Editorial – Unity and Dissonance, Part IV

I want my brethren to begin to understand some things for themselves. God alone, by the quickening, vivifying influence of His Holy Spirit, can enable men to distinguish between the sacred and the common. God alone can make men understand that working on regular lines has led to irregular practices. God alone can make men’s minds as they should be. The time has come when we should hear less in favor of the regular lines. If we can get away from the regular lines into something which, though irregular, is after God’s order, it may cut away something of the irregular working which has led away from Bible principles.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 143.

“The Conference should understand that it has no right to send a man to take the work out of the hands of one who has done the hard labor, gaining his way little by little, by hard strokes, the Lord working with him, and giving him his hire in souls for his labor.

“Study the action of Christ, as recorded in John 4:1–3. In regard to the property which Brother Shireman has built up, let no selfish greed force him to make it over to the Conference. There may be other places where he should work, and he should have something with which to operate. If he were called away suddenly, he could make this property over to some one he could trust. He should be allowed to control his own property, the results of his hard labor, and never feel himself destitute.

“Brother Shireman will always need helpers, but not men who will seek to set him aside and supersede him. His helpers should be men of fine perceptions and delicacy of feeling, who will give credit where credit is due, who will not ignore the one used by God to do the hard, pioneer labor.

“How dare any one minister or lay member, bar the way of God’s servants by unjust, unfeeling speeches? But this has been done, and thereby some laborers have been discouraged and many souls lost who might have been saved. Those who do this work are not prompted by the Spirit of God, but by another Spirit. Scornful criticisms and discourteous remarks are from Satan.” Spalding and Magan Collection, 192, 193.

“Great light is shining, and some have received the precious light, and hold it fast with rejoicing. But Satan has had too great power even over these. They have not had a zeal and wide-awake, unselfish interest corresponding with the truth they believe. Love has been wanting, and its absence greatly pleases our wily foe. He is the author of malice, envy, jealousy, hatred, and dissension, and he rejoices to see these weeds choke out love, that tender plant of heavenly growth. In his providence, God permits those who, deluded by the enemy, have chosen fables instead of unadulterated truth, to entertain the same feelings toward commandment-keepers that the Jewish nation had toward their Master,—feelings that led them to reject him as the promised Messiah, and delivered him up to suffer a cruel death. And as the people of God meet with opposition from the powers of darkness and the ungodly around them, they are drawn nearer to each other.” Review and Herald, August 12, 1884.