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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909) - Contents
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    Ms 99, 1909

    Extracts/The Work of the Pioneers



    This manuscript is a compilation from earlier published and unpublished sources.

    A compilation from the writings of Mrs. E. G. White.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 1

    From Lt 227, 1903 — (Oct. 9, 1903):24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 2

    The old experienced teachers who have been in the work from the beginning are especially fitted to carry the work forward from point to point. But they cannot do this alone. They must have helpers. The Lord would have His workers unite their efforts, as the workmen do in the building of a house.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 3

    From Lt 21, 1903 — (Jan. 26, 1903):24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 4

    My brethren, you did not go to Australia to supersede the workers already there, but to be their companions in labor. These workers have done pioneer work, preparing the field, and this work has called for much self-sacrifice. They have given themselves without reserve to the Lord’s service. They have united with one another and with God; and He has blessed their faithful efforts. You who have entered into other men’s labors are to be very modest and very kind in your opinion of those who have prepared the way before you. Be courteous to them. Show them all the kindness that you would have them show to you. They are God’s husbandry; God’s building. You who have but lately come to the field are not to set yourselves up as judges of their work. You are all to be laborers together with God. Not one vestige of selfishness or self-exaltation is to be brought into your work. ...24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 5

    I have been instructed to speak words of encouragement to the men who have been fighting the battles that must be fought by the pioneer worker. There were times when the work went very hard, when it was difficult to obtain means, and when, in response to the call, “Add new territory to the Lord’s kingdom,” these workers sacrificed their earnings. The Lord has greatly blessed their faithful efforts and has given them a precious experience.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 6

    From Ms 125, 1903 (Published in Review Nos. 44 & 46, 1903):24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 7

    When a crisis comes, there is need of men of deep experience in the things of God, men who can carry the work forward with tact and forethought and skill. ...24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 8

    At this time we need men who are as true as steel to principle. We need the help of every one who has had an experience in the giving of the first and second angels’ messages. ...24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 9

    The Value of the Experience of Pioneer Workers24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 10

    God never leaves the world without men who can discern between good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness. God has men whom He has appointed to stand in the forefront of the battle in times of emergency. In a crisis, He will raise up men as He did in ancient times. Young men will be bidden to link up with the aged standard-bearers, that they may be strengthened and taught by the experience of these faithful ones who have passed through so many conflicts, and to whom, through the testimonies of His Spirit, God has so often spoken, pointing out the right way and condemning the wrong way. When perils arise, which try the faith of God’s people, these pioneer workers are to recount the experiences of the past, when just such crises came, when the truth was questioned, when strange sentiments, proceeding not from God, were brought in.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 11

    The experience of these aged workers is needed now; for Satan is watching every opportunity to make of no account the old waymarks—the monuments that have been raised up along the way. We need the experience of the men who through evil report as well as through good report have been steadfast to the truth; men who have not built their house upon the sand, but upon the solid rock. ...24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 12

    The Lord has self-denying men in the ministry who have been abundant in labor and in self-sacrifice. Let justice be done to those who have borne the burden in the heat of the day. They have grown old in the service of God. They are His men of opportunity, men who will deal justly, love mercy, and who will help where help is needed.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 13

    These men are to be appreciated. They led out in the first of the conflict, when the truth was yet to be established. They carried burdens when there were few to share the burdens. Under all circumstances they were faithful to principle. For the sake of the truth they practiced constant self-denial, and their brethren should deal with them considerately, kindly, generously. The truth for which they have sacrificed everything will bear away the victory. They have labored earnestly for the advancement of the kingdom which is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; and they are now to be encouraged and sustained.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 14

    From Ms 135, 1902:24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 15

    The third angel’s message increases in importance as we near the close of this earth’s history. Since the beginning of the proclamation of the first angel’s message, many believers have fallen asleep in Jesus. Faithful standard-bearers have laid off their armor. But the work advances. Fresh workers are brought in as those who fall are laid away to rest until the coming of the Lord.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 16

    From Ms 82, 1899:24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 17

    Aged workers are to bear as did John a living testimony of real experience. And when these faithful workers are laid to rest with the words, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord” [Revelation 14:13], there should be found in our schools men and women who can take the standard and raise it in new places.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 18

