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    IN the providence of God, we have been permitted to bear a part in the work of the last message from its commencement. And it has fallen to our lot to lead out in the publishing work, church organization, systematic benevolence, and to take an active part in bringing our institutions into existence, and also in their management. The success which has attended the several branches of the great work, has come from the direct providence of God. This has given our people confidence in our plans and our general management. Some, taking extreme positions upon the subject of leadership, have been ready to acknowledge us as the leader of this people. This position, however, we have never for a moment accepted. Those who in all honesty took this position, did not clearly see the subject in all its bearings upon a people that might consent to be led, and upon the one who might accept the position of leader.LIFSK 396.2

    The leadership question, and the scriptural form of church organization and discipline, have been subjects of discussion in the Christian church for centuries. These are matters upon which men may have committed very grave errors in the past, and those who commit similar ones in our time should not be too severely censured.LIFSK 397.1

    Early in the history of our cause, at a time when distracting influences were at work among us, we took a decided position upon the subject of unity in the church of Christ. We have often repeated the statement that there is not a single apology in all the New Testament for the existing want of unity of sentiment and action in the professed churches of Christ. Our Lord prayed that his followers might be one, as he was one with the Father.LIFSK 397.2

    “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 17:15-21. And Paul, in his epistle to the church at Rome, praying that unity might exist with them according to Christ Jesus, doubtless refers to Christ’s prayer that his people might be one.LIFSK 397.3

    “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus; that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5, 6. He appeals to the church at Philippi in these stirring words:-LIFSK 398.1

    “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:1-5. He exhorts the church at Corinth:-LIFSK 398.2

    “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10.LIFSK 398.3

    “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11. In connection with Paul’s finally, we give Peter’s, in these words:-LIFSK 398.4

    “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another; love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous; not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing, knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers.”LIFSK 398.5

    The testimonies of Mrs. W., in harmony with this position, were constantly appealing to our people upon the subject of unity; and the position has been generally adopted, that no one of our preachers should advance new views without counseling with his brethren in the ministry. God greatly blessed our united efforts, which have done much to educate our people upon the subject, and to secure the unparalleled unity of sentiment and action that exists among us.LIFSK 399.1

    At the General Conference held at Battle Creek, April, 1861, we spoke upon the resurrection, as set forth in the fifteenth chapter of Paul’s first epistle to the church at Corinth. The strong tendency with many members of the popular churches, to surrender the time-honored doctrine of the literal resurrection of the dead, led us to speak upon the subject before such representative men as Elders Andrews, Waggoner, Loughborough, and Smith. We had adopted the view that it was not necessary to a resurrection that the same particles of matter which constitute the mortal man should enter into the immortal being; and that the identity between the present mortal and the immortal is not in matter, but in organization.LIFSK 399.2

    We were happy to know that the position taken relieved the subject of the resurrection from the difficulties of the identical-particles-of-matter theory, urged by skeptics, which difficulties were leading thousands, like the Sadducees of old, to deny the resurrection of the dead. It seemed evident to us that Paul refers to these when he says, “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?” 1 Corinthians 15:35. He then shows by the figure of the grain, that the matter which constitutes the mortal body does not enter into the immortal being.LIFSK 399.3

    The ministers before mentioned did not accept our view of the subject, and conforming to the rule we had adopted, that new views should not be urged until there should be harmony among the leading men of the denomination, we let the matter rest during a period of sixteen years. But when writing upon the plan of redemption through Christ, given in the pamphlet entitled, “The Redeemer and Redeemed,” the Spirit of God led us into the subject again. And while writing upon the identity question, Mrs. W. desired that we should listen to the reading of that which she was then preparing for the second volume of the “Spirit of Prophecy.” The matter which she read, was what the Lord had shown her upon this subject in connection with the denial of the resurrection of the dead by the Sadducees. Both were writing upon the same subject, while neither knew of what the other was writing. With this evidence before us, that the Lord had taken the question in hand, we presented our views in the aforementioned pamphlet, and invited criticisms.LIFSK 400.1

