Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Ms 23, 1890

Diary, November 1890

Brooklyn, New York

November 24, 1890

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 342; PM 356; CM 129.

Continuation of my diary of November 24, 1890. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1890, par. 1

I was requested to speak to the canvassers in the evening, when all could be together. This I consented to do. I presented before them the need of keeping the soul constantly uplifted to God in prayer. Canvassers should remember that when engaged in their work, they are connected with the service of God. They are never alone. If they have faith in God, if they realize that to them is committed the work of giving to the people light on Bible subjects, they constantly enjoy the companionship of Christ. They should thoroughly acquaint themselves with the book they are handling, that they may readily call attention to the important chapters. They should study the Scriptures, that they may show that they are conversant with them. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1890, par. 2

Do not, because you are among unbelievers, become careless in your words, for they are taking your measure. If you sit at their table, eat temperately and only of food that will not confuse the mind. Keep yourself from all intemperance. Be, yourself, an object lesson, illustrating right principles. If they offer you tea to drink, tell them in simple words its injurious effect on the system. Tell them also that you do not use spirituous drinks of any kind, because you desire to keep your mind in such a condition that God can impress it with the sacred truths of His Word, and that you cannot afford to weaken any of your mental and physical powers, lest you shall be unable to discern sacred things. Thus you can sow the seeds of truth and lead out upon the subject of keeping soul, body, and spirit in such a condition that you can understand eternal realities. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1890, par. 3

Study, yourself, the instruction given to Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron. “They offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not.” Taking common fire, they placed it upon their censers, “and there went out fire from the Lord, and it devoured them. Then said Moses unto Aaron, This is that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh unto me, and before all the people will I be glorified.” [Leviticus 10:1-3.] Canvassers should remember that they are working with God to save souls, and that they are to bring no commonness and cheapness into the <sacred> service of God. As canvassers, they are to fill the mind with pure, holy thoughts. Speech is a precious talent and their words should be well-chosen. Hinder not the success of your work by uttering light, careless words. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1890, par. 4

The Lord desires you to be soul-winners. Do not try to reveal your smartness as theologians, even of Bible truth, for by so doing you will speak too many words that will be as little understood by them as Greek. Restrictions have had to be almost enforced upon canvassers because they have been so much inclined to act the minister and theologian. Connect yourself firmly with Christ and present the truth as it is in Him. Work as Paul worked. Wherever he was, whether before scowling Pharisees or Roman authorities, rich or poor, learned or ignorant, the cripple at Lystra or the convicted sinners in [a] Macedonian dungeon, he lifted up Christ as One who hates sin and loves the sinner, the One who bore our sins that He might have full power and authority to impart to us His righteousness. Hearts cannot fail to be touched by the story of the atonement. Those who realize the necessity of keeping the heart under the control of the Holy Spirit will be enabled to sow seed that will spring up unto eternal life. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1890, par. 5

Opportunity was then given for those present to bear their testimony, and several precious experiences were related by the canvassers in regard to the way in which they had searched their hearts while canvassing for Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets. They said that as they read these books their minds were enlightened, and they felt that angels of God were very near. Some asked, “Why have we been told to canvass only for Bible Readings?” 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1890, par. 6

Others said, “We have asked this same question, but it has never yet been answered satisfactorily. We have been greatly blessed in presenting Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets to the people. Why cannot we take hold of these books again? The president of our conference told us that the general canvassing agent had thought [it] best for us to handle only Bible Readings. We have been advised to do this, but we wish to work with those books which contain so large an amount of instruction for the people of God for this time.” The canvassers stated that they had found that where these books had been sold, every one spoke highly of them, and that from reading them, some had embraced the truth who had never heard a discourse in their lives given by a Seventh-day Adventist minister. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1890, par. 7

I was then called upon to explain why the canvassers had been instructed not to canvass for Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets. I told them that the Lord had never given any direction in harmony with the one which they had received. God gave me the light contained in Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets, and this light was needed to arouse the people to prepare for the great day of God, which is just before us. These books contain God’s direct appeal to the people. Thus He is speaking to the people in stirring words, urging them to make ready for His coming. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1890, par. 8

The light God has given in these books should not be concealed. But in their wisdom men have turned aside the light the people should have. They have made it appear that it was not best for the canvassers to carry more than one book—and that Bible Readings. The books which should have gone before Bible Readings were neglected at a time when, if they had been handled as was Bible Readings, they would have done a work which would have saved many souls from signing petitions advocating the exaltation and observance of a spurious Sabbath. Those who have done this will see their error, but it will be too late. 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1890, par. 9

I will present to you the light God has given me, for the burden which has rested upon my soul has been at times almost too great for me to carry. Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets should have stood highest from the very first and should have occupied the field. Man’s devising was not God’s planning. Men have turned aside the purposes of God. I know that the statement made that these books cannot be sold is untrue. I know, for the Lord has instructed me that this is said because human devising has blocked the way for their sale. It cannot be denied that these works were not the product of any human mind; they are the voice of God speaking to His people, <and they will have an influence upon minds that other books do not have. The book Daniel and Revelation should be kept before the people and should have large circulation.> 6LtMs, Ms 23, 1890, par. 10