Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 83, 1897

The Need of Missionary Effort


July 22, 1897

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 343; 9MR 200-201.

“Curse ye Moroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they come not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.” [Judges 5:23.] 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 1

There are resources in the members of the several churches that must and will be tested. The men of sound judgment must become initiated into the work. Such men, though uneducated in the work, will, if they have the opportunity granted them, gain a knowledge in its several branches. The Holy Spirit will do its work. The God of Daniel is our God, and He will work in behalf of His people. These men must be chosen with much carefulness, and sent out under judicious ministerial ability—those who are not boyish, superficial, and extravagant, but men of sound judgment, to whom the kingdom of heaven is of more value than their meat and drink and all beside. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 2

These workers will not be perfect; but it should be the aim of those men who are conscientious, God-loving, earnest, zealous managers to educate and train them in the opening of the work in new fields. The men who are humble, and who love and fear God, will work in various lines, having their test in the efforts made for them to be educated and trained. Far less preaching can be done. God designs that there shall be much more real ministry effected. All heaven sees the lack of a missionary spirit in its high and holy achievements. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 3

A spirit of trust in God, and faith in what He has done and can do through human vessels by the power of His rich grace, should be encouraged. Let every church send forth her men. Let each one say, I will take the responsibility of supporting one, two, four, five, or ten missionaries. This is the offering that the churches may give to missionary fields; and when they do this, the rich blessing of God will rest upon them. Give the church an opportunity to co-operate with the great Master Worker in selecting His workers. Pray and believe as you select the men. Give them a trial under wise generalship. Select fields that are open and calling for help, and let them display their capabilities for work by exercising their talents. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 4

Give the church something to do, and it will warm the hearts of those who go forth to work, and the hearts of these who send them. It will keep alive their interest, for they will work most earnestly to fit other missionaries. The word coming from new fields will keep the church in activity, and the satisfaction of having a working interest in the mission field will be a source of encouragement and uplifting to the entire church. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 5

There are improvements to be made. The mortifying, disgraceful proceedings of the past, the discussions that have made the board and committee meetings tedious, because of the unsanctified material brought in in dealing with important plans, have been worked by satanic agencies, and the cause of truth has been hindered. How distressing has all this been to the heart of Jesus who has been looking upon it. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 6

The voice coming from the great heart of the work must not be the voice of men inspired by human passions, with unsubdued tempers and hearts that are dead to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and voice. Spiritual men are called for to stand in the Holy places at the center of the work. Let not everything in the management be concentrated under the one administration. Interests that are as far-reaching as eternity should not be managed by men who know not God, nor Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Men who cannot be worked by the Spirit of God, but who wish to take the work into their own hands, as if their finite minds could comprehend God and His purposes, when they cannot manage their own spirit, or keep self under the control of God’s will, should not be placed in positions of trust. Presidents of our conferences, elders of our churches, are to learn of Jesus daily. They are to wear the yoke of restraint and lift the burdens of obedience, by practicing the Word of Christ. They are to learn in His school His meekness and lowliness, for in this way only can they become channels of light. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 7

There are elements of talent that must be discerned and set to work. A world is to be warned. Ministers are few, and are increasing but slowly, because there is no educating ability to set in operation the training of classes who may learn how to work, and thus provide new fields with laborers. You cannot expect perfect work from unused power and uneducated ability; but let the young men, and those newly come to the faith have a chance to work. They must be willing to meet many difficulties. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 8

New efficiency must come into our work. Sanctified ministers represent the great Teacher in [their] work, taking an interest in localities in near and distant settlements. The small out-of-the-way places should have workers who can open the Scriptures to the ignorant. Let them give short lessons, a little at a time, imparting precious thoughts from the life and teachings of Christ. Do not occupy all the time sermonizing, but have ready matter to leave with the ones you try to help. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 9

There is work in every line to be done. The cities also are to be worked. It is not wise to take novices to do this work. Take those whom you know to be quick to perceive the situation. But do not think them so perfect that they will make no blunders. Mistakes are often made in learning trades, and the danger in doing God’s work in dealing with human minds is even greater. We need sanctified judgment. We thank God that help has been provided. The Holy Spirit will work with the laborer. If he will depend upon the grace of God, he will be given the very things he needs for the occasion. If he will work carefully and prayerfully, and watch unto prayer, God will make him wise unto salvation. New light, new interests, new methods will come into the work. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 10

Those who abide in Christ will walk careful. They will contemplate the value of souls in the light of the cross of Calvary. These are blood-bought souls. The only begotten Son of God has given His life to save them from the degradation of sin and uplift them by restoring to them the image of God, that through faith in Him they might become joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Through Him you may learn how to work, even though you may be unacquainted with it. You cannot do everything at first. Go slowly and safely. Do what you can. Practice makes perfect. The church that will bear the responsibility of the work needing to be done with their prayers and their means will be blessed. And the workers will be blessed because they are brought into close companionship with Christ in wearing His yoke and lifting His burdens. An unwonted activity will be brought into the life, for heavenly angels are close by to co-operate with the interested worker. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 11

