Appeals for our Missions


Education for the Missionary Work.

«We are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.» 1 Cor. 3:9.


The work of the Christian laborer is not light or unimportant. He has a high vocation, from which his whole future life must take its mould and coloring. He who gives himself to so sacred a work should bend all his energies to its accomplishment. He should aim high; he will never reach a higher standard than that which he aims to attain. He cannot diffuse light until he has first received it. He must be a learner before he can have sufficient experience and wisdom to become a teacher, able to open the Scriptures to those who are in darkness. If God has called men to be laborers together with him, it is equally certain that he has called them to make the best possible preparation to rightly represent the sacred, elevating truths of his word.


Those who desire to give themselves to the work of God, should receive an education and training for the work, that they may be prepared to engage in it intelligently. No one should feel that he can step at once upon the upper rounds of the ladder; those who would succeed must begin at the first round, and climb upward step by step. Opportunities and privileges are granted them for improvement, and they should make every effort in their power to learn how they may do the work of God acceptably.


Wherever our ministers shall labor, in Europe or in America, they should seek to arouse the youth to prepare for active service in God’s great field of battle. All who claim to be the servants of Christ have a work to do for him. The very name of servant conveys the idea of hire, work, responsibility. God has intrusted to every one, powers to be employed in his service. He has given to each his work, and he requires that every faculty shall be improved to his glory.


Just in front of our printing office in Basle is a large park of many acres, reserved by the government for military drill. Here day after day, at certain seasons of the year, we see the soldiers training. They are drilled in all the duties of the army, so that in case of war they may be ready at the call of the government to engage in actual service. One day a fine tent was brought upon the ground. Then came the discipline of pitching it and taking it down; instruction was given as to setting it up in proper order, every man having his specific work. Several times the tent was erected and taken down. By another company, many small cannon were brought upon the ground, and lessons were given by the officers in the matter of moving these quickly from place to place, in taking apart the cannon wagon, and setting the gun ready for use, and in quickly attaching again the fore wheels so as to be ready at the call to set them in motion in an instant. Ambulances were brought to the ground, and the sanitary corps were taught to take care of the wounded. Men were laid upon stretchers, and their heads and limbs were bandaged as are those of the wounded on the field of battled. Then they were laid in the ambulances, and drawn from the ground. For hours, soldiers are drilled to disencumber themselves of their knapsacks, and place them quickly in position again upon the person. They are taught how to stack their arms, and how to seize them quickly. They are drilled in making a charge as against the enemy, and are trained in all kinds of maneuvers.


Thus the drill goes on, preparing men for any emergency. And should those who are fighting the battle for Prince Immanuel be less earnest and painstaking in their preparation for the spiritual warfare? Those who engage in this great work must take part in the drill. They must educate themselves to obey, before they are fitted to command.


Even at this eleventh hour, there should be decided advancement made in the matter of a special preparatory work. In all our Conferences there should be well-organized plans for the instruction and training of those who desire to give themselves to the cause of God. Our city missions afford favorable opportunities for education in missionary labor; but these are not enough. There ought to be connected with our schools the best possible facilities for the preparation of laborers both for home and foreign fields. There should also be in our larger churches special training schools for young men and women, to fit them to become workers for God. And far more attention should be given by our ministers to the matter of assisting and educating younger laborers.


When an effort is made to introduce the truth in an important place, our ministers should give special attention to the instruction and training of those who are to co-operate with them. Colporteurs and canvassers are needed, and those who are fitted to give Bible readings in families, so that while the ministers are laboring in word and doctrine, these can also be calling minds to the truth. Our ministers who have gone to important places to hold tent-meetings have often made a serious mistake in devoting all their time to sermonizing. There should be less preaching and more teaching,—teaching the people, and also teaching young men how to labor successfully. Ministers should become efficient in teaching others how to study the Bible, and in training the minds and manners of those who would become workers in the cause of God. And they should be ready to counsel and instruct those who have newly come to the faith, and who give promise of possessing ability to work for the Master.


Those who are connected with tent labor should avail themselves of all the advantages thus offered them. They should not be wandering listlessly about while discourses are being given, as though there was nothing in the sermon that they needed. They are not to regard the speaker as merely one who is delivering an oration, but as God’s messenger, bearing a message from heaven to men. Personal preferences and prejudices must not come in to influence the hearer. All should imitate the example of Cornelius and his friends, who said, «Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.» If the hearers thus listen in faith, expecting a message from God through his delegated messenger, they will receive it and be profited.


