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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Ms 26, 1899



    March 14, 1899 [typed]

    Previously unpublished. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.


    “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and snatcheth away that which was sown in his heart.” [Matthew 13:19.]14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 1

    Brethren, take heed how ye hear. Are men in responsible places trying to hear what God says to them, and to understand His words and His works? There are many, professedly the guardians of sacred trusts, to whom the Lord has sent His warning, “Do not.” But they do the very things He has warned them not to do. They would, they thought, let everybody know that they could do great things. Every expression disparaging the light God gave you, in your spirit, in your words, or in your actions, was a seed sown to spring up and to bear its fruit.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 2

    Hearts have been growing hard as adamant. Men who ought to have stood firm as a rock to principle were deceived. They were divided. They were betraying the work and cause of God. Their very action in sustaining men who they knew were not spiritual men made them responsible for the evil work. That work was in a great measure the result of the apparent sanction of those men who had not accepted the word of the Lord to them. What will be the result of this failure to be true to God and the light He has graciously given? Time will tell.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 3

    “The kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents, behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 4

    “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed; and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth; lo, there thou hast that is thine.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 5

    “His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [Matthew 25:14-30.]14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 6

    Christ’s servants are those who stand toward Him in the relation of service. His goods mean all the gifts and endowments called talents, whether they be original or acquired, natural or spiritual. All are to be employed in the actual service of Christ. The Lord gave His life for the world. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] The Lord calls upon every soul to bear a share of the burdens in His cause, that prosperity may attend the preaching of the gospel as an important part of the great work. There is some duty enjoined upon every soul. We are to think most earnestly, What is our lifework to be?14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 7

    The Lord Jesus, whose we are by creation and by redemption, has pointed out our duty. All through our life we are to heed His words, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:33.] We are strictly charged, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.” [Verse 19.] “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” [Matthew 7:13, 14.] To every man is given a talent, and he cannot dispose of that talent to another to do his trading. He must be a faithful steward.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 8

    November, 1898

    A selfish course of action on the part of responsible men in our publishing houses has brought in a whole train of evils. They threatened, and twisted, and planned every device in order to get possession of books, taking advantage of circumstances, and God says, Such men cannot come into the courts of the Lord. While looking out for their own interests, they have brought men into close places. They have had the power in their hands for those who were seeking to advance the cause of God. God says, “Shall I not judge for these things?” [Jeremiah 5:9.] The managers of the Pacific Press are not guiltless in these matters of dealing. High, pure principles have been sacrificed for gain. I pray you to consider that you have touched only the border. The true, vital questions have not been canvassed. Where is the blind man, Elder Littlejohn? He appealed to me, supposing I could help him. I could have sent a package of copies to be read to him that would have told its own story, but I did not do this. He did not know that I was acquainted with the situation.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 9

    These men had received warning after warning, testimony after testimony, and if they had dared to do it, some would have torn them into shreds if they could have got hold of them. I have exercised too great caution in not sending these things to our churches. I knew that if I did, the enemies of our faith would get hold of them, and triumph over the defection and corruption of the publishing house in particular. I see now that I might better, far better, have sent the words of caution to the churches in testimonies, and then they would not have been leavened with the very same spirit that has had a controlling influence in Battle Creek.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 10

    When Christ wept over Jerusalem, there were presented to His infinite eye the very same influences that have corrupted the cause of God at the heart of the work. Men who are vitalized by the Spirit of Christ will never in a single transaction comply with maxims of business which are based upon false principles. But I can never make blind men see. When they are convicted and converted, they may see some things in an altogether different light.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 11

    Councils and committee meetings and the Foreign Mission Board have used largely of the common fire. They have walked in the sparks of their own kindling. The Book Committee has pronounced upon the value of books, accepting or denouncing, when they themselves had not experience, intellectual fitness, or knowledge that would fit them to judge correctly of that which they were denouncing or commending. I know what I am talking about. As far as any spiritual understanding was concerned, they were like blind men. The things which they supposed would bring an income to replenish their depleted treasury would be eagerly grasped. But O, the methods, the sharp financiering, the secret conniving to make a good thing, as they supposed, for the printing office.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 12

