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Manuscript Releases Volume Fifteen : Page 200

23. How to Deal With Those Who Have Faults

[Written January 26, 1905, from Mountain View, California, to Brother and Sister Haskell.]

I have just received and read your letter.

I wish to say to you that the Lord has instructed me that Brother W. O. Palmer is not to be separated from the sympathy of the church. Brother Palmer is not perfect. Over and over again he has shown himself to be defective. I am to be as a mother to him, and as such I have spoken to him faithfully. I shall still continue to correct his wrongs, but I wish to present to him the hopeful side,that he may not fall into utter discouragement. I shall reprove his errors and encourage him in every way possible.

We need especial wisdom that we may know how to deal with those who are tempted, that we may labor for the reformation of the erring. Hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil will often gain the ascendancy. But often the very ones who would deal severely with the one in the wrong are, in the sight of God, more to be blamed than the one they so bitterly condemn. Brother Palmer knows that I am his friend. I will tell him the truth in love, clearly and truthfully, without prejudice or unfeeling severity.

In response to the charge made against Christ that He ate with publicans and sinners, Jesus replied, "I came not to call the righteous [the self-conceited

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Pharisees], but sinners to repentance." His work was not for those who would not receive His message, but with and for those who might be helped and saved after His crucifixion.

Let those who see faults and errors in their brethren go to them as Christ has directed, pray with and for them, and with hearts softened and subdued by the grace of Christ endeavor to point out kindly the wrongs that have been done.

"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven." Christ, the great Teacher, is not referring merely to those who are children in years, but to those who need care and protection in their religious experience. [Matt. 18-11-20, quoted.]

Do not these words encourage us to do more praying for our brethren, and less accusing of them? I know that if these directions were followed with those who are sin-sick, the Lord Jesus would be better pleased. Would this not be better than to separate an individual from the church, and leave him a subject of Satan's temptations? When all will study their Bibles closely, and give heed to its teachings, the saving grace of Christ will be manifested to the church in rich blessings. I am directed that we must continue our work of soul-saving in harmony with the Bible plan.

"Then came Peter unto Him, and said, "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but until seventy times seven."

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Brother Haskell, read this instruction to the church at Nashville and at other places. Tell them that if they will read the Bible and walk in its counsels and directions, there will not be the difficulties to contend with that they have now. In our institutions and in our churches, there needs to be an entire change of action in dealing with those who are in fault. Let the sympathy and love of Christ come in, and the still, cold heart will be melted by His grace, and a heavenly atmosphere will pervade the church.

Study the eighteenth chapter of Matthew. Print it in The Watchman . And may our Lord Jesus Christ give His grace to every member of His church, that they may all be established in His word. [Matt. 7:1-5, quoted.]--Letter 31, 1905. Ellen G. White Estate Washington, D. C. October 8, 1985 Entire letter.