Letters to Young Lovers
I wrote nearly a hundred pages long before my husband died of what would be transacted in the Review & Herald Office. If I can find this matter, I will send it to you. Men are travelling over the very ground that was presented to me years ago. It was made clear to me that light would be rejected, that warnings would be despised, that a spirit of selfishness would be cultivated in the Office, and that men would act from worldly principles, and depart from the law of God. They would give heed to the promptings of the enemy, and would turn human agents away from their right. Religious and business liberty they would labour to control. They would work to have every Seventh Day Adventist institution in subordination to the institution in Battle Creek, and manipulate things so that every branch of the work would be centred and controlled by responsible men in the Review & Herald Office. This is what men are doing, and acting as if every branch of the work, both high and afar off, must come under the jurisdiction of men in Battle Creek, and that every one must circle around their orbit. But the Lord has given light to the effect that our different institutions must stand by themselves. These men are carrying on their counsels, and acting as though God in person had spoken by them. They bear themselves loftily toward the purchase of Christ's blood. They act as though every individual must acknowledge their sway, and use his ability and talent as they may direct. If he will not come under their control they crush him out or treat him with indifference. They consider it is an abomination to be unsubmissive, and those who do not submit to their jurisdiction are left without sympathy, without help or support. They say by their spirit and action, "If he dies, let him die." 1888 1370

Individual service is to be rendered to God, not to be controlled by men or by any set of men. Movements have been made which mean much in their outworking. An example has been given by men who are serving where they should not be, which is leavening your conferences. The Presidents of Conferences are being imbued with a spirit to rule, to require men to bow to their judgement, if any refuse, the course pursued toward them is such a, to fill heaven with indignation. 1888 1400

No one must be permitted to close the avenues whereby the light of truth shall come to the people. As soon as this shall be attempted, God's Spirit will be quenched, for that Spirit is constantly at work to give fresh and increased light to His people through His Word. Let the love of Christ reign in hearts here. Let all yield themselves to that heavenly power which alone can create unity by quelling selfish ambitions and human pride. When the Spirit of God comes in, love will take the place of variance, because Jesus is love; if His spirit were cherished here our meeting would be like a stream in the desert. 1888 171

Over and over again men have said, "The voice of the conference is the voice of God; therefore everything must be referred to the conference. The conference must permit or restrict in the various lines of work." As the matter has been presented to me, there is a narrow compass, and within this narrow compass, all the entrances to which are locked, are those who would like to exercise kingly power. But the work carried on all over the field demands an entirely different course of action. There is need of the laying of a foundation different from the foundation which has been laid in the past. 1888 1727

God means what He says. He calls for a change. The same things are being repeated, the same ideas followed, the same committees appointed. In a small section a king reigns, and all others are secondary, when there are other men who are better able to do the work, because they have not been working on narrow plans.

I feel intensely over this matter. I do not want to talk in this way. If you will melt under the tenderness of God, breaking your hearts before Him and placing yourselves where you will not mislead, you will see that He hates selfishness. When you bring selfishness into the management of His cause, it makes the crime one-hundred-fold greater. It makes God ashamed of you. 1888 1732

There are to be no kings in our work, no man who will put out his hand and say to God's workmen, "You cannot go there; we will not support you if you go there." "We!" What have they to do with the supporting? Is the means of support theirs? The money comes from the people, and God has instructed me to tell those who are working in destitute fields to go to the people and tell them their necessity. They are to draw from the people means to build up the work in the field where they are. 1888 1736

When the resolution was urged upon the conference that nothing should be taught in the college contrary to that which has been taught, I felt deeply, for I knew whoever framed that resolution was not aware of what he was doing. And when one of the elders of the church was asked if Elder Jones was not to be invited to speak and give his views on national reform and the Sunday law, the answer was that Elder ______ thought he had better not be invited to speak, for he took rather strong positions. And the arrangements were made to shut him out of the school for fear something should come in that would be at variance with what has been taught in the school. Was this a conscientiousness inspired by the Spirit of God? Certainly there was not the spirit of inspiration upon you from God, but from another source. 1888 258

The question of religious liberty needs to be clearly comprehended by our people in more ways than one. With outstretched arms men are seeking to steady the ark, and the anger of the Lord is kindled against them because they think that their position entitles them to say what the Lord's servants shall do and what they shall not do. They think themselves competent to decide what shall be brought before God's people, and what shall be repressed. The Lord inquires of them, "Who has required this at your hand? Who has given you the burden of being conscience for My people? By what spirit are you guided and controlled when you seek to restrict their liberty? I have not chosen you as I chose Moses--as men through whom I can communicate divine instruction to My people. I have not placed the lines of control in your hands. The responsibility that rested on Moses--of voicing the words of God to the people--has never been delegated to you." 18MR 223

