Ellen G. White Writings

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The Bible Echo

September 18, 1899

Letter from Sister White

The following communication from Sister White, addressed to the Shareholders’ Meeting was read by Elder A. T. Robinson:

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong,

August 17, 1899.

Dear Brethren and Sisters,

I would be pleased to be with you, if this were the will of the Lord; but I cannot leave my work. We are praying for you; for we feel just as great an interest in the work you are trying to do in Melbourne as in the work we are trying to do in this part of the Lord's vineyard. The Lord's angels are round about you in North Fitzroy as we know they are round about the workers in Cooranbong. I wish to reveal to the people, for their encouragement, the light which the Lord has been pleased to impart.

Angels Supervising the Work

The publishing house is a centre. It is a representative of the truth we claim to believe, and the churches in Melbourne should feel that they are honoured in having in their midst this printing office, to give character to the message that comes from the press in publications to go into the highways and byways. This institution is God's instrumentality to send forth the messages of truth to the people in clear lines. The workers in the publishing house are highly honoured in having a place in it, and if they are daily learners in the school of Christ, the Lord will give these apprentices wisdom to discern the good and choose the blessings which it is their privilege to enjoy in connection with the work. All may realize that faith without works is dead, being alone. When the workers in connection with the Echo Office combine faith and works, they will send forth precious rays of light into the moral darkness of the world. Those who are engaged in any branch of the work, are acting a noble part in doing service for God. They are to stand loyal and true at their post of duty, appreciating the privilege of so close a connection with heavenly instrumentalities. Angels are supervising the work, and you are co-operating with the ministry of the delegates of heaven. In all your work you may truly say, The Lord is here. Let your silent prayers go up to God in acknowledgement of His blessings. Be thankful, and the Lord will give you wisdom and understanding.

Pray for the Echo Publishing House

I would speak especially to the believers in Melbourne. Pray every morning and evening that the Echo Publishing House may have God's richest blessing upon it. This institution may be one of the most successful educating schools in business and spiritual lines. We do not half appreciate the mercies and blessings of God. Let no murmurs or complaints come from your lips; for angels hear these words. The Lord will be pleased if you in Victoria, and we in New South Wales, will take hold heartily and sustain the publishing institution with our prayers and our means, and encourage the hearts of those who carry the heavy burdens. Do not encourage criticism and complaining; for this is the most detrimental commodity you can deal in. It is Satan's goods, and you need not pass it round.

Faithful Canvassers Needed

A grand work is being done by those who handle the press. The sheets that come from the groaning press to be prepared as tracts and bound up in books, are to go forth to visit all the places of the earth. There should be canvassers who will do faithful service in this work. When the Lord's voice calls, “Whom shall we send? and who will go for us,” the divine Spirit puts it into the hearts of men and women to answer, “Here am I; send me.” But bear in mind that the live coal from the altar must first touch your lips and cleanse you from all impurity. Then the words you speak will be wise and holy words. The Lord would have many take a part in this grand work who are consecrated, whose hearts are humble, and who are willing to engage in any line of work that demands their service. All are not to be canvassers, for then there would be no printers, editors, or managers. And if all were printers, there would be no canvassers. God will fit every one for the work who will seek to follow Him. If those who take up the canvassing work are thoroughly converted, they will reflect light, and do honour to God by speaking a word in season to those who are willing to hear.

The Lord will co-operate with all who are in earnest in the work, as He co-operated with Daniel and his three companions. Of these youth we read, “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom”...and the king communed with them, and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king; and in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” When the Lord co-operates with the human agent and the human agent co-operates with God, marked advancement is made in all learning in business lines and in spiritual knowledge, for the Lord opens the understanding, that His faithful children who honour Him may continually advance. Church members in Victoria should consider it a privilege to have their children connected with the publishing house.

