Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Ms 13a, 1891

Concerning the Publishing Work in Australia

North Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia

December 29, 1891

Variant of Ms 13, 1891 with additional material. +Note

In connection with our publishing work in Australia, there has been a combination of circumstances that have resulted unfavorably to the interests and advantages of the work. Those who first came to labor in connection with the office had not an education to fit them to undertake such a work. Brother [Scott] is not the man for the place; and the mold that he gave to the work had a deleterious influence upon it. He shut himself altogether too much within himself. He did not broaden and make every effort to obtain a correct knowledge of the work and how best to carry it forward to obtain the best results. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 1

Brother [Belden], when he came to the office, was not fully educated to carry forward his line of work. He needed experience in order to stand in his position of trust. There was circulating through the office a spirit of selfishness to keep to themselves what they did know, as though their fellow workmen would gain some knowledge of how to do the work in which they were engaged <and supersede themselves.> It was a very trying position for Brother [Belden], and he often became discouraged. Had each workman tried to help his fellow workman, the work would have moved along much faster and been done more perfectly. They seemed to be afraid that their fellow workmen would obtain some knowledge which they possessed; therefore, this spirit of selfishness bound about the workers. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 2

Brother [Tenney] was not familiar with the different branches of the work, and he too labored under a disadvantage. Had there been in the office one of experience, qualified to educate the workers, the work would today have altogether a different mold. Every worker should feel under obligation to God to impart all the light and experience he had himself obtained <[so] that if he should become ill or removed by death he knows he has done his best to faithfully educate others to fill his place.> But all through the office there has been a lack of frankness, of seeking to impart to others that knowledge and experience which they had obtained. One man who could have been master of the situation, who understood how to deal with human minds, would have been of the greatest advantage to the work they were called to do. But there were entanglements, and not one of sufficient experience and qualification of mind to straighten out the perplexities. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 3

There were experiments made in their ignorance which have resulted in loss to the institution. The general inefficiency in the business line was most unfortunate to the institution. The workers have been unwilling to seek counsel of one another. Pride held them from exposing their ignorance, feeling that this would be taken advantage of by their fellow workers and thus degrade them. Pride has led them to depend altogether too much upon their own imperfect devices, and the result has been a loss of time and <loss of> material in thus blundering in the work. The work has not come forth from their hands in an acceptable condition. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 4

Thought and experience might have been given to the work had there been unity, <no envy, no evil surmising,> in counseling together and harmonizing in their plans as to how the work should be done. There should have been a teachable spirit brought into the work. If they had had this, very many mistakes could have been avoided. If all had submitted to the Holy Spirit’s working, determined to their best, each seeking to help his fellow workman, there would have been a brotherly, Christian harmony. <The office would have been a school to all. There would have been seasons of prayer together.> The angels of God would have been in their midst to strengthen the intellect, and the work would have been accomplished to much greater advantage <and in pleasantness.> The angels of God could do very little to help minds and hearts that were so filled with selfishness, envy, and jealously. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 5

Brother M had peculiar traits of character that disqualified him for director over others. His impressions and feelings were not Christ-like; his principles were not in accordance with the holy principles of heaven; he did not keep self under control. There has been much impulsive effort made by Elder _____ in his efforts to set things in order. Rules and regulations have been hastily made and under unwise impulse enforced with vigor for a time, then as they became wearisome to himself and others they were left to die a natural death. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 6

At times most stringent rules were made exacting penalties in very little things that were really arbitrary exactions and should not so much as have been named among them. Their influence was not merciful or just. Reaction came and some change would be made and finally fall into disuse. Such movements exert an influence unfavorable to all order and really good rules. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 7

These impulsive, spasmodic efforts to maintain discipline excited a spirit of discontent and insubordination in the workers. One was ready to accuse his brother worker, and to question the work of others. Jealously, suspicion, and accusing of others pervaded the office. The Spirit of God has been often grieved out of the office. Rules are not to be made hastily. All regulations should be considered carefully on the merciful side before being adopted. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 8

With the present condition of things in the Echo Office there is no one connected with the institution who is qualified to be appointed as superintendent who would receive the respect essential for the performance of the duties of his position. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 9

Brother M has some qualifications that are excellent, but he has traits of character that would be mingled with his service which would be decidedly objectionable. He needs a much closer connection with God, to have an humble and contrite heart, prepared to receive the molding influence of the Holy Spirit, before he can be a safe man to control the workmen under him. He has need of obtaining a different kind of experience, an education that will fit him for branches of the work which he could carry forward if he felt his dependence upon God. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 10

