Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 16, 1888

Rice, Brother

Oakland, California

April 30, 1888

This letter is published in entirety in 21MR 157-170. +Note

Dear Brother [Rice]:

I have had much burden of soul in your behalf, but at the same time, strong confidence in God that He would on this occasion lead you to see your mistakes and errors. I so much desire that you, for your own sake and for Christ’s sake, should so humble your heart by confessing your sins that the burden shall be lifted from your soul and the prayers of your brethren be united with your prayers and you be healed from the wound sin has made. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 1

“Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:19, 20. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” James 5:16. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 2

I am made sad to see my brethren cherishing doubts and talking doubts in regard to the light God has been pleased to give them. We shall all have to wrestle with doubts, for this is a constitutional tendency with not a few, while others believe on the simple evidence that God has been pleased to give them. But doubt is the atmosphere which surrounds many souls at the present time. Unbelief and doubts come forth from the lips as readily as their breath, and it is dangerous for the weak in the faith to be in their presence, inhaling the atmosphere which is poison to the soul, for the seeds of doubt soon germinate and bear a harvest of fruit which is dangerous to the health of the soul. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 3

I feel so grateful to God that it is not too late for wrongs to be righted. I ask you, my brother, will you consider the value of your soul? Shall Jesus Christ have died for you in vain? Will you, after you have preached to others, yourself, become a castaway? May God forbid. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 4

I have been looking over the testimonies of counsels and warnings written for you and Brother ____ while we were in Europe. My heart is sore and sad because you have not heeded the light you have had. You have had great light, great opportunities and privileges, in having your way so definitely marked out. A voice has been following you, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” Isaiah 30:21. Why, oh, why, have you disregarded the voice of warning and reproof? Why did you not receive the light and render to the Master earnest, sincere service? Had you been meek and lowly of heart, you could have reflected pure, steady beams of light upon the pathway of others. Those who receive the light that God graciously gives them, with a heart to obey, evidence a more than common sensibility. They do not, in their simple, confiding trust, show weakness of character, but a strength of purpose that is of Christ. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 5

God’s people must be suspicious of their lower nature. They must war against fleshly lusts. The evil heart of unbelief is constantly at war with the purposes of God, tempting souls away from the side of Christ into forbidden paths. Unjust, cruel prejudice and cavils arise against the agencies God has seen fit to employ to reprove and correct the erring. This unbelief hinders those that are corrected from receiving the light that is given them, and therefore they do not submit to God, but work at cross purposes against God’s will. Objections are listened to, received, and this leads to the arising of still more difficulties and the forgetting of the inherent evidence which comes with the message from God. Therefore, we do not receive the support and divine grace which God is ready to impart. The light is refused and darkness and unbelief accepted, and as the result he will bring forth fruit of that which is in his heart, which is evil fruit, “for ... out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.” Mark 7:21, 22. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 6

My brother, you have walked away from the light into dark places. When I was laboring with you so earnestly, when in an agony of distress in your behalf in ____, oh, why did you not there pity me as well as yourself! Why did you not lift this soul-crushing burden from my heart by acknowledging your sins? Why did you not consider Jesus, who was being by you pierced afresh and put to open shame? Why did you deny Christ? Oh, my brother, my soul feels deeply for you! I urged home upon you the light in which your case was presented to me, and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that my soul was wrung with anguish. Why did you stand back, as if unimpressed? 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 7

Why did you justify yourself at every point and let this weight press heavier and heavier upon your own soul and bring so heavy labor upon me? Why manifest this cold, icy hesitancy to acknowledge your wrongs? Is the high standard of God’s holy law too severe? Is the self-denial, the lofty purity of thought that is demanded, too much of a constraint, too irksome to be endured? No requirement is given you which it will not increase your happiness to obey. I know you are suffering. I know you are not happy, and I suffer with you, because you are a member of the body of Christ. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 8

