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The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials - Contents
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    The Southern Work

    “Nashville as a Center

    “Many have asked the question, Why did our brethren select Nashville as a center for work? I answer, Because the Lord in His wisdom directed them to this place. It is His purpose that light shall shine forth from memorials established for Him in and near Nashville.1888 1799.2

    “There is no place in the South better suited than Nashville for the carrying forward of the publishing work. It is the best place in which to do the work that has been started there.1888 1799.3

    “There is not in Nashville the bitter opposition to the work for the uplifting of the downtrodden colored race that exists in many other cities of the South. Much work is being done there to uplift the colored people, and the sentiment in favor of these efforts will be a security to our people in their work.1888 1799.4

    “There are in Nashville large educational institutions for the colored people. In these institutions much excellent work has been done and is being done. The teachers and students in these institutions are to be given the privilege of hearing the message of present truth. It is for this reason that God directed that different interests for the advancement of our work should be established in Nashville.1888 1799.5

    “The truth is also to be brought before those who have given of their means and influence for the benefit of the colored race. Some have taken a noble stand for the uplifting of this people. Their efforts put to shame the efforts made by Seventh-day Adventists. They should be put in possession of the most valuable truth ever given to mortals. We are to do all that we can to remove the prejudice that exists in their minds against our work and against the Bible Sabbath. If the efforts that we put forth are in accordance with God's will, if we move under the Holy Spirit's guidance, many among them will be converted. The Lord causes light to shine on the pathway of those who are seeking for light.”1888 1799.6

    We must try to remove their prejudice against the Bible Sabbath. And never must we say to them, “You must work on Sunday.” At one time, while I was in Australia, those in charge of our school at Avondale came to me, saying: “What shall we do? The officers of the law have been commissioned to arrest those working on Sunday.” I said: “It will be very easy to avoid that difficulty. Give Sunday to the Lord as a day for doing missionary work. Take the students out to hold meetings in different places, and to do medical missionary work. They will find the people at home, and will have a splendid opportunity to present the truth. This way of spending Sunday is always acceptable to the Lord.”1888 1799.7

    I wish to say that it is necessary to use the greatest caution in working for the colored people. The efforts put forth must be such as will not arouse the prejudice of the white people. By the work of the steamer “Morning Star” much has been accomplished that otherwise could not have been done. Thus the workers have been enabled to reach places that otherwise they could not have reached. The boat served as a home for them, and as a place to which to invite those interested in the truth.1888 1799.8

    In writing in regard to the Southern field, I have said, “The Southern work,” supposing that our people would certainly understand that I meant especially the work for the colored people. I wish it now to be understood that this is what I have meant.1888 1799.9

    Let the families settle in the South, and work on the land, at the same time becoming acquainted with the people and the field. Thus real advancement will be made. Those who go to the South must be very careful of what they say. Let them not criticize the white people in regard to the way in which the colored people have been treated.1888 1799.10

    Many, many years during which we ought to have been working for the colored people have passed into eternity, and now the field, in all its barrenness, stands before the world as an open rebuke to those who could have helped. When the children of Israel were in bondage in Egypt, their cry of suffering came up to God, and He delivered them with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm. He delivered the colored people from slavery, and then He placed upon the people of this nation the responsibility of uplifting them, of placing them in a position where they could help themselves.1888 1800.1

    You say that the colored people are depraved and wicked, that their standard of morality is very low. Who made them wicked? Who spoiled their morals? I want you to think of this, and of the burden that rests upon the white people to help the colored people.1888 1800.2

    Few realized how difficult is the work for the colored people, and how greatly they need help. My heart has been made sick and sore as I have seen the situation. Why do not our people take hold of the work? Why do they find fault and criticize the laborers there, because they do not work just as they think they ought to? Why do they, when mistakes are made, make a mountain out of a mole-hill? Why do not those who find fault go themselves to some unworked portion of the field, and there demonstrate how much better they can do than those whom they criticize?1888 1800.3

    “The Lord has a great work to be done in the Southern states of America. It was in accordance with God's purpose that the publishing work was started in Nashville. In His providence, He has brought together in this place a company of workers who are to act their respective parts in the publishing house, standing as representatives of Christianity.1888 1800.4

