Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11

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Lt 106a, 1896

Wessels, Peter

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

June 1, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in TSB 124-128.

Dear Brother:

I have just read your letter dated April 26. May the Lord help me to write you the very words that will be for your restoration and not for your destruction. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 1

I feel sorry, very sorry, for you. Sin, my brother, is sin; it is the transgression of the Law, and should I try to lessen the sin before you, I would not be doing you any good. You as a Christian receive harm to your own soul. Your whole religious experience is cheapened, and you cannot have faith and trust in God while you have unclean thoughts and defiled hands. The work needs to begin at the soul, and then it will work out in the character. Your mind and heart are polluted else all such actions would be loathsome. It is a great sin, and especially for one who professes to be preaching the Gospel of Christ. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 2

I have had this class of sins presented to me as producing moral defilement. What can the impression be upon those youth whose bodies you degrade by your actions? How can you be a Shepherd of the sheep and lambs, while corrupting their minds, and tainting and polluting their moral sense? Would you consider this matter as lightly as you have done should a minister of the gospel, [such] as Elder Robinson, do such things to your sisters, or to children? This is a crime in the sight of God, and I cannot cover it over as a light matter. It is a Sodomitish sin. It is tainting and polluting in all its tendencies, and an abomination in the sight of a holy God. It is practicing iniquity. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 3

Any youth who would submit her body to be handled by a man is in no way fit for the kingdom of heaven. All this vile practice and commonness is what is ruining our youth. Would you practice this upon the body of your own child? Would you not consider it incest, discovering her nakedness? All who do such things are leading young women into abominable practices. I know what these things lead to. To lewdness, lustful practices. Consider how you must dishonor and degrade the truth. Oh, God hates all such sins! How could you do this and at the same time be preaching the Word to sinners—yourself a sinner? 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 4

I know how God regards these sins. A married man, a minister of the gospel, leading the lambs of the flock into Sodomitish practices. Now for Christ’s sake, do not again practice this wicked work and destroy your own soul and the souls of others. It is well that you have not been permitted to continue this awful polluting practice. It is no light sin. The effect upon the mind of the one who submits herself to your touch cannot be measured. Human beings are the Lord’s property, and to do any action to corrupt them is a terrible insult to Jesus Christ, who gave His life for these precious souls, that they should not perish in their sins, but have everlasting life, and such actions may ruin the souls for whom Christ has died. Will you continue this work to ruin souls? 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 5

Looking unto Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of your faith, you will be of good courage in the Lord. We cannot but know that the end of all things is at hand. I come to you as a physician of souls; I tell you that it is not possible for you to act as a minister. What are you doing? Leading young women to the tree of knowledge of evil practices, and teaching them to pluck the fruit which is only evil. This is doing Satan’s work most effectually. It is poisoning minds and filling them with unholy imaginings. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 6

These are the very sins which corrupted Sodom. Their evil practices did not come all at once. First one man and woman stupefied themselves by unholy, polluted habits. Then as inhabitants settled in Sodom, they did as you are doing, educated others in a line that is forbidden of God. And so as the inhabitants continued to multiply, these ministers of sin continued in educating them in their own defiling practices, until if any person came into their midst their first thoughts were to educate them in their evil work, until Sodom became renowned for its pollutions. Their sins reached unto heaven, and the Lord would bear with them no longer. He destroyed them and all that was beautiful, that made it as a second Eden, for the earth was defiled under the inhabitants thereof. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 7

These bodies that you tamper with are the purchased property of Jesus Christ. I knew this was your sin, but I knew also that if the truth was enthroned in your heart, it would make this sin appear to you in its true enormity, for truth brought into the soul temple will expel lust and defilement from the heart. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 8

Should I relate to you the heart-sickening confessions that have been made to me upon death beds of young men and young women, I could fill pages of letter paper. They have opened their hearts to me. They were pure, innocent, and without the knowledge of these evil practices, but men in whom they had confidence as religious teachers led them to this tree of knowledge and they ate of it, and the result was self-abuse. That body which was so fearfully and wonderfully made, to be preserved holy and maintained as a temple where the Holy Spirit could abide, was defiled, its purity gone. Who could be guilty of so great a crime? I asked. It was a professional shepherd of the flock, who should, as the Scriptures express it, “Feed my flock.” [John 21:16.] “Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?” Jeremiah 13:20. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 9

