Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Ms 62, 1890

Devotion to God Needed in the Publishing House

Salamanca, New York

November 3, 1890

Portions similar to Ms 6, 1890 and Ms 40, 1890. Previously unpublished. +Note

There is great danger that our institutions will lose the elevated spiritual character which they should possess, which from their very establishment God has mentioned as that which should distinguish them. The Review and Herald Publishing House is not in a right condition before God. The <spiritual> atmosphere in the office is not healthful. The managers are not fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. While they profess to believe the Bible, they fail to practice its teachings. They are hearers, but not doers of the Word. The heavenly graces are not found in the heart or woven into the character. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 1

Jesus says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” [Matthew 6:33.] Christ must be first, and the world second. If men possessed the truth as it is in Jesus, they would not engage in the sacred work in carelessness of spirit, but would most earnestly seek for heavenly direction. They would realize the truth of the Saviour’s words, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] I have been instructed of the Lord that those who are bearing responsibilities in the work need now the anointing of the Spirit of God, to quicken their perceptions, clear their vision, that they may no longer fail to discern sacred and eternal realities. The relative importance of eternal and temporal matters should be better understood. Then the workers will not make an atom of a world, and a world of an atom. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 2

Men who bear responsibilities in the publishing house need divine enlightenment, that their business transactions may meet the approval of God. In the different departments of our work there is great danger that the workmen will separate from Christ, and that a worldly mold will be given to the business of our institutions. Satan is working to this end constantly. The Lord is against all this. Let every one who is handling sacred things remember that the gospel stands in sharp antagonism to the spirit of the world; for the whole world lieth in wickedness. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 3

Unless the workmen daily walk with God, they will exert an influence that will bring the displeasure of God upon them. Noble integrity is not always manifested in your business transactions, and every sharp transaction in deal, every bargain made to advantage yourselves to the disadvantage of others, is breaking God’s holy law. You prove by this that you do not love your neighbor as yourselves; and you, even you that handle sacred things, are registered as transgressors of the commandments of Jehovah. Those who do the work of God can dishonor God’s name most decidedly by being sharp and grasping in deal. You may not call these transactions dishonest, but God looks upon them in this light. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 4

Everything that relates to the work of God must be done in accordance with the principles of strictest integrity. Not only in dealings with those of our own faith, but with unbelievers also, the principle of honesty must be made manifest. Angels of God are watching all the workers, ready to help those who need help, whose hearts are drawn out in desire to honor God and benefit man. Your business transactions must be characterized by the purest equity. Partiality must not be indulged. One man is not to be highly favored, and another put down as a footstool; God declares that He will judge for all these things. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 5

Success will attend your efforts in proportion to your consecration, self-denial, and self-sacrifice. I was instructed that the Lord’s will was not fulfilled when the chief workers in the office were willing to take such large wages, for this was greatly at variance with the principles upon which the publishing house was established. It is not in harmony with the spirit and character of the work of God. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 6

If the men in the office would pray more, if they would not neglect the means of grace, but be in earnest to feed the soul on heavenly manna, and if they had to neglect anything, rather let it be their business than the nourishment of their spiritual nature, they would grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. Those required to bear responsibilities are not to take so many trusts that they can find no time to seek the wisdom which God alone can bestow. The Spirit of the Lord can do more for you in your work in a short time, than you could do by your unaided efforts through a life-time of endeavor. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 7

Suppose Jesus does not preside in your business councils, suppose business matters are allowed to be all engrossing—and they have absorbed you in the past—and the things which belong to your eternal interests are neglected, then there is sin against God; you commit robbery, deal dishonestly with Him whose property you are. You defraud your own souls, and neglect to be doers of the Word. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 8

No one can lade himself down with business cares, until he feels obliged to neglect things of a spiritual nature and loses his fervor in serving the Lord, without making grievous mistakes, because he trusts his own finite wisdom. He does not feel his dependence upon God for every breath he draws, but becomes self-important, self-exalted, because he loses sight of Jesus. Here is where thousands in all ages have made the greatest possible mistake, and have made shipwreck of faith. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 9

This excessive interest in business matters has been manifest in the office, and God is not pleased. We see <everywhere> family and home religion neglected, altars broken down, first love abandoned, and the religion of Christ expelled from the soul, to give place to speculation and business enterprises; and these things are constantly multiplying. Men are leaving God and heaven out of their calculations, and the time that should be spent in searching the heart is considered wasted. The Bible is neglected, and a multitude of cares choke the growth of the good seed in the heart, and there is no fruit to the glory of God. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 10