    “A sanitarium should be established in a favorable location outside the city of Nashville. A school for colored people should be established outside the city, on land that can be utilized for industrial purposes. These institutions will give character to our work in the South. They will be instrumental in establishing the faith of many in Bible truth. God Himself has wrought to bring together in Nashville workers who are especially fitted to reach the colored people, and raise them from their degradation. This He will help them to do if the work is not hindered and blocked by ministers and workers in other places.1888 1800.5

    “In every place those who accept the truth are to be a light to those around them. The Lord says to us: ‘Ye are the light of the world.... Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’1888 1800.6

    “The Work in Graysville and Huntsville

    “Nashville is within easy access of Graysville and Huntsville, where a beginning of great value to the work in the South has been made. God has answered the many prayers offered in behalf of these two places. By the work in Nashville, the work in Graysville and Huntsville is to be confirmed, strengthened, and settled. Graysville and Huntsville are near enough to Nashville to strengthen the work there and to be strengthened by it. But it must be understood that we are to put forth special efforts to help the colored people. No longer is our indifference in this respect to continue.1888 1800.7

    “The schools in Graysville and Huntsville were established in the order of God. They are to do a work for Him. They are to become self-supporting, by making the best use of their land, by raising those products best suited to the climate and soil of their locality. Various industries are to be established. The Lord will greatly bless these industries if the workers will walk in His counsel. If they will look to Him, He will be their wisdom and their righteousness. His wisdom will be seen in the work of those who follow His directions. He will teach all who will learn of Him His meekness and lowliness.”1888 1800.8

    The workers in the school at Huntsville are to have our tender sympathy and our practical aid. Do not let them suffer for the lack of facilities, for they are trying to educate the colored people. The school at Huntsville is in positive need of our care and our donations.1888 1800.9

    “The interests in Graysville and Huntsville will grow into usefulness, if the believers there will do their very best in the Lord's way. Let each one connected with the schools in these places remember that on him rests the responsibility of reflecting light to those in darkness.1888 1800.10

    “A Call to Our Publishing Houses and Sanitariums

    “God has given our publishing houses opportunity to cooperate with Him by assisting the newly-established publishing house at Nashville.1888 1800.11

    “When a publishing plant is established in a new field, it must receive help and encouragement from the various plants already in operation, that it may develop into a strong, influential institution. Every new institution is to be regarded as a sister-helper in the great work of proclaiming the third angel's message.1888 1800.12

    “The publishing house in Nashville is now in need of several thousand dollars to establish its business on a firm basis, and to enable it to do without delay the work that is to be done in its territory. We are instructed by the Lord to call upon the long-established houses to favor the Nashville publishing house as they were favored years ago when in straitened circumstances. They are to act toward the Nashville institution the same part that was acted toward them in their early history. God expects them to help their sister institution by gifts and offerings. They now have opportunity to show their repentance for past neglect.”1888 1800.13

    My husband and myself, under the direction of God, established the publishing houses in Battle Creek and Oakland, and I know how we worked. God instructed me that I must go to the camp-meetings, and ask for means, and I went, just as He told me. I went alone, for my husband was sick. I went from camp-meeting to camp-meeting, calling for means; and I feel that I now have a right to call upon these publishing houses to help in establishing similar institutions.1888 1800.14

    “God has given our sanitariums an opportunity to set in operation a work that would be as a stone instinct with life, growing as it is moved by an invisible hand. Let this mystic stone be set in operation. If ever a place needed medical missionary work, it is the Southern field. Had this work been done for the colored people immediately after the proclamation of freedom, how different would be the condition of the Southern states today! Medical missionary work has not yet been done as God requires it to be done in this needy field. Sanitariums should have been established in many places. This would have opened doors for the entrance of Bible truth. It would have removed much of the prejudice existing against those who look upon the colored people as having souls as well as the white people.1888 1800.15

    “To many of the colored people God has given rare and precious talents. Many will be brought to a knowledge of present truth. But it will take untiring effort and God-given wisdom to break down the barriers that have been erected against the education of the colored race,—barriers that for years have been growing stronger.1888 1801.1

