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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    L. T. NICOLA


    WHILE much has been accomplished in pushing our work into new fields, much remains to be done. To this fact we should not be insensible, any more than we should ignore God’s past dealings with his people. For, to see only the past, and to fail to recognize present and future responsibilities, is to cease to grow, and to lose even the gains already made. There are still demands which must be met. There are still conquests for the cross of Christ. There are still regions beyond, to which the herald of the gospel has not penetrated. Our missionary operations embrace many countries, but not all; and even among those nations where we have workers, the opportunities for enlargement are well-nigh limitless. It is cause for gratitude that in our sister republic, Mexico, we have one mission; but for the twelve million people in that country, we should have a hundred workers where we now have one. In the South American continent we have less than one worker for each million of the population. But if Mexico and South America are destitute of laborers, what shall we say of India, with but seven workers for a population of two hundred and eighty-seven million people? or of Japan, with its forty million, and but one Sabbath-keeper within the country? or of China, with not one Sabbath-keeping missionary laboring in the native tongue for its four hundred million inhabitants. Add to this Korea, Persia, Siam, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Rhotan, Nepan, Oman, and Arabia, which, so far as we know, have never in any form heard the message for to-day, and it will be seen that the work is not yet done, but that the blessed privilege of labor is still left us. Certainly here are fields sufficient in value and population to call forth our deepest emotions and most earnest efforts.GCB October 1, 1896, page 772.1

    And the way is prepared. The doors of the nations are open. To every country we have free entrance. What hinders us from filling the openings? What holds us back from entering in? What doth indeed hinder unless it be our dearth of love for souls, our want of faith in the message, our lack of the living fire of missionary love and zeal? The fingers of God’s providences point us forward. His Spirit whispers, Go; hungering souls say to us, Come. God is ready to send us. The Angel of his presence stands ready to go before us, the Spirit is impressing hearts to receive us - will we go? Will we devote our lives and property to God to-day, when the demands are so great and the opportunities for the accomplishment of good so vast and unnumbered?GCB October 1, 1896, page 772.2

    And this is the time for labor. We are in the judgment hour. Soon probation’s period will be over. The day is well-nigh spent, and the night, when no man can work, draws on apace. Signs thickening on every hand indicate that this is so. The power of evil is increasing. The political, the social, the religious state of men prove that we are in the closing days.GCB October 1, 1896, page 772.3

    “A terrible condition of things is soon to exist in our world. The angel of mercy is folding her wings ready to depart. Already the Lord’s restraining power is being withdrawn from the earth, and the power of Satan is working in the world to stir up the religious elements under the training of the great deceiver, to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in the children of disobedience. Already the inhabitants of earth are marshaling under the leader of the prince of darkness; and this is only the beginning of the end. The law of God is made void. We see and hear of confusion, perplexity, want, and famine, earthquakes and floods; terrible outrages will be committed by men; passion, not reason, bears sway. The wrath of God is upon the inhabitants of a world that is fast becoming as corrupt as were Sodom and Gomorrah. Already fires and floods are destroying thousands of human beings, and the property that has been selfishly hoarded by the oppression of the poor. The Lord is soon to cut short his work and put an end to sin. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of Man shall be revealed. The Lord is removing his restrictions from the earth, and there will be death and destruction, and increasing crime and evil, cruel working against the rich who have exalted themselves above the poor. Those who have not God’s protection will find no safety in any place or position. Human agents are being trained, and are using their inventive power to put in operation all the most wonderful machinery to wound and kill.” Sunday agitation is growing deeper and more wide-spread. In every land, even in Western and Interior Africa and in the islands of the sea, there is a clamoring for religious legislation. In our own country, our brethren are obliged to languish in prison-cells for their allegiance to the right. It will not be long before only he who has the mark of the beast can buy or sell or enjoy in peace the privileges of free citizenship and religious worship. As wise and discerning men and women, it behooves us to act now, while God’s restraining power is still manifested in the earth over the hearts’ of men.GCB October 1, 1896, page 772.4

    Yes, now is the time to work; now is the time to step into the openings, created by God’s special providence to be filled at this present hour. If the opportunities offered were not now to be improved, then in God’s purpose they would not now be presented. The angels are holding the winds of war. The world is at peace. All Europe is at rest, at least outwardly; but it can not be determined just when the feverish, pent-up feelings of the nations will find vent in war. Quiet now reigns in the Orient, and never before were China and Japan so open to gospel work; but the near future may witness another struggle for the ascendancy in the East. In the Western Hemisphere, aside from the local war in Cuba, harmony and good feeling prevail among the nations; but any day may bring forth new complications and open rupture.GCB October 1, 1896, page 773.1

