Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 2, 1902

Rivalry in the Publishing Work


January 12, 1902 [typed]

Previously unpublished. +Note

I am greatly burdened. My heart is sick, grieved, disappointed. A contemptible spirit of rivalry, a spirit of seeking for supremacy, prevails in the Pacific Press and the Review and Herald publishing houses. The word spoken to me is that both of these institutions need to be cleansed and purified. The principles of unselfishness, justice, and mercy should be cherished. 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 1

Neither of these institutions is being worked by the Holy Spirit. The work done bears the stamp of outward display, but less and still less does it reveal the inward mold of righteousness and sanctification. Because of the desire that is shown to gain advantage over one another, God will certainly humble the men bearing responsibilities in these offices of publication. Examples are being given in both publishing centers that will make these men understand that they must have that which they do not now possess—the Holy Spirit—else the Lord will allow them to go on in their way until they are filled with their own doings. 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 2

Threads of selfishness are being drawn into the web. You are jealous to obtain cuts and act as if these embellishments make up for the deficiency of the Holy Spirit. But do they take the place of God’s Spirit? Never! The converting power of God is needed to cleanse the institutions from all rivalry and pretense. In reaching out for illustration, you are securing only that which is common. As lively stones in the Lord’s temple, you need that which is living. In the name of the Lord I exhort you to publish books containing real, sound, glowing Christian experience, thus showing that the men who manage our publishing houses are able to bring from the heavenly storehouse of truth precious treasures both new and old. 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 3

While you are increasing the expense of books by embellishing them, you are lessening your opportunities for exercising painstaking care in making straight paths for your feet, lest the lame should be turned out of the way. You deal in common fire, in the place of the holy fire that you should use in all your service. You are making records that you will not care to meet in that day when all will be rewarded as their works have been. It would be better for you to publish less and to spend more time in bringing your hearts into harmony with the heart of Christ. 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 4

The greatest care should be taken to keep before every soul a right example. Let not one jot or one tittle be registered in the books of heaven concerning unfair, unjust, selfish work. Your hearts need to be filled with compassion, tenderness, and love. With every worker employed you are to deal justly. 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 5

The publishing houses should be training schools, as were the schools of the prophets, to train men to be trustworthy, true to principle, and of quick understanding—skilful workmen who can teach others how to work. 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 6

But in our publishing houses things are taking place that mold characters more after the order of the characters of Judas and Cain than after the divine similitude. 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 7

In the work that is being done, the Lord is not served or glorified. Men whose hearts are unsanctified are dealing with human souls in a way that God does not approve. Men whose words and actions are devoid of mercy, justice, and the love of God are placing a wrong mold upon those over whom they have charge. There are many who in spirit and in temper are directors and judges and lawyers; but you do not have many fathers. 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 8

The Lord has loaded each one with benefits. He has given light to all. Again and again He has filled His cup with the richest truths and presented it to His people. He proclaims to His followers the great salvation that He longs to bestow upon them. He desires to fill the earth with the light and glory that is brought to earth by the angel having great power, as described in the eighteenth of Revelation: “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” [Verses 1-5.] 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 9

This great salvation has been proclaimed in the ears of the people. Messenger after messenger has been sent with messages of rebuke, remonstrance, and entreaty. But have those who most needed these messages of warning taken heed to the words spoken by God’s witnesses? Have they humbled their hearts before God, cleansing the soul-temple from all impurity? 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 10

In our publishing houses, as it was in the temple-courts, there is unholy traffic, unrighteous barter. If Christ were on the earth, He would say, “Take these things hence.” “My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.” [John 2:16; Matthew 21:13.] 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 11

I am instructed to write a book containing the light that God has given in regard to the management of our publishing institutions. God is looking down from His holy place, beholding the centers of our work. He sees the buyers and sellers despoiling the temple of the human soul, where Christ should be enshrined. He sees His counsels despised and set aside. 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 12

How long will the hearts of men remain desecrated shrines? Men are living in apparent unconsciousness of the hollow hypocrisy, formality, passion, and envy that is in their hearts. They have the form, but not the power, of godliness. They are filling up their cup of iniquity, sowing seed that will bear a harvest after its kind. 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 13

God calls for a cleansing of the soul-temple, that truth may dwell in the inward parts. God and man are to co-operate, working to bring about the same result. It is essential for every one to labor earnestly for purity of heart. God calls upon you to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] 17LtMs, Ms 2, 1902, par. 14