The canvassing work, properly conducted, is missionary work of the highest order, and it is as good and successful a method as can be employed for placing before the people the important truths for this time. The importance of the work of the ministry is unmistakable; this is one of God's means for enlightening the world. But He has other means also. He uses the power of the press in printing papers and books containing the messages of truth. These are essential in the carrying forward of the gospel. Many who are hungry for the bread of life have not the privilege of hearing the word from God's delegated preachers. For this reason it is essential that our publications be widely circulated. The sheets that come from the groaning press to be prepared as tracts and bound up as books are to go forth to all parts of the earth. Thus the message will go where the living preacher can not go, and the attention of many will be called to the important events connected with the closing scenes of this world's history.
God has ordained the canvassing work as a means of presenting before the people the light contained in our books; and canvassers should be impressed with the importance of bringing before the world as fast as possible the books
necessary for their spiritual education and enlightenment. This is the very work the Lord desires His people to do at this time. All who consecrate themselves to God to work as canvassers are assisting to give the last message of warning to the world. We can not too highly estimate this work; for were it not for the efforts of the canvasser, many would never hear the warning.
It is true that some who buy the books will lay them on the shelf or place them on the parlour table, and seldom look at them. Still God has a care for His truth, and the time will come when these books will be sought for and read. Sickness or misfortune may enter the home, and through the truth contained in these books God sends to troubled hearts peace and hope and rest. His love is revealed to them, and they understand the preciousness of the forgiveness of their sins. Thus the Lord cooperates with His self-denying workers.
There are many, who, because of prejudice, will never know the truth unless it is brought to their homes. The canvasser may find these souls and minister to them. There is a line of work in house-to-house labour which he can accomplish more successfully than others. He can become acquainted with the people and understand their true necessities; he can pray with them, and can point them to the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. Thus the way will be opened for the special message for this time to find access to their hearts.
Much responsibility rests upon the canvasser. He should go to his work prepared to explain the Scriptures. If he puts his trust in the Lord as he travels from place to place, angels of God will be round about Him, giving him words to speak that will bring light and hope and courage to many souls.
Let the canvasser remember that he has an opportunity to sow beside all waters. Let him remember, as he sells the books which give a knowledge of the truth, that he is doing the work of God, and that every talent is to be used to the glory of His name. God will be with every one who seeks to understand the truth that he may set it before others in clear lines. God has spoken plainly and clearly: "The Spirit and the bride say, Come; and let him that heareth say, Come." Rev. 22:17. We are to make no delay in giving instruction to those who need it, that they may be brought to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.
The lost sheep of God's fold are scattered in every place, and the work that should be done for them is being neglected. From the light given me, I know that where there is one canvasser in the field, there should be one hundred. Canvassers should be encouraged to take hold of this work, not to canvass for story-books, but to bring before the world the books containing truth essential for this time.
Let canvassers go forth with the word of the Lord, remembering that those who obey the commandments, and teach others to obey them, will
be rewarded by seeing souls converted; and one soul truly converted will bring others to Christ. Thus the work will advance into new territory.
The time has come when a large work should be done by the canvassers. The world is asleep, and as watchmen they are to ring the warning bell to awake the sleepers to their danger. The churches know not the time of their visitation. Often they can best learn the truth through the efforts of the canvasser. Those who go forth in the name of the Lord are His messengers to give to the multitude who are in darkness and error the glad tidings of salvation through Christ in obeying the law of God.
I have been instructed that even where the people hear the message from the living preacher, the canvasser should carry on his work in cooperation with the minister; for, though the minister may faithfully present the message, the people are not able to retain it all. The printed page is therefore essential, not only in awakening them to the importance of the truth for this time, but in rooting and grounding them in the truth, and establishing them against deceptive error. Papers and books are the Lord's means of keeping the message for this time continually before the people. In enlightening and confirming souls in the truth, the publications will do a far greater work than can be accomplished by the ministry of the word alone. The silent messengers that are placed in the homes of the people through the efforts of the canvasser, will strengthen the gospel ministry in every way; for
the Holy Spirit will impress minds as they read the books, just as He impresses the minds of those who listen to the preaching of the word. The same ministry of angels attends the books that contain the truth as attends the work of the minister.
God might have committed the message of the gospel, and all the work of loving ministry, to the heavenly angels. He might have employed other means for accomplishing His purpose. But in His infinite love He chose to make us co-workers with Himself, with Christ and the angels, that we might share the blessing, the joy, the spiritual uplifting, which results from unselfish ministry.
Every one of us can do something, if we will only take the position that God would have us take. My brethren, every move that you make to enlighten others, brings you nearer into harmony with the God of heaven.