Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 71, 1894

General Conference Committee and Publishing Boards of the Review and Herald and Pacific Press:

Williams Street, Granville, New South Wales, Australia

April 8, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in PM 147-148; CTr 179; 11MR 273; PH150 18-22.

Dear Brethren,

I would address to you words of counsel. I have received a letter from Brother C. H. Jones in reference to changes which it is proposed to make in the publication of our periodicals. Questions are asked in reference to these matters. One is, “Shall our periodicals be combined in one paper or magazine?” Brother Jones further says: “Some suggest that the Review, Home Missionary, and Sabbath School Worker be combined in one paper to be used as our regular church paper, have the Review enlarged to 32 pages, and divide it up into different departments covering the different lines of the work. All three of the papers are designed especially for our own people, and I am not sure but that this combination could be effected. Some have thought that the Instructor and Little Friend could also be combined in our church paper. Another suggestion is that the Signs of the Times and American Sentinel be combined in one pioneer missionary paper.” 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 1

I cannot see wisdom in the policy of having all our periodicals combined in one paper or magazine. Each of our periodicals has its own place and is to do a specific work. Let our brethren inquire, Has the necessity of this work, and its object changed? If you think so, then wherein? 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 2

The second proposition is that the Review, Home Missionary, and Sabbath School Worker be combined in one paper to be used as our regular church paper. It is proposed that the Review be enlarged to thirty-two pages, and be divided up into different departments, covering the different lines of the work. I cannot see wisdom in this. The Review is already large enough for a weekly paper; it carries a precious amount of food to our churches. To unite with it the Home Missionary and Sabbath School Worker would make it too bulky. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 3

The small papers, each having its own field, are far more convenient for the use of those who conduct the different lines of work than one large journal would be. The change would be regretted, and after a trial it would be necessary to return to the present size of the Review. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 4

The Lord has given special light in reference to these <periodicals> and the work they are to accomplish in the church and in the missionary field. Let each journal fill its own place in the great work. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 5

Let our brethren at the Review office be content to let well enough alone, and put all the tact and wisdom possible into carrying out the very principles which God has made known as those that should control the work. When in all their councils and conference meetings they give evidence that selfishness is dead, and their life is hid with Christ in God, then they will see success in wise undertakings. I have anticipated that changes would be proposed that are not wise and which would create perplexity and confusion, and all because the wisdom that comes from God does not control some minds that are connected with the work. Selfish habits of thought have not been entirely corrected, nor have selfish motives been entirely eradicated from the devising and planning. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 6

The present is a time of special peril. In 1890 and 1891 there was presented to me a view of dangers that would threaten the work because of a confederacy in the office of publication in Battle Creek. Propositions, which to their authors appeared very wise would be introduced, looking to the formation of a confederacy that would make Battle Creek, like Rome, the great head of the work, and enable the office of publication there to swallow up everything in the publishing line among us. This is not God’s wisdom, but human wisdom. These matters have been coming up again and again in different aspects, but this policy of consolidation would, if adopted, result in marring the work. God would have His work move firmly and solidly, but no one branch is to interfere with or absorb other branches of the same great work. From time to time, for years in the past, God has been pleased to give me special light on these points. I was shown that the small periodicals as well as the larger ones are to come forth from the publishing houses, <and be scattered like the leaves of autumn,> to answer the wants of the cause in its growth and extension. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 7

The printing office in Battle Creek will bear the divine credentials if the workers connected with it walk in accordance with the light that God has given them. If any of them, in their devising and planning, weave selfishness into the work, the approval of God will be withdrawn. All who act any part in the work of the cause of God are to consider their own spiritual condition in the light of the Word of God. Have they considered this matter prayerfully, that not one vein of selfishness should be fed by a course of action that God has reproved? Have they learned to lean upon Him who is a sufficiency? Do they seek Him in humble prayer, watching thereunto lest Satan should come in through their unconsecrated lives to do harm to the work of God in this period of great peril? There are persons whom the Lord has warned, setting before them their dangers, pointing out marked defects and deformities of character. Have they been earnest and zealous to reform in these things? 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 8

