Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)

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Ms 25a, 1891

The Publishing Work

NP

1891

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2SM 191-194; OHC 116; 1MR 263-264. +Note

The publishing institution was arranged under the special supervision of God; but the history of the children of Israel is being repeated—they forsook God’s ways and followed their own wisdom. Men in responsible positions are entrusted with the molding and fashioning of a great work after Christ’s order. They need to take heed that nothing shall interpose between their souls and God, and thus lose sight of God’s will and way. By so doing they will introduce ways which will lead men to affiliate with the world. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 1

The Lord would have Bro. _____ receive from Him an education and training, that in his position of trust he may not mar the sacred work of God. He is handling a most important work; he is in connection with sacred things. If he seeks wisdom of God, he will become transformed in character. He will grow in efficiency if he keeps ever before him the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment. He has lost much in not consecrating himself fully to God in his own home life. He needs, in his family, to keep in touch with the Lord Jesus Christ. He needs to hold himself under the very best and holiest influences, that the good in his character shall become prominent. But he has been turning his face away from God. The enemy began his work in so subtle a manner that it did not appear to be the work of the enemy. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 2

In Satan’s masterly working with the human mind, his true character is scarcely discerned, for he clothes himself as an angel of light. But his suggestions, if followed, result in bearing fruit of a very dangerous quality. Its appearance, to the finite judgment, is flattering as a higher form of good; but it is the deceiving power of the enemy, the working of the mystery of iniquity. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 3

It is not safe, Bro. _____, for you to separate yourself from the means of grace. Will you leave the work of the Lord to accept a tempting bribe? Shall worldly calculations come in and fill your mind, absorb your thoughts, until you have separated yourself from God? You have started a course of action which will influence others to work in a wrong direction to obtain higher wages. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 4

Said the apostle, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” [Galatians 6:14.] You may glory in the cross of Jesus Christ. Its efficacy, its saving power, is without a parallel. The scenes of Calvary are never for a moment to lose their force upon the human mind. Your only safety lies in contemplating them with a determined purpose. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 5

It is time for you to consider what you individually discern in this cross of Calvary. Do you behold <Jesus> as one in whom your hope of eternal life is centered? In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily: yet He is dying in agony upon the cross. Read in this infinite sacrifice the evidence, and measure the love of God for man. Behold in this testimony to the world God’s abhorrence for duplicity and sin. From the manger to Calvary, <the Saviour’s> life was continual self-denial, self-sacrifice, and humiliation. What was this for? He for our sake became poor, that we, through His poverty, might be made rich. Rich in earthly treasure? in houses and in lands? No, Christ had in view the eternal inheritance. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 6

Not only in the future life, but in the present also, the richest blessings are promised to those who are obedient and faithful to God’s commands. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 7

Jesus gave Himself that He might bring life and immortality to light. Eternal life in the kingdom of Heaven! What human mind can comprehend it? What imagination can lay hold upon it? It is a grand subject for contemplation. Jesus gave His life for you; what are you giving to Him? Are you denying self? Are you lifting the cross and bearing it, following Jesus through evil as well as through good report? Are you keeping the great Pattern in view? When God gave His Son to our world, He gave with Him all the treasures of heaven. Every man through faith has a right to these treasures; they will qualify him for usefulness and duty to the glory of God. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 8

As long as the cross of Christ is kept in view, there will be a divine impulse to render to God body, soul, and spirit. As men partake of the spiritual, they will discern the evil working of the enemy; they will avoid his snares. Men who have no depth of Christian experience, when brought into contact with influences deleterious and dark as the plottings of Satan always are, they make none with whom they associate better or holier. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 9

