Manuscript Releases, vol. 19 [Nos. 1360-1419]


MR No. 1396—The Case of Hiram Rich

(Written January, 1861, at Battle Creek, Michigan.)

I was shown the case of Hiram Rich; I was pointed back in the past and shown the lack of principle he possessed. He is a stranger to true honor. A blot, a heavy blot, was upon his life, upon his past course. His past life was corrupt. He separated man and wife, and shamefully gave himself up to his corrupt desire, and brought a blot upon his name and life which would forever follow him and exclude him from ever holding any office in the church or taking an exalted position there. 19MR 222.1

If after all this disgrace brought upon himself and the partner in his guilt, had he felt the enormity of his sin and humbled himself greatly before God by confession, repentance, and brokenness of spirit, if he had utterly forsaken his past evil course, amended his way, and reformed, the Lord would have turned His wrath from him. But I was shown his repentance was not sincere, but admissions were made to satisfy those who would not look upon his past proceedings with any degree of satisfaction. He never made clean and thorough work. 19MR 222.2

The present truth had an effect upon his heart, and for a time its influence restrained his conduct. He meant to be a Christian, but he never saw the blackness of his sins in the past. His brethren in present truth began to confide in him, thinking him about right. They made much of him, and as he insinuated himself into their confidence he began to think he was not very bad after all, became exalted, puffed up by Satan, and then the natural feelings of his carnal heart influenced his life. And if the pointed, straight testimony had not been crushed in the church, his conduct would have received the highest censure and he would have been long ago separated from the church of Christ. 19MR 222.3

I was shown that he insinuated himself into the affections of females, made advances to them, encouraged their love, and then trifled with their hearts. Angels pointed to him and with a frown said, “One who trifles with hearts and exults in his shame. His soul boasteth in his iniquity. The names of all such shall rot. The time will come when they shall be a hissing and a reproach. That which they sow they shall surely reap—a bountiful crop. No frost shall blight it, no mildew blast it; the crop is sure of yielding a bountiful harvest.” 19MR 223.1

I was then shown he had encouraged the affections of his present wife. He is undeserving of her love, undeserving of her pure affections. And yet he is not content. He has taken every means to captivate other hearts and cause contention and strife between those whose hearts and faith were given to each other. By the most solemn vows were they made one, yet the sacred bonds that uphold and shield the marriage covenant he would readily break down to gratify the lustful feelings of his carnal heart. 19MR 223.2

John Morton is not naturally a noble-souled man. He is close, penurious, and does not seek to elevate his life, square his doings and acts by the Word of God, and purify his soul by obeying the truth. Yet his condition in the sight of the Lord is far better than Hiram's. He has come in to stir up strife, to occasion food for jealousy in John's mind, hoping John would take the course that would make him disgusting in Delia's eyes and finally cause her to despise him instead of loving him. 19MR 223.3

Oh, what a cursed spirit all this is—to steal her love although he is bound and solemnly vowed to cherish, love, and protect another, one that is far his superior, one that he is undeserving of, and whom he does not appreciate. He has no sense of moral worth or of fine and holy feelings. He has so long trifled with the heart's affections that he prizes them not. His thoughts, feelings, and acts are low and degrading. 19MR 223.4

Sorrow, deep sorrow, has his wife suffered, and if she cautioned her husband or warned him, it has fallen very lightly upon him. Sneeringly has he accused her of jealousy and of being faultfinding, when her heart was sore and aching as though it must burst. Hiram, guilt is upon your soul and a blot upon your life. Says the True Witness, “I know thy works.” All, all is noticed of God, passing in review before Him. He will judge for these things. 19MR 224.1

I saw that he [Hiram] should no longer be fellowshiped by the church. And his wife must not cover over his sin or break the force of the pointed testimony given, but must sympathize with the right, with the holy, [and] love those whom God loves. I saw that the Lord pitied her and would sustain her if she would lean upon His all-powerful arm for strength. 19MR 224.2

Please copy this and send it back immediately.—Manuscript 1, 1861. 19MR 224.3

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

June 16, 1988.

Entire Ms.