Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 67, 1902

Brethren at the Pacific Press

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

April 25, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in MM 180-182; 7ABC 468; UL 129; 9MR 161; 5Bio 167. +Note

To my brethren in positions of responsibility in the Pacific Press,—

The case of Brother C. H. Jones has been presented to me. Should he resign his position to take up some other line of work? If the Lord should say, “This is My will,” it would be right for Brother Jones to do this. But where is the man with the necessary capabilities and a sufficient understanding of the work in the different departments of the publishing house who could take Brother Jones’ place? When the Lord selects a man who in His sight is the proper man for this place, it will be right for Brother Jones to sever his connection with the Pacific Press. But at present the Lord does not accept his resignation. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 1

There are those who find fault with the past management of the Pacific Press. Let them understand that it is easier to question and find fault than to say what should be done to set things right—easier to criticize the men who are managing than to find men to carry out the principles of righteousness on the high plane of action that the Lord commends. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 2

When the men working in the different lines of God’s cause are faithful Christians, laboring under the supervision of God, they will be enabled to do with honor the work placed in their hands. They are to go forward with fear and trembling, fearing lest in some emergency they do something that will misrepresent the institution which is one of the Lord’s great agencies for the advancement of His truth. They are to show that they realize that they are not working in a common, worldly place, but in a place made sacred by the presence of One who investigates every action. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 3

The following words were spoken to those who are associated with Brother C. H. Jones in the management of the Pacific Press: 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 4

Are you clear before God? Can He acknowledge you as true representatives of His truth? Have you not made it very hard for your manager to do the work appointed him, very hard for him to be a faithful steward? Have you realized that your position in the office makes you a part of the firm, held responsible by God to do all in your power to keep the work of the institution on a high plane? Is your record, in its integrity and righteousness, in harmony with your profession of faith? Will you measure your development, your breadth of Christian experience, by the description given in the Scriptures of God’s true followers?—“Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” [1 Peter 2:9.] 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 5

In the books of heaven true Christians are registered as one family. Through faith and love, their hearts are knit together. In principles and practice, they are distinct from the world; for they have been chosen as members of the royal family. The excellency of their words and actions show that they are the princes of God. Their business transactions are after the order of heaven. And in God’s sight they are of more value than all else in the world. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 6

Have you, as heads of the different departments of this institution, assembled daily to offer prayer to God for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and for the wisdom and grace that God alone can give? In your work, have you stood as a unit, not criticizing and condemning one another, but pulling together in even cords? You could have remedied the condition of things in the office by humbling yourselves before God, and obeying the words, “Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” [Isaiah 52:11.] Obedience to the instruction the Lord gave would have brought among you the angels of heaven. You should have put forth personal efforts for those in your charge. This would have placed you on vantage ground. But the work the Lord desired you to do, you did not do. The Lord is very merciful to forgive your errors and mistakes. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 7

Let all now come into line. The work in this institution must be better understood and better planned. The workers, instead of looking for defects in their fellow workers, are to search their own hearts, overcoming the spirit that prompts to unwise actions and harsh words, and correcting their own mistakes. Then they will not bring about a condition of spiritual defection that takes the life and spirit out of those who should be strong to bear burdens. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 8

When those in positions of responsibility in this institution see among the workers those who need reproof and caution, let them not think that they have done their duty by throwing the burden of this work on the manager. They are to go to the one in error, and in kindness and tenderness tell him of his wrong and of its sure result unless he changes. Invite him to talk with God about the matter. Kneel down with him, and pray for help. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 9

The wrongs in this institution are to be corrected, but those who are associated with Brother C. H. Jones in labor are not to think that he is to bear this burden alone. It is not necessary to bring everything that needs to be corrected before the manager. When you see a worker in error, go to him, and talk with him kindly and tenderly, showing a sincere desire for his welfare. In nine cases out of ten, your efforts will be successful. You will save a soul from death and hide a multitude of sins. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 10

Whatever your position may be, in no case throw your work on Brother Jones. You occupy positions of trust. Is it not, then, your duty to look after the apprentices, to see that they are not led astray? Is it not your duty to watch for souls as they that must give an account. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 11

How may those in your charge be won to Christ? This is the great problem before you. In order to prepare them for present usefulness and for the future life, you must do far more personal work. You must labor in a way that will win the respect and confidence of the youth under your supervision. Never be impatient with them. Remember that Christ died to save them. In the wisdom and love of the Saviour make personal efforts for them. Be faithful shepherds over them. Treat them in a way that you know Christ will approve. You offend God when you are impatient and overbearing. Christian politeness, Christian courtesy, is due from the Christian to every other human being. Nothing else will God accept. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 12

