Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23

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Ms 23, 1908

Circulate the Publications

NP

May 4, 1908 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in 9T 65-75. +Note

In the night of March 3, 1907, many things were revealed to me regarding the value of our publications on present truth and the small effort that is being made by our brethren and sisters in the churches for their wise circulation. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 1

I have been repeatedly shown that our presses should now be constantly employed in publishing light and truth. This is a time of spiritual darkness in the churches of the world. Ignorance of divine things has hidden God and the truth from view. The forces of evil are gathering in strength. Satan flatters his co-workers that he will do a work that will captivate the world. While partial inactivity has come upon the church, Satan and his host are intensely active. The professed Christian churches are not converting the world; for they are themselves corrupted with selfishness and pride and need to feel the converting power of God in their midst before they can lead others to a purer or higher standard. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 2

An Encouraging Experience

The afternoon of March 3 I spent in counsel with Brother and Sister Haskell, discussing the work in Oakland and their plans to go east to spend some time in south Lancaster. After our visit I was weary and retired early. I was suffering with rheumatism in my left side and could get no rest because of the pain. I turned from side to side, trying to find ease from the suffering. There was a pain in my heart that portended no good for me. At last I fell asleep. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 3

About half-past nine I attempted to turn myself, and as I did so, I became aware that my body was entirely free from pain. As I turned from side to side, and moved my hands, I experienced an extraordinary freedom and lightness that I cannot describe. The room was filled with light, a most beautiful, soft, azure light, and I seemed to be in the arms of heavenly beings. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 4

This peculiar light I have experienced in the past in times of special blessing; but this time it was more distinct, more impressive, and I felt such peace, peace so full and abundant no words can express it. I raised myself into a sitting posture, and I saw that I was surrounded by a bright cloud, white as snow, the edges of which were tinged with a deep pink. The softest, sweetest music was filling the air, and I recognized the music as the singing of the angels. Then a voice spoke to me, saying, “Fear not; I am your Saviour. Holy angels are all about you.” 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 5

“Then this is heaven,” I said, “and now I can be at rest. I shall have no more messages to bear, no more misrepresentations to endure. Everything will be easy now, and I shall enjoy peace and rest. O what inexpressible peace fills my soul! Is this indeed heaven? Am I one of God’s little children, and will I always have this peace?” 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 6

The voice replied, “Your work is not yet done.” 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 7

Again I fell asleep, and when I awoke, I heard music, and I wanted to sing. Then some one passed my door, and I wondered if they saw the light. After a time the light passed away, but the peace remained. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 8

After a while I fell asleep again. This time I seemed to be in a council meeting where our book work was being discussed. There were a number of our brethren present, leaders in our work; and Elder Haskell and his wife were there consulting together with the brethren about the circulation of our books, tracts, and periodicals. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 9

Elder Haskell was presenting strong reasons why the books which contain the knowledge that has been communicated to Sister White, the books containing the special message to come to the world at this present time, should be more freely circulated. Why, he inquired, do not our people appreciate and circulate more widely the books bearing the divine credentials? Why is not a specialty made of the books containing the warnings regarding Satan’s work? Why do we not give greater effort to circulating the books that point out Satan’s plans to counterwork the work of God, that uncover his plans and point out his deceptions? The moral evils of his deceptions are to be removed by opening the eyes of the people so that they shall discern the situation and the dangers of our times; so that they shall make diligent effort to lay hold by faith upon Christ and His righteousness. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 10

A messenger from heaven stood in our midst, and he spoke words of warning and instruction. He made us clearly understand that the gospel of the kingdom is the message for which the world is perishing, and that this message, as contained in our publications already in print, and those yet to be issued, should be circulated among the people who are nigh and afar off. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 11

