Manuscript Releases, vol. 20 [Nos. 1420-1500]


MR No. 1448—A Call to Service

(Diary entry June 22, 1901, written at Oakland, California.)

Today, Sabbath, I spoke to a large congregation in the tent, from the fourteenth chapter of John. I was led out to speak on faith in the promises of God, and I urged all to exercise faith and to express cheerfulness and gratitude. This is the last time I shall speak in the tent. I shall then have spoken eleven times. I think Brother A. T. Jones will speak tomorrow. 20MR 123.1

There is need of greater earnestness in all lines of ministerial work. Time is passing, and the work that should be far advanced in our cities is at a standstill. The ministers are not to spend their time working for those who have already accepted the truth. They are to go forth to proclaim the message to those who have not heard it. And church members are to be educated to work in the Lord's vineyard. 20MR 123.2

It is not enough to live merely a quiet, prayerful life. Meditation alone will not answer the need of the world. We are not to be mere subjectives of religion. Vigilant waiting and vigilant working are to be combined. We are to be living, wide-awake, energetic, fervent Christians, filled with zeal to give to others the blessings of the truth. We are to receive and impart light to those who are perishing in darkness. 20MR 123.3

God's servants are to work. People need the light of truth, and by earnest, faithful effort it is to be communicated to them. There are souls to be sought for, prayed for, labored for. The lamps of the soul are to be kept trimmed and burning. God's servants are to be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord,” Everything that can be done to save souls should be done without delay. Earnest appeals should be made. Fervent prayers should be offered. God's Word declares, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” 20MR 123.4

Wake up, my brethren, into spiritual life. Daily reveal a determined purpose to be good and to do good. Do not encourage young ministers to preach to the churches. This is not their work. They are to go forth without the camp, taking up the work in places where the truth has not yet been proclaimed. Let them go in the humility and meekness of Christ, gathering strength from the Source of all strength. 20MR 123.5

Paul's words to Timothy are spoken to every young man who desires to enter the ministry: “Take heed to thyself and to the doctrine.” “Thyself” needs the first attention. Trim the lamp of the soul, and replenish it with the oil of the Spirit. Seek from Christ that grace, that clearness of comprehension, that will enable you to do successful work. Learn from him what it means to labor for those for whom He gave His life. The most talented worker can do little unless Christ is formed within, the hope and strength of the life. In order for the life to produce good fruit, the root must be holy. 20MR 123.6

First give yourself to the Lord for purification and sanctification to His service. A godly example will tell more for the truth than the greatest eloquence unaccompanied by a well-ordered life. 20MR 124.1

Young men, deal faithfully and truly with your own souls. Seek the Lord most earnestly for grace and strength. Study the words of the Saviour: “I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Worldly ambition, worldly plans, worldly principles, are not to be brought into the life of the Christian. 20MR 124.2

Christ said, “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” 20MR 124.3

Will you not remember that this prayer includes you? Will you not strive to answer it? Will you not give yourself to the Lord? Willingness and earnestness to carry out the principles of true holiness will place you in such a relation to God that you will give full proof of your ministry. You will see the fruit of your labor. 20MR 124.4

The heart must be brought into conformity to the will of God. As is the health of the heart, so is the religious experience and the fruit seen in the life. Few realize the guile that lurks in the natural heart. Unless the heart is cleansed from all defilement, evil will appear in the life. No human being can in truth fulfill the requirements of God's law unless this law is written on his heart. 20MR 124.5

He only who makes righteousness a part of his life is prepared rightly to estimate the truth. The truth is no truth to the one who merely makes a profession, who is not sanctified by its power, upon whose heart the pure image of truth is not stamped. Such a one keeps the truth in the outer court. His love for Christ is tame, superficial, exercising no controlling power over his reason. 20MR 124.6

When young and old give careful, prayerful thought to the fitness required of all who do true service for God, a decided reformation will be seen. In the place of drinking in iniquity, the heart will be filled to overflowing with the love of Christ. The whole being will be enlisted in God's service. The affections will be set on things above. We shall respond heartily to the words of life, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” 20MR 124.7