Twenty years ago I listened to a story from a wife and mother. She told me that her heart was breaking. Her husband was an intelligent, fine-looking man, but his sin was tampering with children and youth. He came to our camp meetings, he heard the most solemn truths, from the Word of God, and he would weep and pray and appear devout, “but,” said the poor, distressed wife, “if he even sees a child or youth he will instruct them handling their person. I dare not leave my children in his care a moment.” 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 10

She finally obtained a divorce, and then she had untold anguish. She went away from him, but he stole her children, and after much painful search she found one in a school and caught it up and fled with it. She changed her place of abode, went across the continent to secure her a home with her child. But the pitiful part of the story is, the sins of the father became the inheritance of his son, who married a fine, capable woman, but the corruption of his father was practiced by him. Notwithstanding the father boasted that he did not commit adultery, he was by his practices doing those things which in the sight of God were in the very same line and will be punished with the same sentence, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Matthew 7:23.] The son went to all lengths in defiling practices. He seemed to have no power to leave his evil course of adultery and sin. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 11

You say you did not commit adultery. God charges adultery against everyone who doeth these things, and all who will communicate these vile practices to another are polluting that soul with vile imaginations. Can you not see, can you not understand by your own experience, that you are leading youth into this habit of self-abuse? You have given them the fruit of the tree of knowledge, and every evil communicated is causing them to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, which God has forbidden to be eaten. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 12

You allow a girl to make her body common property for a man to handle, and you break down all reserve, and she will have lustful desires planted in her heart and will not hesitate to go to any lengths in any evil course. Adultery and shameful sin are perpetuated in her life. God will demand of you, “what have you done with my flock, my beautiful flock?” There is a fascination in sin, and Satan defiles the imagination. How cruel in you to break down in young women that modesty which is the safeguard of virtue. Once the veil is removed, she will ever be in her own sight as an impure thing. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 13

Since you have entered upon this path of defilement of your own hands and soul, how difficult it has been for you to overcome this besetting sin. How you resolve and resolve again, and yet are overcome! Will you consider this, and then reflect upon the fact that you are placing every soul whom you contaminate in the very same position of temptation, placing them under the same fascination to commit lewd things to corrupt the soul. You cannot possibly give them power to restrain their unlawful desires. You have enticed the youth into a path that leads to the corrupting of every moral principle, and they are compelled to struggle against temptations which you have found too powerful to be resisted. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 14

Jesus gave His life to restore the moral image of God in man. You give your soul up for Satan to work through to destroy the moral image of God in the youth, His own purchased possession—His flock, His beautiful flock. If you would consider this terrible work, with all its liabilities and consequences, you would not in a single instance overstep the barriers; for a sense of the train of evil doing you lead the youth to enter upon would horrify you. You have kindled the fires of sensuality in human minds, and Satan will manage to keep them burning until souls and bodies are alike destroyed—self-respect gone, the beautiful modesty, pure as the lily, defiled, corrupted; and you, a shepherd of the flock, responsible for this work. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 15

How can I frame words to express the enormity of this awful sin? How can I present it in such a manner that you will no longer look upon it, as you have done, as no great wrong? I have grand-daughters, the children of my son W. C. White. If I were forced to choose whether these children should be exposed to these temptations, educated in these evil practices, or be cut down by death, I would say, Let them die in their innocency. Let them not be corrupted by eating the apples of Sodom. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 16

You are giving to the youth the apples of Sodom. You are opposing the work of Christ, who is seeking to save sinners from their sins. Will you not consider? In the name of Jesus will you not receive His grace to impart to all, young and old? It is life, eternal life, for you to practice the virtues of His character, and it is eternal death to you to cling to these sins. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 17

Only the pure in heart shall see God. You cannot practice these defiling sins and see Jesus and receive His favor. Will you cease these evil practices now and forever? Will you turn from all unrighteousness? Confess your sins to God, for against God have you sinned. Against God have you dishonored the members of His family. Against God have you corrupted their thoughts, and sowed the tares of corruption which will yield a harvest that you will not care to garner. I dare not withhold these things from you. The Lord has presented to me how He hates every taint of uncleanness. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 18

