Ellen G. White Writings

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The Watchman

September 5, 1905

To my Brethren and Sisters in the Southern Union Conference

Mrs. E. G. White

At this time our means and our influence are called for to sustain the work that our brethren in Nashville are carrying forward. Nashville has been chosen as a center for the work of the South. The Lord has gone before the laborers in this city and has given them favor with the people. In his providence the publishing work has been established there, and a beginning has been made in sanitarium work. For over a year Elder Haskell and his wife, with faithful associates, have conducted a city mission and Bible training school, with increasing success. And just recently the Lord in his providence has given our brethren there a commodious meeting-house and a beautiful tract of land for sanitarium purposes. The way has also at last opened for carrying on tent-meetings in the city, and the beginning of a series of public meetings has brought joy to the hearts of our workers.

All of these advance movements require means. The Lord has signified that our brethren and sisters in the North and the South, the East and the West, shall with willing liberality prepare the way before our Nashville brethren. The men of long experience who have been placed in this important center are to be given an opportunity to bring the light of present truth to the attention of thousands.

But the help that God sends his servants is sent most freely when his people faithfully and self-sacrificingly act their part in his service. We are to do our best, and then lay our heart's desires before the great Burden-bearer, saying, “Lord, we can do no more. Grant us the help that we so much need in order to advance thy work.” It is then that God moves upon the hearts of his servants in other places to send men and means for the advancement of his work.

In a special sense does the responsibility of supporting the Nashville work rest upon the members of our churches throughout the Southern States. My dear brethren and sisters, you can do much more than you have done to help. I ask you to study diligently the appeals that are being published in the Review and Herald and the Southern Watchman in behalf of the Southern field, and then rise nobly to the opportunity now presented of establishing the work firmly in Nashville.

Australia as an Example

While I was in Australia the Lord instructed me to appeal to the churches in America for assistance in helping to establish the work in that field across the broad waters of the Pacific. But these appeals did not slacken the efforts of our people in Australasia. Many gave more than they were really able to give. The field was a most needy one and the poverty of the people was great; but in their liberalities the church-members excelled their brethren and sisters in America. A faithful tithe was paid, and the offerings were most liberal. The Lord blessed their efforts, and his cause prospered, to the glory of his name.

Evangelistic Work Needed

The evangelistic work that is now being carried forward in Nashville is a sample of the work that must be done in many other Southern centers. Nothing will stir the South like taking hold of the work in new places. The cities are to be entered. Let workers press into the unwarned cities and proclaim the truth of Christ's soon coming. In every place where the work is begun the standard of truth is to be lifted higher and still higher. The fields in the South need faithful, persevering workers, not merely preachers, but those who can minister.

The Need of Diligence

Our church-members in the South need to arouse and work as never before for God, studying his word and praying earnestly for guidance. As they do this, God will give them light. My brethren and sisters, you have a voice, you have reason, you have capabilities in a greater or less degree; and the Lord calls upon you to work for those in darkness. Visit your neighbors and show an interest in the salvation of their souls. Arouse every spiritual energy to action. Tell those whom you visit that the end of all things is at hand. The Lord Jesus will open the door of their hearts and will make upon their minds lasting impressions.

Keep up the work. Be laborers together with God. Go forth two and two into the harvest field. Let not church-members be so busy about their own affairs that they have no time to work for the Lord. Let not our sisters spend precious hours adorning their own and their children's clothing. How much more pleasing to God it would be if that time were spent in opening the word of God to those in darkness.

Christ our Pattern

My sisters, Christ is your pattern. He could have come to our world clothed in his royal robes, but he came in poverty and humiliation. Christians will never try to make a display in dress. “If any man will come after me,” the Saviour said, “let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me: so shall he be my disciple.” Self-indulgence and conformity to the world are always at variance with the principles of the gospel of Christ. Save your pennies and your dimes, and you will have something to give to the Lord.

“Whose adorning,” Peter writes, “let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

Church-members, let the light shine forth. Let your voices be heard in humble prayer, in witness against the amusements of the world, and in the proclamation of the truth for this time. Your voice, your influence, your time—all these are gifts from God to be used in winning souls to Christ.

In your work you may find some who are sick. Do what you can to relieve them. As you minister to their physical needs, and at the same time break to them the bread of life, your efforts in their behalf will make more impression upon them than many ordinary sermons would. In your ministry for these sin-sick souls apply the remedy found in the Bible. When opportunity offers, describe the willingness of Christ to hear the prayers offered to him in sincerity and faith. It may be that your effort will gain a soul for Christ.

Strive to arouse men and women from their spiritual insensibility. Tell them how you found the Lord Jesus, and how blessed you have been ever since you gained an experience in his service. Tell them what blessing comes to you as you sit at the feet of Jesus and learn precious lessons from his word. Tell them of the gladness and joy that there is in the Christian faith. Your warm, fervent words will convince them that you have found the pearl of great price. Let your cheerful, encouraging words show that you have certainly found the higher way. This is genuine missionary work, and as it is done, many will awake as from a dream.

Our work has been outlined. Over and over again we are to repeat the words of Christ: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” This commission is never to lose its force upon the minds of the believing people of God. Into the darkness of sin the light of truth is to shine forth, that the darkness may be expelled. Those who reflect light will receive more light to reflect. New power will be brought into the church.

God's people are to be light-bearers to those in darkness. Let companies of Christian workers unite to help the needy and to proclaim the truth for this time. As they labor with self-sacrifice for the sake of others, denying themselves of that in which hitherto they have indulged, but which they have not really needed, they are God's helping hand.

The Lord calls upon his people to arouse out of sleep. The end of all things is at hand. When those who know the truth will be laborers together with God, the fruits of righteousness will appear. By the revelation of the love of God in missionary efforts, many will be awakened to see the sinfulness of their own course of action. They will see that in the past their selfishness has disqualified them to be laborers together with God. The exhibition of the love of God as seen in unselfish ministry to others will be the means of leading many souls to believe the word of God just as it reads.

God desires to refresh his people by the gift of the Holy Spirit, baptizing them anew in his love. There is no need for a dearth of the Holy Spirit in the church. After Christ's ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the waiting, praying, believing disciples with a fulness and power that reached every heart. In the future the earth is to be lightened with the glory of God. A divine influence is to go forth to the world from those who are sanctified through the truth. The earth is to be encircled with an atmosphere of grace. The Holy Spirit is to work on human hearts, taking the things of God and showing them unto men.

Christ came to this earth, his divinity clothed with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, and divinity lay hold upon the throne of God. In our behalf he became subject to all the temptations of Satan, and placed himself in the power of those who clamored for his life and crucified him as a malefactor. His death on the cross was an exhibition of the unselfishness of God. Infinite benevolence poured out all heaven's treasures in this one gift to rescue man from Satan's power. Through the revelation of the love of God on the cross of Calvary the real character of the work of Satan and his agencies was demonstrated. It was shown what power would have ruled the world had not God interposed in our behalf and, by the sacrifice of his only begotten Son, rescued human beings from the power of the enemy.

This great sacrifice was made to save the world. The message of salvation is not be proclaimed in a few places only. Throughout the earth it is to be sounded forth. Those who know not the gospel are in the darkness of unbelief. They know not God. Why is the church so indolent, so selfish, so weak? Why do the members not make earnest efforts to proclaim the message of mercy, that others may know the joy of salvation through Christ?

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