Dangers in Speculative Study

The light of truth which God designs shall come to the people of the world at this time is not that which the world’s men of learning are seeking to impart; for these men in their research often arrive at erroneous conclusions and in their study of many authors become enthused with theories that are of satanic origin. Satan, clothed with the garb of an angel of light, presents for the study of the human mind subjects that seem very interesting, and which are full of scientific mystery. In the investigation of these subjects, men are led to accept erroneous conclusions and to unite with seducing spirits in the work of propounding new theories which lead away from the truth. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 12

There is danger that the false sentiments expressed in the books that they have been reading will sometimes be interwoven by our ministers, teachers, and editors with their arguments, discourses, and publications, under the belief that they are the same in principle as the teachings of the Spirit of truth. The book Living Temple is an illustration of this work, the writer in its support declaring that its teachings are the same as those found in the writings of Mrs. White. Again and again we shall be called to meet the influence of men who are studying sciences of satanic origin, through which Satan is working to make a nonentity of God and of Christ. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 13

The Father and the Son each have a personality. Christ declared, “I and My Father are one.” [John 10:30.] Yet it was the Son of God who came to the world in human form. Laying aside His royal robe and kingly crown, He clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity through His infinite sacrifice might become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 14

Christ was tempted in all points as man is tempted, but at no time did He bring against the tempter a railing accusation. To every temptation He presented the Word of the Lord. “It is written” was His never-failing weapon. We, as the representatives of Christ, are to meet every thrust of the enemy with the Word of the living God. Never should we allow ourselves to follow the trail of the serpent by using his scientific arguments. Satan can never gain advantage of the child of God who relies on the Word of God as his defense. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 15

Our Counselor impressed deeply on our minds that God’s commandment-keeping people must be sanctified through the truth, and that truth must ever be given the foremost place. We must not forget that Satan still lives to exercise his deceptive power through false science. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 16

Christ was the Majesty of heaven, the Prince of life; yet He humbled Himself as a man and became obedient to every law of God. He passed over the ground that every man must tread who takes His name and came forth from His trial pure and untainted by sin. He was our example in all things. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 17

The first advent of Christ and His life of ministry is not studied as it should be. His life was one of self-denial, in which truth in all its noble qualities was expressed. He lived to bless humanity by every good word and work. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 18

Dignity of the Book Work

The work of book making is a grand and good work; but it has not always stood in the high and holy position that God designed it should occupy, because self has been interwoven with the work of some who have engaged in it. The book work should be the means of quickly giving the sacred light of present truth to the world. The publications that come forth from our presses today are to be of such a character as to strengthen every pin and pillar of the faith that was established by the Word of God and by the revelations of His Spirit. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 19

The truth that God has given for His people in these last days should keep them firm when there come into the church those who present false theories. The truth that has stood firm against the attacks of the enemy for more than half a century must still be confidence and comfort of God’s people. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 20

Our evidence to nonprofessors that we have the truth of the Word of God will be given in a life of strict self-denial. We must not make a mockery of our faith, but ever keep before us the example of Him who, though He was the Prince of heaven, stooped to a life of self-denial and sacrifice to vindicate the righteousness of His Father’s Word. Let us each resolve to do our best, that the light of our good works may shine forth to the world. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 21

Unity and Progress

Perfect agreement should exist in the plans laid for the publication of our books and periodicals, that the light which they contain may be quickly carried everywhere, to the nominal churches and to the world. Much more should have been accomplished in the sale of our books than we see accomplished today. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 22

Our ministers should call upon the church members to let the truth triumph. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” [Isaiah 60:1-3.] Unity and love will accomplish wonderful things for the believers. Will not our churches arouse and give the last warning message to the world? 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 23

Our Relief Books

Christ’s Object Lessons is a book that speaks for itself, and it has accomplished a good work. As it has been sold, and the object of its sale related, money has been received that has relieved the indebtedness of our schools. But more than this, many by reading the book have been blessed by its lessons of truth, and many more will be blessed by reading it. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 24

