Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1


Chapter 103—Laborers in the Office

Here I will give two testimonies, one of them written March, 1867, addressed to all engaged in the work at the Review office, the other addressed to the young who labor in the office. I am sorry to say that all those warned have more or less disregarded these testimonies and now have to confess that they pursued a course contrary to that pointed out by the testimonies. The first is as follows: 1T 585.1

While in Rochester, New York, December 25, 1865, I was shown some things concerning those who are engaged in the work at the office, also in regard to ministers whom God has called to labor in word and doctrine. Neither of these should engage in merchandise or traffic. They are called to a more sacred, elevated work, and it would be impossible for them to do justice to the work and still carry on their traffic. Those engaged at the office should have no separate interest. When they have given to the work that attention and care which it demands, they have done all they are able to do, and should not be further taxed. If trafficking which has no connection with the work of God engages the mind and occupies time, the work will not be done thoroughly and well. At the best, those engaged in the work have no physical or mental energy to spare. All are to a greater or less degree enfeebled. Such a cause, such a sacred work, as that in which they are employed should engage the powers of the mind; they should not labor mechanically, but be sanctified to the work and act as though the cause was a part of them, as though they had invested something in this great and solemn work. Unless they thus take hold of this matter with interest, their efforts will not be acceptable to God. 1T 585.2

Satan is very artful, busy, and active. His special power is brought to bear upon those who are now engaged in the work of preaching or publishing the present truth. All in connection with this work need to keep on the whole armor, for they are the special marks for Satan to attack. I saw that there is danger of becoming unguarded so that Satan will obtain an entrance and imperceptibly divert the mind from the great work. Those who fill responsible positions in the office are in danger of getting above the work and losing humbleness of mind and the simplicity which has hitherto characterized the work. 1T 586.1

Satan had a special object in striking down one at the head of the work who had a thorough experience in the rise and progress of present truth. He designed to get him out of the way, that he himself might come in and imperceptibly affect minds that were not experienced and thoroughly consecrated to the work. God designed to raise my husband to health after others had become acquainted with the burdens he had borne and had felt some of the weariness attending these burdens. At the same time they will never throw their whole soul, all the energies of mind and body, into the work and venture what he has ventured. It would never be their duty to do as he has done, for they could not stand at their post should they pass through a twentieth part of what he has endured. 1T 586.2

Satan designs to obtain a foothold in that office, and unless there is a united effort and thorough watchfulness, he will accomplish his object. Some will get above the simplicity of the work and will feel that they are sufficient when their strength is perfect weakness. God will be glorified in this great work. And unless they cherish deep and constant humility and a firm trust in God, they will trust in self, indulge self-sufficiency, and one or more will drink the bitter cup of affliction. As the work increases, there is greater necessity for thorough trust in God and dependence upon Him and a thorough interest in, and devotion to, the work. Selfish interests should be laid aside. There should be much prayer, much meditation, for this is highly necessary for the success and prosperity of the work. A spirit of traffic should not be allowed in anyone who is connected with the office. If it is permitted, the work will be neglected and marred. Common things will be placed too much upon a level with sacred things. 1T 587.1

There is great danger that some connected with the work will labor merely for wages. They manifest no special interest in the work, their heart is not in it, and they have no special sense of its sacred, exalted character. There is also special danger that those at the head of the work will become lifted up, exalted, and that the work of God will thus be marred, bearing the impress of the human instead of the divine. Satan is wide awake and persevering, yet Jesus lives, and all who make Him their righteousness, their defense, will be especially sustained. 1T 587.2

I was shown that Brethren A, B, and C were in danger of injuring their health by remaining a considerable part of their time in heated rooms not sufficiently ventilated. These brethren need more physical exercise. Their employment is sedentary, and too much of the time they breathe heated, impure air. Their lack of exercise causes a depressed circulation, and they are in danger of injuring their health permanently by neglecting to heed the laws of their being. If they violate these laws they will at some future period just as surely suffer the penalty in some form as my husband has suffered it. They will be sustained no more than was he. No one of them is capable of enduring even a small part of the physical and mental taxation which he endured. 1T 588.1

These brethren take the work with the heaviest battles fought, the sorest trials passed through, to establish the cause in its present standing. And yet a great and solemn work is before us, and it calls for devotedness from them and also from Brother D, who is in danger of exaltation. God will prove him and try him, and he must be girded about with truth and have on the armor of righteousness, or he will fall by the hand of the enemy. All these brethren need to adhere most strictly and perseveringly to a healthful, spare diet, for all are in danger of congested brains, and paralysis may fell one or more or all of them, if they continue living carelessly or recklessly. 1T 588.2

I saw that God had specially selected Brother B to engage in a great and exalted work. He would have cares and burdens, and yet all these could be so much more easily borne with true devotion and consecration to the work. Brother B, you need a deeper draft from salvation's fountain, a more thorough draft from the fountain of sanctification. Your will has not yet been fully submitted to the will of God. You move on because you think you cannot do otherwise; but to walk in cheerful light because you can see that Christ Jesus leads the way before you, you have failed to do. Standing in the responsible place which you occupy, you have in all this hurt your own soul and influenced others. If you walk contrary to God, He will walk contrary to you. God wants to use you, but you must die to self and sacrifice your pride. The Lord designs to use you in His cause if you will follow His opening providence and heartily and fully sanctify yourself and cleanse yourself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 1T 588.3