    When we returned from California a few weeks later, we found Doctor Kellogg presenting to his physiology class the identity question from a scientific view. But the subject was still under the heavy pressure of the prejudice which would naturally exist in the minds of the brethren at Battle Creek, because of the position and influence of leading ministers. Many of the students accepted the Doctor’s position, while but few of them dared to express their real convictions, lest they should be doomed to the regions of infidelity, where the Doctor had been consigned by those under the influence of narrow prejudice. We take pleasure, however, in here stating that the views of Mrs. W. on this subject, in manuscript three years since, are clear and definite. And when she can be spared from arduous labors in the field, into which she is urged, she will be able to give them in connection with other important matter in the fourth volume of the “Spirit of Prophecy.”LIFSK 400.2

    When the leadership question was especially agitated among our people, the pressure of influences, at first opposite to each other, were brought to bear upon us. On the one hand, we were urged to acknowledge the position of leader, and on the other hand, some were grieved over the mistaken idea that we had accepted the position, when, at this very time, our views on the subject, given in the following pages, were in manuscript, which was afterward given in the Signs of the Times. We have been thus definite in the foregoing, in order to bring out the following facts:-LIFSK 401.1

    1. That our position upon the subjects of organization, and the means to secure unity in the church of Christ, has been the same during the past thirty years.LIFSK 401.2

    2. That, in the providence of God, we were tested and proved on the very point where reproaches had fallen from those who were unfriendly. They had charged us with assuming the very position which friends urged upon us in vain.LIFSK 401.3

    3. In the matter of the identity question, we were so far influenced by the opinions of others as to be silent upon an important point of truth for a period of sixteen years.LIFSK 401.4

    In the words of the Master we would here appeal to our brethren in the ministry, “One is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren.” Matthew 23:8. Jesus addressed these words to the twelve, in the hearing of the multitude. And while they were a rebuke to the scribes and Pharisees, who were striving for the mastery, they were also designed to impress the disciples with the great truth, which should be felt in all coming time, that Christ is the only head of the church.LIFSK 402.1

    The prophetic eye of the Son of God could look forward over the Christian age, and take in at a glance the errors and dangers of the church. And we may look back over her sad history and see that strict adherence to the principle set forth in the foregoing words of our Lord has been important to the purity of the church, while departure from it has marked the progress of different forms of corrupted Christianity. The most prominent among these is Catholicism, which has set over the church one man, whose claims to infallibility are sustained by the Roman Church.LIFSK 402.2

    Christ is the only authorized leader of his people. At the very commencement, in laying the foundation of the Christian church, as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw “two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:18, 19. “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom; and he saith unto him, Follow me.” “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:27, 28.LIFSK 402.3

    Was Moses the visible leader of the Jewish church? Christ was the invisible leader of that people, and is also the leader of the Christian church. Moses speaks of Christ in these words: “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” Deuteronomy 18:15. And Peter, in preaching Christ to the people on the occasion of healing the lame man at the gate of the temple, indorses the words of Moses thus: “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” Acts 3:22.LIFSK 403.1

    The transfiguration was designed, not only to illustrate the future kingdom of glory after the resurrection and change to immortality, but to impress the church with the glory of Christ as her head and leader. No part of that grand scene could be more impressive than the bright cloud that overshadowed them, and the “voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.” Matthew 17:5.LIFSK 403.2

    And at no time during his public ministry does Christ intimate that any one of his disciples should be designated as their leader. He does say, however, that “he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” Matthew 23:11. And on the occasion of submitting the great commission to his first ministers, to be perpetuated in the Christian ministry to the close of the age, Christ gives the pledge that ever has been and ever will be the supporting staff of every true minister, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20.LIFSK 403.3

    Christ’s ministers have ever had a world-wide message: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” And wherever their footprints may be seen, upon the mountains or in the valleys, there Christ has been by the ministration of his holy angels, and the teachings of the Holy Ghost. “I am with you,” is the soul-inspiring promise to every true minister. Christ proposes to lead his servants, and it is their privilege to approach the throne of grace, and receive from their sovereign Leader fresh rations, and orders direct from headquarters.LIFSK 404.1