How slow were some to yield up their selfishness in the matter of wages, even after clear and definite light had been given on this subject. <Never before had there been such a delay to correct their wrong course of action.> Unholy ambition took possession of their thoughts and minds, and not having experience—as it is evident they did not have—in the workings and methods of God, they would not receive the light given them by God. Since the light was given, a long period of time has passed, time sufficient for them to make decided changes; but instead of doing this, they were continually seeking occasion to justify themselves in retaining the money they had received. They showed themselves to be untrustworthy, and they could not be left to put their mold upon the cause of God. All their excuses and subterfuges could not avail with God. The Lord has given light which they chose not to heed. “He that being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” [Proverbs 29:1.] 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 9

The question has been asked, “What does Sister White mean by saying and writing that there was in the office a confederacy that was an offense to God?” If those to whom this testimony was given had been under the enlightenment of the Spirit of God, they would have understood this. There was a confederacy in regard to the matter of wages. Certain ones agreed together not to <yield their decision> on that point, and they did not until the reproof came over and over and pressed closer and closer <home,> so that they dared not go farther without some change. Then they yielded, but <not heartily,> not because they saw the sinfulness of their course of action. Did the Lord accept the spirit and the manner of the yielding? No; He could not trust them as representatives in His cause, to advance His work. They had gone forward in their own spirit of self-sufficiency, and the work was marred in their hands. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 10

They confederated together to sustain and uphold one another—in what? let them answer. I leave them with God. Sufficient is it that God would not trust His work in their hands for them to mold and fashion after their own order, <while the Holy Spirit was not molding and fashioning them.> Light has been given repeatedly in regard to the spirit that should control the Review and Herald office. No excuse can be presented for a departure from the principles that should ever be revealed in every branch of the work of God. Men are not to put their hands to the work, <to fashion it after their own ideas,> ignoring the principles that God has repeatedly declared should be maintained in the upbuilding and prosperity of His cause. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 11

The Pattern, Christ Jesus, must ever be kept before us. The Lord Jesus says, “Follow me.” “He that would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23.] This was not done, but a new order of things was introduced into the office. The counsels of God were <too often> ruled out of your assemblies. How? With some by an unholy confederacy. “We will stand together,” they said. “You give me your support, and I will give you my support.” This was the principle that controlled <some of the workers> in the office. God calls it an unholy confederacy. His grace and His Spirit had nothing to do with this human policy. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 12

I have much to say, but have little time in which to write and prepare matter for this month’s mail. I wish it to be distinctly understood, however, that I have no faith in consolidating the work of publication, blending in one that which should remain separate. The blending of the Signs and the American Sentinel will not be in the order of God. Each has its distinctive work to do. <The Signs is a pioneer paper, to do a special work.> 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 13

The work of publication was represented to me by the figure which Christ used, the vine. In the different branches of this great work, as in the branches of the vine, there is to be unity in diversity. This is God’s plan, the principle that runs through the entire universe. In God’s wise arrangement there is diversity, and yet He has so related <each> part to others that all work in harmony to carry out His one great plan in extending their knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. However, there may appear to be dissimilarity, the work is one great whole, and bears the stamp of infinite wisdom. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 14

God and Christ are one. Christ and His disciples are one, we in Christ, and Christ in God. The Lord designs that His work shall move forward in perfect harmony without friction. Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” [John 15:5.] The branches are many and diverse, yet all are united in the parent stock, and every branch, although separate, draws its sustenance from the vine stock. “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” Jesus Christ is in God, the great Masterpiece of infinite wisdom and power and sufficiency, from whom all the diversity springs. Each branch bears its burden of fruit, and altogether make a harmonious whole, a complete, beautiful unity. This is harmony according to the Lord’s order. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 15

Warnings have been given me that the publishing house upon the Pacific coast should not, in thought, word, or deed, depreciate the office at Battle Creek. Neither should the publishing house at Battle Creek look with envy and jealousy upon the instrumentalities the Lord has established on the Pacific coast. Plans <should be carefully considered> in Battle Creek that <they may in no case> militate against the prosperity of the work in Oakland. <But> the image of jealousy was long ago set up, and has provoked to jealousy, which has grieved the Spirit of God. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 16

