Some History, Some Experience, and Some Facts
A.T. Jones, 1906
At the Regular Meeting of the Sanitarium Family,
in the Sanitarium Chapel,
Battle Creek, Michigan,
Sunday, March 4, 1906,
I can safely appeal to the whole
Sanitarium family to witness that since I came here two years ago last November, I have
not at any time, in any meeting, or in any class, discussed or dwelt upon the controversy
that has been carried on from General Conference sources. My address in the
tabernacle the night of January 2, is the first time that I have spoken on the
subject. All who are here now who were here when I came will remember that when I
came I said to the whole family that we here should have nothing to do with that matter;
that we have a work to do, and that we could not afford to abandon or neglect that work to
engage in controversy of any kind; that we could spend our time far better in studying the
Bible and sticking close to the work that God has given us to do, than we could in
discussing differences or in defending ourselves against attack, or even in trying to
correct false reports.
All of that is true yet: except
that now the time has come when we can not be true to the truth and continue completely
silent on these matters. Tonight I wish to state the case as it is so far; and why
it is that I must speak. The greater part of what I shall say to you tonight has
been already said to General Conference brethren; not to all of the General Conference
brethren, but to Brother Daniells and some others. Nowhere in it is there, or will
there be, any purpose to attack anybody; nor any attempt to discredit any one; or to put
any one in the wrong. I have some facts of history to state, and some facts of
experience. I make no objection to any one's doing or having done any of the things
to which I do not agree. My sole purpose is to tell why I can not do
so. Also I should say that so far as I am concerned and as to anything that shall be
said tonight, there is no question at all and no issue at all as to the Testimonies as
What I shall further say tonight
will be introduced by a short statement that I read last Tuesday morning to such of the
General Conference brethren as were then in town. When I learned last Friday that
Brother Daniells was to be in town over Sabbath, I sent to him a note asking to meet him
and the other General Conference brethren who might be here. When it came about, on
Tuesday morning, there were only three present. If there had been only one, it would
have been all the same; or if there had been the whole General Conference Committee, it
would have been all the same: as all that I wished to do was to state a few facts, and to
tell them what we now find ourselves obliged to do.
What I had to say, I wrote down
and read to them so as to avoid misunderstanding, and so misreport, of what I said.
I read it now to you; because that in it there is something that very vitally concerns
this family, and especially a few who have been in the family. Possibly there may be
a few here yet to whom it especially applies. The great majority of the family it
does not touch particularly, I am glad to say.
I read: --
The Sanitarium management has not objected to anybody's going away. Before this late campaign began
in Battle Creek in December last, we told the whole family that every one of them was at
perfect liberty to go whenever he should choose to go; that wherever the Lord wanted them,
there they should be. Indeed, does not everybody know that the whole purpose and
work of the Sanitarium has always been to educate and train people for the express purpose
of their going away? The Sanitarium has had, therefore, no difficulty at all with
respect to any of the workers going away. The only difficulty that there has been is
with the secret, underhanded, treacherous, and dishonorable course and conduct of those,
who, while insisting that they "can not stay," that "the Lord has shown
them that they should go," and that they "must go," yet do stay, and will
not go, and we can not get them to go.
They insist that they "must
go," and send in their resignation to take effect a month or six weeks, or two months
or more afterward: or to take effect when their contract expires anyhow. We accept
their resignation, to take effect earlier, or possibly immediately. Then they insist
that if they go earlier, they must be paid full wages clear up to the expiration of the
time of their contract, or they ask to say "two weeks" more; and when we consent
to their plea, then they spend their time just as far as they can, and make opportunity
day and night, to create dissatisfaction in others of the family, and even in the
patients; to attend secret meetings off the premises, or to hold secret meetings on the
premises; to show disrespect to their teachers, to those in responsibility, and in fact to
everybody who does not fall in with their own spirit; to despise the Bible, prayer, and
meetings, whether for religious service, or for the benefit and improvement of the
Sanitarium and its work; to be careless, if not reckless, of the property of the
Sanitarium; to betray confidence; in short, to do any unchristian thing, and no Christian
thing if they can help it. And when at last their own set time expires, or because
of their perverse course we are compelled to discharge them, then they claim and report
that they are turned out because they believe the Testimonies, and still hang around
the place, watching for chances to poison the minds of others, and to make great
representations of how "the Testimonies tell everybody to get out of Battle
In short and in perfect truth, the
spirit manifested, and the course followed, is exactly such as that of the trades-unions
in their arrogance, their boycott, their strike, and their picketing. Through it all
there has been no sign of James 3:17, 18 on the part of the ones most devoted to your
cause. On the contrary, the spirit manifested has been the open manifestation of
And sorry as we all are that it is
so, it is the plain, sober truth that you brethren have sanctioned it, you have promoted
it, you have fired it and kept it alive. You have set the example of holding the
Now all this time we have kept
silent on this subject. We have made no opposition to what you have been doing.
We have let you and all these others go straight along, except only in accepting
the resignations and refusing longer to endure the imposition of those who simply
"could not stay" and just "must go," and yet simply would not go.
But now when this mischievous working is persistently carried on in the very rooms
of our buildings, even so late as nine o'clock at night; and since this working has
reached the point where it is a constant and open violation of the civil law; we are now
compelled, in the interests of plain every-day civility, to say nothing of common
morality, and that we be not guilty of countenancing, and becoming parties to, open
lawlessness -- we are compelled to take an open stand against it, and to speak out
plainly on it. We shall be unfaithful to both human and divine trust, long to be
silent and inactive with this thing going on.
But please never to think for a
moment that we are going to meet it by any such working as that by which it has been
promoted -- secret meetings, or secrecy of any kind. We are going to meet it
openly only, with the plain statement of the truth as it is in the Bible, and with the
quiet entreaty of Christians. Since you are specially interested in the Testimonies,
I quote from a Testimony an excellent statement of the principle upon which we shall work,
in this sentence: "Whatsoever is not as open as the day, is of the methods of
Upon this principle we have begun
our course of action, by coming thus first of all to you personally, and telling
you plainly of it. We have not mentioned this to any others. We have now told
you, and now we are perfectly free to say to any or all of the others, what may be
considered proper; and to pursue the only course that is open to us, and to do the things
which we must do, to be faithful to men and to God.
With our co-operation, as before
stated, and your liberal offers of money, you have got some to leave the Sanitarium --
who might not otherwise have gone, I mean. In this way you may get some more to go.
But, my dear brethren, in the spirit of those who insist that they "must
go," and yet will not go if they can avoid it, we pity you and any others who may be
so unfortunate as to fall into their hands. We shall sincerely pray for them that
they may be converted, and find and manifest the true spirit of James 3:17, 18 so that you
shall not have to endure the like wrong-doing that you have helped these to inflict upon
And now as we take an active and
positive course, instead of any longer the passive and negative, please do not think that
there will be any new or strange position taken, or any new or strange thing taught.
In this I have an advantage that can never be taken away from me. I mean in
my books, tracts, and articles, that are all published by the denomination and with the
denominational imprint and endorsement, even up to date -- "The Two
Republics," "The Empire Series," "Great Nations of Today,"
"Place of the Bible in Education," "The Consecrated Way," and the
"Federation of Churches" articles in the Signs up to last week. In
these books and articles there is every main feature of the Third Angel's Message, just as
I am, and shall be still, teaching it. You may repudiate me, you may
repudiate my books and articles; but there is one thing certain, and that is that as
certainly as you and the denomination preach the Third Angel's Message, you will preach
the things that are in those books and articles, just as in principles and in facts those
books and articles stand today. I do not mean that any one will have to use those
books and articles, or even to quote from them, but that they will have to preach the
truths that are in those books and articles. There is where I stand, and where I
shall continue to stand, as to that. Therefore it is perfectly plain that there can
never be any "division," or what some call a "split in the
denomination," so far as I and the truth of the Third Angel's message are
concerned. And if a division is made over me, it will have to be solely
because I am the friend of sinners.
The brethren demurred to the
phrase "secret meetings," claiming that they had not held any secret
meetings. But it all turns upon the technical meaning of the word
"secret." Therefore I will state what I mean by the phrase: When the
General Conference brethren came to this town first, in December, I myself personally
invited Brother Daniells to come into this chapel and spend the time of the midday meeting
in whatever way he pleased, every day while he was here, as long as he might stay.
He came in one day, that was all. He said that he had Testimonies to read, and he
could not read a Testimony in fifteen minutes. But I said, "There are
twenty-five minutes that you could have ever day, and you could take possession, and
dispense with the singing and the opening service; and twenty-five minutes every day for
all the time you stayed would have given you ample time to read all the Testimonies that
you had." In addition to that we asked the brethren themselves -- I, and
other brethren of the board and management -- asked the General Conference brethren
to come into the Sanitarium and go through every department of it; to go into the medical
classes and see what the doctors were teaching; to go into the nurses' classes and do the
teaching themselves; and find out anything that they possibly could that is wrong and show
it to us and help us to put it away. But they did not, and would not, do anything of
the kind. Instead of that they held meetings with the medical students and with the
helpers, outside of the Institution, without informing the faculty or the management, and
with the understanding on one occasion at least that if I or Dr. Stewart came, the meeting
could not be held; and at other times the presence of others was refused. Now that
is what I refer to as secret meetings, and a good many such were held.
Now when they refused to come into
the chapel and do openly every day as long as they should choose, what they had to do, and
say everything that they had to say; when they refused to come into the classes and teach;
when they refused to go into the classes and hear what was taught; when they refused to
come to the management and tell us what is wrong and try to help us to get rid of it --
when they refused all that, and then met by appointment members of the Medical School and
members of the family, outside of the house, and not in public places, concerning things
of vital interest to the Sanitarium and the Medical School, when the management were not
informed, and where the management were not welcome and were not wanted; then in the plain
and proper sense of the word, and certainly so far as the Sanitarium management is
concerned, those were secret meetings. And that is what I mean by the phrase
"secret meetings." The General Conference brethren have set the example of
holding such secret meetings. And when some of the helpers followed the example,
even inside the house, they had a prominent example to follow.
I should say a word further with
reference to that which has been done as being in violation of the civil law. Both
the State and the United States governments have found it necessary to enact laws for the
protection of people and their institutions in their rights of property and liberty of
action. These laws are right and good, and are truly civil laws in every respect.
And that which has been done in the connection in which I am speaking, has been in
open violation of these strictly civil laws. It is the duty of every person to be
respectful to the civil law, and every Christian is so. Indeed, no Christian can
ever in the performance of any Christian duty, violate any truly civil law. For
every Christian is commanded by Christ to "render to Caesar the things which are
Caesar's," as well as "to God the things that are God's." And Christ
never contradicts Himself by leading any of His people to deny to Caesar that which is
Caesar's, while rendering to God the things that are God's. And whenever those who
profess to be Christians allow their zeal for what they suppose to be the things of God to
lead them to the point of violating the civil law and thus deny to Caesar the things that
are Caesar's, they simply blunder; and do in fact deny to God that which is God's.
