The Review and Herald



January 14, 1868

An Appeal to the Friends of Truth


Many of you are well aware that ours is a peculiar work, and that our labors are hard and sometimes very unpleasant. In our travels we find many persons, and sometimes, as in Maine, the majority of Sabbath-keepers, poorly prepared to receive our testimony, simply because they have not read such works as Spiritual Gifts, Testimony to the Church, How to Live, Appeal to Mothers, and Appeal to Youth. Could all such on embracing the Sabbath be interested to read these works, their minds would be prepared to receive our testimony and be benefited by our labors. In Maine not more than one fourth of the families of Sabbath-keepers have a full set of the above-named books, hence our labors in that State were protracted, unpleasant and wearing. RH January 14, 1868, par. 1

The work to be done, in which we appeal for help at this time, is to induce all Sabbath-keepers to read these works, and inform themselves as to the things taught in them, and thus be prepared to judge as to the nature of our work. We do not now appeal to those who see no necessity of our peculiar work, therefore have no interest in it. These are the very persons who need help, and for their good we ask you, who are interested in our labors, to help us in our efforts to help this class. And in no way can you assist us so much as in circulating these books. RH January 14, 1868, par. 2

There is now at our office of publication in Battle Creek, and in the hands of agents, a good supply of this kind of reading, which should be put into the hands of those who have not read these works. With the united efforts of friends, and blessing of God, this good work could be accomplished in a short of time. RH January 14, 1868, par. 3

It is our opinion that these books should immediately be placed in the hands of all persons who have not read them, not only of those who observe the Sabbath, but those also who attend our meetings with a degree of interest to learn the truth, and offer the following reasons: RH January 14, 1868, par. 4

1. The present is a special time of reclaiming the backslidden in heart and life, the erring and the rebellious; and the prejudices of such against the testimonies, and against our work, form the strongest barrier between these persons and the living body of believers. Most of these persons really know nothing of what is taught in these works, and nothing can remove their prejudices and prepare them to receive our public labors so well as to read the books. RH January 14, 1868, par. 5

2. From the very nature of the case, considering all the circumstances, persons who do not read these books, and do not feel any special interest in the subject of Spiritual Gifts, are almost certain to receive prejudice against them, and against our work, indulge in things reproved by them, and finally fall under the influence of our enemies, and separate themselves from the body, and give up the cause. RH January 14, 1868, par. 6

3. It is much easier to fortify persons against heresy and rebellion than to reclaim them after they have thus fallen. And these persons in their downward course have an influence on others, and sometimes cause trials to the whole church, which calls for hard and anxious labor from the servants of God for weeks. Thus the precious time and strength of our ministers is called for, and much means is expended to remedy that which might have been prevented by the reading of the aforesaid works. RH January 14, 1868, par. 7

4. The greatest cause of our spiritual feebleness as a people, is the lack of real faith in Spiritual Gifts. If they all received this kind of testimony in full faith, they would put from them those things which displease God, and would everywhere stand in union and in strength. And three-fourths of the ministerial labor now expended to help the churches could then be spared to the work of raising up churches in new fields. RH January 14, 1868, par. 8

A general movement should be made upon this subject, in which all our people can manifest their faith and interest. And we feel sure that in a well-directed, general interest, the blessing of God would come down upon us as a people, and great vigor and strength would be given to the cause. This will require a sacrifice, one that will be accepted of the Lord. RH January 14, 1868, par. 9

In placing this class of reading before those who can be helped, our people can sacrifice of their means, and of their time, in searching out those destitute of these books, and in furnishing them. In this work they can show a commendable zeal and a living interest. Our ministers who labor with the churches can canvass the entire field, and assist our churches and scattered brethren in this work, in connection with their general labor. RH January 14, 1868, par. 10

How Shall it be Done?

1. Let our active ministers and brethren each obtain a good supply, and when and where practicable, in a proper manner, urge the sale of them to those who are able to purchase. RH January 14, 1868, par. 11

2. Let them give them to those who do not feel able to pay for them, provided they are worthy persons, who give evidence of sufficient interest to read them to profit. RH January 14, 1868, par. 12

If any such should not read them, or should they read them and not become interested in them, they could be gathered up and put into more worthy hands. RH January 14, 1868, par. 13

3. These persons can keep an account of all they give, and receive credit at the office of publication for the same at wholesale prices. RH January 14, 1868, par. 14

4. All our people can donate means and forward to the office more or less as they have ability and a willing heart to do, to pay the wholesale prices of these works that are judiciously distributed gratuitously. Let our ministers, elders, and deacons at once bring this matter before our people, Let subscription papers be opened for men, women and children, to donate liberally from ten cents to one hundred dollars. Let none be passed by. RH January 14, 1868, par. 15

And we would appeal especially to those brethren among us who are in health and in the strength of manhood, who are each adding hundreds, or perhaps thousands, to their amount of property annually. We need your liberal help in this work, and expect it. Has God blessed you with health, and has he prospered you in your fields, and almost all to which you have put your hands, then use in his cause a portion of that with which he has blessed you, and thus secure his still more abundant blessing. Go to God in prayer with this matter, and do your duty in relation to it. RH January 14, 1868, par. 16

Blank subscription papers will immediately be forwarded to many of you, which you are requested to circulate and obtain pledges to be paid before the General Conference in May 1868. Collect, as far as possible, and as fast as you can, forward to the Office. RH January 14, 1868, par. 17

In past times we had the pleasure of leading off in such enterprises. We can hardly be denied the privilege at this time, especially as our friends during our last twenty-weeks’ tour, West and East, have been so liberal with us. God has opened their hearts and hands, and they will allow us to dedicate especially to him a portion of their liberalities to us for the above named object. RH January 14, 1868, par. 18

In our future labors we design to take with us a full supply of this kind of reading matter, and place in every family interested in our faith and hope, full sets of Spiritual Gifts, and How to Live, and in the hands of every Sabbath-school scholar and youth, Appeal to Mothers, Appeal to Youth, and Sabbath Readings, either bound, pamphlet, or tract form. RH January 14, 1868, par. 19

Dear brethren, we shall still appeal to you to do your duty in this matter, both through the Review, in the congregations of the saints, and by your firesides. You will hear us as we speak for the Lord and his cause. Be not fearful of being too liberal. Should more be received than needed in this branch of the work, it can be used for the circulation of tracts. RH January 14, 1868, par. 20

Servants of the church. RH January 14, 1868, par. 21

James White, Ellen G. White.