The Review and Herald


January 8, 1901

Exalted Character of the Canvassing Work


Canvassing for our literature is a missionary work, and should be carried on from a missionary standpoint. Those selected as canvassers should be men and women who feel the burden of service, whose object is not to get gain, but to do the very work that needs to be done to enlighten the world. All our service is to be done to the glory of God, to give the light of truth to those who are in darkness. Selfish principles, love of gain, dignity, or position should not be once named among us. RH January 8, 1901, par. 1

Canvassers need daily to be converted to God, that their words and deeds shall be a savor of life unto life, that they may exert a saving influence upon those with whom they come in contact. The reason many have failed in the canvassing work is because they were not Christians; they did not know the spirit of conversion. They had a theory of how the work should be done, but they did not feel their dependence upon God. RH January 8, 1901, par. 2

Canvassers, remember that in the books which you are handling, you are presenting, not the cup containing the wine of Babylon, doctrines of error dealt to the kings of the earth, but the cup full of the preciousness of the truths of redemption. Will you drink it? Your minds can be brought into captivity to the will of Christ, and He can put His own superscription upon you. By beholding, you will become changed from glory to glory, from character to character. God wants you to come to the front, speaking the words He will give you. He wants you to show that you place an estimate upon humanity, humanity that has been purchased by the precious blood of the Saviour. When you fall upon the Rock and are broken, you will experience the power of Christ, and others will recognize the power of the truth upon your hearts. RH January 8, 1901, par. 3

To those who are attending school in order that they may learn how to do the work of God more perfectly, I would say, Remember that it is only by a daily consecration to God that you can become soul-winners. There have been those who were unable to go to school because they were too poor to pay their way. But when they became sons and daughters of God, they took hold of the work where they were, laboring for those around them. Though destitute of the knowledge obtained in school, they consecrated themselves to God, and God worked through them. As did the disciples when called from their nets to follow Christ, so they learned precious lessons from the Saviour. They linked themselves up with the Great Teacher, and the knowledge they gained from the Scriptures qualified them to speak to others of Christ. Thus they became truly wise, because they were not too wise in their own estimation to receive instruction from above. The renewing power of the Holy Spirit gave them practical, saving energy. RH January 8, 1901, par. 4

The knowledge of the most learned man, if he has not learned in Christ's school, is foolishness so far as leading poor, bewildered souls to Christ is concerned. God can work with those only who will accept the invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” RH January 8, 1901, par. 5

Among many of our canvassers there has been a departure from right principles. Because of a desire to reap worldly advantage, their minds have been drawn away from the real purpose and spirit of the work. Let none think that display and show will make right impressions upon the minds of the people. These things will not secure the best or most permanent results. Our work is to direct minds to the solemn truths for this time. When our own hearts are imbued with the spirit of truth, which is contained in the book we are selling, and when in humility we call the attention of the people to these truths, real success will attend our efforts; for the Holy Spirit, which convinces of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, will be present to impress hearts. RH January 8, 1901, par. 6

Our books should be handled by consecrated workers, whom the Holy Spirit can use as His instrumentalities. Christ is our sufficiency, and we want to present the truth in humble simplicity, letting it bear its own savor of life unto life. RH January 8, 1901, par. 7

Humble, fervent prayer would do more in behalf of the circulation of our books than all the expensive pictures in the world. If the workers will turn their attention to that which is true and living and real; if they will pray for, believe for, and trust in, the Holy Spirit, He will be poured upon them in strong, heavenly currents, and right and lasting impressions will be made upon the human heart. Then pray and work, and work and pray, and the Lord will work with you. RH January 8, 1901, par. 8

Every canvasser has positive and constant need of the angelic ministration; for he has an important work to do, a work that he can not do in his own strength. Those who are born again, who are willing to be guided by the Holy Spirit, doing in Christ's way that which they can do; those who will work as if they could see the heavenly universe watching them, will be accompanied and instructed by holy angels, who will go before them to the dwellings of the people, preparing the way for them. Such help is far above all the advantages that illustrations are supposed to give. RH January 8, 1901, par. 9

When men realize the times in which we are living, they will work as in the sight of heaven. The canvasser will handle those books that bring light and strength to the soul. He will drink in the spirit of these books, and put his whole soul into the work of presenting them to the people. His strength, his courage, his success, will depend on how fully the truth presented in the books is woven into his own experience and developed in his character. When his own life is thus molded, he can go forward representing to others the sacred truth he is handling in the books for which he is finding a place in homes. Imbued with the Spirit of God, he will gain a deep, rich experience, and heavenly angels will give him success in the work. RH January 8, 1901, par. 10

To our canvassers, to all to whom God has given talents that they might co-operate with Him, I would say, Pray, O pray, for a deeper experience. Go forth with your hearts softened and subdued by a study of the precious truths which God has given us for this time. Drink freely of the water of salvation, that it may be in your hearts as a living spring, flowing forth to refresh souls ready to perish. God will then give wisdom to enable you to impart aright. He will make you channels for communicating His blessings. He will help you to reveal His attributes by imparting to others the wisdom and understanding which He has imparted to you. RH January 8, 1901, par. 11

May the Lord open your minds to comprehend this subject in its length and breadth, and may you realize your duty to represent the character of Christ, by your patient courage and steadfast integrity. If you will take with you into the canvassing field principles of righteousness, you will be respected, and many will believe the truth that you advocate, because your daily life will be as a bright light which gives light to all that are in the house. Even your enemies, as much as they may war against your doctrines, will respect you; and your simple words will have a power that will carry conviction to hearts. RH January 8, 1901, par. 12