The Minister - Ambassadors for Christ




Click to go to our Home Page






Section One - The Minister.



             Ambassadors for Christ.


     While Christ is the minister in the sanctuary above, he is also, through his delegates, the minister of his church on earth. He speaks to the people through chosen men, and carries forward his work through them, as when, in the days of his humiliation, he moved visibly upon the earth. Although centuries have passed, the lapse of time has not changed his parting promise to his disciples. "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." [MATT. 28:20.] From Christ's ascension to the present day, men ordained of God, deriving their authority from him, have become teachers of the faith. Christ, the True Shepherd, superintends his work through the instrumentality of these under-shepherds. Thus the position of those who labor in word and doctrine becomes very important. In Christ's stead they beseech the people to be reconciled to God. {GW92 11.1}

     The people should not regard their ministers as mere public speakers and orators, but as Christ's ambassadors, receiving their wisdom and power from the great Head of the church. To slight and disregard the word spoken by Christ's representative, is showing disrespect, not only to the man, but also to the Master who has sent him. He is in Christ's stead; and the voice of the Saviour should be heard in his representative. {GW92 11.2}

     Many of our ministers have made a great mistake in giving discourses which were wholly argumentative. There are souls who listen to the theory of the


truth, and are impressed with the evidences brought out, and then, if a portion of the discourse presents Christ as the Saviour of the world, the seed sown may spring up and bear fruit to the glory of God. But in many discourses the cross of Christ is not presented before the people. Some may be listening to the last sermon they will ever hear, and others will never again be so situated that they can have the chain of truth brought before them, and a practical application made of it to their hearts. That golden opportunity lost, is lost forever. Had Christ and his redeeming love been exalted in connection with the theory of truth, it might have balanced them on his side. {GW92 11.3}

     There are more souls longing to understand how they may come to Christ than we imagine. Many listen to popular sermons from the pulpit, and know no better than before they listened, how to find Jesus and the peace and rest which their souls desire. Ministers who preach the last message of mercy to the world should bear in mind that Christ is to be exalted as the sinner's refuge. Many ministers think that it is not necessary to preach repentance and faith, with a heart all subdued by the love of God; they take it for granted that their hearers are perfectly acquainted with the gospel, and that matters of a different nature must be presented in order to hold their attention. If their hearers are interested, they take it as evidence of success. The people are more ignorant in regard to the plan of salvation, and need more instruction upon this all-important subject, than upon any other. {GW92 12.1}

     Those who assemble to listen to the truth should expect to be profited, as did Cornelius and his friends: "Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God." [ACTS 10:33.] {GW92 12.2}

     Theoretical discourses are essential, that all may know the form of doctrine, and see the chain of


truth, link after link, uniting in a perfect whole. But no discourse should ever be delivered without presenting Christ and him crucified as the foundation of the gospel, making a practical application of the truths set forth, and impressing upon the people the fact that the doctrine of Christ is not yea and nay, but yea and amen in Christ Jesus. {GW92 12.3}

     After the theory of truth has been presented, then comes the laborious part of the work. The people should not be left without instruction in the practical truths which relate to their every-day life. They must see and feel that they are sinners, and need to be converted to God. What Christ said, what he did, and what he taught, should be brought before them in the most impressive manner.{GW92 13.1}

     The work of the minister is only begun when the truth is opened to the understanding of the people. Christ is our mediator and officiating high priest in the presence of the Father. He was shown to John as a lamb that had been slain, as in the very act of pouring out his blood in the sinner's behalf. When the law of God is set before the sinner, showing him the depth of his sins, he should then be pointed to the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. He should be taught repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus will the labor of Christ's representative be in harmony with the Saviour's work in the heavenly sanctuary.{GW92 13.2}

     Ministers would reach many more hearts if they would dwell more upon practical godliness. Frequently, when efforts are made to introduce the truth into new fields, the labor is almost entirely theoretical. The people are unsettled. They see the force of truth, and are anxious to obtain a sure foundation. When their feelings are softened, is the time, above all others, to urge the religion of Christ home upon the conscience; but too often the course of lectures has been allowed to close without that work being done for the people which they needed.


That effort was too much like the offering of Cain; it had not the sacrificial blood to make it acceptable to God. Cain was right in making an offering, but he left out all that made it of any value--the blood of the atonement. {GW92 13.3}

     It is a sad fact that the reason why many dwell so much on theory and so little on practical godliness, is that Christ is not abiding in their own hearts. They do not have a living connection with God. Many souls decide in favor of the truth, from the weight of evidence, without being converted. Practical discourses were not given in connection with the doctrinal, that, as the hearers should see the beautiful chain of truth, they might fall in love with its Author, and be sanctified through obedience. The minister's work is not done until he has urged home upon his hearers the necessity of a change of character in accordance with the pure principles of the truth which they have received. {GW92 14.1}

     A formal religion is to be dreaded; for in it is no Saviour. Plain, close, searching, practical discourses were given by Christ. His ambassadors should follow his example in every discourse. Christ and his Father were one; in all the Father's requirements Christ cheerfully acquiesced. He had the mind of God. The Redeemer was the perfect pattern. Jehovah was manifested in him. Heaven was enshrined in humanity, and humanity inclosed in the bosom of Infinite Love. If ministers will in meekness sit at the feet of Jesus, they will soon obtain right views of God's character, and will be able to teach others also. Some enter the ministry without deep love to God or to their fellow-men. Selfishness and self-indulgence will be manifested in the lives of such; and while these unconsecrated, unfaithful watchmen are serving themselves, instead of feeding the flock and attending to their pastoral duties, the people perish for want of proper instruction.


{GW92 14.2}

     In every discourse fervent appeals should be made to the people to forsake their sins and turn to Christ. The popular sins and indulgences of our day should be condemned, and practical godliness enforced. The minister should be deeply in earnest himself, feeling from the heart the words he utters, and unable to repress his feeling of concern for the souls of men and women for whom Christ died. Of the Master it was said, "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." [JOHN 2:17.] The same earnestness should be felt by his representatives. {GW92 15.1}

     An infinite sacrifice has been made for man, and made in vain for every soul who will not accept of salvation. How important, then, that the one who presents the truth shall do so under a full sense of the responsibility resting upon him! How tender, pitiful, and courteous should be all his conduct in dealing with the souls of men, when the Redeemer of the world has shown that he values them so highly! The question is asked by Christ, "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household?" [MATT. 24:45.] Jesus asks, "Who?" and every minister of the gospel should repeat the question to his own heart. As he views the solemn truths, and his mind beholds the picture drawn of the faithful and wise steward, his soul should be stirred to the very depths. {GW92 15.2}

     To every man is given his work; not one is excused. Each has a part to act, according to his capacity; and it devolves upon the one who presents the truth carefully and prayerfully, to learn the ability of all who accept the truth, and then to instruct them and lead them along, step by step, letting them realize the burden of responsibility resting upon them to do the work that God has for them to do. It should be urged upon them again and again, that no one will be able to resist temptation, to answer the purpose of God, and to live the life of a Christian,


unless he shall take up his work, be it great or small, and do that work with conscientious fidelity. There is something for all to do besides going to church, and listening to the word of God. They must practice the truth heard, carrying its principles into their every-day life. They must be doing work for Christ constantly, not from selfish motives, but with an eye single to the glory of Him who made every sacrifice to save them from ruin. {GW92 15.3}

     Ministers should impress upon those who accept the truth that they must have Christ in their homes; that they need grace and wisdom from him in guiding and controlling their children. It is part of the work which God has left for them to do, to educate and discipline these children, bringing them into subjection. Let the kindness and courtesy of the minister be seen in his treatment of children. He should ever bear in mind that they are miniature men and women, younger members of the Lord's family. These may be very near and dear to the Master, and if properly instructed and disciplined, will do service for him even in their youth. Christ is grieved with every harsh, severe, and inconsiderate word spoken to children. Their rights are not always respected, and they are frequently treated as though they had not an individual character, which needs to be properly developed that it may not be warped, and the purpose of God in their lives prove a failure. {GW92 16.1}

     From a child, Timothy knew the Scriptures; and this knowledge was a safeguard to him against the evil influences surrounding him, and the temptation to choose pleasure and selfish gratification before duty. Such a safeguard all our children need; and it should be a part of the work of parents and of Christ's ambassadors to see that the children are properly instructed in the word of God.{GW92 16.2}

     If the minister would meet the approval of his Lord, he must labor with fidelity to present every


man perfect in Christ. He should not, in his manner of labor, carry the impression that it is of little consequence whether men do or do not accept the truth and practice true godliness; but the faithfulness and self-sacrifice manifested in his life should be such as to convince the sinner that eternal interests are at stake, and that his soul is in peril unless he responds to the earnest labor put forth in his behalf. Those who have been brought from error and darkness to truth and light have great changes to make, and unless the necessity of thorough reform is pressed home upon the conscience, they will be like the man who looked into the mirror, the law of God, and discovered the defects in his moral character, but went away and forgot what manner of man he was. The mind must be kept awake to a sense of responsibility, or it will settle back into a state of even more careless inattention than before it was aroused.{GW92 16.3}

     The work of the ambassadors for Christ is far greater and more responsible than many dream of. They should not be at all satisfied with their success until they can, by their earnest labors and the blessing of God, present to him serviceable Christians, who have a true sense of their responsibility, and will do their appointed work. The proper labor and instruction will result in bringing into working order those men and women whose characters are strong, and their convictions so firm that nothing of a selfish character is permitted to hinder them in their work, to lessen their faith, or to deter them from duty. If the minister has properly instructed those under his care, when he leaves for other fields of labor, the work left will not ravel out; for it will be bound off so firmly as to be secure. Unless those who receive the truth are thoroughly converted, and there is a radical change in their life and character, the soul is not riveted to the eternal Rock; and after the labor of the minister ceases, and the novelty is gone, the impression soon wears away,


the truth loses its power to charm, and they exert no holier influence, and are no better, for their profession of the truth. {GW92 17.1}

     I am astonished that with the examples before us of what man may be and what he may do, we are not stimulated to greater exertion to emulate the good works of the righteous. All may not occupy a position of prominence; yet all may fill positions of usefulness and trust, and may, by their persevering fidelity, do far more good than they have any idea that they can do. Those who embrace the truth should seek a clear understanding of the Scriptures, and an experimental knowledge of a living Saviour. The intellect should be cultivated, the memory taxed. All intellectual laziness is sin, and spiritual lethargy is death. {GW92 18.1}

     O that I could command language of sufficient force to make the impression I wish to make upon my fellow-laborers in the gospel! My brethren, you are handling the words of life; you are dealing with minds that are capable of the highest development, if directed in the right channel. But there is too much exhibition of self in the discourses given. Christ crucified, Christ ascended into the heavens, Christ coming again, should so soften, gladden, and fill the mind of the minister of the gospel that he will present these truths to the people in love and deep earnestness. The minister will then be lost sight of, and Jesus magnified. The people will be so impressed with these all-absorbing subjects that they will talk of them and praise them, instead of praising the minister--the mere instrument. But if the people, while they praise the minister, have little interest in the word preached, he may know that the truth is not sanctifying his own soul. He does not speak to his hearers in such a manner that Jesus is honored and his love magnified. {GW92 18.2}

     Christ said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your


Father which is in heaven." [MATT. 5:16.] Let your light so shine that the glory will redound to God instead of to yourselves. If the praise comes to you, well may you tremble and be ashamed, for the great object is defeated; it is not God, but the servant, that is magnified. Let your light so shine; be careful, minister of Christ, in what manner your light shines. If it flashes heavenward, revealing the excellence of Christ, it shines aright. If it is turned upon yourself, if you exhibit yourself, and attract the people to admire you, it would be better for you to hold your peace altogether; for your light shines in the wrong way. {GW92 18.3}

     Ministers of Christ, you may be connected with God if you will watch and pray. Let your words be seasoned with salt, and let Christian courtesy and true elevation pervade your demeanor. If the peace of God is ruling within, its power will not only strengthen, but soften your hearts, and you will be living representatives of Christ. The people who profess the truth are backsliding from God. Jesus is soon to come, and they are not ready. The minister must reach a higher standard himself, a faith marked with greater firmness, an experience that is living and vivid, not dull and commonplace, like that of the nominal professors. The word of God sets a high mark before you. Will you, through fasting and prayerful effort, attain to the completeness and consistency of Christian character? You should make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. A close connection with God will bring to you, in your labor, that vital power which arouses the conscience, and convicts the sinner of sin, leading him to cry, "What shall I do to be saved?" {GW92 19.1}

     The commission which Christ gave to the disciples, just prior to his ascension to heaven, was, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and


of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." [MATT. 28:19, 20; JOHN 17:20.] The commission reaches those who shall believe on his word through his disciples. And all who are called of God to stand as ambassadors for him, should take the lessons upon practical godliness given them by Christ in his word, and teach them to the people. {GW92 19.2}

     Christ opened the Scriptures to his disciples, beginning at Moses and the prophets, and instructed them in all things concerning himself, and also explained to them the prophecies. The apostles, in their preaching, went back to Adam's day, and brought their hearers down through prophetic history, and ended with Christ and him crucified, calling upon sinners to repent and turn from their sins to God. The representatives of Christ in our day should follow their example, and in every discourse magnify Christ as the Exalted One, as all and in all. {GW92 20.1}

     Not only is formality taking possession of the nominal churches, but it is increasing to an alarming extent among those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God, and looking for the soon appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven. We should not be narrow in our views, and limit our facilities for doing good; yet while we extend our influence and enlarge our plans as Providence opens the way, we should be more earnest to avoid the idolatry of the world. While we make greater efforts to increase our usefulness, we must make corresponding efforts to obtain wisdom from God to carry on all the branches of the work after his own order, and not from a worldly standpoint. We should not pattern after the customs of the world, but make the most of the facilities which God has placed within our reach to get the truth before the people.


{GW92 20.2}

     When as a people our works correspond to our profession, we shall see very much more accomplished than now. When we have men as devoted as Elijah, and possessing the faith which he had, we shall see that God will reveal himself to us as he did to holy men of old. When we have men, who, while they acknowledge their deficiencies, will plead with God in earnest faith, as did Jacob, we shall see the same results. Power will come from God to man in answer to the prayer of faith. There is but little faith in the world. There are but few who are living near to God. And how can we expect more power, and that God will reveal himself to men, when his word is handled negligently, and when hearts are not sanctified through the truth? Men who are not half converted, who are self-confident and self-sufficient in character, preach the truth to others. But God does not work with them, for they are not holy in heart and life. They do not walk humbly with God. We must have a converted ministry, and then we shall see the light of God, and his power aiding all our efforts. {GW92 21.1}

     The watchmen anciently placed upon the walls of Jerusalem and other cities, occupied a most responsible position. Upon their faithfulness depended the safety of all within those cities. When danger was apprehended, they were not to keep silent day nor night. Every few moments they were required to call to one another, to see if all were awake, and no harm had come to any. Sentinels were stationed upon some eminence overlooking the important posts to be guarded, and the cry of warning or of good cheer was sounded from them. This was borne from one to another, each repeating the words, till it went the entire rounds of the city. {GW92 21.2}

     These watchmen represent the ministry, upon whose fidelity depends the salvation of souls. The stewards of the mysteries of God should stand as watchmen upon the walls of Zion; and if they see


the sword coming, they should sound the note of warning. If they are sleepy sentinels, if their spiritual senses are so benumbed that they see and realize no danger, and the people perish, God will require their blood at the watchmen's hands. {GW92 21.3}

     "O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me." The watchmen will need to live very near to God, to hear his word and be impressed with his Spirit, that the people may not look to them in vain. "When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul." [EZE. 33:7-9.] Ambassadors of Christ should take heed that they do not, through their unfaithfulness, lose their own souls and the souls of those who hear them. {GW92 22.1}

     I was shown the churches in different States that profess to be keeping the commandments of God, and looking for the second coming of Christ. There is an alarming amount of indifference, pride, love of the world, and cold formality existing among them. And these are the people who are fast coming to resemble ancient Israel, so far as the want of piety is concerned. Many make high claims to godliness, and yet are destitute of self-control. Appetite and passion bear sway; self is made prominent. Many are arbitrary, dictatorial, overbearing, boastful, proud, and unconsecrated. Yet some of these persons are ministers, handling sacred truths. Unless they repent, their candlestick will be removed out of its place. The Saviour's curse pronounced upon the fruitless fig-tree is a sermon to all formalists and boasting hypocrites who stand forth to the world in pretentious leaves, but are devoid of fruit. What a


rebuke to those who have a form of godliness, while in their unchristian lives they deny the power thereof! He who treated with tenderness the very chief of sinners, he who never spurned true meekness and penitence, however great the guilt, came down with scathing denunciations upon those who made high professions of godliness, but in works denied their faith.--Vol. 4, p. 393. {GW92 22.2}


           Consecration to the Work.


     God selected Abraham as his messenger, through whom to communicate light to the world. The word of God came to him, not with the presentation of flattering prospects in this life, of large salary, of great appreciation and worldly honor. "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee," [GEN. 12:1.] was the divine message to Abraham. The patriarch obeyed, and "went out, not knowing whither he went," [HEB. 11:8] as God's light-bearer, to keep his name alive in the earth. He forsook his country, his home, his relatives, and all pleasant associations connected with his early life, to become a pilgrim and a stranger. {GW92 23.1}

     It is frequently more essential than many realize, that early associations should be broken up, in order that those who are to speak "in Christ's stead," may stand in a position where God can educate and qualify them for his great work. Kindred and friends often have an influence which God sees will greatly interfere with the instructions he designs to give his servants. Suggestions will be made by those who are not in close connection with Heaven that will, if heeded, turn aside from their holy work those who should be light-bearers to the world. Before God can use him, Abraham must be separated from his former associations, that he may not


be controlled by human influence, or rely upon human aid. Now that he has become connected with God, this man must henceforth dwell among strangers. His character must be peculiar, differing from all the world. He could not even explain his course of action so as to be understood by his friends; for they were idolaters. Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned; therefore his motives and his actions were beyond the comprehension of his kindred and friends. {GW92 23.2}

     Abraham's unquestioning obedience was one of the most striking instances of faith, of reliance upon God, to be found in the Sacred Record. With only the naked promise that his descendants should possess Canaan, without the least outward evidence, he followed on where God should lead, fully and sincerely complying with the conditions on his part, and confident that the Lord would faithfully perform his word. The patriarch went wherever God indicated his duty; he passed through wildernesses without terror; he went among idolatrous nations with the one thought, "God has spoken; I am obeying his voice; he will guide, he will protect me."{GW92 24.1}

     Just such faith and confidence as Abraham had, the messengers of God need today. But many whom the Lord could use will not move onward, hearing and obeying the one voice above all others. The connection with kindred and friends, the former habits and associations, too often have so great an influence upon God's servants that he can give them but little instruction, can communicate to them but little knowledge of his purposes; and often after a time he sets them aside, and calls others in their place, whom he tests in the same manner. The Lord would do much more for his servants if they were wholly consecrated to him, esteeming his service above the ties of kindred and all other earthly associations.


{GW92 24.2}

     Ministers of the gospel have a sacred work. They have a solemn message of warning to bear to the world,--a message which will be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. They are God's messengers to man; and they should never lose sight of their mission or of their responsibilities. They are not like worldlings; they cannot be like them. If they would be true to God, they must maintain their separate, holy character. If they cease to connect with Heaven, they are in greater danger than others, and can exert a stronger influence in the wrong direction; for Satan has his eye constantly upon them, waiting for some weakness to be developed, whereby he may make a successful attack. And how he triumphs when he succeeds! for when one who is an ambassador for Christ is off his watch, the great adversary may through him secure many souls to himself. {GW92 25.1}

     Those who closely connect with God may not be prosperous in the things of this life; they may often be sorely tried and afflicted. Joseph was maligned and persecuted because he preserved his virtue and integrity. David, that chosen messenger of God, was hunted like a beast of prey by his wicked enemies. Daniel was cast into a den of lions, because he was true and unyielding in his allegiance to God. Job was deprived of his worldly possessions, and so afflicted in body that he was abhorred by his relatives and friends; yet he preserved his integrity and his faithfulness to God. Jeremiah would speak the words which God had put into his mouth, and his plain testimony so enraged the king and princes that he was cast into a loathsome pit. Stephen was stoned because he would preach Christ and him crucified. Paul was imprisoned, beaten with rods, stoned, and finally put to death, because he was a faithful messenger to carry the gospel to the Gentiles. The beloved John was banished to the Isle of Patmos, "for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." [REV. 1:9.]


{GW92 25.2}

     These examples of human steadfastness, in the might of divine power, are a witness to the world of the faithfulness of God's promises--of his abiding presence and sustaining grace. As the world looks upon these humble men, it cannot discern their moral value with God. It is a work of faith to calmly repose in God in the darkest hour--however severely tried and tempest-tossed, to feel that our Father is at the helm. The eye of faith alone can look beyond the things of time and sense to estimate the worth of eternal riches. {GW92 26.1}

     The great military commander conquers nations, and shakes the armies of half the world; but he dies of disappointment, and in exile. The philosopher who ranges through the universe, everywhere tracing the manifestations of God's power, and delighting in their harmony, often fails to behold in these marvelous wonders the hand that formed them all. "Man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish." [PS. 49:20.] No hope of glorious immortality lights up the future of the enemies of God. But those heroes of faith have the promise of an inheritance of greater value than any earthly riches,-- an inheritance that will satisfy the longings of the soul. They may be unknown and unacknowledged by the world, but they are enrolled as citizens in the record books of heaven. An exalted greatness, an enduring, eternal weight of glory, will be the final reward of those whom God has made heirs of all things. {GW92 26.2}

     Ministers of the gospel should make the truth of God the theme of study, of meditation, and of conversation. The mind that dwells much on the revealed will of God to man will become strong in the truth. Those who read and study with an earnest desire for divine light, whether they are ministers or not, will soon discover in the Scriptures a beauty and harmony which will captivate their attention, elevate their thoughts, and give them an


inspiration and an energy of argument that will be powerful to convict and convert souls. {GW92 26.3}

     There is danger that ministers who profess to believe present truth will rest satisfied with presenting the theory only, while their own souls do not feel its sanctifying power. Some have not the love of God in the heart, softening, molding, and ennobling the life. The psalmist declares of the good man, "His delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." Referring to his own experience, he exclaims, "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day." "Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word." [PS. 1:2; 119:97, 148.] {GW92 27.1}

     No man is qualified to stand in the sacred desk unless he has felt the transforming influence of the truth of God upon his own soul. Then, and not till then, can he by precept and example rightly represent the life of Christ. But many, in their labors, exalt themselves rather than their Master; and the people are converted to the minister instead of to Christ. {GW92 27.2}

     I am pained to know that some who preach the present truth today are really unconverted men. They are not connected with God. They have a head religion, but no conversion of the heart; and these are the very ones who are the most self-confident and self-sufficient; and this self-sufficiency will stand in the way of their gaining that experience which is essential to make them effective workers in the Lord's vineyard. I wish I could arouse those who claim to be watchmen on the walls of Zion, to realize their responsibility. They should awake, and take a higher stand for God; for souls are perishing through their neglect. They must have that sincere devotion to God that will lead them to see as God sees, and take the words of warning from him and sound the alarm to those who are in peril. The Lord will not hide his truth from the faithful watchman.


Those who do the will of God shall know of the doctrine. "The wise shall understand;" but "the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand." [DAN. 12:10.] {GW92 27.3}

     Jesus said to his disciples, "Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart." [MATT. 11:29.] I would plead with those who have accepted the position of teachers, first to become humble learners, and ever to remain as pupils in the school of Christ, to receive from the Master lessons of meekness and lowliness of heart. Humility of spirit, combined with earnest activity, will result in the salvation of souls so dearly purchased by the blood of Christ. The minister may understand and believe the theory of truth, and be able to present it to others; but this is not all that is required of him. "Faith without works is dead." [JAMES 2:20.] He needs the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. A living faith in Christ will bring every action of the life and every emotion of the soul into harmony with God's truth and righteousness. {GW92 28.1}

     Fretfulness, self-exaltation, pride, passion, and every other trait of character unlike our holy Pattern, must be overcome; and then humility, meekness, and sincere gratitude to Jesus for his great salvation will continually flow out from the pure fountain of the heart. The voice of Jesus should be heard in the message coming from the lips of his ambassador. {GW92 28.2}

     We must have a converted ministry. The efficiency and power attending a truly converted minister would make the hypocrites in Zion tremble, and sinners afraid. The standard of truth and holiness is trailing in the dust. If those who sound the solemn notes of warning for this time could realize their accountability to God, they would see the necessity for fervent prayer. When the cities were hushed in midnight slumber, when every man had gone to his own house, Christ, our example, would repair to the Mount of Olives, and there, amid the


overshadowing trees, would spend the entire night in prayer. He who was himself without the taint of sin,--a treasure-house of blessing; whose voice was heard in the fourth watch of the night by the terrified disciples upon the stormy sea, in heavenly benediction; and whose word could summon the dead from their graves,--he it was who made supplication with strong crying and tears. He prayed not for himself, but for those whom he came to save. As he became a suppliant, seeking at the hand of his Father fresh supplies of strength, and coming forth refreshed and invigorated as man's substitute, he identified himself with suffering humanity, and gave them an example of the necessity of prayer. {GW92 28.3}

     His nature was without the taint of sin. As the Son of man, he prayed to the Father, showing that human nature requires all the divine support which man can obtain that he may be braced for duty and prepared for trial. As the Prince of Life, he had power with God, and prevailed for his people. This Saviour, who prayed for those that felt no need of prayer, and wept for those that felt no need of tears, is now before the throne, to receive and present to his Father the petitions of those for whom he prayed on earth. The example of Christ is for us to follow. Prayer is a necessity in our labor for the salvation of souls. God alone can give the increase of the seed we sow. {GW92 29.1}

     We fail many times because we do not realize that, by his Spirit, Christ is with us as truly as when, in the days of his humiliation, he moved visibly upon the earth. The lapse of time has wrought no change in his parting promise to his apostles as he was taken up from them into heaven, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." He has ordained that there should be a succession of men who derive authority from the first teachers of the faith for the continual preaching of Christ and him crucified. The great Teacher has delegated power


to his servants, who "have this treasure in earthen vessels." [2 COR. 4:7.] Christ will superintend the work of his ambassadors, if they wait for his instruction and guidance. {GW92 29.2}

     Ministers who are truly Christ's representatives will be men of prayer. With an earnestness and a faith that will not be denied, they will plead with God that they may be strengthened and fortified for duty and trial, and that their lips may be sanctified by a touch of the living coal from off the altar, to speak the words of God to the people. "The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." [ISA. 50:4.] {GW92 30.1}

     Christ said to Peter, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." [LUKE 22:31, 32.] Who can estimate the result of the prayers of the world's Redeemer? When Christ shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied, then will be seen and realized the value of his earnest prayers while his divinity was veiled with humanity. {GW92 30.2}

     Jesus pleaded, not for one only, but for all his disciples, "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am." [JOHN 17:24.] His eye pierced the dark veil of the future, and read the life-history of every son and daughter of Adam. He felt the burdens and sorrows of every tempest-tossed soul; and that earnest prayer included with his living disciples all his followers, to the close of time. "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." [JOHN 17:20.] Yes; that prayer of Christ embraces even us. We should be comforted by the thought that we have a great Intercessor in the heavens, presenting our


petitions before God. "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." [1 JOHN 2:1.] In the hour of greatest need, when discouragement would overwhelm the soul, it is then that the watchful eye of Jesus sees that we need his help. The hour of man's necessity is the hour of God's opportunity. When all human support fails, then Jesus comes to our aid, and his presence scatters the darkness and lifts the cloud of gloom. {GW92 30.3}

     In their little boat upon the Sea of Galilee, amid the storm and darkness, the disciples toiled hard to reach the shore, but found all their efforts unsuccessful. As despair seized them, Jesus was seen walking upon the foam-capped billows. Even the presence of Christ they did not at first discern, and their terror increased, until his voice, saying, "It is I; be not afraid," [MATT. 14:27.] dispelled their fears, and gave them hope and joy. Then how willingly the poor, wearied disciples ceased their efforts, and trusted all to the Master. {GW92 31.1}

     This striking incident illustrates the experience of the followers of Christ. How often do we tug at the oars, as though our own strength and wisdom were sufficient, until we find our efforts useless. Then, with trembling hands and failing strength, we give up the work to Jesus, and confess we are unable to perform it. Our compassionate Redeemer pities our weakness; and when, in answer to the cry of faith, he takes up the work we ask him to do, how easily he accomplishes that which seemed to us so difficult. {GW92 31.2}

     The history of God's ancient people furnishes us with many encouraging examples of prevailing prayer. When the Amalekites came to attack the camp of Israel in the wilderness, Moses knew that his people were not prepared for the encounter. He sent Joshua with a band of soldiers to meet the enemy, while he himself, with Aaron and Hur, took his position on a hill overlooking the battle-field.


There the man of God laid the case before Him who alone was able to give them the victory. With hands outstretched toward heaven, Moses prayed earnestly for the success of the armies of Israel. It was observed that while his hands were reaching upward, Israel prevailed against the foe; but when through fatigue they were allowed to fall, Amalek prevailed. Aaron and Hur stayed up the hands of Moses, until victory, full and complete, turned upon the side of Israel, and their enemies were driven from the field. {GW92 31.3}

     This instance was to be a lesson to all Israel to the close of time, that God is the strength of his people. When Israel triumphed, Moses was reaching his hands toward heaven, and interceding in their behalf; so when all the Israel of God prevail, it is because the Mighty One undertakes their case, and fights their battles for them. Moses did not ask or believe that God would overcome their foes while Israel remained inactive. He marshaled all his forces and sent them out as well prepared as their facilities could make them, and then he took the whole matter to God in prayer. Moses on the mount was pleading with the Lord, while Joshua, with his brave followers, was below, doing his best to meet and repulse the enemies of Israel and of God. {GW92 32.1}

     That prayer which comes forth from an earnest, believing heart is the effectual, fervent prayer that availeth much. God does not always answer our prayers as we expect, for we may not ask what would be for our highest good; but in his infinite love and wisdom he will give us those things which we most need. Happy the minister who has a faithful Aaron and Hur to strengthen his hands when they become weary, and to hold them up by faith and prayer. Such a support is a powerful aid to the servant of Christ in his work, and will often make the cause of truth to triumph gloriously.


{GW92 32.2}

     After the transgression of Israel in making the golden calf, Moses again goes to plead with God in behalf of his people. He has some knowledge of those who have been placed under his care; he knows the perversity of the human heart, and realizes the difficulties with which he must contend. But he has learned from experience that in order to have an influence with the people, he must first have power with God. The Lord reads the sincerity and unselfish purpose of the heart of his servant, and condescends to commune with this feeble mortal, face to face, as a man speaks with a friend. Moses casts himself and all his burdens fully upon God, and freely pours out his soul before him. The Lord does not reprove his servant, but stoops to listen to his supplications. {GW92 33.1}

     Moses has a deep sense of his unworthiness, and his unfitness for the great work to which God has called him. He pleads with intense earnestness that the Lord will go with him. The answer comes, "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." [SEE EX. 33:12-23.] But Moses does not feel that he can stop here. He has gained much, but he longs to come still nearer to God, to obtain a stronger assurance of his abiding presence. He has carried the burden of Israel; he has borne an overwhelming weight of responsibility; when the people sinned, he suffered keen remorse, as though he himself were guilty; and now there presses upon his soul a sense of the terrible results, should God leave Israel to hardness and impenitence of heart. They would not hesitate to kill Moses, and through their own rashness and perversity they would soon fall a prey to their enemies, and thus dishonor the name of God before the heathen. Moses presses his petition with such earnestness and fervency that the answer comes, "I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name."


{GW92 33.2}

     Now, indeed, we would expect the prophet to cease pleading; but no, emboldened by his success, he ventures to come still nearer to God, with a holy familiarity which is almost beyond our comprehension. He now makes a request which no human being ever made before: "I beseech thee, show me thy glory." What a petition to come from a finite, mortal man! But is he repulsed? does God reprove him for presumption? No; we hear the gracious words: "I will make all my goodness pass before thee." {GW92 34.1}

     The unveiled glory of God no man could look upon and live; but Moses is assured that he shall behold as much of the divine glory as he can bear in his present, mortal state. That hand that made the world, that holds the mountains in their places, takes this man of dust,--this man of mighty faith, --and mercifully covers him in a cleft of the rock, while the glory of God and all his goodness pass before him. Can we marvel that the "excellent glory" reflected from Omnipotence shone in the face of Moses with such brightness that the people could not look upon it? The impress of God was upon him, making him appear as one of the shining angels from the throne. {GW92 34.2}

     This experience, above all else the assurance that God would hear his prayer, and that the divine presence would attend him, was of more value to Moses as a leader than the learning of Egypt, or all his attainments in military science. No earthly power or skill or learning can supply the place of God's immediate presence. In the history of Moses we may see what intimate communion with God it is man's privilege to enjoy. To the transgressor it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But Moses was not afraid to be alone with the Author of that law which had been spoken with such awful grandeur from Mount Sinai; for his soul was in harmony with the will of his Maker.


{GW92 34.3}

     Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. The eye of faith will discern God very near, and the suppliant may obtain precious evidence of the divine love and care for him. But why is it that so many prayers are never answered? David says, "I cried unto Him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." [PS. 66:17, 18.] By another prophet the Lord gives us the promise, "Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." [JER. 29:13.] Again, he speaks of some who "have not cried unto me with their heart." [HOS. 7:14.] Such petitions are prayers of form, lip-service only, which the Lord does not accept. {GW92 35.1}

     The prayer which Nathanael offered while he was under the fig-tree, came from a sincere heart, and it was heard and answered by the Master. Christ said of him, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" [JOHN 1:47.] The Lord reads the hearts of all, and understands their motives and purposes. "The prayer of the upright is his delight." [PROV. 15:18.] He will not be slow to hear those who open their hearts to him, not exalting self, but sincerely feeling their great weakness and unworthiness. {GW92 35.2}

     There is need of prayer,--most earnest, fervent, agonizing prayer,--such prayer as David offered when he exclaimed: "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God." "I have longed after thy precepts;" "I have longed for thy salvation." "My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God." "My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments." [PS. 42:1; 119:40, 174; 84:2; 119:20.] This is the spirit of wrestling prayer, such as was possessed by the royal psalmist. Daniel prayed to God, not exalting himself or claiming any goodness: "O Lord, hear; O Lord,


forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God." [DAN. 9:19.] This is what James calls the effectual, fervent prayer. Of Christ it is said, "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly." [LUKE 22:44.] In what contrast to this intercession by the Majesty of heaven are the feeble, heartless prayers that are offered to God. Many are content with lip-service, and but few have a sincere, earnest, affectionate longing after God. {GW92 35.3}

     Communion with God imparts to the soul an intimate knowledge of his will. But many who profess the faith know not what true conversion is. They have no experience in communion with the Father through Jesus Christ, and have never felt the power of divine grace to sanctify the heart. Praying and sinning, sinning and praying, their lives are full of malice, deceit, envy, jealousy, and self-love. The prayers of this class are an abomination to God. True prayer engages the energies of the soul, and affects the life. He who thus pours out his wants before God feels the emptiness of everything else under heaven. "All my desire is before thee," said David, "and my groaning is not hid from thee." "My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?" "When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me." [PS. 38:9; 42:2, 4.] {GW92 36.1}

     As our numbers are increasing, broader plans must be laid to meet the increasing demands of the times; but we see no special increase of fervent piety, of Christian simplicity, and earnest devotion. The church seem content to take only the first steps in conversion. They are more ready for active labor than for humble devotion,--more ready to engage in outward religious service than in the inner work of the heart. Meditation and prayer are neglected for bustle and show. Religion must begin with emptying and purifying the heart, and must be nurtured by daily prayer.


{GW92 36.2}

     The steady progress of our work and our increased facilities are filling the hearts and minds of many of our people with satisfaction and pride, which we fear will take the place of the love of God in the soul. Busy activity in the mechanical part of even the work of God may so occupy the mind that prayer shall be neglected, and self-importance and self-sufficiency, so ready to urge their way, shall take the place of true goodness, meekness, and lowliness of heart. The zealous cry may be heard, "The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these!" [JER. 7:4.] "Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord." [2 KINGS 10:16.] But where are the burden-bearers? where are the fathers and mothers in Israel? where are those who carry upon the heart the burden for souls, and who come in close sympathy with their fellow-men, ready to place themselves in any position to save them from eternal ruin? {GW92 37.1}

     "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." [ZECH 4:6.] "Ye are," says Christ, "the light of the world." What a responsibility! There is need of fasting, humiliation, and prayer over our decaying zeal and languishing spirituality. The love of many is waxing cold. The efforts of many of our preachers are not what they should be. When some who lack the Spirit and power of God enter a new field, they begin to denounce other denominations, thinking that they can convince the people of the truth by presenting the inconsistencies of the popular churches. It may seem necessary on some occasions to speak of these things, but in general it only creates prejudice against our work, and closes the ears of many who might otherwise have listened to the truth. If these teachers were connected closely with Christ, they would have divine wisdom to know how to approach the people. They would not so soon forget the darkness and error, the passion and prejudice, which kept themselves from the truth.


{GW92 37.2}

     If these teachers would work with the spirit of the Master, very different results would follow. With meekness and long-suffering, gentleness and love, yet with decided earnestness, they would seek to direct those erring souls to a crucified and risen Saviour. When this is done, we shall see God moving upon the hearts of men. The great apostle says, "We are laborers together with God." [1 COR. 3:9.] What a work for poor mortals! We are provided with spiritual weapons to fight the "good fight of faith;" but some seem to have drawn from the armory of heaven only its thunder-bolts. How long must these defects exist? {GW92 38.1}

     While in the midst of a religious interest, some neglect the most important part of the work. They fail to visit and become acquainted with those who have shown an interest to present themselves night after night to listen to the explanation of the Scriptures. Conversation upon religious subjects, and earnest prayer with such at the right time, might balance many souls in the right direction. Ministers who neglect their duty in this respect are not true shepherds of the flock. At the very time when they should be most active in visiting, conversing, and praying with these interested ones, some are employed in writing unnecessarily long letters to persons at a distance. O, what are we doing for the Master! When probation shall end, how many will see the opportunities they have neglected to render service to their dear Lord who died for them. And even those who were accounted most faithful will see much more that they might have done, had not their minds been diverted by worldly surroundings. {GW92 38.2}

     We entreat the heralds of the gospel of Christ never to become discouraged in the work, never to regard the most hardened sinner as beyond the reach of the grace of God. Such may accept the truth in the love of it, and become the salt of the earth. He


who turns the hearts of men as the rivers of water are turned, can bring the most selfish, sin-hardened soul to surrender to Christ. Is anything too hard for God to do? "My word," he says, "shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." [ISA. 55:11.] {GW92 38.3}

     God will not place his benediction upon those who are negligent, selfish, and ease-loving, who will not lift burdens in his cause. The "Well done" will be pronounced upon those only who have done well. Every man is to be rewarded "according as his work shall be." [REV. 22:12.] We want an active ministry,--men of prayer, who will wrestle with God as did Jacob, saying, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." [GEN. 32:26.] If we obtain the victor's crown, we must stretch every nerve, and exercise every power. We can never be saved in inactivity. To be an idler in the Lord's vineyard is to relinquish all title to the reward of the righteous.--Vol. 4, p. 523.