You have enjoyed the love of Jesus, the peace of Christ, in large measure. Most terrible doubts and waverings are torturing your soul. Why not submit to God? Why encase your soul in barriers that will not let the light in? Will my brother see and appreciate the value of his own soul and Christ’s work, that the gift of eternal life might be placed within his reach? There is great power in the atonement. Your mind is troubled, and the whole soul is in desperate need of a physician. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 9

I cannot give you up. I must see you what God would have you to be, filled with repentance and remorse, which will be followed by a sweet sense of pardon and pure, holy joy. Jesus is sorry for you; He pities you; He wants to save you. He is not willing that you should perish but hat you should have eternal life. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 10

God has not separated from you, but your sins and your iniquities have separated your soul from God. You are sin-sick, and you need a physician. Look into the mirror, God’s holy law, which is the only standard of righteousness. It is the sin detector. Will you see your sins in the light of the law? Will you have faith in Jesus as the sin-pardoning Saviour? The royal law is before you, and you must meet its requirements. It is the only standard of righteousness; it measures your life and your character. I am sad to be compelled to tell you that you are a transgressor of the law. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 11

Practical faith in Jesus Christ is the only thing that will save you; the precious blood of Jesus alone will cleanse from every spot and stain or sin. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 12

While in Europe the things that transpired in _____ were opened before me. A voice said, “Follow me, and I will show you the sins that are practiced by those who stand in responsible positions.” I went through the rooms, and I saw you, a watchman upon the walls of Zion, were very intimate with another man’s wife, betraying sacred trusts, crucifying your Lord afresh. Did you consider that there was a Watcher, the Holy One, who was witnessing your evil work, seeing your actions and hearing your words, and these are also registered in the books of heaven? She was sitting on your lap; you were kissing her, and she was kissing you. Other scenes of fondness, sensual looks and deportment, were presented before me, which sent a thrill of horror through my soul. Your arm encircled her waist, and the fondness expressed was having a bewitching influence. Then a curtain was lifted, and I was shown you in bed with ______. My Guide said, “Iniquity, adultery.” 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 13

I was shown unlawful things practiced by others; but it is you, my brother, that I now wish to help and save, if possible. It is your case I now wish to present before you, and I want you to lose sight of everybody but yourself and your God. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 14

When I tried to show you the aggravated character of sin in the sight of God of a watchman upon the walls of Zion, you did not seem to feel or to sense the sin, but you seemed as unimpressible as a stone. I know you are seeking to cover your ways from the Lord. I did not then open them to you, as I have done now, with my pen. And I do not wish to have this opened to others, for I do hope that you will see and sense the evil and confess your sin to God and to your brethren and make clean work, that you may have this foul blot removed from you by the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. You have not confessed your wrongs. You have done great wickedness; you have committed adultery, broken the seventh commandment. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 15

I have carried this heavy load upon my soul all this time. When we had the meetings in _____, you knew just what you ought to confess. You knew the warnings were sent of God; you knew the communications I sent to you from Europe were truth. And when I carried the burdens until my soul seemed crushed, you obtained [the] sympathy of your friends by leaving the impression upon their minds that I was not just, but partial, and very severe, that you were suffering under accusations which were very difficult to bear, that the testimonies I had given were my own judgment, my own words, that I had wronged you, and that false reports had been brought to me. But my brother, nothing could be more deceptive than this. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 16

You stated at the camp meeting, and since then, that you had not been guilty of any moral wrong and that was the reason why you persisted in your course, notwithstanding counsel and warnings had been given you. You will remember I met your remarks promptly. I showed you that your position as a minister of the gospel would make any such course as you had pursued a reproach to the cause of God, a matter of scandal, and your actions a savor of death rather than of life. When the standard bearer falls, who will fight? When the cross is torn down by the ones who should point it out, whom will you believe? What can be more dreadful than a minister of Jesus Christ a commandment breaker? 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 17

