was bearing a message to an assembly that seemed to be the General Conference. I was moved by the spirit of God to make a most earnest appeal; for I was impressed that great danger was before us at the heart of the work. I had been, and still was, bowed down with distress of mind and body, burdened with the thought that I must bear a message to our people at Battle Creek, to warn them against a line of action that would separate God from the publishing house.
The eyes of the Lord were bent upon the people in sorrow mingled with displeasure, and the words were spoken. “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” He who wept over impenitent Israel, noting their ignorance of God, and of Christ their Redeemer, looked upon the heart of the work at Battle Creek. Great peril was about the people, but some knew it not. Unbelief and impenitence blinded their eyes, and they trusted to human wisdom in the guidance of the most important interests of the cause of God relating to the publishing work. In the weakness of human judgment, men were gathering into their finite hands the lines of control, while God’s will, God’s way and counsel, were not sought as indispensable. Men of stubborn, iron-like will, both in and out of the office, were confederating together, determined to drive certain measures through in accordance with their own judgment. I said to them: “You cannot do this. The control of these large interests cannot be vested wholly in those who make it manifest that they have little experience in the things of God, and have not spiritual discernment. The people of God throughout our ranks must not, because of mismanagement on the part of erring men, have their confidence shaken in the important interests at the great heart of the work, which have a decided influence upon our churches in the United States and in foreign lands. If you lay your hand upon the publishing work, this great instrumentality of God, to place your mould and superscription upon it, you will find that it will be dangerous to your own souls, and disastrous to the work of God. It will be as great a sin in the sight of God as was the sin of Uzzah when he put forth his hand to steady the ark. There are those who have entered into other men’s labors, and all that God requires of them is to deal justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with God, to labor conscientiously as men employed by the people to do the work entrusted to their hands. Some have failed to do this, as their works testify. Whatever may be their position, whatever their responsibility, if they have as much authority even as had Ahab, they will find that God is above them, that his sovereignty is supreme.”
Let none of the workers exalt themselves, and seek to carry through their ideas without the sanction and cooperation of the people of God. They will not succeed, for God will not permit it. The foundations of the institutions among us were laid in sacrifice. They belong to the people, and all who have denied self, and made sacrifices great or small according to their ability, to bring these instrumentalities into existence, should feel that they have a special interest in them. They should not lose their interest, or become despondent in regard to the success of the work. As the perils of the last days thicken about us, they should pray more earnestly that the work may prosper. Those who have lifted burdens when the work went hard, should have a part in important councils; for they acted a part when counseling together was considered a far more solemn and