He will not obtain that knowledge in his present position. There is no one whom he would respect or consider qualified to teach him. Could he be taken away from the Echo Office and his present associations and placed in a position where his surroundings and associations were of an entirely different character, he would, if he trusted in God and was humble and contrite in heart, obtain a mold of character which would make him teachable, and not take himself in his own hands as sufficient and capable of devising, planning, and executing large things. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 11

Under the divine influence of the Spirit of God alone can his character be fashioned, so that he will not have so strong and masterly a spirit as he is now developing. <Mercy and the love of God brought into his life would make him kind and conciliating.> 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 12

The word of God to Brother M is, Let your soul be absorbed in studying and meditating upon the glorious truths of the Word of God. <Practice the words of Christ and you would become a merciful man.> Then you will have no leisure for erroneous imaginings, worldly scheming or selfish ambition, lusting for honor, <gain,> and position, and striving to be the greatest. You will be advancing in the knowledge of God, in the knowledge of business, and God will give you His blessing. Your likes and dislikes are very marked. You favor some with partiality; and others you disfavor and make it very hard for them. <God is not pleased with your traits of character.> 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 13

Elder [Tenney] does not possess the qualifications essential for a manager, and the present condition of things in the office is largely due to this fact. His management at home has not been wise. He has moved from impulse. Often his children would be indulged, and unnoticed for doing things for which they needed to be wisely and kindly corrected. But when the father’s mode changed, all unexpectedly to the children they were treated with a severity which was not called for. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 14

Just so has it been in the management of the office. His course has been fitful, according to his state of mind at the time. Then when consulted by those who were under him, he would answer them abruptly—if he answered at all. He was inclined to repel rather than to encourage their confidence. This left a cold, unpleasant impression upon heart and mind. These unpleasant feelings would not have occurred had he had proper control over his mind and words, <as a Christian should have.> Forethought would have smoothed matters and the helpers would have retained their confidence in him. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 15

When things moved hard the friction might have been lessened by applying the oil of patience and grace, but the superintendent did not adapt himself to the situation and deal with errors and mistakes in a manner calculated to inspire confidence in him. In presenting before all the workers the failures of individuals as though all were guilty, he did not mend matters. When he knew where the wrong existed, he did not open up frankly to the very one at fault and, as a father, talk kindly with him for the purpose of helping him; but he left a burden [of] condemning wrongs upon the whole fraternity that rested with one individual. <These mistakes are deleterious to the office and out of the office.> 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 16

Sometimes he has had wisdom to help the workers. He could oft have helped them much more had he been familiar with the details of the work. He could not speak understandingly in advising and counseling, and this has made matters worse. Such an office of responsibility requires a man who has not a one-sided character, but an all-sided man, else his defects will be reproduced in those who are connected with him and a demoralized state of things will be the result. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 17

In regard to management, Brother M as director, would differ in some respects, but he would not be evenly balanced, for he would follow his impulse in self-sufficiency in his work. Greatly prejudiced by his likes and dislikes, his unsanctified opinions would make it very hard for those connected with him, for he is in danger of dealing unjustly and with partiality. He would make decisions that would not bear investigation and that he would not admit needed any. He would move on in his own independent judgment. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 18

Christ has been misrepresented by the laborers in the office. When something arises that crosses the track of some of them, there has been oft prompt retaliation, self-control is lost, and passion is indulged by those who should know better what belongs to a disciple of Christ. If they would consider, “This is the work of God that I am handling; God and angels have charge of it; I must be humble and contrite,” they would receive help from One who knows just what they need. If they would only realize that they were in the presence of Jesus, those burning words of passion, those heavy, threatening words, would not have been spoken and defiled their lips and souls. God heard them. Jesus our Redeemer heard them. And the angelic host heard them. They grieved the heart of Christ. You have put Him to an open shame, and brought yourselves into condemnation. You have cast a stumbling block in the way of others. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 19

