Lt 19, 1875

Lt 19, 1875

Cook, Mr.

Sheridan, Illinois

June 14, 1875

Portions of this letter are published in 8MR 214.

Dear Friend Cook:

As I was urged by my husband to go from our tent to the large tent yesterday, I was introduced to Sister Cook. She said her husband was in the wagon just coming. I was struck as I looked upon his countenance, for in my last vision this very countenance had been presented before me. He was shown me as a man making a profession of our faith, yet his heart is corrupt. His life in his youth was not as it should be. He was a hard, fearfully hard, case. If, since he embraced the truth, he had been sanctified by the truth, he might have accomplished good, had he turned his ability in the right channel. But he has abused his privileges and his capabilities, and turned his power to the corrupting of souls instead of seeking to elevate them to purity and holiness. 2LtMs, Lt 19, 1875, par. 1

You, Mr. Cook, lack inward rectitude. You act as if nobody’s judgment of men and things was equal to yours. Your manners you make engaging. The depravity of your heart finds occasions for its workings and an outlet for its influence upon those who are charmed with your ways and manners. If you had real Christian principle ruling the heart and controlling the conduct, you would not seduce poor, inexperienced souls to violate the law of God and thus accomplish their ruin, not only in this life, but for the next world. 2LtMs, Lt 19, 1875, par. 2

I was shown your course of conduct with [?]. I am carried back to the hour when she was given over to die and when she seemed to be wrestling with death. We cried to God to give her back to us from the dead and He heard our prayers and brought back, as it were, the dead to life. Now as I consider who has blasted that life, whom God so miraculously spared, my soul is stirred to its very depths. This is enough to make one’s heart bleed. And after you have ruined one precious, conscientious soul, you are pursuing the same course with her sister. 2LtMs, Lt 19, 1875, par. 3

Oh, that young women could be fortified to overcome the blandishments of vice. Deem me not unkind and severe that I write thus decidedly. Not only are you fastening your own soul in the slavery of sin and corruption, but your victim whom you are dragging with you. How can you meet these at the tribunal of God? How can I raise the voice of alarm to arouse souls to their danger from inward corruption and outward temptation in the traps which are set for the feet by men who are wolves in sheep’s clothing. You are in danger from yourself. These words may seem strange to you, nevertheless they are true and time will reveal to you their meaning. 2LtMs, Lt 19, 1875, par. 4

One of Satan’s special efforts is to subvert man’s government over his own heart and undermine his power of self-control, and lead him to violate the law of God. You have not had a sense of sin. Satan has blinded your eyes and seared your conscience. Passion has obtained the ascendancy over reason, and impulse over principle. Warnings have not affected you because you do not feel them to be needed. And the same may be applicable to these you have ruined. So skillfully is the hook baited that the first intimation of its being a hook is found in the after results, the loss of purity. 2LtMs, Lt 19, 1875, par. 5

Could you alone be the one to bear the result of your criminal course, I should not feel as I do, but the poor, (I might say) almost friendless, dependent ones who are led from God and from His law through you, my soul is agonized for these. Oh, this is a sorrowful matter to be dwelt upon with tears. If you pursue the course you have done, heavy will be your retribution. You need not feel indignant that I present before you a picture of what you are doing. You are pursuing a course to cause lamentation and woe in households. You are dragging innocent souls from the path of rectitude to misery and degradation and to hell. 2LtMs, Lt 19, 1875, par. 6

Say not in the words of Hazael who imagined himself better than he was, “Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing?” [2 Kings 8:13.] But notwithstanding he was forewarned, notwithstanding he felt indignant at the suggestion, as a possibility, that he would be left to so fearful, revolting crime, he [had] followed the workings of his own corrupt heart and [had] done the very things the prophet warned him he would do. What do you propose to do in regard to the ruin and misery you have wrought? If this was your first wrong in this direction your [actions] would not [be] so bad. Your principles and practices have grown into habits. You will continue them as long as you live until you are a converted man. 2LtMs, Lt 19, 1875, par. 7

Habits are formed not by a single act, but habit is formed by a repetition again and again of the same acts. It takes time for a person to become accustomed to a wrong and sinful course so as to put conscience to rest with some plausible excuse. What is done once and the wrong remains undetected will be more easily and readily done a second time. After the first step in sin has been taken, the path to evil is more easy to follow. If the path be clouded with vice rather than brightened by virtue, [and] the further a person goes in that path, the more rapid will be his descent. Hindrances and restraint lose their power as progress is made in the wrong direction. Bad habits are more easily formed than good ones and are not given up readily. The native depravity of the heart operates with a power which few can be made aware of. 2LtMs, Lt 19, 1875, par. 8

I was shown that you have not respect for the testimonies God has given you. There are but very few of your mold of character who have a respect for eternal things. You do not receive the testimonies. They do not correspond with your course of life. They condemn you, and you do not love the light which discovers darkness. You choose darkness rather than light because your deeds are evil. Your only hope is in a thorough repentance of your sins and thorough reformation of life. 2LtMs, Lt 19, 1875, par. 9

Oh, why do you profess to keep the law of God? It is very difficult for man to profess one thing and live another. You will make any shift to suit the articles of your faith to the habits of your life. Men who love sin will not love their Bibles which condemns their sins. For the same reason liquor drinkers and tobacco devotees, and adulterers and licentious men, express their disbelief of the Testimonies. It is convenient for them to ridicule the Testimonies. Ahab was an enemy to Micaiah because he prophesied evil against him. Those whose carnal minds are not in harmony with the Testimonies, take their position that they do not believe them. 2LtMs, Lt 19, 1875, par. 10

Will you spurn the light and warning God here gives you? You may now with diligence redeem the time. Now is your day. Now is your opportunity. Let this pass and you go on into impenetrable darkness. 2LtMs, Lt 19, 1875, par. 11