The Heart-searcher knows that many whose names are on the church books are cherishing sins resembling in vileness the sins of Sodom. The question comes to my mind: “How long will it be before the judgment cuts down those who are polluting themselves and others?” The judgments of God, long-delayed, but none the less sure, will soon fall on those who have defiled the temple of God. 20MR 125.1


Read carefully the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, and appropriate to yourselves the instruction it contains. In the tenth chapter the apostle says: [Verses 11-25, 35-39, quoted]. 20MR 125.2

The eleventh chapter contains a record of the experience of the faithful. Writing of them Paul says: [Verses 7-10, 13-16, quoted]. 20MR 125.3

“Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Those who undertake to work for God in our cities must go forward in faith, doing their very best. As they watch and work and pray, God will hear and answer their petitions. They will obtain an experience that will be invaluable to them in their after work. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 20MR 125.4

As a people we have had great light. Oh, that we were awake! Then would we use every gift, every talent, in the work of giving to the world the truth for this time. The number of workers would greatly increase, and the work would grow in influence and extent. 20MR 125.5

What shall we say, what can we say, to arouse those who know the truth, both ministers and lay members, to a sense of their responsibility? How can they be led to feel the burden of imparting to others the truth God has entrusted to them? Darkness has covered the world, and gross darkness the people. Men and women are in need of the light of heaven. God's people are to be light-bearers, shining amid the darkness of this degenerate age. 20MR 125.6

Do we realize how large a number in the world are watching our movement? From quarters where we least expect will come voices urging us forward in the work of giving to the world the last message of mercy. Ministers and people, wake up. Be wide-awake to recognize and quick to avail yourselves of every advantage offered in the turning of the wheel of providence. God and Christ and the heavenly angels are working with intense activity to quell the fierceness of Satan's wrath, that God's plans may not be thwarted. 20MR 125.7

God lives and reigns. He is conducting the affairs of the universe. Let every soul who knows the way of salvation move forward to victory. Let there be perfect unity throughout the ranks of God's servants. Let them press the battle to the gates. He will work for them as a mighty conqueror. 20MR 126.1

Our faith is not proportionate to the light God has given us. The reason for this is that the carnal mind, which is at enmity with God, has not been cleansed. When our hearts are emptied of all selfishness, and cleansed by the Spirit of Christ, we shall be vessels meet for the Master's use. 20MR 126.2

God is waiting for men and women to awaken to a sense of their responsibilities. He is waiting for them to link themselves with him. Let them mark the signals for advance, and no longer be laggards in working out the will of the Lord. 20MR 126.3

God has given us all something to do. Those who are willing to work in a self-denying, self-sacrificing way will find their place. Let them press forward in harmonious action, on a plane that marks the work as elevating and ennobling. 20MR 126.4

Those who are successful in working for God must obtain wisdom from on high. Of himself man can do nothing aright. And when success crowns the efforts of a worker, he is in no case to glorify himself. Those who work for God must hide self in Christ. “Learn of Me,” said the great Teacher, “for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Even in the busiest activities of life we are to hold quiet communion with Jesus; for only thus can we gain the clear discernment that enables us to seize every advantage that God presents for the blessing of the world. 20MR 126.5

God has no use for those who seek a safe and easy place. By an unreserved consecration we are to prepare ourselves for God's service. Our ministers are not to hover over the churches, regarding the churches in some particular territory as their special care. The members of our churches are to have root in themselves, striking firm root in Christ, that they may bear fruit to His glory. As one man, they are to strive to attain one object—the saving of souls. 20MR 126.6

God's servants are not to exhaust their time and strength in work for those whose whole lifetime has been devoted to the service of Satan till the entire being is corrupted. As the outcasts come, and they will come, as they came to Christ, we are to forbid them not. But God calls for workers to reach the higher classes who, if converted, could in turn work for those of their own standing. He desires to see converted talent and converted influence enlisted in His work. The Lord is working upon men and women of talent and influence, leading them to connect with those who are giving the last message of mercy to the world. 20MR 126.7

