Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598]


MR No. 1529—Southern Field Robbed by Diversion of Funds

(Written from “Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, February 20, 1899, to “C. H. Jones and all who are standing in responsible positions in the Pacific Press.”)

The Lord has been opening some matters before me. I have been instructed to say that some of the actions of men in important positions of trust are not approved by God. 21MR 143.1

The Lord stirred my heart to make an appeal in behalf of the Southern field. He said that He would move upon His people to give of their means to help in this field, and He did impress the people to give for this purpose. And the word went out that ten thousand dollars had been raised for the Southern field. This was at a time when the men at the head of the work were carrying out their unjust, fraudulent transactions in regard to The Gospel Primer and other books. Pressure was brought to bear, first to hinder, and then to get control of The Gospel Primer, and in the place of the work in the South being aided by the sale of this book, as it might have been, the income was reduced and diverted to other uses. What a blind selfishness! 21MR 143.2

The terribly neglected condition of the colored people in the South is charged by God upon those in America who have been given light by God regarding the great necessities of that field, and yet have done so little to relieve that situation. No people have suffered such great oppression as the colored people in the South. None have through the treatment received been brought into such degradation. And for no people has so little been done to uplift. They have not been taught to read that they might know the Word of God. This field stands forth to witness against those who have had the light of truth, who have had their duty plainly presented to them, but who have neglected to do what should have been done. 21MR 143.3

In several letters which I have received, the question has been asked, “Sister White, can you tell what has become of the money donated to the Southern field?” I could not tell; therefore did not answer. Dishonesty has been shown in turning aside the means which should have gone to the work in the Southern field; and one night I was instructed that the manager of the Pacific Press had something to do with the turning aside of the funds for the South. 21MR 143.4

Those who made donations to the work in the South have a right to know that their money never reached the destitute field for which it was intended. It is such things as these that destroy the confidence of the people in those who have the management of the work of God. 21MR 143.5

What is the reason of this condition of things? Unfaithful stewardship. Those connected with the institutions under the supervision of God, who received donations for the Southern field, should at once have sent forward this money to the field for which it was donated. But this was not done, and the Lord regards as untrustworthy servants those whose judgment was so perverted that they did not handle aright the money sent as a consecrated offering to God. 21MR 144.1

Our individual influence is proportionate to the position we occupy and the work we are doing. Those who acted a part in robbing the Southern field had every facility—buildings, machinery, and workers—yet they could take “the one ewe lamb,” and let consequences and results take care of themselves. What does it mean? Were these men controlled by the Holy Spirit? God holds responsible those who by pen or voice acted a part in diverting His means from the field for which it was raised. In heart, mind, and soul they were controlled by covetousness. Covetousness is idolatry, and no idolater will enter the kingdom of heaven. 21MR 144.2

Such a state of things will bring a terrible reaction. The dearth of money and facilities that has been felt in the Southern field is a severe witness against the men who have proved themselves untrustworthy. The money raised for the work in the South was not donated to the General Conference, neither was it donated to the Pacific Press Publishing House. It was no more the property of the General Conference or the Pacific Press than it was my property. The diverting of this means from its proper channel was a fraudulent transaction, which stands recorded against the actors. Every dollar of this money—the principal and the interest up to the present time—should be placed where God designed it should be. I accuse no one; but God knows every action. 21MR 144.3

The God of heaven will not prosper those who cannot distinguish between righteousness and fraud. He has seen and heard the prayers and tears and want of the Southern field. Those who selfishly withhold the means so much needed in that field will be held responsible for the work that should have been done and is not done. For permitting men to divert the means raised for the South the General Conference will have to render an account to God. 21MR 144.4

Will the men who should have a sharp sense of justice and equity continue to work upon a worldly, fraudulent policy? When the Lord moves upon His people to give of their means for a certain purpose, will the men at the head of the work be partakers in an unholy, selfish, covetous course of action? Where is the strength of righteous principle that should be brought into the work? Shall those who have the privilege of handling the sacred fire turn from it to the common fire? To the father of Nadab and Abihu God declared through Moses, “I will be sanctified in all them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” 21MR 144.5

Who are keeping the commandments of God? There are those who know the truth, but who walk not in its light. A lawyer came to Christ with the question, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Christ left him to answer his own question. “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” He asked. The lawyer answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.” “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” Willing to justify himself, the lawyer asked, “Who then is my neighbor?” And by the parable of the good Samaritan Christ showed whom he was to regard as his neighbor. 21MR 145.1

Those who have been waiting for the means which they knew was raised for the Southern field have been anxious and troubled. They have had to work in a field destitute of means, and they have been tempted, because they knew the money they should have had was in somebody's grasp, kept away from the Southern field. They have made every effort to earn a little money by combining business and work, but these efforts have brought disappointment; yet much good has been done through the self-sacrificing efforts made. And at the same time those men who should have helped, stood off and criticized most unjustly. God will not hold them guiltless. “Shall I not judge for these things?” He asks. 21MR 145.2

How many trials would have been saved the workers in the Southern field if men had not interposed themselves to counterwork the purposes of God. The work there would have been years in advance of what it now is. Let those who have appropriated the means raised for the Southern field remember that they have misappropriated money that did not in any way belong either to the Conference or to the Pacific Press. 21MR 145.3

May the Lord open the eyes of His people that they may see, and give them understanding that they may perceive. I cannot describe to you, [but] I have been shown God's displeasure at the robbery of a field of its own donated treasure. This money should never have been used to cancel debts. If the institutions in Battle Creek owed the Pacific Press, should the Pacific Press have laid hands on the money sacredly dedicated to the Lord, donated by His people to the Southern field? Is it thus that the work of God is to be mingled with the wood, hay, and stubble of man's inventions? Is it not time that in every one of the Lord's institutions faithful, trustworthy men be appointed by the people to examine every business transaction?—Letter 98, 1899. 21MR 145.4

Ellen G. White Estate

Silver Spring, Maryland,

October 25, 1990.

Entire Letter.