The youth who aim to labor in the Master’s vineyard must be as apprentices who are to learn the trade. They must learn to be useful in the work by first doing errands for the Lord, improving opportunities for doing missionary labor anywhere, and in any capacity. Thus they may give evidence that they possess tact and qualifications for the greatest work ever intrusted to men. They should be constantly improving in mind, in manners, in speech, learning how to become successful laborers. They should cultivate tact and courtesy, and manifest the spirit of Christ. Let them never cease to learn. Onward and upward should be their constant endeavor.


Both the youth and those of mature age, should, as they continue to labor, be constantly becoming more efficient. To engage successfully in a new branch of the work, the mental powers must be disciplined. The mind must not be permitted to drift with circumstances and follow impulse, but must be resolutely held to the object of the labor.


All who would become efficient workers must give much time to prayer. The communication between God and the soul must be kept open, that the workers may recognize the voice of their Captain. The Bible should be diligently studied. The truth of God, like gold, is not always lying right on the surface; it is to be obtained only by earnest thought and study. This study will not only store the mind with the most valuable knowledge, but it will strengthen and expand the mental powers, and it will give a true estimate of eternal things. Let the divine precepts be brought into the daily life; let the life be fashioned after God’s great standard of righteousness, and the whole character will be strengthen and ennobled.


He who is seeking to qualify himself for the sacred work of God should be careful not to place himself on the enemy’s ground, but should choose the society of those who will help him to obtain divine knowledge. God suffered John, the beloved disciple, to be exiled to Patmos, where he was separated from the world’s bustle and strife, shut away from every outside influence, and even the work that he loved. Then the Lord could commune with him, opening before him the closing scenes in this world’s history. John the Baptist made his home in the wilderness, there to receive of God the message he was to bear, to prepare the way for the Coming One. So far as consistent, we should shun every influence which would tend to divert the mind from the work of God. And those especially who are young in faith and experience should beware that they do not in self-confidence place themselves in the way of temptation.


Those who take hold of the work aright, will feel the necessity of having Jesus with them at every step, and they will feel that the cultivation of the mind and the manners is a duty due to themselves and required of God,—a duty which is essential to the success of the work. Some who contemplate becoming missionary workers may think themselves so far advanced that they do not need all this particular drill, but those who feel thus are the very ones who stand in the greatest need of thorough training. When they know much more in regard to the truth and the importance of the work, they will realize their ignorance and inefficiency. When they closely examine their own hearts, they will see themselves in such contrast to the pure character of Christ that they will cry out, «Who is sufficient for these things?» Then they will in deep humility strive daily to place themselves in close connection with Christ. While overcoming the selfish inclinations of the natural heart, they are placing their feet in the path where Christ leads the way. «The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.» But those who have a high estimate of their own ability and acquisitions, are so full of self-importance that there is no opportunity for the entrance of the word of God, to instruct and enlighten them.


Many feel that they are fitted for a work that they know scarcely anything about, and if they start in to labor in a self-important manner, they will fail to receive that knowledge which they must obtain in Christ’s school. These will be doomed to struggle with many difficulties, for which they are wholly unprepared. They will ever lack experience and wisdom until they learn their great inefficiency.


Very much has been lost to the cause by the defective labors of men who possess ability, but who have not had proper training. They have engaged in a work which they knew not how to manage, and as the result have accomplished but little. They have not done a tithe of what they could have done had they received the right discipline at the start. They seized upon a few ideas, managed to get a runway of a few discourses, and here their progress ended. They felt competent to be teachers, when they had scarcely mastered their a b c in the knowledge of the truth. They have been stumbling along ever since, not doing justice to themselves or to the work. They do not seem to have sufficient interest to arouse their dormant energies, and task their powers to become efficient workers. They have not taken the pains to form thorough and well-devised plans, and their work shows a deficiency in every part. Some have given up in discouragement, and have engaged in other employment. Had these patiently and humbly placed their feet on the lowest round of the ladder, and then with persevering energy climbed step by step, diligently improving the privileges and opportunities within their reach, they might have become able, useful workmen, who could give full proof of their ministry, and of whom the Master would not be ashamed.


If those who propose to work for the salvation of souls depend on their own finite wisdom they will certainly fail. If they entertain humble views of self, and rely fully upon the promises of God, he will never fail them. «Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.» We have the privilege of being directed by a wise Counselor.


God can make humble men mighty in his service. Those who obediently respond to the call of duty, improving their abilities to the very utmost, may be sure of receiving divine assistance. Angels will come as messengers of light to the help of those who will do all that they can do on their part, and then trust in God to work with their efforts.