    And what about the publishers? Did they maintain the principles of justice? There was scheming and planning and devising to turn their brethren from their rights. They bought men and the productions of their brains, saying, “It is naught, it is naught.” [Proverbs 20:14.] And when the matter was in their possession, they eagerly gathered in the revenue.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 13

    These deceptive workings were laid open before me. It seems that the father of lies has invented every device to corrupt justice. Honesty, fair dealing, integrity, and truth have been put aside. Conscience has been prevented from lifting her voice in effective protest by the plea, “It is for the cause of God. All that we can do to save for the cause is just and right.” The very fact that they were working for the cause of God should have been sufficient to keep the work from one spot of defilement. The ones they wronged would have served the cause of God far more effectively if left to render to God His own.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 14

    High wages have been paid to men for their responsibilities in working for the cause of God. They accepted the highest wages while they were turning things upside down and by fallacious reasoning making right appear wrong, and sin righteousness. Even those institutions that have not the light of truth for these last days would from worldly policy deal more justly and honorably with the talents brought into their bookmaking. The managers of such institutions are generally men who possess ability to judge the merit and value of publications. Some of the managers of our publishing interests, when any man has interfered with their scheming, and has pointed out the dishonesty or unfairness, have resented the interference, and have considered the reprover as righteous overmuch.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 15

    My heart burns within me when I hear such men claim to be serving the Lord’s cause. Nothing has done so much as this to make our faith an offense and our work, as a people believing and handling sacred, eternal interests, a subject of scorn and derision to honest men who do not believe the truth. The covetous, grasping spirit manifested, and the methods employed to take advantage of authors, is written in the books of heaven. It has not brought the blessing of God to the work. These managers have, by their example, been educating others in practices that are dishonest as viewed by the Lord God of heaven.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 16

    And those who claimed to be in the service of God, yet indulged this grasping spirit for advantages irrespective of the position in which they placed their brethren, have by their dealing brought into the office a dearth of means. The Lord has not stirred the hearts of His people to give. God has not prospered men with means, that they should maintain a corrupt policy. In the retaining of unconsecrated men as managers, there has been a sustaining of the ungodly in their unrighteous course, and these men are now claiming larger wages for ruining the confidence of God’s people. God has sent dearth and a want of funds when He could have multiplied means for human agents had they acted with true liberality, as many have done in the past.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 17

    I speak that which I do know from the Lord God of heaven. Compliance with the supposed customs and practices of men who act from a worldly policy, practicing false methods, should be cut out of all our institutions. None is to work on the confederacy plan, “You help me, speaking good words for me, and I’ll do the same by you. You need not mention my lack of intelligence in some things, and I will cover your defects.” All should be as transparent as the sunlight. Let none seek to prevent the detection of wrong in matters small or great in the institutions God has established. To be called trustworthy men is very different from being strictly and conscientiously honest and upright. A man who will defraud in time and ability in accomplishing those things he is supposed to be master of, is a fraud. He has committed himself to a course of action opposed to that which is pure, lovely, and of good report. He has worked in Satan’s lines.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 18

    There are temptations to meet in every line. We may truly say, “Justice hath fallen in the streets, and equity cannot enter, ... and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey.” [Isaiah 59:14, 15.] Among worldly-wise men gold and silver and possessions of houses and lands measure the value of character. And this has been leavening those men in our very midst who claim to be Christians. But shall those who call themselves Christians bring in corrupting principles and dishonor Christ?14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 19

    There are men connected with the Lord’s work and institutions in Battle Creek who would not be corrupted. But they knew that if their voice should be heard calling things by their right names, they would soon for some pretense be left out of the councils. So Joseph and Nicodemus were appointed to do some apparently important work, that they might not be present at the mock trial of Christ. Some have felt great anxiety to carry out their own methods, and it was not pleasant to have others present who would oppose their measures.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 20

