible course. God abhors it, although you may flatter yourself that He makes exceptions with some and you come in this number. I can see for you only the retributive justice of God. Your talents you have abused. If you get a good opportunity, where you think you will not be watched or detected, you will carry on the same work of corrupting others’ minds and bodies. May God have pity upon you! There is only one possible chance for you: that is to be born gain, to be transformed, to be thoroughly converted. Then when you show forth in your reformed life the fruits of righteousness we may indulge with trembling hope that you can be trusted. But your case is a very hard one. 3LtMs, Lt 55, 1876, par. 6