House-to-house work is one very successful way of reaching souls. But it is not the only way that God has provided for the advancement of His work. Decided proclamations are to be made. But in regard to this line of work, I am instructed to say to our people: Be guarded. In bearing the message, make no personal thrusts at other churches, not even the Roman Catholic Church. Angels of God see in the different denominations many who can be reached only by the greatest caution. 20MR 127.1

Therefore let us be careful of our words. Let not our ministers follow their own impulses in denouncing and exposing the “mysteries of iniquity.” Upon these themes silence is eloquence. Many are deceived. Speak the truth in tones and words of love. Let Christ Jesus be exalted. Keep to the affirmative of truth. Never leave the straight path God has marked out, for the purpose of giving someone a thrust. That thrust may do much harm and no good. It may quench conviction in many minds. Let the Word of God, which is the truth, tell the story of the inconsistency of those in error. 20MR 127.2

People cannot be expected to see at once the advantage of the truth over the error they have cherished. The best way to expose the fallacy of error is to present the evidences of truth. This is the greatest rebuke that can be given to error. Dispel the cloud of darkness resting on minds by reflecting the bright light of the Sun of Righteousness. 20MR 127.3

You may have opportunity to speak in other churches. In improving these opportunities, remember the words of the Saviour, “Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Do not arouse the malignity of the enemy by making denunciatory speeches. Thus you will close doors against the entrance of truth. Clear-cut messages are to be borne. But guard against arousing antagonism. There are many souls to be saved. Restrain all harsh expressions. In word and deed be wise unto salvation, representing Christ to all with whom you come in contact. Let all see that your feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace and good will to men. Wonderful are the results we shall see if we enter into the work imbued with the Spirit of Christ. Help will come in our necessity if we carry the work forward in righteousness, mercy, and love. Truth will triumph, and bear away the victory. 20MR 127.4

Camp meetings should be held in our large cities. And if the speakers are careful in all they say, hearts will be reached as the truth is proclaimed in the power of the Spirit. The love and benevolence manifested in the life of Christ is to be manifested in the lives of those who work for him. The earnest, untiring activity that marked His life is to mark their lives. The character of the Christian is to be a reproduction of the character of Christ. 20MR 127.5

Let us never forget that we are not our own, that we have been bought with a price. Our powers are to be regarded as sacred trusts, to be used to the glory of God and the good of our fellow men. We are a part of the cross of Christ. With earnest, unwearying fidelity we are to seek to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The Lord has put it out of our power to give him anything that does not already belong to him. He gave His life for us. We are His, bought with an infinite price. His sacrifice on Calvary has made it possible for us to live a new, transformed life. For life and for death we are bound up with His mercy and His love. We are included in His great plan for the saving of the lost. We are to be laborers together with him, drawing others within the circle of His love. 20MR 128.1


“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen.” 20MR 128.2

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” These words outline our work. Christ has purchased us with His blood. He has opened before us a life of labor and progression. He points us to a path of unlimited advancement. We should improve every opportunity of gaining spiritual understanding. We are to consecrate ourselves to His service, praying the prayer He taught His disciples, and doing all in our power to answer this prayer. 20MR 128.3

By this prayer human beings are bound up with the heart of infinite love. When we understand this prayer, we shall see that asking encourages faith in receiving. Our Lord never tantalizes us by presenting before us that which it is impossible for us to gain. Why speak so many discouraging words? Will they help your own soul, or the souls of others? Will downcast eyes and a gloomy countenance make your way less difficult? 20MR 128.4

Jesus encourages us to look on the bright side. He tells us to pray with unshaken faith, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” For these words shall surely be fulfilled. Work to the limit of your ability to answer this prayer. You will then feel so weighty a responsibility resting on you that you will put away from you all selfishness, all slothfulness, all indifference. You will rid yourself of all that Satan could take advantage of in his efforts to defeat Christ's prayer. 20MR 128.5

We have no time to listen to the suggestions of the wily foe. At our baptism we took upon ourselves a solemn vow to break all connection with Satan and his agencies, and to enlist heart and soul in the work of extending the kingdom of God. All heaven is working for this object. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are pledged to cooperate with sanctified human instrumentalities. If we are true to our vow, there is opened to us a door of communication with heaven—a door that no human hand or satanic agency can close. 20MR 129.1

