"Lift up a standard for the people. . . . Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh." Isaiah 62:10, 11.
God's Purpose in Our Publishing Houses
Witnesses for Truth
"Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord," "to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God."
Our publishing work was established by the direction of God and under His special supervision. It was designed to accomplish a specific purpose. Seventh-day Adventists have been chosen by God as a peculiar people, separate from the world. By the great cleaver of truth He has cut them out from the quarry of the world and brought them into connection with Himself. He has made them His representatives and has called them to be ambassadors for Him in the last work of salvation. The greatest wealth of truth ever entrusted to mortals, the most solemn and fearful warnings ever sent by God to man, have been committed to them to be given to the world; and in the accomplishment of this work our publishing houses are among the most effective agencies.
These institutions are to stand as witnesses for God, teachers of righteousness to the people. From them truth is to go forth as a lamp that burneth. Like a great light in a lighthouse on a dangerous coast, they are constantly to send forth beams of light into the darkness of the world, to warn men of the dangers that threaten them with destruction.
The publications sent forth from our printing houses are to prepare a people to meet God. Throughout the world they are to do the same work that was done by John the Baptist for the Jewish nation. By startling messages of warning, God's prophet awakened men from worldly dreaming. Through him God called backsliding Israel to repentance. By his presentation of truth he exposed popular delusions. In contrast with the false theories of his time, truth in his teaching stood forth as an eternal certainty. "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," was John's message. Matthew 3:2. This same message, through the publications from our printing houses, is to be given to the world today.
The prophecy that John's mission fulfilled outlines our work: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight." Verse 3. As John prepared the way for the first, so we are to prepare the way for the second, advent of the Saviour. Our publishing institutions are to exalt the claims of God's downtrodden law. Standing before the world as reformers, they are to show that the law of God is the foundation of all enduring reform. In clear, distinct lines they are to present the necessity of obedience to all His commandments. Constrained by the love of Christ, they are to co-operate with Him in building up the old waste places, raising up the foundations of many generations. They are to stand as repairers of the breach, restorers of paths to dwell in. Through their testimony the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to stand as a witness, a constant reminder of God, to attract notice and arouse investigation that shall direct the minds of men to their Creator.
Let it never be forgotten that these institutions are to co-operate with the ministry of the delegates of heaven.
They are among the agencies represented by the angel flying "in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come." Revelation 14:6, 7.
From them is to go forth the terrible denunciation: "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Verse 8.
They are represented by the third angel that followed, "saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God." Verses 9, 10.
And in a large degree through our publishing houses is to be accomplished the work of that other angel who comes down from heaven with great power and who lightens the earth with his glory.
Solemn is the responsibility that rests upon our houses of publication. Those who conduct these institutions, those who edit the periodicals and prepare the books, standing as they do in the light of God's purpose, and called to give warning to the world, are held by God accountable for the souls of their fellow men. To them, as well as to the ministers of the word, applies the message given by God to His prophet of old: "Son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." Ezekiel 33:7, 8.
Never did this message apply with greater force than it applies today. More and more the world is setting at nought the claims of God. Men have become bold in transgression. The wickedness of the inhabitants of the world has almost filled up the measure of their iniquity. This earth has almost reached the place where God will permit the destroyer to work his will upon it. The substitution of the laws of men for the law of God, the exaltation, by merely human authority, of Sunday in place of the Bible Sabbath, is the last act in the drama. When this substitution becomes universal, God will reveal Himself. He will arise in His majesty to shake terribly the earth. He will come out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity, and the earth shall disclose her blood and shall no more cover her slain.
The great conflict that Satan created in the heavenly courts is soon, very soon, to be forever decided. Soon all the inhabitants of the earth will have taken sides, either for or against the government of heaven. Now, as never before, Satan is exercising his deceiving power to mislead and to destroy every unguarded soul. We are called upon to arouse the people to prepare for the great issues before them. We must give warning to those who are standing on the very brink of ruin. God's people are to put forth every power in combating Satan's falsehoods and pulling down his strongholds. To every human being in the wide world who will give heed, we are to make plain the principles at stake in the great controversy--principles upon which hangs the eternal destiny of the soul. To the people far and near we are to bring home the question: "Are you following the great apostate in disobedience to God's law, or are you following the Son of God, who declared, 'I have kept My Father's commandments'?"