    There were men who were not willing to go into things as an experiment, and who would not cheer on the spirit of covetousness, and the determination to rule or ruin. They could not smile at a glossed-over falsehood, but they dare not speak their minds. They thought they made the Word of God their standard of duty, but they failed to unveil the evil. The leaven was working. Reverence for God and integrity to His cause should have led them to make determined remonstrance. But this exposure was feared. They would have been wanted in some important business transaction somewhere in regions beyond.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 21

    God calls for staunch, loyal, faithful men in His work, men who will not be bought or sold, men not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. “One is your Master, even Christ.” [Matthew 23:8.] To God we are individually responsible, and that responsibility is a sacred trust which can be discharged only when these words are firmly followed, “Whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” [Colossians 3:17.]14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 22

    Captain Eldridge was young in experience, and his course of action was determined largely by the course that others pursued. When he takes a position, even if wrong, he has learned the captain’s policy to maintain that it is right. He sets his stakes, and will hold to them. He may succeed for a time; others may venture to stand for the right and lose all, while the one who apparently succeeds is really on the losing side. Satan is playing the game of life for his soul. If he is awakened to his peril, and in the fear of God will repent and be converted, the Lord will hear him.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 23

    He who dismisses the fear of God will pursue a course of recklessness and fail of gaining eternal life. God has no use for double-minded and two-sided men. Those who by their departure from the Word of God have helped these inexperienced souls in a wrong course will be chastised and greatly humbled. The Word of God is to be the standard for all human beings.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 24

    I want it understood: Those who have been connected with the work of largest importance in our world have been terribly blinded. The Word does not set the boundary to man’s activity and his progress, but the right way is put before him in distinction from the wrong. The prevailing iniquities surrounding the Christian are to be shunned. There is God’s call and the devil’s call, he professing to be as God. Will the still, small voice calling, attracting, inviting, “Come unto me, take my yoke upon you,” be heard? [Matthew 11:28, 29.] Will the many exciting enterprises and selfish, ambitious pursuits in every branch of business lead us to run after the evil in the place of choosing the good? All who have received the endowment of God from on high will have their eyes fixed on the Captain of their salvation, and will advance. As Christ walks, they will walk. Confidence placed in man will prove a snare. He who sets the Lord ever before him will be sustained by Him who hath said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” [Matthew 28:18.]14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 25

    Those who claim to stand under the banner of the third angel have no sanction from God to engage in any business transaction that will oppress their brother or neighbor, or will obscure their discernment as to what is due to Jesus Christ in regard to himself. The world is reading the history of Seventh-day Adventists. The world is watching to see what principles our religious faith will develop. Some have been deceived by choosing false theories, by the hollow, corrupting maxims which prevail around us, and have lost sight of the distinction between the frauds of men, the cunning artifice, the shrewd methods, and the entirely opposite—the truth of the living God. The child of God is not to soil his purity by stepping upon Satan’s flattering premises.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 26

    The world has a right to watch Seventh-day Adventists. They mark any deviation from Bible principle, and then they take courage. They say, “These people are no better than ourselves. I think that in the long run I shall come out as well as Seventh-day Adventists.” They watch, they talk, and when professed believers depart from righteousness and seek not first the kingdom of God, the world does not forget this inconsistency. They point to the various signs of the great center of the work, and say, “Look ye, they are a set of sharpers.” What pleasing satisfaction it has been to them. They want just such encouragement as these unsanctified, professional men give them.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 27

    I tell you there are serious accounts to settle with God for thus placing His truth in jeopardy and becoming the sport of Satan’s temptation. In many departments of business there have been deeds done that angels of God have written in the books of heaven, which are a shame to those who claim to be Seventh-day Adventists. Very fair names are given to business transactions which are simply deception, fraud, and robbery. Men are selling the truth of Christ as verily as did Judas when he sold his King for thirty pieces of silver.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 28