The tenderness of spirit, the kindness, the courtesy, the refinement of feeling that characterizes those who are learning in the school of Christ has passed out of the heart and life of many who think that God is using them. The plain commands of God in regard to mercy and tender compassion for the widow and the fatherless, the poor and oppressed, are ignored. A harsh, dictatorial spirit has been developed, and God has seen it all. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 11

Every transaction between man and man has been written in His books of record, and will be revealed in the judgment. Jesus has said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” [Matthew 25:40.] Christ identifies His interest with that of suffering humanity; and if, in pride of spirit, a brother bruises the soul of his fellowman, the Lord writes it as if done unto Himself. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 12

If every one of you could realize the effect of your sharp words; if you could see the discouragement that comes upon the soul; if you could see Jesus wounded and bruised because of your harsh criticisms and denunciations, you would manifest great carefulness in dealing with those about you, because they have been purchased by the blood of Christ and are accounted precious with God. You would treat them as you desire to be treated. You would not dare to exhibit your objectionable traits of character. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 13

Your hearts would be melted to obey the words of the apostle Paul: “Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ also forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” [Colossians 3:12-17.] 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 14

O that all in the office, from the highest to the lowest, would practice the teachings of Christ! O that they would “continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how to answer every man.” [Colossians 4:2, 6.] “Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” [James 3:13.] Here will be <revealed> the character of the tree by the fruit it bears. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 15

In order to carry out the instruction we find in the Word of God, we need an indwelling Saviour. The Lord Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” [Revelation 3:20.] The cold, critical, sarcastic spirit that has found place in the hearts of the workers has driven out the love of Jesus. Expel this spirit, which is so unlike Christ, and let Jesus supply the vacuum with His own spirit of tenderness and compassion. Then you will be vessels unto honor, workmen for God, who need not to be ashamed. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 16

You can never gain respect as Christians unless you represent Christ in spirit, in temper, in deportment, in every business transaction. In order to do good to those who are connected with you, you must inspire them with confidence in your piety, with admiration for your principles. If they see that you are stern, iron-hearted, cold, unloving, they know you have no connection with Christ. Christ has commanded us to love one another as He has loved us. Have men in responsible positions cultivated this love? 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 17

God proclaims His own character as “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” [Exodus 34:6, 7.] He says again, “I am the Lord, which exerciseth loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight.” [Jeremiah 9:24.] “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” [Micah 6:8.] “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” [Isaiah 1:16, 17.] 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 18

The Lord requires that a different spirit shall be manifested in the lives of the leading men in the Office. Then they will have wisdom to teach others also. In all their councils they need altogether another spirit, a spirit of meekness, not of pomposity, not a strong, hard, exacting spirit. Their light is not to flash forth in sparks of their own kindling, but they are to receive light from the Sun of Righteousness, and reflect it upon others. They must hold fast the beginning of their confidence in God and in His truth, even unto the end. There must be a life-long, persevering, untiring effort on their part. They must fight the good fight of faith, for the struggle is life-long, but the victory is certain. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 19

Every soul who has Christ abiding in him will receive grace for grace. As you add the graces of the Spirit of God, God will abundantly multiply the adornments of His nature; He will beautify the meek with salvation. Those who manifest a noble spirit, walking in the holy footsteps of Christ, will represent the character of their Redeemer, not fitfully, but will reveal Christ constantly, maintaining integrity, uprightness, and holiness. “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.” [2 Peter 3:17.] Neglect no means of grace; in this matter. You should feel that you have an important part to act in union with the church. You are to be an example to all with whom you are connected. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 20

In His prayer to His Father, Christ said, “I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified.” [John 17:19.] By your example you are to make it manifest that there is much need of attending the means of grace. You who profess to be Christians, put away your levity, your criticism, for it is an offense to God. There are men upon whom God is laying the burden of the work, that they may connect with our institutions, and you may greatly mar their experience by your own lack of piety, by your want of respect for sacred things. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 21

God calls upon you to yield yourselves to the control of His divine Spirit, that you may be able to guide the youth heavenward. In order to do this, you need Jesus at every step. Pray that He will give you a heart of flesh, a heart that can feel the sorrows of others, that can be touched with human woe. Pray that He will give you a heart that will not permit you to turn a deaf ear to the widow or the fatherless. Pray that you may have bowels of mercy for the poor, the infirm, and the oppressed. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 22

