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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Ms 140, 1901

    Letters Regarding the Publishing Work



    Portions of this collection are published in 4BC 1179; 10MR 389-390.

    “Sunnyside,” Cooranbong

    November 16, 1898

    Dear Brother and Sister Robinson:—

    I have just written a letter to Brother Salisbury in response to a letter recently received from him by William. C. White. He sets matters before W.C.W. representing the great advantages to be gained by his visiting America by the way of Capetown and London, and seeing what can be done by business negotiations to procure facilities to use in the production of books, also in the market for books. The light given me when you were holding your last council in Melbourne was of that character that I felt pained, because there was heart-consecration needed to prepare the workers for the work already being handled.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 1

    Brother Salisbury seems to treat the matter as if he had the sanction of W. C. W., and that that would be sufficient to open the subject to the proper ones. I know not how much encouragement Brother Salisbury has received in regard to this anticipated journey, but I have much reluctance in regard to W.C.W. taking responsibilities in encouraging any such movements. The light which the Lord has given me is that W.C.W.’s work is in connection with my work, that he should bend his mind and thoughts and powers in this direction. The last time he was called to Melbourne, the outcome was that movements were made that you could not feel were as they should be, and the dissatisfaction mainly was charged upon W.C.W., as working in a way that was not agreeable to yourself and others. The whole difficulty lies in your minds, but it is not clearly defined. One thing is certain. I feel that in view of the light given me in regard to the work of God, W.C.W. had better not put his neck under a yoke which shall be made galling to him. There is an abundance of responsibilities resting upon him in New South Wales, and if he shall take the responsibility in Melbourne, there are those who would see defects, and would charge them to him as responsible for movements made with which they could not harmonize.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 2

    I cannot give any encouragement for Brother Salisbury to now expend the means which is so limited in such an enterprise as he is contemplating. If you that are in Melbourne see sufficient interests to be promoted by justifying such a movement, then I have nothing more to say; but I do not want W. C. W. to have any responsibility in encouraging such a movement, for if difficulties appear, they will be made to rest on him.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 3

    When the truth is more clearly distinguished from human wisdom, when those who handle the truth are themselves more decidedly consecrated to God, the work will progress, because the workers will be charged with that earnestness that bears the sanctification of the Spirit of God. The Lord inspires no censuring, no accusing. He will lead all who will learn of the great Teacher.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 4

    There is but a feeble sense of the sacredness of the things we are handling. “Take my yoke upon you,” says the great Teacher. “Learn of me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] We are to walk as Christ walked, live as Christ lived. It is now, just now, that zeal is required. This zeal is to be purged from all selfishness, and there is to be an increase of every good work. Our work is to be under the supervision of the Holy Spirit. Have ye received the baptism of the Holy Ghost? If not, is it not high time that we had this blessing, which purges away our unsanctified words, and enables us to use the talent of speech as a most sacred, entrusted gift?16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 5

    We are to get out of self, and abide in Christ. Then much more good will be done to the souls and bodies of those who have need to be healed of their infirmities. “These signs shall follow those that believe.” [Mark 16:17.] As the time of Christ’s labor upon this earth grew shorter, His work became more intense, His energies were called out, and there seemed to be no limit to His work. Thus it will be with every true worker. The failures of the year 1898 cannot now be repaired; but we may now prepare for the coming year 1899. We may make such a consecration of self to God that the Holy Spirit will control the whole man. We may redeem the time and redouble our earnest, sanctified exertions. Wherever Christ’s cause has a claim, wherever God’s people have necessities to be met, there our obligation begins. We are responsible to God for all the good we can do. We are to encourage gratitude, praise, and thanksgiving, not allowing our minds to become Satan’s workshop to create dissension and strife; for this is the foundation of so much weakness and so little of the real, genuine working of the Spirit of God in our churches. The Lord invites us to look to Him, to trust in Him, to walk with Him, to talk with Him, to keep step with Him. Then duty will be clear before us. The Lord can use pure, unselfish, holy hearts to His own name’s glory.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 6

    While your meeting was in session in Melbourne, it was presented before me that there needed to be a cleansing of the soul and spirit before the Holy Spirit could mold and fashion mind and character. There must be more of Christ, all of Christ, and none of self. Then there will be patience, longsuffering, gentleness and love for one another. This pulling apart will not be. We have need of patience, that after we have done the will of God, we shall receive the promise, looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 7

    It has been presented to me that the richest blessings are awaiting those who will appreciate them. But many of those who claim to believe carry such a bundle of self along with them that there is no room for Christ. There is to be and must be a reformation in the heart, else ere long we shall understand fully what it means to come to the banquet of God’s Word without the wedding garment. This point is to be considered carefully, else many who are now professedly believing the truth will be found to be unsanctified. They did not accept and wear the garment of Christ’s righteousness. They will learn that they have not represented Christ in character.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 8

    We may go all over the world full of the talk of the Word, and yet keep Christ out of the heart. The truth is kept in the outer court, and Christ meets us with the words, Friend, how camest thou in hither without the wedding garment? The voice may even utter the highest oracles of God’s Word, yet the men may not have put on the wedding garment. They are building on a sandy foundation. Hearers of the Word, they come to the banquet, but they have not put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness. The Word of the Holy Spirit is to them a strange work. They are not doers of the Word. The living oracles are not their guide and directory.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 9

    We all need to study as never before the parable of the ten virgins. Five of them were wise, and five were foolish. The wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. This is the holy oil represented in Zechariah. “I answered again, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” [Zechariah 4:12-14.] This representation is of the highest consequence to those who claim to know the truth. But if we do not practice the truth, we have not received the holy oil, which the two golden pipes empty out of themselves. The oil is received into vessels prepared for the oil. It is the Holy Spirit in the heart which works by love and purifies the soul.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 10