It should be impressed on all who have decided to become workers for God, that they must give evidence that they are converted men. A young man without a sound virtuous character will be no honor to the truth. Every worker should be pure in heart; in his mouth should be found no guile. He should bear in mind that to be successful he must have Christ by his side, and that every sinful practice, however secret, is open to the view of Him with whom we have to do. Sin has marred the divine image in man, but through Christ this may be restored. But it is only through earnest prayer and the conquest of self that we can become partakers of the divine nature. Many do not rise high enough to meet the standard. Their faith is weak, they expect but little from God, and they receive according to their faith. They need far more faith in God, and far less confidence in self. When they have this, they will be more successful in attaining perfection of character.


The true toilers in the Lord’s vineyard will be men of prayer, of faith, of self-denial,—men who hold in restraint the natural appetites and passions. These will in their own lives give evidence of the power of the truth which they present to others; and their labors will not be without effect.


The apostle Paul, in his dying charge to Timothy, says: «The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.» The instruction given to Timothy contains lessons to be learned by all the servants of Christ. Every one who anticipates engaging in the solemn work of the ministry should give heed to the apostle’s charge to his son in the gospel as the latter was entering upon his work: «Let no man despise thy youth.» Timothy might pursue so wise a course that he would gain the confidence of all with whom he should be associated. The ground of this confidence the apostle specifies: «But be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.» The work of a student was enjoined upon him. «Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.»


These lessons are important, not only to ministers, but to all the workers in the cause of God. Each should give them careful study. «Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.» —


The Youth As Missionary Workers

. Why is there so great a lack of the missionary spirit among our youth? Why are there so few of the children of Sabbath-keeping parents who have any burden to labor for the salvation of souls? It is because they have not been educated to realize their responsibility. They have not been trained to render service for God. Had they been educated from the beginning of their religious experience to be true to their faith, fervent in piety, and in sympathy with Christ’s longing for the salvation of souls, there would now be an army of youth to enter missionary fields. Fathers and mothers, it is your own lack of godliness and devotion that has brought carelessness and indifference into your households, and placed your children in the ranks of the enemy.


The Bible clearly reveals to us the shortness of time, and those who have genuine faith in the third angel’s message will show their faith by their works. They will endeavor to keep their children separate from worldly influences, and to give them such instruction and training as will enable them to form characters that God can approve. The meekness and simplicity of Christ are the very first lessons to be interwoven with the children’s life. They should be taught to imitate the Saviour’s example of self-denial and sacrifice. The reason why these precious lessons are not given to the children is that parents themselves have not learned them. They do not bring Christ into their religious experience. They are controlled by worldly principles. Custom and fashion are followed far more closely than are the teachings of Christ.


Had they lived in close connection with Jesus, they would have realized the worth of souls, and would have felt a burden for those who have not the light of truth. The spirit of the third angel’s message would have led them to practice self-denial. But association with unbelievers clouds their faith. They lose sight of their responsibility as the light of the world; and in their dress, in the arrangement of their houses, in their style of living, they conform to the world, and deprive the cause of God of the means which he has lent them to advance his work. The children imitate their parents. Pride and worldliness are encouraged in them, the love of the truth grows cold in their hearts, and they are lost to the cause of God.


Children will learn to love that which the parents love. Those who would interest their sons and daughters in Bible truth, must themselves feel an interest in Bible truth and Bible study. If we desire our children to love and reverence God, we must talk of his goodness, his majesty, and his power. If we would have them love and imitate the character of Christ, we must not only tell them of the sacrifice which he made for our redemption, of the love, humility, and self-denial manifested in his life on earth, but we must show them that this is the pattern which we are striving to follow. If we desire to engage their hearts in the cause and work of God, we must teach them to sacrifice for it. That which costs little we have no special interest in, but that in which we have invested our means will claim our interest and attention, and we shall labor to make it a success. Parents, make religion the vital question of life. Teach your children that every worldly consideration should be made secondary to their eternal interests.


There is earnest work to be done in this age, and parents should educate their children to share in it. The words of Mordecai to Esther apply to the youth of to-day: «Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?» The youth should be gaining solidity of character, that they may be fitted for usefulness.


Every youth should be impressed with the fact that he is not his own; that his strength, his time, his talents, belong to God. It should be his chief purpose in life to glorify God and to do good to his fellow-men. The Bible teaches him that he is a tree, on which fruit must be found; a steward, whose capital will increase as it is wisely improved; a light, whose bright beams are to illuminate the moral darkness that enshrouds the earth. Every youth, every child, has a work to do for God’s glory and for the salvation of souls that are ready to perish.