{GW92 39.1}


        The Need of Preaching Christ.


     A great and solemn truth has been intrusted to us, for which we are responsible. Too often this truth is presented in cold theory. Sermon after sermon upon doctrinal points is delivered to people who come and go, some of whom will never have another as favorable opportunity of being convicted and converted to Christ. Golden opportunities are lost by delivering elaborate discourses, which display self, but do not magnify Christ. A theory of the truth without vital godliness cannot remove the moral darkness which envelops the soul. {GW92 39.2}

     Most precious gems of truth are often rendered powerless by the wisdom of words in which they are clothed, while the power of the Spirit of God


is lacking. Christ presented the truth in its simplicity; and he reached not only the most elevated, but the lowliest men of earth. The minister who is God's ambassador and Christ's representative on the earth, who humbles himself that God may be exalted, will possess the genuine quality of eloquence. True piety, a close connection with God, and a daily, living experience in the knowledge of Christ, will make eloquent even the stammering tongue. {GW92 39.3}

     As I see the wants in young churches, as I see and realize their great need of vital godliness and their deficiency in true religious experience, my heart is sad. I know that those who bear the message of truth to them do not properly instruct them on all points essential to the perfection of a symmetrical character in Christ Jesus. These things may be neglected too long by the teachers of the truth. Speaking of the gospel, Paul says: "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles [mark the explanation of the mystery]; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus; whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." [COL. 1:25-29] {GW92 40.1}

     Here the ministers of Christ have their work, their qualifications, and the power of God's grace working in them, clearly defined. God has been pleased recently [FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1879.] to show me a great deficiency in many who profess to be representatives of Christ. In short, if they are deficient in faith and in a knowledge of vital godliness, they are not only deceiving


their own souls, but are making a failure in the work of presenting every man perfect in Christ. Many whom they bring into the truth are destitute of true godliness. They may have a theory of the truth, but they are not thoroughly converted. Their hearts are carnal; they do not abide in Christ and he in them. It is the duty of the minister to present the theory of the truth; but he should not rest with having done this merely. He should adopt the language of Paul, "I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." {GW92 40.2}

     A vital connection with the Chief Shepherd will make the under-shepherd a living representative of Christ, a light indeed to the world. An understanding of all points of our faith is indeed essential, but it is of greater importance that the minister shall be sanctified through the truth which he presents for the purpose of enlightening the consciences of his hearers. In a series of meetings not one discourse should be given consisting of theory alone, nor should one long, tedious prayer be made. Such prayers God does not hear. I have listened to many prosy, sermonizing prayers that were uncalled for and out of place. A prayer with one half the number of words, offered in fervor and faith, would have softened the hearts of the hearers; but instead of this, I have seen them wait impatiently, as though wishing that every word would end the prayer. Had the minister wrestled with God in his chamber until he felt that his faith could grasp the eternal promise, "Ask, and ye shall receive," [JOHN 16:24.] he would have come to the point at once, asking with earnestness and faith for what he needed. {GW92 41.1}

     We need a converted ministry; otherwise the churches raised up through their labors, having no root in themselves, will not be able to stand alone. The faithful minister of Christ will take the burden upon his soul. He will not hunger after popularity.


The Christian minister should never enter the desk until he has first sought God in his closet, and has come into close connection with him. He may, with humility, lift his thirsty soul to God, and be refreshed with the dew of grace before he shall speak to the people. With an unction of the Holy Spirit upon him, giving him a burden for souls, he will not dismiss a congregation without presenting before them Jesus Christ, the sinner's only refuge, making earnest appeals that will reach their hearts. He should feel that he may never meet these hearers again until the great day of God. {GW92 41.2}

     The Master who has chosen him, who knows the hearts of all men, will give him utterance, that he may speak the words he ought to speak at the right time and with power. And those who become truly convicted of sin, and charmed with the Way, the Truth, and the Life, will find sufficient to do without extolling the ability of the minister. Christ and his love will be exalted above any human instrument. The man will be lost sight of, because Christ is magnified and is the theme of thought. Many are converted to the minister, and are not really converted to Christ. We marvel at the stupor that benumbs the spiritual senses. There is a lack of vital power. Lifeless prayers are offered, and testimonies are borne which fail to edify or strengthen the hearers. It becomes every minister of Christ to inquire the cause of this. {GW92 42.1}

     Paul writes to his Colossian brethren: "As ye also learned of Epaphras, our dear fellow-servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. [Not an unsanctified love of the smartness, ability, or oratory of the preacher, but a love born of the Spirit of God, which his servant represented in his words and character.] For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge


of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened will all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light." [COL. 1:7-12.] {GW92 42.2}

     Ministers who labor in towns and cities to present the truth should not feel content, nor that their work is ended, until those who have accepted the theory of the truth realize indeed the effect of its sanctifying power, and are truly converted to God. God would be better pleased to have six truly converted to the truth as the result of their labors, than to have sixty make a nominal profession, and yet not be thoroughly converted. These ministers should devote less time to preaching sermons, and reserve a portion of their strength to visit and pray with those who are interested, giving them godly instruction, to the end that they may "present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." [COL. 1:28.] {GW92 43.1}

     The love of God must be living in the heart of the teacher of the truth. His own heart must be imbued with that deep and fervent love which Christ possessed; then it will flow out to others. Ministers should teach that all who accept the truth should bring forth fruit to the glory of God. They should teach that self-sacrifice must be practiced every day; that many things which have been cherished must be yielded; and that many duties, disagreeable though they may appear, must be performed. Business interests, social endearments, ease, honor, reputation, in short, everything, must be held in subjection to the superior and ever-paramount claims of Christ. Ministers who are not men of vital piety, who stir up an interest among the people, but leave the work in


the rough, leave an exceedingly difficult field for others to enter and finish the work they failed to complete. These men will be proved; and if they do not do their work more faithfully, they will, after a still further test, be laid aside as cumberers of the ground, unfaithful watchmen. {GW92 43.2}

     God would not have men go forth as teachers who have not studiously learned their lessons, and who will not continue to study that they may present every point of present truth in an intelligent, acceptable manner. With a knowledge of the theory, they should continually be obtaining a more thorough knowledge of Christ. Rules and studies are necessary; but with them the minister should combine earnest prayer that he may be faithful, not building upon the foundation wood, hay, or stubble, which will be consumed by the fires of the last day. Prayer and study should go hand in hand. {GW92 44.1}

     The fact that a minister is applauded and praised is no evidence that he has spoken under the influence of the Spirit. It is too frequently the case that young converts, unless guarded, will set their affections more upon their minister than upon their Redeemer. They feel that they have been greatly benefited by their minister's labors. They conceive that he possesses the most exalted gifts and graces, and that no other can do as well as he; therefore they attach undue importance to the man and his labors. This is a confidence that disposes them to idolize the man, and look to him more than to God, and in doing this they do not please God nor grow in grace. They do great harm to the minister, especially if he is young, and developing into a promising gospel laborer. {GW92 44.2}

     These teachers, if they are really men of God, receive their words from God. Their manner of address may be faulty, and need much improvement; yet if God breathes through them, words of inspiration, the power is not of man, but of God. The


Giver should have the glory and the heart's affections, while the minister should be esteemed, loved, and respected for his work's sake, because he is God's servant to bear the message of mercy to sinners. The Son of God is often eclipsed by the man standing between him and the people. The man is praised, petted, and exalted, and the people get scarcely a glimpse of Jesus, who, by the precious beams of light reflected from him, should eclipse everything besides. {GW92 44.3}

     The minister of Christ who is imbued with the Spirit and love of his Master, will so labor that the character of God and of his dear Son may be made manifest in the fullest and clearest manner. He will strive to have his hearers become intelligent in their conceptions of the character of God, that his glory may be acknowledged on the earth. A man is no sooner converted than in his heart is born a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus; the saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in his heart. The Spirit of Christ illuminating the soul is represented by the light, which dispels all darkness; it is compared to salt, because of its preserving qualities; and to leaven, which secretly exerts its transforming power. {GW92 45.1}

     Those whom Christ has connected with himself will, as far as in them lies, labor diligently and perseveringly, as he labored, to save souls who are perishing around them. They will reach the people by prayer, earnest, fervent prayer, and personal effort. It is impossible for those who are thoroughly converted to God, enjoying communion with him, to be negligent of the vital interests of those who are perishing outside of Christ. {GW92 45.2}

     The minister should not do all the work himself, but he should unite with him those who have taken hold of the truth. He will thus teach others to work after he shall leave. A working church will ever be a growing church. They will ever find a stimulus


and a tonic in trying to help others, and in doing it they will be strengthened and encouraged. {GW92 45.3}

     I have read of a man who, journeying on a winter's day through the deep, drifted snow, became benumbed by the cold, which was almost imperceptibly stealing away his vital powers. And as he was nearly chilled to death by the embrace of the frost king, and about to give up the struggle for life, he heard the moans of a brother traveler, who was perishing with cold, as he was about to perish. His sympathy was aroused, and he determined to rescue him. He chafed the ice-clad limbs of the unfortunate man, and after considerable effort, raised him to his feet; and as he could not stand, he bore him in sympathizing arms through the very drifts he had thought he could never succeed in getting through alone. And when he had borne his fellow-traveler to a place of safety, the truth flashed home to him that in saving his neighbor he had saved himself also. His earnest efforts to save another quickened the blood which was freezing in his own veins, and created a healthful warmth in the extremities of his body. {GW92 46.1}

     These lessons must be urged upon young believers continually, not only by precept, but by example, that in their Christian experience they may realize similar results. Let the desponding ones, those disposed to think the way to life is very trying and difficult, go to work and seek to help others. In such efforts, mingled with prayer for divine light, their own hearts will throb with the quickening influence of the grace of God; their own affections will glow with more divine fervor, and their whole Christian life will be more of a reality, more earnest, more prayerful. {GW92 46.2}

     The minister of Christ should be a man of prayer, a man of piety; cheerful, but never coarse and rough, jesting or frivolous. A spirit of frivolity may be in keeping with the profession of clowns and theatrical performers, but it is altogether


beneath the dignity of a man who is chosen to stand between the living and the dead, and to be mouth-piece for God. {GW92 46.3}

     Every day's labor is faithfully chronicled in the books of God. As men claiming spiritual illumination, you will give moral tone to the character of all with whom you are connected. As faithful ministers of the gospel, you should bend all the energies of the mind and all the opportunities of your life to make your work wholly successful, and present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. In order to do this, you must pray earnestly. Ministers of the gospel must be in possession of that power which wrought such wonders for the humble fishermen of Galilee. {GW92 47.1}

     Moral and intellectual powers are needed in order to discharge with fidelity the important duties devolving upon you; but these may be possessed, and yet there may be a great lack of godliness. The endowment of the Holy Spirit is indispensably essential to success in your great work. Said Christ, "Without me ye can do nothing." [JOHN 15:5.] But through Christ strengthening you, you can do all things.-- Vol. 4, p. 313.



{GW92 47.2}


                Labor in New Fields.


     December 10, 1871, I was shown that God would accomplish a great work through the truth, if devoted, self-sacrificing men would give themselves unreservedly to the work of presenting it to those in darkness. Those who have a knowledge of the precious truth, and who are consecrated to God, should avail themselves of every opportunity where there is an opening to press in the truth. Angels of God are moving on the hearts and consciences of the people of other nations, and honest souls are troubled as they witness the signs of the times in


the unsettled state of the nations. The inquiry arises in their hearts, What will be the end of all these things? While God and angels are at work to impress hearts, the servants of Christ seem to be asleep. But few are working in unison with the heavenly messengers. All men and women who are Christians in every sense of the word, should be workers in the vineyard of the Lord. They should be wide awake, zealously laboring for the salvation of their fellow-men, and should imitate the example that the Saviour of the world has given them in his life of self-denial, sacrifice, and faithful, earnest labor. {GW92 47.3}

     There has been but little of the missionary spirit among Sabbath-keeping Adventists. If ministers and people were sufficiently aroused, they would not rest thus indifferently, while God has honored them by making them the depositaries of his law, by printing it in their minds and writing it upon their hearts. These truths of vital importance are to test the world; and yet in our own country there are cities, villages, and towns that have never heard the warning message. Young men who feel stirred by the appeals that have been made for help in this great work of advancing the cause of God, make some advance moves, but do not get the burden of the work upon them sufficiently to accomplish what they might. They are willing to do a small work, which does not require special effort. Therefore they do not learn to place their whole dependence upon God, and by living faith draw from the great Fountain and Source of light and strength, in order that their efforts may prove wholly successful. {GW92 48.1}

     Those who think that they have a work to do for the Master should not begin their efforts among the churches; they should go out into new fields, and prove their gifts. In this way they can test themselves, and settle the matter to their own satisfaction, whether God has indeed chosen them for this work.


They will feel the necessity of studying the word of God, and praying earnestly for heavenly wisdom and divine aid. By meeting with opponents who bring up objections to the important points of our faith, they will be brought where they will obtain a most valuable experience. They will feel their weakness, and be driven to the word of God and to prayer. In this exercise of their gifts, they will be learning and improving, and gaining confidence, courage, and faith, and will eventually have a valuable experience. . . . {GW92 48.2}

     If young men who begin to labor in this cause would have the missionary spirit, they would give evidence that God has indeed called them to the work. But when they do not go out into new places, but are content to go from church to church, they give evidence that the burden of the work is not upon them. The ideas of our young preachers are not broad enough. Their zeal is too feeble. Were the young men awake and devoted to the Lord, they would be diligent every moment of their time, and would seek to qualify themselves to become laborers in the missionary field rather than to become combatants. {GW92 49.1}

     Young men should be qualifying themselves by becoming familiar with other languages, that God may use them as mediums to communicate his saving truth to those of other nations. These young men may obtain a knowledge of other languages even while engaged in laboring for sinners. If they are economical of their time, they can be improving their minds, and qualifying themselves for more extended usefulness. If young women who have borne but little responsibility would devote themselves to God, they could qualify themselves for usefulness by studying and becoming familiar with other languages. They could devote themselves to the work of translating.


{GW92 49.2}

     Our publications should be printed in other languages, that foreign nations may be reached. Much can be done through the medium of the press, but still more can be accomplished if the influence of the publications could be aided by that of the living preacher. Missionaries are needed to go to other nations to preach the truth in a guarded, careful manner. The cause of present truth can be greatly extended by personal effort. The contact of mind with mind will do more to remove prejudice, if the labor is discreet, than our publications alone can do. Those who engage in this work should not consult their ease or inclination; neither should they have love for popularity or display. {GW92 50.1}

     When the churches see young men possessing zeal to qualify themselves to extend their labors to cities, villages, and towns that have never been aroused to the truth, and missionaries volunteering to go to other nations to carry the truth to them, the churches will be encouraged and strengthened far more than by receiving the labors of inexperienced young men. As they see their ministers' hearts all aglow with love and zeal for the truth, and with a desire to save souls, the churches will arouse. These generally have gifts and power within themselves to bless and strengthen themselves, and to gather the sheep and lambs into the fold. They need to be thrown upon their own resources, that all the gifts that are lying dormant may thus be called into active service. {GW92 50.2}

     As churches are established, it should be set before them that it is even from among them that men must be taken to carry the truth to others, and raise up new churches; therefore they must all work, and cultivate to the utmost the talents that God has given them, and be training their minds to engage in the service of their Master. If these messengers are pure in heart and life, if their example is what it should be, their labors will be highly successful; for


they have a most powerful truth, one that is clear and connected, and that has convincing arguments in its favor. They have God on their side, and the angels of God to work with their efforts. {GW92 50.3}

     The reason why there has been so little accomplished by those who preach the truth, is not wholly that the truth they bear is unpopular, but that the men who bear the message are not sanctified by the truths they preach. The Saviour withdraws his smiles, and the inspiration of his Spirit is not upon them. The presence and power of God to convict the sinner and cleanse from all unrighteousness, is not manifest. Sudden destruction is right upon the people, and yet they are not fearfully alarmed. Unconsecrated ministers make the work very hard for those who follow after them, and who have the burden and spirit of the work upon them. . . .{GW92 51.1}

     Every opportunity should be improved to extend the truth to other nations. This will be attended with considerable expense, but expense should in no case hinder the performance of this work. Money is of value only as it is used to advance the interest of the kingdom of God. The Lord has lent men means for this very purpose, to use in sending the truth to their fellow-men. There is a great amount of surplus means in the ranks of Seventh-day Adventists; and the selfish withholding of it from the cause of God, is blinding their eyes to the importance of the work of God, making it impossible for them to discern the solemnity of the times in which we live, or the value of eternal riches. They do not view Calvary in the right light, and therefore cannot appreciate the worth of the soul for which Christ paid an infinite price. {GW92 51.2}

     Men will invest means in that which they value the most, and which they think will bring them the greatest profits. When men will run great risks and invest much in worldly enterprises, but are unwilling


to venture or invest much in the cause of God to send the truth to their fellow-men, they give evidence that they value their earthly treasure just as much more highly than the heavenly as their works show. . . . {GW92 51.3}

     It will be difficult to overcome prejudice, and to convince the unbelieving that our efforts to help them are disinterested. But this should not hinder our labor. There is no precept in the word of God that tells us to do good to those only who appreciate and respond to our efforts, and to benefit those only who will thank us for it. God has sent us to work in his vineyard. It is our business to do all we can. "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that." [ECCL. 11:6.] We have too little faith. We limit the Holy One of Israel. We should be grateful that God condescends to use any of us as his instruments. For every earnest prayer put up in faith for anything, answers will be returned. They may not come just as we have expected; but they will come--not perhaps as we have desired, but at the very time when we most need them. But O, how sinful is our unbelief! "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." [JOHN 15:7.] {GW92 52.1}

     Young men who are engaged in this work should not trust too much to their own abilities. They are inexperienced, and should seek to learn wisdom from those who have had long experience in the work, and who have had opportunities to study character.{GW92 52.2}

     Instead of laboring among the churches, God designs that our ministers should spread abroad, and our missionary labor be extended over as much ground as we can possibly occupy to advantage, going in every direction to raise up new companies. We should ever leave upon the minds of new disciples an impression of the importance of our


mission. As able men are converted to the truth, they should not require laborers to keep their flagging faith alive; but these men should be impressed with the necessity of laboring in the vineyard. As long as churches rely upon laborers from abroad to strengthen and encourage their faith, they will not become strong in themselves. They should be instructed that their strength will increase in proportion to their personal efforts. The more closely the New Testament plan is followed in missionary labor, the more successful will be the efforts put forth. {GW92 52.3}

     We should work as did our divine Teacher, sowing the seeds of truth with care, anxiety, and self-denial. We must have the mind of Christ if we would not become weary in well-doing. His was a life of continual sacrifice for others' good. We must follow his example. We must sow the seed of truth, and trust in God to quicken it into life. The precious seed may lie dormant for some time, when the grace of God may convict the heart, and the seed sown be awakened to life, and spring up, and bear fruit to the glory of God. Missionaries in this great work are wanted to labor unselfishly, earnestly, and perseveringly, as co-workers with Christ and the heavenly angels in the salvation of their fellow-men. {GW92 53.1}

     Especially should our ministers beware of indolence and pride, which are apt to grow out of a consciousness that we have the truth, and strong arguments which our opponents cannot meet; and while the truths which we handle are mighty to the pulling down of the strongholds of the powers of darkness, there is danger of neglecting personal piety, purity of heart, and entire consecration to God. There is danger of their feeling that they are rich and increased with goods, while they lack the essential qualifications of Christians. They may be wretched, poor, miserable, blind, and naked. They do not feel the necessity of living in obedience to Christ every day and every hour. Spiritual pride


eats out the vitals of religion. In order to preserve humility, it would be well to remember how we appear in the sight of a holy God, who reads every secret of the soul, and how we should appear in the sight of our fellow-men if they all knew us as well as God knows us. For this reason, to humble us, we are directed to confess our faults, and improve this opportunity to subdue our pride.--Vol. 3, p. 202.



{GW92 53.2}


          The Spirit of Self-Sacrifice.


     The great work now to be accomplished is to bring up the people of God to engage in the work, and exert a holy influence. They should act the part of laborers. With wisdom, caution, and love, they should labor for the salvation of neighbors and friends. There is too distant a feeling manifested. The cross is not laid right hold of, and borne as it should be. All should feel that they are their brother's keeper, that they are in a great degree responsible for the souls of those around them. [This is a classic example of corporate responsibility. Those who deny this principle are like Cain who asked the question: Am I my brother’s keeper. rwb] The brethren err when they leave this work all to the ministers. The harvest is great, and the laborers are few. Those who are of good repute, whose lives are in accordance with their faith, can be workmen. They can converse with others, and urge upon them the importance of the truth. They must not wait for the ministers, and neglect a plain duty which God has left for them to perform. {GW92 54.1}

     Some of our ministers feel but little disposition to take upon them the burden of the work of God, and labor with that disinterested benevolence which characterized the life of our divine Lord. The churches, as a general rule, are farther advanced than some of the ministers. They have had faith in the testimonies which God has been pleased to give, and have


acted upon them, while some of the preachers are far behind. They profess to believe the testimonies borne, and some do harm by making them an iron rule for those who have had no experience in reference to them, but they fail to carry them out themselves. They have had repeated testimonies, which they have utterly disregarded. The course of such is not consistent. {GW92 54.2}

     The people of God generally feel a united interest in the spread of the truth. They cheerfully contribute toward a liberal support of those who labor in word and doctrine. And I saw that it is the duty of those who have the responsibility of distributing means, to see that the liberalities of the church are not squandered. Some of these liberal brethren have been laboring for years with shattered nerves and broken-down constitutions, caused by excessive labor in the past to obtain possessions here, and now as they freely give a portion of the substance which has cost them so much, it is the duty of those who labor in word and doctrine to manifest a zeal and self-sacrifice, at least equal to that shown by these brethren. {GW92 55.1}

     God's servants must go out free. They must know in whom they trust. There is power in Christ and his salvation to make them free men; and unless they are free in him, they cannot build up his church and gather in souls. Will God send out a man to rescue souls from the snare of Satan, when his own feet are entangled in the net? God's servants must not be wavering. If their feet are sliding, how can they say to those of a fearful heart, "Be strong"? God would have his servants hold up the feeble hands and strengthen the wavering. Those who are not prepared to do this, would better first labor for themselves, and pray until they are endowed with power from on high. {GW92 55.2}

     God is displeased with the lack of self-denial in some of his servants. They have not the burden of the work upon them. They seem to be in a death-like


stupor. Angels of God stand amazed, and ashamed of this lack of self-denial and perseverance. While the Author of our salvation was laboring and suffering for us, he denied himself, and his whole life was one continued scene of toil and privation. He could have passed his days on earth in ease and plenty, and appropriated to himself the pleasures of this life; but he considered not his own convenience. He lived to do others good. He suffered to save others from suffering. He endured to the end, and finished the work which was given him to do. All this was to save us from ruin. And now, can it be that we, the unworthy objects of so great love, will seek a better position in this life than was given to our Lord? Every moment of our lives we have been partakers of the blessings of his great love, and for this very reason we cannot fully realize the depths of ignorance and misery from which we have been saved. Can we look upon Him whom our sins have pierced, and not be willing to drink with him the bitter cup of humiliation and sorrow? Can we look upon Christ crucified, and wish to enter his kingdom in any other way than through much tribulation? {GW92 55.3}

     The preachers are not all given up to the work of God, as he requires them to be. Some have felt that the lot of a preacher was hard, because they had to be separated from their families. They forget that once it was harder laboring than it is now. Once there were but few friends of the cause. They forget those upon whom God laid the burden of the work in the past. There were but a few then who received the truth as the result of much labor. God's chosen servants wept and prayed for a clear understanding of truth, and suffered privation and much self-denial, in order to carry it to others. Step by step they followed as God's opening providence led the way. They did not study their own convenience, or shrink at hardships. Through these men, God prepared the way, and made the truth plain to


the understanding of every honest mind. Everything has been made ready to the hands of ministers who have since embraced the truth, yet some of them have failed to take upon them the burden of the work. They seek for an easier lot, a less self-denying position. This earth is not the resting-place of Christians, much less for the chosen ministers of God. They forget that Christ left his riches and glory in heaven, and came to earth to die, and that he has commanded us to love one another even as he has loved us. They forget those of whom the world was not worthy, who wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, and were afflicted and tormented. {GW92 56.1}

     I was shown the Waldenses, and what they suffered for their religion. They conscientiously studied the word of God, and lived up to the light which shone upon them. They were persecuted, and driven from their homes; their possessions, gained by hard labor, were taken from them, and their houses burned. They fled to the mountains, and there suffered incredible hardships. They endured hunger, fatigue, cold, and nakedness. The only clothing which many of them could obtain was the skins of animals. And yet the scattered and homeless ones would assemble to unite their voices in singing and praising God that they were accounted worthy to suffer for Christ's name. They encouraged and cheered one another, and were grateful for even their miserable retreat. Many of their children sickened and died from cold and hunger; yet the parents did not for a moment think of yielding their religion. They prized the love and favor of God far above earthly ease or worldly riches. They received consolation from God, and with pleasing anticipations looked forward to the recompense of reward. {GW92 57.1}

     Again, I was shown Martin Luther, whom God raised up to do a special work. How precious to him was the knowledge of truth revealed in the word


of God! His mind was starving for something sure upon which to build his hope that God would be his Father, and heaven his home. The new and precious light which dawned upon him from the word of God was of priceless value, and he thought that if he went forth with it, he could convince the world. He stood up against the ire of a fallen church, and strengthened those who with him were feasting upon the rich truths contained in the word of God. Luther was God's chosen instrument to tear off the garb of hypocrisy from the papal church, and expose her corruption. He raised his voice zealously, and in the power of the Holy Spirit rebuked the existing sins of the leaders of the people. Proclamations went forth to kill him wherever he might be found; he seemed left to the mercies of a superstitious people who were obedient to the head of the Roman church. Yet he counted not his life dear unto himself. Luther knew that he was not safe anywhere, yet he trembled not. The light which he saw and feasted upon was life to him, and was of more value than all the treasures of earth. Earthly treasures he knew would fail; but the rich truths opened to his understanding, operating upon his heart, would live, and if obeyed, would lead him to immortality. {GW92 57.2}

     When summoned to Augsburg to answer for his faith, he obeyed the summons. That one lone man who had stirred the rage of priests and people was arraigned before those who had caused the world to tremble,--a meek lamb surrounded by angry lions; yet for the sake of Christ and the truth, he stood up undaunted, and with holy eloquence, which the truth alone can inspire, he gave the reasons of his faith. His enemies tried by various means to silence the bold advocate for truth. At first they flattered him, and held out the promise that he should be exalted and honored. But life and honors were valueless to him, if purchased at the sacrifice of the truth. Brighter and clearer shone


the word of God upon his understanding, giving him a more vivid sense of the errors, corruptions, and hypocrisy of the papacy. His enemies then sought to intimidate him, and cause him to renounce his faith; but he boldly stood in defense of the truth. He was ready to die for his faith, if God required; but to yield it--never! God preserved his life. He bade angels attend him, and baffle the rage and purposes of his enemies, and bring him unharmed through the stormy conflict. {GW92 58.1}

     The calm, dignified power of Luther humbled his enemies, and dealt a most dreadful blow to the papacy. The great and proud men in power meant that his blood should atone for the mischief he had done their cause. Their plans were laid; but a mightier than they had charge of Luther. His work was not finished. The friends of Luther hastened his departure from Augsburg. He left the city by night, mounted upon a horse without bridle, himself unarmed and without boots or spurs. In great weariness he pursued his journey until he was among his friends. {GW92 59.1}

     Again the indignation of the papists was aroused, and they resolved to stop the mouth of that fearless advocate of truth. They summoned him to Worms, fully determined to make him answer for his folly. He was in feeble health, yet he did not excuse himself. He well knew the dangers that were before him. He knew that his powerful enemies would take any measure to silence him. They were crying for his blood as eagerly as the Jews clamored for the blood of Christ. Yet he trusted in that God who preserved the three worthies in the burning fiery furnace. His anxiety and care were not for himself. He sought not his own ease, but his great anxiety was that the truth, to him so precious, should not be exposed to the insults of the ungodly. He was ready to die, rather than allow its enemies to triumph. As he entered Worms, thousands of


persons pressed around and followed him. Emperors and others in high authority were attended with no greater company. The excitement was intense; and one in that throng, with a shrill and plaintive voice, chanted a funeral dirge to warn Luther of what awaited him. But the Reformer had counted the cost, and was ready to seal his testimony with his blood, if God so ordained. {GW92 59.2}

     Luther was about to appear to answer for his faith before a most imposing assembly, and he looked to God in faith for strength. For a little time his courage and faith were tested. Perils in every form were presented before him. He became sad. Clouds gathered around him, and hid from him the face of God. He longed to go forth with a confident assurance that God was with him. He could not be satisfied unless he was shut in with God. With broken cries he sent up his agonizing prayer to Heaven. His spirit at times seemed to faint, as his enemies, in his imagination, multiplied before him. He trembled at his danger. I saw that God in his wise providence prepared him in this way that he might not forget in whom to trust, and that he should not rush on presumptuously into danger. As his own instrument, God was fitting him for the great work before him. {GW92 60.1}

     Luther's prayer was heard. His courage and faith returned as he met his enemies. Meek as a lamb, he stood, surrounded by the great men of the earth, who, like angry wolves, fastened their eyes upon him, hoping to awe him with their power and greatness. But he had taken hold of the strength of God, and feared not. His words were spoken with such majesty and power that his enemies could do nothing against him. God was speaking through Luther, and he had brought together sovereigns and professed wise men, that he might publicly bring to naught their wisdom, and that they all might see the strength and firmness of feeble man when leaning upon God, his eternal Rock.


{GW92 60.2}

     The calm bearing of Luther was in striking contrast to the passion and rage exhibited by those so-called great men. They could not frighten him into a recantation of the truth. In noble simplicity and calm firmness he stood like a rock. The opposition of his enemies, their rage and threats, like a mighty wave, surged against him, and broke harmless at his feet. He remained unmoved. They were chagrined that their power, which had caused kings and nobles to tremble, should be thus despised by a humble man, and they longed to make him feel their wrath by torturing his life away. But One who is mightier than the potentates of earth had charge of this fearless witness. God had a work for him to do. He must yet suffer for the truth. He must see it wade through bloody persecutions. He must see it clothed in sackcloth, and covered with reproach by fanatics. He must live to justify it, and to be its defender when the mighty powers of earth should seek to tear it down. He must live to see it triumph, and tear away the errors and superstitions of the papacy. Luther gained a victory at Worms which weakened the papacy, the news of which spread to other kingdoms and nations. It was an effectual blow in favor of the Reformation. {GW92 61.1}

     Ministers who are preaching present truth were held up to me in contrast with the leading men of the Reformation; especially was Luther's devoted, zealous life placed beside the lives of some of our preachers. He proved his undying love for the truth by his courage, his calm firmness, his self-denial. He encountered trials and sacrifices, and at times suffered the deepest anguish of soul, while standing in defense of the truth; yet he murmured not. He was hunted like a wild beast of prey, yet for Christ's sake he endured all cheerfully. {GW92 61.2}

     The last merciful message is intrusted to God's humble, faithful servants of this time. God has led along those who would not shun responsibility, and has laid burdens upon them, and has through them


presented to his people a plan of systematic benevolence in which all can engage, and work in harmony. This system has been carried out, and has worked like magic. It liberally sustains the preachers and the cause. As soon as the preachers ceased their opposition, and stood out of the way, the people heartily responded to the call, and prized the system. Everything is made convenient and easy for the preachers, that they may work, free from embarrassment. Our people have taken hold with a will and an interest which is not to be found among any other class. And God is displeased with preachers who now complain, and fail to throw their whole energies into this all-important work. They are without excuse, yet some are deceived, and think that they are sacrificing much, and are having a hard time, when they really know nothing about suffering, self-denial, or want. They may often be weary, so would they be if they were dependent on manual labor for a support. {GW92 61.3}

     Some have thought it would be easier to labor with their hands, and have often expressed their choice to do so. Such do not know what they are talking about. They are deceiving themselves. Some have very expensive families to provide for, and they lack management. They do not realize that they are indebted to the cause of God for their homes and all that they have. They have not realized how much it costs to live. Should they engage in manual labor, they would not be free from anxiety and weariness. They could not, while laboring to support their families, be sitting down at their own fireside. It is only a few weary hours that a laboring man with a family dependent upon him for support can spend with his family at home. Some ministers do not love industrious labor, and they have cherished a feeling of dissatisfaction which is very unreasonable. God has marked every murmuring thought and word and feeling. Heaven is insulted


by such an exhibition of weakness and lack of devotion to the cause of God.-- Vol. I, p. 368.



{GW92 62.1}

     Not all who are preaching the truth realize that their testimony and example are deciding the destiny of souls. If they are unfaithful in their mission, and become careless in their work, souls will be lost as the result. If they are self-sacrificing and faithful in the work which the Master has given them to do, they will be instrumental in the salvation of many. Some permit trifles to divert them from the work. Bad roads, rainy weather, or little matters at home, are sufficient excuses for them to leave the work of laboring for souls. And frequently this is done at the most important time in the work. When an interest has been raised, and the minds of the people are agitated, the interest is left to die out because the minister chooses a more pleasant and easy field. Those who pursue this course show plainly that they do not have the burden of the work upon them. They wish to be carried by the people. They are not willing to endure the privations and hardships which are ever the lot of a true shepherd. {GW92 63.1}

     Some have no experience in taking hold of the work as though it was of vital importance. They do not enter upon it with zeal and earnestness which would show they are doing work that will have to bear the test of the Judgment. They work too much in their own strength, They do not make God their trust, and therefore errors and imperfections mark all their efforts. They do not give the Lord an opportunity to do anything for them. They do not walk by faith, but by sight. They will go no faster or farther than they can see. They do not seem to understand that venturing something for the truth's sake has any part in their religious experience. {GW92 63.2}

     Some go from their homes to labor in the gospel field, but do not act as though the truths which they speak were a reality to them. Their actions show


that they have not experienced the saving power of the truth themselves. When out of the desk, they appear to have no burden for the truth. They labor sometimes apparently to profit, but more frequently to no profit. Such feel as much entitled to the wages they receive as though they had earned them; notwithstanding their unconsecration has cost more labor, anxiety, and pain of heart to those laborers who have the burden of the work upon them than all their efforts have done good. Such are not profitable workmen. But they will have to bear this responsibility themselves. {GW92 63.3}

     It is often the case that ministers are inclined to visit almost entirely among the churches, devoting their time and strength where their labor will do no good. Frequently the churches are in advance of the ministers who labor among them, and would be in a more prosperous condition if those ministers would keep out of their way, and give them an opportunity to work. The efforts of such ministers to build up the churches only tear them down. The theory of the truth is presented over and over again, but it is not accompanied by the vitalizing power of God. They manifest a listless indifference; the spirit is contagious, and the churches lose their interest and burden for the salvation of others. Thus by their preaching and example, the ministers lull the people to carnal security. If they would leave the churches, go out into new fields, and labor to raise up churches, they would understand their ability, and what it costs to bring souls out to take their position upon the truth. And they would then realize how careful they should be that their example and influence might never discourage or weaken those whom it had required so much hard, prayerful labor to convert to the truth. "Let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another." [GAL. 6:4.]


{GW92 64.1}

     The churches give of their means to sustain the ministers in their labors. What have they to encourage them in their liberality? Some ministers labor from month to month, and accomplish so little that the churches become disheartened; they cannot see that anything is being done to convert souls to the truth, nor to make those who are church-members more spiritual or fervent in their love to God and his truth. Those who are handling sacred things should be wholly consecrated to the work. They should possess an unselfish interest in it, and a fervent love for perishing souls. If they do not have this, they have mistaken their mission, and should cease their labor of teaching others; for they do more harm than they can possibly do good. Some ministers display themselves, but do not feed the flock that are perishing for meat in due season. {GW92 65.1}

     There is a disposition with some to shrink from opposition. They fear to go into new places, because of the darkness and the conflicts they expect to meet. This is cowardice. The people must be met where they are. They need stirring appeals, and practical as well as doctrinal discourses. Precept backed up by example will have a powerful influence. {GW92 65.2}

     A faithful shepherd will not study his own ease and convenience, but will labor for the interest of the sheep. In this great work he will forget self; in his search for the lost sheep he will not realize that he himself is weary, cold, and hungry. He has but one object in view; to save the lost and wandering sheep, at whatever expense it may be to himself. His wages will not influence him in his labor, nor turn him from his duty. He has received his commission from the Majesty of heaven, and he expects his reward when the work intrusted to him is done. [FOR THE PARAGRAPH ON BIBLE STUDY, OMITTED IN THIS ARTICLE, SEE "THE IMPORTANCE OF BIBLE STUDY," P. 121.]. . .


