Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 140, 1901

Managers of our Publishing Houses


October 16, 1901 [typed]

Portions of this letter are published in PM 101, 255, 259; 2SM 350; 6MR 276. +Note

To the managers of our publishing houses,— 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 1

I have a message for all who act a part in the publication of truth for these last days. The Lord has given special instruction in regard to the great work to be done in His publishing houses. He directed that these institutions be established for the publication of present truth and for the transaction of the various lines of business which this work embraces. The managers and directors of these institutions are in no case to think that they are to be devoted principally to commercial work. When this is done, those connected with the publishing houses lose a sense of the sacredness of the purpose for which they were established, and they cheapen their work. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 2

Managers whose spiritual perception is perverted will enter into contracts to publish questionable matter merely for commercial gain. The result of taking in this work is that the purpose for which the offices of publication were established is lost sight of, and these institutions are regarded very much as any other commercial enterprise. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 3

Our brethren in charge of the publishing work need to consider carefully whether anything is gained by taking in a mass of outside work, which requires increased facilities and a larger force of workers than can be properly disciplined. Were Christ on the earth today, He would cleanse our publishing houses as He cleansed the temple at Jerusalem. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 4

In the Pacific Press an objectionable class of work has been taken in—novels and storybooks, which absorbed the minds of those who handled them, diverting their attention from the Word of God. Some of the workers have become so infatuated by this cheap literature that they are mentally inebriated. The introduction of this class of matter destroys the spirituality of the office. The Lord has instructed me that the reading storybooks means death to spirituality. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 5

It is claimed that taking in outside work brings in an accumulation of funds. But One of authority made a correct estimate of the cost of the outside work done at the Pacific Press and the Review and Herald. He presented the true balance, showing that the loss exceeds the gain. He showed that this work led the workers to be driven with a constant rush, and thus caused harsh, unpleasant words to be spoken. The fruit of righteousness did not appear. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 6

The Lord has given instruction that the employees in the publishing houses are to be wisely disciplined and educated in religious lines. This work is of infinitely more consequence than financial gain. The spiritual health of the workers in the publishing house is to be the first consideration. God desires to lead them, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obey the principles of His law. They are to be treated as the members of a family who are in the office for the accomplishment of a definite purpose. Over them those in charge of the work are to keep careful watch, striving in the fear of God to mold them aright, teaching them to discharge with faithfulness their respective duties. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 7

But in our publishing houses there has been harshness, scolding, overbearing. Contempt and ridicule have been seen when patient instruction was needed. God calls upon those in responsible positions in the publishing houses to enter the soul-saving harvest-field, right where they are—connected with the publication of the most solemn truths ever given to mortals. Rightly conducted, your work as instructors and educators in various lines will be to the heavenly universe a pleasant sight. God’s miracle-working power will be revealed. The managers and overseers will have the co-operation of God, and His grace will make heavenly things appear more attractive to the workers than the schemes of the enemy. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 8

Take a kindly interest in your apprentices, by the grace of God restraining all hasty words. Unkind criticism brings discouragement, making the working hours sunless and unhappy. Gain the confidence of every worker. Seek to win them to Jesus. Point them to the perfection which it is their duty to seek. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 9

Let all in the publishing houses remember that they are in a school, from which they are to go forth prepared to bear spiritual responsibilities. Let those in charge of the work take up the work of soul-saving, laboring earnestly to prepare workers to enter new fields. Let them present the truth, not only in precept, but in practice, giving in the life a perfect representation of the religion they profess to believe. As they strive earnestly to overcome, they will teach others how to overcome. God works with the faithful steward who seeks to do as Christ would do in his place. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 10

Do not seek to shun responsibilities. To do this is to dishonor the claim of discipleship. In His ministry on this earth Christ represented His Father. We are to follow in His steps. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 11

Women instructors should labor with the young women, not to see how much work can be gained from them, but to win their love and confidence. When this is won, there will be no difficulty about the work, for the workers will be filled with a desire to please. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 12

The Lord calls upon those engaged in the sacred work of publishing the truth to give evidence that they have been purified by His grace. As the disciples of Christ reveal His character, they show forth His miraculous power, bearing a convincing testimony to the truth of His Word. Their lives reveal the fruit of the Spirit. Christ declared that the Holy Spirit would bear witness of Him, and that His people also should bear witness. The testimony borne by the Holy Spirit through the sanctified lives of those who love and live the gospel is a living commentary on the words, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” [Matthew 4:4.] 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 13

