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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 46, 1903

    Christ’s Object Lessons


    May 15, 1903 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in RH 06/02/1903. +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.

    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 saying 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.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 1

    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 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 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.”18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 2

    I immediately told my son that I would not make any change regarding the handling of 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.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 3

    The plan for the circulation of Christ’s Object Lessons is not of human devising, but it 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!18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 4

    A Perpetual Gift

    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 education institutions. Several reasons why this book should continue to be handled as it has been have been presented to me. In many places small schools are to be established, and the building up of these schools is one purpose for which the proceeds from the sale of Christ’s Object Lessons are to be used.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 5

    Another purpose is for the education of workers for the Master’s service. Part of the proceeds from the sale of this book should be devoted to helping worthy young men and young women to obtain an education that will fit them to be missionaries for the Lord. There are among us many young men and women of precious talents who should be in school, but because they have no means of paying the expense of tuition are unable to attend. These should be given the privilege of attending school. The expense of their tuition should be met from a fund raised by the sale of Object Lessons.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 6

    In the past I have not dwelt much upon this point, but the time has come for it to be considered, and I wish to state it so plainly that there will be no possibility for a misunderstanding. Worthy young men and women who desire to attend school but who are without means are to be helped. They may be sent to school, and their expenses may be paid by their friends, their churches, or their conferences from the income received from the sale of Object Lessons. Let our leading brethren take hold of this matter. God will bless His people in the work of helping the youth to obtain an education that will fit them to enter His service as Christian workers.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 7

    If the students will do their part faithfully, seeking with earnest endeavor to advance, and to help others, they will gain knowledge that will fit them to serve the Master acceptably. They will be producers as well as consumers.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 8

    There will be in our schools students who are apparently dull, who see things slowly. Yet many of these students, when once they comprehend a subject will hold fast that which they have gained. They may be slow and unpromising, but if they will follow closely in the footsteps of Christ, they will become most successful workers in the cause of God.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 9

    Progression, the Law of Heaven

    Progression, not stagnation, is the law of heaven. Progression is the law of every faculty of mind and body. The things of nature obey this law. There is seen first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. In the spiritual life, as in the physical life, there is to be growth. Step by step we are to advance, ever receiving and imparting, ever gaining a more complete knowledge of Christ, daily approaching more nearly and measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 10

    The Christian is first a babe in Christ. Then he becomes a child. Constantly he is to make an advancement proportionate to the opportunities and privileges granted him. Ever he is to remember that he is not his own, that he has been bought with a price, and that he must make the best use possible of the talents entrusted to him. Even in the infancy of his spiritual understanding the student is to do his best, making steady advancement toward the higher, holier life. He is to realize that Christ is co-operating with him. He is to know that he is a laborer together with God. He is to notice the way in which God works, and then strive to attain to the possibilities held out before him, saying, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” [Philippians 4:13.] He is never to become self-inflated, but is to “count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord.” [Philippians 3:8.] He is to accept for the companionship of the Master-worker who will plan and devise for him. As he walks in the Saviour’s companionship, his faith will increase. Over and over again he is to repeat the words, “Ye are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.]18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 11

    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.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 12

    As a result of this effort far more has been accomplished than at first we dared 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 seemed to flow from the very throne of God into our hearts.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 13

    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.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 14

    With many, to go out and sell 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.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 15

    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.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 16

    Our brethren were just as surely in the service of the Lord when selling this book as they were when bearing testimony for the Lord in a camp-meeting. They received the refreshing grace of God; for they were carrying out His purpose, and He has bestowed upon them His commendation. Their minds have been freed from the malaria of unselfishness and complaint and discouragement.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 17

    By the effort to sell 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 Object Lessons.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 18

    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 Object Lessons! This work bears the stamp of unselfishness, and it will produce good fruit.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 19

    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.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 20

    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 various 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.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 21

    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 development 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; for 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.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 22

    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 and humble can accomplish much good. Going out two and two, canvassers can reach a class that cannot 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.” [Matthew 28:20.] Canvassers who go forth in the spirit of the Master have the companionship of heavenly beings.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 23

    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 enterprises 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 lead us to regard lightly the very work that needs most to be done.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 24

    The things of this world are soon to parish. 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. [Luke 14:23.] Do not these words plainly outline the work of the canvasser? With Christ in his heart he is to go out into the highways and byways of life, giving the invitation to the marriage supper. Men of wealth and influence will come in if they are invited. Some will refuse, but thank God, not all.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 25

    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.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 26

    The Master knows and watches over His workers in whatever part of His vineyard they are laboring. 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.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 27

    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?18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 28

    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, cannot 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.” [Matthew 28:18.] 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.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 29

    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 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.18LtMs, Ms 46, 1903, par. 30

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