    We must have greater confidence and earnestness in practicing a “Thus saith the Lord.” We are not to listen to any voice that will benumb our senses in regard to the white garment of character that we must put on. There is to be no party spirit. We are to be united with God and with one another. Then the prayer of faith will heal the sick.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 11

    Satan is working with all his hellish power to quench that light which should burn brightly in the soul and shine forth in good works. The words of God to Zechariah show from whence the holy golden oil comes, and its bright light which the Lord kindles in the chambers of the soul gives light through good works to the world. Satan will work to quench the light God has for every soul by casting his shadow across the pathway to intercept every ray of heavenly light. He knows that his time is short. The people of God must cleave to God, else they will lose their bearings. If they cherish hereditary and cultivated traits of character that misrepresent Christ, while professedly His disciples, they are represented by the man coming to the gospel feast without having on the wedding garment, and by the foolish virgins which had no oil in their vessels with their lamps. We must cleave to that which God pronounces to be truth, though the whole world may be arrayed against it.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 12

    (I shall not be able to get more copied this morning, but there is more to come if I have strength to write it.)16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 13

    [signed] Mrs. E. G. White

    Rockhampton, Queensland

    November 5, 1898

    Dear Brother Salisbury:—

    I must speak a few words to you with my pen. You are casting about in your mind as to what you will do to make improvements. You were presenting different plans and methods, and seemed to suppose that if you could have this and that advantage, you would do great things. But the voice that often speaks to us in our perplexities said, The greatest advantages will not accomplish that which you design. I have had light on these subjects.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 14

    A plan was laid appointing men to go to far-off regions, to see what could be done. Much money was to be invested, all without the counsel of God. How much better it would be if there had been less anxious care and more trust in God, more humility of mind, more searching of the Scriptures. You need not go to the ends of the earth for wisdom, for God is near. Put your talent into the work, and ask God for wisdom and it will be given you. It is not the capabilities you now possess or ever will have at your command that will give you success in the work. It is that which the Lord can do for you.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 15

    Physical habits have a great deal to do with the success of every individual. The more careful you are in your diet, the more simple and unstimulating the food that sustains the body in its harmonious action, the more clear will be your conception of duty. There needs to be a careful review of every habit, every practice, lest a morbid condition of the body shall cast a cloud upon everything. There is more uneasiness than is at all necessary. If you do your best, and stand true as steel to principle, and then seek God for wisdom, you will receive it; for God has promised this.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 16

    God is very near to all who call upon Him, and He must be the One to go before us and work with us. Self must be consecrated to God. It is not the great and wonderful things you may do that will make the work a success; for with all your methods and plans, you cannot accomplish that which you suppose. Your work is to do your level best, knowing that if you use your talents as God requires of you, this is all He asks. The Lord can make a success in any place.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 17

    If you lack faith where you are when difficulties present themselves, you will lack faith in any place. God has a work to be done right here in Australia, and He is willing to open ways and means before you right where you are if you will have faith. But without faith it is impossible to please God. I trust that there will be less criticizing, less suspicion and unbelief. Do not place your confidence in the voice of human agents, but have more confidence in God. Unless we shall increase our faith, and cease to talk doubts, unbelief will encircle the soul.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 18

    That which you need is faith in God. You hedge up your own way by unbelief. You open the door of the heart to fears and conjectures, and are altogether too cowardly. You need, connected with you in the office, men of capability, men who will put their whole soul into the work. You need not feel that God has forsaken His work. You look on the dark side and are losing your grip upon the Lord God of Israel. We greatly dishonor God by our unbelief.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 19

    The case was clearly laid before me. There must be less talking unbelief, less imagining that this one and that one is hedging up the way. Go forward in faith, and trust the Lord to prepare the way for His work to advance. Then you will find rest in Jesus Christ. Train yourself to see the attractiveness of Christ. As you cultivate faith, as you place yourself in a right relation to God, and brace yourself by earnest prayer to do your duty, to realize the expanding and ennobling character which it is possible for you to have, you can be worked by the Holy Spirit. The many problems that are now mysterious to you, you may solve for yourself by continued trust in God. You need not be painfully indefinite, because you are living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You may walk and work in confidence.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 20

    I cannot see any light in going to America. There must be faithful men who for Christ’s sake will do the work you are proposing to do, and who are in the very place you propose to visit. I have had presented to me the plans that have been laid to send several of our brethren on a tour around the world. Was not the light from heaven? Money and time were consumed in traveling, which, had they been invested in the improvements so sadly needed in new fields, would greatly have helped the cause of God. The money used in taking these long, wearisome journeys to find out matters which seem so essential to some has proved no gain in the end. Elder ----- was ready to go traversing the country with several merely businessmen, to investigate matters which they could have adjusted themselves, had they asked wisdom of God. This was a dishonor to God and to the truth and consumed means that was needed in other lines.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 21

    I have been made to understand the result of these things. Had the men in responsible positions pressed into the work every jot of ability to make a success where there was so much to be accomplished, the showing would be far better. There are men just come from America, and there are businessmen there who love and fear God, and who will, I believe, act conscientiously to advance the work of God. It seems, as it is presented to me, that there is altogether too much work now that needs the help of every one.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 22

