Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

June 2, 1903

Directions for Work

Mrs. E. G. White

Men and women are not to be spiritually dwarfed by a connection with the church, but strengthened, elevated, ennobled, prepared for the most sacred work ever committed to mortals. It is the Lord's purpose to have a well-trained army, ready to be called into action at a moment's notice. This army will be made up of well-disciplined men and women who have placed themselves under influences that have prepared them for service.

God's workers are to watch for souls as they that must give an account, and they need the abiding presence of Christ in their hearts, in order that they may win sinners to him. They must themselves have surrendered all to God, that they may tell those for whom they labor the need and meaning of unreserved surrender. They must remember that they are laborers together with God, and must guard against dilatory uncertain movements. Satan watches untiringly for opportunities to gain control of those whom they are seeking to win to Christ. Only through ceaseless vigilance can the worker for Jesus beat back the enemy. Only in the strength of the Redeemer can he lead the tempted one to the cross. It is not learning nor eloquence that will accomplish this, but the presentation of the truth of God, spoken in simplicity and with the power of the Spirit.

There is only one power that can turn the sinner from sin to holiness,—the power of Christ. Our Redeemer is the only one who can take away sin. He alone can forgive sin. He alone can make men steadfast, and keep them so.

The truth is not merely to be spoken by those who work for Christ; it is to be lived. People are watching and weighing those who claim to believe the special truths for this time. They are watching to see wherein their life represents Christ. By humbly and earnestly engaging in the work of doing good to all, God's people will exert an influence that will tell on all with whom they are brought in contact. If those who know the truth will take hold of this work as opportunities are presented, day by day doing deeds of love and kindness in the neighborhood where they live, Christ will be revealed in their lives. Those with whom they associate will see that they have been with Jesus, and have learned of him. The gospel will be proclaimed with living power. It will be seen to be a reality, not the result of imagination or enthusiasm. The lives of such Christians will have more power to convict and convert sinners than sermons, professions, or creeds.

Those who put their hand to the work of God must depend on the blessing and wisdom that come from above. It is the Holy Spirit that makes powerful the presentation of the truth, and changes the temper and habits of man. He who submits to its working is changed from a sinner into a child of God. “The Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more”

He who calls men to repentance must commune with God in prayer. He must cling to the Mighty One, saying, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” Give me power to win souls to Christ. There is not one tithe of the pleading with God that there will be when Christ breathes on us, and says, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Be assured, my brethren and sisters, that God's Spirit will plead for the conversion of souls, with groanings that can not be uttered. Be instant in season and out of season, warning the young, pleading with sinners, your heart filled with the love that led Christ to give his life for the life of the world.

When there comes from the lips of the sinner the cry, “I fear that my sins are too grievous to be forgiven,” point to Jesus, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Lead him to look away from himself to the Saviour, and the victory is won. He sees for himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The Sun of Righteousness sheds his bright beams into his heart. The strong tide of redeeming love pours into the parched and thirsty soul, and the sinner is saved to Christ.

Christ crucified—talk it, pray it, sing it, and it will break and win hearts. Set, formal phrases, the presentation of merely argumentative subjects, is productive of little good. The melting love of God in the hearts of the workers will be recognized by those for whom they labor. Souls are thirsting for the water of life. Do not allow them to go from you empty. Reveal the love of Christ to them. Lead them to Jesus, and he will give them the bread of life and the water of salvation.

In our work we have an ever-present Helper. If we feel our great need, and draw near to God, he will draw near to us, and will use us as channels through which to communicate the vital energy that will rouse souls from careless indifference, and lead them to seek God before it is too late. It is because of a lack of faith that God's people have no more of his power. Earnest, living faith is needed,—faith that will take firm hold of the promises made to the followers of Christ.

How important it is that God's messengers walk worthy of the truth they present! When they do this, when they are men of prayer and faith, obedient to the Lord's commands, the Holy Spirit will work through them, and the people will be willing in the day of his power.

Christ has opened a fountain for the sinful, suffering world, and the voice of divine mercy is heard, Come, all ye thirsting souls; come and drink. You may take the water of life freely. “Let him that heareth say, Come.... And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Let every soul, men as well as women, sound the message. Then the truth for this time will be carried to the waste places of the earth. The word will be fulfilled. “I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys;” and “with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

June 2, 1903

A Call for Canvassers

The canvassing work should no longer be neglected. Many times I have been shown that there should be a more general interest in our canvassing work. The circulation of our literature is one very important means of placing before men and women the light that the Lord has committed to his church to be given to the world. The books sold by our canvassers open to many minds the unsearchable riches of Christ.