    The experienced workers, who have in the past anticipated the wants of the cause, do a noble work when in the place of carrying all the burdens themselves they lay them upon the shoulders of younger men and women and educate them as Elijah educated Elisha. David offered to God a tribute of gratitude because of the divine teaching and guidance he had received. “O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth,” he declared. [Psalm 71:17.] Those who in the message have borne the burden and heat of the day are to remember that the same Lord who taught them in their youth, inviting them, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me” [Matthew 11:29], and giving them the light of truth, is just as willing to teach young men and women today as He was to teach them.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 19

    It is wisdom for the men who have borne heavy loads to come apart and rest awhile. These faithful workers should be appreciated as educators. They should be relieved of every taxing load. The Lord Himself will co-operate with them in their efforts to educate. They should leave the wrestling to those who are younger; the future work must be done by strong men and women. The work is under the control of the Author and Finisher of our faith. He can and will give fitness to men of opportunity. He will raise up those who can fight His battles. He never leaves His work to chance. His work is a great and solemn work, and it is to go forward. While the aged standard-bearers are in the field, let those who have been benefited by their labors care for and respect them. Do not load them down with burdens. Appreciate their advice, their words of counsel. Respect them as fathers and mothers who have borne the burden of the work.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 20

    From Ms 6, 1890 — (Nov. 25, 1890):24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 21

    Many of the old, experienced hands have fallen in death. Those who led out in the work of God, and who could tell how it came into existence, have passed away from the scene of action. In every branch of the work, men have been departing from the principles laid down by the Lord Jehovah to control the working of the cause. Inexperienced hands and unsanctified minds have been placing their mold upon the work, and self has been woven into it in every branch.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 22

    From Ms 29, 1907:24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 23

    Those who were in our work at the beginning are passing away. Only a few of the pioneers of the cause now remain among us. Many of the heavy burdens formerly borne by men of long experience are now falling upon younger men.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 24

    This transfer of responsibilities to laborers whose experience is more or less limited is attended with some dangers against which we need to guard. The world is filled with strife for the supremacy. The spirit of pulling away from our fellow laborers, the spirit of disorganization, is in the very air we breathe. By some, all efforts to establish order are regarded as dangerous—as a restriction of personal liberty, and hence to be feared as popery. ...24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 25

    Among God’s people are some who have had long experience in His work, men who have not departed from the faith. Notwithstanding the great trials through which they have passed, they have remained faithful. These men should be regarded as tried and chosen counselors. They should be respected, and their judgment should be honored by those who are younger or who have less experience, even though these younger men may be in official positions.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 26

    From Lt 183, 1905:24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 27

    Let us thank God, Brother Butler, that there are still some living who have had an experience from the beginning in the proclamation of the great and solemn messages that have come to our world in warning. We know that the Holy Spirit’s power has confirmed the word spoken. We can say, as did John, That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life; ... That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. [1 John 1:1, 3.]24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 28

    From our personal experience we can speak of the truth that has made us what we are—Seventh-day Adventists. Truth felt within is most precious, but truth confirmed by the testimony of the Word and by the Holy Spirit’s power is of the highest value. We can confidently say, The truth that has come to us through the Holy Spirit’s working is not a lie. The evidences given for the last half century bear the evidence of the Spirit’s power. In the Word of God we have found the truth that substantiates our faith. We have watched the influence of the heresies that have come in, and we have seen them come to naught. God has given us sacred, holy truths. Let us hold them fast. I am instructed to say that we are now to present those truths, in plainness and simplicity, to the people of God.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 29

    From Lt 41, 1904 (Letter to S. N. Haskell, Nov. 26, 1903):24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 30

    Be careful not to overwork. Do not take on burdens that you should avoid. We want the aged men of experience preserved to us. We need them especially at this time to bear earnest, decided testimony to the faith once delivered to the saints. Our people need to understand the reasons of our faith and our past experience.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 31

    How sad it is that so many of our men apparently place unlimited confidence in men who present theories tending to uproot our past experiences and to remove the old landmarks! ... We need to urge all to put on their spiritual eyeglasses, to have their eyes anointed that they may see clearly and discern the true pillars of the faith, and say, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His.” [2 Timothy 2:19.] We need to revive the old evidences of the faith once delivered to the saints.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 32