I see only one way for your escape—break with the temptations of Satan at once and rush for the light! Even ministers who claim to believe the truth are only blind guides if the truth is not enthroned in the heart and a thorough transition from darkness to light has [not] taken place. They are clouds without water. I urge upon you, if you care for your own eternal welfare, the positive necessity of having the truth enthroned in your heart, for then its principles will sanctify your character. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 18

You guiltless, my dear, erring brother? No, you are not. Your soul is spotted and stained with sin. God had His witness recording the most secret actions of your life. You have the Word of God. A voice is addressing you from the living oracles, testifying that one class of actions is right and just and doing them is righteousness; but the same voice is heard in reproofs and warnings, prohibiting and condemning another course of action that will lead to certain ruin of both soul and body, unless there is a reform. With the Bible open before you, inquire diligently, Is this the way of the Lord? There is a divine standard we must individually meet. “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11. Jesus took our nature and was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 19

The salvation of your soul is the great question for you to be interested in. You have formed a union with Bro. and Sr. M. We have no objection to this, if it is a sanctified connection. But if this intercourse is to exchange ideas and strengthen doubts and frame plans that will help you in the wrong direction, then it is the special work of the enemy of God and man. Now I can state decidedly that this has been the nature and influence of that union. It has been no advantage, but a decided injury to your own soul as well as to them. They have not clear discernment. Selfishness is mingled with their experience. They might be surprised, if I told them this, but it is so. Self-esteem and an idea that they know more than they really do have been a decided injury to the usefulness of both. You have all been walking in darkness. God’s ways have not been your ways. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 20

You have talked over matters as you viewed them, that the communications from Sister White are not all from the Lord, but a portion is her own mind, her own judgment, which is no better than anybody else’s judgment and ideas. This is one of Satan’s hooks to hang your doubts upon to deceive your soul and the souls of others who will dare to draw the line in this matter and say, This portion which pleases me is from God, but that portion which points out and condemns my course of conduct is from Sister White alone and bears not the holy signet. You have in this way virtually rejected the whole of the messages, which God in His tender, pitying love has sent to you to save you from moral ruin. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 21

God presents to you His will and ways, which are in marked contrast, in just that way which your case requires. You are hereby tested whether you will accept the reproof, fall on the Rock and be broken, or will you become vexed over plain statements that come close to your soul, because it [the reproof] is the truth and condemns you, and then you feel at enmity with me. Hebrews 4:12. There is One back of me which is the Lord, who has prompted the message which you now reject and disregard and dishonor. By tempting God you have unnerved yourself, and confusion and blindness of mind have been the results. A fierce determination has sprung up in your heart in a spirit of defiance to brave it through. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 22

Bro. _____, you have so presented matters to others that you have gained their sympathy. Your friends and sympathizers have lost faith in the testimonies. You have gained their sympathies by misstatements and misapplication of that which the Lord has sent you to save you from ruining your soul and the souls of others. You have planted the seeds of doubt and unbelief, and when your own soul may be rescued and faith takes the place of doubts, can you gather up the evil seeds of doubt you have planted in the minds of others? Will you be pleased to meet this work in the judgment? 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 23

You cannot now see the work you have done. A power from beneath has taken possession of your soul. Shall your heart be the victim of the dupe of lies? Will the truth of God be kept away from the heart? Blind parental affection will easily give sympathy and encouragement, which will be a savor of death. This is a love that is unsanctified; it comes in to prevent the messages of warning and condemnation from God for a dangerous, sinful course which, if pursued, will work to the ruin of the soul. Such love is like the tender mercies of the wicked, only cruelty in disguise. Those who work under deception to gain this sympathy and support will surely meet with great loss and obtain the disfavor of God. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 24

You have said that Bro. G. has told me things to prejudice me against you. My brother, it is exactly the opposite of this. You have had evil surmising and imaginings and hatred [toward] him, when he has not by word or action tried to injure you. He has treated you like a brother. Your course of action has gone a great way in its influence to demoralize because you were a minister, a professed representative of Jesus Christ. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 25

