Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)


Ms 40, 1904

Shall We Colonize Around Our Institutions?


April 20, 1904 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 06/02/1904.

Special light has been given me in regard to moving our publishing houses and sanitariums and schools out of the cities into places more favorable for their work, where those connected with them will not be exposed to all the temptations of city life. Especially should our schools be away from the cities. It is not for the spiritual good of the workers in our institutions for them to be located in the cities, where the temptations of the enemy abound on every hand. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 1

The instruction given regarding the removal of the publishing work from Battle Creek to some rural place near Washington, D.C., was clear and distinct, and I earnestly hope that this work may be hastened. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 2

Instruction has also been given that the Pacific Press should be moved from Oakland. As the years have passed by, the city has grown, and it is now necessary to establish the printing plant in some more rural place, where land can be secured for the homes of the employees. Those who are connected with our offices of publication should not be obliged to live in the crowded cities. They should have opportunity to obtain homes where they will be able to live without requiring high wages. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 3

The apprentices in our publishing houses should receive more fatherly care than they have had. They are to be given a thorough training in the different lines of the printing business; and they are also to be given every opportunity to gain a knowledge of the Bible; for the time is at hand when believers will be scattered into many lands. The workers in our publishing houses are to be taught what it means to be sincere followers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In the past, many souls have been left unguarded. They have not been taught what is comprehended in the science of godliness. Not all of those who have borne responsibilities have lived the Christian life. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 4

Consecrated Workers Needed

I listened to words spoken by One who understands the past, the present, and the future. A most solemn representation was given, delineating the characters that should be possessed by those who are accepted as yokefellows in our institutions. These institutions need men who are temperate in the full acceptance of the term. God forbid that men who have not learned to control themselves, and who neglect their own character building in order to make plans for some one else, should be brought into our institutions at Washington, D.C., and Mountain View. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 5

The workers in our institutions are to heed the instruction given by Christ. When the truth abides in the hearts of those in charge, when they walk in the light shining from God’s Word, the younger workers will wish to understand better the words they hear in the assembly of God’s people. They will ask for fuller explanations, and there will be special seasons of seeking the Lord and studying His Word. It was in some quiet room or some retired spot in the country that Christ explained to the disciples the parables which He had spoken before the multitude. This is the work that will need to be done for the youth in our publishing houses. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 6

The Tendency to Colonize

Those who are necessarily situated near our institutions should be careful how they send out glowing reports of the place. Everywhere there are people who are restless and dissatisfied, and who long to go to some place where they think that they will do better than in their present surroundings. They think that if they could be given work in connection with some one of our institutions, they would have a better chance to earn a living. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 7

Those who are tempted to gather about our institutions should understand that it is skilled workers that are needed, and that heavy burdens fall upon all who are properly related to the work. Those who are connected with our institutions must be producers as well as consumers. To those who desire to change their location, and settle near one of our institutions, I would say, “Do you think that in settling near an institution you will be able to get a living without perplexity or hard work? Have you counselled with the Lord in regard to this matter? Have you evidence that your desire for a change of location is free from selfish motives and would be for the honor of God?” 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 8

From letters received by those connected with our institutions, and by movements already made, we see that many desire to obtain homes near these institutions. My mind is weighed down with perplexity regarding this, because I have received instruction from the Lord in regard to the influence that would be exerted upon individuals and upon our work for our people selfishly to gather around our institutions. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 9

For years, in warnings often repeated, I have testified to our people that God was not pleased to see families leaving the smaller churches and gathering into the places where our publishing houses, sanitariums, and schools are established for their own convenience, ease, or worldly profit. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 10

In Australia, we went into the forest and secured a large tract of land for our school. Plans were laid to sell to our brethren building lots near the school homes and near the meetinghouse. But I was instructed to protest against permitting families to settle near our school homes. The counsel given was that it would be much better for families not to live near the school and not to live too close to one another. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 11

Those who feel like settling close to our publishing house, or our sanitarium and school at Takoma Park, should take counsel before they move. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 12

To those who are looking toward Mountain View as a favorable place in which to live, because the Pacific Press is to be established there, I would say: “Look to other parts of the world, which need the light that you have received in trust. Remember that God has given to every man his work. Choose some locality where you will have opportunity to let your light shine forth amidst the moral darkness. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 13

“It is always the case that when an institution is established in a place, there are many families who desire to settle near it. Thus it has been in Battle Creek and in Oakland, and, to some extent, in almost every place where we have a school or a sanitarium. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 14

“There are restless ones who, were they to go to a new place to live, would still be dissatisfied, because the spirit of disaffection is in their hearts, and a change of place does not bring a change of heart. Their characters have not been refined and ennobled by the Spirit of Christ. They need to learn the lesson of contentment. They do not study from cause to effect. They do not seek to understand the Bible tests of character, which are essential to true success. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 15

There are many who are desirous of changing their employment. They wish to obtain advantages which they suppose exist in some other place. Let them ask themselves of what benefit it would be to them to move if they have not learned to be kind and patient and helpful where they are. Let them look at themselves in the light of the Word of God and then work to the point where improvement is needed. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 16

Let those who are thinking of settling at Mountain View remember that this is not wisdom unless they are called there to connect with the publishing work. The world is large; its needs are great. Go, make new centers in places where there is need of light. Do not crowd into one place, making the same mistake that has been made in Battle Creek. There are hundreds of places that need the light God has given you. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 17

And wherever you live, whatever your circumstances may be, be sure to bring the teachings of the Word of God into your homes, into your daily life. Seek God as your light, your strength, your way to heaven. Remember that to every man God has entrusted talents to be used for Him. Learn at the feet of Jesus the lessons of meekness and lowliness, and then work in the spirit of the Saviour for those around you. By willing obedience to the commandments, make your home a place where God’s honor will love to dwell. “Thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 18

We each have an individual work to do. We are to consecrate ourselves, body and soul and spirit, to God. Each child of His has something to do for His name’s honor and glory. Wherever you are, you may be a blessing. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 19

If there seems to be but a slender chance of obtaining a livelihood where you are, make the most of every opportunity. Devise wise plans. Put to use every jot of ability that God has given you. Do your duty to yourself, improving in understanding and adaptability, daily becoming better able to turn to the best account the mental and physical powers that God has given you. He wants you to be a success. He wants you to be a blessing in your home and in the neighborhood in which you live. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 20

Parents, help your children to help you and to help each other. Be kindly and courteous to your neighbors. By good works let your light shine forth amidst the moral darkness. If you are true Christians, you will become more and more able to understand what the will of the Lord is, and you will move forward step by step in the light of His Word. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 21

Study the life of Christ, and strive to follow the pattern He has given you. Ask yourselves if you have done your whole duty to the church in your own house and your duty to your neighbors. Have you been faithful in teaching your children lessons of Christian politeness? Are there not many opportunities for improvement in the government of your home? Do not neglect your children. Learn how to discipline yourselves, that you may be worthy of the respect of your children and your neighbors. If Christ is not abiding in your hearts, how can you teach others the lessons of patience and kindness that must be manifest in the life of every Christian? Be sure that you are keeping the way of the Lord, and then teach the truth to those around you. 19LtMs, Ms 40, 1904, par. 22