Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 126, 1902

Sermon/“And they when they had ...”

Fresno, California

October 11, 1902

Portions of this manuscript are published in HP 322; PM 303, 368; Ev 172; 3MR 375; 4MR 294-296. See RH 11/11/1902. +Note

Missionary Sermon, Mrs E. G. White, S. D. A. Camp-ground, Fresno, California, Sabbath forenoon, October 11, 1902.

“And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans. And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship (it seems that he was half converted), was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man shall guide me?” [Acts 8:25-31.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 1

God has made it necessary for men to communicate with one another in order to learn of heavenly things. This eunuch whom Philip taught could not understand the Word when reading it alone. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 2

“And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened He not His mouth: in His humiliation His judgment was taken away: and who shall declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this, of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” [Verses 31-37.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 3

This was his confession of faith. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 4

“And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.” [Verses 38, 39.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 5

He did not go on his way telling every one about the great trials that he had had. He had taken the steps requisite in conversion, and after his baptism he went on his way rejoicing. “But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.” [Verse 40.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 6

I desired this morning to speak particularly on the way that the Lord leads His people to communicate with one another, so that a knowledge of the truth may be given by the informed to the uninformed. In the Scripture I have read, we learn of the half-converted eunuch returning from Jerusalem to his home. He had some knowledge of God’s Word, but he could not understand the prophecies clearly. The Lord in His providence gave His servant Philip the privilege of leading this seeker after truth into the full light of the gospel. Thus God works in every age. He brings the honest-hearted ones into connection with those of His people who can best reach the individual needs of every case. Some of His children, having special knowledge in a certain line, are adapted to give the greatest help to one class of inquirers; others, trained in a different way, are best fitted to help various other classes. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 7

This principle is further illustrated in the experience of Peter with Cornelius. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 8

“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” [Acts 10:1, 2.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 9

These verses show that in every place, in regions afar as well as nearer home, there are God-fearing men and women searching for truth. They know that there is a God; they offer their prayers to Him; they trust Him; they act just as Christians act. From the story of Cornelius we learn that God will lead every one who is willing to be led. He led Cornelius. He drew out His servant’s heart in prayer. He prepared him to receive the light of His truth; and He chose to enlighten the mind of Cornelius through the agency of one who had already received light from above. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 10

Cornelius “saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.” [Verses 3, 4.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 11

The Lord noticed every act of Cornelius. All heaven observed the giving of alms and the praying of this devout centurion. The great Shepherd treated him as tenderly as if he was one of His own sheep. He appeared to him in a vision and told him what to do. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 12

Thus it is today. The Lord has His eye upon every soul that is seeking Him. He is interested in every soul needing help, and He will not leave one in the darkness of error; but, step by step, will lead him into the full light of the truth that is shining from every page of the Scriptures. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 13

The Lord gave definite instructions to Cornelius, saying, “And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: he lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the seaside: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” [Verses 5, 6.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 14

Cornelius was thus put in touch with Peter, who would be able to tell him what to do. The Lord God of heaven might have communicated His truth direct to the centurion; He might have enabled him to understand the Scriptures; but no: His appointed way is to communicate truth through human agents. Those who have received light are to reveal it to those who are in darkness. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 15

How great are the privileges given to mankind! Let no one any longer be content to be clothed with the filthy garments of self-righteousness. We cannot afford to trust self. We should be clothed with humility. We should reveal contrition of soul; for “thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] The Lord sees our every act. He knows just what progress we have made in the Christian pathway. How kind, how tender, our great Shepherd is! With intense interest He looks down from His exalted throne upon the sheep of His pasture and gives them grace and strength. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 16

“And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; and when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 17

“On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: and he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. (This was a lesson given in symbols.) And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, and called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 18

“While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.” [Acts 10:7-19.] The angels of God were directing at every step. “Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” He understood the voice that communicated this message to him. “Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come? And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nations of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee. Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him. And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.” [Verses 20-24.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 19

He desired to let others have the benefit of that which he was about to receive. And this is the way we should feel. “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” [2 Corinthians 4:6.] Our earnest desire should be to lead others to behold this glorious light. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 20