Remembering what is due to our Saviour as Christian professors, beware lest you lay a stone of stumbling in the way of any soul. While you may refuse to do any unjust and unfair action, be sure and not feel yourself self-righteous and condemn those that are around you. Remember that in the sight of God your mistakes and faults may be greater than those of the one you condemn. Do not cherish self-deception in this matter. Let all those who claim to believe in Christ be brought into association with each other and make the Word of God their study, and fail not to apply the regulations God has given in His Word to their own life and character. Do not once venture in the slightest degree to overstep the restraints of that Word. Remember that by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. God’s Holy Word cannot be set aside with the least satisfaction to the soul. The Word has given us rules for the guidance of all business transactions in temporal and religious life and is to be implicitly obeyed. God’s will is to become paramount and man’s will is to be in subjection to God’s will. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 20

I must speak plainly. Words spoken in anger by the workers must cease. No one laboring in our institutions should be allowed to speak disrespectful words to either high or low. If any, after being properly reproved, continue the use of harsh, impatient language, they should be removed, whatever their position of trust, for all in the office are educators in good or evil. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 21

There is one law to be observed by everyone in positions of trust, as director, or as common workmen: to treat all respectfully. God has been dishonored in many ways. There cannot be a firm, steady, and upward movement until all individually, from the highest to the lowest, shall make it their business to walk humbly with God and confess their sins. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 22

They need the Holy Spirit to touch their hearts, that they may not be pharisaical, or lift their souls up in vanity, but through the grace of God shall discern their defects of character. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 23

I have been shown that there will need to be a thorough reorganizing in the Echo Office, and amid the cares and perplexities that result from the errors of the past, the essential changes cannot be made without the special guidance of God. I know this, for the matter has been presented to me in clear lines that unless the converting power of God shall work upon the hearts of all connected with the office many will feel bruised and wounded. But when the Holy Spirit shall work upon the heart, their self-sufficiency will be seen as it is, and they will become as teachable as a child. Then they will see the necessity of unity, all standing shoulder to shoulder as in perfect accord. If we would but learn the wonderful lessons which Jesus taught His disciples (Matthew 16:1-7), what a change there would be in our Christian characters. Many things that now appear as insurmountable difficulties would wholly disappear. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 24

When the disciples came to Jesus saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them and said, “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted and become as little children ye shall not enter into the Kingdom. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 18:1-4.] Those who would see a better state of things in the office must not now brood over the errors of the past, but all help in love to strengthen each other to prevent errors in the future. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 25

The past with its burden of record has rolled into eternity. Begin now to act upon right principles, as Christian gentlemen treating one another with respect and kindness. Every worker should educate himself to realize his individual responsibility. He should say, I am a Christian. I must obey every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. I am a Christian to do justice and judgment by all who are associated with me. I am a Christian; therefore, I must have the mind of Christ. Every word and thought must be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. Not one word of selfishness or of guile must escape my lips. Never did Christ speak harsh, unbecoming words. Whatever men in positions of trust may do that seems altogether unjust and unreasonable, it shall be no excuse for me to retaliate, for that would add a greater sin to the one already committed. That righteous One who measured, weighing it in the golden scales of the heavenly Sanctuary, will judge me not by my profession, but by the fruit I bear. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 26

The Lord has said, “this is thank-worthy if a man for conscience sake toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it is when ye be buffeted for your faults ye shall take it patiently; but if when ye do well and suffer for it and take it patiently, this is accepted of God, for even hereunto were ye called. Because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that you should follow his steps, who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.” [1 Peter 2:19-23.] 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 27

Let every worker conscientiously strive to be Christlike. Say to yourself, I must watch, I must pray, I must sanctify myself that others also may be sanctified. I must be circumspect in words and in actions, not merely for my own soul’s interest, [for] there are souls connected with me whose welfare should constrain me to strict guardianship over myself. I shall be unto them a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. If I am reckless of my words, if I am careless of my spirit, I shall do harm to my own soul, and leave a wrong example before those associated with me. I must show that I respect authority; if I sow the seeds of disaffection, suspicion, and jealousy, the leaven will spread. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 28

In order that the moral tone of the office be raised, my influence must be exercised to do my very best conscientiously in the fear of God. And I must grow in grace at home and wherever I may be in order to give a correct example and have moral power to advance the right. I must guard my own spirit and words in my home; I must give time to earnest prayer, that God would give me His power to exercise personal control of myself. I must train and educate myself in right principles, else I shall lead others astray. I must meditate upon the Word of God night and day, and bring its revealed principles into my practical life—the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. “It is written” is the only sword which I am at liberty to use. I must honor all my brother workers, uttering only kind words which make for peace. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 29

