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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 5

April 10, 1903 - NO. 10

OAKLAND, CAL., APRIL 19, 1903.
Daily, except Sabbath
Application made to enter as Second-Class Matter


8-9 A. M., Social meeting or instruction.
9:30-11:30 A. M., Conference meeting.
3 -5 P. M., Conference meeting.
7:30 P. M., Preaching service.


H. W. Cottrell


H. W. Cottrell in the chair.

The report of the Committee on Education was set for the special order of the meeting. On motion, however, consideration of the report was deferred, to allow the reports of the Committee on Plans and Constitution to be read.

It was stated that there was a majority and a majority report on the constitution to be considered. The following are the reports:—

Majority Report on Constitution of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists


This organization shall be known as the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.


The object of this Conference is to teach all nations the everlasting gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


SECTION 1. The membership of this Conference shall consist of—

(a) Such Union Conferences as have been or shall be properly organized and accepted by vote.

(b) Such local conferences as are not embraced in any Union Conference, as have been or shall be properly organized and accepted by vote.

SEC. 2. The voters of this Conference shall be designated as follows:—

(a) Delegates at large.

(b) Regular delegates.

SEC. 3. Delegates at large shall be:—

(a) The General Conference Executive Committee.

(b) The Secretary and the Treasurer of the General Conference.

(c) Such representatives of the departments and missions of the General Conference as shall receive credentials from its Executive Committee.

SEC. 4. Regular delegates shall be such persons as are duly accredited by Union Conferences, or local conferences not included in Union Conferences.

SEC. 5. Each Union Conference shall be entitled to one delegate without regard to numbers, an additional delegate for each conference in its territory, and an additional delegate for each one thousand of its membership. Each local conference not included in any Union Conference shall be entitled to one delegate, without regard to numbers, and one additional delegate for each one thousand members.


SECTION 1. At each session the Conference shall elect an Executive Committee for the carrying forward of its work between the sessions.

SEC. 2. The Executive Committee shall consist of the president, two vice-presidents, the presidents of Union Conferences, the superintendents of organized Union Missions, and twelve other persons, among whom there shall be representatives of all the leading departments of conference work, including the publishing, medical, educational. Sabbath-school, and religious liberty.


SECTION 1. The officers of this Conference shall be a president, two vice-presidents, a secretary, a treasurer, and an auditor, who shall be elected by the Conference.

SEC. 2. President: The duties of the president shall be to act as chairman of the Executive Committee and to labor in the general interests of the Conference, as the Executive Committee may advise.

SEC. 3. Vice-presidents: The duties of the first vice-president shall be to labor in the European Union Conferences and Missions, as the Executive Committee may advise, and to preside at the councils of the members of the Executive Committee, which may be held in Europe, in the absence of the president.

The duties of the second vice-president shall be to labor in the American Union Conferences and Missions, as the Executive Committee may advise, and in the absence of the president, to preside at the councils of the members of the Executive Committee which may be held in America.

SEC. 4. Secretary: It shall be the duty of the secretary to keep the minutes of the proceedings of the Conference sessions and of committee meetings, and to collect such statistics and other facts from Union and Local Conferences as may be desired by the Conference or the Executive Committee.

and to perform such other duties as usually pertain to such office.

Sec. 5. Treasurer: It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive all funds and disburse them by order of the president, and to render such financial statements at regular intervals as may be desired by the Conference or the Executive Committee.

Sec. 6. Election of Officers and Executive Committee: All officers of the Conference, except members of the Executive Committee who are presidents of Union Conferences or superintendents of Union Mission Fields, shall be chosen by the delegates at the regular biennial sessions of the General Conference, and shall hold their offices for the period of two years, or until their successors are elected and appear to enter upon their duties.


Section I. Such incorporations may be authorized and departments created as the development of the work requires.

Sec. 2. At each regular session of this Conference the delegates shall elect the trustees of all corporate bodies connected with this organization, as may be provided in the statutory laws governing each.

Sec. 3. The Conference shall employ such committees, secretaries, agents, ministers, missionaries, and other persons, and make such distribution of its laborers as may be necessary to effectively execute its work. It shall also grant credentials or licenses to its ministers and missionaries.


Section I. This Conference shall hold biennial sessions at such date and place as the Executive Committee shall designate by a notice published in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald at least two months before the date for the session.

Sec. 2. The Executive Committee may call special sessions at such time and place as it deems proper, by a like notice, and the transactions of such special sessions shall have the same force as those of the regular sessions.


The voters of this Conference may enact By-laws and amend or repeal them at any session thereof, and such By-laws may embrace any provision not inconsistent with the Constitution.


This Constitution or its By-laws may be amended by a two-thirds’ vote of the voters present at any session, provided that, if it is proposed to amend the Constitution at a special session, notice of such purpose shall be given in the call for such special session.



Section I. At each session of the Conference, the Executive Committee shall nominate for election the presiding officers for the session.

Sec. 2. Previous to each session of the Conference, the Executive Committee shall provide such temporary committees as may be necessary to conduct the preliminary work of the Conference.


Section I. During the intervals between sessions of the Conference, the Executive Committee shall have full administrative power, and shall fill for the current term any vacancies that may occur in its offices, boards, committees, or agents, by death, resignation, or otherwise, except in cases where other provisions for filling such vacancies shall be made by vote of the General Conference.

Sec. 2. Any five members of the Executive Committee, including the president or vice-president, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of such business as is in harmony with the general plans outlined by the Committee, but the concurrence of four members shall be necessary to pass any measure before the Committee.

Sec. 3. Meetings of the Executive Committee may be called at any time or place, by the president or vice-president, or upon the written request of any five members of the Committee.


Section I. The work of the departments of this organization shall be in charge of committees selected by the Executive Committee, when not otherwise provided for by the Conference.


Section I. This Conference shall receive a tithe from all of its Union and Local Conferences, and the tithe of its Union and Local Mission Fields.

Sec. 2. The Executive Committee shall be authorized to call for such special donations as may be necessary to properly prosecute its work.

Sec. 3. The Conference shall receive all offerings devoted to missions.


Section I. The Executive Committee shall have the accounts of the Conference and of its several departments audited at least once each calendar year, and shall report upon the same to the General Conference at its regular sessions.

Sec. 2. The Executive Committee shall appoint annually eight persons not in its employ, who, with the president, vice-presidents, and presidents of Union Conferences, shall constitute a committee for auditing and settling all accounts against the General Conference.


At its regular sessions, the General Conference shall elect seven Trustees for the General Conference Association of the Seventh-day Adventists, a corporation of the city of Battle Creek, Michigan, existing under the laws of the state of Michigan.

H. W. Cottrell,
E. T. Russell,
C. W. Flaiz,
W. C. White,
W. T. Knox,
E. H. Gates,
G. E. Langdon,
C. N. Woodward,
Smith Sharp,
S. B. Horton.

Report of the Minority of the Committee on Plans and Constitution

H. W. Cottrell

The minority of your Committee on Plans and Constitution beg leave to submit that the Constitution proposed by the majority of the Committee appears to us to be so subversive of the principles of organization given to us at the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901 that we can not possibly subscribe to it.

The proposed new Constitution reverses the reformatory steps that were taken, and the principles which were given and adopted as the principles of reorganization, in the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901, and embodied in the present Constitution; and this before that Constitution or the organization according to it, has ever had adequate trial.

We therefore recommend that the Constitution of 1901 be given a fair trial before it be annihilated.

E. J. Waggoner,
David Paulson,
Percy T. Magan.

W. T. Knox: I move the adoption of the majority report.

D. E. Lindsey: I second the motion.

The Chair: Now, if it is the wish of the delegates, this report may be read through entirely; or, if you desire, it can be taken up one section or article at a time. If this be the mind of the delegates, the secretary may read the first article.

P. T. Magan: The congregation will all see that the minority report deals only with certain general vital principles, which we believe are transgressed in the proposed new constitution; and therefore, in order that that matter may be brought before the house, as it is the vital thing in the consideration of the whole subject, I move that the report of the minority be substituted now for consideration in place of the report of the majority.

E. J. Waggoner: I second the motion.

The motion was put, and was lost.

E. J. Waggoner: I hope you will beforehand do us the kindness to think that we are not captious or desirous of obstructing the work of the house, or lightly bringing in some difference for the sake of differing.

My dissent from the report of the majority of the committee is on two lines. I will give those two lines as briefly and concisely as possible, and dispassionately. The first objection I have to the report is that it is fundamentally and diametrically opposed to the principles of organization as set forth in the Bible, and as, up to the present time, adhered to in the main by this body. This being so, I regard the report as revolutionary and inconsistent. Now why and wherein?

I think we are all agreed in this, that the church, the local body of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, in any place, is the unit of organization and the standard. Thus in any company of believers, wherever they may be, in whatever city, we have there the epitome of the whole body of believers throughout the world. Whatever name you give to the larger body, whether conference, or session, or what not, the fact remains that that large body is the church. The local companies, also known as churches, are simply constituent parts of the body as a whole; but the life and principles of the whole are manifest in every part. Whatever position, whatever principles, whatever features, are true of the church as a whole, are true simply because they are true locally of the bodies composing the one universal body. And to carry the analysis still further, whatever is true of that body of believers is true simply because it is true of the individual members composing that body, and I hold these truths to be self-evident propositions. Therefore whatever organization is necessary and right and proper for the body as a whole must be necessary and proper for the constituent parts, the component parts of the local churches; and that the body as a whole needs no other form of organization, and, consistently with the Scriptures, can not have any other form of organization than the local church has.

Now, I am sure that my brethren will agree with me in this statement, that those who are called to lead out in the larger body, whether in a state or in a country or in the world, by whatever name they may be known as leaders, whether president, vice-president, or what not, occupy the same relation to that large church that the elder of the local church does to that smaller portion of the body.

Our brethren everywhere are familiar with church organization. All of our ministers have had more or less to do with that. We read of it frequently that a church was organized here, a church was organized there; and when we regard a church as organized, ready for aggressive work, aggressive gospel work in the world, what do we have?—A company of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, with certain persons in the body recognized as called of God to instruct the people, or to guide in the administration of affairs.

I maintain that this proposition ought to be self-evident to every person, that if that is complete organization, then that same thing obtaining in the larger body is complete organization. If a church can be organized for all the work that God has designed that the church shall do on this earth, with that simple condition that is set forth in the Bible that elders shall be ordained in every city, and that other persons shall be recognized as called of God to do whatever work may be necessary, as in the case of the seven who were appointed to administer the distribution of funds in Jerusalem,—I say if a church is fully organized under that condition, then the church as a whole must be fully organized under the same condition; and that to carry on the work without any fixed creed or constitution does not tend in the least to disorganization. Further, if that be complete for the organization of the local church, if more than that would be contrary to the Scriptures, and thus to that intent tending to disorganization under the form and name of organization, then the same thing in the larger body tends essentially to disorganization, and not to true organization; so that we have this report calling for this organization, and this specifying what shall be done, and just how it shall be done under every circumstance, is not according to the counsel established by God.

Now the movement, although I am sure unconscious and unintentional on the part of the brethren, toward the adoption of this report does essentially lie in the line of the adoption of a creed; and that, although the churches of the world and the people of the world regard as essential to organization, we who know the Scriptures and know the falling away that came in in the early days and has been perpetuated until this present time,—we know is essentially disorganization.

I know that the brethren will say that there is no intention of narrowing down, and I am sure they are sincere in that statement, that there is no intention of placing some above others; I am sure they are agreed in that, and are just as much opposed to that in principle as I am. Yet, that being so, why tie our own hands? Now, it is impossible for me to understand how I can so tie myself up that I can not untie myself; how I can tie myself so tightly that I can not move. But you

say: “This does not do that. This does not tie us up. We can amend this at any time.”