“And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshiped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.” These were the kinsmen and near friends that had been called in. “And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” [Acts 10:25-28.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 21

For a long time the minds of the apostles were not wholly free from the sentiments of the rabbis in regard to the Jews’ having no communication with any other nation. God desired to teach His disciples that He was no respecter of persons. The disciples were the first sent out to proclaim the gospel in the cities of Judea; afterward they were told to go into the cities of Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth. But for a time the early Christians remained together. Instead of obeying the gospel commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, the apostles were in danger of spending all their energies on the church members in and near Jerusalem. Not until persecution came did they scatter and begin to work earnestly for the salvation of the Gentiles. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 22

Constantly the heavenly agencies are communicating with men and women on the earth. We cannot see personally the angels of God round about us; nevertheless they are with us, guiding and directing. We are to be so fully under the influence of the Spirit of God that we shall be susceptible to His leadings. Whenever we are impressed to say or do something to help a fellow being, we should be ready to respond at once to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. We can be ready to do this only when we are living in close relation with God. The giving of alms, the earnest prayers offered, are but indications that we are doing the works of a Christian, and that we are submitting our minds to the molding influence of God’s Spirit. I am so thankful that we have a record of all the particulars of Cornelius’s experience. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 23

Peter understood the figure presented to him in the vision. He declared, “God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” [Verse 28.] He knew that the virtue of the blood of Christ was for every man. He knew that Christ with His long human arm encircled the entire human race, while with His divine arm He grasped the throne of the Infinite. He realized that Christ endured suffering and shame, in order that He might place humanity on vantage ground with God. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 24

Let us never call any man common or unclean. God has given His Son for every man’s salvation. He “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] In view of this infinite sacrifice for the salvation of all, let us respect every human being on the face of the earth whether they believe exactly as we do or not. If they do not accept God’s Word as it reads, it is our privilege, as we have opportunity, to present to them the light God has given us, and strive to win them to the truth. This is what Peter did when he visited the household of Cornelius. He declared: 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 25

“Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me? And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the seaside: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.” [Acts 10:29-33.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 26

Our minds and hearts should likewise be open to receive every ray of light that shines upon us. Never are we to feel that we have received all the light worth having. Accepting and cherishing from day to day the truth as it is in Jesus, we shall be sanctified and conformed to the divine likeness. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 27

“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all:) that word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.” [Verses 34-43.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 28

“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.” [Verse 44.] Praise God! We should be so filled with the Spirit, that we shall preach the Word under its inspiration. We should be so consecrated to God, that His grace will come to us and to the people to whom we minister. We cannot impress the human heart. He alone who upholds us and gives us words to utter has power to impress these words upon hearts. The righteousness of Christ is to go before us, and the glory of the Lord is to be our rearward. This is to be our strength, our power. We can have no other power but this to lead men and women to give their hearts to the Saviour. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 29

“They of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.” [Verses 45-48.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 30

Although the ministry of Peter to the Gentiles had been blessed of God in the conversion of souls; although the power of God manifested gave evidence that the apostle was to be a messenger to the Gentiles, yet it was hard for the Jews to believe that God was tearing down the middle wall of partition and that the gospel was to be carried to all the world. A contention arose in the church at Jerusalem over the course that Peter was pursuing. He had to go to Jerusalem and rehearse to the leaders there his experience with Cornelius, before they could believe that the Lord would send to the uncircumcised His Holy Spirit. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 31

Before His ascension, Jesus commanded His disciples “that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father. ... Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. ... Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” [Acts 1:4, 5, 8.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 32

The day of Pentecost came. Great additions were made to the church. In one day five thousand were converted. The disciples began to think that they had a great work to do in Jerusalem, in shielding the members of this church from the snares <and opposition> of the enemy. They did not realize that strength to resist temptation is best gained by active service. They did not educate the new church members to become workers together with God in carrying the gospel message to those who had not received the glad tidings of salvation through Christ. Instead, they were in danger of remaining with the church that they had raised up, and of being satisfied with what had been accomplished. The Lord permitted persecution to come upon His church, to scatter His representatives abroad, where they could work for others. Steven and several other Christians died martyrs to their faith; the church members were scattered; and the gospel was proclaimed with power “in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” [Verse 8.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 33

