Adulterous Ministers in the

Vineyard of the Lord?


"We must as a people arouse and cleanse the camp of Israel. Licentiousness, unlawful intimacy, and unholy practices are coming in among us in a large degree...We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird, and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil? E. G. White, Manuscript Releases No. 449, pp. 17, 18. (Letter 51, 1886 to Elder Butler) Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, p. 193.


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Many SDA’s believe that only individuals with a near perfect past life should be leaders in the Lord’s vineyard. How would that relate to Moses and Paul who were both murderers?


Ellen White said that God does not have a list of graded sins. So is murder less grievous a crime to God than adultery?


Some believe that pastors who have committed adultery should be relieved of their credentials. Certainly that is the best remedy in some instances, but is it required in all cases? What does the Spirit of Prophecy have to say on these issues?


SDA Reformers are familiar with Ellen White’s statement (within the heading) that the camp must be cleansed of licentious, unlawful intimacies or the church could become a sister to fallen Babylon.


However, as in Scripture, we find exceptions in the Spirit of Prophecy as to how offenders of the law of God are dealt with—according to their willingness to truly repent and be cleansed by the Holy Spirit—or not.


According to Hebrew Law, adultery was punishable by stoning, so technically, David should have been stoned to death. Jacob had concubines as well as two wives, yet he was not stoned to death. These are the exceptions to the rules in Scripture that I refer to. Ellen White made similar exceptions based on personal cases.


The objective of this document is to better understand what God expects in such cases and not feel that we have to apply one rule for all, because God doesn’t—lest we wrongfully judge in this area.


·       Christ was called a Son of David in the Gospels. He came in David’s line (that of an adulterer) to show that it is possible to overcome sin.

·       Christ came through the line of Rahab the harlot—again to show that it is possible to overcome because He did in a humanity that was of sinful flesh and a sinful nature says Ellen White—though He never sinned.

·       Moses killed a man but later led God’s people out of Egypt.

·       Jacob had two wives and two concubines. Yet he will be saved. That was not unpardonable sin.

·       Paul killed many Christians but was greatly used in the cause of God as an apostle after he was converted.

·       Solomon, the son of David, who had 700 wives and 300 concubines wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. That was not unpardonable sin when repented of.

·       WikiAnswers - How many wives did Solomon have question: How many wives did Solomon have? He had 700 official wives and 300 concubines. According to the Bible at I Kings 11:1-7 says And King Sol′o·mon ...

·       Jewish tradition attributes 3 books to Solomon, the son of David: Ecclesiastes, book of Proverbs and Song of Songs.

·       Psalms -King David wrote 73 of the 150 poems in this book. Other authors include Solomon, Ethan and Moses. 51 of the Psalms are anonymous.



The principle involved with repentance for sin is that it should be publically repented for if it involved the public at large and private if it did not involve violation of the public:


"True confession is always of a specific character, and acknowledges particular sins. They may be of such a nature as to be brought before God only; they may be wrongs that should be confessed to individuals who have suffered injury through them; or they may be of a public character, and should then be as publicly confessed. But all confession should be definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins of which you are guilty." {SC 38.1}. 


Below is Ellen White's advice to a minister who committed adultery. If the minister himself who committed the travesty was not to make it public, what would sanction anyone else making it public?


Ethics and the Opposite Sex


"Acquire moral stamina by saying, "I will not dishonor my Redeemer."--You ask me if you shall make a public confession. I say, No. Do not dishonor the Master by making public the fact that one ministering in the Word could be guilty of such sin as you have committed. It would be a disgrace to the ministry. Do not give publicity to this matter by any means. It would do injustice to the whole cause of God. It would create impure thoughts in the minds of many even to hear these things repeated. Defile not the lips even by communicating this to your wife, to make her ashamed and bow her head in sorrow. Go to God and to the brethren who know this terrible chapter in your experience and say what you have to say, then let prayer be offered to God in your behalf. Cultivate sobriety. Walk carefully and prayerfully before God. Acquire moral stamina by saying, "I will not dishonor my Redeemer."--TSB 128. {PaM 59.1}


Why would a man not communicate adultery to his wife? Is there biblical support for Ellen White’s above statement? David had


Moreover, if David’s marriage to Bathsheba is to be employed as a pattern for illustrating God’s marriage code under the law of Christ, then polygamy becomes permissible. History reveals that Bathsheba was only one of eight wives (in addition to a number of concubines) which the king had (1 Sam. 18:27; 25:42-43; 1 Chron. 3:2-5).”



Psalms 51

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. 5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. 14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. 15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. 16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. 18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar. Psalms 51:1-19.


Invitation to Work in Another Country. [A LETTER WRITTEN TO A REPENTANT MINISTER WHO HAD BROKEN THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT.] Dear Brother V: I have this morning received and read your letter, and if I do not answer at once I fear it will pass from my mind. . . . {TSB 203.1}


     In regard to your changing your location, I would mention to you England. There is a large field and but few workers, plenty of work to be done in which all may act a part--all of your family, if they desire to give themselves to the Lord and act a part in His cause. You will find room enough to work, and if you go forth to labor in meekness and humility, redeeming the past errors of your life, God will accept you. There is need of laborers in England, and the advantage of that country over other parts of Europe is that our American brethren do not have to work through an interpreter. . . . {TSB 203.2}


Ellen White’s Counsel to an Honored Minister who had unlawful intimacies with another woman


  27. An Honored Minister

     [After] Loss of Influence and Reputation. Dear Brother H: I have somewhat to say unto thee. . . . {TSB 182.1}

     My brother, you have had the respect of the church, old and young. But your course is condemned of God, and you have not had His Spirit, and you are not a free man. You have pursued a course that has caused your good to be evil spoken of. The very things that transpired at the Piedmont Sabbath school reunion, I would not have [had] occur for thousands of dollars. You, a gray-haired man, lying at full length with your head in the lap of Georgie S. Had I done my duty, I would have rebuked you there. Many saw this and made remarks about it. After such exhibitions as this, of what value would be your admonitions to them to be guarded against everything of this free and easy familiarity? You have yourself neutralized your efforts to elevate the young by your example. {TSB 182.2}


     The course of intimacy with Sister S and her family has been a subject of remark. And how could you expect to have influence with the young as a father when such manifest want of judgment and such weakness has been exhibited by you? If you will only be a man in your old age instead of a sentimental lover; if you would only be guarded, God would not remove His wisdom from you as He has done. Your reputation would have been dearer to you than your very life. Better, far better, go down to the grave with honor untarnished, than to live with a reproach upon your name. {TSB 182.3}


     When the Lord Is Not Supreme. Now look, my brother, at the years you have been living in unlawful sympathy and love with another man's wife. And you have a daughter who would be glad to give you attention and sympathy and make a home for you, but you have been so completely infatuated that everything in this life that was sensible and proper has been distasteful and insipid to you. I do not feel that the charm is broken, that you are a free man. You have not broken the snare. The Lord is not supreme with you. {TSB 183.1}