    The trouble with our brethren in Melbourne is that there is so little openness and frankness among them. There is so much secrecy, so little confidence in one another. When meetings are held to counsel together, and arrangements are made in regard to methods and plans, there seems to be so little gained, so much time lost in criticizing, that God’s blessing cannot come upon them. The Lord cannot work where unbelief is so manifest. If we all sought counsel of God and depended far less on human wisdom, the Lord would be honored, and the human agent would become the channel for the two olive branches through which the golden pipes might empty the golden oil out of themselves. The golden oil supplies the vacuum in all who are emptied of self.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 23

    We must have less faith in what we can do and more faith in what the Lord can do for us, if we will have clean hands and pure hearts.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 24

    I was in great burden when you with Willie were assembled night after night. I was as a cart beneath sheaves. Then I was made to understand that we need a spirit of humility and consecration brought into every line of the work. I was referred to the matter through figures and symbols, and words were spoken by which I obtained the impression that when the love of Christ becomes an abiding principle in the soul, there will be far less unbelief, less suspicion and distrust, less resentment. There was presented before me the figure of a man impatiently drawing away his shoulder as from one whom he considered was meddling with a work of which he was manager. This has been the great evil with the Echo office from the beginning, and it is not yet clear from it.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 25

    All the light I can see is, Bind about the edges. Make no large calculations for the absorbing of means. Take hold of the work interestedly and do it. There is need that you in Melbourne and we in Cooranbong have a deeper teaching than man’s teaching. All these conveniences are not a positive necessity while the dearth of means is so great as at the present time. It is not the way to rush out of perplexities by expending large sums of money just now.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 26

    Christ must dwell in the heart just as the blood is in the body and circulates there as a vitalizing power. We have no time to be going around the world to see what kind of terms can be made for the work. If there are not businessmen there, who can be trusted to see what kind of terms can be made in the things you mention, I feel that we are to be pitied. Lay your plans before men whom you can trust as surely as you yourself can be trusted, who understand your plainly stated necessities as well as you can state them with your voice. There is such a thing as being anxious to make many preparations, but accomplishing but little with that which you already have. The thought will come that if you only had all that you suppose you need, the difficulties would be all removed. The word to Zerubbabel is needed by us all. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt come a plain; and he shall bring forth the headstone of it with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.” [Zechariah 4:6, 7.]16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 27

    Threads of selfishness are woven into the fabric. Every thread should be a golden thread of love, because the web is the Lord’s and every worker should be a worker together with God. You are none of you engaged in your own human work, you are doing the work of God. You are to be united as one mind in God’s great firm, putting away all selfish ideas and thoughts. There is quite a heap of rubbish to be cleared away and consumed. This is an individual work, a work for time and for eternity.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 28

    I wrote to you because light came to me from God. I sent that light to William C. White, so that he could bring it in when it was thought best. More love is needed, more frankness, less suspicion, less evil thinking. We need to be less ready to blame and accuse. It is this that is so offensive to God. A spirit is cherished that does not reveal the love of Christ. The heart needs to be softened and subdued by love. The strengthless condition of our people is the result of the heart’s not being right with God. There are plenty of words, but the soul temple is not clean. When the Holy Spirit controls minds and hearts, there will be an altogether different showing in every line of the work. There will be more faith. There will be a sense that the pure hearts and clean hands are much more significant than they now appear.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 29

    Not a step can be taken in spiritual progress without fresh supplies from the fountain of grace and strength. And yet how often our words provoke God, and by our spirit we deny Him so that He has to withdraw His influence and leave us to our own human inventions. The Lord would have us lean heavily upon Him; and the less we depend upon human help, the more we depend on and make God our trust, the greater will be our supply of strengthening, quickening grace. True repentance means a daily change of heart, a turning the face to the Sun of Righteousness. This leaves no chance for self-exaltation, no opportunity to trust to our own wisdom. When the cleansing, refining process shall take place, and continue its daily work upon our hearts, we shall go forward. But as long as difficulties arise, and we look at the discouragements, we shall not advance. We must brace up the soul in God, and we shall endure the seeing of Him who is invisible.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 30

    Lay hold of the hope set before you in the gospel. Work right where you are. The Lord understands the situation. We have no time now to doubt, no time now to lay off the armor. Consider we are merely agents in the hands of God, and if we are controlled by the Spirit of God, we shall have courage and faith and perseverance that will not fail nor be discouraged. There is altogether too little faith. Advance by faith. Aspire constantly to follow Christ our Saviour, attaining more and more excellency of character. The human mind, like the heavenly bodies, is worked, inspired by an influence unseen and incomprehensible, but its effects are certain. Give the correct direction to the thought, and brace up for trials and duty.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 31

    [signed] Mrs. E. G. White

    Norfolk Villa, Prospect St., N. S. W.

    August 3, 1894

    Elder Littlejohn, Battle Creek, Michigan

    Dear Brother:—

    I received and read your letter, and am more sorry than I can express with pen and ink that anything of a disagreeable character should have occurred between you and the General Conference Association or the publishers of the Review and Herald. It is necessary that something should be done to guard the interests of those who believe the truth for this time. Christ has given many warnings to the effect that false doctrines, false prophets, and false christs would arise and deceive many. From the light that God has been pleased to give me, His humble servant, I know that these prophecies have been fulfilling, and testimonies have not been few that have been given to meet these things as they have come up all along through our religious experience. Great delusions will arise, and “even of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them.” [Acts 20:30.] Even Satan will disguise himself and appear as Christ.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 32