Well, grant it. I can not understand, then, how I can tie myself up, or how anybody can so tie his hands, that he can not untie his hands, or make any movement, until the expiration of a fixed time limit. I can not understand how that can be done. But every man is free. If any person, or any number of persons, in the body felt that they could not trust themselves or the brethren without tying their own hands, without tying themselves, then they should be free to do so; but they should not hold others bound by that tying.

The Bible organization is opposed to the exaltation of any person over others. Now the question will arise and be presented to me: “Why, then, do you sign this report, which recommends that we maintain the present constitution? If you feel and believe that the church as a whole needs no constitution, does not need to tie its hands, can be perfectly free, under God, to move here or there, just as the Spirit of God shall move, then why have any constitution?”

I am not inconsistent. My second objection is to this constitution itself, which, in some of its particulars, I regard as the worst constitution ever devised among Seventh-day Adventists. But those particulars I will not speak of now.

Two years ago a constitution was formed in harmony with instruction given, as nearly as might be. I myself have done no little work in the formation of constitutions. I was one of a committee, some twelve or fifteen years ago, which drafted that constitution that was kept alongside of us until two years ago, in its main features. But, while I did not vote for this last constitution, nor have I voted for any constitution for the last ten years, yet I would not oppose the adoption of that, because, inasmuch as it was milder, had fewer provisions than any other constitution. I regarded it as better than anything we had ever had. It was a step in the right direction, and I hailed it with joy, as a movement toward the time to which I am just as sure we will come eventually as I am that I stand here, when all these things will be left aside, as the toys of childhood.

Now, that is the main reason. The brethren, I know, who have not given this matter, perhaps, the thought in the same line that I have, regard it as essential that something of this kind shall be adopted, in order that we may regulate our work, and have it unified, and have it harmonious. How are we going to the world to carry a message which is to call out of all the world a people and unite them in one body by the power of the Holy Ghost, when we have not enough confidence in the Holy Ghost and in our own loyalty to the Spirit to trust it to lead us into that unity, and to keep us there? Will not our testimony be weakened just to that extent, if we can not trust ourselves to be led by the Spirit of God to do whatever may seem necessary to do under the circumstances? That is just as when Saul was met by the prophets, and the Spirit of the Lord came unto him, and he was turned into another man; then the advice of the prophet was, “Do as occasion serves.” Can we not come to such a yielding to the Spirit of God that we, as a body, or as individuals, can do as occasion serves, under the leading of the Spirit?

The Bible organization recognizes leaders; most certainly it does. Whomsoever God appoints as leaders ought to be recognized, and will be recognized, by the body, if they are leaders indeed; for authority rests in the individual and his relation to God, and not in the position to which he is elected. And truth is truth, though it be spoken by one who has no standing or official position. And error can not be made to be truth, or mistakes can not be made to be right, because promulgated by some one in official position, or even by the whole body; and we should recognize, and we must educate ourselves and the people to recognize, the truth of the Bible, and to be recognized by the Bible and the Spirit of God, so that whenever any case comes up for decision we have that one thing to guide us.

The apostle Peter, who was an elder, said, “Let the elders take the oversight of the church. not of constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;” and then he said, “Ye younger, submit yourselves to the elder; yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility.” Now there is the principle in the church that Christ is the head of the church, because He is the head of every man. Now, I have no fear that loyalty to that truth, that adherence to that principle, will work disorganization in the body. It can never be, while I recognize Christ as my head, and myself as amenable to Him, and not to anybody else. I also recognize the fact that God can teach my brother just as readily as He can me; and I admit, and will always admit, that God is leading him, as well as leading me. And, that being the case, in the economy of God all are kings. In the kingdom of God, which is the church of God, there is no office recognized lower than king; for God is “King of kings;” and God made man, and made him king; and in the church, which is the body, which brings us back to the primitive standard, every one is to be king and to have authority.

“But,” you say, “if all have authority, who is going to rule?”—Nobody is going to rule. I am king; but I recognize that other man as king, and I will submit to his authority, under God, and the other man will recognize the other one’s authority, under God, when he stands under relationship to God; and I will recognize the whole of them, and they, in turn, will recognize me; and there is mutual reigning, absolute sovereignty, on the part of each individual, and, above all, submission on the part of each to one another and to the whole.

The apostle Paul has set forth that principle of organization, where we have it in Ephesians, the whole building “built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” He also speaks later on in the same epistle about our holding the head, that all, fitly framed together, speaking the truth in love,—the unity, not of resolutions or fixed laws, but the unity of the faith, “maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” And he speaks against those who, not holding the head, do not make such increase and growth.

Now I dare say that we have not come to the time when we are ready for this. I presume that brethren who will admit, as it seems to me every one must admit, that every principle that I have laid down here this morning is Scriptural and sound,—brethren who will admit that will say, “That is all right in theory, but we have not

come to the time yet when we can do that.” That, to me, is a woeful confession, that we have not yet come to the time when we can stand on bedrock principles. I am sure that a recognition of these principles, and an adherence to them continually, would work a reformation in the body; would work life, would work power; and it would work to the development of talent, the development of spiritual experience on the part of the individual; and it is because such a report as this militates against these fundamental principles, that I am conscientiously bound to dissent.

Now, so averse am I to even differing from my brethren, that I think very likely if I had not been in the position of being on the committee, I might have let this constitution go along without making any protest of this kind, simply considering in this way: the brethren know how I feel, and if I should rise they would think it is simply some of my constitutional crankiness, and would pass it by with mild leniency. But having been placed upon that committee, without my request and without any expectation that anything of this kind would come up, I could not, in disloyalty to the principles which I hold, and which I see as clearly as I see the daylight, and which I have been teaching for many years,—I could not, in consistency, let my name go tacitly as upholding, as recommending, this thing. And that is why I have taken this stand.

Now, I desire you to think, and to believe, that it has not been captiousness, that there is any lack of brotherly love. If this constitution shall be adopted,—as from my experience in the past I am almost forced to expect it will be,—why it will not make a particle of difference in my love for the brethren. I do not see how we could think that it can. One thing that hurts me very much is even to imply fear on the part of somebody that a difference—I will not say of opinion, but of view—in a case like this kind can lead to differences between us. I do not see how we could ever entertain the thought for a moment that it can. I will not admit that it can, on my part; and I shall not let it; and I shall love my brethren just as much; for whatever they may say on this floor, and whatever position they may take; and they may carry it out—I love them just as much. And I will say this also: that it will not in the least curtail my freedom. I can work just as freely, so far as I myself am concerned, as though the old constitution were retained, or as though we had no constitution, as far as I am concerned. I maintain that any man who admits, or who implies that he is bound, or that he is tied, and his freedom is curtailed, simply confesses that he does not know the Lord. No man has any right to let anybody else curtain him, but that perfect freedom does not mean variance, does not mean that I propose to start off on a tangent any way, but that I simply propose to maintain my work, adhere to my work, to as faithfully teach the Word of God as I know how. That is all. I do maintain this, that the constitution as a whole, any constitution, and this one in particular, does tend to the limiting of freedom, not of individual action, if the individual knows the Lord, but of the results of his action; and therefore I most earnestly hope that the time will speedily come, if it does not come this day, when all these artificial bands shall be broken asunder, and all these childish toys—for I will say, with the utmost kindness, and utterly dispassionately, that consideration of constitutions, of things of this kind, are painful to me, so utterly foreign to the line of study that I have followed, that it is really a bit of torture for me to sit and listen to them, and I find freedom in reading my Bible while the thing is going on. But, childish as I hold them to be, I hope that the time will come speedily when all these things, these artificial things, that we build up for ourselves,—to say that we will go this way a little while, and we must go so, and that we can not walk a certain distance unless we first lay down a plan, we can not build a machine without having a plan before us,—I hope the time will speedily come when they will be swept aside and left behind. To him who thinks it is a necessity, it is a necessity. But there is this difference between the master workman and the apprentice: The apprentice must have a plan; he must first chalk out the way in which he is going to go; he must have a pattern. The master workman has the plan, goes ahead, and does the work. Now, the master workman is God, and the Spirit of God is given to lead us into all truth, not simply into what is unfortunately known as theological truth, or, better, spiritual truth, to guide in personal conduct and morality, but given to guide us into all truth, as to administration. However many administrations there may be, there is only the one Spirit, and therefore when we have that master Workman given to guide us, why shall we not voluntarily, gladly, and rejoicingly, yield to the Spirit of God, for Him to work in us all, and trust that that one Spirit can bring us back into perfect harmony and keep us there?

Meeting adjourned to 2 P. M., even date.

H. W. Cottrell, Chairman
H. E. Osborne, Secretary.


H. W. Cottrell

THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 1903, 2 P. M.

H. W. Cottrell in the chair. R. A. Underwood offered prayer.

The Chair: Unless some member would prefer to speak to the question to adopt as a whole, perhaps it might be well to do as suggested this morning, read the constitution section by section.

P. T. Magan: I would like the privilege, Brother Chairman, of speaking to the matter as a whole.

H. Shultz: I move that, as the time is short, and considering the amount of business we have before us, that every speaker be limited to five minutes.

A. E. Field: I second the motion.

The Chair: I would suggest that, while on general principles that might be wise, on a question like this, even though our time is short, I rather dislike personally to see such restriction where persons have deep feeling over the question. However, the question is open for remarks.

A. T. Jones: It seems to me that it is rather late to begin to talk of calling time, under the circumstances. Here is before us the most complicated situation, in many ways, that this General Conference has ever seen; and it is a matter that concerns the whole cause. And every delegate has inalienable rights to be heard on the subject. and to be heard at whatever length he may

have material to present pertinent to the question; and this thing be presented, and brought before us almost the last day, in the afternoon, and then to pass a motion restricting every speaker to five minutes, will make a good deal more complexity.

I want to speak on the question; but if I am allowed no more than five minutes, I may not say anything more than I am saying now, because there are things in this complication, and with reference to this proposed constitution, that should be discussed at whatever proper length may be needed. I know that it is late in the session, and therefore it is late to bring in such a report as this in such a complicated situation. How could it be expected by anybody that such a report as this, involving such important things as this does, should be brought in and simply swept through. Why, even the first thing has not yet been done on a constitutional question in all matters of a constitution. There has been presented to this Conference for adoption a constitution, when we already have one, and I have not heard a single word as to why the one we have is so altogether defective that we have got to have a new one, and it be so open on its face that everybody shall simply say, Amen, and let it go. I have never learned of any such proceeding as that on a constitutional question from the day of the Magna Charta until to-day.

So there are things in this that need attention, and I will say to you, You can not afford to shut this thing off with five-minute speeches, even if every delegate in the convention wants to speak on it. You may say that would consume all our time. Better do that, and know what we are doing, than to shut the thing off, and do something that you would be sorry for before next General Conference. So I hope this motion will not carry.

A. J. Breed: It further seems to me that this is not the best thing to do. There are quite a number here that are well qualified to speak on the principles of this question, and I think they ought to have more than five minutes’ time.

A. G. Daniells: I should be very sorry to see this motion pass. I think that the brethren,—those who have a burden and a desire to speak,—should be left untrammeled. I think we can save time in another way, and by a better means, and that is to be careful not to repeat arguments and facts on questions that we are fully agreed on. When a matter is thoroughly and clearly presented, then if we would be careful not to consume time reiterating the same thing, we may save a good deal of time. But I would not want to see this motion passed.

The question was called, and the motion was lost.

The Chair: Brother Magan made a request to speak on the question as a whole. If there is no objection, his request will be granted.