God demands the improvement of every faculty he has given to man. Those who possess superior intellectual powers are thus placed under greater responsibility, and if this gift is so perverted as to make the possessor forgetful of God and his claims, if he employs it to lead the minds of others away from God, he will have a fearful account to render in that day when every man shall receive according to his deeds. Every talent put to a wrong use is entered as robbery in the books of heaven.


Religion is our only safeguard. Knowledge is power for good or for evil, but it is only when balanced by religious principle that it is a power for good. To many, education means a knowledge of books; but «the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.» The true object of education is to restore the image of God in the soul. The first and most precious knowledge is the knowledge of Christ, and wise parents will keep this fact ever before the minds of their children.


If parents would prepare their children to be useful in this life, and to enjoy the future life, they must educate them to fear God and keep his commandments. They should feel that it is their first and most important work to bring their sons and daughters under the control of God’s holy law. It is not enough that they give instruction and counsel showing the right way. They should feel that it is a solemn duty to restrain their children from entering forbidden paths.


The history of Eli was given that every parent might shun his error. The example of Abraham was recorded to show that God approves the exercise of a restraining influence in the family, and that the all-important work of fathers and mothers is to teach their children the way of the Lord. The God in heaven says of Abraham, «I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.» God’s great standard of righteousness should be established in the home, and should be held up before the children as the rule of life. The statutes and commandments of God should be their daily lesson.


Let parents examine themselves individually, and answer to their own conscience whether they are meeting the requirements of God. Is the law of God taught in the home? Is it made the rule of the household? Has the truth taken possession of the souls of fathers and mothers, who stand in the place of God to their children? Is the wisdom which cometh from above sought daily in the family? Are the Holy Scriptures studied as the message of God to men?


Religion in the home means the highest type of religion in the church; but this home piety is sadly deficient. Parents have been asleep. The work in their homes has been neglected. To a great degree the children have moulded the law of the household to suit their inclination, and parents have been controlled by their unconverted children. There is need of a religious revival in every household in our land. Fathers and mothers, it is a marvel in the sight of heaven that the souls of your children are so little valued. Christ is grieved, and Satan triumphs.


We have a message of warning to the church. God says to you, «Be zealous and repent.» «I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.» Precious time has been squandered in which you might have won souls to Christ,—souls that through your love of ease are now lost. Every member of the church should awake to duty now. May God help you to take on the burden. Let the church-members pray and fast and believe. Let the hearts of parents be turned to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents, «Lest I come,» saith the Lord, «and smite the earth with a curse.» Your souls are in peril. Shall the Sun of Righteousness set, and leave you enshrouded in the darkness of eternal night?


Great light and privileges were given to the Jewish nation, but their sin was in neglecting to improve these blessings. Great privileges are granted to those whom God has made the depositaries of his law. These privileges are not evidences of our piety, and do not commend us to God; but they lay us under most solemn obligation to respond in holiness of life to the benefits received. Privileges abused will ever result in corresponding darkness and judgment from God.


But God never forsakes a people until they first forsake him. «Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause my anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever.» —


Laborers for Foreign Missions

. Dear Brethren and Sisters in America: I am deeply exercised in regard to our present position, realizing how far down we are in prophetic history, so near the close of time, and so much work undone that must be accomplished to prepare a people to stand in the great day of the Lord. The end of all things is at hand. Our time to work is short, and there is a world to be warned. There is need of more thorough missionary work. The calls are urgent for more laborers, but where are the light-bearers to the world? God has sent the truth to our doors, but are we doing all in our power to send it to the dark corners of the earth?


As we look over the vast field here in Europe, we can truly say, «The harvest is great, but the laborers are few.» We are encouraged to see some taking their stand upon the truth; but how little is being done in comparison with the great work before us. There are hundreds of large cities that have not yet been entered by the living preacher; but the silent messengers have been exerting their influence, and now the question arises, Shall these fields be entered? Angels of God are preparing ears to hear and hearts to receive the warning. A deep longing is taking possession of the people, a desire for light and truth which they have not. Many are calling for help, for some one to open to them the Scriptures. Europe is stretching out her hands, and the Macedonian cry comes to you across the broad waters, «Come over and help us.»


The work here has advanced very slowly for want of workers and for want of means. My heart aches when I think what ought to have been done in years gone by, and how far the work might now be advanced if the churches had been faithful to their trust. Had they done the work which God made it their duty to do, we should to-day see thousands rejoicing in the truth, and there would be light-bearers in all parts of Europe.


