During the night
season I have been in a meeting in which the work in the Southern field was
being discussed. The question was asked
by a company of intelligent colored people, "Is the Lord soon to come, and
are the people of the South to be passed by?
Have the white people and the black people in the Southern States no
souls to save? Does not the new covenant
include us? If it is true that the Lord
is soon to come, is it not time that something was done for the Southern field?
"We do not
question the need of missions in foreign lands.
But we do question the right of those who claim to have present truth to
pass by millions of their fellow beings in their own country, many of whom are
as ignorant as heathen. Why is it that
so little is done for the colored people of the South, a people ignorant and
destitute, who need to be taught that Christ is their Creator and Redeemer? How can they believe in Him of whom they have
never heard? And how can they hear
without a preacher? And how can one
preach except he be sent?
"We lay this
matter before you. What are you doing
for the unenlightened white and colored people of the South? O, how thankful we shall be if this meeting
is the means of bringing the needs of this people to your notice.
people have been freed from the bondage of political slavery. But they are still in the bondage of
ignorance. Why have you not a deeper
sense of the necessities of the Southern field?
Does there not rest upon ministers of the gospel the responsibility of
setting in operation plans whereby this people can be instructed? Does not the commission of the Saviour teach
this? Is it right for professing
Christians to hold themselves aloof from this work, allowing a few to carry the
burden? In all your plans for medical
missionary work and foreign missionary work, has God given you no message for
Then He who has
authority arose and called upon all to give heed to the instruction the Lord
has given in regard to the Southern work.
He said: "Much more
evangelistic work should be done in the South.
Scarcely anything has been done for this field. There should be a thousand workers there
where there is now but one.
field is represented by the man who, robbed and beaten, was left by the
roadside to die. A priest came that way,
gave a sigh of pity, and passing by, wished he had not seen the wounded man. Then came a Levite, who also passed by on the
other side. 'But a certain Samaritan, as
he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him
on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took
out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him,
and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.'
this incident, Christ asked in a clear, solemn voice, 'Which now of these
three, thinkest thou, was neighbor to him that fell among thieves?' From many voices came the answer, 'He that
showed mercy on him.' Then said Jesus,
'Go, and do thou likewise.'
"The wrong use
of means has hindered the work which should have been done in the Southern
field. Those who know their duty and do
it not are accountable to God. To Him
they must answer for their neglect.
"Let the people
of God awaken. Think you that the Lord
will bless those who have felt no burden but to hedge up the work in the
As these words were
spoken, deep feeling was manifested by some.
Some offered themselves as missionaries, while others sat in silence,
apparently taking no interest in the subject.
Again the words were
spoken, "The South is a most unpromising field. But what a change would have been seen in it
if, after the colored people had been released from slavery, Christians had
worked for the colored people as Christians ought to work, teaching them how to
take care of themselves. This is what
should have been done. Not a sparrow
falls to the ground without the notice of the heavenly Father.
"Will not God
pronounce as unfaithful stewards those who have left the colored race uncared
for and uneducated? Some have worked
nobly, and God will bless them. Others
have made a few feeble efforts, and have then allowed their means to be
diverted into wrong channels. God will
hold them responsible for leaving the Southern field so largely unworked. God has an account to settle with those who
have selfishly hoarded their means, lent them by Him to be used in helping and
blessing humanity. They have the Word of
God, which plainly points out their duty, but they refuse to obey. Unless they repent, they must answer at the
bar of God for their neglect.”
-Ellen White, August 8, 1901