The establishing of churches and the erection of meetinghouses and school buildings was extended from city to city. In each place the believers were making a united, persevering effort, and the Lord was working to increase His forces. Something was being established that would publish the truth.
This is the work to be done in America, in Australia, in Europe, and wherever companies are brought into the truth. The companies that are raised up need a place of worship. Schools are needed where Bible instruction may be given to the children. The schoolroom is needed just as much as is the church building. The Lord has persons to engage in the work of establishing church schools as soon as something is done to prepare the way for them.
In localities where believers are few, let two or three churches unite in erecting a humble building for a church school. Let all share the expense. It is high time for Sabbathkeepers to separate their children from worldly associations and place them under the very best teachers, who will make the Bible the foundation of all study.
The Temperance Work
In our work more attention should be given to the temperance reform. Every duty that calls for reform involves repentance, faith, and obedience. It means the uplifting of the soul to a new and nobler life. Thus every true reform has its place in the work of the third angel’s message. Especially does the temperance reform demand our attention and support. At our camp meetings we should call attention to this work and make it a living issue. We should present to the people the principles of true temperance and call for signers to the temperance pledge. Careful attention should be given to those who are enslaved by evil habits. We must lead them to the cross of Christ.
Our camp meetings should have the labors of medical men. These should be men of wisdom and sound judgment, men who respect the ministry of the word and who are not victims of unbelief. These men are the guardians of the health of the people, and they are to be recognized and respected. They should give instruction to the people in regard to the dangers of intemperance. This evil must be more boldly met in the future than it has been in the past. Ministers and doctors should set forth the evils of intemperance. Both should work in the gospel with power to condemn sin and exalt righteousness. Those ministers or doctors who do not make personal appeals to the people are remiss in their duty. They fail of doing the work which God has appointed them.
In other churches there are Christians who are standing in defense of the principles of temperance. We should seek to come near to these workers and make a way for them to stand shoulder to shoulder with us. We should call upon great and good men to second our efforts to save that which is lost.
If the work of temperance were carried forward by us as it was begun thirty years ago; if at our camp meetings we presented before the people the evils of intemperance in eating and drinking, and especially the evil of liquor drinking; if these things were presented in connection with the evidences of Christ’s soon coming, there would be a shaking among the people. If we showed a zeal in proportion to the importance of the truths we are handling, we might be instrumental in rescuing hundreds, yea thousands, from ruin.
Only eternity will reveal what has been accomplished by this kind of ministry–how many souls, sick with doubt, and tired of worldliness and unrest, have been brought to the Great Physician, who longs to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. Christ is a risen Saviour, and there is healing in His wings.
As we see men going where the liquid poison is dealt out to destroy their reason, as we see their souls imperiled, what are we doing to rescue them? Our work for the tempted and fallen will achieve real success only as the grace of Christ reshapes the character and the man is brought into living connection with the infinite God. This is the purpose of all true temperance effort. We are called upon to work with more than human energy, to labor with the power that is in Jesus Christ. The One who stooped to take human nature is the One who will show us how to conduct the battle. Christ has left His work in our hands, and we are to wrestle with God, supplicating day and night for the power that is unseen. It is laying right hold of God through Jesus Christ that will gain the victory.
Object Lessons in Health Reform
The large gatherings of our people afford an excellent opportunity of illustrating the principles of health reform. Some years ago at these gatherings much was said in regard to health reform and the benefits of a vegetarian diet; but at the same time flesh meats were furnished at the tables in the dining tent, and various unhealthful articles of food were sold at the provision stand. Faith without work is dead; and the instruction upon health reform, denied by practice, did not make the deepest impression. At later camp meetings those in charge have educated by practice as well as by precept. No meat has been furnished at the dining tent, but fruits, grains, and vegetables have been supplied in abundance. As visitors ask questions in regard to the absence of meat, the reason is plainly stated, that flesh is not the most healthful food.
As we near the close of time we must rise higher and still higher upon the question of health reform and Christian temperance, presenting it in a more positive and decided manner. We must strive continually to educate the people, not only by our words, but by our practice. Precept and practice combined have a telling influence.
