Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24

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Ms 53, 1909

Talk/Proclaiming the Third Angel’s Message in Cities at Home and Abroad

Takoma Park, Maryland

June 11, 1909

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 38-40, 61-62; 3MR 220-222; 10MR 360-361; PC 269; 6Bio 208-209. +Note

Talk by Mrs. E. G. White before the General Conference Committee, Foreign Mission Seminary Library, Friday morning, June 11, 1909. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 1

I am very thankful for the privilege of meeting once more with my brethren in responsibility. This has been a busy week. The Lord has strengthened me, and I praise His holy name. If we praise God more, and complain less, it will be pleasing to Him whom we serve and will do us much good. We desire that the Spirit of God shall not be withdrawn from us because of ingratitude on our part. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 2

The Bible is filled with precious instruction. In the seventh chapter of Proverbs we read: “My son, keep My words, and lay up My commandments with thee. Keep My commandments and live; and My law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister, and call understanding thy kinswoman.” Proverbs 7:1-4. In this we see how God tries to make His grace familiar to us by the use of pleasing figures. He desires that we shall lay hold on the simplicity of true godliness. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 3

To those who are bearing heavy responsibilities, I wish to say: The Lord desires every one of us to come into a sacred nearness with Himself. It is our privilege to do this. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” [Matthew 7:7, 8.] With such promises as these, let us come before the Lord with assurance, presenting before Him His own Word, and saying, “Father, you have promised to accept us in the Beloved. You have made provision for our salvation through the gift of Jesus.” “For God 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.] Oh, what a gift! And all that we might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 4

Brethren, let us dwell upon these high and holy themes. Let us meditate daily on the wondrous provision of grace made in our behalf. And let us always remember that we owe it to our fellow men to tell them of God’s infinite love for the fallen race. In view of the sacrifice made by the Father and by His only begotten Son, can we for a moment, as laborers together with God, think of planning to gather a large number of our forces in one place? It would be wrong for us to do this. We cannot afford it. For the conduct of affairs at the various centers of our work, we must endeavor, as far as possible, to find consecrated men who have been trained in business lines. We must guard against tying up at these centers of influence men who could do a more important work on the public platform, in presenting before unbelievers the truths of God’s Word. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 5

When I think of the many cities still unwarned, I cannot rest. It is distressing to think that they have been neglected so long. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 6

When Brother Burden was leaving for Southern California at the close of this conference, he inquired of me, “What shall we plan to do for Loma Linda?” “Go straight ahead,” I replied; “let the truth shine forth in every possible way. Continue to work with all your zeal in the territory surrounding your sanitarium. Help your students to learn how to labor, and keep sending them out into Redlands, and Riverside, and San Bernardino, and the smaller towns and villages round about. Introduce our publications, and do thorough work. Let your light shine as a lamp that burneth. Encourage the students to greater activity in missionary labor while taking their course of study.” 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 7

Our brethren at Loma Linda are in need of funds with which to carry on their work. But notwithstanding their present necessity, I have encouraged them not to falter, but to go forward in the name of the Lord. And now I appeal to my brethren in Washington not to allow them to suffer. While we are planning to support the educational work in such places as Washington, we must not forget the important work that must be done at Loma Linda, and in other centers of training. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 8

For many, many years the cities of America, including the cities in the South, have been set before our people as places needing special attention. A few have borne the burden of working in these cities; but, in comparison with the great needs and the many opportunities, but little has been done. Where is your faith, my brethren? Where are the workmen? In many of our large cities the first and the second angels’ messages were proclaimed during the 1844 movement. To you, as God’s servants, has been entrusted the third angel’s message, the binding-off message, that is to prepare a people for the coming of our King. Time is short. The Lord desires that everything connected with His cause shall be brought into order. He desires that the solemn message of warning and of invitation shall be proclaimed as widely as His messengers can carry it. The means that shall come into the treasury is to be used wisely in supporting the workers. Nothing that would hinder the advance of the message is to be allowed to come into our planning. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 9

Night after night, night after night, I have lain awake, weeping, and pleading with God, because of the seeming inability of some to discern opportunities for extending our efforts into the many unworked places close by—places that might have been warned years ago, had we chosen to do a broad work, rather than to hover around a few centers. We need to cultivate a spirit of self-sacrifice and of constant devotion to the needs of a lost world. All about us are souls that are perishing for lack of the knowledge that we might bring to them, if faithful to our mission. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 10

