Note: This basic appeal was read by Ellen G. White to thirty leaders of the church on March 21, 1891, in connection with the General Conference session at Battle Creek, Michigan. Copies were soon furnished to key men and especially the leading ministers in the South. Later this important message was published in a 16-page leaflet. This is the opening article in The Southern Work.
There has been much perplexity as to how our laborers in the south shall deal with the “color line.” It has been a question to some how far to concede to the prevailing prejudice against the colored people. The Lord has given us light concerning all such matters. There are principles laid down in His Word that should guide us in dealing with these perplexing questions. The Lord Jesus came to our world to save men and women of all nationalities. He died just as much for the colored people as for the white race. Jesus came to shed light over the whole world. At the beginning of His ministry He declared His mission: “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
The Redeemer of the world was of humble parentage. He, the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, humbled Himself to accept humanity, and then He chose a life of poverty and toil. “For your sakes He became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” When one came saying, “I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest,” Jesus answered him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” He, the Majesty of heaven, depended upon the generosity of His followers.