Let those in charge of the youth in the different departments of this institution remember that they do them great harm when they allow their own words and actions to be out of harmony with their profession of Christianity, when they use the methods of the enemy instead of the methods of the Saviour in their efforts to bring about reforms. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 13

Into your discipline bring not a particle of harshness. Lay no rigid injunctions on the youth. It is these ironclad rules and commands that sometimes lead them to feel that they must and will do the thing they are charged not to do. When giving caution or reproof to the youth, do it as one who has a special interest in them. Let them see that you have an earnest desire for them to make a good record in the books of heaven. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 14

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” [Revelation 20:12.] By the words and works of this life is decided the eternal destiny of every one; be very careful, therefore not to drive a tempted soul on to the enemy’s battle ground. Provoke not the youth to wrath. Stir not up in them, by unjust charges and harsh treatment, the impulse to act rashly. Often those who ought to know how to deal with the youth drive them away from God by injudicious words and actions. God records such treatment of the youth as a sin against himself. Treat the tempted ones in a way that will draw them to you as a friend who will not misjudge or hurt them. The admonitions God has given in His Word are infinitely better than any words of reproof you can speak. Lead the youth to see that it is for their eternal good to follow the path the Lord has marked out for them. Tell them they must not sin, because it grieves the heart of the Redeemer. Tell them to fear to sin, because the wages of sin is death. In gentleness and love try to inspire in them an earnest purpose to do their whole duty to God and to their fellow men. Remember that the future experience of these youth will bear the stamp of the teaching you have given them. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 15

As you thus strive to educate the youth in your care, you are educating yourselves, preparing yourselves to do better work for the Master. There is brought about in your character a reformation that makes you a safe example for the tempted and tried. In disciplining others, you are disciplining and training yourselves. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 16

Paul has given a lesson for all who are educators in any line of work. Speaking of the high priest and his work, he says, “Who can have compassion on the ignorant and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity,” subject to temptation. [Hebrews 5:2.] 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 17

Our great High Priest was taken from among men. In order for Him to understand the temptations that come to human beings, He must take human nature. He must be bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh. Among ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of angels, Christ is a standard bearer. To Him has been given the prerogative of approaching God in His human nature, as well as in His divine nature. Through Him we are accepted in the Beloved. God welcomes all who come to Him in the name of the great High Priest. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 18

Let no human being suppose that position or authority will give him one jot of favor with God. We can come to God only through the chosen Mediator, His only begotten Son, who knew no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. The One who bore the penalty of sin, that through His grace man might render perfect obedience to the laws of God, and so obtain eternal life, is the only One who can enable man to become a member of the royal family. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 19

“And by reason hereof, he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honor unto himself but he that was called of God, as was Aaron. So Christ also glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son; today have I begotten thee. ... Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” [Verses 3-5, 7-9.] 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 20

The only One who could with hope approach God in humanity was the only begotten Son of God. That sinful, repentant human beings might be received by the Father, and clothed with the robe of righteousness, Christ came to the earth, and made an offering of such value that He redeemed the race. Through the sacrifice made on Calvary is offered to every one the sanctification of grace. All may become obedient sons and daughters of God. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 21

Let those who are placed in responsible positions beware lest, by defective characters and unchristlike tempters, they work against God’s plan. The glory of God and the good of human beings should lead every man to strive to be a example of what man may become through the grace of Christ. He is to rely wholly on the merits of the One who gave Himself as an offering that He might stand between God and man. The efforts of every one in whose heart the work of grace is daily done will be a savor of life unto life to all who are under his watchcare. He will be successful in laboring for the saving of souls ready to perish. He will bring them to the Chief Shepherd, who alone can save to the uttermost all who come to Him. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 22

The men who guide and instruct those who are “ignorant and out of the way” need much of the patience and love of Christ. [Verse 2.] Many times their patience will be tried; those for whom they work will seem to be dull of understanding; it will be hard to lead them to act on correct principles. The truth must be brought to bear upon them to soften and subdue their hearts. Those who try to help them must have ability to lead them on step by step, realizing that they are to beseech sinners, not drive them, to be reconciled to God. Christ says, My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me away from the byways of sin. As Christ worked, so you are to work. In tenderness and love seek to lead the erring to the right way. This will call for great patience and forbearance, and for the constant manifestation of the <forgiving> love of Christ. Daily the Saviour’s compassion must be revealed. The example He has left must be followed. He took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature, that He might know how to succor those that are tempted. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 23

He who does this work must put into it his whole heart; for it is a work that requires all there is of a man. He who does it as a work that is done for wages will make an utter failure. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 24