They put themselves outside of that which is God's; and in violating the civil law they
put themselves on a level with other criminals and are responsible to the civil
jurisdiction without any ground of appeal to God. And to the point of open and
constant violation of true and right civil law, this campaign against the Sanitarium and
the Medical School has been carried. And in this it has been carried to the point
where we can not any longer keep silent and be true to our obligations as Christians.
To those who are unacquainted with
the actual experiences, what I have said in describing the course and conduct of those to
whom I have referred may seem rather strong. But all who have been compelled to meet
it in actual experience know that I have stated only the simple truth. I am glad to
say that not by any means the whole family, nor a majority, nor even a large minority of
the family is involved in it. But of the few who are parties to it, what I have said
is only the sober truth. Every item that I have cited as illustrative, is
true. Not every item is true of every one; but each item is true of some case as it
has actually been met in daily experience. And these do it as champions of the
General Conference, and in a supposed loyalty to the Testimonies.
The foregoing are some of the
reasons for my speaking on this subject tonight. But there are other reasons also.
This will plainly appear in what I shall further read. And this that I shall
further read has also been said to the president of the General Conference. In a
letter to me he stated that my "general attitude had greatly perplexed many of our
people," as well as himself. I then wrote to him a letter for the express
purpose of taking away all ground for his having any perplexity at all concerning my
attitude. And as he said that "many of our people" have also in this
connection been "greatly perplexed," I desire to take away from everybody all
ground for perplexity concerning me. And since the letter is a simple recital of
facts, many of which concern all our people, I believe that what is said in this letter
will be the best means that I could employ to relieve all persons of any perplexity that
they may have had, or otherwise might have, concerning me or my attitude. Therefore,
three-fourths of this letter I shall read to you tonight: the other fourth pertains to a
matter that is not n issue, and is not necessarily in this issue, so far as I am
concerned, or as the issue really is. It may yet be made an issue, or a part of the
present issue; for the campaign that is being made is a very wide-sweeping thing.
And if it shall be made an issue, or shall be made necessarily a part of the present
issue, then, you shall be just as welcome to that part of the letter as you now are to the
three-fourths of it that I shall read tonight.
The letter was begun January 26,
but because of regular work it was not finished for about two weeks. It runs as
Battle Creek, Mich.,
Jan. 26, 1906
A. G. Daniells,
Takoma Park Station,
Dear Brother: --
Your letter of the 17th in answer to mine of the 6th goes so far afield from anything expected or, as I think,
called for by my letter, that I am disposed to follow you there, and do all that I can to
take away all ground for your having any perplexity about me or my course. Indeed,
if you had remembered things that at the beginning I said to you, you need not to have
been perplexed at all concerning me, if you expected me to be consistent at all.
First, as to
General Conference matters, and my relations to the Committee:
Before the General
Conference of 1897, at College View, the conditions were such that in that
Conference things came to a deadlock. By the Committee and presidents in council, I,
in my absence was appointed to read the Testimonies to find the way out. God did
lead us out gloriously. A change was made: Brother Irwin being elected
president. And I was made a member of the Committee.
It was not very long, however, before the same influences that had produced the situation at College View,
were again at work. I saw it plainly enough to satisfy me, and by the time of the
General Conference of 1899, at South Lancaster, things were in a bad shape again in some
respects -- though not near so far along as at College View. In the South
Lancaster Conference one day, all unexpectedly, and unintentionally on the part of anybody
in the Conference, the power of God came in in a special manner, bringing the whole
Conference to its knees at once, and working a great deliverance again. Brother
Irwin stated openly in the Conference that he had "been a coward." The
whole matter can be read in the Bulletin of that Conference for that day. On
another day in that Conference, the power of God came in specially and carried the
By action of that Conference, I was continued on the Committee. It was not long before the same old influences were
at work; and in about a year they had got such a hold again, that, rather than be
compromised, I resigned from the Committee.
Then came the General Conference
of 1901, in Battle Creek. According to the arrangements I was to report the
proceedings of the Conference: and according to the arrangements, Brother Prescott and
Brother Waggoner were not expecting, and evidently were not expected, to have even that
much to do. But before the Conference actually assembled in session there occurred
that meeting in the Library Room of the College Building, in which Sister White spoke on
General Conference matters and organization, declaring that there must be "an entire
new organization, and to have a Committee that shall take in not merely half a dozen that
is to be a ruling and controlling power, but it is to have representatives of those that
are placed in responsibility in our educational interests, in our sanitariums, etc.";
that "there should be a renovation without any delay. To have this Conference
pass on and close up as the Conferences have done with the same manipulating, with the
very same tone, and the same order -- God forbid! God forbid, brethren. . . .
And until this shall come we might just as well close up the Conference today as
any other day. . . . This thing has been continued and renewed for the last fifteen
years or more, and God calls for a change."
"God wants a change, and it
is high time -- it is high time that there was ability that should connect with the
Conference, with the General Conference right here in this city. Now wait until it
is done and over with, and then gather up the forces and see what can be done. We
want to know what can be done right now."
"From the light that I have,
as it was presented to me in figures: There was a narrow compass here: there within
that narrow compass, is a king-like, a kingly ruling power." "God means
what he says and He says, 'I want a change here.' Will it be the same thing? going
over and over the same ideas, the same committees -- and here is the little throne --
the king is in there, and these others are all secondary." "God wants that
those committees that have been handling things for so long should be relieved of their
command have a chance for their life and see if they can not get out of this rut that they
are in -- which I have no hope of their getting out of, because the Spirit of God
has been working and working, and yet the king is in there still. Now the Lord wants
His Spirit to come in. He wants the Holy Ghost king."
"From the light that I have
had for some time, and has been expressed over and over again, not to all there are here,
but has been expressed to individuals -- the plans that God would have all to work
from, that never should one mind or two minds or three minds, nor four minds, or a few
minds I should say, be considered of sufficient wisdom and power to control and mark out
plans and let it rest upon the minds of one or two or three in regard to this broad, broad
field that we have."
"And the work all over our
field demands an entirely different course of action than we have had; that there needs
the laying of a foundation that is different from what we have had. . . . In all
these countries, far and near, He wants to be an arousing, broadening, enlarging power.
And a management which is getting confused in itself -- not that any one is
wrong or means to be wrong, but the principle is wrong; and the principles have become so
mixed and so fallen from what God's principles are."
"These things have been told,
and this stand-still has got to come to an end. But yet every Conference has woven
after the same pattern, it is the very same loom that carries it, and finally, it will
come to naught."
She declared that, "God wants
us to take hold of this work, every human agency." "Each one is to act in
their capacity in such a way that the confidence of the whole people will be
established in them and that they will not be afraid, but see everything just as light as
day until they are in connection with the work of God and the whole people. . .
. All the provision was made in heaven, all the facilities, all the riches of the
grace of God was imparted to every worker that was connected with the cause, and every
one of these are wholly dependent upon God. And when we leave God out of
the question, and allow hereditary and cultivated traits of character to come in, let me
tell you, we are on very slippery ground."
"God hath His servants --
His Church, established in the earth, composed of many members, but of one body; that in
every part of the work one part must work as connected with another part, and that with
another part, and with another part, and these are joined together by the golden links
of heaven, and there is to be no kings here in the midst at all. There is to be
no man that has the right to put his hand out and say: No, you can not go there. We
won't support you if you go there. Why, what have you to do with the
supporting? Did you create the means? The means comes from the people.
And those who are in destitute fields -- the voice of God has told me to instruct
them to go to the people and tell them their necessities; and to draw all the people
to work just where they can find a place to work, to build up the work in every place they
Upon that instruction and much
more to the same effect in that talk, you and Brother Prescott and others took hold of the
matters pertaining to the then pending General Coherence, set aside entirely the old order
of things, and started in new. At the opening of the General Conference, April 2,
Sister White spoke briefly to the same effect as in the College Building the day
before. Irwin followed with a few words; and then you spoke a few words and
introduced a motion "that the usual rules and precedents for arranging and
transacting the business of the Conference be suspended, and a General Committee be hereby
appointed ... to constitute a general or central committee, which shall do such work a
necessarily must be done in providing the work of the Conference, and preparing the
business to bring before the delegates." Thus the new order of things was
The night of that very first day
of the Conference I was appointed to preach the sermon. Since I had been appointed
to report the proceedings, I expected to have no preaching or other work to do.
Therefore when I was called to preach, I supposed that it was designed to have me preach
that one time during the conference, and have me do it at the beginning so that I could go
on afterward unmolested with the reporting. I spoke on Church Organization.
When that meeting was over, I supposed that my preaching during the Conference was
done. Therefore I was surprised when only two days afterward -- April 4 --
you came to me at the reporters' table and said, "We want you to preach
tonight." I said, "I supposed that my preaching was over with, since I
have the reporting to do. I can not do this and preach often." You said
to me, "You have light for the people: and we want them to have it." I
consented and preached again on the subject of Church Organization, developing the subject
further, and on the same principles precisely as on the night of April 2.
In that Conference the General
Conference was started toward the called-for reorganization. All understood that the
call was away from a centralized order of things in which "one man or two men or
three or four men or a few men" held the ruling and directing power, to an
organization in which "all the people" as individuals should have a part, with
God, in Christ, by the Holy Spirit as the unifying, guiding, and directing power.
Indeed, the day before my second sermon on organization, Sister White had said, April 3 --
"We want to understand that there are no gods in our Conference. There are to
be no kings here, and no kings in any conference that is formed. 'All ye are
"The Lord wants to bind those
at this Conference heart to heart. No man is to say, 'I am a god, and you must do as
I say.' From the beginning to the end this is wrong. There is to be an
individual work. God says, 'Let him take hold of my strength that he may make peace
with me, and he shall make peace with me.'
"Remember that God can give
wisdom to those who handle his work. It is not necessary to send thousands of miles
to Battle Creek for advice, and then have to wait weeks before an answer can be received.
Those who are right on the ground are to decide what shall be done. You know
what you have to wrestle with, but those who are thousands of miles away do not
know." -- Bulletin, 1901, pp. 69, 70.
And on the very day of my second
sermon, April 4, she said in a talk at 9:00 a.m.: "This meeting will determine
the character of our work in the future. How important that every step shall be
taken under the supervision of God. This work must be carried in a very different
manner to what it has been in the past years." -- Bulletin, p. 83.
In this understanding a new
Constitution entire was adopted: and that such was the understanding in adopting this
Constitution is plainly shown in the discussions. Under this constitution the
General Conference Committee was composed of a large number of men, with "power to
organize itself by choosing a chairman," etc. No president of the
General Conference was chosen; nor was any provided for. The presidency of the
General Conference was eliminated to escape a centralized power, a one-man power, a
kingship, a monarchy. The Constitution was framed and adopted to that end in
accordance with the whole guiding thought in the Conference from the beginning in that
room in the College Building.
Shortly after the Conference
ended, you suggested during the meeting at Indianapolis that my sermon on organization
ought to be printed in a leaflet so that our people everywhere could have it -- for
study in the work of re-organization. Your suggestion was agreed to and I was
directed to prepare it for printing. I did so, and it was printed at General
Conference direction, in "Words of Truth Series, No. 31, extra, May, 1901."
