Dear Brother F: It is time that we were closely examining our hearts to see whether or not we are in the faith and in the love of God. If there is not an awakening among us who have had so great light and so many privileges, we shall sink to ruin, and our fate will be worse than that of Chorazin and Bethsaida; "for," as Christ said of those cities, "if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes."
It is high time that you were deeply in earnest for your own soul and for the souls of your children. Your calling in Christ requires this. My soul is weighed down with grief, my heart is sick and sad, as I contemplate your condition; for I know that unless you are a transformed man, your anchorage will be continually shifting. Oh, "seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near." I entreat of you to humble your heart before God and never, never give over the effort till you are a different man. I feel a deep interest in your spiritual condition and want to see you striving earnestly for your own salvation and for that of your dear children, who I know are managed very much as Eli managed his children. Let all your influence be on the Lord's side. Let your children see that you are not a creature of impulse, but a man of unwavering principle. They will copy the pattern you give them. Until I see a change in you for the better I shall continue to plead with you and exhort you.
We are nearing the close of time. We want not only to teach present truth in the pulpit, but to live it out of the pulpit. Examine closely the foundation of your hope of salvation. While you stand in the position of a herald of truth, a watchman upon the walls of Zion, you cannot have your interest interwoven with mining or real-estate business and at the same time do effectually the sacred work committed to your hands. Where the souls of men are at stake, where eternal things are involved, the interest cannot safely be divided. This is especially so in your case. While engaged in this business, you have not been cultivating heartfelt piety. You have had a feverish desire to obtain means. You have talked to many about the financial advantages to be gained by investing in lands in -----. Again and again you have been engaged in picturing the advantages of these enterprises; and this while you were an ordained minister of Christ, pledged to give your soul, body, and spirit to the work of the salvation of souls. At the same time you were receiving money from the treasury to support yourself and your family. Your talk was calculated to draw the attention and money of our people away from our institutions and from the business of promoting the Redeemer's kingdom on the earth. Its tendency was to beget in them a desire to invest their means where you assured them that it would be doubled in a short time, and to flatter them with the prospect that they could help the cause a great deal more by so doing. You may not knowingly have advised them to withdraw their means from the cause of God; but some had no money to handle except that invested in our institutions, and it has been withdrawn from them to invest according to your suggestions.
We are in a certain sense our brother's keeper. We are individually related to souls who may, through the merits of Jesus Christ, seek for glory, honor, and immortality. Their purity, sincerity, zeal, consistency, and piety are affected by our words, our works, our deportment, our prayers, and our faithful discharge of duty. Christ said to His disciples: "Ye are the light of the world." The ministers of Jesus Christ must teach, both in the church and to individuals, the fact that a profession of faith, even by Seventh-day Adventists, unless it proceeds from heartfelt piety, is powerless for good. Religious light is to shine forth from the church, and especially from the ministers, in clear, steady rays. It is not to flame up on special occasions, and then grow dim, and flicker, as if about to go out. The excellence of Jesus Christ will ever shine in the character of true believers, and they will adorn the doctrine of our Saviour. Thus the excellency and the power of the gospel are revealed. Each member of the church is required to be in living connection with the Source of all light, and to be a spiritual worker, doing his part by good works to reflect light to the world.
Especially should the minister keep himself from every worldly entanglement and bind himself to the Source of all power, that he may represent correctly what it means to be a Christian. He should cut loose from everything that would in any way divert his mind from God and the great work for this time. Christ expects him, as His employed servant, to be like Himself in mind, in thought, in word, in action. He expects every man who opens the Scriptures to others to work carefully and intelligently, not exercising his powers unwisely, in a way to injure or overtask them, but so that he may be fitted to do good work for the Lord. Every soul is called into active labor in some one of the various departments of the work, and the Shepherd will lead and guide His flock.
The tongue of the minister is not to be employed in telling men the best way to bury their means in the earth; he should tell them how to invest safely in the bank of heaven. May the Lord impart to you spiritual discernment, is my prayer; for you will surely make shipwreck of faith unless you get into a different condition spiritually. You need the converting power of God, and unless you are changed you will surely let go your hold of the truth. But although you should gain the whole world, it would be a poor return for the loss of your soul. May the Lord help you, my brother, to come speedily to your senses and move like a man who has a well-balanced mind. May you take up your work with heart and lips sanctified, and walk humbly with your God.