    I can see plainly that should every one who thinks he is qualified to write books follow his imagination and have his productions published, insisting that they be recommended by our publishing houses, there would be plenty of tares sown broadcast in our world. Many from among our own people are writing to me, asking with earnest determination the privilege of using my writings to give force to certain subjects that they wish to present to the people in such a way as to leave a deep impression upon them. It is true that there is a reason why some of their matters should be presented; but I would not venture to give my approval in using the Testimonies in this way, or to sanction the placing of matter which is good in itself in the way which they propose. The persons who make these propositions, for aught I know, may be able to conduct the enterprise of which they write in a wise manner; but nevertheless I dare not give the least license for using my writings in the manner which they propose. In taking account of such an enterprise, there are many things that must come into consideration; for in using the Testimonies to bolster up some subject which may impress the mind of the author, the extracts may give a different impression than that which they would were they read in their original connection.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 33

    I am also receiving printed matter, tracts and leaflets, from one and another, which present a large array of Scriptures put together in a way that would seem to prove certain theories; but they only prove the theories in the estimation of their authors; for truth set in a framework of error diverts the mind from the real subject which should take the attention, and aids error in calling the minds of men away from the present truth which is essential for this time. These persons bring certain Scriptures together and interpret passages of the Bible so as to give coloring to their views; but they are wresting the Scriptures to make them appear to say that which they do not say. False theories will thus be propagated in the world to the very end, and as long as there are printing presses and publishing houses, erroneous matter will be presented for publication, and books will be prepared for public circulation. Should there be no guard against the publication of erroneous theories, our own publishing houses would become the agents for disseminating false theories. Writers make a world of one or two items of theory which others cannot regard as important, and then the writer thinks his ideas are greatly belittled. Two or three days ago I received a chart from one who professes to be a Sabbath-keeper in California, and he feels very sore over the fact that the Pacific Press does not pay respect to his productions and accept the light he would present to the world. There will be gods many and lords many that will be struggling for recognition; but should the persons that feel such a burden to pour out something original upon the world walk humbly with God in meekness and contrition of spirit, the Lord would recognize them and give them the grace of His Holy Spirit in order that they might do the very work, according to their ability, which God would have them do.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 34

    You may say, “What does Sister White mean? Is she classing me with these erratic workers whom she has mentioned?” No, I do not; but I would present the difficulties that should make our publishing houses cautious, in order that you may see the necessity of measures being taken at our office of publication to discourage the infatuation with which many are taken, in thinking that the Lord has laid upon them a burden to write and to publish a variety of matter that would not only not be for the benefit of the churches at this time, but would also be to the injury of the one who engages in the enterprise. I wish you to see that something must be done to guard the people from impostors, and that there was need to make resolutions that should discourage the determination of men to put their imaginary theories into print.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 35

    You know how it was with Brother Edson. He wrote much, and he thought that what he wrote should be published. Then the Lord wrought upon his mind, and he gave up the idea and burned up his manuscript. But he could not let it be; he reproduced his theories, and upon his death he left money, and charged his wife that she should have his manuscript published. She did not think it so essential that the matter should be published as he did, and after she had given the manuscript into the hands of the proper persons for publication, she withdrew it and gave up all the burden of its publication. Brother Edson’s production was never printed. He was a good man, beloved of all who knew him; but the matter which he had brought together was not the subject that should appear, not meat in due season for the flock of God. It was of a character that would start into life erroneous theories that would be nourished by human agents and would bear fruit in dissension and discord.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 36

    We found it necessary to take steps in the formation of a book committee whose duty it should be to look into the matter offered for publication and to decide as to whether or not the matter was worthy of publication. If the men on the book committee are in touch with Christ, if their eyes are anointed with the eyesalve which Jesus recommends them to buy of Him, then, and only then, can they be proper judges as to what will be profitable matter for publication. It is highly proper that manuscripts shall be carefully examined before receiving the endorsement of the Review and Herald and having the benefit of the influence of the office. I have all my publications closely examined. I desire that nothing shall appear in print without careful investigation. Of course, I would not want men who have not a Christian experience, or are lacking in ability to appreciate literary merit, to be placed as judges of what is essential to come before the people as pure provender thoroughly winnowed from the chaff. I laid out all my manuscript on Patriarchs and Prophets and on Vol. IV before the book committee for examination and criticism. I also placed these manuscripts in the hands of some of our ministers for examination. The more criticism of them, the better for the work.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 37

    Your writings, I presume, are just as they should be; yet it may be necessary that they should go through the process of being examined carefully and critically. If no fault can be found with them, they should receive the notice and the commendation that is due to such class of work. You are dealing strong blows against tradition and errors that lie at the foundation of a heresy that will destroy the souls of those who receive it. A wide door to destruction is open to all those who believe in the immortality of the soul and do not believe that Christ alone brings life and immortality to light. I believe the book you have written will do good in enlightening many who are in darkness; for all this, my brother, you surely can see that barriers have to be erected in our publishing houses concerning this book-making business. You can see that if no measures were taken to bind about this line of work, very singular productions would be poured upon the world under the endorsement of our offices of publication.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 38

    Do not understand me as approving of the recent action of the General Conference Association, of which you write; but in regard to that matter it is right that I should speak to them. They have many difficulties to meet, and if they err in their action, the Lord knows it all and can overrule all for the good of those who trust in Him. I sympathize with you in your difficulties and perplexities, but I must advise you to wait, patiently wait. These delays may seem to you to be very tedious and to be working you personal injury, but please do not take this view of the matter. If you will put your trust in God, and wait patiently a short time, I trust that everything will be adjusted satisfactorily. You have been deprived of your temporal eyesight; but if you have bought the spiritual eyesalve from the heavenly Merchantman, and anointed your eyes that you may see, your spiritual sight will be of far more value to you than gold and silver and precious stones. You may have to wait awhile for the adjustment of the matters that trouble you, but do not get yourself into worse temptations by feverish frettings or by seeking to obtain relief by any means contrary to the will of God.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 39