Among our people in America, there are very few of the different nationalities who are bearing the burden of the work. There is a great lack of the missionary spirit among those who can labor in the German, the French, and other languages. How can you who have received the truth, feel so little burden for those of your own tongue in other countries? Is your interest selfishly shut up to your own family or to your own church? God pity your narrowness! You should have that undying zeal, that far-reaching love, that encircles the world. There are hundreds of millions of men, women, and children who have never heard the truth, and multitudes are constantly going down to the grave without any sense of their accountability to God. How can you who repeat the Lord’s prayer, «Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,» sit at ease in your homes without helping to carry the torch of truth to others? How can you lift up your hands before God and ask his blessing upon yourselves and your families when you are doing so little to help others?


When Jesus ascended to heaven he committed his work on earth to those who had received the light of the gospel. They were to carry the work forward to completion. He has provided no other agency for the promulgation of his truth. Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.» «And lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.» This solemn commission reaches us in this age. God leaves with his church the responsibility of receiving or rejecting it.


The Prince of life once came from heaven to earth, for our sake to bear insult and mockery and death. Preparation is now being made in heaven for his reign in glory, and the message must be proclaimed to all nations, tongues, and peoples. Many seem to rest perfectly easy, as if heavenly messengers were to come to earth to proclaim in an audible voice the message of warning; but while angels have their work to do, we are to do ours in opening the word of God to those who are in darkness.


The heavenly messengers are doing their work; but what are we doing? Brethren and sisters, God calls upon you to redeem the time. Draw nigh to God. Stir up the gift that is within you. Let those who have had the opportunity to become familiar with the reasons of our faith, now use this knowledge to some purpose.


Where are our youth? Are they earnestly seeking the Lord, endeavoring to obtain a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus that they may become light-bearers to the world? What is the aim of those who are enjoying the advantages of our schools, of Bible lectures and the Sabbath-school? You who have precious opportunities and privileges, who are feasting upon the truth, what use are you making of these blessings? Are you seeking a preparation to unite with Christ in his work? Are you obtaining a thorough knowledge of the truth, that you may impart it to others?


What our youth need now is the burden of the missionary work, which is the sure outgrowth of a soul truly converted. I would recount to them the sufferings, the sacrifices, the persistent and untiring labors of the Majesty of heaven that he might save fallen man. Upon the cross of Calvary he paid the redemption price for a world lost. It was the world that he loved, the one lost sheep that he would bring back to his Father’s fold. Would that you could appreciate the strength and fervor of that divine compassion.


Young friends, if you take hold of the work right where you are at the present time, doing what you can, be sure that you will have the help of Jesus. Begin the work by laboring for your companions. Ministers, or church-members advanced in years, cannot have one-half the influence over your young associates that you are capable of exerting; and you ought to feel that a responsibility rests upon you to do all you can for their salvation. Those who have themselves tasted the sweets of redeeming love, will not, cannot rest until all with whom they associate are made acquainted with the plan of salvation. Oh that you would use your powers of mind in seeking to so approach sinners that you may win them to the path of righteousness!


The work of our missions in foreign lands must be extended; and if the converting power of God shall come to our youth, we shall see them pressing into the ranks of the workers. Greater effort should be made to afford them facilities to prepare for labor in these foreign fields. A fund should be raised to be devoted to assisting those to prepare for the work who will give themselves unreservedly to God and his cause, and who will labor, not for large wages, but for the love of Christ, to save souls for whom he died. In every mission established there should be a school for the training of laborers. The very best talent among the Germans, the French, and the Scandinavians should be enlisted in the education of promising young men and women of the different nationalities. And in all our educational institutions special facilities should be provided for the instruction and training of those who want to become missionaries among their own people in foreign lands.


In the office at Battle Creek, at Basle, and at Christiania, there is pressing need of translators in the different languages, and the various branches of the work are crippled for the want of competent and experienced laborers. God-fearing workers are wanted in our houses of publication, in our missions, and in our churches. There is need of persons educated in the English, the French, the German, and the Scandinavian. We want a hundred laborers where there is one. The heavy responsibilities should not rest alone upon any one man in any branch of the work. Two or three should be fitted to share the burden, so that if one shall be called to another post of duty, others may be prepared to supply his place. Provision has not been made half as extensively as it should have been against any and every emergency.


Care should be exercised to select the right men for teachers in the missionary schools. Young men who are themselves deficient in Christian experience are not wanted. Our work is not to be done in a hap-hazard manner. Satan is united with human agencies to take advantage of every mistake. Unclean hands and unholy hearts cannot be intrusted with this sacred work. Those whose lips and hearts have not been touched as with a live coal from off God’s altar, should not be allowed to connect themselves with his work until they are converted. «Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.»