The men placed at the head of departments in our publishing work should be carefully chosen. And just as soon as a man reveals a heartless, unfeeling spirit, he should <not> be dismissed, <but labored with kindly, prayed with and seek to reform him,> for he is working against Christ, scattering away from Him. The under-shepherds of the flock of God are to keep their own hearts sweet with the love of Christ, opening the windows of the soul heavenward that the light of heaven may fill its chambers. Then they can reflect light to those with whom they associate, revealing God as the health of the countenance. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 14

God desires to work with power through human beings for the advancement of the gospel of peace. This is the work He desires to accomplish in the Review and Herald. Shall its managers consent to be the agents of Satan by publishing books dealing with the subject of hypnotism? Shall this leprosy be introduced into the Office? 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 15

My brethren, God is greatly dishonored by your neglect to feed His flock with pure food. In accepting the position you occupy, you become responsible for the mental food given to the workers while they are in the Office. You will be called to account for the influence exerted by the introduction of this matter which has defiled the Office. Again and again you have been told that angels of God are walking through every room of the Office. Well may it be asked, “How do they regard the publication of the bewitching, seducing heresies of the enemy?” 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 16

What confidence can be placed in men who give the workers such matter to handle? They might just as well give them poisoned food. The fewer the apprentices trained by men who have destroyed their spiritual eyesight, the better it will be. And there might better be an overseer over the overseers, to see what kind of light is shining forth from the office of publication, to see who are co-workers with Jesus. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 17

God will not work a miracle to counteract the result caused by the lack of discrimination on the part of men who ought to be awake to the perils of these last days. He declares, “I will punish for the disregard of My honor and My majesty.” I am instructed to say that if matters continue to be as they have been, there will be a purification that will bring things to a standstill. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 18

Surely wisdom has departed from the men in responsible positions! Satan’s force has held a jubilee over the advantage they have gained. It is as though you had invited the agents of the enemy into the place which God declares should be kept pure and holy and undefiled. You have not given to the apprentices the instruction they need. You have not taught them what is truth. You have invited Satan to come in with his bewitching science, and sow his tares with perfect freedom in the institutions which should be sacredly devoted to the work of God. It will be found that the subtle power of Satan’s sentiments will not be so easily cast out. By the specious deceptions which he has brought into the Office, souls will be drawn into his snare. He plants his seeds, and they germinate in minds which should never, never have been tempted in the institutions established by the funds of God’s people for the advancement of His work. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 19

There is a great tendency to backslide from God, to refuse to walk in the way of His commandments. Christ declares, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] The greater the need of the efforts which God has declared should be made by men in responsible places in behalf of souls, the more guilty will He hold those who do not do this work, whose spiritual eyesight is dimmed, who do not see the need of watching for souls as they that must give an account. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 20

Men are to have the divine mind. Those who embrace Christianity should define the life of Christ in the life, revealing the gospel in word and action. It is an eternal law that in receiving Christ men receive power to become sons of God. No greater influence can be brought to bear upon the youth than to live before them the truth of the Word of God. Then let us use all our power in the advancement of truth and the suppression of error. Let us do all we can for God and the truth. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 21

I have a word to say to the workers in every publishing house established among us. If you love and fear God, refuse to have anything to do with the knowledge against which God warned Adam. Typesetters, refuse to set a sentence of it. If you are asked to handle such matter, call for a meeting of the workers in the Office, that there may be an understanding of what such things mean. It is your duty and privilege to do this. Those in charge of the Office may tell you that you are not responsible, that it is the managers who must arrange these matters. But you are responsible—responsible for the use of your eyes, your hands, your mind. These are entrusted to you by God, to be used for His glory, not to be lent to the service of Satan. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 22

When matters containing errors which counterwork the truth are printed in our offices of publication, God holds accountable, not only those who allowed Satan to lay a trap for souls by bringing in these sentiments, but those who yield to the temptation. All the workers in the Office are vigilantly to resist the enemy’s wiles. He is seeking to beguile men and women today as he beguiled our first parents. God forbid that the workers in our publishing houses should pervert the intellect by using the eyes and hands in preparing Satan’s poisonous mixtures. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 23

My brethren, do not harness your workers to the car of superstition and heresy. Why have you allowed them to handle books containing the most subtle, satanic instruction? Why is the publishing house, designed by God to send the light of truth to the world, made an agency for the dissemination of dangerous errors which lead men away from God? 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 24

Let the workers ask themselves the question, On whose side am I using my intellect? This is the most important question before you. Arraign yourself before your conscience, and ask yourself, On whose side am I standing, on the side of Christ, or on the side of Satan? Am I gathering with Christ, or scattering abroad? 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 25