Long life and prosperity are promised to those who are faithful in keeping the commandments of God. “Thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the Lord; that it may be well with thee,” “and that thy days may be prolonged.” [Deuteronomy 6:18, 2.] 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 25

But let no one think that he can honor the Lord by mechanical obedience, while he has no real sense of what obedience means, because his heart is not right with God. “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he which doeth wrong shall receive of the wrong which he hath done; for there is no respect of persons.” [Colossians 3:23-25.] 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 26

Those who work only when in sight of their director are unfaithful and untrue. They are men-pleasers. They do not work with a pure heart and clean hands. They do not bring integrity into their efforts. They may apparently work very earnestly while in the sight of the director, but as soon as his presence is removed, their attitude changes. They work in a lax, indifferent way, accomplishing only a third of what they might accomplish. And the little they do is not done in a way that pleases God. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 27

God calls upon men and women and youth to be true and faithful in their work, bringing into the daily life the principles of His Word, that it may be well with them. They are to remember that Jesus sees all they do and hears all they say. They are to work cheerfully, serving God to the best of their ability, doing His will from the heart. Let them remember, as they do their appointed work, that they are doing it for God. They are not to give their service grudgingly, or of constraint, but willingly, and gladly, filled with a resolute purpose to be true, to do their best, to make their service acceptable to God and to their fellow workers. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 28

True Christians are faithful in little things, remembering that the Word of God declares, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” [Luke 16:10.] A faithful, steady obedience to the words of Christ makes men pure in mind, resolute in purpose, and faithful in every station of life. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 29

True service is the unveiling of a heart made fragrant by the love of God. Such service gives nobility to the life. Under its influence, love to God and man speaks from the lips and is revealed in the actions. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 30

Those placed in positions of trust and responsibility in the publishing house established by God’s direction are day by day to reveal in the life a re-formation. They are to receive into the heart and mind the words of eternal life, that they may be sanctified through the Spirit of truth. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 31

When God’s people place the gift of speech under the influence and control of the Holy Spirit, thousands will hear the message that God is love, that He “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] His heart of infinite love embraces every human being. His love is an inexhaustible well-spring of joy and peace. It is as enduring as eternity. It is the fountain opened for Judah and Jerusalem. From its unfailing supply every soul may be satisfied. This love is the life of God, working with transforming power in the soul, perfecting Christian character, making human beings partakers of the divine nature. Through Christ, this living stream of love and life flows to the world. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 32

These words and many more in the same strain were spoken by our Instructor. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 33

Brethren, place yourselves where you can be accepted by God. Do not permit prejudice and self-righteousness to fill your mind. Do your part faithfully and open the way for the Lord to work. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 34

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. ... But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus; that ye put off concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness, and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor; for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath; neither give place to the devil. ... Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice; and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” [Ephesians 4:17, 18, 20-27, 29-32.] 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 35

These words need no explanation. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 36

My brethren, your failure to do your work in spiritual lines in the office has placed a heavy burden upon your brother C. H. Jones. You should have borne many of the burdens that have fallen upon him in regard to the care of the employees. You have allowed your work to rest upon him. If you had walked in accordance with the light God has given, the causes you supposed you had for complaint would not have existed. Your shunning the responsibility of doing personal work for those employed in the office has had sad results. But Brother Jones is not to carry your sins of neglect. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 37

Laying his hand upon Brother Jones’s shoulder, our Instructor said, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” He then repeated the following Scripture: “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” [Ephesians 6:10-17.] 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 38

I have been shown that those who bear burdens in the Conference should show an earnest interest in the spiritual welfare of those working in the publishing house. They should act as counsellors and advisors. Such work as this, Brother Knox, Brother Corliss, and Brother A. T. Jones should do. But in their earnestness to point out and correct wrongs, Brother Corliss and Brother A. T. Jones sometimes manifest a spirit that needs to be softened and subdued by the grace of the Spirit of God, represented by the holy oil. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 39

Of this holy oil we read in Zechariah, “The angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, and said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof; and two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.” [Zechariah 4:1-3.] 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 40

“Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again and said unto him, What be these two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” [Verses 11-14.] 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 41

The mission of the two anointed ones is to communicate to God’s people that heavenly grace which alone can make His Word a lamp to the feet and a light to the path. From the two olive trees the golden oil was emptied through the golden pipes into the bowl of the candlestick, and thence into the golden lamps that gave light to the sanctuary. So from the holy ones that stand in God’s presence, His Spirit is imparted to the human instrumentalities that are consecrated to His service. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 42