This is the work before us; for this our publishing institutions were established; it is this work that God expects at their hands.
We are not only to publish the theory of the truth, but to present a practical illustration of it in character and life. Our publishing institutions are to stand before the world as an embodiment of Christian principles. In these institutions, if God's purpose for them is fulfilled, Christ Himself stands at the head of the working forces. Holy angels supervise the work in every department. And all that is done in every line is to bear the impress of heaven, to show forth the excellence of the character of God.
God has ordained that His work shall be presented to the world in distinct, holy lines. He desires His people to show by their lives the advantage of Christianity over worldliness. By His grace every provision has been made for us in all our transaction of business to demonstrate the superiority of heaven's principles over the principles of the world. We are to show that we are working upon a higher plane than that of worldlings. In all things we are to manifest purity of character, to show that the truth received and obeyed makes the receivers sons and daughters of God, children of the heavenly King, and that as such they are honest in their dealings, faithful, true, and upright in the small as well as the great things of life.
In all our work, even in mechanical lines, God desires that the perfection of His character shall appear. The exactness, skill, tact, wisdom, and perfection which He required in the building of the earthly tabernacle, He desires to have brought into everything that shall be done in His service. Every transaction entered into by His servants is to be as pure and as precious in His sight as were the gold and frankincense and myrrh which in sincere, uncorrupted faith the Wise Men from the East brought to the infant Saviour.
Thus in their business life Christ's followers are to be light bearers to the world. God does not ask them to make an effort to shine. He approves of no self-satisfied attempt to display superior goodness. He desires that their souls shall be imbued with the principles of heaven, and then, as they come in contact with the world, they will reveal the light that is in them. Their honesty, uprightness, and steadfast fidelity in every act of life will be a means of illumination.
The kingdom of God comes not with outward show. It comes through the gentleness of the inspiration of His word, through the inward working of His Spirit, the fellowship of the soul with Him who is its life. The greatest manifestation of its power is seen in human nature brought to the perfection of the character of Christ.
An appearance of wealth or position, expensive architecture or furnishings, are not essential to the advancement of the work of God; neither are achievements that win applause from men and administer to vanity. Worldly display, however imposing, is of no value with God.
While it is our duty to seek for perfection in outward things, it should ever be kept in mind that this aim is not to be made supreme. It must be held subordinate to higher interests. Above the seen and transitory, God values the unseen and eternal. The former is of worth only as it expresses the latter. The choicest productions of art possess no beauty that can compare with the beauty of character which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit's working in the soul.
When God gave His Son to the world, He endowed human beings with imperishable riches, riches compared with which the treasured wealth of men since the world began is nothingness. Christ came to the earth and stood before the children of men with the hoarded love of eternity, and this is the treasure that, through our connection with Him, we are to receive, to reveal, and to impart.
Our institutions will give character to the work of God just according to the consecrated devotion of the workers--by revealing the power of the grace of Christ to transform the life. We are to be distinguished from the world because God has placed His seal upon us, because He manifests in us His own character of love. Our Redeemer covers us with His righteousness.
In choosing men and women for His service, God does not ask whether they possess learning or eloquence or worldly wealth. He asks: "Do they walk in such humility that I can teach them My way? Can I put My words into their lips? Will they represent Me?"
God can use every person just in proportion as He can put His Spirit into the soul-temple. The work that He will accept is the work that reflects His image. His followers are to bear, as their credentials to the world, the ineffaceable characteristics of His immortal principles.
Our publishing houses are God's appointed centers, and through them is to be accomplished a work the magnitude of which is yet unrealized. There are lines of effort and influence as yet by them almost untouched in which God is calling for their co-operation.
As the message of truth advances into new fields, it is God's purpose that the work of establishing new centers shall be constantly going forward. Throughout the world His people are to raise memorials of His Sabbath, the sign between Him and them that He is the One who sanctifies them. At various points in missionary lands publishing houses must be established. To give character to the work, to be centers of effort and influence, to attract the attention of the people, to develop the talents and capabilities of the believers, to unify the new churches, and to second the efforts of the workers, giving them facilities for more ready communication with the churches and more rapid dissemination of the message --all these and many other considerations plead for the establishment of publishing centers in missionary fields.
