Selected Messages Book 2


Wages for Institutional Workers

The publishing work has been founded in sacrifice; it has been maintained by the special providence of God. We started it in great poverty. We had scarcely enough to eat and wear. When potatoes were scarce, and we had to pay a high price for them, we supplied their place with turnips. Six dollars per week was all we received for the first years of our labor. We had a large family; but we brought our expenses within our means. We could not purchase all that we desired; we had to bind about our wants. But we were determined that the world should have the light of present truth; and spirit, soul, and body were interwoven with the work. We worked early and late, without rest, without the stimulus of wages and God was with us. As prosperity attended the publishing work, the wages were increased, as they should be. 2SM 191.2

A Wage Scale, but with Equity

While I was in Switzerland, word came to me from Battle Creek that a plan had been formed by which none working in the office should receive more than twelve dollars per week. I said, This will not work; it will be a necessity for some to receive higher wages than this. But double this amount should not be awarded to any man connected with the office; for if a few take from the treasury so largely, justice cannot be shown to all. Large wages afforded to a few is the world's plan; while others in every way as deserving receive far less. This is not justice. 2SM 192.1

The Lord will have faithful men who love and fear Him connected with every school, every printing office, health institution, and publishing house. Their wages should not be fashioned after the worldling's standard. There should be, as far as possible, excellent judgment exercised to keep up, not an aristocracy, but an equality, which is the law of heaven. “All ye are brethren” (Matthew 23:8). A few should not demand large wages, and such wages should not be presented as an inducement to secure ability and talents. This is placing things on a worldly principle. The increase of wages brings with it a corresponding increase of selfishness, pride, display, self-gratification, and needless extravagance that the people who do their utmost to pay their tithes and present their offerings to God do not have. Poverty is seen in all their borders. The Lord loves the one just as much as the other, with the exception that the self-sacrificing, humble, contrite souls who love God and strive to serve Him, are ever kept nearer to the great heart of infinite Love than the man who feels at liberty to have all the good things of this life. 2SM 192.2

Not to Copy the World's Standard

I have had many testimonies in regard to the point that we are not to copy the world's standard. We are not to indulge our inclination to grasp all we can possibly obtain, to spend our means in dress and luxuries of life as do the worldlings. It makes us not one jot happier to live to please ourselves. The unnecessary outlay of means is robbing the treasury of God; and someone has to supply the deficiency. The facilities for building up the kingdom of Christ in this world are greatly limited because men rob God in tithes and offerings. 2SM 192.3

Let not the idea prevail for a moment that a man's power to command high wages is a measure of his value in the sight of God as a worker. In the eyes of the world a man's value is estimated by, “How much is he worth in property?” But heaven's books register his worth in proportion to the good he has accomplished with the means he has had entrusted to him. In the fear and love of God, with his talents wholly sanctified to advance the glory of God, man can and will show his true value. Only when the reward is given to every man as his work shall be estimated in the judgment, can it be known how much he has sent before him to heaven. 2SM 193.1

For years my testimony has been borne against the meager sum paid to some of our ministers. Inquire, search into the books, and you will find that there has been very close dealing with some of our ministers. The auditing committee need to understand their business and have the mind of Christ. There are some men of narrow minds on this committee, men who have not a true idea of the self-denial and self-sacrifice required of the minister of God. They have no true estimate of what it means to leave home, wife, and children, and become missionaries for God, to labor for souls as they that must give an account. A true minister of God will turn his whole life into a sacrifice. 2SM 193.2

The Warning at Salamanca

While at Salamanca, New York, in November, 1890, there were presented to me many things. I was shown that there was coming into the office a spirit that God did not approve. While some accept large wages, there are others who have labored at their post faithfully for years, who receive very much less. I have been repeatedly shown that God's order is not to be broken down and the missionary spirit extinguished.... 2SM 193.3

I know there are those who practice much self-denial to pay their tithes and make offerings to the cause of God. Those who stand at the head of the work should take such a course that they can unblushingly say, “Come, let us act mutually in this work which was commenced in sacrifice, and is supported by continual self-denial.” The people should not excel those who stand at the head of our institutions in practicing economy, and binding about their wants.—Manuscript 25a, 1891. 2SM 194.1