Labourers Together with God

We unite with you heartily with our prayers, our energies, and our sympathies. As you enlarge your work of book-making, you will increase your school of apprentices, and those who are educating these youth should realize that they are doing God's work. Each youth should learn some part of the business, and then climb higher to learn in advanced lines, until he is complete in all parts of the work, and is prepared in his turn to become an educator. It is the privilege of the instructors to cultivate tenderness, kindness, true courtesy, by manifesting these graces to every student in the Office. Every youth is the Lord's property, to be watched over, cared for, loved, and treated courteously. When youth are determined to have their own way, let not the parents of these youth receive the testimony of their children, but go directly to those at the head of the institution, and learn the truth. Parents, teach your children to respect and honour the men whom God honours and respects by placing them in positions of trust.

The divine Spirit puts the desire to engage in the work into the heart of the man whom He can qualify for that place. Some are fitted for one branch of the work and some for another. Some as sons of consolation are to carry the message to the sorrowing, the disappointed, and the broken-hearted; and angels of God will be with these workers. But those who are prepared to do God's service in any line will not seek the easiest place. Said Christ, “He that will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” There is a special work to be done in ministering to the most hopeless cases. The workers can possess a science of simplicity and eloquence that will search out and help the most needy, the class for which the sermonizers feel no special burden. Was not Christ the greatest teacher the world ever knew? Was He not the Son of the infinite God? and yet He said, “I do nothing of Myself.” “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of Myself, but My Father which dwelleth in Me, He doeth the work.”

The true worker should ever bear in mind that he is doing service for God. Missionary work does not consist merely of preaching. It includes personal labour for those who have abused their health, and have placed themselves where they have not moral power to control their appetites and passions. These souls are to be laboured for as those more favourably situated. Our world is full of suffering ones.

God has written His law upon every nerve and muscle, every fibre and function of the human body. The indulgence of unnatural appetite, whether for tea, coffee, tobacco, or liquor, is intemperance, and is at war with the laws of life and health. By using these forbidden articles, a condition of things is created in the system which the Creator never designed. This indulgence in any of the members of the human family is sin. But how much more sinful is it in those who profess to be Christians, who say they are Abraham's children. They are not, because they do not practice the works of the Lord. If they were following Jesus, they would deny unnatural appetite. Every gratification of unnatural appetite produces disease in the physical system. The eating of food that does not make good blood is working against the laws of our physical organism, and is a violation of the law of God. The cause produces the effect. Suffering, disease, and death are the sure penalty of indulgence.

Mrs. E. G. White

September 18, 1899

An Appeal

Addressed to the Shareholders

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong,

August 14, 1899.

Dear Brethren and Sisters,

The danger that threatens our churches is that new and strange things will be brought in, things that confuse the minds of the people, and give them no strength, at the very time when they most need strength in spiritual things. Clear discernment is needed, that things new and strange shall not be laid alongside of truth as a part of the burden of the message to be given at this time. The very messages we have been giving to the world are to be made prominent. The books containing the light God has given must be brought before the people.

Importance of the Canvassing Work

Canvassers should have the fact impressed upon them that the canvassing work is the very work the Lord would have them do. The work of the canvasser is to bring before the world as fast as possible the light that God has given. The publications will do a far greater work than can be accomplished even by the ministry of the word, because the canvassers reach a class that ministers who teach in word and doctrine cannot reach. From the light given me, I know that where there is one canvasser in the field there should be one hundred. Persons should be encouraged to take hold of the work, not to handle the little story books, but to bring before the world the books so essential at this time.

Watchmen

The Lord will be with steadfast, consecrated workers. The time has come when a large work should be done by the canvassers. As watchmen they are ringing the warning-bell to awake the sleepers to a sense of their danger. The work to be done is great; the world is asleep, and the churches know not the time of their visitation. How can they best learn the truth? Through the efforts of the canvasser. Thus the reading is brought before those who otherwise would never hear the truth. Those who go forth in the name or the Lord are his messengers to give to the world the glad tidings of salvation through Christ in obeying the law of God.