I understand something about these two institutions, for my husband and I had to lead out in establishing them and carrying them forward. The Lord gave special directions as to how they should be conducted. These principles I have not withheld from those who were numbered as believers in the truth. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 17

The work has been presented to me as, at its beginning, a small, very small, rivulet. The representation was given to the prophet Ezekiel of “waters issuing from under the threshold of the house eastward ... at the south side of the altar.” Please read Ezekiel 47. Mark (verse 8): “Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea; which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.” This work was represented to me as extending to the east and to the north, to the islands of the sea, and to all parts of the world. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 18

As the work increases, there will be a great and living interest to be managed by human instrumentalities. The work is not to be centered in any one place, <not even in> Battle Creek. Human wisdom argues that it is more convenient to build up the interests where it has already obtained character and influence; mistakes have been made in this line. Individuality and personal responsibility are thus repressed and weakened. The work is the Lord’s, and the strength and efficiency are not all to be concentrated in any one place. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 19

Already it has been proved that there was a lack of faithfulness in men placed in important positions of trust. The simplicity of the work was forgotten; the principles God had laid down were ignored; self-denial and self-sacrifice were not maintained; selfishness was indulged because the men in positions of trust were not with heart and soul relying upon divine wisdom and power, <but walking after the imagination of their own hearts.> This Scripture was presented to me as applicable: Jeremiah 7:1-14, 23, 24. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 20

Thank God, some changes have been made, but they have been made very slowly, reluctantly, and imperfectly. Now my brethren, all who have an individual interest in the work of God, before you shall feel competent to change the publications now doing their respective work in their several branches, I beseech of you to humble your own hearts before God, else the ones who have been often reproved and counseled, and who still choose to work in their own way, will be as described in Jeremiah 9:3-8, 12-15. The Lord has a great work to do in our world, but selfish men, had they had their own way, would have exalted themselves and allowed the precious cause of God to be burdened through their ambitious projects and imaginations, for they lived and worked to please themselves. God has brought about changes, yet there is need of still greater changes. It is not a light wrong that has been done, and there should be repentance and confession. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 21

I have little faith in the large or small confederacy that is being formed. It looks dark and forbidding to me. There is need of great care and wisdom in carrying forward the work. Every truly converted soul will now economize. Let there be no ambitious projects to secure high wages from the treasury to invest in lands and houses. The end is near. The Lord is at the door. There are many lines in which people may economize. One of these is the matter of picture taking. Many pay out considerable sums to multiply pictures of themselves, and they gather up all the pictures they can secure from their friends. Those idols <are exhibited everywhere.> Every dollar thus invested is the Lord’s money, which should be applied to the saving of the souls for whom Christ has died. All idolatry is sin. God help us to open our eyes that we may see these matters, large and small, in the true light, and may walk in the light which He has given. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 22

When the Lord gives counsel, it is safe to heed His voice. Had there been no confederacy binding together one with another, one strengthening another in a course which the Lord condemned,> a work of reform would have taken place <in the office> long ere this, but the spirit and unholy work of confederating together made manifest the very principles of Satan. Satan and his synagogue exulted. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 23

When the temptation was worked up of bribing those in responsible places by the offer of high wages, the bribe was accepted, and the desire to receive large remuneration was communicated in a greater or less degree to all our institutions. O, if they would only have heeded the warnings that God had given, Satan would have been repulsed; but they did not resist temptations as did their Pattern Christ Jesus; <they pressed their way against remonstrance and entreaty.> 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 24

The acceptance of large wages meant the sacrifice of principles which characterized the life of Jesus. If they had prayed, “My Saviour, give me grace to resist Satan’s temptations, give me strength to maintain right principles, to hold fast my integrity,” then they would have been blessed. But when the door was open to the tempter, the forces of the enemy came trooping in. Hearts swelled with pride that the talents and ability <they possessed> were of so great value. <The> money <which they had coveted> was invested for display, to foster pride and vanity. Humility and meekness, ever manifested in the life of Christ, were not cherished. It was evident that the truth had not a sanctifying power upon the heart. There was a lifting up of the soul unto vanity, and the sure outcome of it all will be that, unless they repent, those who sacrificed principles for earthly treasure will lose the heavenly. They will be put to shame. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 25

