God does not want His work to be continually embarrassed with debt. When it seems desirable to add to the buildings or other facilities of an institution, beware of going beyond your means. Better to defer the improvements until Providence shall open the way for them to be made without contracting heavy debts and having to pay interest.
The publishing houses have been made places of deposit by our people and have thus been enabled to furnish means to support branches of the work in different fields and have aided in carrying other enterprises. This is well. None too much has been done in these lines. The Lord sees it all. But, from the light He has given me, every effort should be made to stand free from debt.
The publishing work was founded in self-denial and should be conducted upon strictly economical principles. The question of finance can be managed if, when there is a pressure for means, the workers will consent to a reduction in wages. This was the principle the Lord revealed to me to be brought into our institutions. When money is scarce, we should be willing to restrict our wants.
Let the proper estimate be placed upon the publications, and then let all in our publishing houses study to economise in every possible way even though considerable inconvenience is thus caused. Watch the little outgoes. Stop every leak. It is the little losses that tell heavily in the end. Gather up the fragments; let nothing be lost. Waste not the minutes in talking; wasted minutes mar the hours. Persevering diligence working in faith, will always be crowned with success.
Some think it beneath their dignity to look after small things. They think it the evidence of a narrow mind and
a niggardly spirit. But small leaks have sunk many a ship. Nothing that would serve the purpose of any should be allowed to waste. A lack of economy will surely bring debt upon our institutions. Although much money may be received, it will be lost in the little wastes of every branch of the work. Economy is not stinginess.
Every man or woman employed in the publishing house should be a faithful sentinel, watching that nothing be wasted. All should guard against supposed wants that require an expenditure of means. Some men live better on four hundred dollars a year than others do on eight hundred. Just so it is with our institutions; some persons can manage them with far less capital than others can. God desires all the workers to practise economy, and especially to be faithful accountants.
Every worker in our institutions should receive fair compensation. If the workers receive suitable wages, they have the gratification of making donations to the cause. It is not right that some should receive a large amount and others, who are doing essential and faithful work, very little.
Yet there are cases where a difference must be made. There are men connected with the publishing houses who carry heavy responsibilities and whose work is of great value to the institution. In many other positions they would have far less care and, financially, much greater profit. All can see the injustice of paying such men no higher wages than are paid to mere mechanical workers.
If a woman is appointed by the Lord to do a certain work, her work should be estimated according to its value. Some may think it good policy to allow persons to devote their time and labour to the work without compensation. But God does not sanction such arrangements.
When self-denial is required because of a dearth of means, the burden is not to rest wholly upon a few persons. Let all unite in the sacrifice.
The Lord desires those entrusted with His goods to show kindness and liberality, not niggardliness. Let them not, in their deal, try to exact every cent possible. God looks with contempt on such methods.
Workers should receive compensation according to the hours they give in honest labour. The one who gives full time is to receive according to the time. If one enlists mind, soul, and strength in bearing the burdens, he is to be paid accordingly.
No man should be granted an exorbitant salary, even though he may possess special capabilities and qualifications. The work done for God and His cause is not to be placed on a mercenary basis. The workers in the publishing house have no more taxing labour, no greater expense, no more weighty responsibilities, than have the workers in other lines. Their labour is no more wearing than is that of the faithful minister. On the contrary, ministers, as a rule, make greater sacrifices than are made by the laborers in our institutions. Ministers go where they are sent; they are minutemen, ready to move at any moment, to meet any emergency. They are necessarily separated, to a great degree, from their families. The workers in the publishing houses, as a rule, have a permanent home and can live with their families. This is a great saving of expense and should be considered in its bearing on the relative compensation of laborers in the ministry and in the publishing houses.
Those who labour wholeheartedly in the Lord's vineyard, working to the utmost of their ability, are not the ones to set the highest estimate on their own services. Instead of swelling with pride and self-importance, and measuring with exactness every hour's work, they compare their efforts with the Saviour's work and account themselves unprofitable servants.
Brethren, do not study how little you may do in order to reach the very lowest standard; but arouse to grasp the fullness of Christ, that you may do much for Him.
The Lord wants men who see the work in its greatness and who understand the principles that have been interwoven with it from its rise. He will not have a worldly order of things come in to fashion the work in altogether different lines from those He has marked out for His people. The work must bear the character of its Originator.
In the sacrifice of Christ for fallen men, mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other. When these attributes are separated from the most wonderful and apparently successful work, there is nothing to it.
God has not singled out a few men for His favour and left others uncared for. He will not lift up one and cast down and oppress another. All who are truly converted will manifest the same spirit. They will treat their fellow men as they would treat Christ. No one will ignore the rights of another.
God's servants should have so great respect for the sacred work they are handling that they will not bring into it one vestige of selfishness.