To Every Man His Work

The multitudes are in darkness, in error, and the Lord would have the light of truth shine forth to the world. To every man is given his work. Here is a work that man can lay hold of and do. All who will consecrate themselves to God to work as canvassers are giving the last message of warning to the world. They will be drawn out to speak the truth, and will have opportunities to explain the word of God. In doing this itinerant work they are flashing rays of light upon the pathway of those who are in the darkness of error.

Preparation for the Ministry

Those who are fitting for the ministry can engage in no other work which will give them so large an experience as will the canvassing work. All who want an opportunity for true ministry, and who will give themselves unreservedly to the Lord, will find in the canvassing work opportunities to speak upon many things that pertain to the future immortal life.

Copy the Pattern

Doctrinal points should not be forced upon the people by the canvassers; but if the people lead out by asking questions, give them “the reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” What fear? Fear lest your words should savor of self-importance, lest unadvised words should be spoken. The words and the manners are to be after Christ's likeness.

Angels Co-operate

Pray and work. More will be accomplished by the Christ-like humble prayer than by many words without prayer. Work in simplicity, and the Lord will work with the canvasser. The Holy Spirit will impress minds just as he impresses the minds of those who listen to the words of God's delegated ministers, who preach His word. The same ministry of holy angels attends the one who gives himself to canvassing for books for the educating of the people as to what is truth.

No Time to Lose

Men and women can work in lines effectually if they feel in their hearts that they are doing the work of the Lord in ministering to the souls who know not the truth for this time. They are sounding the note of warning in the byways and highways to prepare a people for the great day of God which is about to break upon the world. We have no time to lose. We must encourage this work. Who will go forth now with our publications? Let them read the sixth chapter of Isaiah, and take its lesson home to their hearts.

“Here Am I; Send Me”

“Then,” said I, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips; and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar; and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then, said I, Here am I; send me.”

Messages of Peace and Comfort

This representation will be acted over and over again if the canvassers are pressing close to the side of Christ, wearing His yoke, and daily learning of Him how to carry messages of peace and comfort to the sorrowing, disappointed ones, the sad and broken-hearted. By imbuing them with His own Spirit, Christ the great teacher is fitting them to do a good and important work.

Revival of the Spirit of Former Days Needed

This work has not of late had the spirit and the life infused into it by the leading agents that once made it a specialty. Painstaking effort is required; instruction must be given; a sense of the importance of the work must be kept before the workers; all must cherish the spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice that has been exemplified in the life of our Redeemer.

The Unseen Helper

The Lord Jesus, standing by the side of the canvassers, walking with them, is the chief worker. The Holy Guest by their side makes impressions in just the lines needed, if the worker recognizes Christ as the one who is with him to prepare the way. Thus the worker can move forward representing the sacred truth he is handling, in the books he is finding a home for in families.

Just as the truth presented in the books becomes woven into his own experience and developed in his character, will be his strength, his courage, his life. The experience gained will be more benefit to him than all the advantages he might otherwise obtain in fitting for the work of the ministry. It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares the workers, both men and women, to become pastors unto the flock of God. As they cherish the thought that Christ is their companion, a holy awe, a sacred joy will be felt by them amid all their trying experiences and all their tests. They will learn how to pray as they work. They will be educated in patience, kindness, affability, helpfulness, wherever they may be. They will practice true Christian courtesy, bearing in mind that Christ their companion will not approve of any harsh, unkind words, or feelings. Their words need to be purified. The power of speech should be regarded as a precious talent, granted them to do a high, a holy work. The human agent is to represent the divine companion with whom he is associated. To that unseen, holy companion he is to show respect and reverence, because he is wearing the yoke of Christ, and is learning His pure, holy ways and manners.

