A Word to the Clergy.


YOU who profess to stand on the walls of Zion, tell us, Is danger near? or does the sun of prosperity beam forth with increasing splendor on this sin cursed earth? What answer do you give when the anxious people cry, "Watchman what of the night?" Do you allay their fears and soothe their anxious hearts by putting far away the evil day? or do you warn them of danger near, and seek to prepare them to stand in the evil time?

The station you occupy is most important.  You should seek to know the will of your Commander, and to declare plainly the word of the Lord; but you have not done this. The pride of life and the vain show of this wicked world, have drawn your eyes away from the bright inheritance reserved in heaven for the faithful. Instead of being taught of the Lord and guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit, you have sought unto the wise ones of the earth; to schools where the word of the Lord is cut to a certain pattern, and your mind moulded to fit some creed, propped up by a few scraps of scripture, which perhaps are misapplied. You have studied the wisdom of men instead of that of God; you have drunk of the muddy stream instead of going to the clear sparkling fountain, the Bible. The sweet, simple truths of inspiration you dare not taste till they have passed through the channel of the world's approval, and till the meager supply that reaches you of the once sparkling waters has been fouled by the feet of those who have changed the truth of God into a lie.

You may be deceived, and you may deceive yourselves. In either case you may be enlightened by humbling yourselves before God, and searching his revealed will. Your condition in this respect will not excuse you when you stand before God; neither will it excuse those that have gone astray through your instrumentality.  If you have blinded them, the sin, in a certain degree, lies at your door; but if you have put out their spiritual eyes, and then pretend to them that you have light, and can lead them, while you yourselves are blind, and you both fall into the ditch, who would not tremble at the fate that awaits you?

The prophets of God tell us with unerring certainty that we are in the "last days."  And while the prophetic eye, and hand of inspiration are pointing to this generation as the one that is to receive the vials of wrath, and as the days when perilous times should come, dare you stand up and cry "Peace, peace, a thousand years of peace before the wrath of God will come?" Your very cry of peace shall witness against you; "for when they shall say peace and safety then sudden destruction cometh upon them."

It is your place to warn the people of danger, and help them get the shield and buckler that will enable them to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. "His truth shall be thy shield and buckler," said the prophet of God. Have you wrapped "the truth" about the people so that they will be protected from the "noisome pestilence" in the day of the Lord? or have you sprinkled your people with the stream that issues from under the dragon's throne (Rome), and by so doing helped sustain the errors of that power which should "cast down the truth to the ground." Dan.viii,12. God's holy law is "the truth" [Psa.xcvi,13. Jas.ii,12. Psa.cxix,142,151]; and the remnant church, those that will be able to stand when the day of wrath shall come, are found keeping the commandments. Rev.xii,17. For these the everlasting gates will be lifted up that they may enter in.  Rev.xxii,14.  Isa.xxvi,2.

The commandments of God will be a hedge to separate the saints from the wicked, and shield them in the day of the Lord.  The wicked Papacy has made gaps in this hedge by removing the second commandment, and virtually destroying the fourth, by taking out the word "seventh."  Prophets have foretold this blasphemous work of the Papacy, Dan.vii,25; viii,12,; xi,30. And now it devolves upon you as watchmen on the walls of Zion, as Protestants to "make up the hedge;" to restore the "breach."  This you have partially done by restoring the second commandment, yet the work is far from being accomplished; the hedge is not yet made up, while you trample on the fourth commandment, and proclaim to the anxious world, safety.

It yet remains for you to restore the Sabbath in order to complete the work. Isa.lviii,12,13. If you will not perform this work, others will, and will have the exalted privilege of being called "The repairers of the breach."  As individuals you can help do this, but as a body we do not expect it; for the prophetic eye has foreseen and pointed out the iniquity of these prophets as a body. "O Israel thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts.  Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord."  Eze.xiii,4,5. But such are not contented to see a gap in God's holy law; it would be too glaring; it would show too plainly the deep rooted malice they bear to the law of God.  Rom.viii,7. But what have they done instead of going into the gaps and making up the hedge?  Let the same prophet answer.  "And one built up a wall, and lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar."  Eze.xiii,10.  Instead of making a hedge in the gap they have built up a wall; instead of replacing the Sabbath back in the breach, one (the man of sin) has built up a wall, Sunday keeping, and then looks calmly on and cries "Safety."  The (false) prophets in the last days do not build up the wall.  No, no; but they daub it with untempered mortar." In vain do they search the Bible for something to hide the deformity of the Papal wall; but as tempered mortar is not to be had, they eagerly plaster on the untempered, and try to smooth it over with the traditions of the fathers.

Though you do not literally go about to establish your own righteousness [Rom.x,3], yet you approximate to this point, by seeking to establish your own rule of right as revised and improved by the "man of sin."  You are not ignorant of God's rule of right, but you prefer your own. And with this rule you are trying to hedge in the world, while you look with indifference at the gap in which is built up the wall. In vain will you daub the wall for it will not protect you in the day of the wrath of God. This very breach, the Sabbath commandment, will be the very one by which the destroyer will enter.  The vials of wrath will be poured out on those that receive the mark of the beast (papacy). Rev.xiv,9-11, xvi,2. Under the last vial the great hail will fall upon men. What then becomes of the wall and those that are now daubing it?  Hear the answer.  "Say unto them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall; there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. . . . . Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall and upon them that have daubed it with untempered mortar; and I will say unto you, The wall is no more neither they that daubed it."  Eze.xiii,11,15. This prophecy cannot be laid upon the shoulders of the poor Jews; for it applies down near the "day of the Lord." It applies to the generation living when the plagues are poured out.  It is a remarkable fact that the clergy of these days whenever they find a promise in the word of God, take it right home to themselves; but if they stumble over a curse the poor Jews or Jerusalem must bear the smart.  It is no wonder that you stand amazed at the enormous loads you think are heaped upon them, and seek to comfort them by proclaiming the restoration of that downtrodden people to their ancient home, and see "visions of peace" for Jerusalem. Eze.xiii,16.

It will be in vain to change the truth of God into a lie, and then proclaim safety to those who take refuge therein, "for the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies."  Isa.xxviii,17.

You may say the Sabbath is not necessary to make up the hedge; you may turn away thinking the subject of no importance, but the prophet has anticipated you. "Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things; they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them." Eze.xxii,26. This is the same class that have daubed the wall with untempered mortar.  See verse 28.

Though the prophetic denunciations are very cutting, it is better to be broken now than in the day of the wrath of God.  It is much easier to preach the truth than an error; though you do not get as much filthy lucre, you will get those never fading crowns, and will shine in the kingdom of God forever and ever.  Dan.xii,3.  Take heed lest that come upon you which is spoken by the prophets, and you perish when the overflow-scourge shall pass through.
Eagle Harbor, N. Y.