{GW92 65.3}

     The glorious results that attended the ministry of the chosen disciples of Christ were the effect of bearing about in their bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus. Some of those who testified of Christ were unlearned and ignorant men; but grace and truth reigned in their hearts, inspiring and purifying their lives, and controlling their actions. They were living representatives of the mind and spirit of Christ. They were living epistles, known and read of all men. They were hated and persecuted by all who would not receive the truth they preached, and who despised the cross of Christ. {GW92 66.1}

     Wicked men will not oppose a form of godliness, nor reject a popular ministry which presents no cross for them to bear. The natural heart will raise no serious objection to a religion in which there is nothing to make the transgressor of the law tremble, or bring to bear upon the heart and conscience the terrible realities of a judgment to come. It is the demonstration of the Spirit and the power of God which raises opposition, and leads the natural heart to rebel. The truth that saves the soul must not only come from God, but his Spirit must attend its communication to others, else it falls powerless before opposing influences. O that the truth might fall from the lips of God's servants with such power as to burn its way to the hearts of the people! {GW92 66.2}

     Ministers must be endued with power from on high. When the truth in its simplicity and strength, as it is in Jesus, is brought to bear against the spirit of the world, condemning its exciting pleasures and corrupting charms, it will then be plainly seen that there is no concord between Christ and Belial. The natural heart cannot discern the things of the Spirit of God. An unconsecrated minister, presenting the truth in an unimpassioned manner, his own soul unmoved by the truths he speaks to others, will do only harm. Every effort he makes only lowers the standard.


{GW92 66.3}

     Selfish interest must be swallowed up in deep anxiety for the salvation of souls. Some ministers have labored, not because they dared not do otherwise, not because the woe was upon them, but having in view the wages they were to receive. Said the angel, "Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for naught? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for naught. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts neither will I accept an offering at your hand." [MAL. 1:10.] {GW92 67.1}

     It is entirely wrong to hire every errand that is done for the Lord. The treasury of the Lord has been drained by those who have been only an injury to the cause. If ministers give themselves wholly to the work of God, and devote all their energies to building up his cause, they will have no lack. As regards temporal things, they have a better portion than their Lord, and better than his chosen disciples, whom he sent forth to save perishing man. Our great Exemplar, who was in the brightness of his Father's glory, was despised and rejected of men. Reproach and falsehood followed him. His chosen disciples were living examples of the life and spirit of their Master. They were honored with stripes and imprisonment; and it was finally their portion to seal their ministry with their blood. {GW92 67.2}

     When ministers are so interested in the work that they love it as a part of their existence, then they can say, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,


shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." [ROM. 8:35-39.] {GW92 67.3}

     "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." [1 PETER 5:1-4.] -- Vol. 2, p. 338.{GW92 68.1}


          Bible Examples of Self-Sacrifice.


     We feel pained beyond measure to see some of our ministers hovering about the churches, apparently putting forth some little effort, but having next to nothing to show for their labors. The field is the world. Let them go out into the unbelieving world, and labor to convert souls to the truth. We refer our brethren and sisters to the example of Abraham going up to Mount Moriah to offer his only son at the command of God. Here was obedience and sacrifice. Moses was in kingly courts, and a prospective crown was before him. But he turned away from the tempting bribe, and "refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt." [HEB. 11: 24-26.] {GW92 68.2}

     The apostles counted not their lives dear unto themselves, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Christ. Paul and Silas suffered the loss of all things. They suffered scourging, and were in no gentle manner thrown upon the cold floor of a dungeon in a most painful position, their feet elevated and fastened in the stocks.


Did repinings and complaints then reach the ear of the jailer? O, no! From the inner prison, voices broke the silence of midnight with songs of joy and praise to God. These disciples were cheered by a deep and earnest love for the cause of their Redeemer, for which they suffered. {GW92 68.3}

     As the truth of God fills our hearts, absorbs our affections, and controls our lives, we also will count it joy to suffer for the truth's sake. No prison walls, no martyr's stake, can then daunt or hinder us in the great work.



           "Come, O my soul, to Calvary."


Mark the humble life of the Son of God. He was a "man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." Behold his ignominy, his agony in Gethsemane, and learn what self-denial is. Are we suffering want? so was Christ, the Majesty of heaven; but his poverty was for our sake. Are we ranked among the rich? so was he; but he consented for our sake to become poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. In Christ we have self-denial exemplified. His sacrifice consisted not merely in leaving the royal courts of heaven, in being tried by wicked men as a criminal and pronounced guilty, and in being delivered up to die as a malefactor; but in bearing the weight of the sins of the world. The life of Christ rebukes our indifference and coldness. We are near the close of time, when Satan has come down, having great wrath, knowing that his time is short. He is working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. The warfare has been left in our hands by our great Leader for us to carry forward with vigor. We are not doing a twentieth part of what we might do if we were awake. The work is retarded by love of ease, and a lack of the self-denying spirit of which our Saviour has given us an example in his life,-- Vol. 3, p. 406.


{GW92 69.1}


                  Pastoral Labor.


     We are living in a most solemn time. All have a work to do requiring diligence. Especially is this true of the pastor, who is to care for and feed the flock of God. The one whose special work it is to lead the people into the path of truth, should be an able expositor of the word, capable of adapting his teachings to the wants of the people. He should be so closely connected with Heaven as to become a living channel of light, a mouth-piece for God. {GW92 70.1}

     A pastor should have a correct understanding of the word and also of the human character. Our faith is unpopular. The people are unwilling to be convinced that they are so deeply in error; a great work is to be done, and at present there are but few to do it. One man usually performs the labor which should be shared by two; for the work of the  evangelist is necessarily combined with that of the pastor, bringing a double burden upon the worker in the field. {GW92 70.2}

     The minister of Christ should be a Bible student, that his mind may be stored with Bible evidence; for a minister is strong only when he is fortified with Scripture truth. Argument is good in its place, but far more can be reached by simple explanations of the word of God. The lessons of Christ were illustrated so clearly that the lowest and most simple-minded could readily comprehend them. Jesus did not employ long and difficult words in his discourses, but used plain language, adapted to the minds of the common people. He ventured no  further into the subject he was expounding than they were able to follow him. {GW92 70.3}

     There are many men of good minds, who are intelligent in regard to the Scriptures, whose usefulness is greatly hindered by their defective method of labor. Some ministers who engage in the work of


saving souls, fail to secure the best results, because they do not carry through with thoroughness the work that they began with so much enthusiasm. Others are not acceptable because they cling tenaciously to preconceived notions, making these prominent, and thereby failing to conform their teachings to the actual needs of the people. Many have no idea of the necessity of adapting themselves to circumstances, and meeting the people where they are. They do not identify themselves with those whom they wish to help and elevate to the true, Bible standard of Christianity. {GW92 70.4}

     In order to be a truly successful minister, one must wholly consecrate himself to the work of saving souls. It is highly essential that he should be closely united with Christ, seeking continual counsel from him, and depending upon his aid. Some fail of success because they trust to the strength of argument alone, and do not cry earnestly to God for his wisdom to direct them and his grace to sanctify their efforts. Long discourses and tedious prayers are positively injurious to a religious interest, and fail to carry conviction to the consciences of the people. This propensity for speech-making frequently dampens a religious interest that might have produced great results. {GW92 71.1}

     The true ambassador of Christ is in perfect union with Him whom he represents, and his engrossing object is the salvation of souls. The wealth of earth dwindles into insignificance when compared with the worth of a single soul for whom our Lord and Master died. He who weigheth the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance, regards a human soul as of infinite value. {GW92 71.2}

     In the work of the ministry there are battles to fight and victories to gain. "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth," said Christ; "I came not to send peace, but a sword." [MATT. 10:34.] The opening labors of the Christian church were attended with hardships


and bitter griefs, and the successors of the early apostles find that they must meet with trials similar to theirs; privations, calumny, and every species of opposition meet them in their labors. They must be men of stanch moral courage and of spiritual muscle.{GW92 71.3}

     Great moral darkness prevails, and only the power of truth can drive away the shadows from a single mind. We are battling with giant errors and the strongest prejudices, and without the special help of God our efforts will fail either to convert souls or to elevate our own moral nature. Human skill and the very best natural abilities and acquisitions are powerless to quicken the soul to discern the enormity of sin and to banish it from the heart. {GW92 72.1}

     Ministers should be careful not to expect too much from persons who are still groping in the darkness of error. They should do their work well, relying upon God to impart to inquiring souls the mysterious, quickening influence of his Holy Spirit, knowing that without this their labors will be unsuccessful. They should be patient and wise in dealing with minds, remembering how manifold are the circumstances that have developed such different traits in individuals. They should strictly guard themselves also, lest self should get the supremacy, and Jesus should be left out of the question. {GW92 72.2}

     Some ministers fail of success because they do not give their undivided interest to the work when very much depends upon persistent, well-directed labor. Many are not laborers; they do not pursue their work outside of the pulpit. They shirk the duty of going from house to house and laboring wisely in the home circle. They need to cultivate that rare Christian courtesy which would render them kind and considerate toward the souls under their care, working for them with true earnestness and faith, teaching them the way of life.


{GW92 72.3}

     Ministers can do much toward molding the characters of those with whom they are associated. If they are sharp, critical, and exacting, they will be sure to meet these unhappy elements in the people upon whom their influence is strongest; though the result is not, perhaps, of the nature which they desire, yet it is none the less the effect of their own example. {GW92 73.1}

     It cannot be expected that the people will enjoy peace and harmony unless their religious teachers, whose footsteps they follow, have these principles largely developed, and manifest them in their lives. The minister of Christ has great responsibilities to bear, if he would become an example for his people and a correct exponent of his Master's doctrine. Men were awed by the purity and moral dignity of our Saviour, while his unselfish love and gentle benignity won their hearts. He was the embodiment of perfection. If his representatives would see fruits attending their labors similar to those that crowned the ministry of Christ, they should earnestly strive to imitate his virtues and cultivate those traits of character which would make them like him. {GW92 73.2}

     It requires much forethought and wisdom from God to labor successfully for the salvation of sinners. If the soul of the laborer is filled with the grace of God, his teaching will not irritate his hearers, but melt its way to their hearts, and open them for the reception of the truth. {GW92 73.3}

     The workers in the field should not allow themselves to be discouraged; but whatever their surroundings, they should exercise hope and faith. The minister's work is but just begun when he has presented the truth from the pulpit. He is then to become acquainted with his hearers. Many a laborer greatly fails in not coming in close sympathy with those who most need his help. With the Bible in his hand, he should seek in a courteous


manner to learn the objections which exist in the minds of those who are beginning to inquire, "What is truth?" {GW92 73.4}

     They should be carefully and tenderly led and educated as pupils in school. Many have to unlearn theories which have been ingrafted into their lives. As they become convinced that they have been in error concerning Bible subjects, they are thrown into perplexity and doubt. They need the tenderest sympathy and the most judicious help; they should be carefully instructed; and should be prayed for and prayed with, watched and guarded with the kindest solicitude. Those who have fallen under temptation and have backslidden from God, need help. This class is represented in the lessons of Christ by the lost sheep. The shepherd left the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and hunted for the one lost sheep until he found it; he then returned with rejoicing, bearing it on his shoulder. Also by the illustration of the woman who searched for the lost piece of silver until she found it, and called together her neighbors to rejoice with her that the lost was found. The connection of heavenly angels with the Christian's work is here brought clearly to light. There is more joy in the presence of the angels in heaven over one sinner that repents than over ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance. There is joy with the Father and with Christ. All heaven is interested in the salvation of man. He who is instrumental in saving a soul is at liberty to rejoice; for angels of God have witnessed his efforts with the most intense interest, and rejoice with him in his success. {GW92 74.1}

     How thorough, then, should be the labor and how deep the sympathy of man for his fellow-man. It is a great privilege to be a co-worker with Christ in the salvation of souls. He, with patient, unselfish efforts sought to reach man in his fallen condition, and to rescue him from the consequences of sin;


therefore his disciples, who are the teachers of his word, should closely imitate their great Exemplar. {GW92 74.2}

     It is necessary, in order to pursue this great and arduous work, that the ministers of Christ should possess physical health. To attain this end, they must become regular in their habits, and adopt a healthful system of living. Many are continually complaining and suffering from various indispositions. This is almost always because they do not labor wisely, nor observe the laws of health. They frequently remain too much in-doors, occupying heated rooms filled with impure air. Here they apply themselves closely to study or writing, taking little physical exercise, and having little change of employment. As a consequence, the blood  becomes sluggish, and the powers of the mind are enfeebled. {GW92 75.1}

     The whole system needs the invigorating influence of exercise in the open air. A few hours of manual labor each day would tend to renew the bodily vigor, and rest and relax the mind. In this way the general health would be promoted, and a greater amount of pastoral labor could be performed. {GW92 75.2}

     The incessant reading and writing of many ministers unfits them for pastoral work. They consume valuable time in abstract study, which should be expended in helping the needy at the right moment. Some ministers have given themselves to the work of writing during a period of decided religious interest, and it has frequently been the case that their writings have had no special connection with the work in hand. This is a glaring error; for at such times it is the duty of the minister to use his entire strength in pushing forward the cause of God. His mind should be clear and centered upon the one object of saving souls. Should his thoughts be preoccupied with other subjects, many might be lost to the cause who could have been saved by timely instruction. Some ministers are easily diverted


from their work. They become discouraged, or are attracted to their homes, and leave a growing interest to die for want of attention. The harm done to the cause in this way can scarcely be estimated. When an effort to promulgate the truth is started, the minister in charge should feel responsible to carry it through successfully. If his labors appear to be without result, he should seek by earnest prayer to discover if they are what they should be. He should humble his soul before God in self-examination, and by faith cling to the divine promises, humbly continuing his efforts till he is satisfied that he has faithfully discharged his duty, and done everything in his power to gain the desired result. {GW92 75.3}

     Ministers frequently report that they left the best of interest at one point to enter a new field. This is wrong; they should have finished the work they began; for in leaving it incomplete, they do more harm than good by spoiling the field for the next laborer. No field is so unpromising as that which has been cultivated just enough to give the weeds a more luxuriant growth. {GW92 76.1}

     Much prayer, with wise labor, is needed in new fields. Men of God are wanted, not merely men who can talk, but those who have an experimental knowledge of the mystery of godliness, and who can meet the urgent wants of the people,--those who solemnly realize the importance of their position as servants of Jesus, and will cheerfully take up the cross that he has taught them how to bear. {GW92 76.2}

     When the temptation comes to seclude themselves, and indulge in reading and writing at a time when other duties claim their immediate attention, they should be strong enough to deny self, and devote themselves to the work that lies directly before them. This is undoubtedly one of the most trying tests that a studious mind is called to undergo. {GW92 76.3}

     The duties of a pastor are often shamefully neglected because the minister lacks strength to sacrifice


his personal inclinations for seclusion and study. The pastor should visit from house to house among his flock, teaching, conversing, and praying with each family, and looking out for the welfare of their souls. Those who have manifested a desire to become acquainted with the principles of our faith should not be neglected, but thoroughly instructed in the truth. No opportunity to do good should be lost by the watchful and zealous minister of God. {GW92 76.4}

     Certain ministers who have been invited to houses by the heads of families, have spent the few hours of their visit in secluding themselves in an unoccupied room to indulge their inclination for reading and writing. The family that entertained them derived no benefit from the visit. The ministers accepted the hospitality extended them without giving an equivalent in the labor that was so much needed. {GW92 77.1}

     People are easily reached through the avenues of the social circle. But many ministers dread the task of visiting; they have not cultivated social qualities, have not acquired that genial spirit that wins its way to the hearts of the people. It is highly important that a pastor should mingle much with his people, that he may become acquainted with the different phases of human nature, readily understand the workings of the mind, adapt his teachings to the intellect of his people, and learn that grand charity possessed only by those who closely study the nature and needs of men. {GW92 77.2}

     Those who seclude themselves from the people are in no condition to help them. A skillful physician must understand the nature of various diseases, and must have a thorough knowledge of the human structure. He must be prompt in attending to the patients. He knows that delays are dangerous. When his experienced hand is laid upon the pulse of the sufferer, and he carefully notes the peculiar indication of the malady, his previous knowledge enables him to determine concerning the nature of


the disease and the treatment necessary to arrest its progress. As the physician deals with physical disease, so does the pastor minister to the sin-sick soul. And his work is as much more important than that of the former as eternal life is more valuable than temporal existence. The pastor meets with an endless variety of temperaments; and it is his duty to become acquainted with the members of families that listen to his teachings, in order to determine what means will best influence them in the right direction.{GW92 77.3}

     In view of these grave responsibilities, the question will arise, "Who is sufficient for these things?" [2 COR. 2:16.] The heart of the laborer will almost faint as he considers the various arduous duties devolving upon him; but the words of Christ strengthen the soul with the comforting assurance, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." [MATT. 28:20.] The difficulties and dangers that threaten the safety of those he loves, should make him cautious and circumspect in his manner of dealing with them, and watchful of them as one who must give an account. He should judiciously employ his influence in winning souls to Christ, and impressing the truth upon inquiring minds. He should take care that the world, by its delusive attractions, does not lead them away from God, and steel their hearts against the influence of his grace. {GW92 78.1}

     The minister is not to rule imperiously over the flock intrusted to his care, but to be their ensample, and to show them the way to heaven. Following the example of Christ, he should intercede with God for the people of his care till he sees that his prayers are answered. Jesus exercised human and divine sympathy toward man. He is our example in all things. God is our father and governor, and the Christian minister is the representative of his Son on earth. The principles that rule in heaven should rule upon earth; the same love that animates the angels, the


same purity and holiness that reign in heaven, should, as far as possible, be reproduced upon earth. God holds the minister responsible for the power he exercises, but does not justify his servants in perverting that power into despotism over the flock of their care. {GW92 78.2}

     God has given to his servants precious knowledge of his truth, and he desires that they shall closely connect themselves with Jesus, and through sympathy draw near to their brethren, that they may do them all the good that lies in their power. The Redeemer of the world did not consult his own pleasure, but went about doing good. He bound himself closely to the Father, that he might bring their united strength to bear upon the souls of men to save them from eternal ruin. In like manner should his servants cultivate spirituality if they expect to succeed in their work. {GW92 79.1}

     Jesus pitied poor sinners so much that he left the courts of heaven, and laid aside the robes of royalty, humiliating himself to humanity, that he might become acquainted with the needs of man, and help him to rise above the degradation of the fall. When he has given to man such unquestionable evidence of his love and tenderest sympathy, how important that his representatives should imitate his example in coming close to their fellow-men, and helping them to form a true Christian character. But some have been too ready to engage in church trials, and have borne sharp and unsympathizing testimony against the erring. In thus acting, they have yielded to a natural propensity that should have been firmly subdued. This is not the calm justice of the Christian executive, but the harsh criticism of a hasty temperament. {GW92 79.2}

     The churches need education more than censure. Instead of blaming them too severely for their want of spirituality and neglect of duty, the minister should, by precept and example, teach them to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.


{GW92 79.3}

     Our ministers who have reached the age of forty or fifty years should not feel that their labor is less efficient than formerly. Men of years and experience are just the ones to put forth strong and well-directed efforts. They are specially needed at this time; the churches cannot afford to part with them. Such ones should not talk of physical and mental feebleness, nor feel that their day of usefulness is over. {GW92 80.1}

     Many of them have suffered from severe mental taxation, unrelieved by physical exercise. The result is a deterioration of their powers, and a tendency to shirk responsibilities. What they need is more active labor. This is not confined to those whose heads are white with the frost of time, but men young in years have fallen into the same state, and have become mentally feeble. They have a list of set discourses; but if they get beyond the boundaries of these, they lose their soundings. {GW92 80.2}

     The old-fashioned pastor, who traveled on horseback, and spent much time in visiting his flock, enjoyed much better health, notwithstanding his hardships and exposures, than our ministers of today, who avoid all physical exertion as far as possible, and confine themselves to their books. {GW92 80.3}

     Ministers of age and experience should feel it their duty, as God's hired servants, to go forward, progressing every day, continually becoming more efficient in their work, and constantly gathering fresh matter to set before the people. Every effort to expound the gospel should be an improvement upon that which preceded it. Every year they should develop a deeper piety, a tenderer spirit, greater spirituality, and a more thorough knowledge of Bible truth. The greater their age and experience, the nearer should they be able to approach the hearts of the people, having a more perfect knowledge of them.


{GW92 80.4}

     Men are needed for this time who are not afraid to lift their voices for the right, whoever may oppose them. They should be of strong integrity and tried courage. The church calls for them, and God will work with their efforts to uphold all branches of the gospel ministry.--Vol. 4, p. 260.



{GW92 81.1}


       Faithfulness in Reproving Sin.


     God does not desire wooden men to guard the interests of his institutions and the church, but he wants living, working men,-- men who have ability and quick perception, men who have eyes, and open them that they may see, and hearts that are susceptible to the influences of his Spirit. He holds men to a strict accountability in guarding the interests of his cause. . . . {GW92 81.2}

     As the people stood before Mount Sinai, listening to the voice of God, they were so forcibly impressed with his sacred presence that they retreated in terror, and cried out to Moses, "Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die." [EX. 20:19.] There before the mount they made solemn vows of allegiance to God; but scarcely had the thunders, and the trumpet, and the voice of the Lord ceased, when they were bowed upon their knees before an idol. Their leader had been called away from their sight, and was enveloped in a thick cloud, in converse with God. {GW92 81.3}

     The fellow laborer of Moses, who was left with the solemn charge of the people in his absence, heard them uttering complaints that Moses had left them, and expressing a desire to return to Egypt; yet, through fear of offending the people, he was silent. He did not stand up boldly for God; but to please the people he made a golden calf. He


seemed to be asleep to the beginning of the evil. When the first rebellious word was spoken, Aaron might have checked it; but so fearful was he of offending the people, that he apparently united with them, and was finally persuaded to make a golden calf for them to worship. {GW92 81.4}

     Ministers should be faithful watchmen, seeing the evil and warning the people. Their dangers must be set before them continually, and pressed home upon them. The exhortation given to Timothy was, "Reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine." [2 TIM 4:2.] . . . {GW92 82.1}

     God wants men to cultivate force of character. Those who are merely time-servers are not the ones who will receive a rich reward by and by. He wants those who labor in his cause to be men of keen feeling and quick perception. They should be temperate in eating; rich and luxurious food should find no place upon their tables; and when the brain is constantly taxed, and there is a lack of physical exercise, they should eat sparingly, even of plain food. Daniel's clearness of mind and firmness of purpose, his strength of intellect in acquiring knowledge, were due in a great degree to the plainness of his diet, in connection with his life of prayer. {GW92 82.2}

     Eli was a good man, pure in morals; but he was too indulgent. He incurred the displeasure of God because he did not strengthen the weak points in his character. He did not want to hurt the feelings of any one, and had not the moral courage to rebuke and reprove sin. His sons were vile men; yet he did not remove them from their position of trust. These sons profaned the house of God. He knew this, and felt sad in consequence of it, for he loved purity and righteousness; but he had not sufficient moral force to suppress the evil. He loved peace and harmony, and became more and more insensible to impurity and crime. But the great God takes the


matter in hand himself. When the rebuke falls upon him, through the instrumentality of a child, he accepts it, feeling that it is what he deserves. He does not show any resentment toward Samuel, the messenger of God; he loves him as he has done, but condemns himself. {GW92 82.3}

     The guilty sons of Eli were slain in battle. He could endure to hear that his sons were slain, but he could not bear the news that the ark of God was taken. He knew that his sin of neglect in failing to stand for the right and restrain wrong had at last deprived Israel of her strength and glory. The pallor of death came upon his face, and he fell backward and died. {GW92 83.1}

     What a lesson have we here for parents and guardians of youth, and for those who minister in the service of God. When existing evils are not met and checked, because men have too little courage to reprove wrong, or because they have too little interest or are too indolent to tax their own powers in putting forth earnest efforts to purify the family or the church of God, they are accountable for the evil which may result in consequence of neglect to do their duty. We are just as accountable for evils that we might have checked in others, by reproof, by warning, by exercise of parental or pastoral authority, as if we were guilty of the acts ourselves. {GW92 83.2}

     Eli should have first attempted to restrain evil by mild measures; but if that would not avail, he should have subdued the wrong by the sternest measures. God's honor must be sacredly preserved, even if it separates us from the nearest relative. One defect in a man otherwise talented may destroy his usefulness in this life, and cause him to hear in the day of God the unwelcome words, "Depart from me, ye that work iniquity." [MATT. 7:23.] {GW92 83.3}

     Eli was gentle, loving, and kind, and had a true interest in the service of God and the prosperity


of his cause. He was a man who had power in prayer. He never rose up in rebellion against the words of God. But he was wanting; he did not have firmness of character to reprove sin and execute justice against the sinner, so that God could depend upon him to keep Israel pure. He did not add to his faith the courage and power to say "No" at the right time and in the right place. Sin is sin; righteousness is righteousness. The trumpet note of warning must be sounded. We are living in a fearfully wicked age. The worship of God will become corrupted unless there are wide-awake men at every post of duty. It is no time now for any to be absorbed in selfish ease. Not one of the words which God has spoken must be allowed to fall to the ground.--Vol. 4, p. 513.



{GW92 83.4}

     I was pointed back, and saw that in every important move, every decision made or point gained by God's people, some have arisen to carry matters to extremes, and to move in an extravagant manner, which has disgusted unbelievers, distressed God's people, and brought the cause of God into disrepute. The people whom God is leading out in these last days will be troubled with just such things. But much evil will be avoided if the ministers of Christ will be of one mind, united in their plans of action, and united in effort. If they will stand together, sustain one another, and faithfully reprove and rebuke wrong, they will soon cause it to wither. But Satan has controlled these matters very much. Private members and even preachers have sympathized with disaffected ones who have been reproved for their wrongs, and division of feeling has been the result. The one who has ventured out and discharged his disagreeable duty by faithfully meeting error and wrong, is grieved and wounded that he receives not the fullest sympathy of his preaching brethren. He becomes discouraged in discharging these painful


duties, lays down the cross, and withholds the pointed testimony. His soul is shut up in darkness, and the church suffers for the lack of the very testimony which God designed should live among his people. Satan's object is gained when the faithful testimony is suppressed. Those who so readily sympathize with the wrong, consider it a virtue; but they realize not that they are exerting a scattering influence, and that they themselves help to carry out Satan's plans. {GW92 84.1}

     I saw that many souls have been destroyed because their brethren unwisely sympathized with them, when their only hope was to be left to see and realize the full extent of their wrongs. But as they eagerly accept the sympathy of unwise brethren, they receive the idea that they are abused; and if they attempt to retrace their steps, they make half-hearted work. They divide the matter to suit their natural feelings, lay blame upon the reprover, and so patch up the matter. It is not probed to the bottom, and is not healed, and they again fall into the same wrong, because they were not left to feel the extent of their wrong, and humble themselves before God and let him build them up. False sympathizers have worked in direct opposition to the mind of Christ and ministering angels. {GW92 85.1}

     Ministers of Christ should arise and engage in the work of God with all their energies. God's servants are not excused if they shun pointed testimony. They should reprove and rebuke wrong, and not suffer sin upon a brother.-- Vol. 1, p. 212.



{GW92 85.2}

     Never was there greater need of faithful warnings and reproofs, and close, straight dealing, than at this very time. Satan has come down with great power, knowing that his time is short. He is flooding the world with pleasing fables, and the people of God love to have smooth things spoken to them. Sin and iniquity are not abhorred. I was shown that


God's people must make more firm, determined efforts to press back the incoming darkness. The close work of the Spirit of God is needed now as never before. Stupidity must be shaken off. We must arouse from the lethargy that will prove our destruction unless we resist it. Satan has a powerful, controlling influence upon minds. Preachers and people are in danger of being found upon the side of the powers of darkness. There is no such thing now as a neutral position. We are all decidedly for the right, or decidedly with the wrong. Christ said, "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." [MATT. 12:30.]{GW92 85.3}

     There are ever to be found those who will sympathize with those who are wrong. Satan had sympathizers in heaven, and took large numbers of the angels with him. God and Christ and heavenly angels were on one side, and Satan on the other. Notwithstanding the infinite power and majesty of God and Christ, angels became disaffected. The insinuations of Satan took effect, and they really came to believe that the Father and the Son were their enemies, and that Satan was their benefactor. Satan has the same power and the same control over minds now, only it has increased a hundred-fold by exercise and experience. Men and women today are deceived, blinded by his insinuations and devices, and know it not. By giving place to doubts and unbelief in regard to the work of God, and by cherishing feelings of distrust and cruel jealousies, they are preparing themselves for complete deception. They rise up with bitter feelings against the ones who dare to speak of their errors and reprove their sins.-- Vol. 3, p. 327.



{GW92 86.1}

     The servants of God should manifest a tender, compassionate spirit, and show to all that they are not actuated by any personal motives in their dealings with the people, and that they do not take


delight in giving messages of wrath in the name of the Lord. But they must never flinch from pointing out the sins that are corrupting the professed people of God, nor cease striving to influence them to turn from their errors and obey the Lord. {GW92 86.2}

     Those who seek to cloak sin, and make it appear less aggravated to the mind of the offender, are doing the work of the false prophets, and may expect the retributive wrath of God to follow such a course. The Lord will never accommodate his ways to the wishes of corrupt men. The false prophet condemned Jeremiah for afflicting the people with his severe denunciations; and he sought to reassure them by promising them prosperity, thinking that the poor people should not be continually reminded of their sins and threatened with punishment. This course strengthened the people to resist the true prophet's counsel, and intensified their enmity toward him. {GW92 87.1}

     God has no sympathy with the evil-doer. He gives no one liberty to gloss over the sins of his people, nor to cry, "Peace! peace!" when he has declared that there shall be no peace for the wicked. Those who stir up rebellion against the servants whom God sends to deliver his messages, are rebelling against the word of the Lord.-- Vol. 4, p. 185.



{GW92 87.2}

     Ministers who are preaching present truth should not neglect the solemn message to the Laodiceans. The testimony of the True Witness is not a smooth message. The Lord does not say to them, "You are about right; you have borne chastisement and reproof that you never deserved; you have been unnecessarily discouraged by severity; you are not guilty of the wrongs and sins for which you have been reproved." {GW92 87.3}

     The True Witness declares that when you suppose you are really in a good condition of prosperity, you are in need of everything. . . . Because Christ


bears this rebuking testimony, shall we suppose that he is destitute of tender love to his people?--O, no! He who died to redeem man from death, loves with a divine love, and those whom he loves he rebukes. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten." [REV. 3:19.] --Vol. 3, p. 257.



{GW92 87.4}

     You profess to be a watchman on the walls of Zion, [FROM A PERSONAL TESTIMONY] a shepherd to the flock, yet you saw the poor sheep torn and scattered, and gave no warning. "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul." "Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul." [EZE. 3:17-19, 21.] [Another clear example of corporate responsibility—rwb] . . . What is a watchman for, unless it be to watch for evil and give the warning? What is a shepherd for, unless it be to watch for every danger lest the sheep be harmed and destroyed by wolves? What excuse could a shepherd plead for suffering the flock to stray from the true pasture, and be torn and scattered and devoured by wolves? How would an excuse stand made by the shepherd that the sheep led him astray? that they left the true pasture, and led him out of the way? Such a plea would tell with force against that shepherd's ability to watch over the sheep. No more confidence could be placed in him as a faithful shepherd to care for the sheep, and bring them back as they might stray from the right path.-- Vol. 1, p. 313.


{GW92 88.1}

     I saw that when the messengers enter a new place, their labor is worse than lost unless they bear a plain, pointed testimony. They should keep up the distinction between the church of Christ and formal, dead professors. There was a failure in this respect in ---- [FROM A PERSONAL TESTIMONY] . . . It should have been urged upon the people that we possess truths of vital importance, and that their eternal interest depended upon the decision they there made; that in order to be sanctified through the truth, they would have to give up their idols, confess their sins, and bring forth fruit meet for repentance. {GW92 89.1}

     Those who engage in the solemn work of bearing the third angel's message, must move out decidedly, and in the Spirit and power of God fearlessly preach the truth, and let it cut. They should elevate the standard of truth, and urge the people to come up to it. It has too frequently been lowered to meet the people in their condition of darkness and sin. It is the pointed testimony that will bring them up to decide. A peaceful testimony will not do this. The people have the privilege of listening to this kind of teaching from popular pulpits; but those servants to whom God has intrusted the solemn, fearful message which is to bring out and fit up a people for the coming of Christ, should bear a plain, pointed testimony. Our truth is as much more solemn than that of nominal professors, as the heavens are higher than the earth. {GW92 89.2}

     The people are asleep in their sins, and need to be alarmed before they can shake off this lethargy. Their ministers have preached smooth things; but God's servants, who bear sacred, vital truths, should cry aloud and spare not, that the truth may tear off the garment of security, and find its way to the heart.-- Vol. 1, p. 248.



{GW92 89.3}

     Those who have been thrust out to bear a plain, pointed testimony, in the fear of God to reprove


wrong, to labor with all their energies to build up God's people, and to establish them upon important points of present truth, have too often received censure instead of sympathy and help, while those who, like yourself, [FROM A PERSONAL TESTIMONY] have taken a non-committal position, are thought to be devoted, and to have a mild spirit. God does not thus regard them. The forerunner of Christ's first advent was a very plain-spoken man. He rebuked sin, and called things by their right names. He laid the ax at the root of the tree. He thus addressed one class of professed converts who came to be baptized of him in Jordan: "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. . . . And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." [MATT. 3:7-10.]{GW92 89.4}

     In this fearful time, just before Christ is to come the second time, God's faithful preachers will have to bear a still more pointed testimony than was borne by John the Baptist. A responsible, important work is before them; and those who speak smooth things, God will not acknowledge as his shepherds. A fearful woe is upon them.-- Vol. 1, p. 321.



{GW92 90.1}

     Ministers of the present truth, while they bear a pointed testimony, reproving individual wrongs and seeking to tear away the idols from the camp of Israel, should manifest forbearance. They should preach the truth in its solemnity and importance, and if this finds its way to the heart, it will accomplish that for the receiver which nothing else can. But if the truth spoken in the demonstration of the Spirit, does not cut away the idols, it will be of no avail to denounce and bear down upon the individual. It may appear that some are joined to their idols, yet I saw that we should be very reluctant to give up the poor, deceived ones. We should ever


bear in mind that we are all erring mortals, and that Christ exercises much pity for our weakness, and loves us although we err. If God should deal with us as we often deal with one another, we should be consumed. While ministers preach the plain, cutting truth, they must let the truth do the cutting and hewing, not do it themselves. They should lay the ax--the truths of God's word--at the root of the tree, and something will be accomplished. Pour out the testimony just as straight as it is found in the word of God, with a heart full of the warming, quickening influence of his Spirit, all in tenderness, yearning for souls, and work among God's people will be effectual.-- Vol. 1, p. 383.



{GW92 90.2}


              Compassion for the Erring.


     Christ identified himself with the necessities of his people. Their needs and their sufferings were his. He says, "I was a hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me." [MATT 25:35, 36.] God's servants should have hearts of tender affection and sincere love for the followers of Christ. They should manifest that deep interest that Christ brings to view in the care of the shepherd for the lost sheep; they should follow the example given by Christ, and exercise the same compassion and gentleness, and the same tender, pitying love that he has exercised toward us. {GW92 91.1}

     The great moral powers of the soul are faith, hope, and love. If these are inactive, a minister may be ever so earnest and zealous, but his labor will not be accepted by God, and cannot be productive of good to the church. A minister of Christ who bears the solemn message from God to the people, should


ever deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God. The spirit of Christ in the heart will incline every power of the soul to nourish and protect the sheep of his pasture, like a faithful, true shepherd. Love is the golden chain which binds believing hearts to one another in willing bonds of friendship, tenderness, and faithful constancy; and which binds the soul to God. There is a decided lack of love, compassion, and pitying tenderness among brethren. The ministers of Christ are too cold and heartless. Their hearts are not all aglow with tender compassion and earnest love. The purest and most elevated devotion to God is that which is manifested in the most earnest desires and efforts to win souls to Christ. The reason ministers who preach present truth are not more successful is, they are deficient, greatly deficient, in faith, hope, and love. There are toils and conflicts, self-denials and secret heart-trials, for us all to meet and bear. There will be sorrow and tears for our sins; there will be constant struggles and watchings, mingled with remorse and shame because of our deficiencies. {GW92 91.2}

     Let not the ministers of the cross of our dear Saviour forget their own experience in these things; but let them ever bear in mind that they are but men, liable to err, and possessing like passions with their brethren; and that if they help their brethren, they must be persevering in their efforts to do them good, having their hearts filled with pity and love. They must come to the hearts of their brethren, and help them where they are weak and need help the most. Those who labor in word and doctrine should break their own hard, proud, unbelieving hearts, if they would witness the same in their brethren. Christ has done all for us, because we were helpless; we were bound in chains of darkness, sin, and despair, and could therefore do nothing for ourselves. It is through the exercise of faith, hope, and love that we come nearer and nearer to the standard of perfect


holiness. Our brethren feel the same need of pitying help that we have felt. We should not burden them with unnecessary censure, but should let the love of Christ constrain us to be very compassionate and tender, that we can weep over the erring and those who have backslidden from God. The soul is of infinite value. Its worth can be estimated only by the price paid to ransom it. Calvary! Calvary! Calvary! will explain the true value of the soul.-- Vol. 3, p. 186.