For years the pioneers of our work struggle against poverty and manifold hardships, in order to place the cause of present truth on vantage ground. With meager facilities, they labored untiringly; and the Lord blessed their humble efforts. The message went with power in the East, and extended westward, until centers of influence have been established in many places. The laborers of today may not have to endure all the hardships of those early days. The change of conditions, however, should not lead to any slackening of effort. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 11

And now, when the Lord bids us to proclaim the message once more with power in the East; when He bids us enter the cities of the East, and of the South, and of the North, and of the West, shall we not respond, as one man, and do His bidding? Shall we not plan to send messengers all through these fields and support them liberally? Shall not the ministers of God go into these crowded centers, <as Portland, as Baltimore,> and there lift up their voices in warning to multitudes? What are our conferences for, if not for the carrying forward of this very work? At such a time as this, every hand is to be employed. <New York City and all our cites are to be worked.> The Lord is coming. The end is near; yea, it hasteth greatly! In a little while from this we shall be unable to work with the freedom that we now enjoy. Terrible scenes are before us; and what we do, we must do quickly. We must now build up the work in every place possible. And for the accomplishment of this work, we greatly need in the field the help that can be given by our ministers of experience who are able to hold the attention of large congregations. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 12

During this conference I had a message for Brother Prescott. He is a minister. He should not remain here in Washington to do a work that another man can do. He can stand before the people and give the reasons of our faith in an acceptable way. I know this, because I have been associated with him in labor. He has a precious gift, and here he is employed in work that other men can do, while there is a dearth of laborers who can warn these large cities! His gift is not to be used longer as it is now; for if he continues to labor here, his health and strength will be used up. But if he will go out into the public ministry, strength will come to him. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 13

Before leaving home I promised the Lord that if He would spare my life, and enable me to come to this conference, I would deliver the message he had repeatedly given me in behalf of the cities in which thousands upon thousands are perishing without a knowledge of the truth. As I have borne this message to the people, the blessing of God has rested on me richly. And now, my brethren, I appeal to you in the name of the Lord to do your best and to plan for the advancement of the work in God’s appointed way. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 14

A little has been done in Washington, and in other cities of the South and the East; but in order to meet the mind of the Lord, we shall have to plan for the carrying forward of a far-reaching and systematic work. We must enter into this work with a perseverance that will not allow of any slackening of our efforts until we shall see of the salvation of our God. This will give us confidence to continue the work in still other places. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 15

All these cities of the East where the first and the second angels’ messages were proclaimed with power, and where the third angel’s message was preached in the early days of our history as a separate, peculiar people, must now be worked anew. There is Portland, Maine; there is Boston, and all the many towns round about; there is New York City, and the populous cities close by; there is Philadelphia and Baltimore and Washington. I need not enumerate all these places; you know where they are. The Lord desires us to proclaim the third angel’s message with power in these cities. We cannot exercise this power ourselves. All we can do is to choose men of capability, and urge them to go into these avenues of opportunity, and there proclaim the message in the power of the Holy Spirit. As they talk the truth, and live the truth, and pray the truth, God will move upon hearts. We cannot make the proper impression ourselves, but God can move upon hearts with the words uttered by His messengers, so that men and women will be affected, and will see of the salvation of God. As we work with all the strength that God grants us, and in humility of heart, putting our entire trust in Him, our labors will not be without fruit. Our determined efforts to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth for this time will be seconded by holy angels, and many souls will be saved. The Lord never forsakes His faithful messengers. He sends to their aid heavenly agencies and accompanies their labors with the power of His Holy Spirit to convict and to convert. <All heaven will endorse your appeals.> 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 16

