Here is the quote on the picture, followed by its context (all-caps added for emphasis):
“There is danger that men will receive the COUNSEL OF MEN, when by so doing they will discard the COUNSEL OF GOD.” (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 1413, by Ellen G. White)
“Dr. J. H. Kellogg,
“I received your letters July 14, and read them with great interest. I am always glad to hear from you concerning your family and the institution in which you are bearing responsibilities of no ordinary character. Your only safety is in obeying the word of God, is in walking in the light of his countenance. The enemy is continually devising methods by which he may steal a march upon us, and we need to take strict heed to every caution given of God. If the servants of God who in the past have been standard bearers, had walked in the lines which the Lord marked out, they would have better honored the Lord, and would have had increased usefulness. Some whose voices have been silent from death, might have lived to warn, to entreat, and to counsel. If Elder Butler had heeded the warning, the entreaties of the Spirit of God, if he had walked in the counsel given him of God, he would now have been walking in strength and efficiency. When men educate others to rely upon men, to look to and to trust in men, when they dictate to others what they shall do, by pen or voice, and what they shall not do, they are educating their brethren to make flesh their arm, to trust in men, and to give glory to humanity rather than to God. But the Lord would have us have an eye single to his glory. We are safe only as we lift up Jesus, and speak in full praise of his excellency. Isaiah says, ‘Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.
“THERE IS DANGER THAT MEN WILL RECEIVE THE COUNSEL OF MEN, WHEN BY SO DOING THEY WILL DISCARD THE COUNSEL OF GOD. O what lessons all must learn before they will understand that God seeth not as man seeth. The Lord says, ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ There will be a decided reformation among the people of God, or else he will turn his face away from them.
“Dr. Kellogg, there is need of continual watchfulness, lest building shall be piled upon building, and advantages shall be heaped upon advantages in Battle Creek. The means that is thus expended will testify against them. You should put wise calculation into exercise and scatter the influence that is centering in Battle Creek, and diffuse the light that God has given you. Blessed are those that sow beside all waters. The more means you invest in Battle Creek, the greater will be the demand for investing more; but this is not in the order of God, and before a great period of time shall pass the mistake of centering interests in Battle Creek, will be made evident. Advantages in Battle Creek mean destitution in other places: for other localities are robbed of the means that is expended in Battle Creek. The money should be invested in enterprises elsewhere, in establishing souls in the truth and in providing houses of worship for them. In adding building to building are we not encouraging neglect to other fields? God has pointed out the fact that it is the duty of those in Battle Creek to help institutions in other places, As a wise steward of means, you should scatter your forces, and diffuse the power of your influence to help people who know not God as he is. How many cities and towns are left in utter neglect? You are doing your own selves an injury in thus crowding together. When trees in a nursery are crowded thickly together, they cannot grow healthfully and sturdily. Give room, put your plants in many places, and work to a purpose. Make known the precious light to those that are in darkness. We are not half awake to the worth of souls for whom Christ has died. The means expended in enlarging your advantages in Battle Creek, that are already over-grown, and have passed beyond reasonable limits, should be used in establishing missionary stations in other places. You should broaden your plans and widen the field of your operations. You should transplant your trees and give them room to grow. The Lord demands this of you. You have a superabundance of facilities, and should send wise men into cities and towns, who which have not yet had a chance to hear the gospel. Pick out the very best men you can possibly spare, and give them a chance to become care-takers and bearers of burdens. Let them have an opportunity to develop the talents which they have not been encouraged to use in the past. Furnish them with a place in which they can use their God-given abilities in calling sinners to repentance both by precept and example. Let men who make it manifest that they love God have a chance to do something for him. All the preaching in the world will not make men feel deeply for the perishing souls around them. Nothing will so stir up a missionary, self-sacrificing zeal as to go into the field, and seek to reach those who are in darkness. Prepare workers to go into the highways and hedges, and do not use your facilities to call men and women to the great center, and encourage them to leave churches that need their aid. Men must learn to bear responsibilities, Not one in a hundred among us are doing anything outside of engaging in common, temporal, worldly enterprises.
“Let forces be set at work to clear new ground, to establish new living interests wherever an opening can be found. Let men learn how to pray earnestly, short, and right to the point. Let them learn to speak of the world’s Redeemer, how to lift up the man of Calvary higher and still higher. Transplant trees out of your thickly planted nursery. God is not glorified in centering such immense advantages in one place. We need wise nurserymen who will transplant trees to different localities, and give them advantages whereby they may grow. It is a positive duty to go into regions beyond. Rally workers who possess true missionary zeal, and let them go forth to diffuse light and knowledge far and near. Let them take the living principles into health reform into communities that to a large degree are ignorant of what they should do. Let men and women teach these principles to classes that cannot have the advantages of the large Sanitarium at Battle Creek. It is a fact that the truth of heaven has come to the notice of thousands through the influence of the Sanitarium, yet there is a work to be done that has been neglected. Money has been expended in enlarging facilities at Battle Creek, when the Lord would have you introduce the leaven into the mass of meal that the whole may be leavened. Instead of adding building to building to the Sanitarium, you should have at this time many institutions fully equipped and in working order at other places.