The church militant, we must remember, is not the church triumphant. In your associations at home, in your family, never forget what is due to one another as Christians. Let the husband respect the wife, and the wife honor the husband. Never forget what is due to your holy profession. [As] a Christian in your home, you will carry the spirit of Christ with you in the office, carry the spirit of Christ with you in the church. The Holy angels of God will be in attendance, and a heavenly influence will go forth from you to strengthen and build up every religious interest. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 30

Brethren and sisters connected with the work in the Echo Office, these words I have written were spoken to you by my guide. Other instruction was given which I cannot write out at the present time. I entreat of you, for Christ’s sake, enthrone Christ in the heart; treat Him as an honored Guest, and you will have strength to be more than conquerors through Him that loved you and gave Himself for you. If all were conscious of the divine presence, if Jesus were the center object of their contemplation, their spirits would be softened and subdued, and they would represent Christ in spirit and action. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 31

These instructions given to you are full of marrow and fatness. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. This shows the distinction between a true heart and a false heart. The streams flowing from a false heart are tainted and corrupt. The love of Christ’s heart is poured into your heart by His blessed Spirit, and thus your daily life will reveal that you have been with Jesus and learned of Him. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 32

Brother M is not a man who understands himself. He does not discern that he has a character that is not accustomed to be subordinate. If he understood his danger as a faithful sentinel, he would for his present and eternal good, guard his words and actions and spirit that they shall not offend, but be commended of God. He will be tempted to strive for supremacy, and this element will, if not seen and controlled, wrestle for more to command. He sees not the necessity of learning the first lessons essential to make a commander, which is to obey. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 33

My brother, if God should leave you to all the caprice of your natural heart and inclination, to urge on your own way, you cut off from your life a large portion of your ability which God has given you. You rob God of the talents lent you to use to God’s glory and not to subvert to yourself. The natural temperament of character is to be in subjection to Jesus Christ. He can make that character a strength, a power, and an efficiency for good. The Bible is our guide Book. Study its pages for your soul’s sake. The truth of the Word can only bless where it influences the entire man. Excluding its influences from the life practices, you cut the soul away from the blessings of God. It becomes all who are handling the work in any line in the Echo Office to watch unto prayer, to know themselves, and never to mar the work of God by their strong, masterly spirit. 1 Peter 5:6-9; James 3:13-18; James 1:23-27. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 34

The attributes which Christ appreciates most in man is charity out of a pure heart. This is the fruit borne upon the Christian tree. “Every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.” [1 John 4:7.] The Lord Jesus has said, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one for another.” [John 13:34, 35.] 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 35

When enshrouded in the cloudy pillar He spake to the children of Israel through Moses: “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart. Thou shalt not in any wise rebuke thy neighbor and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, or bear any grudge upon thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. I am the Lord.” [Leviticus 19:17, 18.] “These things I command you that ye love one another.” [John 15:17.] 1 John 2:9-11; 4:17. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 36

If you are Bible Christians, each will have as great an interest for his brother workman as for himself. The work of giving the bread of life to souls that are ready to perish should be all-absorbing, keeping the hearts of the workers kind and tender to one another. True Christian courtesy needs to be cultivated, the mind and heart must be educated and trained by deeds of thoughtful kindness to have an unselfish interest in every laborer in the work. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 37

Regard yourselves as missionaries, not among heathen, but among your own brethren. It requires a vast amount of time and labor to convince one soul in regard to the truth. How much money has been expended in efforts to turn men and women from sin to righteousness? And when souls are brought into the truth, what takes place in heaven? There is more joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repenteth than over ninety and nine just person who (think they) need no repentance. Think you that the ministering angels that watch over these souls are pleased to see how indifferently they are treated by those who claim to be Christians? Man’s preference rules. Partiality is manifested. One is favored while another is treated harshly merely because of human feelings. This is sin the sight of God. This has been done <by you, Brother M.> 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 38

The angels look with awe and amazement upon the mission of Christ to our world. They marvel at the love that moved Him to give Himself a sacrifice for the sins of the world. But how lightly do men regard the purchase of His blood. Man’s likes and dislikes make it very hard for him to properly regard his fellow men, and souls are pushed and crowded onto Satan’s battle ground because they do not realize that he is working through them to will and to do of his good pleasure. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 39

We need to study the Bible diligently that we may learn the real value of man in the light of the cross of Calvary. Jesus said, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones that believe in me; for I say unto you that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” [Matthew 18:10, 11.] 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 40

