Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 59, 1901

Daniells, A. G.

Oakland, California

June 5, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in UL 170. +Note

Dear Brother Daniells,—

I have read your letter, also one from Elder Kilgore. I have also received letters from several others regarding the work in the South. I now wish to speak of something. All that Edson has presented to you regarding the necessity of special plans for the book work in the South is worthy of consideration. Great care must be taken regarding all lines of the work in the South. The South is a field that cannot be compared with any other field. The work there cannot be conducted in the same way that the work in other places is conducted. It cannot be carried forward in the regular lines, for this would be inconsistent. And if methods can be devised for handling books there in a cheaper manner, let these methods be followed. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 1

If the work in this field had in the past been recognized by the General Conference, if the help had been given that the importance of the field demands, there would be some reason why the work should be carried in the regular lines. But in many parts of the South the regular lines cannot now be followed. Every dollar of the tithe raised in the South should be used in the South, and besides this, additional help will be needed. The past showing of the General Conference with regard to the Southern field is a very poor one. The work has been hindered in such a way that God has been greatly dishonored. The strange neglect of the Southern field is a startling rebuke to those who bear the name of Seventh-day Adventist. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 2

For years I have been instructed that the best wisdom has not been shown in the plans laid for the publication and handling of our books. The cost of books has been reckoned in a way that is not according to righteousness. At one time I was unjustly urged to lower the royalty on my books from twenty to ten cents. And one brother said that he hoped I would allow the royalty to be eight cents a copy. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 3

I was carrying a great burden of responsibility, for the Lord had given me instruction that the light in these books must be given to the people without delay. Their circulation must be without limit, for they contained the truths which the world needed. Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation was also to occupy the field, for the light it contained was to go to the people in all parts of the world. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 4

The managers of our publishing houses made me a solemn promise that if I would accept fifteen cents in the place of twenty cents as royalty, they would push Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets with all their might. But this promise was not fulfilled. With their unsanctified wisdom men worked in a way entirely opposed to the way in which God desired them to work. The most selfish methods were used. Wrong principles came in. The men who were managing the work had not the fear of God before them, and they made wrong decisions. Bible Readings was pushed to the front, to the exclusion of all other books. It was decided that Bible Readings should occupy the field at that time. Thus the light which God designed should go to the world in Great Controversy was hidden on the shelves of the publishing houses. Men worked according to their own wisdom, and God was greatly dishonored. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 5

Again and again I was told that the field would be given to Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets, but these promises were false. Because Bible Readings was a book easily sold, it was kept in the field, and our Conference presidents were advised to encourage their canvassers to devote their energies to the handling of this book above all others. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 6

The Lord then presented some matters to me, telling me, as my Instructor, that the only thing for me to do was to secure facilities for the publishing of my own books, and to handle these books myself, selecting canvassers to circulate them. The Lord said that He would work in my behalf, that when the publishing houses revealed selfishness in publishing the productions from my pen, my way was clear. Light came to me that I was to take the publication of my books into my own hands, for by working on corrupted principles men were greatly dishonoring God. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 7

My children discouraged me from making this move. They did not think that I was in a position to carry the work forward against the strong influence opposed to me; and I did not venture. I did not urge the matter as I should have done. For two or three years the kingly power that ruled closed the door against the light God had sent to the world in Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 8

While I was in Australia, the matter was again laid out before me. I was shown that had I followed the light that was given, working according to the Lord’s plan, notwithstanding the objectionable features that appeared, human authority would not have become so bold. God would have worked to purify the publishing houses from selfishness, covetousness, and unfair dealing. God would not have despised the day of small things. Many souls would have been won to the truth who have been swept away by the undercurrent of the strong minds who grasped authority which did not belong to them. Wrongs would have been traced to their true source. The Saviour, the Restorer, would have wrought in behalf of His cause and work. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 9

The hesitation in venturing forward was unbelief. The first move to be made would have been to call the people together and set the whole matter before them. Then the Lord would have worked as a wonder-working God, taking the power entirely out of the hands of the men who were bringing in wrong principles. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 10

This is the way in which things were opened before me just before I left Australia. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 11

God communicates with His people, sending His light in bright, clear rays to the world, to secure the attention of the thoughtless, to melt the hearts of the hardened, to subdue the proud, and to inspire the fearful with hope. Paul declared that if the princes of the world had known the hidden mystery of God, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Had the managers of our publishing houses paid homage to God in the place of giving honor to men, the methods followed in the publishing work would have been very different. The men who were so selfish as to try to push God’s messenger into a hard place would have seen their lack of wisdom. The circulation of the books containing light for these last days would have been much greater than it now is. And while light shone forth to the people, a revenue would have been brought into the Lord’s treasury to establish the work in unworked portions of the vineyard. Every branch of the work would today be on a different basis. By cutting off the revenue which came to me from my books, men were cutting off the possibilities of establishing new plants in all parts of the world. God gave me power to write, and the revenue coming from these publications was to be used as His Spirit should suggest. Thus His work was to be advanced. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 12

