Ellen G. White Writings

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The Atlantic Canvasser

December 18, 1890

The Best Manner of Working

By Mrs. E. G. White

(Concluded from last week.)

Those who are appointed to open the work in new fields should be careful that their defects are not exalted into virtues, thus retarding the work of God. It is testing truths that we are bringing before the people, and in every effort these truths should be elevated in all their moral beauty before those for whom we labor. The laborer should not throw about the truth the peculiarities of his own character and manners. Let not your own ways be woven into God's work as God's ways. Keep self in the background. Do not let the work of God become common, but preserve its sacred character. Let it stand forth as from God himself. Let it bear no human impress, but the impress of the Divine. Self must be lost sight of in Jesus. Make broad calculations. In your plans, place the work of God as high as its importance demands.

Much has been lost by our people by following such narrow plans that the higher classes were not reached. The appearance of the work has impressed the minds of unbelievers as being of very little worth—some stray offshoot of religious theory, entirely beneath their notice. Much has also been lost through lack of wise methods of labor. Every effort should be made to give dignity and character to the work. Special effort should be made to secure the good will of men in responsible positions; and this can be done, not by sacrificing any principle of truth or righteousness, but by simply giving up our own way of approaching the people, and following God's way.

It requires much wisdom to reach ministers and men of influence. But why should they be neglected as they have been by our people? These men are responsible to God just in proportion to the capital of talents intrusted to them. Should there not be a deeper study, and much more humble prayer for wisdom, that we may learn how to reach these classes? Where much is given, much will be required. Then should not wisdom and tact be used to gain these souls, who, if truly converted, will, through their educated ability, be polished instruments in the hands of the Lord to reach others? We must have the Lord's help in order to know how to do this work skillfully.

God has a work to be done which the workers have not yet fully comprehended. Ministers and worldly-wise men are to be tested by the light of present truth. The third angel's message is to be set forth before the learned ones of this world, judiciously, in its native dignity. There must be most earnest seeking of God, most thorough study; for the mental powers will be taxed to the utmost in laying plans which will place the work of God on a more elevated platform. That is where it should always have stood, but men's little ideas and narrow plans have limited and lowered it.

And after most earnest efforts have been made to bring the truth before those whom God has intrusted with large responsibilities, be not discouraged if they reject it. Truth was rejected in the days of Christ. Be sure to maintain the dignity of the work by well-ordered plans and a godly conversation. Never be afraid of elevating the standard too high. The families who engage in this missionary work should come close to hearts. The spirit of Jesus should pervade the souls of the workers; for it is the pleasant, sympathetic words, the manifestation of disinterested love for souls, that will break down the barriers of pride and selfishness, and show to unbelievers that we have the love of Christ, and then the truth will find its way to their hearts. This is our work and the fulfilling of God's plans. All coarseness and roughness must be purged from us. Courtesy, refinement, and Christian politeness must be cherished. Guard against being abrupt and blunt. Do not regard such peculiarities as virtues, for God does not so regard them. But seek in all things not to offend those who are not of our faith. Never make the most objectionable features of our faith stand out prominently, when there is no call for it. Such a course is only an injury to the cause.

All should seek to have the softening, subduing influence of the Spirit of God in the heart,—Christ-like tenderness and love for souls. Those who are sent out to labor together should put away their peculiar notions and set ideas, and seek to labor together, heart and soul, to carry out God's will. They must plan to work in harmony in order to work to advantage. We want more, much more, of the Spirit of Christ, and less, much less, of self and the peculiarities of character which build up a wall to keep us apart from our fellow-men. We can do much to break down these barriers by revealing the graces of Christ in our lives. Jesus has been trusting his goods to the church, age after age. One generation after another for over eighteen hundred years have been gathering up their hereditary trust until the increasing responsibilities have descended to our time. Do we realize our responsibilities? Do we feel that we are stewards of God's grace? Do we believe that the lowliest, humblest service may be consecrated, if it is only exercised in doing, not our own will, but our Master's will, to promote his glory? We want to be clothed, not in our own garments, but in the whole armor of Christ's righteousness.

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