General Conference Bulletin, vol. 4

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THE PROPER RELATION TO COMMERCIAL WORK

(Paragraphs from paper by W. D. Salisbury, Manager Echo Pub. Co., Melbourne, Australia.)

If the managers of our institutions will consider this work as a “help,” and will treat it thus, there need be no evil results. If a canvasser gives all his attention to “helps,” but few large books will be sold. Thus it may be in our publishing offices. If we give first attention to commercial work, it will result in its being made the most prominent. The question therefore arises, How shall we relate ourselves to it and to the world in consequence? This is best set forth in the following words:— GCB April 2, 1901, p. 4.9

“God would have his people use all their powers in his service, and if the world choose to give their work to the office, let it come; for this is one means of keeping in touch with the world.” GCB April 2, 1901, p. 4.10

“When business men seek the office with work to be done, tell them that you will do it for them if it can be done without neglecting the work of giving the truth to the world by publishing tracts and pamphlets and small and large books. But nothing should be introduced into the office that will lower its dignity, and place the work done on a level with cheap, fictitious literature. The Lord would have every one connected with the office an earnest, eager candidate for the treasures that are enduring.” GCB April 2, 1901, p. 4.11

“The Lord is our instructor. Should the office divorce the commercial business from its work, and give itself wholly to the publication of our own literature, the atmosphere pervading the office would not be any more spiritual than it is now. Continuing or discontinuing the publication of proper business matters will not make any difference religiously.” GCB April 2, 1901, p. 4.12

“Daniel was a statesman in Babylon. He was engaged in a work that kept idolatrous literature and practices constantly before the people. Yet he did not lose his knowledge of God and his interest in the religion of the Bible. By his faithful service he taught those in Babylon that his God was a living God, not an image such as they worshiped.” GCB April 2, 1901, p. 4.13

“In like manner the Lord means that Seventh-day Adventists shall witness for him. They are not to be hidden away from the world. They are to be in the world, but not of the world. They are to stand distinct from the world in their manner of dealing. They are to show that they have purity of character, that the world may see that the truth which they conscientiously believe makes them honest in their dealings; that those with whom they are connected may see that believers of truth are sanctified through the truth, and that the truth received and obeyed makes the receivers as sons and daughters of God, children of the heavenly king, members of the royal family, faithful, true, honest, and upright, in the small as well as the great acts of life.” GCB April 2, 1901, p. 4.14

“The Lord means that his people shall perfect a Christian character. If they have any connection with the world, it is that they may leaven the world by correct principles, not be leavened by the evil in the world. God does not require us as a people to seclude ourselves from the world. GCB April 2, 1901, p. 4.15

“In all business transactions, we are to let the light shine decidedly. There is to be no sharp practice. Everything is to be done with the strictest integrity. Better consent to lose something financially than to gain by sharp practice. We shall lose nothing in the end by fair dealing. We are to live the law of God in the world, and perfect a character after the divine similitude. All business, with those in the faith and those not in the faith, is to be transacted on square, righteous principles. Everything is to be seen in the light of God’s law, everything done without fraud, without duplicity, without one tinge of guile. A great work is to be done in our world, and every talent is to be used in accordance with righteous principles. GCB April 2, 1901, p. 4.16

“The Lord would have the office stand as a living witness for the truth; this is why the commercial work should not be cut away. It would be a mistake for the office to build up a barrier to exclude all work from the outside; for this would close the door against the rays of light and knowledge that should be given to the world.” GCB April 2, 1901, p. 4.17

Our business relations with Lord Brassey, governor of the colony, brought some points of truth prominently before him and before his household. He first sent his manuscript to us on the Sabbath. His aid-de-camp found us at church. He learned that in the future it would be necessary to come on some other day. GCB April 2, 1901, p. 4.18

When the head of one of the departments of his household began to keep the Sabbath, she went to Lady Brassey to see if she could keep her place. After consulting with His Excellency. Lady Brassey told her she could hold her place as before. When they took a trip to England, they gave her six-months’ leave of absence on full pay. Lord Brassey and his household have now returned to England. Who can tell the result of our business acquaintance with him during his six-years’ residence in Australia? GCB April 2, 1901, p. 5.1

The Lord will guide us if we put our trust in him. He will give us wisdom to meet the difficulties that beset our path. Let us trust him. GCB April 2, 1901, p. 5.2