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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Ms 18, 1901

    Canvassing for Christ’s Object Lessons


    February 27, 1901

    Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 306; UL 72; 8MR 263.

    I am very much pleased with the way in which Christ’s Object Lessons is being handled. It gives me great satisfaction to see the earnest efforts which are being made to free our schools from debt. This is according to the Lord’s plan. Much is being accomplished in this effort. Those engaged in it are learning how to push the canvassing work. I read the reports regarding this effort with great joy, because I know that in the experience the workers are gaining, they are receiving an education in canvassing. Those who will do their best as the Lord’s helping hand to circulate Christ’s Object Lessons will obtain an experience which will enable them to handle our larger books, which the people need so much. Many are gaining an experience which will be of great value to them.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 1

    And at the same time, the best reading matter is being placed in the hands of a large number who, if this effort had not been made, would never have seen Christ’s Object Lessons. I know these will be blessed in reading the book.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 2

    In the work of canvassing for Christ’s Object Lessons, as field after field is entered by those who are selling the book, new methods and new plans will spring from new circumstances. New thoughts will come with the new workers who give themselves to the work. Souls will be converted, and money will come in. The workers find waste places of the Lord’s vineyard lying beside fields that have been worked. Every field shows new places to win for the Lord. All that is done shows how much more still remains to be done.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 3

    The Lord will give favor and blessing and success to those who will handle this book. He will inspire them with new thoughts, and will open their eyes to see what to do next. The Lord calls for young men and young women to enter His service. The youth are receptive, fresh, ardent, hopeful. When once they have tasted the spirit of self-sacrifice, they will not be satisfied unless they are learning constantly of the great Teacher. The Lord will open ways before those who will engage in His service. They will give the facilities, and He will work with them, giving them power and success.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 4

    As we work in connection with the great Teacher, our experience improves. The faculties of the mind are enlarged. The conscience is under divine guidance. Christ takes the entire being under His control. We are safe only as we allow Him to do this; for there is another close by, watching for an opportunity to come in and begin his destructive, ensnaring work. Then, as we enter the service of God, let Him take possession of the whole being, body, soul, and spirit. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.]16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 5

    No one can be truly united to Christ, practicing His lessons, submitting to His yoke of restraint, without realizing that which he can never express in words. New, rich thoughts come to him. Light is given to the intellect, determination to the will, tenderness to the conscience, purity to the imagination. In the life there is seen that which no words can express—true, faithful, loving devotion of heart, mind, soul, and strength to the service of the Master.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 6

    From the success of the effort made to sell Christ’s Object Lessons, we see that we might just as well obey the requirements of God today as to wait for what we think would be a more favorable opportunity. First, we are to make an unreserved surrender to God. Then we are to pray without ceasing, and we are always to live our prayers. We are to be born of faith, and thus we are to live the spiritual life. Faith will greatly increase by exercise. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It reaches out to grasp the hand of Christ, knowing that He will hold more firmly than it is possible for the human hand to hold, and that He will never let go. While the human agent is willing to be led, Christ will lead him.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 7

    Will those who are canvassing for Christ’s Object Lessons learn the lessons taught in the book for which they are working? Remember that you have been given a most precious opportunity to do good to souls by the faithful exercise of your God-given capabilities. Learn of Christ. Have faith in His power to help and save you. Faith is the very life-blood of the soul. Its presence gives warmth, health, consistency, and sound judgment. Its vitality and vigor exert a powerful though unconscious influence. The life of Christ in the soul is as a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life. It leads to a constant cultivation of the heavenly graces and to a kindly submission in all things to the Lord. It enables us to reveal that Christ is abiding in the soul.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 8

    I speak to the workers, young and old, who are handling our books, and especially to those who are canvassing for the book which is now doing its errand of mercy. Exemplify in the life the lessons given by Christ in His Sermon on the Mount. This will have a more lasting influence and will make a deeper impression upon minds than the sermons given from the pulpit. You may not be able to speak eloquently to the souls you desire to help, but if you speak modestly, hiding self in Christ, your words will be dictated by the Holy Spirit, and Christ, with whom you are co-operating, will make an impression on human hearts.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 9

    Exercise that faith which works by love and sanctifies the soul. Then you will certainly advance in the knowledge of God and in the knowledge of the best way in which to reach the people. Let all who possibly can join the workers who are already selling Christ’s Object Lessons. You will have many opportunities to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. As you help and comfort those who are suffering from sickness, you will learn better than you have ever done before how to approach God in and through the faith of Christ.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 10

    The handling of the book placed in your hands by the Lord is to be your educator. The lamp is in your hand. Let its light shine forth brightly. Never let your interest flag. Let it rather increase, until every institution is free from the curse of debt. And even then do not give up the work. Keep at it; for a fund should be raised to send to school those who are desirous to fit themselves for service in the Lord’s work, but are unable to pay their own way. Let there be money in hand to be used for this purpose.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 11

    It is the Lord’s design that Christ’s Object Lessons, with its precious instruction, shall unify the believers. There is a great work before us, and we hope and pray that it will be taken up in all countries. We greatly desire that the publishing house in Australia shall make liberal terms in the publication of Christ’s Object Lessons, and that there will be no tardiness in the work of circulating this book. Let our people ever bear in mind that the Lord has designated Christ’s Object Lessons as a book which is to prove a great blessing to our institutions. The Echo Office, if it co-operates with God, will be as greatly blessed as our institutions in America. But if our people in Australia hold back from acting their part in this matter, they will deprive themselves of the rich blessings which the Lord will give them if they will yoke up with Him.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 12

