Manuscript Releases, vol. 19 [Nos. 1360-1419]


MR No. 1417—Literature To Be Circulated Like Leaves of Autumn; “Exclusive” Principles To Be Eliminated

(Written February 28, 1897, from “Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, N.S.W. to “Dear Brother Colcord.”)

I received your letter with the manuscript evening after the Sabbath, February 27. I have felt the movings of the Spirit of God. Sunday and Monday nights I could not sleep past one o'clock. I was in an assembly where the very sentiments you referred to in your letter were expressed. The “exclusively” was dwelt upon, and urged as a contract in the sale of our publications, pamphlets, and books. 19MR 378.1

I was constrained to write out the principles that were set before us in that assembly as truth. These “exclusive” principles should not have place in the work of God. They should be cut out of your business arrangements and your councils in connection with the workers in the Lord's great moral vineyard. My mind has been much exercised in regard to having this “exclusively” come in among those who are handling our papers and pamphlets in any line in your branch office. They are unworthy of being voiced or traced with a pen. It is entirely a human device with which God has had naught to do. Its origin is selfishness. The word should be cut out, for it is not inspired of God. 19MR 378.2

The charge given to Timothy was, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” [2 Timothy 4:1, 2]. This charge is for all who are acting a part in the ministry, [all] who are following the example of Christ. They must snatch the opportunities as they come. Let all be fully prepared to disseminate the light by word and by pamphlet. There should be hundreds of little tracts scattered as the leaves of autumn. 19MR 378.3

Many Echoes have been sold. This is well so far as it goes, but many more are to come before the people. There is a great need of leaflets and tracts, some containing short articles, others presenting the messages of warning, the second advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Sabbath, treated in brief, and its relation to the truth of the doctrines substantiated by the Scriptures should be circulated. It is not enough to merely sell the Echo. There is a world to be warned. Health subjects in clear, forcible, spirited articles, health and temperance principles, and experiences of faith and hope—all should be presented to the world. The branch office in the city may do a good work in this line. These silent words will make impressions on minds, and will awaken an interest in the truth of God. 19MR 379.1

Light! Light! Let it shine forth everywhere. It is to be diffused in jots and tittles, here a little and there a little. It is to be diffused in contrast with error. There is a dense darkness upon human minds, and everything possible should be done to rend it away and let the true Light shine forth. 19MR 379.2

There is too much limiting, too much setting of boundaries, altogether too much withdrawing ourselves from our own flesh. Workers in Melbourne are needed in every line. The Echo is a small paper, and should have a large circulation. Every advantage possible should be taken of the establishment of a new branch of the publishing house. Let the office carry all the advantages that it possibly can to meet its obligations. This need not create any jealousy in the minds of those who are engaged in the work in the same line. 19MR 379.3

Let there be light: let it shine forth in clear, distinct rays. Let there be no question in this matter. It is essential that our works on present truth shall be displayed, and that when needed there may be no delay in sending to another locality to obtain them. There is need of workers in season, out of season, those who will confess the truth in every place. The branch office should be made a light bearer to the world. If the Lord's workers are sanctified, His blessing will attend the work. 19MR 380.1

While the tract and missionary society has its work to do, it is not to hold itself “exclusively.” It is not to be a separate kingdom, and have a jurisdiction of its own. From the light which God has given me, He desires that His people shall improve every opportunity for disseminating light. They are to sow beside all waters. Our publications should be represented by the office in the city. It should be well supplied with tracts and publications for use at once. Many through curiosity will desire to know what these tracts and pamphlets contain, and if they are right at hand they can be sold and the money used to carry forward the work of God for which the office is to be used. In any case, they should not wait to refer to the International Tract and Missionary Society. [Name given to early Book and Bible Houses or Adventist Book Centers.] 19MR 380.2

This “exclusiveness” is not to have any place in the work, for it is not the inspiration of God. Wherever we can advance the truth, wherever we can enlighten minds in regard to our literature, we should do so. This world is corrupted by sin, and the thick darkness of error which enshrouds it is supposed by many to be truth. Those who are considered the most talented cannot remove the darkness and ignorance which, like a funeral pall, covers the world and the people. But here are bright truths which should appear in our Echo in short articles right to the point. It should contain simple, religious experiences which will remove the blindness from the eyes of the supposedly most gifted men. 19MR 380.3

One reason why the branch office should be in the city is that it may be a light, shining forth to those who would not otherwise discern it. The bright truths put forth in leaflets and pamphlets should be abundant. “Exclusiveness” should not restrain this work. The truth of God should not be hampered. There is not half being done that should be done. Your faith is too small, your methods too narrow and circumscribed. There is a grand work to be done of which just now you hear the echoes only. There is a brightening glory beyond the horizon of your present view of which you may now catch occasional sparks. Your faith does not yet grasp the future beyond. “We see,” says the apostle, “as through a glass darkly.” 19MR 381.1