We thank the Lord that during this camp-meeting several of our workers have given themselves as missionaries to go to different countries outside our land. My brethren, we bid you Godspeed. Our prayers shall follow you wherever you go. How glad we are to send men and means to these countries. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 34

Before my husband’s death, little did I think that I should ever be a pioneer missionary in a foreign land. In the last few moments of his life, I put my hand in his, and said, “If your life is taken away, I will take up the work that you lay down, and carry it in the name of the Lord, doing the best I can.” I did not realize then that I should spend many years of service in foreign lands. But when the call came to go to Europe, I responded. Afterward, when we were recommended to go to Australia, I went, notwithstanding I was over sixty years old. Ten years I worked in that field before returning to America. I shall be seventy-five years old the twenty-sixth of November; and yet the missionary spirit is within me, and I feel such an intense desire to see souls saved that it seems as if I could go to the ends of the earth, if only I could bring souls to a knowledge of the truth for this time. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 35

When we went to Australia, we found a little band of workers there, doing what they could; but they greatly needed help. We united with them in the work that they had begun, and during our stay in that country, about fifteen churches were raised up and fifteen meeting-houses built; a school was established; and medical missionary work was begun, small institutions being opened in several places. Since our return to America, we have been trying to help the laborers in Australia by sending our letters across the broad waters, encouraging them to trust in God, and bidding them to do as we were bidden to do while there—that is, annex new territory to the territories already worked. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 36

We passed through many interesting experiences while in Australia. We helped established a school from the foundation, going into the eucalyptus woods and camping while the trees were being felled, the grounds cleared, and the school buildings erected. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 37

Prejudice in the community in which the school was established was broken down by the medical missionary work that we did. The nearest physician lived twenty miles away. I told the brethren that I would allow my secretary, a trained nurse who has been with me for twenty years, to go to visit the sick whenever they called her. We made a hospital of our home. My nurse treated successfully some most difficult cases that the physicians had pronounced incurable. This labor was not without its reward. Suspicion and prejudice were removed. The hearts of the people were won, and many accepted the truth. At the time we went there, it was regarded necessary to keep everything under lock and key, for fear of theft. Only once was anything stolen from us, and that was shortly after our arrival. Now the community is law-abiding, and no one thinks of being robbed. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 38

We tried to take a personal interest in the people. If we should meet some one walking as we were driving to the station four and a half miles away, we were glad to let them ride with us in our carriage. We did what we could to develop our land and encouraged our neighbors to cultivate the soil, that they, too, might have fruit and vegetables of their own. We taught them how to prepare the soil, and what to plant, and how to take care of the growing produce. They soon learned the advantages of providing for themselves in this way. We realized that Christ took a personal interest in men and women while He lived on this earth. He was a medical missionary everywhere He went. We are to go about doing good, even as He did. We are instructed to feed the hungry and to clothe the naked; to heal the sick, and to comfort those that mourn. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 39

I wish to say to these our friends who expect soon to go from us to other lands, Remember that you can break down the severest opposition by becoming interested in the little things in the household where you are staying. If you see the water bucket empty, be thoughtful enough to fill it. Help the tired father do the chores. Take an interest in the children. Be considerate. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 40

The sisters can do much to reach the heart and make it tender. Work in simplicity wherever you are, my sisters. If you are in a home where there are several children, be a mother to them. Take them in your arms, and show their parents that you love children. If one is sick, <act the> nurse, and show the careworn, anxious mother how properly to care for her suffering child. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 41

Jesus loved little children. When the mothers, dusty with travel, brought their children into His presence, the disciples told them that their Master was too busy to be annoyed by them. Christ overheard this, and “was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. ... And He took them up on His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them.” [Mark 10:14, 16.] We know not but that this blessing rested upon them until they were converted. Some of the children whom we treat kindly may yet be workers by our side. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 42

God desires us to become as humble as little children. Christ’s sermon to His disciples, when they were striving over the question of who should be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, was to place a little child in the midst of them. “Except ye be converted,” He declared, “and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” [Matthew 18:3-6.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 43