P. T. Magan: I fully appreciate the gravity of this situation, and I have absolutely no intention of in any way filibustering or trying to use a little time in which to say nothing.

As a member of the minority of the Committee on Plans, and as a man, if I had not been on the Committee on Plans at all, I am conscientiously opposed to the proposed new constitution. I have always felt that the hardest place that any man could be put in in this life is to have to stand conscientiously opposed to what the majority of his brethren believe to be right. To me it has always appeared to be a much easier thing to stand in a position of opposition to the world, and even to have to face a court of justice in the world, for your faith, than to have to face your brethren for your faith. And therefore I shall say to-day, as briefly and modestly as I know how, what I have to say.

The minority report expresses in a word the feelings which actuated the minority in making the report, because we believe that the constitution proposed by the majority of the committee appears to us to be so subversive of the principles of organization given to us at the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901. Those principles were given to us by the Spirit of God. In my judgment, and in the judgment of the minority of the committee, this constitution is absolutely subversive of those principles.

Further: The proposed new constitution reverses the reformatory steps that were taken, and the principles which were given, and which were adopted as the principles of reorganization, at the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901, and which were incorporated in the constitution of 1901.

Now, I am not here for a moment to state that the constitution of 1901 is a perfect one. To my mind, in many respects, it is very imperfect. To my mind, in many respects it is very clumsily drawn. But I have learned this, that all reforms come gradually; and in that constitution, clumsy though you may call it, defective though you may mark it, there are principles of reformation and reorganization for the head of this work which are right; and those principles are absolutely subverted and swept aside in the proposed new constitution.

It may be stated there is nothing in this new constitution which is not abundantly safeguarded by the provisions of it; but I want to say to you that any man who has ever read “Neander’s History of the Christian Church,” Mosheim’s, or any of the other of the great church historians,—any man who has ever read those histories can come to no other conclusion but that the principles which are to be brought in through this proposed constitution, and in the way in which they are brought in, are the same principles, and introduced in precisely the same way, as they were hundreds of years ago when the Papacy was made.

Further: This whole house must recognize this, before we are through with this discussion, that the proposed new constitution, whatever improvements may be claimed for it, whatever advantages it may be stated that it contains, that, in principle, as far as the head of the work is concerned, it goes back precisely where we were before the reformatory steps of two years ago. I do not deny for a moment but what improvements have been made in the distribution of administrative power. I am heartily in favor of all that has been done in regard to Union Conferences, but I say that, as far as the head of the thing is concerned, as far as the general administration of things is concerned, though not coached in the same words, though not hedged about with the same identical language, they are precisely the same principles which governed us up to two years ago; and that the moment you vote this constitution, which I do not believe you are ready to do, yet, when you understand this, the moment you vote it you vote yourselves right back where we were two years ago and before it.

Another point: It is a fact which I do not believe any one in this house

will deny, but that for many years every General Conference that we have come to has been more or less of a crisis over the question of the progress of the General Conference and the General Conference administration. Beginning with the General Conference at Oakland, fifteen or sixteen years ago, whenever it was, and passing through Minneapolis down through one or two Conferences at Battle Creek to the General Conference held at College View, and then to the last General Conference held in Battle Creek, every one we have come up to has involved, to a greater or less extent, a crisis over this question. It is true that in some of these Conferences that has not come to the surface as prominently as in others. It is equally true that in others of these General Conferences this question has come to the surface most prominently, and been the chief thing for discussion and the burden of thought at those Conferences.

Now I want to say, in all candor and sincerity, this afternoon, that this question will never, and can never be, settled until it is settled right. This whole new constitution may pass this body, I do not know, but that will not settle it. This thing will keep on coming up until the principles of the gospel, approximated and aimed at in the last constitution, are given their full and free place in this church. And any human device that may be adopted to forestall that thing will fail as utterly of forestalling it as did the attempt of the enemy to forestall Christianity by crucifying Jesus Christ.

I do not know that I need to take much more time now, as I, of course, will have the right which every other brother has, as the different items are considered, to state my views on each item as it is considered. I simply wanted to make that point clear and plain in principle, and it will come out in detail as we go along in the consideration of the constitution,—this one point that the adoption of this means the rejection of the principles of organization given us by the Spirit of God two years ago, and the discussion of each provision of this, and of the major provisions of this, will abundantly reveal that that is so, when read in connection with the writings given at that time, and with the discussions of that period.

Now, it makes no difference whether the different things in this are brought in in a different form to what they were previously, it is the same old idea of the world-wide administration of a few men being able to form a quorum, to carry out what they think is the mind of the whole. It is a merger in principle of the Mission Board work into the General Conference work, and is the overshadowing, in that respect, of all other branches of the work by one branch of the work. It means, in effect, that the affairs of this Conference and of the whole general lines of work of the cause will be carried on by fewer men than I believe the Testimonies of the Spirit of God have any idea that they should be carried on.

In closing, I will state that for years this thing has been up. For years there has been dissatisfaction upon the part of certain lines of the work, and a growing dissatisfaction at this, and we are now brought face to face with the crisis, either that all lines will have the fullest freedom and the fullest recognition, and peace and harmony will prevail, or they will not have it, and this kind of thing will go on.

A. T. Jones: I will call attention to the talk that was referred to a few moments ago, that there has been presented to this Conference, so far as I have discovered, no reason why the present constitution is not workable, and that is a very important thing. When we are asked to sweep that away without any reference at all, just as though there were no constitution, and this was original, without any word of reference whatever to it, any reasons given as to why it shall be swept away and this put in its place, that is a serious defect, and I have some sort of explanation before we go very far in the discussion of the constitution when it comes.

I believe with the minority report that this proposed constitution is subversive of the principles of organization given to us at the General Conference of 1897 and that of 1901. I believe that it reverses the reformatory steps that were taken, and the principles which were given and adopted as the principles of reorganization in the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901, and are embodied in the present constitution, and this is stated. I believe that this is being done before that constitution or the organization according to it has ever had any adequate trial, before it has been tested as a General Conference constitution.

It might be well to call attention to the principles of organization that were given to us in 1897 and 1901. One word that came to us in 1897, which the General Conference accepted, and upon which it acted in that Conference, and which has become a constitutional principle, was spoken in these words: “It is not wise to choose one man as president of the General Conference;” and the new constitution does propose that very thing. Now, that came to us in 1897, and it was accepted by the Conference. The committee, of which I happened to be a member with others, acted upon it, and you know that we brought in a report of that committee, and the Conference adopted it, of having three presidents instead of one. You know the reasons that were given in Conference for it. This providing one man as president of the General Conference, when the General Conference is bigger now than it was in 1897, is just that much more a reversal of the principle to which God was calling us, and that much more of an emphasis of the principles from which He was calling us, as could be. So much for 1897.

In 1901 this principle was given to us, and these are the principles on which we acted in 1901, which were accepted by the Conference, which were before the committee when this constitution was adopted which we have, which was their guide in the formation of that constitution, and which the Conference embodied in the constitution, and accepted by adopting that constitution. One of the principles announced there is this: “Never should one mind, or two minds, or three minds, or four minds, or a few minds. I should say, be considered of sufficient wisdom and power to control and mark out plans, and let it rest upon the minds of only one or two or three in regard to this particular part of the field that we have.” And the present constitution as it is provides that any five members can be a quorum when the president is present, and those five, acting as a quorum of the committee, will take steps that will involve the whole twenty-five. How could there be anything more subversive of the principles that were given to us, of the very first one given to us, which was embodied in that constitution, which was a guide in making the constitution,

and which the constitution stands for? Their reasons given for the statement are stated in that part of the sentence I read:—

“The state of things that has existed in the Conference is not clearly understood by some who occupy positions in the Conference or by others who bear responsibilities in other lines of the work. The work has been increasing; it has been growing. The light that I have had from the Lord has been expressed over and over again, not to as many as there are here to-day, but to different individuals. The plans upon which God wishes us to work have been laid down. Never should the mind of one man, or the minds of a few men, be regarded as sufficient in wisdom and power to control the work and say what plans shall be followed. The burden of the work in this broad field should not rest upon two or three men.” We are not reaching the high standard which, with the great and important truth we are handling, God expects us to reach.

“Over and over again men have said, “The voice of the Conference is the voice of God; therefore everything must be referred to the Conference. The Conference must permit or restrict in the various lines of work. As the matter has been presented to me, there is a narrow compass, and within this narrow compass, all the openings to which are locked, are those who would like to exercise kingly power. But the work carried on all over the field demands an entirely different course of action. There is need of the laying of a foundation different from the foundation which has been laid in the past. We have heard much about everything moving in the regular lines. When we see that the ‘regular lines’ are purified and refined, that they bear the mold of the God of heaven, then it will be time to endorse these lines. But when we see that message after message given by God has been received and accepted, yet no change has been made, we know that new power must be brought into the regular lines. The management of the regular lines must be entirely changed, newly organized. There must be a committee, not composed of half a dozen men, but of representatives from all lines of our work, from our publishing house, from our educational institutions, and from our sanitariums, which have life in them, which are constantly working, constantly broadening.

“I have been shown the fields which should have been opened in America. But where in California or Michigan, the two great centers of the work, is aggressive work being done? Where is seen the wrestling in new fields?

“God desires that His work shall be a rising, broadening, enlarging power. But the management of the work is becoming confused in itself.”

Notice particularly the next sentence: “Not that any one wishes to be wrong or to do wrong; but the principles are wrong.” Then follow the words: “These principles are so foreign to God’s principles that God can not bless those who work upon them. What must be done is to bring in other minds. Those who have been at work in the same channels for years have been discouraged and confused. We can not entrust to such as these the tremendous responsibilities which are now to be handled.”

Two years ago we were called away from following wrong principles that were followed before 1901. The constitution proposed to-day simply carries us back to these wrong principles; for in the constitution proposed is incorporated the principle that one man shall be president of the General Conference; and then it is so arranged that a few men shall have a voice in molding things, and acting for the whole people.

C. Santee: Brother Chairman, the section that was read in regard to the five members was not read correctly. I would call for the reading of it again. It does not say that those five shall form a quorum.

A. T. Jones (reading): “Any five members of the Executive Committee, including the president or vice-president, shall constitute a quorum.”

C. Santee: But there is no period there. Read the rest of the sentence.

A. G. Daniells: May I suggest, Brother Chairman, that Brother Jones is speaking on the general question, and is not discussing the features of the new constitution?

The Chair: He is speaking on the general principles involved.

A. T. Jones: In response to this question, I will say that the whole committee would have to outline its work for a certain length of time in order to fulfill the requirements of this constitution, and this simply can not be done for this vast, vast field that we are in charge of. But let that go. I am not discussing the constitution; I am calling your attention to what was the idea of the constitution that we have.

And now, why was the constitution made as it was? What is the constitution that we have? Read Article 4 of your constitution: “The Executive Committee of this Conference shall be twenty-five in number, and shall have power to organize itself, by choosing a chairman, secretary, treasurer, and auditor, whose duties shall be such as usually pertain to their respective offices.”

There was no president of the General Conference, you see. There was only a chairman of the committee. That was still further in the direction of what was said at College View,—that one man should not be president of the General Conference. Then, in place of that, there were departments; there was the Medical Missionary Department, put in charge of a committee, a board; there was the Educational Department, put in charge of a board to conduct that part of the work; there was a Religious Liberty Department, a Publishing Department, and so on around. These were departments, and these departments were to conduct that work, and as workers in the work; and the committee was only the committee when the committee were in session. The committee would meet in session, and would together study the work,—all the related works and interrelated works of the different departments. Then they would be the committee. Then they would separate, and each department of the work carry out that work for all that it could possibly push the work forward. But the committee was not in session. That was that arm of the committee—the educational, or otherwise, it might be.