    I am waiting and longing to hear what our people in Australia will do in the work of freeing the school from debt by the sale of the book which the Lord has provided for this purpose. The Echo Office, of course, will take up the work nobly, and act its part. The Lord has greatly blessed this institution, and it should present to Him a thank offering by making no stinted donation to help in the work of freeing the school from debt.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 13

    Move out in this work, my brethren in Australia. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Have we not proved this in the past as we have moved out in faith to produce the things now seen. God has said that the school in New South Wales should be an object lesson to our people in all other parts of the world. Discouraging, faithless words regarding the poverty of the location which we had chosen for our school and the barrenness of the land, echoed from some in Australia to our brethren in America and Africa; yet we went straight ahead. The Lord said, “They have borne false witness against the land. But be not intimidated. Have faith in Me. Go forward in faith. I can set a table in the wilderness.”16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 14

    As this word, spoken to us in the darkest hour and under the most discouraging circumstances, has been obeyed in faith, have we not seen results? Things unseen, except by the eye of faith, have become things seen. As we have walked and worked by faith, God has indeed fulfilled every word He has spoken. The evidence we have of the fulfilment of His word should check every word of unbelief. It is a sin to doubt, and we do not believe that our brethren in Australia will be guilty of such wickedness.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 15

    Do not, by a lack of faith, let the enemy obtain the victory. The Lord has done much for you all through your borders. Come up to His help. Lift up your heads and look on the fields which are white for the harvest. Remember that the Lord has honored the faith of every one who has worked with unquestioning belief in the words, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1.] Shall not our people in Australia have faith in God? Did not faith bring victory to us who labored so hard under difficulties, our work made harder by the false reports sent from Australia to Europe, Africa, and America, reports which weakened those who as God’s helping hand should have sustained us? Those who have been connected with us in the work in Australia should praise God that His word has been verified beyond all their conception of the unseen. The reality is before them. But the vision, in its height and depth and breadth, is not yet in substance standing out before us. The knowledge, wisdom, grace, and joy of the Lord are to be greatly enlarged. Great events may be expected, and how these events will affect the commandment-keeping people of God will depend upon their sincere, implicit faith in God.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 16

    Faith is not only to look forward to things unseen; it is to be confirmed by looking at past experience, at tangible results, the verification of God’s word. I would say to our people in Australia, Thank God that you can see the fulfilment of His word. Would it not be a great sin for any one now to begin to talk unbelief? Let the printing press groan under its burden of producing the book which the Lord has designated as His means of freeing our schools and institutions from debt. Let our people all through Australia have faith in God and move forward. Your faith needs to be strengthened. Brethren and sisters, pray, Lord, increase my faith. Faith quickens the senses to work diligently to produce results. Faith elevates and ennobles the powers of the soul, enabling it to lay hold upon the unseen.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 17

    I call upon our people to enter earnestly and interestedly upon the work of freeing the school from debt. Do all you possibly can to make the sale of Christ’s Object Lessons a success. God will bless you in this work. If you will restrain words of unbelief, and by hopeful words and prompt movements strengthen your own faith and the faith of others, your vision will grow clearer. The pure atmosphere of heaven will surround your souls.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 18

    Notwithstanding the unbelief of some, God has given the work in Australia prosperity far beyond the expectation. Let none now make the Lord ashamed of them because of their unbelief. Sloth and despondency will accomplish nothing. Entanglements in secular business are sometimes permitted by God to stir the sluggish faculties to more than common action, that he may honor faith by the bestowal of rich blessings. This is a means of advancing His work. But those who are without faith will never learn. By unbelief they dishonor their Lord. Unless they are converted, they will make shipwreck of their faith. They stand in the way of advancement, and this the Lord will not tolerate. He desires His people, even in the darkest shadow, to trust in Him. Satan is permitted to throw his shadow across their pathway, that their dormant faith may be aroused to pierce the cloud and find light and courage and life beyond. Those who do not do this choose darkness instead of light. Constantly they weave unbelief into the web. They do nothing to recommend the religion of Christ, for they have no light or peace or joy in the Lord. Their spiritual light is dim, and life grows darker and darker. They talk darkness. They pour out the flood of their unbelief, and chill themselves to death. They give up the faith, and then blame others for their ruin. But in the books of heaven it is written, “Thou hast destroyed thyself.” [Hosea 13:9.]16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 19

    Can we wonder that they are swept away by temptation, that like some of the Saviour’s followers, they become offended at the plain words of truth, and turn away from Christ, to walk no more with Him?16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 20

    Let it not be thus with any of us. Looking unto Jesus, not only as our Example, but as the Author and Finisher of our faith, let us go forward, having confidence that He will supply us with all the strength that is needed for every duty.16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 21

    Eternal life is presented to us. Let us do all in our power to gain it. To us has been given the privilege of co-operating with Jesus in His work of saving lost souls. Those who do this work with self-denial and self-sacrifice are the elect of God. From Him they will one day receive the benediction, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:21.]16LtMs, Ms 18, 1901, par. 22

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