The Review and Herald


February 14, 1893

The Need of Trained Workers


I have been deeply interested in the relation of a recent experience of Elder Daniells, who, on his way from Melbourne to Adelaide, stopped at a town called Nhill, to visit some young men who have been sending in orders to the Echo office for our papers and books. He found here a young man by the name of Hansen, a Dane, who chanced upon the Echo at a public library, and became an interested reader of the paper. The subjects of truth presented in its columns found a place in his heart, and he began to talk about them to a friend at the hotel where he was in service. This man, Mr. Williams, also became interested, and they sent in orders for other publications, becoming regular subscribers to the paper. Elder Daniells found them eager for a better knowledge of the truth. Upon the table of Mr. Williams was found “Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation,” and several other books published by our people. They had seen but one man who was of our faith. They bought from Elder Daniells three copies of “Steps to Christ,” so that they might have one apiece, and another to give to a minister. Elder Daniells was pleased with his visit, and encouraged by his conversation with these inquirers after truth. RH February 14, 1893, par. 1

These men had studied the truth from the printed page and the Bible, and had accepted all points of doctrine as far as they could understand them without the aid of the living preacher. A great work is going silently on through the distribution of our publications; but what a great amount of good might be done if some of our brethren and sisters from America would come to these colonies, as fruit-growers, farmers, or merchants, and in the fear and love of God, would seek to win souls to the truth. If such families were consecrated to God, he would use them as his agents. Ministers have their place and their work, but there are scores that the minister cannot reach, who might be reached by families who could visit with the people and impress upon them the truth for these last days. In their domestic or business relations they could come in contact with a class who are inaccessible to the minister, and they could open to them the treasures of the truth, and impart to them a knowledge of salvation. There is altogether too little done in this line of missionary work; for the field is large, and many workers could labor with success in this line of effort. If those who have received a knowledge of the truth had realized the necessity of studying the Scriptures for themselves, if they had felt the weight of responsibility that rests upon them, as faithful stewards of the grace of God, they would have brought light to many who sit in darkness, and what a harvest of souls would have been gathered for the Master. If each one realized his accountability to God for his personal influence, he would in no case be an idler, but would cultivate his ability, and train every power that he might serve him who has purchased him with his own blood. RH February 14, 1893, par. 2

The youth especially should feel that they must train their minds, and take every opportunity to become intelligent, that they may render acceptable service to Him who has given his precious life for them. And let no one make the mistake of regarding himself as so well educated as to have no more need of studying books or nature. Let every one improve every opportunity with which in the providence of God he is favored, to acquire all that is possible in revelation or science. We should learn to place the proper estimate on the powers that God has given us. If a youth has to begin at the lowest round of the ladder, he should not be discouraged, but be determined to climb round after round, until he shall hear the voice of Christ saying, “Child, come up higher. Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” RH February 14, 1893, par. 3

We are to compare our characters with the infallible standard of God's law. In order to do this, we must search the Scriptures, measuring our attainments by the word of God. Through the grace of Christ, the highest attainments in character are possible; for every soul who comes under the molding influence of the Spirit of God, may be transformed in mind and heart. In order to understand your condition, it is necessary to study the Bible, and to watch unto prayer. The apostle says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your ownselves. Know ye not your ownselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” Let not those who are ignorant remain in ignorance. They cannot remain in ignorance, and meet the mind of God. They are to look to the cross of Calvary, and estimate the soul by the value of the offering there made. Jesus says to all believers, “Ye are my witnesses.” “Ye are laborers together with God.” This being true, how earnestly should each one strive to make use of every power to improve every opportunity for becoming efficient that he may be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” RH February 14, 1893, par. 4

Every talent that has been given to men is to be exercised that it may increase in value, and all the improvement must be rendered back to God. If you are defective in manner, in voice, in education, you need not always remain in this condition. You must continually strive that you may reach a higher standard both in education and in religious experience, that you may become teachers of good things. As servants of the great King, you should individually realize that you are under obligation to improve yourselves by observation, study, and by communion with God. The word of God is able to make you wise, to guide and make you perfect in Christ. The blessed Saviour was a faultless pattern for all his followers to imitate. It is the privilege of the child of God to understand spiritual things, to be able wisely to manage that which may be intrusted to his charge. God does not provide a way whereby any one may have an excuse for doing slipshod work; and yet a great deal of this kind of work has been offered to him by those who work in his cause, but it is not acceptable unto him. RH February 14, 1893, par. 5

Young men and women, have you, as individuals, purchased at infinite cost, sought to study to show yourselves approved unto God, workmen which need not be ashamed? Have you brought to God the precious talent of your voice, and put forth painstaking effort to speak clearly, distinctly, and readily? However imperfect may be your manner of utterance, you may correct your faults, and refuse to allow yourself to have a nasal tone, or to speak in a thick, indistinct way. If your articulation is distinct and intelligible, your usefulness will be greatly increased. Then do not leave one defective habit of speech uncorrected. Pray about the matter, and co-operate with the Holy Spirit that is working for your perfection. The Lord, who made man perfect in the beginning, will help you to cultivate your physical and mental powers, and fit you to bear burdens and responsibilities in the cause of God. RH February 14, 1893, par. 6

There are thousands today who are unqualified for the work of the ministry, who cannot take a position of sacred trust, and are lost to the cause, because they have failed to value the talents given them of God, and have not cultivated their powers of mind and body, so that they may fill positions of trust in the Master's work. Individually we are here as probationers, and the Lord is testing and proving our fidelity to him. RH February 14, 1893, par. 7