Then, by this means, there were men in charge of each department that were what we might say—I do not mean technically, but using the word—experts in that phase of the work; and they, being called of God to that work, whether educational or medical missionary, would be qualified to push that phase of the work more efficiently, more strongly, than a set of men, however large or however small—and especially however small—could do in trying to push the whole work as one.

In Brother Butler’s speech yesterday, he called attention to the defects in the

effort, or in the plan, by which the General Conference Committee shall try to run all these departments from itself. That brings me to state that the constitution which we have has never been operative. It is not claimed at all, so far as I have heard, that it has been operative as it is; but operations were conducted under this constitution more after the old plan. As has been said, we have been operating without any constitution for two years, because this one did not apply, some way, in the plans of the one who spoke.

Now, please bear in mind, I am not in any sense calling attention to any fault, or trying to, or raising any reproach whatever against the brethren who have been at headquarters, and who have acted as a few, no more than the testimony that I read found fault with those who were there before, and went into wrong courses, because it is simply the principle that is wrong. I do not think we have any worse men, or have had the last two years, than we had the six or eight years before. I do not think we had any better men in the last two years than the men we had in the six or eight years before. I do not believe we have had any better man as president than we had as president of the General Conference from 1897 to 1901, or than we had from 1888 to 1897; but the president who was there from 1888 to 1897 landed where this says because the principle was wrong. And he who was president and those who were the committee from 1897 to 1901 came to the same point precisely as this points out, not because they were wrong, not because they were bad men, because they were good men, but following a wrong principle; and a good man can go to perdition on a wrong principle. A man can pray himself into perdition on a wrong principle. And that is what is pointed out,—not that anybody intended to be wrong, or that any one, in that sense of the word, was wrong; but the principle was wrong, and this principle carried that man wrong; it carried the committee wrong; and it carried the whole General Conference wrong; and it came to that place where the testimony of the Lord said. “The management of the work is becoming confused in itself,” and that, if continued, would come to naught.

The principle of that testimony that brought us to the present constitution, that was the guiding of the making of the present constitution, is the principle of self-government. Each church, each man, indeed, governs himself, with God, with Christ, as his own personal Head, and with no conference as his head, no church elder as his head, no Union Conference president, or any other, as his head. Jesus Christ alone is his Head; and when these form themselves into a church, Jesus Christ is the Head of that church, and the elder is not.

And that is where our organization has always been defective. We have always ordained an elder in the church when the Scriptures have called for elders in the church. Our organization will never be right, never be Scriptural, until we come to the Scripture, and ordain elders in every church. Then you have at least two elders; and who is the Head?—Jesus Christ alone, of that church. But you know the difficulty we have got into in our choosing but one elder, and he has made himself head in the place of Christ.

The objection has often been made, when I have suggested that there should be elders—at least two, as elders of the church; when I have asked that elders be chosen, the objection made is: “Oh, they would never agree; they could not get along together. Which one would be the one?” That has been the objection that has been presented to me, more than once, in answer to that Christian thing; and that shows us where our organization is wrong. That opens the way for one man to be the head of a church, and it never can be right. Jesus Christ alone is the Head of a church, and if you have one man there, he can put himself in the place of Christ; but if you have two, even with that ambition, each will be a check upon the other.

But another reason why there should be two, at least two, elders. We are commanded in the Scripture, “Is any sick among you, let him call for the elders of the church”—and in nine-tenths of the churches it is impossible for anybody to call for the “elders” of the church. for there is but one elder. He can call for the elder; that is not what the Scripture says—“Let him call for the elders, and let them pray over him, anointing with oil in the name of the Lord.” Why elders?—Because, “Where two are agreed on earth as asking anything, it shall be given them.” And when we get our organization to that point where it shall be Christian and Scriptural, elders of every church, and the members put their faith in God, and call these elders, when they are sick, we shall have the presence and the power of God in our organization, and Christ will have a chance to be the Head. So much for the church organization.

Then a number of churches of this kind organize themselves into a conference, and that conference is to govern itself, and not the churches. Self-government is in the conference, and self-governing conference committees. But the trouble has been to get them back to this old order of things, that the conference committees wanted to control the churches and everybody in them, and then the General Conference wanted to control the conferences, and everybody in the world. Nothing could be done on the other side of the earth unless they must first write to Battle Creek and get permission of the General Conference Committee. You know it went that way. But God called us away from that. And now, just as in the church, if one man is there, it is possible for him to be a one-man power; and just as certainly when there are two it puts a check on that thing; so certainly, if you have a one-man president of the conference, it is possible for there to be a one-man power. And if you do not have a one-man president of the General Conference, you make it impossible; and that is what I want. I would not trust any man on this earth with that which actually puts it into his power to be a one-man power. I want our constitutions to read so that it shall be impossible for that to be so. I would trust any of you sooner than I would trust myself with any such power.

M. C. Wilcox: How about Union Conferences and State Conferences, Brother Jones?

A. T. Jones: If the General Conference can set the right example, the Union Conference and State Conference will have something to follow. But that is not before; General Conference constitution. General Conference affairs are before us now.

Watson Zeigler: Is not the General Conference constitution, as a rule, the local conference constitution?

A. T. Jones: A model, to be sure. Now, following that a little further, the conference committee is a self-governing committee. It counsels for

itself and governs for itself. It does not counsel for the other man. The General Conference Committee can not get together in Oakland, for instance, and counsel for somebody in Fresno. It will get together and counsel for ourselves alone, and let the man in Fresno alone. If we get around where he is, we will counsel with him, but never counsel for him, or assign something for him to do when he does not know anything about it. The conference committee governs for itself, acts for itself, attends to its own business, and lets other people’s business alone. The Union Conference committee itself is a self-governing committee. It governs itself, not the conferences, not any of the churches, nobody in the conference. The General Conference Committee is to be a self-governing committee, not to govern any other conference. or anybody at all but itself. And this constitution opens the way for the committee—I do not say that the members intend it—it opens the way for them to encroach and govern somebody besides themselves. What I am after is that we shall have a constitution that shall everlastingly make that thing impossible; and the present constitution does it, for it is a committee, and elects its own chairman.

Another thing: Brother Magan said something about church history. Please remember that was the first organization of the church. The elders met as equals. One was chosen chairman, and simply making the chairmanship perpetual is what bred the Papacy. That is the historical truth. It is proper to have a presiding officer, proper to have a chairman of the meeting; but when you perpetuate that thing, and that officer begins to claim it as his right, and, if you don’t elect him chairman next time, feels that you have dropped him, and so on. you have the spirit of the Papacy, though it is not yet developed. So I say again, that is the way the church began the chairmanship only of assembled elders, for there were a number of them; and the making of that chairmanship perpetual is what bred that which is to-day the Papacy. I don’t say that these brethren mean that, but I say simply what this testimony said,—in this there are things that the responsible ones have not realized and do not realize, and we want to learn it and look it in the face, and not put ourselves in the way where it will be possible to have this thing repeated.

Last year the Pacific Union Conference organized; at the same time the Pacific Union Medical Missionary Association was organized. The Pacific Union Medical Missionary Association took these very principles I am calling your attention to, and which were set before us in the Pacific Union Conference. It took those principles as the model for the organization of the Pacific Union Medical Missionary Conference. And the “Testimonies” speaking to us on the medical missionary work touched this same principle, and required that there should not be a ruling power in the medical missionary work, but each individual should be free. and each institution free.

Then that, swinging back as instruction for General Conference affairs, tells us that each department of this cause shall be free, not bound, even to the Mission Board. I have no objection to the General Conference Committee being the Mission Board, or some department being the Mission Board, and so on. But when this thing comes, that the whole Conference is the Mission Board, and then the Mission Board is to be made of a few to carry on the work all the time, and one man is president of that board, then you swing back to one or two or three men, or a few, to have the molding of this vast field that is before you.

I believe there should be no one-man power in the medical missionary work; and I believe when our constitution makes it impossible for that thing to be done in conference work, we had better let that constitution stand, and not swing it back to where we were called from by the Lord.

“To the leaders in the medical missionary work I must say that no one is to claim kingly power over God’s heritage in the medical missionary work.” I say, Amen; you say, Amen, for the medical missionary work.

Voices: Yes, or for any other work.

A. T. Jones: Now that is best for all the Conference, so come along. God’s people are to be under Him, and Him alone. There is one Shepherd, and He has one flock. “The Lord knows the future.” Of course we can trust the brethren who are here now, because we are here now. But there are people coming afterward. God sees the future. He is calling us in another direction from the way this new constitution is proposed; and what I ask for is that we shall keep our eyes and our steps and our faces in that direction, and not turn back to Egypt and Babylon, which this testimony points out. Think of it, on the road toward a kingly power, “confused in itself,” kingly power in the church!

That testimony that came to us from the Lord, that called us away from the other thing, and made our present constitution, and called us to better things, as it tended again to the Papacy and to Babylon, and, if it went on, it would come to nothing. We don’t want to go in that direction. We don’t want to take any step that will make it possible to go in that direction. “The Lord knows the future. He is the One to lead, and trusted in to guide, to guard, and direct in the future development of the various branches of His work. For several years I have been warned that there is danger, constant danger, of men looking to men for permission to do this or that, instead of looking to God for themselves.” And when you make it so that it is impossible for them to do that, without going clear out of their way, then we are in the right direction; and when you make it so that it is possible for them to come and grow up this way, we are started in the wrong direction. Thus they become weaklings, bound about with human ties that God has not ordained.

“The Lord can impress minds and consciences to do His work under bonds to God, and in a brotherly fraternity that will be in accordance with His laws.” “Each institution is to stand in its own responsibility.” Then why is not each phase of the work, the medical missionary work, the educational work, the publishing work, to stand in its own individual responsibility, and all be unified under bonds to God in a brotherly fraternity that will be in accordance with His law?

“They will increase in strength and influence if they follow the light God has given.... It is best for every sanitarium to stand in its own responsibility.” Other things are included in the next paragraph: “The kingly power formerly exhibited in General Conference is not to be perpetuated.” Then we can not afford to have a constitution that looks toward or makes it possible for that to be done by mistake. The

principle, we are told, is wrong. Not that the men are wilfully wicked; not that they are wicked at all. They are our brethren; but we have had that twice repeated, and God calls us away from it. I do not want to risk it a third time, even with one of my brethren.

“The kingly power formerly exhibited in the General Conference is not to be perpetuated. The publishing work is not to be a kingdom in itself. It is essential that the principles that govern in General Conference affairs should be maintained in the management of the publishing work and the sanitarium work.”

Very good. What are the principles of the sanitarium work?—That each institution, each part of it, shall stand upon its own individual responsibility, under bonds to God alone, and all working together in a brotherly fraternity, according to God’s law.

This present constitution organized us in departments, and that same principle, carried back through medical missionary work to General Conference affairs, says that each department shall stand upon its own responsibility, and they will be coordinate branches, departments, each one carrying on the work that God has given to it, and that has been distributed to it; and that is working together in a brotherly fraternity that will be according to God’s law. And there will be more unity; there will be more harmony; there will be more good cheer; and there will be infinitely more work done in that way than ever has been done or ever can be done by this other method.

If that constitution had been followed strictly in the spirit, and as it was intended, and as these principles call for, we would have been far more than two years ahead of where we are to-day; if they had been followed the last two years. I say, we would be far ahead of where we are to-day.