     Now, my brother, it would be folly for you to think that you have wisdom to discern spiritual things while you have been growing weaker and weaker for years in moral power, and separating from the God of wisdom. The letters written to your wife are harsh and unfeeling. The withdrawing of your support in a large degree is not wisdom or right on your part. And had she not a cause when she was at Oakland to be jealous of you? Did not she see in you the interest, sympathy, and love you gave to Sister S? {TSB 183.2}


     Now, for Christ's sake, save your harsh condemnation of others, for this shows that you are not Christlike, that you have another spirit. I write thus plainly because I feel deeply that you need to make a more determined effort than you have done before you stand free in the sight of God. All your sharpness and overbearing comes from you with an ill grace. Do humble yourself under the hand of God. Do make sure of the favor of God, and put sin away from you. {TSB 183.3}


     There are but few who know to what extent this intimacy has gone, and God forbid it shall be known and your influence lost to God's cause and your soul lost. I beg of you not to take it upon you to pronounce judgment against anyone but yourself.--Letter 10, 1885. {TSB 183.4}


     For the Good of the Cause. Dear Brother Butler: . . . I have spoken quite freely upon some things. I thought I had to do this. Am inclined to say I will hold my peace henceforth, but as I am not my own and as I am mightily wrought upon at times to write, I dare not say this. I have but one object in view--not only the present but future good of the cause and work of God. Should I resist these impressions to write, when I am so burdened? I cannot now promise. I must ponder these things in my heart. I must pray about them, and obey the movings of the Spirit of God or withdraw myself from having any connection with the work. {TSB 184.1}


     The Lord knows I am not pleased with this kind of work. I love and respect my brethren, and would not in the slightest manner demerit them, cause them pain; but I have tried to move with an eye single to the glory of God. I feel a sadness now upon me and confusion that I cannot see clearly my duty. {TSB 184.2}


     God's Answer to Prayer for Victory. I wrote some things to H. He wrote me that it was just as I had stated the matter. I was so burdened with a dream I had that I arose at three o'clock and wrote to Elder H that he had not kept his promise, that while he was engaged in teaching the commandments of God he was breaking them, that he was giving attentions to Sister S which should be bestowed only upon his wife. I wrote very pointedly to him. {TSB 184.3}


     He admitted my statements, said he had prayed over the matter and felt that his course was wrong, but did not say he would cease this thing forever. He says, {TSB 184.4}


     "Your strong condemnation of me is only just. That I know, and feel the difficulty with me was this: it was so hard for me to realize the sinfulness of my course. My reason, my judgment, the testimony and the Scriptures, all combined to teach me that it was wrong. Yet it had such a hold of me that I failed to realize it as I should. I could not bring myself to feel the extent of my wrong, and gradually it proved a snare to me. But I had been making it a subject of special prayer some time before I received your last letter, that God would enable me to see it in its proper light and to feel over it as I should; and I have reason to believe that my prayer was answered. {TSB 184.5}


     "If I know anything of the blessing of grace, I know that I was blessed in the effort. I greatly needed this blessing to enable me to do the work aright, which was put upon me here. It was expressed of all that I was helped of heaven to write the report on the matter of the arrest of our people for working on the Sunday and other important writings which it fell to me to do. But I am painfully conscious of my weakness and that my only safety is in constant watchfulness such as I did not exercise before. I see now that it is a question of life and death with me and shall strive to act accordingly."--Letter 73, 1886. {TSB 185.1}


     Workings of an Unsanctified Heart. Dear Brother Butler. [THIS LETTER WAS SENT TO ELDER GEORGE I. BUTLER, THE GENERAL CONFERENCE PRESIDENT, BUT ELLEN WHITE ALSO DIRECTLY ADDRESSES ELDER H, THE GUILTY MINISTER] I am troubled in regard to Elder H. He writes me nothing, and I feel deeply pained on his account. It seems sometimes to me that the Lord is testing us to see whether we will deal faithfully in regard to sin in one of our honored men. The time is close at hand when the General Conference will have to decide the points whether or not to renew his credentials. {TSB 185.2}


     If the Conference does this, they will be saying virtually, "We have confidence in you as a man whom God recognizes as His messenger; one to whom He has entrusted the sacred responsibilities of caring for the sheep of the Lord's pasture; one who will be in all things a faithful shepherd, a representative of Christ." But can we do this? Have we not seen the workings of an unsanctified heart? {TSB 186.1}


     A Man Bewitched. The persistency in Elder H to accept and claim Mrs. S as his--what shall I call it--his affinity? What is this? Who can name it? Is Elder H one who has hated the light God has given him, showing that his preferences for Mrs. S's society, and his intimacy with her, was sinful as in the light of the Word of God? Or did he accept the message and act upon it? {TSB 186.2}


     Notwithstanding, I went to Elder H with the testimony given me of God, yet he did not reform. His course has said, "I will do as I please in the matter; there is no sin in it." He promised before God what he would do, but he broke his promises made to Brother C. H. Jones, W. C. White, and myself, and his feelings did not decidedly change; but he seems to act like a man bewitched, under the spell of the devil, who had no power over his own inclinations. Notwithstanding all the light given, he has evidenced no real conviction or sense of sin; no repentance, no reformation. Hearts have ached sorely over this state of things, but they had no power to change his heart or his purposes. {TSB 186.3}


     Perversion of God-given Powers. Now, we should be very grateful for the help of Elder H in England, and in Switzerland, but what can we decide upon? We must have evidence that he is clear before God. We do not want to make a light matter of sin, and say to the sinner, "It shall be well with thee." We do not want to connect Elder H with the work here unless he has a connection with God. We do not want to have the drawback that would come by connecting a man with the work who has a blot on his garments. We cannot pass lightly over this matter. {TSB 186.4}


     The plague of sin is upon Elder H, and pain and sorrow are upon the souls of all who are aware of this chapter in his experience. Christ is dishonored. A man blessed with superior light and knowledge, endowed with great capacity for good, that he may by a life of obedience and fidelity to God become equal with angels [and] his life measure with the life of God, has perverted his God-given powers to administer to lust, coveting the wife of another. God finds Elder H setting at naught the most costly lessons of experience, violating the most solemn admonitions of God, that he may continue in sin. {TSB 187.1}


     I have hoped and prayed that he would restore reason to its right throne and break the fetters that for years Satan has been weaving about him, soul and body, and that the clouds that have shadowed his pathway be removed, and Christ come to his soul to revive and bless it. Christ will lift the heavy burden from weary shoulders, and give rest and peace to those who will wear His yoke and lift His burdens. {TSB 187.2}


     Appeal to a Leading Worker. I will say, Elder H, What can be the character of your experience when in the face of many warnings and reproofs you continue to pursue a course condemned of God? Can you think well of yourself? Just think of Jesus, crowned with thorns and nailed to the cross for our sins, and let it humble--yes, let it break--your heart. Look at the meekness of Christ, His loveliness, and then bow in the dust with shame and humiliation. {TSB 187.3}


     Will you please think what you would do in case one of our leading men should be found in the position you are in?

