Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3


Chapter 19—Laborers in the Office

Those in the office who profess to believe the truth should show the power of the truth in their lives and prove that they are working onward and upward from the basis of principle. They should be molding their lives and characters after the perfect Model. If all could look with a discerning eye into the tremendous realities of eternity, what a horror of condemnation would seize some in the office who now pass on with seeming indifference, although separated from eternal scenes by a very small space. Many warnings have been given, and urged home with intense feeling and earnest prayers, every one of which is faithfully registered in heaven, to balance the account of each in the day of final investigation. The unwearying love of Christ has followed those engaged in His work in the office. God has followed them with blessings and entreaties, yet hating the sins and unfaithfulness that cling to them as the leprosy. The deep and solemn truths to which those in the office have had the privilege of listening should take hold upon their sympathies and lead them to a high appreciation of the light that God has given them. If they will walk in the light, it will beautify and ennoble their lives with heaven's own adornment, purity and true goodness. 3T 190.1

A way is opened before everyone in the office to engage from the heart directly in the work of Christ and the salvation of souls. Christ left heaven and the bosom of His Father to come to a friendless, lost world to save those who would be saved. He exiled Himself from His Father and exchanged the pure companionship of angels for that of fallen humanity, all polluted with sin. With grief and amazement, Christ witnesses the coldness, the indifference and neglect, with which His professed followers in the office treat the light and the messages of warning and of love He has given them. Christ has provided the bread and water of life for all who hunger and thirst. 3T 190.2

The Lord requires all in the office to labor from high motives. In His own life, Christ has given them an example. All should labor with interest, devotion, and faith for the salvation of souls. If all in the office will labor with unselfish purposes, discerning the sacredness of the work, the blessing of God will rest upon them. If all had cheerfully and gladly taken up their several burdens, the wear and perplexity would not have come so heavily upon my husband. 3T 190.3

How few earnest prayers have been sent up to God in faith for those who worked in the office who were not fully in the truth! Who has felt the worth of the soul for whom Christ died? Who have been laborers in the vineyard of the Lord? I saw that angels were grieved with the trifling frivolities of the professed followers of Christ who were handling sacred things in the office. Some have no more sense of the sacredness of the work than if they were engaged in common labor. God now calls for the fruitless cumberers of the ground to consecrate themselves to Him and center their affections and hopes in Him. 3T 191.1

The Lord would have all connected with the office become caretakers and burden bearers. If they are pleasure seekers, if they do not practice self-denial, they are not fit for a place in the office. The workers at the office should feel when they enter it that it is a sacred place, a place where the work of God is being done in the publication of a truth which will decide the destiny of souls. This is not felt or realized as it should be. There is conversation in the typesetting department which diverts the mind from the work. The office is no place for visiting, for a courting spirit, or for amusement or selfishness. All should feel that they are doing work for God. He who sifts all motives and reads all hearts is proving, and trying, and sifting His people, especially those who have light and knowledge, and who are engaged in His sacred work. God is a searcher of hearts and a trier of the reins, and will accept nothing less than entire devotion to the work and consecration to Himself. All in the office should take up their daily duties as if in the presence of God. They should not be satisfied with doing just enough to pass along, and receive their wages; but all should work in any place where they can help the most. In Brother White's absence there are some faithful ones; there are others who are eyeservants. If all in the office who profess to be followers of Christ had been faithful in the performance of duty in the office, there would have been a great change for the better. Young men and young women have been too much engrossed in each other's society, talking, jesting, and joking, and angels of God have been driven from the office. 3T 191.2

Marcus Lichtenstein was a God-fearing youth; but he saw so little true religious principle in those in the church and those working in the office that he was perplexed, distressed, disgusted. He stumbled over the lack of conscientiousness in keeping the Sabbath manifested by some who yet professed to be commandment keepers. Marcus had an exalted regard for the work in the office; but the vanity, the trifling, and the lack of principle stumbled him. God had raised him up and in His providence connected him with His work in the office. But there is so little known of the mind and will of God by some who work in the office that they looked upon this great work of the conversion of Marcus from Judaism as of no great importance. His worth was not appreciated. He was frequently pained with the deportment of F and of others in the office; and when he attempted to reprove them, his words were received with contempt that he should venture to instruct them. His defective language was an occasion of jest and amusement with some. 3T 192.1

