God employs various agencies in preparing His people to stand in the great crisis before us. He speaks by His word and by His ministers. He arouses the watchmen and sends them forth with messages of warning, of reproof, and of instruction, that the people may be enlightened. The Sentinel has been in God's order, one of the voices sounding the alarm, that the people might hear and realize their danger and do the work required at the present time. The Lord intends that His people shall heed whatever He sends them. When light is presented, it is their duty, not only to receive it, but to pass it along, adding their influence in its favor, that its full force may be felt in the church and the world. The Sentinel is like a trumpet giving a certain sound; and all our people should read it carefully and then send it to some relative or friend, thus putting to the best use the light that God has given them.
For three years, warnings have been sounding forth to the world through the columns of the Sentinel; but those who profess to believe present truth have not been influenced by these danger signals as they should have been. Had our brethren used the Sentinel as it was their privilege to do; and had all been united in recommending it in every conference and in every church, as God would have them do; had the attention of our people been called to this work, which was so essential to be done for this time; had they appreciated the light which God permitted to shine upon them in warnings, in counsels, and in the delineation of events that are taking place, we should not now, as a people, be so far behind in making preparation for the work. There have been surprising indifference and inactivity in this time of peril. Truth, present truth, is what the people need; and if the startling significance of the movements now in progress in regard to the religious amendments had been realized by our brethren in every church; if they had discerned in these movements the plain, direct fulfillment of prophecy, calling upon them to arouse to the demands of the crisis, they would not now be in such stupor and deathlike slumber.
The word of God is not silent in regard to this momentous time, and it will be understood by all who do not resist His Spirit by determining not to hear, not to receive, not to obey. The Lord's messages of light have been before us for years; but there have been influences working indirectly to make of no effect the warnings coming through the Sentinel and the Testimonies, and through other instrumentalities which the Lord sends to His people. Much more might have been done with the Sentinel if these counterinfluences had not been at work to hinder it. Even though nothing may be said against it, actions reveal the indifference that is felt. And so long as the watchmen do not give the trumpet a certain sound, the people are not alarmed and are not on the lookout for danger.
The rebuke of God is upon us because of our neglect of solemn responsibilities. His blessings have been withdrawn because the testimonies He has given have not been heeded by those who professed to believe them. Oh, for a religious awakening! The angels of God are going from church to church, doing their duty; and Christ is knocking at the door of your hearts for entrance. But the means that God has devised to awaken the church to a sense of their spiritual destitution have not been regarded. The voice of the True Witness has been heard in reproof, but has not been obeyed. Men have chosen to follow their own way instead of God's way because self was not crucified in them. Thus the light has had but little effect upon minds and hearts.
Will the people of God now arouse from their carnal lethargy? Will they make the most of present blessings and warnings, and let nothing come between their souls and the light God would have shine upon them? Let every worker for God comprehend the situation and place the Sentinel before our churches, explaining its contents and urging home the facts and warnings it contains. May the Lord help all to redeem the time! Let not unsanctified feelings lead any to resist the appeals of the Spirit of God. Stand not in the way of this light; let it not be disregarded or set aside as unworthy of attention or credence.
If you wait for light to come in a way that will please everyone, you will wait in vain. If you wait for louder calls or better opportunities, the light will be withdrawn, and you will be left in darkness. Accept every ray of light that God sends. Men who neglect to heed the calls of the Spirit and word of God, because obedience involves a cross, will lose their souls. When the books are opened, and every man's work and the motives that prompted him are scrutinized by the Judge of all the earth, they will see what a loss they have sustained. We should ever cherish the fear of the Lord and realize that, individually, we are standing before the Lord of hosts, and no thought, no word, no act in connection with the work of God, should savor of selfishness or of indifference.