Those who have faith and confidence in this divine attendant will develop. They will be gifted with power to clothe the message of truth with a divine, sacred beauty. In all the self-denial and self-sacrifice required, amid all the unpleasant things that occur, they are ever to consider that they are yoked with Christ, partakers with Him of His spirit of patience, forbearance, kindliness, self-denial, and self-sacrifice. This spirit will make them a place and give them success in the work, because Christ is their recommendation to the families. They will not be easily repulsed, for they know that the household needs the instruction these books contain.

Mission of the Silent Messengers

Some will lay them on the parlour table, and seldom look into them, until some sorrow comes. Perhaps sickness enters their home. Then they will look for those books, and the stricken ones will find peace and rest, and fall asleep in Jesus, resting in His love because He has forgiven their sins and is precious to their souls. This has been the testimony of many. The Lord co-operates with the self-denying human workers. His own mind, His own Spirit, is communicated to them.

Who Will Respond?

God has His workmen in every age. The call of the hour is answered by the human agencies. Thus it will be when the divine voice cries, “Whom shall I send? and who will go for us?” The response will come, “Here am I, send me.” The Lord imparts a fitness for the work to every man and woman who will co-operate with divine power. A great work is to be done in our world, and human agencies will surely respond to the demand. And all the requisite talent, courage, perseverance, faith, and tact will come as they put the armor on. The world must hear the warning. When the call comes, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” send back the answer clear and distinct, “Here am I; send me.”

Mrs. E. G. White

September 18, 1899

Communication Addressed to the Shareholders’ Meeting

Lift the standard higher and still higher. There is a great work to be done, and there is no time to be lost. Canvassers are to be educated and trained to do the work required in selling the books upon present truth which the people need. Our young men and young women, may do a good work in canvassing if they will obey the words, “Take heed to thyself and to the doctrine.” Self must be disciplined. The young men and young women who give evidence that they are truly converted and who take up the canvassing work may consider that this work is the very best preparation for the ministry. The canvassing work involves the performance of the highest moral duties. In this work there will be many temptations which will test whatever integrity and strength of religious principles and habits young men have in their experience acquired.

The whole period of life is a brief season of trial. Those who take hold of a work so important as the canvassing work must constantly guard self, lest Satan shall obtain the advantage. A multitude of petty temptations will assail the one the Lord is testing, and if he stands firm as a rock to principle, it is because he makes the Lord God his trust every moment. “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Let the sincere cry from the soul be, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.”

True workers are not careful to make special conditions whereby they may secure favours and have a very pleasant time in self-serving. But many canvassers go into a hotel and obtain their meals there, when they should make self-denying, self-sacrificing efforts to obtain accommodations in a humble cottage. But whether you go to a cottage or to a more stately mansion, let it be known that you are Christians, that you love the service of Christ, that you love missionary work, that you are carrying a class of books of the highest value. Obtain entrance if you can, and if possible sell helps enough to give you a bed and something to eat. If you can, obtain the privilege of conversing with the family. Ask them if you may have the privilege of uniting with them in their morning and evening worship. Thus doing, you have committed yourself as a follower of Jesus Christ, and no one will be more in need than you of stirring up the gift that is in them. Show that you realize that you are in a useful line of duty and honourable employment, that you are doing missionary work. If there is water to be brought, modestly ask the privilege of doing this. The numerous kind acts you may do, though small, will win for you respect, and an order, it may be, for a book. You can find friends if you ever show yourself friendly. And you may feel every day, that you are in an educating school.

More Book-making

Much more book-making needs to be done in the Echo Office. This institution has not been favoured with donations as have the printing establishments in America, and there are not here workmen who are thoroughly and understandingly connected with the work. Those who bear the heaviest responsibilities have not been strengthened and sustained by the churches in their prayers, and in realizing that the prosperity and success of the work is largely due to the attitude of the churches. If the churches do not feel that the work done in the Echo Office is a most important work, and that the workers need their sympathy and hearty, intelligent co-operation, this deficiency will be a drawback to the work. Complaints will be made in regard to the men who carry a heavy load. Discouragements come upon these men because of the unconsecrated elements in the churches, who love to talk, and say, “Report, and we will report it.” They are making more work for the men who are already over-burdened.