Now the question was asked a while ago: What is the committee for? What is its work?—Its work is to work, and not try to boss somebody else that is at work, whether conference committee, Union Conference Committee. General Conference Committee, or what not, and not try to superintend somebody else at work, but to work, so that, when the committee meets, we meet as a committee; state conference, we meet as a committee. We study the work; each one comes in from his field, and in committee he reports the conditions in his field, reports the needs of that field, and then all report. We study it together, and discuss it together,—our own work, and not somebody’s else. Then, when the committee is adjourned, we go out to carry on our own work, and not try to see whether somebody else is doing his work right. And when one of the committee men out in the field meets a crisis, he does not sit down and write up to somebody at headquarters, and ask him what he shall do. He calls in responsible men in that place, in that community, who are upon the ground, and counsels with them, brings them into the work, and gets them interested in the work, and carries on the work there with the men who are there.

Now I am not talking at random. In my ignorance I thought that this constitution meant what these principles of organization called us unto, and because of that ignorance, and being brought into conference work over here. I did not know any better than to go ahead and do my best to carry them out. And, whatever you may think, whatever credit anybody may be ready to give to anything that has been done in California for spreading abroad the work in other fields, please give the credit to the principles contained in that document; for I have used it from the first day that I began official work in this conference two years ago. The first thing I did was to get together the people and read to them that. Then, just as soon as possible, we got all the workers in the conference together. and held a convention of five weeks. and I read that to them. Then we made it our study, and the guide in our work, in our councils, in committees; and in that convention we took up the conference work first, and the educational work, and the medical missionary work, and the business affairs of the conference, all the business of the institutions in the conference; and we all studied it together.

Now there is a defect, that which Brother Cady asked for in the educational work, that the educators should meet and consider all together the work to be carried on in the educational line. That is good, if we can not get anything better; but it is far better to have the conference workers, and the medical missionary department, and the publishing department meet with the educational department, and to have all the departments meet together, and study the educational work, and then study the medical missionary work and the publishing work—all to work together. Then, when they separate, all can work together, though they be ten thousand miles apart.

This is the principle of this document I hold before you, and we read and studied over and over, and this it is that has given to us the success we have had in the work in California.

Some one may say, “Are you not the president of the California Conference?” Yes, and No, too.

Allen Moon: How many of the presidents of conferences have ever had that document in their hands?

A. T. Jones: Probably you can all answer, possibly none. I do not know; but in the providence of God I had it in my hands, and so have used it all the time.

Allen Moon: I never saw it or heard it before.

A. T. Jones: It was spoken there. It is not for me or the committee to publish it. It was for the author of it to publish it, and so we can not lay any blame to anybody for that.

Now, brethren, these are some of the things wherein the present constitution is better than the one that is proposed; only give it a chance. And by two years’ practice, by two years’ application of it, by two years’ study of it, I can certify, and so can the brethren in this conference, so can the college brethren, the sanitarium brethren, all can certify that it is a splendid success, if you will only give it a chance. That is why I would be with the minority of the committee not to sweep that constitution clear out of the way before it has had any adequate chance to have a place and be put in operation throughout the field in General Conference work.

And now the situation would be this, if the present constitution that we have shall be followed: The Conference Committee is based on twenty-five, and all departments of the work are represented upon the committee. Then it organizes itself, and brings in men to make larger and stronger each department than it would be by only the men of that department who are on the committee. Then that brings in many more men to carry on this vast work. It would be like this: Suppose that Conference Committee were elected at this Conference. Before they leave here, while they are

all together, they would sit down and study the work—all departments of the work—and unify in principle and in information, and then they would separate, and each one would go to his place, wherever it may be, ready to carry on and drive the work through in all lines. It is not enough that I shall belong to the Educational Department, and push the educational work. I must belong to the Educational Department and push the medical missionary work, and I must belong to the conference work and the publishing work, and push those lines. Each one is to push all. But how can you have it if each department must be organized and stand off apart from the committee even, and must ask for a place to be organized. To my mind that is an awful thing that the Educational Committee shall have to stand in the conference and ask for such an organization as will give them a chance to meet. That is what they have been doing these two years.

Now here we are. Suppose we elect twenty-five under the present constitution. Then these separate to their places of work. Then suppose, this being spring, suppose in October—perhaps not from all the world, for in Europe they could meet there; in this country all who are here could meet in October, in Minneapolis, College View, St. Louis, somewhere around—away from Battle Creek—meet there, and spend two or three days in the study of the evangelical work, the preaching of the gospel, actually preaching it, so that we shall have Christ in it first and last and all the time.

In our convention in San Francisco last year, there was developed in a little while, by our lessons, in studying together, that the best, the right way to preach the truth, the third angel’s message, was to have Christ the first and the last and the all in every subject that we preach. Then we said, “Please show how to do it.” And we did not have one man get up and show how to do it. We had each minister and licentiate, from the oldest minister to the youngest licentiate, get up on the platform and take the second of Daniel, and preach it with Christ in it from the beginning to the end, all the time; and take the nature of man, and show how he would preach it, and if he did not know how, do the best he could, and those who did know how suggest and help him, working together as brethren to get a view of the field, that we might, as we went abroad, preach every line of truth, every subject of our message, with Christ in it first and last and all the time. We have not been used to anything of that kind; we have been preaching the message, and preaching Christ the all and in all of it. And each one is to study the educational work, and the medical missionary line, and to study the publishing line, all together, the principles of it, the needs of it, how best to push it. Then take two or three days to study the medical missionary work, and the principles of that, and the organization of that, and all concerning it, and the best way that every one can push that; and so on all around the whole field covered. In my experience nothing has ever occurred that so unified the brethren and their ideas in the work, and their working together, as that one thing has done. That has in the nature of things got to do it.

Geo. F. Watson: What would you do with a man that would not preach just as the committee thought he should?

A. T. Jones: Let him preach the gospel. I do not know what is in that question; but you all know what to do. A man is not to preach for the committee; he is not employed by the committee; he does not belong to the committee. He preaches for Jesus Christ; he belongs to Jesus Christ; and the committee must belong to Jesus Christ, and serve Christ, and let the other man alone, and let him preach the gospel which Christ gives. You all know that. As I say, let that be done now; and in October let them meet, and then the next spring meet again somewhere, get together again, and study further. Each one will be growing all this time; and thus there will be three meetings, in a large sense, of the committee before the two years pass, and each one of them will be simply taking advance steps, and pushing the work that much harder and that much more.

This is what is in the present constitution, when you will give it a chance to work. That is the difficulty. That was the trouble. I was not wanted particularly as president of the California Conference, thank the Lord. And so I said. Yes, and, No. But one reason of that was, one special reason was, I did not have executive ability. I thank the Lord for that, and give other people a chance to have a little all the time. But the one great thing was, and the only philosophy—I will not say the only philosophy, but the philosophy of my being president of the California Conference, or of anything at all—was simply this; these principles I have been preaching all these years, that you know of, all over this land, and beyond, and in a whole lot of places it was said, “Oh, well, that is good preaching, and those are fine principles ‘A. T.’ gets off, but they are not practical.” And it was said on the California camp-ground, where I was called to that place, “Yes, ‘A. T.’ gets off pretty good principles; that looks all right; but can he make them work?” Thank the Lord, he can not, because these principles are divine, and nobody can make them work but God. All that is wanted is that they shall have recognition. All that is wanted is that they shall be given a place, and they themselves will work out themselves. That has been demonstrated wherever it has been accepted. It has demonstrated itself in the college work; it has demonstrated itself in the sanitarium work; it has demonstrated itself in the conference work, wherever it has had a chance to be recognized. It does demonstrate itself; so I do not see any use of my being president of anything ever any more on the earth, and next week I expect to quit.

There is something in that I want to call your attention to; and, brethren, it is high time that we should give sanction to a better idea of things than that to do our best work we must be president of something. There is a better ambition; there is a better example to set before our young men who are in the schools, and are coming into the tent work this season; there is a better example, there is a better ambition to set before them than the idea that the best work they can ever do is to be president of something. No, sir; let the presidency go as fast as it can, and thank the Lord that we got rid of it in the General Conference affairs; let us hold that advantage, and not go back to Egypt, and get the blessedness to be found in the operation of this constitution; and let it come gradually. I would not suggest to anybody to sweep away all presidencies; but let it come as God may guide us in it; but where the Lord has led us that step, where He has shown us the advantage in it, let us hold that advantage under God, and let Him lead us on in whatever way

He may choose. So I do not propose any wreckage; I do not propose to run everything wild; I simply ask that this constitution that we have, that was given to us as the exposition, the embodying of the principles to which God called us, I ask that it shall be given a fair place in the General Conference affairs before it be annihilated.

The Chair: Before any one speaks, I wish to offer a suggestion or two that will save much discussion, I am sure, I wish to call your attention to the last word used in the minority report, and the connection in which it is used. One statement was twice made by the last speaker as to sweeping that constitution clear out of the way, referring to the constitution of 1901. With those thoughts in mind, you take your pencil and the constitution of 1901, and follow me. Take your pencil and mark the first article.

The name is exactly as before in the present proposed amendment. It is not a new constitution, brethren, as you will see when I note these things. It is not new at all; it is only an amendment.

Article 1 remains the same. Article 2 is in principle exactly the same, only the phraseology.

A. T. Jones: Beg pardon; beg pardon!

The Chair: Treat it, then, as one on which there is some dissent.

Now the title of Article 3,—“Membership,”—Sections 1, 2, 3, in the present constitution is in the new proposal or the amended one. That brings us down to Article 4, under the title “Executive,” in this present constitution. The first clause in Section 1 reads in the revised constitution, from the close of the first clause in Section 1 to the close of that sentence it reads, “and shall have power to organize itself by choosing a chairman, secretary, treasurer, and auditor, whose duties shall be such as usually pertain to their respective offices.” That is not in the new—just that. The other part of that paragraph, which reads. “It shall also have the power to appoint all necessary agents and committees for the conduct of the work.” is in the new. That portion in this section that is left out—I wish you to note that it is left out of the new one, but is in the present one—allows the committee itself to organize itself, and this small number that so much is said about,—just the committee of twenty-five, only a small number compared with this great congregation, the whole body of people,—to elect a treasurer, and to elect a secretary. In the new one we propose that all the people shall do this,—a larger thing.

Section 2, following that, is exactly the same in the new proposed constitution, or the revised one.

Article 5, Sections 1 and 2, are exactly the same in the newly-proposed one. Under the article “Trustees,” that is in the new exactly the same, without any change. Article 7, “By-laws,” the authority for having by-laws, under 7 and 8, 7 is intact in the proposed one. The present constitution says in Section 8 that it takes a three-fourths vote—and it will take it to-day—to change this constitution; and, if we change it to-day, we have got to have a three-fourths vote. The proposition in the new is that it shall take two-thirds; two-thirds can change it any time you want to. I did think this should be change; it gives it to the people.

Take the by-laws, Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,—all intact. Section 6, that simply said that we should hold the meetings in the summer—we simply cut it out, because we are holding it in the spring.

Now, brethren, I want to tell you there is not such a tremendous sweeping away of the old constitution as on might suppose. True, we have enlarged it, because this does not provide anything at all about financial matters. We have enlarged upon it, we will admit it and I think it is a great deal better I did not mean to make that statement: I want to take that back. But they are the facts.

