Manuscript Releases, vol. 5 [Nos. 260-346]


MR No. 322—Disparaging the Pioneers

It is possible to relate that which has happened in connection with the past experiences of the people of God, and so relate it as to make their experience assume a ludicrous and objectionable appearance. It is not fair to take certain features of the work and set them apart from the great whole. A mixture of truth and error may be presented in so doing, which our enemies would handle greatly to the disadvantage of the truth and to the hindrance of the work and cause of God.... 5MR 283.1

Let none of our brethren imagine that they are doing God's service in presenting the deficiencies of men who have done good, grand, acceptable work in laboring to unfold the message of mercy to fallen men, for the salvation of perishing souls. Suppose that these brethren have weak traits of character which they have inherited from their deficient ancestors, shall these deficiencies be hunted up and made prominent? 5MR 283.2

Shall men whom God has chosen to carry out the reformation against the papacy and idolatry be presented in an objectionable light? The banner of the ruler of the synagogue of Satan was lifted high, and error apparently marched in triumph, and the Reformers through the grace given them of God, waged a successful warfare against the host of darkness. Events in the history of the Reformers have been presented before me. I know that the Lord Jesus and His angels have with intense interest watched the battle against the power of Satan, who combined his hosts with evil men for the purpose of extinguishing the divine light, the fire of God's kingdom. They suffered for Christ's sake scorn, derision, and the hatred of men who knew not God. They were maligned and persecuted even unto death, because they would not renounce their faith. If anyone presumes to take these men in hand, and to lay before the world their errors and mistakes, let him remember that he is dealing with Christ in the person of His saints.... 5MR 283.3

You have made public the errors and defects of the people of God, and in so doing have dishonored God and Jesus Christ. I would not for my right arm have given to the world that which you have written. You have not been conscious of what would be the influence of your work.... 5MR 284.1

The Lord did not call upon you to present these things to the public as a correct history of our people. Your work will make it necessary for us to put forth labor to show why these brethren took the extreme position that they did, and call up the circumstances that vindicate those upon whom your articles have laid suspicion and reproach. 5MR 284.2

You were not in the early experience of the people of whom you have written, and who have been laid to rest from their labors. You have given but a partial view; for you have not presented the fact that the power of God worked in connection with their labors, even though they made some mistakes. You have made prominent before the world the errors of the brethren, but have not represented the fact that God worked to correct those errors, and to set the objectionable matters right. Opposers will be glad to multiply the matter which has been furnished to their hand by our people. You have arrayed the errors of the early apostles, the errors of those who were precious in the eyes of the Lord in the days of Christ. 5MR 284.3

In presenting the extreme positions that have been taken by the messengers of God, do you think that confidence will be inspired in the work of God for this time? Let God by inspiration trace the errors of His people for their instruction and admonition; but let not finite lips or pens dwell upon those features of the experience of God's people that will have a tendency to confuse and cloud the mind. Let no one call attention to the errors of those whose general work has been accepted of God. The articles you have presented are not of a character to leave a true and fair impression upon the minds of those who read them concerning our work and our workers.... 5MR 284.4

God's children are very precious in His sight, and those who by pen or voice weaken the influence of even the least of those who believe in Jesus Christ, are registered in heaven as injurers of the Lord Himself. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” We need to remember that we should guard carefully our thoughts, our feelings, our works, our actions, lest we wound and bruise the Saviour in the person of His saints; for He has told us plainly that He identifies Himself with suffering humanity. Not one of God's faithful ones will receive the honor of a crown of life in the kingdom of glory, who has not passed through severe conflicts and trials. Every one who wins in running the race for the immortal crown, will have striven lawfully.... 5MR 285.1

We are to direct the weapons of our warfare against our foes, but never to turn them toward those who are under marching orders from the Kings of kings, who are fighting manfully the battles of the Lord of lords. Let no one aim at a soldier whom God recognizes, whom God has sent forth to bear a special message to the world and to do a special work. The soldiers of Christ may not always reveal perfection in their step, but their mistakes should call out from their fellow comrades not words that will weaken, but words that will strengthen, and will help them to recover their lost ground. They should not turn the glory of God to dishonor, and give an advantage to the bitterest foes of their King. 5MR 285.2

Let not fellow-soldiers be severe, unreasonable judges of their comrades, and make the most of every defect. Let them not manifest satanic attributes in becoming accusers of the brethren. We shall find ourselves misrepresented and falsified by the world, while we are maintaining the truth and vindicating God's downtrodden law; but let no one dishonor the cause of God by making public some mistake that the soldiers of Christ may make, when that mistake is seen and corrected by [the] ones who have taken some false position.... God will charge those who unwisely expose the mistakes of their brethren with sin of far greater magnitude than He will charge the one who makes a misstep. Criticism and condemnation of the brethren are counted as criticism and condemnation of Christ.—Letter 48, 1894. (To Elder W. H. Littlejohn, June 3, 1894.) 5MR 286.1

As one who has had an experience in the work of God for this time from the beginning of my life, I am bound up in the work and I would say a few words to my brethren in the faith. I have been acquainted with everything that has arisen in connection with the work that has borne the appearance of fanaticism. The Lord by His power revealed the mistakes and errors that the brethren were committing, and those souls who had sincere love for God opened their minds and hearts to receive the light that was sent of God, and He forgave the mistakes they made, and through His great mercy cast their mistakes and errors into the depths of the sea. Now since God has thus covered their errors, who will presume to uncover them, and to present them to the world? Who has authorized any one to present God's chosen, adopted children to the world, clothed in a robe of darkness?—Manuscript 27, 1894, 1. (To “Dear Brethren in the Seventh-day Adventist Faith,” June 7, 1894.) 5MR 286.2

I wish to say a few words to you. I placed the wrong copy of a special testimony in your hands. The one I supposed I had let you have, written to Elder Butler, was one that could be freely circulated anywhere. But special testimonies that deal in special subjects are not to be brought out before any and every party. 5MR 287.1

I suppose that this [that] is in your hands is my special personal property, and matter that mentions names should not go into your hands. Now please return that private copy to me and let it not be made public.... I did not suppose I put these into your hands. 5MR 287.2

All I can say is, Enjoin on all who have read this matter or heard it read, that it is too sacred a matter to be treated as common property at this period of time. It may have to come, but it is not to be made known at present. Will you return these copies to me as soon as possible and do not read this matter to anyone? ... 5MR 287.3

The personal letter to Elder Butler was not designed to be made public. Return it to me if you please and keep no copy of the same. I will expect this to be done.—Letter 353, 1906, p. 1. (To Brother Walter Harper, November 9, 1906.) 5MR 287.4

Released May 9, 1973.