    From Ms 117, 1901:24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 33

    Those who have grown old and gray in the service of God are not to be pushed aside by less-experienced workers, who know but very little about the labor and self-sacrifice of these pioneers. These faithful workers have borne test and trial, and because they have lost some of their vigor the Lord does not lay them aside. They have made mistakes, but they have learned wisdom from their failures. And since they have seen their errors and have learned to avoid them, are they not competent to give wise counsel?24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 34

    May the Lord bless and sustain the old and tried laborers. Those who have such laborers among them are highly favored. Those who are commissioned by the Lord to do a large and important work, a work that will leave an impress for good or for ill on the world, according to the way in which it is done, need to seek counsel from those who have been instructed by the Lord.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 35

    From Lt 127, 1903 (Letter to Eld. Haskell):24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 36

    I am sure of one thing: the old heads are precious in the sight of the Lord. They must husband their strength. I can see that strength will be brought to the cause of God by your connecting with Brother Butler. The cause needs men who understand the first, second, and third angels’ messages.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 37

    From Lt 71, 1903:24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 38

    In the future we are to pass through very strait places, and we shall understand the value of having some workers who have been through the giving of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. The voices of these workers are to be heard in distinct utterance, saying, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard ...” [1 John 1:1.]24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 39

    From Ms 34, 1905:24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 40

    In Sardis, many had been converted through the preaching of the apostles. The truth had been received as a bright and shining light. But some had forgotten the wonderful manner in which they had received the truth, and Jesus found it necessary to send reproof. One after another of the old standard-bearers had fallen, and some had become wearied of the oft-repeated truths. They desired a new phase of doctrine, more pleasing to many minds. They thought they needed a wonderful change and in their spiritual blindness did not discern that their sophistries would uproot all the experiences of the past. But the Lord Jesus could see the end from the beginning. Through John He sent them the warning, “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” [Revelation 3:3.]24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 41

    From Ms 92, 1903 (Honor to Be Shown to Our Pioneer Workers):24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 42

    The aged standard-bearers in the cause of God are far from being useless. The men who have held the beginning of their confidence steadfast unto the end are not to be accounted second or third in the work of God. They are not to be cast aside as having outlived their usefulness. God has an important part for them to act in His work. By learning of Christ they have obtained a rich experience. When they have made false steps, they did not refuse to be corrected. When they wandered from the path that Christ trod, they allowed Him to lead them once more into it. Thus they learned to help others.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 43

    The apostle John is an example of the way in which God can use aged workers. Read his stirring words, written when he was an old man. Who could bear a firmer, more decided testimony? He writes: 1 John 1:1 to 2:5.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 44

    In his old age John revealed the life of Christ in his life. He lived to be nearly one hundred years old, and over and over again he repeated the story of the crucified and risen Saviour. Persecution came upon the believers, and those young in experience were often in danger of losing their hold on Christ. But the old, tried servant of Jesus steadfastly maintained his faith. From his lips there came ever the same glad message: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of life, ... that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” [1 John 1:1, 3.]24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 45

    Christ visited John on the isle of Patmos and gave him a revelation of what would be in the last days of this earth’s history. John writes of this, Revelation 1:1-19.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 46

    We are living in perilous times, and we need the testimonies of the men who can bear a witness similar to that of John. The aged laborers, who have acted a prominent part in the work of God, and who for many years have borne the burden and heat of the day, are not to be set on one side, while young men of far less experience are placed at the front.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 47

    From Lt 339, 1905:24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 48

    Men will arise with interpretations of scripture which are truth to them, but which are not truth. The truth for this time God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another, with new light which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit. A few are still alive who passed through the experience gained in the establishment of this truth. God has graciously spared their lives to repeat and repeat, till the close of their lives, the experience through which they passed, even as did John the apostle till the very close of his life. And the standard-bearers who have fallen in death are to speak through the reprinting of their writings. I am instructed that their voices are to be heard. They are to bear their testimony as to what constitutes the truth for this time.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 49

    Labors and sacrifices of, Testimonies for the Church 2:502, 650; Testimonies for the Church 3:256, 317-320, 326, 327.24LtMs, Ms 99, 1909, par. 50

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