Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)



Ms 1, 1879

The Publishing Work


June 6, 1879

Portions of this manuscript are published in PM 331-333.

My husband has seen the evil of these low prices upon publications, and has felt deeply over it; but by his zealous efforts to correct the error, he has been in danger of producing a greater one. He will not improve the condition of things by appealing to the people, and thus arousing their fears and jealous surmisings. God would not be pleased to have matters printed that would lesson the confidence of the people in our leading men. When this is done, a fiftyfold greater effort will be required to bring our people up to the point of self-denial and missionary labor. They will say, “Our leaders were mistaken once; they may be again. I will wait and see and know for myself before I make another move. One man, professing to have light, teaches us to do one thing, and the next minister tells us that the first man’s manner of working was all wrong and says that he has just the plan for us to follow. How are we to know whom to believe?” 3LtMs, Ms 1, 1879, par. 1

This course would be highly displeasing to God. He has shown that our leading men should be in harmony. They should not put articles in print or bring matters before the people until, by counseling together, these subjects are understood among themselves, and they are at agreement among themselves. 3LtMs, Ms 1, 1879, par. 2

Whatever may have been the mistakes in the Tract and Missionary work, the motives were the best; and even if the matter has been carried quite too far, and altogether too strongly, disproportionately with the other branches of the work, without proper discernment, it would be unwise to publish this fact in our papers. We should correct these errors as soon as possible among ourselves without giving publicity to them. 3LtMs, Ms 1, 1879, par. 3

There has been devising and planning in reference to prices without due forethought. Dr. Kellogg should not be sharp and exacting with the Review and Herald office, neither should its managers be sharp with the doctor. The office should receive fair compensation for all the work that it does; but sharp dealing must not be practiced by the managers of these institutions. Dr. Kellogg should treat the office in the same manner in which he would have the sanitarium treated, remembering that it is God’s instrumentality. It is wading deeply in debt. God alone can work out these embarrassments in both institutions. If both make God their trust, He will work with them. 3LtMs, Ms 1, 1879, par. 4

Let the proper estimate be placed upon the publications, and then let all in our offices study to economize in every possible way, even though considerable inconvenience is caused in consequence. Stop every leak. Mind the little things. It is the little losses that tell heavily in the end. Look after the littles, gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost; for many who look after the larger matters have never learned to guard and save the trifles. Waste not the minutes, for they mar the hours. Persevering diligence, work done in faith, will always be crowned with success. Some men think it beneath their dignity to look after small things. They consider it the evidence of a narrow mind and small spirit to be careful of the littles. Watch the little outgoes; save the little incomes. The smallest leak has sunk many a ship. No derision or jesting should keep us from saving the littles. Nothing that would serve the purpose should be left to go to waste. A lack of economy will bring debt upon our institutions. Much money may be received, but it will be lost in the little wastes of every branch of the work. Economy is not stinginess. 3LtMs, Ms 1, 1879, par. 5

Every interested working man and woman employed in the office should be a faithful sentinel, watching the littles, that nothing be wasted. They should guard against supposed wants and expenditures of means. Some men will live better on four hundred dollars a year than others will on eight hundred. Just so it is with our institutions. Some can manage them with far less capital than others. God would have every worker practice economy, and especially learn to be faithful accountants. 3LtMs, Ms 1, 1879, par. 6

Our periodicals have been offered for a limited time on trial at a very low figure, but this has failed to accomplish the object designed, to secure many permanent subscribers. These efforts have been made at considerable expense which is a loss, but with the best motives; but more permanent subscribers would have been obtained if no reduction in price had been made. 3LtMs, Ms 1, 1879, par. 7

There have been some sharp dealings between the two offices, and the Spirit of the Lord has been grieved. God will not serve with such a spirit. Anything like a spirit of striking sharp bargains with these offices by those who have the management of them is wrong. Any narrow, selfish feeling indulged to exalt one to the detriment of the other is also wrong. Any reflection or insinuation, by pen or by word of mouth, that shall lessen the influence of either institution or worker is not in accordance with the will of God. 3LtMs, Ms 1, 1879, par. 8

Henry Kellogg is bearing too many burdens, but if he will use all the ability he has, if he will keep humble before God, and be a faithful witness for the truth, the Lord will sustain him in his labors. His business tact is of service to the office. He carries heavy responsibilities. In many other positions he could labor with less care and burden, and with much larger financial profit. His brethren must see the injustice of allowing such a man no higher wages than one who works only mechanically. To rob the poor will not please God. A proper estimate should be put upon the publications, so that the office can pay better wages to those who need it, and whose faithfulness makes them deserving of it. 3LtMs, Ms 1, 1879, par. 9

Henry Kellogg has not selfishly studied ease or convenience. He has been true to the interests of the office; but many things that need his attention remain unnoticed because he has so many extra burdens to carry. His interest is interwoven with the office of publication. His name has not been registered on the church book, but it should stand there; for he has proved himself. His influence must tell in the church, and he needs all the advantages he can gain in the service of God. “Them that honor Me, I will honor, saith the Lord.” [1 Samuel 2:30.] 3LtMs, Ms 1, 1879, par. 10