Ms 43a, 1898

1898

Ms 43a, 1898

The Laborer Is Worthy of His Hire

NP

March 22, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 5MR 162, 323-327; 15MR 161-163. +Note

Some matters have been presented to me in regard to the laborers who are seeking to do all in their power to win souls to Jesus Christ. The ministers are paid for their work, and this is well. And if the Lord gives the wife as well as the husband the burden of labor, and if she devotes her time and strength to visiting from family to family, opening the Scriptures to them, although the hands of ordination have not been laid upon her, she is accomplishing a work that is in the line of ministry. Should her labors be counted as naught, and her husband’s salary be no more than that of the servant of God whose wife does not give herself to the work, but remains at home, to care for her family? Ms43a-1898.1

While I was in America, I was given light upon this subject. I was instructed that there are matters that need to be considered. Injustice has been done to women who labor just as devotedly as their husbands, and who are recognized by God as being as necessary to the work of ministry as their husbands. The method of paying men laborers, and not their wives is a plan not after the Lord’s order. Injustice is thus done. A mistake is made. The Lord does not favor this plan. This arrangement, if carried out by our conferences, is liable to discourage our sisters from qualifying themselves for the work they should engage in. Ms43a-1898.2

A mistake is made when the burden of the work is left entirely upon the ministers. This plan was certainly arranged without the mind of God. Some women are now teaching young women to work successfully as visitors and Bible readers. Women who work in the cause of God should be given wages proportionate to the time they give to the work. God is a God of justice, and if the ministers receive a salary for their work, their wives, who devote themselves just as interestedly to the work as laborers together with God, should be paid in addition to the wages their husbands receive, notwithstanding that they may not ask this. As the devoted minister and his wife engage in the work, they should be paid wages proportionate to the wages of two distinct workers, that they may have means to use as they shall see fit in the cause of God. The Lord has put His Spirit upon them both. If the husband should die, and leave his wife, she is fitted to continue her work in the cause of God, and to receive wages for the labor she performs. Ms43a-1898.3

Seventh-day Adventists are not in any way to belittle woman’s work. If a woman puts her housework in the hands of a faithful, prudent helper, and leaves her children in good care, while she engages in the work, the conference should have wisdom to understand the justice of her receiving wages. Ms43a-1898.4

Women helped our Saviour by uniting with Him in His work. And the great apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life.” [Philippians 4:1-3.] Ms43a-1898.5

If women do the work that is not the most agreeable to many of those who labor in word and doctrine, and if their works testify that they are accomplishing a work that has been manifestly neglected, should not such labor be looked upon as being as rich in results as the work of the ordained minister? Should it not command the hire of the laborer? Would not such workers be defrauded if they were not paid? Ms43a-1898.6

This question is not for men to settle. The Lord has settled it. You are to do your duty to the women who labor in the gospel, whose work testifies that they are essential to carry the truth into families. Their work is just the work that must be done. In many respects a woman can impart knowledge to her sisters that a man cannot. The cause would suffer great loss without this kind of labor. Again and again the Lord has shown me that women teachers are just as greatly needed to do the work to which He has appointed them as are men. They should not be compelled by the sentiments and rules of others to depend upon donations for their payment, any more than should the ministers. Ms43a-1898.7

Letters have come to me from several, asking my advice upon the question, Should ministers’ wives adopt infant children? Would I advise them to do this kind of work? To some who were regarding this matter favorably, I answered, No; God would have you help your husband in his work. The Lord has not given you children of your own; His wisdom is not to be questioned. He knows what is best. Consecrate your powers to God as a Christian worker. You can help your husband in many ways. You can support him in his work by writing for him, by keeping your intellect improved. By using the ability that God has given you, you can be a homekeeper. And more than this, you can help to give the message. Ms43a-1898.8

There are women who should labor in the gospel ministry. In many respects they would do more good than the ministers who neglect to visit the flock of God. Husband and wife may unite in this work, and when it is possible, they should. The way is open for consecrated women. But the enemy would be pleased to have women whom God could use to help hundreds, bending up their time and strength on one helpless little mortal, that requires constant care and attention. Ms43a-1898.9

“Thus saith, the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and he Son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. Ms43a-1898.10

“For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant: even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls, a name and a place better than of sons and daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, everyone that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant: even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar, for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all people. The Lord God, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered to him.” [Isaiah 56:1-8.] Ms43a-1898.11

This is the grand and noble work that the minister and his wife may qualify themselves to do as faithful shepherds and guardians of the flock. There are those who have no inclination or fitness to help the struggling souls who are ignorant and poor. If these feel it their duty to take orphan children and care for them, they may do a good work. But let the choice of the children be first made from among those who have been left orphans by Sabbath-keeping parents. God will bless men and women as they share their homes with this class. But the wives of our ministers, who can themselves act a part in the work of educating others, should in the love of God be co-laborers with Christ. Let them not voluntarily tie their hands by the care of an infant. Those women who labor to teach souls to seek for the new birth in Christ Jesus, are doing a precious work. They consecrate themselves to God, and they are just as verily laborers for God as are their husbands. They can enter families to which ministers could find no access. They can listen to the sorrows of the depressed and oppressed. They can shed rays of light into discouraged souls. They can pray with them. They can open the Scriptures, and enlighten by a “Thus saith the Lord.” Ms43a-1898.12