    This is the critical moment. The golden opportunity, if let pass, may never come again. It is this year, not next; to-day, not to-morrow. The demands to meet the emergency are for devoted laborers and consecrated means. Both of these demands it is in our power to supply. Is God now working on hearts? Then yield to his drawing power. Is he asking the service of your lives? Respond, Here am I; send me where thou wilt. Is he asking for the goods he has entrusted to your stewardship! Is he demanding that you do for others what he has done for you - to give your life, your wealth, your all, for their salvation? Then hold not back, lest there go forth the divine fiat, “He is joined to his idols; let him alone,” — lest the work go on in triumph, and you be left behind in darkness. God has entrusted to us talents. We should not bury them, or hoard them in a miserly way, but should yield them back at his call, with double increase.GCB October 1, 1896, page 773.2

    “Thy wealth he needs. ‘Tis his, though lent to thee
    A little while to use for him. From thee
    He asks his own. As steward of his gold,
    ‘Tis thine with willing hand to open wide
    The doors, that from his stores, lent thee, may pour
    His silver and his gold, the hire of those
    Who reap where thou dost not - the rightful hire
    Now asked of thee, since thou, thyself, at home
    In rest and ease and peace dost stay, and they
    Thy place must fill; as ‘neath the burning heat
    Of Afric’s torrid sun and India’s plain,
    Or from the harvests dense of China’s fields
    They seek to reap for Christ the precious grain;
    Or from the sea-girt isles the flowers sweet,
    For him who died thy soul to save, they cull.”
    GCB October 1, 1896, page 773.3

    Soon will the time of labor be ended. Soon will the harvest be overpast. Clouds may arise, but the truth is destined to triumph because in it are the life and vitality of God. Darkness may enshroud; men may prove faithless to their trust; enemies may oppose; but God will lead his people. His hand is on the helm. Above the storm his voice is hear in tones of comfort and assurance: “It is I, be not afraid.” With him as our Guide and Captain we have naught to fear. The armies of Pharaoh may threaten; the Red Sea may roar tumultuously; the desert of Sinai may stretch before in arid wastes; the mountains of Moab may obscure the fair land of promise; and the hosts of Og and the giants of Bashan challenge the passage of the armies of Israel; but God still leads, — in the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night. His power will silence the hosts of Pharaoh, open the waters of the Red Sea, cause streams to burst forth in the desert, reduce to the level the mountains of Moab, disperse the hosts of Og, and make of the giants of Bashan servants to do his bidding. The curses of Baalam will be turned to blessings, and the plottings of Ahab and Jezebel, as in the days of Elijah, will advance, rather than retard the work of God in the earth.GCB October 1, 1896, page 773.4

    Already the hilltops are glimmering with the light of dawning day. Already the earth is trembling with the tread of the coming Conqueror.GCB October 1, 1896, page 773.5

    Let none look back now. Let the faith of none grow weak nor wavering. Courage in the Lord. Victory is just before; and that victory every soul may claim in the strength of Israel’s God. But to triumph with the truth will require a giving up of all for God, a renunciation of self, and a laying of all upon the altar. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” “He who will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.” “When the Lord sees his people binding about their imaginary wants, practising self-denial, not in a mournful spirit, as Lot’s wife left Sodom, but joyfully, for Christ’s sake, and because it is the right thing to do, then the work will go forward with power. Let nothing, however dear, however loved, absorb your mind and affections, diverting you from the searchings of the Scriptures or from most earnest prayer. Watch unto prayer, live your own requests, co-operate with God by working in harmony with him, expel everything from the soul-temple which assumes the form of an idol. Now is God’s time, and his time is your time. Fight the good fight of faith. Refuse to think unbelief or to talk unbelief. There is a world to hear the last message of mercy.” “Gather my saints together unto me, those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Our all is what God asks of us at this time.GCB October 1, 1896, page 774.1

    “Thy hand, thy heart, thy brain, thy wealth, he needs
    To-day. Thy hand to reap, thy heart to love,
    Thy brain to plan, thy wealth to cleave the way
    Through forests dark and jungles deep, and o’er
    His reapers, on to fields as yet unreaped -
    Where harvests rich lie waiting for their toil.
    GCB October 1, 1896, page 774.2

    The day is now, the day in which for Christ
    All labor must be done. Too soon the night
    Comes on when toil must cease, and what is then
    Ungleaned, for e’er must lie ungleaned and lost.”
    F. M. WILCOX.
    GCB October 1, 1896, page 774.3

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