Now after all this, it was not long before this whole spirit and principle of General Conference
organization and affairs began to be reversed again. This spirit of reaction became
so rife and so rank that some time before the General Conference of 1903 at Oakland, Cal.,
"two men, or three men, or four men, or a few men, I should say," being together
in Battle Creek or somewhere else, and without any kind of authority, but directly against
the plain words of the Constitution, took it absolutely upon themselves to elect you
president, and Brother Prescott vice-president of the General Conference. And than
that there never was in this universe a clearer piece of usurpation of position, power,
and authority. You two were then, of right, just as much president and
vice-president of Timbuctoo as you were of the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference.
But this spirit
did not stop even there. The thing done was directly against the Constitution.
This was too plain to be escaped. And it was just as plain that with that
Constitution still perpetuated in the coming General Conference, this usurpation of
position, power, and authority could not be perpetuated. What could be done to
preserve the usurpation? -- Oh, that was just as easy as the other. A new
"Constitution" was framed to fit and to uphold the usurpation. This
"Constitution" was carried to the General Conference of 1903 at Oakland, Cal.,
and in every unconstitutional way was there jammed through. I say in every
unconstitutional way, because in every truly constitutional government the Constitution
comes in some way from the people, not from the monarch. Thus the people
make and establish a Constitution. The monarch "grants" a
Constitution. When the people make a Constitution the people govern. When a
monarch "grants" a Constitution, he seeks to please the people with a toy and
keeps the government himself. This difference is the sole difficulty in Russia
today; and the difference is simply the difference between monarchy and government of the
people; and between oppression and freedom. The people want to make a
Constitution. The czar wants to "grant them a Constitution" and have them
endorse anew his autocracy and bureaucracy by "adopting" the
"Constitution" that he "grants."
And this is just
the difference between the General Conference and is Constitution of 1901, and the General
Conference and its Constitution of 1903. In 1901 the monarchy was swept aside
completely, and the Conference itself as such and as a whole made a new
Constitution. In the General Conference of 1903, the usurpers of monarchical
position and authority came with a "Constitution" that fitted and maintained
their usurpation, and succeeded in getting it "adopted." And how? --
None of the people had asked for any new Constitution. The General Conference
delegation had not asked for it. Not even the Committee on Constitution asked for
it. In behalf of the usurpation it was brought before that committee and advocated
there because, in very words, "The church must have a visible head." It
was not, even then, nor was it ever, favored by that committee. It was put through
the committee, and reported to the Conference, only by permanently dividing the committee --
a minority of the committee opposing it all the time, and -- a thing almost unheard
of in Seventh-day Adventist Conference -- bringing into the Conference a minority
report against it. And when at last it was adopted by the final vote, it was by the
slim majority of just five. And it was only by the carelessness of some of the
delegates that it got through even that way; for there were just then downstairs in the
Oakland church enough delegates who were opposed to it, to have defeated it if they had
been present. They told this themselves afterward. But they did not know that
the vote was being taken, and by their not being in their places the usurpation was
sanctioned; the reactionary spirit that had been so long working for absolute control had
got it; the principles and intent of the General Conference of 1901 were reversed; and a
czardom was enthroned which has since gone steadily onward in the same way and has with
perfect consistency built up a thoroughly bureaucratic government, by which it reaches and
meddles with, and manipulates, the affairs of all, not only of union and local
conferences, but of local churches, and even of individual persons. So that some of
the oldest men in active service today, and who by their life experience are best
qualified to know, have freely said that in the whole history of the denomination there
has never been such a one-man power, such a centralized despotism, so much of papacy as
there has been since the Oakland Conference. And as a part of this bureaucracy there
is, of all the incongruous things ever heard of, a "Religious Liberty Bureau,"
a contradiction in terms.
Now when I was opposed to this
thing before and in the General Conference of 1897, and before and in the General
Conference of 1899, and before and in the General Conference of 1901, and before and in
the General Conference of 1903, why should you be perplexed that I have not fallen in with
it and helped to make it a success since 1903? Why should I, in 1903, abandon
all the principles and teaching by which I was right in opposing it until and including
1903? When I was in the right all these years in opposing it, and in doing all that
I could to keep it from succeeding, why and upon what principles should I have swung in
and favored it just because at last in a most arbitrary, unconstitutional and usurping way
it did at last succeed?
Again, in the General Conference
of 1901 you yourself said that in the principles of organization that I preached I had
"light for the people." Those principles were the ones that prevailed in
that Conference; and at your own suggestion these principles as preached in my first
sermon, were published for the help of the denomination in the work or reorganization.
But the principles and the form of organization of 1903 are directly the
opposite of those that in 1901 you said were "light for the people."
If my second sermon in the General Conference of 1901 had been printed along with the
first, the people would have been able to see more plainly how entirely the course of
things in 1903 was the reverse of that of 1901. And any one can see it now by
reading General Conference Bulletin of 1901, pages 37-42 and 101-105.
Now, brother, were those
principles light in 1901? If so, then what did you do when you espoused the
opposite of them in 1902-1903? Or, were those principles light in 1901, and
darkness in 1903? Or were those principles really darkness in 1901, when you said
that they were light? Or are they still light today as they were in 1901? And
if in the General Conference of 1901 you were not able to distinguish between light and
darkness, what surety has anybody that you were any more able to do so in 1902-3? Or
is it possible that in 1902-3 you were not, and now are not, able to see that the
principles and the course of action of 1902-3 are not the same as those of the
General Conference of 1901? In other words, is it possible that you can think that
certain principles with their course of action, and the reverse of them are one and
I know that the principles that in
1901 you said were "light for the people" were then really light, and that they
are now light, and forevermore will be light. They are only plain principles of the
word of God. I hold these principles today exactly as I did in 1901 and long before,
and shall hold them forever. For this cause I was opposed to the usurpation and
unconstitutional action of 1902-3 that were the opposite of these principles; and shall
always be opposed to them.
In view of all these facts, again
I ask, Why should you think that I should abandon all, just because you and some others
did? I think that it was enough for me to keep still these three years. It is
true that I had had no disposition to do anything but to keep still about it. For
when the General Conference of 1903 made their choice that way, I have no objection their
having what they have chosen. I have no disposition to oppose it in any other way
than by preaching the gospel. Indeed, the strongest possible opposition that can be
made to it is the plain, simple preaching of the plain gospel. There is this about
that, however, that now the plain simple preaching of the plain gospel will be
considered "disloyal to the General Conference," "disloyal to the
organization," etc. Nevertheless, I am going to continue to preach the plain
gospel, as that gospel is in the Word of God. For when the General Conference and
the "organized work" put themselves in such a position that the plain preaching
of the gospel as in the Word of God is disloyalty to the General Conference and the
"organized work," then the thing to do is to preach the gospel as it is in the
Word of God.
Second, as to the campaign
against Dr. Kellogg:
I told you in the very beginning
of it, that I would never take any part in it. You can remember that in the month of
November, 1902, in Battle Creek, in the same room where you and Brother Irwin met the
Church Board and others of us when you were here last month -- as you and I and
several others of the General Conference Committee were sitting around a table, I told you
all, that, admitting all to be the truth that was then being said about Dr. Kellogg, I
would take no part in pursuing him, nor in making any kind of war upon him -- not
even with the Testimonies. I told you of the experience of a previous General
Conference Committee when I was a member of it -- that Testimonies had come
reproving Brother A. R. Henry: that the Committee had used the Testimonies in a way, and
had taken such a course toward him, that he was offended: that then Testimonies came
reproving the Committee for treating him so, and telling the Committee to "go and
confess to Brother Henry." "Shall the soul of A. R. Henry be lost?" --
and, upon this I told you that I never would take any course toward Dr. Kellogg or any
other man that would make it possible for any Testimony to tell me to go and confess to
him the wrong way that I had treated him, even with the Testimonies; and, because of
anything that I had done, appeal to me "shall the soul of" that man "be
lost?" I told you then that whatever Dr. Kellogg's wrong-doing might be, I
never would treat him, nor take any part with others in treating him in any other way than
the way that I would choose to be treated if I were in a like situation. All that, I
told you then, and I tell it to you now. That is where I stood then, that is where I
have stood ever since, and that is where I shall stand forever with respect to Dr. Kellogg
and everybody else in the world.
I was at that time ready to stand
with you, and did stand with you, in working for him, to get him to see where
mistakes had been made, and to correct them. On the eighteenth day of that same
month of November, 1902, in the General Conference Committee room in Battle Creek, with
Dr. Kellogg and a number of other brethren present, I, on the part of the General
Conference Committee, and at your request, read some Testimonies concerning kingship in
the medical work and a "species" of bondage or slavery of minds in the matter of
written contracts for the medical missionary workers. And even while I was read it,
Dr. Kellogg spoke out and said: "I see that. I see it now: I never saw it
before. I could not see how that was; but I see it now. And I will stop it
immediately. We will abolish all those contracts." In the same meeting he
also made other changes and concessions; so that the only thing that I expected to see,
was that you would reach out your hand to him and say: All right, Brother, here is
my hand. Let us go on together, working to find out whatever else may be wrong, and
to put it away.
But lo! instead of that or
anything of that nature, I was surprised and humiliated and hurt, at your standing up, and
planting yourself on your heels, and, in a decisive tone, saying "I'm not
satisfied. Dr. Kellogg has an imperious will, that's got to be broken -------
From that moment I
have not had any sympathy with you, nor any support for you, in that campaign.
The thing there said, and tone and manner of saying it, all showed that there was such an
element of personal domination, of personal triumph, of a man ruling man, that I would
have no part in it. I know that you have since explained that you meant only
what is always meant when it is said that a man's will is to be surrendered to God,
etc. Whatever you meant, the words as given above are what you said.
And said in the tone and manner in which you said it, and said openly in a company of men,
in a time of tension; the only possible effect of the words was certain to be just what
the words said. Surely the effect, or at least the danger of the effect, of such a
statement would be bad enough if spoken only to a man in perfect privacy.
How much more when spoken about a man, openly to a company of other men, with the
man himself present. To this day I feel the impression that the words made upon
me. And I know that if in such circumstances such a thing were said about me, I have
not the meekness to take it in any way near as quietly as Dr. Kellogg did at that
moment. Surely, Brother Daniells, if you had thought only as far as a b c, you
would have known that God never breaks any man's will; nor does he ask that any man's will
shall be broken; and you would not have said what you did.
That day when we went direct from
that meeting into the full meeting of the General Conference Council in the north vestry
of the Tabernacle, I wrote on the fiftieth leaf of my railroad permit book, the following:
On this fiftieth
leaf of this book, on this eighteenth day of November, 1902, after the meeting of General
Conference Committee from 8:00 o'clock a.m. to 1:15 p.m., I am obliged to say that it is
impossible for me to see any basis for harmonious co-operation between the General
Conference and Medical Missionary Association so far as Brethren Daniells and Prescott are
concerned. And if the next General Conference finds no entanglement it will surely
have to be because of Brethren Daniells and Prescott changing their attitude in mind and
spirit in meeting Brother Kellogg's allowances and concessions.
