Life Sketches of Ellen G. White


“Go Forward!”

In reviewing the progress attained up to the close of the year 1887, Mrs. White wrote freely concerning the opening providences of God in Europe, and the opportunities of the future. She said: LS 304.2

“A great work is committed to those who present the truth in Europe....There are France and Germany, with their great cities and teeming population. There are Italy, Spain, and Portugal, after so many centuries of darkness, ... opened to the word of God—opened to receive the last message of warning to the world. There are Holland, Austria, Roumania, Turkey, Greece, and Russia, the home of millions upon millions, whose souls are as precious in the sight of God as our own, who know nothing of the special truths for this time.... LS 304.3

“A good work has already been done in these countries. There are those who have received the truth, scattered as light bearers in almost every land....But how little has been done in comparison with the great work before us! Angels of God are moving upon the minds of the people, and preparing them to receive the warning. Missionaries are needed in fields that have yet been scarcely entered. New fields are constantly opening. The truth must be translated into different languages, that all nations may enjoy its pure, life-giving influences.... LS 305.1

“Colporteurs are meeting with encouraging success in the sale of our books. The light is thus brought to the people, while the colporteur—who in many cases has been thrown out of employment by accepting the truth—is enabled to support himself, and the sales are a financial help to the office. In the days of the Reformation, monks who had left their convents, and who had no other means of support, traversed the country, selling Luther's works, which were thus rapidly circulated throughout Europe. Colportage work was one of the most efficient means of spreading the light then, and so it will prove now.... LS 305.2

“There will be obstacles to retard.... These we have had to meet wherever missions have been established. Lack of experience, imperfections, mistakes, unconsecrated influences, have had to be overcome. How often have these hindered the advancement of the cause in America! We do not expect to meet fewer difficulties in Europe. Some connected with the work in these foreign fields, as in America, become disheartened, and, following the course of the unworthy spies, bring a discouraging report. Like the discontented weaver, they are looking at the wrong side of the web. They cannot trace the plan of the Designer; to them all is confusion, and instead of waiting till they can discern the purpose of God, they hastily communicate to others their spirit of doubt and darkness. LS 305.3

“But we have no such report to bring. After a two years’ stay in Europe we see no more reason for discouragement in the state of the cause there than at its rise in the different fields in America. There we saw the Lord testing the material to be used. Some would not bear the proving of God. They would not be hewed and squared. Every stroke of the chisel, every blow of the hammer, aroused their anger and resistance. They were laid aside, and other material was brought in, to be tested in like manner. All this occasioned delay. Every fragment broken away was regretted and mourned over. Some thought that these losses would ruin the building; but, on the contrary, it was rendered stronger by the removal of these elements of weakness. The work went steadily forward. Every day made it plainer that the Lord's hand was guiding all, and that a grand purpose ran through the work from first to last. So we see the cause being established in Europe. LS 306.1

“One of the great difficulties there is the poverty that meets us at every turn. This retards the progress of the truth, which, as in earlier ages, usually finds its first converts among the humbler classes. Yet we had a similar experience in our own country, both east and west of the Rocky Mountains. Those who first accepted this message were poor, but as they set to work in faith to accomplish what they could with their talents of ability and means, the Lord came in to help. In His providence He brought men and women into the truth who were willing-hearted; they had means, and they wanted to send the light to others. So it will be now. But the Lord would have us labor earnestly in faith till that time comes. LS 306.2

“The word has gone forth to Europe, ‘Go forward!’ The humblest toiler for the salvation of souls is a laborer together with God, a coworker with Christ. Angels minister unto him. As we advance in the opening path of His providence, God will continue to open the way before us. The greater the difficulties to be overcome, the greater will be the victory gained.” The Review and Herald, December 6, 1887. LS 307.1