The following is the second testimony, written in May, 1867, and addressed to the young who were laboring in the office: 1T 589.1

Dear Young Friends who are employed in the office of publication at Battle Creek: A burden is resting upon me in regard to you. I have been repeatedly shown that all who are connected with the work of God in publishing the present truth to be scattered to every part of the field should be Christians, not only in name, but in deed and in truth. Their object should not be merely to work for wages, but all engaged in this great and solemn work should feel that their interest is in the work, and that it is a part of them. Their motives and influence in connecting themselves with this great and solemn work must bear the test of the judgment. None should be allowed to become connected with the office of publication who manifest selfishness and pride. 1T 589.2

I was shown that lightness and folly, joking and laughing, should not be indulged by the workers in the office. Those engaged in the solemn work of preparing truth to go to every part of the field should realize that their deportment has its influence. If they are careless, jesting, joking, and laughing while reading and preparing solemn truth for publication, they show that their hearts are not in the work or sanctified through the truth. They do not discern sacred things, but handle truth that is to test character, truth which is of heavenly origin, as a common tale, as a story, merely to come before the mind and be readily effaced. 1T 589.3

While in Rochester I saw that we had everything to fear in regard to the office from a health standpoint; that not one connected with it realized the necessity of thorough ventilation. Their rooms were overheated, and the atmosphere was poisoned by impurities resulting from exhalations from the lungs, and other causes. It is impossible for their minds to be in a healthy condition so as to be rightly impressed by the pure and holy truths with which they have so much to do, unless they place the proper value upon the pure, vitalizing air of heaven. 1T 590.1

I was shown that if those who are so closely connected with revealed truth give no special evidence in their lives that they are made better by the truth which is kept so constantly before them, if their lives do not testify to the fact that they are loving the truth and its sacred requirements more and more fervently, they are growing harder, and will be less and less affected by the truth and work of God, until they find themselves destitute of the emotions of the Spirit of God, dead to the heavenly impress of truth. Eternal things will not be discerned by them, but will be placed upon a low level with common things. This, I saw, had been the case with some connected with the office, and all have been remiss in this respect to a greater or lesser degree. 1T 590.2

I saw that the work of present truth should engage the interest of all. The publication of truth is God's ordained plan as a means of warning, comforting, reproving, exhorting, or convicting all to whose notice the silent, voiceless messengers may be brought. Angels of God have a part to act in preparing hearts to be sanctified by the truths published, that they may be prepared for the solemn scenes before them. None in that office are sufficient of themselves for the important work of discreetly managing matters connected with the publication of the truth. Angels must be near them to guide, to counsel, and to restrain, or the wisdom and folly of human agencies will be apparent. 1T 590.3

I saw that angels were frequently in the office, in the folding room, and in the room where the type is set. I was made to hear the laughing, the jesting, the idle, foolish talking. Again, I saw the vanity, the pride and selfishness exhibited. Angels looked sad and turned away grieved. The words I had heard, the vanity, pride, and selfishness exhibited, caused me to groan with anguish of spirit as angels left the room in disgust. Said an angel: “The heavenly messengers came to bless, that the truth carried by the voiceless preachers might have a sanctifying, holy power to attend its mission; but those engaged in this work were so distant from God, they possessed so little of the divine, and were so conformed to the spirit of the world, that the powers of darkness controlled them, and they could not be made susceptible of divine impressions.” At the same time these youth were deceived and thought they were rich and increased in goods and had need of nothing, and knew not that they were poor and miserable, blind and naked. Those who handle precious truth as they would sand know not how many times their heartless indifference to eternal things, their vanity, self-love, and pride, their laughing and senseless chatting, have driven the messengers of heaven away from the office. 1T 591.1

In deportment, words, and acts all in that office should be reserved, modest, humble, and disinterested, as was their Pattern, Jesus, the dear Saviour. They should seek God and obtain righteousness. The office is not the place for sport, for visiting, for idlers, for laughing or useless words. All should feel that they are doing a work for their Master. These truths which they read, which they act their part to prepare to send out to the people, are invitations of mercy, are reproofs, threatenings, warnings, or encouragements. These are doing their work as a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. If rejected, the judgment must decide the matter. The prayer of all in the office should be: “O God, make these truths, which are of such vital importance, clear to the comprehension of the humblest minds! May angels accompany these silent preachers and bless their influence, that souls may be saved by this humble means!” 1T 591.2

The heart should go out in fervent prayer while the hands are busy, and Satan will not find such ready access, and the soul, instead of being lifted up unto vanity, will be constantly refreshed, will be like a watered garden. Angels will delight to be near such workers, for their presence will be continually encouraged by them. A power will attend the truths published. Divine rays of light from the heavenly sanctuary will attend the precious truths sent forth, so that those who read will be refreshed and strengthened, and souls that are opposed to the truth will be convicted and compelled to say: These things are so; they cannot be gainsaid. 1T 592.1

All should feel that the office is a holy place, as sacred as the house of God. But God has been dishonored by the frivolity and lightness indulged by some connected with the work. I saw that strangers from abroad often went away from the office disappointed. They had associated it with everything sacred; but when they saw the youth, or others connected with the office, possessing but little gravity, careless in words and acts, it caused them to doubt whether, after all, this is really the work of God to prepare a people for translation to heaven. 1T 592.2

May God bless this to all concerned. 1T 592.3