And when the next General
Conference did come, even before the Conference was actually opened, the first great
question was whether the first thing done in the Conference should not be to turn the
whole Conference upon the issue with Dr. Kellogg, and get that out of the way, and then
take up the regular business of the Conference? Brother Prescott knows that I was
called to the house where Sister White was staying, to meet with him and W. C. White and
her, to counsel upon the this very question -- at any rate, I was called there,
possibly he was took and that was the only matter considered. And Brother Prescott
knows that I advised that instead of beginning Conference with the issue about Dr.
Kellogg, we leave it out entirely -- and if it must come in, let it be the very
last thing, and then only because it could not fairly be avoided: that the Conference was
not assembled for any such business, but only for the consideration of the work of the
Third Angel's Message in the world; and the time should be spent in studying the leading
features of this great work.
Possibly Brother Prescott may
remember that I was the only one present, who did thus advise. And when the
Conference was formally opened, the expectation of certain ones was that the issue with or
about Dr. Kellogg would be the first matter of importance taken up. For I was
chairman of the general committee: and either shortly before or at our very first meeting
Brother Prescott asked me to delay the appointment of the committees, because if we should
proceed just then, a certain man -- Dr. Kellogg -- might be nominated on
some committee, and he would have to object to it, which, without explanation might be
considered only personal. Whereas if there were delay of a day or two the whole
matter would be exposed in the Conference, and then there would be no danger of anybody's
nominating Dr. Kellogg on any committee. I told him that the Committee itself would
have to decide the question of delay, but that I would present his request. I did so
in a general way without any particulars. The Committee conformed to the request,
and did adjourn to the call of the chair. But that expected thing did not get into
the open Conference. And after sufficient -- or rather too much --
delay, I called the Committee together and we went on with the business. You may
remember that one day in the Conference I referred to this fact: when Brother Knox,
sitting by you, arose and objected to "the whole Committee being
involved." However, I had not knowingly involved the whole Committee: I had
only stated a fact. That was as far as I knew: and if the whole Committee was
involved, it could only be by the whole Committee's knowing more of the matter than I did.
Before I left for California --
or rather at the depot just as I was leaving -- to come to the Sanitarium to work,
I told W. C. White that I was not coming here as a partisan of Dr. Kellogg's nor as an
opponent of you and Brother Prescott. But that I was coming solely to help the
medical students and others here by teaching the Bible to them. I told the same
thing to you and the others in the Council at Washington before I came here in November,
1903. And that is true, yet, so far as I am concerned. But in this
matter it seems that whoever does not make open and direct war on Dr. Kellogg, is
held necessarily to be a partisan of his and an opponent of you: that there is no space
between. But I know that if today I were to leave the Sanitarium because of total
disagreement with Dr. Kellogg, there would still be a space wider than the world for me to
stand in, without standing with you in the campaign against him and without endorsing the
course that you have pursued since 1902. And this space would be simply because of
the plain a b c principles of the gospel, that I can, and therefore will, never abandon.
the Testimonies: --
a. I know
that you and others with you are making much of "loyalty to the Testimonies":
and are not slow to convey the impression that any who do not openly endorse your course
in the use of some of the Testimonies is not "loyal to the Testimonies,"
"does not believe the Testimonies," etc., etc., but all of that proves nothing
at all as to anybody's loyalty or disloyalty to the Testimonies. Besides, facts
within my personal knowledge demonstrate that the "loyalty to the Testimonies"
that is just now being made so conspicuous, is a very uncertain thing: it is merely
"loyalty" to some of the Testimonies -- that can be used to
special advantage for a purpose.
For instance: During the
General Conference council in Washington in October, 1903, a Testimony came concerning the
Battle Creek College debt, and the Acre Fund to pay that debt. That Testimony said:
How pleasing to God it would be
for all our people -- led and encouraged by the General Conference Committee
-- to share in lifting this obligation of the old Battle Creek College!
"The creditors of Battle
Creek College must all be paid. The officers of the General Conference should
lend a hand in this work.
I was in a position to know full
well that the General Conference Committee neither led nor encouraged the people in that
thing at all. Indeed, their leading and encouraging was against it rather than for
it. Also I personally know that "the officers of the General Conference"
did not lend any hand in that work. Indeed they were not at all ready even to print
that Testimony in the Review. They did by special request, if not
persuasion, promise in the Review of October 29 to publish it "next
week": but in fact did not publish it till five weeks afterward, December 3: and
then with changes, showing that it had either been sent to California for these
changes and back again, or else another copy was received from California to be published
in place of the one that they promised October 29 to publish "next week."
Any or all of which shows that loyalty to that Testimony was not at all conspicuous
on the part of the General Conference officers.
Again: At Berrien springs in May, 1904, a written testimony was given to you personally addressed,
"Dear Brethren Daniells and Prescott," in which were the following words: --
Last night I saw a
hand stretched out to clasp his [Dr. Kellogg's] hand, and the words were spoken:
"Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with Me, and he
shall make peace with Me. Satan is striving for the victory. I will help Dr.
Kellogg to stand on vantage ground, and every soul who loves Me must work with me.
As he sees Me do, so he must do."
You received that Testimony on Friday. Yet as late as Monday following, Dr. Kellogg knew
nothing of it -- at least so far as you were concerned -- and he was there
the most of the time. And when on Monday morning I read the Testimony openly in the
morning meeting, you said that you had received it on Friday, but "did not know what
to do with it." It would seem that loyalty to the Testimonies would have given
you plainly to know what to do yourself, whether you knew what to do with it
or not. It would seem that loyalty to the Testimonies would have caused you to go
straight to Dr. Kellogg and stretch out your hand to him, as the Testimony told you to do.
But you did not do it then: and when I asked you in Battle Creek last month whether
you had ever done it, you were obliged to say "No." Is that loyalty
to the Testimonies, or is it merely "loyalty to the Testimonies!!!"
Again: Sister White says that in the time of the General Conference of 1905, at Takoma Park,
Washington, she was shown in the night the needs of the South and that five thousand
dollars must be given immediately to the brethren -- Butler and Haskell --
for it. So plain was this and so urgent, that she said to Brother Haskell the next
morning, "Have faith in God. You will carry five thousand dollars from this
meeting" for the work in the South. Then the Testimony proceeds:
"But Willie said" that Brother Daniells was very much perplexed with the
conditions in Battle Creek, and the money could to be sent just then: and, "I
said no more about it." This Testimony you have there in Washington.
she see, that night, as she says that she did, the needs of the South, and so
urgent that five thousand dollars should be carried from that very meeting for it?
If she did, then how much loyalty to the Testimonies was there in "Willie's"
setting it all aside so effectually that for full two months nothing at all was
done in that direction and when after full two months something was done, it was
only because Testimonies were sent to the South as well as to Washington, that would brook
no more delay. And one of these said: --
"This matter has been presented to me three times, and I was instructed that five thousand dollars
ought to have been placed in Elder Haskell's hands before he left the Conference
That is exactly the instruction that she says that she had on the Conference grounds, in the time of the
Conference. She gave the "instruction" at least to Brother Haskell and to
"Willie." But "Willie" simply and promptly set it aside.
Now was that instruction from the Lord, or was it not? If it was, how much did
"Willie" care for it? Allowing what he said about conditions in Battle
Creek, is it not possible that the Lord knew of this, and knew as much of it as
"Willie" did? Or is it true that "Willie" is the supreme source
of knowledge and understanding in the work of the Lord -- even above and against
the instruction of the Lord? Or did "Willie" believe a particle in that
instruction's having come from the Lord? If it was from the Lord, then how much
loyalty to the Testimonies had "Willie" when he set it aside? If it was
from the Lord, and yet he did not believe that it was from the Lord, then how much
loyalty to the Testimonies was there in what he did? Or shall it be said that it was
not from the Lord, and was not Testimony, till it came out in writing on July 19,
20, full two months afterward? But if it was from the Lord when it was written out
two months afterward, then was it not equally from the Lord when it was spoken to
"Willie" at the time? And in any case where in "Willie's" course
in that matter does there appear any faintest suggestion of any real loyalty to the
By the way, Brother, why haven't you printed those two Testimonies of July 19, 20, 1905, in full, full
names and all, in the Review and Herald or in some "Series A, B, or Z,
No." something? For all the people to have those Testimonies, just as
they are, would do a lot of good to the work in the South: why not print them?
Now please, Brother Daniells, I am not involving you in "Willie's" course in the
foregoing matter. I am perfectly willing to believe that he did not allow that word
to get to you, as to the five thousand dollars going with Brother Haskell from that
General Conference. The point that I make upon it is this: That is the course
which "Willie" took on that. The Testimony says so. Now since
he can do such things as that, and at the same time is heartily and companionably
fellowshipped by you as "loyal to the Testimonies," how is it that you can not
just as heartily fellowship men who have far more respect for the Testimonies than that;
but who possibly can not near as loudly urge upon other people "loyalty to the
Again: At the time of your late visit to Battle Creek, after urging upon the Battle Creek church for
about two weeks or more "loyalty to the Testimonies!!" there was brought about
the annual election in the church, two weeks before the regular time. In the
proceedings there were read Testimonies that were strictly pertinent and applicable to the
matter before the meeting: and were plainly against what was being put through. Yet
these Testimonies were deliberately explained away, with "a broad view" and
other like things; and you yourself took part in explaining them away. After what
you had been for two weeks or more saying and doing as to loyalty to the Testimonies, this
was rather a sweeping, but in truth, in view of the many facts of the matter, a very
And in view of all these facts, and many others of the same sort, you seem actually to be perplexed that I
have taken no part with you in your campaign with "the Testimonies," and of this
kind of "loyalty to the Testimonies!" Why, brother, I never did, I
never can, and I never will, use the Testimonies that way; nor will I take part in it with
those who use them that way. The long straightforward series of facts in the case make it
so plain to me that this conspicuous "loyalty to the Testimonies" is for campaign
purposes only, that I simply will not take part in it. I can afford to be
suspected of heresy, and of other things that are now so trippingly told; but I will not
run a false issue, nor will I make a false pretense.
You speak of a time when I "took a strong position regarding the Testimonies, and used them with
great force to wheel men and policies into line." Yes, that is so; but with it,
every soul knows that I never was partial in them; that I never used some with
pile-driver force, while utterly ignoring or explaining away others just as plain and
definite. The brethren, and the people, know well that whenever I was advocating a
matter and some one produced a Testimony to the contrary, instead of explaining it away I
stopped instantly and changed my course accordingly. And that was because of my
loyalty to the Testimonies.
In the original address in the chapel, additional remarks and illustrations were
interspersed as the foregoing matter was read. In printing it, it seems best to
print the letter unbroken: and then insert here the additional remarks and illustration.
In 1901 the General Conference was turned away from a centralized power, a "one-man
or two men, or three men, or four men, or a few men" power, a kingship, a monarchy:
because the instruction was, in very words, "the principle is wrong."
It will not do to say that in 1902-1903 circumstances had changed. For whatever
change may ever occur in circumstances, principles never change.