In this work it is the privilege, yea, the duty, of our established institutions to participate. These institutions were founded in self-sacrifice. They have been built up by the self-denying gifts of God's people and the unselfish labor of His servants. God designs that they shall manifest the same spirit of self-sacrifice and do the same work in aiding the establishment of new centers in other fields.
For institutions as for individuals the same law holds true: They are not to become self-centered. As an institution becomes established and gains strength and influence, it is not to be constantly reaching out to secure greater facilities for itself. Of every institution, as of every individual, it is true that we receive to impart. God gives that we may give. Just as soon as an institution has gained a standing place for itself, it should reach out to aid other instrumentalities of God that are in greater need.
This is in accordance with the principles of both the law and the gospel--the principles exemplified in the life of Christ. The greatest evidence of the sincerity of our professed adherence to God's law and our profession of allegiance to our Redeemer is unselfish, self-sacrificing love for our fellow men.
It is the glory of the gospel that it is founded upon the principle of restoring in the fallen race the divine image by a constant manifestation of beneficence. God will honor that principle wherever manifest.
Those who follow Christ's example of self-denial for the truth's sake make a great impression on the world. Their example is convincing and contagious. Men see that there is among God's professed people that faith which works by love and purifies the soul from selfishness. In the lives of those who obey God's commandments, worldlings see convincing evidence that the law of God is a law of love to God and man.
God's work is ever to be a sign of His benevolence, and just as that sign is manifest in the working of our institutions, it will win the confidence of the people and bring in resources for the advancement of His kingdom. The Lord will withdraw His blessing where selfish interests are indulged in any phase of the work; but He will put His people in possession of good throughout the whole world, if they will use it for the uplifting of humanity. The experience of apostolic days will come to us when we wholeheartedly accept God's principle of benevolence--consent in all things to obey the leadings of His Holy Spirit.
Our institutions should be missionary agencies in the highest sense, and true missionary work always begins with those nearest. In every institution there is missionary work to be done. From the manager to the humblest worker, all should feel a responsibility for the unconverted among their own number. They should put forth earnest effort to bring them to Christ. As the result of such effort many will be won and will become faithful and true in service to God.
As our publishing houses take upon themselves a burden for missionary fields, they will see the necessity of providing for a broader and more thorough education of workers. They will realize the value of their facilities for this work and will see the need of qualifying the workers, not merely to build up the work within their own borders, but to give efficient help to institutions in new fields.
God designs that our publishing houses shall be successful educating schools, both in business and in spiritual lines. Managers and workers are ever to keep in mind that God requires perfection in all things connected with His service. Let all who enter our institutions to receive instruction understand this. Let opportunity be given for all to acquire the greatest possible efficiency. Let them become acquainted with different lines of work so that, if called to other fields, they will have an all-round training and thus be qualified to bear varied responsibilities.
Apprentices should be so trained that, after the necessary time spent in the institution, they can go forth prepared to take up intelligently the different lines of printing work, giving momentum to the cause of God by the best use of their energies and capable of imparting to others the knowledge they have received.
All the workers should be impressed with the fact that they are not only to be educated in business lines, but to become qualified to bear spiritual responsibilities. Let every worker be impressed with the importance of a personal connection with Christ, a personal experience of His power to save. Let the workers be educated as were the youth in the schools of the prophets. Let their minds be molded by God through His appointed agencies. All should receive a training in Bible lines, should be rooted and grounded in the principles of truth, that they may keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment. Let every effort be made to arouse and encourage the missionary spirit. Let the workers be impressed with a sense of the high privilege proffered them in this last work of salvation, to be used by God as His helping hand. Let each be taught to work for others, by practical labor for souls just where he is. Let all learn to look to the word of God for instruction in every line of missionary effort. Then, as the word of the Lord is communicated to them, it will supply their minds with suggestions for working the fields in such a way as to bring to God the best returns from all parts of His vineyard.