Whose servant were you when you were leading the youth into unholy practices? You destroyed every vestige of influence over these poor, easily led souls, so that nothing you could ever do or say would avail to uplift them. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I appeal to you to repent of this great sin and be converted. Your Saviour, who gave His life for you, has not called you unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. I refer you to (Galatians 5:16, 17): “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” [Galatians 5:16.] 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 19

In your letter you have stated your inability to put these evil things out of your mind. Will you then, by your sinful propensity, bring other minds into the slavery of sin? Will you give them the apples of Sodom? Will you arouse in them the demon of lust? Shall they be placed where temptation is too strong for them to overcome? Shall their souls be tainted, polluted by unholy practices? Will you fasten poor souls in habits that seem impossible for you to break? Would you place other souls where, when they would pray to God, unholy desires will strive for the victory, and where such desires will make it tenfold harder to overcome in the battle of life? Have you become so regardless of souls that you will implant in them corruptible seed that all their life long will bear its corruptible fruit? 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 20

Christ has bought the souls, the minds, the bodies, of all His creatures. He is dishonored when one of these precious souls shall corrupt the mind or the body. “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the (condemnation of) the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in times past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love,” pure, unadulterated love, proceeding from the heart of Christ. [Verses 18-22.] It is not to be classed with love-sick sentimentalism, nor a beastly, defiling element, which tends to the destruction of all that is pure in mind or body, and is death to both soul and body. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 21

“Joy.” This does not mean a cheap levity, enjoyment which is found in jesting, joking, laughing; but it means that joy which Christ speaks of in (John 15:10, 11): “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” [Verses 10-13.] 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 22

What quality of love is that which would lead you to take the very flower of the flock of God to corrupt by your defiling practices? Will you consider these things? I write thus plainly, because the indulgence of sinful lust has become so common in your life that it does not appear to you as the vile thing it is. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 23

I return to (Galatians 5:22), concerning the fruits of the Spirit. “Peace.” Those who abide in Christ shall have peace. “Longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no (condemnation of the) law.” “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” [Verses 22-26.] These are words of Inspiration. Will you obey them, and manifest the fruits of righteousness? 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 24

“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:15-20.] 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 25

Will you consider that you have been educating these precious souls, for whom Christ has died, to dishonor their own bodies? Your violation of purity and modesty will result in the ruin of souls. You, professedly a minister of Christ, have much to answer for, and I greatly fear that you do not realize this as it is, as God regards it. If Brother Robinson were by your side, would you dare to do as you have done? No. If then you did this wicked work secretly, you knew it was too mean and degrading a thing for you to be guilty of doing. But that Watcher from Heaven who heard the proud boast of Nebuchadnezzar was beholding you. Had your eyes been open, you would have known that none of your unclean work was hid. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 26

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Jesus, who knew no sin, was made sin for us. God “gave,” not permitted to be given, and what a gift to our world was His. Everyone is to help Jesus to save the youth; He saved those of all ages, that they may be numbered with the saints in light. Christ exchanged His royal crown for a crown of thorns. He exchanged His royal robe of majesty and glory for the old cast-off robe that was placed in mockery upon His divine form. Oh, why was all this? Why did Jesus submit to become a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief? He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 27

“Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” [Romans 6:1, 2.] “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof, neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. ... Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? ... For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” [Verses 11-13, 16, 23.] 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 28

You are a free moral agent. If you will repent of your sins, and be converted, the Lord will blot out your transgressions and impute unto you His righteousness. So long have you educated yourself in this line of evil work, that your whole moral taste is defiled. Keep yourself from idols. In the country where you are, there is great indulgence in cheap talk, in hilarity, sports, and glee. God is not in all this. Jesus Christ has given you no such example. He gave His life for us, that we might be prepared to dwell among His redeemed. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 29

“Therefore brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh, for if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if through the spirit ye do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. And if children then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” [Romans 8:12-18.] 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 30