Bear in mind that concerning the advocacy of truth there should be no jealousy. If this spirit is indulged, your plans, if not killed, will grow into selfishness of large proportions. You must not grasp in your finite control the things that God has in His own hands. You are to do service for God. But you are far behind. The night is far spent. But when the day is fully come, you will discern more fully your neglect of the work which the Lord has appointed to be done by His human agencies, because of your “exclusiveness.” 19MR 381.2

Cut out this exclusiveness wherever it may be. The light God has given is for the world. It is not to be put under a bushel or under a bed. The devil is far from being narrow and proscribed in his work. This is plainly revealed by the rapidly increasing darkness, the multitudinous errors, heresies, misconceptions, and delusions of these last days. Creeds and false doctrines are popular and all pervading, to leave the minds of the world with the drinking of the wine of Babylon, the most deadly heresy. The neglect of plainest warnings will place us on the guilty list. Yes, we have plenty of evidence of Satan's might. We have evidence also that the day of work is nearly ended. Let every power that God has entrusted to His agencies be now employed. Restrict no one's labor, in any line if they are established in the truth, but let all work who will. 19MR 381.3

The great apostasy is working to a point, and will develop into darkness deep as midnight, impenetrable as sackcloth of hair. This is the time to employ any system that can be devised to discover and counteract the leaven of error. Let there be light. There should be one hundred light bearers in our world where there is one today. Darkness will become more dense in human minds after the truth has penetrated and been rejected. But there are some minds where the darkness will be removed. They recognize the light. 19MR 382.1

The apostasy will exist in this night of spiritual darkness. It will then be destroyed by the brightness and exceeding glory of Christ's coming. Oh, what a day of gladness for the righteous that will be! What a breaking up of the spell of fanaticism and delusive sentiments when Christ shall shine forth before His ancients gloriously! Then the system of satanic delusion which souls have preferred to the truth that involves a cross, will be broken up. 19MR 382.2

Satan has come down with great power to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. The powers of deception are working upon minds in every country to gain a foothold. Satan is seeking to hedge up our way in this country. The night of trial, the night of weeping, the night of persecution for the truth's sake is not far distant. It is through much tribulation that we shall stand as faithful sentinels for God, not swerving one hair from truth and righteousness. Famines will increase; pestilences will sweep away thousands. Danger are all around us from the powers without and satanic workings within, but the restraining power of God is now exercised. 19MR 382.3

“Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat” [Luke 22:31], is applicable to very many souls. Yet we are not left helpless. The Lord spreads His covering hand over us, saying, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” 19MR 383.1

The church militant is not the church triumphant. We are enjoined: [Ephesians 6:10-17, quoted]. 19MR 383.2

The night of trial is nearly spent. Satan is bringing in his masterly power because he knoweth that his time is short. The chastisement of God is upon the world to call all who know the truth to hide in the cleft of the Rock and view the glory of God. The truth must not be muffled now. Plain statements must be made. Unvarnished truth must be spoken in leaflets and pamphlets, and these must be scattered like the leaves of autumn. 19MR 383.3

But let all walk and work circumspectly, under the molding influence of the Holy Spirit. There is little wisdom in binding about the work in any line. God has not given His sanction to any branch of His work's being bound about. But unbelief has strengthened, and those who have not been sanctified through the truth will be subjects of Satan's temptations. They will be his most successful allies to criticize, speak evil, and work unrighteousness. There are now those who will show just what they will do under temptation and in an emergency. They cannot be depended upon. The Lord has given them great light but they choose Barabbas rather than Christ. This is being enacted in our very midst. They crucify afresh the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. But the unsetting Sun of Righteousness is to shine forth, and those who have worked to counterwork what God has appointed will be gathered in bundles with the tares. 19MR 383.4

“Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh (his own inherited and cultivated tendencies), the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life; but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels” [Revelation 3:4, 5]. 19MR 384.1

The clouds with which human agencies have covered the truth will soon be dissipated. The truth that has not been clearly discerned, will be opened before those who search for it as for hid treasure. The Holy Spirit will descend in power upon His people, explaining many mysteries. “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, ... saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know ... [Him], from the least of them unto the greatest.” The Sun of Righteousness shall beam forth and penetrate to all depths, and reach to all heights, and the earth shall be filled with His glory. Let all dissension and strife and selfish thoughts be cherished no longer. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand.”—Letter 31, 1897. 19MR 384.2

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

September 8, 1988.

Entire Letter.