The Review and Herald

129/1902

March 21, 1878

An Appeal In Behalf of Our Missions in Europe

EGW

We are receiving letters every week from Europe saying that the missionary work there is greatly hindered in its advancement from want of sufficient means. We would gladly send them the needed help ourselves; but we have become very much crippled for means, and find it beyond our power at present to do much for the relief of this branch of the cause. But there are many in the church who are amply able to answer this pressing need, and to them we would say, One dollar rightly invested now in the cause is worth many when times are better, and money is flowing into the treasury. Now is the time for our wealthy brethren to head the list with a liberal subscription, and then zealously circulate it, receiving pledges according to each one's ability. This will furnish means to meet the present emergency, without pressing too heavily upon any one. Much may be done by individual effort. Let our brethren make this a matter of personal interest. RH March 21, 1878, par. 1

Europe is stretching out her hands to us for help, and the way is opened to do a good work there if the press can be established, and publications go forth from it in the German, French, and Italian languages. Bro. Ribton says that Italy needs publications in her own language, in order for our ministry to be successful there. These repeated and urgent calls stir our inmost soul; yet we are unable to personally aid the European mission as we would like to do. Now is the time to invest the means which God has intrusted to his stewards for this very work. Time is short; hoarded wealth will soon be worthless. When the decree shall go forth that none shall buy or sell except they have the mark of the beast, very much means will be of no avail. God calls for us now to do all in our power to send forth the warning to the world. RH March 21, 1878, par. 2

We want the brethren to awake to the service of their Master in this missionary work. Let them not set their hearts upon their possessions, and hold them with a miserly grip; but invest their means and use their influence to promote the cause of God, thereby sending treasure to Heaven before them. Love of the world is a great hindrance to a Christian life. It strengthens its hold upon the heart almost imperceptibly, and eclipses the value of Heaven and the virtue of the atonement, in the mind. It supersedes the love of God and his truth, and becomes the very root of all evil. RH March 21, 1878, par. 3

There is danger among us of shirking our God-given responsibilities, and drifting into a state of indifference regarding the cause of God in all its various branches and departments. Many do not give the pecuniary support they are amply able to furnish to the home and foreign mission field. They have had warnings from God, but have neglected to profit by them. They made some impression upon them at first; but that influence soon wore away, and they bore little fruit to God's glory. They have cherished the love of money till it has become an all-absorbing passion, and Heaven does not seem as valuable to them as their present earthly treasure. How can they keep the commandments as God requires them to be kept, yet place two-thirds of their affections upon the world? Such a life dishonors our holy faith, and is contrary to the injunction of Christ, who said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” RH March 21, 1878, par. 4

Words and professions are of no value with God while the heart is corrupted by the inordinate love of gain. Christ said, “Ye are the salt of the earth; but and if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.” If we would imitate the example of Christ we should be self-denying, and ready to sacrifice our own comfort and pleasure for the good of others. It was not pleasant for Christ to leave the purity and bliss of Heaven, and the society of holy angels, and come to a world all seared and marred by the curse of sin, and die to save fallen man from the consequences of his iniquity. Are we willing to imitate the life and character of Christ? Are we willing to suffer, if need be, for his sake, to forego some of the comforts of life in order to save our perishing fellow-creatures from eternal death? If so, we should be willing to give much from our abundance toward this purpose. RH March 21, 1878, par. 5

What a fearful mistake that young ruler made when he turned from the requirements of Christ, and decided to risk the consequence of being guided by his avaricious spirit. He chose to devote his life to gaining temporal wealth and power, rather than to follow Christ and resign his worldly possessions. Jesus pitied the young man; he saw in him precious material for a preacher of righteousness, if he would but overcome his selfish greed for gain. Said Jesus, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven; and come and follow me.” RH March 21, 1878, par. 6

Jesus only required him to go where he led the way. The thorny path of duty becomes easier to follow when we trace his divine footsteps before us, pressing down the briers. Christ would have accepted this talented and noble ruler, if he had yielded to his requirements, as readily as he accepted the poor fishermen whom he bade to follow him. The young man's ability to acquire property was not against him, provided he loved his neighbor as himself, and had not wronged another in acquiring his riches. That very ability, had it been employed in the service of God in seeking to save souls from ruin, would have been acceptable to the divine Master, and he might have made a diligent and successful worker for Christ. But he refused the exalted privilege of co-operating with Christ in the salvation of souls; he turned away from the glorious treasure promised him in the kingdom of God, and clung to the fleeting treasures of earth. RH March 21, 1878, par. 7

We fear this is the case with many who profess to keep the commandments of God. Love of gain has taken possession of their souls, and they refuse to answer the demands of God in applying their wealth to the spreading abroad of his truth to all tongues and all nations. Jesus touched the plague spot in the young ruler's heart, which, if not healed, would destroy his soul. He showed him that he was not keeping the commandments of God, since he did not love God supremely, and his neighbor as himself. Jesus offered to make him his companion and a laborer in bringing souls into the kingdom of Heaven. The young man had wealth, education, position, and influence, and was therefore qualified to work intelligently and successfully for the Master. But his love of the world prevented him from accepting the invitation of Christ. RH March 21, 1878, par. 8

The humble fishermen obeyed the call of Jesus, and forsook all to follow him. It may appear to some that it required little self-denial for them to do this, as their business was neither elevated nor lucrative; but it should be remembered that these men owned boats and nets, and obtained a good livelihood by their occupation. Also their life upon the water had its attractions, and it was a great sacrifice for them to leave the employment in which they had thus far spent their lives. RH March 21, 1878, par. 9

The young ruler represents a large class who would be excellent Christians if there was no cross for them to lift, no humiliating burden for them to bear, no earthly advantages to resign, no sacrifice of property or feelings to make. Christ has intrusted to them capital of talents and means, and he expects corresponding returns. That which we possess is not our own, but is to be employed in serving Him from whom we have received all we have. RH March 21, 1878, par. 10

The barren fig-tree received the withering curse of God because it was a pretentious hypocrite, professing superiority over the other fig-trees by displaying its luxuriant foliage, while it was as destitute of fruit as the leafless trees. The barren fig-tree well represents those who profess to keep the commandments, as did the Jews, thus presenting the appearance of fruitfulness, yet whose religion, like that of the Pharisees, is a sham, bearing no fruit to the glory of God. RH March 21, 1878, par. 11

Redeem the time while you are spared to work. All your good works cannot save you; but it is nevertheless impossible for you to be saved without good works. Every sacrifice made for Christ will be for your eternal gain. What will you do to aid the mission in Europe? What will you do to relieve the present pressing need? RH March 21, 1878, par. 12