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


The Civil War

I saw that Brother A. Ross must be cautious of his words. He has not regarded slavery in a Bible light. He does not see it as God sees it. Brother Ross has expressed himself unguardedly and has exerted a wrong influence. He is watched, and he will surely be in a dangerous position unless he strives to counteract the influence His words have carried. As a people we must use great caution. As we do not engage in the war and pray for union and preach in regard to union, suspicions are aroused. If one like Brother Ross expresses sentiments not fully comprehended, but taken that he favors the South, this people will be branded as Secessionists, and in this excited state of the people but a word would set them on fire and destroy our safety. Brother Ross's views are not correct in regard to the institution of slavery. 5MR 60.2

The influence of teachers upon the body has not been right. They have not made known their decided faith and taken a firm stand that all might understand their position and know where to find them. These uncertain teachers who are unwilling to venture and bear any responsibility had better remain in silence until they can tell the time of night, and lead God's people safely and feed them with clean provender, throughly winnowed. These uncertain teachers have nourished the elements of disunion and confusion. Each should look well to his own soul and rule his own spirit. If each would do this, and watch self as eagerly as he watches his brethren, the elements of union would exist in the heart and every separating bar would be broken to fragments. Hearts would flow together like two drops of water. Then there would be power and strength in the ranks of Sabbathkeepers far exceeding anything we have yet seen. 5MR 61.1

We are living in a most solemn period. Satan and evil angels are arrayed against us with mighty power. The world is on their side to help them, and the most lamentable fact is that professed Sabbathkeepers, claiming to believe important, solemn truth, unite their forces with the combined influences of the powers of darkness to distract and hinder or tear down that which He [Christ] has required His chosen instruments to build up. Some do not work directly to tear down, but indirectly. They look on with indifference, express doubts, suspicion, fears, and need greater evidence than a doubting Thomas. They will not, or do not, put their hand to the work with zeal and exert their energies to build up. Their influence is recorded as one which retards the work of advance and reform among God's people. 5MR 61.2

Said the angel, “Those who do not gather with Christ scatter abroad.” There is no such thing as a neutral position. Every one has influence and his influence tells for or against. Individuals have stood ready to oppose every step of advance of God's people as God in His providence has led them. And those who would venture out have their hearts saddened and distressed by the lack of union and action on the part of their ministering brethren.”—Letter 16, 1861. (To the church in Roosevelt, New York, and vicinity, circa 1861.) 5MR 62.1