The Review and Herald

1861/1902

October 29, 1914

The Foreigners in America

EGW

While plans are being carried out to warn the inhabitants of various nations in distant lands, much must be done in behalf of the foreigners who have come to the shores of our own land. The souls in China are no more precious than the souls within the shadow of our doors. God's people are to labor faithfully in distant lands, as his providence may open the way; and they are also to fulfill their duty toward the foreigners of various nationalities in the cities and villages and country districts close by. RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 1

It is well that those in responsibility are now planning wisely to proclaim the third angel's message to the hundreds of thousands of foreigners in America. God desires his servants to do their full duty toward the unwarned millions of the cities, and especially toward those who have come to these cities in our land from the nations of earth. Many of these foreigners are here in the providence of God, that they may have opportunity to hear the truth for this time. RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 2

Great benefits would come to the cause of God in the regions beyond if faithful effort were put forth in behalf of the foreigners in the cities of our homeland. Among these men and women are some who, upon accepting the truth, could soon be fitted to labor for their own people in this country and in other countries. Many might return to the places from which they came, in the hope of winning their friends to the truth. They could search out their kinsfolk and neighbors, and communicate to them a knowledge of the third angel's message. RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 3

Had the work of warning the cities of America been carried forward in past years with an earnestness in harmony with the importance of this part of the harvest field, we might now be standing on vantage ground. In urging this matter upon the attention of our brethren in responsibility assembled in a union conference in 1909, I said: RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 4

“In New York City, in Chicago, and in other great centers of population, there is a large foreign element—multitudes of various nationalities, and all practically unwarned. Among Seventh-day Adventists there is a great zeal—and I am not saying there is any too much—to work in foreign countries; but it would be pleasing to God if a proportionate zeal were manifested to work the cities close by. His people need to move sensibly. They need to set about this work in the cities with serious earnestness. Men of consecration and talent are to be sent into these cities, and set at work. Many classes of laborers are to unite in conducting these efforts to warn the people. RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 5

“When God's chosen messengers recognize their responsibility toward the cities, and in the spirit of the Master Worker labor untiringly for the conversion of precious souls, those who are enlightened will desire to give freely of their means to sustain the work done in their behalf. The newly converted believers will respond liberally to every call for help, and the Spirit of God will move upon their hearts to sustain not only the work being carried forward in the cities where they may be living, but in the regions beyond. Thus strength will come to the working forces at home and abroad, and the cause of God will be advanced in his appointed way.” RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 6

In “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. VIII, counsel is given concerning this same matter. From pages 34-37 I quote: RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 7

“I must write something in regard to the way in which our cities in America have been passed by and neglected,—cities in which the truth has not been proclaimed. The message must be given to the thousands of foreigners living in these cities in the home field.... RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 8

“Who feels heavily burdened to see the message proclaimed in Greater New York and in the many other cities as yet unworked? Not all the means that can be gathered up is to be sent from America to distant lands, while in the home field there exist such providential opportunities to present the truth to millions who have never heard it. Among these millions are the representatives of many nations, many of whom are prepared to receive the message. Much remains to be done within the shadow of our doors,—in the cities of California, New York, and many other States.... RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 9

“We repeat the prayer, ‘Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.’ Matthew 6:10. Are we doing our part to answer this prayer? We profess to believe that the commission which Christ gave to his disciples 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. RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 10

“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 needy fields close to 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.’ Matthew 21:28; John 4:35. RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 11

“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 a work to be done in foreign fields, but there is a work to be done in America that 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 October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 12

“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.... RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 13

“My heart is filled with anguish when I think of the tame messages borne by some of our ministers, when they have a message of life and death to bear. The ministers are asleep; the lay members are asleep; and a world is perishing in sin. May God help his people to arouse and walk and work as men and women on the borders of the eternal world. Soon an awful surprise is coming upon the inhabitants of the world. Suddenly, with power and great glory, Christ will come. Then there will be no time to prepare to meet him. Now is the time for us to give the warning message.” RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 14

Recently we were favored with a visit from Elder O. A. Olsen, who has been appointed by the General Conference to have the general oversight of the work among foreigners in America. We were greatly cheered by the encouraging report he brought concerning the progress that has been made in a few places. He told us of the continued prosperity of the cause of present truth among the Scandinavians and the Germans in America, and of the plans for continuing the work among the French. We rejoice that the efforts put forth by the pioneer workers among foreign nationalities in the United States and Canada, have borne a rich harvest of souls and we pray that our brethren and sisters who have sacrificed to establish schools for the training of their children in their own mother tongue, may continue steadfast in the faith. Their labor of love will not be in vain. The workers trained in these schools should be encouraged to find their places quickly in the Master's vineyard, and to labor perseveringly in behalf of those who know not the truth for this time. God will go before them, and give them many souls for their hire. RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 15

Elder Olsen told us also of the encouraging beginnings among the Italians, Servians, Roumanians, Russians, and several other nationalities. We rejoiced with him in all that has been done, and yet our hearts were made sad by the knowledge that much that might have been done has been left undone because of lack of means. We hope that the special collection recently taken in all our churches in America, will enable our brethren having this department in charge, to do more aggressive work in the great cities of the land. Thus many may be won to our ranks, and from among these may be developed laborers who can proclaim the message to those of their own nationality in our own land and in the other nations of earth. RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 16

God would be pleased to see far more accomplished by his people in the presentation of the truth for this time to the foreigners in America than has been done in the past. Let us strengthen the hands of Elder Olsen and his associates in labor. Let us not permit them to struggle on, alone, with only a meager allowance for the prosecution of their great work. As I have testified for years, if we were quick in discerning the opening providences of God, we should be able to see in the multiplying opportunities to reach many foreigners in America a divinely appointed means of rapidly extending the third angel's message into all the nations of earth. God in his providence has brought men to our very doors and thrust them, as it were, into our arms, that they might learn the truth, and be qualified to do a work we could not do in getting the light before men of other tongues. RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 17

There is a great work before us. The world is to be warned. The truth is to be translated into many languages, that all nations may enjoy its pure, life-giving influence. This work calls for the exercise of all the talents that God has intrusted to our keeping,—the pen, the press, the voice, the purse, and the sanctified affections of the soul. Christ has made us ambassadors to make known his salvation to the children of men; and if we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and are filled with the joy of his indwelling Spirit, we shall not be able to hold our peace. The truth will be poured forth from hearts all aglow with the love of God. We shall long to present the attractions of Christ and the unseen realities of the world to come. RH October 29, 1914, Art. A, par. 18