Could you, without any greater evidence on his part of the sense of his sin than you have given, advise that he have credentials as one of pure and holy purposes before God? Cannot you see you are placing your fellow laborers in a very unpleasant and unenviable position? Will they venture to become responsible for your character and your influence in the future in the work and cause of God? {TSB 187.4}


     Responsibility of Greater Light. Your case has been shown me to be worse than that of Elder R, because you had greater light, capacity, and influence; and his course is a beacon to warn you off from following in his steps. Elder R's credentials were taken away from him; he is a deeply repentant man, humbled in the dust. {TSB 188.1}


     Supposing David should, after being reproved by Nathan, have repeated the same offense, would the Lord then have had compassion upon him? But he repented bitterly; he declared his transgression was ever before him. Hear his humiliating confession, and listen to his despairing cries. {TSB 188.2}


     Cleansing of the Camp. We must as a people arouse and cleanse the camp of Israel. Licentiousness, unlawful intimacy, and unholy practices are coming in among us in a large degree; and ministers who are handling sacred things are guilty of sin in this respect. They are coveting their neighbors' wives, and the seventh commandment is broken. We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted, and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird; and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil? {TSB 188.3}


     Will you have others follow your example? Will you wish them to pass over the ground you have traveled, and feel that they have done no great wrong? Without repentance and conversion, you are a ruined man. {TSB 188.4}

     I hear you [Elder H] are taking treatment at the sanitarium, acting as chaplain, speaking in the Tabernacle. Now, this does not look right for you to take such positions, until you have done all in your power to correct past evils. {TSB 189.1}


     Self-righteousness and Inward Corruption. I have felt, for your sake, restrained from opening the matter of Mrs. S's infidelity to her husband, but I fear I have neglected my duty. If we had dealt with this matter as if it had been the case of a lay member of the church, I believe God would have then sent you repentance that needed not to be repented of. {TSB 189.2}


     Our pity, our love, to save you from reproach, has hurt you. My heart is so sad and agonized at times for you, I can only weep. I say, "Must he be lost? Must he, after suffering for the truth's sake, after standing in its defense until he is old and gray-headed, become an idolater, as did Solomon? Will he, for the love of a woman, trample down the law of God and look about him as much as to say, I do no sin; I am all right?" {TSB 189.3}


     Need of Heart Change, Not Change of Location. Will we be clear to let such things be concealed and sins hidden, with no real evidence of repentance or reform? Your leaving California does not give you a new heart. You are out of sight of the infatuating influence of your "adorable charmer," but this does not change the affections or impulses of the heart. Elder W might have finished his course with joy had it not been for sensual practices, but he was led away of his own lusts and enticed. The days and years which might have been his very best were his worst. {TSB 189.4}


     We see in the character of Solomon intellectual greatness combined with moral degradation. He might have gone forward from strength to strength, but instead of this he went backward from weakness to weakness. After a life of promise, his history was one of deterioration. {TSB 189.5}


     The Very Brink of the Precipice. My brother, my heart yearns toward you for Christ's sake. You have been attempting what other ministers have attempted--to harmonize light with darkness, Christ with Belial, purity with impurity, good with evil. The result will be moral ruin, unless you can be aroused to see that you are standing upon the very brink of the precipice. There are many such cases that I have to write about. {TSB 190.1}


     It alarms me to see how the sin of licentiousness is coming in upon us.  I felt this when I wrote to Elder Butler upon this point at the last General Conference, begging him to do all that he could to fence against what was coming in upon us. We must elevate the standard and build up barriers about the soul so that nothing shall mar its simplicity and purity, and thus defile the religious character. God has given man intellect, and let every soul beware how this great gift is prostituted to the soul's eternal ruin. {TSB 190.2}


     Repentance and Rebaptism. There is no more hope of you than of any common sinner, nor as much, unless you greatly humble your soul before God, repent, and are converted. Take the first steps in the way to life--repentance, faith, and baptism. You have tampered with the divine safeguards of your peace. If you refuse to listen to the voice of reproof, if you choose your own course, if you will not allow the grace of Christ to transform you, your guilt will be as much greater than that of the common sinner as your advantages of light and influence have been greater. {TSB 190.3}


     Great care should be exercised in companionship and friendship lest the soul be imperiled, lest there be even an appearance of evil which in the eyes of others would lower the standard of religious principle and sap the foundation of religious belief. {TSB 190.4}


     The Sad Example of Solomon. How many, even in the ranks of Sabbathkeepers, are forming unsanctified connections. Men who have wives, and women who have husbands, are showing affection and giving undue attention to [those of the opposite sex]. How many men of promise there are in our ranks who no longer have pure faith and holy trust in God, because they have betrayed sacred trusts. Noble aspirations are quenched. Their steps are retrograding because they covet another man's wife or are unduly familiar with unmarried women. Their frivolous conduct leads them to break the seventh commandment. {TSB 191.1}


     Of Solomon, the inspired record says, "His wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God" (1 Kings 11:4). {TSB 191.2}


     Perpetuating Power of Evil Influence. This is no theme to be treated with a smile. The heart that loves Jesus will not desire the unlawful affections of another. Every want is supplied in Christ. This superficial affection is of the same character as that exalted enjoyment which Satan promised Eve. It is coveting that which God has forbidden. {TSB 191.3}


     When it is too late, hundreds can warn others not to venture upon the precipice. Intellect, position, wealth can never, never take the place of moral qualities. The Lord esteems clean hands, a pure heart, and noble, earnest devotion to God and the truth above the golden wedge of Ophir. An evil influence has a perpetuating power. I wish I could set this matter before God's commandment-keeping people just as it has been shown me. Let the sad memory of Solomon's apostasy warn every soul to shun the same precipice. His weakness and sin are handed down from generation to generation. {TSB 191.4}


     The greatest king that ever wielded a scepter, of whom it had been said that he was the beloved of God, through misplaced affection became contaminated and was miserably forsaken of his God. The mightiest ruler of the earth had failed to rule his own passions. Solomon may have been saved "as by fire," yet his repentance could not efface those high places, nor demolish those stones, which remained as evidences of his crimes. He dishonored God, choosing rather to be controlled by lust than to be a partaker of the divine nature. {TSB 191.5}


     What a legacy Solomon's life has committed to those who would use his example to cover their own base actions! We must either transmit a heritage of good or evil. Shall our lives and our example be a blessing or a curse? Shall people look at our graves and say, He ruined me, or, He saved me? . . . {TSB 192.1}


     Ministers Subjects of Satan's Temptations. Satan's special efforts are now directed toward the people who have great light. He would lead them to become earthly and sensual. There are men who minister in sacred things whose hearts are defiled with impure thoughts and unholy desires. Married men who have children are not satisfied. They place themselves where they invite temptation. They take liberties that should only be taken with their lawful wives. Thus they fall under the rebuke of God, and in the books of heaven "adultery" is written opposite their names. {TSB 192.2}


     There should be no approach to danger. If the thoughts were where they should be, if they were stayed upon God, and the meditations of the soul were upon the truth and the precious promises of God and the heavenly reward that awaits the faithful, they would be guarded against Satan's temptations. But, by many, vile thoughts are entertained almost constantly. They are carried into the house of God and even into the sacred desk.{TSB 192.3}