{GW92 92.1}

     If, after one has done the best he can in his judgment, another thinks he can see where he could have improved the matter, he should kindly and patiently give the brother the benefit of his judgment, but should not censure him nor question his integrity of purpose any sooner than he himself would wish to be suspected or unjustly censured. If the brother who feels the cause of God at heart, sees that, in his earnest efforts to do, he has made a failure, he will feel deeply over the matter; for he will be inclined to distrust himself, and to lose confidence in his own judgment. Nothing will so weaken his courage and godlike manhood as to realize his mistakes in the work that God has appointed him to do,--a work which he loves better than his life. How unjust, then, for his brethren who discover his errors to keep pressing the thorn deeper and deeper into his heart, to make him feel more intensely, when with every thrust they are weakening his faith and courage, and his confidence in himself to work successfully in the upbuilding of the cause of God. {GW92 93.1}

     Frequently the truth and facts are to be plainly spoken to the erring, to make them see and feel their error, that they may reform. But this should ever be done with pitying tenderness, not with harshness or severity, but considering one's own weakness, lest he also be tempted. When the one at fault sees and acknowledges his error, then, instead of grieving


him, and seeking to make him feel more deeply, comfort should be given. In the sermon of Christ upon the mount, he said, "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." [MATT. 7:1-4.] Our Saviour reproved for rash judgment. "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye," "and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?" [MATT. 7:1-4.] It is frequently the case that while one is quick to discern the errors of his brethren, he may be in greater faults himself, but be blind to them. {GW92 93.2}

     All who are followers of Christ should deal with one another exactly as we wish the Lord to deal with us in our errors and weaknesses; for we are all erring, and need his pity and forgiveness. Jesus consented to take human nature, that he might know how to pity, and how to plead with his Father in behalf of sinful, erring mortals. He volunteered to become man's advocate, and he humiliated himself to become acquainted with the temptations wherewith man was beset, that he might succor those who should be tempted, and be a tender and faithful high priest. {GW92 94.1}

     Frequently there is necessity for plainly rebuking sin and reproving wrong. But ministers who are working for the salvation of their fellow-men, should not be pitiless toward the errors of one another, nor make prominent the defects in their organizations. They should not expose or reprove their weaknesses. They should inquire if such a course, pursued by another toward themselves, would bring about the desired effect; would it increase their love for, and confidence in, the one who thus made prominent their mistakes? Especially should the mistakes of ministers who are engaged in the work of God be kept within as small a circle as possible; for there are many weak ones who will take advantage if they are aware that those who minister in word and


doctrine have weaknesses like other men. And it is a most cruel thing for the faults of a minister to be exposed to unbelievers, if that minister is counted worthy to labor in [the] future for the salvation of souls. No good can come of this exposure, but only harm. The Lord frowns upon this course, for it is undermining the confidence of the people in those whom he accepts to carry forward his work. The character of every laborer should be jealously guarded by brother ministers. God says, "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm." [1 CHRON. 16:22.] Love and confidence should be cherished. A lack of this love and confidence in one minister for another does not increase the happiness of the one thus deficient, but as he makes his brother unhappy, he is unhappy himself. There is greater power in love than was ever found in censure. Love will melt its way through barriers, while censure will close up every avenue of the soul. . . . {GW92 94.2}

     In the prayer that Christ taught his disciples was the request, Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. We cannot repeat this prayer from the heart, and dare to be unforgiving; for we ask the Lord to forgive our trespasses against him in the same manner as we forgive those who trespass against us. But few realize the true import of this prayer. If those who are unforgiving did comprehend the depth of its meaning, they would not dare to repeat it, and ask God to deal with them as they deal with their fellow-mortals. And yet this spirit of hardness and lack of forgiveness exists, even among brethren, to a fearful extent. Brother is exacting with brother.-- Vol. 3, p. 92.


{GW92 95.1}


         Decision and Promptness in the Work

                       of God.



     Independent men of earnest endeavor are needed, not men as impressible as putty. Those who want their work made ready to their hand, who desire a fixed amount to do and a fixed salary, and who wish to prove an exact fit without the trouble of adaptation or training, are not the men whom God calls to work in his cause. A man who cannot adapt his abilities to almost any place if necessity requires, is not the man for this time. Men whom God will connect with his work are not limp and fiberless, without muscle or moral force of character. It is only by continued and persevering labor that men can be disciplined to bear a part in the work of God. These men should not become discouraged if circumstances and surroundings are the most unfavorable. They should not give up their purpose as a complete failure until they are convinced beyond a doubt that they cannot do much for the honor of God and the good of souls. {GW92 96.1}

     There are men who flatter themselves that they might do something great and good if they were only circumstanced differently, while they make no use of the faculties they already have by working in the positions where providence has placed them. Man can make his circumstances, but circumstances should never make the man. Man should seize circumstances as his instruments with which to work. He should master circumstances, but should never allow circumstances to master him. Individual independence and individual power are the qualities now needed. Individual character need not be sacrificed, but it should be modulated, refined, elevated. . . .


{GW92 96.2}

     The cause of God demands men who can see quickly and act instantaneously at the right time and with power. If you wait to measure every difficulty and balance every perplexity you meet, you will do but little. You will have obstacles and difficulties to encounter at every turn, and you must with firm purpose decide to conquer them, or they will conquer you. {GW92 97.1}

     Sometimes various ways and purposes, different modes of operation in connection with the work of God, are about evenly balanced in the mind; but it is at this very point that the nicest discrimination is necessary. And if anything is accomplished to the purpose, it must be done at the golden moment. The slightest inclination of the weight in the balance should be seen, and should determine the matter at once. Long delays tire the angels. It is even more excusable to make a wrong decision sometimes than to be continually in a wavering position; to be hesitating, sometimes inclined in one direction, then in another. More perplexity and wretchedness result from thus hesitating and doubting than from sometimes moving too hastily. {GW92 97.2}

     I have been shown that the most signal victories and the most fearful defeats have been on the turn of minutes. God requires promptness of action. Delays, doubtings, hesitation, and indecision frequently give the enemy every advantage. . . . {GW92 97.3}

     The timing of things may tell much in favor of truth. Victories are frequently lost through delays. There will be crises in this cause. Prompt and decisive action at the right time will gain glorious triumphs, while delay and neglect will result in great failures and positive dishonor to God. Rapid movements at the critical moment often disarm the enemy, and he is disappointed and vanquished, for he had expected time to lay plans and work by artifice. {GW92 97.4}

     God wants men connected with his work in Battle Creek whose judgment is at hand, whose minds,


when it is necessary, will act like the lightning. The greatest promptness is positively necessary in the hour of peril and danger. Every plan may be well laid to accomplish certain results, and yet a delay of a very short time may leave things to assume an entirely different shape, and the great objects which might have been gained are lost through lack of quick foresight and prompt dispatch. Much may be done in training the mind to overcome indolence. There are times when caution and great deliberation are necessary; rashness would be folly. But even here, much has been lost by too great hesitancy. Caution, up to a certain point, is required; but hesitancy and policy on particular occasions have been more disastrous than would have been a failure through rashness.--Vol. 3, p. 496.



{GW92 97.5}


               Thoroughness in the Work.


     A solemn responsibility rests upon the ministers of Christ to do their work with thoroughness. Many have left some portion of the work undone because it was not agreeable, expecting the next coming minister to finish it up for them. They would better not engage in the work unless they can bind it off thoroughly, so that it may not ravel out. They should lead the young disciples along wisely and judiciously, step by step, onward and upward, until every essential point has been brought before them. {GW92 98.1}

     A mere assent to the truth is not enough. There must be prayerful labor with those who embrace the truth, until they shall be convicted of their sins and shall seek God and be converted. Then they should be instructed in regard to the claims of God upon them in tithes and offerings. They must learn that the tithing system is binding upon God's people in these last days as truly as it was upon ancient Israel.


The tract and missionary work should be presented before them. Nothing should be kept back. But all points of truth should not be given abruptly in the first few lectures; gradually, cautiously, with his own heart imbued with the spirit of the work of God, the teacher should give meat in due season. {GW92 98.2}

     Ministers too frequently neglect these important branches of the work,--health reform, spiritual gifts, systematic benevolence, and the great branches of the missionary work. Under their labors, large numbers may embrace the theory of the truth, but in time it is found that there are many who will not bear the proving of God. If the teacher of truth had brought these converts along as he should have done, presenting before them the obligation which rested upon them, many who afterward drew back to perdition might have been saved. {GW92 99.1}

     When a second minister follows the first, and in the fear of God presents the practical duties, the claims of God upon his people, some draw back, saying, "The minister who brought us the truth did not mention these things. We have been deceived. These things were kept back." And they become offended because of the word. Some will not accept the tithing system; they turn away, and no longer walk with those who believe and love the truth. When the tract and missionary field is opened before them, inviting them to work in it, they answer, "It was not so taught us," and they hesitate to engage in the work. How much better it would be for the cause if the messenger of truth had faithfully and thoroughly educated these converts in regard to all these essential matters, even if there were fewer whom he could number as having been added to the church under his labors. {GW92 99.2}

     Ministers must impress upon those for whom they labor the importance of bearing burdens in connection with the work of God. The people must be taught that every department of the work of God


should enlist their support and engage their interest. The great missionary field is open to us, and the subject must be agitated, agitated, again and again. The people must understand that it is not the hearers of the word but the doers of the word who will have eternal life. Not one is exempted from this work of benevolence. All who become partakers of the grace of Christ are not only to communicate of their substance to advance the truth, but to give themselves to God without reserve.--MS.



{GW92 99.3}


                   Division of Labor.


     A serious and perhaps unsuspected hindrance to the success of the truth is to be found in our churches themselves. When an effort is made to present our faith to unbelievers, the members of the church too often stand back, as though they were not an interested party, and let all the burden rest upon the minister. For this reason the labor of our most able ministers has been at times productive of little good. The very best sermons may be preached, the message may be just what the people need, and yet no souls are gained as sheaves to present to Christ. In laboring where there are some already in the faith, the minister should at first seek not so much to convert unbelievers as to secure his army of workers. Let him labor for the members of the church individually, seeking to arouse them to gain a deeper experience themselves, and to work for others. When the members of the church are prepared to sustain the minister by their prayers and labors, greater success will attend his efforts.--MS.



{GW92 100.1}

     I saw that nothing lasting can be accomplished for churches in different places unless they are aroused


to feel that a responsibility rests upon them. Every member of the body should feel that the salvation of his own soul depends upon his own individual effort. Souls cannot be saved without exertion. The minister cannot save the people. He can be a channel through which God will impart light to his people; but after the light is given, it is left with the people to appropriate that light, and, in their turn, let it shine forth to others.--Vol. 2, p. 121.



{GW92 100.2}

     The minister should not feel that it is his duty to do all the talking and all the laboring and all the praying; but he should educate workers in every church. Let different ones take turns in leading the meetings, and in giving Bible readings, and in so doing you will be calling into use the talents which God has given you, and at the same time educating workers. {GW92 101.1}

     "In some respects the pastor occupies a position similar to that of the foreman of a gang of laboring men or the captain of a ship's crew. They are expected to see that the men over whom they are set, do the work assigned to them correctly and promptly, and if occasion shall require it, only in case of emergency are they to execute in detail. {GW92 101.2}

     "The owner of a large mill once found his superintendent in a wheel-pit, making some simple repairs, while a half-dozen workmen in that line were standing by, idly looking on. The proprietor, after learning the facts so as to be sure that no injustice be done, called the foreman to his office, and handed him his discharge and full pay. In surprise the foreman asked for an explanation. It was given in these words: 'I employed you to keep six men at work. I found the six idle, and you doing the work of but one, and your work could have been done just as well by any one of the six. I cannot afford to pay the wages of seven for you to teach the six how to be idle.'


{GW92 101.3}

     "This incident may be applicable in some cases, in others not. But many pastors fail in not knowing how, or in not trying, to get the full membership of the church actively engaged in the various departments of church work. If pastors would give more attention to getting and keeping their flock actively at work, they would accomplish more good, have more time for study and religious visiting, and also avoid many causes of friction." {GW92 102.1}

     Some, through inexperience, will make mistakes, but should be kindly shown how they can do their work better. And thus you can be educating, until you have men and women of experience in the cause of God, who can bear responsibilities, and who will be prepared for the good work that is suffering so much for the want of laborers. We need men who can take responsibilities; and the best way for them to gain the experience they need, is to engage with heart and mind in the work.--MS.



{GW92 102.2}


      A Personal Faith in Christ Our Greatest




     "Ye shall be witnesses unto me." [ACTS 1:8] These words of Jesus have lost none of their force. Our Saviour calls for faithful witnesses in these days of religious formalism. But how few, even among the professed ambassadors for Christ, are ready to give a faithful, personal testimony for their Master. Many can tell what the great and good men of generations past have done, and dared, and suffered, and enjoyed. They become eloquent in setting forth the power of the gospel, which has enabled others to rejoice in trying conflicts and to stand firm against fierce temptations. But while so earnest in bringing forward other Christians as witnesses for Jesus, they


seem to have no fresh, timely experience of their own to relate. {GW92 102.3}

     Ministers of Christ, what have you to say for yourselves? What soul conflicts have you entered that have been for your good, for the good of souls, and for the glory of God? You who profess to be proclaiming the last solemn message to the world, what is your experience in the knowledge of the truth, and its effect upon your own hearts? Does your character testify for Christ? Can you speak of the refining, ennobling, sanctifying influence of the truth as it is in Jesus? What have you seen, and what have you known, of the power of Christ? This is the kind of witness for which the Lord calls, and for which the churches are suffering.--MS.



{GW92 103.1}

     The thought that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, not because of any merit on our part, but as a free gift from God, is a precious thought. The enemy of God and man is not willing that this truth should be clearly presented; for he knows that if the people receive it fully, his power will be broken. If he can control minds so that doubt and unbelief and darkness shall compose the experience of those who claim to be the children of God, he can overcome them with temptation. That simple faith that takes God at his word should be encouraged. God's people must have that faith which will lay hold of divine power; "for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." [EPH. 2:8.] Those who believe that God for Christ's sake has forgiven their sins should not, through temptation, fail to press on to fight the good fight of faith. Their faith should grow stronger until their Christian life, as well as their words, shall declare, "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." {GW92 103.2}

     If we would have the spirit and power of the third angel's message, we must present the law and the


gospel together, for they go hand in hand. As a power from beneath is stirring up the children of disobedience to make void the law of God, and to trample upon the faith of Christ as our righteousness, a power from above is moving upon the hearts of those who are loyal, to exalt the law, and to lift up Jesus as a complete Saviour. Unless divine power is brought into the experience of the people of God, false theories and erroneous ideas will take minds captive, Christ and his righteousness will be dropped out of the experience of many, and their faith will be without power or life. Such will not have a daily, living experience of the love of God in the heart; and if they do not zealously repent, they will be among those who are represented by the Laodiceans, who will be spewed out of the mouth of God. {GW92 103.3}

     The Lord can do little for his people, because of their limited faith. The ministers have not presented Christ in his fullness to the people, either in the churches or in new fields, and the people have not an intelligent faith. They have not been instructed as they should have been, that Christ is unto them salvation and righteousness. It is Satan's studied purpose to keep souls from believing in Christ as their only hope; for the blood of Christ that cleanseth from all sin is efficacious in behalf of those only who believe in its merit, and who present it before the Father as did Abel in his offering. {GW92 104.1}

     The offering of Cain was an offense to God, because it was a Christless offering. The burden of our message is not only the commandments of God, but the faith of Jesus. A bright light shines upon our pathway today, and it leads to increased faith in Jesus. We must receive every ray of light, and walk in it, that it may not be our condemnation in the Judgment. Our duties and obligations become more important as we obtain more distinct views of truth. Light makes manifest and reproves the errors that were concealed in darkness; and as light comes,


the life and character of men must change correspondingly, to be in harmony with it. Sins that were once sins of ignorance because of the blindness of the mind, can no more be indulged in without incurring guilt. As increased light is given, men must be reformed, elevated, and refined by it, or they will be more perverse and stubborn than before the light came.--MS.



{GW92 104.2}

     In every church there is need of the simplicity of living, abiding faith. The people are starving for the bread of life. The teachers of the word need the unction from the Holy One. Because they are not united to Christ by faith, their spiritual perceptions are not acute to discern the working of the Spirit of God. Earthliness, carnality, marks the experience of many, making them bodies of darkness rather than of light. Hence there are jealousies, envyings, and divisions. Many are trying to patch up an old experience, instead of turning to Christ in penitence and faith. There are some of this class who have an understanding of the theory of the truth, and desire to labor for others; but their efforts will be in vain, for their own souls are not aglow with the love of Jesus. {GW92 105.1}

     Without a living faith in Christ as a personal Saviour, it is impossible to make our influence felt in a skeptical world. If you would draw sinners out of the swift-running current, your own feet must not stand on slippery places. He who has his own heart imbued with the love of Jesus can feed the flock of God. He has a living experience, and can say with the apostle John, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; . . . that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you." [1 JOHN 1:1-3.] --MS.


{GW92 105.2}


                Meditation and Prayer.


     God should be the highest object of our thoughts. Meditating upon him, and pleading with him, elevates the soul and quickens the affections. A neglect of meditation and prayer will surely result in a declension in religious interests. Then will be seen carelessness and slothfulness. Religion is not merely an emotion, a feeling. It is a principle that is interwoven with all the daily duties and transactions of life. Nothing will be entertained, no business engaged in, that will prevent the accompaniment of this principle. To retain pure and undefiled religion it is necessary to be workers, persevering in effort. We must do something ourselves. No one else can do our work. None but ourselves can work out our salvation with fear and trembling. This is the very work which the Lord has left for us to do. . . . {GW92 106.1}

     Decided perseverance in a course of righteousness, disciplining the mind by religious exercises to love, devotion, and heavenly things, will bring the greatest amount of happiness. {GW92 106.2}

     If we make God our trust, we have it in our power to control the mind in these things. Through continued exercise, it will become strong to battle with internal foes, and to subdue self, until there is a complete transformation, and the passions, appetites, and will are brought into perfect subjection. Then there will be daily piety at home and abroad, and when we engage in labor for souls, a power will attend our efforts. The humble Christian will have seasons of devotion which are not spasmodic, fitful, or superstitious, but calm and tranquil, deep, constant, and earnest. The love of God, the practice of holiness, will be pleasant when there is a perfect surrender to God. . . . {GW92 106.3}

     The Majesty of heaven, while engaged in his earthly ministry, prayed much to his Father. He


was frequently bowed all night in prayer. His spirit was often sorrowful as he felt the powers of the darkness of this world, and he left the busy city and the noisy throng, to seek a retired place to make his intercessions. The Mount of Olives was the favorite resort of the Son of God for his devotions. Frequently after the multitude had left him for the retirement of the night, he rested not, though weary with the labors of the day. In the Gospel of John we read, "And every man went unto his own house. Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives." [JOHN 7:53; 8:1.] While the city was hushed in silence, and the disciples had returned to their homes to obtain refreshment in sleep, Jesus slept not. His divine pleadings were ascending to his Father from the Mount of Olives that his disciples might be kept from the evil influences which they would daily encounter in the world, and that his own soul might be strengthened and braced for the duties and trials of the coming day. All night, while his followers were sleeping, was their divine Teacher praying. The dew and frost of night fell upon his head bowed in prayer. His example is left for his followers. {GW92 106.4}

     The Majesty of heaven, while engaged in his mission, was often in earnest prayer. He did not always visit Olivet, for his disciples had learned his favorite retreat, and often followed him. He chose the stillness of night, when there would be no interruption. Jesus could heal the sick and raise the dead. He was himself a source of blessing and strength. He commanded even the tempests, and they obeyed him. He was unsullied with corruption, a stranger to sin; yet he prayed, and that often with strong crying and tears. He prayed for his disciples and for himself, thus identifying himself with our needs, our weaknesses, and our failings, which are so common with humanity. He was a mighty petitioner, not possessing the passions of our human, fallen natures, but compassed with like infirmities, tempted in all points


even as we are. Jesus endured agony which required help and support from his Father. {GW92 107.1}

     Christ is our example. Are the ministers of Christ tempted and fiercely buffeted by Satan? so also was He who knew no sin. He turned to his Father in these hours of distress. He came to earth that he might provide a way whereby we could find grace and strength to help in every time of need, by following his example in frequent, earnest prayer. If the ministers of Christ will imitate this pattern, they will be imbued with his spirit, and angels will minister unto them. {GW92 108.1}

     Angels ministered to Jesus, yet their presence did not make his life one of ease and freedom from severe conflict and fierce temptations. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. If ministers, while engaged in the work which the Master has appointed them to do, have trials and perplexities and temptations, should they be discouraged, when they know that there is One who has endured all these before them? Should they cast away their confidence because they do not realize all that they expect from their labors? Christ labored earnestly for his own nation; but his efforts were despised by the very ones he came to save, and they put to death Him who came to give them life. {GW92 108.2}

     There is a sufficient number of ministers, but a great lack of laborers. Laborers, co-workers with God, have a sense of the sacredness of the work, and of the severe conflicts they must meet in order to carry it forward successfully. Laborers will not faint and despond in view of the labor, arduous though it may be. In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul says: "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience;


and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." [ROM. 5:1-5.] In him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. We are without excuse if we fail to avail ourselves of the ample provisions made for us that we might be wanting in nothing. Shrinking from hardships, complaining under tribulation, makes the servants of God weak and inefficient in bearing responsibilities and burdens.{GW92 108.3}

     All who stand unshrinkingly in the forefront of the battle must feel the special warfare of Satan against them. As they realize his attacks, they will flee to the Stronghold. They feel their need of special strength from God, and they labor in his strength; therefore the victories they gain do not exalt them, but lead them in faith to lean more securely upon the Mighty One. Deep and fervent gratitude to God is awakened in their hearts, and they are joyful in the tribulation which they experience while pressed by the enemy. These willing servants are gaining an experience and forming a character which will do honor to the cause of God. {GW92 109.1}

     The present is a season of solemn privilege and sacred trust to the servants of God. If these trusts are faithfully kept, great will be the reward of the faithful servant when the Master shall say, "Give an account of thy stewardship." The earnest toil, the unselfish work, the patient, persevering effort, will be rewarded abundantly; Jesus will say, "Henceforth I call you not servants, but friends, guests." The approval of the Master is not given because of the greatness of the work performed, because many things have been gained, but because of the fidelity in even a few things. It is not the great results we attain, but the motives from which we act, that weigh with God. He prizes goodness and faithfulness more than the greatness of the work accomplished. {GW92 109.2}

     I have been shown that many are in the greatest


danger of failing to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. Ministers are in danger of losing their own souls. Some who have preached to others will themselves be cast away, because they have not perfected a Christian character. In their labor they do not save souls, and fail even to save their own. They do not see the importance of self-knowledge and self-control. They do not watch and pray, lest they enter into temptation. If they would watch, they would become acquainted with their weak points, where they are most likely to be assailed by temptation. With watchfulness and prayer, their weakest points can be so guarded as to become their strongest points, and they can encounter temptation without being overcome. Every follower of Christ should daily examine himself, that he may become perfectly acquainted with his own conduct. There is with nearly all a neglect of self-examination. This neglect is positively dangerous in one who professes to be a mouth-piece for God, occupying the fearful, responsible position of receiving the words from God to give to his people. The daily conduct of such a person has great influence upon others. If he has any success in labor, he brings his converts to his own low standard, and it is seldom that they rise higher. Their minister's ways, his words, his gestures and manners, his faith, and his piety are considered a sample of those of all Sabbath-keeping Adventists; and if they pattern after him who has taught them the truth, they think they are doing all their duty. {GW92 109.3}

     There is much in the conduct of a minister that he can improve. Many see and feel their lack, yet they seem to be ignorant of the influence they exert. They are conscious of their actions as they perform them, but suffer them to pass from their memory, and therefore do not reform. If ministers would make the actions of each day a subject of careful thought and deliberate review, with the object to


become acquainted with their own habits of life, they would better know themselves. By a close scrutiny of their daily life under all circumstances, they would know their own motives, the principles which actuate them. This daily review of our acts, to see whether conscience approves or condemns, is necessary for all who wish to arrive at the perfection of Christian character. Many acts which pass for good works, even deeds of benevolence, will, when closely investigated, be found to be prompted by wrong motives. Many receive applause for virtues which they do not possess. The Searcher of hearts inspects motives, and often the deeds which are highly applauded by men are recorded by him as springing from selfish motives and base hypocrisy. Every act of our lives, whether excellent and praiseworthy or deserving of censure, is judged by the Searcher of hearts according to the motives which prompted it.{GW92 110.1}

     Even some ministers who are advocating the law of God have but little knowledge of themselves. They do not meditate, and investigate their motives. They do not see their errors and sins, because they do not, in sincerity and earnestness, take a view of their life, their acts, and their character, separate and as a whole, and compare them with the sacred, holy law of God. The claims of God's law are not really understood by them, and they are daily living in transgression of the spirit of that law which they profess to revere. "By the law," Paul says, "is the knowledge of sin." "I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." [ROM. 3:20; 7:7.] Some who labor in word and doctrine have not a practical understanding of the law of God and its holy claims, or of the atonement of Christ. They themselves need to be converted before they can convert sinners.{GW92 111.1}

     The faithful mirror which would reveal the defects in the character is neglected; therefore deformity


and sin exist, and are apparent to others, if not understood by those who are in fault. The hateful sin of selfishness exists to a great degree, even in some who profess to be devoted to the work of God. If they would compare their character with his requirements, especially with the great standard, his holy, just, and good law, they would ascertain, if earnest, honest searchers, that they are fearfully wanting. But some are not willing to look far enough or deep enough to see the depravity of their own hearts. They are wanting in very many respects; yet they remain in willing ignorance of their guilt, and are so intent upon caring for their own interests that God has no care for them. Some are not naturally devotional, and therefore should encourage and cultivate a habit of close examination of their own lives and motives, and should especially cherish a love for religious exercises and for secret prayer.--Vol. 2, p. 505.



{GW92 111.2}


                 Answers to Prayer.


     When at Battle Creek, Mich., May 5, 1855, I saw that there was a great lack of faith with the servants of God, as well as with the church. They were too easily discouraged, too ready to doubt God, too willing to believe that they had a hard lot, and that God had forsaken them. I saw that this was cruel. God so loved them as to give his dearly beloved Son to die for them, and all heaven was interested in their salvation; yet after all that had been done for them, it was hard to believe and trust so kind and good a Father. He has said that he is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him than earthly parents are to give good gifts to their children. I saw that the servants of God and the church were too easily discouraged. When they asked their Father in heaven for things which they thought they


needed, and these did not immediately come, their faith wavered, their courage fled, and a murmuring feeling took possession of them. This, I saw, displeased God. {GW92 112.1}

     Every saint who comes to God with a true heart, and sends his honest petitions to him in faith, will have his prayers answered. Your faith must not let go of the promises of God, if you do not see or feel the immediate answer to your prayers. Be not afraid to trust God. Rely upon his sure promise, "Ask, and ye shall receive." [JOHN 16:24.] God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from his saints that walk uprightly. Man is erring, and although his petitions are sent up from an honest heart, he does not always ask for the things that are good for himself, or that will glorify God. When this is so, our wise and good Father hears our prayers, and will answer, sometimes immediately; but he gives us the things that are for our best good and his own glory. God gives us blessings; if we could look into his plan, we would clearly see that he knows what is best for us, and that our prayers are answered. Nothing hurtful is given, but the blessing we need, in the place of something we asked for, that would not be good for us, but to our hurt. {GW92 113.1}

     I saw that if we do not feel immediate answers to our prayers, we should hold fast our faith, not allowing distrust to come in, for that will separate us from God. If our faith wavers, we shall receive nothing from him. Our confidence in God should be strong; and when we need it most, the blessing will fall upon us like a shower of rain. {GW92 113.2}

     When the servants of God pray for his Spirit and blessing, it sometimes comes immediately; but it is not always then bestowed. At such times, faint not. Let your faith hold fast the promise that it will come. Let your trust be fully in God, and often that blessing will come when you need it most, and you will unexpectedly receive help from God when you are


presenting the truth to unbelievers, and will be enabled to speak the word with clearness and power. {GW92 113.3}

     It was represented to me like children asking a blessing of their earthly parents who love them. They ask something that the parent knows will hurt them; the parent gives them the things that will be good and healthful for them, in the place of that which they desired. I saw that every prayer which is sent up in faith from an honest heart, will be heard of God and answered; and the one that sent up the petition will have the blessing when he needs it most, and it will often exceed his expectations. Not a prayer of a true saint is lost if sent up in faith, from an honest heart.--Vol. 1, p. 120.



{GW92 114.1}


               The Cause of Doubts.


     Some are often heard talking of doubts and unbelief, and dwelling upon the wonderful struggles they have had with infidel feelings. They dwell upon discouraging influences as so affecting their faith, hope, and courage in the truth and in the ultimate success of the work and cause in which they are engaged, as to make it a special virtue to be found on the side of the doubting. At times they seem to really enjoy hovering about the infidel's position, and strengthening their unbelief with every circumstance they can gather as an excuse for their darkness. To such we would say, You would better come down at once, and leave the walls of Zion, until you become converted men and good Christians. Before you take the responsibility of becoming ministers, you are required by God to separate yourselves from the love of this world. The reward of those who continue in this doubting position will be that given to the fearful and unbelieving.


{GW92 114.2}

     But what is the reason of these doubts, this darkness and unbelief? I answer, These men are not right with God. They are not dealing honestly and truly with their own souls. They have neglected to cultivate personal piety. They have not separated themselves from all selfishness, and from sin and sinners. They have failed to study the self-denying, self-sacrificing life of our Lord, and have failed to imitate his example of purity, devotion, and self-sacrifice. The sin which easily besets has been strengthened by indulgence. By their own negligence and sin, they have separated themselves from the company of the Divine Teacher, and he is a day's journey in advance of them. They have for their company, the indolent, slothful, backsliding, unbelieving, irreverent, unthankful, unholy, and their attendants, the evil angels. What marvel that such are in darkness, or that they have doubts of doctrine? "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine." [JOHN 7:17.] He shall know of a certainty in regard to this matter. This promise should put to flight all doubts and questionings. It is separation from Christ that brings doubts. He is followed by the earnest, honest, true, faithful, humble, meek, and pure, whom holy angels, clothed with the panoply of heaven, are sanctifying, enlightening, purifying, and guarding; for they are heaven-bound. {GW92 115.1}

     No greater evidence need be asked that a person is at a great distance from Jesus, and living in neglect of secret prayer, neglecting personal piety, than the fact that he thus talks doubts and unbelief because his surroundings are not favorable. Such persons have not the pure, true, undefiled religion of Christ. They have a spurious article, which the refining process will utterly consume as dross. As soon as God proves them, and tests their faith, they waver, they stand feebly, swaying first one way, then the other. They have not the genuine article that


Paul possessed, that could glory in tribulation, because "tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts." [ROM. 5:3-5.] They have a religion of circumstance. If all around them are strong in faith and courage in the ultimate success of the third angel's message, and no special influence is brought to bear against them, they then appear to have some faith. But as soon as adversity seems to come upon the cause, and the work drags heavily, and the help of every one is needed, these poor souls, though they may be professed ministers of the gospel, expect everything to come to naught. These hinder instead of helping. {GW92 115.2}

     If apostasy arises, and rebellion is manifested, you do not hear them say, in words of encouragement and lofty cheer, "Brethren, faint not; be of good courage." "Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his." [2 TIM. 2:19.] Men who are thus affected by circumstances should remain at their homes, and employ their physical and mental strength in a less responsible position, where they will not be liable to meet such strong opposition. If everything moves smoothly, they may pass for very good, devotional men. But these are not the ones whom the Master will send to do his work; for this is opposed by those who are emissaries of Satan. Satan also, and his host of evil angels, will be arrayed against them. God has made provision for the men whom he has called to do his work, that they may come off conquerors in every contest. Those who follow his directions will never meet with defeat. {GW92 116.1}

     The Lord, speaking through Paul, tells us how to fortify ourselves against Satan and his emissaries: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor


of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." [EPH. 6:10-18.] . . . {GW92 116.2}

     Shall our zeal, our fervor, be kindled only when we are surrounded by those who are awake and zealous in the work and cause of God? Can we not stand in God, let our surroundings be ever so unpleasant and discouraging? "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded,


that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, not depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." [ROM. 8:31-39]-- Vol. 2, p. 513.



{GW92 117.1}


            Danger in Cherishing Doubts.


     Some have given a willing ear to the tempter, and have talked out their unbelief, and wounded the cause. Satan has claims upon them, for they have not recovered themselves from his snare. They have conducted themselves like children who were wholly unacquainted with the wiles of the tempter. They have had sufficient experience, and should have understood his workings. He has suggested doubts to their minds, and instead of repelling them at once, they have reasoned and parleyed with the archdeceiver, and listened to his reasonings, as though charmed by the old serpent. A few texts which were not perfectly explainable to the satisfaction of their own minds, have been sufficient to shake the whole structure of truth, and to obscure the plainest facts of the word of God. These men are erring mortals. They have not perfect wisdom and knowledge in all the Scriptures. Some passages are placed beyond the reach of human minds, until such time as God chooses, in his own wisdom, to open them. Satan has been leading some on a trail which ends in certain infidelity. They have suffered their unbelief to becloud the harmonious, glorious chain of truth, and have acted as though it was their business to explain every difficult passage of Scripture, and if our faith did not enable them to do this, it was faulty. {GW92 118.1}

     I saw that those who have an evil heart of unbelief will doubt, and will think it noble and a virtue to


doubt the word of God. Those who think it a virtue to quibble can have plenty of room to disbelieve the inspiration and truth of God's word. God does not compel any to believe. They can choose to rely upon the evidences he has been pleased to give, or doubt, and cavil, and perish. {GW92 118.2}

     I was shown that those who are troubled with doubts and infidelity should not go out to labor for others. That which is in the mind must flow out, and they realize not the effect of a hint, or the smallest doubt expressed. Satan makes it a barbed arrow. It acts like a slow poison, which, before the victim is made sensible of his danger, affects the whole system, undermines a good constitution, and finally causes death. It is just so with the poison of doubt and unbelief of Scripture facts. One who has influence suggests to others that which Satan has suggested to him, that one scripture contradicts another; and thus, in a very wise manner, as though he had found out some wonderful mystery, which had been hid from believers and the holy in every age of the world, he casts midnight darkness into other minds. They lose the relish they once had for the truth, and become infidels. All this is the work of a few words spoken, which had a hidden power because they seemed involved in mystery. {GW92 119.1}

     This is the work of a cunning devil. Those who are troubled with doubts, and have difficulties which they cannot solve, should not throw other weak minds into the same perplexity. Some have hinted or talked their unbelief, and have passed on, little dreaming of the effect produced. In some instances, the seeds of unbelief have taken immediate effect, while in others they have lain buried quite a length of time, until the individual has taken a wrong course and given place to the enemy, and the light of God has been withdrawn from him, and he has fallen under the powerful temptations of Satan. Then the seeds of infidelity which were sown so


long ago spring up. Satan nourishes them, and they bear fruit. Anything coming from ministers who should stand in the light, has a powerful influence. And when they have not stood in the clear light of God, Satan has used them as agents, and has through them transmitted his fiery darts to minds not prepared to resist what has come from their ministers. {GW92 119.2}

     I saw that ministers, as well as people, have a warfare before them to resist Satan. The professed minister of Christ is in a fearful position when serving the purposes of the tempter, by listening to his whisperings, and letting him captivate the mind and guide the thoughts. The minister's most grievous sin in the sight of God is talking about his unbelief, and drawing other minds into the same dark channel, thus suffering Satan to carry out a twofold purpose in tempting him. He unsettles the mind of the one whose course has encouraged his temptations, and then leads that one to unsettle the minds of many. {GW92 120.1}

     It is time that the watchmen upon the walls of Zion understood the responsibility and sacredness of their mission. They should feel that a woe is upon them if they do not perform the work which God has committed to them. If they become unfaithful, they are endangering the safety of the flock of God, endangering the cause of truth, and exposing it to the ridicule of our enemies. O what a work is this! It will surely meet its reward. Some ministers, as well as people, need converting. They need to be torn to pieces, and made over new. Their work among the churches is worse than lost, and in their present weak, tottering condition, it would be more pleasing to God for them to cease their efforts to help others, and labor with their hands until they are converted. Then they could strengthen their brethren.


{GW92 120.2}

     Ministers must arouse. They profess to be generals in the army of the great King, and at the same time are sympathizers with the great rebel leader and his host. Some have exposed the cause of God and the sacred truths of his word to the reproaches of the rebel host. They have removed a portion of their armor, and Satan has hurled in his poisoned arrows. They have strengthened the hands of the rebel leaders, and weakened themselves, and caused Satan and his hellish clan to rear their heads in triumph, and exult on account of the victory they have let him gain. O, what a lack of wisdom! What blindness! What foolish generalship, to open their weakest points to their deadliest foes! How unlike the course pursued by Martin Luther! He was willing to sacrifice his life, if need be, but the truth, never! His words are, "Let us only take care that the gospel be not exposed to the insults of the ungodly, and let us shed our blood in its defense, rather than allow them to triumph. Who will say whether my life or my death would contribute most to the salvation of my brethren?"--Vol. 1 p. 377.



{GW92 121.1}


          The Importance of Bible Study.


     Ministers should become Bible students. Are the truths which they handle mighty? Then they should seek to handle them skillfully. Their ideas should be clear and strong, and their spirits fervent, or they will weaken the force of the truth which they handle. By tamely presenting the truth, merely repeating the theory without being stirred by it themselves, they can never convert men. If they should live as long as did Noah, their efforts would be without effect. Their love for souls must be


intense, and their zeal fervent. A listless, unfeeling manner of presenting the truth will never arouse men and women from their deathlike slumber. They must show by their manners, by their acts and words, and by their preaching and praying, that they believe that Christ is at the door. Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid, and preachers have no power to arouse them; they are asleep themselves. Sleeping ministers preaching to a sleeping people! {GW92 121.2}

     A great work must be accomplished for ministers, in order for them to make the preaching of the truth a success. The word of God should be thoroughly studied. All other reading is inferior to this. A careful study of the Bible will not necessarily exclude all other reading of a religious nature; but if the word of God is studied prayerfully, all reading which will have a tendency to divert the mind from it will be excluded. If we study the word of God with interest, and pray to understand it, new beauties will be seen in every line. God will reveal precious truth so clearly that the mind will derive sincere pleasure, and have a continual feast as its comforting and sublime truths are unfolded. . . . {GW92 122.1}

     Those who engage in the business of school-teaching prepare for the work. They qualify themselves by attending school, and interesting their minds in study. They are not allowed to teach children and youth in the sciences, unless they are capable of instructing them. Upon applying for a situation as teacher, they have to pass an examination before competent persons. It is an important work to deal with young minds, and instruct them correctly in the sciences. But of how much greater importance is the work of the ministry! Yet many engage in the important business of interesting men and women to enter the school of Christ, where they are to learn how they may form characters for heaven, who need to become students themselves. Some who enter the


ministry do not feel the burden of the work upon them. They have received incorrect ideas of the qualifications of a minister. They have thought that it required but little close study in the sciences or in the word of God to make a minister. Some who are teaching present truth are not acquainted with their Bibles. They are so deficient in Bible knowledge that it is difficult for them to quote a text of Scripture correctly from memory. By blundering along in the awkward manner they do, they sin against God. They mangle the Scripture, and make the Bible say things that are not written therein. {GW92 122.2}

     Some who have all their lives been led by feeling, have thought that an education or a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures was of no consequence, if they only had the Spirit. But God never sends his Spirit to sanction ignorance. Those who have not knowledge, and who are so situated that it is impossible for them to obtain it, the Lord may, and does, pity and bless, and sometimes he condescends to make his strength perfect in their weakness. But he makes it the duty of such to study his word. A lack of knowledge in the sciences is no excuse for a neglect of Bible study; for the words of inspiration are so plain that the unlearned may understand them. {GW92 123.1}

     Of all men upon the face of the earth, those who are handling solemn truths for these perilous times should understand their Bibles, and become acquainted with the evidences of our faith. Unless they possess a knowledge of the word of life, they have no right to undertake to instruct others in the way to life. Ministers should give all diligence to add to their "faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity," [2 PETER 1:5-7.] Some of our ministers graduate when they have scarcely learned the first principles


of the doctrine of Christ. Those who are ambassadors for Christ, who stand in his stead, beseeching souls to be reconciled to God, should be qualified to present our faith intelligently, and be able to give the reasons of their hope with meekness and fear. Christ said, "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me." [JOHN 5:39.] {GW92 123.2}

     Ministers who teach unpopular truth will be beset by men who are urged on by Satan, and who, like their master, can quote Scripture readily; and shall the servants of God be unequal to the servants of Satan in handling the words of inspiration? They should, like Christ, meet scripture with scripture. O that those who minister in holy things would awake, and, like the noble Bereans, search the Scriptures daily! Brethren in the ministry, I entreat you to study the Scriptures with humble prayer for an understanding heart, that you may teach the way of life more perfectly. Your counsel, prayers, and example must be a savor of life unto life, or you are unqualified to point out the way of life to others. {GW92 124.1}

     The Master requires all his servants to improve upon the talents he has committed to them. But how much more will he require of those who profess to understand the way of life, and who take upon themselves the responsibility of guiding others therein. The apostle Paul exhorted Timothy: "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." [JOHN 5:39.]--Vol. 2, p. 337.