    The progress of the missions in foreign countries has been impeded by the diverting of means from the true object, to be invested according to men’s ambitious designs. Will these men repent and be converted, and do those things worthy of the name of Christian, or will they go with that party who consider that gain is godliness, and will practice any method to please their lust for gain and power?14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 29

    Those who have so benumbed their sensibility that they mingle human wisdom with the divine and confuse other minds as to right and holy methods in business transactions, those who unjustly acquire means at the expense of another, do they love God with their whole heart and their neighbor as God requires? Do they meet the holy standard of character? They prove that they have not yet learned the holy law of God, and the explanation of that law in the pure gospel given upon the Mount. The Lord calls for a cleansing process, a purging of the soul temple.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 30

    “Moreover it is required of stewards that a man be found faithful.” [1 Corinthians 4:2.] Some are richly endowed with ten pounds, and others are endowed with only one. But the man with one talent is to be just as faithful with that one as the man with two, five, or ten talents. Because he has only one talent to trade upon, he is not to bury that one in the earth, and then accuse God of being unfair and partial. Those who have the smallest gift may bear the test of character by their trading with the one talent. They need not expect the improvement of ten or five. The one entrusted with the smallest talent is to be thankful that he has not to answer for the responsibility of five or ten. The responsibility is exactly proportionate to the amount of the gifts, graces, or talents received in trust from his absent Lord. All are to be diligent workers; there are to be no idlers, no man who is a makeshift for another. Each is first to give himself to the Lord.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 31

    But the heaviest obligation rests upon the worker who has been made steward in trust of the greatest means and abilities, as were the Jews. Let no man talk of equality in the revenue that is received by faithful trading. Character is to be developed by diligent trading upon that which a man has. If one has ten pounds, he is responsible for all that ten pounds would do if properly used. If only pence are entrusted, that man’s character depends upon his use of the pence and farthings.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 32

    All our people are to act a part in consecrating the tithe. It is God’s money, and He will reward their faithful return to Him of His own. The unfaithful steward bound up his one talent and hid it in the earth. Thus he refused to give the Lord an opportunity to cooperate with Him in greatly increasing that talent. And he tried to make the Lord responsible for his own neglect.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 33

    The Lord in His distribution of His gifts proves every character. If that man with one talent had been entrusted with five, he would have placed them where they could not increase, just as he did with the one. That unfaithful steward of one pound made light of his natural and entrusted capabilities, and trifled with his moral responsibilities. He despised the trusts of heaven. The varied trusts are proportioned to the varied capabilities of the human agent. The Lord gave the parable to correct existing evils, and if the Lord had been honored and glorified, that unfaithful servant would never have charged upon God his own deficiencies. He would not have tried to prove the Lord the cause of his own neglect to improve his talents.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 34

    There are many to whom this parable applies today. Many are complaining of their brethren, and of the inequality of facilities. They bring charges against God just as did the unfaithful servant. God gave to His servants every man according to his ability. God is infinite in wisdom, and He knows perfectly what He is about, and how to put His tests upon men. He apportioned His trusts according to the known powers and capacities of His servants. To every man is given his work, and if he works faithfully, he may gain two talents to use, and then double the two to four.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 35

    The Lord will reward diligent, honest service. If men will put their trust in Him and not in themselves, if they will recognize His compassion and benevolence and will walk humbly before Him in the place of complaining, He will cooperate with them and will delight to open ways before them. He will increase their intellect. He entrusts the talents according to the known power to use them. To every man He has given His trust, His talents, to improve, and He expects and requires corresponding returns.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 36

    There is a diversity of gifts. There will never be equality in the distribution of the Lord’s trust, neither will there be equality in the trusts returned. But the Lord has a right to our best and holiest service. If one has done his best with the one or with the two, or with the five, his work will be accepted and approved. It is not the number of the gifts returned, but the faithfulness with which the trust has been improved, that wins the Lord’s commendation. Every man is responsible for the abuse of his entrusted gifts. He must do thorough, consecrated work for the Master if he would be acknowledged as a good and faithful servant.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 37