Our work is to proclaim the third angel’s message. Men are needed who understand the truth to be proclaimed, who realize what class of matter should come from our printing presses. We are to adhere steadfastly to the truth for this time, seeking in every way possible to block the wheels of Satan’s car. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 26

Satan and his agents have been and are working diligently. Will God give His blessing to the publishing houses if they accept the deceptions of the enemy? Shall the institutions which have been kept before the people as holy unto the Lord become schools in which the workers eat the fruit of the forbidden tree of knowledge? Shall we encourage Satan in his stealthy entrance into the citadel of truth to deposit his hellish science, as he did in Eden? Are the men at the heart of the work men who cannot distinguish between truth and error? Are they men who cannot see the terrible consequences of giving influence to wrong? 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 27

If you should gain millions of dollars by work of this kind, of what value is this gain when compared with the terrible loss that is incurred by giving publicity to Satan’s lies, by making it possible for the world to say that books containing errors were published at the Seventh-day Adventist publishing house, to be scattered broadcast to the world? 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 28

Awake, and realize that your presses have published the devil’s lies. Let the men who know the truth act like wise men, placing the whole weight of their influence on the side of truth and righteousness. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 29

The foundation of many generations is to be raised, and God calls for men who will use every power of the being in combating Satan’s falsehoods, in breaking down his strongholds; men who will co-operate with Christ, not in a half-hearted way, but earnestly and wholeheartedly; men who are constrained by the love of Christ, whose hearts are surcharged by the Holy Spirit, whose spiritual muscles and sinews are strengthened by the cords of “Thou shalt,” and “Thou shalt not.” He calls for men who have a keen sense of the sacredness of His work, who, with intellect purified, ennobled, heaven-inspired and heaven-directed, will discern between the sacred and the common. God is seeking to lead men heavenward. He desires the aid of every helping hand in building the old waste places, raising the foundation of many generations. To those who co-operate with Him in this work, He says, “Thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” [Isaiah 58:12.] 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 30

The work done by those who have received the light should bear Christ’s signature. This and this alone gives it value. Only by the power of Christ can man overcome as He has overcome, and sit down with Him in His throne. Let the workers in our publishing houses bind their interests up closely with Christ. Then God can say of them, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” [Isaiah 13:12.] They are worth far more than millionaires, for their treasure is laid up beside the throne of God. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 31

God’s people are to be educated to read the sure word of prophecy in the light of His living oracles. Then they are to proclaim the truth in all its power, strengthened by the abiding presence of Christ in the heart. What is true eloquence but the earnest utterance of truth? When the truth takes possession of a man’s heart, that man can be trusted because he is controlled by truth. The soul receives light from the Light of life. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 32

At the last General Conference God in mercy sent light to His people. Those who then humbled their hearts before Him in repentance and contrition were greatly blessed. But some, instead of thoroughly searching the heart, did all they could to make themselves and others believe that they were not at fault. They were blinded by self-deception. I am instructed to say that if they had not yielded to this deception, discernment would have come to them as they sought earnestly after God. They would have worshiped Him in singleness of heart. Charged with a sense of their responsibility, they would have been co-laborers with God in delivering men from the paralysis of spiritual death. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 33

The work begun at the Conference should have been carried forward surely and steadily, the workers being renewed and reformed by the Spirit of God. But this work was not carried forward to perfection. Hearts were not moved to make humble confessions as they should have done. The fallow ground of the heart was not broken up. Had the needed reformation taken place, men’s eyes would have been opened to behold wondrous things out of God’s law. When the eye is single to the glory of God, the whole body is full of light. Devotion to Christ is the object of the life. The windows of the soul are opened heavenward, and Christ is seen as the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. The divine rays of light pour into the soul until every corner is filled. Then light flashes out to the world. Christ is seen as the One altogether lovely. He is the center of attraction. Words are spoken in season. The warnings are given which are needed in the church and in the home. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 34

We must be Christians in every sense of the word. Then we shall bear a powerful witness in favor of the truth. Satan’s science is not to be in any way aided or strengthened by those who claim to be Christians. God’s people are to study His Word, not skimming over the surface, but digging deep down as the miner digs for the precious ore hidden in the earth. Those in positions of trust need a new conversion. Christ speaks to them the words He spoke to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.” “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.” [John 3:7, 3.] 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 35

Study the twenty-fifth Psalm. Remember that it is Satan’s determination to break down the fortifications of truth. Let not one of God’s followers turn aside from guarding His sacred principles. 16LtMs, Lt 140, 1901, par. 36