I was shown that as a people we are deficient Our works are not in accordance with our faith. Our faith testifies that we are living under the proclamation of the most solemn and important message that was ever given to mortals. Yet in full view of this fact, our efforts, our zeal, our spirit of self-sacrifice, do not compare with the character of the work. We should awake from the dead, and Christ will give us life.
With many of our brethren and sisters there is a strong inclination to live in Battle Creek. Families have been coming from all directions to reside there, and many more have their faces set that way. Some who have come to Battle Creek held offices in the little churches from which they moved, and their help and strength were needed there. When such arrive at Battle Creek, and meet with the numerous Sabbathkeepers there, they frequently feel that their testimonies are not needed, and their talent is therefore buried.
Some choose Battle Creek because of the religious privileges it affords, yet wonder that their spirituality decreases after their sojourn there a few months. Is there not a cause? The object of many has been to advantage themselves pecuniarily-- to engage in business which will yield them greater profits. Their expectations in this particular may be realised, while they have dearth of soul and become dwarfed in spiritual things. They take no special burden upon themselves because they think they would be out of place. They do not know where to take hold to labour in so large a church, and therefore become idlers in their Master's vineyard. All who pursue this course only increase the labour of those who have the burden of the work in the church. They are as so many dead weights. There are many in Battle Creek who are fast becoming withered branches.
Some who have been workers, and who have an experience in the cause of present truth, move to Battle Creek and lay off their burden. Instead of feeling the necessity of double energy,
watchfulness, prayer, and diligent performance of duty, they do scarcely anything at all. Those who have burdens to bear in the office, and have not time for duties aside from their work, are obliged to fill responsible positions in the church and to perform important, taxing labour which if they do not do will remain undone because these others will not take the burden.
Brethren who wish to change their location, who have the glory of God in view, and feel that individual responsibility rests upon them to do others good, to benefit and save souls for whom Christ withheld not His precious life, should move into towns and villages where there is but little or no light and where they can be of real service and bless others with their labour and experience. Missionaries are wanted to go into towns and villages and raise the standard of truth, that God may have His witnesses scattered all over the land, that the light of truth may penetrate where it has not yet reached, and the standard of truth be raised where it is not yet known. The brethren should not flock together because it is more agreeable to them, but should seek to fulfil their high calling to do others good, to be instrumental in the salvation of at least one soul. But more may be saved than one.
The sole object of this work should not be merely to increase our reward in heaven. Some are selfish in this respect. In view of what Christ has done for us, and what He has suffered for sinners, we should, out of pure, disinterested love for souls, imitate His example by sacrificing our own pleasure and convenience for their good. The joy set before Christ, which sustained Him in all His sufferings, was the salvation of poor sinners. This should be our joy and the spur of our ambition in the cause of our Master. In so doing we please God and manifest our love and devotion to Him as His servants. He first loved us, and withheld not from us His beloved Son, but gave Him from His bosom to die that we
might have life. Love, true love for our fellow men, evinces love to God. We may make a high profession, yet without this love it is nothing. Our faith may lead us to even give our bodies to be burned, yet without self-sacrificing love, such as lived in the bosom of Jesus and was exemplified in His life, we are as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.
There are families that receive spiritual strength by moving to Battle Creek. It is just the place to help some, while it is the wrong place for others. Brother and Sister A are a sample of the class who may be benefited in moving to this place. The Lord directed them to take this course. Battle Creek was just the place to benefit them, and has proved a blessing to the entire family. They have, in coming here, gained strength to plant their feet firmly upon the platform of truth, and if they continue in the path of humble obedience they may rejoice for the help they have received in Battle Creek.