We need men who fear God, men who mean to learn, and who will labor with an eye single to his glory. The workers need to come closer to God than they have done. They must have his converting power upon the heart in order that he may impart to them wisdom and knowledge as he did to Daniel, and make them channels of light to others. Let those who are to be educators of others seek God daily for this heavenly endowment, that the understanding may be quick and clear, and that the beauty of holiness may be revealed in the character. God will help them if they seek him. Those who have been under their instruction may be presented before God ready to do his work with thoroughness and fidelity.


Our ideas are altogether too narrow. God calls for continual advancement in the work of diffusing light. We must study improved ways and means of reaching the people. We need to hear with ears of faith the mighty Captain of the Lord’s host saying, «Go forward.» We must act, and God will not fail us. He will do his part, when we in faith do ours. Brethren and sisters who have been long in the truth, you have not done the work God calls upon you to do. Where is your love for souls?


Error is prevailing everywhere. The great adversary of souls is mustering his forces. He is setting every device in operation in order to confuse the minds of men with specious errors, and thus destroy souls. Those with whom God has intrusted the treasures of his truth are to let the light shine amid the moral darkness.


Seventh-day Adventists are making progress, doubling their numbers, establishing missions, and unfurling the banner of truth in the dark places of the earth; and yet the work moves far more slowly than God would have it. The members of the church are not individually aroused to put forth the earnest effort they are capable of making, and every branch of the work is crippled by the lack of fervent piety, and devoted, humble, God-fearing laborers. Where are the soldiers of the cross of Christ? Let the God-fearing, the honest, the single-hearted, who look steadfastly to the glory of God, prepare themselves for the battle against error. There are too many faint, cowardly hearts in this hour of spiritual conflict. Oh that out of weakness they may be made strong, and wax valiant in fight, and put to flight the armies of the aliens!


There is a class that are represented by Meroz. The missionary spirit has never taken hold of their souls. The calls of foreign missions have not stirred them to action. What account will those render to God, who are doing nothing in his cause,—nothing to win souls to Christ? Such will receive the denunciation, «Thou wicked and slothful servant.»


The interest and labors of the church must be extended more earnestly and decidedly to both home and foreign missions. Those who have been successful in using their talents to secure earthly treasures should now employ these capabilities to advance God’s cause and build up his kingdom. Their tact and ability sanctified to God, will be accepted, and he will make it effective in the grand work of turning men from error to truth. There should be deep heart-searching with our young men and women to see if they have not a work to do for the Master. There is a work to be accomplished which money cannot do. Destitute fields must be supplied with earnest laborers, with those whose hearts are warm with the love of Christ and with love for souls. All who enter the missionary field will have hardships and trials to endure; they will find hard work, and plenty of it; but those of the right stamp of character will persevere under difficulties, discouragements, and privations, holding firmly to the arm of the Lord. They will show a zeal that will not flag, a faith that will not yield, a resolution that will not weaken. They are doing no more than God requires, when they dedicate themselves, soul, body, and spirit, to his service, becoming partakers with Christ in his sufferings. If they share his self-denial and cross-bearing, they will be partakers also in his joy,—the joy of seeing souls saved through their instrumentality in the kingdom of glory. —


Our Duty to the Missionary Work

. The members of the church are not all called to labor in foreign lands, but all have a part to act in the great work of giving light to the world. The gospel of Christ is aggressive and diffusive. In the day of God not one will be excused for having been shut up to his own selfish interests. There is work for every mind and for every hand. There is a variety of work, adapted to different minds and varied capabilities. Every one who is connected with God will impart light to others. If there are any who have no light to give, it is because they have no connection with the Source of light.


Ministers should not do the work which belongs to the church, thus wearying themselves, and preventing others from performing their duty. They should teach the members how to labor in the church and in the community. There is work for all to do in their own borders, to build up the church, to make the social meetings interesting, and to train the youth of ability to become missionaries. All should cultivate spirituality and self-sacrifice, and by their means and their earnest prayers assist those who enter new and difficult fields. They should co-operate actively with the minister in his labors, making the section of country around them their field of missionary effort; and the larger churches should labor to build up and encourage those that are weak or few in numbers.