In the service of God there is work of many kinds to be performed. In the service of the temple there were hewers of wood, as well as priests of various orders bearing different degrees of responsibility. Our church-members are to arise and shine because their light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon them. Let those who know the truth arouse out of sleep, and make every effort to reach the people where they are. The work of the Lord must no longer be neglected by us, and made secondary to worldly interests. We have no time to be idle or discouraged. The gospel is to be proclaimed to all the world. The publications containing the light of present truth are to go forth to all places. Canvassing campaigns are to be organized for the sale of our literature, that the world may be enlightened as to what is just before us.

Why are we not more wide awake? Each worker may now understand his special work, and receive strength to take hold of it anew. Distinct and peculiar developments of the boundless glory of God will bring tributary offerings of varied kinds to the feet of Jesus. Every new disclosure of the Saviour's love turns the balance for some soul in one direction or the other. The end of all things is at hand. The men of the world are rushing on to their ruin. Their schemes, their confederacies, are many. New devices will continually be brought in to make of no effect the counsel of God. Men are heaping up treasures of gold and silver to be consumed by the fires of the last days.

Canvasser-evangelists are needed, to hunt and fish for souls. The canvassing work should now be earnestly and decidedly taken up. The canvasser whose heart is meek and lowly can accomplish much good. Going out two and two, canvassers can reach a class that can not be reached by our camp-meetings. From family to family they carry the message of truth. Thus they come into close touch with the people, and find many opportunities to speak of the Saviour. Let them sing and pray with those who become interested in the truths they have to give. Let them speak to families the words of Christ. They may expect success; for theirs is the promise, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Canvassers who go forth in the spirit of the Master have the companionship of heavenly beings.

I beg those bearing responsibilities in God's cause to let no commercial enterprises interpose between them and the work of soul-saving. Let no business be allowed to absorb the time and talents of workers who ought to be engaged in preparing a people for the coming of the Lord. The truth is to go forth as a lamp that burneth. Time is short; the enemy will make every effort to magnify in our minds matters of lesser consequence, and to lead us to regard lightly the very work that most needs to be done.

The things of this world are soon to perish. This is not discerned by those who have not been divinely enlightened, who have not kept pace with the work of God. Consecrated men and women must go forth to sound the warning in the highways and the byways. I urge my brethren and sisters not to engage in work that will hinder them from proclaiming the gospel of Christ. You are God's spokesmen. You are to speak the truth in love to perishing souls. “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Christ says. Do not these words plainly outline the work of the canvasser? With Christ in his heart he is to go forth into the highways and byways of life, giving the invitation to the marriage supper. Men of wealth and influence will come, if they are invited. Some will refuse, but thank God, not all.

O that thousands more of our people had a realization of the time in which we are living, and of the work to be done in field service, in house-to-house labor. There are many, many who know not the truth. They need to hear the call to come to Jesus. The sorrowing are to be cheered, the weak strengthened, the mourners comforted. The poor are to have the gospel preached to them.

The Master knows and watches over his workers, in whatever part of his vineyard they are working. He calls upon his church to arouse and become acquainted with the situation. He calls upon those in our institutions to awake and set in operation influences that will advance his kingdom. Let them send forth laborers into the field, and then see that the interest of these laborers does not flag for lack of sympathy and of opportunities for development.

My brethren and sisters, remember that one day you will stand before the Lord of all the earth, to give an account of the deeds done in the body. Then your work will appear as it really is. The vineyard is large, and the Lord is calling for laborers. Do not allow anything to keep you from the work of soul-saving. The canvassing work is a most successful way of saving souls. Will you not try it?

Those in the darkness of error are the purchase of the blood of Christ. They are the fruit of his suffering, and they are to be labored for. Let our canvassers know that it is for the advancement of Christ's kingdom that they are laboring. He will teach them as they go forth to their God-appointed work, to warn the world of a soon-coming judgment. Accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power of prayer, the power of the love of God, the evangelist's work will not, can not, be without fruit. Think of the interest that the Father and the Son have in this work. As the Father loves the Son, so the Son loves those that are his,—those who work as he worked to save perishing souls. None need feel that they are powerless: for Christ declares, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” He has promised that he will give this power to his workers. His power is to become their power. They are to link their souls with God. Christ desires all to enjoy the wealth of his grace, which is beyond all computation. It is limitless, exhaustless. It is ours by eternal covenant, if we will be workers together with God. It is ours if we will unite with him to bring many sons and daughters to God.

Christ's interests are the first and the highest of all interests. He has a property in this world that he wishes secured, saved for his everlasting kingdom. It is for his Father's glory and for his own glory that his messengers shall go forth in his name; for they and he are one. They are to reveal him to the world. His interests are their interests. If they will be co-laborers with him, they will be made heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ to an immortal inheritance.

Ellen G. White.