    I have no time to pursue the subject farther, but I have a few more things to say. When men took upon them the responsibility of blocking the way largely for nearly two years, so The Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets could not be put in circulation, did they realize that they were working to prevent [the light God had given] through the humble instrument from reaching the people? They were withholding from one of the Lord’s stewards the talents she was to trade upon. Yet how narrow the ideas they even now have of this matter. The veil of deception is still upon their eyes.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 38

    The Lord had a work to be done, and His voice should have been recognized by the men in responsible positions. They should have used every means in their power that the light of heaven might not be hindered. Through their blindness of mind and hardness of heart they showed precisely how much they valued the light God had given to shine amid the moral darkness and press back the workings of the enemy. Works should have come first that were left to the last. This hindrance of men, not a thread of it of God, gave opportunity for minds uninformed to take the position on the wrong side of the question. It is well known that the works coming from my pen are claimed to be light given from the Source of all light, and the Word of the Lord never returns unto Him void.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 39

    I am instructed to say to you that you felt very much amused over my deep burden and anxiety. You robbed me of means, but this was the least thing. You hedged up the way so that I could not bring the truth in my publications before the people. You robbed God by placing something of far less consequence than the message He has given to come before the people. You showed that you had no sense of your important stewardship, and you would be removed unless you should repent.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 40

    There was a condition of things that made it essential for the message to be given without delay. If you had not closed your hearts against light, you would have recognized the moving of the Spirit of God and the time for the Word of the Lord to be heard and find its way to the people. The Word of the Lord in the books from the press would have made an impression upon hearts. It was the voice of warning to them, and many who have heard my voice at camp meetings would have been impressed that the Lord was back of the message. An immediate giving to the people of the message from the Lord in warnings would have worked upon minds and hearts. The book which was crowded in by selfish devising closed the way for the voice of appeal to the people. The way will never be opened again as before. That book was carried so enthusiastically because it would bring to the publishers some returns. God said, “I will blow upon the revenues.”14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 41

    Those who withdrew the circulation of my book had no sense of the importance of the matter that should have been given to the people. The way that the canvassers used Bible Readings, the course taken by presidents of conferences, showed that all needed to become familiar with the very truths contained in the book Great Controversy. Canvassers would have had altogether a different spirit had they been educated in the important matters contained in that book. Those who read the book would have had a different mold upon them, and those handling the book would not have had, because of their unfaithful stewardship, the sentence, “Weighed in the balance and found wanting.” [Daniel 5:27.]14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 42

    The sale of Bible Readings, had it been preceded by the sale of Great Controversy, would have had far more weight than it had in going first. The Lord knew all about this. He knew what principles were violated. He knew the falsehoods told and reiterated, that the books bearing the vital truth to the people would not sell. He knew that ministers and presidents were advised to recommend that all handle the one book, and the keeping of Great Controversy from the field has done a work that men will have to answer for in the judgment.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 43

    March 1899

    When these men put in a plea to be remunerated for working in their own human judgment, and closed their ears and eyes to the warnings of the Spirit of God, some would never see clearly again. These men have shown their blindness. They have imperiled the cause, and brought about the withdrawal of the Spirit of God from giving prosperity to His work. All this is the result of the unsanctified inventions of men. Please read Exodus 31:1-6; 21:29.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 44

    The Lord has made the hearts of His people willing to put their talents to use. God gave this wisdom. The Lord also stirred hearts to give willingly. The Lord has the work in His hands. He has not stirred their hearts as He once did, because of the unfaithfulness of those who were in the highest places, who were working at cross-purposes with God, hedging up His way, and bringing discouragement upon His people. The Lord has removed the wisdom of these men, as I wrote in 1896. In all this has been shown the displeasure of God. What will bring the people to humble their hearts before Him—the men upon whom is the rebuke of God, which has been upon some of His stewards up to this time, 1899? See 1 Chronicles 28:8.14LtMs, Ms 26, 1899, par. 45

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