The Review and Herald


March 3, 1903

A Neglected Work


God's people are neglecting a work that is close beside them. They do not realize the responsibility resting on them to proclaim the truth in the unwarned cities of America. There are many cities in which no effort has been made to give to the people the message for this time. I entreat those who know the truth to take up their neglected work, and no longer let the Master look on fields whose barrenness rebukes their neglect. Every one who believes the truth is responsible to give to those in darkness the light he has received. RH March 3, 1903, par. 1

God says to his people, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Why, then, do they feel so little burden to plant the standard of truth in new places? Why do they not obey the word, “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not”? Why do they not return to the Lord his own, to be invested in heavenly merchandise? Why is there not a more earnest call for volunteers to enter the whitening harvest field? Unless more is done than has been done for the cities of America, ministers and people will have a heavy account to settle with the One who has appointed to every man his work. RH March 3, 1903, par. 2

We repeat the prayer, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Are we doing our part to answer this prayer? We claim to believe that the commission which Christ gave to his disciples just before his ascension is given also to us. Are we fulfilling it? May God forgive our terrible neglect in not doing the work that as yet we have scarcely touched with the tips of our fingers. When will this work be done? It makes my heart sick and sore to see such blindness on the part of the people of God. There are thousands in America perishing in ignorance and sin. And looking afar off to some distant field, those who know the truth are indifferently passing by the most needy fields close by them. Christ says, “Go work today in my vineyard.” “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor: other men labored, and ye are entered into their labors.” RH March 3, 1903, par. 3

Wake up, wake up, my brethren and sisters, and enter the fields in America that have never been worked. After you have given something for foreign fields, do not think your duty done. There is work to be done in America. In New York City a few faithful laborers have been toiling for God. Have you shown a practical, unselfish interest in their efforts? Have you helped them by your sympathy and your gifts? I do not want any one to withhold help from foreign fields, but I do urge our people no longer to dishonor God by neglecting such fields as New York City. There is a work to be done in foreign fields, but there is a work to be done in America which is just as important. In the cities of America there are people of almost every language. These need the light that God has given to his church. RH March 3, 1903, par. 4

In the Power of the Spirit

The Lord lives and reigns. Soon he will arise in majesty to shake terribly the earth. A special message is now to be borne,—a message that will pierce the spiritual darkness, and convict and convert souls. “Haste thee, flee for thy life,” is the call to be given to those dwelling in sin. We must now be terribly in earnest. We have not a moment to spend in criticism and accusation. Let those who have done this in the past fall on their knees in prayer; and let them beware how they place their words and their plans in the place of God's words and his plans. Hundreds are waiting for the warning to escape for their life, and lay hold on the hope set before them in the gospel. Far less labor is to be given to those who know the truth, and far more to those who are without God and without hope in the world. RH March 3, 1903, par. 5

In every part of the world a straightforward message is to be proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit. God says to his workers everywhere, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” We need to feel the importance of proclaiming the gospel message with earnestness and power. Not with tame, lifeless utterance is it to be given, but with clear, decided, stirring tones. The messengers themselves must know the power of salvation. RH March 3, 1903, par. 6

We have no time for dwelling on matters that are of no importance. Our time should be given to proclaiming the last message of mercy to a guilty world. Men are needed who move under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. The sermons preached by some of our ministers will have to be much more powerful than they are now, or many backsliders will carry a tame, pointless message, which lulls people to sleep. Every discourse should be given under a sense of the awful judgments soon to fall on our world. The message of truth is to be proclaimed by lips touched with a live coal from the divine altar. Christ refers to the lifeless, purposeless messages given in our churches, when he says, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” RH March 3, 1903, par. 7

Night after night I get up at twelve or one o'clock, and walk the floor in intense anguish, because of the tame messages borne by some of our ministers, when they have a message of life and death to bear to the people. The ministers are asleep; the lay members are asleep; and a world is perishing in sin. May God help them to arouse, and walk and work as men on the borders of the eternal world! Soon an awful surprise is coming upon the inhabitants of the earth. Suddenly, with power and great glory, Christ will come. There will then be no time to prepare to meet him. Now is the time for us to give the warning message. RH March 3, 1903, par. 8

We are stewards, intrusted by our absent Lord with the care of his household and his interests, which he came to the world to serve. He has returned to heaven, leaving us in charge, and he expects us to watch and wait for his second coming. Let us be faithful to our trust, lest coming suddenly, he finds us sleeping. RH March 3, 1903, par. 9