Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 26, 1901

The Canvassing Work and the Scandinavian


March 5, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in CM 31, 32, 47; LDE 76; 1SM 174-175; 7MR 315-316. +Note

The Canvassing Work and the Scandinavian Institutions. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 1

I have had special light in regard to the canvassing work, and the impression and burden does not leave me. This work is a means of education. It is an excellent school for those who are qualifying themselves to enter the ministry. Those who take up this work as they should, place themselves where they learn of Christ and follow His example. Angels are commissioned to go forth with those who take up this work in true humility. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 2

Those who engage in the canvassing work should first give themselves wholly and unreservedly to God. Christ has invited them, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 3

It is a mistake to send young and inexperienced men to labor among the churches. Thus they are placed in a hard position, as though standing on exhibition to be criticized. This will spoil young men who are filled with conceit and spiritual pride. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 4

Conscientious young men, who are truly converted, will feel a burden of soul to impart that which they have received. They will be given ability to speak upon Bible subjects, because they feel a desire to help those who have not a knowledge of the truth. Drink deeply of the precious water of life. Study the Word of God, that it may be in you a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life. Act your part as a humble servant of the Master. Seek to do good to those around you. Place yourselves where there are hearts to be won. Then you will see good accomplished by your efforts. The Lord has instructed me that the time will come when men, women, and youth will be imbued with the spirit of the last message of mercy to be given to our world. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 5

Many of those who have had the advantage of an education in our schools have not increased in spirituality and soul-culture because they have been indolent. Many missionary enterprises have been crippled by the work of slothful servants. This is the judgment recorded in the books of heaven. Oh, there are many men and women whom the Lord would use if they would enter His vineyard with a sincere desire to do Him service. But they are do-nothings. They ignore all personal responsibility, because of the inconvenience of carrying it. Their record, as far as regards their work for God, is a mournful blank. They are fruitless trees, darkening by their unproductive branches, ground which should be occupied by fruit-bearing trees. They know the truth, but practice it not. The Lord passes them by because they do not draw from Him the nourishment which would enable them to bear good fruit. Let all beware of the evil heart <of unbelief>. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 6

God has given to every man his work. He passes by those who have had His choice gifts, but have failed to improve them, and accepts those who have not had so many advantages, but who have been willing to do what they could in co-operating with Christ as His helping hand. They may feel that they are doing very little, but as they earnestly and honestly do what they can, God will help them. No one can co-operate with Christ without receiving wisdom and understanding. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 7

I write these particulars for the Scandinavian field especially. My brethren, will you take hold of the work God has given you? Will you labor to the utmost of your ability to relieve the embarrassed institutions in your field? Do not look on in despair, saying, “We can do nothing.” Take hold, where you are. Do you remember when Sister White was with you at _____, in the meeting held at that place, how often it was repeated, “We cannot sell books. We cannot canvass as they do in America”? My interpreter sat by my side and repeated to me every word that was spoken. As soon as all others had spoken, I rose and said, “But you can sell books. It is not right for you to talk unbelief, and thus close the door of faith. Close the windows of the soul earthward, and open them heavenward, that the light of heaven may shine in.” Thus through my interpreter I spoke to you. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 8

Have you not entered into covenant relation with God? Did you not, at your baptism, make an entire surrender to Him? Were you not baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? Did not all heaven hear your vows as you died to the world and were buried with Christ? Were you not raised to walk in newness of life? Is not your life hid with Christ in God? Then show to the world that you are living men, that you have a duty to perform, a work to do that will redound to the glory of God and minister to the enlightenment of your fellow men. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 9

Elder Matteson, who now sleeps in Jesus, united with the Saviour as His helping hand, and organized a school. And under his direction the students worked nobly. What a work has been done! What a <multitude> of books were sold! And how many there were who united with the church! 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 10

Cease now to talk discouragement. Take hold of the arm of infinite Power. Remember that we at this end of the line are taking hold with you. We assure you that we will lift with you. Do not fail or be discouraged. The Lord is your helper. He will uphold the workers in Scandinavia if they will act their part in faith, in prayer, in hopefulness, doing all they can to advance His cause and hasten His coming. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 11

