The Review and Herald



January 1, 1901

Canvassing, a Branch of God's Work


The canvassing work, properly carried on, is missionary work of the highest order, and is as good and as successful a work as can be done in placing before the people the important truths for this time. The importance of the work of the ministry is unmistakable; but there are many who, though hungry for the bread of life, have not the privilege of hearing the truth from the lips of God's delegated preachers. For this reason it is essential that the publications containing these important matters be placed before the people, that the truth given us of God may go where the living preacher can not go. In this way the attention of many will be called to the important events that are to occur in the closing scenes of this world's history. God has ordained the canvassing work as a means of presenting before the people the light contained in these books, and canvassers should have impressed upon them the fact that the work of bringing before the world as fast as possible the books which are necessary for their spiritual education and enlightenment is the very work the Lord would have them do at this time. We can not too highly estimate this work; for were it not for the work of the canvasser, many would never hear the truth. RH January 1, 1901, par. 1

It is true that some who buy the books will lay them on the shelf or place them on the parlor table, and seldom look at them. Still God has a care for His truth, and the time will come when these books will be sought for and read. Sickness or misfortune enters the home, and through the truth contained in these books God sends peace and hope and rest. His love will be revealed to their souls, and they will understand the preciousness of the forgiveness of their sins. Thus the Lord co-operates with self-denying human workers. RH January 1, 1901, par. 2

There are others who, because of prejudice, will never know the truth unless it is brought to their doors and left in their homes. The canvasser may find these souls, and minister to them according to his God-given ability. He can do a line of work, of house-to-house labor, more successfully than any others. He can become acquainted with the people; he can pray with them, and can understand their true necessities. There is much responsibility resting upon the canvasser. He should go to his work prepared to explain the Scriptures, and nothing should be said or done to bind his hands. If he puts his trust in the Lord as he travels from place to place, the angels of God will be round about him, giving him words to speak, which will bring light and hope and courage to many souls. RH January 1, 1901, par. 3

Let the canvasser remember that he has an opportunity to sow beside all waters. Let him remember, as he sells the books which give a knowledge of the truth, that he is doing the work of God, and that every talent is to be used to the glory of His name. God will be with every one who seeks to understand the truth, that he may set it before others in clear lines. God has spoken plainly and clearly, and we are to make no delay in giving instruction to those who need it, that they may be brought to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. RH January 1, 1901, par. 4

God calls upon us to lift up the standard. As God's standard-bearers, we are ever to show our colors, revealing in our lives that we are keeping the commandments of God. Then let canvassers go forth with the word of the Lord, remembering that those who obey the commandments, and teach others to obey them, will be rewarded by seeing souls converted, and one soul truly converted will in turn bring others to Christ. Thus the work will advance into new territory. RH January 1, 1901, par. 5

The lost sheep of God's fold are scattered in every place, and the work that should be done for them is being neglected. From the light given me, I know that where there is one canvasser in the field, there should be one hundred. Canvassers should be encouraged to take hold of this work, not to canvass for story books, but to bring before the world the books containing truth so essential for this time. RH January 1, 1901, par. 6

The time has come when a large work should be done by the canvassers. The world, is asleep, and as watchmen they are to ring the warning bell to awake the sleepers to a sense of their danger. The churches know not the time of their visitation. How can they best learn the truth?—Through the efforts of the canvasser. Thus the reading-matter is brought to those who otherwise would never hear the truth. Those who go forth in the name of the Lord are His messengers to give to the multitudes who are in darkness and error the glad tidings of salvation through Christ in obeying the law of God. All who consecrate themselves to God to work as canvassers are assisting to give the last message of warning to the world. RH January 1, 1901, par. 7

I have been instructed that even where the people hear the truth from the living preacher, the canvasser should carry on his work; for though much wearing labor is put forth by the minister in speaking to the people, much of the truth is not retained in their minds. The printed page is therefore essential not only in the work of awakening minds to a realization of the importance of the truth for this time, but that hearts may be rooted and grounded in the truth, and established against darkness and deceptive error. Papers and books containing the messages of truth are the Lord's means of thus keeping the truth continually before the minds of the people. These publications will do a far greater work than can be accomplished by the ministry of the word alone. Through the work of the canvasser, the silent messengers of truth that are placed in the homes of the people, enlightening and confirming men and women, will strengthen the gospel ministry in every way; for the Holy Spirit will impress minds as they read the books, just as He impresses the minds of those who listen to the preaching of the word by God's delegated ministers, and the same ministry of angels attends the books that contain the truth as attends the work of the minister who is educating the people as to what is truth. Thus the faithful, consecrated canvasser will lay up treasure beside the throne of God. RH January 1, 1901, par. 8