Spalding and Magan Collection


Is Man to be a Dictator?

Sanitarium, Cal.,

May 26, 1908.

To the Officers of the General Conference, Washington, D. C.:

Dear Brethren,

I have read a very encouraging letter from Prof. P. T. Magan to Prof. E. A. Sutherland regarding the recent council held in Washington. I am very thankful for the good report it brings regarding the council. SpM 435.1

I was very thankful to hear of the efforts that are to be made in behalf of the Huntsville and Madison schools. They have long waited for the help they need, and an earnest effort should be made to redeem the time. SpM 435.2

When I read the resolutions published in the Review, placing so many restrictions upon those who may be sent out to gather funds for the building up of institutions in needy and destitute fields, I was sorry for the many restrictions. I can but feel sad, for unless the converting grace of God comes into the conferences, a course will be taken that will bring the displeasure of God upon them. We have had, enough of the spirit of forbidding. SpM 435.3

This morning I could not sleep after midnight. I awoke bearing this message to our leading men, Break every yoke that would hinder or limit the power of the Third Angel's message. The calls that have been made for large liberality, which have been responded to so nobly by our people, should lead to feelings of confidence and gratitude, rather than to the placing of yokes upon the necks of God's servants. Let your requirements ever be dictated by the Holy Spirit of God. When the officers of the General Conference allow such restrictions to be made, they give evidence that they need clearer spiritual eyesight, that the heavenly anointing is not upon them. SpM 435.4

Representations have been made to me of a work that does not bear the divine credentials. The prohibitions that have been bound about the labors of those who would go forth to warn the people in the cities of the soon coming judgments, should every one be removed. None are to be hindered from bearing the message of present truth to the world. Let the workers receive their directions from God. When the Holy Spirit impresses a believer to do a certain work for God, leave the matter to him and the Lord. I am instructed to say to you, Break every yoke that would prevent the message from going forth with power to the cities. This work of proclaiming the truth in the cities will take means, but it will also bring in means. A much greater work would have been done if men had not been so zealous to watch and hinder some who were seeking to obtain means from the people to carry forward the work of the Lord. SpM 435.5

The Lord's mercy and love are misrepresented by a policy that would hinder the message of his grace from going to any part of the world. Is man to be a dictator to his fellow man? Is he to take the responsibility of saying, You shall not go to such a place? Let us rather say to those who desire to labor, It is your privilege to work for souls on every occasion, and to make earnest request of God in their behalf. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” Put on charity which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which ye are also called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and the spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” The Holy Spirit is working upon human minds. Those upon who the spirit lays the burden of labor, and who are of good report in the church, encourage them to enter new fields. Let the work of the Lord go forward with power. Let the people be encouraged to prepare the way of the Lord and to make straight in the desert a highway for our God. SpM 436.1

The enemies of truth are working with all their unconsecrated powers to hinder the advance of the message. The churches of the world are being drugged with the opiates of error. The great deceiver is making determined efforts to becloud the understanding of the people. Let not those be discouraged who would go forth to warn a perishing world. The cause of God needs the labors of men who have faith, men who can pray, and who can open the Scriptures in simplicity to the people. It is the simplicity of true godliness that will speak of the love of God for souls ready to perish. SpM 436.2

God requires much more of the men at the head of the work than they give him. Some give him long sermons, but this he does not require. Workers are needed just now who will explain the word of God in its simplicity. There is a fearful deception upon human minds. Even those who hold positions of trust are not all faithful. But do not allow yourselves to sleep. The light of truth must go forth as a lamp that burneth. SpM 436.3

If our leaders realized the time of night, they could not leave our cities unwarned and be willing to do so little to change the present condition of things in the world. God requires that every soul who believes in Christ shall go forth and bear much fruit. He requires that they be in earnest in doing missionary work, faithful in their home life, in their student life, true to their church duties. Those who have pledged themselves by baptism to follow Christ, who have professed to put on the robe of Christ's righteousness, are to consider the words of the apostle Paul, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” SpM 436.4

Let there be less sermonizing and more humbling of the soul in prayer for the divine presence among us. Our meetings should be seasons of humble seeking after God. O, that we might sense our need of Christ and by living faith claim the promise of his presence! SpM 436.5

There are some of our ministers who are true burden bearers, whose hearts go out in prayer to God, and who weep between the porch and the altar, crying, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach.” There are a few who are in earnest. But there are many who have but little sense of their great need of the divine blessing. SpM 437.1

In visions of the night I was in a company where our ministers were assembled. A few were humbling themselves before God and confessing their sins. They were weeping, and pleading with God to spare his people and to give not his heritage to reproach. But with many there was no special burden to get near to the Lord. I looked for the burden bearers; but there were few who carried any genuine burden for souls. The very ones who needed to seek the Lord most earnestly were not coming to him with broken hearts and contrite spirits. While some of the ministers were brokenly calling upon the Lord, and were weighted down as a cart beneath sheaves, the hearts of many were untouched. What kind of account will those have to give who stand in holy places of trust, and yet have little or no burden for the souls of the perishing! SpM 437.2

There is need of a great reformation in our ranks. The ministers who are drawing pay from the conference need to ask themselves the question, Am I a faithful worker? Am I a spiritual help to the church? There are those who demand high wages for their labors, but who bring few souls into the truth to stand steadfast and true to its principles. It is time for our ministers to humble their hearts before the Lord, and bear a straight, convincing testimony to the people. It is time for them to labor earnestly to increase the membership of the churches, leading all to a thorough understanding of the truth, for this time. The Lord wants living members in his church, men and women who will encourage one another in faithful service. SpM 437.3

Ellen G. White.