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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Ms 113, 1901

    Canvassers Needed


    November 4, 1901

    Portions of this manuscript are published in CM 7, 14-15, 23-24, 90, 132, 139; CD 402; 4MR 129; 7MR 377. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    Thousands of books containing the precious light of present truth are lying on the shelves of our publishing houses. These should be circulated. Canvassers are needed who will enter our large cities with these books. As they go from house to house, they will find souls who are hungry for the bread of life, to whom they can speak words in season. Canvassers are needed who feel a burden for souls. You may say, “I am not a minister. I cannot preach to the people.” No; you may not be able to preach, but you can minister, you can ask those you meet if they love the Lord Jesus. You can be an evangelist. You can be God’s helping hand, working as did the disciples when Christ sent them forth. Young men, young women, you are called by the Master to take up His work. There is a famine in the land for the pure gospel.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 1

    Canvassers should never forget that they are to make earnest efforts to do medical missionary work. The publications treating on health reform are now very much needed by the world. Intemperance is striving for the mastery. Self-indulgence is increasing. In his work the canvasser can do much to show those whom he visits the value of healthful living. Instead of staying at a hotel, he should if possible obtain lodging with a private family. As he sits at the meal table with the family, let him practice the instruction given in the health works he is selling. If he has opportunity, let him speak of the value of health reform.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 2

    If in word and action he is courteous, he will find that his words leave an impression for good.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 3

    Our health literature is the helping hand of the gospel, opening the way for the truth to enter and save many souls. I know of nothing which so quickly unlocks hearts as this literature, which, when read and practiced, leads souls to the searching of the Bible for a better understanding of the truth.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 4

    Canvassers should bring the health publications to the notice of those they visit, telling them how useful they are in the treatment of disease. Tell them that such a journal, if its instruction is studied and practiced, will bring health to the family.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 5

    The sale of health journals and books in no way hinders the sale of the publications dealing with other phases of the third angel’s message. All are to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus to come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 6

    Our own people should read and study the health books. They will then know what to do in case of sickness. They should subscribe for the Good Health, or some other of our health journals, and should study and practice the instruction it contains. And more than this, they should make earnest efforts to circulate it among their neighbors.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 7

    The temperance question is to receive decided support from God’s people. Every Sabbath-keeper should utter a note of warning against intemperance. The canvasser should have a practical knowledge of how to treat disease. As he goes from place to place, he enters family after family where there is sickness. If he is acquainted with disease and its cause, he can impart a knowledge that will greatly relieve the suffering ones.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 8

    Tell the people that you have for sale books which give much valuable instruction regarding sickness and disease and how to avoid them, and that a study of this instruction saves much suffering and saves also much of the money spent in paying doctor's bills. Tell them that in these books is advice which they cannot possibly obtain from their physician during the short visits he makes.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 9

    In this age of the world it is important for every family to understand the science of life. The wonderful machinery of the human body is supplied by the Lord and is kept in motion by Him. It is the human agent’s part to keep this machinery in a state of purity and soundness. To do this, an intelligent knowledge of every part is required. It is a great responsibility to care properly for all the God-given faculties, to keep the entire system in as complete order as possible.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 10

    God is dishonored when man becomes the slave of lust, and, for the gratification of appetite and passion, misuses and abuses the Lord’s beautiful machinery, so that it does its work in a feeble, difficult way. Brain, bone, and muscle testify to the neglect.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 11

    Let our ministers and canvassers step under the banner of strict temperance. Never be ashamed to say, “No, thank you; I do not eat meat. I have conscientious scruples against eating the flesh of dead animals.” If tea is offered, refuse it, giving your reason for so doing. Explain that it is harmful, and though stimulating for a time, the stimulus soon wears off, and a corresponding depression is felt. Intoxicating drink, tobacco, meat, tea, and coffee injure the digestive organs and weaken the brain power. Their use brings disease, disqualifying the user for the work God expects him to do.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 12

