Ellen G. White Writings

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Manuscript Releases, vol. 17 [Nos. 1236-1300], Page 140

MR No. 1261—High Standard of Purity and Holiness to Characterize Gospel Ministers

(Written September 9, 1886, from Basle, Switzerland, to “Elder Oviatt, My Brother and Fellow Laborer.”)

For two nights I have not been able to sleep many hours. About two A.M. I have been awakened greatly burdened, and, after devoting some time to prayer, have attempted to write.

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 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.

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.

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