I stated that the present order of
General Conference affairs is
"a thoroughly bureaucratic government." Not every section of it
is called a bureau; but that is what in practice every section is, whatever it may
be called; and the title of the "Religious Liberty Bureau" is expressive of the
I stated that the phrase
"Religious Liberty Bureau" is "a contradiction in terms." On
every principle that is the truth. There are many words of our language that are the
result and expression of invariable human experience through ages. The result of
human experience through ages has in certain things been so invariable that a word tells
it, and tells it so truly when that word is used, that a certain order of things is
described.; and when that word is espoused you have there in certainty
the situation and order of things which the word expresses. "Bureaucracy" --
government by bureaus -- is one of these words: and the definition, which is but
the expression of ages of invariable experience, is as follows: --
Government by bureaus; specifically, excessive multiplication of, and concentration of
power in, administrative bureaus. The principle of bureaucracy tends to official
interference in many of the properly private affairs of life, and to the inefficient and
obtrusive performance of duty through minute subdivision of function, inflexible
formality, and pride of place. -- Century Dictionary.
A bureaucracy is
sure to think that its duty is to augment official power, official business, or official
numbers, rather than to leave free the energies of mankind. -- Standard Dictionary.
Republicanism and bureaucracy are incompatible existences. -- Century Dictionary.
All that is what bureaucracy has
been found by ages of invariable experience to be. All that is what it is, and what
it does. And when bureaucracy and republicanism are incompatible existences, how
much more are bureaucracy and Christianity incompatible existences!
Therefore, a Religious Liberty Bureau is a palpably impossible thing. Indeed,
any true liberty is impossible in a bureau or a bureaucracy, and this is why it is that,
as I said in the letter, the plain simple preaching of the plain gospel as it is in the
Bible, will be considered "disloyal to the General Conference," "disloyal
to the organized work, etc."
The gospel and bureaucracy,
Christianity and bureaucracy, are incompatible existences. I knew this at the time
of the Oakland Conference in 1903. I knew then what would be at least some of the
results of the action there taken, and spoke of it at the time; and when that action was
finally taken by the Conference, I knew that it would stop my preaching under General
Conference auspices the truth that I had been preaching all these years. Before that
action was taken in that Conference, even three months before the conference met, I had
decided to come to the Sanitarium to teach. And when that action was taken in and by
that conference, I was glad that there was thus a place where in comparative retirement, I
could teach and preach the same truths that I have all these years been teaching, without
interfering with, or embarrassing, in any way, any conference or General Conference
management or administration. I have no disposition to interfere with or to
embarrass any conference or General Conference management or administration. I have
no objection to the General Conference, or any conference, or any persons, having a
bureaucracy or whatever else they may choose. I only object to having it
myself. I object also to being required to have it, and compelled to take it, when I
do not want it. I have no disposition to take away from anybody what he chooses to
have, nor have I any disposition to break down anything. My commission is to build
up Christianity and Christians, and Christianity in Christians in the world; and
whatsoever is not Christian will fall of itself.
There is another thing that
illustrates the truth of what I have said as to what I have always taught not being
acceptable to General Conference administration; and which at the same time answers a
question that is in the minds of many people. I have received letters from people in
many parts of the land, asking why they can not read anything from me any more in the Review
and Herald. I will now tell to you, and to all the others, why this is: It is
only because the "Review & Herald" will not print anything from me.
And for me that is sufficient why the people can not read anything from me in that paper.
When I went to Washington a year
ago, I went with good heart to help in the Religious Liberty work there. And I did
help, with good heart. And yet all the people know that not a line of anything that
I preached there, ever got into print in any Seventh-day Adventist publication issued from
Washington. And the Religious Liberty truth that I preached there was the same that
I have been preaching all these years; only intensified by study and by the fulfillment of
prophecy in the development of the things which all these years we have been expecting.
Afterward I sent to the Southern
Watchman some of what I preached in Washington at that time. The Watchman published
it; and both the editors and readers said that it as the best that I had ever given on the
subject. One sermon which I preached in Washington at that time as so plain, so
straight, and so clear on the subject that Brother Colcord, Brother George B. Thompson,
and Brother Kit Russell, who all head it, all three asked that I write it out for the Review,
so that all our people might have it. I had had some experience before, so I said to
them, "I can write it out, brethren; but its getting into the Review will be
another thing." Of course they could not think that; and still asked that I
should write it out, so that it could be published in the Review.
Accordingly, I wrote it out. Brother Colcord, I believe, handed it in. It got
as far as the type, and then the middle of last summer it was returned to me without any
of the people ever having a chance to get it. When it was returned, the reason
stated for not printing it was the having been "so crowded with special matter"
of the General Conference, and "the special issue which called it out is now so far
in the past." But the fact is that the matter was handed in nearly if
not quite a full month before the General Conference began; and the truth is that
the issue which called out that sermon will never be to any degree or in any sense in the
past, until probation itself shall be in the past.
Today the issue that called out
that sermon is even more urgent than it was the day the sermon was preached. In one
way or another the issue is being urged everywhere throughout the land. But in one
special way it is being so urged, and in such words, that if that sermon had been
published in the Review & Herald a year ago, when it was handed in, our people
everywhere would be far better prepared than they are to meet that which is being more and
more urged upon the people in our very presence. I have the manuscript yet. It
ought indeed to be published so that all our people could have it. I may have to
publish it myself. But in that case, I may be charged with "starting a new
work," with "creating divisions," etc. but how long shall it be right
to let the people go without matter that they greatly need, that they ought to have just
now, and that he cause of the Third Angel's Message needs just now, simply because the
denominational people will not print it? How much longer shall things go on thus
before it will be right for the people to have what is now urgently needed, and what the
cause of the Third Angel's Message itself greatly needs, even if I must print it myself?
I said that it was some experience
that caused me to say when the brethren asked me to write out that sermon for the Review
that "I could write it out, but its getting into the Review would be another
thing." That experience was this: In the summer of 1903, I was regularly
a member of the educational convention that was held at College View in the month of
June. By the program I was appointed to preach on Christian Education. On
Sabbath I preached the sermon. The editor of the Review said that he would
print it. I prepared it and sent it in about the first of July, 1903. It is
there yet, if it has not been destroyed. I have been told that that matter also got
so far as to be set up in type. And I know that it never got into print. These
facts tell why it is that nothing that has been read from me in the Review & Herald
for the past three years. Those who have had a chance to read the Signs of the
Times or the Southern Watchman have been able to read considerable from me.
However, please bear in mind that
I am not in any sense laying any complaint against the Review and Herald or its
editor. Every editor has always the unquestionable right to exclude anything.
I am stating these things as illustration of the truth that the very same truths which I
have been teaching all these years, and which are vital truths to the people and to our
message as the issues of that message now are, are not acceptable to the General
Conference administration; and secondly, in order that the many inquiring people may know
truly and exactly why they do not read anything from me in the Review & Herald.
C. L. Taylor: Brother Jones,
may I say just a word. I received a letter from one of our leading editors stating
that he had received orders not to publish anything from you and some others whose names
Voice: Louder. We
didn't hear that.
C. L. Taylor: I say that I
received a letter from one of our leading editors stating that he had received orders not
to publish any articles received from Dr. Paulson, Dr. Kellogg, or A. T. Jones.
A. T. Jones: Possibly these
"orders" have now been given to all of the denominational papers.
Also now as in 1901 "the
conferences are weaving after the same pattern." Here is an instance that
actually occurred not a great while ago: A certain Seventh-day Adventist is only a
private individual in every respect. He has his private individual business,
strictly legitimate and honorable, that he has built up wholly by his own efforts.
And yet the president of the conference in which he is, gave that brother to understand
that if he does not quit that business in the place where he is and leave the place where
he is, "the denomination will withdraw its support from him." But not in
any sense is the denomination supporting him. Therefore, the kernel of this
procedure is that that conference president proposes to dominate that private individual
in his private business, or else work a denominational boycott against him. And when
denominational management has reached that point, it is time that somebody was speaking in
behalf of the common liberty as well as the religious liberty of the people;
and in behalf of the common liberty as well as the religious liberty of the individual.
And that is why I am speaking openly tonight. I owe it to this brother, and to every
other Seventh-day Adventist in the world to stand in behalf of his right to be himself,
and to conduct his own private and honorable business in his own way wherever he pleases,
without any reference to conference, General Conference, or any other thing under heaven.
The Sabbath-school lesson for
March 17, 1906, present D'Aubigne's excellent statement of the vital principle of the
protest of Spires as follows: --
This protest opposes two abuses of man in matters of faith: the first is the intrusion of the civil
magistrate; and the second, the arbitrary authority of the church. Instead of
these abuses Protestantism sets the power of conscience above the magistrate; and the
authority of the word of God above the visible church.
This denomination has most rightly
and nobly spent a great deal of time the past fifteen or more years in opposing intrusion
of the civil magistrate in the realm of religion. It is high time that at least
somebody in this denomination should be Protestant enough to oppose the arbitrary
authority of the church. For please, bear in mind that the arbitrary authority of
the church has always been only the arbitrary authority of a few men in place of authority
in the church. And if some of the things that are today being done in the
name of this denomination are not the exercise of arbitrary authority, then both the
dictionary and history may well be revised.
For more than twenty years I have
been preaching the same truths that I am now preaching. I preached them all over the
United States and Europe, and in Canada. They were everywhere accepted by the
denomination as the truth; and were published by the denomination as the truth. And
when I have not changed in a single item of principle or of the truth, and yet I can not
now preach these same things without being counted "disloyal to the General
Conference," and "disloyal to the organized work," then is it not perfectly
plain that the change has been somewhere else than in me or in my teaching?
But I am not the only one.
There are other men, who are just as good Christians and just as true Seventh-day
Adventists as they know how to be, men whom God has plainly called to the work in which
they are engaged: but who have been driven out, and today can not do inside the
"organized work" or under the General Conference administration, the work that
God has given them to do. When certain ones of these were compelled to go, when I
was present, I publicly protested, and asked this question: "When men are just
as true Seventh-day Adventists as anybody can be, and yet they can not do in the
denomination the work that God has given them to do; but must do it outside the
"organized work," then is it not plain enough that there is something wrong with
the administration and the so-called "organized work"? and is there not enough
that is wrong to justify some study and inquiry as to why men who are called of God to
their work, can not do it inside, but are forced to do it outside, the ranks
of that which stands as the work of God to the world?" I ask that question
yet. And if things must go on in this way till all who are called of God to the work
that they are doing, shall be forced to do it outside of the "organized work," then
how much of the real vital work of God will be found inside the "organized
Is it possible that anybody is
expecting me to abandon all these principles, and change or modify all my teaching, just
to be "loyal to the General Conference," and "loyal to the organized
work"? If so, all such expectation might as well be abandoned at once and
forever; for I simply will never do it. Those principles and truths I shall hold
forever, and will preach forever. They are the principles and the truths of the
Bible. And I will never be loyal to any person or any thing but God, in
Christ, by the Holy Spirit through the Bible.
I will never believe that
"the church must have a visible head." I will never conform to any system
of things that makes it possible for the church to have anything that corresponds to
"a visible head." Excepting only those professed Protestant churches that
are actually united with the State and so have the head of the State the visible head of
the church -- excepting only these, it is today the sober but startling truth, that
the Seventh-day Adventist denomination is the only Protestant church in the world that has
one man at the head and center of its organization. And in this one thing the
Seventh-day Adventist denomination is more like the Catholic Church than is any other
Protestant church in the world.