Christ will not uphold you in manifesting disrespect toward one soul for whom He paid the ransom of His own life. Expel that unkind thought that would frame itself into words and actions to do things to hurt and destroy souls. They are God’s property. Give no place to envy, jealously, or evil surmising. Let no unchristlike expression be registered in the books of heaven against you. If Jesus is abiding in you, angry feelings will have no place in the heart. You will look with rejoicing upon every soul that has accepted Christ, and you will manifest toward others the love that Christ has revealed to lost humanity. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 41

Study to show thyself approved unto God, workmen that need not to be ashamed. If you keep yourselves in the love of God, an influence will surround the soul which will be a savor of life unto life. You are to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Let there be no blundering work in dealing with human minds. These souls are to be molded and fashioned for the heavenly kingdom; the superscription of God is to be upon them. The powers and faculties of men are not to be destroyed, but to be developed, elevated, and ennobled. Let everyone who names the name of Christ be careful not to put his own human mold upon precious souls. They are the Lord’s chosen ones; let the words spoken to them be carefully considered. All who have manifested passion or impatience should repent before God, for they have given an unworthy example to those who need their help, who need to be built up in the most holy faith. Whoever neglects to cultivate fervent piety that he may represent Christ, is working away from Christ and is not a laborer together with God. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 42

We must beware that our piety does not become narrow, bigoted, and hard, as it surely will if we are wholly absorbed in our own interests. All that we do has an influence upon others, and wisely and mercifully are we commanded to care for the things of others, not to covet them, but to the end that others may prosper and grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We should be ready to aid them in their advancement by imparting the knowledge we have gained. All the powers you have are given you of God, to be required of you again [with] improvements, by imparting to others. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 43

Those who are manifesting this spirit are representing Christ. Their interests and prayers reach far beyond self. They embrace the world. They themselves [are] connected with the work of God, continually receiving light to diffuse light, [and] are growing as they try to help others. God makes them to become familiar with the largest plans and the most stirring enterprises, and how can they but grow when they thus place themselves in the divine channel of light and blessing. Such ones receive wisdom from heaven. They become more and more identified with Christ in all His plans, and they themselves become living channels of light. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 44

You are in the institution which is to accomplish a work in enlightening the world much more than it has hitherto done. There is no chance for spiritual sloth or stagnation. They do not grow cold or backslide. They keep eternal realities in view. Selfish ambition, self-seeking, is rebuked by perpetual contact with the more absorbing interests, the more elevated aspirations, which belong to higher and holier activities. These souls are Christians, growing up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 45

If you are following Christ, there is in you a humble confidence Godward. As you stand beneath the cross of Calvary, you will have efficiency, you will have moral power, and the clearest spiritual perceptions. You will manifest vigor and steadiness of faith, for you endure as seeing Him who is invisible. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 46

Could you behold the character of your words and your spirit as they have been presented to me—the spirit so bitter, the words so sharp and cutting—you would be filled with astonishment at yourselves, and you would not wonder that Christ is ashamed to call you brethren. Those who labor with most unselfish zeal to help others in the development of Christian character are most surely working out their own salvation. Self-denial and painstaking effort in behalf of others is not always easy or agreeable, but it is always productive of good fruits. “Ye are laborers together with God”; you enter into partnership with Him in a high and heavenly enterprise. [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 47

Right words spoken in love and kindness will bring harmony of feeling and sentiment, [and] a blessing will surely be reflected upon the speaker. We cannot neglect Christian rules and principles in our associations with one another and be guiltless. Light from heaven is for us; it is abundant. If men will but open their eyes, they can see light, they can talk light and not darkness, can talk faith and hope and not discouragement and unbelief. Let no one ever weaken the hands of their brethren by sinning, by talking doubt and discouragement. Jesus lives and reigns. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 48

Wherever there is union with Christ there is love. Whatever other qualifications you possess, if love is not the abiding principle they profit nothing. To the Saviour’s question to Peter, “Lovest thou me?” you can respond as did Peter, “Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.” [John 21:17.] Then if you love Jesus, you will most assuredly love your brethren. You will wish them to be more holy, more righteous, and will put forth earnest endeavor to make them so. To uplift, to ennoble, to elevate—this is the work God has given each worker in the Echo Office. 7LtMs, Ms 13a, 1891, par. 49