Ellen G. White Writings

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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 151

poverty that exists there; and yet in these valleys there are some of the most precious souls that are to be found anywhere. I have seen places there where our tracts and papers were scattered. A divine power seemed to accompany them. I have seen persons upon their knees with the tracts before them, the tears rolling down their cheeks as they read, for an answering chord had been touched in their hearts. They knew that what they read was truth, and that they ought to obey it. Whether these scenes have already taken place or are still in the future, I cannot say.

There is a mighty power in the truth. It is God's plan that all who embrace it shall become missionaries. Not only men, but women and even children can engage in this work. None are excused. All have an influence, and that influence should be wholly for the Master. Jesus has bought the race with his blood. We are his; and we have no right to say, “I will not do this or that;” but we should inquire, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” and do it with a cheerful, willing heart.

Success does not depend so much upon age or circumstances in life as upon the real love that one has for others. Look at John Bunyan inclosed by prison walls. His enemies think that they have placed him where his work for others must cease. But not so. He is not idle. The love for souls continues to burn within him, and from his dark prison-house there springs a light which shines to all parts of the civilized world. His book, “The Pilgrim's Progress,” written under these trying circumstances, portrays the Christian life so accurately, and presents the love of Christ in such an attractive light, that hundreds and thousands have been converted through its instrumentality.

Again, behold Luther in his Wartburg prison, translating the Bible, which was sent forth as a torch of light, and which his countrymen seized and carried from land to land to separate from the religion of Christ the superstitions and errors with which Romanism had enshrouded it. Thus, in a variety of ways, God has worked mightily for his people in times past, and thus he is ever willing to work with those who are laboring for the salvation of souls.

The trouble with the workers now is that they have not enough faith. They are too self-sufficient, and too easily disturbed by little trials. There is in the natural heart much selfishness, much self-dignity; and when they present the truth to an individual, and it is resented, they too frequently feel that it is an insult to themselves, when it is not themselves, but the Author of truth, who is insulted and rejected. In this work there is the greatest necessity of hiding self behind Jesus. The nearer one comes to Jesus, the less will he esteem himself, and the more earnest will he be to work for others in the spirit of the Master.

There is much work to be done right here in Switzerland. Take heed first to yourselves, dear fellow-laborers, and afterward to the doctrine. As surely as you allow your natural temperaments and dispositions to control you, just so surely will they appear in your labors, to mar the work of God. If you should bring souls into the truth, they would imitate your defects of character. Let the reformation begin with yourselves; let the converting power of God first be felt upon your own hearts, and then you will be better able to lead others to Christ.

Whether you labor in public or private, you must expect to meet difficulties.

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