Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 2, 1905

Talk/The Work in the Southern States

College View, Nebraska

September 25, 1904

This manuscript is published in entirety in SpM 372-374.

I must speak in behalf of the work in the southern field. The message of the soon coming of our Saviour must go to all its cities. We must wake up and consider what this means to us individually in the matter of consecrated effort. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 1

Some have been working and striving continually to learn how we should enter the various and important fields and how the work can be done to the glory of God. But I can assure you that we have put none too much labor into this field. We have put none too much talent into it. We have given none too much money to it. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 2

There are many present who have been much interested in missionary work in the South. To these I say, Rejoice that the southern field is being worked. Today I desire to leave this impression upon the mind of every one that is here, that the southern field is to be thoroughly worked. This burden, as God has laid it upon us as a people, has been kept before us for many years. And the question for each individual is, What am I to do? To every man God has appointed his work. If we would only remember this, and seek humbly and perseveringly to know and to do our appointed work, guidance and grace would be given us to meet the trials and hardships of the way. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 3

When the Jews asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” He replied, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” [John 6:28, 29.] His disciples are commissioned to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” [Mark 16:15.] 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 4

You have neighbors. Will you give them the message? You may never have had the hands of ordination laid upon you, but you can humbly carry the message. You can testify that God has ordained that all for whom Christ died shall have everlasting life, if they believe on Him. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 5

It is a great thing to believe on Jesus Christ. We have altogether too little faith. I am instructed to say to you that individually we each have our work to do. The Master has given to every man his work. And because others may not do just exactly the work that you have to do, do not feel that you may criticize everything they do. No indeed. No one may devote to faultfinding the time that he ought to spend in hunting for souls, fishing for souls, using every capability and power in his appointed work. When your powers are used in this way, you may know that the Lord God of heaven is right by your side, to strengthen and to guide. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 6

There are many troublesome questions about the work in the South. There are many destitute fields, many needy enterprises. And some have felt to say, “This field is my field, and this location is under my direction. This branch of the work has been given to me.” It is all the Lord’s field, and one part is just as precious to Him as the other. What we want is to study how we can help one another to reach all the souls possible. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 7

We shall become really the most successful workers when we learn to encourage one another and then see that the work committed to us is done humbly and to God’s acceptance. As we do that, we shall know what hard work is, and the more we know what hard work is, the more we shall have hearts of tender sympathy and compassion for every soul who works. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 8

We would recommend to you all that you pray and work instead of talking and criticizing. There has been a great deal of talking that was of no special account. Now let there be an awakening. Let every one do his best. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 9

Because some one goes to a city and works at a great disadvantage, and cannot at first make everything run smoothly, shall we put blocks in the way, or shall we work to clear the track and smooth the way? Now that is what we must do in the South. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 10

That some mistakes are made is not to be wondered at. When men are laboring to the very best of their ability to gather up something with which they can advance the work, let us be considerate. Let those who would find fault with them go right out into a new place where the work is hard and endeavor to give a presentation of a perfect work as an encouragement to others. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 11

Let us be kind and courteous, and let us be sure that we do not discourage at a time when we should cheer and lift up. God wants every soul to be encouraged that our brethren in Nashville have been striving to advance the work. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 12

The work in the South will go forward. And I beg of you, Do not let any one here, whether he comes from the North or the South, listen to words of criticism and discouragement. When men’s hearts are sanctified to God, and they see their brethren struggling with all their might and power to pull the heavy load up the hill, will they stand still and look on and tell the toilers what they should do? No, no; God help us to draw. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 13

While we were in Nashville we had most precious meetings in the little chapel fitted up in the building of the Publishing Association. I thank the Lord for that comfortable meeting place. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 14

In the adjoining rooms, through the week, the presses are running all the day and sometimes late into the night, printing the precious pages of truth to be circulated in all parts of the world. In our meetings there the Spirit of God came in, and the light of heaven shone upon us. Elders Butler and Haskell were there; also Brethren Sutherland and Magan and two or three of our workers from the Nashville Sanitarium. After talking a little while, I said, Let every one bear testimony today; and they responded heartily. One after another they bore their testimony promptly, four or five frequently being on their feet at one time. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 15

Brethren, you may pray for them in the South as much as you please. But when you begin to find fault, let me tell you that the Spirit of the Lord is not with you. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 16

Our brethren invited me to visit all the departments of the publishing house, that I might see the work now being done. At first I was too busy, and afterwards I was so sick I could not go through the building as I had intended. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 17

But in the visions of the night I was led through every department of the building, and I saw the advancement that had been made since I first went there, when they were beginning the work. I felt so grateful to God that I said to those present, “Let us pray.” And as we knelt and prayed, the blessing of God came upon us. Then I distinctly heard a voice say, “Well done.” “Thank the Lord,” I said, “now I will not worry any more about the work done in these buildings.” 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 18

Why did the Lord give me this experience? Why were these things shown me, but that I might tell you that when you go into such a building, it is your privilege to believe that the ones entrusted with the work will be taught how to conduct it. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 19

I want to say again, Let every one do his appointed work. And then let us do all we can to encourage one another. When any one becomes fearful that the workers in some institution are not going just as they ought, let him go down on his knees before God and ask Him to give wisdom to those in charge to carry on that work aright. Then let him pray for wisdom that in his own work he may set a right example. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 20

For Christ’s sake, do not put on the cap of criticism, because it will hurt your mind. It will hurt your soul. You will be happier to leave it off. When we go from this place, the Lord would have us, as living missionaries, exert an influence in behalf of courage and faith. Let us all say, God help those who are trying to do their best. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 21

There is a great work to be done. Some will ask, What can be done to work effectively the city of Nashville? One way to success is to get a place a few miles out of Nashville and there establish a school and a sanitarium and, from these institutions as a working center, begin to work Nashville as we have not worked it yet. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 22

It takes some planning to work without money. It is hard to make bricks without straw. But may God help us that we may make the most of everything we have, so that the blessing of God may rest upon it. Let us have the prayers of every one of you for the southern field; for if ever there was a field upon earth that needs to be helped, it is the southern field. Why? Because the people have been educated wrongly. They need to be helped. They need the light. They need the grace of God, and we want to help them to come to the light. May every one of us settle it in our minds that we will look upon the best side. Let us determine to talk light and courage and hope. 20LtMs, Ms 2, 1905, par. 23