Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 70, 1898

The Need of Missionary Effort


June 13, 1898

This manuscript is published in entirety in ChristianEducator 10/1898. +Note

Just prior to the Week of Prayer the spiritual condition of the community round Cooranbong, Maitland, and Newcastle was spread out before me as a panorama. I was shown that the people are as sheep having no shepherd. Words were spoken regarding their condition that will never pass from my mind. These words brought light and spirit into our meeting. The one who was our Teacher said, This school must not be conducted on stereotyped human plans, as are many of the schools among those who have a knowledge of the truth. The Bible is to lie at the foundation of all the education given, but more, far more than a theoretical teaching of Bible truths is required. It is not wisdom to pour into the minds of the students precious lessons of the deepest importance, and then leave lesson after lesson unused. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 1

Missionary work should be done by suitable ones who can impart that which they have received. Those to whom light has been given are not to seal up the precious ointment, but are to break the bottle and let the fragrance be realized by all around. It is an important part of education to give the students time to do missionary work, time to become acquainted with the families among whom they live. There are those who are in the possession of talents. These should not be loaded down with all the studies they can handle. They should be given time to use the knowledge they have acquired, especially by doing missionary work, becoming interested in those in the darkness of error, taking them the truth where they are, praying and watching unto prayer, with all humility of heart seeking knowledge from Christ, that they may make known to others the truth that is placed before them every day. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 2

Those who do this work will find many youth who are full of hereditary prejudice, who hate the truth because of misconception. As these become acquainted with those who know the truth, they will see their error, and while some may appear to cherish wrath and spiteful passion, afterthought will change these sentiments. A thick veil blinds many minds. These need the love and pity and holiness of truth. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 3

The teachers and students in our school need the divine touch. If a missionary spirit was encouraged, even though it took some hours from the program of study, if there was more faith and spiritual zeal, more of the realization that God can do more for teachers and students than He has done because in the past His way has been restricted, much of heaven’s blessing would be given. There are holy chords yet to be touched. Teachers are well as students need to show greater teachableness. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 4

Just in proportion as the true missionary spirit is brought into the education and training of young men and young women, will they be blessed. The students should begin to work in missionary lines where there are those with whom they can communicate, to learn how to work. As they do this, they advance, and their intellect grows. They are learning how to work when the school term is ended. As they approach those who are interested, they work under the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. It is as essential that they should know how to communicate as that they should receive a knowledge of the truth. The practice of telling others about Christ, of reading and explaining His Word, will stamp that Word on the mind, and will make the truth their own. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 5

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, ... and thy neighbor as thyself.” [Luke 10:27.] This is God’s command. Jesus has given an additional requirement, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” [John 13:34.] We are not merely to love our neighbor as ourselves; we are to love one another as Christ has loved us. “As my Father hath loved me, so have I loved you,” He declared, “continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you.” [John 15:9-12.] 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 6

The students and also the teachers in our school need to take time to become acquainted with the members of the community in which they live. The love that Christ manifested toward us, we must cultivate for others. The truth will not long remain in the heart unless it works by love to save the souls ready to perish. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 7

The Lord God of Israel would have us beware of human precision, of making a line on which everyone must tread. A different element must be brought into our schools. Wrong maxims and methods of teaching, which have been looked upon as wholly essential, have been followed. Those connected with our schools must penetrate deeper than their own habits or opinions, which have been idolized as complete authority. The greatest need of our teachers is to live hourly in conscious, loving communion with the principles of truth, righteousness, and mercy, for that is the atmosphere of heaven. There must not be so many studies and duties placed on the students that they will neglect to talk with the Lord Jesus, the great Teacher, and let into their hearts the softening, subduing influence of the Spirit that dwelt in Him. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 8

It is essential to teach the students how to do missionary work, not only by pen and voice, but by practice in its various lines. There is around us a community that needs to be taught how to cook, how to treat the sick. By doing this line of work, we practice the truth as it is in Jesus. Teachers and students need to learn how to do this work. The teachers should take the students with them to cases that need help, giving them practical instruction in how to treat the sick. Thus the medical class will be made of some value, to teachers as well as to students. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 9