And this, too, is in spite of the
Testimony that has been published and quoted over and over ever since the month of March,
1897, saying, "It is not wise to have one man president of the General
Conference." However, as often as it has been quoted it has been
"explained" instead of obeyed; and it will doubtless be so till the end.
But Christ did not leave one man at the head and center of His organized work, when He
ascended on high. He occupied and was allowed to occupy that place Himself as Head
of His Church, and "Head over all things to the Church."
Christ, Christ alone, is the only
Head of the Church; and He is the Head of each individual in the Church: as it is written,
"I would have you know that the Head of every man is Christ." And instead
of going "back to 1844" and a creed "let us go on unto
perfection" in Christ Jesus by the glorious truth that He has given us in 1844 and
since, that we may be prepared to meet Him in His soon-coming glory. Instead of
either defining or defending "the faith" of men, let us preach the
faith of Christ.
There I will close for this
time. And now, please, brethren and sisters, let us sober down and really think
on what there is for us to do. There is no kind of danger of any one's being turned
out of the Sanitarium for either believing or being loyal to the Testimonies. There
is no one who thinks for a moment of saying that everything is all right here. There
are many things that are wrong, and that need to be corrected. And we are
endeavoring to the best of our ability to correct them. For some time we have been
considering it: and now we are ready for it -- we are going to appoint a day of
fasting and prayer [voices: "Amen, amen"]; and seek God with all our hearts,
that He shall help us and show us the way out. [Many voices in loud
"Amens."] We have not yet fixed the exact day. When we shall fix the
day, we will let you all know; and we ask all who are here to join with us in that day of
fasting and prayer for this purpose. The Sanitarium needs help. There is help
in God. [Voices: "Amen, amen."] That help is for us; and we are
going to that Source of all help; and in fasting and prayer and the confession of sins,
ask Him to help us. Please join with us in this, and in earnest study of the Bible
that we may by the help of God get upon the higher ground to which He calls us.
[Voices: "Amen, amen."]
Another thing: In connection
with the campaign against Dr. Kellogg there is an item that occurred in 1901, that to me,
at the time and since, has had much meaning. This should now be stated.
From Sister White's address in the
College Library just before General Conference of 1901, I have, the in the letter, quoted
considerable of what was said concerning the wrong principles of General Conference
workings and the necessity of "a change" and "an entire new
organization." But that same address was just as remarkable, and to the then
General Conference administration was just as revolutionary, concerning General Conference
attitude toward Dr. Kellogg, as it was concerning affairs of General Conference
itself. For it must be borne in mind that in 1901 there was expected, if not
planned, by General Conference administration just such a move against Dr. Kellogg as has
since been made; and it was then expected that the Testimonies should bear as large a part
in the movement as since they have been made to bear: and I believe that there was valid
ground for the expectation. But this expectation and all that was connected with it
was simply annihilated by what was said on that subject by Sister White in her address
that day in the College Library. On this subject, that day she said: --
God has told me that my testimony must be borne straight to this conference, and that I am
not to try to make a soul believe: that my work is to leave the truth with human minds,
and these having found the truth in the Word of God will appreciate it, and will
appreciate every ray of light that God has given for poor lame souls that they should not
be turned out of the way. And I want you to make straight paths for your feet lest
the lame be turned out of the way.
Now we want that in the conference
we shall have the ability that God has given unto Dr. Kellogg -- I don't suppose he
is here; I don't know that he is -- at any rate I want to say that the Lord want
you to make the most of the capabilities that he is using in every part of the work.
He does not mean the Medical Missionary work separated from the Gospel work, nor
the Gospel work separated from the Medical Missionary work. He wants them to blend
together. And he wants that this educating power of the Medical Missionary work
shall be considered as the pioneer work, the breaking-up plow, for the breaking down of
the prejudices that have existed, and that nothing will break down like it; and God wants
every soul to stand shoulder to shoulder with Dr. Kellogg. He has become all but
desperate, and came nearly losing his life because of the positions that have been taken,
and every one throwing a stone right before the car so that it should not advance.
Now God wants the Health and Missionary work to advance. He wants God's work to be
Really, when I came here I did not
know what to do. Courteously Dr. Kellogg had asked me to come to his house and let
them give me treatment a week or two before the conference, so that I should be able to
attend the conference. Then came up the question, "Here, what about this?
They will say that Dr. Kellogg has manipulated you." Let them say it if they
want to, they have said it enough when there was not a particle of ground for it.
But I was going to take all the difficulty out of the way, so I sent word: "Find me a
place. Dr. Kellogg has kindly opened his house to me; but to remove all occasion for
talk I decided that I would not go there. Now find me a place."
On Friday night I was knelt in
prayer, saying "O, Lord, tell me where to go and what to do." --
There I had been sick, and was still sick, -- and why I didn't choose to come to
Battle Creek to the conference was that I knew that it would be a terrible trial for
me. I didn't want to sacrifice my life, and so I said that I couldn't come
here. I couldn't come across the plains. Then they said they would have the
conference in Oakland. But in the night season I was talking to you just as I am
here today. I was bearing a message night after night and night after night; and
then I would get up at 12 o'clock, and 1 o'clock, and 2 o'clock and write out the message
that I had. And it was then while I was considering these things, came messages from
London, that they had hoped that they could see me and meet me, but now they couldn't come
so far and it cost so much -- and I heard it would cost from five to eight thousand
dollars more; and then I said, "We have got so much money to spare, and if I
sacrifice my life, I will try it anyway." Dr. Kellogg never persuaded me at all
to come here. When I spoke of the particulars, the cold weather, he said, --
the only words he spoke to me -- "Would it make any difference if the
conference could be changed to a few weeks later?" I said, "It
would." Then I began to think on that plan after he had gone.
Well, we knelt down to pray; and I
was asking the Lord where I should go and what I should do. I was for backing out
and not going anywhere. Sadie says, "You are not fit to go
anywhere." Well, while I was praying and was sending up my petition there was
as on other times -- I saw a light circulating right round in the room, and a
fragrance like the fragrance of flowers, and the beautiful scent of flowers, and then the
Voice seemed to speak gently, and said that I was to "Accept the invitation of My
servant, John Kellogg, and make his house your home." Then the word was,
"I have appointed him as My physician. You can be an encouragement to
him." That is why I am here, and that is why I am at his home. Now I want
in every way possible, if I can, to treat Dr. Kellogg as God's appointed physician, and I
am going to do it.
Now in addition to this that
I tell you, the next night -- that night I slept happy, very happy. The whole
family was melted and broken down. They knew nothing of what I had in my mind at
all: nothing at all that I had seen: but the Spirit of God was there. They were all
weeping and broken, and the blessing of God was flowing through that room like a tidal
wave. The Spirit of God had taken hold upon us and Sister Druillard was just weeping
and praising God, and Brother Druillard was praising God, and we all there had an
outpouring of the Spirit of God. Such things are more precious to me than the gold
Now God has not blessed us as he
would have blessed us had there been an appreciation of the work that He is carrying
on. I thank God that Dr. Kellogg has not sunk into despondency and infidelity.
I have been afraid of it, and I have written some very straight things to him, and it may
be, Dr. Kellogg -- if he is here -- that I have written too strong; for I
felt as though I must get hold of you and hold you by the power of all the might I
had. But I have seen the work that has been carried on: and how can anybody see it
and not see that God is at work? That is the mystery to me. I can not
understand it. I can not explain it. Those that shall have any knowledge of the work
wrought here, should be the men that should represent it; they should stand to give
character to the work, and to the higher classes that they may be reached. And every
soul of you ought to feel honored before God that He has give you instrumentalities that
the higher classes may be reached, and that the wealthy should be reached. You
should feel to thank God for the honor that he has bestowed. And I want to say that
I want to take hold to the utmost of my ability.
Nor is it to be in any sense
supposed that the foregoing was merely private matter; for the very next day as soon as
the president of the General Conference had announced that "the conference is now
formally opened" Sister White delivered an address in which she said: --
What we want now is a reorganization. We want to begin at the foundation, and to build
upon a different principle.
The institution under the management of Dr. Kellogg has done a great work for the education of the youth.
It has sent forth more workers in the cause in medical missionary gospel lines than
any other agency I know of among our people throughout the world. And I ask, How
have you treated the matter? Have you felt that you were to honor God by respecting
and honoring the work that has been done in His name for the upbuilding of His
cause? The principles of health reform have been proclaimed by us as a people for
thirty years. And yet there are among us ministers of the gospel and members of the
church who have no respect for the light that God has given upon health reform.
The Word of God is to be our guide. Have you given heed to the Word? The Testimonies are not by
any means to take the place of the Word. They are to bring you to that neglected
Word, that you may eat the words of Christ, that you may feed upon them, that by living
faith you may be built up from that upon which you feed. -- General
Conference Bulletin, 1901, page 25.
Thus it is demonstrated, not only that in every respect I stand today exactly as I did before and in 1897, in 1899,
and in 1901, but also that the principles and attitude that I then held were in
every respect confirmed in that address in the College Library, April 1, 1901, and in the
one at the opening of the General Conference, April 2, 1901. I do not say that even
then, either Dr. Kellogg or the Medical Missionary and Sanitarium work was without fault
or flaw. I do not say so now. I simply say that a person of whom, and a work
of which, God could so speak as was then spoken, is worth earnest effort to save.
And the word given to me of God was and is "Destroy it not, for a blessing is in
The following is the remaining
one-fourth of that letter, to which I referred at the beginning of my address. The
report is already abroad that I have come out in a letter "twenty-eight pages long,
refuting the Testimonies and showing up discrepancies." The letter does not do
any such thing, nor was it intended to do any such thing. And that all may know
exactly what the letter does say, the remaining part of it is published here just as it
was originally written. I begin with the last sentences already given, as follows: --
The brethren and the people know well that whenever I was advocating a matter and some one
produced a Testimony to the contrary, instead of explaining it away I stopped instantly
and changed my course accordingly. And that was because of my loyalty to the
Testimonies. And that loyalty to the Testimonies was because I believed --
honestly and truly believed -- that everything that was written and sent out as
Testimony was Testimony from the Lord. To that belief and that confidence I
was as true as it is possible for a man to be. But that trust and that confidence
have been betrayed. And by that betrayal I have been compelled -- most
reluctantly compelled, I assure you -- yet literally compelled to yield that
position. And as I purpose in this letter to be perfectly open and honest with you,
I shall tell you this part of the story just as frankly as I have told you the other.
In this there is nothing that is
hearsay: it is all composed of facts within my own knowledge. In it also there is
nothing at all of any Testimony or reproof concerning myself, as any ground of issue to
cause it. Nor yet is there in it or connected with it anything that has occurred
since I came to the Sanitarium to work, nor anything connected with the controversy
regarding Dr. Kellogg or the Sanitarium. It all occurred before I came here, and in
other relations entirely: and the facts and the evidence are strictly such and are not in
any sense rumor.