He would employ us as agents to communicate the light of his word to the world. If we improve the light given us of God by diffusing it to others, we shall have increased light; for to him that hath “shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.” It is at our own option as to what we shall do with the light God has given. We may walk in it, or refuse to follow in the steps of Christ, and thus extinguish our light. RH February 14, 1893, par. 8

Considering the light that God has given, it is marvelous that there are not scores of young men and women inquiring, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” It is a perilous mistake to imagine that unless a young man has decided to give himself to the ministry, no special effort is required to fit him for the work of God. Whatever may be your calling, it is essential that you improve your abilities by diligent study. Young men and women should be urged to appreciate the heaven-sent blessings of opportunities to become well disciplined and intelligent. They should take advantage of the schools that have been established for the purpose of imparting the best of knowledge. It is sinful to be indolent and negligent in regard to obtaining an education. Time is short, and therefore because the Lord is soon to come to close the scenes of earth's history, there is all the greater necessity of improving present opportunities and privileges. RH February 14, 1893, par. 9

Young men and young women should place themselves in our schools, in the channel where knowledge and discipline may be obtained. They should consecrate their ability to God, become diligent Bible students, that they may be fortified against erroneous doctrine, and not be led away by the error of the wicked; for it is by diligent searching of the Bible that we obtain a knowledge of what is truth. By the practice of the truth we already know, increased light will shine upon us from the holy Scriptures. As we surrender our will to the will of God, as we humble our hearts before him, we shall earnestly desire to become co-laborers with him, going forth to save those who perish. Those who are truly consecrated to God will not enter the work prompted by the same motive which leads men to engage in worldly business, merely for the sake of a livelihood, but they will enter the work allowing no worldly consideration to control them, realizing that the cause of God is sacred. RH February 14, 1893, par. 10

The world is to be warned, and no soul should rest satisfied with a superficial knowledge of truth. You know not to what responsibility you may be called. You know not where you may be called upon to give your witness of truth. Many will have to stand in the legislative courts; some will have to stand before kings and before the learned of the earth, to answer for their faith. Those who have only a superficial understanding of truth will not be able clearly to expound the Scriptures, and give definite reasons for their faith. They will become confused, and will not be workmen that need not to be ashamed. Let no one imagine that he has no need to study, because he is not to preach in the sacred desk. You know not what God may require of you. It is a lamentable fact that the advancement of the cause is hindered by the dearth of educated laborers who have fitted themselves for positions of trust. The Lord would accept of thousands to labor in his great harvest-field, but many have failed to fit themselves for the work. But every one who has espoused the cause of Christ, who has offered himself as a soldier in the Lord's army, should place himself where he may have faithful drill. Religion has meant altogether too little to the professed followers of Christ; for it is not the will of God that any one should remain ignorant when wisdom and knowledge have been placed within reach. RH February 14, 1893, par. 11

How few have qualified themselves in the science of saving souls! How few understand the work that should be done in building up the church, in communicating light to those who sit in darkness! Yet God has given to every man his work. We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in us, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. In the work of salvation there is a co-operation of human and divine agencies. There is much said concerning the inefficiency of human effort, and yet the Lord does nothing for the salvation of the soul without the co-operation of man. The word of God is clear and distinct on this point, and yet when so much depends upon our co-operation with the heavenly agencies, men conduct themselves as though they could afford to set aside the claims of God, and let the things of eternal importance wait their convenience. They act as though they could manage spiritual things to suit themselves, and they place eternal interests in subordination to earthly and temporal matters. But how presumptuous is this to deal thus with that which is most essential, and most easily lost. RH February 14, 1893, par. 12

Where are those who would be wise laborers together with God? The apostle says, “Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” But will men trust that they may be able under pressure of circumstances to step into some important position, when they have neglected to train and discipline themselves for the work? will they imagine that they may be polished instruments in the hands of God for the salvation of souls for whom Christ died, when they have neglected to use the opportunities placed at their command for obtaining a fitness for the work? “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Every one needs to improve his God-given faculties and opportunities, that individually we may be laborers together with God. RH February 14, 1893, par. 13

God is continually working for us that we may come behind in no gift. He has given us our physical, mental, and moral powers, and if we improve as we should, we shall be able to meet the supernatural powers of darkness and conquer them. Jesus has pointed out the way of life, he has made manifest the light of truth, he has given the Holy Spirit, and endowed us richly with everything essential to our perfection. But these advantages are not acknowledged, and we overlook our privileges and opportunities, and fail to co-operate with the heavenly intelligences, and thus fail to become noble, intelligent workers for God. Those to whom their own way looks more attractive than does the way of the Lord, cannot be used in his service, for they would misrepresent the character of Christ, and lead souls away from acceptable service to God. RH February 14, 1893, par. 14

Those who work for the Master must be well-disciplined, that they may stand as faithful sentinels. They must be men and women who will carry out the plans of God for the wise improvement of the minds of those who come under their influence. They must unite with all the agencies who are seeking to fulfill the will of God in saving a lost world. Christ has given himself, the just for the unjust, he has died on Calvary's cross, and he has intrusted to human agencies the work of completing the great measure of redeeming love; for man co-operates with God in his effort to save the perishing. In the neglected duties of the church we read the retarding of the fulfillment of the purpose of God; but if men fail to accomplish their work, it would be better had they never been born. Great evil will follow the neglect of co-operating with God; for eternal life will be lost. Our success as candidates for heaven will depend on our earnestness in fulfilling the conditions upon which eternal life is granted. We must receive and obey the word of God, we cannot be idlers, and float with the current. We must be diligent students of the word of God. We must train and educate ourselves as good soldiers of Christ. We must advance the work, becoming laborers together with God. RH February 14, 1893, par. 15