All who daily consecrate themselves to God to hold up the hands of those who bear responsibilities, God will bless. We are engaged in a great work, and Satan will use all his power to win to his side the men and women who could co-operate with God in doing a precious work if they were sanctified, cleansed, and worked by the Holy Spirit, if they had warm, true hearts of tender love, and give due respect to those whom God has appointed to carry a great and important work. The men engaged in this work have been and will again be wounded by those who think and speak evil and create feelings of distrust and jealousy, which should not be tolerated or kept alive by unsanctified tongues.

The publishing house is the Lord's house, and it is not to be desecrated by those connected with it. Every worker employed there should put to the stretch nerve, brain, bone, muscle, and sinew to make the publishing house all that God designs it to be. The Lord's blessing will rest upon the managers and the workers if they will learn lessons in the school of Christ, wearing Christ's yoke, and working in Christ's lines, as every believer should. When they are doing this, God says of them, Ye are labourers together with God. Christ is to be honoured and glorified by every soul who connects with the work. The false tongue, the suspicious remark, the evil surmising, and jealousy, have done great harm to the work and workers in the Office. The Lord has been dishonoured, and His work retarded because the sacred fire has not always been used. The common fire, in feelings, devisings, and speech, has had its influence, and has brought discouragement, weakening the hands God designed should be strengthened and upheld. The Lord has opened ways and means, and given evidence that this work is His, and that He will bless those who will work interestedly in connection with it.

There have been those, and unless constant watchfulness is exercised, there will ever be those, who are not true and faithful, men and women who are not able to discern the sacredness of the work given them to do. Seeing, they see not, and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand. Their will is not on the side of the will of God. They do not love the truth, and it has not a sanctifying, refining influence upon them. The time will come when the sensual, the proud, the careless in heart, those who are opposed to the truth, will have to be separated from the Office. Darkness will close about them, and soon, very soon the cry will come from unfeigned lips, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved.” They are gathering in bundles with the tares, to be consumed by the fires of the last day.

The Lord would have a company of youth brought into the Echo Publishing House, and there tested and tried. If under the instruction they receive they do not improve, but show that their hearts are gross, that they do not care to be converted from the error of their ways, all the light shining about them becomes darkness to them. They call good evil, and evil good. Their testimony is not reliable. They dishonour the Office by remaining in it, and should be separated from it. Those who will be worked by the Holy Spirit, the Lord will qualify by His grace. He will let the light of His countenance shine into their hearts, giving them clearness of thought and knowledge such as He gave to Daniel. He will fit them to do His work. These workers will exert a right influence, and their very countenances will reveal their pure, correct, temperate habits. Unbelievers will take knowledge of them that they are superior in their ways, their speech, their demeanor; for like Daniel and his associates, they carry their credentials with them.

The Lord would have the Echo Office stand high in the estimation of all who believe the truth. He would have the believers in the truth sustain this institution, and give tangible proof of their confidence in it. Thus they will honour God; for the Lord has made the Echo Office an instrument of His appointment. It is to be conducted on high and holy principles, making manifest that the seal of heaven is upon it. The Lord has His eyes upon it, and angels will work with the workers. Not a mean transaction in any business dealing is to be done, in behalf of believers or unbelievers. The Lord would have the publishing house stand as a faithful sentinel to advocate the truth. Rays of light are to go forth from it, to penetrate the moral darkness which covers the earth.

Let our brethren and sisters have words of encouragement and confidence to speak of this the Lord's instrumentality. God calls upon them to encourage the workers who have to carry the burdens; for He is working with them. He calls upon His people to recognize the sustaining power in this instrumentality. It is God's work. Honour the Lord, then, by doing to the utmost of your power to give it the influence it should have.

Mrs. E. G. White

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