Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 216, 1902

Counsels Regarding the Review and Herald Publishing Association

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

November 11, 1902

Previously unpublished.

I must write some things which burden my mind. There will have to be decided changes in the spirit and in the characters of the men who have been and will be chosen to connect with the Review and Herald Publishing work. The commercial work brought in has demanded more facilities and has become so large that the institution is not producing the results for which it was established. The Lord has been keeping accounts, and His estimate does not prove the sum worked to bear the same results as human wisdom would make appear. Their eyes are not opened to discern the loss sustained, and they are spiritually blind as to results which eternity will reveal. There is a cheap, low standard of spirituality, and principles are sadly perverted, which is an offense to God. He will give ample opportunity for men to reveal themselves as to their selfishness and covetousness, which is idolatry. Their principles are corrupted. 17LtMs, Ms 216, 1902, par. 1

The quality of the work received and handled shows the unsanctified judgment of the men in charge in responsible places. It is certain that as Christ cleansed the temple courts when He was on earth, He will [cleanse the publishing house]. 17LtMs, Ms 216, 1902, par. 2

The judgment of men in the past twelve years has been placed above the Bible directions. The Word of God has been set aside for human inventions. When the light God has given is discarded and set aside, spiritual discernment no longer is light but darkness. Then the inferior, selfish devising of men who are not taught of God comes in. There is a departure from “It is written” and from the justice, mercy, and the love of God, and the words and precepts of men are followed. He says to leading men, “You are neither cold nor hot. You profess godliness but live and work against the truth, and I will spue thee out of my mouth. I will not take your names onto My lips, for you are not men who practice the truth of heaven, and you greatly dishonor Me by your pretense. You will go over the same ground that has brought the work of God into most terrible, terrible confusion and into great disrepute.” 17LtMs, Ms 216, 1902, par. 3

The prayer Christ taught His disciples needs to be not only repeated and kept before the people, but obeyed implicitly. The Lord’s prayer is short, and truth embraced in it is simple, yet if understood it embraces all that is essential for our salvation. 17LtMs, Ms 216, 1902, par. 4

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13. 17LtMs, Ms 216, 1902, par. 5

The Lord Jesus assured the workers He left to do His work, that they should keep constantly advancing, breaking new ground, lifting the gospel standard in entering new places, and zealously planting His memorial in cities and localities where the truth had not been heard. Every institution is to make spiritual advancement, and every soul who has turned his feet in the way of the Lord’s commandments, following in His self-denying path, will not be working after the precepts of men as has been done, as is being done today, planing and scheming in every kind of manner for higher wages and greater authority and power to do as they please, while the leading workmen are setting this example. Judgment and equity cannot enter into such arrangements. 17LtMs, Ms 216, 1902, par. 6

Grasping for higher wages is a branch of selfishness which is devised by Satan to ruin souls. The practice of the truth in the life will be through sanctification of the truth. God will not work with your selfishness. It must be cut off, or the whole plant will be uprooted and destroyed. God will surely cleanse His temple of the lawyers—His institutions with their representative workers standing in high places manipulating the various lines of work and appropriating to themselves their estimate of their labor, while ministers and missionaries are cut down in their wages. There is an unequal distribution. Some who bear responsibility will say nay to the great demand for workers for the field, because there is not means to advance the work where the truth has never entered. 17LtMs, Ms 216, 1902, par. 7

There are many who make sacrifices too conscientiously. When the second tithe is presented, some will be able to bear it and some will be driven on Satan’s battleground. The men handling the means, and who consider it no sin to get the largest share, are guilty of unfaithful stewardship, guilty of transgressing the law of equity and justice and the love of God. They are largely losing all sense of the holiness and meaning of God’s commandments. His judgment will surely be evidenced upon those who are acting as sinners. Such will be rebuked; and if they will not heed the stern rebuke of God, they will be punished as sinners, only in as much greater demonstration as their light and their privileges and opportunities were greater. The Lord stretches forth His hands, for the men in responsible positions continue to say, “The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we. You must respect our judgment.” [See Jeremiah 7:4.] There will be a punishment that will make them understand that they have lost their souls through their selfishness and dishonest practices. 17LtMs, Ms 216, 1902, par. 8

The men who will demand the highest wages will subscribe to a limited wage to the man whose heart is in the work to be a producer, in order that their avarice shall be gratified. Is this loving their neighbor as themselves? And so much smaller is their measurement of the needs of the ministers working in barren fields as their figures are made higher for the work they have been doing. This God sees. This is offensive to God, and He will just as surely remove the wisdom from these self-prudent ones as that they work in selfish lines. He will turn and overturn until these unconverted elements are cleansed from our institutions, and unity and truth and righteousness shall go forth as a lamp that burneth. The Lord’s plan was that when brethren are converted they should evidence that they had some sense of the sacredness of the work. 17LtMs, Ms 216, 1902, par. 9