Spalding and Magan Collection


A Broader Work

April 1, 1907.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in Thy good pleasure unto Zion; build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering; then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.” SpM 405.3

I have been shown that in the opening of new fields too much pride has often been manifested by our workers. In our work in the Southern field, we have kept too much to ourselves. Our efforts ought not to have been so closely confined to our own institutions. The light given me, and which I have given to our people, is that if workers of experience and wisdom would visit the colored schools established in Nashville and different places, and manifest an interest in their work, our workers would be invited to speak to the colored people in many places, and could thus impart to them precious truths that they do not understand. An excellent work has been done by these schools, and in drawing apart from them, we are not following the Lord's plan. An earnest sympathy should exist between our teachers and other teachers of colored schools in the South. SpM 405.4

When the question of our establishing a printing plant in the Southern states was being considered, I was shown that the very existence of the large educational institutions for colored people in Nashville made it a favorable place for the opening of our work; for in these schools lay opportunities for building up the cause of present truth. In failing to manifest an interest in the work of the colored schools, and to become acquainted with the work they were doing, an advantage was lost that might have been used to remove much prejudice. A judicious effort to open up to the teachers in these large institutions the principles and plans of our educational work, would have been productive of much good. Young men of firm principles should be selected to attend these schools, and watch for opportunities to drop the seeds of truth into the hearts of the teachers. And our missionaries could learn much in these institutions. SpM 406.1

I was also instructed that in the South a first class sanitarium should be erected where the colored people can be treated by hygienic methods, and where many youth can be trained to be skillful nurses and teachers of the gospel of Christ. Our people in the South must be quick in laying hold of advantages that are needed there. The true missionary spirit must be cherished in the hearts of all our workers. We have a school at Huntsville. If we are wise, we will make very decided efforts that the work of this school may be strengthened, and conducted in no inferior way. SpM 406.2

We need to be less diffident about making known our needs to those who can help us in carrying forward the work. The Lord will surely acknowledge determined efforts made to help the people who are in need of help. We should study carefully the second chapter of Nehemiah which records Nehemiah's request of the king, and the king's liberal response to his plea. The experiences of Nehemiah teach us that God does not prohibit his people from asking men in power for favors to advance the cause of God. Much more might be received for the advancement of the cause of God from men who have abundant resources, if the Lord's servants would lay their necessities before them. In the work of erecting sanitariums and school buildings in foreign countries God designs that the highest authorities shall be appealed to for assistance. This work should be done with prudence, taking care to present it as something that is being done for the benefit of the people, and as a work of God. SpM 406.3

To those workers who are preparing to be teachers, I would say, Begin to work in a humble way as missionaries for God. Bear in mind the example of those who for the sake of the truth are subjecting themselves to all manner of inconveniences in foreign fields,- - to the hardships of an unsuitable climate and to the opposition of people of an idolatrous faith. God asks you to begin your mission work at home. Those who are seeking to be first, need to humble their hearts before God. Let each one take up the missionary work that lies neglected at his very door. The Lord calls for laborers for our cities. Every true believer has a message. SpM 406.4

In visions of the night I seemed to be in a large congregation of our people in Nashville. One of authority stood before us. Reaching out His hand, he turned himself in every direction, saying, There is missionary work to be done in all the settlements about Nashville. There are among you those who should exercise their inventive faculties to devise plans for reaching the perishing souls whom you have neglected. When you take up the work that should be done in needy settlements right within your borders, the presence of the Lord will be with you, and angels will go before you. Your faculties will develop and your capabilities for work increase. And from Nashville you will pass to other cities to do the work that is waiting to be done. There is dearth of men and dearth of means; but when the missionary spirit shall be awakened, and you take hold of the work wherever you see souls hungering for the truth, then you will grow in grace and efficiency. There is work for all who want to work in the way Christ worked. SpM 406.5

“Who among you,” said the heavenly Messenger, “have tried to come into connection with the colored schools, that they might become acquainted with the teachers? How many have you converted to obedience to the truth?” The Lord is not pleased with the young men and the middle aged men who have felt no burden for the souls who are right around them. God desires that His servants shall explain the truths of his word in the darkest as well as in the most enlightened places. Consecration to God and prayer, earnest prayer, must be blended with the work. SpM 407.1

So little genuine missionary work is being done, so little of the missionary spirit is being cultivated, that the Lord is displeased. The great cities of the South lie unworked. Those who feel no desire to educate themselves for missionary work need a new conversion. SpM 407.2

Our young men and young women need a more pronounced experience in the work of God. Those who have learned the truths of the word must not be unwilling to place themselves in trying places in order to meet the people where they are. Work is waiting everywhere, and it is not all of the most pleasant kind. The Lord calls for young men who have cultivated a spirit of cheerfulness to go forth to convince others of the possibility of maintaining cheerfulness and refinement amid the most unfavorable circumstances. The message of truth must be given by means of practical missionary effort. Wake up, brethren, wake up. Watch and pray, and consecrate yourselves to the great work that is waiting to be done. SpM 407.3

You who have educated yourselves in a love of criticism have lost the love of beauty and holiness out of your lives. Arouse, and rid yourselves of these hindrances to progress in the Christian life. When you feel disposed to criticize the work of some of your brethren, take hold yourselves of the hardest work you can find to be done, and do it in Christ's name. This you will find to be a most valuable education. SpM 407.4

The children of God should never be rough and discourteous in their bearing toward one another. They should never blame and condemn. To those who want to give vent to a spirit of faultfinding, I would say, Go out among the rocks and stumps, and there relieve your mind of its evil thoughts; for these inanimate objects will not be harmed by your words. Only your own soul will suffer. After you have talked it all out, consider that it is written in the books of heaven what manner of spirit you are of. Then come to God with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, confess your need, and plead for his grace to make you one of his humble children. Let the ambition you have be exercised in a way that will bless needy souls. SpM 407.5

There are some who need to give expression to their religion in a different way than they have done in the past. They need to be ashamed of their past course of action, their lack of consecration and love, and to be reconverted. Then they will take hold humbly of any part of the work that needs their help. They need to learn how to pray and work for souls. The truth for these last days is to be proclaimed by purified human lips. When the live coal from the altar shall touch the lips of the believers, and they have been refined and purified by the Holy Spirit of God, then God can entrust them with his solemn message, and use them to glorify his name. Then they can teach transgressors the way of the Lord, and sinners will be converted unto him. SpM 408.1

Ellen G. White.