     Discipline of Erring Ministers. I tell you the truth, Elder Butler, that unless there is a cleansing of the soul temple on the part of many who claim to believe and to preach the truth, God's judgments, long deferred, will come. These debasing sins have not been handled with firmness and decision. There is corruption in the soul, and, unless it is cleansed by the blood of Christ, there will be apostasies among us that will startle you. {TSB 193.1}


     I ask myself the question, "How is it possible for men who are opening the Scriptures to others--men who have abundance of light--men who have good ability--men who are living in the face of the judgment, upon the very borders of the eternal world--to give their thoughts and bodies to unholy practices? Well may the words of the apostle be repeated with emphasis: "Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up" (James 4:8-10).-- Letter 51, 1886. {TSB 193.2}


                 28. An Influential Minister

     A Minister on a Downward Course. Elder T, my brother and fellow laborer: For two nights I have not been able to sleep many hours. About 2:00 a.m. I have been awakened greatly burdened, and after devoting some time to prayer, have attempted to write. {TSB 193.3}


     Your case with many others has been before me. Several years ago I was shown that your danger was very great on account of your attentions to other women besides your wife. You have indulged your own inclinations in this direction, and you stand guilty before God. The root of the whole matter is unchaste thoughts [that] are entertained which lead to improper attentions and advances, then to improper actions. All this is bad enough in men who have only a common work to do, but it is a hundredfold worse in those who have accepted sacred positions of trust. {TSB 193.4}


     I have in your presence dwelt particularly upon the importance of abstaining from the very appearance of evil. I have presented in your hearing the special temptations of the enemy, thinking to arouse your consciousness, that you would barricade your soul against the temptations of the enemy. I have written especially upon the dangers of young men and also of married men showing special attention to young ladies and to other men's wives. When crossing the ocean on my way to Europe, I was mightily stirred and wrote out special warnings. This was in your behalf as well as for others. It was to stop your downward course, that you should in the strength of Israel's God arise and be a man, not a plaything for the devil. {TSB 194.1}


     Dwarfing of Spiritual Growth by Sensual Thoughts. I was shown that in consequence of temptations you could not lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting. Your thoughts and actions crippled your endeavors; your earthliness and sensual thoughts dwarfed your spiritual growth. You are far from being the man God would have you to be, and you fail to qualify yourself for the work you might do, because your thoughts are not pure, but tainted and corrupt. Some things were shown me that are open to the eye that never slumbers nor sleeps. {TSB 194.2}


     This is written in the books of heaven, and in a little time your case will be decided, whether your name shall be blotted out from the Book of Life or not. It certainly will be unless you are a converted man, and humble your soul before God, and confess your sins, and turn unto the Lord with your whole heart, and purge from you every impure thought and corrupt action. Says the True Witness, "I know thy works."  Do not attempt to teach the people until you are a changed man, until you have in humble penitence sought the Lord with true contrition of soul, and have a new heart. {TSB 194.3}


     Satan's Strong Attempts to Corrupt Ministers. I was shown that Satan would make his temptations strong to corrupt the ministers who are teaching the binding claims of the law of God. If he can tarnish the virtue, confuse the sense of purity and holiness, if he can insinuate himself into their thoughts, suggest and plan for them to sin in thought and deed against God, then their defense is gone. They have separated themselves from God; they have not the power and Spirit of God with them, and the sacred message of truth they bear to the people is not blessed of God; the seed is not watered, and the increase is not realized. {TSB 195.1}


     Lust as a Hindrance to the Teaching of Truth. What you need, my brother, is a pure and holy heart. Cease at once from attempting to teach the truth until you know that in the strength of God you can overcome lust. If your mind had been, in the years you have professed to be a child of God, educated and taxed to dwell upon Jesus, to pray when traveling on the cars, when walking in the streets, and wherever you were, and had you been binding about your thoughts and teaching them to dwell upon pure and holy things, I should not have to address you as I do today. The Lord must be in all your thoughts, but this work is strangely neglected. {TSB 195.2}


     A Minister's Work Not Like Common Business. There are some of our ministers who are engaged in active service who have some sense of the importance of the work, but there is a large number who are handling sacred truth about as they would engage in any common business. They have not been refined, ennobled, sanctified by the truth. They have not advanced step by step, growing in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. They have not real, genuine faith in taking God at His word. They have not gone on from strength to a greater strength. {TSB 195.3}


     They have not increased in ability, but kept up the same low tone of efficiency. They have not become able men in the Scriptures, mighty men in God, and yet every privilege has been within their reach. The cause of God has not been glorified by their tame, Spiritless, Christless work. These have done great injury to the truth, and why? Because the heart is not cleansed. They have not a new, clean heart, but a heart that is open to the temptations of Satan. Such can never lead the people to the true, pure fountain of living waters. They may make others acquainted with the reasons of our faith, but it will be impossible for them to do the work which a true shepherd of the flock will do, to "feed the flock of God.". . . {TSB 196.1}


     Ministry of the Word Better Than Arguments. We must awaken to our God-given responsibilities. Your adversary the devil is intensely active, represented as a roaring lion, and we must be wide-awake and not ignorant of his devices. We shall surely be overcome by Satan's devices unless our hearts, our minds, our wills, are in complete subjection to the will of Christ. We shall surely fail our salvation unless the natural elements in our character, the discordant elements, are brought daily and hourly into unity with Christ's character. Unruly, debasing tendencies and passions cannot reign in the heart controlled by the Spirit of Christ. There are many who have never submitted their will and way fully, without any reserve, to Jesus Christ. {TSB 196.2}


     There need to be far more lessons in the ministry of the word of true conversion than of the arguments of the doctrines; for it is far easier and more natural for the heart that is not under the control of the Spirit of Christ to choose doctrinal subjects rather than the practical. There are many Christless discourses given [that are] no more acceptable to God than was the offering of Cain. They are not in harmony with God. {TSB 196.3}


     Taint of Spiritual Malaria. The Lord calls upon you, my brother, to step down from the work, leave the walls of Zion, or be a converted man. When your own heart is sanctified through the truth, there will be in it no moral defilement. It will now require a most desperate resistance to unholy suggestions upon your part, because your soul is tainted with spiritual malaria. You have breathed a satanic atmosphere. You have not been a man in the sight of God. When your mind should have been growing, your ideas elevated, and your plans and labors broadened, you have been growing less and less efficient as a worker, because God is not blessing your efforts. {TSB 197.1}


     A Crime in God's Sight. The perversion of our gifts, or their degradation to unworthy ends, is a crime in the sight of God; and yet this is constantly prevailing. The man who has capabilities for usefulness, and employs all that is winning and attractive to destroy others, to lead them astray, to bring them to a brackish, poison fountain to quench their thirst, rather than bringing them to Christ, is doing the devil's work. There are many who profess to believe the truth who are corrupt in morals and who tarnish the purity in thoughts and impulses of others, who ruin souls under the pretense of saving souls, who utter words to the unwary, Satan speaking through them, as he spoke through the serpent when he tempted Eve. {TSB 197.2}


     For all such there is a terrible retribution. They will reap that which they have sown. It is a terrible thing to use God's entrusted gifts, lent to bless the world, and perverted in their use, leaving a blight, a woe, a curse, instead of a blessing. But I have written largely upon this, as you have seen, in different forms. {TSB 197.3}