Those who have a special work to do for God need a large supply of the holy oil, that they may be a strength to the church. They need wisdom and courage and zeal, that they may work in Christ’s lines. They are to receive in rich measure the grace of the Holy Spirit. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 43

Christ is the source from which His workers are to receive the oil of grace that is to enable them to carry forward His work. He emptied Himself of His glory that He might fill His believing ones with His Spirit, which would give them power and efficiency. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 44

To the two brethren whose names I have mentioned, these words were spoken: “You must be very sure that you are supplied with the holy oil. Speak guardedly and wisely. See how many victories you can obtain over self. Never, never speak unadvisedly. Every man in a responsible position should be able, because he is supplied with the holy oil, to speak advisedly.” 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 45

It is not enough for those who have been connected with the office to overcome their hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. They must cultivate the traits that will enable them to do acceptable service. It is not enough for them to put off the old man. They must put on the new man. It is not enough for them to lay aside the things that have hindered them from doing God’s work. More than this is required. Righteous principles must become a part of the nature. The law of God must be written on the heart. Let every soul now arise and bear responsibilities. Cease to do evil, and learn to do well. “Learn of me,” the great Teacher says; “for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] Put on the new man, created by the power of God. Cherish the new, ennobling principles of unselfishness. Receive the regenerating grace which enables the receiver to reveal in spirit, in words, in actions, the sanctification that the truth imparts. This is the holiness that Christ requires. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 46

Take heed that you do not think or speak with severity. Beware how you judge your brother, forgetting as you do so, that as you judge him, so you will be judged. He in whose heart Christ abides follows the principles of righteousness in all his dealing with his fellow men, obeying the last six precepts of the law. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 47

Let the men in responsible positions in the office of publication carefully examine themselves. Let them not lay their burden of imperfection and failure upon the one who deserves censure less than they themselves for the demoralized condition of affairs in the publishing house. If you had stood manfully by your brother’s side, constantly putting forth individual effort for the uplifting of those connected with the institution, all would have stood on vantage ground. Brother C. H. Jones is a man who can see and understand the situation of the work and its necessities. The Lord has not separated Brother Jones from His work, as if he were the one who is wholly out of line. Brother Jones is not to be thus regarded. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 48

Brethren, the message from the Lord to you is, “Cherish the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Correct your own defects of character. If your faults are not corrected, they will drive the Spirit of God from the office.” 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 49

To Brother C. H. Jones these words were spoken: “Would you forsake an imperilled vessel? Would it be a manifestation of faith, or of weakness, for you to disconnect from the office at this time? Would not this step be regarded as cowardly? And for you to withdraw from the work would not bring about the needed reformation in the Pacific Press. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 50

“Should you now step out of your position in the office, you would do so under a cloud of suspicion. You would be regarded by many as having made a failure of your lifework. Although you have not reached the standard that you should in spiritual lines, you are not the cause of the sad state of affairs at the Pacific Press. All have had a part in the neglect and failure. All must now unite in doing the work they have left undone. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 51

“My brother, put on every piece of the Christian armor. Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. The Lord desires you to be an overcomer, to triumph in the third angel’s message. Take up your work, and in the love and fear of God advance to a higher standard. If you have the support you ought to have from your fellow workers, you will be enabled, by the grace of Christ, to work in a way that will glorify God. Labor with a conscientious regard for the work as being God’s work. Do the will of God from the heart, and you will come off a conqueror. Separate from your life all that hinders you in doing the Lord’s work, and move forward, serving God in the place where you are. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 52

I address all who are carrying responsibilities in this institution. Remember that we have an enemy to fight, even to the gates, a Captain to fight for, a banner to fight under, and rules of warfare by which we must be governed. Take up your work as Christian soldiers. The Christian warfare is an individual warfare. Do you not expect to have to struggle against the determined opposition of the powers of darkness? Satan will contest every inch of the way, but press forward. The strength and courage necessary for the conflict will be given you. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 53

In the Christian-warfare life, spiritual life, courage, constancy, and decision are needed. Be strong in the Lord. Human courage will not suffice. The Christian soldier must be strong in the Lord. God is all-sufficient. In the omnipotence of His might, gird on the armor. Make use of all the proper means of defense against the enemy. Resist temptation. Cultivate the Christian virtues. Be strong; <yea, be strong.> Those who have so many battles to fight must be strong for service. Gain strength and help from the source of all power. If we trust in the Lord, we shall triumph in the warfare against unseen foes, but if we trust in our own strength, we shall surely meet with defeat. The armor is prepared, Put it on, and fight bravely for the Lord. 17LtMs, Lt 67, 1902, par. 54