The Publishing Ministry


Chapter 39—A Witness Unto All Nations

You Know Not Which Shall Prosper—There has been a slothful neglect and a criminal unbelief among us as a people, which has kept us back from doing the work God has left us to do in letting our light shine forth to those of other nations. There is a fearfulness to venture out and to run risks in this great work, fearing that the expenditure of means would not bring returns. What if means are used and yet we cannot see that souls have been saved by it? What if there is a dead loss of a portion of our means? Better work and keep at work than to do nothing. You know not which shall prosper, this or that. PM 391.1

God will have men who will venture anything and everything to save souls. Those who will not move until they can see every step of the way clearly before them, will not be of advantage at this time to forward the truth of God. There must be workers now who will push ahead in the dark as well as in the light, and who will hold up bravely under discouragements and disappointed hopes, and yet work on with faith, with tears and patient hope, sowing beside all waters, trusting the Lord to bring the increase. God calls for men of nerve, of hope, faith, and endurance, to work to the point.—Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 213, 214. PM 391.2

Experience With an Australian Citrus Grower—There was one man whom, with his whole family, we highly prized. He is a reading man, and has a large farm, on which grow the choicest of oranges and lemons, with other fruit. But he did not in the beginning fully take his position for the truth, and went back. They told me about this. In the night season the angel of the Lord seemed to stand by me, saying, “Go to Brother H, place your books before him, and this will save his soul.” I visited with him, taking with me a few of my large books. I talked with him just as though he were with us. I talked of his responsibilities. I said, “You have great responsibilities, my brother. Here are your neighbors all around you. You are accountable for every one of them. You have a knowledge of the truth, and if you love the truth, and stand in your integrity, you will win souls for Christ. PM 391.3

He looked at me in a queer way, as much as to say, “I do not think you know that I have given up the truth, that I have allowed my girls to go to dances, and to the Sunday school, that we do not keep the Sabbath.” But I did know it. However, I talked to him just as though he were with us. “Now,” I said, “we are going to help you to begin to work for your neighbors. I want to make you a present of some books.” He said, “We have a library, from which we draw books.” I said, “I do not see any books here. Perhaps you feel delicate about drawing from the library. I have come to give you these books, so that your children can read them, and this will be a strength to you.” I knelt down and prayed with him, and when we rose, the tears were rolling down his face, as he said, “I am glad that you came to see me. I thank you for the books.” PM 392.1

The next time I visited him, he told me that he had read part of Patriarchs and Prophets. He said, “There is not one syllable I could change. Every paragraph speaks right to the soul.” PM 392.2

I asked Brother H which of my large books he considered the most important. He said, “I lend them all to my neighbors, and the hotelkeeper thinks that Great Controversy is the best. But,” he said, while his lips quivered, “I think that Patriarchs and Prophets is the best. It is that which pulled me out of the mire.” PM 392.3

But suffice it to say, he took his position firmly for the truth. His whole family united with him, and they have been the means of saving other families.—Evangelism, 451, 452. PM 392.4

Twenty-two Years After Seed Sowing—After the meeting closed [a service at the Michigan camp meeting], a sister took me heartily by the hand, expressing great joy at meeting Sister White again. She inquired if I remembered calling at a log house in the woods twenty-two years before. She gave us refreshments, and I left with them a little book, Experience and Views. PM 393.1

She stated that she had lent that little book to her neighbors, as new families had settled around her, until there was very little left of it; and she expressed a great desire to obtain another copy of the work. Her neighbors were deeply interested in it, and were desirous of seeing the writer. She said that when I called upon her I talked to her of Jesus and the beauties of heaven, and that the words were spoken with such fervor that she was charmed, and had never forgotten them. Since that time the Lord had sent ministers to preach the truth to them, and now there was quite a company observing the Sabbath. The influence of that little book, now worn out with perusing, had extended from one to another, performing its silent work, until the soil was ready for the seeds of truth. PM 393.2

I well remember the long journey we took twenty-two years ago, in Michigan. We were on our way to hold a meeting in Vergennes. We were fifteen miles from our destination. Our driver had passed over the road repeatedly and was well acquainted with it, but was compelled to acknowledge that he had lost the way. We traveled forty miles that day, through the woods, over logs and fallen trees, where there was scarcely a trace of road.... PM 393.3

We could not understand why we should be left to this singular wandering in the wilderness. We were never more pleased than when we came in sight of a little clearing on which was a log cabin, where we found the sister I have mentioned. She kindly welcomed us to her home, and provided us with refreshments which were gratefully received. As we rested, I talked with the family and left them the little book. She gladly accepted it, and has preserved it until the present time. PM 393.4

For twenty-two years our wanderings on this journey have seemed indeed mysterious to us, but here we met quite a company who are now believers in the truth, and who date their first experience from the influence of that little book. The sister who so kindly administered to our wants is now, with many of her neighbors, rejoicing in the light of present truth.—Evangelism, 448, 449. PM 394.1

Personal Witness With Literature—I have given my largest works to families out of the truth, and I hear the testimonies of some that it was these books, silently reflecting the light upon the Word of God, that converted them to the truth. I have given away to families no less than five hundred dollars’ worth of books, and by this means the work is constantly going forward.—Letter 48, 1899. PM 394.2

Literature Distribution on the Trains—There was a larger number of passengers on the car than when we came east last year, but during the whole trip nothing occurred to mar the harmony. PM 394.3

During the trip I gave away several of my books, and those to whom I gave them were very much pleased. I gave a copy of Christ's Object Lessons to Mr. Phillips [conductor], and he seemed to appreciate the gift very highly.—Letter 135, 1905. PM 394.4

Giving Away Large and Small Books—We gave away many of our large and small books to families [attending camp meeting] who were unable to buy them, asking them to read them and to lend them to their neighbors. In this way we set one family to work for neighboring families. They would come together and read the books aloud. As a result, conviction was brought to the hearts of some, and souls were converted.—Letter 102, 1908. PM 394.5

An Experience in Samoa—A couple leave the boat at Samoa. The lady, Mrs. Goward, caught sight of Desire of Ages and she expressed her admiration of the book. I made her a present of it, and gave her the little book Christian Education. She said when she took it up she could not lay it down. She said she never saw things in print so enlightening and so beneficial. Her husband has been reading Desire of Ages. He says it is a wonderful book. Both seem very thankful for these books. Now they leave Samoa for another island.... PM 394.6

Well, we mean to sow beside all waters. Some fruit may come of the seed sown. I prayed the Lord to open the way that I might find someone interested in the Desire of Ages, and then came this chance.—Letter 190, 1900. PM 395.1

Publishing to Greatly Increase—The publications and periodicals that come from our presses have a definite and far-reaching work to do. These papers are not to repeat and discuss the errors that are all the time coming in to divert the mind from what is truth. Let the articles deal with the truths of the word of God, giving clear instruction regarding the saving truths for this time.... PM 395.2

As the work advances, our publications in all languages should increase in circulation. Our presses are now at work in many lands, sending forth the truth in French, Danish, German, and many foreign languages. Let a spirit of harmony and unity prevail as the work is carried forward; we have no time for contention and strife. In every clime the truth is to go forth as a lamp that burneth. Let every reasoning mind have the privilege of hearing the truth for this time.—Manuscript 61, 1909. PM 395.3