     Total Life Control Possible. And again I say, "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (Isa. 55:6, 7). Go to work and confess your sins before God; seek God, for you know but very little of this kind of work. Put your thoughts to work upon pure, holy subjects; tax your powers; send your supplications to heaven in earnest contrition of soul; let your conversation, your thoughts, your deportment, be in harmony with the holy faith you claim to be defending. {TSB 198.1}


     And when all like yourself shall repent and find the pardoning love of God, we shall see that God will work in a wonderful manner with His people. Sinners will be converted; backsliders will be reclaimed. {TSB 198.2}


     The Necessity for a Cleansing of Moral Defilement. I leave these lines with you. I had hoped that the great light shining from the Word of God would have been accepted, brought into your religious life, and [that] you [would] become a true, sincere Christian, doing the will of God from the heart. But I have been urged by the Spirit of the Lord to write you. The work must go forward. Everything impure must become pure and holy, or be purged from our hands; for all that is earthly, sensual, devilish, is a stumbling block to others and a curse to the cause of God. {TSB 198.3}


     The sooner the ranks are purged from this class, the more surely shall we see the salvation of God and the power of the truth in our midst. It is because we are loaded down with those who have not been partakers of the divine nature, who have failed to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust, that we have so much weakness and feebleness in our midst. We must arouse. We must cleanse the camp of Israel of its moral defilement.--Letter 5, 1886. {TSB 198.4}


     Public Exposure Not Always Necessary. I do not want, unless necessary, that the case of T shall be made public. I have a response from him which acknowledges the testimony, but I do not want, for the sake of his wife and children, to make [it] public. I pity the man sincerely, and if I could do anything to recover either of these men from the snare of the devil, I would do so. T takes a far better position than Canright. Although both of these men have made many falsehoods against me and our people, I am not embittered against them and do not wish to injure [them], for I bear in mind that there is a judgment when every man's work will be brought in review before God, and every man will receive of the great Judge according to his works.-- Letter 59, 1889. {TSB 199.1}


               29. Four Unholy Ministers

     Satan's Devices. [WRITTEN TO A MINISTER WHO WAS FANTASIZING REGARDING A WOMAN NOT HIS WIFE, WITH WHOM HE WAS SENTIMENTALLY INVOLVED. HE THOUGHT OF LIVING WITH THIS WOMAN AND HAVING CHILDREN BY HER IN HEAVEN.] I have much to say to you. You have been represented to me as being in great peril. Satan is on your track, and at times he has whispered to you pleasing fables, and has shown you charming pictures of one whom he represents as a more suitable companion for you than the wife of your youth, the mother of your children. {TSB 199.2}


     Satan is working stealthily, untiringly, to effect your downfall through his specious temptations. He is determined to become your teacher, and you need now to place yourself where you can get strength to resist him. He hopes to lead you into the maze of spiritualism. He hopes to wean your affections from your wife, and to fix them upon another woman. He desires that you shall allow your mind to dwell upon this woman until through unholy affection she becomes your god. {TSB 199.3}


     Fantasy About Families in Heaven. The enemy of souls has gained much when he can lead the imagination of one of Jehovah's chosen watchmen to dwell upon the possibilities of association in the world to come, with some woman whom he loves, and of there raising up a family. We need no such pleasing pictures. All such views originate in the mind of the tempter. {TSB 200.1}


     We have the plain assurance of Christ that in the world to come, the redeemed "neither marry, nor are given in marriage, neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection" (Luke 20:35, 36). {TSB 200.2}


     It is presented to me that spiritual fables are taking many captive. Their minds are sensual, and, unless a change comes, this will prove their ruin. To all who are indulging in these unholy fancies I would say, Stop, for Christ's sake, stop right where you are. You are on forbidden ground. Repent, I entreat of you, and be converted. {TSB 200.3}


     First Place in a Husband's Affections. To married men I am instructed to say, "It is to your wives, the mothers of your children, that your respect and affection are due. Your attentions are to be given to them, and your thoughts are to dwell upon plans for their happiness. . . ." {TSB 200.4}


     My brother U, remember that the woman who receives the least manifestation of affection from a man who is the husband of another woman, shows herself to be in need of repentance and conversion. And the man who allows his wife to occupy the second place in his affections is dishonoring himself and his God. This thing is one of the signs of the last days. But surely you do not desire to fulfill this sign. This is the part that the wicked are to act. Christ will take charge of the affections of those who love and honor God, causing them to center upon proper objects. {TSB 200.5}


     My brother, your wife has her faults, but so have you. She is your wife still. She is the mother of your children, and you are to respect, cherish, and love her. Guard yourself carefully, that impurity may not abide in mind or heart. . . . {TSB 201.1}


     True as Steel to the Marriage Vow. Brother U, your case was presented to me some time ago, but I have delayed writing, thinking that I might see you and talk with you. You are being imprisoned with a dangerous sentimentalism, and this has nearly spoiled you and the one also who has permitted you to make her your favorite. You need not ask God to bless you in pursuing this course. In this matter your mind has been worked by the enemy who stands ready to control those who give place to spiritualistic affection. {TSB 201.2}


     You have a wife, and you are bound to her by the law of God. "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. . . . It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery" (Matt. 5:27-32). {TSB 201.3}


     May the Lord help you is my prayer. Now is the time to fight the good fight of faith. Now is the time to wrestle against the prompting of the natural heart. Now is your time to be as true as steel to your marriage vows, refusing, in thought, word, or deed, to spoil your record as a man who fears God and obeys His commandments. You have been imbibing spiritualistic ideas. But if you will now turn wholly to God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ will be imparted to you, and truth will triumph in your life.--Letter 231, 1903. {TSB 201.4}


     A Public Reproof. [WRITTEN TO A YOUNG UNMARRIED MINISTER.] We have some hard labor to do here. There was a spirit of lightness [on the ground]. The young men were mating [pairing] up [with] the young girls, and when reproved, were, some of them, defiant, hardhearted, reckless. We had to get this cleared away before we could get the spirit of freedom into our meeting. But Sabbath everything seemed to break away. Elder Y, who has been preaching, has been running after the girls, married women, and widows, and this seemed to be his inclination out of the desk from State to State. Sunday morning I called him out by name and told him and all present we had no use for any such men, for they would only make the work of the burden-bearing laborers double what it is now. {TSB 202.1}


     If they would only take themselves out of the way and act out just what was in their heart, without doing this evil work under a pretense of godliness, the cause would be relieved. He has made no confession yet. Do not know as he will do so. But light came into our meetings, and the young who had been following his example came out decidedly and confessed their wrong course of action. When will those who profess Christ be wise?--Letter 53, 1884. {TSB 202.2}


     Invitation to Work in Another Country. [A LETTER WRITTEN TO A REPENTANT MINISTER WHO HAD BROKEN THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT.] Dear Brother V: I have this morning received and read your letter, and if I do not answer at once I fear it will pass from my mind. . . . {TSB 203.1}