1. The General Conference
was to be held in California in 1903. I was then president of the California
Conference. We spent much time in considering and deciding the question as to the
place where the Conference should be held -- Sacramento, Fresno, Oakland,
Healdsburg. It was finally decided that it should be held in Oakland. After
that there came to me a written communication from Sister White saying that if the
Healdsburg church would entertain the delegation, Healdsburg was the better place than
Oakland to hold the Conference; and that this would be according to the light to get out
of the cities to the quiet of the country. The matter was presented to the
Healdsburg church. They gladly agreed to entertain the delegation, and began
immediately to arrange for the holding of the Conference there; and the arrangements for
and by Oakland were dropped. But not long afterward we learned that Sister White had
given directions to prepare for her a house in Oakland during the Conference. We at
Healdsburg could not believe it. Not long afterward I went from Healdsburg to the
St. Helena Sanitarium. And there I learned that it was true concerning the getting
ready of a house in Oakland for her during the coming General Conference. Then I had
several of the Oakland brethren to come up to St. Helena Sanitarium to consider the matter
with Sister White present. Without any other writing it was very readily decided
that the General Conference should be in Oakland; and the Healdsburg church, their
committees and other arrangements, and the writing that said that the Conference should be
held there as "in harmony with the light," etc., were all just as readily
ignored. The matter of where the Conference should be held was nothing to me
personally; and I let it all go without any further discussion: except that I said to W.
C. White shortly afterward, "Will, what does this mean? I have supposed that
when a thing was written and sent out, it was final and was to be accepted and followed.
And now here is this writing saying what it does, but, counted as nothing.
Was that thing true when it was sent to me at Healdsburg?" His answer was,
"It depends on the information that she had." Before this I knew by many
experiences with him that he cared nothing for a communication from that source after
it was written and sent out, if it did not meet his mind; but never did I know before that
the thing went back to the very source itself, and made the trustworthiness of the
communication to depend on "the information that she had."
Now to you I say, What was that
communication that was sent to me? The place of holding the Conference had already
been decided to be Oakland. And to the ignoring of this communication, even by
herself, the Conference was held in Oakland. Then what was the good of
that communication, and what was the purpose of it, sent to me? In recognition of it
the Oakland arrangements were thrown over, and Healdsburg arrangements were entered upon;
then in the ignoring of it, Healdsburg arrangements were thrown over, and the Oakland
arrangements, after having been so disconcerted, were all gathered up again and carried
forward. Could we not all have done better than that without having that
communication at all? If it had not come at all, we should have all gone on quietly
and steadily with the arrangements for Oakland, and the Conference would have been held in
Oakland just where it was held anyhow. What then was that communication?
Was it a Testimony, or was it not? If it was, then why was it disregarded by
her? If it was not, then why was it sent to me, only to create unnecessary
confusion? or why was it written at all?
2. I was a member of the
Board of a certain institution. Upon due consideration that Board had arranged that
the president of the Board should do certain work in the field. A communication from
Sister White came to the Board, through the president of the Board, saying that a member
of the Board had told her that this brother, the president of the Board, had
"overdrawn his account" with the institution "three hundred dollars";
that in the night things were "opened" to her; and that the action which the
Board had taken with reference to the work of the president of the Board should not be
carried out, with much more to the same effect. The members of the Board were
scattered; the president of the Board was in the field in the work which the Board had
arranged for him to do; and it was some weeks -- two or possibly three --
before a meeting of the Board could be held. But before this meeting of the Board
was held, there came another communication referring to the main point in the previous
one, saying that the matter had "not been repeated" and that there was no reason
why the action of the Board should not be carried out as originally planned. When
the Board met, the president of the Board laid before it the first communication.
When that part was read as to his having "overdrawn his account three hundred
dollars," the secretary of the Board and bookkeeper of the institution spoke out with
the words: "Why, Brother ------- has no account with the institution.
The institution does not even pay his wages." And this was literally
true. And it was just as literally true that the president of the Board had not
"overdrawn his account three hundred dollars." It was literally true that
he had not even drawn a cent, much less "overdrawn three hundred
Now was that communication a
Testimony? It came as a Testimony; it spoke authoritatively, as a Testimony; was it
a Testimony? The material statement and basis of the communication was not true, and
never had been true. Could that Board receive that communication as a Testimony from
the Lord? Should they have received it so? If so, how could it be done?
Possibly it may be argued that
since, before it reached the Board it was practically reversed by the one that followed,
of course it was not a Testimony then. But if it were not a Testimony then,
was it ever a Testimony? Besides, the one that followed had not yet been read to the
Board: they were read in the order given. The Board did not yet know that the second
one existed. And more than this, the second one even when it was issued, was not
issued for a considerable time -- days, or a week, possibly more -- after
the first one had even sent; and the president of the Board in the field had it for the
Board this considerable time before the second one came. And during this time what
was he to do? Must he receive it as a Testimony knowing that it was not true; and
then when the second one came, let the first one pass as not Testimony. And
then again, If the first one was not Testimony after the second one came, was it ever a
Testimony? And since it was mistaken and wrong in its very basis, then why was it
ever issued as a Testimony?
Will it be said: "But did she
not have the word of a member of the Board?" Yes, she did; but is that,
and such as that, a sufficient source and basis of a "Testimony from the Lord,"
"every word of it given by the Spirit of God," and "If I did not believe
that, I would give up the whole thing!"? etc. Yes, she did have the word --
the prejudiced gossip -- of that member of the Board. It was not true; but
she believed it. And believing it, and her mind being agitated by her believing it,
the communication said that in the night things "were opened" to her, and the
instruction of the communication followed, that a considerable time afterward was reversed
because it had not been "repeated." And the unquestionable facts in the
case make it certain that on the mere prejudiced report of a man, a communication was
issued as a Testimony, because of that report of "a member of the Board" and of
things "opened" to her in the night seasons -- a communication as a
Testimony, whose basic premise was not in any sense nor on any ground true; and which
itself was afterward reversed, by another communication.
The man's story was made up from a
willing jumping to premise and conclusion from the following circumstances: --
The institution had engaged to
print a book for the president of the Board. The paper to print the book had cost three
hundred dollars. In making up the inventory for the annual report to show the
actual standing, that paper was invoiced to the account of the president's
book that was to be printed on it. But by no possibility could the president himself
have any account in that connection, until the books should be printed and ready
for delivery. Yet out of that perfectly innocent thing, and merely hearing the sound
of the words in the annual report or in some other way, that newly elected "member of
the Board" told her that "Brother --------, the president of the Board,
had overdraw his account three hundred dollars." And then the communication
followed and the train of circumstances as given above, which absolutely demonstrate two
things -- (a) that not everything is Testimony that is issued as Testimony; and (b)
that a communication purporting to be a Testimony has been issued on the mere gossip of a
3. Relative to your talk
with Sister White in her house in the autumn of 1902 concerning the Southern Publishing
Company, when I and other General Conference men were present, you said in the Tabernacle
when you were lately in Battle Creek that what she then said which was taken down in
shorthand and run off and revised and approved by her and carried by you away from there
for your use in the South -- you said that that "was not
Testimony." Very good. Let it be so. But I personally know,
possibly you do not, that that is not all there is to that matter. Just at that time
Volume 7 of the Testimonies was being set up in type at the Pacific Press to be printed.
In it there is a section on the Southern field and work. And the substance of
at least a portion of that matter that you carried over here concerning the Southern
Publishing Company, was sent to Pacific Press as manuscript Testimony with the rest of the
manuscript. But when the matter that you had carried over here was reversed, that
substance of at least a portion of it that had been sent to Pacific Press to be set up as
Testimony was also reversed -- a whole galley of it -- after it had
been put in type and was ready for making into pages.
Now, if that which you carried
over here had not been reversed, would not you have used it in the South as Testimony?
When it was reversed, of course you could not. But was it Testimony till it
was reversed and not afterward? And does a writing's being a Testimony or not,
depend upon whether it is reversed or not? If that be so, I can understand your
special emphasis on "Testimonies up to the latest date."
At any rate you say now that the
matter that you carried over here to be used in the South "was not
Testimony." Very good. But what about the substance of a portion of the
same sent to the Pacific Press as manuscript Testimony to be set up and published with the
other as Testimony Volume 7? What about that? Was that Testimony, till
the matter and the situation were reversed? Was it Testimony when it was sent to
Pacific Press as Testimony? Was it Testimony when the Pacific Press hands were
putting it through as Testimony with the rest? Was it Testimony till it got clear
through to the galley, ready for paging, and then did it suddenly cease to be Testimony
before it got out of the galley, so that it never did get beyond the galley except to the
That galley of reversed and
suppressed matter I myself saw and read after Volume 7 was issued. It was showed to
me by a brother in prominent position, who knew the circumstances. And when I had
read it and handed it back to him, he said: "Brother Jones, that did not help the
Pacific Press hands to have confidence in the Testimonies."
These and many other like things,
are facts which unquestionably vitiate the claim that "everything that she writes is
from the Lord." Yet these facts have been so forced upon my experience that I
simply can not hide my eyes to them and be honest with myself and with the people, and at
the same time hold before the people and urge upon them that everything that comes in
writing from Sister White is Testimony from the Lord. Nor can I honestly stand with
those who do that and allow my influence to be swung in urging upon the people that every
thing from that source is Testimony and the word of the Lord and the people thereby be
rallied on "loyalty to the Testimonies," and thus drawn to the support of
policies that otherwise they would not countenance at all, when I personally and
reluctantly know by compulsory facts and experience that such statement or any such claim
is simply not true.
There is another thing in this
connection. You know that Sister White herself has said publicly, "I am not a
prophet, I never made any such claim."
I myself heard her say those words
three times to the largest audiences that hear her -- once at College View in
September, 1904, and afterward twice in the Tabernacle at Battle Creek, when the
Tabernacle was full of people, many of them outsiders. The statement was published
in the Review; and if I remember rightly, was also sent from Washington to be
published in the public paper of Battle Creek -- the Journal.
Now, how can you expect me in the
face of this her own publicly repeated statement, to insist to all the people that she is
a prophet, and put her writings on a level with those of Jeremiah and others of the Bible?
I know that she said that. You know that she said it. I can not assume
to know more about that than she herself does. Nor am I prepared to say that she
lied in saying it. And since I heard her repeatedly say it, and since she said it in
print under her own name, I believe it. And since I believe it, how can you expect
me to stultify myself, either by declaring and preaching, and urging upon the people, that
she is a prophet and that they must believe that she is; or by throwing my
influence and personality in with those who do declare and preach and urge that?
Other people, both at College View
and in Battle Creek, who heard her say it, asked me at the time, "What are we to
do? We have believed all this time that she was a prophet; that is what has been
preached to us over and over; and now she says that she is not a prophet. What are
we to do? What does she mean?" I told them that as for what she meant
other than what she said, they would have to ask her. But as for what she had said,
that was plain enough. She said, "I am not a prophet." I believe it.