You have left a reproach upon the cause of God. Especially has this been the case in regard to the Health Retreat. How little you have considered the grief and sorrow you have caused others through whom the Lord has been working as His agents to create a healthy atmosphere in the H.R. You have acted as if you were the one who was abused, because the Lord has moved upon His servants to set things in order there. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 26

Far and near the sound has gone forth of the management of those who stood in responsible positions, and this we have to meet with all the bitterness of feeling it has created, which falls upon those who are doing their best to bring in a better state of things. Your mother, on account of your wrong course which the Lord has reproved through His own appointed agencies, thinks very unkindly of me. I dared not suppress the truth, and yet I would not, I did not, bruise her soul by relating things which would bruise the soul. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 27

Now look at your work and see if you are pleased with the outlook. You have created doubts in the minds of those who had but a limited knowledge of my work. And the very ones who had been the strongest in the condemnation of your course and had declared that they would have nothing to do with the sustaining of the H.R. while you were connected with it and Bro. and Sr. H. had a place there, listened to your statements, and your words have had an influence on them. Doubts were created and seeds of unbelief sown in regard to my work. Your only objection to the testimonies is similar to the objection of skeptics and infidels to the Bible; it condemns their course of sin and evil. The testimonies condemn your course, point out your transgressions, and will not vindicate or praise in you a course of sin. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 28

I want you to see the part you have acted in the H. R., not what others have done, but the part you yourself have acted in connection with others which has had a demoralizing influence upon the H. R.—this much abused instrumentality of God—and see what a mass of corruption has to be cleared out of it. Those who have labored to the uttermost of their ability to keep it pure must be the sufferers. I am so sorry that you have acted the part of a traitor. You have been in communication with Bro. B. You have represented the case of Bro. G. in such an objectionable light that he uses this to justify himself in his traitor’s work. You have, while professedly working for the interest of the H. R. been working against it. You have strengthened the hands of Bro. B. in an evil course. You have been envious and jealous, you have been doing the work of the great adversary of souls by suffering yourself to be the accuser of your brethren. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 29

Last night I received increased light. The words were spoken to me that were spoken to Joshua, “Why are you full of distress and anguish? Arise and set things in order. There has been falsehood and dissembling and iniquitous practices. God cannot bless His people until these sins are put away from among you.” [Joshua 7:10-12.] The lessons that you have given by precept and example have done a work, the results of which eternity alone will reveal. While you were concealing your own wrongs, you have imparted all you knew that was faulty in others, purely out of bitterness and revenge, which strengthened and confirmed him (Bro. G.) to vindicate his unrighteous course, when you yourself were a far greater sinner in the sight of God. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 30

You are preaching to others the binding claims of the law of God, but how does your own character stand in the light of that great moral standard of righteousness? You are weighed in the balance and found wanting. Will you now receive this light and humble your heart before God? Will you claim and accept longer the sympathies and the compassion and false estimate others will place upon you? Will you allow the cause of God to be burdened and reproached on your account? Will you confess your sins? 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 31

The true happiness of the people of God depends upon righteousness of life and purity of character and true benevolence of heart. When their will harmonizes with the will of God, when they act as they know is right toward God and their fellow men, then they may claim peace and rest in Jesus Christ—peace, the peace of Christ, not the peace the world gives, that peace which is the happiness which comes as the result of obedience to God and righteousness or right acting in this life. The heart is in harmony with God; they have the love of God in their heart and the love for their fellow men. Perfect love united to a perfect life constitutes true happiness. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 32

A single unrighteous act of will or bitterness, envy, jealousy or evil surmising will quench the Spirit of God and banish from your heart true happiness. One emotion of hatred or ill will or of revenge, or an evil act or word towards one of whom Christ calls “the least of these my brethren” [Matthew 25:40], gives Satan the advantage over you, makes you a transgressor of God’s law, and will surely destroy the peace of the soul and will stand as an act done to Jesus Christ in the person of His saints. Even hatred to an evil worker will place you in a position where your judgment will be warped and you will not be a doer of the work of Christ to render good for evil. While you despise the sin, you should love the souls of those for whom Christ has paid the price of His own blood. The desire for revenge or any emotion but that of tender, pitying love as Jesus exercises toward us, fallen sinful humanity, injuries the soul and is registered against us in heaven. Nothing short of perfection of character will meet the standard of God’s law. The great power of God will surely come to His people if they are obedient children and are living in accordance with the character of Christ. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 33