June 2, 1903

“Christ's Object Lessons”

How this Book should be Handled in the Future

The use which should be made of the book, “Christ's Object Lessons,” in the future, has been made clear to me, and I must write to my brethren in regard to it. Letters have been received from our canvassing agents, in which they say that they think it would be a good plan for “Christ's Object Lessons” to be handled as a regular subscription book, as soon as the Relief of the Schools campaign is finished. They believe that this book would have as ready a sale in the hands of the regular canvassers as any that could be produced.

As my son read me one of these letters, the thought came to me, “Here is an opportunity for me to get out of debt. Is not this the right thing to do?” I told my son that I thought that perhaps it would be best to do as the letter had suggested. Then I sent to heaven the prayer, “Lord, teach me to speak right words.” Quickly the answer came. In an instant the light given me at the first regarding “Christ's Object Lessons” flashed into my mind, and the instruction then given was repeated. I seemed to hear the words, “God signified that this book should be given to our schools, to be to them a continual blessing. Would you exchange his plan for one of human devising? This book is to be treated as a sacred offering made to God; and as his plan regarding it is unselfishly carried out, the result will be wholly satisfactory.”

I immediately told my son that I would not make any change regarding the handling of “Christ's Object Lessons” unless God gave me plain instruction that this should be done. As I told him this, I felt the blessing of God resting upon me.

The plan for the circulation of “Christ's Object Lessons” is not of human devising, but is God's plan. He signified that this book should be a gift to the schools. Thus far it has done its work, and God has set his approval on the self-sacrificing efforts of his people. Shall we mar his plan?—No, no! Until the Lord shall come, and our present system of school work is ended by our entering the higher school, “Christ's Object Lessons” is to stand as a gift to our educational institutions.

The Result of Unselfish Service

In the work for the relief of our schools, the Lord has bestowed on us a gift of great value, and has marked out for us the pathway of blessing. He called upon me to give our schools the manuscript of the book. “Christ's Object Lessons.” He called upon our publishing houses to make liberal gifts of labor in preparing the book for sale. In response to this call, they acted their part nobly. Our people gave generously of their means to raise a material fund, and then went forth willingly to sell the book for the help of the schools.

As a result of this effort far more has been accomplished than at first we dared to expect. Angels of God co-operated with those who went out to circulate the book. Men, women, and children took part in the effort, and labored earnestly and unselfishly. The Lord gave them his approval, and with it his grace and joy and peace. Read in our papers the results of their work. Testimony after testimony has been borne witnessing to the blessing found in selling this book. How good these testimonies are! As we read them, refreshing streams of salvation seem to flow from the very throne of God into our hearts.

I have been shown many praying to God for help as they have gone forth to sell “Christ's Object Lessons.” They have asked the Lord to give them success. Then, as they have succeeded, they have felt that they have received evidence that the Lord has answered their prayers. Thus they have obtained a deeper experience in heavenly things; for they have felt that they were following in the footsteps of Christ.

With many, to go out and sell “Christ's Object Lessons” meant to take up a heavy cross, but they have been rewarded by God's approval. The thought, “We are doing something for the Master,” has filled their hearts with peace and gladness. Church-members who never before had courage to sell books, took hold of this work. Very timidly they began. But they did not turn back; and as they labored on, courage came, and success attended their efforts. Many gained an experience more valuable than gold or silver.

The hearts of God's people have been made light and joyful in him as they have offered him the sweet incense of unselfish service. Many of our churches have been quickened and refreshed as some of their number have engaged in this work.

Our brethren and sisters were just as surely in the service of the Lord when selling this book as they are when bearing testimony for him in a camp-meeting. They received the refreshing grace of God; for they were carrying out his purposes, and he has bestowed on them his commendation. Their minds have been freed from the malaria of selfishness and complaint and discouragement.

By the effort to sell “Christ's Object Lessons” much has been accomplished to bring the precious light of present truth to those in darkness. Thus many have been saved from sin. For every spring of influence touched, for every train of thought set in motion with a sincere desire to glorify God, the Holy Spirit has worked on hearts, bringing wisdom, courage, and strength. Those who have bought the book bear testimony to the blessing they have received in reading it. Many will shine in the kingdom of God whose conversion was the result of the efforts of our brethren and sisters to sell “Christ's Object Lessons.”

The men who have taken a leading part in this enterprise have done a good work. Their labors have brought about most excellent results. They are not to become discouraged, but are to look to God in faith, and go forward, walking humbly before him. Our brethren connected with the school at Berrien Springs should be encouraged to advance as the way may open before them. We are to help them all we can. Christ stands at the helm, and to him is to be ascribed the praise and glory for the work accomplished by “Christ's Object Lessons.” This work bears the stamp of unselfishness, and it will produce good fruit.

Ellen G. White.

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