Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 155, 1901

Palmer, E. R.

St. Helena, California

September 15, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 1.

Dear brother Palmer,—

I wish to write you a few words in regard to the canvassing work. The canvassing work in America is to be revived and set in order. Here workers are to be prepared to go forth to other fields to revive the work, giving their brethren the instruction they have received. I am instructed to say that God calls for workers. Where there is one canvasser in the field there should be one hundred. The self-denial and self-sacrifice seen at the beginning of our work are to be revealed in our work today. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 1

Christ said to His disciples: “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal; that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” [John 4:35, 36.] 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 2

Christ’s work and Baal’s work are not to stand side by side in our publishing houses. The men who have allowed the presses in the Lord’s publishing houses to be used in printing the errors that are to deceive if possible the very elect should begin to realize what it is that has weakened the influence of the publishing work. By printing matter that has dishonored the Lord’s presses, they have been acting as the helping hand of the enemy. The Lord has looked on this with great displeasure. Those in responsible places need to be converted, heart, soul, mind, and strength. When they place themselves in the ranks of the enemy to do his work, how can the Lord be glorified in them? False science has been brought into our printing offices and has been placed in the hands of the workers. This has been a severe temptation to them, and already it has made its impression on their minds. Seeds of evil have been sown which will result in the ruin of souls. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 3

Those who do such work show that their sense of the sacredness of God’s work is paralyzed. Their actions reveal the feebleness of their spiritual pulse. To all who sow such seed the message to the Laodicean church is applicable: 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 4

“These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.” [Revelation 3:14-19.] 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 5

Lukewarm, indifferent in religious practice. Saith the Lord, “You are not spiritual-minded. You do not jealously guard my honor by offering me faithful service before those who are dishonoring my name. What have you done to declare my name and vindicate my honor? I will not walk among you. By using the presses in my institutions to print the science of Satan, a science closely resembling that with which he deceived Adam and Eve, you have done a work that has shown your spiritual blindness. You have promulgated error, sowing the seed of Satan’s most dangerous deception, a deception which infatuates and bewilders minds. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 6

“You who have done this work have revealed your inability to distinguish between the sacred and the common. I would be better pleased if you would make no pretension of believing the truth that sanctifies the soul. Your actions show that you cannot see when sin is being committed. Your taste is perverted, your discernment corrupted. Your words and deeds are nauseating to me. Because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 7

To the woman at the well Christ said, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” Interpreting this to mean water from Jacob’s well, the woman replied, “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; from whence then hast thou that living water?” [John 4:10, 11.] She could not discern the meaning of the Saviour’s words. Not less blind are many of those in positions of sacred trust. The Lord has been giving His people light from heaven—the most precious truths ever given to the world. Those in our offices of publication have been handling the truths represented by Christ as living water; but they have neglected to drink of this water or to present it to others. If they had appreciated these truths, they would not have lost their sense of the purity and nobility and sacredness of God’s principles. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 8

The woman asked Christ, “Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.” [Verses 12-14.] He told her that there is something to be prized more highly than the water of Jacob’s well on which she placed such great value. The Holy Spirit purifies, refreshes, and invigorates the soul. But one draft is not enough. We are to drink constantly of the water of life. Then we shall be satisfied, for the water which Christ gives springs up in the soul unto everlasting life. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 9

There are false teachers, bearing false doctrines, coming under the guise of godliness, but bearing Satan’s science, which once received, pollutes the whole being, body, soul, and spirit. These teachers are wells without water. They put on an appearance of righteousness, but they lead minds into heresy and darkness. They speak great swelling words of vanity about their own power. Thus did Satan when he promised Eve, “Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” [Genesis 3:5.] They turn men and women from obedience to disobedience, from the pure doctrines of Christianity which make men loyal and true to God’s commandments, to the doctrines of unrighteousness which drag them down to ruin. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 10

False teachers have always abounded, and in the future they will increase in numbers and in power to deceive, apparently working miracles. All should beware of placing themselves in association with such teachers. Their doctrines are attractive and their deceptions so carefully hidden <under a garb of righteousness> that if it were possible they will deceive the very elect. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 11

When those upon whom the light of truth has been shining from God’s Word and from the testimonies of His Spirit follow worldly policy for the sake of gain, receiving into the Lord’s institution matter containing deceptive and erroneous sentiments and placing this matter in the hands of their apprentices, they are sowing seed which will produce a terrible harvest. They will find that it is easier to introduce these erroneous sentiments into the office than it is to root them out of the minds of the workers, and the end will be the ruin of souls. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 12

The love of money, in men who ought to be as true as steel to principle, will prevail among us. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 13

This is a portion of the instruction given me in regard to the danger in which the publishing work is being placed by men who do not understand the truth or are not sanctified by the truth. In our publishing houses the standard of the truth has been left to trail in the dust. Giving influence to error by printing it has weakened the influence of men in positions of responsibility. Thus they have shown their inability to see the difference between the use of common fire and the sacred fire of God’s own kindling. They have greatly dishonored God by setting the apprentices in their care a wrong example. But in mercy God has spared their lives. He is not willing that any should perish, and He would delight in the repentance of those who in the past have failed to see the sacredness of His work and its relation to the apprentices employed in carrying it forward. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 14

An understanding of the Word of God and of the testimonies of His Spirit is the only safeguard against the seduction of error. The lack of this understanding is the cause of the perversion of high and holy principles. The Word is not made the Guide and Counsellor. Ignorance of the Scriptures and of the power of God prepares the way for the acceptance of false science. This has left an open door for Satan to enter with his science. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 15

The publishing houses controlled by Seventh-day Adventists are to be educating schools where the youth are taught to discern between truth and error. The sentiments placed before these youth are to be of a pure, holy character, and are to be enforced and made effective by the godly example of the instructors. Why are the youth brought to our offices of publication unless it is that they may receive an education in truth and righteousness, and that they may gain also a knowledge of the printer’s trade, and so be prepared to go to new fields to do the work which needs to be done in the advocacy of the truth? 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 16

The education given to the apprentices in our institutions should help them in their character building, leading them to make Christ their pattern. It should furnish them with an experience that will enable them to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 17

Earnest efforts should be made to circulate the truth coming from our presses. But not a page of error, not a page of science falsely so-called, is to be placed in the hands of the workers in our printing offices. Zealous efforts should be made by God-fearing evangelists in behalf of the apprentices, that they may be converted to the truth. They are to be carefully instructed in regard to what is truth. They are to be encouraged to take time to read the Bible daily, and they should have an instructor to read the Word of God to them. Earnest prayer should be offered for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, that the workers may discern between truth and error and labor understandingly for their own salvation and the salvation of others. As they study and obey the Word of God, they will be comforted and encouraged by a belief in the truth, and they will become wise unto salvation. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 18

Time granted for the study of God’s Word and for prayer is not lost. It will pay a hundredfold in return. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 19

The increasing knowledge of Jesus Christ that is obtained by a study of the Scriptures, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, enables the receiver to distinguish between right and wrong in all business dealing. If those who are connected with our publishing houses gain this knowledge and become rooted and grounded in the truth, they will keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment. And when they are called into new fields, they go from the office as representatives of the Saviour. Their influence is a recommendation to the institution in which they received their education. They have obtained an education which fits them for usefulness in Christ’s service. They are prepared to act as ambassadors for Him. They can impart a knowledge of the truth, for they work in accordance with the sacred principles which God’s people must ever maintain. 16LtMs, Lt 155, 1901, par. 20