Remember that the nearer we approach Christ’s coming, the more earnestly and firmly we are to work; for the whole synagogue of Satan is opposed to us. We do not need feverish excitement, but that faith and courage which is born of genuine faith. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 12

The opportunity for helping the work in Scandinavia at the last Week of Prayer in America should have been improved, and it would have been, had the men in positions of responsibility been wide awake to place the situation clearly before the people and call for donations to relieve the institutions in Denmark and Norway. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 13

We hope that a most earnest effort will be made by our people in England to inspire their brethren in Scandinavia with courage and faith. Brethren, we must come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Do not, by words of unbelief, call down the denunciation <of God>. Do not act like the priest and Levite, who looked at the wounded man lying in his grievous condition, and passed by on the other side. Wake up, brethren. Let the work move forward with power. May the Lord help His people to do their best. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 14

I call upon all to take a more decided interest in the work of circulating Christ’s Object Lessons. Let not this work drop. Carry it forward. Let our canvassers in all parts of Europe be encouraged to take hold of this book and help in its sale. The sale of this book will do much more than to procure funds to help in freeing our institutions from debt. It will open the way for our larger books to find a ready market. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 15

The Lord moved upon my heart to give this book as a means of freeing our institutions from debt. And it is the Lord who moves upon His people to make the sale of this book a success. Canvassers will gain an experience that will be of the greatest advantage to them as they carry this book to those who need the instruction it contains. The lessons drawn in this book from the parables of our Saviour will be to many souls as the leaves of the tree of life. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 16

The prospect of Christ’s near coming is not to hinder God’s people from being industrious. None are to be idle. All are to be industrious for God. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:33.] We are to be perfect in our work even as God is perfect in His work. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 17

Christ declared that when He comes, some of His waiting people will be engaged in business transactions. Some will be sowing in the field, others reaping and gathering in the harvest, and others grinding at the mill. It is not God’s will that His elect shall abandon life’s duties and responsibilities and give themselves up to idle contemplation, living in a religious dream. They are to be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 18

Christ says that there will be those in the church who will present fables and suppositions, when God has given grand, elevating, ennobling truths, which should ever be kept in the treasure house of the mind. When men pick up this theory and that theory, when they are curious to know something it is not necessary for them to know, God is not leading them. It is not His plan that His people shall present something which they have to suppose, which is not taught in the Word. It is not His will that they shall get into controversy over questions which will not help them spiritually, such as, Who is to compose the hundred and forty-four thousand. <Tell them this question Christ would have told us if it were essential for our soul’s salvation to know.> This those who are the elect of God will in a short time know without question. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 19

My brethren and sisters, appreciate and study the truths God has given for you and your children. Spend not your time in seeking to know that which will be no spiritual help. “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” This is the all-important question, and it has been clearly answered. “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” [Luke 10:25, 26.] 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 20

Christ’s coming is nearer than when we first believed. The signs of the times show us that the end of all things is at hand. All are now to work for Christ. The heaviest responsibility rests on that worker whose opportunities and privileges have been greatest. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 21

I desire to refer once more to the canvassing work. The workers in England should take hold of Christ’s Object Lessons and should do all they possibly can with this book, that a school may be established in England. My brethren in England, France, Switzerland, and all places where the light of truth is shining, take hold of this work. Let this book be translated into the different languages and circulated in the different countries of Europe. What will the result be? The truth will reach many who otherwise would not receive it. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 22

God help you to make the most of His donation to you of this book. There are souls in desolate places who should be reached by this effort. The angels of God will make an impression on minds as the workers go forth in faith. All who enter this work will gain an experience that will enable them to be successful laborers for God. As they seek the Lord for help, He will communicate with them. They will receive plans devised by the Lord Himself. When the religious denominations unite with the papacy to oppress, places where there is religious freedom will be opened by evangelistic canvassing. If in one place the oppression becomes severe, do as Christ has told you to do. When they persecute you in one place, go to another place, and if persecution comes there, go to still another. God will lead His people, making them a blessing in many places. Were it not for persecution, God’s people would not be scattered abroad to proclaim the truth. And Christ declares, “Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.” [Matthew 10:23.] Then take hold of the work of evangelistic canvassing. 16LtMs, Ms 26, 1901, par. 23