Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 40, 1901

An Appeal for the Southern Field

Battle Creek, Michigan

April 2, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in PM 194; Ev 88. +Note

There is much that should be done in the Southern field. This long-neglected field must be given attention. Again and again the needs of this field have been pointed out, but very little has been done to redeem the neglect of the past. We hope that there will now be a decided awakening, and that our people will remove the reproach by doing the work God has so decidedly laid upon them. 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 1

Schools and sanitariums must be established in the South. No time should be wasted before this work is taken up. There is need also of a well-equipped printing press, that books may be published for the use of the workers in the South. I have been instructed that the publication of books suitable for use in this field is essential. Something in this line must be done without delay. 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 2

I visited Vicksburg on my way to the General Conference, and I saw that in the buildings erected by the workers there, a good object lesson has been given to the people. Economy has been practiced in every line. The buildings are inexpensive, yet neat and tasteful. 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 3

At Nashville I was surprised to find a printing office filled with busy workers. This office, with its furnishings, has been purchased at as little cost as possible. Everything about it is neat and orderly. The countenances of the workers express intelligence and ability, and the work they do is a valuable object lesson. But a larger building is needed, for many lines of business will open up as the work is carried forward. There is much work to be done in the South, and in order to do this work, the laborers must have suitable literature, books telling the truth in simple language and abundantly illustrated. This class of literature will be the most effective means of keeping the truth before the people. A sermon may be preached and soon forgotten, but a book remains. 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 4

The Lord has placed means in the hands of His people to be used in this work. I call upon my brethren and sisters to give of their means to provide a suitable publishing house for the Southern field. It is needed for this purpose. 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 5

God has placed us in a world which He Himself has described as full of His goodness. The blessings which He has provided are without number, amply sufficient for the carrying forward of the work of letting the light of truth shine forth to the world. Sin has prevailed and has marred and seared the world with its curse, but still the Lord in His mercy is working out His divine plan for filling the earth with His glory. His bounty is inexhaustible. 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 6

I appeal to those who know the truth to help the work in the Southern field. This is my burden. I am instructed to call upon those who have means to give of their money to the Southern field, that the Lord’s work be not hindered. 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 7

Nashville is to be made a center for the work. From this place will go forth an influence which will establish the work as the Lord may prepare the way <in other places in the South>. Let those who labor in the interests of the cause of God lay the necessities of the work in the South before the wealthy men of the world. Do this judiciously. Tell them what you are trying to do. Solicit donations from them. It is God’s means which they have, means which should be used in enlightening the world. There are stored up in the earth large treasures of gold and silver. Men’s riches have accumulated. Go to these men with a heart filled with love for Christ and suffering humanity, and ask them to help you in the work you are trying to do for the Master. As they see that you reveal the sentiments of God’s benevolence, a chord will be touched in their hearts. They will realize that they can be Christ’s helping hand by doing medical missionary work. They will be led to co-operate with God, to provide the facilities necessary to set in operation the work that needs to be done. 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 8

For God’s people to be selfish with their means at this time would be to give the victory to Satan. Covetousness is idolatry. It cannot grow and strengthen without great loss of souls to Christ. God has done great things for us. Should not every heart expand with generous emotion, filled with a determination to return to the Lord His entrusted talents, that the work of restoring His moral image in man may be accomplished? 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 9

Will our brethren awaken to a sense of their responsibility? Will they give liberally, that the work in the South may be so established that it may be self-sustaining? This world was established and is supported by the charity of a benevolent Creator. We are supported by charity. God is the donor of all we have. He calls upon us to return to Him <a portion> of the abundance He has bestowed upon us. Think of the care He gives the earth, sending the rain and the sunshine in their season, to cause vegetation to flourish. It is the great husbandman who gives life to the seeds planted in the earth. He bestows His favors on the just and on the unjust. Shall not the recipients of His blessings show their gratitude to Him by giving of their bounties to help suffering humanity? 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 10

Will you not strive to be like Jesus? Will you not be His helping hand? Will you not, who claim to be sons and daughters of God, members of the royal family, show the world that truth expels selfishness from the heart? 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 11

We may well feel that it is a privilege to be laborers together with God, to trade upon His goods by setting in operation that which will carry out His purposes in our world. Should we, receiving day by day the tokens of God’s love and goodness and compassion, use our time and strength in selfish interests, while the cause of God is languishing, and provision is not made for carrying forward to completion His purpose for the sanctification of the beings He has created and redeemed? 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 12

The Lord Jesus calls upon me to set these things before believers and unbelievers. Be merciful, even as your Father in heaven is merciful. Think of the great gift God has made you, even the gift of His Son. Think of what He has done to secure your salvation. Your sinful condition demanded a sacrifice. In your spiritual destitution you had nothing to offer. Christ came to this world and on the cross offered Himself as a sacrifice for you. You are not your own, for you have been bought with a price; “therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] He “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 13

Behold the substitute which heaven has provided for you! Herein is love! God has given you an amazing proof of His love, a proof which defies all computation. We have no line with which to measure it, no standard with which to compare it. God gave His beloved Son as a propitiation for our sins. 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 14

What more can I say! Can we refuse the request of Him who has done so much for us? God invites us to let our gratitude flow forth in gifts and offerings. He calls upon us to be His merciful helping hand, to bear His blessings to needy, perishing souls. He who gave up His only begotten Son to save you from eternal death, asks you to give to His work your worldly possessions. He asks for loving, compassionate service. This He does to test you, and in asking, He calls only for His own; for all you have is His. To test your allegiance to Him, He permits you to handle His goods. He wants you to make all you possibly can of yourself, because then you will have more capabilities to return to Him. You will impart and receive to impart. Call to mind each day what God is to you. Talk of His perfection, of His glory, and with this in mind, ask yourself what you can do for Him. Remember that He has entrusted you with His goods. Repeat over and over, “This God is my God forever and ever.” Those who in this life give willingly and cheerfully to God are laying up treasure in heaven. They will at last come into possession of an eternal weight of glory. 16LtMs, Ms 40, 1901, par. 15