The book Ministry of Healing may do the same work for our sanitariums and health institutions that Christ’s Object Lessons has done for our schools. This book contains the wisdom of the Great Physician. To me it has been a great privilege to donate my work on these books to the cause of God. In the future there should be a much greater effort made to increase their sale. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 25

Lift the Debts

God designs that we shall learn lessons from the failures of the past. It is not pleasing to Him to have debts rest upon His institutions. We have reached the time when we must give character to the work by refusing to erect large and costly buildings. We are not to copy the mistakes of the past and become involved in debt. We are rather to endeavor to clear off the indebtedness that still remains on our institutions. Our churches can help in this matter if they will. Those members to whom the Lord has given means can invest their money in the cause without interest or at a low rate of interest, and by their freewill offerings they can help to support the work. The Lord asks you to return cheerfully to Him a portion of the goods He has lent you, and thus become His almoners. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 26

Another View of the Book Work

Afterward we were in camp-meetings and in large meetings in our churches where the ministers presented clearly the perils of the times in which we live and the great importance of making haste in the circulation of our literature. In response to these appeals, the brethren and sisters came forward and purchased many books. Some took a few, and some purchased large quantities. Most of the purchasers paid for the books they took. A few arranged to pay afterward. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 27

Because books were being sold at low prices, some being specially reduced for the occasion, many were purchased, and some by persons not of our faith. They said, It must be that these books contain a message for us. These people are willing to make sacrifices in order that we may have them, and we will secure them for ourselves and our friends. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 28

But dissatisfaction was expressed by some of our own people. “A stop must be put to this work,” one said, “or our business will be spoiled.” As one brother was carrying away an armful of books, a canvasser laid his hand upon his arm, and said, “My brother, what are you doing with so many books?” Then I heard the voice of our Counselor, saying, “Forbid them not.” This is a work that should be done. The end is near. Already much time has been lost, when these books should have been in circulation. Sell them far and near. Scatter them like the leaves of autumn. This work is to continue without the forbiddings of anyone. Souls are perishing out of Christ. Let them be warned of His soon appearing in the clouds of heaven. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 29

Some of the workers continued to appear much cast down. One was weeping, and said, “These are doing the publishing work an injustice by purchasing these books at so low a price; besides, this work is depriving us of some of the revenue by which our work is sustained.” The Voice replied, “You are meeting with no loss. These workers who take the books at reduced prices could not obtain so ready sale for them except it be at this so-called sacrifice. Many are now purchasing for their friends and for themselves who otherwise would not think of buying.” 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 30

A Caution

Then instruction was given to Elder Haskell that in his anxiety to supply the people with the precious truth contained in his books, in his desire that all should feel that the books are worth more than they cost, and that all should be encouraged to give them a wide circulation, he was selling the books too cheap and making his own burden too heavy. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 31

Our Counselor said, The books should be sold in such a way that the author will not be left bare-handed, and that the publishing house shall have a proper margin so that it will have means to carry on its work. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 32

A Parable for Our Study

“The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which is an householder,” Christ declared, “which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the market place, and said unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right, I will give you. And they went their way. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 33

“Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith to them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last even unto the first. And when they were come that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 34

“But when the first came, they supposed they should have received more: and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, saying, These last have wrought but one hour; and thou hast made them equal with us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with me for one penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto these last even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: but many be called, but few chosen.” [Matthew 20:1-16.] 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 35

I am very desirous that the light contained in my books shall come to every soul possible; for God has sent the message for all. These books contain precious lessons in Christian experience. I would not dare forbid that these books be sold on special occasions at a low price, lest I should hinder the reading of the book, and thus withhold the light from some soul who might be converted to the truth. I have no forbiddings to place on the work of circulation of our books. Let the light be placed on the candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house. 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 36

A Lesson in Commercialism

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold doves and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.” [Matthew 21:12, 13.] 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 37

“And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple; and He healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, and said unto Him, Hearest Thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?” [Verses 14-16.] 23LtMs, Ms 23, 1908, par. 38