Pray that you may love justice and hate robbery, and make no difference in the bestowal of your favors, except to consider the cases of the needy and the unfortunate. Then the promises recorded in (Isaiah 58) will be fulfilled to you! “If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day. And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.” 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 23

Through neglecting to seek counsel of God, men connected with our institutions will form themselves into a ring to echo the sentiments of him whom they consider most influential. <Thus they strengthen one another in rejecting the message God sends by His servants, if these messages do not, in all respects, meet the ideas of some leading men.> But the purpose of God is not to be turned aside according to their ideas. My guide spoke slowly and solemnly: “Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear all ye far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand: For God is with us.” [Isaiah 8:9, 10.] 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 24

But while their counsels will in the end come to confusion, those leading men are exerting an influence that will result in the loss of many souls. <Some> come <at great expense> from other States and from foreign countries to Battle Creek, <thinking that> the place where the message of truth is published, and our large institutions are established, must be next to heaven. How great their disappointment when those who have had every spiritual advantage show <so little> respect for the light given them, and <by their sophistry> make it of no effect. <When> the message of God is <sometimes> made the subject of criticism, and the messenger of ridicule, what impressions are made upon the minds of those newcomers? 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 25

Men may be selected by the conference to connect with the Office of Publication, but unless these men thus intrusted with weighty responsibilities look to God, unless they realize that eternal vigilance is the price of safety, unless they seek counsel of God in all things connected with His sacred work, they will be turned from the safe path. They will become spiritually blind, for Satan is an ever-vigilant worker to make of none effect the work of God. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 26

Unless these men associated together are daily converted men, and educate themselves to realize the sacredness of the work of God for these last days, unless they are sober-minded, and daily obtaining a deeper experience in the things of God, they will imperil the work. It is not enough that they assent to the truth; the question is, Do they know for themselves what is truth, and are they sanctified through the truth? Has the truth been brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul, working daily its transformation of character? The present and future will plainly reveal whether they receive Christ and become meek and lowly in heart. Without Christ abiding in the soul, they are lost. “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] They must have a growing faith, an increasing knowledge of God and His will, <progressing from strength to strength.> 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 27

When Brother Chadwick became connected with the publishing house, he had much to learn; and it was hoped that under the responsibility, he would not allow his hold on God to weaken, but would become a man of deeper piety, growing in grace and the knowledge of Christ, <and become better qualified for to do God’s service.> But the atmosphere that has surrounded him, the spirit, the words and example of strong minds and firm wills, sometimes set in the wrong way, have had an influence to transform him. His natural traits of character have overcome him. He has injured his own soul, and injured the work. He has become sick at heart and desperate when opposed, and he is now another man. Saul became another man because the Spirit of the Lord rested upon him, and he had another heart given him. But in the case of Brother Chadwick, the change is of a different character, and from a different source. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 28

I have no words to speak individually to the men from whom this influence has come; my words must be spoken to them as a whole. It is not to be left to them to repeat my words to others, or to trample them under their feet and make of none effect the warning. I present the matter to them as God has presented it to me. How long will these men walk in darkness, when they have evidence piled on evidence that the testimonies given them are indicted by the Spirit of God to warn and to save His people? How long shall men in positions of trust fail to discern where and in what manner God is working? Eyes have they, but they see not. Ears have they, but they hear not. Understanding have they, but they understand not the things of God. Reproofs and warnings should not harden you, for “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth, therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty; for he maketh sore, and he bindeth up; he woundeth, and his hands make whole.” [Job 5:17, 18.] 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 29

Many of the old, experienced workers have fallen in death. Those who led out in the work of God, <who> had seen how the Lord guided and worked at every step, <had gained an experience of more value than gold. They> have nearly all passed from the scene of action. In every branch of the work, men have been connected with it who have departed from the principles laid down by the Lord Jehovah to control the working of His cause. Inexperienced hands and unsanctified minds have been placing their mold upon the work, and the footprints of the Lord Jesus have been almost obliterated. They follow another leader. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 30

In the antediluvian world there were talented men, men who possessed skill and knowledge, who could have made the name of God a praise in the earth; but they became lifted up in their own imagination, exalted themselves as gods, and because they left God out of their plans and councils, they became wise to do evil. Their wisdom would have worked destruction to all who came after them, had not the Lord taken the matter in hand, and cut them off from the earth. The probation given them in mercy, they devoted to ridiculing him whom God had sent to warn them. They criticized and caricatured him; but their boasted wisdom could not save them from the waters of the flood. Men who believe themselves to be wise in our day will do well to recognize the fact that there is an unsanctified wisdom which cometh not from above but from beneath, and has been in the world ever since the fall. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 31