    You speak of humbling yourself by having to wait for the sanction of the Board upon your book. Some things have passed into history very recently that have sharpened up the vigilance of the book committee. Advantages have been taken in the publishing line which have hurt the offices and will continue to hurt them because a heavy debt has been incurred through the publication of matter that never came before the book committee for their consent, and of which they had no knowledge until the office was involved to the amount of five thousand dollars.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 40

    Brother Littlejohn, time is short, very short, and every true child of God is to be vigilant, wide awake, and not to be found for one moment on the enemy’s ground. My brother, you have need to exercise your mind most earnestly to gather with Jesus Christ in order that Satan shall in no case use you to advance his own interest, and you destroy yourself. You may think that you have reason to be angry because you have not been treated properly and justly in the past, and that you will not submit to this restriction or to that. My brother, whatever you may think about the matter, I will say that you have not been right in the temper of your spirit and actions. There is a work that you can do for yourself that no other one can do for you. You are to let the tenderness of Christ into your own soul. You have no righteousness of your own on which to stand, and therefore Christ became your righteousness. You need to be continually clothed with the righteousness of Christ. You need to bear in mind that you are a child of God, and that you are to possess a tender, kind, patient spirit. Look closely that selfishness and covetousness shall not abide in your soul.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 41

    The only reason that you or I shall be able to give for our salvation, if we are saved at last, will be, “Christ died for me, and His blood cleansed me from all sin.” Your heart must be touched with the subduing love of Christ before you will attain to the perfection of Christian character. Your experience is lacking in spirituality. I feel a deep, earnest interest in you, my brother, and desire that you may have a different experience. It savors too much of self and too little of Jesus’ love and tender compassion. There is need of your seeking the Lord more earnestly, perseveringly, and believingly than you have done. Since my first acquaintance with you, I have felt an intense interest that you should see the King in His beauty, behold the earth made new, and be eternally saved in the kingdom of God. My brother, Jesus is a complete Saviour, and I desire His joy to be in you, that your joy may be full.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 42

    [signed] Mrs. E. G. White

    Norfolk Villa, Prospect St., Granville, N. S. W.

    August 12, 1894

    Captain C. Eldridge

    Dear Brother:—

    I received your letter yesterday and was very glad to hear from you. Your words give me much relief of mind because I know that the Holy Spirit is striving with you. “Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” [Hebrews 12:6.] In the press of a multiplicity of responsibilities, we frequently fail to devote a period of time each day to meditation and prayer, when we can closely, critically examine the motives which prompt us to action. We often fail to seek God at the very time when we need divine wisdom in order that we may be braced for duty and fortified for trial. Thus we are led to walk in self-confidence, not realizing the necessity of being kept by the power of God moment by moment, lest the enemy steal a march upon us.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 43

    Those who are called upon to be leaders in the cause of God must realize the positive necessity of being led themselves. Christ says, “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness; but shall have the light of life.” [John 8:12.] The truth for our time must transform the character. It is when the heart is wholly surrendered to God, that we learn both its waywardness and how effectual is the grace of God to bring it into subjection, that the character may be fashioned after the divine similitude. If the truth is planted in the heart by the Spirit of God, it will be revealed in the life, and its beauty will be apparent in the character.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 44

    I had not learned until I read your letter that you had suffered a severe illness. I know what it is to suffer, and my heart sympathizes with you. It would be a calamity for both time and eternity should you give up your mind to devotion to earthly pursuits and make God and heaven a secondary matter. Better far would be the cross, the disappointment, the shattered earthly prospect, the neglect of friends, the disapproval of the world, than to sit with princes and lose heaven. The greatest riches this world can bestow would only leave us wretched, hopeless, and miserable in the estimation of God. From the light given me of God, I know that the prince of this world, the father of lies, has taken possession of many lines in business and manipulates many matters in harmony with his own attributes; and even those who suppose that they are serving God are infatuated and deluded by his policy. They speak lies, they practice deception, and conscience strives in vain to make her voice heard. One passion after another, one project after another sways the heart and expels the Holy Spirit from the soul. The love of the world is permitted to come in and take possession of and rule the heart; but the Lord Jesus would have us, as rational creatures, place a right estimate upon eternal things so as not to lose eternity out of our reckoning.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 45

    My brother, let me tell you, if you and my nephew Frank Belden had been willing to gratefully accept the counsels of God, you could have been used to His name’s glory. But refusing to come under the discipline of the Holy Spirit, the Lord could not permit you to continue your connection with His work; for you would both have given the work a wrong mold. I was much relieved when I knew that you had both disconnected yourselves from the office by your own action. This was of the Lord. You did not adopt a course of action, in managing the affairs of the office, that God could approve. Words were spoken by you, actions were performed, and arrangements were sanctioned in the departments of business which were not in accordance with Bible principles. It is true that they would pass current with the world; but the world’s standard is to be no criterion for those who are the elect of God, who are chosen to do a special work after God’s order. There were threads of selfishness running through the business lines that God could not approve of or place His superscription upon, and the same threads of selfishness are apparent still in the management of the office. Selfishness will die in the management of the office just as soon as every managing agent is fashioned and molded after the similitude of Christ.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 46

    Christ is to be represented in every business transaction throughout every department of that office, for it is God’s great instrumentality for conveying the light of heaven to the world. There can be no double-dealing permitted, no confederacies formed to cloak a wrong. There must not be a particle of injustice done by one man to his fellow men for the purpose of enriching or benefiting the cause of God. God will not serve with the sins of those who handle sacred things. The Lord has no gentle name to apply to any shade of deception. There has been oppression practiced by men in high position. Those who should have had tender regard and sympathy for the erring, who should have spoken kind words even to those who made mistakes in some things, failed to do this.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 47