If you go out as a canvasser, and meet a man toiling in the field, join him in labor. Take the hoe, or whatever instrument he may be using, and work by his side while you are talking with him. Tell him that you know he is busy, and that you have no desire to hinder him. Let me assure you that the sermon which you preach with the hoe will be in harmony with the sermon which you preach with your tongue; and the two, together, have a power which words alone could never have. Work in humility, and the Lord will work with you. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 44

Missionaries, I greatly desire that your hearts shall not be barren and unfruitful, but filled with heavenly grace—filled with pity, love, compassion. As I shall bid you farewell here, and return to my home, do not think that I shall soon forget you. We will offer up our petitions to God in your behalf, pleading with Him to open doors for you. He will hear our prayers, because He has promised to hear us. And He is just as ready to answer your prayers. He has said that He is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than parents are to give good gifts to their children. Wherever you go, pray to Him in the morning, at noon, and at night. Pray in faith, without wavering. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 45

Let our missionaries go out two and two. Christ sent His disciples out by twos. If one is taken sick, the other one can take care of him. In teaching the people, one thinks of something to say that another would not think of; and thus two working together are a great help to each other. When praying, let them claim the promise, “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.” [Verse 19.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 46

Many of the members of our churches may feel that we are sending off too many of the Conference laborers, and that the work in the home field cannot be done by the few that remain. But this is not the proper view to take of this matter. Those in the employ of the Conference are not the only ones who should work for souls. Let the churches go to work. Let them communicate to others the knowledge that they have received. Our church members in many churches have heard discourse after discourse, and yet they do not seem to have a large measure of the Holy Spirit. Many of them sent letters across the broad Pacific to me while I was in Australia, inquiring why they did not receive more power from above, and requesting me to pray for them. They did not seem to comprehend the reality of the promise of the Saviour, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] They did not seem to realize that they could gain additional spiritual strength by imparting to their neighbors and friends the light they had received. They had not learned that a great blessing comes to us from telling our fellow beings enslaved by appetite, that it is possible for them to receive a power greater than human power—a power that will enable them to overcome their appetite for tobacco, liquor, tea, coffee, and every other harmful substance in which men and women indulge, to the injury of body and mind. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 47

Let those who teach others in regard to the truth teach in simplicity. In communicating truth, let them not try to drive it home with a vim that will arouse antagonism. Let them modulate the voice so as to express sympathy and tenderness. Christ’s voice was full of pathos. By persevering effort we can cultivate the voice, ridding it of all harshness and other objectionable features. Let us ask in faith for a converted voice, a converted tongue, and a sympathy as tender as the sympathy shown by Christ, that we may win souls to the truth we teach. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 48

There is no need for any of our churches being barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord. But some are in danger of starving to death spiritually even when they are constantly hearing the truth presented by our ministers; for they neglect to impart that which they receive. God requires every one of His stewards to use the talent entrusted to him. He gives us rich gifts in order that we may give freely to others. He keeps the channels of the heart flooded with the light of His presence, in order that the human agent may reveal Christ to his fellow men. How can those who fold their hands in contentment, doing nothing, except God to continue to supply their necessities? The members of all our churches should labor as those who must give an account. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 49

Brethren and sisters, when these laborers and their companions have gone to foreign countries to work there, will you close up the ranks in the home Conference? Will you put on the Christian armor? “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore,” the apostle Paul writes, “take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” [Ephesians 6:12, 13.] Will you stand firmly for the truth, even if your church is not often visited by a minister? I ask you, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, to put on “the whole armor of God,” and to be sure to remember to wear the gospel shoes. Do not neglect to put them on. They will enable you to tread tremblingly, softly, in approaching the souls that you desire to lead to the Saviour. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 50

“Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,” you will be prepared to walk from house to house, carrying the truth to the people. [Verse 15.] Sometimes you will find it a trying process to do this kind of work; but if you go forth in faith, the Lord will go before you, and will let His light shine upon your pathway. Entering the homes of your neighbors to sell or to give away our literature, and in humility to teach them the truth, you will be accompanied by the light of heaven, which will abide in these houses. Learn to sing the simplest of songs. These will help you to bring in the good influence of the Spirit of God to touch hearts. Christ was often heard singing hymns of praise; and yet I have heard persons say that “He never smiled.” How mistaken their ideas in regard to the Saviour! There was joy in His heart. We learn from the Word that there is joy among the heavenly angels over one soul converted to God, and that the Lord Himself rejoices over His church with singing. What a privilege it is to labor for the conversion of souls! 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 51

Our calling is high. We may enjoy the companionship of the heavenly angels. We may not discern their forms, but we may know by faith that they are with us. The angels of God constantly minister unto those who are heirs of salvation. Brethren, sisters, God invites us to unite with the angels in ministering to others. Thus every one of us may become His helping hand. To fit us to do this work, He will strengthen our mental faculties as verily as He did the mind of Daniel. As we teach those in darkness to understand the truths that have enlightened us, God will teach us to understand these truths still better ourselves. He will give us apt words to speak, communicating to us through the angel standing by our side. Let us pray for the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Let us seek for living power from above, that we may indeed be laborers together with God. Thus we shall lay upon the foundation gold and silver and precious stones which fire cannot consume. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 52

May the blessing of God rest upon every one in this congregation. The presence of God is here. His angels are in the midst of us, and the evil angels are here, too. Let us close the windows earthward, and open them heavenward. Let us not allow earthly things to take possession of the mind, but keep it open to receive the communications that the heavenly angels are ready to give to us. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 53

May the Lord bless and strengthen you who are under appointment to go to other lands. If we never meet again in this life, I pray that we shall meet in that glad day when the gates of the city of God will be swung back on their glittering hinges, and the nations that have kept the truth will enter in, there to hear Christ saying, in sweetest tones, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” “Enter into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:34, 21.] The redeemed will cast their crowns at His feet, crying, “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain!” [Revelation 5:12.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 54

As we shall recognize among the ransomed ones some whom we were instrumental in saving, gladness unspeakable will fill our hearts. Touching our harps, we will fill all heaven with rich music. O what songs of redeeming love will circulate through the heavenly courts! 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 55

While living this probationary life, shall we not as church members be faithful in encouraging one another to remain steadfast? Shall we not be faithful in going out into the neighborhood to tell the truth for this time to those who have not heard it? Shall we not be faithful in supporting by our prayers and by our means those who are sent to other lands to proclaim this truth? Shall we not learn to practice self-denial on every point, that we may have more to give for missionary work abroad? Shall we not keep before us, in our homes, a contribution box in which to place the money that we give for the advancement of God’s work? 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 56

Let us teach our children to deny self in order to help sustain God’s work. Let us tell them that God, in giving His Son, sacrificed all heaven to save not only us, but those who have not yet heard anything about Him. Let us tell them that Christ, in order to redeem mankind, laid aside His kingly crown and royal robe, left His high command in the heavenly courts, and came to this world to live a life of poverty and hardship, a life of toil and suffering, and finally to meet with a humiliating death on the cross. Shall He have died in vain for us? Shall He have died in vain for those whom we could save by self-sacrifice on our part? 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 57

Brethren and sisters, will you today pledge yourselves before God that you will pray for these workers who have been selected to go to foreign lands? Will you pledge yourselves before God not only to pray for them, but to sustain them by your tithes and offerings? Will you pledge yourselves before God to practice strict self-denial in order to increase your gifts to advance the cause of present truth in the “Regions beyond”? [2 Corinthians 10:16.] We feel moved by the Spirit of God to ask you to pledge yourselves before Him to lay by something weekly for the support of our missionaries. God will help and bless you in doing this. Let those who are under appointment to go abroad have some evidence that you will sustain them by your prayers and by your means. Let those who willingly, freely, gladly make these pledges before God today signify it by rising to their feet. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 58

(Nearly the whole congregation—about a thousand—arose.) 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 59

Thank the Lord! We think that as these missionaries go to their new fields, they will have some assurance that our brethren and sisters in this Conference will be faithful in doing their part at home. The time may come when some of those who remain will go to distance fields. We expect to see the Lord take men from the plough and send them out to proclaim the truth. We expect to see children bearing a message that their parents cannot bear. Let us all stand ready to respond to God’s call to duty, no matter what may be the sacrifice. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 60

