Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7

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Lt 5, 1892

Eldridge, C.

North Fitzroy, Australia

September 2, 1892

Portions of this letter are published in PM 242-243; 1MR 267-268.

Dear Brother,

My mind has been exercised by the Spirit of God to carefully review the matter the Lord has presented before me in relation to our institutions, and especially in relation to the publishing house in Battle Creek. I have not been able to sleep nights, and the matter the Lord has opened before me some time since has laid like a burdensome weight upon my mind. I am impressed by the Spirit of God that the time has come to make known to others the things that God has made known to me. 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 1

“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word of my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked ways he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul. 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 2

“Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.” [Ezekiel 3:17-21.] 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 3

I dare not longer hold my peace. I do not make this move because it is a pleasant thing for me to do. I do it because I dare not do otherwise. I was moved by the Spirit of the Lord to take the general matter and separate it from that which was more personal, and send it in prepared articles for the Review; then take the portion that was more direct and personal and make it into two articles. Article No. 1 I wish to have published in pamphlet form, in sufficient numbers so that the leading men in the office, the managers of our institutions, and the officers of our churches, may have copies. 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 4

Article No. 2 I send to you. Will you please read the same to the managers in the office; and if there is a change concerning these things specified as not meeting the approval of God, let the matter remain unpublished. If there seems to be no disposition to receive and act upon the light given, then please publish article No. 2, and do with it as article No. 1; place it in the hands of the managers of our institutions; send it to presidents of conferences, and to the officers of our churches. 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 5

I thought you were the proper one before whom to lay this matter. I send a copy of the same to Elder Olsen, with a copy of this letter which I am writing to you. Elder Olsen may not be at home when this arrives, and as I want this matter attended to without delay according to the directions given, I lay it before you in the name and fear of God, feeling assured that you will do the work I have requested. 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 6

The condition of things in our conferences is not flattering, and especially the condition of things at Battle Creek, Michigan. I copy from the testimony given March 10, 1870: “The Lord hath chosen a people to come out from the customs and practices of the world and be separate. The Lord has bidden me speak, and I cannot hold my peace. Those connected with the office of publication at Battle Creek must be men who love and fear God, men who will not seek to be greater than the Master, who was the only begotten Son of the infinite God. His work from the manger to Calvary was marked with self-denial and sacrifice. Finite men are none of them greater than the Master, their head. 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 7

I was shown that the office of publication should not be conducted on the same principles as are other publishing houses, for it is to be something after the order of a training school. Every one connected with it is to be a true missionary and work upon the same principles that brought it into existence. Self-denial should characterize all the workers. 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 8

After my husband’s first sickness, there was a change in the order of things not pleasing to God. In place of seeking to carry out the directions given of God, a selfish, un-Christlike spirit prevailed. The cloud of the Lord’s displeasure was gathering over the office. The people of God were becoming discouraged. They had denied themselves to pay their tithe, and refused themselves conveniences which they thought they must have; but the wants of the cause were dearer to them than self-indulgence, and they were much blessed in making their freewill offering. But when they saw that men in the office were grasping for higher wages, their confidence was shaken. Did the Lord require so much more of them than of those closely connected with the office? 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 9

Self-denial should characterize the men employed in responsible positions in the office, and they should be an example to all the workers. The office was brought into existence through self-denial, and the same spirit should be manifested and maintained. The great object must be kept in view. This is missionary work, and those who have no missionary spirit, should not continue in the work. 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 10

You must retain the confidence of the people. Unless you carry the people with you, your work will be a failure. Brethren, workmen, from the highest to the lowest, you should maintain in the office the spirit manifested by Christ in coming to our world. All the blessings we enjoy came through the self-denial, the self-sacrifice made by Christ, our substitute and surety. Every one should labor most earnestly to place himself in right relation to God. The whole universe is regarding us with intense interest to see how those who have been ransomed by nothing less than the blood of the only begotten Son of God, will act in the great work of redemption. 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 11

There is much more upon this point that I must copy and send in the next mail; but I cannot possibly do this now; for in a few hours the mail closes. I have been shown that the movement made to pay so large wages was entirely contrary to the principles upon which the office of publication was first established; and it has already resulted in keeping from the cause of God in its various branches thousands of dollars. 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 12

Many who pay tithes and make offerings do so by practicing self-denial; and when they know that the managers of the office receive so large wages for their work, they have little confidence in them as men whom God has chosen, since they are not imbued with the self-sacrificing spirit of Christ—He gave His life that He might save souls—and the people are losing confidence in the managers of the office. They connect the office with the cause of God most intimately, and when they see so great a departure from the principles in which they have been educated, they say, “God does not rule in that office.” 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 13

But the fault is found in the management of selfish men who have not a vital connection with God. I have been shown that the influence of this matter is working sadly against the spirituality of our churches, and I write this that you may understand that the Lord has not been leading, in this matter, those in the office who have advocated the reception of high wages. 7LtMs, Lt 5, 1892, par. 14