Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)
Lt 95, 1893
Waterman, Cora B.
Wellington, New Zealand
July 20, 1893
This letter is published in entirety in TSB 163-166.
Miss Cora B. Waterman
Barrow, Wisconsin, U. S. A.
I have received two letters from you and have a desire to relieve your mind if I can. Your position was a very remarkable one, and God gave me a decided message for you. I did not consider from the facts presented that your case was without hope; but your perception of what constituted right and wrong was so low in the scale that it was entirely unsafe for you to be traveling and be canvassing and giving Bible readings, and be exposed to temptations. [You are] one who could not distinguish in the Word of God what sin is, in giving your body to be polluted by a man, whatever may be his profession, and claim to be relieved [forgiven]. This matter was shown to me to be a heinous sin in the sight of God, and yet your senses were so benumbed and demoralized that you would continue to canvass for our religious books and give Bible readings, and you committing fornication. 8LtMs, Lt 95, 1893, par. 1
The law of God proclaimed upon Mount Sinai, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” [Exodus 20:14], and yet you who transgressed that law in so marked a manner were teaching others the Bible. God did not accept your labors. You ask if the Lord gave me that letter to give to you. I say He did. The Holy God of Israel will not serve with your sins. That message was given of God. If you have had, since that message was given, a new sense of what constitutes sin, if you have become truly converted, a child of God in place of being a transgressor of His law, then there is no one who will be more pleased than myself. 8LtMs, Lt 95, 1893, par. 2
I could not present your sin before you in too strong language. I had presented before me several, living in different states, who were engaged in the canvassing work who were unfit to have any connection with the work of God. They would dishonor God and bring the truth into reproach. They would make light of sin. They were dishonoring their own bodies. But not one among the number was having so little sense of what sin was, as you. Any one pursuing the course you did, and belied apparently to the criminality and degradation of such a course, was just terrible. You had not a sense of the aggravated character of sin. 8LtMs, Lt 95, 1893, par. 3
The message was given Jonah to Nineveh, that in forty days it should be destroyed. Nineveh repented, and God spared the wicked city, because kings and nobles humbled themselves greatly before God, and the Lord gave Nineveh chance for repentance. If the Lord in His great mercy treats your case in a similar manner, O, I shall be so thankful. If He grants you probation in which to manifest that repentance that needeth not to be repented of, because you see and sense the real nature of sin, that you abhor yourself because of your sin, and have an abhorrence likewise of the sin, the Lord is gracious, of pitying tenderness and loving kindness. “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.] 8LtMs, Lt 95, 1893, par. 4
I believe you have confessed your sin, and that God will pardon the sin as He has promised. The only drawback in my mind is that the very same want of perception of what constituted sin, in the prostituting of your body, giving it up to the use of an adulterer, a whoremonger, and you connected with the work and cause of God giving Bible readings, as though the Lord would serve with your sins while you were engaged in His work and voluntary seeking the embrace of an adulterer [is still a weakness with you]. 8LtMs, Lt 95, 1893, par. 5
I presented you with the matter as presented to me, and tell you that God abhors all such things. If your moral sensibilities are quickened, it is through the converting power of God. If you are transformed in character, the Lord knows all about that. And if you have through repentance been uplifted to reach a high and holy standard, I cannot myself say the Lord will not regard your case in the same light He regarded Nineveh. 8LtMs, Lt 95, 1893, par. 6
Said the king of Nineveh, “Let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.” [Jonah 3:8-10.] Read this over carefully, and if the Lord trusts you with His work, I have not a word of objection. This is all I can say to you. 8LtMs, Lt 95, 1893, par. 7
Now, please to take your case to the Lord, and if you are in communion with Him, He will hear your prayers, and will guide you in judgment. My hearts pities you. The first time the sin was committed, it was done without so much time for meditation; the second sins were committed after time to meditate, after time to consider the matter in the light of the Word of God, in the face of the seventh commandment. That you should voluntarily submit your body to the man who led you astray, and you engaged in seeking to enlighten other minds in regard to the commandments, is a most decided exhibition of depravity, and reveals a character as presented to me untrustworthy, and you were incapable of discerning why you should not go right on with the work as you had done. 8LtMs, Lt 95, 1893, par. 8
But I leave the matter where it is. I could say to you to go to trustworthy persons in the conference (not men but women), and talk with them; but I am inclined to think that should you do this, you would be giving publicity to those things which would cause all to be removed from you; and they would not encourage you or accept you to engage in any branch of the work, when they should understand the matter as it is. I must now leave this matter between you and your God, and please do not trouble me any more with it. I have no disposition to expose you, but leave you to develop character. I pity you and hope that you will move in discretion, and become altogether that which God would have you. 8LtMs, Lt 95, 1893, par. 9