{GW92 124.2}

     How Shall We Search the Scriptures?


     How shall we search the Scriptures in order to understand what they teach? We should come to the investigation of God's word with a contrite heart, a teachable and prayerful spirit. We are not to think, as did the Jews, that our own ideas and opinions are infallible; nor with the papists, that certain individuals are the sole guardians of truth and knowledge, that men have no right to search the Scriptures for themselves, but must accept the explanations given by the Fathers of the church. We should not study the Bible for the purpose of sustaining our preconceived opinions, but with the single object of learning what God has said. {GW92 125.1}

     Some have feared that if in even a single point they acknowledge themselves in error, other minds would be led to doubt the whole theory of truth. Therefore they have felt that investigation should not be permitted; that it would tend to dissension and disunion. But if such is to be the result of investigation, the sooner it comes the better. If there are those whose faith in God's word will not stand the test of an investigation of the Scriptures, the sooner they are revealed the better; for then the way will be opened to show them their error. We cannot hold that a position once taken, an idea once advocated, is not, under any circumstances, to be relinquished. There is but one who is infallible,--He who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. {GW92 125.2}

     Those who allow prejudice to bar the mind against the reception of truth cannot receive the divine enlightenment. Yet, when a view of Scripture is  presented, many do not ask, Is it True,--in harmony with God's word? but, By whom is it advocated? and unless it comes through the very channel that pleases them, they do not accept it. So thoroughly satisfied are they with their own ideas, that they


will not examine the Scripture evidence, with a desire to learn, but refuse to be interested, merely because of their prejudices. {GW92 125.3}

     The Lord often works where we least expect him; he surprises us by revealing his power through instruments of his own choice, while he passes by the men to whom we have looked as those through whom light should come. God desires us to receive the truth upon its own merits,--because it is truth. {GW92 126.1}

     The Bible must not be interpreted to suit the ideas of men, however long they may have held these ideas to be true. We are not to accept the opinion of commentators as the voice of God; they were erring mortals like ourselves. God has given reasoning powers to us as well as to them. We should make the Bible its own expositor. {GW92 126.2}

     All should be careful about presenting new views of Scripture before they have given these points thorough study, and are fully prepared to sustain them from the Bible. Introduce nothing that will cause dissension, without clear evidence that in it God is giving a special message for this time. {GW92 126.3}

     But beware of rejecting that which is truth. The great danger with our people has been that of depending upon men, and making flesh their arm. Those who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for themselves, or weighing evidence, have confidence in the leading men, and accept the decisions they make, and thus many will reject the very messages God sends to his people, if these leading brethren do not accept them. {GW92 126.4}

     No one should claim that he has all the light there is for God's people. The Lord will not tolerate this. He has said, "I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it." [REV. 3:8.] Even if all our leading men should refuse light and truth, that door will still remain open. The Lord will raise up men who will give the people the message for this time.


{GW92 126.5}

     Truth is eternal, and conflict with error will only make manifest its strength. We should never refuse to examine the Scriptures with those who, we have reason to believe, desire to know what is truth. Suppose a brother held a view that differed from yours, and he should come to you, proposing that you sit down with him and make an investigation of that point in the Scriptures; should you rise up, filled with prejudice, and condemn his ideas, while refusing to give him a candid hearing? The only right way would be to sit down as Christians, and investigate the position presented, in the light of God's work, which will reveal truth and unmask error. To ridicule his ideas would not weaken his position in the least if it were false, or strengthen your position if it were true. If the pillars of our faith will not stand the test of investigation, it is time that we knew it. There must be no spirit of Phariseeism cherished among us. {GW92 127.1}

     We should come with reverence to the study of the Bible, feeling that we are in the presence of God. All lightness and trifling should be laid aside. While some portions of the word are easily understood, the true meaning of other parts is not so readily discerned. There must be patient study and meditation, and earnest prayer. Every student, as he opens the Scriptures, should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and the promise is sure, that it will be given. {GW92 127.2}

     The spirit in which you come to the investigation of the Scriptures will determine the character of the assistant at your side. Angels from the world of light will be with those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance. But if the Bible is opened with irreverence, with a feeling of self-sufficiency, if the heart is filled with prejudice, Satan is beside you, and he will set the plain statements of God's word in a perverted light.


{GW92 127.3}

     There are some who indulge in levity, sarcasm, and even mockery toward those who differ with them. Others present an array of objections to any new view; and when these objections are plainly answered by the words of Scripture, they do not acknowledge the evidence presented, nor allow themselves to be convinced. Their questioning is not for the purpose of arriving at truth, but was intended merely to confuse the minds of others. {GW92 128.1}

     Some have thought it an evidence of intellectual keenness and superiority to perplex minds in regard to what is truth. They resort to subtlety of  argument, to playing upon words; they take unjust advantage in asking questions. When their questions have been fairly answered, they will turn the subject, bring up another point, to avoid acknowledging the truth. We should beware of indulging the spirit which controlled the Jews. They would not learn of Christ, because his explanation of the Scriptures did not agree with their ideas; therefore they became spies upon his track, "laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him." [LUKE 11:54, 52.] Let us not bring upon ourselves the fearful denunciation of the Saviour's words, "Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." [LUKE 11:54, 52.] {GW92 128.2}

     It does not require much learning or ability to ask questions that are difficult to answer. A child may ask questions over which the wisest men may be puzzled. Let us not engage in a contest of this kind. The very same unbelief exists in our time as prevailed in the days of Christ. Now as then the desire for preferment and the praise of men leads people away from the simplicity of true godliness. There is no pride so dangerous as spiritual pride. {GW92 128.3}

     Young men should search the Scriptures for themselves. They are not to feel that it is sufficient for


those older in experience to find out the truth; that the younger ones can accept it from them as authority. The Jews perished as a nation because they were drawn from the truth of the Bible by their rulers, priests, and elders. Had they heeded the lessons of Jesus, and searched the Scriptures for themselves, they would not have perished. {GW92 128.4}

     Young men in our ranks are watching to see in what spirit the ministers come to the investigation of the Scriptures; whether they have a teachable spirit, and are humble enough to accept evidence, and receive light from the messengers whom God chooses to send. {GW92 129.1}

     We must study the truth for ourselves. No man should be relied upon to think for us. No matter who he is, or in what position he may be placed, we are not to look upon any man as a criterion for us. We are to counsel together, and to be  subject one to another; but at the same time we are to exercise the ability God has given us, in order to learn what is truth. Each one of us must look to God for divine enlightenment. We must individually develop a character that will stand the test in the day of God. We must not become set in our ideas, and think that no one should interfere with our opinions. {GW92 129.2}

     When a point of doctrine that you do not understand comes to your attention, go to God on your knees, that you may understand what is truth, and not be found as were the Jews, fighting against God. While warning men to beware of accepting anything unless it is truth, we should also warn them not to imperil their souls by rejecting messages of light, but to press out of the darkness by earnest study of the word of God. {GW92 129.3}

     When Nathanael came to Jesus, the Saviour exclaimed, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" Nathanael said, "Whence knowest thou me?" Jesus answered, "When thou wast


under the fig-tree, I saw thee." [JOHN 1:47, 48.] And Jesus will see us also in the secret places of prayer, if we seek him for light that we may know what is truth. {GW92 129.4}

     If a brother is teaching error, those who are in responsible positions ought to know it; and if he is teaching truth, they ought to take their stand at his side. We should all know what is being taught among us; for if it is truth, we need to know it. The Sabbath-school teacher needs to know it, and every Sabbath-school scholar ought to understand it. We are all under obligation to God to understand what he sends us. He has given directions by which we may test every doctrine,--"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." [ISA. 8:20.] But if it is according to this test, do not be so full of prejudice that you cannot acknowledge a point simply because it does not agree with your ideas. {GW92 130.1}

     It is impossible for any mind to comprehend all the richness and greatness of even one promise of God. One catches the glory of one point of view, another the beauty and grace from another point, and the soul is filled with the heavenly light. If we saw all the glory, the spirit would faint. But we can bear far greater revelations from God's abundant promises than we now enjoy. It makes my heart sad to think how we lose sight of the fullness of blessing designed for us. We content ourselves with momentary flashes of spiritual illumination, when we might walk day after day in the light of His presence. {GW92 130.2}

     Dear brethren, pray as you never before prayed, for beams from the Sun of Righteousness to shine upon the word, that you may be able to understand its true meaning. Jesus pleaded that his disciples might be sanctified through the truth,--the word of God. Then how earnestly should we pray that He who "searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of


God," [1 COR. 2:10.] He whose office it is to bring all things to the remembrance of God's people, and to guide them into all truth, may be with us in the investigation of his holy word.-- MS.



{GW92 130.3}


              Examination for the Ministry.


     I saw that God had laid upon his chosen ministers the duty of deciding who was fit for the holy work [of the ministry]; and in union with the church and the manifest tokens of the Holy Spirit, they were to decide who should go, and who were unfit to go. I saw that if it should be left to a few individuals here and there to decide who was sufficient for this great work, confusion and distraction everywhere would be the fruit. {GW92 131.1}

     God has repeatedly shown that persons should not be encouraged into the field without unmistakable evidence that he has called them. The Lord will not intrust the burden for his flock to unqualified individuals. Those whom God calls must be men of deep experience, tried and proved, men of sound judgment, men who will dare to reprove sin in the spirit of meekness, men who understand how to feed the flock. God knows the heart, and he knows whom to select.-- Vol. 1, p. 209.



{GW92 131.2}

     There has been too little done in examining ministers, and for this very reason churches have had the labors of unconverted, inefficient men, who have lulled the members to sleep, instead of awakening them to greater zeal and earnestness in the cause of God. There are ministers who come to the prayer-meeting, and pray the same old, lifeless prayers over and over; they preach the same dry discourses from week to week and from month to month. They have nothing new and inspiring to present to their congregations,


and it is evident that they are not partakers of the divine nature; Christ is not abiding in the heart by faith. Those who claim to keep and teach the holy law of God, and yet are continually transgressing that law, are stumbling-blocks both to sinners and to believers in the truth. The loose, lax way in which many regard the law of Jehovah and the gift of his Son, is an insult to God. The only way in which we can correct this wide-spread evil, is to examine closely every one who would become a teacher of the word. Those upon whom this responsibility rests, should acquaint themselves with his history since he has professed to believe the truth. His Christian experience and his knowledge of the Scriptures, the way in which he holds the present truth, should all be understood. No one should be accepted as a laborer in the cause of God, until he makes it manifest that he has a real, living experience in the things of God. -- MS.



{GW92 131.3}

     Those who are about to enter upon the sacred work of teaching Bible truth to the world, should be carefully examined by faithful, experienced persons. [SEE ALSO P. 122.] After they have had some experience, there is still another work to be done for them; they should be presented before the Lord in earnest prayer that he would indicate by his Holy Spirit if they are acceptable to him. The apostle says, "Lay hands suddenly on no man." [1 TIM. 5:22.] In the days of the apostles, the ministers of God did not dare to rely upon their own judgment in selecting or accepting men to take the solemn and sacred position of mouth-piece for God. They selected the men whom their judgment would accept, and then they placed them before the Lord to see if he would accept them to go forth as his representatives. No less than this should be done now. {GW92 132.1}

     In many places we meet men who have been hurried into responsible positions as elders of the


church, when they are not qualified for such a position. They have not proper government over themselves. Their influence is not good. The church is in trouble continually in consequence of the defective character of the leader. Hands have been laid too suddenly upon these men. {GW92 132.2}

     Ministers of God should be of good repute, capable of discreetly managing an interest after they have aroused it. We stand in great need of competent men who will bring honor instead of disgrace upon the cause which they represent. Ministers should be examined especially to see if they have an intelligent understanding of the truth for this time, so that they can give a connected discourse upon the prophecies or upon practical subjects. If they cannot clearly present Bible subjects, they need to be hearers and learners still. They should earnestly and prayerfully search the Scriptures, and become conversant with them, in order to be teachers of Bible truth to others. All these things should be carefully and prayerfully considered before men are hurried into the field of labor.--Vol. 4, p. 406.



{GW92 133.1}


                    Young Ministers.


     In the providence of God, Moses obtained an experience in care-taking, in thoughtfulness, in tender solicitude for his flock, that he might, as a faithful shepherd, be ready when God should call him to take charge of his people. A similar experience is essential for those who engage in the great work of preaching the truth. In order to lead souls to the life-giving fountain, the preacher must first drink at the fountain himself. He must see the infinite sacrifice made by the Son of God to save fallen men, and his own soul must be imbued with the spirit of undying love. If God appoints us hard labor to perform, we must do it without a murmur.


If the path is difficult and dangerous, it is God's plan to have us follow in meekness, and cry unto him for strength. A lesson is to be learned from the experience of some of our ministers who have known nothing comparatively of difficulties and trials, yet ever look upon themselves as martyrs. They have yet to learn to accept with thankfulness the way of God's choosing, remembering the Author of our salvation. The work of the minister should be pursued with an earnestness, energy, and zeal as much greater than that put forth in business transactions as the labor is more sacred and the result more momentous. Each day's work should tell in the eternal records as "well done;" so that if no other day should be granted in which to labor, the work would be thoroughly finished. Our ministers, young men especially, should realize the preparation necessary to fit them for their solemn work, and to prepare them for the society of pure angels. In order to be at home in heaven, we must have heaven enshrined in our hearts here. If this is not the case with us, it were better than we had no part in the work of God. {GW92 133.2}

     The ministry is corrupted by unsanctified ministers. Unless there shall be altogether a higher and more spiritual standard for the ministry, the truth of the gospel will become more and more powerless. The human mind is represented by the rich soil of a garden. Unless it shall receive proper cultivation, it will be overgrown with the weeds and briers of ignorance. The mind and heart need culture daily, and neglect will be productive of evil. The more natural ability God has bestowed upon an individual, the greater the improvement he is required to make, and the greater his responsibility to use his time and talents for the glory of God. The mind must not remain dormant. If it is not exercised in the acquisition of knowledge, there will be a sinking into ignorance, superstition, and fancy. If the intellectual faculties are not cultivated as they should be to glorify God,


they will become powerful aids in leading to perdition. {GW92 134.1}

     While young men should guard against being pompous and independent, they should be continually making marked improvement. They should accept every opportunity to cultivate the more noble, generous traits of character. If young men would feel their dependence upon God every moment, and cherish a spirit of prayer, a breathing out of the soul to God at all times and in all places, they might better know the will of God. . . . {GW92 135.1}

     The greatest victories which are gained to the cause are not by labored argument, ample facilities, abundance of influence, and plenty of means; but they are those victories which are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power. When Jacob found himself utterly prostrate and in a helpless condition, he poured out his soul to God in an agony of earnestness. The angel of God pleaded to be released; but Jacob would not let go his hold. The stricken man, suffering bodily pain, presented his earnest supplication with the boldness which living faith imparts. "I will not let thee go," he said, "except thou bless me." [GEN. 32: 26.] {GW92 135.2}

     There are deep mysteries in the word of God, which will never be discovered by minds that are unaided by the Spirit of God. There are also unsearchable mysteries in the plan of redemption, which finite minds can never comprehend. Inexperienced youth might better tax their minds and exercise their ability to gain an understanding of matters that are revealed; for unless they possess more spiritual enlightenment than they now have, it would take a lifetime to learn the revealed will of God. When they have cherished the light they already have, and made a practical use of it, they will be able to take a step forward. God's providence is a continual school, in which he is ever


leading men to see the true aims of life. None are too young, and none too old, to learn in this school, by paying diligent heed to the lessons taught by the Divine Teacher. He is the True Shepherd, and he calls his sheep by name. By the wanderers his voice is heard, saying, "This is the way, walk ye in it." [ISA. 30:21.] {GW92 135.3}

     Young men who have never made a success in the temporal duties of life will be equally unprepared to engage in the higher duties. A religious experience is attained only through conflict, through disappointment, through severe discipline of self, through earnest prayer. Living faith must grasp the promises unflinchingly, and then many may come from close communion with God with shining faces, saying, as did Jacob, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." [GEN. 32:30.] {GW92 136.1}

     The steps upward to heaven must be taken one at a time; every advance step strengthens us for the next. The transforming power of the grace of God upon the human heart is a work which many do not comprehend, because they are too indolent to make the necessary effort. The lessons which young ministers learn in going about and being waited upon when they have not a fitness for the work, have a demoralizing influence upon them. They do not know their place and keep it. They are not balanced by firm principles. They talk knowingly of things they know nothing of, and hence those who accept them as teachers are misled. One such person will inspire more skepticism in minds than several will be able to counteract, do the best they can. Men of small minds delight to quibble, to criticise, to seek for something to question, thinking this a mark of sharpness; but instead it shows a mind lacking refinement and elevation. How much better to be engaged in seeking to cultivate themselves, and to ennoble and elevate their minds. As a flower turns


to the sun, that the bright rays may aid in perfecting its beauty and symmetry, so should the youth turn to the Son of Righteousness, that Heaven's light may shine upon them, perfecting their characters and giving them a deep and abiding experience in the things of God. Then they may reflect the divine rays of light upon others. Those who choose to gather doubts, and unbelief, and skepticism, will experience no growth in grace or spirituality, and are unfitted for the solemn responsibility of bearing the truth to others. {GW92 136.2}

     The world is to be warned of its coming doom. The slumbers of those who are lying in sin and error are so deep, so deathlike, that the voice of God through a wide-awake minister is needed to awaken them. Unless the ministers are converted, the people will not be. The cold formalism that is now prevailing among us must give place to the living energy of experimental godliness. There is no fault with the theory of the truth; it is perfectly clear and harmonious. But young ministers may speak the truth fluently, and yet have no real sense of the words they utter. They do not appreciate the value of the truth they present, and little realize what it has cost those who, with prayers and tears, through trial and opposition, have sought for it as for hid treasures. Every new link in the chain of truth was to them as precious as tried gold. These links are now united in a perfect whole. Truths have been dug out of the rubbish of superstition and error, by earnest prayer for light and knowledge, and have been presented to the people as precious pearls of priceless value. {GW92 137.1}

     The gospel is a revelation to man of beams of light and hope from the eternal world. All the light does not burst upon us at once, but it comes as we can bear it. Inquiring minds that hunger for a knowledge of God's will are never satisfied; the deeper they search, the more they realize their ignorance and deplore their blindness. It is beyond the


power of man to conceive the high and noble attainments that are within his reach, if he will combine human effort with the grace of God, who is the Source of all wisdom and power. And there is an eternal weight of glory beyond. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." [1 COR. 2:9.] {GW92 137.2}

     We have the most solemn message of truth ever borne to the world. This truth is more and more respected by unbelievers, because it cannot be controverted. In view of this fact, our young men become self-confident and self-inflated. They take the truths which have been brought out by other minds, and without study or earnest prayer, meet opponents and engage in contests, indulging in sharp speeches and witticisms, flattering themselves that this is doing the work of a gospel minister. In order to be fitted for God's work, these men need as thorough a conversion as Paul experienced. Ministers must be living representatives of the truth they preach. They must have greater spiritual life, characterized by greater simplicity. The words must be received from God and given to the people. The attention of the people must be arrested. Our message is a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. The destiny of souls is balancing. Multitudes are in the valley of decision. A voice should be heard crying, "If the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." [1 KINGS 18:21.] {GW92 138.1}

     Prompt, energetic, and earnest action may save an undecided soul. No one can tell how much is lost by attempting to preach without the unction of the Holy Spirit. There are souls in every congregation who are hesitating, almost persuaded to be wholly for God. The decision is being made for time and for eternity; but it is too often the case that the minister has not the spirit and power of the


message of truth in his own heart, hence no direct appeals are made to those souls that are trembling in the balance. The result is that impressions are not deepened upon the hearts of the convicted ones; and they leave the meeting feeling less inclined to accept the service of Christ than when they came. They decide to wait for a more favorable opportunity; but it never comes. That godless discourse, like Cain's offering, lacked the Saviour. The golden opportunity is lost, and the cases of these souls are decided. Is not too much at stake to preach in an indifferent manner, and without feeling the burden of souls? {GW92 138.2}

     In this age of moral darkness it will take something more than dry theory to move souls. Ministers must have a living connection with God. They must preach as though they believed what they said. Living truths, falling from the lips of the man of God, will cause sinners to tremble, and the convicted to cry out, "Jehovah is the God; I am resolved to be wholly on the Lord's side." Never should the messenger of God cease his strivings for greater light and power from above. He should toil on, pray on, hope on, amid discouragement and darkness, determined to gain a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, and to come behind in no gift. As long as there is one soul to be benefited, he should press forward with new courage at every effort. There is work, earnest work, to be accomplished. Souls for whom Christ died are in peril. So long as Jesus has said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee," [HEB. 13:5.] so long as the crown of righteousness is offered to the overcomer, so long as our Advocate pleads in the sinner's behalf, ministers of Christ should labor in hope, with tireless energy and persevering faith. {GW92 139.1}

     But while the truth of God is carried by young and inexperienced men whose hearts are scarcely touched by the grace of God, the cause will


languish. . . . Men who dare to assume the responsibilities of receiving the word from the mouth of God and giving it to the people, make themselves accountable for the truth they present and the influence they exert. If they are truly men of God, their hope is not in themselves, but in what he will do for them and through them. They do not go forth self-inflated, calling the attention of the people to their smartness and aptness; they feel their responsibility, and work with spiritual energy, treading in the path of self-denial which the Master trod. Self-sacrifice is seen at every step, and they mourn because of their inability to do more in the cause of God. Their path is one of trial and conflict; but it is marked by the foot-prints of their Redeemer, the Captain of their salvation, who was made perfect through suffering. {GW92 139.2}

     In their labor the under-shepherds must closely follow the directions and manifest the spirit of the Chief Shepherd. Skepticism and apostasy are met everywhere. God wants men to labor in his cause who have hearts as true as steel, and who will stand steadfast in integrity, undaunted by circumstances. Amid trial and gloom they are just what they were when their prospects were brightened by hope, and when their outward surroundings were all that they could desire. Daniel in the lions' den is the same Daniel who stood before the king, encircled by the light of God. Paul in the dark dungeon, awaiting the sentence which he knew was to come from the cruel Nero, is the same Paul who addressed the court of the Areopagus. A man whose heart is stayed upon God in the hour of his most afflicting trials and most discouraging surroundings, is just what he was in prosperity, when the light and favor of God seemed to be upon him. Faith reaches to the unseen, and grasps eternal things. . . . {GW92 140.1}

     Ministers should dare to be true, Paul wrote to Timothy: "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in


conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." [1 TIM. 4:12, 15, 16.] The word and will of God are expressed in the Scriptures by inspired penmen. We should bind them as frontlets between our eyes, and walk according to their precepts; then we shall walk safely. Every chapter and every verse is a communication from God to man. In studying the word, the soul that hungers and thirsts for righteousness will be impressed by the divine utterances. Skepticism can have no power over a soul that with humility searches the Scriptures.--Vol. 4, p. 442.



{GW92 140.2}

     There are but few preachers among us. And because the cause of God seemed to need help so much, some have been led to think that almost any one claiming to be a minister would be acceptable. Some have thought that because persons could pray and exhort with a degree of freedom in meeting, they were qualified to go forth as laborers. And before they were proved, or could show any good fruit of their labors, men whom God has not sent have been encouraged and flattered by some brethren lacking experience. But their work shows the character of the workman. They scatter and confuse, but do not gather in and build up. A few may receive the truth as the fruit of their labors; but these generally rise no higher than those from whom they learned the truth. The same lack which marked their own course is seen in their converts. {GW92 141.1}

     The success of this cause does not depend upon our having a large number of ministers; but it is of the highest importance that those who do labor in connection with the cause of God should be men who really feel the burden and sacredness of the work to which he has called them. A few self-sacrificing,


godly men, small in their own estimation, can do a greater amount of good than a much larger number, if a part of these are unqualified for the work, yet self-confident and boastful of their own talents. A number of these in the field, who would better fill some calling at home, would make it necessary that nearly all the time of the faithful ministers be spent in following after them to correct their wrong influence. The future usefulness of young preachers depends much upon the manner in which they enter upon their labors. Brethren who have the cause of God at heart are so anxious to see the truth advance that they are in danger of doing too much for ministers who have not been proved, by helping them liberally to means, and giving them influence. Those who enter the gospel field should be left to earn themselves a reputation, even if it must be through trials and privations. They should first give full proof of their ministry. {GW92 141.2}

     Brethren of experience should be guarded; and instead of expecting these young preachers to help and lead them, should feel a responsibility upon them to take charge of these young preachers, to instruct, advise, and lead them, to have a fatherly care for them. Young ministers should have system, a firm purpose, and a mind to work, that they may eat no man's bread for naught. They should not go from place to place, and introduce some points of our faith calculated to stir up prejudice, and leave before the evidences of present truth are half presented. Young men who think that they have a duty to do in connection with the work should not take the responsibility of teaching the truth, until they have availed themselves of the privilege of being under the influence of some experienced preacher who is systematic in his work; they should learn of him as a pupil at school would learn of his teacher. They should not go hither and thither, with no definite object or matured plans to carry out in their labor.


{GW92 142.1}

     Some who have but little experience, and are least qualified to teach the truth, are the last to ask counsel of their experienced brethren. They put on the minister, and place themselves on a level with those of long and tried experience, and are not satisfied unless they can lead, thinking that because they are ministers, they know all that is worth knowing. Such preachers certainly lack a true knowledge of themselves. They do not possess becoming modesty, and have altogether too high an opinion of their own abilities. Ministers of experience, who realize the sacredness of the work, and feel the weight of the cause upon them, are jealous of themselves. They consider it a privilege to advise with their brethren, and are not offended if improvements are suggested in their plans of labor, or in their manner of speaking. {GW92 143.1}

     Those ministers who have come out from the different denominations to embrace the third angel's message often wish to teach when they should be learners. Some have a great share of their former teaching to unlearn before they can fully learn the principles of present truth. Ministers will injure the cause of God by going forth to labor for others when there is as great a work to be done for them to fit them for their labors, as they may wish to do for unbelievers. If they are unqualified for the work, it will require the labor of two or three faithful ministers to follow after and correct their wrong influence. In the end it would be cheaper for the cause of God to give such ministers a good support to remain at home and do no injury in the field. {GW92 143.2}

     Preachers have been regarded by some as especially inspired, as being only mediums for the Lord to speak through. If the aged and those of long experience see failings in a minister, and suggest improvements in his manners, in the tone of his voice, or in his gestures, he has sometimes felt hurt, and has reasoned that God called him just as he was, that the power was of God and not of himself, and


that God must do the work for him, that he did not preach according to man's wisdom, etc. It is a mistake to think that a man cannot preach unless he becomes wrought up to a high degree of excitement. Men who are thus dependent upon feeling, may be of use in exhortation, when they feel just like it, but they will never make good, burden-bearing laborers. When the work moves hard, and everything assumes a discouraging aspect, the excitable and those dependent upon feeling are not prepared to bear their share of the burdens. In times of discouragement and darkness, how important to have calm, thinking men, who are not dependent on circumstances, but who trust God, and labor on in the darkness as well as in the light. Men who serve God from principle, although their faith may be severely tried, will be seen leaning securely upon the never-failing arm of Jehovah. {GW92 143.3}

     Young preachers, and men who have once been ministers, who have been coarse and rough in their manners, making expressions in their conversation which were not perfectly modest and chaste, are not fit to engage in this work until they give evidence of an entire reform. One word spoken unadvisedly may do more harm than a series of meetings held by them will do good. They leave the standard of truth, which should be ever exalted, lowered to the dust before the community. Their converts generally come up no higher than the standard raised for them by the ministers. Men who are standing between the living and the dead, should be just right. The minister should not be off his guard for a single moment. He is laboring to elevate others by bringing them up upon the platform of truth. Let him show to others that the truth has done something for him. He should see the evil of these careless, rough, vulgar expressions, and should put away and despise everything of this character. Unless he does this, his converts will pattern after him. And when faithful


ministers shall follow after, and labor with these converts to correct their wrongs, they will excuse themselves by referring to the minister. If you condemn his course, they will turn to you and ask, "Why do you uphold and give influence to men by sending them out to preach to sinners, while they are sinners themselves?" {GW92 144.1}

     The work in which we are engaged is a responsible and exalted work. Those who minister in word and doctrine should themselves be patterns of good works. They should be examples in holiness, cleanliness, and order. The appearance of the servant of God, out of the pulpit and in, should be that of a living preacher. He can accomplish far more by his godly example than by merely preaching in the desk, while his influence out of the desk is not worthy of imitation. Those who labor in this cause are bearing to the world the most elevated truth that was ever committed to mortals. {GW92 145.1}

     Men who are chosen of God to labor in this cause, will give proof of their high calling, and will regard it as their highest duty to grow and improve until they shall become able workmen. Then, as they manifest an earnestness to improve upon the talent which God has intrusted to them, they should be helped judiciously. But the encouragement given them should not savor of flattery, for Satan himself will do enough of that kind of work. Men who think that they have a duty to preach, should not be sustained in throwing themselves and their families at once upon the brethren for support. They are not entitled to this until they can show good fruits of their labor. There is danger now of injuring young preachers, and those who have but little experience, by flattery, and by relieving them of burdens in life. When not preaching, they should be doing what they can for their own support. This is the best way to test the nature of their call to preach. If they desire to preach only that they may be supported as ministers,


and the church pursue a judicious course, they will soon lose their burden, and leave preaching for a more profitable business. Paul, a most eloquent preacher, miraculously converted by God to do a special work, was not above labor. He says, "Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place; and labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it." "Neither did we eat any man's bread for naught; but wrought with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you." [1 COR. 4:11, 12; 2 THESS. 3:8.] {GW92 145.2}

     I have been shown that many do not rightly estimate the talents which are among them. Some brethren do not understand what preaching talent would be the best for the advancement of the cause of truth, but think only of the present gratification of their feelings. Without reflection they will show preference for a speaker who manifests considerable zeal in his preaching, and relates anecdotes which please the ear and animate the mind for a moment, but leave no lasting impression. At the same time they will put a low estimate upon a preacher who has prayerfully studied that he may present before the people the arguments of our position in a calm manner, and in a connected form. His labor is not appreciated, and he is often treated with indifference. {GW92 146.1}

     A man may preach in a spirited manner and please the ear, but convey no new idea or real intelligence to the mind. The impressions received through such preaching last no longer than while the speaker's voice is heard. When search is made for the fruit of such labor, there is little to be found. These flashy gifts are not as beneficial, and as well adapted to advance the cause of truth, as a gift that can be trusted in difficult places. In the work of teaching the truth it is necessary that the important


points of our position be well fortified with Scripture evidences. Assertions may silence the unbeliever, but will not convince him. Believers are not the only ones for whose benefit laborers are sent into the field. The salvation of souls is the great object. --Vol. I, p. 442.



{GW92 146.2}


                 Manner of Speaking.


     Some of our most talented ministers are doing themselves great injury by their defective manner of speaking. While teaching the people their duty to obey God's moral law, they should not be found violating his physical laws. Ministers should stand erect, and speak slowly, firmly, and distinctly, taking a full inspiration of air at every sentence, and throwing out the words by exercising the abdominal muscles. If they will observe this simple rule, giving attention to the laws of health in other respects, they may preserve their life and usefulness much longer than men in any other profession. {GW92 147.1}

     The chest will become broader, and by educating the voice, the speaker need seldom become hoarse, even by constant speaking. Instead of becoming consumptives by speaking, our ministers may, by care, overcome all tendency to consumption. I would say to my ministering brethren, Unless you educate yourselves to speak according to physical law, you will sacrifice life, and many will mourn the loss of "those martyrs to the cause of truth," when the facts in the case are, that by indulging in wrong habits you did injustice to yourselves and to the truth which you represented, and robbed God and the world of the service you might have rendered. God would have been pleased to have you live, but you slowly committed suicide. {GW92 147.2}

     The manner in which the truth is presented, often has much to do in determining whether it will be


accepted or rejected. All who labor in the great cause of reform should study to become efficient workmen, that they may accomplish the greatest possible amount of good, and not detract from the force of the truth by their own deficiencies. {GW92 147.3}

     Ministers and teachers should discipline themselves to clear and distinct articulation, giving the full sound to every word. Those who talk rapidly, from the throat, jumbling the words together and raising their voices to an unnaturally high pitch, soon become hoarse, and the words spoken lose half the force which they would have if spoken slowly, distinctly, and not so loud. The sympathies of the hearers are awakened for the speaker; for they know that he is doing violence to himself, and they fear that he will break down at any moment. It is no evidence that a man has zeal for God because he works himself up into a frenzy of excitement and gesticulation. "Bodily exercise," says the apostle, "profiteth little." [1 TIM. 4:8.] {GW92 148.1}

     The Saviour of the world would have his co-laborers represent him; and the more closely a man walks with God, the more faultless will be his manner of address, his deportment, his attitude, and his gestures. Coarse and uncouth manners were never seen in our Pattern, Christ Jesus. He was a representative of heaven, and his followers must be like him. {GW92 148.2}

     Some reason that the Lord will by his Spirit qualify a man to speak as he would have him; but the Lord does not propose to do the work which he has given man to do. He has given us reasoning powers, and opportunities to educate the mind and manners. And after we have done all we can for ourselves, making the best use of the advantages within our reach, then we may look to God with earnest prayer to do by his Spirit that which we cannot do for ourselves, and we shall ever find in our Saviour power and efficiency.--Vol. 4, p. 404.


{GW92 148.3}

     From the light I have had, the ministry is a sacred and exalted office, and those who accept this position should have Christ in their hearts, and manifest an earnest desire to represent him worthily before the people, in all their acts, in their dress, in their speaking, and even in their manner of speaking. They should speak with reverence. Some destroy the solemn impression they may have made upon the people, by raising their voices to a very high pitch, and hallooing and screaming out the truth. When presented in this manner, truth loses much of its sweetness, its force and solemnity. But if the voice is toned right, if it has solemnity, and is so modulated as to be even pathetic, it will produce a much better impression. This was the tone in which Christ taught his disciples. He impressed them with solemnity; he spoke in a pathetic manner. But this loud hallooing--what does it do? It does not give the people any more exalted views of the truth, and does not impress them any more deeply. It only causes a disagreeable sensation to the hearers, and wears out the vocal organs of the speaker. The tones of the voice have much to do in affecting the hearts of those that hear. {GW92 149.1}

     Many who might be useful men, are using up their vital force, and destroying their lungs and vocal organs, by their manner of speaking. Some ministers have acquired a habit of hurriedly rattling off what they have to say, as though they had a lesson to repeat, and were hastening through it as fast as possible. This is not the best manner of speaking. By using proper care, every minister can educate himself to speak distinctly and impressively, not to hurriedly crowd the words together, without taking time to breathe. He should speak in a moderate manner, that the people may get the ideas fixed in their minds as he passes along. But when the matter is rushed through so rapidly, the people cannot get the points


in their minds, and they do not have the time to receive the impression that it is important for them to have; nor is there time for the truth to affect them as it otherwise would. {GW92 149.2}

     Speaking from the throat, all the time fretting and irritating the vocal organs, is not the best way to improve health or to increase the efficiency of those organs. You should take a full inspiration, and let the action come from the abdominal muscles. Let the lungs be only the channel; do not depend upon them to do the work. If you let your words come from deep down, exercising the abdominal muscles, you can speak to thousands with just as much ease as you can speak to ten. {GW92 150.1}

     Some of our preachers are killing themselves by long, tedious praying and loud speaking, when a lower tone would make a better impression, and save their own strength. Now, while you go on regardless of the laws of life and health, and follow the impulse of the moment, do not charge it upon God if you break down. Many of you waste time and strength in long preliminaries and excuses as you begin to speak. Instead of apologizing because you are about to address the people, you should begin your labor as though God had something for you to say to them. Some use up nearly half an hour in making apologies; thus the time is frittered away, and when they get to their subject, where they are desirous of fastening the points of truth, the people are wearied out, and cannot see their force or be impressed with them. You should make the essential points of present truth as distinct as mile-posts, so that the people will understand them. They will then see the arguments you want to present, and the positions you want to sustain. {GW92 150.2}

     There is another class that address the people in a whining tone. Their hearts are not softened by the Spirit of God, and they think they must make an impression by the appearance of humility. Such a


course does not exalt the gospel ministry, but brings it down, degrades it. Ministers should present the truth warm from glory. They should speak in such a manner as rightly to represent Christ, and preserve the dignity becoming his ministers. {GW92 150.3}

     The long prayers made by some ministers have been a great failure. Praying to great length, as some do, is all out of place. They injure the throat and vocal organs, and then they talk of breaking down by their hard labor. They injure themselves when it is not called for. Many feel that praying injures their vocal organs more than talking. This is in consequence of the unnatural position of the body, and the manner of holding the head. They can stand and talk, and not feel injured. The position in prayer should be perfectly natural. Long praying wearies, and is not in accordance with the gospel of Christ. Half or even a quarter of an hour is altogether too long. A few minutes' time is long enough to bring your case before God, and tell him what you want; and you can take the people with you, and not weary them out, and lessen their interest in devotion and prayer. They may be refreshed and strengthened, instead of exhausted. . . . {GW92 151.1}

     Ministers should speak in a manner to reach and impress the people. The teachings of Christ were impressive and solemn; his voice was melodious. And should not we, as well as Christ, study to have melody in our voices? He had a mighty influence, for he was the Son of God. We are so far beneath him and so far deficient, that, do the very best we can, our efforts will be poor. We cannot gain and hold the influence that he had; but why should we not educate ourselves to come just as near to the Pattern as it is possible for us to do, that we may have the greatest possible influence upon the people? Our words, our actions, our deportment, our dress, --everything should preach. Not only with our words should we speak to the people, but everything


pertaining to our person should be a sermon to them, that right impressions may be made upon them, and that the truth spoken may be taken by them to their homes. Thus our faith will stand in a better light before the community. {GW92 151.2}

     I never realized more than I do today the exalted character of the work, its sacredness and holiness, and the importance of our being fitted for it. I see the need in myself. I must have a new fitting up, a holy unction, or I cannot go any farther to instruct others. I must know that I am walking with God. I must know that I understand the mystery of godliness. I must know that the grace of God is in my own heart, that my own life is in accordance with his will, that I am walking in his footsteps. Then my words will be true, and my actions right.--Vol. 2, p. 615.



