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Experiences in Australia

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    (210) Letter to S. McCullagh after his confession of repentance:—

    Lt 33, 1899
    “Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia
    February 12, 1899

    Mr. S. McCullagh
    Dear Brother:
    EA 353.1

    Since receiving your letter, I have commenced several letters to you. I am thankful to God that you are convinced of your wrong course of action, and that you see things in a new light. Gather every ray of light that shines upon your pathway, and turn to the Lord with all the heart. Be diligent in seeking for the true path, the strait gate.EA 353.2

    We always feel deeply over those Satan has deceived and led astray, because the synagogue of Satan triumphs when the enemy can lead the Lord’s professed people, as he has you, to bear false witness. I know that the Lord had heard prayer in your behalf, when at Dora Creek you were healed, and the glory of God filled the room. I have ever felt great sadness when I thought of your denying the truth, because I believe you have had a genuine experience in the truth. You did fight manfully under the banner of Prince Emmanuel against the world, the flesh, and the devil. You did love the truth. For a long time the enemy was insidiously working your ruin before you took the final step. Light was given me that when you took this step, you were altogether too well-satisfied with your attainments. You did not feel the necessity of becoming an earnest Bible student.EA 353.3

    Had the truth been impressed upon your mind sufficiently to give you that faith that works by love and purifies the soul from all deception, all prevarication, all covetousness, you would have held firmly to the hand of Christ, placing your dependence in One who is all-sufficient, and you would never have denied the truth and grieved the Holy Spirit by falsifying God’s servants and placing me, who had been your best and truest earthly friend, in a terribly ridiculous light before the people. In doing this, you stood side by side with Elder Canright, but even he did not descend to accuse me as you have done. How you could do it was for some time a mystery to me, but when the Lord saw fit to show me distinctly that you did not dig deep and make your foundation sure, riveting your soul to the Eternal Rock, I better understood.EA 353.4

    Threads of self-deception were woven with your experience. You were led astray. But when you knew this by the conviction of the Spirit of God, you would not heed the voice. When your statements were shown to be false, you would not acknowledge your wrong and come to the light. You would not open the door of your heart to Christ. You fought against the Spirit of God inch by inch, and then you changed your uniform, and joined the rebel army, to war against the truth and receive pay. You pretended you were satisfied; but as you recall the past, were you satisfied with yourself?EA 353.5

    This matter was presented to me night after night. I heard the words you spoke in public against me, words which were written in God’s book, for they were spoken against Him, who had given me my work. And when your brethren presented some of the facts in the case, you braced yourself against the truth. So long had the work of secret deception been going on, and to such lengths had it been carried, that when conviction came upon you with almost overwhelming power, you would not yield, but tried the more vehemently to make yourself and others believe that you were justified in your course of action.EA 354.1

    The Lord heard the falsehoods that you and your wife fabricated against me. Mr. Hawkins knew me not. He could fabricate nothing against me. He was turned away from the truth when it was supposed that you were leading him to better understand the truth. You linked with him to make of none effect the counsels of your brethren, while they were trusting you, you turned traitor to the cause of God. While you were receiving wages for presenting the truth to those who knew it not and bringing them to a knowledge of God, you were planning and devising how you could carry the whole church with you in a wrong way. When your disappointment came and your course was interrupted, you said all that your tongue could frame under the inspiration of Satan against Mrs. White and her work. This had a telling effect, for you were regarded as one who knew the inwardness of Mrs. White’s work.EA 354.2

    This false testimony against my work has resulted in turning souls from the truth. People thought that such a good man as Mr. McCullagh appeared to be telling the truth. You can explain this matter only by a wholehearted retraction, by placing Mrs. White before the people in the position you should always have held her. My brother, make your course straight. Make plain paths for your feet, for the weak and undecided have been turned from the right path by your course. Many souls convicted of the truth have been turned from investigation into error. For Christ’s sake, repent, confess your sins, and be converted.EA 354.3

    You had not the least foundation for your bitterness against me. Every word of the testimonies given me in regard to your child was truth. I could not have felt any greater anxiety and tenderness for a child of my own than I did for your daughter. Your dangers were presented to me. I presented them to you, as I will continue to do if you again act a part in the work of the Lord for these last days. Through covetousness, which is idolatry, there has been a deception in your life, and more so in the life of Mrs. McCullagh. You both need genuine conversion, and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren that they may avoid the sad experience you have had. Let the mellowing influence of the Spirit of Christ come into your heart. Thank God, it is not too late for wrongs to be righted. For Christ’s sake turn this defeat into a victory. Keep far from the pit into which you fell.EA 354.4

    When you entered the army of Christ, when you were numbered with the believers, there was nothing in your family relationship to strengthen you. Your unhappy training had left its impress upon mind and character. Externally you improved by association, but often your inclinations were in the wrong direction. Your connection with the chosen people of God gave you superior advantages. The truth has given you all you have that is worth, refined, and elevated. My brother and sister, had you improved your opportunities for obtaining a knowledge of the truth, you would not have been corrupted by false theories. But you became proud and self-sufficient, and the result is before you. You would not receive admonition. Your hearts rose up in rebellion against reproof. You despised the warnings God sent to keep you in the right way. They did not please you. You did not search the Scriptures to learn the evidence of truth. You did not work upon the plan of addition as outlined in the first chapter of Second Peter.EA 355.1

