Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8


A Neglected Work

In the parable of the good Samaritan the priest and the Levite looked on the wretched man who had been robbed and wounded, but it did not seem to them desirable to help the one who, because he was helpless and forsaken, most needed help. The priest and the Levite represent many, many in Battle Creek. 8T 59.1

Many souls can be saved if the Southern field can have but a small part of the means so lavishly expended in Battle Creek to make things more convenient. 8T 59.2

The Lord's heritage has been strangely neglected, and God will judge His people for this thing. Pride and the love of display are gratified by the accumulated advantages, while new fields are left untouched. The rebuke of God is upon the managers for their partiality and selfish appropriation of His goods. 8T 59.3

Something has been done in foreign missions, and something in home missions; but altogether too much territory has been left unworked. The work is too much centralized. The interests in Battle Creek are overgrown, and this means that other portions of the field are robbed of facilities which they should have had. The larger and still larger preparations, in the erection and enlargement of buildings, which have called together and held so large a number in Battle Creek, are not in accordance with God's plan, but in direct contravention of His plan. 8T 59.4

It has been urged that there were great advantages in having so many institutions in close connection, that they would be a strength to one another and could afford help to those seeking education and employment. This is according to human reasoning; it will be admitted that, from a human point of view, many advantages are gained by crowding so many responsibilities in Battle Creek; but the vision needs to be extended. 8T 59.5

These interests should be broken up into many parts in order that the work may start in cities which it will be necessary to make centers of interest. Buildings should be erected and responsibilities centered in many localities that are now robbed of vital, spiritual interest in order to swell the overplus already in Battle Creek. The Lord is not glorified by this management on the part of those who are in responsible positions. “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” Habakkuk 2:14; John 17:3. 8T 60.1

The salvation of the heathen has long been deemed a matter that should engage the interest of Christians, and it is not more than justice to bring light to their dark borders. But home missionary work is just as much needed. The heathen are brought to our very doors. Idolatrous ignorance is within the very shadow of our homes. Something is being done for the colored people, but next to nothing compared with what others receive who already have a knowledge of the truth, who have had opportunities innumerable, but who have not half appreciated their advantages. To those who know not the truth, let the love of Jesus be presented, and it will work like leaven for the transformation of character. 8T 60.2

What are we doing for the Southern field? I have looked most anxiously to see if some plan would not be set in operation to redeem the sinful neglect of that field, but I see not a proposition or a resolution to do anything. Perhaps something has been planned that I have not seen. I hope so, and praise the Lord if it is so. But though for years our duty has been laid out in a most decided manner, yet the Southern field has been touched only with the tips of our fingers. I now feel deeply in earnest in again bringing before you this neglected portion of the Lord's vineyard. This matter is brought before me again and again. I have been awakened in the night season, and the command has come: Write the things that I have opened before you, whether men will hear or whether they will forbear. 8T 60.3