W. C. White: I did hope to avoid any part in the discussion regarding this constitution, but as principles have been referred to, and as the instruction given to us in the Conference of ‘96 and the beginning of ‘97, and the instruction given us at the last Conference in 1901, have been referred to. I feel that it is my duty to call attention to some of the needs of reform which were called for, and which we have endeavored to institute in harmony with that instruction, and to point out a principle which we must study to-day in the discussion of this constitution. The statement was made that the kingly power should not be repudiated. The statement was made that the work had become complicated, confused in itself. Now it is worthy of our study to consider how it became confused in itself, and what the method of simplification was to be. Now consider the facts, brethren. We were operating then under the plan of strong departmental organizations, each one seeking world-wide control. We had our General Conference; we had our International Tract Society, our International Sabbath-school Association, our International Medical Missionary Association, and various lines of departments, each one seeking world-wide control in its branch of the work, and there was no ample provisions made for union. There is where the complication largely came in. It was through this world-wide departmental work. What was the remedy proposed?—That every leading enterprise should be represented on the General Conference Committee, and that the field be divided so that every line of workers in every field would link their hands and hearts and interests in one community of work in that locality. Now there is very much in the principles presented by Brother Jones and his illustrations of church work that are helpful to us to see this very point.

He gave you the church as an illustration, and I want you to see how nicely it works, brethren. In the church we have the elders, and deacons, and librarians, and Sabbath-school secretaries, and nurses. We have different lines of work in the church. They receive suggestions; they get information from any source from which they can receive it; but they meet together and counsel together as a body of workers for that locality, and then they work in that locality under the counsel of one another. That makes a unity of work. And what a contrast it is from the work when we were under the departmental management! In the olden day the Sabbath-school held itself as independent from the church: frequently there was conflict between the church officers and the Sabbath-school officers; the medical workers, receiving direction from headquarters, and not realizing their relation to other workers in the church, carried on their work independently. And so, while we worked under the departmental plan, there was continual confusion in the local work. But reorganization, you see, means self-government. Each individual is to become intelligent, and to be able to work in many lines of work. Each church is to become a unit, and every worker, elder, deacon, Sabbath-school worker, officer, colporter, nurse,

whoever it is in that church, is to unite with the other workers in that church in planning, and then the work is to be a united work.

So, then, we go to the conference; and the expert workers in the conference are to receive counsel from whomsoever they can receive it. They are to receive education from whomsoever is capable to give them the education. But when they come to work, instead of working, each one, from orders of a departmental head that is outside of his conference, they meet together as a company, just as Brother Jones has described; they counsel together; they plan together; and they prepare to go into the field. They are a unit; the whole conference is a unit in spirit and in its work.

Then we go to the Union Conference, and we have the same condition. Every branch of the work is represented on the Union Conference Committee. When the Union Conference Committee comes together for counsel, every branch is represented,—publishing, educational, medical, Sabbath-school, religious liberty; these are all branches. What is the head? What is the body? you may say, the heart? Why, the evangelical work is the work of the conference, and all these branches are auxiliary to the evangelical work; so far they are parts of the body.

Then you pass from the Union Conference to the General Conference, and in the General Conference Committee you have all the departments represented. All meet together in counsel; plans are made; and these are carried out by all members of the committee.

Brethren, an appeal has been made to hold to the principles presented to us two years ago. In harmony with those principles, it was agreed that all departmental organizations should be effected by the General Conference Committee, and that those departmental organizations should be advisory to the committee, and not executive.

Now we come up to this year, and we have a proposition from the publishing brethren that this publishing department be constituted differently, and that it be so constituted that it can work without reference to the General Conference Committee. We have a proposition from the Educational Committee that its department be constituted in a different way, so that it may stand more as an independent, self-governing, world-wide department.

It seems to me that we must watch this thing, and that we must keep this in mind, in adopting our constitution, and that we should bear in mind that the remedy of our confusion is not to come through the organizing of strong departments, and giving them independent—yes, largely independent—authority to operate throughout the world; but the remedy for our confusion is to strengthen the union in every locality, strengthen it in my individual heart, strengthen it in my church, strengthen it in my conference, strengthen it in my Union Conference.

And when we have done that, what is there left for a General Conference to do?—Why, the General Conference has to look after the mission fields; the General Conference, by this system of organization, is forced to become a mission board; and our General Conference must leave institutional work alone. We do not want any General Conference printing houses; we do not want any General Conference schools; we do not want any General Conference sanitariums. Our General Conference is to leave institutional work alone, and let Union Conferences attend to the work of their Union Conference. And the only thing that is left for the General Conference Committee is to do the mission work; and I pray God that its full strength may be given to that part of the work.

I was glad to hear what Brother Jones read, and I want to read a part of it again, and perhaps a few sentences that he omitted will come in here. I wish you to notice them. These additional sentences will make some of the points I am speaking of more clear.

The following is an extract from a letter written in 1902: “The division of the General Conference into District Union Conferences was God’s arrangement. In the work of the Lord in these last days there should be no Jerusalem centers, no kingly power. And the work in the different countries is not to be tied up by contracts to the work centering in Battle Creek, for this is not God’s plan. Brethren are to counsel together; for we are just as much under the control of God in one part of His vineyard as in another. Brethren are to be one in heart and soul, even as Christ and the Father are one.”

I want to suggest, brethren, that there can be kingly power exercised in a departmental organization just as much as in a General Conference organization. And when you get two or three kings operating in the same territory, you are a lot worse off than when you have one.

Jerusalem centers are referred to, Brethren, does not that mean that we need no Jerusalem centers for Departmental headquarters? Does it not mean that we are to make the Sabbath-school work strong in every Union Conference? that we are to make the educational work strong in every Union Conference? that we are to make the publishing work strong in every Union Conference? that we are to make the medical missionary work strong in every Union Conference? I believe that is what it means; and this, to my mind, places me where I believe that I can not work for these strong departments, these departmental organizations and departmental propositions.

I will read further: “The kingly power formerly exhibited in the General Conference at Battle Creek is not to be perpetuated. The publishing institution is not to be a kingdom of itself. It is essential that the principles that govern in General Conference affairs shall be maintained in the managements of the publishing work and the sanitarium work. [I understand that the principle referred to is the organization of the work into Union Conferences.] No one is to consider that the branch of the work with which he is connected is of vastly more importance than other branches.”

Brethren, I believe that we want to take a broad view of this work of organization. And when we study the articles in this constitution, if we find that which conflicts with what has been laid before us, let us see that every such thing is remedied.

I do not think that there is very much in a name. When you say that your president shall act as “chairman,” that his duties are to act as chairman. I understand it is simply putting the business where he can use the title usually carried by such a position; and when we specify distinctly that his duty shall be to act as chairman of the committee, and he shall do as the committee advises, we make him the servant of the committee. He is not a king, but a servant; and I pray God that he shall be a faithful servant, who shall not attempt to use kingly power.

A. G. Daniells: I think there must be some misunderstanding here among us regarding the question before us. I should like to help remove that misunderstanding, so far as I can. At the last General Conference I took some little part in what we called “reorganization.” I did not take any part to speak of in framing the constitution. I have never been wedded very much to a constitution as such. My greatest interest has been in the living thing, the organization, the work. I can not feel that there is salvation in a good constitution and damnation in a bad one. I do not see that myself. I think the thing is in men; it is in the living thing, and not simply in the form.

Brother Jones and I have worked together these past two years quite pleasantly in this matter of reorganization. We have both had the document he has read from,—Sister White’s talk at the last General Conference. I have read it to dozens of conference committees and in conference gatherings, have made it a constant study, and I am sure that there is some misunderstanding, not a difference of view in the real principle. There may be, but I hardly think so.

From the expression that is made both in the minority report and in Brother Jones’ remarks, it is plain there is some misunderstanding. The minority report says we should not annihilate the present constitution. Brother Jones begs of us that we shall not annihilate it. Now, brethren, it is not annihilation; it is incorporation, incorporation bodily, with the exception of about four lines. So there is a misunderstanding with reference to what we are doing with the constitution. It is all being taken in this proposed revision, all of it, excepting three or four lines.

Another thing: Brother Jones refers to the departmental organizations and work that he has been trying to carry out under the present constitution. But now here is where he and I misunderstand each other: I have read this present (old) constitution with a good deal of care, and I find no direction in it, no provision, for the organization of departments,—departmental work. I do not find it there at all; but I believe that this departmental work is the right principle, as was set before us, notwithstanding the constitution does not give us any direction on it. So there is a matter of misunderstanding.

Again, with reference to this committee of five that is referred to,—the work of the General Conference Committee really being focused in five men. I am sure there is a misunderstanding on that point. You read it carefully, and you will see that it is carefully guarded: “Any five members of the Executive Committee, including the president or vice-president, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of such business as is in harmony with the general plans outlined by the committee, but the concurrence of four members shall be necessary to pass any measure before the committee.”

Perhaps that ought not to be in there. I never urged it; but I did set before this house, and before the General Conference Committee, the difficulty we have found ourselves in during the past year.

Now I believe, brethren, that we must look at conditions. We face conditions, and not theories. We have to deal with what is before us, and not altogether with an ideal condition or ideal situation. When we get to heaven, we will not be doing a great many things that we are doing here. We shall have very different conditions, and we will be in an ideal state, and we can live ideally then; but while we are here in this world, and are facing conditions, we have to meet those conditions in the best way possible to carry on the work God has given us. I do not say by that that we are to sacrifice principles, or adopt wrong methods; but you may survey the whole work of the gospel, and the whole work of organization set forth in the Pentateuch, and you will see that God designed His people to carry on the work by thorough organization and discipline, such as we will not have when we get into a thoroughly ideal state with different conditions. Now with reference to five members being authorized to transact business. My idea was this: The committee will be world-wide. It will represent all parts of the world, all branches of the work; and when it has studied its work the best it can, and made the best arrangements possible, then it will disband. The members of the committee will go to their own homes, and then what is to be done? There is a work to be done. There is executive and administrative work to be done by some person or persons. Letters come from India, from Africa, and they have to be dealt with. Calls come; demands come; every day we are living there are living problems cropping up. Somebody has to meet those problems, and meet them right on the spot. We can not take our seats, and keep still the whole year. We have to deal with living problems. Now, who is going to do it? What is your Executive Committee? It must be some number whom you will agree upon that will be placed in charge of that. Now, last year we made no provision adequate for that, and my experience has taught me that wisdom in our arrangements means that we shall provide some sort of executive that can take these things that come up day by day, and, as far as possible, in harmony with the general principles and general policy, decide upon them and deal with them; not to adopt any revolutionary measures, not to become a set of rulers to take the thing out of the hands of the people, but in a business way to deal with these problems that come up. My thought was, when the president comes to the Pacific Coast, he has the island matters and the missionary problems connected with this union. He has the various things here. Let him, with four or five members that he may find here, sit down and deal with the problems that are on hand in this part, and help all they can. Then when they get into the Central states, let four or five men get together, and help each other out. And then on the Atlantic Coast the same way; and in Europe the same way. I do not care how you fix it in detail, if it is only arranged so that your chairman or your executive there shall be made some kind of provision for cooperation. Why, brethren, the whole proposition, as I have it, is to take responsibility off from a man and distribute it just as far as possible among his colleagues, so that the work of the General Conference is not in this centered in the hands of four or five men. It is only to deal with those problems which are cropping up and must receive attention, and to provide help for your chairman or executive.

Now one more point, and that is with reference to the quotation that a president shall not be selected. Now, personally, I never urged that; I never urged such a thing, or urged the change of name or anything of that kind, but I did say and I do feel that some of these men who bear large

responsibilities should be selected by the largest number of people that have that work in hand.

Voices: “Amen.”