    In consideration of your early training, you both need to be more watchful and more diligent, to make earnest efforts to become fully acquainted with the reasons of our faith. “Wherefore I will not be negligent,” the inspired apostle declares, “to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance. . . . For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming our Lord Jesus Christ, and were eye witnesses of his majesty.EA 355.2

    “For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.”EA 355.3

    You felt that you were rich and increased with goods and had need of nothing, when you were both perishing for lack of experimental knowledge. Had you spoken the truth at all times and in all places, your course would have been one of steady religious growth. Truth would have been spoken and acted; there would have been no pretension. True piety was greatly needed. You should have been as true as steel to principle, careful in diet, and guarded in speech, that you might not offend God. May you now see the rock on which you split.EA 355.4

    Were you only a common soldier, instead of a captain in the army of the Lord, it would not be necessary to make these statements. But as your future may be spent in opening the Scriptures to others, it is of the greatest importance that you understand your position. It is not possible that we can come to you, but you can come to us. There is need of the deep moving of the Spirit of God, that if the word shall come to you, “Put on the armor, and fill your appointed place,” you will not serve with eye-service, but as the servant of Christ, “with good will doing service as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” If you will co-operate with God, you will realize the proof of His forbearing love for you, in that after you have put Him to open shame by denying the truth, you have been granted time for repentance.EA 355.5

    Sister White has not changed, she is the same as she was when you made her a target at which to fire, and she will give you the word of the Lord, whether you will hear or whether you will forbear. I speak to you now, asking you not to cover up the work you have done against God and His servants. You were once trusted, but you and your wife must now give evidence that you have felt true repentance.EA 356.1

    Do not think we are hardhearted, for we are not. We receive you very thankfully if you are soundly converted, but do not take charge of the flock as a shepherd until you are under the supervision of the true Shepherd, learning of Him that you may impart to others. We want you to dig deep and lay your foundation sure. We want you to have a soul-experience, and stand on the solid Rock. I have written this, not because I would hold you off, but because I want you to make sure how ye are building. “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.”EA 357.1

    You have made sacred things so common that there will always be danger unless your whole being is transformed. The profanation of that which has been set apart for God shows an obtuseness of spiritual discernment. It is dangerous to have such an influence connected with the church. It is a high offense against the majesty of God, because He is dishonored when a spirit of vanity and covetousness is shown in the use of the things which relate to His service.EA 357.2

    It is dangerous to meddle with holy things. The men of Bethshemesh merely looked into the ark with what many would regard as harmless curiosity; but God smote them with death. Uzzah only touched the ark, but we read that because of it the anger of the Lord was kindled against him, and he was slain for his rashness. Those who would make sacred things common are here admonished that God sees every action and the motives that lead to action, and [He] writes all in a book.EA 357.3

    We learn from the Word of God that self-sufficiency is sin, and that it prepares the way for ruin. Let him who thinks, God cares not if I do this, who says in a spirit of self-indulgence, “Soul, take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry; for no one knows of this action,” remember that God knows.EA 357.4

    Your minds must be elevated and ennobled. Weighed in the balances and found wanting was pronounced against you when you separated from the truth and from God’s people. I now appeal to you as a family to make wrong right. Confess your sins, and show that repentance that needeth not to be repented of, that you may receive a full and free pardon. As far as I am concerned I can forgive everything where I have been held up personally before the people as a fraud. When by confession you make things right with God, He will abundantly pardon.EA 357.5

    Be sure that in this work with God you realize that you have greatly dishonored the Lord. Every principle, every action, heart, life, and character, are put into the golden scale and weighed. Infinite Justice watches the beam, and weighs accurately every imagination of the heart, determining the value of the whole man—his thoughts, his words, his works. Does he love God supremely? Do sincerity and devotion mark his hours? Does he show his love for those around him by setting an example of obedient, faithful service? Let the two tables of the holy law be placed on the other side of the scale, with their precepts, “Thou shalt,” and “Thou shalt not,” in their full spiritual meaning. All heaven watches the result. Whatever man can place on the scale worthy of commendation is less than nothing. The law requires heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is the weight of the divine law.EA 357.6

    Eternal justice examines the balances. What is the decision of the Judge? Is it, Thou art found wanting? Or is it, The righteousness of Christ is imputed to you because you have let Him take away your sins? How is it with your soul? You know not how soon you may be called uponEA 357.7

    to render your account to God. The word comes to each one, “Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.” “Behold, the judge standeth at the door.” Come to Christ with your whole heart. Realize the sin of prevarication and untruthfulness. See yourselves hopeless, sinful, and polluted. See that Christ is your offering, your righteousness. His righteousness will outweigh all the demands of justice. Accept Him as your personal Saviour, and you will not be found wanting when the Lord shall come. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.” There is pardon for all who repent.EA 358.1

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