I feel impressed to close by offering a few words of prayer. Let us pray. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 61

(Praying.) My heavenly Father, we come to Thee at this time just as we are—poor and needy and helpless—unless Thou wilt take hold of our case. And Thou hast said, “Let him take hold of My strength, and make peace with Me: and He shall make peace with Me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 62

May the petitions of this congregation come up before Thee at this time as a power before Thy throne. We know that our Saviour is presenting His hands before Thee, saying, “I have graven them upon the palms of My hands.” [Isaiah 49:16.] O God, I plead with Thee, for Christ’s sake, that Thou wilt accept our petitions for these that are going away. They know not what is before them; but they have Thy promise that Thy righteousness shall go before them, and that the glory of the Lord shall be their rearward. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 63

We love Thee, our Saviour; and we desire to see gathered into Thy fold every soul that it is possible to save. Imbue, we beseech Thee, this whole congregation with Thy holiness upon this Sabbath day. O may the light of heaven shine forth upon Thy people here. Let the Holy Spirit rest upon those who shall leave us. We have told them, Lord, that we would pray for them; and we now present our petitions in their behalf, praying that Thou wouldst clothe them with the garments of Thy salvation; that Thou wouldst help them to put on the whole armor of God. Take them in charge, Lord, and prepare them this day for service. O my Lord, I beseech of Thee that Thou wouldst open doors where they can enter. Here are some who are preparing to go to China in a little while. Fit them for service, Lord; give them courage; prepare the way before them. They have been learning how to present the truth of God to those of their own nationality; and wilt Thou help them, My Father. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 64

I beseech Thee, Lord, to arouse the church as they never have been aroused before. O stir up their hearts, Lord. Many of them are now in a paralyzed condition, because they have done so little; but when they begin to use their capabilities for Thee, we know that Thou wilt give them Thy reviving power. O my heavenly Father, I ask Thee that for the sake of Jesus of Nazareth, Thou wouldst bless this entire congregation. Let the sinners in Zion feel the convicting power of God upon them. Let them tremble before Thee, lest they neglect to seek Thee until it is too late. I ask Thee, Lord, to open their hearts to receive the Saviour who has been knocking, knocking, knocking for entrance, until the hairs of His head are wet with the dew of night. O my Father, my Father, wilt Thou, for the sake of Christ, move upon every heart in this congregation! 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 65

I ask Thee, Jesus, that the salvation of God may be revealed, and that those of our people who by their donations have helped so nobly to carry the work will not become weary in well-doing. We know that call after call comes to them; but O my Father, Thou art giving to them gift upon gift, and art letting them have the blessings of the dew, the sunshine, and the showers, making their fields fruitful. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 66

I ask Thee, my heavenly Father, that the rich blessing of heaven may fall upon this congregation when, after returning to their homes, they try in their humble way to visit their neighbors, to help those who are sick, and to do missionary work wherever they are. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 67

O my Father, my Father, I look right to Thee. Thou hast heard my petition so many times. I believe in Thee; I rejoice in Thee; and I know that Thy Word will be verified. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 68

Bless the sinners here. Bless the youth here. As they go to our schools to become educated, fit them up, that they may become missionaries for God. Take them as they are. Encircle them in the arms of Thy mercy, and love them freely, and Thy blessed name shall have all the glory when the human family shall be gathered home by Thee—when we shall unite as members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 69

O I thank Thee that we have a God who hears prayer; that we have a Saviour who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities; and that we have the privilege of working for the salvation of souls. Bless our ministers; imbue them with Thy power. Let the Holy Ghost come upon them. O let heaven be opened, and let the light of Thy glory be revealed, and let it be known that there is a God in Israel who hears and answers prayer. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 70

And now we commit all to Thee. We know that these missionaries will be kept by Thy power; for thou alone canst keep them; and Thy blessed name shall have all the praise, all the glory, now and forevermore. Amen. 17LtMs, Ms 126, 1902, par. 71