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    Chapter 2—The Character of Periodical Articles

    Practical, Elevating, and Helpful—An indiscriminate class of articles should not be published in our periodicals. Cheap, worthless stories should find no place in them. There are articles of romance and fiction which contain no seeds that will bear good fruit. I would say to our editors, Be careful in the selection of the matter which is to go to the world. Show the greatest caution and discernment. Be careful that the Review and Herald and the Signs of the Times are kept free from worthless matter. Precious matter from what has already been printed can be found for our papers.CW 17.1

    I hope that God will sanctify the perceptive faculties of our editors. I read an article in the Signs of a few weeks back which would have done very well for a comic almanac, but for such a paper as the Signs it was only as hay, wood, and stubble. My heart ached as I read it. If there was any germ of truth in the seed sown, I could not find it. I do not think the article could in any way benefit those who read it.CW 17.2

    The tastes of some who write for our papers need to be educated and refined. The editors of the Review and Herald and the Signs of the Times should refuse to fill the columns of these papers with articles manufactured by minds which reveal themselves in their productions. Articles in any way coarse should be refused as matter unworthy of notice,—the production of those who know nothing of pure, elevated, and sanctified communion with God. Let no rough, uncouth presentation find place in our papers. The articles which go to thousands of readers should show purity, elevation, and sanctification of soul, body, and spirit on the part of the writer. The pen should be used as a means of sowing seed unto eternal life. This is a “Thus saith the Lord.”CW 17.3

    The articles published in our papers should contain pure provender, thoroughly winnowed from chaff. We are living in a most solemn time. Let our editors call for articles giving living experience. Let the ministers regard it as a part of their duty to send short articles of experience to our papers. It will be food for those who are laboring in isolated places, in foreign countries and the islands of the sea, to hear in this way from their friends with whom they have been associated. These experiences may be to the readers as a love feast, because the writers have been eating the bread which came down from heaven.CW 18.1

    We do not need romance, for in the daily life we meet with real experiences, which, if told in short articles, and in simple words, would be helpful to many. Let our workers try this. We want truth, solid truth, from solid, consecrated men, women, and youth. You who love God, whose minds are stored with precious bits of experience, and with the living realities of eternal life, kindle the flame of love and light in the hearts of God's people. Help them to deal with the problems of life.CW 18.2

    A Pen Controlled by the Holy Spirit—Speech and pen are to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. If this is not the case with the writers for our periodicals, they might better lay aside the pen, and take up work of another order. God calls us into the mount to talk with Him, and when by faith we behold Him who is invisible, our words will not be cheap and common. The space in our papers is too precious to be filled up with articles that are not the best. Crowd in subjects weighty with eternal interests. Put not the crib too high for the minds of the common people. Let the articles be written with Christlike simplicity, and let them be free from all chaff and stubble, for this will be consumed as worthless. God calls for consecrated pens. The articles published in our papers should be full of practical, elevating, ennobling thoughts, which will help and teach and strengthen the mind that reads them. God help our editors to choose wisely....”—Manuscript 80, 1899.CW 19.1

    Spiritual Articles vs. Current News—It is not the business of any of God's stewards to extol any human being, be he living or dead. God has given us no such message to bear. Let all who by pen or voice are brought before the public be sifted of all inclination to laud any human being; for in doing this work they are entirely out of their boundary. In giving expression to these sentiments, so easy to flow from human lips and pens, time is lost which is very precious now, and which should be used in appropriate speech, after much prayer to God and converse with Jesus Christ. Let every word be seasoned with grace, and thus reveal that you have been in communion with God and are imbued with His spirit.CW 19.2

    Again, there are brought into our periodicals selections which can be found in other papers and books, and which need not be repeated. It costs money to issue these matters that have no bearing on the times or the spiritual interests of our people. The long accounts of the war can be obtained in any political or daily paper. It is not the business of the householder, whom God has appointed, to bring before the people subjects that may be found in the publications of the world, and the less these things are brought into our religious papers, and the more space given to that class of matter which is spiritual food,—in living experience, in Bible studies, in plain, simple, earnest appeals,—the better will it be for the spiritual good and advancement of the work.—Manuscript 95, 1898.CW 20.1

    Exalt Christ—In our periodicals we are not to exalt the work and characters of men in positions of influence, constantly keeping human beings before the people. But as much as you please you may uplift Christ our Saviour. “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory [from character to character], even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Those who love and serve God are to be the light of the world, shining amid moral darkness.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, 480 (1899).CW 20.2

    Not to Exalt Fellow Men—The Lord has not laid the burden upon any to elevate, praise, and exalt men and women, even though their work may have been to turn the attention of the people to things of highest importance, to the things that concern the salvation of the soul, and shall our time and space be given to glorifying those who have been at work to raise false issues? The Lord has given to every man his work, and to those whom He has placed in positions of responsibility, either in writing, or in speaking, He says, “Your work is to preach the word.”CW 20.3

    The work of keeping before the people the common things transpiring around us, the news of the day, is not the work of present truth. Our work is to fill every page of printed matter with spiritual food. What is the chaff to the wheat? All these common things are very cheap, and often are but stale food to those who are starving for the heavenly manna.—Manuscript 95, 1898.CW 21.1

    Not in the Form of Romance—We are living in an important period of this world's history. A great work is to be done in a short time. I feel an overwhelming sense of the condition of our world....CW 21.2

    We are standing in a time that is of the greatest consequence to the whole world. We see the necessity of understanding the instruction given in the Scriptures. The religious life is not to be represented from the pulpit or in our papers as a romance. It pains my soul to see in the papers coming from our press, the most important truth placed before the people in the form of a romance. Let the articles in our papers at this time, when the eternal interests of souls are at stake, be of a character to arouse souls to a sense of their peril. At this time Bible truth is to make a solemn impression upon hearts. The genuine facts of truth are to be presented as they came from the lips of the greatest teacher the world has ever known.CW 21.3