God's Purpose Fulfilled
Christ desires by the fullness of His power so to strengthen His people that through them the whole world shall be encircled with an atmosphere of grace. When His people shall make a wholehearted surrender of them selves to God, this purpose will be accomplished. The word of the Lord to those connected with His institutions is: "Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord." Isaiah 52:11. In all our institutions let self-seeking give place to unselfish love and labor for souls nigh and afar off. Then the holy oil will be emptied from the two olive branches into the golden pipes, which will empty them selves into the vessels prepared to receive it. Then the lives of Christ's workers will indeed be an exposition of the truths of His word.
The love and fear of God, the sense of His goodness, His holiness, will circulate through every institution. An atmosphere of love and peace will pervade every department. Every word spoken, every work performed, will have an influence that corresponds to the influence of heaven. Christ will abide in humanity, and humanity will abide in Christ. In all the work will appear, not the character of finite man, but the character of the infinite God. The divine influence imparted by holy angels will impress the minds brought in contact with the workers; from these workers a fragrant influence will go forth.
When called to enter new fields, workers thus trained will go forth as representatives of the Saviour, fitted for usefulness in His service, capable of imparting to others, by precept and example, a knowledge of the truth for this time. The goodly fabric of character wrought out through divine power will receive light and glory from heaven, and will stand before the world as a witness pointing to the throne of the living God.
Then the work will move forward with solidity and redoubled strength. To the workers in every line will be imparted a new efficiency. The publications sent forth as God's messengers will bear the signet of the Eternal. Rays of light from the sanctuary above will attend the precious truths they bear. As never before, they will have power to awaken in souls a conviction of sin, to create a hungering and thirsting after righteousness, to beget a lively solicitude for the things that will never pass away. Men will learn of the reconciliation for iniquity and of the everlasting righteousness which the Messiah has brought in through His sacrifice. Many will be brought to share the glorious liberty of the sons of God, and will stand with God's people to welcome the soon coming, in power and glory, of our Lord and Saviour.
The power and efficiency of our work depend largely on the character of the literature that comes from our presses. Therefore great care should be exercised in the choice and preparation of the matter that is to go to the world. The greatest caution and discrimination are needed. Our energies should be devoted to the publication of literature of the purest quality and the most elevating character. Our periodicals must go forth laden with truth that has a vital, spiritual interest for the people.
God has placed in our hands a banner upon which is inscribed: "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12. This is a distinct, separating message, a message that is to give no uncertain sound. It is to lead the people away from the broken cisterns that contain no water, to the unfailing Fountain of the water of life.
Our publications have a most sacred work to do in making clear, simple, and plain the spiritual basis of our faith. Everywhere the people are taking sides; all are ranging themselves either under the banner of truth and righteousness or under the banner of the apostate powers that are contending for the supremacy. At this time God's message to the world is to be given with such prominence and power that the people will be brought face to face, mind to mind, heart to heart, with truth. They must be brought to see its superiority over the multitudinous errors that are pushing their way into notice, to supplant, if possible, the word of God for this solemn time.
The great object of our publications is to exalt God, to call men's attention to the living truths of His word. God calls upon us to lift up, not our own standard, not the standard of this world, but His standard of truth.
It is only as we do this that His prospering hand can be with us. Consider God's dealings with His people in the past. Notice how, while they carried His banner, He exalted them before their enemies. But when in self-exaltation they departed from their allegiance, when they exalted a power and a principle that were opposed to Him, they were left to bring upon themselves disaster and defeat.
Consider the experience of Daniel. When called to stand before King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel did not hesitate to acknowledge the source of his wisdom. Did that faithful recognition of God detract from Daniel's influence in the king's court? By no means; it was the secret of his power; it secured for him favor in the eyes of the ruler of Babylon. In God's name Daniel made known to the king the heaven-sent messages of instruction, warning, and rebuke, and he was not repulsed. Let God's workers of today read the firm, bold testimony of Daniel and follow his example.
