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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Ms 10, 1901

    “We are sorry that ...”

    St. Helena, California

    January 4, 1901

    Previously unpublished.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.

    We are sorry that [A. R. Henry] is so tempted by the enemy to do great harm to God’s institution. May the Lord give him power from the snare to go.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 1

    God has given decided instruction on this point in the sixth chapter of first Corinthians. “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.” [Verses 1-8.]16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 2

    Thus the Lord hath spoken against His people going to law before the unjust. Christians should settle their differences among themselves. They should not appeal to civil tribunals. There are lawyers who are dishonest, who for gain would deal unjustly. And when those who have had great light depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, there is nothing to hinder them from going to great lengths in unrighteousness. They will link up with men who are ready to help them oppress the people of God.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 3

    This is not a personal matter. It is not men who are being robbed. Finite human beings, influenced by Satanic agencies, are bringing confusion and distress upon those who as stewards in trust are guarding the interests of the work and treasure of God. It is not men that [Henry] has set himself against, but the God of heaven, He who gives human beings all they have, in order to test and try them.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 4

    Those who are serving in our institutions in any country are not dealing with their own property. They are not even owners of themselves; for God’s Word declares, “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.” [Verses 19, 20.] This great sacrifice was made to rescue men from the bondage of sin and Satan.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 5

    To every man is given a work. God has a position for each one to occupy. All are to honor Him, showing a faithful regard for the interests of His cause. They are to jealously guard these interests, faithfully discharging the duties laid upon them. All are to abide in God, working in union with Him. They are to labor in such a way that they will win His approbation and enjoy His favor.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 6

    But there are men who have lost all love for God out of their hearts. They have barred the door of the heart against all righteous principles. They will not be reasoned with. And in order to be revenged of some wrong men have done them, they set themselves, in their hatred, at variance with God. They are determined to co-operate with Satan in robbing, not individuals, but the treasury of God, taking from it the supply with which His work is to be sustained and His kingdom built up.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 7

    These things are to be carefully considered, and God’s people are to withstand Satanic agencies as far as duty seems to indicate that they should. Let men esteemed by God take these matters to Him in prayer, asking for wisdom to know just what course to pursue.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 8

    That which is to distinguish Christians from all others is their union with Christ. This union is their strength and their efficiency. It leads them to love Jesus, to pray to Him, and to honor Him by doing His commandments. The fruit of this union is seen in their love for one another.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 9

    I address words to you which are of consequence to you. Have you not, while professedly working for the advancement of the cause of God, linked up with persons whose hearts, filled with covetousness and selfishness, were estranged from God? A certain work was given them to do, but they moved from impulse and abused their trust. Their course of action weakened the influence of Seventh-day Adventists. By deception, unrighteous principles were carried out, and God’s cause was losing its distinctive characteristics of self-denial and self-sacrifice. God sent warnings and appeals and entreaties, but these were disregarded.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 10

    Those who are governed by holy principles will overcome selfishness and covetousness. They will realize that they are under a most solemn obligation to fit themselves in body and mind for the best discharge of the duties they owe to God and to their fellow men. We are God’s property, and He requires us to follow the sacred principles of honesty in all that we do, so that we shall not misrepresent Him. The business transactions in God’s institutions are to be such that they will glorify Christ. Those who, while professedly working for God, plan and devise for their own selfish interests, place themselves under the control of the wily foe, who in the heavenly courts apostatized from God and was expelled from heaven.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 11

    Men who are working in an underhand manner, who suppose themselves to be sharp and keen, have been connected with the work of God when they were ignorant of themselves and of the results to which their course was tending. To serve certain ends they have been employed to do certain lines of work, and they were paid for doing this work, when at the same time they were carrying on their own underhand work. These men had opportunity to be enlightened by the Spirit of God and healed of their errors. They could have united with the true, sincere believers in serving their Creator and Redeemer with full purpose of heart, regarding Him as their rightful proprietor and rendering Him the homage of their hearts. Oh that these men had remembered that their underhand work was of the same nature as the work of Satan when in the heavenly courts he plotted against God! Oh that they could have seen that the heavenly angels were watching them, making a record of every transaction! What terror would have filled their minds as they saw their guiltiness and its sure result.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 12

    In their blindness they decided that their actions were not wrong, that they would not injure themselves. But men are to look at their actions in the clear light of righteous principles. They are to study how these actions will affect others, remembering that in the great day of God they will be held accountable for a failure to inculcate pure, unselfish motives and to do unselfish deeds. They should work in such a way that each action will honor God. They should cherish the love which leads to self-denial for the sake of doing good to others.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 13

    Two men whom God loved were connected together to do a certain work for the prosperity and healthfulness and continual advancement of God’s institutions. They could not fail to do unselfish work without sinning against God, who requires of a steward that he be found faithful. Satan tempted these men to carry the work so as to make a good thing for themselves. Thus God’s cause was made to suffer. It was not man they were planning to outwit; it was God. And the details of every transaction in which they took part, and every word they uttered, are written in God’s book of records.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 14

    Oh, how many ministers of the gospel have been wronged by these combined forces, who drew in other persons by their deceptive statements. They were working to distill suspicion and by false statements to divert means from God’s treasury. Their decisions brought sadness to many hearts which should have been relieved and made glad. Those in whose favor these men were prejudiced were dealt with more favorably, but those for whom they had any dislike were made to feel the weight of injustice.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 15

    “Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written; that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” [1 Corinthians 9:7-14.]16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 16

    The apostle presents these principles for the benefit of those who labor in spiritual things. For our sakes this is written, to show that it is the will of God that ministers of the gospel should receive support from those for whom they labor. All who preach the gospel, whether men or women, are entitled to a just reward for their services.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 17

    The Lord has been greatly dishonored by those who have been retained in positions of trust while proving themselves to be unfaithful stewards. Their consciences were not tender. By the introduction of wrong principles they sowed the seeds of evil. They did not do in righteousness the work for which they received wages. They did not do justly.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 18

    Let those who now make efforts to extort means from the treasury remember that they are robbing God. They are not dealing with men, but with God. It is God’s work they have hindered and made to suffer. If they could only see this as it is, they would make every effort in their power to repent and be converted, and to build up that which they have tried to tear down. These men have an account to settle with God. Their work should now be to make restitution; for they have involved the cause of God in financial embarrassment. But they seek to deepen their sin by still further impoverishing the treasury. Those who have done this work and still continue to do it will not care to meet their record in the great day of final retribution. They professed to be friends of the cause. They were given positions of influence, but they followed their own pernicious ways, and by reason of them the truth has been evil spoken of.16LtMs, Ms 10, 1901, par. 19

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