The General Conference will be benefited. A new life will be infused into it. A new energy will take hold upon its workers. A purifying tide will run through the body. The baptism of the Holy Spirit will come into its assemblies, and its members will realize the same transformation of character which the workers are receiving. God’s people will catch the inspiration, and will seem to be as prophets. God’s commandment-keeping people are to expect everything in the line of efficiency, for if the soul is consecrated to God, He will work with human efforts. Love strengthens, for it is a fruit of true Christian work. Loyalty to God and sympathy and purify of soul will make hearts one with Jesus Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 12

Mission fields are opening everywhere, but the needs are not supplied. Where there are but two or three workers there should be many, that resources may be at hand, and workers ready for action. It is not in God’s purpose that the church shall be sustained by life drawn from the minister. They are to have root in themselves. The gospel news, the message of warnings, the third angel’s message, is to be voiced by church members. If the Holy Spirit is respected and obeyed, it will dictate a different policy than has been followed. In looking and depending too largely upon man, individuals who have God-given capabilities have not used them. They have not put to use their reason in connection with the work of God. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 13

As responsible agents we must look to God. The great centers are to be worked. God is an impartial God; He is no respecter of persons or places. The church is to do more than it has done. The work at this time should have an efficiency and power that shall send witnesses for Christ, passing from country to country, erecting the standard of truth and righteousness in the high places as well as the byways and hedges. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 14

Every school principal and teacher has a sacred work to do. He must educate after the school of the prophets, sending forth men who will raise the standard of truth and righteousness higher and still higher. Every nation under heaven must have its day of merciful visitation. Give light to the unenlightened. You have no time and means to expend upon those who have abundance of light; let them work for others. Men will not have increased light until they go to work and diffuse what they already have. They will have grace for grace. God says, “I have set thee to be a light unto the Gentiles that thou shouldest bring salvation unto the ends of the earth.” [Acts 13:47.] 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 15

Our churches must awake. Let them no longer say, We must do missionary work at home. While there is work to be done in the fields that are near, while the cities must not be neglected, this must not preclude the work from spreading to fields that have never had the last message of mercy. The first disciples were to commence in Jerusalem, the most unpromising field; but they were not to wait there until all should be converted. They were to cross the boundaries to Judea, and visit the places where there was far less knowledge of Christianity, where not one in a hundred had heard of Christ. But these religions beyond were waiting for the message. The Holy Spirit was waiting to attend the messenger who was passing as rapidly as possible from country to country, elevating the standard of righteousness. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 16

There are laymen who can do more in a quiet way than can the ministers. In our missions an interest may be awakened in the hearts of wealthy men who have the means to assist. Give them the privilege of helping if they will. Let them be asked. They have the Lord’s money in their hands. If anything can arouse them to place that money where it can do good, let it be done. It will prove a blessing to these souls. What is done for other missions, which bear not the message of the seal of the living God, we may make efforts more than we have made to have done for us. God is warning the church of her fearful responsibility. Let means be gathered by wise, judicious men, from believers and unbelievers, for our school, for our churches, for our health instructions, for our medical missionary enterprises. But let earnest, systematic arrangements be made. Draw from any source, for all is God’s. The men are God’s property. Those who believe the truth should be earnestly called upon to help what they can. They are to invite men who believe not the truth to give to God His own. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 17

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel,” is the command of Christ. [Mark 16:15.] Let men who are not ministers be accepted as laborers. God will take men who will give themselves unselfishly to work, and imbue them with the Holy Spirit. He will enable them to present the unsearchable riches of Christ. All cannot wait for the routine of years of preparation. Here has been a decided error. This has been done too much already. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 18

Young men, offer your services, soul, body and spirit, to God. He will accept the offering. There is no need of enlargement of the work. God calls for young men, who can better endure the changes of the climate. Do not let men who are feeble in constitution, however zealous they may be, imperil life itself, by going to climates that they are not adapted to endure. Let others, who can overcome these difficulties, take these fields. We have a reason to use in all these things. We are finite, and we must have sound, good sense in placing ourselves in fields of labor where our lives will be spared for the work as long as possible. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 19

Young men, entering new fields in foreign countries, can better learn the language of these nations than can older men. Some think that young men’s judgment cannot be trusted. They can be trusted if they love God sincerely. Put the men who seem to have ability to superintending foreign missions, for those advanced in age can be home missionaries. Young men who love Jesus can and will do a precious work if you place them where they will have a chance. The trust reposed in them will help them to have courage, and to go forward in the strength of God. 12LtMs, Ms 83, 1897, par. 20