Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 66, 1894

Missionary Work


1894 [1892?]

Formerly Undated Ms 3. Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 556-557, 564.

“For we are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God, which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.” [1 Corinthians 3:9, 10.] I wish to present before you the great good that may be done if our brethren who attend the school, and especially the ministers, would have some interest and burden for the church at North Fitzroy. It is not so much preaching that they need, as it is that which may appear little, helps in various ways, which mean very much to the success of the work. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 1

The Missionary and Tract Society meetings are strangely neglected. This would not detract from the success and prosperity of the school, but would be a part of the great plan of God in educating those students how to work, to blend practice with their education in this disciplinary process. The training process consists in working, learning, and practicing as they go. Light received should be imparted to others. I know of no better way for you to fasten the instruction given your students, even to those who are inexperienced, than to encourage their attending Missionary and Tract Society meetings, and to educate them as best you can in the simple methods of successful work in these lines—teaching confirmed by practice—in this work all heaven will be brought near. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 2

I consider it will be a blessing to you who are connected with the school to show a decided interest in the prosperity of the church in Melbourne. They have had preaching, but there has been a great deal of work in certain lines that they ought to have had that they have not received, in education and training in the several branches of the work, which is essential for the strength and vitality of the church. In no case must we be indifferent to the apparently minor interests in connection with the church; the greater comprehends the less, like pins and rivets joining together the whole living, moving machinery. Ignorance as to how to work in the church now exists to a great extent. The tact, ingenuity, and skill must be put to use in the advancement and building up of Christ’s kingdom. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 3

In our world, orphanage, ignorance, and want are opened before us everywhere, and exist in our very midst; and the right kind of education is not in much sermonizing, but in teaching. The inculcation of ideas, sound principles, must be brought into actual practice, and must lay the foundation for true work in the church. The want of the church in Melbourne is the great want for this time. This want must be supplied in order to have a prosperous church. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 4

Every student needs the practice of missionary work as a part of his scholastic life. This part of the education has been sadly neglected in every country, in every district, in every church. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 5

Men have loved to preach, and have not considered that there was real art in ministering. They have not learned the trade to do personal labor. This work must be entered into as never before. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 6

Man must understand his relation to his fellow man, and understand that Christ means that he shall improve his time in earnest prayer, and in studying the life of Christ that he may be an able workman that needs not to be ashamed. To be an able workman means far more than to sermonize. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 7

The youth should be educated and trained to do wise planning and devising and qualifying themselves as to the best methods of reaching their fellow men. God cares for all souls, and they are the purchase of His blood. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 8

Many have come to the years of maturity who will need to have the spirit of a little child, and learn in meekness and lowliness of mind the methods of putting their entrusted talents out to usury. They must learn how to trade on their Lord’s goods, how to display the goods of heaven (the precious truths of God’s Word) so as to win souls of all classes. They need wisdom from God, ingenious planning to reach souls. The intelligent, the refined, are altogether too much passed by. The hook is not baited to catch this class, and ways and methods are not prayerfully devised to reach them with truth that is able to make them wise unto salvation. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 9

Most generally the fashionable, the wealthy, the proud, understand by experience that happiness is not to be secured by the amount of money that they possess, or by costly edifices, and ornamental furniture and pictures. They want something they have not. But this class are attracted toward each other, and it is hard to find access to them; and because of this many are perishing in their sins who long for something that will give them rest and peace and quietude of mind. They need Jesus, the Light of righteousness. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 10

There is a certain round of labor performed in a certain way that leaves a large class untouched. The Lord would have a missionary spirit awakened far higher and deeper than has been manifested, and well defined efforts put forth with a perseverance, an energy, proportionate to the grand, ennobling, and elevating truths, the golden treasure of heaven which we possess. We have been wonderfully deficient in this line of work. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 11

Then there is another class more easily reached. Many of them are more worthy than the wealthiest, for those who are rich have not all obtained their riches by the strictest principles of integrity. There are those who would not sacrifice principle or strict honesty to possess any amount of means. This is the class that if the truth were presented to them in wisdom would receive it, and be reliable workers together with God. The laborer through the wisdom given of God will work in such a way as to draw these parties together in Christ Jesus. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 12

The rich left alone without any effort to save them become shut up more and more to their own ideas. Their own train of thoughts and associations lose eternity out of their reckoning. They grow more proud and selfish, hard-hearted and unimpressible, suspicious that every one wants to get money, while the poor are envious of the rich, who need pity rather than to be envied. Bring these all under the power of saving truth, and the work of the upbuilding of the kingdom of God will go forward with much greater success. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 13

One thing is certain, we must educate every believer to have a true missionary spirit, and understand how to work intelligently in the missionary cause, for the prosperity of the cause is depending on this branch of the work being successfully executed. Improvements large and deep are essential to be made in the lines of missionary work, that it may go to increase in strength and efficiency constantly; not gain in becoming more intricate, more difficult for the sincere, humble, and true-hearted worker to handle, but ever maintaining its simplicity even as it increases in growth. The health of our Tract and Missionary Societies depends on their being humble, and pure, and maintaining this simplicity. 9LtMs, Ms 66, 1894, par. 14