This work has been neglected. Is it any marvel that God does not visit the churches with greater manifestations of his power, when so large a number are shut in to themselves, engrossed in their own interests? It is thus that their piety becomes tame and weak, and they grow bigoted and self-caring. It is in working for others that they will keep their own souls alive. If they will become co-laborers with Jesus, we shall see the light in our churches steadily burning brighter and brighter, sending forth its rays to penetrate the darkness beyond their own borders.


A close sympathy with Christ in his mission of love and mercy, would bring the workers into sympathy with one another, and there would be no disposition to cherish the evils, which, if indulged, are the curse of the churches. The jealousy and fault-finding, the heart-burnings, the envy and dissension, the strife for the supremacy, would cease. The attention given to the work of saving souls would stimulate the workers themselves to greater piety and purity. There would be with them a unity of purpose, and the salvation of the soul would be felt to be of so great importance that all little differences would be lost sight of.


Brethren and sisters in the faith, does the question arise in your hearts, «Am I my brother’s keeper?» If you claim to be children of God, you are your brother’s keeper. The Lord holds the church responsible for the souls of those whom they might be the means of saving. He has intrusted you with sacred truth; Christ abiding in the individual members of the church is a well of water springing up into everlasting life. You are guilty before God if you do not make every effort possible to dispense this living water to others. Men are perishing close by your own doors, while they hew out to themselves broken cisterns that hold no water. Heaven is indignant at the ease of men and women in Zion, while souls are going down to ruin in their ignorance and their sins. If the members of the church were to see themselves as God sees them, they would be overwhelmed with self-reproach. They could not endure to look their responsibilities and delinquencies in the face.


If we indeed have the truth for these last days, it must be carried to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. Ere long the living and the dead are to be judged according to the deeds done in the body, and the law of God is the standard by which they are to be tested. Then they must now be warned; God’s holy law must be vindicated, and held up before them as a mirror. To accomplish this work, means is needed. I know that times are hard, money is not plenty; but the truth must be spread, and money to spread it must be placed in the treasury.


Many are trembling with fear because the work moves faster than their slow faith, and because means is expended more rapidly than it comes into the treasury; and yet we have taken only the first few steps in advance. Our message is world-wide; yet many are doing literally nothing; many more so very little, with so great a want of faith, that it is next to nothing. Shall we abandon the fields we have already opened in foreign countries? Shall we drop part of the work in our home missions? Shall we grow pale at a debt of a few thousand dollars? Shall we falter and become laggards now, in the very last scenes of this earth’s history? My heart says, No, no. I cannot contemplate this question without a burning zeal to have the work go. We would not deny our faith, we would not deny Christ, yet we shall do this unless we move forward as the providence of God opens the way.


The work must not stop for want of means. More means must be invested in it. Brethren in America, in the name of my Master I bid you wake up. You that are placing your talents of means in a napkin, and hiding them in the earth, who are building houses and adding land to land, God calls upon you, «Sell that ye have, and give alms.» There is a time coming when commandment-keepers can neither buy nor sell. Make haste to dig out your buried talents. If God has intrusted you with money, show yourselves faithful to your trust; unwrap your napkin, and send your talents to the exchangers, that when Christ shall come, he may receive his own with interest. In the last extremity, before this work shall close, thousands will be cheerfully laid upon the altar. Men and women will feel it a blessed privilege to share in the work of preparing souls to stand in the great day of God, and they will give hundreds as readily as dollars are given now. If the love of Christ were burning in the hearts of his professed people, we would see the same spirit manifested to-day. Did they but realize how near is the end of all work for the salvation of souls, they would sacrifice their possessions as freely as did the members of the early church. They would work for the advancement of God’s cause as earnestly as worldly men labor to acquire riches. Tact and skill would be exercised, and earnest and unselfish labor put forth to acquire means, not to hoard, but to pour into the treasury of the Lord.


What if some become poor in investing their means in the work? Christ for your sakes became poor; but you are securing for yourselves eternal riches, a treasure in heaven that faileth not. Your means is far safer there than if deposited in the bank, or invested in houses and lands. It is laid up in bags that wax not old. No thief can approach it, no fire consume it.


Some have selfishly retained their means during their life-time, trusting to make up for their neglect by remembering the cause in their wills; but not one-half the means thus bestowed in legacies ever comes to the objects specified. Brethren and sisters, invest in the bank of heaven yourselves, and do not leave your stewardship upon another.


In obeying the Saviour’s injunction, our example will preach louder than words. The highest display of the power of truth is seen when those who profess to believe it give evidence of their faith by their works. Those who believe this solemn truth should possess such a spirit of self-sacrifice as will rebuke the worldly ambition of the money-worshiper.