The happiness of every soul depends upon the righteousness of Christ, and true goodness is above true greatness. Every teacher working in the name of Christ, who is really sent from God, will discern these principles and will respond to them both by precept and example. The light shining from God’s Word in reproofs, warnings, entreaties, and encouragements is ordained of God and designed and adapted to accomplish the sanctification of the entire man. But when reproofs come close and cutting, then the human, unsanctified, unsubdued will begins to find some excuse, some refuge, into which it can hide and conceal its deformity of character. They will not come to the light lest their deeds shall be reproved. In the place of setting their wrongs right, they begin to find fault with the message or the messenger, seeking to strip it naked of the divine power by calling it part human and part divine and thus create excuses that are in harmony with the carnal heart, lest it shall be subdued, lest it shall repent and bring forth fruit meet to repentance unto eternal life. The whole force of the teachings of Christ was adapted to the soul to produce righteousness and true sanctification. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 34

Unless there is a humiliation of soul and true heart work in repentance, those who have been engaged in this work will surely be lost. You have the example of Achan. You know that because of Achan’s sin all Israel was made weak. When Joshua was pleading on his face before God, the Lord said unto him, “Wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. ... Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.” Joshua 7:10-12. Here we see that the sin of one man was charged upon the whole nation. Israel was defeated and brought into contempt. The enemies of God and of man triumphed, and some of the army of Israel were slain. These things are written for our instruction and admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 35

We see God looking down upon the church with displeasure because there are those who claim to be God’s representatives who have not in precept and example pointed to purity and holiness, but to earthliness and sensuality. Your sin stands charged against you in the books of heaven. We must labor in God to lead the people to the fountain of life. Your character is blotted and defiled by sin, and yet you have had messages sent from heaven to you which you have not heeded or appreciated. Now is your day; now is the time for you to humble your heart. Confess your sins. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 36

The truth is to be brought into the heart and to impress the soul and influence the life and transform the character, subduing the carnal nature. There are ways in which this work can be done through an intelligent knowledge of sin and faith in the message that warns and admonishes and rebukes sin. God conveys important truths to the heart and mind through perception and faith. Satan comes in to evade the work which an intelligent knowledge of sin will set in operation. He presents subterfuges of deceit and falsehood. This he is doing in your case to make of none effect the workings of the Spirit of God. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 37

In your case false representations, taking the position that you have been misjudged and treated severely, have had their influence to deceive others, when you knew you were acting a lie. You knew that the True Witness says, “I know thy works.” [Revelation 3:15.] Yes, and the works are placed upon records. Why do you compel me to use great plainness of speech? Why will you close the eyes of your understanding that I am obliged to force home upon you that which you know is truth, before you will humble your heart before God? 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 38

Christ says to you, Now is your day; now is your opportunity. Christ wept over the impenitent city and exclaimed, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace!” Shall the irrevocable sentence be uttered against you, “But now they are hid from thine eyes”? [Luke 19:42.] Jesus beheld the city and wept over it. The impenitent city was not forsaken because Jesus wanted to leave it to its doom. The child of His care had brought dishonor to God and in rejecting light, warnings, and entreaties, sealed its own doom, forged its own fetters, loaded its own cloud of wrath. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 39

The words of Jesus were no mistake. He did not say, “O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye could not”—no, but “ye would not.” [Matthew 23:37.] Often did I seek to avert this now inevitable hour; but your defiant position, your resistance, [made] my warnings and entreaties to repent and be obedient and avert this terrible retribution of God all in vain—“Ye would not.” 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 40