    And there is no intimation that the apostles of Christ designated one of their number above another as their leader. Paul would have the Corinthians follow him only as he followed Christ. He says, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances as I delivered them to you.” 1 Corinthians 11:1, 2. Paul, so far from claiming to be the head of the church at Corinth, and securing their obedience, sympathy, and benevolence on this ground, would shake them off from seeking to be directed by him. In the very first sentence of the very next verse he exalts Christ as their leader: “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ.” Thank Heaven, the Christian church has no use for the pope.LIFSK 404.2

    In his epistle to the Hebrews, the apostle compares two faithful leaders. One was a servant in the Jewish church; the other is a Son over the Christian church. Who are these two leaders? Are they Moses and Peter? or Moses and Paul? or Moses and Luther? or Moses and Wesley? or Moses and Miller? We need not say that they are Moses and Christ. As a servant in the Jewish church, Moses was their visible leader. As a Son over his own church, both Jewish and Christian, Christ is the invisible leader. Moses led the Hebrews in the wilderness, not by his own wisdom, however superior, but by direct communications from Christ, who was the Angel that was with Moses in the church in the wilderness. Acts 7:37, 38. And Christ leads the Christian church, through the ministration of angels attended by the Holy Spirit in harmony with the written word. Christ’s ministers are shepherds of the flock, and leaders of the people in a subordinate sense. If faithful, they will receive a crown of unfading glory when the Chief Shepherd shall appear.LIFSK 405.1

    Paul enjoins obedience and submission on the part of the church; but he does not require this in particular for himself, or for any other one. He pleads in behalf of all faithful ministers in these words: “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God; whose faith follow, considering the end [object or subject] of their conversation, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.” Chap. 13:7. Again he says, in verse 17 of the same chapter: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you.”LIFSK 405.2

    In Hebrews 12:1, 2, the apostle exalts Christ as the great head of the church, and the only one to whom she should look for leadership. He would have the church benefited by the experiences of the heroes of faith mentioned in the eleventh chapter, called in the first verse of the twelfth a cloud of witnesses. But he faithfully guards the church against looking back to them with a spirit of idolatry, or accepting any man as their leader, or pattern of the Christian life, in these three words: “Looking unto Jesus.” Paul says: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”LIFSK 406.1

    All true ministers are Christ’s ambassadors. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20. In their ministry they are to represent the doctrine of Christ, and the interests of his cause in this world. They surrender their own judgment and will to Him who has sent them. No man can be Christ’s ambassador until he has made a complete surrender of his right of private judgment to Christ. Neither can any man properly represent Christ who surrenders his judgment to his fellow-man.LIFSK 406.2

    But the subject must not be left here with the truth partly expressed. The words of Christ and his apostles relative to unity and the ordained means to secure it, and proper discipline, must have a qualifying bearing upon the subject, lest unsanctified men, who do not submit their will and judgment either to Christ or to church authority, assume the gospel ministry, and divide and scatter the flock of God.LIFSK 406.3

    But here we wish it distinctly understood that officers were not ordained in the Christian church to order or to command the church, or to “lord it over God’s heritage.” In the case of difference of opinion that arose in some of the primitive churches relative to circumcision and the keeping of the law of Moses, recorded in the fifteenth chapter of Acts, the apostles and elders at Jerusalem acted as counselors, in a manner to give room for the Holy Ghost to sit as judge. The report of that blessed meeting at Jerusalem to settle a festering difficulty, commences on this wise: “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us.” And the brethren which were from among the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia, “rejoiced for the consolation.” Differences settled in this way frequently seem more than settled, and generally remain settled; while those disposed of by the exercise of mere church authority are seldom really settled at all.LIFSK 407.1

    Between the two extremes, of church force, and unsanctified independence, we find the grand secret of unity and efficiency in the ministry and in the church of God. Our attention is called to this in a most solemn appeal from the venerable apostle Peter to the elders of his time: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” 1 Peter 5:1-6.LIFSK 407.2

    In painful contrast with the foregoing are those ecclesiastical conferences and assemblies of our time, where ministers distinguish themselves by a spirit of strife and debate, and in the use of language which would be regarded as ungentlemanly in all other respectable associations.LIFSK 408.1