    Those who needed help often did not receive the courtesy, the regard, the help which they needed. So unprincipled a thing as receiving large wages should never have been carried into action in the office. Selfishness has tarnished the publishing institution, and spots, dark and forbidding, have been made upon the cause of God because of the perverse spirit that animated some who were in responsible positions.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 48

    Those who are called of God should be in touch with God, in order that they may have fine, keen, clear perceptions of what constitutes equity in judgment. Men in responsible positions should remember that the ten commandments are to be practiced in every line of work lest the cause of truth shall bear the imperfections of the mold of man and God be dishonored and stumbling blocks be laid before precious souls, over which they will stumble to their ruin. The followers of Christ must watch, pray, and work, having the eye single to the glory of God, knowing that they are working in the sight of the universe of heaven.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 49

    Men have made the cause of God an excuse for allowing oppression and suffering to come to souls. The cause of God must be represented by men whose hearts are as tender, pure, true, and compassionate as is the heart of Christ. Those who handle the sacred work in Christ’s stead must have a pure heart and clean hands. They must adopt Christ’s maxims; for if they fail to do so, they will be deceived, betray Christ, and dishonor the truth of God. Men have cherished an ambition to be considered keen and sharp in working for the financial interest of the Review and Herald office. They have not considered that they must love God supremely and their neighbors as themselves, but have permitted business to crowd out love. “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” [Revelation 3:4, 5.] “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments,” is a correct description of the moral atmosphere of the publishing house. “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars, I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” [Verses 1-3.] These statements of the True Witness have for years been applicable to the Review and Herald office.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 50

    If the love of Jesus had been a living, acting influence in the Review and Herald office, how different would have been the record in the books of heaven. Had those who were in responsible positions cultivated the love of Christ, that love would have had a controlling influence over human nature, and the actions of men would have been brought into conformity to the will of Christ. The affections would have been sanctified, and the workers would have been led to exercise the love of Christ, not to a few only, but to all who were needy. It is an easy matter to show respect, to manifest sympathy for one whom we think deserving; but to act out the principles of love and compassion revealed in the life of Christ, to manifest sympathy toward the erring, to reach a helping hand to the needy who do not seem deserving, is not so easy. This work cannot be done suddenly by those who professedly keep the commandments of God, while they do not practice them from the heart.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 51

    God will work for you if you will only consent to the operation of His Holy Spirit. I feel sorry that so large a number desire to work the Holy Spirit in place of permitting the Holy Spirit to work in molding and fashioning them. I have often heard from your lips the expression, “You know I have not an experience.” God has given you an experience. I have more faith today that you will be an overcomer than I ever had before; for the Lord is working with you, and through trials you are learning what it means to trust in God.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 52

    I read this incident: “At the battle of Alma when one of the regiments was being beaten back by the hordes of Russia, the ensign in front stood his ground as the troops retreated. The captain shouted to him to bring back the colors, but the reply of the ensign was, ‘Bring up the men to the colors.’” This is the work that devolves upon every faithful standard-bearer—to bring up the men to the colors. The Lord calls for wholeheartedness. We all know that the sin of many professed followers of Christ is that they lack the courage and the energy to bring themselves and those connected with them up to the standard. However urgent may be the message coming from the Lord, they fail to act up to its requirements.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 53

    I have faith to believe you will not stop at the halfway house, but will “follow on to know the Lord,” that you may know “His goings forth are prepared as the morning.” [Hosea 6:3.] The Lord loves us, and all He asks is that you respond to His love. He is goodness and truth, and we have need to call upon our soul and all that is within us to bless the Lord and praise His holy name. The Lord is good and does not willingly grieve or afflict the children of men, yet we are admonished to “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you.” [1 Peter 4:12.] The blacksmith puts the iron and steel into the fire to test them, that he [may] know what manner of metal they are. The Lord allows His chosen ones to be placed in the furnace of affliction in order that He may see what temper they are of, and whether He can use them and mold and fashion them for His work. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” [1 Peter 1:7.]16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 54

    You did not know how to be tenderhearted and pitiful to the very ones who needed your compassion. The Lord saw that yourself, Frank Belden, and others must learn this lesson of compassion, and you are now placed in the training, educating school to learn the lesson that has not been agreeable to you to practice. God saw that it was impossible for you to have the tenderness of Christ, to be pitiful and courteous until you should yourself be placed in trying circumstances, in order that you might sympathize with those who needed your attention in kind words and tangible help. They have not received this in the past. God saw that you could not become qualified to work the works of Christ, manifesting tenderness to all, exerting a thorough Christlike influence, until you were melted over, until every fiber of the root of selfishness was extracted from your life and character. He has permitted the furnace fires to kindle upon you, because He loved you and would mold you through fiery trials into the image of Christ.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 55

