Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 54, 1899

Brother Faulkhead and the Echo Office


April 4, 1899 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in PM 84-85, 93; 4Bio 53. +Note

After the closing exercises of the Bible school, Brother Faulkhead came to my room to see me. I could not forbear telling him that I had a message for him from the Lord, which I wished him and his wife to hear. He seemed anxious to know what it was, and said, Cannot you give it to me now? As he seemed very kind and tender in his feeling toward me, I rose from the bed, and taking the writing, read to him for three hours as straight and direct a testimony as I have ever borne any one. It was like a sharp, two-edged sword, butting every way. The Spirit of the Lord co-operated with the feeble human agent. The message against Freemasonry, and against the influence this society has upon all who belong to it, was strong and decided. The low religious standard of those who are connected with secret societies was presented in clear lines. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 1

When I had finished reading, Brother Faulkhead said, “I am so glad that you did not send me that testimony, for then it would not have helped me, but by reading it to me yourself you have done me a world of good.” There was in it much that was general, appropriate for others in the Office; for Brother Faulkhead said, “It all applies to me. I receive every word of it. It means me, it means me.” I made an appointment to meet him and his wife on Thursday evening. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 2

Brother Faulkhead then went home, having to walk seven miles. Afterward he related the circumstances to the workers in the Office, telling them that Sister White had given him a special testimony, which he received, and should carry out to the letter. He said, “I did want to meet some of the brethren last night. My heart was full, and I wanted to tell them how happy I was. A ton’s weight seemed to have dropped off me. The Lord had noticed me, even me.” 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 3

They say that Brother Faulkhead appears like another man. I do hope he will be a new man in Christ Jesus. Two or three days before I talked with him, he made the remark in defiant independence that he would not be taught his duty by Starr or White or any man. He belonged to the Freemasons, and should not give them up. But he is now another man. He belonged to five lodges, having sole financial management of three. He has just been promoted to the highest order; but he told me that he should cut loose from them all. He said, “Sister White gave me the sign known only to the highest order of Freemasons. I knew she did not know it, but she gave it twice. This convinced me that her testimony was from God.” I cannot tell what he meant by this, only I know that as I said something about Freemasonry and the impossibility of a man being a free Mason and a Christian, I made a certain movement which my attending angel made to me. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 4

After this, although it was the week before American mail, and I had not had time to write any thing, I attended two committee meetings, and presented the true position of things in the Echo office. Seemingly a labored effort was made to keep up appearances for the sake of appearance. The publication of the Echo was a continual loss. Jobs were secured at altogether too large an expense, and loss was the result. Funds were sunk in nearly all the lines that were being carried forward. There was not sufficient business ability and wise generalship to bind up the work in a way which would save expense. A desire to launch out seemed to be the order. I was shown that this was not the way to do business. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 5

It is not the will of our heavenly Father that His work should be conducted in such a way as to be in continual embarrassment. The office should not be eaten up by its own expenses. Work that cannot be done without this cost should be abandoned. Let tact and interested ability be put into the work. Let serious consideration be given to matters in the office. If the workers take up work without any consideration in regard to the income and outgo, how can the work be executed without friction? How can the workers keep in a cheerful, Christlike frame of mind? 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 6

Everyone should make the intelligent inquiry, What work shall the Echo office do, and yet stand on a paying basis? It has been gathering up branches of work which it will not be able to carry. This has been hampering, entangling, and impeding its forces. Too many things are carried on which are merely dead weights. If a remedy is to be found for the condition of things in the office, its business must be searched to the very bottom. The intellect must work as it has not yet done to find out by close investigation the cause of the debts incurred. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 7

A decided change must be made in the management of the office. Words of reproof have been uttered on the impulse of the moment, without any definite aim. Much has been said that is vague. The result of this vagueness and generality is that no one in particular is helped or enlightened. True soul conversion is needed. A deep and wide interest should be manifested in helping one another. The Lord is not pleased when His people draw apart. This is one defect in the office. Some of the workers are not willing to help and instruct their fellow workmen. Another evil is that those who are inexperienced do not wish their ignorance to be known. They make many mistakes, at a cost of much time and material, because they are too proud, too self-willed, to ask. This ignorance could have been avoided if those in the work had shown kindness and love to one another. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 8