The case of _____ has been as leaven introduced into the publishing house, to create a state of things which is not after God’s order. Satan sees that his device takes well. He will pursue this line of working, that God’s institutions, which should take the lead in self-denial and self-sacrifice, should be leavened with the same spirit that led Lot to choose Sodom as his home. Sodom, with all its wealth, all its attractions, all its loveliness, did not make Lot richer; the fire consumed all his gains, and he went out empty-handed. Notwithstanding the light that God has given them, they are turning from the plain words of counsel from the Lord, and are doing according to human imaginations and desires. They selfishly, avariciously take all they can get for their labor, gathering in from any source without regard to justice. They have not the mercy and the love of God. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 10

This spirit cultivated is the same spirit manifested by Judas. He firmly set himself not to be changed in his course of action by the lessons and example of Christ. Light was coming in to him in every lesson, but he did not heed it. These men, with the light God has been giving them for years, know that their course is not in harmony with His plans. No excuse which they can render will stand the test of the judgment. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 11

The Lord has presented before me that Bro. _____ is in a dangerous position. He is separating from God. His mind is wholly absorbed in earthly enterprises, while the heavenly has scarcely a thought. The Lord is soon to come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory to take to Himself those who are laborers together with Him. No others will enter the pearly gates of the city of God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a new and quickening power. The heart must be cleansed and rid of its idols. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 12

The publishing work has been founded in sacrifice; it has been maintained by the special providence of God. We started it in great poverty. We had scarcely enough to eat and wear. When potatoes were scarce, and we had to pay a high price for them, we supplied their place with turnips. Six dollars per week was all we received for the first years of our labor. We had a large family; but we brought our expenses within our means. We could not purchase all that we desired: we had to bind about our wants. But we were determined that the world should have the light of present truth; and spirit, soul, and body were interwoven with the work. We worked early and late, without rest, without the stimulus of wages. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 13

My husband and myself consecrated ourselves to God to be guided by His Holy Spirit in connection with the office. I was assured that if we lost our first love, Jesus would not, could not, bless us with His counsel, that if we took upon us responsibilities in our own strength, and exercised our own judgment, we should be left to our own wisdom, which is foolishness. We were to work in God, to keep all our spiritual faculties alive, to keep ourselves under the steady, invigorating beams of the Sun of Righteousness, for Christ has said, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 14

And God was with us. As prosperity attended the publishing work, the wages were increased, as they should be. While [I was] in Switzerland, word came to me from Battle Creek that a plan had been formed by which none working in the office should receive more than twelve dollars per week. I said, This will not work; <it will be necessary for some to> receive higher wages than this. <But> double this amount should not be awarded to any man connected with the office, for if a few take from the treasury so largely, justice cannot be shown to all. Large wages afforded to the few is the world’s plan; <while others, in every way as deserving, receive far less. This is not justice.> 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 15

The Lord will have faithful men who love and fear Him connected with every school, every printing office, health institution and publishing house. Their wages should not be fashioned after the worldling’s standard. There should be, as far as possible, excellent judgment exercised to keep up, not an aristocracy, but an equality, which is the law of heaven. “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 16

A few should not demand large wages, <and such wages> should not be presented as an inducement to secure ability and talents. This is placing things on a worldly principle. The increase of wages brings with it a corresponding increase of selfishness, pride, display, self-gratification and needless extravagance, that the people who do their utmost to pay their tithes and present their offerings to God do not have. Poverty is seen in all their borders. The Lord loves the one just as much as the other, with the exception that the self-sacrificing, humble, contrite souls who love God and strive to serve Him are ever kept nearer to the great heart of infinite love than the man who feels at liberty to have all the good things of this life. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 17

I have had many testimonies in regard to the point that we are not to copy the world’s standard. We are not to indulge our inclination to <grasp all we can possibly obtain, to> spend our means in dress and luxuries of life as do the worldlings. It makes us not one jot happier to live to please ourselves. The unnecessary outlay of means is robbing the treasury of God; and some one has to supply the deficiency. The facilities for building up the kingdom of Christ in this world are greatly limited because men rob God in tithes and offerings. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 18