What a day of mercy and pleading love was that last day! For three years the divine Messenger had been knocking at the gates of the impenitent city. He had not sent merely servants and delegates, prophets, to whom they had turned a deaf ear; but He had come to them Himself. He had worked unselfishly, pleading for admittance, scattering blessings in His path, and the obdurate hearts had been closed against Him. There was no wearying of His patience. The waves of mercy beaten back by indifference, contempt, and rejection only returned again and again to break these rocky hearts. “But now they are hid from thine eyes.” 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 41

What should we all learn from these lessons but to respect the agencies of God that come to us by His Spirit in reproofs and warnings and not incur the responsibility of rejecting God by refusing to listen and be corrected by His messengers? Shall the words of Christ be spoken, “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone”? Hosea 4:17. No tears, no sacrifices, no penitence of theirs could alter or prevent the certain doom. Then let those proud in spirit, lifting up themselves against the servants of God, learn a lesson of humility, learn that the only safe course for them is to bring their will into harmony with God’s will and to submit to accept the messages that God sends them, to believe them and practice them. Should you turn from this agency of God, tell me what means He has left in reserve to reach you. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 42

Jesus comes near to us individually every day by His agencies, inviting us to secure the things which make for our peace. The book of the recording angel is still unsealed. Will you individually now pay heed and be converted, that the curse that rested on the symbolic fig tree may not rest upon you, the deceptive leaves screening and masking the utter barrenness? Shall the outward work of man be attempted to be put in the place of the inner work of God? Plenty of knowledge, plenty of form, [but] destitute of repentance and faith? Plenty of foliage, but wanting in corresponding fruit? 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 43

We are living in these last days when lukewarmness and apostasy abound. The apostle saw in prophetic vision what should exist near the close of time, and if our hearts were not calloused by sin and iniquity, we should discern and sense the prophetic picture held up to our view. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5. I cry out in remorse of soul, But who shall be able to stand when Christ shall come? “But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:2, 3. Who shall stand the proving of God? Only those will bear the test who have washed their robes of character and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 44

Paul’s picture that is presented before us should cause us trembling and anguish of soul. This is the state of a large share of those who have the form of godliness in these last days. The doom of the withered fig tree has a personal application. Who cannot see the living counterpart in the men and women who claim to have great light in advance of every other people on the face of the earth, whose daily life and unholy characters belie their profession of godliness? There is a manifestation of pride and selfishness in many ways, peevish, fretfulness, frivolity, discontent, uncharitableness, and censoriousness, thinking evil, speaking evil of brethren. There is no inward crucifixion of sin. The mold of Christ is not upon them. [They bear] leaves of profession to conceal their deformity, but no fruit. There is more hope [for] the open sinner than [for] such. The chambers of the soul are desecrated by sin to Satan’s control. Will this people be Christians? Will they heed the counsel of Christ, be zealous, and repent? Will they have true contrition of heart? Will they humble their hearts before God before it shall be forever too late? Will they repent of their backslidings? May God help you just now, in this thy day, to confess your sins and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out and your name retained in the Lamb’s book of life. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 45

You have a work to do for your soul that no one else can do for you. Your course of error and wrong has been the means of helping others in the same direction. I feel deeply over the case of Bro. and Sr. _____. Your course of sin has blinded their eyes. He has had feelings deep enough at times, but he has not considered that love must be cultivated in order to live and flourish. He has felt that if his wife was better pleased with your society and lovesick sentimentalism than her husband’s, she might just as well share your bed. He has pushed her, as it were, on the enemy’s ground and told her to go and sleep with you; for he was tempted, greatly tempted by the devil, and his own ways in the past have been corrupt. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 46

There is a work for him to do to make confession and set things in order. He should have been without a taint of corruption himself, then he should have fulfilled his marriage vow and guarded his wife, as Christ guards His church. He has a work to do to take up his neglected duties, to bring love into his married life and to give expression to his love. There is more positive necessity of this now than ever before. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 47