    “The Work Before Us

    “‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.’ is the commission Christ has given us. This is our great missionary charter, and the Saviour has declared: ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’ ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.’ Success will reward obedience to this command. Go just where the Lord sends you, to bear His message and do His work. Souls are to be saved. How?—By being brought to a knowledge of the truth. ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth,’ the Saviour prayed. Acquaintance with God's truth is the only means of sanctification.1888 1801.2

    “During the time of the end the activity of Satan's servants will greatly increase. The activity of God's servants is to increase proportionately. Christian is to unite with Christian, church with church, in the accomplishment of God's work, and all are to be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.1888 1801.3

    “Angels are ascending and descending the ladder of shining brightness, arrayed for the defense of God's people. They are commissioned to draw nearer and still nearer to those who are fighting in defense of their faith. Will you seek to pull the weapons out of the hands of those who are fighting in the warfare? Will you hinder them because they are not doing just exactly what you think they ought to be doing?1888 1801.4

    “A good beginning has been made in the Southern field. Impressions favorable to the truth have been made, and prejudice has been removed. In the forward march of events, the Lord has wrought wonderfully for the advancement of this work. Battles have been fought and victories won. The work is to be supported and vindicated, for God is in it. By His blessing many will see that it is being done in fulfillment of His purpose, and will say, It is of God. Let us not be found fighting against Him.1888 1801.5

    “When God's people are willing to follow the path of providence where Christ leads the way, their numbers will increase and their boundaries will be greatly enlarged. But as yet the reformation that God requires has not taken place. The Lord has gone before His people, but unbelief has pressed in on every side. Not one-thousandth part of the work has been done that should have been done for the colored people, who need help more than any other people in America.1888 1801.6

    “What excuse can be given to God for the awful condition of the colored race! God asks, ‘Why are those living in this part of My vineyard left to become the sport of Satan's temptations?’ He calls for united action. But no blind zeal is to be shown. Nothing is to be done in defiance of law; but the truth is to be proclaimed and lived.1888 1801.7

    “Angels have hushed the music of their harps as they have looked upon a people unable, because of their past slavery, to help themselves. And yet those who have the torch of truth kindled from the divine altar have not carried the light to this sin-darkened field. There are those who have turned from the work of rescuing the downtrodden and degraded, refusing to help the helpless. Let the servants of Christ begin at once to redeem their neglect, that the dark stain on their record may be wiped out.1888 1801.8

    “Let the work in the Southern field go forward. Let no one say: ‘Money is not needed in this field. It is needed more in my part of the vineyard.’ Let God's people begin at once to redeem their neglect. Let the gospel message ring through our churches, summoning them to universal action. Let no one look upon the work that has been done for the colored people as of no account, for the Lord has said, ‘I accept it.’1888 1801.9

    “Those who place themselves under God's control, to be guided and controlled by Him, will catch the steady tread of the events ordained by Him to take place. A holy, consuming emulation will take possession of them. Let the church have increased faith, catching zeal from their unseen, heavenly allies, from the knowledge of their exhaustless resources, from the greatness of the enterprise in which they are engaged, and from the power of their Leader. Let them gain from God strength for the accomplishment of the great work to be done for the most needy people in this Christian nation. Let no man lay his hand upon the means and resources, saying, ‘They are more needed somewhere else.’1888 1801.10

    “When God's people heed a ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ the dearth of means brought about by transactions that do not bear the stamp of divine approval will be removed. When they catch the Spirit of Him who gave His life for the life of the world, they will no longer stand still in impotency, pointing to what they can not do, and forbidding others to work. Putting on the armor of Christ's righteousness, they will go forth into the warfare, willing to do and dare for God, knowing that in His omnipotence He will supply their need.”1888 1801.11

    Brethren, shall not the work for the colored people go forward? Will you not say, “Amen,” to this? (Congregation: Amen.) When my son Edson has written to me about the difficulties that the workers had to meet, I have written back to him, over and over again: “Do not fail or become discouraged. Hold fast to the work.” And his reply has been: “We are doing it. But it seems sometimes as if the work would slip out of our hands.”1888 1801.12

