The Home Missionary


November 1, 1896

God's Appointed Messenger


From a letter by Mrs. E. G. White, dated June 14, 1896, we extract the following: HM November 1, 1896, par. 1

“I cannot see why the canvassing work is not as good and successful a work as can be done for the Lord. Canvassers can become acquainted with the people, they can pray with them, and can understand their true necessities. HM November 1, 1896, par. 2

“From the light which God has given me, there is much responsibility resting upon the canvassers. They should go to their work prepared to explain the Scriptures, and nothing should be said or done to bind their hands. If they put their trust in the Lord as they travel from place to place, the angels of God will be round about them, giving them words to speak which will bring light and hope and courage to many souls. Were it not for the work of the canvassers, many would never hear the truth. HM November 1, 1896, par. 3

“Of all the gifts which God has given to man, none is more noble or a greater blessing than the gift of speech, if it is sanctified by the Holy Spirit. It is with the tongue we convince and persuade; with it we offer prayer and praise to God, and with it we convey rich thoughts of the Redeemer's love. By this work the canvasser can scatter the seeds of truth, causing the light from the word of God to shine into many minds. HM November 1, 1896, par. 4

“I sincerely hope that no mind will receive the impression that it belittles a minister of the gospel to canvass. Hear the apostle Paul's testimony: ‘Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.’ The eloquent Paul, to whom God manifested himself in a remarkable manner, went from house to house, with all humility of mind, and with many tears and temptations. HM November 1, 1896, par. 5

“I have been shown that the most precious ministry can be done by canvassing, and that by ministers. By doing this work, they will obtain a varied experience, and will be doing the very work that the apostle Paul did. I copy an extract from an appeal made to our brethren in regard to canvassing for our periodicals and books: ‘The canvassing work is an important field for labor; and the intelligent, God-fearing, truth-loving canvasser, occupies a position equal to that of the gospel minister.’ Then should the canvasser feel at liberty, any more than the ordained minister, to act from selfish motives? Should he be unfaithful to all the principles of missionary work, and sell only those books that are cheapest and easiest to handle, neglecting to place before the people the books which will give most light, because by so doing, he can earn more money for himself? The canvassing work is a missionary work, and the field must be worked from a missionary standpoint. Selfish principles, love of dignity and position should not be once named among us. The thought of seeking to become greatest should never come into our minds.” HM November 1, 1896, par. 6

Well organized work must be done in the church, that its members may understand the manner in which they may impart light to others, and thus strengthen their own faith and increase their knowledge. HM November 1, 1896, par. 7

E. G. W.