You have your treasurer. He is a man who handles from half a million to a million dollars a year. He gets money from all over the United States and the world; and I fell that that man should be selected by the people, and not by the Conference Committee of twenty-five. And with reference to the chairman: I believe whether you call him president, or call him chairman, it matters not to me, but I do believe that it is consistent for the whole delegation to select that man. Now in the reorganization two years ago, I will say that at that time I did not advocate this principle, or this policy, or this proposition, that the chairman should be selected by the committee. I know some brethren have brought this up now within a day or two, that that was my proposition, but that was not. You may read the “Bulletin” through, and you will find it was not my position at all. I was occupying the chair when the proposition was brought up. A statement was read, just as Brother Jones read here to-day: “It is not wise to choose one man as president of the General Conference.” I never had read that, and did not know the connection. I made no argument that was against it, but as soon as I could find the statement I read all that pertains to it, all that the article deals with, and I want to read a little more of it here to you this afternoon:—

“It is not wise to choose one man as president of the General Conference The work”—[now, why?]—“the work of the General Conference has extended, and some things have been made unnecessarily complicated. A want of discernment has been shown. There should be a division of the field, or some other plan should be devised, to change the present order of things. The president of the General Conference should have the privilege of deciding who shall stand by his side as counselors.” That statement follows the one above. Now, I judge from that that the thought is that there will be a president of General Conference, but that the field will be divided up so that he will not have the large burden of details that have been falling upon him. That is the thought I got from it. Then it goes on and tells of his work, and how it should be, and lays it out; and then it goes further: “I have the word of the Lord that presidents of conferences”—state conferences; and taking it all the way through, so far as I can see, it recognizes all the principles of organization that this people adopted away back forty years ago. And as I understand it, the instruction was to decentralize responsibilities and details, and place them in the hands of a larger number of men. Now, in our work of reorganization, this is just what we have endeavored to do. Instead of having the details of General Conference organization centering at Battle Creek, we have been trying all the year to push them out, back on to the Union and local conferences, where they belong, and to put departmental work in the hands of committees especially appointed for that purpose. And so the General Conference has practically become an advisory mission board. I believe that it is just as natural as the rising of the sun. and I see no violation of these principles. If I could see it, I am sure, as my heart feels, I would rise up against it.

Now, since this question has come up, I have been reading somewhat in the instruction that is given to this people regarding organization. And, as far as I can see, the line we have been moving on in this work of reorganization is in perfect harmony with the principles of organization brought out forty years ago. And I will say further, brethren, I do not see that the general idea of organization and reorganization of two years ago set aside, or set at naught, one principle of organization that was given to this people years ago. It did undo some of the complications that came in, because we failed to adjust our affairs as our work grew. But the principles are left intact. Now here I read: “With Seventh-day Adventists organization was not so much a matter of choice as of necessity. It was first entered into very cautiously, by some, and reluctantly by others. And as numbers have increased, and missionary fields have opened before us, we have all come to prize our simple, and, to human, view, complete organization.... The permanency of the cause and united effort of all our people to push the work forward, depend upon the establishment and maintenance of order. And this can not be done without proper organization. But organization exists only in form when the offices of such organization are trampled underfoot. Our General Conference is the highest earthly authority with our people, and is designed to take charge of the entire work in this and other countries.” Thus, away back there, at the very beginning, the idea was that the General Conference should be a mission board primarily, that should take charge of the work in all countries. Again I read:—

“Evil does not result from organization, but because of making organization everything, and vital godliness of little moment. When form and machinery take the preeminence, and a laborious task is made of carrying on the work that should be done in simplicity, evil will result, and little will be accomplished in proportion to the effort put forth. The object of organization is just the reverse of this; and should we disorganize, it would be like tearing down that we build up.” “The system of organization has proved a grand success. Systematic benevolence was entered into according to the Bible plan. The body ‘has been compacted by that which every joint supplieth.’ As we have advanced, our system of organization has still proved effectual. In some parts of the work, it is true, the machinery has been made too complicated.”

Now, two years ago we endeavored to simplify the machinery, and to leave out some of the parts, just in harmony with this statement here and the instruction that came to us; but it did not do away with any of the vital features, or overthrow any of the real principles of organization that we have.

“The business of our Conference sessions has sometimes been burdened down with propositions and resolutions that were not at all essential.”

Now, that is a thing that the conferences must remember. When our General Conference becomes the Mission Board, they are not to keep dragging into the General Conference details of business that belong to our Union Conferences. So we will reform according to this instruction:—

“Let none entertain the thought, however, that we can dispense with organization. It has cost us much study, and many prayers for wisdom

that we know God has answered, to erect this structure. It has been built up by His direction, through much sacrifice and conflict. Let none of our brethren be so deceived as to attempt to tear it down; for you will thus bring in a condition of things that you do not dream of. In the name of the Lord, I declare to you that it is to stand, strengthened, established, and settled. At God’s command, ‘Go forward,’ we advanced when the difficulties to be surmounted made the advance seem impossible. We know how much it has cost to work out God’s plan in the past, which has made us as a people what we are. Then let every one be exceedingly careful not to unsettle minds in regard to these things that God has ordained for our prosperity and success in advancing His cause.”

I do not think that-I should take time to say any more; but I assure you, brethren, I do not want to see anything done that will bring injury to this cause, so far as this sort of work is concerned. And I do not feel like pressing anything. I begged of our committee to be exceedingly careful, and to study this with great care. And the reason why it has come late is because it has received the greatest consideration, the most deliberate study and action all the way through. And I do not see the danger and the harm in this that our brethren speak of. I do not chide them; but, of course, we all want to have accorded to us all this honesty of purpose and this desire to advance the cause that any one desires for himself.

Voices: Elder Butler.

George I. Butler: I feel quite free in coming up to speak on this subject, in view of the fact that our brethren have called me, without any action of my own. This is unexpected to me.

I have been listening with very deep interest to this discussion, especially our three dear brethren who spoke first on this subject. I do not know that it is necessary for me to say I love all these brethren, every one of them. There is not a delegate here—in fact, I do not know of anybody in the world—but what I love. I do not hate anybody. I do not want to harm anybody. I believe I love liberty as much as any man on earth. I claim freedom of opinion for myself. I claim the right of thinking for myself. I claim the right to believe what I choose to believe for myself, and I am just as willing that my brethren should have the same privilege.

I have heard some things in the discussion that have rather surprised me. I presume one reason the brethren called out for Brother Butler was because he has got to be, it seems, one of the old hands. Brother Loughborough, Brother Haskell, and I are, in a certain sense, among the old hands, perhaps as much as anybody now living, excepting Sister White, of course; and we can remember, Brother Loughborough, some things that most of these brethren can not, as sure as you live.

J. N. Loughborough: True.

George I. Butler: There have been thoughts expressed by some brethren that I dearly love as though the matter of organization—this was to be a stepping-stone—removing some of its difficulties, with the understanding, as it seems to me, that others were to be set aside, and so on, until, how much was left? Our brethren did not define it, but it looked to me as though the thing was dissolution; that would be satisfactory to them. (E. J. Waggoner: “Oh, no.”) I do not know how far, because they did not define it. But it seemed as though steps were being taken in that direction. That surprised me, and it revealed to me this one fact, that these dear brethren do not know the difficulties that we had before organization.

Now, why do we have to have organization? As I view it, things had gotten to be in such an awful condition, distress and disorder, confusion and lack of any opportunity to tell who we were, and what was what in the denomination, that it was absolutely necessary that organization be effected.

Now, there was at that time, as I well know, for my mother embraced the truth in 1848. and my father in 1851: though I was but a youth, I was watching things tolerably closely all the while. I saw Brother and Sister White about 1850, at my father’s house. They were there quite a number of times. Elder Andrews and I were the very dearest of friends, and he lived in Waukon. where I then lived; and when this subject of organization came up, though I had no particular part in it, as dear Brother Loughborough had, for he was then a part of it. yet I was very conversant with the things of the past. I remember when Elder Andrews organized the church at Waukon, which was one among the first churches organized; and so I became very conversant with what was being said at that time.

I remember another circumstance. I should have said that there was a feeling among our brethren in many places very much against organization, when the thought was first presented by Brother White and others that we must perfect an organization to meet the difficulties that existed at that time; and a good many of our dear brethren and sisters thought it was going back to Babylon. Is not that so, Brother Loughborough?

J. N. Loughborough: They said so; building a tower.

George I. Butler: I will tell you another fact that Brother Loughborough will remember, and, I presume, others will remember it. Our good Brother R. F. Cottrell, now sleeping in Jesus, a dear, noble, godly man he was, too, got so worked up on the subject of organization that he wrote an article for the “Review,” that was published, I remember reading it, in which he came out quite strongly against the idea of organization. Am I not correct, Brother Loughborough?

J. N. Loughborough: Yes, you are.

George I. Butler: Brother White, who at that time held a very important position, a leader in our work, a man to whom we all looked, whose judgment had been shown on many occasions, was very earnest in this matter, feeling that it was the only hope for our people to get order brought back among them, so that we could meet the difficulties that confronted us. He felt quite badly that Brother Cottrell should have written that article in the “Review.” and he came out in a sort of review of it; and, if I have not forgotten. Sister White also spoke in regard to the subject—is not that so, Brother Loughborough? (“Yes, sir.”)—in which Brother Cottrell’s position. standing in the way of organization that we were just endeavoring to perfect—he was quite severely censured for taking those positions that he did. and thus appealing to the sentiment then quite prevalent on the subject of organization, that there was danger of going into Babylon; and he was reproved for this by the Testimonies, of thus hindering the work of

organization. So Brother Cottrell, of course, kept quiet on that subject.

Now I say this, brethren, to show you that the subject of organization, which was first agitated, as I am informed by Brother Loughborough, since I inquired of him, in the year 1860, and perfected about the year 1863. It was in process of being fully brought out during those years; that the organization perfected by the church from that time on, when it was considered and concluded that we had an organized body, that was endorsed by all the leading brethren, at the time it was emphatically endorsed by the Testimonies of the Spirit of God.

J. N. Loughborough: True.

George I. Butler: I do not make that any too emphatic, because it was a matter that was canvassed widely, and the whole subject was considered; and when the Testimonies of the Spirit of God came out and took that position concerning it, all our brethren that were loyal to the cause endorsed it; and I have never heard—for I have been down in the pine woods of Florida for fifteen years—I have not heard a great many things that all of you have heard. And some things spoken of by Elder Jones about what had been going on in the denomination were all news to me. I never heard them until the present time, in remarks that would seem to reflect upon the present organization, that has existed for all these years in the past. That, as I said, is what surprised me.

Now, it does seem to me that if some of these things are carried out the way some of the good brethren have spoken, it would finally bring about, if carried out fully, just about the same state of disorganization that we started in on in the first place.

Brethren, I tell you I could not look upon such a condition of things with anything but horror, to think of going back to the state that we were in then. And why?—Why, men would come along then and claim to be Seventh-day Adventists—they had not got the name then at all. We were not called Seventh-day Adventists: of course we kept the Sabbath, and believed in the Lord’s coming, but the name was something that made quite a big stir. Some of the brethren took their stand against them, and wanted our name to be called the Church of God, etc. There was quite a stir over that point. This name was adopted. So we had no Seventh-day Adventist Church before that, in the true sense of the word; but at that time individuals would come and go around among the body of believers. They said they were all right, of course. They believed in the Sabbath. We had no documents. We had no licenses, no credentials, nothing in the world, no papers whatever to show whether they were of us or of the devil, for that matter. Nothing in the world they had to show that one had any more authority than the other. They would come into a church, and the first thing they would be attempting things, and they would get simple-minded brethren off into confusion, and perhaps get a lot of money, and away they would go to another place. We had nothing that we could do to prevent this. We had no church organization, and so they kept right along there, and could do as they pleased. I do not know how such thoughts are going out among us, that an individual can stay in our churches in spite of us; I do not know how that is. I do not know how far these brethren would go; but I do know, brethren, that such ideas have not been taught in the past among our people, when I was acquainted with the work.