    The Lord has put His approval upon the work done in the Southern field. Mistakes have been made; but have not mistakes been made in every field where work has been started? When you watch for mistakes, and put out your hand to discourage where God approves, you are working and talking against the Master. God is very much displeased with every one who has placed any hindrance in the way of the advancement of the work for the colored people.1888 1801.13

    Let us take hold of the work in the Southern states intelligently. I rejoice that Brother Butler is with us in this work. I have known that the time would come when he would again take his place in the work. I want you to appreciate the trials that he has passed through, and to help him all you can. God desires the gray-haired pioneers, the men who acted a part in the work when the first, second and third angels’ messages were first given, to stand in their place in His work today. They are not to drop out of sight. We commit Brother Butler to you, in the name of the God of Israel, asking you to help him all you can. And Elder Butler must plan to have others share his burdens.1888 1801.14

    I commit my son, James Edson White, to you. He has nearly lost his life in trying to bring the work in the South to its present point of advancement. How little some appreciate the efforts that he has put forth! But God knows the work that has been done. He knows of the struggles and the sacrifices of the workers, and of their attempts to accomplish something for the Lord. Brethren, do not do anything to weaken Edson White's hands. There is enough in the work itself to distress his soul and to wear him out.1888 1802.1

    I have felt reluctant to have Edson stay in the South, fearing that he would lose his health, and perhaps his life. Christ said, If they receive you not in one place, go into another. He was referring to the persecution that would come. But His words would apply also to a worker whose health was breaking down under labor in an unhealthful climate. Brother Butler should have periods of rest, and Edson White should have an occasional rest. And the other workers in the field must guard their health carefully. God is jealous of His servants. He desires that they shall place themselves where they can best preserve, their mental and physical powers, because if these are not preserved, the spiritual powers will be so weakened that the work will suffer much.1888 1802.2

    I have said to my son, “Come to us, and help me to get out books for the people.” But he has always answered: “No; I can not come. I can not leave my work.”1888 1802.3

    I have tried to help him. He has written to me, saying: “People are coming into the truth, but they are in need of food and clothing. What shall we do?” I have sent him help from time to time, as I could.1888 1802.4

    God lives and reigns, and if you take hold of His work cheerfully and willingly, He will bless and sustain you. When you are tempted to murmur and complain, keep your mouth closed. Remember that at such times silence is eloquence. Speak no words that you will not be willing to meet in the judgment. And remember that, when God sends His servants to do a hard work in a hard field, He does not want you to make their work harder by criticism and faultfinding.1888 1802.5

    The Southern work is before you, as it has been presented to you this morning. A good work has been done, and it has been done in the face of the most trying circumstances. The Lord calls upon us to come up to His help in this needy field. You remember the words, “Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.”1888 1802.6

    Christ loved us so much that He gave His life for us. He died on the cross to give us an opportunity to gain the crown of eternal life. Shall we allow those around us to perish in their sins without making an effort to help them? Shall we try to hinder the workers who are seeking to save souls? We want you to help in the Lord's work, that God may not be disappointed in you. We want you to have hearts that are sensitive to others’ needs, hearts that are tender, full of pity for the infirmities of those around you.1888 1802.7

    The Lord is good. He is merciful and tender-hearted. He is acquainted with every one of His children. He knows just what each one of us is doing. He knows just how much credit to give to each one. Will you not lay down your credit list and your condemnation list, and leave God to do His own work? You will be given the crown of glory if you will attend to the work that God has given you.1888 1802.8

    Let us help one another all we can. Let us speak words of kindness, words that will be a blessing, not a curse. We are living in the great day of atonement. We are now to confess and forsake our sins, that we may be saved. Let us humble our hearts before God, that we may go from this meeting shoulder to shoulder, full of faith and confidence. The lives of many have been filled with talk and doubt and suspicion. There is hardly a brother who has confidence in a brother, or a brother who has the confidence of the members of the church. My brethren, clear away the rubbish from the door of the heart, and let Jesus come in and talk with you. Let Him sit upon the throne of the heart. If ever a people needed the purifying, sanctifying influence of the truth of the living God, it is the Seventh-day Adventists. I pray that we may all be found in the kingdom of God. But in order to be there, we must here below sit together in heavenly places in Christ. May God help us so to live that we may sing the song of triumph in the city of God.1888 1802.9

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