The Review and Herald


April 30, 1901

Missionary Work in the Neighborhood


The books of heaven will reveal a terrible record of unfulfilled home duties against parents who were regarded as intelligent missionary workers. How much more influence these parents might have had, how much more good they might have done, had they begun the work at the right point, by setting their own house in order, and presenting to their neighbors a well-ordered family as evidence of the power of the truth! When it is seen that the children are not like worldlings, when the beauty of faith and the spirit of genuine Christianity are seen in them, it will be as light pointing heavenward. RH April 30, 1901, par. 1

It is the acts of faith and love in the so-called little things of life, the spirit of Christ manifested at home, in the field, in the workshop, as well as in the church, that make us living epistles known and read of all. Men may combat and defy our logic, they may resist our appeals; but a life of holy purpose, of disinterested love, is an argument in favor of the truth which they can not gainsay. Far more can be accomplished by humble, devoted, virtuous lives, than can be gained by preaching when a godly example is lacking. RH April 30, 1901, par. 2

There is a sad neglect of personal effort, both for the members of the family and for our neighbors. Many seem to rest perfectly easy, as if the heavenly messengers were to come to earth, and in an audible voice proclaim the warning. They stand idle, virtually saying, “Am I my brother's keeper?” Many associate almost wholly with those of the same faith, and feel no duty to become acquainted with their neighbors who are ignorant of the great and testing truths for the last days. Ladies who, in the parlor, can engage in conversation with wonderful tact and earnestness, shrink from pointing the sinner to the Lamb of God. Oh! there is so much work for souls that is left undone because it is a cross, and because each seeks his own amusement, and works for his own selfish interests. Because of our unbelief, worldliness, and indolence, blood-bought souls in the very shadow of our homes are dying in their sins, and dying unwarned. RH April 30, 1901, par. 3

Until the judgment, it will never be known how much might have been done, how many plans might have been devised, to save souls by bringing them to a knowledge of the truth. But self-indulgence, unwillingness to sacrifice, and a lack of true spiritual discernment, have led many to overlook the open doors which they might have entered to do a good work for the Master. Love of ease has caused them to shun the wearing of Christ's yoke, the lifting of His burden. RH April 30, 1901, par. 4

Many, many, are approaching the day of God doing nothing, shunning responsibilities, and as a result, they are religious dwarfs. So far as work for God is concerned, the pages of their life history present a mournful blank. They are trees in the garden of God, but only cumberers of the ground, darkening with their unproductive boughs the ground which fruit-bearing trees might have occupied. RH April 30, 1901, par. 5