The Review and Herald


April 1, 1880

Missionary Address

[Delivered at the opening of the Michigan Tract and Missionary Institute, held in the tabernacle at Battle Creek, on the evening after the Sabbath, February 21, 1880.]


Some ministers who have power in presenting the truth from the desk, neglect their duty in the family circle. They should manifest deep feeling in speaking of the truth in the families they visit, and then bow down and plead with God, that the light of truth may find its way to the heart of every member of the family. We should feel the responsibilities that rest upon us as Christians, and labor as though we realized the value of souls, remembering that one soul saved in the kingdom of God is worth more than ten thousand worlds like this. When we have this spirit, we can more readily convince others that we have the truth. But so long as indifference is manifested, we cannot expect to exert a decided influence in drawing others to God. RH April 1, 1880, par. 1

When we see a world lying in wickedness, sinners going to ruin, and appeals for help coming from all directions, we are reminded of the many young men who might be workers in the cause of truth, if they would consecrate themselves to God. There are many who might be as efficient workers in the cause as those who are already in the field. God has not chosen any persons to engage in His work to the exclusion of others, but He has accepted those who were willing to bear burdens and responsibilities. RH April 1, 1880, par. 2

I have just returned from Indiana, where the people are eager to hear the truth. Upon very brief notice, houses of worship were crowded. Although it was in feebleness that I attempted to speak to the people, yet God sustained and strengthened me. When I saw the house so crowded, and the people so eagerly listening to the truth, my soul was stirred within me. My mind went out to the great missionary field. We are not all called to occupy the desk, but we are all called to be missionaries, though perhaps in a limited sense. None can be excused. It is the duty of every one to sow the seed of truth, that it may spring up and bear fruit to the glory of God. The Lord has not given His work into the hands of a few men only; but He has given to every man his charge. RH April 1, 1880, par. 3

The design of this Institute is to teach you how to work; and we hope that you will give time and attention to this course of instruction. Here is a God-given privilege, in the improvement of which you may learn how to labor intelligently for the Master. God will help all who will take hold to help themselves; but we cannot expect light and help to be given us unless we heed the light we already have. If we would be efficient laborers in the cause of God, we must learn how to work. If you would be a carpenter, you must learn the carpenter's trade; if you would be a worker for the Master, you must learn how to work for him. You should study to do your work well. It is the duty of every one so to labor that those who come into the truth, will come in ready to work in harmony with us on all points. RH April 1, 1880, par. 4

A few have borne the responsibilities and burdens of the work; but the cause is increasing, and their arms cannot encircle it. The work is becoming so much extended that no one individual can carry it forward. As Elders Haskell and Whitney have labored in the missionary cause, and have tried to show others how to work, they have met with success, and have gained an experience which they should impart to others. If you have already been somewhat successful in this branch of the work, do not think that you have learned all that is worth knowing, but attend this Institute and learn all you can. There are points on which you may receive instruction. The plans may be different from yours; if so, try to follow them, and work in harmony. It cannot be expected that all minds will run in the same channel; but you can all work understandingly after the same plan. RH April 1, 1880, par. 5

The tract and missionary work is an important part of the third angel's message. Canvassers must go out into various parts of the country. The importance of this work is fully equal to that of the ministry. The living preacher and the silent messenger are both required for the accomplishment of the great work before us. RH April 1, 1880, par. 6

I see before me a number of youth. I hope you will individually feel the importance of laboring in the missionary cause. I love to see the young working for the Master; but it pains me to see young people professing our faith, waste their time and energies on outside adornments. How much better it would be for these persons to employ their time in the formation of beautiful characters, and in helping in the work of gathering souls into the fold of Christ. I would that you who are devoting your time to frivolity and needless display, could look over on the other shore and see the result of such a selfish, indifferent course. RH April 1, 1880, par. 7