“There are men who have been long connected with the Sanitarium, who always will be shadows of somebody else, if they are retained there, when, if they were permitted to rely upon their own judgment, they would become self-reliant, deep thinkers, capable of giving wise counsel. Let these men have a chance to learn to bear responsibilities in the strength of God. They will gain an experience, develop capability to reach the higher classes, and to meet the people where they are. But instead of sending forth men and women from Battle Creek as God has directed in the pointed testimonies that have been given, you have devoted thousands of dollars to the enlarging of your facilities. In building up the work in Battle Creek, you call for more conveniences and more workers, but there must be an arousing. Men and women must be more evenly balanced. We are not to be onesided, but wholesided workers.
“We are encouraged as we see the work that is being done in Chicago, and in a few other places. But years ago the large responsibility that centered in Battle Creek should have been distributed. You may look with great satisfaction at the wide-spreading growth of the Sanitarium in Battle Creek, but God does not look with the same approval upon this as you do. If institutions had been built up in other localities, if men had been authorized in carrying responsibilities, there would have been far more strength, far more accuracy in the work, and we should have moved more in accordance with the mind and will of God than we have moved. As it is, a few men are carrying heavy responsibilities. A few wield an influence that has a controlling power on the management of the work far and near, yet some of these men need to be converted. Christ says to them as he said to Nicodemus, ‘Ye must be born again.’ ‘Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ He asked the question, ‘Art thou ruler in Israel, and knowest not these things?’ Many are controlled by a spirit that is not Christlike, They have not yet learned in the school of Christ the lesson of meekness and lowliness of heart. Their lives are not fashioned after the divine similitude. Year after year they carry responsibilities of a sacred order, yet prove themselves incapable of distinguishing between the sacred and the common. How long shall such men continue to yield a controlling influence? How long shall their word be permitted to exalt or to cast down, to condemn, or to lift up? How long shall they hold such power that no one dare to make a change in their methods?
“The people are encouraged to center in Battle Creek, and they pay their tithe and give their influence to the building up of a modern Jerusalem that is not after God’s order. In this work other places are cut off from facilities which they should have. Enlarge ye, spread, yes: but not in one place. Go out and establish centers of influence in places where nothing or next to nothing has been done. Break up your consolidated mass; diffuse the saving beams of light, and shed beams into the darkened corners of the earth. A work needs to be done something like that which is described as an eagle stirring up her nest. ‘Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he is settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.’ This is true of many Christians who are coming into Battle Creek. Many have a spasmodic zeal in battle, but it is like a meteor that flashes across the heavens, and goes out. Let God’s own workmen, who have his cause at heart, do something for the southern field. Let not God’s stewards be content with just touching it with their fingers edge. Let those at the heart of the work plan for the field in earnest. You have talked about it; but what are you doing as the stewards of God’s means? Why do you feel at liberty to bind God’s capital about, and hold it at Battle Creek? Why do you do the very things that God has warned you not to do? The case is becoming serious; for warnings and entreaties have been given in vain. You are extending the mere arms of power at Battle Creek more and more widely, seeking to control the whole work far and near, and crush out that which you cannot control. I lift my voice in protest. The spirit that now controls is not the spirit of the Lord.
“The Lord has blessed Battle Creek again and again by pouring out his Holy Spirit upon the Church and the workers, but how few have cherished its influence? How few have expended money as he has directed? Means has been used in educating those who know the truth, while fields have been neglected where souls are wholly unenlightened. Had ministers gone out, and used the gifts God has given them in carrying the burden of the work in preaching to souls ready to perish, they would have had far greater knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ than they have attained by seeking the education of the schools. They should have done their very best in the strength of God, as did the disciples after the Holy Spirit came upon them, when they went everywhere preaching the word, and when the power of God attended their message. Has God given us a work to do? Has God bidden us go amid opposing influences and convert men from error to truth? Why have not the men and women who have so frequently gathered to the large assemblies in Battle Creek not put into practice the truth which they have heard? If they had imparted the light which they had received, what a transformation of character we would have seen. For every grace imparted God would have given grace. The work that has been done for them has not been prized as it should have been, or they would have gone forth into the darkened places of the earth, and shed abroad the light which God has shed upon them. They would have given to the world the message of the righteousness of Christ through, faith and their own light would have become clearer and clearer, for God would have worked with them. Many have gone into the grave in error, simply because those who professed the truth have failed to communicate the precious knowledge they have received. If the light that has shone in super abundance in Battle Creek had been diffused, we would have seen many raised up to become laborers together with God.
“O that our brethren and sisters might appreciate the value of truth, and become purified through the truth. O that they might realize their duty to communicate the truth to others. But they do not feel the importance of living the truth, of being doers of the words of Christ. They are self-sufficient, and cannot carry out in practice the missionary spirit that should animate the disciples of Christ. If they knew what it was to have travail of soul for others, angels of God would work through them to communicate the knowledge of truth to others, and to make them channels of blessings to others. They would know the truth, and the truth would make them free. Spiritual truth is needed to penetrate the masses everywhere. Then money would no longer be expended in adding building to building, but would be used in opening up new fields, in planting the standard of truth in cities that have not yet been worked. The elevating, purifying, ennobling principles would be introduced, and would work like leaven in society. But O how little do many know who are bearing responsibilities, and who think they know much of the practical truth as it is in Jesus.” (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, pp. 1412-1420, by Ellen G. White)