Ms 148, 1898


Ms 148, 1898

The Book Committee


October 26, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 10MR 350.

I have just been reading the article in the Bible Echo, July 27, 1896, “Gladstone and the Papacy.” Please look at this paper; read the statements of Gladstone in 1875: “No one can become her convert without renouncing his moral and mental freedom, and placing his civil loyalty and duty at the mercy of another.” Again, “The Vatican decrees do, in the strictest sense, establish for the Pope a supreme command over loyalty and civil duty.” “The infallible, that is virtually the divine title to command, and the absolute, that is the unconditional duty to obey, were promulgated (in 1870) to an astonished world.” “To secure rights has been, and is, the aim of the Christian civilization; to destroy them, and to establish the restless, domineering action of a purely central power, is the aim of the Roman policy.” “To assail the system is the Alpha and Omega of my desire.” Ms148-1898.1

Read this whole article. The Pope has condemned liberty of speech and liberty of the press to make his ideas and views a criterion, a measurement to which all must come. What folly is this! This power is not to be a controlling power. Ms148-1898.2

The Book Committee has been following in the tread of the paths of Rome. When Professor Prescott’s matter was condemned, and refused publication, I said to myself, This committee needs the converting power of God upon their own hearts, that they may comprehend their duty. They do not know themselves. Their ideas are not to control the ideas of another. From the light which the Lord has given for the managers of the Book Committee they do not know what they should condemn or what approve. They know not the workings of God. It is not such men as these who are to work the minds of God’s heritage. The Holy Spirit must do this work. It is because of their separation from God that men have misunderstood and failed to comprehend the fact that they are not to rule their fellow men. Ms148-1898.3

It is not for these men to condemn or control the productions of those whom God is using as His lightbearers to the world. By their course of action they have so narrowed their range of vision that they are far from being proper judges. They must fall on the Rock of Christ Jesus and be broken. Under the workings of the Holy Spirit, they must have an entirely different experience and mold of character. They should not occupy the position which they now have, whoever they may be, or whatever they may have been. A train of circumstances has placed them where their actions are not reliable, and the cause of God would advance far better if its important matters were not brought before them. In their hands the work has lost its sacredness and is treated as a common thing. The work would go forward more perfectly if their counsel were omitted. Ms148-1898.4

Their judgment and skill are equally impaired. In the place of carrying forward the business of God in right lines, their time is wasted in making feeble, fruitless plans. It is high time they called a halt, and that the work of God be handled by men who will work on right principles, men who can discern between the sacred and the common. Ms148-1898.5