Marcus felt deeply over the case of F, but he could not see how he could help him. Marcus never would have left the office if the young men had been true to their profession. If he makes shipwreck of faith, his blood will surely be found on the skirts of the young who profess Christ, but who, by their works, their words, and their deportment, state plainly that they are not of Christ, but of the world. This deplorable state of neglect, of indifference and unfaithfulness, must cease; a thorough and permanent change must take place in the office, or those who have had so much light and so great privileges should be dismissed and others take their places, even if they be unbelievers. It is a fearful thing to be self-deceived. Said the angel, pointing to those in the office: “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” A profession is not enough. There must be a work inwrought in the soul and carried out in the life. 3T 192.2

The love of Christ reaches to the very depths of earthly misery and woe, or it would not meet the case of the veriest sinner. It also reaches to the throne of the Eternal, or man could not be lifted from his degraded condition, and our necessities would not be met, our desires would not be satisfied. Christ has led the way from earth to heaven. He forms the connecting link between the two worlds. He brings the love and condescension of God to man, and brings man up through His merits to meet the reconciliation of God. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. It is hard work to follow on, step by step, painfully and slowly, onward and upward, in the path of purity and holiness. But Christ has made ample provision to impart new vigor and divine strength at every advance step in the divine life. This is the knowledge and experience that the hands in the office all want, and must have, or they daily bring reproach upon the cause of Christ. 3T 193.1

Brother G is making a mistake in his life. He puts too high an estimate upon himself. He has not commenced to build in a right way to make a success of life. He is building at the top, but the foundation is not laid right. The foundation must be laid underground, and then the building can go up. He needs a discipline and experience in the everyday duties of life which the sciences will not give; all his education will not give him physical exercise to become inured to the hardships of life. 3T 193.2

From what has been shown me, there should be a careful selection of help in the office. The young and untried and unconsecrated should not be placed there, for they are exposed to temptations and have not fixed characters. Those who have formed their characters, who have fixed principles, and who have the truth of God in the heart will not be a constant source of care and anxiety, but rather helps and blessings. The office of publication is amply able to make arrangements to secure good helpers, those who have ability and principle. And the church, in their turn, should not seek to advantage themselves one penny from those who come to the office to labor and learn their trade. There are positions where some can earn better wages than at the office, but they can never find a position more important, more honorable, or more exalted than the work of God in the office. Those who labor faithfully and unselfishly will be rewarded. For them there is a crown of glory prepared, compared with which all earthly honors and pleasures are as the small dust of the balance. Especially will those be blessed who have been faithful to God in watching over the spiritual welfare of others in the office. Pecuniary and temporal interests, in comparison with this, sink into insignificance. In one scale is gold dust; in the other, a human soul of such value that honor, riches, and glory have been sacrificed by the Son of God to ransom it from the bondage of sin and hopeless despair. The soul is of infinite value and demands the utmost attention. Every man who fears God in that office should put away childish and vain things, and, with true moral courage, stand erect in the dignity of his manhood, shunning low familiarity, yet binding heart to heart in the bond of Christian interest and love. Hearts yearn for sympathy and love, and are as much refreshed and strengthened by them as flowers are by showers and sunshine. 3T 193.3

The Bible should be read every day. A life of religion, of devotion to God, is the best shield for the young who are exposed to temptation in their associations while acquiring an education. The word of God will give the correct standard of right and wrong, and of moral principle. A fixed principle of truth is the only safeguard for youth. Strong purposes and a resolute will close many an open door to temptation and to influences that are unfavorable to the maintenance of Christian character. A weak, irresolute spirit indulged in boyhood and youth will make a life of constant toil and struggle because decision and firm principle are wanting. Such will ever be trammeled in making a success of this life, and they will be in danger of losing the better life. It will be safe to be earnest for the right. The first consideration should be to honor God, and the second, to be faithful to humanity, performing the duties which each day brings, meeting its trials and bearing its burdens with firmness and a resolute heart. Earnest and untiring effort, united with strong purpose and entire trust in God, will help in every emergency, will qualify for a useful life in this world, and give a fitness for the immortal life. 3T 194.1