The Publishing Ministry


Chapter 29—Literature for a Finished Work

Literature That Explains the Signs of the Times—Just now, when people are thinking seriously, [The instruction in this article was published shortly after the San Francisco earthquake.] literature on the meaning of the signs of the times, wisely circulated, will have a telling effect in behalf of the truth. At this time, when awful calamities are sweeping away the most costly structures as if by a breath of fire from heaven, many sinners are afraid, and stand trembling before God. Now is our opportunity to make known the truth to them. PM 312.1

Brethren and sisters, will you put on the Christian armor? “Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,” you will be prepared to walk from house to house, carrying the truth to the people. Sometimes you will find it trying to do this kind of work; but if you go forth in faith, the Lord will go before you, and will let His light shine upon your pathway. Entering the homes of your neighbors to sell or to give away our literature, and in humility to teach them the truth, you will be accompanied by the light of heaven, which will abide in these homes. PM 312.2

God's judgments are abroad in the land. Shall we allow these things to come upon the world without telling the people the meaning of these terrible calamities, and how every one may escape from the wrath to come? Shall we let our neighbors remain in darkness without a preparation for the future life? Unless we ourselves realize where we stand, the day of God will come upon us as a thief.... PM 312.3

The Lord is soon to come. In fire and flood and earthquake, He is warning the inhabitants of this earth of His soon approach. O that the people might know the time of their visitation! We have no time to lose. We must make more determined efforts to lead the people of the world to see that the day of judgment is near at hand. Carefully prepared literature on the significance of the scenes we are now witnessing is to be circulated everywhere. Our understanding is to be quickened by the Holy Spirit. O if our people would feel as they should the responsibility resting upon them to give the last message of mercy to the world, what a wonderful work would be done! A thousand times more work for God might be accomplished if all His children would fully consecrate themselves to Him, using their talents aright.—The Review and Herald, May 24, 1906. PM 313.1

Bible Storybooks and Daniel and Revelation—It is several years since light was given me in regard to the need of publishing small books containing Bible stories and others containing some part of the Bible printed as a whole. It pains me to see so many magazines in the homes of the people. Those who cultivate an appetite for such reading do themselves great harm. Can we not provide something better for them? PM 313.2

The books of Daniel and the Revelation should be bound together and published. A few explanations of certain portions might be added, but I am not sure that these would be needed. PM 313.3

This is the suggestion that I made to Elder Haskell, which resulted in the book that he published. [The book referred to was Stephen N. Haskell's The Story of Daniel the Prophet, Published in 1901. A few years later The Story of the Seer of Patmos was published.] The need is not filled by this book. It was my idea to have the two books bound together, Revelation following Daniel, as giving fuller light on the subjects dealt with in Daniel. The object is to bring these books together, showing that they both relate to the same subjects.—Letter 1, 1903. PM 313.4

Books Filled With the Truth of God—We need many more canvassers, not to sell books containing fables, but books that are filled with the truth of God. We cannot as a people afford to increase the circulation of publications that work counter to the truth we should be teaching. We cannot afford to spend our time and talents in the employ of men who are working to make of none effect the truths that have made us a peculiar people, truths to which we have held for over fifty years. I am often warned of the importance of faithfulness on the part of our people in proclaiming to the world the messages that God has entrusted to them, that a people may be prepared for the great closing up of this earth's history. We have an extensive line of literature that should come before the people of the world. PM 314.1

The time has come when our people should understand that it is not profitable for them to spend their time and talents in selling the medical work into which the author is weaving dangerous spiritual sophistries. [A book by John Harvey Kellogg, M.D., titled The Living Temple, in which the teachings of pantheism appeared.]—Letter 66, 1907. PM 314.2

Publications That Proclaim the Last Message—In all our cities, workers are to be sent out to sow the seeds of truth through the medium of publications that proclaim the last message of mercy to a fallen world. But Satan is standing at the right hand of the angel of the Lord, to resist him and to hinder the work that God has outlined should be done.—Letter 208, 1906. PM 314.3

