Ellen G. White Writings

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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 149

Address to the Missionary Workers

[Delivered before the Swiss Tract and Missionary Society, Sunday, September 13.]

“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” Luke 10:25-28.

If any are in perplexity to know whether they will be saved or not, they will find the query settled here. The world's Redeemer has plainly specified the conditions of eternal life. Both the conditions and the promise are positive. Christ must be the center. We must love him with every power of our being, and our neighbors as ourselves. And if we do love our neighbor as ourselves, we shall labor earnestly to present to him the truth in its beauty and simplicity.

It was thus that the foundation of the Christian church was laid. Many people had assembled where John was baptizing in Jordan. As Jesus walked among them, the observing eye of John recognized him as the Saviour, and with kindling eye and earnest manner he cried, “Behold the Lamb of God.” Two of John's disciples, whose attention was thus directed to Jesus, followed him. Seeing them following him, he turned and said, “What seek ye? They said unto him,” “Master, where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see.” And when they had come and seen where he dwelt, he opened to them the great plan of salvation. The words which he there spoke to them were too precious to be kept to themselves, and they immediately went and found their friends, and brought them to Jesus.

At this very time Nathanael was praying to know whether this was indeed the Christ of whom Moses and the prophets had spoken. While he continued to pray, one of those who had been brought to Christ, Philip by name, called to him and said, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Notice how quickly prejudice arises. Nathanael says, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip knew the strong prejudice that existed in the minds of many against Nazareth, and he did not try to argue with him, for fear of raising his combativeness, but simply said, “Come and see.”

Here is a lesson for all our ministers, colporteurs, and missionary workers. When you meet those, who, like Nathanael, are prejudiced against the truth, do not urge your peculiar views too strongly. Talk with them at first of subjects upon which you can agree. Bow with them in prayer, and in humble faith present your petitions at the throne of grace. Both you and they will be brought into a closer connection with heaven, prejudice will be weakened, and it will be easier to reach the heart.

There is a great work to be done here in Europe. From the light that has been given me concerning the people in this part of the country, and perhaps all through Europe, there is danger, in presenting the truth, of arousing their combativeness. There is little harmony between present truth and the doctrines of the church in which many of the people have been born and brought up; and they are so filled with prejudice, and so completely under the control of their ministers, that in many cases they dare not even come to hear the truth presented. The question then arises,

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