I might go on and enlarge upon the difficulties we had to meet. We had no support for our ministry. Our ministry had no support at all, only as a brother would want to do something, and would pull out his pocketbook and hand him a small sum. The consequence was good, devoted, earnest ministers had no means to support themselves, and they had to leave the work, and go to work where they could earn enough to support themselves with their hands, to keep their little children from starving. This tithe system, of which we hear so much, and which has done so much to keep the work going, is the result of organization, and most everything that has kept us together as a people, and preserved us as a peculiar, distinct people, has come out of the system of organization.

Of course, organization is liable to its abuses, as well as all other things. When they organized this system, the brethren got together, and they were there at Battle Creek a long time, considering this subject, and praying over it every day, and laboring to bring it about, considering everything connected with it.

Who were these brethren?—Elder James White and Sister White, were conspicuous in it; Elder J. N. Andrews, one of the most talented men, and really, as I consider him, the most able reasoner we have ever had in this body, a man of the greatest earnestness, one who has brought out many of the truths we all delight in,—gave his best attention to these things. Elder J. H. Waggoner was also one of those men, and Elder Uriah Smith. We sometimes hear of the railroad over here as the “Big Four.” I have always considered these four men the “big four” in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. I shall ever look up to those men with the deepest respect. They were noble men; I believe God raised up those men. I think the Testimonies have associated them together as men raised up in the providence of God to help in this work. They are all now sleeping in Jesus. It makes my heart ache when I think of the work those men did in this cause. They had to meet the most tremendous difficulties that ever were seen in any work or any other movement. They spent about all they had in the world carrying it forward. They started out to push the truth, and enlighten the world with this message, when they had nothing but faith in God to do it with. That is how things were back there. If you knew it all as I do, you would believe that God raised up the kind of men who were prepared to do a great work. I want to say, when those men whom I believe God raised up, with the Testimonies of the Spirit of God beside them, and other able men, dear Brother Loughborough, and many others, all associated together in that work under the direct teaching of the Spirit of God, brought about this special organization here. You might as well undertake to make me disbelieve in the third angel’s message as to make me disbelieve in the subject of organization. That is where I stand.

What, was this subject of organization? What was the thing that came out of all that?—Why, that old constitution away back there. I do not know, Brother Jones, I am afraid you did not speak of it with as much respect as you ought to have done.—that

plan away back there. That was the state of things that existed there. You threw it all aside. I felt as though that work that was done back there was right. We had a president of the General Conference, a treasurer, a secretary, and a committee elected by the people, back there, the same, I understand, as is provided for by this new constitution that is presented before us.

J. N. Loughborough: The very first thing done was to elect a president.

G. I. Butler: Yes, and from 1860, when this work of organization began, until 1888, when I went down South, broken down in health, or for nearly thirty years, I never heard Sister White in any testimony ever refer to the presidency of the General Conference as being kingly in authority, or being an improper thing at all. And, in view of the fact that she stood right behind the system in its organization back there, and endorsed it (they never would have though of having it, unless it had been endorsed especially by the Testimonies),—it seems strange and surprising to me that all at once it is found out that this thing that has lived all these years, and brought out under the special direction of the Spirit of God, was, after all, a dangerous thing, leading back to Babylon. I do not want to say anything now to hurt Brother Jones’ feelings, for I love Brother Jones very dearly.

A. T. Jones: You can not hurt my feelings.

G. I. Butler: I am glad of it, Brother Jones; and we will shake hands on that; you and I will never quarrel, will we?

A. T. Jones: No; we won’t quarrel.

G. I. Butler: But we are talking now on principles, brethren, and you will pardon one of the old hands, who has been in the work for so many years, and who has had the presidency of the General Conference for thirteen terms, for saying that he fails to see that anything of a kingly nature can be brought into it. I do not believe there can. Brother White, I think, held that office about ten or twelve terms after the organization. I held it thirteen terms. I gave place to worthy successors, and I should be very sorry to believe there was any kingly power in it.

Now, then, I know that the Testimonies have spoken in regard to these things, and warned us against being in rings, or any arbitrary dealings, or anything of the kind—and there is a great need of that, great need of that—and I do not know how you can get up any arrangement whatever as a part of the system of organization but what those same dangers will be found to exist. You have had the new constitution for two years, and the members of the committee and officers were elected under that constitution; but however excellent it was, it did not seem to meet the difficulty; it did not seem to keep us from the things the brethren objected to. Brother Daniells has told us what the difficulties were. I think he has made a very reasonable explanation of it; but the fact that they had a constitution that did not recognize the old way of doing it, the old way of electing officers, but elected them as a committee, and then allowed the committee to elect the chairman, the difficulties that they carried under that administration were just as great as ever occurred under the old administration. How, therefore, the new constitution, with its important principles, helped the matter, I do not see.

The difficulty in all these things, I believe, is in regard to the principles being put in practice by the men that are placed in office. If they are the servants of God, if their hearts are fully submitted to Him, if they have enough of that beautiful and important grace of humility, which is the foundation of every grace, and have the fear of God before them, if they have sufficient respect for the Testimonies of the Spirit of God not only to believe those that seem to favor their views, but to believe those that do not meet their views, or do not quite see into, and will work and counsel with our brethren, and follow out the principles that are taught in the Testimonies, I can not see a particle of danger in our old system of organization. But if they do not do that, if they begin to think that they do not need to follow the directions of the Testimonies of the Spirit of God, if they begin to lead off on other principles, then, perhaps, some of the Papacy will come into that thing. The trouble in such case is right in the heart of the officers elected, as I view it. Under Elder James White’s administration, I never heard of any testimony from Sister White reproving him for exercising kingly power, and though I held the office for thirteen terms, I was never reproved for any such thing, as I can remember.

If men will walk humbly before God, and remain willing to be instructed by the Testimonies of His Spirit, they will never find anything wrong in the old system of organization brought out under the express influence of the Spirit of God. But if they will not live up to the light that God gives them; if they will go right contrary to this light, and follow their own erring judgment, I believe there will be trouble under any system of organization. For the guidance of such men, you can not get up any principles; you can not mend matters by throwing away the constitution. There is no way under heaven for God’s people to work in right lines unless they are humble in heart and accept the teachings that God gives them. Only by obedience can we avoid getting ourselves and the cause of God into difficulty. Brethren, this is the truth, if you ever heard it.

As one of the old hands, I see in this new constitution the same principles that we had in the beginning, that were endorsed by Sister White at the first. This is why I favor the new constitution.

The Chair: We have had quite an extended discussion of the question on general principles. Brother Loughborough, would you like to make a few remarks on general principles? You are one of the old hands.

J. N. Loughborough: It has taken me more by surprise than I think it took Brother Butler. I was going to sit still, and pray and hear on this subject, I thought, to-day. Of course, I have thought a good deal. Brother Butler says I was back there before we had any kind of organization among us. I was. I know what kind of battles we went through. And what has astonished me is that some who have advocated the idea that by and by we would not have any such features in the organization use the same identical expressions that men used back there who fought organization, almost word for word I could quote you sentence after sentence, just exactly what the men talked back there who opposed organization.

Some personal testimonies have been given to those advocating that idea that by and by we would get where we would not need any such thing; that it was things that we had when we were

children, or something like that. The testimony says, Why do you tear down what God has built up? It says, You do not know what you are doing. You are opening the way for confusion to come in among this people. Brother Butler spoke something about the confusion in those days. I was there. I understand this. A few weeks more and it will be fifty-one years since I began to preach the present truth. Before this time, for three years, I was a preacher in the First-day Adventist Church. They had no organization, and I saw confusion confounded among them.

Geo. I. Butler: They have never had any organization since. Their own men have told me this.

J. N. Loughborough: I was there; and we came along, of course, with the idea prevailing back in those times. When a man embraced the Sabbath truth, and took his stand, he met with great opposition. People would hoot at him, often right in the streets. If he desired to secure some work in order to support his family, he did not know whether he could find any place or not; and if he went to preaching, he had to support himself. We thought that, if a man would take his stand amidst all that, he was all right anyhow. They were, to a large extent, until by and by our numbers began to increase.

I remember that a man came along who wanted to preach a little while in Jackson, Mich. Well, he made some friends, and he composed a beautiful song in regard to the proclamation of the message, and got the sympathy of our Brother Boals. He then asked Brother Boals to lend him his horse and buggy and buffalo skin, so that he could go over into Canada to carry the message. So Brother Boals loaned him the horse and carriage and buffalo skin, and that was the last he heard of them. That man never returned. This, and many similar experiences, made our people open their eyes. The Lord said that something must be done to prevent such work. We did not know how to do it. When the Lord says that such and such a thing should be done, we say we don’t see how we can do it.

The battle on organization went on for several years; and things that you would think now that you ought to decide upon, perhaps, in less than twenty-four hours, were discussed for two years; and men in our ranks arose, declaring that such things were “abridging our rights;” “we do not believe in order;” “you have no business to say anything about this;” “we do not want any church clerks, or anything of this kind, for that is just like the churches around us.”

The Spirit of God guided in that conflict, and God says now He wants to know if it will help matters to tear down what was established in His providence then.

And here is another expression. It says that we should study those experiences that led to this organization. Well, I have tried to study them, brethren. I put some articles through the “Review,” some of you may recollect, on these points. I tried to clear my soul.

Well, now, these brethren say they do not propose to tear down organization. Well, I do not think they mean to, but it seems to me that, after all, you get to where you don’t have any constitution or any order at all. “After all,” they said in the early days, “we are all brethren. If we will seek the Lord, He will guide us.” As Brother Daniells said, when we get to heaven, why, then there would be all of that kind there, I suppose; but it seems to me that the Lord has led in this matter, and that it is well for us to move carefully, in harmony with the cautions that He gives us.

I did not rise to talk about the constitution. I suppose they wanted me to say something about this matter. I am praying that God may guide us in regard to all these matters, that we may go just as He wants us to go.

A. T. Jones: I would like to make a request now to all the delegation and all the people who read the “Bulletin.” When these speeches come out, please look at Brother Waggoner’s and Brother Magan’s, and then mine; read them over carefully, and if you can find anything in any one of them that strikes at organization in any sense whatever, I hope you will mark it, and send it to us, so that we can repent of it.

The Chair: Now we have been in session in this meeting for about three hours, and we have had quite a thorough general discussion of principles underlying organization and non-organization. It is thought now by some of the brethren that it would be well, if it would meet your mind, to have a business meeting to-night. The time of the session is growing short. If it met your minds, we could begin at about seven o’clock, and have a two hours’ business meeting.

W. T. Knox: I move that we adjourn until 7 o’clock this evening.

The motion prevailed.

J. N. Loughborough: I desire to make a short statement, Brother Chairman, before we adjourn. I am afraid a wrong impression will be carried away unless I make one or two remarks. What Brother Jones said impressed this upon my mind, and called me suddenly to my feet. In what I said in regard to doing away with organization, I did not mean what had been said to-day was exactly like what people said years ago. I saw from Brother Jones’ remark that he wanted you to read it carefully in the “Bulletin.” I did not say that it has been said in these speeches to-day. But there are persons who advocated the doing away of organization, and they used exactly the same expressions that were used in 1863. That is what I meant.

Benediction by Elder Butler.

H. W. COTTRELL, Chairman.
H. E. OSBORNE, Secretary.

Elder Irwin’s report of the Australasian field continued from page 144 of the Bulletin, will be concluded in Number 11.

He has a strange idea of religious liberty who thinks he has a right to force his views upon people who are unwilling to hear them.

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.”

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

“And ye say, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to Thy holy name, and glory in Thy praise.”

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