    Novelty and romance do no honor to our publications. I am growing heartsick and weary over productions from the press that lower the truth as it should not be lowered. The fewer of these productions that are brought in, the more influence will the genuine, sacred truth connected with the scenes that are to take place, have upon minds.CW 22.1

    “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works.”CW 22.2

    Christ Disapproves—There are some excellent things published in our papers. But when phases of most solemn truth are made to take on a lightness of representation, I am bidden to say that if Christ were present, He would have words of disapproval to speak regarding these representations.CW 22.3

    Pure and undefiled religion must be constantly presented before the people. Let the truth come forth from pen and voice in a way that will have weight with every soul who shall read the articles in our papers or listen to our speakers. We are dealing with eternal realities. Christ's lessons, from first to last, are weighty with eternal issues.—Manuscript 17, 1910.CW 22.4

    Present it in Bible Style—The message is to be proclaimed with sanctified ability. The word of the Lord has been spoken. God calls for sanctified hearts and lips. The messages of warning are to be given in the large cities, and also in the towns and villages. The men of God's appointment are to be zealously at work, disposing of our books, and disseminating light. The articles in our papers are not to present the truth in the style of a romance; for this weakens the impression that should be made by the most solemn truth ever committed to mortals. They are to contain a plain, “Thus saith the Lord.” The message must be repeated, and Bible reasons given, not in the style of a romance, but in the style of the Bible. There are many who are watching for the evidence of true religion.CW 23.1

    The Lord declares, “The message is to go forth in words of solemn warning. Nothing that will hinder the clear presentation of the message is to be introduced into your plans. Repeat the message. The wickedness in the cities is increasing; the adversary has great influence over men, because My people did not open their hearts to realize their responsibility. Tell My people to take up their work and proclaim the message. They are to speak and work in the simplicity of true godliness, and My Spirit will make the impression on hearts. Let the true note of warning be sounded. My angel shall go before you if you will be sanctified through the truth.”—Letter 88, 1910.CW 23.2

    A Message for Frequent Appearance—In the twenty-first chapter of Luke Christ foretold what was to come upon Jerusalem, and with it He connected the scenes which were to take place in the history of this world just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Mark the words: “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”CW 23.3

    This is a warning to those who claim to be Christians. Those who have had light upon the important, testing truths for this time, and yet are not making ready for the coming of the Son of man, are not taking heed. “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” There is no period of time when spiritual slothfulness is excusable.CW 24.1

    Only by being clothed with the robe of Christ's righteousness can we escape the judgments that are coming upon the earth. Let all remember that these words were among the last that Christ gave His disciples. If this instruction were often repeated in our papers and publications, and less space were taken for matter which is not one hundredth part so important, it would be more appropriate. In these sacred, solemn warnings the danger signal is lifted. It is this instruction that church members and the people of the world need; for it is present truth.—Letter 20, 1901.CW 24.2

    Ellen G. White Articles in New Fields—I have received the impression that you want short articles for the paper, and more of them. I have not felt any special burden to measure the lines that I write. I think if there is more put into the paper of living religious practice, it would certainly be of great value; for this is what the people need. To keep out the living experiences, and yet present the controversial, is not according to the light which God has given.CW 25.1

    You have a very large field to select from in the many testimonies. In Christian Education there is a rich supply, but if you think not best to select and use these things God has given for the instruction of His people and all to whom they may come, then you are right in laying them on one side. But if these things are of value, let them speak. I am a little puzzled over this matter. The request made is, Short articles, Sister White. This cannot always be. Therefore I leave you my books to select from, which would be new matter to the readers in this country, Australia, and New Zealand, and just what they need. I have felt no burden to write for the paper, because you had a new field of matter for this country, which would be a blessing to those who receive it. Selections are made of matter, apparently to fill up, from other papers. What the people want is instruction. What shall I do that I may save my soul? We need more and still more of vital godliness brought out in the papers.—Letter 21, 1896.CW 25.2

    The Testimony of Pioneer Workers—I have had presentations regarding the deceptions that Satan is bringing in at this time. I have been instructed that we should make prominent the testimony of some of the old workers who are now dead. Let them continue to speak through their articles as found in the early numbers of our papers. These articles should now be reprinted, that there may be a living voice from the Lord's witnesses. The history of the early experiences in the message will be a power to withstand the masterly ingenuity of Satan's deceptions. This instruction has been repeated recently. I must present before the people the testimonies of Bible truth, and repeat the decided messages given years ago. I desire that my sermons given at camp meetings and in churches may live and do their appointed work.—Letter 99, 1905.CW 26.1

    The Three Angels’ Messages—The proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages has been located by the word of Inspiration. Not a peg or pin is to be removed. No human authority has any more right to change the location of these messages than to substitute the New Testament for the Old. The Old Testament is the gospel in figures and symbols. The New Testament is the substance. One is as essential as the other. The Old Testament presents lessons from the lips of Christ, and these lessons have not lost their force in any particular. The first and second messages were given in 1843 and 1844, and we are now under the proclamation of the third; but all three of the messages are still to be proclaimed. It is just as essential now as ever before that they shall be repeated to those who are seeking for the truth. By pen and voice we are to sound the proclamation, showing their order, and the application of the prophecies that bring us to the third angel's message. There cannot be a third without the first and second. These messages we are to give to the world in publications, in discourses, showing in the line of prophetic history the things that have been, and the things that will be.—Manuscript 32, 1896.CW 26.2

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