Ellen G. White Writings

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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 147

The Work in New Fields

[Remarks before the Swiss conference, Friday, September 11.]

I have been deeply interested this morning in listening to the reports of labor from the various fields. I have been connected with the work in America from its very commencement, and understand something about the difficulties to be met when the cause is in its infancy. We have seen the work go hard, and we have seen of the salvation of God in the presentation of truth. The reports we have heard here sound the same as those we have heard in America. Those who accept the truth in this country have a great cross to lift; and when they do take their stand firmly, our brethren no doubt feel as we did when the work first started. One soul who embraced the truth was regarded of more value than mountains of gold. We wept and rejoiced, and could scarcely sleep. Our hearts were so filled with gratitude, and so closely united in love and sympathy, that we wanted to praise God day and night.

The Piedmont valleys have been spoken of. From the light that I have had, there are, all through these valleys, precious souls who will receive the truth. I have no personal knowledge of these places; but they were presented to me as being in some way connected with God's work of the past. He now has an advance step for this people to take. Those who labor in these valleys must take a deep interest in their work, or they will not succeed. The third angel is represented as flying through the midst of heaven. The work is one that must be done quickly. They must keep in working order, laboring intelligently and with consecration, and be prepared by the grace of God to meet opposition. They are not only to preach, but to minister. As they go forth to labor, they are to make personal efforts for the people, coming heart to heart with them, as they open to them the Scriptures. There may at first be only a few here and there who will accept the truth; but when these are truly converted, they will labor for others, and soon, with proper efforts, larger companies will be raised up, and the work will move forward more rapidly.

There is a great work yet to be accomplished in all the fields from which we have heard reports. All through these countries there is precious talent that God will use; and we must be wide awake to secure it. The great obstacle to the advancement of the work is the lack of means. Ought we not to make this a special subject of prayer? Men who have means will receive the truth in this country; but the Lord would have us labor earnestly in faith until that time comes. He would have all who accept the truth become light-bearers. They should act as though they had a message of infinite importance to present. It is God's truth, and all should be sanctified through it. All should have a living faith, a living connection with heaven.

The work of the minister is not simply to preach, but it is to visit families at their homes, to pray with them, and open to them the Scriptures. He who conducts the work outside the pulpit in a proper manner will accomplish tenfold more than he who confines his labor to the desk. When Christ was teaching on earth, he watched the countenances of his hearers, and the kindling eye, the animated expression, told him in a moment when one assented to the truth. Even so should the teachers of the people now study the countenances of their hearers.

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