     In regard to your changing your location, I would mention to you England. There is a large field and but few workers, plenty of work to be done in which all may act a part--all of your family, if they desire to give themselves to the Lord and act a part in His cause. You will find room enough to work, and if you go forth to labor in meekness and humility, redeeming the past errors of your life, God will accept you. There is need of laborers in England, and the advantage of that country over other parts of Europe is that our American brethren do not have to work through an interpreter. . . . {TSB 203.2}


     Should you come to England you will certainly find work enough to do, and God is merciful; He pities our weakness; He forgives our transgressions; and, if we will only live humble and penitent, if we will cease from evil and do well, the Lord will approve. May the Lord teach you and work for you. {TSB 203.3}


     I wish that there were many more men who would give themselves to the missionary work in England. That kingdom has but few workers. We want missionaries whom God can work with and bless. We want men who will feel the burden of souls, men who will work as Christ worked, zealously, disinterestedly, to save sinners and enlighten those in darkness. I write this short letter to you, thinking it is as well as more that might be written. Your sister in Christ.--Letter 41, 1886 {TSB 203.4}


     Impure Thoughts and Imaginings. [WRITTEN TO AN UNREPENTANT MINISTER.] Elder Z, I have much distress of soul for you. I fear, yes, greatly fear, you will never enter into the kingdom of God. I have much pain at heart as I consider your case, standing in the light of the delegated servant of Jesus Christ, yet so clouded with defilement that holy angels cannot come near you. It is no new thing that your thoughts are corrupted by impure desires and imaginings. You have not dismissed unlawful desires and lustful thoughts. When you met me in Healdsburg and told me that you had gained the victory, you told me a falsehood, for you knew this was not the truth. {TSB 204.1}


     The Fly in the Spider's Web. Your past life had been presented before me as one who had no internal strength to resist evil if it put on an inviting aspect. You have obtained the confidence of women in you as a man of piety and righteousness, then you have taken advantage of this confidence to take liberties with them--kissing them, and going just as far with them in seductive, lustful practices as they would allow you to go, not only with Sister X but with others. And I am pained to the heart when I consider that you have tainted and polluted more than one or two or three or four with your insinuations and your fawning and caressing which have led souls to dissipation and vice. And you a watchman, you a shepherd! . . . {TSB 204.2}


     You have made evil and lustful practices appear harmless, and some have been led away with their own lust and enticed because they had not moral courage to rebuke you, a minister, for your iniquitous practices. There have been not a few who have sacrificed conscience, peace of mind, and the favor of God, because a man whom the people have set as a watchman on the walls of Zion has been their tempter--a wolf in sheep's clothing. {TSB 204.3}


     And these who had been uncorrupted fall into the snare [which] Satan, through the bad shepherd, has set for them under different pretenses and excuses. You have hid your evil heart of deadly opposition to purity and holiness. The fly enticed into the spider's web, the fish which is lured on by the bait on the hook, has been ensnared and taken. {TSB 205.1}


     Erroneous Approach to Marriage Counseling. You have by your course of action debased sacred things to the level of the common. Many have come near being ruined who have, as it were, been plucked as a brand from the burning; but the performance of yours to break down the barriers which preserve the sanctity of the family relation between husband and wife, the arranged plans to make the wife communicate to you the secrets of her married life, induce those who are yielding in disposition, who have become captivated with you, to open their heart to you as to a Catholic confessor; and you encourage in them the thought that they have made a mistake in the married life. {TSB 205.2}


     In every family there are at times misunderstandings. There are thoughts and feelings expressed that Satan takes advantage of, but if both husband and wife will resist the devil and humble their hearts before God, then the difficulties soon will be healed without leaving ugly scars. But you have done a work to encourage alienation in the place of healing the difficulties; and peace of mind, harmony, and the usefulness not only of women but of men has been destroyed, and the seeds of licentious practices that you have sown have produced a bitter, bitter harvest. The wanderings from God in this way are common, but the fact is, so few return. {TSB 205.3}


     Sacred Interwoven With the Impure. The coy, complying disposition of women or girls to the advances and familiarity of men, married men, leads them to be easily entrapped. The man who should watch for souls in order to save them, watches for opportunities and occasions to ruin them. There are so many who have little fixedness of principle, who come into contact with the men who preach the truth; and some of these educate and refine iniquity before them, clothing it in angel robes, and as their own hearts are not garrisoned with fixed, unswerving principles, the work of ruin is speedily accomplished. {TSB 205.4}


     The sacred is brought down and so interwoven with lust and impure, unholy practices that the victim is confused, and the soul temple becomes a sink of iniquity. At first the unsuspecting only listen; they receive the liberties of preference shown them; then the education goes on until "as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks" (Prov. 7:22), they follow in the steps of the tempter and go fully as far as he would lead them.-- Letter 82, 1886. {TSB 206.1}


                 30. Ellen White's Assistants

     To W. F. C., September 6, 1895. [BOTH BROTHER W. F. C. AND FANNIE Y WERE EMPLOYEES OF ELLEN WHITE, FIRST AT MELBOURNE, AND LATER AT COORANBONG, NEW SOUTH WALES. IN 1895 MRS. WHITE AND HER STAFF WERE LIVING AND WORKING IN TENTS WHILE SUNNYSIDE, THE PERMANENT RESIDENCE, WAS BEING BUILT. This morning as I came from the school ground I saw your horse fastened to a tree before the tent occupied by Fannie Y. After a while I went to the tent. A lady from Newcastle and Jessie Israel were visiting Fannie. You were sitting down, writing on the typewriter. Why did you not take the typewriter at once into the dining tent? What impression can such a course make upon the mind of the young girl visiting at the school? It made an impression that was anything but favorable. {TSB 206.2}


     Your freedom with young women is improper, but it is so natural and common to you that you think nothing of it. The Word of God has told you that you are to abstain from the very appearance of evil; but do you? You are a married man, with a wife and two boys, whom you have left in America, and this fact should be sufficient, without any further prompting, to lead you to cultivate sobriety and carefulness in your association with others. . . . I write these things to you because you are deceiving Fannie, and she is apparently totally blind and infatuated. . . . {TSB 207.1}


     Placing yourself in the society of Fannie as much as you did while at Melbourne had not only the appearance of evil, but was evil. You enjoyed it, but you should have had discernment to understand that by your course of action you were encouraging others in the same path. {TSB 207.2}


     I am now going to Tasmania, and you and Fannie will remain at Avondale. After my absence, you will feel inclined to associate together more freely, because I am not present to hold the fort. I fear you will dishonor the truth by your familiarity. I decidedly protest against this. Keep yourself out of Fannie's tent, or else a scandal will be created.-- Letter 17, 1895. {TSB 207.3}


     To W. F. C., c. September 1895. I have had very little help from Fannie for many months, not because she cannot work, but her association with you has caused her to have an experience which has unfitted her to do anything in my work. . . . {TSB 207.4}


     I feel deeply over another matter, and that is your visiting Fannie in her tent. I have already decided that you two cannot work together. You are a married man, father of two children. If your wife has obtained a divorce from you, that does not leave you free to marry again, as I read my Bible. . . . {TSB 207.5}