The teachers must draw from the deep, central Source of all moral and intellectual power, asking the Lord to give them the mind that was in Jesus Christ, that every case that calls for sympathy and help, in physical as well as in spiritual lines, may receive their attention. The great Teacher co-operates with all the efforts made to relieve suffering humanity. Teach the students to make a practical application of the lessons they have received. As they witness human woe, and the deep poverty of those they are trying to help, they will be stirred with compassion. Their hearts will be softened and subdued by the deep, holy principles revealed in the Word of God. The great Physician co-operates with every effort made in behalf of suffering humanity, to give health to the body and light and restoration to the soul. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 10

We must give the Lord a chance to do His work, His great work, for the soul. Christ is our sufficiency. Each one of us must understand what it means to have the Word of God fulfilled in us. As Christ was in this world, so we are to be. If in this life we are like Him in character, we shall in heaven have His likeness. If there is no likeness between Christ and us in this world, there can be no friendship between Christ and us when He shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him. As religious teachers, we are under obligation to God to teach the students how to engage in medical missionary work. Those who do this work have many opportunities to sow the seeds of truth in a way that will be successful. The heart full of gratitude to God can pray, Teach me Thy way, O Lord, lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies, or rather, because of mine observers. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 11

There is a work to be done right here in Cooranbong. The people are as sheep without a shepherd. We must work in every way to save those who are without Christ and without hope in the world. The command comes to us, Go, preach the gospel to every creature. Souls are hungering and thirsting for the light. We have the light; we have a knowledge of the truth; and we are to give the invitation to the supper, for Christ has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. A good work can be done in this place if we will but do it. If we are lightbearers to the world, we are pledged to teach the students how to communicate light, and to give them an opportunity to work. The call to the supper is to be given; for it is glad tidings for all people. Let all who are qualifying themselves for this work spend much time with God in prayer. Let them contemplate their duty in the light of the Word of God. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 12

I am surprised, as this subject has been opened before me, that I have not in the past said more about it than I have. The people around us must have help. They are of value in God’s sight, for Christ gave his life for them. We must now see what can be done to educate the students in practical missionary work. God would not only have us impart light to all; but He has left us a commandment, defined and set forth by Him who cannot make a mistake, to regard the stranger, the outcast, and the poor souls who are weak in moral power. These are to be the special objects of our care. God has made us depositaries of sacred gifts, and as those enlightened by the truth, we are to educate the students to impart to others what they have received. Who will devote a portion of their time to this work? Remember, Christ is the Prince of life, the rightful sovereign of all the highways, byways, and hedges. He knows what they need. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 13

The Lord requires all who love Him to remember that the Captain of their salvation requires all His soldiers to fight valiantly in His army. God has placed upon us a burden of responsibility that we do not recognize. We must learn deeper lessons in the school of Christ. We can do much in His strength. He paid the redemption price to save a world of perishing souls. Sinners are the special objects of His mission. He has paid for every soul, and He desires us to be spiritualized. He would have us teach the students how to take up the work He has left them to do, that they may not lose the spirit of the work by too close an application to the theory of truth. It is an intelligent knowledge made perfect by practice that makes an efficient worker. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 14

“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” [Matthew 24:14.] In the parable recorded in (Matthew 18), Christ has shown His readiness to leave the flock that was gathered into the fold, and go out into the mountains to seek the lost, straying sheep. He rejoices more over one sinner that repents than over the ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance. “All things are delivered unto me of my Father,” He declared. [Matthew 11:27.] “All things that the Father hath are mine.” [John 16:15.] “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” [Matthew 28:18.] This power Christ is ready to transfer to those who will co-operate with Him in self-denial and self-sacrifice. We must open a way whereby this class of education shall be taken hold of during the remainder of this school term. The students must be given special opportunities to learn how to do missionary work, that they may place themselves in the channel of light to receive and impart light. They must make known the truth that has made them children of God. 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 15

In Maitland and Newcastle the standard of truth has not yet been elevated. If we believe the Word of God, our greatest aim and object should be to educate and train young men and young women to go forth to do missionary work. Thus they can use the truth that has been so faithfully presented to them. As they go forth to visit families, the precious discourses they have heard, the drill they have had on Bible themes, will be brought to their mind. As they read and explain the Word, the Comforter will be by their side, to refresh their memory. Not only will those who know not the truth be encouraged, but those who are telling of the preciousness of Christ will be greatly blessed. “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” [John 14:26.] 13LtMs, Ms 70, 1898, par. 16