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before, My Father, and before His angels.... These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My word, and hast not denied My name.... Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” 20MR 129.2

The Word of God is to be our teacher. If we read this Word carefully and prayerfully, with an earnest desire to understand, we shall be enabled to comprehend the will of God and the doctrine of truth. We shall never become lost in the fog of skepticism or hypnotism. 20MR 129.3

Read and study the sixth chapter of Second Corinthians. The Lord desires every servant of His to be under the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, “What concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 20MR 129.4

We are to despair at nothing in the line of progression. Moral and spiritual perfection through the grace and power of Christ, is promised to all who believe. At every step we are to call for the help of Christ. He is the model we are to follow in character-building. He calls for deeds, not words, saying, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” “Do unto others as ye would they should do unto you”—this is to be our rule of conduct. Christ is the source of light, the fountain of life. He brings us to His Word, and from the tree of life presents to us leaves for the healing of the nations. It is His purpose that human beings, purified and sanctified, shall be His helping hand. He leads us to the throne of God, and gives us a prayer to offer to him. When we live this prayer, we are brought into close contact with Christ; at every step we touch His living power. In our behalf He sets in operation the all-powerful agencies of heaven. 20MR 129.5

In the great work of the Lord a diversity of gifts is called for. Let no man turn from a fellow worker because he does not work in his precise lines, saying, We have no need of you. God uses many gifts to convict and convert sinners, and to gather them together in church capacity. All the different gifts He has bestowed on His people are needed in His work. 20MR 130.1

Every talent is to be used. Let men and women be given room to work. Show no indifference in this matter. Do not oppose the one the Lord sends out, although his work may be different from yours. 20MR 130.2

To every man is given work in the Master's service. Everything the Lord has given you—your time, your money, your influence—is under contribution to God, and is to be employed in the work of soul saving. Thus used, your gifts will increase in power and perfection. But those who refuse to place themselves in the ranks of service range themselves in opposition to Christ. 20MR 130.3

My brethren and sisters, study the prayer Christ taught His disciples. If we would but bring His Spirit and life into the church, we should exert an influence that would move the world. Where are the sowers and the reapers, to sow the seed and gather in the harvest? “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.” Yes, pray most earnestly that the Lord will send forth more laborers into His harvest. To the indolent and indifferent comes the inquiry, “Why stand ye here all the day idle? Work while the day lasts; for the night cometh in which no man can work.” The night is stealing on us. Soon it will be here. Soon the doors now thrown open for the entrance of truth will be closed. Now is the time for the Lord's people to return to him His own in gifts and offerings and in willing, earnest service. 20MR 130.4

We need to bestir ourselves. The truth is to go forth as a lamp that burneth. Evangelist-canvassers are needed. Let the students in our schools advance as fast as possible, that they may take up their appointed work. 20MR 130.5

Missions are to be established in our large cities. Those of our people who are in business for themselves should take a practical interest in these missions, making them gifts of provision, bedding, and furniture. Our missions should be provided with comfortable beds, for the mission workers, returning from their labor at night, need a place where they can obtain their needed rest. 20MR 131.1

The mission workers labor hard and self-sacrificingly and the wages they receive are small. Let not our people suppose that the conducting of missions is an easy work or a work that brings financial profit. Often the work is carried on with no means in sight, by men and women who from day to day beseech God to send them means with which to carry forward the work. 20MR 131.2

Not all can go forward into the aggressive warfare, but all can do something to help. And in helping the missions established in our cities, those who remain at home will find much blessing. Send them a portion of your abundance. Let all feel it their privilege to do something in this line. God's rich blessing will rest on you as you do this work. 20MR 131.3

Let there be no lack of hospitality among our people. Of late years a narrow spirit has taken possession of some living at our large centers. There are some who think that they should receive pay for entertaining God's servants. Thus they lose the sweetest blessings. Lack of hospitality has turned souls away from the truth.—Manuscript 6, 1902. 20MR 131.4

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

April 13, 1989.

Entire Ms.