You have your Bible, but while you are perverted in mind, while your thoughts are defiled, you have not an appetite for the Word of God. Your whole moral taste is perverted. Pure truth cannot abide in the heart or mind that is unclean in its imaginings. You ask what you shall do. Cease to sin. It would be for the health and saving of your soul to cultivate sobriety and keep yourself in the channel of light, where the divine current shall flow from Jesus to your soul. You have an earnest work before you to gather to your mind and soul that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. This purification should begin without a moment’s delay. The Lord Jesus loves your soul. He will receive your repentance if you sincerely come to Him, to co-operate with Him in the saving of your soul. He can do nothing for you while you continue to practice the evil, for when doing these things you are under the inspiration of Satan. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 31

If you will take hold of Christ by living faith, and humble your soul before Him, He will undertake your case, and angels will guard you. But you must resist the devil. You must educate yourself to a different train of thought. Put no confidence in yourself. Never seek the companionship of women or girls. Keep away from them. Your moral taste is so perverted, that you will ruin yourself and ruin many souls if you do not turn square about. Educate your mind to study the Word of God. Study it with your whole heart, and pray much. Everlasting life is worth a life-long, persevering, untiring effort. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 32

Educate that mind which you have misused and directed in wrong channels of thought. Educate it to dwell on the life, the character, and the lessons of Christ. Ascribe to His name the praise that is His due. Herein is love. Redemption through Christ is an exhibition of grace which God Himself cannot surpass. Through the eternal ages the exhibitions of His love and the development of its relations and glory will maintain for it a living freshness and increasing interest. Our conceptions will be eternally exceeded by the excellencies of fresh accessions. In giving Jesus to our world, God gave the whole treasure of heaven. Every power in grace, every efficiency that our redemption requires, was furnished amply, that we may be complete in Him. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 33

Our Saviour came to our world in human form, that in taking humanity He might elevate humanity. He rolled back the thick moral darkness which had eclipsed the divine and benevolent character of God, and revealed Him to the world as light and love. Jesus is the representative of the Father. In the person of Jesus we behold the eternal God engaged in lifting up man, bidding him to look and live. Place yourself in the light. Let God be the theme you shall dwell upon. Let your mind grasp the truth as it is in Jesus. Commit Scripture to memory, that it may be as a wall of protection about your soul. When Satan comes with his temptations, draw forth the weapon, “It is written.” You need not yield to do one unholy action. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Shall the knowledge of God, which Jesus came from heaven to communicate to men, remain in our possession through a lifetime, a dead and useless thing? Shall we trifle with this precious gift? 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 34

I am anxious that you should meet with a radical change, so that your whole moral appetite shall revolt at the things you have given it to feed upon. Licentiousness and the truth cannot occupy the same field. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] Christ will take away your sin, but He will make no compromise to save you in your sins. Will you break off your sins entirely and forever? If you do not do this, you are lost. It is of no use to say, “I cannot.” I know you can. Satan exults to see you so willingly employed by him to destroy souls. “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” [Joshua 24:15.] You have a will; put that will on the side of God’s will. Renounce the company of Satan now and forever. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 35

Christ says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:28, 29.] Will you put from off your neck the yoke of Satan, and put on the yoke of Christ? He declares to you, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Verse 30.] Through Christ you can recover yourself. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 36

But do not feel that the worst thing for you is to lose your credentials. You are not worthy to be entrusted with the care of the flock. You must know this without my telling you. A little time of probation is still granted you; make the most of it in searching the Word. Every lost blessing is a great loss to you, but if you come into a right position before God, you may now receive forgiveness for the past, but do not let your future life have the dark blot of the past. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 37

You enjoy associating with young people, and having a high time in lightness, cheap talk, jesting, and joking. This is to the detriment of the soul. It is a grief to your guardian angels to see the members of your mother’s family given to so much lightness and frivolity. During these hours of probation, you and they are deciding your own destiny. All lightness, all trifling phrases, all vanity and cheapness of deportment, dishonor God. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 38