Let not the idea prevail for a moment that a man’s power to command high wages is a measure of his value in the sight of God as a worker. In the eyes of the world a man’s value is estimated by “How much is he worth <in property?>” But heaven’s books register his worth in proportion to the good he has accomplished with the means he has had entrusted to him. In the fear and love of God, with his talents wholly sanctified to advance the glory of God, man can and will show his true value. Only when the reward is given to every man as his work shall be estimated in the judgment, can it be known how much he has sent before him to heaven. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 19

For years my testimony has been borne against the meager sum paid to some of our ministers. Inquire, <search> into the books, and you will find that there has been very close dealing with some of our ministers. The auditing committee need to <understand their business and> have the mind of Christ. There are some men of narrow minds on this committee, men who have not a true idea of the self-denial and self-sacrifice required of the minister of God. They have no true estimate of what it means to leave home, wife and children, and become missionaries for God, to labor for souls as they that must give an account. A true minister of God will turn his whole life into a sacrifice. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 20

While at Salamanca, New York, in November 1890, there were presented to me many things. I was shown that there was coming into the office a spirit that God did not approve. While some accept large wages, there are others who have labored at their post faithfully for years who receive very much less. I have been repeatedly shown that God’s order is not to be broken down and the missionary spirit extinguished. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 21

Many say, I feel quite relieved when I know that Sister White is in Battle Creek. She knows how the work ought to be, for the Lord has been making known His will to her for many years. We have in the past been much worried lest after Elder White’s removal from the work, men should be placed in important positions who had no experience in the rise and progress of the work, and who are ignorant of the ways and means that God has used in building up our institutions. These would bring in a selfish, worldly spirit that would mold the work and workers, and cause God to turn His face from His people. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 22

Some feel that there should not be the slightest misgivings, for if the Lord sees things taking a wrong course, He will give testimonies through Sister White. But I have had questions asked me in regard to the wages paid our workers of which I have had no knowledge. I know there are those who practice much self-denial to pay their tithes and make offerings to the cause of God. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 23

Those who stand at the head of the work should take such a course that they can unblushingly say, Come, let us act mutually in this work which was commenced in a sacrifice, and is supported by a continual self-denial. The people should not excel those who stand at the head of our institutions in practicing economy, and binding about their wants. It is those men who receive high wages who make very little offerings to the cause. Let the people who strain every nerve and muscle to lay by their tithes have a knowledge of the large wages paid to the workers in the office, and their confidence and faith will be shaken. When you call for donations, there will be no response. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 24

There are some persons who have never brought retrenchment and self-denial into their daily lives. These have dishonored God, injured themselves, and uprooted the confidence of God’s people in them. Through their unsanctified influence all the ministry is misjudged. When the auditing committee are of that class of men who know by experience something of what it means to deny self, to pinch and economize, they will solemnly consider every case. The minister is worthy of his hire; and if he puts in his time to the best of his ability, his wages are just as much earned as those of the man who is a carpenter, a blacksmith, or a school teacher. If he is a man in whom you have not confidence to do the work required of a shepherd of the flock, then tell him that you are not satisfied with his work and why; but just so long as he gives his time as an accepted minister, pay him his wages. God will hold such to account for withholding from His servants their dues. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 25

Is it just and well-pleasing to God to have a portion do all the self-denial, all the self-sacrificing, that those who enter into other men’s labors should reap bountifully of that upon which they have bestowed no labor? Some accept large wages, while others who have labored faithfully at their post for years receive very much less. I have been repeatedly shown that God’s order is not to be broken down, and the missionary spirit extinguished. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 26

Money-getting is the reward of a certain class of ability. But who gave these talents? It was God: and He gave them to be used for His glory. The same infinite One who gave Jesus Christ to our world, “Who for our sakes became poor that we, through his poverty, might be made rich.” [2 Corinthians 8:9.] Then what is the position of the follower of Christ? “He that will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me, so shall he be my disciple.” [See Luke 9:23.] Who are following Christ? Who are His true and loyal workers? Those who have the anointing of the Holy Spirit are alone safe to handle sacred things. We are embraced in the promise, “For the promise is unto you and to your children, and all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” [Acts 2:39.] With David they may say, “I put the Lord always before my face: he is on my right hand, I shall not be moved.” [Psalm 16:8; Acts 2:25.] 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 27