All of us can be workers for the Master. Women might do much more in the missionary cause, if they would. There are many positions which they could fill acceptably. We should all learn to be self-denying and self-sacrificing; and as time is spent in preparing to present a pleasing outward appearance, so let us study to form such characters as shall rightly represent the religion of Christ before the world. As you go out to labor in the missionary work, your deportment and manner should be such as to please, and not to offend. You should labor in meekness, and with the fear of God before you. You should be Christian ladies and gentlemen; let your conversation and deportment be such as will recommend you to others. RH April 1, 1880, par. 8

There is missionary labor to be done in the distribution of tracts and papers, and in canvassing for our different publications. Let none of you think that you cannot engage in this work because it is taxing, and requires time and thought. If it requires time, give it cheerfully; and the blessing of God will rest upon you. There never was a time when more workers were needed than at the present. There are brethren and sisters throughout all our ranks who should discipline themselves to engage in this work; in all our churches something should be done to spread the truth. It is the duty of all to study the various points of our faith, that they may be prepared to give a reason for the hope that it is within them, with meekness and fear. RH April 1, 1880, par. 9

A great work is before us. There are souls to be saved; and we are responsible for the salvation of those around us. Let every one see how much he can do to get the light before others. You will meet with ridicule, but that need not hinder you. Show yourselves men and women in Christ Jesus. Show that you can bear reproach. Remember that your Master bore the same before you; and have courage to stand for the right. There is a rich reward for you by and by. The Master will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Who can understand the joy of the Lord? Who can comprehend it? It is the satisfaction of seeing souls saved through the virtue of his own blood. RH April 1, 1880, par. 10

He left the courts of Heaven, his royal throne, his majesty, his honor, his glory; he clothed his divinity with humanity, and for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. He took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man; and he walked among the children of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” For the joy that was set before him, he “endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” When we consider the infinite sacrifice that has been made by the Son of God, in dying for the sins of the world, and then think that here are men and women who do not consider they have anything to do, any sacrifice to make for the salvation of their fellow-men, we can but cry to God to arouse us to a sense of our duty. RH April 1, 1880, par. 11

To the young who are obtaining an education at our College, we would say, Do not let your studies hinder you from attending these meetings, and learning what you can. You ought to make it your business while here to obtain an education in the things of God, as well as in the arts and sciences. To learn your duty to God and to your fellow-men, should be your highest aim. I can see a broad field open before you. Take hold intelligently and understandingly, working with your whole soul, mind, and strength, and you will see the work go forward. RH April 1, 1880, par. 12

There has been with us a great lack of prayer. We ask of the Lord, but do not believe we shall receive the things for which we ask. We lack that faith which takes hold upon God. He wants us to come to him in our feebleness, with faith, knowing that he turns his compassionate eye upon us, and that his willing hand is stretched out over us. We should have implicit confidence in God. He has met with us, and manifested his power in our midst. We have received special tokens of his love; and we know that the Lord is ready to hear us, if we only put our trust in him. When we come to him as a child to a parent, he will withhold no good things from us. Jesus says if we love him and keep his commandments, he will pray the Father, and he will send the Comforter to bless us. RH April 1, 1880, par. 13

The old and young in our midst are falling beneath the power of death. Will they come up in the first resurrection? When I travel through the country, and see in the distance the white tomb-stones gleaming among the evergreens and ornamental trees, I am led to inquire, How many of the silent sleepers will awake in the morning of the first resurrection? How many have lived and died without hope for the future? RH April 1, 1880, par. 14

We want you to feel that God has a work for you to do, and that it is your duty to take hold of it earnestly and understandingly. We ask every one of you to engage in this missionary work, and do what you can for the salvation of souls. First, understand the truth yourself, and then you will desire to have others understand it. This is an important and solemn work; and we need to seek God in earnest prayer, that we may be prepared to perform our duty faithfully. RH April 1, 1880, par. 15

We should not only profess Christianity, but we should carry out its principles in our daily life; and if faithful, when Christ shall come he will place a crown of immortal glory upon our brows. I love him; he died for me; and I want to bring souls to Jesus. Let this be the feeling of every heart. RH April 1, 1880, par. 16