Manuscript Releases, vol. 2 [Nos. 97-161]


MR No. 155—Proposals For Privately-Published, Inexpensive Editions of Education and Early Writings

[The letter addressed to P. T. Magan was called forth by his proposal that in the interest of efficiency and wide distribution of Education, it be published at the College Press in Berrien Springs and distributed in a special manner.—A. L. White.]

I have read your letter in regard to the publication of my book on education. I respect all you say about this matter, and I was quite desirous of complying with your request, if on consideration it should be thought best. But light has come to me that it would not be wisdom to do this. Confusion would be brought in. Some things have been presented to me that I will try to present to you. 2MR 310.1

There was in my mind a desire to present to the cause a couple of other books to be used for its advancement, as Object Lessons has been used. In the night season I was instructed that the giving of the manuscript of Object Lessons was of the Lord, but that if other books were given to be handled in the same way, the arrangements made for their sale would bring in a train of influences that would hinder the work of handling the larger books. These books contain present truth for this time—truth that is to be proclaimed in all parts of the world. Our canvassers are to circulate the books that give definite instruction regarding the testing messages that are to prepare a people to stand on the platform of eternal truth, holding aloft the banner on which is inscribed, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” 2MR 310.2

If one book should be continually kept before the minds of our people and canvassers, all their zeal and earnestness would be spent on the circulation of that one book. The Lord would have the canvassers who sell Object Lessons take with them also other of our books. Nothing is to hinder the circulation of the larger books, for they contain the light given by God for the world. 2MR 310.3

Sometimes we get in a hurry, and by our plans bring confusion into the Lord's work. How many there are who work in their own strength, following their own lines, in order to accomplish that which they think should be accomplished. May the Lord take pity on our ignorance. May He help us to do nothing to hinder the work that He desires to have accomplished. 2MR 311.1

The work of the Lord includes more than one line of service. The doing of it calls for many minds and for much wisdom, in order that each part may be carried forward successfully. While Object Lessons is to live to do its appointed work, not all the thought and the effort of God's people is to be given to this one line of work. There are many things to be done to advance the work of God. I have been instructed that the canvassing work is to be revived. Our smaller books, with our pamphlets and journals, can and should be used in connection with our larger books. 2MR 311.2

Should I give the publication of the book on education into other hands than those who acted so liberally in publishing Object Lessons, I should not be dealing fairly. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to those who took part in the publication of this book, cooperating with me in carrying out the God-given plan for freeing our schools from debt. Let the good work continue. But other books also must be sold. The canvassing work is to be carried forward with increasing interest. I have been instructed to say to my brethren and sisters that the way in which this book has been handled is an object lesson, showing what can be done to circulate the books containing present truth. The work that has been done with Object Lessons is a never-to-be-forgotten lesson on how to canvass in the prayerful, trustful way that brings success. There is a decided work to be accomplished, and our other publications are to be handled in the same trustful way that Object Lessons has been handled. 2MR 311.3

We need to remember that the church militant is not the church triumphant. The difference between the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of the world is to be carefully considered, else we shall draw threads of selfishness into the web that we are weaving. We need to remember that beside every soul there is an unseen, heavenly Watcher.—Letter 137, 1902, pp. 1-4. (To P. T. Magan, August29, 1902.) 2MR 312.1