We have the word of God to show that the end is near. The world is to be warned, and as never before we are to be labourers together with Christ. The work of warning has been entrusted to us. We are to be channels of light to the world, imparting to others the light we receive from the great Light-bearer. The words and works of all men are to be tried. Let us not be backward now. That which is to be done in warning the world must be done without delay. Let not the canvassing work be left to languish. Let the books containing the light on present truth be placed before as many as possible.
The presidents of our conferences and others in responsible positions have a duty to do in this matter, that the different branches of our work may receive attention. Canvassers are to be educated and trained to do the work required in selling the books upon present truth which the people need. There is need of men of deep
Christian experience, men of well-balanced minds, strong, well-educated men, to engage in this work. The Lord desires those to take hold of the canvassing work who are capable of educating others, who can awaken in promising young men and women an interest in this line, leading them to take up the book-work and handle it successfully. Some have the talent, education, experience which would enable them to educate the youth for the canvassing work in such a way that much more would be accomplished than is now being done.
Those who have gained an experience in this work have a special duty to perform in teaching others. Educate, educate, educate young men and women to sell the books which the Lord by His Holy Spirit has stirred His servants to write. God desires us to be faithful in educating those who accept the truth, that they may believe to a purpose, and work intelligently in the Lord's way. Let inexperienced persons be connected with experienced workers, that they may learn how to work. Let them seek God most earnestly. These may do a good work in canvassing if they will obey the words, "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine." 1 Tim. 4:16. Those who give evidence that they are truly converted, and who take up the canvassing work, will see that it is the best preparation for other lines of missionary labour.
If those who know the truth would practise it, methods would be devised for meeting the people where they are. It was the providence of God which in the beginning of the Christian
church scattered the saints abroad, sending them out of Jerusalem into many parts of the world. The disciples of Christ did not stay in Jerusalem or in the cities near by, but they went beyond the limits of their own country into the great thoroughfares of travel, seeking for the lost that they might bring them to God. Today the Lord desires to see His work carried forward in many places. We must not confine our labours to a few localities.
We must not discourage our brethren, weakening their hands so that the work which God desires to accomplish through them shall not be done. Let not too much time be occupied in fitting up men to do missionary work. Instruction is necessary, but let all remember that Christ is the Great Teacher, and the Source of all true wisdom. Let young and old consecrate themselves to God, take up the work, and go forward, labouring in humility, under the control of the Holy Spirit. Let those who have been in school go out into the field, and put to a practical use the knowledge they have gained. If canvassers will do this, using the ability that God has given them, seeking counsel from Him, and combining the work of selling books with personal labour for the people, their talents will increase by exercise, and they will learn many practical lessons which they could not possibly learn in school. The education obtained in this practical way may properly be termed higher education.
There is no higher work than evangelistic canvassing; for it involves the performance of the
highest moral duties. Those who engage in this work need always to be under the control of the Spirit of God. There must be no exalting of self. What have any of us that we did not receive from Christ? We must love as brethren, revealing our love by helping one another. We must be pitiful and courteous. We must press together, drawing in even cords. Only those who live the prayer of Christ, working it out in practical life, will stand the test that is to come upon all the world. Those who exalt self, place themselves in Satan's power, preparing to receive his deceptions. The word of the Lord to His people is that we are to lift the standard higher and still higher. If we obey His voice, He will work with us, and our efforts will be crowned with success. In our work we shall receive rich blessings from on high, and shall lay up treasure beside the throne of God.
If we only knew what is before us, we would not be so dilatory in the Lord's work. There are ministers and workers who will present a tissue of falsehoods as testing truths, even as the Jewish rabbis presented the maxims of men as the word of God. These are given to the people as meat in due season, while their souls are starving for the bread of life. Even now there seems to be a burning desire to get up something startling and bring it in as new light. Men are presenting as important truth that which is only fable and falsehood. This imaginary food which is being prepared for the household of God will cause spiritual consumption, decline, and death.
We are in the shaking time, the time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. The Lord will not excuse those who know the truth if they do not in word and deed obey His commands. If we make no effort to win souls to Christ, we shall be held responsible for the work we might have done but did not do because of our spiritual indolence. Those who belong to the Lord's kingdom must work earnestly for the saving of souls. They must do their part to bind up the law and seal it among the disciples.
Some flatter themselves that the Lord will give them another opportunity, that there will be a second probation. Fatal delusion! Just now, day by day, hour by hour, we are building for the last great day. We are trading on our Lord's money, and at His coming He will reckon with us, and we shall have to give an account of what we have done with His goods. As responsible beings we are working for time and for eternity, making our records in the books of heaven, and preparing our reward or punishment. Our reward will be proportionate to our work. "My reward is with Me," Christ declares, "to give every man according as his work shall be." Rev. 22:12. He will expect results from every one.
The Lord designs that the light He has given on the Scriptures shall shine forth in clear, bright rays, and it is the duty of our canvassers to put forth a strong, united effort that God's designs may be accomplished. A great and important work is before us. The enemy of souls realises this, and he is using every means in his
power to lead the canvassers to take up some other line of work. This order of things should be changed. God calls the canvassers back to their work. He calls for volunteers who will put all their energies and enlightenment into the work, helping wherever there is opportunity. The Master calls for every one to do the part given him, according to his ability. Who will respond to the call? Who will go forth to labour in the wisdom and grace and love of Christ for those nigh and afar off? Who will sacrifice ease and pleasure and enter the places of error, superstition, and darkness, working earnestly and perseveringly, speaking the truth in simplicity, praying in faith, and doing house-to-house labour? Who at this time will go forth without the camp, imbued with the power of the Holy Spirit, bearing reproach for Christ's sake, opening the Scriptures to the people, and calling them to repentance?
God has His workmen in every age. The call of the hour is answered by the coming of the man. Thus when the divine voice cries, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" the response will come, "Here am I; send me." Isa. 6:8. Let all who labour effectually in the canvassing field feel in their hearts that they are doing the work of the Lord in ministering to souls who know not the truth for this time. They are sounding the note of warning in the highways and byways to prepare a people for the great day of the Lord which is so soon to break upon the world. We have no time to lose. We
must encourage this work. Who will go forth now with our publications? The Lord imparts a fitness for the work to every man and woman who will cooperate with divine power. All the requisite talent, courage, perseverance, faith, and tact will come as they put the armour on. A great work is to be done in our world, and human agencies will surely respond to the demand. The world must hear the warning. When the call comes, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" send back the answer, clear and distinct, "Here am I; send me."
Assurance of Success.--A great and good work may be done by evangelistic canvassing. The Lord has given men tact and capabilities. Those who use these entrusted talents to His glory, weaving Bible principles into the web, will be given success. We are to work and pray, putting our trust in Him who will never fail.
Let canvassing evangelists give themselves up to be worked by the Holy Spirit. Let them by persevering prayer take hold of the power which comes from God, trusting in Him in living faith. His great and effectual influence will be with every true, faithful worker.
To every man God has appointed his work; not work in his fields of corn and wheat, but earnest, persevering work for the salvation of souls.