    The canvassing work is a work of great responsibility, meaning much to the men and women who engage in it. We are living in a time when there is a great work to be done, and what better opportunity can we have to give the call to the supper Christ has prepared? Those who at this time take up the canvassing work with earnestness and consecration will be greatly blessed. You have no time to lose. Give yourselves willingly and unselfishly to the doing of this work. Remember that it is evangelistic in its nature, and that it helps to give a warning which is greatly needed.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 13

    Let the canvasser keep his Bible near him for reference, and when an opportunity presents itself to speak of the Sabbath truth, let him pray for grace, that he may speak wisely. Remember that God wants those for whom you are working to be saved. Remember that it is a life-and-death question with them; therefore keep your heart under the influence of the Spirit of God. Make every effort in your power to let the light shine forth in good works. As you walk and work with God, ministering angels are beside you, giving you access to hearts.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 14

    When staying with a family, study how you can perform little acts of helpful service. If there is someone sick in the family, seek to be of assistance. Put into practice your knowledge of how to give treatment. And more than this, pray for the sick. Do not make a long prayer. Take the case right to the great Physician. He will help.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 15

    What a wide field for missionary effort the faithful, consecrated canvasser has before him! What blessings he will receive in the diligent performance of this work! Keep the eye single to the glory of God. In your discharge of duty never be rude. Into every family you visit, carry the fragrance of Christian politeness. Be courteous. Be pleasant. Educate yourself to speak distinctly and impressively. Place yourself in the school of the great Teacher. He will surely help you if you depend on Him for strength. As you go from house to house, never fail to manifest Christian politeness. Hide yourself in Christ, and He will work with you.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 16

    The Lord calls for workers to enter the ministry, and I know of no better way for a young man to obtain a fitness for the work of the ministry than by gaining an experience in the canvassing field.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 17

    When church members realize the importance of the circulation of our literature, they will devote more time to this work. Papers, tracts, and books will be placed in the homes of the people, to preach the gospel in their several lines. The temperance work will be carried forward. The church must give her attention to the canvassing work. This is one way in which she is to shine in the world. Then will she go forth “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” [Song of Solomon 6:10.]16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 18

    Lessons of great importance may be learned from the history of Daniel and his companions. These youth were bound together in the sacred bonds of Christian fellowship. Daniel’s name is placed first on the record because he exerted a strong influence over the other three who looked upon him as a leader. Had he failed to take a firm stand for the right, had he pleased and indulged self, his companions also would have failed. They would not have been handed down to us as young men signally honored by the God of heaven.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 19

    We appeal to the youth of today to serve the Lord. His requirements are too sacred to be tampered with. Are you choosing your own will, choosing to gratify selfish desires and inclinations, so refusing to live out the high and holy principles of the truth? Are you among those who would sacrifice conscience to save the life?16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 20

    In the name of the Lord I ask you to conquer all unlawful appetites and passions. Purify the soul by a belief of the truth. From the hour of birth you are under constant obligations to God. The Lord asks you to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony. By striving to do this you show that you realize your obligations to Him and desire to do His will.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 21

    Look to God for your strength. Pray to Him in faith. Sing His praise. Be faithful in little things. It was Daniel’s faithfulness in little things that enabled him to see the necessity of faithfulness in larger responsibilities. This faithfulness gave completeness to his whole life.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 22

    That which is worth doing at all is worth doing well. Be true to principle in the small things of life. Then you will not hesitate when the larger test of sacrifice is presented, even though life is involved. Bring your work as near as possible to perfection. He who is our example in all things says, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” [Luke 16:10.]16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 23

    On one occasion when Christ was at the home of Lazarus, Mary sat at His feet drinking in His precious words of instruction. Martha was busy preparing the meal, and she wanted Mary’s help. “Lord,” she said, “dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; but one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” [Luke 10:40-42.]16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 24

    After feeding the five thousand, Christ said to the disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” [John 6:12.]16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 25

    Hanging in agony on the cross, bearing the sins of a guilty world upon His divine soul, the Saviour thought of His weeping mother, and committed her to the care of John, bidding him take His place as her son.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 26

    Let all take heed to these lessons, learning from them that nothing is too small to be done carefully. The Lord desires His children to be faithful in little things. Then they will give due attention to weightier matters.16LtMs, Ms 113, 1901, par. 27

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