At the camp meeting, instruction on health topics should be given to the people. At our meetings in Australia, lectures on health subjects were given daily, and a deep interest was aroused. A tent for the use of physicians and nurses was on the ground; medical advice was given freely, and was sought by many. Thousands of people attended the lectures, and at the close of the camp meeting the people were not satisfied to let the matter drop with what they had already learned. In several cities where camp meetings were held, some of the leading
citizens urged that a branch sanitarium be established, promising their co-operation. In several cities the work has been started, with good success. A health institution, rightly conducted, gives character to our work in new fields. And not only is it a benefit to the people, but the workers connected with it can be a help to the laborers in evangelistic lines.
In every city where we have a church there is need of a place where treatment can be given. Among the homes of our church members there are few that afford room and facilities for the proper care of the sick. A place should be provided where treatment may be given for common ailments. The building might be inelegant and even rude, but it should be furnished with facilities for giving simple treatments. These, skillfully employed, would prove a blessing not only to our people, but to their neighbors, and might be the means of calling the attention of many to health principles.
It is the Lord’s purpose that in every part of our world health institutions shall be established as a branch of the gospel work. These institutions are to be His agencies for reaching a class whom nothing else will reach. They need not be large buildings, but should be so arranged that effective work may be done.
Beginnings might be made in every prominent place where camp meetings are held. Make small beginnings, and enlarge as circumstances may demand. Count the cost of every undertaking, that you may be sure of being able to finish. Draw as little as possible from the treasury. Men of faith and financial ability are needed to plan economically. Our sanitariums must be erected with a limited outlay of means. Buildings in which to begin the work can often be secured at low cost.
Women to Be Gospel Workers
The work that has been begun in helping our sisters feel their individual accountability to God is a good and necessary work. Long has it been neglected. The Lord would have us ever urge the worth of the human soul upon those who do not understand its value. And when this work is laid out in clear, simple, definite lines, we may expect that the home duties, instead of being neglected, will be done much more intelligently.
If we can arrange to have regular, organized companies instructed intelligently in regard to the part they should act as servants of the Master, our churches will have a vitality that they have long needed. The excellence of the soul that Christ died to save will be appreciated. Our sisters generally have a hard time with their increasing families and their unappreciated trials. I have so longed for women who could be educated to help our sisters rise from their discouragement and feel that they could do a work for the Lord. This will bring rays of sunshine into their own lives, which will be reflected into the lives of others. God will bless all who unite in this grand work.
Many youth as well as older sisters appear shy of religious conversation. They do not appreciate their opportunities. They close the windows of the soul that should be opened heavenward, and open their windows wide earthward. But when they see the excellence of the human soul they will close the windows earthward, which depend on worldly amusements and associations in folly and sin, and will open the windows heavenward to behold spiritual things. The word of God must be their assurance, their hope, their peace. Then they can say: “I will receive the light of the Sun of Righteousness, that it may shine forth to others.”
The most successful toilers are those who cheerfully take up the work of serving God in little things. Every human being is to work with his life thread, weaving it into the fabric to help complete the pattern.
The work of Christ was largely made up of personal interviews. He had a faithful regard for the one-soul audience. From that one soul the intelligence received was carried to thousands.
We should educate the youth to help the youth; and as they seek to do this work they will gain an experience that will qualify them to become consecrated workers in a larger sphere. Thousands of hearts can be reached in the most simple, humble way. The most intellectual, those who are looked upon and praised as the world’s most gifted men and women, are often refreshed by the simple words that flow from the heart of one who loves God and who can speak of that love as naturally as the worldling speaks of the things which his mind contemplates and feeds upon. Often the words well prepared and studied have little influence. But the true, honest words of a son or daughter of God, spoken in natural simplicity, will open the door to hearts that have long been locked.