(Written August 1, 1895, at Granville, N.S.W., Australia.) I am unable to put away the anxious thoughts that fill my mind in regard to the work of God. I feel that to weep would be a relief. I am sure that a work must be done for those in positions of trust in Battle Creek. They will never be safe, trustworthy men until they are labourers together with God. The question often comes to me, "Has God chosen these men to devise and plan and execute in behalf of His work, when they have not a vital connection with Him?" The men God chooses to bear burdens in His work are to sit at the feet of Jesus, and learn from Him how to repress their unChristlike desires and inclinations. God has not given men power to interfere between a human being and his conscience. 18MR 223

There is an evil, a great evil, that is to be rooted out of all council meetings and board meetings. We are living in perilous times. Men are striving for the control over their fellow men. God is displeased and dishonoured. Man is led to fear man rather than God. My brethren, has not the word of God been dismissed from your councils? Have not the words of men had too much power? Has not religious freedom been excluded from your assemblies? Have you not censured your fellow men, when you yourselves were standing under the censure of God? Take your hands off your brethren. They are not to be under the control of any man or set of men. Men are not to league together to bind their fellow men by rules and restrictions. God knows the characters of men. He sees their weakness, and He has not put into their hands the power that belongs alone to Him. He has not given them the right to say what their fellow men shall do and what they shall not do. 18MR 224

It is the greatest presumption for man to assume the right of dictation and control over his fellow men. God is the owner of man. To his Maker, man stands or falls. To God he is responsible, not to his fellow men. Every man has an individuality of his own, which is not to be submerged in any other human being. The life of each one must be hid with Christ in God. Men are under God's control, not under the control of weak, erring human beings. They are to be left free to be guided by the Holy Spirit, not by the fitful, perverse spirit of unsanctified men. 18MR 225

Let God be recognised as the supreme Ruler of His heritage. Let every man place himself under His control. Let Him be recognised in all our assemblies, in every business meeting, every council, every committee. He sees all that is done, and hears all that is said. "Thou God seest me." Let these words be kept ever in mind. They will be a safeguard against imprudent, passionate speeches, against all desire to domineer. They will repress words that should never be spoken, and resolutions that men have no right to make --resolutions that restrict the liberty of human beings. 18MR 225

Every member of the church has a voice in choosing officers of the church. The church chooses the officers of the state conferences. Delegates chosen by the state conferences choose the officers of the union conferences, and delegates chosen by the union conferences choose the officers of the General Conference. By this arrangement every conference, every institution, every church, and every individual, either directly or through representatives, has a voice in the election of the men who bear the chief responsibilities in the General Conference. 8T 236

[ Unity in Diversity ] On the other hand, the leaders among God's people are to guard against the danger of condemning the methods of individual workers who are led by the Lord to do a special work that but few are fitted to do. Let brethren in responsibility be slow to criticise movements that are not in perfect harmony with their methods of labour. Let them never suppose that every plan should reflect their own personality. Let them not fear to trust another's methods; for by withholding their confidence from a brother labourer who, with humility and consecrated zeal, is doing a special work in God's appointed way, they are retarding the advancement of the Lord's cause. 9T 259

To the prophet the wheel within a wheel, the appearance of living creatures connected with them, all seemed intricate and unexplainable. But the hand of Infinite Wisdom is seen among the wheels, and perfect order is the result of its work. Every wheel, directed by the hand of God, works in perfect harmony with every other wheel. I have been shown that human instrumentalities are liable to seek after too much power and try to control the work themselves. They leave the Lord God, the Mighty Worker, too much out of their methods and plans, and do not trust to Him everything in regard to the advancement of the work. No one should for a moment fancy that he is able to manage those things that belong to the great I AM. God in His providence is preparing a way so that the work may be done by human agents. Then let every man stand at his post of duty, to act his part for this time and know that God is his instructor. 9T 259

[ The General Conference ] I have often been instructed by the Lord that no man's judgement should be surrendered to the judgement of any other one man. Never should the mind of one man or the minds of a few men be regarded as sufficient in wisdom and power to control the work and to say what plans shall be followed. But when, in a General Conference, the judgement of the brethren assembled from all parts of the field is exercised, private independence and private judgement must not be stubbornly maintained, but surrendered. Never should a labourer regard as a virtue the persistent maintenance of his position of independence, contrary to the decision of the general body. 9T 260

When this power, which God has placed in the church, is accredited wholly to one man, and he is invested with the authority to be judgement for other minds, then the true Bible order is changed. Satan's efforts upon such a man's mind would be most subtle and sometimes well-nigh overpowering, for the enemy would hope that through his mind he could affect many others. Let us give to the highest organised authority in the church that which we are prone to give to one man or to a small group of men. 9T 261