     Before leaving I must lay down some rules. There is no call for W. F. C. to visit Fannie's tent. Fannie has not been in working order for some time. Her association with you is largely the cause of this. I know this to be so, and therefore I say, Keep away from her tent. When I am away you will feel that you have a fine opportunity to get into her society whenever you can; and I cannot go without warning you and charging you to keep yourself to yourself. I want no reproach brought upon me nor upon this community by imprudent, careless habits or practices.--Letter 19, 1896. {TSB 208.1}


     To Fannie Y, November 23, 1895. I have been considering your case in connection with W. F. C., and I have no other counsel to give than I have given. I consider that you have no moral right to marry W. F. C.; he has no moral right to marry you. He left his wife after giving her great provocation. He left her whom he had vowed before God to love and cherish while both should live. Before ever she obtained her divorce, when she was his lawful wife, he left her for three years, and then left her in heart, and expressed his love to you. The matter has been negotiated largely between you and a married man, while he was legally bound to the wife he married, who has had two children by him. {TSB 208.2}


     I see not a particle of leniency in the Scriptures given either of you to contract marriage, although his wife is divorced. From the provocation he has given her, it was largely his own course of action that has brought this result, and I cannot see in any more favorable light his having a legal right to link his interest with yours or you to link your interest with his. One thing is settled. I could not connect with either of you if this step is taken, for I see this matter in a light that the Scriptures would condemn your connection. Therefore, I wish you both to understand that from the light God has given me regarding the past and the present, I could not think of employing either of you if you take this step. {TSB 208.3}


     I am astonished that you should for a moment give thought to such a thing, and place your affections on a married man who had left his wife and children under such circumstances. I advise you to lay your thoughts and plans regarding this matter just as they are before our responsible brethren, that you may receive their counsel, and let them show you from the law of God the error into which you have fallen. You have both broken the law even in thinking that you might unite in marriage. You should have repelled the thought at its first suggestion.--Letter 14, 1895. {TSB 209.1}


     To James Edson White, December 9, 1895. . . . But oh, the heartache, for other things were developing and being made manifest which had been a fearful strain on me. It was the intimacy between W. F. C. and [Fannie]. I had presented before them all the dangers, but they denied it. But at the meeting at Melbourne Fannie acknowledged she loved W. F. C. and he loved her. I tried to present the matter before them in its true bearing. W. F. C. had a wife living. Recently she obtained a divorce. He had left her and been gone three years. But Fannie told me she had been praying that if it was right she should marry W. F. C. that his wife might obtain a divorce. What blindness will come to those who begin to depart from a straightforward course! These two had thought they could unite in marriage and they could both unite in carrying on my work. The management of all my business would be supposed to be in his hands. Not much, I told them. Such a step would cut them off from me forever, both of them, because W. F. C. had no moral right to [marry].--Letter 123a, 1895. {TSB 209.2}


     To W. F. C., April 9, 1896. I am greatly distressed as I review the past, and as matters are brought to my notice by the Spirit of God. I have a decided message to bear to you, Brother C. Special light in regard to you and your family was not given me until about two years ago. I was then shown that the attitude you manifested in your home life was unchristian. You began your married life by accepting a false sabbath, and by sailing under false colors. But a wife that was obtained by selling principles of truth could not bring peace or happiness to the purchaser. God was dishonored by your action in this matter, and His truth was trampled in the dust. {TSB 210.1}


     When you gave up the Sabbath for your wife, she rejoiced that she had gained a victory, and Satan also rejoiced. But when she accepted a man who was willing to sell his Lord for her, she could not look up to him and honor him as a wife should honor her husband. When she married you under these circumstances, she did not distinguish between a heaven-born love and an earthly love, not of divine origin. A man who will sacrifice his love for his heavenly Father for a wife will also sell his wife for another woman. This quality of love is base; it is of this earth, and will never bear the test of trial. {TSB 210.2}


     The Lord does not revise the laws of His government, the laws which control His subjects both in this world and in the heavenly universe. Natural laws must be obeyed. But you were so determined to obtain your wife that you broke down every barrier, and broke God's law by yielding up the Sabbath; and you have been reaping only that which you have sown. {TSB 210.3}


     After marrying your wife, you again accepted the Sabbath. This was the right move to make if you made it in sincerity and in the fear of God. Said Christ [John 14:21, 23, quoted]. {TSB 211.1}


     But you secured your wife under a promise which you afterwards broke. You paid a dear price for her, and by breaking your word you have given her every reason to be tempted. Thus Satan has had every opportunity to deceive her, and he has presented this matter to her in his own light. You sacrificed the truth and sold your allegiance to God to obtain a wife, and after you again commenced keeping the Sabbath, your course toward your wife should have been entirely different from what it has been. You should have shown her all the tenderness, forbearance, and love which you manifested toward her before your marriage. But this was not done. You did not pursue a course which would keep her love. I myself cannot put confidence in you as a Christian, and under present developments, I could not give my consent for you to become a member of any church. {TSB 211.2}


     You thought that when you were once married you could do as you pleased. This has embittered your married life, and your wife has had every reason for refusing to leave her home and come to you to this country. Your acceptance of fanatical views was nothing in your favor, and gave your wife an opportunity to strengthen herself against the principles of truth. {TSB 211.3}


     For years you have been away from your home. Leaving as you did was a wrong against your family. You have told me that you would never humiliate yourself by going back, never. But the Lord has presented this matter before me. I know that you cannot be clear in the sight of God until you do all in your power to be reconciled to your wife. You have a work to do in your family which cannot be left undone. This I stated to you last September. Whatever position your wife has taken, whatever course of recklessness and levity she has pursued, this does not excuse you from acting a father's part to your children. You ought to go back to your home and do all in your power to heal the breach, which you, a professed believer in the truth, have done more than your wife to make. {TSB 211.4}


     When you placed your love upon another woman, even though your wife had obtained a divorce, you transgressed the seventh commandment. But you have done worse than this. You loved another woman before your wife obtained a divorce, and you have said to one, "How hard it is to be bound to a woman I do not love, when there is one I love, yes, the very ground she walks on." {TSB 212.1}


     Your course while in my family was not open and frank. The transactions between you and the one upon whom you placed your affections were carried on under falsehood and deception. In the guise of false pretension, secret plans were carried out. The Lord opened these matters before me, and I tried to change the order of things, but the burden of soul was to you and others accounted a thing of naught. At this time you were giving Bible readings, and taking a prominent part in church work. My advice and counsel was not asked in regard to this important decision. Had I been, I should have been spared much pain that followed. {TSB 212.2}


     When I talked with you in regard to your freedom in the company of young ladies, and told you that I could not have you in my family while I went to Tasmania, your answer was that you had always been sociable with young women, and had never thought that there was any harm in it. I told you that I knew there was harm in this freedom and that I could not feel justified in leaving you in my family while I was absent.{TSB 212.3}


     When I told you that you could not remain in my family, you said that after settling your accounts, which would take about a week, you could go. But this matter dragged along, or was neglected, till about two weeks before our return from Tasmania, and then in July we went to Cooranbong. {TSB 213.1}