But although men may prove untrue, unfaithful, although the representative men misunderstand the holy principles of truth and righteousness, we will not be discouraged, for the voice of the True Witness is heard, “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.” [Revelation 3:4, 5.] 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 26

Let us individually consider that whatever may be our position we are on test before the heavenly universe. Every action is weighed, and abundant encouragement is given to every soul who contemplates the life and character of Christ. Those who would accept every dollar they can grasp in connection with God’s cause, that they may carry out their ambitious projects, will be overcome by the tempting bribes of Satan. Like king Nebuchadnezzar they place a high estimate upon their human ability, <and the Lord will remove it from them.> 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 27

Nebuchadnezzar did not consider that God was his source of strength and ability, and he was warned of God not to pursue a course of self-exaltation lest God should bring judgments upon him. In a dream the Lord laid out in clear lines the future history of the vainglorious king. Nebuchadnezzar beheld a tree that reached unto heaven, and as he looked, he saw a watcher and a holy one who came down from heaven and said, “Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit. ... Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth.” [Daniel 4:14, 15.] 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 28

The prophet Daniel interpreted the dream to the king, and he added the solemn admonition, “Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.” [Verse 27.] This warning from God was passed by as a commonplace occurrence. For twelve months the king was tested and proved. During this time his actions were weighed in the balances of the sanctuary in heaven. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 29

One morning as he walked in his palace, “the king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” While the king was swelling with self-importance, even “while the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken: the kingdom is departed from thee.” [Verses 30, 31.] See Daniel 4:32-37. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 30

Here God reveals Himself as Lord over all His creatures and all His works; that which came to pass in the case of King Nebuchadnezzar, who pursued his own course irrespective of warnings and reproofs, will surely be fulfilled in the case of those who have had great light, but who, through an unholy confederacy, sustain and influence one another to do the very things God has warned them not to do. He will uproot them, and bring to confusion their ambitious projects. If they repent, and humble their hearts before God, there is pardon. If they walk in humility before God, there is peace in the forgiveness and approval of God. If they will make God their trust, and keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment, they will be accepted of God, and will have another trial and proving. But the Lord of hosts will not be trifled with. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 31

Numbers who profess to believe the truth have sacrificed to Mammon rather than to the Holy One, and while they have a name to live, they are dead. But there are souls who have a connection with the work of God, who have held fast their integrity and have aimed to keep themselves unspotted from the world. By some, these have been looked upon as inferiors, but God has seen in them principles that have exemplified the loftiest integrity. The language of those who are striving to be overcomers will be, “Thou shalt guide me by thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none on earth that I desire beside thee.” [Psalm 73:24, 25.] Faith unfeigned must be cherished; it must become the basis of all true action. Self-denial and the cross lie directly in the pathway of all who are bending their steps after Jesus, never ashamed of Jesus, never departing from the simplicity of the faith, never ashamed to deny self, to lift the cross and to unite with Jesus, for He is the glory of the universe. 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 32

What can I say to open before you the dangers that present themselves to me? The fact must be apparent to every soul connected with our office of publication that in order to walk humbly with God he must be under the control of unfaltering, steadfast integrity and truth. As one working under the eye of God, he must have supreme love to God—love that “seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” [1 Corinthians 13:5-7.] 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 33

Satan will leave no means untried to accomplish his object, to conceal and obscure truth and establish error. This has been done. God has been dishonored, truth and righteousness have languished through unholy confederacy. O, the deceptions that Satan will practice in order to destroy the soul! Through the love of money, conscience has been sold for gain; there has been a violation of principle, of honor, of integrity. God knows every work, and it will all be brought into judgment. O that the blind eyes may be opened! 9LtMs, Lt 71, 1894, par. 34