My soul is burdened as I look over the destitute fields here in Europe, and see the poverty of many, and the difficulties they must meet in keeping the Sabbath, and then think how the way to reach souls is blocked up for want of means. The Lord has made provision that all may be reached by the message of truth, but the means placed in the hands of his stewards for this very purpose has been selfishly devoted to their own gratification. How much has been thoughtlessly wasted by our youth, spent for self-indulgence and display, for that which they would have been just as happy without. Every dollar which we possess is the Lord’s. Instead of spending means for needless things, we should invest it in answering the calls of missionary work.


As new fields are opened, the calls for means are constantly increasing. If ever we needed to exercise economy it is now. All who labor in the cause should realize the importance of closely following the Saviour’s example of self-denial and economy. They should see in the means they handle a trust which God has committed to them, and they should feel under obligation to exercise tact and financial ability in the use of their Lord’s money. Every penny should be carefully treasured. A cent seems like a trifle, but a hundred cents make a dollar, and rightly spent may be the means of saving a soul from death. If all the means which has been wasted by our own people in self-gratification had been devoted to the cause of God, there would be no empty treasuries, and missions could be established in all parts of the world.


Let the members of the church now put away their pride and lay off their ornaments. Each should keep a missionary box at hand, and drop into it every penny he is tempted to waste in self-indulgence. But something more must be done than merely to dispense with superfluities. Self-denial must be practiced. Some of our comfortable and desirable things must be sacrificed. The preachers must sharpen up their message, not merely assailing self-indulgence and pride in dress, but presenting Jesus, his life of self-denial and sacrifice. Let love, piety, and faith be cherished in the heart, and the precious fruits will appear in the life.


In many cases means which should be devoted to the missionary work is diverted into other channels, from mistaken ideas of benevolence. We may err in making gifts to the poor which are not a blessing to them, leading them to feel that they need not exert themselves and practice economy, for others will not permit them to suffer. We should not give countenance to indolence, or encourage habits of self-gratification by affording means for indulgence. While the worthy poor are not to be neglected, all should be taught, so far as possible, to help themselves. The salvation of souls is the burden of our work. It was for this that Christ made the great sacrifice, and it is this that specially demands our beneficence.


We shall be brought into strait places in our work. Trials will come. God will test the strength of our faith; he will prove us to see if we will trust him under difficulties. The silver and gold are the Lord’s, and when his stewards have done their duty fully, and can do no more, they are not to sit down at ease, let things take their course, and let the missionary work come to a standstill. It is then that they should cry to God for help. Let those who have faith seek the Lord earnestly, remembering that «the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.»


There are those in the church who have with open hand and heart come forward to the work hitherto, and they will not be behind now. We have confidence in their integrity. But the offerings of the church have been in many instances more numerous than her prayers. The missionary movement is far in advance of the missionary spirit . Earnest prayers have not, like sharp sickles, followed the workers into the harvest field. It is true there is an interest to see success attend the efforts to unfurl the banner of truth in foreign lands, but there has been a lack of heartfelt sympathy with the laborers, and real burden of soul that the means invested may do its work.


This is the ground of our difficulties; this is the reason for the pressure for means. The people must be called to reflection. There must be a spiritual awakening. They must have a personal interest, a burden of soul, to watch and pray for the success of the work. Let every one who gives of his means, also send up his prayers daily that it may bring souls to the foot of the cross. In every church there should be stated seasons for united prayer for the advancement of this work. Let all be united, having a specific object for their faith and entreaties. Brethren, move high heaven with your prayers for God to work with the efforts of his servants.


We need to cry to God as did Jacob for a fuller baptism of the Holy Spirit. The time for labor is short. Let there be much praying. Let the soul yearn after God. Let the secret places of prayer be often visited. Let there be a taking hold of the strength of the Mighty One of Israel. Let the ministers walk humbly before the Lord, weeping between the porch and the altar, the crying, «Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach.»


Let none indulge the thought that we have attempted too much. No, no; we have attempted too little. The work which we are now doing ought to have been done years ago. Our plans must enlarge, our operations must be extended. What is needed now is a church whose individual members shall be awake and active to do all that it is possible for them to accomplish.


We are not left alone in this work. We are laborers together with God, in partnership with divine resources. The Lord has agencies that he will put in operation in answer to the importunate prayer of faith. He will fulfill his word, «Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.» The Captain of our salvation is on every field of battle where truth is waging war against error. The truth which we profess offers the highest encouragement to the most devoted self-denial and persevering effort that mortal energies can bestow. We should have the courage of heroes, and the faith of martyrs.