Never does man show greater folly than when he seeks to secure acceptance and recognition in the world by sacrificing in any degree the allegiance and honor due to God. When we place ourselves where God cannot co-operate with us, our strength will be found weakness. All that is ever done toward restoring the image of God in man is done because God is the efficiency of the worker. It is His power alone that can restore the body, energize the mind, or renew the soul. In our publishing work, as in every other line of effort or Christian living, will be demonstrated the truth of Christ's words: "Without Me ye can do nothing." John 15:5.
God has given to men immortal principles, to which every human power will one day bow. He calls upon us to give to the world, by precept and by example, a demonstration of these principles. To those who honor Him by a faithful adherence to His word, the result will be glorious. It means much to stand by principles that will live through the eternal ages.
The editors of our periodicals, the teachers in our schools, the presidents of our conferences, all need to drink of the pure streams of the river of the water of life. All need to understand more fully the words spoken by our Lord to the Samaritan woman: "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. . . . Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:10-14.
The Lord's work needs to be distinguished from the common affairs of life. He says: "I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: and I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness." Isaiah 1:25-27. These words are full of importance. They have a lesson for all who occupy the editorial chair.
The words of Moses possess deep meaning. "Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified." Leviticus 10:1-3. This has a lesson for all who are handling the matter that goes forth from our publishing institutions. Sacred things are not to be mingled with the common. The papers that have so wide a circulation should contain more precious instruction than appears in the ordinary publications of the day. "What is the chaff to the wheat?" Jeremiah 23:28. We want pure wheat, thoroughly winnowed.
"The Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. . . . Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples. . . . To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:11-20.
I call the attention of all our workers to the sixth chapter of Isaiah. Read the experience of God's prophet when he saw "the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. . . . Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me." Isaiah 6:1-8.
This is the experience needed by those who labor in all our institutions. There is danger that they will fail of maintaining a vital connection with God, of being sanctified through the truth. It is thus that they lose a sense of the power of the truth, lose the ability to discriminate between the sacred and the common.
My brethren in responsible positions, may the Lord not only anoint your eyes that they may see, but pour into your hearts the holy oil that from the two olive branches flows through the golden pipes into the golden bowl which feeds the lamps of the sanctuary. May He "give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, . . . and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe." Ephesians 1:17-19.
As faithful householders, give meat in due season to the household of God. Present truth to the people. Work as if in full view of the whole universe of heaven. We have no time to lose--not a moment. Important issues must soon be met, and we need to be hidden in the cleft of the rock, that we may see Jesus and be quickened by His Holy Spirit.
Matter for Publication
Let our periodicals be devoted to the publication of living, earnest matter. Let every article be full of practical, elevating, ennobling thoughts, thoughts that will give to the reader help and light and strength. Family religion, family holiness, is now to be honored as never before. If ever a people needed to walk before God as did Enoch, Seventh-day Adventists need to do so now, showing their sincerity by pure words, clean words, words full of sympathy, tenderness, and love.
There are times when words of reproof and rebuke are called for. Those who are out of the right way must be aroused to see their peril. A message must be given that shall startle them from the lethargy which enchains their senses. Moral renovation must take place, else souls will perish in their sins. Let the message of truth, like a sharp, two-edged sword, cut its way to the heart. Make appeals that will arouse the careless and bring foolish, wandering minds back to God.
The attention of the people must be arrested. Our message is a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. The destinies of souls are balancing. Multitudes are in the valley of decision. A voice should be heard crying: "If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him." 1 Kings 18:21.
At the same time nothing savoring of a harsh, denunciatory spirit is, under any circumstances, to be indulged. Let our periodicals contain no sharp thrusts, no bitter criticisms or cutting sarcasm. Satan has almost succeeded in expelling from the world the truth of God, and he is delighted when its professed advocates show that they are not under the influence of truth which subdues and sanctifies the soul.
Let the writers for our periodicals dwell as little as possible upon the objections or arguments of opponents. In all our work we are to meet falsehood with truth. Put truth against all personal hints, references, or insults. Deal only in the currency of heaven. Make use only of that which bears God's image and superscription. Press in truth, new and convincing, to undermine and cut away error.
God wants us to be always calm and forbearing. Whatever course others may pursue, we are to represent Christ, doing as He would do under similar circumstances. Our Saviour's power lay not in a strong array of sharp words. It was His gentleness, His unselfish, unassuming spirit, that made Him a conqueror of hearts. The secret of our success lies in revealing the same spirit.