There must be more mildness brought into his life, less disposition to exercise sternness and authority, and more deep, earnest love. In some things he should exercise more authority, especially in those things which concern the family relation, binding them together as man and wife. His love must not be of a sensual order, but high, noble, and elevated. It is time for him to be practicing the graces of the spirit of Christ, which will reflect in his deportment the Christlike character. He must be kind, courteous, loving, and faithful to his wife, pure, and of good report, so that while he may require much he will give much. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 48

The enemy will make determined efforts to incite them both to jealousy and unhappy thoughts of one another, and their only hope now is to be converted and confess their way out from the regions of darkness teeming with the miasma of temptation. Neither of them has been true to the other. Oh, that they now would repent and take a humble position as never before in the school of Christ, and be true, just, and honest. And while they are required to be all this in the light of the law, they may exhibit kindness and forbearance with one another. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 49

He has not been an angel of mercy to his wife. The experience she has had is of a character that it cannot be repeated. This experience in connection with a shepherd of the flock, who opened the fold to Satan and became a tempter, has not strengthened her moral power to resist evil. But if they both solemnly renew to themselves their marriage vows in the presence of God and holy angels, God will accept this. But now they have forfeited the confidence of each other. Let them come to Jesus now, repent, and be converted—that is, change their course of conduct in every respect. The mould of heaven must be upon them, that they shall not, by thought or word, play themselves into the enemy’s hands. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 50

Sr. _____ has been allured in an unaccountable manner to pursue a course that has been condemned of God, and in her turn she has become a tempter. Repentance, faith, and humility must do its thorough work on their hearts else they will be miserable in all their future life, for bitterness and jealousy will take the place of love and respect. The only way they can both become all that God would have them is to love God supremely and one another as themselves, to drink in daily the spirit of Christ, and act upon the teachings of Christ. Jesus teaches us all the terms of acceptance with God, and He secures for us mansions in heaven on conditions. The aim of the whole scheme of mercy is to soften whatever is harsh in temper, and smooth whatever is rugged in deportment. There must be an internal change before the external change will take place. When the truth is brought into the life and woven into the character, it will manifest its transforming power. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 51

Bro. and Sr. _____ both need the softening pencil of the Master Worker in the filling out of their characters, else they will become sour and uncivil to each other and to their fellowmen. While you all three were engrossed in lovesick attentions to one another, you were doing objectionable and unfaithful work in your connection with the institution. You were completely unfitted to receive patients and guests kindly and treat them with prompt courtesy. They were left waiting for the attentions and welcome they should have had. This ever soft affection in a forbidden channel unbalances the mind and deforms the character, so that kindness, cheerful words and attention which ought to be given to all with whom we come in contact are not bestowed but given to one or two special favorites. Kindness and condescension flow in a wrong direction. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 52

The oracles of God are our lesson book in regard to good manners and the way we should treat others. The Lord does not merely give us the lessons as to how to deal with the grosser vices and the more refined virtues, but [His Word] takes up every phase of character. It moulds the whole man externally as well as internally, by abasing his pride and teaching him the grace of humility that he will, if a Bible Christian, be Christlike, kind, amiable, condescending. Christians must cultivate the habits of true politeness and courtesy to one another, and be tender and courteous to all. What a lesson does the life of Christ exhibit in genuine courtesy, giving shades of softness and beauty and heavenly beams to His whole life! 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 53

My brother, if you had heeded the words for counsel written to you all this weight of evil and its terrible results would have been evaded. While you were infatuated and bewitched by the spirit of Satan with love that was not lawful; you were perverting your senses and disqualifying yourself to make those that came to the H. R. feel that they were at home. Your wisdom and judgment were taken away, and impressions were made upon minds which have been carried to all places. There were those who were so entirely dissatisfied with your course in dealing with them that they became full of hatred and blasphemed God and the doctrines we believe which, they declared, led to such things. The H. R. has been more deeply and lastingly injured than if it had been consumed by fire and burned to the ground. And this is the sure work of the indulgence, flattering speeches, love-making, and illicit intercourse. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 54