     This matter cannot rest here. I cannot be looked upon as keeping you from your home and family. It was a mistake, I think, to bring you into my family at all. I did this to help you, but I cannot let it be represented to others that we consider you a man worthy to engage in the sacred work which the Lord has given me. I cannot have this matter appear thus, for it places me in a wrong light. {TSB 213.2}


     I cannot appear to justify your course of action in your married life. Leaving your wife and family is an offense to God, and I must present this matter as it is, before the president of your conference, Elder Williams. I had hoped that when you saw your delusion you would feel that repentance for your course of action that needeth not to be repented of. But my experience at Armadale, and the burden brought upon me there, made me a great sufferer; and matters in regard to your past life have been more fully opened before me. . . .You have thought that you would receive the credentials of a minister of the gospel, but had these been given you, reproach would have been brought upon the cause of God. You have represented yourself as being a wronged man, but it is your wife who has been most wronged. She should never have been treated as you have treated her. You pursued such a course toward your little ones that your wife could not but be estranged from you. Her heart was wounded, bruised, and she was almost distracted by your overbearing, masterly government in discipline of your children. {TSB 213.3}


     After giving up Fannie you placed your affections upon another. This shows just what you would do if opportunities presented themselves. You show young girls attention and thus win their love, for if you choose, your manner can be very gracious and attractive. As these things have passed before me, I have felt indignant. I cannot, will not, keep silent on these matters. I determined that you should be unveiled as an unprincipled man. Your ideas of what a Christian should be are so much unlike the principles laid down in the Word of God that no responsibility in connection with the cause of God should be given you.--Letter 18, 1896. {TSB 213.4}


     To Elder I. N. Williams, President of the Pennsylvania Conference [W.F.C.'s home conference], April 12, 1896. We have had great trouble of mind in regard to Brother W.F.C., who expects to return to America by this month's boat. He has shown a fondness for the society of young girls, and has been full of gaiety, conducting himself like a boy. About a year ago, at the suggestion of my son, W. C. White, I employed him to run the typewriter for Fannie Y, as she read the manuscript to him. But soon I became burdened. Warnings were given to me again and again. I talked with him by himself in regard to his freedom and enjoyment in the society of young women and his frivolous conduct, but he said he had always been sociable with young ladies and thought it no harm. {TSB 214.1}


     We wanted to help him, for he had no money and but very poor clothing. He has good ability, and might have developed into a competent helper for W. C. [White] or a worker for me. But I dared not have him remain a member of my family. {TSB 214.2}


     He became attached to Fannie Y and the matter was carried on under a deception before he learned that his wife had obtained a divorce. When he heard this he seemed greatly relieved, for his heart was fully weaned from her. But the Lord gave me light in regard to the matter. I consider that he is far more to blame than his wife in view of the fact that he claims to believe sacred truth, and she makes no such profession. He has not been a kind, tender husband; he has not been patient and forbearing, but very critical and overbearing if his wife displeased him in any way. I cannot see how his wife, in contact with his temperament and disposition, could feel drawn toward the truth. She has opposed him and has made it hard for him, but not a whit harder than he has made it for her by his course of action. He has not taken opposition patiently, or as a Christian should. He did wrong when he left his home and his wife and children. A few months ago I learned that he had done nothing for their support. {TSB 214.3}


     As matters were unfolded to me, it was a most serious matter for him to allow his affections to center upon another woman when he had a wife living, whom he had promised to love and cherish as long as they both should live. Why he should leave his home so long has been a mystery to us all, until recently I have had divine enlightenment. {TSB 215.1}


     He can appear very attractive, and win the confidence and favor of the girls, but when crossed he has such a temper and disposition that, unless he is changed, no woman, believer or unbeliever, could live peaceably with him. He would pursue a course that would make any woman miserable. He is an intemperate eater, and this is why he has so little patience. {TSB 215.2}


     I felt that the time had come when I should no longer employ him to transact my business, for warnings kept coming to me from the Lord concerning his course of action. {TSB 215.3}


     I will write further in regard to this if necessary. Please write to me, stating facts concerning the family there, as far as you know. Help W.F.C., if you can, to set things right and remove this reproach from the cause of God. Even if his wife is already married, it may be there is something he can do for his children.--Letter 104, 1896. {TSB 216.1}


     To Brother and Sister G. C. Tenney, July 1, 1897. The work between Fannie Y and Brother W.F.C. was begun at the Melbourne camp meeting [January, 1894]. There she became enamored of a married man, with two children. She utterly denied that there was any affection between her and Brother C. She stood before me in my tent and declared that there was nothing to the reports. For one year after this she was good for nothing to me, only a dead, heavy load. . . . {TSB 216.2}


     We had the affair between Fannie and W. F. C. all through the Armadale camp meeting. I talked with them both separately, and told them that the Lord had a controversy with them both. They denied that there was anything like particular attachment between them. I knew better; but the Lord helped me to work through the meeting. Just before the meeting closed, Fannie came to me and said, "Oh, Sister White, I have come to you as to a mother. I do love Brother C with all my heart, and my heart is just broken. Three times has this cup of bliss been presented to me, and then been snatched away." Then the girl said, "I prayed that if it was right for us to get married, his wife might get a divorce from him, and it was not many weeks before she did get a divorce. Now don't you think the Lord heard my prayer?" I dared not talk with her, for I had to speak that day before a large congregation. If Sister Prescott is in Battle Creek, she will be able to tell you the particulars. {TSB 216.3}


     Well, from that time I cut loose from Fannie, never, as I thought, to connect with her again. But a little while after this, Fannie was in Sydney and wrote me another confession. I thought that I could not take her back, but the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and said, "Give her another trial."  So I decided that I would see Fannie and tell her that I would take her back. This I did, and she remained with me several weeks, but was not able to do any work; then she decided that she wanted to go home to her mother, and I told her that she might feel free to do so.--Letter 114, 1897. {TSB 217.1}


Note by Ron: Fannie spent thirteen months as a mental patient in the Kalamazoo State Hospital 1911-1912 and another three and a half months in the same institution in 1924-25; she died in 1926].                             

Nearest the Throne of God


Ellen White says that those who were once most zealous in the cause of Satan may end up being nearest the throne of God if they zealously repent and serve Christ with deep, intense devotion.


"Nearest the throne are those who were once zealous in the cause of Satan, but who, plucked as brands from the burning, have followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion. Next are those who perfected Christian characters in the midst of falsehood and infidelity, those who honored the law of God when the Christian world declared it void, and the millions, of all ages, who were martyred for their faith. And beyond is the "great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, . . . before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." Revelation 7:9. Their warfare is ended, their victory won. They have run the race and reached the prize. The palm branch in their hands is a symbol of their triumph, the white robe an emblem of the spotless righteousness of Christ which now is theirs." E.G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 665.




·       The bride of Christ will be nearest Him on His throne.

·       The bride will serve as pillars (leaders) in the Temple of Heaven. Rev. 3:10-12.

·       We cannot judge the sincerity of a person’s repentance and decide that person should not be a worker in God’s vineyard unless there is evidence of open sin.

·       What we may regard as wheat may only be chaff. Thus, we are not qualified to pronounce judgment as regards the motives of any man.

·       “The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ's righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness. {5T 81.1}