It is because of the great want of personal piety among the workers in the office that they are so easily molded by this unsanctified wisdom. It results from the lack of connection with God. They take very little time to seek God’s counsel with contrition of soul, with earnest searching of heart. The spiritual atmosphere that surrounds their souls makes it manifest that they have not a constant reliance upon God. The most sacred truths are fast losing their preciousness and sanctity to them. They have but little respect for those who have stood under the direction of God, seeking counsel from Him who is mighty in wisdom, in founding and building up His work in the earth. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 32

The consecration, the vital piety, the humility which God required of those who led out in the work, the Lord requires now, in carrying it forward to completion; but it exists <in faint lines> among them. Jesus, the blessed and only Potentate between God and man, is not working with them <in power.> Unless the converting power of God shall be felt upon the hearts of men in positions of trust, they will not, cannot, be one with Christ, keeping the way of the Lord; but like the Pharisees in the days of Christ, they will teach for doctrines the commandments of men, and the Lord will have no more use for them. They cannot be trusted to be laborers together with God, while they cannot discern the spirit that characterizes the work from its commencement. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 33

The True Witness says, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candle stick out of thy place, except thou repent.” [Revelation 2:5.] If there was far more repentance, and less self-sufficiency, less self-boasting, we should see spiritual things more clearly. God desires that you come into vital connection with Himself, and then Christ will abide in the heart, and a flame of pure devotion will be kindled in the soul. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 34

Just as surely as the Lord places men in positions of holy trust He will qualify them for their responsibilities and give them His Holy Spirit, if they are contrite of heart and seek Him earnestly that they may do the sacred, important work committed to them day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. But they must maintain their consecration to God and study His Word with faithfulness and prayer. If men entrusted with sacred responsibilities will give themselves unreservedly to God and will become Bible Christians, the Lord will work upon their hearts, that they may be transformed in character. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 35

Some <will> say, “I have done the best I can.” And in your own strength perhaps you have, because of yourself you can do no good thing. But in order to work the works of Christ, you must depend upon Him with living, persevering faith. You can take yourself away from the channel of light, you can breathe the worldly atmosphere and become mere business men. But will this pay? You cannot think so with eternity in view. Will separation from the work of God take you away from temptation? By no means. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 36

Those engaged in any line of the Master’s work are liable to make mistakes, but should they drop the work in order to avoid mistakes, they would make a still more perilous mistake. In choosing easier and less responsible positions, will they be more likely to maintain their consecration to God? 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 37

Will they not rather repeat the history of the man who buried his talent in the earth because his Lord’s requirements were thought to be too severe? This unfaithful man professed to know God, and yet he charged the Lord with fraud; he had a false conception of the character of God. The accusation of the slothful and wicked servant was not an excuse framed for the moment, but an expression of the true sentiments of his heart. The selfish churl regarded the Lord as the possessor of a character like his own. He did not have the simplicity of heart which genuine religion, an experimental knowledge of God, can give, and therefore did not believe in God’s free mercy, in the rich gift of His grace. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 38

To know God is to trust Him fully, to believe that He will do His work through His human instruments. O, what misapprehension there is in the world today concerning the character of God! Men need to be restored to God and to themselves. It is so hard for men to see their motives, to judge of the temper of their spirit. It is so hard for them to acknowledge frankly from the heart, as did David, “I have sinned; I have a spirit unlike Christ.” The men who have had the greatest power in the world have lived in the light reflected from the cross of Calvary. With hearts filled with sorrow because of their errors and wrongs, they have poured out their confession; they have not paraded their goodness before God; but in humility and contrition they have said, 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 39

“In my hands no price I bring,
Simply to thy cross I cling.”
6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 40

I saw the Lord Jesus looking with grieved countenance upon men who are handling sacred things, because they did not discern the sacred character of their work. He said, “Human nature cannot be trusted.” Unless Christ is <reproduced> in the character, it is valueless. Unless human nature is regenerated and transformed, there is no hope for man. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 41

No soul is safe except as he is found standing on the elevated platform close beside our Advocate and Surety, where light shines from the throne of God, illuminating the pathway, and preventing the wily foe from stealing a march upon the servants of Christ. The only hope of a perishing world is found in the union that can be formed between humanity and divinity. Humanity is perfect only as it is united with divinity. 6LtMs, Ms 62, 1890, par. 42