If at that time straight work had been done, what a change there would have been in the experience of the cause of God. But the Lord allowed men to show the spirit they were of. And in His providence, He worked in Australia and opened many new fields. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 13

This matter is not yet set right. The hearts of the men who for so long worked in blindness have not yet been reformed. In the past many things have been done that ought not to have been done. The Lord has been displeased by the selfishness manifested in demanding high wages. Men have taken to themselves kingly power and have exercised arbitrary authority. O, if men’s hearts had only been cleansed from the alloy of worldliness, if greed and selfishness had been cut away, what a different condition of things would today be seen in the cause. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 14

God declares that in His institutions there shall be no harsh voice of authority, no loud declamation. The character of Christ is ever to be revealed in the work that is done for Him. This is not the dispensation of loud-voiced, worldly policy, but the dispensation of the still, small voice. Workers for God, the secret of power lies in revealing the love of Christ, in making sacrifices for the salvation of perishing souls. Let those who are connected with God’s service seek to save, not to condemn. Never, because you have the power of authority, place a fellow worker in a disagreeable position. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 15

God has an appointed work for each one to do. The powers of mind and body belong to God, not to man. The Lord’s plan has not been followed in regard to the Southern field. Many parts of this field have been left to their wickedness and misery and hunger and nakedness, destitute of the knowledge of God. The Lord impressed a few minds with the need of this field, and under His direction they began the work there. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 16

But I know that there are those who would have stopped this work had it been in their power to do so. They had feared lest a call should be made for means to sustain the work in the South. O, what excuse will Seventh-day Adventists give in the day of judgment for their neglect of this field? 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 17

“Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity; therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.” [Jeremiah 48:11.] 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 18

Moab did not know anything of the process of unsettling, and the people made but little moral and spiritual progress. “His taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.” [Verse 11.] 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 19

A life of monotony is not the most conducive to spiritual growth. Some can reach the highest standard of spirituality only through the breaking up of the regular order of things. It is often necessary to change men into different positions. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 20

God desires human beings to be more closely associated with Him. Therefore He takes them away from their friends and acquaintances. When God was preparing Elijah for translation, He moved him from place to place, that he might leave behind the methods and customs he had previously followed, that he might not settle down on his lees, and thus fail of obtaining moral greatness and spiritual soundness. It was God’s design that Elijah’s influence should be a power to help many souls to a more perfect experience. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 21

Let those who are not permitted to rest in quietude, who must be constantly on the move, pitching their tent tonight in one place and tomorrow night in another place, remember that the Lord is leading them, and that this is His way of helping them to form perfect characters. In all the changes we are required to make, God is to be recognized as our Companion, our Guide, our Stronghold, and our Dependence. <We are to ever be moving, advancing in knowledge, and thus it will be [that] they follow on to know the Lord. The light of His leading He will prepare as the morning.> 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 22

The Lord has various ways of testing and proving His people. Again and again He has brought about changes to see whether His human agents will keep His commandments. When in His providence He sees that changes are essential for character-building, He breaks up the smooth current of the life. He orders that changes shall be made, so that His worker shall not stagnate by following the regular order. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 23

June 19

The camp-meeting proper has closed. But as there is much unfinished business to be attended to, the workers will remain on the ground, holding meetings over Sabbath and Sunday. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 24

During this meeting the attention of many has been called to the truth. Many outsiders have attended the meetings held on Sabbaths and Sundays. I know that the Lord gave me a message for our people. When I see that so many bear so little responsibility for souls, I am alarmed lest there shall be a sinking back at ease, content to do little for the Master. Many souls are now in the valley of decision. Will the effort made during the camp-meeting be allowed to pass without sufficient results? We are living in a time which calls for decided action. Everything that can be done by the followers of Christ should be done, for the enemy will work with all his power to deter souls from receiving the truth. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 25

The world is growing worse and worse. It is more bitterly opposed than ever before to gospel reform. But, nevertheless, God’s work is to go forward. We are to sow beside all waters, even though we know that many will seek to extinguish the light of truth. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 26

“As the days of Noah were, so shall also the days of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the food, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” [Matthew 24:37-39.] 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 27

In the days of Noah, “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. ... And the Lord said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” [Genesis 6:5, 6, 13.] 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 28

But though men were so wicked, God would not destroy them without warning. “My spirit shall not always strive with man,” He said; “yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” [Verse 3.] And during this period of probation, Noah’s message of warning was to sound in their ears. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 29

At first many were startled by this message. Some believed it, and some died in the faith. But as time went by, the message lost its power over the careless, world-loving people. They forgot all thought of peril, and laughed at Noah for building an ark on dry land. But still the work of building went on. Noah showed his faith by his works, and by his faith and works condemned the world. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 30

As Noah warned the world, so the people of God in this day are to warn the world. By their faith and works they are to condemn the world. They will have the same wicked resistance to meet that Noah met in his day. But they are not to fail or be discouraged. God calls for men who will deal prudently and contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. 16LtMs, Lt 59, 1901, par. 31