{GW92 152.1}


               Danger in Overwork.


     I saw that some of our ministers do not understand how to preserve their strength so as to be able to perform the greatest amount of labor without exhaustion. Ministers should not pray so loud and long as to exhaust their strength. It is not necessary to weary the throat and lungs in prayer. God's ear is ever open to hear the heart-felt petitions of his humble servants, and he does not require them to wear out the organs of speech in addressing him. It is the perfect trust, the firm reliance, the steady claiming of the promises of God, the simple faith that he is, and that he is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek him, that prevails with God. {GW92 152.2}

     Ministers should discipline themselves, and learn how to perform the greatest amount of labor in the brief period allotted them, and yet preserve a good degree of strength, so that if an extra effort should be required, they may have a reserve of vital force


sufficient for the occasion, which they can employ without injuring themselves. Sometimes all the strength they have is needed in order to put forth effort at a given point; and if they have previously exhausted their fund of strength, and cannot command the power to make this effort, all they have done is lost. At times all the mental and physical energies may be drawn upon to make the very strongest stand, to array evidences in the clearest light, and set them before the people in the most pointed manner, and urge them home by the strongest appeals. As souls are on the point of leaving the enemy's ranks and coming upon the Lord's side, the contest is most severe and close. Satan and his angels are unwilling that any who have served under the banner of darkness should take their position under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel. {GW92 152.3}

     I was shown opposing armies who had endured a painful struggle in battle. The victory was gained by neither, and at length the loyal realize that their strength and force are wearing away, and that they will be unable to silence their enemies unless they make a charge upon them, and obtain their instruments of warfare. It is then, at the risk of their lives, that they summon all their powers, and rush upon the foe. It is a fearful struggle; but victory is gained, the strongholds are taken. If at the critical period the army is so weak through exhaustion that it is impossible to make the last charge, and batter down the enemy's fortifications, the whole struggle of days, weeks, and even months, is lost; many lives are sacrificed, and nothing gained. {GW92 153.1}

     A similar work is before us. Many are convinced that we have the truth, and yet they are held as with iron bands; they dare not risk the consequences of taking their position on the side of truth. Many are in the valley of decision, where special, close, and pointed appeals are necessary to move them to lay down their weapons of warfare, and take their position


on the Lord's side. Just at this critical period, Satan throws the strongest bands around these souls. If the servants of God are all exhausted, having expended their fund of physical and mental strength, they think they can do no more, and frequently leave the field entirely, to begin operations elsewhere. And all, or nearly all, the time, means, and labor have been spent for naught. Yes, it is worse than if they had never begun the work in that place; for after the people have been deeply convicted by the Spirit of God, and brought to the point of decision, and are left to lose their interest, and decide against these evidences, they cannot as easily be brought where their minds will again be agitated upon the subject. They have in many cases made their final decision. {GW92 153.2}

     If ministers would preserve a reserve force, and at the very point where everything seems to move the hardest, then make the most earnest efforts, the strongest appeals, the closest applications, and, like valiant soldiers, at the critical moment make the charge upon the enemy, they would gain the victory. Souls would have strength to break the bands of Satan, and make their decisions for everlasting life. Well-directed labor at the right time will make a long-tried effort successful, when to leave the labor, even for a few days, will in many cases cause an entire failure. Ministers must give themselves as missionaries to the work, and learn how to make their efforts count to the very best advantage.-- Vol. 1, p. 645.


{GW92 154.1}


                Order and Discipline.


     I was shown that ministers of Christ should discipline themselves for the warfare. Greater wisdom is required in generalship in the work of God than is required of the generals engaged in national battles. Ministers of God's choosing are engaged in a great work. They are warring not merely against men, but against Satan and his angels. Wise generalship is required here. They must become Bible students, and give themselves wholly to the work. When they begin to labor in a place, they should be able to give the reasons of our faith, not in a boisterous manner, not with a perfect storm, but with meekness and fear. The power which will convince, is strong arguments presented in meekness and in the fear of God. Able ministers of Christ are required for the work in these last days in peril, -- able in word and doctrine, acquainted with the Scriptures, and understanding the reasons of our faith. I was directed to these scriptures, the meaning of which has not been realized by some ministers: "Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." [1 PETER 3:15; COL. 4:6; 2 TIM. 2:24-26.] {GW92 155.1}

     The man of God, the minister of Christ, is required to be thoroughly furnished unto all good


works. A pompous minister, all dignity, is not needed for this good work. But decorum is necessary in the desk. A minister of the gospel should not be regardless of his attitude. If he is the representative of Christ, his deportment, his attitude, his gestures, should be of such a character as will not strike the beholder with disgust. Ministers should possess refinement. They should discard all uncouth manners, attitudes, and gestures, and should encourage in themselves humble dignity of bearing. They should be clothed in a manner befitting the dignity of their position. Their speech should be in every respect solemn and well chosen. I was shown that it is wrong to make coarse, irreverent expressions, to relate anecdotes to amuse, or present comic illustrations to create a laugh. Sarcasm and playing upon the words of an opponent are all out of God's order. Ministers should not feel that they can make no improvement in voice or manners; much can be done. The voice can be cultivated so that quite lengthy speaking will not injure the vocal organs. {GW92 155.2}

     Ministers should love order, and should discipline themselves, and then they can successfully discipline the church of God and teach them to work harmoniously, like a well-drilled company of soldiers. If discipline and order are necessary for successful action on the battle-field, the same are as much more needful in the warfare in which we are engaged as the object to be gained is of greater value and more elevated in character than those for which opposing forces contend upon the field of battle. In the conflict in which we are engaged, eternal interests are at stake. {GW92 156.1}

     Angels work harmoniously. Perfect order characterizes all their movements. The more closely we imitate the harmony and order of the angelic host, the more successful will be the efforts of these heavenly agents in our behalf. If we see no necessity


for harmonious action, and are disorderly, undisciplined, and disorganized in our course of action, angels, who are thoroughly organized and move in perfect order, cannot work for us successfully. They turn away in grief, for they are not authorized to bless confusion, distraction, and disorganization. All who desire the co-operation of the heavenly messengers, must work in unison with them. Those who have the unction from on high, will in all their efforts encourage order, discipline, and union of action, and then the angels of God can co-operate with them. But never, never, will these heavenly messengers place their indorsement upon irregularity, disorganization, and disorder. All these evils are the result of Satan's efforts to weaken our forces, to destroy courage, and prevent successful action. {GW92 156.2}

     Satan well knows that success can only attend order and harmonious action. He well knows that everything connected with heaven is in perfect order, that subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. It is his studied effort to lead professed Christians just as far from heaven's arrangement as he can; therefore he deceives even the professed people of God, and makes them believe that order and discipline are enemies to spirituality; that the only safety for them is to let each pursue his own course, and to remain especially distinct from bodies of Christians who are united, and are laboring to establish discipline and harmony of action. All the efforts made to establish order are considered dangerous, a restriction of rightful liberty, and hence are feared as popery. These deceived souls consider it a virtue to boast of their freedom to think and act independently. They will not take any man's say-so. They are amenable to no man. I was shown that it is Satan's special work to lead men to feel that it is God's order for them to strike out for themselves, and choose their own course, independent of their brethren.


{GW92 157.1}

     I was pointed back to the children of Israel. Very soon after leaving Egypt they were organized and most thoroughly disciplined. God had in his special providence qualified Moses to stand at the head of the armies of Israel. He had been a mighty warrior to lead the armies of the Egyptians, and in generalship he could not be surpassed by any man. The Lord did not leave his holy tabernacle to be borne indiscriminately by any tribe that might choose. He was so particular as to specify the order he would have observed in bearing the sacred ark, and to designate a special family of the tribe of the Levites to bear it. When it was for the good of the people and for the glory of God that they should pitch their tents in a certain place, God signified his will to them by causing the pillar of cloud to rest directly over the tabernacle, where it remained until he would have them journey again. In all their journeying they were required to observe perfect order. Every tribe carried a standard bearing the sign which distinguished that tribe, and each tribe was required to pitch under its own standard. When the ark moved, the armies journeyed, the different tribes marching in order, under their own standards. The Levites were designated by the Lord as the tribe in the midst of whom the sacred ark was to be borne, Moses and Aaron marching just in front of the ark, and the sons of Aaron following near them, each bearing a trumpet. They were to receive directions from Moses, which they were to signify to the people by speaking through the trumpets. These trumpets gave special sounds, which the people understood, and they directed their movements accordingly. {GW92 158.1}

     A special signal was first given by the trumpeters to call the attention of the people; then all were to be attentive, and obey the certain sound of the trumpets. There was no confusion of sound in the voices of the trumpets, therefore there was no excuse for confusion in movements. The head officer of


each company gave definite directions in regard to the movements they were required to make, and none who gave attention were left in ignorance of what they were to do. If any failed to comply with the requirements given by the Lord to Moses, and by Moses to the people, they were punished with death. It would be no excuse to plead that they knew not the nature of these requirements; for they would only prove themselves willingly ignorant, and would receive the just punishment for their transgression. If they did not know the will of God concerning them, it was their own fault. They had the same opportunities to obtain the knowledge imparted as others of the people had, therefore their sin of not knowing, not understanding, was as great in the sight of God as if they had heard and then transgressed. {GW92 158.2}

     The Lord designated a special family of the tribe of Levi to bear the ark; and others of the Levites were specially appointed by God to bear the tabernacle and all its furniture, and to perform the work of setting up and taking down the tabernacle. And if any man from curiosity or from lack of order, got out of his place, and touched any part of the sanctuary or furniture, or even came near any of the workmen, he was to be put to death. God did not leave his holy tabernacle to be borne, erected, and taken down, indiscriminately, by any tribe who might choose the office, but persons were chosen who could appreciate the sacredness of the work in which they were engaged. These men appointed by God were directed to impress upon the people the special sacredness of the ark and all that appertained thereunto, lest they should look upon these things without realizing their holiness, and should be cut off from Israel. All things pertaining to the most holy place were to be looked upon with reverence. {GW92 159.1}

     The travels of the children of Israel are faithfully described; the deliverance which the Lord wrought


for them, their perfect organization and special order, their sin in murmuring against Moses and thus against God, their transgressions, their rebellions, their punishments, their carcasses strewn in the wilderness because of their unwillingness to submit to God's wise arrangements,--this faithful picture is hung up before us as a warning lest we follow their example of disobedience, and fall like them. {GW92 159.2}

     "But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall." [1 COR. 10:5-12.] Has God changed from a God of order?--No; he is the same in the present dispensation as in the former. Paul says, "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace." [1 COR. 14:33.] He is as particular now as then. And he designs that we should learn lessons of order and organization from the perfect order instituted in the days of Moses, for the benefit of the children of Israel.--Vol. I, p. 647.


{GW92 160.1}


             Carefulness in Dress.


     The God of heaven, whose arm moves the world, who sustains us and gives us life and health, has given us evidence that he may be honored or dishonored by the apparel of those who officiate before him. He gave special directions to Moses in regard to everything connected with his service. He gave instruction even in regard to the arrangement of their houses, and specified the dress which those should wear who were to minister in his service. They were to maintain order in everything, and especially to preserve cleanliness. {GW92 161.1}

     Read the directions that were given to Moses, to be made known to the children of Israel as God was about to come down upon the mount to speak in their hearing his holy law. What did he command Moses to have the people do?-- To be ready against the third day; for on the third day, said he, the Lord will come down upon the mount in the sight of all the people. They were to set bounds about the mount. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes." [EX. 19:10.] That great and mighty God who created the beautiful Eden, and everything lovely in it, is a God of order; and he wants order and cleanliness with his people. That mighty God directed Moses to tell the people to wash their clothes, lest there should be impurity in their clothing and about their persons as they came up before the Lord. And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and they washed their clothes, according to the command of God. . . . {GW92 161.2}

     There was to be nothing slack and untidy about those who appeared before him, when they came into his holy presence. And why was this? What was the object of all this carefulness? Was it merely to recommend the people to God? Was it merely to


gain his approbation? The reason that was given me was this, that a right impression might be made upon the people. If those who ministered in sacred office should fail to manifest care and reverence for God, in their apparel and their deportment, the people would lose their awe and their reverence for God and his sacred service. If the priests showed great reverence for God by being very careful and very particular as they came into his presence, it gave the people an exalted idea of God and his requirements. It showed them that God was holy, that his work was sacred, and that everything in connection with his work must be holy; that it must be free from everything like impurity and uncleanness; and that all defilement must be put away from those who approach nigh to God. {GW92 161.3}

     From the light that has been given me, there has been a carelessness in this respect. I might speak of it as Paul presents it. It is carried out in will-worship and neglecting of the body. But this voluntary humility, this will-worship and neglecting of the body, is not the humility that savors of heaven. That humility will be particular to have person, and actions, and apparel of all who preach the holy truth of God, right and perfectly proper, so that every item connected with us will recommend our holy religion. The very dress will be a recommendation of the truth to unbelievers. It will be a sermon in itself. . . . {GW92 162.1}

     Anciently the priests were required to have their garments in a particular style to do service in the holy place, and minister in the priest's office. They were to have garments in accordance with their work, and God distinctly specified what these should be. The laver was placed between the altar and the congregation, that before they came into the presence of God, in the sight of the congregation, they might wash their hands and their feet. What impression was this to make upon the people? It was to show


them that every particle of dust must be put away before they could go into the presence of God; for he was so high and holy that unless they did comply with these conditions, death would follow. . . . {GW92 162.2}

     The Lord requires his ministers to be pure and holy, rightly to represent the principles of truth in their own lives, and by their example to bring others up upon a high level. {GW92 163.1}

     God requires all who profess to be his chosen people, though they are not teachers of the truth, to be careful to preserve personal cleanliness and purity, also cleanliness and order in their houses and upon their premises. We are examples to the world, living epistles known and read of all men. God requires all who profess godliness, and especially those who teach the truth to others, to abstain from all appearance of evil.--Vol. 2, p. 610.



{GW92 163.2}


      Physical Labor and Mental Activity.




     When not actively engaged in preaching, the apostle Paul worked at his trade as a tent-maker. This he was obliged to do on account of having accepted unpopular truth. Before embracing Christianity, he had occupied an elevated position, and was not dependent upon his labor for support. Among the Jews it was customary to teach the children some trade, however high the position they were expected to fill, that a reverse of circumstances might not leave them incapable of sustaining themselves. In accordance with this custom, Paul was a tent-maker; and when his means had been expended to advance the cause of Christ and for his own support, he resorted to his trade in order to gain a livelihood. {GW92 163.3}

     No man ever lived who was a more earnest, energetic, and self-sacrificing disciple of Christ than was Paul. He was one of the world's greatest teachers.


He crossed the seas, and traveled far and near, until a large portion of the world had learned from his lips the story of the cross of Christ. He possessed a burning desire to bring perishing man to a knowledge of the truth through a Saviour's love. His soul was wrapped up in the work of the ministry, and it was with feelings of pain that he withdrew from this work to toil for his own bodily necessities; but he seated himself to the drudgery of the craftsman, that he might not be burdensome to the churches that were pressed with poverty. Although he had planted many churches, he refused to be supported by them, fearing that his usefulness and success as a minister of the gospel might be interfered with by suspicions of his motives. He would remove all occasion for his enemies to misrepresent him, and thus detract from the force of his message. {GW92 163.4}

     Paul appeals to his Corinthian brethren to understand that as a laborer in the gospel, he might claim his support, instead of sustaining himself; but this right he was willing to forego, fearing that the acceptance of means for his support might possibly stand in the way of his usefulness. Although feeble in health, he labored during the day in serving the cause of Christ, and then toiled a large share of the night, and frequently all night, that he might make provision for his own and others' necessities. The apostle would also give an example to his brethren, thus dignifying and honoring industry. When our ministers feel that they are suffering hardships and privations in the cause of Christ, let them in imagination visit the workshop of the apostle Paul, bearing in mind that while this chosen man of God is fashioning the canvass, he is working for bread which he has justly earned by his labors as an apostle of Jesus Christ. At the call of duty, this great apostle would lay aside his business to meet the most violent opponents, and stop their proud boasting, and then he would resume his humble


employment. His religious industry is a rebuke to the indolence of some of our ministers. When they have opportunity to labor to help sustain themselves, they should do so with gladness. {GW92 164.1}

     God never designed that man should live in idleness. When Adam was in Eden, means were devised for his employment. Though the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, yet he that dealeth with a slack hand will become poor. Those who are diligent in business may not always be prospered; but drowsiness and indolence are sure to grieve the Spirit of God and destroy true godliness. A stagnant pool becomes offensive; but a pure, flowing brook spreads health and gladness over the land. A man of persevering industry will be a blessing anywhere. The exercise of man's physical and mental powers is necessary to their full and proper development. {GW92 165.1}

     Young ministers should study to make themselves useful wherever they are. When invited to visit persons at their homes, they should not sit idle, making no effort to help the ones whose hospitality they share. Obligations are mutual; if the minister shares the hospitality of his friends, it is his duty to respond to their kindness by being thoughtful and considerate in his conduct toward them. The entertainer may be a man of care and hard labor. By manifesting a disposition not only to wait upon himself, but to render timely assistance, the minister may often find access to the heart, and open the way for the reception of truth. {GW92 165.2}

     When responsibilities are to be intrusted to an individual, the question is not asked whether he is eloquent or wealthy, but whether he is honest, faithful, and industrious; for whatever may be his accomplishments, without these qualifications he is utterly unfit for any position of trust. Many who have begun life with fair prospects, fail of success because they lack industry. Young men who habitually


mingle in the little groups gathered in stores or on the street, ever engaging in discussion or gossip, will never grow to the proportions of men of understanding. Continual application will accomplish for man what nothing else can. Those who are never content without the consciousness that they are growing every day, will truly make a success of life. {GW92 165.3}

     Many have failed, signally failed, where they might have made a success. They have not felt the burden of the work; they have taken things as leisurely as though they had a temporal millennium in which to work for the salvation of souls. Because of this lack of earnestness and zeal, but few would receive the impression that they really meant what they said. The cause of God is not so much in need of preachers as of earnest, persevering workers for the Master. God alone can measure the powers of the human mind. It was not his design that man should be content to remain in the lowlands of ignorance, but that he should secure all the advantages of an enlightened, cultivated intellect. Every man and every woman should feel that obligations are resting upon them to reach the very height of intellectual greatness. While none should be puffed up because of the knowledge they have acquired, it is the privilege of all to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that with every advance step they are rendered more capable of honoring and glorifying God. They may draw from an inexhaustible fountain, the Source of all wisdom and knowledge. {GW92 166.1}

     Having entered the school of Christ, the student is prepared to engage in the pursuit of knowledge without becoming dizzy from the height to which he is climbing. As he goes on from truth to truth, obtaining clearer and brighter views of the wonderful laws of science and of nature, he becomes enraptured with the amazing exhibitions of God's love to man. He sees with intelligent eyes the perfection,


knowledge, and wisdom of God stretching beyond into infinity. As his mind enlarges and expands, pure streams of life pour into his soul. The more he drinks from the fountain of knowledge, the purer and happier his contemplation of God's infinity, and the greater his longing for wisdom sufficient to comprehend the deep things of God. {GW92 166.2}

     Mental culture is what we, as a people, need, and what we must have in order to meet the demands of the time. Poverty, humble origin, and unfavorable surroundings, need not prevent the cultivation of the mind. The mental faculties must be kept under the control of the will, and the mind not allowed to wander or become distracted with a variety of subjects at a time, being thorough in none. Difficulties will be met in all studies; but never cease through discouragement. Search, study, and pray; face every difficulty manfully and vigorously; call the power of will and the grace of patience to your aid, and then dig more earnestly till the gem of truth lies before you, plain and beautiful, all the more precious because of the difficulties involved in finding it. Do not, then, continually dwell upon this one point, concentrating all the energies of the mind upon it, constantly urging it upon the attention of others, but take another subject, and carefully examine that. Thus mystery after mystery will be unfolded to your comprehension. Two valuable victories will be gained by this course. You have not only secured useful knowledge, but the exercise of the mind has increased mental power. The key found to unlock one mystery, may reveal also other precious gems of knowledge heretofore undiscovered. {GW92 167.1}

     God has no use for lazy men in his cause; he wants thoughtful, kind, affectionate, earnest workers. Active exertion will do our preachers good. Indolence is proof of depravity. Every faculty of the mind, every bone in the body, every muscle of the limbs, show that God designed our faculties to be


used, not to remain inactive. Men who will unnecessarily take the hours of daylight for sleep, have no sense of the value of precious, golden moments. Such men will prove only a curse to the cause of God. {GW92 167.2}

     Persons who have not acquired habits of close industry and economy of time should have set rules to prompt them to regularity and dispatch. Washington, the nation's statesman, was enabled to perform a great amount of business because he was thorough in preserving order and regularity. Every paper had its date and its place, and no time was lost in looking up what had been mislaid. Men of God must be diligent in study, earnest in the acquirement of knowledge, never wasting an hour. Through persevering exertion they may rise to almost any degree of eminence as Christians, as men of power and influence. But many will never attain superior rank in the pulpit or in business, because of their unfixedness of purpose, and the laxness of habits contracted in their youth. Careless inattention is seen in everything they undertake. A sudden impulse now and then is not sufficient to accomplish a reformation in these ease-loving, indolent ones; this is a work which requires patient continuance in well-doing. Men of business can be truly successful only by having regular hours for rising, for prayer, for meals, and for retirement. If order and regularity are essential in worldly business, how much more so in doing work for God! {GW92 168.1}

     The bright morning hours are wasted by many in bed. These precious hours, once lost, are gone never to return; they are lost for time and for eternity. Only one hour lost each day, and what a waste of time in the course of a year! Let the slumberer think of this, and pause to consider how he will give an account to God for lost opportunities. {GW92 168.2}

     Ministers should devote time to reading, to study, to meditation and prayer. They should store the


mind with useful knowledge, committing to memory portions of Scripture, tracing out the fulfillment of the prophecies, and learning the lessons which Christ gave to his disciples. Take a book with you to read when traveling on the cars or waiting in the depot. Employ every spare moment in doing something. In this way an effectual door will be closed against a thousand temptations. Had King David been engaged in some useful employment, he would not have been guilty of the murder of Uriah. Satan is ever ready to employ him who does not employ himself. The mind which is continually striving to rise to the height of intellectual greatness will find no time for cheap, foolish thoughts, which are the parent of evil actions. There are men of good ability among us, who, by proper cultivation, might become eminently useful; yet they do not love exertion, and, failing to see the crime of neglecting to put to the best use the faculties with which they have been endowed by the Creator, they settle down at their ease, to remain uncultivated in mind. But very few are meeting the mind of God. Of these slothful servants God will inquire, "What hast thou done with the talents I gave thee?" Many will be found in that day, who, having had one talent, bound it in a napkin, and hid it in the earth. These unprofitable servants will be cast into outer darkness; while those who had put out their talents to the exchangers and doubled them, will receive the plaudit, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few thing, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." [MATT. 25:21.] {GW92 168.3}

     Many of our ministers can present to the people only a few doctrinal discourses. The same exertion and application which made them familiar with these points, will enable them to gain an understanding of others. The prophecies and other doctrinal subjects should be thoroughly understood by them all. But


some who have been engaged in preaching for years, are content to confine themselves to a few subjects, being too indolent to search the Scriptures diligently and prayerfully, that they may become giants in the understanding of Bible doctrines and the practical lessons of Christ. The minds of all should be stored with a knowledge of the truths of God's word, that they may be prepared, at any moment when required, to present from the storehouse things new and old. Minds have been crippled and dwarfed for want of zeal, and of earnest, severe taxation. The time has come when God says, "Go forward, and cultivate the abilities I have given you." {GW92 169.1}

     The world is teeming with errors and fables. Novelties in the form of sensational dramas are continually arising to engross the mind; and absurd theories abound which are destructive to moral and spiritual advancement. The cause of God needs men of intellect, men of thought, men well versed in the Scriptures, to meet the inflowing tide of opposition. We should give no sanction to arrogance, narrow-mindedness, and inconsistencies, although the garment of professed piety may be thrown over them. Those who have the sanctifying power of the truth upon their hearts will exert a persuasive influence. Knowing that the advocates of error cannot create or destroy truth, they can afford to be considerate and calm. {GW92 170.1}

     It is not enough for our ministers to have a superficial knowledge of the truth. Subjects which are handled by men who have perverted their God-given powers to tear down the truth, are constantly coming up for investigation. Bigotry must be laid aside. The Satanic delusions of the age must be met clearly and intelligently with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. He who guides the planets in their courses, and upholds the worlds by his power, has made provision for man formed in his image, that he may be little less than the angels of God


while in the performance of his duties on earth. God's purposes have not been answered by men who have been entrusted with the most solemn truth ever given to man. He designs that we should rise higher and higher toward a state of perfection, seeing and realizing at every step the power and glory of God. Man does not know himself. Our responsibilities are exactly proportioned to our light, opportunities, and privileges. We are responsible for the good we might have done, but failed to do because we were too indolent to use the means for our improvement which were placed within our reach. {GW92 170.2}

     The precious book of God contains rules of life for men of every class and every vocation. Examples are here found which it would be well for all to study and imitate. "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister." [MATT. 20:28.] The true honor and glory of the servant of Christ consists, not in the number of sermons preached, nor in the amount of writing accomplished, but in the work of faithfully ministering to the wants of the people. If he neglects this part of his work, he has no right to the name of minister. {GW92 171.1}

     Men are needed for this time who can understand the wants of the people, and minister to their necessities. The faithful minister of Christ watches at every outpost to warn, to reprove, to counsel, to entreat, and to encourage his fellow-men, laboring with the Spirit of God which worketh in him mightily, that he may present every man perfect in Christ. Such a man is acknowledged in heaven as a minister, treading in the footsteps of his great Exemplar. . . . {GW92 171.2}

     The harmonious, healthy action of all the powers of the body and mind results in happiness; and the more elevated and refined the powers, the more pure and unalloyed the happiness. An aimless life is a living death. The powers of the mind should be exercised upon themes relating to our eternal interests.


This will be conducive to health of body and mind. There are many, even among our preachers, who want to rise in the world without effort. They are ambitious to do some great work of usefulness, while they disregard the little every-day duties which would render them helpful, and make them ministers after Christ's order. They wish to do the work that others are doing, but have no relish for the discipline necessary to fit them for it. This yearning desire by both men and women to do something far in advance of their present capabilities, is simply causing them to make decided failures at the outset. They indignantly refuse to climb the ladder, wishing to be elevated by a less laborious process.--Vol. 4, p. 409.



{GW92 171.3}


         Our Duty to Preserve Health.


     I am pained at heart as I see so many feeble ministers, so many on beds of sickness, and so many closing the scenes of their earthly history,--men who have carried the burden of responsibility in the work of God, whose whole heart was in their work. The conviction that they must cease their labor in the cause they loved, was far more painful to them than their sufferings from disease, or even death itself. {GW92 172.1}

     Is it not time for us to understand that nature will not long suffer abuse without protesting? Our heavenly Father does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men. He is not the author of sickness and death. He is the source of life; he would have men live, and he desires them to be obedient to the laws of life and health, that they may live. {GW92 172.2}

     Those who accept the present truth and are sanctified through it, have an intense desire to represent the truth in their life and character. They have a deep yearning of soul that others may see


the light and rejoice in it. As the true watchman goes forth bearing precious seed, sowing beside all waters, weeping and praying, the burden of labor is very taxing to mind and heart. He cannot keep up the strain continuously, his soul stirred to the very depths, without wearing out prematurely. Strength and efficiency are needed in every discourse. And from time to time, fresh supplies of things new and old need to be brought forth from the store-house of God's word. This will impart life and power to the hearers. God does not want you to become so exhausted that your efforts have no freshness or life. {GW92 172.3}

     Those who are engaged in constant mental labor, whether in study or preaching, need rest and change. The earnest student is constantly taxing the brain, too often while neglecting physical exercise, and as the result the bodily powers are enfeebled, and mental effort is restricted. Thus the student fails of accomplishing the very work that he might have done, had he labored wisely.{GW92 173.1}

     If they worked intelligently, giving both mind and body a due share of exercise, ministers would not so readily succumb to disease. If all our workers were so situated that they could spend a few hours each day in out-door labor, and felt free to do this, it would be a blessing to them; they would be able to discharge more successfully the duties of their calling. If they have not time for complete relaxation, they could be planning and praying while at work with their hands, and could return to their labor refreshed in body and spirit. {GW92 173.2}

     Some of our ministers feel that they must every day perform some labor that they can report to the Conference. And as the result of trying to do this, their efforts are too often weak and inefficient. They should have periods of rest, of entire freedom from taxing labor. But these cannot take the place of daily physical exercise.


{GW92 173.3}

     Brethren, when you take time to cultivate your garden, thus gaining the exercise needed to keep the system in good working order, you are just as much doing the work of God as in holding meetings. God is our Father, he loves us, and he does not require any of his servants to abuse their bodies. {GW92 174.1}

     Another cause both of ill health and of inefficiency in labor, is indigestion. It is impossible for the brain to do its best work when the digestive powers are abused. Many eat hurriedly of various kinds of food, which set up a war in the stomach, and thus confuse the brain. The use of unhealthful food, and overeating of even that which is wholesome, should alike be avoided. Many eat at all hours, regardless of the laws of health. Then gloom covers the mind. How can men be honored with divine enlightenment, when they are so reckless in their habits, so inattentive to the light which God has given in regard to these things? Brethren, is it not time for you to be converted on these points of selfish indulgence? "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." [1 COR. 9:24-27.] Study this solemnly. {GW92 174.2}

     Do not, however, feel it your duty to live on an insufficient diet. Learn for yourselves what you should eat, what kinds of food best nourish the body, and then follow the dictates of reason and conscience. At meal-time cast off care and taxing thought. Do not be hurried, but eat slowly and with cheerfulness, your heart filled with gratitude to God for all his blessings. And do not engage in


brain labor immediately after a meal. Exercise moderately, and give a little time for the stomach to begin its work. {GW92 174.3}

     This is not a matter of trifling importance. We must pay attention to it if healthful vigor and a right tone are to be given to the various branches of the work. The character and efficiency of the work depend largely upon the physical condition of the workers. Many committee meetings, and other meetings for counsel have taken an unhappy tone from the dyspeptic condition of those assembled. And many a sermon has received a dark shadow from the minister's indigestion. {GW92 175.1}

     Health is an inestimable blessing, and one which is more closely related to conscience and religion than many realize. It has a great deal to do with one's capability. Every minister should feel that as he would be a faithful guardian of the flock, he must preserve all his powers in condition for the best possible service. {GW92 175.2}

     We are all deficient in practical knowledge concerning this matter. The wonderful mechanism of the human body does not receive half the care that is often given to a mere lifeless machine. Men give years of study in preparation for this ministry, and yet so weaken their powers during this preparatory work, that they die prematurely. {GW92 175.3}

     Our workers should use their knowledge of the laws of life and health. They should study from cause to effect. Read the best authors on these subjects, and obey religiously that which your reason tells you is truth. -- MS.


{GW92 175.4}


               Well-Balanced Effort.


     God has committed to each of us sacred trusts, for which he holds us accountable. He desires us so to educate the mind that we may be able to accomplish the greatest good, and reflect the glory to the Giver. We are indebted to God for all the powers of the mind. These powers can be cultivated, and so discreetly directed and controlled as to accomplish the purpose for which they were given. It is duty so to educate the mind as to bring out the energies of the soul, and develop every faculty. When all the faculties are in exercise, the intellect will be strengthened, and the purpose for which they were given will be accomplished. {GW92 176.1}

     Many are not doing the greatest amount of good, because they exercise the intellect in one direction, and neglect to give careful attention to those things for which they think they are not adapted. Some faculties that are weak are thus allowed to lie dormant, because the work that should call them into exercise and consequently give them strength, is not pleasant. All the powers of the mind should be exercised, all the faculties cultivated. Perception, judgment, memory, and all the reasoning powers, should have equal strength in order that the mind may be well balanced. . . . {GW92 176.2}

     We have no right to neglect any one of the powers that God has given us. All over the country we see monomaniacs. Frequently they are sane upon every subject but one. The reason of this is that one organ of the mind was specially exercised, while others were permitted to lie dormant. The one that was in constant use became worn and diseased, and the man became a wreck. God was not glorified by this course. Had he exercised all the organs equally, all would have had a healthy development;


all the labor would not have been thrown upon one, therefore no one would have broken down. {GW92 176.3}

     Ministers should be guarded, lest they thwart the purposes of God by plans of their own. They are in danger of narrowing down the work of God, and confining their labor to certain localities, and not cultivating a special interest for the work of God in all its various departments. There are some who concentrate their minds upon one subject, to the exclusion of others which may be of equal importance. They are one-idea men. All the strength of their being is concentrated on the subject upon which the mind is exercised for the time. Every other consideration is lost sight of. This one favorite theme is the burden of their thoughts and their conversation. All the evidence which has a bearing upon that subject is eagerly seized and appropriated, and dwelt upon at so great length that minds are wearied in following them. {GW92 177.1}

     Time is frequently lost in explaining points which are really unimportant, and which would be taken for granted without producing proof; for they are self-evident. But the real, vital points should be made as plain and forcible as language and proof can make them. The power to concentrate the mind upon one subject to the exclusion of all others, is good in a degree; but the constant exercise of this faculty wears upon those organs that are called into use to do this work; it throws too great a tax upon them, and the result is a failure to accomplish the greatest amount of good. The principal wear comes upon one set of organs, while the others lie dormant. The mind cannot thus be healthfully exercised, and in consequence, life is shortened. {GW92 177.2}

     All the faculties should bear a part of the labor, working harmoniously, balancing one another. Those who put the whole strength of their mind into one subject, are greatly deficient on other points, for the reason that the faculties are not equally cultivated.


The subject before them enchains their attention, and they are led on and on, and go deeper and deeper into the matter. They see knowledge and light as they become interested and absorbed. But there are very few minds that can follow them, unless they have given the subject the same depth of thought. There is danger that such men will plow and plant the seed of truth so deep that the tender, precious blade will never find the surface. {GW92 177.3}

     Much hard labor is often expended that is not called for, and that will never be appreciated. If those who have large concentrativeness cultivate this faculty to the neglect of others, they cannot have well-proportioned minds. They are like machinery in which only one set of wheels works at a time. While some wheels are rusting from inaction, others are wearing from constant use. Men who cultivate one or two faculties, and do not exercise all equally, cannot accomplish one half the good in the world that God designed they should. They are one-sided men; only half the power that God has given them is put to use, while the other half is rusting from inaction. {GW92 178.1}

     If this class of minds have a special work requiring thought, they should not exercise all their powers upon that one thing, to the exclusion of every other interest. While they make the subject before them their principal business, other branches of the work should have a portion of their time. This would be much better for themselves, and for the cause generally. One branch of the work should not have exclusive attention, to the neglect of all others. In their writings some need to be constantly guarded, that they do not make points blind that are plain, by covering them up with many arguments which will not be of lively interest to the reader. If they linger tediously upon points, giving every particular which suggests itself to the mind, their labor is nearly lost. The interest of the reader will not be deep enough to


pursue the subject to its close. The most essential points of truth may be made indistinct by giving attention to every minute point. Much ground is covered; but the work upon which so much labor is expended is not adapted to do the greatest amount of good, by awakening a general interest. {GW92 178.2}

     In this age, when pleasing fables are drifting upon the surface and attracting the mind, it is better to present truth in an easy style, backed up with a few strong proofs, than to search and bring forth an overwhelming array of evidence; for the point does not then stand so distinct in many minds as before the objections and evidences were brought before them. With many, assertions will go farther than long arguments. They take many things for granted. Proof does not help the case in the minds of such. . . . {GW92 179.1}


             Meeting Objections.


     Time and strength can be better employed than in dwelling at length upon the quibbles of our opponents who deal in slander and misrepresentations. While precious time is employed in following the crooks and turns of dishonest opponents, the people who are open to conviction are dying for want of knowledge. A train of senseless quibbles of Satan's own invention, is brought before minds, while the people are crying for food -- for meat in due season. {GW92 179.2}

     It takes those who have trained their minds to war against the truth, to manufacture quibbles. And we are not wise to take them from their hands, and pass them out to thousands who would never have thought of them had we not published them to the world. . . . The plan of Christ's teaching should be ours. He was plain and simple, striking directly at the root of the matter, and the minds of all were met. It is not the best policy to be so very explicit, and say all upon a point that can be said, when a few arguments will cover the ground, and be sufficient for all practical purposes to


convince or silence opponents. You may remove every prop today, and close the mouths of objectors so that they can say nothing, and tomorrow they will go over the same ground again. Thus it will be, over and over, because they do not love the light, and will not come to the light, lest their darkness and error should be removed from them. It is a better plan to keep a reserve of arguments than to pour out a depth of knowledge upon a subject which would be taken for granted without labored argument. Christ's ministry lasted only three years, and a great work was done in that short period. In these last days, there is a great work to be done in a short time. While many are getting ready to do something, souls will perish for the light and knowledge. {GW92 179.3}

     If men who are engaged in presenting and defending the truth of the Bible, undertake to investigate and show the fallacy and inconsistency of men who dishonestly turn the truth of God into a lie, Satan will stir up opponents enough to keep their pens constantly employed, while other branches of the work will be left to suffer. {GW92 180.1}

     We must have more of the spirit of those men who were engaged in building the walls of Jerusalem. We are doing a great work, and cannot come down. If Satan can keep men answering the objections of opponents, and thus keep their voices silent, and hinder them from doing the most important work for the present time, his object is accomplished. . . . {GW92 180.2}

     The world needs labor now. Calls are coming in from every direction like the Macedonian cry, "Come over and help us." Plain, pointed arguments, standing out like mile-posts, will do more toward convincing minds generally than will a large array of arguments which cover a great deal of ground, but which none but investigating minds will have interest to follow.--Vol. 3, p. 32.