The trouble is not difficult to define. The workers have been independent threads, when they should have regarded themselves as threads which must be drawn into the fabric to help to make the pattern. If men and women could see what trouble they make themselves by this independence, by trying to do what they do not know how to do without asking, they would alter their course. If Christ were abiding in the hearts of the workers, they would try to bring high Christian consecration into all their duties, whether great or small. And in the act of working heartily as unto the Lord, raising their thoughts above the ordinary level of business life, they would be blessed. It is the Christians’ duty to think of holy things. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 9

The workers in the Echo office have very little insight into the right methods of obtaining success. They are working at cross-purposes with each other. The Echo office is sick, from the crown to the foundation. There will be no vitality, no decided progress, until the workers follow Christian principle. These workers need to be soundly converted to the truth. Devotion to God, conscientious, prayerful work for the Master will bring unity. Each worker must be on his guard, firmly determined to bind about the edges of every department in the office. He must realize that it is his duty to give brain, bone, and muscle to the work, that it may be made a success. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 10

The Lord’s work has many branches. The ways in which the Lord condescends to employ human agents are numerous. As God’s stewards each man and woman has a work to perform. Each one is given capabilities which qualify him for this work. If those in responsible positions in the office put aside all selfishness, if they faithfully weigh the probabilities and possibilities, they will see that if there are any employed in the office to do a work that might better be done outside the office, these should be placed where they can use their ability in other lines of the Lord’s work. There is great need of canvassers, and none of us are in this world to please and glorify self. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 11

I do not think that any one should encourage those in responsible positions in the office to try to keep up appearances, unless they see some fund upon which they can fall back. This is a missionary field. Here in Australia we have but just begun to break the soil. A great work is waiting for earnest workers. But we have not the resources from which to draw that they have who are in America. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 12

There are in America experienced churches, upon which our brethren can call for aid in a time of necessity. Money is lent at small interest, and donations are made to sustain the cause in its various branches. But it is a mistake for those here to think that they can imitate Battle Creek. For the work to succeed here as it has done at Battle Creek will require executive ability and careful planning. The standard of truth must be planted in Australia, but while debt is constantly accumulating in the office, those at the head of the work cannot feel of much courage to send men into the field. These men cannot work for nothing. They must have wages. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 13

I do not think that our brethren in America take in the situation of things here. They do not think of the many years of experience they have had, the many influences that have been brought to bear upon God’s people in America, bringing them along step by step, giving them line upon line, precept upon precept, saying at every crisis, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” [Isaiah 30:21.] The Lord calls for great patience to be exercised in this new world. Australia must be helped. The light and influence those in America have enjoyed for years they must now be willing to impart to others. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 14

Many in this country have not received the advantages of education which have been so abundantly and graciously given by God in America. A thorough line of work needs to be constantly kept in action for the perfecting and establishing of the cause of God upon a proper basis. But it is of no advantage to the cause to broaden our field of action until efforts are made in aggressive warfare, until men and women are trained to go forth and carry to others the great and precious truths which God has been opening up before us for years. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 15

Those who teach the truth to others should feel the importance of learning from Christ, just as the little child learns from its teacher. Otherwise, what good will he accomplish? What will his labors result in? Those who realize their inefficiency, who feel that they do not know half of what they ought to know, will not stop with reaching any low standard. Those connected with our publishing houses, where the truth of God is being handled, should feel that they are on holy ground. They have been instructed that they need to feel daily the converting power of God. For years the voice of God has been speaking to them. Angels of God co-operate with the worker who is consecrated, and who works with pure and holy motives, seeking ever to do the will of God. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 16

Every association leaves an impression upon the character. The letters that are written either sow the seeds of tares or wheat. Our thoughts, our words, the spirit in which we perform our daily duties, all act their part in the formation of character. The workers in our institutions are either devoted servants of Christ, or they are under the leadership of the enemy. Each individual is constantly abiding in the true vine, partaking of the divine nature, or else he is imbibing the spirit of pride, of self-indulgence. Imperceptibly worldly influences affect the mind and form the character. If the mind does not appropriate high and holy influences, it must be appropriating those that are low and debasing. If there is not a growth in piety and grace, there is a growth in worldliness and sin. 14LtMs, Ms 54, 1899, par. 17