Ellen G. White Writings

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Foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Message and Mission, Page 266

the believers in Bordoville, she stated that “the plan of gathering together in large numbers, to compose a large church, has contracted their influence, and narrowed down their sphere of usefulness, and is literally putting their light under a bushel.” 1Ibid., p. 85 (Testimonies for the Church 2:633). She added that “the plan of colonizing, or moving from different localities where there is but little strength of influence, and concentrating the influence of many in one locality, is removing the light from places where God would have it shine.” Cf. ibid., p. 138 (Testimonies for the Church 2:669). She further remarked that the SDA message should be given to the world and that God’s people who were the light of the world “should be interspersed among the moral darkness of the world, as witnesses; their lives, their testimonies, and example, to be a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death [2 Corinthians 2:16].” 2Ibid. Another reason against centralizing was that “God cannot display the knowledge of his will, and the wonders of his grace, among the unbelieving world, unless he has witnesses scattered all over the earth” who would function as “bodies of light throughout the world” (ibid., p. 82 [Testimonies for the Church 2:631, 632]).

3. Love

Love was regarded as fundamentally important as a motivating principle in missions. Although references to the subject of love could be found in the current SDA literature, yet during this period it was not so frequently employed in relation to mission activity as some of the other motivating factors. Love to God was seen as a prerequisite for love to others. E. G. White stated that “love, true love for our fellowmen, evinces love to God.” 3Ibid., No. 16, p. 5 (Testimonies for the Church 2:116). Cf. ibid., No. 19, p. 64 (Testimonies for the Church 2:549). She said that “divine love” was to be found “in the renewed heart, and where this exists, love will naturally flow out to your fellow men” (ibid., No. 16, p. 68 [Testimonies for the Church 2:169]). She further said that if the love of God would animate the heart it would manifest itself in word and deed toward our neighbors. 4Ibid., pp. 13, 14 (Testimonies for the Church 2:123); supra, p. 265, n. 753. She said: “With the love of Christ in the heart, Christians will work” (“Work for This Time,” p. 10). Cf. Haskell, “Counterfeit,” RH, Jan. 6, 1874, p. 29. Another SDA pointed out that “if we would lead others to love Jesus, we must show that we love him.” 6Stephen N. Haskell (1833-1922) began his preaching ministry as an Adventist in 1853. Later in that year he accepted the third angel’s message. He occupied both important ministerial and administrative positions. Love, according to Stephen N. Haskell, was “the motive from which the action springs. Love is an active principle, and cannot live without works. Its life consists in performing acts of disinterested benevolence.... It never becomes weary in doing good to others.” He also remarked that “Christ was the great example of this principle. And, as we are possessed of his Spirit, just in that proportion the work will be for the upbuilding of the cause for which he shed his blood.”

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