I have been shown that men, if they assume responsibilities in connection with the work of God in any of our institutions, cannot be safe unless they realize <the> holy, character <of the work.> It is not then the time to cease your piety, your devotion. You need to humble your soul in contrition before God <every day,> and serve Him with heart and strength. It is then you need to place yourself in the channel of light. It is not a wise thing for a general going into battle to throw away his weapons of warfare. If there is a time when men need to preserve their connection with God, it is when increased responsibilities are resting upon them. It is important that they be armed and equipped with, not a little part of the armor, but with the whole armor of God. Every piece is essential. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 28

Every man upon whom is placed responsibility should be of sterling integrity: who will not be bought or sold. Satan will offer the temptation: “All this will I give you if you will do this or that.” [Matthew 4:9.] But Christ has said, “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” “He that saveth his life shall lose it; and he that shall lose his life for my sake shall find it” (or secure it unto life eternal). [Mark 8:36, 35.] The Lord help us to remember that we must all stand before the judgment seat of God, and render an account. Jesus has revealed to us the Father, manifested Him so clearly that in looking upon Christ we look upon the Father. We see God in the simple, loving life of Christ. Thus the human agent is to represent the character of Christ. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 29

The Lord wants men at the head of His work who will not be bribed or forced. When the army of Gideon was <divided,> it was those only who were intent on the one great object before them, that could go to the battle and triumph with Gideon. Those who do not feel that they can do this, should not be held to their positions. It is no cause for wonder that there will be connected with our institutions and work those who are unworthy. But these are to be tested and proved. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] I have seen that there has been, and will continue to be, those among our workers who do not feel their need of Jesus at every step. They think they cannot take time to pray and attend meetings. They have so much to do they cannot find time to keep their souls in the love of God. When this is the case, Satan is on the ground to supply the vacuum and create <vain> imaginations. Thus the soul is led to plan and devise without the Master Worker. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 30

The Lord wants wise, God-fearing men who possess Christlike characters, men who will remember that Christ is their example, and who trust in and depend upon the Lord for guidance. He wants men who see the work in its greatness, and who understand the principles that have been interwoven in it from its rise, men who will come to the front in a case of emergency. God will not have a forced service. He will not have a worldly order of things come in to fashion and mold the work in altogether different lines from those He has been marking out for His people for the last forty years. The work must bear the character of its Originator. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 31

God wants men that keep His way, that do justice and judgment. To these He can be constantly imparting wisdom as He did to Daniel. Men whom God is teaching and leading <will give> evidence <that they possess> the meekness and lowliness of Christ. Men are now in positions of trust who need the converting power of God upon them every day. Jesus longs to bestow upon them His transforming grace. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 32

“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless, the counsel of God, that shall stand.” [Proverbs 19:21.] “Commit thy way unto the Lord, and thy way shall be established.” The Lord wants to drain His ministers and workers of self, so that He can impart to them His Holy Spirit. They will never be successful, notwithstanding their highest qualifications of education and experience, unless they have an indwelling Saviour. They must first take a low place before God, and be imbued with His Spirit, if they would have an influence with their fellow men. Then right conduct is secured in all places and under all circumstances. They will not be selfish, impatient, and uncourteous; for when they act thus, they plainly say, I have not put the Lord always before me; I have not Jesus by my side; it is self I am serving today. Those <who abide in Christ> will have an experience of the highest value; they will be a blessing to others. Their earnest, whole-souled prayers will be heard, and light, Heaven’s light, will come to them. Such cannot but shine as lights in the world, reflecting to all with whom they associate the treasures of the future glory. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 33