{GW92 180.3}


       Discussions Not to be Sought.




     I was shown that here is the danger of young ministers who engage in discussion: They turn their minds to the study of the word to gather the sharp things, and they become sarcastic, and in their efforts to meet an opponent, too frequently leave God out of the question. The excitement of debate lessens their interest in meetings where this special excitement does not exist. Those who engage in debates are not the most successful laborers, and the best adapted to build up the cause. By some, discussion is coveted, and they prefer this kind of labor above any other. They do not study the Bible with humility of mind, that they may know how to attain the love of God; as Paul says, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God." [EPH. 3:17-19.] {GW92 181.1}

     Young preachers should avoid discussions; for they do not increase spirituality or humbleness of mind. In some cases it may be necessary to meet a proud boaster against the truth of God in open debate; but generally these discussions, either oral or written, result in more harm than good. After a discussion, the greater responsibility rests upon the minister to keep up the interest. He should beware of the reaction which is liable to take place after a religious excitement, and not yield to discouragement himself.{GW92 181.2}

     Men who will not admit the claims of God's law, which are so very plain, will generally pursue a lawless course; for they have so long taken sides with the great rebel in warring against the law of God,


which is the foundation of his government in heaven and earth, that they are trained in this labor. In their warfare they will not open their eyes or consciences to light. They close their eyes, lest they shall become enlightened. Their case is as hopeless as was that of the Jews who would not see the light which Christ brought to them. The wonderful evidences which he gave them of his Messiahship, in the miracles that he performed, in healing the sick, raising the dead, and doing the works which no other man had done or could do, instead of melting and subduing their hearts, and overcoming their wicked prejudices, inspired them with satanic hatred and fury, such as Satan possessed when he was thrust out of heaven. The greater the light and evidence they had, the greater was their hatred. They were determined to extinguish the light by putting Christ to death. {GW92 181.3}

     The haters of God's law, which is the foundation of his government in heaven and earth, occupy the same ground as did the unbelieving Jews. Their defiant power will follow those who keep the commandments of God, and any amount of light will be rejected by them. They have so long violated conscience, and hardened their hearts by choosing darkness rather than light, that they think it a virtue, in order to gain their object, to bear false witness, or stoop to almost any course of equivocation or deception, as did the Jews in their rejection of Christ. They reason that the end justifies the means. They virtually crucify the law of the Father, as the Jews crucified Christ. {GW92 182.1}

     We should embrace every opportunity to present the truth in its purity and simplicity, where there is any desire or interest to hear the reasons of our faith. Those who have dwelt mostly upon the prophecies and the theoretical points of our faith, should without delay become Bible students upon practical subjects. They should take a deeper draught at the


fountain of divine truth. They should carefully study the life of Christ, and his lessons of practical godliness, given for the benefit of all, and to be the rule of right living for all who should believe on his name. They should be imbued with the spirit of their great Exemplar, and have a high sense of the sacred life of a follower of Christ. {GW92 182.2}

     Christ met the case of every class in the subjects and manner of his teaching. He dined and lodged with the rich and the poor, and made himself familiar with the interests and occupations of men, that he might gain access to their hearts. The learned and the most intellectual were gratified and charmed with his discourses, and yet they were so plain and simple as to be comprehended by the humblest minds. Christ availed himself of every opportunity to give instruction to the people upon those heavenly doctrines and precepts which should be incorporated into their lives, and which would distinguish them from all other religionists because of their holy, elevated character. These lessons of divine instruction are not brought to bear upon men's consciences as they should be. The sermons of Christ would furnish ministers believing present truth with discourses which would be appropriate on almost any occasion. Here is a field of study for the Bible student, in which he cannot be interested without having the spirit of the heavenly Teacher in his own heart. Here are subjects which Christ presented to all classes. Thousands of people of every stamp of character and every grade of society, were attracted and charmed with the matter brought before them. {GW92 183.1}

     Some ministers who have been long in the work of preaching present truth, have made great failures in their labors. They have educated themselves as combatants. They have studied out argumentative subjects for the object of discussion, and these subjects which they have prepared, they love to use. The truth of God is plain, clear, and conclusive. It is


harmonious, and, in contrast with error, shines with clearness and beauty. Its consistency commends it to the judgment of every heart that is not filled with prejudice. Our preachers present the arguments upon the truth, which have been made ready for them, and if there are no hindrances, the truth bears away the victory. But I was shown that in many cases the poor instrument takes the credit of the victory gained, and the people, who are more earthly than spiritual, praise and honor the instrument, while the truth of God is not exalted by the victory it gained. {GW92 183.2}

     Those who love to engage in discussion generally lose their spirituality. They do not trust in God as they should. They have the theory of the truth prepared to whip an opponent. The feelings of their own unsanctified hearts have prepared many sharp, close things to use as a snap to their whip to irritate and provoke their opponent. The spirit of Christ has no part in this. While furnished with conclusive arguments, the debater soon thinks that he is strong enough to triumph over his opponent, and God is left out of the matter. Some of our ministers have made discussion their principal business. When in the midst of the excitement raised by discussion, they seem nerved up, and feel strong and talk strong; and in the excitement many things pass with the people as all right, which in themselves are decidedly wrong, and a shame to him who was guilty of uttering words so unbecoming a Christian minister. {GW92 184.1}

     These things have a bad influence on ministers who are handling sacred, elevated truths,--truths which are to prove as a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death, to those who hear them. Generally, the influence of discussions upon our ministers is to make them self-sufficient, exalted in their own estimation. This is not all. Those who love to debate are unfitted for being pastors to the flock. They have trained their minds to meet opponents, and to


say sarcastic things; and they cannot come down to meet hearts that are sorrowing, and need to be comforted. They have also dwelt so much upon the argumentative that they have neglected the practical subjects that the flock of God need. They have but little knowledge of the sermons of Christ, which enter into the every-day life of the Christian, and they have but little disposition to study them. They have risen above the simplicity of the work. When they were little in their own eyes, God helped them; angels of God ministered unto them, and made their labors highly successful in convincing men and women of the truth. But in the training of their minds for discussion, they frequently become coarse and rough. They lose the interest and tender sympathy which should ever attend the efforts of a shepherd of Christ. {GW92 184.2}

     Debating ministers are generally disqualified to help the flock where they most need help. Having neglected practical religion in their own hearts and lives, they cannot teach it to the flock. Unless there is an excitement, they do not know how to labor; they seem shorn of their strength. If they try to speak, they do not seem to know how to present a subject that is proper for the occasion. When they should present a subject which will feed the flock of God, and which will reach and melt hearts, they go back to some of the old stereotyped matter, and go through the arranged arguments, which are dry and uninteresting. Thus, instead of light, they bring darkness to the flock, and also to their own souls. {GW92 185.1}

     Some of our ministers fail to cultivate spirituality, but encourage a show of zeal, and a certain activity which rests upon an uncertain foundation. Ministers of calm contemplation, of thought and devotion, of conscience and faith, combined with activity and zeal, are wanted in this age. The two qualities, thought and devotion, activity and zeal, should go together.


{GW92 185.2}

     Debating ministers are the most unreliable among us, because they cannot be depended upon when the work goes hard. Bring them into a place where there is but little interest, and they manifest a want of courage, zeal, and real interest. They depend as much upon being enlivened and invigorated by the excitement created by debate or opposition, as does the inebriate upon his dram. These ministers need to be converted anew. They need to drink deep of the unceasing streams which proceed from the eternal Rock.{GW92 186.1}

     The eternal welfare of sinners regulated the conduct of Jesus. He went about doing good. Benevolence was the life of his soul. He not only did good to all who came to him soliciting his mercy, but he perseveringly sought them out. He was never elated with applause, or dejected by censure or disappointment. When he met with the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, he was of good courage. The most important discourse that Inspiration has given us, Christ preached to only one listener. As he sat upon the well to rest, for he was weary, a Samaritan woman came to draw water; he saw an opportunity to reach her mind, and through her to reach the minds of the Samaritans, who were in great darkness and error. Although weary, he presented the truths of his spiritual kingdom, which charmed the heathen woman, and filled her with admiration for Christ. She went forth publishing the news, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" [JOHN 4:29.] This woman's testimony converted many to a belief in Christ. Through her report, many came to hear him for themselves, and believed because of his own word. {GW92 186.2}

     However small may be the number of interested listeners, if the heart is reached and the understanding convinced, they can, like the Samaritan woman, carry a report which will raise the interest of


hundreds to investigate for themselves. While laboring in places to create an interest, there will be many discouragements; but if at first there seems to be but little interest, it is no evidence that you have mistaken your duty and place of labor. If the interest steadily increases, and the people move understandingly, not from impulse, but from principle, the interest is much more healthy and durable than it is where a great excitement and interest are created suddenly, and the feelings are excited by listening to a debate, a sharp contest on both sides of the question, for and against the truth. Fierce opposition is thus created, positions are taken, and rapid decisions made. A feverish state of things is the result. Calm consideration and judgment are wanting. Let this excitement subside, or let reaction take place by indiscreet management, and the interest can never be raised again. The feelings and sympathies of the people were stirred, but their consciences were not convicted, their hearts were not broken and humbled before God. {GW92 186.3}

     In the presentation of unpopular truth, which involves a heavy cross, preachers should be careful that every word is as God would have it. Their words should never cut. They should present the truth in humility, with the deepest love for souls, and an earnest desire for their salvation, and let the truth cut. They should not defy ministers of other denominations, and seek to provoke a debate. They should not stand in a position like that of Goliath when he defied the armies of Israel. Israel did not defy Goliath, but Goliath made his proud boasts against God and his people. The defying, the boasting, and the railing must come from the opposers of truth, who act the Goliath; but none of this spirit should be seen in those whom God has sent forth to proclaim the last message of warning to a doomed world.


{GW92 187.1}

     Goliath trusted in his armor. He terrified the armies of Israel by his defiant, savage boastings, while he made a most imposing display of his armor, which was his strength. David, in his humility and zeal for God and his people, proposed to meet this boaster. Saul consented, and had his own kingly armor placed upon David. But David would not consent to wear it. He laid off the king's armor; for he had not proved it. He had proved God, and in trusting in him had gained special victories. To put on Saul's armor would give the impression that he was a warrior, when he was only little David, who tended the sheep. He did not mean that any credit should be given to the armor of Saul; for his trust was in the Lord God of Israel. He selected a few pebbles from the brook, and with his sling and staff, his only weapons, he went forth in the name of the God of Israel to meet the armed warrior. {GW92 188.1}

     Goliath disdained David; for his appearance was that of a mere youth untaught in the tactics of warfare. Goliath railed upon David, and cursed him by his gods. He felt that it was an insult upon his dignity to have a mere stripling, without armor, come to meet him. He made his boast of what he would do to him. David did not become irritated because he was looked upon as so inferior, neither did he tremble at the giant's terrible threats, but replied, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied." [1 SAM. 17:45, 47.] David tells Goliath that in the name of the Lord he will do to him the very things that Goliath had threatened to do to David. "And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands."{GW92 188.2}

     Our ministers should not defy and provoke discussion. Let the defying be on the side of the opposers of God's truth. . . .


{GW92 188.3}

     I was shown that some of our young ministers are getting a passion for debating, and that, unless they see their danger, this will prove a snare to them. . . . These young preachers should study the practical teachings of Christ as well as the theoretical, and learn of Jesus, that they may have his grace, his meekness, his humility and lowliness of mind. If they, like David, are brought into a position where God's cause really calls for them to meet a defier of Israel, and if they go forth in the strength of God, relying wholly upon him, he will carry them through, and cause his truth to triumph gloriously. Christ has given us an example. "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." [JUDE 9.] {GW92 189.1}

     As soon as a preacher comes down from the position a minister should ever occupy, and descends to the comical to create a laugh over his opponent, or when he is sarcastic and sharp, and rails upon him, he does that which the Saviour of the world did not dare to do; for he places himself upon the enemy's ground. Ministers who contend with opposers of the truth of God, do not have to meet men merely, but Satan and his host of evil angels. Satan watches for a chance to get the advantage of ministers who are advocating the truth; and when they cease to put their entire trust in God, and their words are not in the spirit and love of Christ, the angels of God cannot strengthen and enlighten them. They leave them to their own strength, and evil angels press in their darkness; for this reason the opponents of the truth sometimes seem to have the advantage, and the discussion does more harm than real good.-- Vol. 3, p. 212.



{GW92 189.2}

     Discussions cannot always be avoided. In some cases the circumstances are such that of the two evils


the choice must be made of the least, which is discussion. {GW92 189.3}

     People who love to see opponents combat, may clamor for discussion. Others, who have a desire to hear the evidence on both sides, may urge discussion in all honesty of motive; but whenever discussions can be avoided, they should be; for the result is seldom honoring to God. They generally strengthen combativeness, and weaken that pure love and sacred sympathy which should ever exist in the hearts of Christians, although they may differ in opinions. {GW92 190.1}

     In this age of the world a demand for a discussion is not real evidence of earnest desire on the part of the people to investigate the truth, but comes through the love of novelty and the excitement which generally attends discussions. God is seldom glorified or the truth advanced in these combats. Truth is too solemn, too momentous in its results, to make it a small matter whether it is received or rejected. To discuss truth for the sake of showing opponents the skill of the combatants, is ever poor policy; for it does but very little to advance the truth. {GW92 190.2}

     Opponents to the truth will show skill in misstating the positions of its defenders. They will make the most solemn, sacred truths the subject of ridicule. They will generally sport and deride precious, sacred truth, and place it in so false a light before the people that minds that are darkened by error and polluted by sin, do not discern the motives and objects of these designing men in thus covering up and falsifying precious and important truth. Because of the men who engage in them, there are but few discussions that it is possible to conduct upon right principles. Sharp thrusts are too frequently given by both parties, personalities are indulged in, and frequently both parties descend to sarcasm and witticism. The love of souls is lost in the greater desire for the mastery. Prejudice, deep and bitter, is often the result of discussions.


{GW92 190.3}

     I have beheld angels grieved as the most precious jewels of truth have been brought before men utterly incapable of appreciating the evidences in favor of the truth. Their entire being was at war with the principles of truth; their natures were at enmity with it. Their object in discussing was not that they might get hold of the evidences of the truth themselves, or that the people might have a fair understanding of our true position, but that they might confuse the understanding by placing the truth in a perverted light before the people. There are men who have educated themselves as combatants. It is their policy to misstate an opponent, and to cover up clear arguments with dishonest quibbles. They have devoted their God-given powers to this dishonest work, for there is nothing in their hearts in harmony with the pure principles of truth. They seize any argument they can get with which to tear down the advocates of truth, when they themselves do not believe the things they urge against them. They bolster themselves up in their chosen position, irrespective of justice and truth. They do not consider that before them is the Judgment, and that then their ill-gotten triumph, with all its disastrous results, will appear in its true character. Error, with all its deceptive policies, its windings and twistings and turnings to change the truth into a lie, will then appear in all its deformity. No victory will stand in the day of God, except that which truth, pure, elevated, sacred truth, shall win to the glory of God. {GW92 191.1}

     Angels weep to see the precious truth of heavenly origin cast before swine, to be seized by them and trampled with the mire and dirt. Cast not "your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." [MATT. 7:6.] These are the words of the world's Redeemer. {GW92 191.2}

     God's ministers should not count the opportunity of engaging in discussion a great privilege. All points of our faith are not to be borne to the front


and presented before the prejudiced crowds. Jesus spoke before the Pharisees and Sadducees in parables, hiding the clearness of truth under symbols and figures, because they would make a wrong use of the truths he presented before them; but to his disciples he spoke plainly. We should learn from Christ's method of teaching, and be careful not to close the ears of the people by presenting truths which, not being fully explained, they are in no way prepared to receive. {GW92 191.3}

     The truths that we hold in common should be dwelt upon first, and the confidence of the hearers obtained; then as the people can be brought along, we can advance slowly with the matter presented. Great wisdom is needed to present unpopular truth before a prejudiced people in the most cautious manner, that access may be gained to their hearts. Discussions place before the people, who are unenlightened in regard to our position, and who are ignorant of Bible truth, a set of arguments skillfully gotten up and carefully arranged to cover over the clear points of truth. Some men have made it their business to cover up plain statements of facts in the word of God by their deceptive theories, which they make plausible to those who have not investigated for themselves. {GW92 192.1}

     These agents of Satan are hard to meet, and it is difficult to have patience with them. But calmness, patience, and self-control are elements which every minister of Christ should cultivate. The combatants of the truth have educated themselves for intellectual battle. They are prepared to present on the surface sophistry and assertions as the word of God. They confuse unsuspecting minds, and place the truth in obscurity, while pleasing fables are presented to the people in the place of pure Bible truth. {GW92 192.2}

     Many choose darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. But there are those who, if the truth could have been presented in a different manner,


under different circumstances, giving them a fair chance to weigh the arguments for themselves, and to compare scripture with scripture, would have been charmed by its clearness, and would have taken hold upon it. {GW92 192.3}

     It has been very indiscreet for our ministers to publish to the world the wily sophistry of error, furnished by designing men to cover up and make of none effect the solemn, sacred truth of Jehovah. These crafty men who lie in wait to deceive the unwary, give their strength of intellect to perverting the word of God. The inexperienced and unsuspecting are deceived to their ruin. It has been a great error to publish to all the arguments wherewith opponents battle the truth of God; for in so doing minds of every class are furnished with arguments which many of them had never thought of. Some one must render an account for this unwise generalship. {GW92 193.1}

     Arguments against the sacred truth, subtle in their influence, affect minds that are not well informed in regard to the strength of the truth. The moral sensibilities of the community at large are blunted by familiarity with sin. Selfishness, dishonesty, and the varied sins which prevail in this degenerate age, have blunted the senses to eternal things, so that God's truth is not discerned. In giving publicity to the erroneous arguments of our opponents, truth and error are placed upon a level in their minds, when, if they could have the truth before them in its clearness long enough to see and realize its sacredness and importance, they would be convinced of the strong arguments in its favor, and would then be prepared to meet the arguments urged by opposers. {GW92 193.2}

     Those who are seeking to know the truth and to understand the will of God, who are faithful to the light, and zealous in the performance of their daily duties, will surely know of the doctrine; for they will be guided into all truth. God does not promise, by the masterly acts of his providence, to


irresistibly bring men to the knowledge of his truth, when they do not seek for truth and have no desire to know the truth. Men have the power to quench the Spirit of God; the power of choosing is left with them. They are allowed freedom of action. They may be obedient through the name and grace of our Redeemer, or they may be disobedient, and realize the consequences. Man is responsible for receiving or rejecting sacred and eternal truth. The Spirit of God is continually convicting, and souls are deciding for or against the truth. The deportment, the words, the actions, of the minister of Christ, may balance a soul for or against the truth. How important that every act of the life be such that it need not be repented of! Especially is this important among the ambassadors of Christ, who are acting in the place of Christ.-- Vol. 3, p. 424.



{GW92 193.3}

     Men who bring in these damnable heresies [the teachings of Spiritualism] will dare those who teach the word of God to enter into controversy with them, and some who teach the truth have not had the courage to withstand a challenge from this class, who are marked characters in the word of God. Some of our ministers have not had the moral courage to say to these men, "God has warned us in his word in regard to you. He has given us a faithful description of your character and of the heresies which you hold." Some of our ministers, rather than give this class any occasion to triumph or to charge them with cowardice, have met them in open discussion. But in discussing with Spiritualists they do not meet man merely, but Satan and his angels. They place themselves in communication with the powers of darkness, and encourage evil angels about them. {GW92 194.1}

     Spiritualists desire to give publicity to their heresies; and ministers who advocate Bible truth help them to do this when they consent to engage in discussion with them. The opportunity to get their


heresies before the people is improved, and in every discussion with them some will be deceived. The very best course for us to pursue is to avoid them.-- Vol. 3, p. 485.



{GW92 194.2}

     Whenever it is necessary for the advancement of the cause of truth and the glory of God, that an opponent be met, how carefully, and with what humility should they [the advocates of truth] go into the conflict. With heart-searching, confession of sin, and earnest prayer, and often fasting for a time, they should entreat that God would especially help them, and give his saving, precious truth a glorious victory, that error might appear in its true deformity, and its advocates be completely discomfited. . . . {GW92 195.1}

     Never should you enter upon a discussion, where so much is at stake, relying upon your aptness to handle strong arguments. If it cannot be well avoided, enter the conflict, but enter upon it with firm trust in God, and in the spirit of humility, in the spirit of Jesus, who has bidden you learn of him who is meek and lowly in heart.-- Vol. 1, p. 624.



{GW92 195.2}


          Engaging in Secular Business.


     Ministers should have no separate interest aside from the great work of leading souls to the truth. Their energies are all needed here. They should not engage in traffic of any kind, or in any business aside from this one great work. The solemn charge given to Timothy rests will equal weight upon them, laying upon them the most solemn obligations and most fearful responsibilities: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word;


be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." "But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." [2 TIM. 4:1, 2, 5.] {GW92 195.3}

     Wrong habits of life have lessened our mental and physical sensibilities, and all the strength we can acquire by right living, and placing ourselves in the best relation to health and life, should be devoted unreservedly to the work which God has assigned us. We cannot afford to use the few enfeebled, crippled energies which we possess, in serving tables, or mingling merchandise with the work God has committed to us. Every faculty of mind and body is now needed. The work of God requires this, and no separate business can be engaged in aside from this great work, without taking time, and strength of mind and body, and thus lessening the vigor and force of our labor in the cause of God. Ministers who do this will not have all that time for meditation and prayer, and all that strength and clearness of mind which they should have to understand the cases of those who need help, and to be prepared to "be instant in season, out of season." [2 TIM. 4:2.] A word fitly spoken at the right time may save some poor, erring, doubting soul. Paul exhorted Timothy, "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all." [1 TIM. 4:15.] {GW92 196.1}

     In Christ's commission to his disciples, he tells them, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." [MATT. 18:18.] If this is the fearfully responsible work of God's ministers, how important that they give themselves wholly to it, and watch for souls as they that must give an account! Should any separate or selfish interest come in here and divide the heart from the work? Some ministers linger about their homes, and run out on


the Sabbath, and then return, and exhaust their energies in farming or in attending to home matters. They labor for themselves through the week, and then spend the remnant of their exhausted energies in laboring for God. But such feeble efforts are not acceptable to him. They have no mental or physical strength to spare. At best their efforts are feeble enough. But after they have been engrossed and entangled all through the laboring days of the week, with the cares and perplexities of this life, they are wholly unfitted for the high, the sacred, the important work of God. The destiny of souls hangs upon the course they pursue and the decisions they make. How important, then, that they should be temperate in all things, not only in their eating, but in their labor, that their strength may be unabated and devoted to their sacred calling. . . . {GW92 196.2}

     The responsibility of the work rests very lightly upon some. They feel that after they leave the desk, their work is done. It is a burden to visit, a burden to talk; and the people who are really desirous of getting all the good there is for them, and who wish to hear and learn, that they may see all things clearly, are not benefited and satisfied. Ministers excuse themselves because they are weary; and yet some exhaust their precious strength and spend their time in work which another could do just as well as they. They should preserve moral and physical vigor, that as faithful workmen of God they may give full proof of their ministry.-- Vol. 1, p. 470.



{GW92 197.1}

     Ministers cannot carry the burden of the work while at the same time they are carrying the burden of farms or other business enterprises, having their hearts on their earthly treasures. Their spiritual discernment is dimmed. They cannot appreciate the wants of the cause of God, and therefore cannot put forth well-directed efforts to meet its emergencies


and to advance its interests. They constantly seek to shape the work in accordance with their circumstances, in place of shaping circumstances to meet the demands of the cause of God. The want of a full consecration to the work on the part of the minister is soon felt all through the field where he labors. If his own standard is low, he will not bring others to accept a higher one.-- MS.



{GW92 197.2}

     The people will seldom rise higher than their minister. A world-loving spirit in him has a tremendous influence upon others. The people make his deficiencies an excuse to cover their world-loving spirit. They quiet their own consciences, thinking that they may be free to love the things of this life, and be indifferent to spiritual things, because their ministers are so. They deceive their own souls, and remain in friendship with the world, which the apostle declares to be enmity with God. Ministers should be examples to the flock. They should manifest an undying love for souls and the same devotion to the cause which they desire to see in the people.-- Vol. 2, p. 645.



{GW92 198.1}

     "No man that warreth, entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." [2 TIM. 2:4.] {GW92 198.2}

     Principle is always exacting. Our country claims of fathers and mothers, their sons, the brothers, the husbands, to be given up, to leave their homes for the field of carnage and bloodshed. They must endure privation and hunger, weariness and loneliness; they must make long marches, footsore and weary, through summer's heat and winter's cold; they must face peril, run the risk of life. They are compelled to follow the commander, even to the death. And all this severe experience is in consequence of sin. There is an enemy to meet, an


enemy to be resisted; enemies of our country will destroy her peace and bring disaster and ruin, unless they are overcome. "Conquer or die" is the motto. {GW92 198.3}

     Thus it is with the Christian warfare. We have an enemy to meet, who is vigilant, who is not off his guard one moment. The claims of country are not higher than the claims of God. If hardships are borne and trials endured by soldiers fighting in behalf of their country, how much more willingly should the soldiers of the cross endure privation, self-denial, and any taxation for Christ's sake.--MS.



{GW92 199.1}

     The Lord cannot glorify his name through ministers who attempt to serve God and mammon. We are not to urge men to invest in mining stock, or in city lots, holding out the inducement that the money invested will be doubled in a short time. Our message for this time is, "Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." [LUKE 12:33, 34.] {GW92 199.2}

     Just before Israel entered the land of Canaan, Satan sought to seduce the people, and lead them to idolatry, thinking to compass their ruin. He works in the same way in our day. There are young men whom God would accept as workers together with him, but they have become absorbed in this real-estate craze, and have sold their interest in the truth for the prospect of worldly advantage. There are many who hold themselves away from the service of God, because they desire worldly gain, and Satan uses those who claim to believe the truth, to seduce souls. The tempter comes to men as he came to Jesus, presenting the glory of the world; and when a measure of success attends the ventures of men, they become greedy for more gain, and their spirituality


dies; they lose their love for the truth. The immortal inheritance, the love of Jesus, is eclipsed to their vision by the fleeting prospects of the world. -- MS.



{GW92 199.3}


    Proper Remuneration for Ministers.



     "Instead of bringing the expense of the work down to a low figure, it is your duty to bring the minds of the people to understand that the 'laborer is worthy of his hire.' [LUKE 10:7.]" "The churches need to be impressed with the fact that it is their duty to deal honestly with the cause of God, not allowing the guilt to the worst kind of robbery to rest upon them, that of robbing God in tithes and offerings. When settlements are made with the laborers in his cause, they should not be forced to accept small remuneration because there is a lack of money in the treasury. Many have been defrauded of their just dues in this way, and it is just as criminal in the sight of God as for one to keep back the wages of those who are employed in any other regular business. {GW92 200.1}

     "There are men of ability who would like to go out and labor in our several Conferences; but they have no courage, for they must have means to support their families. It is the worst kind of generalship to allow a Conference to stand still, or to fail to settle its honest debts. There is a great deal of this done; and whenever it is done, God is displeased. {GW92 200.2}

     "If the presidents and other laborers in our Conferences impress upon the minds of the people the character of the crime of robbing God, and if they have a true spirit of devotion and a burden for the work, God will make their labors a blessing to the people, and fruit will be seen as the result of their efforts. Ministers have failed greatly in their duty


to so labor with the churches. There is important work to be done aside from that of preaching. Had this been done, as God designed it should be, there would have been many more laborers in the field than there now are. And had the ministers done their duty in educating every member, whether rich or poor, to give as God has prospered him, there would be a full treasury from which to pay the honest debts to the workers, and this would greatly advance missionary work in all their borders. God has shown me that many souls are in danger of eternal ruin through selfishness and worldliness; and the watchmen are guilty, for they have neglected their duty. This is a state of things that Satan exults to see." {GW92 200.3}

     "All branches of the work belong to the ministers. It is not God's order that some one should follow after them, and bind off their unfinished work. It is not the duty of the Conference to be at the expense of employing other laborers to follow after, and pick up the stitches dropped by negligent workers. It is the duty of the president of the Conference to have an oversight of the laborers and their work, and to teach them to be faithful in these things; for no church can prosper that is robbing God. The spiritual dearth in our churches is frequently the result of an alarming prevalence of selfishness. Selfish, worldly pursuits and schemes interpose between the soul and God. Men cling to the world, seeming to fear that should they let go their hold upon it, God would not care for them. And so they attempt to take care of themselves; they are anxious, troubled, distressed, holding on to their large farms, and adding to their possessions." {GW92 201.1}

     "The word of God speaks of the 'hire of the laborers, . . . which is of you kept back by fraud.' [JAMES 5:4.] This is generally understood to apply to wealthy men who employ servants and do not pay them for their labor; but it has a broader meaning than this.


It applies with great force to those who have been enlightened by the Spirit of God, and yet in any degree work upon the same principle that these men do hiring servants; grinding them down to the lowest price."-- Test. 32, p. 130.



{GW92 201.2}


       Danger in Self-Confidence.




     I have been shown that young men like yourself, who have had but a few years of imperfect experience in the cause of present truth, are not the ones whom God will trust to bear weighty responsibilities, and to lead out in this work. Such should manifest a delicacy in taking positions which will conflict with the judgment and opinions of those of mature experience, whose lives have been interwoven with the cause of God nearly as many years as you have lived, and who have had an active part in this work from its small beginning. God will not select men of but little experience and considerable self-confidence to lead out in this sacred, important work. There is much at stake here. Men who have had but little experience in the sufferings, trials, opposition, and privations that have been endured to bring the work up to its present condition of prosperity, should be very jealous of themselves. {GW92 202.1}

     Young men who now engage in the work of preaching the truth should cultivate modesty and humility. They should be careful how they become exalted, lest they be overthrown. They will be accountable for the clear light of truth which now shines upon them. I saw that God is displeased with the disposition that some have to murmur against those who have fought the heaviest battles for them, and who endured so much in the beginning of the message, when the work went hard.


{GW92 202.2}

     The experienced laborers,--those who toiled under the weight and the oppressive burdens when there were but few to help bear them,--God regards; and he has a jealous care for those who have proved faithful. He is displeased with those who are ready to find fault with and reproach those servants of God who have grown gray in building up the cause of present truth. Your reproaches and murmurings, young men, will surely stand against you in the day of God. As long as God has not laid heavy responsibilities upon you, do not get out of your place, and rely upon your own independent judgment, and assume responsibilities for which you are not fitted. . . . You need to cultivate watchfulness and humility, and to be diligent in prayer. The nearer you live to God, the more clearly will you discern your weaknesses and dangers. A practical view of the law of God, and clear discernment of the atonement of Christ, will give you a knowledge of yourselves, and will show you wherein you fail to perfect Christian character. . . . {GW92 203.1}

     In a degree you overlook the necessity of having a divine influence constantly with you. This is positively necessary in doing the work of God. If you neglect this, and pass on in self-confidence and self-sufficiency, you will be left to make very great blunders. You need constantly to cherish lowliness of mind and a spirit of dependence. He who feels his own weakness will look higher than himself, and will feel the need of constant strength from above. The grace of God will lead him to exercise and cherish a spirit of constant gratitude. He who is best acquainted with his own weakness will know that it is the matchless grace of God alone that will triumph over the rebellion of the heart. {GW92 203.2}

     You need to become acquainted with the weak as well as the strong points in your characters, that you may be constantly guarded lest you engage in enterprises and assume responsibilities for which God


has never designed you. You should not compare your actions and measure your lives by any human standard, but with the rule of duty revealed in the Bible. . . . {GW92 203.3}

     You are too dependent upon your surroundings. If you have a large congregation, you are elated, and you desire to address them. But sometimes your congregations diminish, your spirits sink, and you have but little courage to labor. Surely, something is wanting. Your hold upon God is not firm enough. . . . {GW92 204.1}

     Christ sought for men wherever he could find them,-- in the public streets, in private houses, in the synagogues, by the sea-side. He toiled all day, preaching to the multitude, and healing the sick that were brought to him; and frequently, after he had dismissed the people that they might return to their homes to rest and sleep, he spent the entire night in prayer, to come forth and renew his labors in the morning. . . . You need to bring your soul into close communion with God by earnest prayer mixed with living faith. Every prayer offered in faith lifts the suppliant above discouraging doubts and human passions. Prayer gives strength to renew the conflict with the powers of darkness, to bear trials patiently, and to endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ. {GW92 204.2}

     While you take counsel with your doubts and fears, or try to solve everything that you cannot see clearly before you have faith, your perplexities will only increase and deepen. If you come to God, feeling helpless and dependent, as you really are, and in humble, trusting prayer make your wants known to Him whose knowledge is infinite, who sees everything in creation, and who governs everything by his will and word, he can and will attend to your cry, and will let light shine into your heart and all around you; for through sincere prayer your soul is brought into connection with the mind of the Infinite. You may have no remarkable evidence at


the time that the face of your Redeemer is bending over you in compassion and love; but this is even so. You may not feel his visible touch, but his hand is upon you in love and pitying tenderness. . . . {GW92 204.3}

     Our only safety is in being shielded by the grace of God every moment, and not putting out our own spiritual eyesight so that we call evil good, and good, evil. Without hesitation or argument, we must close and guard the avenues of the soul against evil. {GW92 205.1}

     It will cost us an effort to secure eternal life. It is only by long and persevering effort, sore discipline, and stern conflict, that we shall be overcomers. But if we patiently and determinedly, in the name of the Conqueror who overcame in our behalf in the wilderness of temptation, overcome as he overcame, we shall have the eternal reward. Our efforts, our self-denial, our perseverance, must be proportionate to the infinitive value of the object of which we are in pursuit. . . . Wrongs cannot be righted, nor reformations in character made, by a few feeble, intermittent efforts. Sanctification is not a work of a day or a year, but of a lifetime. Without continual efforts and constant activity, there can be no advancement in the divine life, no attainment of the victor's crown. . . . You have need of constant watchfulness, lest Satan beguile you through his subtlety, corrupt your minds, and lead you into inconsistencies and gross darkness. Your watchfulness should be characterized by a spirit of humble dependence upon God. It should not be carried on with a proud, self-reliant spirit, but with a deep sense of your personal weakness, and a childlike trust in the promises of God. {GW92 205.2}

     It is now an easy and pleasant task to preach the truth of the third angel's message, in comparison with what it was when the message first started, when the numbers were few, and we were looked upon as fanatics. Those who bore the responsibility of the work in the rise and early progress of the message,


knew what conflict, distress, and soul-anguish were. Night and day the burden was heavy upon them. They thought not of rest or convenience even when they were pressed with suffering and disease. The shortness of time called for activity, and the laborers were few. {GW92 205.3}

     Frequently, when brought into strait places, the entire night has been spent in earnest, agonizing prayer, with tears, for help from God, and for light to shine upon his word. When the light has come, and the clouds have been driven back, what joy and grateful happiness have rested upon the anxious, earnest seekers! Our gratitude to God was as complete as had been our earnest, hungering cry for light. Some nights we could not sleep, because our hearts were overflowing with love and gratitude to God. {GW92 206.1}

     Men who now go forth to preach the truth, have things made ready to their hand. They cannot now experience such privations as the laborers in present truth have endured before them. The truth has been brought out, link after link, till it forms a clear, connected chain. To bring the truth out in such clearness and harmony has required careful research. Opposition, the most bitter and determined, drove the servants of God to the Lord and to their Bibles. Precious indeed to them was the light which came from God.{GW92 206.2}

     I have been shown that the reason why some cannot discern the right is that they have so long cherished the enemy, who has worked side by side with them while they have not discerned his power. It sometimes seems hard to wait patiently till God's time comes to vindicate the right. But I have been shown that if we become impatient, we lose a rich reward. As faithful husbandmen in God's great field, we must sow with tears, and be patient and hopeful. We must meet troubles and sorrows. Temptations and wearisome toil will afflict the


soul, but we must patiently wait in faith to reap with joy. In the final victory, God will have no use for those persons who are nowhere to be found in time of peril and danger, when the strength, courage, and influence of all are required to make a charge upon the enemy. Those who stand like faithful soldiers to battle against wrong, and to vindicate the right, warring against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, will each receive the commendation from the Master, "Well done, good and faithful servant, . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." [Matt. 25:23.]--Vol. 3, p. 320.



{GW92 206.3}


           Respect for the Sabbath.




