Ellen G. White Writings

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The Indiana Reporter

September 16, 1903

Canvassing a Part of the Lord's Work

The canvassing work, properly carried on, is missionary work of the highest order, and is as good and as successful a work as can be done in placing before the people the important truths for this time.

The importance of the work of the ministry is unmistakable; but there are many who, though hungry for the bread of life, have not the privilege of hearing the truth from the lips of God's delegated preachers. For this reason it is essential that the publications containing these important matters be placed before the people, that the truth given us of God may go where the living preacher can not go. In this way the attention of many will be called to the important events that are to occur in the closing scenes of this world's history.

God has ordained the canvassing work as a means of presenting before the people the light contained in these books, and canvassers should have impressed upon them the fact that the work of bringing before the world as fast as possible the books which are necessary for their spiritual education and enlightenment is the very work the Lord would have them do at this time. We can not too highly estimate this work; for were it not for the work of the canvasser, many would never hear the truth.

It is true that some who buy the books will lay them on the shelf or place them on the parlor table, and seldom look at them. Still, God has a care for His truth, and the time will come when these books will be sought for and read. Sickness or misfortune enters the home, and through the truth contained in these books God sends peace and hope and rest. His love will be revealed to their souls, and they will understand the preciousness of the forgiveness of their sins. Thus the Lord co-operates with the self-denying human workers.

There are others who, because of prejudice, will never know the truth unless it is brought to their doors and left in their homes. The canvasser may find these souls, and minister to them according to his God-given ability. He can do a line of work, of house-to-house labor, more successfully than any others. He can become acquainted with the people; he can pray with them, and can understand their necessities.

The lost sheep of God's fold are scattered in every place, and work that should be done for them is neglected. From the light given me, I know that where there is one canvasser in the field there should be one hundred. Canvassers should be encouraged to take hold of this work, not to canvass for story books, but to bring before the world the books containing truth so essential for this time.

The canvassing work is an important field of labor, and will do much towards carrying the gospel to all the dark corners of the earth. The intelligent, God-fearing, truth-loving canvasser should be respected; for he occupies a position equal to that of the gospel minister.

To those who are engaged in this work I would say: As you visit the people, tell them you are a gospel evangelist, and that you love the Lord.

The Lord desires that the light he has given on the Scriptures shall shine forth in clear, bright rays, and it is the work of our canvassers to put forth a strong, united effort, that God's desire may be accomplished. A great and important work is before us. The enemy of souls realizes this, and is using every means within his power to lead the canvasser to take up some other line of work. This order of things should be changed. God calls the canvassers back to their work. He calls for volunteers for the canvassing work, those who will put all their energies and enlightenment into the work, helping wherever there is an opportunity. The Master calls for every one to do the work given him according to his several ability. Who will respond to the call? Who will go forth to work in wisdom and grace and the love of Christ for those nigh and those afar off? Who will sacrifice ease and pleasure to enter places of error, superstition and darkness, working earnestly and perseveringly, speaking the truth in simplicity, praying in faith, doing house-to-house labor? Who at this time will go forth without the camp, imbued with the power of the Holy Spirit, bearing reproach for Christ's sake, opening the Scriptures to men and women, and calling them to repentance?

To our canvassers, to all to whom God has given talents that they might cooperate with him, I would say: Pray, O pray for a deeper experience. Go forth with your hearts softened and subdued by a study of the precious truths which God has given us for this time. Drink freely of the water of salvation, that it may be in your hearts as a living spring, flowing forth to refresh souls ready to perish. God will then give wisdom to enable you to impart aright. He will make you channels of communicating his blessings. He will help you to reveal his attributes by imparting to others the wisdom and understanding which he has imparted to you.

May the Lord open your minds to comprehend this subject in its length and breadth, and may you realize your duty to represent the character of Christ by your patient courage and steadfast integrity. If you will take with you into the canvassing field principles of righteousness, you will be respected, and many will believe the truth that you advocate, because your daily life will be as a bright light which gives light to all that are in the house. Even your enemies, as much as they may war against your doctrines, will respect you; and your simple words will have a power that will carry conviction to hearts.

Mrs. E. G. White

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