Circulate the Health Books—Hold up the principles of health reform, and let the Lord lead the honest in heart. Present the principles of temperance in their most attractive form. Circulate the books that give instruction in regard to healthful living. PM 314.4

The people are in sad need of the light shining from the pages of our health books and journals. God desires to use these books and journals as mediums through which flashes of light shall arrest the attention of the people, and cause them to heed the warning of the message of the third angel. Our health journals are instrumentalities in the field to do a special work in disseminating the light that the inhabitants of the world must have in this day of God's preparation. They wield an untold influence in the interests of health and temperance and social-purity reform, and will accomplish great good in presenting these subjects ... in their true light to the people. PM 314.5

There should be more earnest efforts made to enlighten the people upon the great subject of health reform. Tracts of four, eight, twelve, sixteen, and more pages, containing pointed, well-written articles on this great question, should be scattered like the leaves of autumn.—Counsels on Diet and Foods, 461, 462. PM 315.1

Health Journals to Be Circulated—In all our work caution should be used that no one branch be made a specialty, while other interests are left to suffer. There has not been that interest taken in the circulation of our health journals that there should be. The circulation of these journals must not be neglected, or the people will suffer great loss. PM 315.2

Let none think that the circulation of the health journals is a minor matter. All should take hold of this work with more interest, and make greater efforts in this direction. God will greatly bless those who take hold of it in earnest, for it is a work that should receive attention at this time. PM 315.3

Ministers can and should do much to urge the circulation of the health journals. Every member of the church should work as earnestly for these journals as for our other periodicals. There should be no friction between the two. Both are essential, and both should occupy the field at the same time. Each is the complement of the other, and can in nowise take its place. The circulation of the health journals will be a powerful agency in preparing the people to accept those special truths that are to fit them for the soon coming of the Son of Man.—Counsels on Health, 446, 447. (See Counsels on Health, 462, 463.) PM 315.4

Promote Temperance Literature—Of all who claim to be numbered among the friends of temperance, Seventh-day Adventists should stand in the front ranks.—Gospel Workers, 384. PM 315.5

On the temperance question, take your position without wavering. Be as firm as a rock.—Gospel Workers, 394. PM 316.1

We have a work to do along temperance lines besides that of speaking in public. We must present our principles in pamphlets and in our papers. We must use every possible means of arousing our people to their duty to get into connection with those who know not the truth. The success we have had in missionary work has been fully proportionate to the self-denying, self-sacrificing efforts we have made. The Lord alone knows how much we might have accomplished if as a people we had humbled ourselves before Him and proclaimed the temperance truth in clear, straight lines.—Gospel Workers, 385. PM 316.2

The temperance question is to receive decided support from God's people. Intemperance is striving for the mastery; self-indulgence is increasing, and the publications treating on health reform are greatly needed. Literature bearing on this point is the helping hand of the gospel, leading souls to search the Bible for a better understanding of the truth. The note of warning against the great evil of intemperance should be sounded; and that this may be done, every Sabbathkeeper should study and practice the instruction contained in our health periodicals and our health books. And they should do more than this: they should make earnest efforts to circulate these publications among their neighbors. PM 316.3

The sale of our health literature will in no way hinder the sale of publications dealing with other phases of the third angel's message. All are to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord.—Counsels on Health, 462. PM 316.4

Books Changed Only by Those Regularly Appointed—In some of our important books that have been in print for years, and which have brought many to a knowledge of the truth, there may be found matters of minor importance that call for careful study and correction. Let such matters be considered by those regularly appointed to have the oversight of our publications. Let not these brethren, nor our canvassers, nor our ministers magnify these matters in such a way as to lessen the influence of these good soul-saving books. Should we take up the work of discrediting our literature, we would place weapons in the hands of those who have departed from the faith and confuse the minds of those who have newly embraced the message. The less that is done unnecessarily to change our publications, the better it will be.—Selected Messages 1:165. PM 316.5