Again and again I have been instructed to say to our people: Let your faith and trust be in God. Do not depend on any erring man to define your duty. 9T 279

Here are the very words that we want to bring into our life practice. The men that have long stood in positions of trust while disregarding the light that God has given, are not to be depended upon. God wants them to be removed. He wants a new life element brought into the publishing institutions. There are those who have stood as managers and yet have not managed after God's order. Some have served on committees here and committees there, and have felt free to dictate just what the committee should say and do, claiming that those who did not carry out these ideas were sinning against Christ. GCB APR.03,1901

A great many of the difficulties that have come into our work in California and elsewhere have come in through a misunderstanding on the part of men in official positions concerning their individual responsibility in the matter of controlling and ruling their fellow labourers. Men entrusted with responsibilities have supposed that their official position embraced very much more than was ever thought of by those who placed them in office, and serious difficulties arose as the result. PC 298

Simple organisation and church order are set forth in the New Testament Scriptures, and the Lord has ordained these for the unity and perfection of the church. The man who holds office in the church should stand as a leader, as an advisor and a counsellor and helper in carrying the burdens of the work. He should be a leader in offering thanksgiving to God. But he is not appointed to order and command the Lord's labourers. The Lord is over His heritage. He will lead His people if they will be led of the Lord in the place of assuming a power God has not given them. Let us study the twelfth and thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and the fifteenth chapter of Acts. PC 298

I have borne abundant testimony, setting forth the fact that the ability to write a book, is, like every other talent, a gift from God, for which the possessor is accountable to him. This talent no man can buy or sell without incurring great and dangerous responsibility. Those who labour to bring about changes in the publication of books, to place the books wholly under the control of the publishing houses or the Conference, know not what they are talking about. Their eyes are blinded, and they work from a wrong standpoint. Selfishness is a root of bitterness whereby many are defiled. PH080 38

See, O see, where your duties have been neglected, and where you have given an example to both believers and unbelievers which would lead them away from God, away from righteousness and the spirit of the truth. Jesus would have men come to him, trust in him, rely upon him, and have their experience founded upon him alone. Light and counsel have been sought of human beings who were as much in the dark and as far from living in the favour of God as were those who looked to them for aid, and therefore could not give the help sought. The result has been just what might have been expected,--counsel tainted with human weakness and defects. God has been dishonoured, and souls have been robbed of that grace and light which Jesus is ever ready to impart to all who would seek his face. We have been interweaving with our experiences more and more of human appliances and human aids, and have sought less and less divine counsel, until our work is marked with grave defects, and is destitute of divine power. RH DEC.18,1888

For the last twenty years a subtle, unconsecrated influence has been leading men to look to men, to bind up with men, to neglect their heavenly Companion. Many have turned away from Christ. They have failed to appreciate the One who declares, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." RH FEB.18,1904

The people go to church, listen to the sermon, pay their tithes, make their offerings, and do very little else. And why?--Because the ministers do not open their plans to the people, soliciting the benefit of their advice and counsel in planning and their help in executing the plans that they have had a part in forming.

Neither Conference officer nor minister has a call from God to indulge distrust of God's power to use every individual who is considered a worthy member of the church. This cautiousness, so-called, is retarding almost every line of the Lord's work. God can and will use those who have not had a thorough education in the schools of men. A doubt of his power to do this is manifest unbelief; it is limiting the Omnipotent power of the One with whom nothing is impossible. O for less of this unsanctified, distrustful caution! It leaves so many forces of the church unused; it closes up the way so that the Holy Spirit cannot use men; it keeps in idleness those who are willing and anxious to labour in Christ's lines; it discourages many from entering the work who would become efficient labourers together with God if they were given a fair chance.... It is the lack of spiritual exercise that makes church-members so weak and inefficient; but again I would ask, Who is to blame for the state of things that now exists?

God has given "to every man his work." Why is it that ministers and Conference officers do not recognise this fact? Why do they not manifest their appreciation of the help that individual members of the church could give? Let church-members awake. Let them take hold and help to stay up the hands of the ministers and the workers, pushing forward the interests of the cause. There must be no measuring of talent by comparison. If a man exercises faith, and walks humbly with his God, he may have little education, he may be accounted a weak man, yet he can fill his appointed place as well as the man who has the finest education. He who yields himself most unreservedly to the influence of the Holy Spirit is best qualified to do acceptable service for the Master. God will inspire men who do not occupy responsible positions to work for him. If ministers and men in positions of authority will get out of the way, and let the Holy Spirit move upon the minds of the lay brethren, God will direct them what to do for the honour of his name. Let men have freedom to carry out that which the Holy Spirit indicates. Do not put the shackles upon humble men whom God would use. If those who now occupy positions of responsibility had been kept at one class of work year after year, their talents would not have developed, and they would not have been qualified for the positions they hold; and yet they make no special effort to test and develop the talents of those newly come into the faith.