    I have sought to present before you the principles which should mold the actions of those who bear responsibilities in His cause. There was much dross, much chaff, to be separated from your spirit and character before your course of action could represent the character and work of Jesus Christ. Everything you did was deeply corroded with selfishness, and your influence, and that of Brother Frank Belden, was of a character to defile the experience of all those who looked to you for an example. Neither of you realized the necessity of attaining to a high experience in divine things, so that at all times and under all circumstances you might “keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment” [Genesis 18:19], mingling with your exercise of justice the mercy, the love, the goodness, the long forbearance, and tenderness of Christ. When a sufficient time for test and trial had been given you, and you failed to make a wise use of your capabilities and talents to glorify God, I was shown that He would separate you from His work. But I feel so grateful to God that He has been trying you with His refining fire, for without His discipline, you would not be fitted for any branch of the work. I feel the tenderest, heartfelt sympathy for you, my brother, and for my nephew Frank Belden. God has entrusted to him special capabilities and talents; but his self-esteem, his independence, his self-confidence have led him to rely upon himself instead of the Lord God of Israel. O, how poor we are in ourselves, and how rich we might be in Jesus Christ! The Holy Spirit is light and love and power, and God wishes to endow us with the Holy Spirit. Christ desires to make us channels through which His grace and righteousness shall flow in a rich, full current of life and blessing, of peace and joy, to refresh the souls of others. The command is given to us, “Bear ye one another’s burdens.” [Galatians 6:2.] “Pray one for another that ye may be healed” [James 5:16], have a heart that is softened by the Holy Spirit, which will make us kind and tender to, and thoughtful of, one another. We are to be forgiving one to another, and to be to each other in all our intercourse and connection all that we possibly can be. We are to be to others, as far as we are capable, what Jesus was to His disciples when He walked with them and talked with [them] on earth.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 56

    I know that you will have trials. The very condition of things which your own course of action created in the office, through your failure to learn in the school of Christ, through your lack of experience in divine things, will react upon yourself. Had you been filled with tender regard for every soul who needed your help, had you put forth painstaking effort to inspire the erring with hope and faith, had you practiced self-denial and manifested the love of Jesus which is positively necessary for all in positions of trust to manifest, your experience would have been of a different character. The Lord has no pleasure in the work of those who do not represent Christ, and after opening before them their defects of character, after bearing long with their mistakes, He will remove them from the work and test and try others. For even in this life, Christ is judge of all the earth and measures characters by the divine standard. Those who delight in the law of God are not under the law; for the law of God is an instrument of strength to them, a wall of protection, a refuge for guardianship, and does not bring condemnation; for to those who are in harmony with it, it is holy, just, and good. They can declare that “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.]16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 57

    In every institution the chaff and the wheat are mingled in an indistinguishable manner. But when some crisis comes, when test and trial pass over the people, those who are symbolized by chaff are driven away; but those who are represented by wheat remain. When God takes us in hand, He will accomplish His purpose for our good. Though our past course may not have been in harmony with the way of the Lord, though our paths have been turned aside from the ways of God, yet if we will cling to Him, He will change our course so that we shall keep the way of the Lord.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 58

    In your board and council meetings, when self and self-importance were the mainspring of action, there was a vast amount of imaginings expressed, many things were said, and much talking done, and angels stood by, veiling their faces and turning away. What was needed in those meetings was the heart of Christ. Some were filled with an ambition to have a telling influence upon the world, and their manner and spirit of working were such that Christ, the Center of all power, was largely expelled, as one for whom they had no particular use. Sanctified activity has an effectual influence, for it is a force that molds after heaven’s order. But the love of Jesus must pervade the hearts of those who would serve Him. Love is born of God. The managers of the institution at Battle Creek have for years been striving to make the progressive work of the institution all-absorbing, the beginning and ending of everything. In this lust for power, they have been walking in the sparks of their own kindling and not in the light of the message from the throne of God. All plans for reform, all activity, must be under the authority and supervision of God. Unless the fruit of Christian character appears, we can trust no man’s mind and no man’s judgment. The right temper of soul must be cultivated; we must become Christlike in character, partakers of the divine nature, having overcome the corruptions that are in the world through lust. Selfish ambition is not the fruit that grows upon the Christian tree which is for the healing of the nations. Christlike propositions will not bear the semblance of selfishness. Those who are workers together with God with one hand lay hold of needy, sinful, helpless, fallen humanity, and with the other they grasp the throne of God and lift and build men up in the most holy faith. They manifest a perseverance that will not be defeated or discouraged by failure. But the work of saving souls will not be successful if carried on simply by men’s finite methods. Let God work. Yes, let God work by His own conditions and plans and ways, and let men wonder and admire. The branch grafted into the vine will flourish and bear fruit to the glory of God, because the vital forces flow from the living vine to the branch. Christian religion is today on trial for its life, but it will not live through the multiplicity of men’s plans in turning things upside down, but through the life-giving properties that are in Jesus Christ. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 59

    The universe of heaven is calling upon us, the world is calling upon us to give a reason of the hope that is within us. We shall not do this by originating many plans in our human wisdom, but by unselfishness, by self-denial, by being full of grace and truth.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 60

    We are in great danger of losing Christ, the vital essence of the message. We shall not work the works of God because of possessing talent or having great knowledge, for more than mortal ability must be brought into the devising of successful plans. In their supposed human wisdom, men may turn and overturn, and yet not cure existing, discouraging evils. While professing to preach Christ, we are in sore danger of losing the Spirit of Christ because of neglecting to practice His words, which is called eating His flesh and drinking His blood. We need more of Christ’s love in our life to transform our characters. It is a vitalizing current from Jesus. I write with pain of heart that the love of God is very feebly represented among us. God Himself is not in our assemblies because the cold iron of self remains unmelted. We know little of the midnight struggles of Jacob in surrendering all to God and exercising conquering faith in God. The religion of Christ is well-nigh choked out of many of the hearts of those who stand in positions of responsibility, and they are putting their own ideas and their own works before the words and works of their professed Master. The woes of God’s creatures are passed by as unworthy of their attention. “Ye will not come unto me,” says Christ, “that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.]16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 61