Oh, that we might see the needs of these great cities as God sees them! We must plan to place in these cities capable men who can present the third angel’s message in a manner so forceful that it will strike home to the heart. Men who can do this, we cannot afford to gather into one place to do a work that others might do. Can we expect the inhabitants of these cities to come to us and say, “If you will come to us and preach, we will help you to do thus and so”? They know nothing of our message. The Lord desires us to let our light so shine before men, that His Holy Spirit may communicate the truth to the honest in heart who are seeking after truth. As we do this work, we shall find that means will flow into our treasuries, and we shall have means with which to carry on a still broader and more far-reaching work. Shall we not advance in faith, just as if we had thousands of dollars? We do not have half faith enough. Let us act our part in warning these cities. The warning message must come to the people who are ready to perish, unwarned, unsaved. How can we delay? As we advance, the means will come. But we must advance by faith, trusting in the Lord God of Israel. Night after night I am unable to sleep, because of this burden resting upon me in behalf of the unwarned cities. Night after night I am praying and trying to devise methods by which we can enter these cities and give the warning message. Why, there is a world to be <warned and> saved, and we are to go east and west and north and south and work intelligently for the people all about us. As we undertake this work, we shall see the salvation of God. <Encouragement will come.> 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 17

If the Lord continues to strengthen me, I expect to visit some of the places where I labored in my early youth during the 1844 movement, and soon after the passing of the time. I should like to visit Portland, Maine, once more, where in my childhood, as it were, the Lord gave me a message that bore everything before it. In those days it was not the testimony of a young girl that had a telling effect; it was the power of the Holy Spirit accompanying the message that touched hearts. Angels of God were with us in the rooms were we met, working, working, working upon human hearts. And thus it is today. Not the messenger, but the power accompanying his God-given message impresses hearts and leads to an acceptance of the words that are spoken. God lives and rules today, and He works through His appointed agencies, to the saving of many precious souls. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 18

There is a large work to be done here in the city of Washington that still remains undone. There is a large work to be done in the South and in the East; and our General Conference is to do its share in supplying the men that shall go out into these fields. And as men and women are brought into the truth in the cities, the means will begin to come in. As surely as honest souls will be converted, their means will be consecrated to the Lord’s service, and we shall see an increase of our resources. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 19

Brethren, let us work intelligently. May God help us and strengthen our faith. If Brother Prescott keeps at the work that he is doing now, his strength will fail. As he engages in active ministry in these great cities, and meets those who are hungering and thirsting for truth, his soul will be refreshed, and he will have health and vigor. The people will listen to his preaching, and many will be converted. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 20

*****

G. A. Irwin: Would you be willing to answer a question, Sister White, that is in the minds of some? 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 21

E. G. White: Certainly. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 22

G. A. Irwin: In all that you have said concerning the work of Elder Prescott, do you mean that he is to continue as editor of the paper, and also to go out and preach in the cities occasionally? 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 23

E. G. White: No; no; he must give himself up to the work of the ministry. His strength should not be divided. He is to give himself to the evangelistic work; for the very talent that he would otherwise use in helping to carry on the work at this Washington center is needed where there is no talent at the present time. In places where he may go, the work will have to build up solidly in various lines. There will be calls for special literature to go out among the people. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 24

In studying this problem, let us remember that the Lord sees not as man sees. He looks upon the terrible neglect of the cities. I do not want to repeat what I have said about this neglect. It is not at all in the order of God <that these cities should be left unwarned, unworked.> It is the result of man’s devising. There is a world to be saved. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 25

Some time ago, Brother Washburn wrote me from Nashville, asking whether I did not think it would be proper for him to remain there, where much remained undone. He referred to the comfortable situation of his family, and of how often he had moved from place to place; and now he wished to know whether it would not be advisable for him to remain there, even though there were several others workers stationed in the city. I urged him to get out into the unworked cities, where there were but few representatives of our faith. He did so; and today he sees fulfilled what I wrote him at that time. In talking with him recently about his experiences, I inquired, “Would you go back to the little place you had at Nashville?” “Sister White,” he replied, “you could not hire me to go back.” 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 26

Now, brethren, when you lay your plans, I beg of you to remember that you are not to plan simply to strengthen these training centers at Washington, and to send out a few missionaries to foreign fields; but you are to plan, also, to work the cities right before your eyes. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 27

W. C. White: By this, do you wish us to understand that we must plan to work the cities in foreign fields too? 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 28

E. G. White: Yes, the cities in the foreign fields; indeed we should. Means can be raised for the support of our missions abroad. They are not to be left without funds. 24LtMs, Ms 53, 1909, par. 29