Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Ms 26, 1890

Speculation in Lands and Mines

Battle Creek, Michigan

January 7, 1890

See variant Ms 26a, 1890. This manuscript is published in entirety in 15MR 68-71. +Note

Extract from Mrs. E. G. White’s Diary, January 7, 1890. 6LtMs, Ms 26, 1890, par. 1

Dealing in mining stocks is a snare to any of our brethren who invest in them. And buying and selling city lots, selling the lots at figures far above their real value, is another species of robbery. It is not lawful business. It may meet the world’s standard, but it cannot meet the standard of God. These are Satan’s traps, laid to catch souls. Our safeguard in all business transactions is the love and fear of God. There are, in our world today, the same dishonest practices that prevailed before the flood swept the world of its pollution, and that prevailed in Sodom before the wicked inhabitants of this city were consumed by fire from heaven. Satan will devise dreamlike prospects of great gain. Thus he seeks to enlist men in his service and to engross their attention with the things of the world. Representations are made that are positively untrue. Many unwary souls are beguiled and made an easy prey as they listen to the voice of a minister, which they have heard proclaiming the truth, now presenting the great advantage of speculating in land and mines. By the exaggerated accounts presented to the people, money that ought to flow into the treasury of God <just when it is needed> is diverted to other purposes. Investments in mines and land are described as a sure and unfailing source of gain; and to obtain means for the cause is the plea. The glowing descriptions have led God-loving, God-fearing men to invest thousands of dollars in mines. They were told that thus they would be enabled to assist the cause. But what does the after-sight show? They lost all they invested, getting nothing for their money. 6LtMs, Ms 26, 1890, par. 2

The intoxicating craze for these investments originates with Satan. Thus he seeks to absorb the revenue which should be used to good advantage in God’s work. We are safe only as our souls are sanctified by the truth. If the truth is planted in the heart by the Holy Spirit, God will make the discernment clear as to what is right and what is wrong. 6LtMs, Ms 26, 1890, par. 3

We have no confidence in a man who will preach to the congregation today, proclaiming solemn truth, and then yield tomorrow to the temptation of Satan to engage in land and mine speculations. The ungodly are lynx-eyed. They see that his conduct is wholly inconsistent with his teaching, and while their words are smooth and flattering, they despise him in their hearts. God wants His messengers to keep clear of everything of this character. 6LtMs, Ms 26, 1890, par. 4

If Satan paves the way for further evil by making the speculation successful, how terrible is the result. The man’s ambition is aroused. He wants money to spend as he desires. The means he obtains so easily he spends unwisely and unlawfully. 6LtMs, Ms 26, 1890, par. 5

If we are Christians at all, we must be Christians always, looking constantly to Jesus, practicing His lessons, doing His work. Then we are safe. Those who live the Word of Christ, as well as hear it, will in due time reap that which they have sown. God’s Word, carefully and prayerfully studied, will keep all well-balanced. The Ruler of the nations has protested against man working out his own will, trampling on righteous principles and ignoring the wisdom of God. He declares, “He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.” [Proverbs 28:20.] The books of heaven mark him as one guilty of fraud. “Trust not in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” [1 Timothy 6:17.] “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.” [Proverbs 22:4.] “Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” [Hebrews 13:5.] 6LtMs, Ms 26, 1890, par. 6

You cannot set aside the light God has sent to shine upon your pathway, and yet walk in its rays. You are to deal justly, never oppressing your fellowmen. We must study God’s Word to find out His way. No one who does this in sincerity will walk in darkness. Those who are trying to secure means by speculating in mines or land might better cease this work and find some steady, honest business. Those who encourage the thirst for gaining riches by speculation will extinguish the light God has set for his feet. If he makes money fast, he will spend it unwisely, and this prodigality will be his ruin. He must continue to make largely in order to keep up his habit of living. Thus many are drawn into the gambling halls to gain money fast enough to meet their expenses. 6LtMs, Ms 26, 1890, par. 7

If the professed Christian has success in his first speculations, his ruin is almost sure. Scheme after scheme will be entered upon. Lands will be represented as teeming with gold. A large percentage will be promised for all investments. Thus many are deceived. Shares are taken. Then come loss and ruin, in which some lose all they possess. 6LtMs, Ms 26, 1890, par. 8

Man proposes, but in order to save him from utter ruin, God disposes. God protests against the greed of the natural heart for gold. Whenever His way is departed from and His will violated, by nations, churches, institutions, or individuals, it is recorded in the books of heaven, and retribution will surely follow. “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver, nor he that loveth abundance with increase.” [Ecclesiastes 5:10.] He who says to gold, “Be thou my confidence,” will find himself “pierced through with many sorrows.” [Job 31:24; 1 Timothy 6:10.] God would have His people keep themselves from all speculations. 6LtMs, Ms 26, 1890, par. 9