Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 106, 1902

Managers of the Signs of the Times

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

July 15, 1902

This letter is published in entirety in CW 172-176. +Note

To those connected with the management of the Signs of the Times

Dear brethren,—

I was greatly pained to see on the first page of a recent issue of the Signs a picture of the birthplace of Shakespeare, accompanied by an article on Shakespeare. May the Lord pity our discernment if we have no better food than this to give the flock of God. It greatly distresses me to see those in positions of trust, who should daily be gaining a rich experience, placing such matter before the people. 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 1

Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He graciously condescends to dwell among them. Let those who are representing the truth for this time pray earnestly for clear spiritual discernment. Let them be sincerely jealous for the honor of the Lord God of hosts. Let them see the sinfulness of exalting such men as Shakespeare, calling the attention of people to those who did not in their lives honor God or represent Christ. 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 2

The men in responsible positions in God’s work need to be renewed in the spirit of their mind. Let them lift their voices against the worship of human beings, giving honor to whom honor is due. The men who edit our papers need the divine touch. They need the unction of the Holy Spirit. 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 3

I felt grieved and heartsick as I looked at the representation on the first page of the Signs to which I have referred. I asked myself, “What do these things mean?” I was so distressed in mind that I became sick in body. I went to bed at eight o’clock and slept for a short time, about an hour I think. Then I seemed to be standing before those in responsible positions in the Pacific Press, bearing them a message. The Spirit of God came upon me, and I could not forbear speaking. I cannot now write all that I said. I asked, “Where is your spiritual discernment or your good judgment, that you should thus sow tares among the wheat? Nothing is to appear in our literature that does not represent truth and righteousness.” 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 4

We have put forth earnest efforts to direct the minds of our young people in Oakland into right channels. At times they have been severely rebuked for yielding to pleasure-loving, departing from the straightforward course of action that heaven approves. But what can I say when our papers pass such encomiums on men who did not glorify God in life or character? Think you that such representations will help the youth to walk in the narrow path of holiness? 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 5

I do not see how a representation such as this, or such as that on the first page of a recent Review and Herald—the picture of an idolatrous shrine—can be any spiritual help to our people. 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 6

I feel intensely desirous that every word that is published by our people shall reflect light that will pierce through the dark shadow of Satan. Put in our papers the encouraging experiences that show the goodness and love of God in His dealings with His people. This will strengthen and cheer them. Make straight paths for your feet, least the lame be turned out of the way. Keep the warning message of truth before the people; for the end is at hand. We are to cry aloud and spare not. Some will pay no heed, but others will repent and be converted. 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 7

Some things of great importance have been presented to me, but I have not the strength to write them this morning. When I attempt to do this, such an intensity of feeling comes over me that I am obliged to stop. 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 8

We need, O so greatly, keen discernment and clear spiritual eyesight. Our eyes need to be anointed with the heavenly eyesalve, that we may see all things clearly. The great and solemn truths for this time are to be proclaimed through our papers, and into these papers we are to bring all the spiritual power that we can. 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 9

Our lesson for the present time is, How may we most clearly comprehend and present the gospel that Christ came in person to present to John on the Isle of Patmos—the gospel that is termed, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things that must shortly come to pass.” “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy; for the time is at hand.” [Revelation 1:1, 3.] 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 10

We are to proclaim to the world the great and solemn truths of Revelation. Into the very designs and principles of the church of God these truths are to enter. 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 11

“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write, These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks: I know thy works and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil; and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars; and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Revelation 2:1-5.] 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 12

“And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, stood a Lamb, as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts, and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels, round about the throne, and the beasts and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” [Revelation 5:6-13.] 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 13

We have a most important work to do—the work of proclaiming the third angel’s message. We are facing the most important issues that men have ever been called to meet. All should understand the truths contained in the three messages; for they are essential to salvation. 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 14

My brethren, will you not give the flock of God bread, and not a stone? Never print in our papers a word that will lower the standard that God expects His people to meet. Call no man brilliant who has not the wisdom to choose the Lord Jesus Christ—the light and life of the world. The excellence of a man is determined by his possession of the virtues of Christ. Let us not look away from Christ to sinful human beings. The truth must be kept before the people. The standard of purity, temperance, and holiness must be uplifted. 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 15

It is impossible to say to what lengths the printing of such illustrations and articles would carry you. The paper would do as much and more good if less room were given to illustrations. 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 16

I was instructed to say that you could give a glowing description of Satan. You could speak of the greatness of his intelligence and power. You could charm the sense of those who read the Signs with this subject. But we know that it would not be right to do this. 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 17

I desire to place this matter before you as soon as possible, therefore I cannot take time to write fully on the matter. I am instructed to say that you have dishonored God. You did not mean to do this, but you have done it. 17LtMs, Lt 106, 1902, par. 18