Those who speak to the people through our periodicals should preserve unity among themselves. Nothing that savors of dissension should be found in our publications. Satan is always seeking to cause dissension, for well he knows that by this means he can most effectually counteract the work of God. We should not give place to his devices. Christ's prayer for His disciples was: "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 17:21. All true laborers for God will work in harmony with this prayer. In their efforts to advance the work all will manifest that oneness of sentiment and practice which reveals that they are God's witnesses, that they love one another. To a world that is broken up by discord and strife, their love and unity will testify to their connection with heaven. It is the convincing evidence of the divine character of their mission.
Items of Experience
The editors of our papers need the co-operation of our laborers in the field and of our people far and near. In our papers should be found communications from the workers in all parts of the world--articles giving living experiences. We do not need romance; but in the daily life there are real experiences that, if told in short articles and in simple words, would be more fascinating than romance, while at the same time they would be an invaluable aid to Christian experience and to practical missionary work. We want truth, solid truth, from consecrated men, women, and youth.
You who love God, whose minds are stored with precious items of experience, and with the living realities of eternal life, kindle the flame of love and light in the hearts of God's people. Help them to deal with the problems of life.
The articles that go to thousands of readers should show purity, elevation, and sanctification of body, soul, and spirit on the part of the writers. The pen should be used, under the control of the Holy Spirit, as a means of sowing seed unto eternal life. Let the space in our papers be occupied with matter of real worth. Crowd in subjects weighty with eternal interests. God calls us into the mount to talk with Him, and when by faith we behold Him who is invisible, our words will be indeed a savor of life unto life.
The Message for this Time
Let all have more to teach, to write, and to publish in regard to those things that are now to be fulfilled and that concern the eternal welfare of souls. Give meat in due season to the old and the young, to saints and to sinners. Let everything that can be said to awaken the church from its slumbers be brought forward without delay. Let no time be lost in dwelling on those things that are not essential, and that have no bearing upon the present necessities of the people. Read the first three verses of the Revelation, and see what work is enjoined upon those who claim to believe the word of God:
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." Revelation 1:1-3.
Publication of Books
Let more time be given to the publication and circulation of books containing present truth. Call attention to books dwelling on practical faith and godliness and to those that treat on the prophetic word. The people are to be educated to read the sure word of prophecy in the light of the living oracles. They need to know that the signs of the times are fulfilling.
It is God alone who can give success either in preparing or in circulating our publications. If in faith we maintain His principles, He will co-operate with us in placing the books in the hands of those whom they will benefit. The Holy Spirit is to be prayed for, trusted in, believed in. Humble, fervent prayer will do more to promote the circulation of our books than will all the expensive ornamentation in the world.
God has great and grand resources for man to lay hold of, and in the most simple manner will be developed the working of the divine agencies. The divine Teacher says: "My Spirit alone is competent to teach and to convict of sin. Externals make only a temporary impression upon the mind. I will enforce truth on the conscience, and men shall be My witnesses, throughout the world asserting My claims on man's time, his money, his intellect. All these I purchased on the cross of Calvary. Use My entrusted talents to proclaim the truth in its simplicity. Let the gospel be sent to all parts of the world, awakening burdened souls to inquire: 'What must I do to be saved?'"
Our periodicals have been offered for a limited time on trial at a very low figure; but this has failed of accomplishing the object designed--to secure many permanent subscribers. These efforts are made at considerable expense, often at a loss, and with the best of motives; but if no reduction in price had been made, a greater number of permanent subscribers would have been obtained.
Plans have been made for lowering the prices of our books, without making a corresponding change in the cost of production. This is an error. The work should be kept on a paying basis. Let not the prices of books be lowered by special offers which may be termed inducements or bribes. God does not approve of these methods.
There is a demand for low-priced books, and this demand must be met. But the right plan is to lessen the cost of production.
In new fields, among ignorant or partially civilized peoples, there is great need of small books presenting the truth in simple language and abundantly illustrated. These books must be sold at a low price, and the illustrations must, of course, be inexpensive.