    Who can sweep away the delusions that now exist among professed Christians? Men are making painstaking efforts to see Jerusalem, they are digging in the earth for hidden cities, and to find inscriptions which the Lord has seen fit to bury with the corrupted, defiled inhabitants; but the Lord has not laid it upon man to search out these mysteries. We cannot find out God by searching, by seeking to understand mysterious problems. Jesus came from heaven to reveal God. He came to represent the Father. The time, the strength, the money expended in searching out these old, buried-up inscriptions will not bring a greater knowledge than that which Christ has brought to our world. His prayer to His Father is, (and I would that you would listen as for your life), “and this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.” [John 17:3.] Union with Christ is a union with God through Christ. There is a life in the soul of every one who has formed this mystical, spiritual union with Christ that never fades or fails. We need an abiding Christ, yet many comprehend it not, and the world doubts whether we have the truth or any divine message from God. They judge us by the fruit we bear. Through self-love, through self-indulgence, the love of Christ is extinguished from the heart. But let us weave Christ into our plans, and let self have far less importance. Let the voices that have been heard so frequently in your councils be heard less frequently, and let Christ, the Light, the Truth, the Way, preside in your midst as your Counselor.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 62

    [signed] Mrs. E. G. White

    Granville, N. S. W.

    June 10, 1895

    Elder A. O. Tait, Review and Herald, Battle Creek, Michigan, U.S.A.

    Dear Brother:—

    I have received your letter in regard to royalty on books. You seem to be perplexed over this question. Will you counsel with Elder Olsen? I have written to him fully, I think, in regard to the matter. And in Testimony 33 you will find the subject plainly presented. What more can you have? The great burden which some of our brethren have in regard to the matter of royalty is not inspired of God. The Holy Spirit does not move upon men in this way. If those who are so zealous in regard to the royalties on books had been as deeply anxious and troubled in regard to their selfish acceptance of means which they no more earned than did many others, who were receiving limited wages, had they, in all its bearings, heeded the light which the Lord has given in regard to the practice of self-denial and the maintaining of the principles that characterized the work and the workmen in the establishment of the Review office, their attitude would appear more consistent.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 63

    The policy that dictated the payment of large wages is not inspired of God and has not His sanction or favor. It was born in selfishness and lives in selfishness. The great burden over royalties proceeds largely from the selfishness of the human heart, from the spirit of avarice which should have no place in your business transactions. The representations made in regard to the matter of royalty may confuse minds. This has been done already, but the Lord who deals justly, who loves mercy, whose ways are equal, will not sanction the devising of men whose discernment is not clear, whose ways are not equal, who would selfishly grasp for themselves all that is possible in the line of wages, while they would oppress others. These things will one day be seen in their true bearing.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 64

    Many movements are being made that spring from the finite wisdom of men, but not from the wisdom of Him who is unerring. The Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King, and men in every position of trust are to be ruled by Him. While they should guard every soul as God’s purchased possession, and prevent oppression on the one hand, they should also manifest unselfishness in all their dealings, and practice self-denial, ever giving heed to the words of the Lord, “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] The Lord God is our Ruler, His laws are to be brought into our practical life, and especially are they to rule our institutions.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 65

    The day is near when every hidden thing will be revealed. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.” [Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.] “Judgment will I also lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.” [Isaiah 28:17.]16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 66

    The laws which we should obey are enacted by our Father in heaven; they are wise and just and good; for they come from Him whose heart is love, and His blessing will always attend those who have a vital connection with Him who administers, and with those who obey, them. The combined power of authority and love will have an influence like a heavenly current in all our institutions when they are managed by men who not only administer the holy principles of God’s law, but obey them with a perfect heart. In the ten commandments the Holy One who inhabiteth eternity has given to all men the principles of His character. These are the rules for the guidance of all, men, women, and children, in all their transactions. These holy rules are to be taught to the children and [are] to form the standard of all dealing with one another. From this standard there can be no sinless swerving. The first principle of holiness is to learn the will of God and to do it with all the heart. Let men in responsible positions consider to a purpose that there is not one rule of action for the men in authority, and another for the class who are expected to submit to their decisions; not one rule for the director, and another for the supposed inferiors. I say “supposed,” for many who are treated as inferiors are men whose principles and course of action are such as heaven approves. They may be regarded as inferior in this world of iniquity, of semblance, and [of] sham; but in the sight of God they are counted more precious than gold, though it be tried with fire; they shall be found with praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. The true learners of Christ, combining faith and truth and righteousness in their life practice, will keep the way of the Lord; there will be no conniving in selfish practices. Every path that God has not marked out for men to pursue is that of the destroyer.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 67

    I have risen a long while before day to write these words, for I see a great deal that needs to be done in heart and practice for men in authority who are very officious to make laws and restrictions for others, while they themselves do not obey the law of God. They will learn sometime that there is prosperity and happiness in no other path than the way of the Lord. Man’s reason may be obscured, the conscience seared by long practice in their own way, but it is not a way of peace or security. Wherever the peace of God reigns in the heart, there is the tenderness and love of Christ.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 68

    I think I need not again present the subject of royalty before your councils. I shall ever stand where I now stand, because it is in the counsel of God. Men may haggle over this business and bring it to the front, but their manmade laws will be of little use. They may oppress; those who have authority may continue the work of seeking to bring men to their terms or cut off every resource; by their representations and the power of their will they may make it hard and hopeless for others to stand in their God-given sense of right; but bear in mind that God will judge for these things, and that day is not far distant. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. I shall bear my testimony as long as God shall spare my life.16LtMs, Ms 140, 1901, par. 69

    [signed] Mrs. E. G. White

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