Your brothers, who know the truth, are responsible before God for that knowledge. Christ says to them, “What shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.] God demands of you more than you are disposed to give Him. He demands the whole heart, the undivided affections, the whole soul, the whole mind, the whole strength. All are to be His. Oh, that you might be a faithful Caleb! You and your brothers need so much to have a deep consecration to God, to give your entire selves to the Lord, to possess personal piety and firm religious principles. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 39

God demands that you have moral strength to reveal the truth in your character. Unless you now awaken to a sense of your responsibility, I fear that it will soon be everlastingly too late. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 40

None need to fail, for One mighty in counsel is with them, He who is excellent in working, and entirely able to accomplish His designs. He works through human instrumentalities, thus honoring the human agent, making him a laborer together with God. The seen and the unseen, the human and the divine, co-operate. This is a scared work, and in this way it can be carried forward to the glory of God. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 41

Whenever we advance a step toward Jesus, He is ready to respond. We are sanctified through the truth, not through a mere assenting to theory, but through a heart-reception of the Word of God. The truth sanctifies the entire man. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48.] “Strive (agonize) to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” [Luke 13:24.] “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” [Matthew 7:13, 14.] 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 42

“Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” [Verses 15-20.] 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 43

Will you not take heed? Will you not seek the Lord for special help to be an overcomer, that you may be found of Him in peace? Eternal life is worth everything. Your soul is diseased, but Jesus, the great Physician, has the balm of Gilead. The Lord wants you to show what grace can do. You have linked up with the enemy to do his works; not link up with Jesus Christ, and live a pure and holy life. If you come, all sin-sick and defiled as you are, to Jesus, He will give you a sound, healthy experience. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 44

Look to Jesus, trust in Jesus, lean your whole weight on Jesus, believing that He can save you from sin and make you the possessor of justifying righteousness. This is what you need. Then your works will correspond to the greatness of the truth which you profess. There will be purity of thought, because Christ is pure. There will be choice, holy conversation, because Christ is holy. You will be sanctified through the truth, that through your influence others may be sanctified. Your souls will be surrounded with a pure, holy atmosphere, because you have the divine presence with you. A pure, heavenly current of light and peace will flow through the human channel, imparting to others a spiritual, refreshing influence. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 45

Jesus is honored or dishonored by the words and deportment of those who claim to believe the truth. The heart must be kept pure and holy, for out of it are the issues of life. Foolish talking, jesting and joking, must be renounced. What you may call fun and nonsense is a positive denial of Christ. “I meant no harm,” is the excuse. Do these frivolous ones mean anything? Let them be circumspect, sound in the faith, sound in speech. That which you sow, you will also reap. Foolish conversation makes the angels of God ashamed. If the grace of Christ was in the heart as an abiding principle, as it will be in all who are fitted for heaven, then none of this chaff and giddiness, and cheapness of character would be revealed. It drives holy angels from the presence of all who indulge in it. You have none too much time in which to acquire a solidity of character, after Christ’s likeness, that you may receive the benediction from Jesus, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:21.] 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 46

You ask me if you shall make a public confession. I say, no. Do not dishonor the Master by making public the fact that one ministering in the Word could be guilty of such sin as you have committed. It would be a disgrace to the ministry. Do not give publicity to this matter by any means. It would do injustice to the whole cause of God. It would create impure thoughts in the minds of many even to hear these things repeated. Defile not the lips even by communicating this to your wife, to make her ashamed and bow her head in sorrow. Go to God, and to the brethren who know this terrible chapter in your experience, and say what you have to say, then let prayer be offered to God in your behalf. Cultivate sobriety. Walk carefully and prayerfully before God. Acquire moral stamina by saying, “I will not dishonor my Redeemer.” 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 47

May the Lord strengthen and bless you. Do not be content with a superficial work. There is great need of deep and thorough work. Repent, be converted, and walk humbly with God. You have reason for great gratitude to God that this sin has found you out, and that matters have been laid open, showing you that you were utterly unfit to preach the Word to others. You have been spoiling the flock of God. Thank God, it is not too late for wrongs to be righted. Take a decided stand that you would rather separate your right hand from your body, and go maimed into the kingdom of God, rather than, having two hands, to practice iniquity. I write these words to show you the importance of making no light matter of sin in any form. 11LtMs, Lt 106a, 1896, par. 48