Women who are willing to consecrate some of their time to the service of the Lord should be appointed to visit the sick, look after the young, and minister to the necessities of the poor. They should be set apart to this work by prayer and laying on of hands. In some cases they will need to counsel with the church officers or the minister; but if they are devoted women, maintaining a vital connection with God, they will be a power for good in the church. This is another means of strengthening and building up the church. We need to branch out more in our methods of labour. Not a hand should be bound, not a soul discouraged, not a voice should be hushed; let every individual labour, privately or publicly, to help forward this grand work. Place the burdens upon men and women of the church, that they may grow by reason of the exercise, and thus become effective agents in the hand of the Lord for the enlightenment of those who sit in darkness. RH JUL.09,1895

The scheme of salvation is not to be worked out under the laws and rules specified by men. There must be no fixed rules; our work is a progressive work, and there must be room left for methods to be improved upon. But under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, unity must and will be preserved. RH JUL.23,1895

God has not appointed any man guide, nor made any man conscience for another; therefore let human hands be withheld from restraining his servants who feel the burden to enter his vineyard to labour. Let God work with his own chosen agents by his Holy Spirit. No human being is to sit in judgement upon his brother. Neither are any to feel that they can handle roughly the precious pearls for which Christ gave his life. The pearl, the precious human pearl, was found by Christ. Let man be warned; be careful how you treat the Lord's "peculiar treasure." All discourtesy, all pain, all neglect, which these souls suffer at your hands, is charged against you as inflicted upon Jesus Christ. They are not to be treated in a lordly, commanding manner. RH JUL.23,1895

Laws and rules are being made at the centres of the work that will soon be broken into atoms. Men are not to dictate. It is not for those in places of authority to employ all their powers to sustain some, while others are cast down, ignored, forsaken, and left to perish. But it is the duty of the leaders to lend a helping hand to all who are in need. Let each work in the line which God may indicate to him by his Holy Spirit. The soul is accountable to God alone. Who can say how many avenues of light have been closed by arrangements which the Lord has not advised nor instituted? The Lord does not ask permission of those in responsible positions when he wishes to use certain ones as his agents for the promulgation of truth. But he will use whom he will use. He will pass by men who have not followed his counsel, men who feel capable and sufficient to work in their own wisdom; and he will use others who are thought by these supposedly wise ones to be wholly incompetent. Many who have some talent think that they are necessary to the cause of God. Let them beware lest they stretch themselves beyond their measure, and the Lord shall leave them to their own ways, to be filled with their own doings. None are to exercise their human authority to bind minds and souls of their fellow-men. They are not to devise and put in practice methods and plans to bring every individual under their jurisdiction. RH JUL.23,1895

Those who know the truth are to be worked by the Holy Spirit, and not themselves to try to work the Spirit. If the cords are drawn much tighter, if the rules are made much finer, if men continue to bind their fellow-labourers closer and closer to the commandments of men, many will be stirred by the Spirit of God to break every shackle, and assert their liberty in Christ Jesus. RH JUL.23,1895

The seven last plagues are about to descend upon the disobedient. Many have let the gospel invitation go unheeded; they have been tested and tried; but mountainous obstacles have seemed to loom up before their faces, blocking their onward march. Through faith, perseverance, and courage, many will surmount these obstructions and walk out into the glorious light. Almost unconsciously barriers have been erected in the strait and narrow way; stones of stumbling have been placed in the path; these will all be rolled away. The safeguards which false shepherds have thrown around their flocks will become as naught; thousands will step out into the light, and work to spread the light. Heavenly intelligences will combine with the human agencies. Thus encouraged, the church will indeed arise and shine, throwing all her sanctified energies into the contest; thus the design of God is accomplished; the lost pearls are recovered. Prophets have discerned this grand work afar off, and have caught the inspiration of the hour, and traced the wonderful descriptions of things yet to be. RH JUL.23,1895

I have been shown that human instrumentalities seek after too much power and try to control the work themselves. They leave the Lord God, the Mighty Worker, too much out of their methods and plans, and do not trust everything to Him in regard to the advancement of the work. No one should fancy that he is able to manage these things which belong to the great I AM. God in His providence is preparing a way so that the work may be done by human agents. Then let every man stand at his post of duty, to act his part for this time, and know that God is his instructor. TM 213