    Organization was designed to secure unity of action, and as a protection from imposture. It was never intended as a scourge to compel obedience, but, rather, for the protection of the people of God. Christ does not drive his people. He calls them. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Our living Head leads the way, and calls his people to follow.LIFSK 408.2

    We close this chapter with brief remarks upon the past, present, and future. We entered upon the work of the last message after the great disappointment in 1844, thirty-six years since, under the most discouraging circumstances. The money that paid the fare of Mrs. W. and the writer to the first Conference of our people, held in the State of Connecticut, we earned chopping cord-wood. The money that paid our fare to the second, held in Western New York, we earned in the hay-field.LIFSK 408.3

    Poverty, feebleness, and great discouragements were our portion in the early history of the cause. The disappointment, and the scattering of the Advent people that followed, can hardly be described. After the disappointment, almost every conceivable fancy and fanaticism had divided the Advent people into contending factions. And it was from these, that the S. D. Adventists of those times were gathered. To organize and discipline a people composed of such elements, was a work that could be accomplished only by the especial help of God.LIFSK 408.4

    The Lord was speaking through Mrs. W. in messages of reproof and correction, which many were slow to receive; and some of those who rejected the reproofs seemed to be filled with a spirit of frenzy and bitterness against us and the work in which we were engaged. But God’s grace is always proportionate to the work he requires of his trusting servants. It is frequently asked by the friends of the cause at the present time, “What sustained you in those days of poverty, feebleness, and reproach?” Our answer is, that the manifestation of the Spirit and power of God in answer to prayer, and comforting messages through the spirit of prophecy, so braced our faith that we threw ourselves into the work, and suffered sickness, want of suitable food and clothing, and bore the most bitter reproaches, with that composure and confidence which true faith gives. Saving faith, very scarce at this day, assumes the form of knowledge in the minds and hearts of the trusting, obedient children of God.LIFSK 409.1

    With such a faith, and Mrs. W. by our side, we have moved forward, venturing in this, in that, and in the other, as the cause has advanced. It was this that led us to venture our lives and to sacrifice our property in the work of buildingLIFSK 409.2

    up the cause on the Pacific coast. What we have actually paid out in money, and what we have lost in money, in consequence of our operations upon that coast, amounts to $8,000.

    Under the faithful efforts of Elder Loughborough and his associate laborers, a great work has been accomplished on the Pacific Coast. The Pacific S. D. A. Publishing Association owns its buildings and the land upon which they are built, in the very center of the beautiful city of Oakland, Cal., which has a population of 40,000.LIFSK 410.1


    The main building, here represented on the left, is in the form of a Greek cross, the main portion, 26x66, the transverse section, 26x44. It faces the east on Castro Street. The portion on the right is 30x84, facing the north on Central Avenue.

    The first object we had in view in establishing this publishing house, was the dissemination in print of the doctrines of S. D. Adventists upon the Pacific coast. Had this object ever been kept firmly in view by its managers, its denominational patrons would now be more numerous, and its finances would be in a better condition. Both our Offices may be in danger of committing the same error in a degree. God will bless his own work. It is poor policy to do an outside business, where there are risks, when in our own work there are no risks, and the business is under our own control. Here has been the strength of the Review Office in adhering more closely to its legitimate work.LIFSK 410.2

    The present is a most interesting period in the history of the publishing work, and in the cause generally. We are under the conviction that it would be a great error on our part to leave the general oversight of this branch of the work to others, to which God has especially called us. The importance of the publishing work demands our special attention in the preparation of books, and the general oversight of this department in all its branches.LIFSK 411.1

    Incessant toil away from Battle Creek has worn us to such a degree that we needed rest on returning. But instead of rest, we have usually found work of the most perplexing character waiting for us that had been piling up for weeks or months. There was so much to be considered, that decisions had to be made in thirty seconds which should have had an hour of calm thought of a rested mind. Under such a pressure we have appeared to great disadvantage. The future is most hopeful. We are happy in the prospect of finding rest from the fatigue of camp-meetings, and the work generally, and giving our remaining energies to writing and the general oversight of the publishing work.LIFSK 411.2

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