Men may forget for a time that God has given light in reference to His work. God has designed that the testimonies shall hold their place in the work as a beacon light from heaven. Satan has made decided efforts to make of none effect the counsels of God through the testimonies. They have been lightly esteemed, disregarded, ignored; but they will still live to testify the right way, to reprove and correct those pursuing a wrong course of action. God will make Himself known in His work. When He works by His Holy Spirit through faithful men like Caleb, the careless and unbelieving are brought to repentance. Suspicion and alienation are gone; the faith is established. Faith and love bind heart to heart. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 34

The Lord is in need of faithful Calebs in every department in the office—men who will not keep silence when they see things moving contrary to the purpose of God, even though their position may be at stake. Thus they may become laborers together with God, and heavenly angels will co-operate with them in this work. There is constant need of private communion with God. We must take in the Spirit of Christ if we would impart it to others. We cannot meet Satanic and human agencies combined unless we spend much time in intercourse with the Source of all Strength. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 35

There are times when we should get away from the sounds of earthly toil and human voices, and in retired places listen to the voice of Jesus. Thus we may taste of His love and imbibe His Spirit. Thus we <shall> learn to crucify self. This course of action may seem impossible to the human mind. I have not time, you may say. But when you consider the matter as it really is, you lose no time, for when you secure the power and grace that come alone from God, you do not accomplish the work. It is Jesus who is the real worker. “Without me,” says Christ, “ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Yet how many attempt to do something in their own human wisdom. The finite judgment is foolishness. We need our Heavenly Counselor at every step. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 36

“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom; neither let the mighty man glory in his might; let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that He understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord that exerciseth loving kindness, judgment and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” [Jeremiah 9:23, 24.] The Lord would not have us trust in human talent and qualifications. He would have us feel the importance of a living connection with Him, the reservoir of all power and glory. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 37

Reflection and earnest prayer will inspire to holy endeavor. The soul in communion with God will become one with Christ, as Christ is one with the Father. As this transformation of character takes place in the believer, he will be grieved to see the frivolity and unchristian course of others. As it is the nature of light to reveal marked contrast with darkness, so the lives of those who have the Spirit of God contrast with that of the unbeliever. The truth has a renovating power in converting and transforming the character, that the church may be presented to God a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 38

As the children of Israel were brought up from the land of Egypt to keep the law of God, so in these last days the Lord is separating from the churches and the world a peculiar people, zealous of good works. They are to be unlike any other people; the Lord is to be their acknowledged ruler. The words that God gave to Moses to speak to the children of Israel are appropriate to His people now to whom He has given great light. Read Deuteronomy 7:8-9. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 39

The love of Jesus in the soul will lead men to value every soul for whom Christ had died. The religion of Jesus Christ ignores both rank and caste, worldly honor and riches. It is character and devotedness of purpose that have high value with God. Angels of God are watching the development of character and weighing moral worth. God does not take side with the strong and earthly favored. Far from this; He allows no trampling upon the poor and needy and oppressed. He demands that everyone of His followers shall be men and women of tender sympathy and pitying tenderness. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 40

The poor, the unfortunate, the sick and the suffering are in the world to test the character of human beings. If the love of Christ is in the heart, His followers will be loved, in whatever position in life they may be. Living in daily communion with God, we shall learn to place God’s estimate upon men; we shall learn to respect and honor those whom God respects and honors. Isaiah 57:15; Psalm 51:16, 17; 138:6; Isaiah 66:2. “But unto this man will I seek, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 41

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” [Ephesians 6:10.] Here is our efficiency. “He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Then let not man pursue a course where he will have less of Jesus Christ. If he is exalted to a position of responsibility and trust, he must reveal to the world that he has a deeper piety, a more earnest faith, more zeal as a witness of the grace of Christ. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 42

Unless we have a constantly increasing growth in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we are not fit for the work. “Put ye on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day;” and having done all on your part to co-operate with God, to “stand.” [Ephesians 6:11-13.] V. 13-17. 7LtMs, Ms 25a, 1891, par. 43