The wails of a world’s sorrow are heard all around us. Sin is pressing its shadow upon us, and our minds must be ready for every good word and work. We know that we have the presence of Jesus. The sweet influence of His Holy Spirit is teaching and guiding our thoughts, leading us to speak words that will cheer and brighten the pathway of others. If we can speak to our sisters often, and instead of saying, “Go,” lead them ourselves to do as we would do, to feel as we would feel, there will be a growing appreciation of the value of the human soul. We are learners, that we may be teachers. This thought
must be impressed on the mind of every church member.
We fully believe in church organization; but this is not to prescribe the exact way in which we should work, for not all minds are to be reached by the same methods. Nothing is to be allowed to keep the servant of God from his fellow men. The individual believer is to labor for the individual sinner. Each person has his own light to keep burning; and if the heavenly oil is emptied into these lamps through the golden pipes; if the vessels are emptied of self, and prepared to receive the holy oil, light will be shed on the sinner’s path to some purpose. More light will be shed on the pathway of the wanderer by one such lamp than by a whole procession of torchlights gotten up for show. Personal consecration and sanctification to God will bring better results than the most imposing display.
Teach our sisters that their question should be each day: “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do this day?” Each consecrated vessel will daily have the holy oil emptied into it to be emptied out into other vessels.
If the life we live in this world is wholly for Christ, it is a life of daily surrender. He has the freewill service, and each soul is His own jewel. If we can impress upon our sisters the good which it is in their power to do through Christ, we shall see a large work accomplished. If we can arouse the mind and heart to co-operate with the divine Worker, we shall, through the work they may accomplish, gain great victories. But self must be hidden; Christ must appear as the worker.
There must be an interchange of taking in and giving out, receiving and imparting. This links us up as laborers together with God. This is the lifework of the Christian. He that will lose his life shall find it.
The capacity for receiving the holy oil from the two olive trees is increased as the receiver empties that holy oil out of himself in word and action to supply the necessities of other souls. Work, precious, satisfying work–to be constantly receiving and constantly imparting.
We need and must have fresh supplies every day. And how many souls we may help by communicating to them! All heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil, to be a joy and a blessing to others. I have no fear that any will make blundering work if they will only become one with Christ. If He is abiding with us, we shall work continuously and solidly, so that our work will abide. The divine fullness will flow through the consecrated human agent to be given forth to others.
The Lord has a work for women as well as men to do. They may accomplish a good work for God if they will first learn in the school of Christ the precious, all-important lesson of meekness. They must not only bear the name of Christ, but possess His Spirit. They must walk even as He walked, purifying their souls from everything that defiles. Then they will be able to benefit others by presenting the all-sufficiency of Jesus.
Women may take their places in the work at this crisis, and the Lord will work through them. If they are imbued with a sense of their duty, and labor under the influence of the Spirit of God, they will have just the self-possession required for this time. The Saviour will reflect upon these self-sacrificing women the light of His countenance, and this will give them a power which will exceed that of men. They can do in families a work that men cannot do, a work that reaches the inner life. They
can come close to the hearts of those whom men cannot reach. Their labor is needed.
A direct necessity is being met by the work of women who have given themselves to the Lord and are reaching out to help a needy, sin-stricken people. Personal evangelistic work is to be done. The women who take up this work carry the gospel to the homes of the people in the highways and the byways. They read and explain the word to families, praying with them, caring for the sick, relieving their temporal necessities. They present before families and individuals the purifying, transforming influence of the truth. They show that the way to find peace and joy is to follow Jesus.
All who work for God should have the Martha and the Mary attributes blended–a willingness to minister and a sincere love of the truth. Self and selfishness must be put out of sight. God calls for earnest women workers, workers who are prudent, warmhearted, tender, and true to principle. He calls for persevering women who will take their minds from self and their personal convenience, and will center them on Christ, speaking words of truth, praying with the persons to whom they can obtain access, laboring for the conversion of souls.
Oh, what is our excuse, my sisters, that we do not devote all the time possible to searching the Scriptures, making the mind a storehouse of precious things, that we may present them to those who are not interested in the truth? Will our sisters arise to the emergency? Will they work for the Master?
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6 pp. 109-118