Editorial – Counsel from the True Witness, continued

In last month’s editorial, we saw the condescension of God in attempting to save the chief of sinners. However, we can only be saved if whatever problem we have with sin is completely dealt with on this earth. Therefore, God deals directly with sin. We continue the letter Ellen White wrote to a brother who was in deep trouble. God wanted to save him, as He wants to save you. There is no partiality of persons with Him.

This letter shows us several common problems that we human beings have: (1) the difficulty of making confession; (2) trying to cover up the evil; (3) trying to get sympathy for oneself and against whoever has reproved the evil; and (4) the great difficulty God has getting sinners to acknowledge their problem, confess it, and forsake it.

“When I tried to show you the aggravated character of sin in the sight of God of a watchman upon the walls of Zion, you did not seem to feel or to sense the sin, but you seemed as unimpressionable as a stone. I know you are seeking to cover your ways from the Lord. I did not then open them to you, as I have done now, with my pen. And I do not wish to have this opened to others, for I do hope that you will see and sense the evil and confess your sin to God and to your brethren and make clean work, that you may have this foul blot removed from you by the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. You have not confessed your wrongs. You have done great wickedness; you have committed adultery, broken the seventh commandment.

“I have carried this heavy load upon my soul all this time. When we had the meetings in you knew just what you ought to confess. You knew the warnings were sent of God; you knew the communications I sent to you from Europe were truth. And when I carried the burdens until my soul seemed crushed, you obtained [the] sympathy of your friends by leaving the impression upon their minds that I was not just, but partial, and very severe; that you were suffering under accusations which were very difficult to bear; that the testimonies I had given were my own judgment, my own words; that I had wronged you; and that false reports had been brought to me. But my brother, nothing could be more deceptive than this.

“You stated at the camp meeting and since then, that you had not been guilty of any moral wrong, and that was the reason why you persisted in your course, notwithstanding counsel and warnings had been given you. You will remember I met your remarks promptly.

“I showed you that your position as a minister of the gospel would make any such course as you had pursued a reproach to the cause of God, a matter of scandal, and your actions a savor of death rather than of life. . . .

“What can be more dreadful than a minister of Jesus Christ a commandment breaker? I see only one way for your escape—break with the temptations of Satan at once, and rush for the light! Even ministers who claim to believe the truth are only blind guides if the truth is not enthroned in the heart, and a thorough transition from darkness to light has [not] taken place. . . .” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 160, 161.