I know that the editor of the Review,
against her own words that she is "not a prophet," undertook to prove that she
is one; and either grossly misquoted, or else produced a strange translation, of the
scripture to sustain his contention. He had Amos to say, "I am no
prophet, neither am I a prophet's son," etc. Amos 7:14. I knew
when I read it in the Review, that that was not the reading in the King James
Version; but I thought that possibly it might be the new way in the Revised Version.
I therefore turned to the Revised, only to find that it emphasizes the King James
Version. For whereas in the King James Version the word "was" is in italic
in both places, in the Revised the "was" is emphasized by being printed in Roman
as the rest of the text. And this is manifestly correct; because in that place Amos
is giving the contrast between what he was and what he is -- "I was no
prophet neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman and a gatherer of
sycamore fruit; and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people
But how does the editor of the Review
know that she is a prophet, when she says she is not? Could not she herself have
said that she is a prophet, just as easily as she did say that she is not?
Could she not even have kept silence on the subject, if it were not true?
What possible call was there for her to say, so repeatedly, and so publicly, "I am
not a prophet," if it is not true?
However, please bear in mind that
I am not trying to prove that she is not a prophet. It is nothing to me one way or
the other; and I have nothing to prove one way or the other. I am only asking that I
be allowed to believe what I heard her publicly and repeatedly say; and that I shall to be
made a condemned heretic because I will not insist that she lied, or at least that she did
not know what she was talking about.
She said, "I am not a
prophet. I never made any such claim. I am a messenger with a message.
And the message you will find in the books." And she named Patriarchs and
Prophets, Great Controversy, Christian Education, Christian Education, as
Now these facts explain why I have
ceased to use the Testimonies publicly, as I used to; and why I can not stand with you in
your using them as you do. And not to make such use of the Testimonies, is the
instruction of the Testimonies themselves. In that meeting in the College Library,
just before the General Conference of 1901, in which Sister White said the things quoted
near the beginning of this letter, she also said the following:
I don't ask him
[any person] to take my word. I don't ask him to do it. Lay Sister White right
to one side. Lay her to one side. Don't you ever quote my words again as long
as you live, until you can obey the Bible. When you take the Bible and make that
your food, and your meat, and your drink, and make that the elements of your character,
when you can do that you will know better how to receive some counsel from God. But
here is the Word [holding up a Bible in her hand], the precious word, exalted before you
today. And don't you give a rap any more what "Sister White said" --
"Sister White said" this, and "Sister White said" that, and
"Sister White said" the other. But say, "Thus saith the Lord God of
Israel," and then you do just what the Lord God of Israel does and what he says.
And at the close of her remarks that day, she repeated this thought, thus --
But don't you ever
quote Sister White. I don't want you to ever quote Sister White until you get up on
vantage ground where you know where you are. Quote the Bible. Talk the
Bible. It is full of meat, full of fatness, carry it right out in your life, and you
will know more Bible than you know now. You will have fresh matter -- O, you
will have precious matter; you won't be going over and over the same ground, and you will
see a world saved. You will see souls for whom Christ has died. And I ask you
to put on the armor, every piece of it, and be sure that your feet are shod with the
preparation of the Gospel.
And in one of these very latest ones that have come -- written Jan. 12, 1906, copied Jan. 16, 1906,
addressed to the "Dear Brethren and Sisters in Battle Creek" -- it is
plainly said, "Be sure that you do not condemn and make charges against others";
"be sure not to make a raid on the one who for many years has borne heavy burdens in
connection with our medical missionary work"; "I beseech you not to let a drive
be made against our brother; for this would not be right. Stand in defense of he
truth: exalt the truth. . . . But he should not be personally attacked; because it
is not the right thing to do, to open these opposition charges before the world. Keep
to the affirmative of the truth, as did Paul in his charge to Timothy: 'Preach the
By the way, Brother
Daniells, why was not this Testimony, written January 12 and copied Jan. 16, 1906 --why
was not this Testimony also printed in Series B, No. 7 lately issued? There
were only four pages or less of the manuscript: couldn't it in some way have been got
in? A number of people have tried to find it there and have been disappointed.
What these quotations say, is
exactly what I am doing. So the sum of it all is that I stand just where I did in
1901 and always before, except in this one single point that I know that not all is from
the Lord that is sent out as Testimony. And I have Testimony for all that I am
doing. Mark, I have not said that "all is not from the Lord"; etc., but
only that "not all is from the Lord that is sent out as Testimony."
I use the Testimonies and the other writings of Sister White for my own private study, in
the study of the Bible, and in my family worship. But to use them on other people as
a test of their orthodoxy or heresy, or as a club to bring them under or drive them
out, I do not, and I will not. When a Testimony comes concerning another man, I will
apply the principle to my self and leave the Testimony with that other
man. I will not preach the Testimonies. I have no commission to
preach the Testimonies. My commission from Christ, and to it the Testimonies agree,
is "Preach the Word." I never did put them in the place of the Bible, and
I never will. I never did put them on an equality with the Bible, and I never will;
for this they are not. I will study the Testimonies and other writings from Sister
White's pen, and so get all that I can of their wonderful help in the study of the Bible;
and then I will preach -- not the Testimonies, but -- the Bible.
No sufficient estimate can be made of the value that those writings have been to me in the
study of the Bible. That value they have yet, and will ever have; for it is in
the writings themselves and can never be taken out. But the Bible is the supreme
thing; and I shall preach only the Bible.
Now my brother, there is where I
stand as to the Testimonies. If this means that I am to be a condemned heretic and a
pariah, so be it; I can do no other. I am not in any sense responsible for it.
I never sought it. I never wanted it. I wish that things were so that
it should not be so. But so it is: and I did not make it so. I can afford to
be shut out by the 'organized work'; I can afford to be ostracised by 'this denomination';
I can afford to be misrepresented from ocean to ocean; I can afford to be lied about all
over the land; but I can not afford to, and I will not, lie to my own soul. I
will not be a pretender. I will not pretend to stand for a thing as straight and
true, and what people think that it is, that I personally know not to be so. I was
as honest as a man can be in believing that everything that was issued in writing by
Sister White was Testimony and from the Lord. And now I am not going to be dishonest
in believing it, when by the evidence of immutable facts I have been compelled to
recognize that it is not true.
Nor can I be in any sense justly
charged with undermining or weakening confidence in the Testimonies. More than three
yeas ago these facts were forced upon me. In this time I have not made any use of
them. Indeed, I have avoided making use of them. Brother Irwin is the first
and only man to whom I have told what I have here told you. You are now the only
other one. I gave it to brother Irwin because he as a brother wanted to know where I
stand. I have given it now to you in order that you shall be no more perplexed as to
why I have not taken, and will not take, an active part with you in the campaign that you
are conducting. I have counted these facts and experiences as only my own, and as
evidence to myself. I have not attempted to make them evidence to other
people. But they are evidence to me; and such evidence that by it I am compelled to
stand as I do.
And when this evidence compels me
to stand as I do, with regard to the Testimonies and their use; and when I use the
experiences as only evidence to myself, it never can be justly charged that I am weakening
confidence in the Testimonies. If it shall be said that merely my standing as I do,
my silence respecting the Testimonies so far as their public use is concerned, my not
taking part with you in your campaign in the public use of them against Dr. Kellogg --
that this itself tends to weaken confidence in the Testimonies; then it must be
answered: I am not responsible for that. It is the facts that compel me to
stand as I do; and I am not in any possible sense responsible for the facts. If you
want me to change my attitude, then you will have to change the facts that I have cited,
and others of like import.
Ah! but facts can not be
changed. A fact is "that which is done." A thing once done, the fact
remains forever that it was done. And that it was done can never be changed.
The things that I have mentioned are facts within my own experience.
And must "confidence in the Testimonies" be maintained at the expense of
unquestionable facts and certain truth? Is it possible that such a claim as that
shall be made in their behalf?
Further than this: If in my
being pressed for the reasons of my standing as I do, I should publicly state and send
broadcast the case, as I have stated it in this letter to you, even then I could not
justly be charged with weakening confidence in the Testimonies; because, I repeat, these
things are facts, and certain truth; and I am not in any sense responsible for he facts,
or the truth in the case. Shall it be said that the facts and the truth
undermine and weaken confidence in the Testimonies?
Now I close. You are at
liberty to make this whole letter public in any way that you please, provided that
you make the whole letter public at the same time and in the same way. I want
that it shall not be used partially. I want that it or parts of it shall not be
reported in snatches or by word of mouth. If the letter gets out, or parts of it get
out, it will have to be you that lets it out; for I have no disposition, much less any
purpose, to publish it. Yet there is a possibility of this; and in this also I will
be perfectly frank with you: I repeat that I have no purpose and no wish to publish
this letter in any way. Yet I say to you in all brotherliness: in the way that you
have been pushing things, especially lately, you can create a situation in which I
shall be obliged to publish it. [This situation was so created.]
I am not, and have not been,
opposing you in anything that you are doing. I do not intend to. I am
perfectly willing that you shall have your own way in all this. The worst thing that
can happen to you in the course which you have been pursuing, is that you have your own
way to end of it. But the chief difficulty with me and a lot of other brethren in
this matter, is that it is not enough for you to have your own way; you insist even to
extremes that everybody else shall have your own way. And you can push this
thing so far, and can create such an issue over me and my attitude, that the only thing
that I can possibly do will be to publish this letter fully, and make it an Open Letter to
you and to all the people. And if it does come to that, when it must be done I can,
and possibly may, l add to it many like words.
I can not think of anything more
concerning my position that should cause you any perplexity, therefore I close, and remain
Alonzo T. Jones.
I desire to
emphasize the statement that I have made, that I have not said, and do not say,
that "all is not Testimony that has been written and sent out"; but only that not
all is. And I am sorry that it is so. But I can not help it.
It is possible that
the report will now be spread that I have "attacked," "denounced,"
"renounced," and "repudiated" the Testimonies. But none of it
will be true.
Possibly some may say that what I
have written does of itself repudiate the Testimonies. With me it does not; and in
truth it does not. Neither by the Sanitarium has there been, nor is there to be, any
repudiation of the Testimonies. It is perfectly safe to say that there is not today
a Seventh-day Adventist institution in the world, where in principle and in purpose, and
because of their inherent value, the Testimonies are more truly followed than in and by
the Battle Creek Sanitarium.
All I have done or thought of
doing, in what I have written, is to state some facts that give the explanation as to why
I can not join in the campaign that is being made, even though it be made with the
Testimonies; and that no one need to be any more perplexed about my attitude or my course.
I say again, and I
say forever, Let the Lord speak to us by whom and in any way, that He chooses. And
when He does speak, then let men keep away from between Him and us; so that we can hear Him,
and obey Him. By His Word we are forbidden to be the servants of men.
If it be said "How then shall
Church order and discipline be preserved?" -- the answer is: Church
order and discipline are ever preserved only by the following to the letter the Word of
Christ on that subject; and not by any arbitrary authority on the part of the church, not
in the name of the Church. Matthew 18 is the Lord's way; and any other way is of
Finally: If any one shall
attempt to explain any of the facts that I have stated, then it is only fair to say that
the only fitting explanation that is possible will be to publish in full, just as they
are, without note or comment, the two Testimonies of July 19, 20, 1905, and the other
communications and matter that I have cited.