There was an unseen witness to all these doings. You were never alone. The same hand that traced the characters over against the wall of Belshazzar’s place was registering in the books of heaven the deeds and words that made Christ ashamed of you. You had no respectful courtesy for those whom you should have treated with respect and to whose wants you should have been attentive. These unholy things unfitted you to do the work of the Lord; but in your holy hands you took your Bible and led the worship, and as mouthpiece for God you were foremost to preach to the people. Where was your conscience? Where was your humility? Where was your fear of God? Where was your faithful work to keep the H. R. up to the highest standard? 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 55

I have said much and have much more to say in regard to how others should be treated. But I learn that everywhere, far and nigh, it has been told that those who came to the H. R. were treated with neglect and indifference. After it seemed impossible with your past conduct to keep you connected with the Retreat, then your attitude was threatening, and abusing letters came, showing the spirit of Judas rather than the spirit of Jesus. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 56

Now, my brother, I want you to see these things as they are. If you only will make thorough work, if you only will confess your sins, the Lord will forgive you your sins. But my soul is exceeding troubled. I have carried this burden long, hoping to save your soul and the institution from appearing to the world as a house of ill fame, where people could not dare to trust their wives and children. But the time has come for something to be done. I must clear my soul; I must be free. I must state the things I know, unless you will speak out yourself. For your soul’s sake do this, I entreat of you. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 57

Wherever the will of God is violated by nations or by individuals, a day of retribution comes. Many set aside the wisdom of God and prefer the wisdom of man and adopt some human invention or device. David placed the Word of God beside him on his throne. He was then immovable. But forsaking its doctrines, he sullied one of the fairest reputations. Turning from inspired men and those who spread the Word before them praying God to shed light upon it, many make lies their refuge. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 58

We have more than a royal path to heaven; we have a divine road. We are to stand before the great white throne and hear the decisions of the infallible Judge of the quick and of the dead. Some act as if they were at liberty to cancel the decisions of the Judge, to review them and take the warnings given of God, cut them up, choose one part and reject another, endorse or reverse at pleasure. In this way the messages of God are made void and made to bend to men’s likings, ideas, and judgments. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 59

Those who have the oil of grace in their vessels with their lamps will not be found on the side with those who pronounce judgment upon the works of God and His messages of reproof and warning. We must bring our religion to the Bible standard. We must not place ourselves where we claim wisdom to welcome or reject God’s words at pleasure. Never let the world think that the Christian and the world are the same in mind and judgment. There is a line drawn between the eternal God and the church on one side and the world on the other. There is no unity between the two. One chooses the way of the Lord; the other, the ways of Satan. There will always be found a necessity to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. With the spirit of Christ, the model character, before us, we must ever strive for perfection. Every soul has a character to form for everlasting life. The Christian’s life is a constant warfare against the slavery of passion. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 60

Men of the world hate the Bible because it will not let them sin just as they please and carry along with them their hereditary and cultivated traits of character. They want their own ideas to be cherished as the mind of God. They oppose the Word of God for the same reason that the Jews cried, “Away with Christ!” [Luke 23:18]—because He rebuked their sins and lay bare their iniquities. In the same way will those who claim to believe the truth war against the testimonies in collision with their ways, their opinions, and when reproved, they will hate them with an intense hatred, will, like Canright, laugh at them and misconstrue them and pour all the contempt upon them that is possible. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 61

We must, if we are true and genuine Christians, be diligent soldiers for Christ and listen attentively to all the warnings given us. The works of sin and all uncleanness must be forever removed, and we must put on the armor of Christ’s righteousness, which is proof against all temptations. Then we shall have faithful sentinels. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 62

I now beg of you for Christ’s sake to make a decided change. Be true to your faith, true to your God. 5LtMs, Lt 16, 1888, par. 63