     When the Sabbath begins, we should place a guard upon ourselves, upon our acts and our words, lest we rob God by appropriating to our own use that time which is strictly the Lord's. We should not do ourselves, nor suffer our children to do any manner of our own work for a livelihood, or anything which could have been done on the six working days. Friday is the day of preparation. Time can then be devoted to making the necessary preparation for the Sabbath, and to thinking and conversing about it. Nothing which will in the sight of Heaven be regarded as a violation of the holy Sabbath should be left unsaid or undone, to be said or done upon the Sabbath. God requires not only that we refrain from physical labor upon the Sabbath, but that the mind be disciplined to dwell upon sacred themes. By conversing upon worldly things, or by engaging in light and trifling conversation, we virtually transgress the fourth commandment. Talking


upon anything or everything which may come into the mind, is speaking our own words. Every deviation from right brings us into bondage and condemnation. . . . {GW92 207.1}

     Those who are not fully converted to the truth, frequently let their minds run freely upon worldly business, and although they may rest from physical toil upon the Sabbath, their tongues speak out what is in their minds; hence these words concerning cattle, crops, losses, and gains. All this is Sabbath-breaking. If the mind is running upon worldly matters, the tongue will reveal it; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. {GW92 208.1}

     The example of ministers especially should be circumspect in this respect. Upon the Sabbath they should conscientiously restrict themselves to conversation upon religious themes,--to present truth, present duty, the Christian's hopes and fears, trials, conflicts, and afflictions; to overcoming at last, and the rewards to be received. {GW92 208.2}

     Ministers of Jesus should stand as reprovers to those who fail to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. They should kindly and solemnly reprove those who engage in worldly conversation upon the Sabbath, and at the same time claim to be Sabbath-keepers. They could encourage devotion to God upon his holy day. {GW92 208.3}

     None should feel at liberty to spend sanctified time in an unprofitable manner. It is displeasing to God for Sabbath-keepers to sleep during much of the Sabbath. They dishonor their Creator in so doing, and, by their example, say that the six days are too precious for them to spend in resting. They must make money, although it be by robbing themselves of needed sleep, which they make up by sleeping away holy time. They then excuse themselves by saying, "The Sabbath was given for a day of rest. I will not deprive myself of rest to attend meeting; for I need rest." Such make a wrong use of the


sanctified day. They should, upon that day especially, interest their families in its observance, and assemble at the house of prayer with the few or with the many, as the case may be. They should devote their time and energies to spiritual exercises, that the divine influence resting upon the Sabbath may attend them through the week. Of all the days in the week, none are so favorable for devotional thoughts and feelings as the Sabbath. {GW92 208.4}

     All heaven was represented to me as beholding and watching upon the Sabbath those who acknowledge the claims of the fourth commandment and are observing the Sabbath. Angels were marking their interest in, and high regard for, this divine institution. Those who sanctified the Lord God in their hearts by a strictly devotional frame of mind, and who sought to improve the sacred hours in keeping the Sabbath to the best of their ability, and to honor God by calling the Sabbath a delight,--these the angels were specially blessing with light and health, and special strength was given them. But, on the other hand, the angels were turning from those who failed to appreciate the sacredness of God's sanctified day, and were removing from them their light and their strength. I saw them overshadowed with a cloud, desponding, and frequently sad. They felt a lack of the Spirit of God.--Vol. 2, p. 702.



{GW92 209.1}


                The Minister's Wife.


     June 5, 1863, I was shown that Satan is ever at work to dishearten and lead astray ministers whom God has chosen to preach the truth. The most effectual way in which he can work is through home influences, through unconsecrated companions. If he can control the mind of the wife, he can through


her the more readily gain access to the husband, who is laboring in word and doctrine to save souls. . . . Many have disregarded the sacred obligation resting upon them to improve the light and privileges given, and walk as children of the light. If the vail could be parted, and all could see just how their cases are regarded in heaven, there would be an awakening, and each would with fear inquire, "What shall I do to be saved?" {GW92 209.2}

     The minister's wife who is not devoted to God is no help to her husband. While he dwells upon the necessity of bearing the cross, and urges the importance of self-denial, the daily example of his wife often contradicts his preaching and destroys its force. In this way she becomes a great hindrance, and often leads her husband away from his duty and from God. She does not realize what a sin she is committing. Instead of seeking to be useful, seeking with true love for souls to help such as need help, she shrinks from the task, and prefers a useless life. She is not constrained by the power of Christ's love, and by unselfish, holy principles. She does not choose to do the will of God, to be a co-worker with her husband, with angels, and with God. When the wife of the minister accompanies her husband in his mission to save souls, it is a great sin for her to hinder him in his work by manifesting unhappy discontent. Yet, instead of entering heartily into his labors, seeking every opportunity to unite her interest and labor with his, she often studies how she can make it more easy or pleasant for herself. If things around them are not as agreeable as she could wish (as they will not always be), she should not indulge homesick feelings, or by lack of cheerfulness and by spoken complaints harass the husband and make his task harder, and perhaps, by her discontent, draw him from the place where he could do good. She should not divert the interest of her husband from laboring for the salvation of souls, to sympathize with her ailments,


and gratify her whimsical, discontented feelings. If she would forget herself, and labor to help others, talk and pray with poor souls, and act as if their salvation was of higher importance than any other consideration, she would have no time to be homesick. She would feel from day to day a sweet satisfaction as a reward for her unselfish labor; I cannot call it sacrifice, for some of our ministers' wives do not know what it is to sacrifice or suffer for the truth's sake. {GW92 210.1}

     In former years the wives of ministers endured want and persecution. When their husbands suffered imprisonment, and sometimes death, those noble, self-sacrificing women suffered with them, and their reward will be equal to that bestowed on the husband. Mrs. Boardman and the Mrs. Judsons suffered for the truth,--suffered with their companions. They sacrificed home and friends in every sense of the word, to aid their companions in the work of enlightening those who sat in darkness; to reveal to them the hidden mysteries of the word of God. Their lives were in constant peril. To save souls was their great object, and for this they could suffer cheerfully. {GW92 211.1}

     I was shown the life of Christ. When his self-denial and sacrifice is compared with the trials and sufferings of the wives of some of our ministers, it causes anything which they may call sacrifice to sink into insignificance. If the minister's wife speaks words of discontent and discouragement, the influence upon the husband is disheartening, and tends to cripple him in his labor, especially if his success depends upon surrounding influences. Must the minister of God in such cases be crippled or torn from his field of labor to gratify the feelings of his wife, which arise from an unwillingness to yield inclination to duty? The wife should conform her wishes and pleasures to duty, and give up her selfish feelings for the sake of Christ and the truth. Satan


has had much to do with controlling the labors of the ministers, through the influence of selfish, ease-loving companions. {GW92 211.2}

     If a minister's wife accompanies her husband in his travels, she should not go for her own special enjoyment, to visit and to be waited upon, but to labor with him. She should have a united interest with him to do good. She should be willing to accompany her husband, if home cares do not hinder, and she should aid him in his efforts to save souls. With meekness and humility, yet with a noble self-reliance, she should have a leading influence upon minds around her, and should act her part, and bear her cross and burden in meeting, and around the family altar, and in conversation at the fireside. The people expect this, and they have a right to expect it. If these expectations are not realized, the husband's influence is more than half destroyed. The wife of a minister can do much, if she will. If she possesses the spirit of self-sacrifice, and has a love for souls, she can with him do almost an equal amount of good. {GW92 212.1}

     A sister laborer in the cause of truth can understand and reach some cases, especially among the sisters, that the minister cannot. A responsibility rests upon the minister's wife which she should not and cannot lightly throw off. God will require the talent lent her, with usury. She should work earnestly, faithfully, and unitedly with her husband to save souls. She should never urge her wishes and desires, or express a lack of interest in her husband's labor, or dwell upon homesick, discontented feelings. All these natural feelings must be overcome. She should have a purpose in life which should be unfalteringly carried out. What if this conflicts with the feelings, and pleasures, and natural tastes? These should be cheerfully and readily sacrificed, in order to do good and save souls. {GW92 212.2}

     The wives of ministers should live devoted, prayerful lives. But some would enjoy a religion in which


there are no crosses, and which calls for no self-denial and exertion on their part. Instead of standing nobly for themselves, leaning upon God for strength, and bearing their individual responsibility, they have much of the time been dependent upon others, deriving their spiritual life from them. If they would only lean confidingly, in childlike trust, upon God, and have their affections centered in Jesus, deriving their life from Christ, the living vine, what an amount of good they might do, what a help they might be to others, what a support to their husbands, and what a reward would be theirs in the end! "Well done, good and faithful servants," would fall like sweetest music upon their ears. The words, "Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord," would repay them a thousand times for all suffering and trials  endured to save precious souls. {GW92 212.3}

     Those who will not improve the talent which God has given them, will fail of everlasting life. Those who have been of but little use in the world will be rewarded accordingly,--as their works have been. When everything goes smoothly, they are borne along on the wave; but when they need earnestly and untiringly to apply the oar, and row against wind and tide, there seems to be no energy in their Christian character. They will not take the trouble to work, but lay down their oars, and contentedly let the current carry them down stream. Thus they generally remain until some one takes the burden, and labors earnestly and energetically to pull them up stream. Every time they yield to such indolence, they lose strength, and have less inclination to work in the cause of God. It is only the faithful  conqueror who wins eternal glory. {GW92 213.1}

     A minister's wife should ever have a leading influence on the minds of those with whom she associates,  and she will be a help, or a great hindrance. She either gathers with Christ, or scatters abroad. A self-sacrificing missionary spirit is lacking among the companions of our ministers. It is self first,


and then Christ secondly, and even thirdly. Never should a minister take his wife with him unless he knows that she can be a spiritual help; that she is one who can endure and suffer, to do good, and to benefit souls for Christ's sake. Those who accompany their husbands should go to labor unitedly with them. They must not expect to be free from trials and disappointments. They should not think too much of pleasant feelings. What have feelings to do with duty? {GW92 213.2}

     I was cited to the case of Abraham. God said to him, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." [GEN. 22:2, 11, 12.] Abraham obeyed God. He did not consult his feelings, but with a noble faith and confidence in God he prepared for his journey. With a heart rent with anguish he beheld the proud, loving mother gazing with fond affection upon the son of promise. But he led that loved son away. Abraham suffered; yet he did not let his will rise in rebellion against the will of God. Duty, stern duty, controlled him. He dared not consult his feelings, or yield to them for one moment. His only son walked by the side of the stern, loving, suffering father, talking engagingly, uttering over and over the fond name of father, and then inquiring, "Where is the sacrifice?" O, what a test for the faithful father! Angels looked with pleased wonder upon the scene. The faithful servant of God even bound his beloved son and laid him upon the wood. The knife was raised, when an angel cried out, "Abraham, Abraham, lay not thine hand upon the lad." [GEN. 22:2, 11, 12.] {GW92 214.1}

     I saw that it is no light thing to be a Christian. It is a small matter to profess the Christian name; but it is a great and sacred thing to lead a Christian life. There is but a little time now to secure the immortal crown, to have a record of good acts and


fulfilled duties written in heaven. Every tree is judged by its fruit. Every one will be judged according to his deeds, not his profession or his faith. The question will never be asked, How much did he profess? but, What fruit did he bear? If the tree is corrupt, the fruit is evil. If the tree is good, it cannot produce evil fruit.--Vol. 1, p. 449.



{GW92 214.2}

     When the truth, the solemn, important truth, gets hold of them, self will die; then the language will not be, "I will go there, I will not stay here;" but the earnest inquiry will be, "Where does God want me to be? Where can I best glorify him, and where can our united labors do the most good?" Their will should be swallowed up in the will of God. The willfulness and lack of consecration that some of the ministers' wives manifest, will stand in the way of sinners; the blood of souls will be upon their garments. Some of the ministers have borne a strong testimony in regard to the duty and the wrongs of the church; but it has not had its designed effect; for their own companions needed all the straight testimony that had been borne, and the reproof came back upon themselves with great weight. They let their companions affect them, and drag them down, prejudicing their minds, and their usefulness and influence are lost; they feel desponding and disheartened, and realize not the true source of the injury. It is close at home. {GW92 215.1}

     These sisters are closely connected with the work of God, if he has called their husbands to preach the present truth. These servants, if truly called of God, will feel the importance of the truth. They are standing between the living and the dead, and must watch for souls as they that must give an account. Solemn is their calling, and their companions can be a great blessing or a great curse to them. They can cheer them when desponding, comfort them when cast down, and encourage them to look


up and trust fully in God when their faith fails. Or they can take an opposite course, look upon the dark side, think they have a hard time, exercise no faith in God, talk their trials and unbelief to their  companions, indulge a complaining, murmuring spirit, and be a dead weight, and even a curse to them. {GW92 215.2}

     I saw that the wives of the ministers should help their husbands in their labors, and be exact and careful what influence they exert; for they are watched, and more is expected of them than of others. Their dress should be an example. Their lives and conversation should be an example, savoring of life rather than of death. I saw that they should take a humble, meek, yet exalted stand, not having their conversation upon things that do not tend to direct the mind heavenward. The great inquiry should be, "How can I save my own soul, and be the means of saving others?" I saw that no half-hearted work in this matter is accepted of God. He wants the whole heart and interest, or he will have none. Their influence tells, decidedly, unmistakably, in favor of the truth or against it. They gather with Jesus or scatter abroad. An unsanctified wife is the greatest curse that a minister can have. Those servants of God that have been and are still so unhappily situated as to have this withering influence at home, should double their prayers and their watchfulness, take a firm, decided stand, and let not this darkness press them down. They should cleave closer to God, be firm and decided, rule well their own house, and live so that they can have the approbation of God and the watch-care of the angels. But if they yield to the wishes of their unconsecrated companions, the frown of God is brought upon the dwelling. The ark of God cannot abide in the house, because they countenance and uphold them in their wrongs.-- Vol. 1, p. 138.



{GW92 216.1}

     If married men go into the work, leaving their wives to care for the children at home, the wife and mother is doing fully as great and important a work


as is the husband and father. While one is in the missionary field, the other is a home missionary, whose cares and anxieties and burdens frequently far exceed those of the husband and father. Her work is a solemn and important one,--to mould the minds and fashion the characters of her children, to train them for usefulness here, and fit them for the future immortal life. The husband in the open missionary field may receive the honors of men, while the home toiler may receive no earthly credit for her labor. But if she works for the best interest of her family, seeking to fashion their characters after the divine Model, the recording angel writes her name as one of the greatest missionaries in the world. God does not see things as man's finite vision views them.-- Test. 33, p. 122.



{GW92 216.2}

     Those who are trying to purify their souls through obedience to the truth, yet who have had no opportunity of making special efforts and sacrifices for Christ and his cause, should find consolation in the thought that it is not necessarily the self-surrender of the martyr that is the most acceptable to God; it may not be the missionary whose life has been one of trial and endurance, that stands highest in heaven's record; but that the Christian who is such in his private life, in his daily struggle with self, in the control of his passions, in cleanness of purpose, in purity of thought, in patience, meekness, and long-suffering under the test of provocation, in piety, in devotion, in holy faith and trust in God, in faithfulness in little things, representing in the home life the character of Jesus,--that such a one may be more precious in the sight of God than the man who goes as a missionary to heathen lands, or ascends the scaffold to die for his faith. {GW92 217.1}

     O, how different are the standards by which God and man measure character! God sees many  temptations resisted, of which the world, and even near friends, never know,--temptations in the home, in


the heart; he sees the soul's humility in view of its own weakness, the sincere repentance over even a thought that is evil; he sees the whole heart's devotion to the upbuilding of the cause of God; he has noted those hours of hard battle with self--battle that won the victory. All this, God and angels know. {GW92 217.2}

     Many will be lost who think themselves  Christians, and many will be in heaven who their neighbors supposed would never get there. God judgeth not as man judgeth. Man judgeth from appearance, but God judgeth the heart. The Lord knows the strength of the temptations that he permits. He sees the inward conflicts, the severe struggles of him who gives up the visible on the strength of God's promise that presents before him the invisible. --MS.



{GW92 218.1}


          Labor at Camp-Meetings.


     A serious mistake has sometimes been made, in the attempt to hold as many meetings as possible during the camp-meeting season. The forces were divided, and, of course, weakened, and the efforts made were comparatively feeble. The close successions of camp-meetings, with the scarcity of laborers, has brought a heavy tax upon those who bear the burden of the work. They are called to go from camp-meeting to camp-meeting, and endure the strain of continual speaking upon subjects that stir the soul to its depths, and they cannot long pursue this labor without becoming enfeebled. Changes must be made, if our ministers are to be saved to do good work for the Master. If it is necessary to hold fewer general meetings, for want of laborers, let there be a sufficient


force where meetings are held. God does not design that any of his servants shall labor to exhaustion.



{GW92 218.2}

     The severe and wearing effort required of our leading ministers at every camp-meeting unfits them for important work which demands their attention at the close of the meeting. As they meet and counsel together, they lay their plans for labor; to execute these plans successfully, they need a clear brain, calm nerves, and a heart filled with courage: but they lack all these essential qualifications. They have made a serious mistake in regard to the work resting upon them, and have done much that others should have done, and that would have been a blessing to them, giving them a precious experience in laboring for Jesus. While all cannot be ministers, all can and should act a part in the work. {GW92 219.1}

     There has been a failure to call into exercise talent which should be employed, but which needs development and cultivation. We have had but few ministers and but few men to bear responsibilities, because we have had so few educators. We have lost much because we have not had those who were apt to teach, and who could conduct a training-school for the inexperienced, and press them into the service. {GW92 219.2}

     The real workers in this cause are few, yet the work covers much ground; and it is often impossible for the laborers to look after the interest awakened, and they fail to discern that they must enlist the lay  members of the church, and teach them to work, that they may hold all that has been gained, and continue to advance. The plan of labor has been such as to lead the people to feel that they could do very little themselves; if anything was to be accomplished, they must have a minister. {GW92 219.3}

     At our camp-meetings, tenfold more might be done than is usually accomplished. At the very outset the minister should organize a corps of laborers


upon whom they can depend to perform various duties essential to the success of the meeting. There may be several present who have been laboring in the smaller places, testing their own ability, and learning to teach the truth. If these men really  desire to learn in the school of Christ, that they may teach others the way of salvation, the camp-meeting is the very place where they can learn most, not by looking on while others do all the work, but by sharing in the labor themselves. Every one should have something to do, some burden to bear. If there is anywhere a field in which they can work, it is at these large gatherings. They should first take heed to themselves, see that their own hearts are softened  and subdued by the grace of Christ, and they are prepared to help others. In meekness and love they should labor for the discouraged and backslidden, inviting them to some place of retirement and praying with and for them. There should be many little groups thus earnestly pleading with God in the intervals between preaching services. Such was the course pursued in 1844; at our general meetings, little companies would scatter in every direction to draw near to God and seek his blessing. They did not seek in vain. The rich blessing of the Lord came upon them in answer to their prayers. The same course now pursued would lead to the same results. {GW92 219.4}

     Some of our ministers have had so little to do at these general meetings that they have themselves backslidden from God. How different would have been their experience had they been earnestly laboring for others! There is work to do in the family tents. Suitable persons should be appointed to engage, modestly and wisely, in religious conversation with the inmates of the various tents. Cases that need special help could be brought before the ministers, who might better understand how to advise. There is work enough to engage every one who can


work. Many have been converted through personal effort, and a blessed revival may be expected to follow such labor. {GW92 220.1}

     The older ministers should be careful that they do not, by precept or example, give young men to understand that the work of laborers in the field consists mainly in preaching. The education of which young ministers are in greatest need, is that which will enable them to work in the various departments of the cause, and relieve those who are wearing out from overwork.



{GW92 221.1}

     There has often been more preaching in our camp-meetings than was really necessary. Ministers should not feel that everything depends on their efforts in presenting doctrinal, or even practical discourses. They must have a firmer reliance on Jesus, our mighty helper; they must encourage in their own hearts a faith that will not falter under any circumstances. They must depend more upon Christ's presence, and less upon their own efforts. {GW92 221.2}

     Let the discourses be short and right to the point, and then let other exercises come in. Especially should Bible readings be often held, and both believers and unbelievers should have an opportunity to ask questions upon points which they do not understand. And special meetings should be held for those who are interested in the truth, and who need instruction. {GW92 221.3}

     If our ministers would preach short discourses, and then educate the brethren and sisters to work, and lay the burden upon them, the ministers themselves would be saved from exhaustion, the people would gain spiritual strength by the effort they put forth, and the result would be tenfold greater than is now seen. Too heavy burdens, both in preaching and in the transaction of business, have rested upon the few who labor in word and doctrine. These men should preserve their strength and vigor, and keep their


minds staid upon God, that human infirmities may not affect their judgment, or mar the solemn, dignified, holy character which should mark all their deliberations. {GW92 221.4}

     While our leading ministers do too much, our lay brethren and sisters do too little. The rich experience which the latter might gain in earnest, personal labor, is lost to them because they fail to bear the burdens which they can and should bear. They should seek to do all that it is in their power to do, not feeling that they are working for the minister or the conference and that they should receive remuneration, but as working for God, laboring unselfishly to make the meeting a success. In so doing they will bring a blessing to their own souls, and will also become a channel of light and blessing to others. {GW92 222.1}

     The people should not depend upon the minister, but upon Christ. Attention should especially be given to teaching them to labor in the meetings held among the tent companies. None who come to the meeting should be content to leave it without a deeper religious experience than they had when they came. Our brethren and sisters come to camp-meeting hoping to receive the blessing of the Lord; yet it is often the case that they do not know just what to do to make the meeting a benefit to themselves or to others. Many do not realize but that the only object for which they came is merely to hear preaching. Therefore they do not strive for the blessing of God, they do not from the very beginning of the meeting feel the necessity of confessing their sins, and striving for the earnest of the Spirit. They do not know that the success of the meeting depends largely upon themselves, and therefore do not feel the burden of the work. The very first effort of ministers should be to set them in the way of working for themselves. Let the minds and hearts of the people be enlisted in the work. Let all be taught what they must do to open the door of the heart to Jesus, that they may receive him gladly.


{GW92 222.2}

     In our camp-meetings the spiritual interest is far from being what it might be. With the growth of the work there are so many branches that require attention, so many and so varied subjects are crowded into the meetings, that but little room is left for attention to the spiritual interests. Little time is given for meditation, for heart searching, and personal communion with God. {GW92 223.1}

     There are many meetings for education in the canvassing work, and in other branches, in which many of the people take no special interest; and others who are interested in them, and who desire to obtain all the instruction they can, become so wearied, their minds are so crowded, that they fail to obtain that which is of the highest importance to them. {GW92 223.2}

     All the branches of the work are important, and the people need instruction upon them. But too often things of a business character have occupied the time that should have been given to earnest labor for souls. It would be better if the matters which relate more directly to business could be brought before the churches in special meetings appointed for the purpose. Instruction relating to Sabbath-school work, also, should be largely given in the several churches. The labor will thus be more effective, and the improvement more permanent. {GW92 223.3}

     During the year the people are largely occupied with temporal, earthly things; and when they assemble in the yearly convocations, they need to change the current of their thoughts. Many have a knowledge of the theory of the truth, but know little of its practical bearing upon character and life. And as our camp-meetings have been conducted, the people often return to their homes no better qualified to work for God in their families and churches than before they came. There is a great dearth of the Spirit and power of God because the subject of personal piety, true faith, and heart holiness is not kept before the mind in its real importance. Business activities in a religious line satisfy the consciences of


many, while their hearts are destitute of the tender love, the compassion for one another, that dwelt in the bosom of Christ. {GW92 223.4}

     That which needs to be especially kept before the mind is the work for the conversion of souls. The people must be led to see what they must be and what they must do in order to be accepted with God. They must be taught how to seek the Lord, how to believe on him, and how to work for others. The great object of these meetings is to secure an advancement in spiritual life, a deeper religious experience. {GW92 224.1}

     There is altogether too little effort made for those who come to the meeting who are not of our faith. Never should we manifest a cold indifference to those whom we know to be in ignorance concerning the precious truths that will make men wise unto eternal life. The earnestness of our efforts for others should be in proportion to the value of that which God has given to us to present to the world. All who keep in a prayerful frame of mind, looking to God for heavenly wisdom, will be able, through the grace of Christ, to speak a word in season to those who are brought within the sphere of their influence. {GW92 224.2}

     The necessity of a real heart work for every member of the body must be pressed upon the people. The labor should be directed right to the one end,-- a more complete putting away of idols, a deeper consecration, a stronger faith, and more personal effort for the salvation of others. {GW92 224.3}

     My brethren, there should be a different kind of labor from what we too often see in our camp-meetings. There should be more prayer and weeping, and more confession of sin to God and to one another. Let the indifference be broken up, let the complaining and faultfinding cease, and the time heretofore worse than wasted in this manner be spent in prayers of living faith for the refreshing from the presence of the Lord. Let us arouse as one man,


and unitedly call upon God to send down his grace upon the souls of his people, and to revive his work in the midst of the years.{GW92 224.4}

     Every tent's company should be set to work for themselves; and the people should also be united in larger divisions, with suitable men appointed in each to help, to the utmost of their ability, the ones placed under their charge. Men should not be chosen for this work who have so much sermonizing to do, to exhibit themselves, that they bear no help to the people. The leaders appointed should be carefully taught how to labor in order to secure the best results. The wisest generalship is in seeing, not how much we can do ourselves, but how much we can lead the people to do. {GW92 225.1}

     The preacher himself must be alive; he must have the earnestness of the Spirit; he must labor through Christ; he must make direct appeals; he must sound the alarm to careless and world-loving professors, though they should be displeased because their ears tingle with the close application of the truth,-- "Thou art the man." It is too late to daub with untempered mortar. There must be plain and faithful dealing. The people must be aroused to do the work which God enjoins upon them, to take up the stumbling-blocks and clear out the rubbish, that the Spirit of God may come in. The guilt as well as the danger of backsliding must be faithfully pointed out. Follow up the work with personal effort. General appeals are often made with little effect. Come close to hearts, arousing all to act a part. {GW92 225.2}

     What we need, what we cannot do without, is the Spirit of God to work with our efforts. All pampering of self must be at an end. There must be an earnest longing, a soul-hunger, for the presence of the Lord. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." [MATT. 5:6.] {GW92 225.3}

     It is a case of life or death with us. We have been stricken with spiritual paralysis, and every one


needs the help of the Great Physician. He alone can reach our case. He is only waiting to be invited by us with earnest heart, with sincere desire. Nothing is wanting but a preparation of heart, and earnest, believing prayer, to bring Jesus to our side as a mighty helper. He longs to come. If we will but listen to his voice and open the door, he will come in.--MS.



{GW92 225.4}


      Popular Holiness Meetings.




     Those who would follow Christ must be grounded upon the principles of truth. They need to understand what the Bible teaches in regard to faith, and sanctification through the truth. They must be so established in this knowledge that they cannot be moved to take false positions on the doctrine of holiness, but will be able to illustrate in their lives the practical workings of this heaven-given principle. The people of God must be able to distinguish between the genuine and the spurious. {GW92 226.1}

     There are those who profess holiness, who declare that they are wholly the Lord's, who claim a right to the promises of God, while they do not render obedience to his commandments. These transgressors of the law claim everything that is promised to the children of God, but this is simply presumption; for John tells us that "he that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." Jesus says, "I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." [JOHN 15:10.]


Obedience is the true sign of discipleship. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." [MATT. 7:21.] {GW92 226.2}

     It is true that there are many who have never had the light of present truth, who, through the grace given them of Christ, are keeping the law as far as they understand it. Those who are thus living up to the best light they have, are not of the class whom the apostle John condemns. His words apply to those who boast of believing in Jesus, who claim holiness, while they lightly regard the requirements of the law of God. While they talk of the love of Jesus, their love is not deep enough to lead to obedience. The fruit they bear, shows the character of the tree. It proves that their faith is not genuine. Yet this class, though entitled to nothing, though they have no right to the promises of God, boldly claim all his blessings. While they give nothing, they claim everything. They close their ears to the truth, refuse to listen to the plain "Thus saith the Lord," but by professing holiness they deceive many, leading souls away by their pretentious faith that has no foundation. {GW92 227.1}

     We as a people have fallen into the opposite error. We acknowledge the claims of God's law, and teach the people the duty of rendering obedience. We believe in giving everything, but we do not see that we must take as well as give. We fail to have that trust, that faith, which keeps the soul abiding in Christ. We claim little, when we might claim much; for there is no limit to the promises of God. Through a lack of faith, many who seek to obey the commandments of God have little peace and joy; they do not correctly represent the sanctification that is to come through obedience to the truth. They are not anchored in Christ. Many feel a lack in their experience; they desire something which they have


not; and thus some are led to attend holiness meetings, and are charmed with the sentiments of those who break the law of God.{GW92 227.2}

     It is our duty to preach faith, to present the love of Christ in connection with the claims of the law; for neither can be rightly understood without the other. In every discourse the love of God, as manifested in Christ, the sinner's only hope, should be dwelt upon until the people realize something of its power and preciousness. If this is done as it should be, it will not be said of this people that they teach the law but do not believe in repentance, faith, and conversion. We want these subjects to be blended as God has blended them; then will the truth be presented in its completeness, not as a mere theory, but as a power that will transform the character. It will then be preached in demonstration of the Spirit and with power. Then those who have accepted the doctrines of the Bible will not be unfed; they will feel the vivifying influence of the Holy Spirit. {GW92 228.1}

     There is no safety, much less benefit, for our people in attending these popular holiness meetings; let us rather search the Scriptures with much carefulness and earnest prayer, that we may understand the ground of our faith. Then we shall not be tempted to mingle with those who, while making high claims, are in opposition to the law of God. {GW92 228.2}

     We must not have a sensational religion, which has no root in truth. Solid instruction must be given to the people upon the reasons of our faith. They must be educated to a far greater extent than they have been in the doctrines of the Bible, and especially in the practical lessons that Jesus gave to his disciples. The believers must be impressed with their great need of Bible knowledge. There must be pains-taking effort to fasten in the minds of all, the solid arguments of the truth; for every one will be tested, and those who are rooted and grounded in the work of God will be unmoved by the heresies that


will arise on all sides; but if any neglect to obtain the necessary preparation, they will be swept away by errors that have the appearance of truth. At our camp-meetings, sermons should be delivered of such a character as will prepare the hearers to give a reason of the hope that is in them with meekness and fear. I have been shown that but a small number of the people in our churches know for themselves what constitutes the third angel's message. This fact should enable us to realize the need of Bible classes. At our camp-meetings especially, there should be daily classes for Bible study. Instruction should be given on the subjects of faith and Christian experience, and there should be seasons of earnest prayer. Then the influence of our camp-meetings would not be of so transitory a character, but would leave an abiding impression.--MS.



{GW92 228.3}


               Business Meetings.


     In all our business meetings, as well as our social and religious meetings, we want Jesus by our side as a guide and counselor. There will be no tendency to lightness where the presence of the Saviour is recognized. Self will not be made prominent. There will be a realization of the importance of the work that is to be done. There will be a desire that the plans to be laid may be directed by Him who is mighty in counsel. {GW92 229.1}

     Could our eyes but be opened, we would behold the angels of heaven in our assemblies. Could we but realize this, there would be no desire to hold to our own opinions upon unimportant points, which so often retard the progress of the meeting and the work. If there were more real praying done, if there were more solemn consideration given to weighty matters, the tone of our business meetings would be


changed, elevated. All would feel that the assembly had met to lay plans for the advancement of the work, and that the object of the work is only to save souls. {GW92 229.2}

     There is nothing in this world that is of so much value as the human soul, and in planning for the work, nothing should be done hastily, or in an indifferent manner. Each one of those assembled should feel that he must give careful thought and prayer to the matters discussed. The responsibility of dealing with human minds is not small. The soul of man has been purchased by the infinite price of the blood of the Son of God; then should any one lose sight of the sacredness of every movement that is made for the salvation of souls? {GW92 230.1}

     All that we do, and all that we say, is transferred to the books of heaven. Let us not be guilty of bringing down God's work to the level of common business transactions. Our standard must be high; our minds must be elevated. There are always a few who think, when their brethren are pulling forward, that it is their duty to pull back. They object to everything that is proposed, and make war on every plan that they have not themselves originated. Here is an opportunity for persons to develop  inordinate self-confidence. They have never learned in the school of Christ the precious and all-important lesson of becoming meek and lowly of heart. There is nothing harder for those who possess a strong will than to give up their own way, and submit to the judgment of others. It is difficult for such to become teachable, gentle, and easy to be entreated. {GW92 230.2}

     In our business meetings, it is important that precious time should not be consumed in debating points that are of small consequence. The habit of petty criticism should not be indulged; for it perplexes and confuses minds, and shrouds in mystery the things that are most plain and simple. How does Jesus, our Counselor, whom we have invited to be present at these meetings, look upon these things?


If there is that love among brethren which will lead them to esteem others better than themselves, there will be a giving up of their own ways and wishes to others. It is our duty to study, daily and hourly, how we may answer the prayer of Christ, that his disciples may be one, as he and the Father are one. Precious lessons may be learned by keeping our Saviour's prayer before the mind, and by acting our part to fulfill his desire. {GW92 230.3}

     In our business connection with the work of God, and in handling sacred things, we cannot be too careful to guard against a spirit of irreverence; never, for an instant, should the word of God be used deceitfully, to carry a point which we are anxious to see succeed. Honor, integrity, and truth must be preserved at any cost to self. Our every thought, word, and action should be subject to the will of Christ. Levity is not appropriate in meetings where the solemn work and word of God are under consideration. The prayer has been offered that Christ shall preside in the assembly and impart his wisdom, his grace, and righteousness. Is it consistent to take a course that will be grievous to his Spirit and contrary to his work? Let us bear in mind that Jesus is in our midst. Then an elevating, controlling influence from the Spirit of God, will pervade the assembly. There will be manifested that wisdom which is from above, that is first pure, then peaceable, full of mercy and good fruits, which cannot err. In all the plans and decisions there will be that charity that "seeketh not her own;" which is "not easily provoked," that "thinketh no evil," that "rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;" that "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." [1 COR. 13:5-7.] Self must be hid in Jesus, then the judgment will not be one-sided and warped, so that there can be no dispassionate and righteous decisions.{GW92 231.1}

     "I . . . beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness


and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." [EPH. 4:1-3.]--MS.



{GW92 231.2}


         Conference Presidents. [FROM


             GENERAL CONFERENCE OF 1883.]



             Their Qualifications.



     The Lord has been pleased to present before me many things in regard to the calling and labor of our ministers, especially those who have been appointed as presidents of Conferences. Great care should be exercised in the selection of men for these positions of trust. There should be earnest prayer for divine enlightenment. Those who are thus appointed as overseers of the flock should be men of good repute, men who give evidence that they have not only a knowledge of the Scriptures, but an experience in faith, in patience, that in meekness they may instruct those who oppose the truth. They should be men of thorough integrity; not novices, but intelligent students of the word, able to teach others also, bringing from the treasure-house things new and old, -- men who in character, in words, in deportment, will be an honor to the cause of Christ, teaching the truth, living the truth, growing up to the full stature in Christ Jesus. This means the development and strengthening of every faculty by exercise, that the workers may become qualified to bear larger responsibilities as the work increases. {GW92 232.1}

     The Lord Jesus connected Judas and Peter with himself, not because they were defective in character, but notwithstanding their defects. He would give them an opportunity to learn in his school, meekness and lowliness of heart, that they might become co-laborers with him. And if they would


improve these opportunities, if they would be willing to learn, willing to see their deficiencies, and in the light of a pure example to become all that Christ would have them to be, then they would be a great blessing to the church. Thus the Lord Jesus is still dealing with men. Some who are still imperfect in character, are connected with solemn, sacred interests; and when chosen for a special work, they should not feel that their own wisdom is sufficient, that they need not be counseled, reproved, and instructed. Brethren, if you feel thus, you will separate from the Source of your strength, and will be in peril; you may be left to your own supposed sufficiency to do as Judas did,--betray your Lord. {GW92 232.2}

     The grace of Christ must be an abiding principle in the heart and be exemplified in the life. Self will then be laid at the foot of the cross, and Christ will be accepted as all and in all. There will be no inclination to exalt self, but Christ will be revealed as "the chiefest among ten thousand," the One "altogether lovely." [CANT. 5:10, 16.] There are great possibilities open to every sincere worker, if all the powers of mind and body are consecrated to God, to do his will, and not to serve self. The very thoughts are to be brought into subjection to the will of Christ. Then the affections will be refined and ennobled; those who carry the burden of the work will not be impure in thought or word or act, neither will they be light and trifling. All frivolity, all cheapness of conversation, all jesting and joking, weakens the soul, and weans the heart from prayer. Like Paul, the true followers of Christ will ever bear about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus; they cannot keep in mind the sufferings of Christ for them, and yet be light and trifling. They will manifest a true, Christ-like dignity and holy solemnity; yet there will be no Phariseeism. There will be cheerful faith and courage in the Lord; for they trust the keeping of their souls unto God as to a faithful


Creator. The Sun of Righteousness shines upon them in bright beams, and they keep their souls in the sunshine, and not in the shadow. They talk light, and not darkness. They do not lead souls to forget God, but keep the mind refreshed by speaking of his goodness, his love, and his power. {GW92 233.1}


          Christ Their Counselor.


     Christ said to his disciples before his crucifixion, "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you  another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." [JOHN 14:16, 17.] Thank God we have not to trust alone in human counsel. The Saviour says, "I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it." [REV. 3:8.] To this open door we are to go by faith for our sufficiency. {GW92 234.1}

     Among our people there has been a trifling with personal responsibilities. I tell you with sorrow that some of our Conferences are weak in Christian experience because their leading men -- and the people have followed the example -- have sought for the approval of man with far greater anxiety than for the approval of God; they have looked to man for help and counsel more than they have looked to God. They have made men their burden-bearers, and have accepted human wisdom just when and where they should depend upon God. And too often those of whom they seek counsel, need help themselves; for their souls are not right with God. {GW92 234.2}

     The presidents of our Conferences have become weak and inefficient by making flesh their arm. Trust in the wisdom of man  does not facilitate growth in grace and in the knowledge of Christ. {GW92 234.3}

     Brethren, when perplexities arise in your Conference, when emergencies are to be met, do not let


these dark clouds drift into the General Conference if you can possibly avoid it. The president of the General Conference should not be burdened with the affairs of the State Conferences as has been the case in the past. If you, with your associates in the work, cannot adjust the troubles and  difficulties that arise in your Conference, how do you think that one man can do this work for all the Conferences? Why should you pour all your perplexities and discouragements into the burdened mind and heart of the president of the General Conference? He cannot understand the situation as well as you do who are on the ground. If you shirk responsibility and crosses and burden-bearing, hard thinking and earnest praying, and look to the president of the General Conference to do your work, and help you out of your difficulties, cannot you see that you lay upon him burdens that will imperil his life? Have you not mind and ability as well as he? You should not neglect any part of the work because it calls for earnest, cross-bearing effort. I repeat, Do not throw your burdens upon the president of the General Conference. Do not expect him to take up your dropped stitches and bind off your work. Resolve that you will bear your own burdens through Christ who strengtheneth you. {GW92 234.4}

     If he is walking in the counsel of God, the president of the General Conference will not encourage his brethren in looking to him to define their duty, but will direct them to the only Source that is  untainted with the errors of humanity. He will refuse to be mind and conscience for others. {GW92 235.1}

     Satan exults when men look to and trust in man. The one who is the object of this undue confidence is exposed to strong temptations. Satan will, if possible, lead him to self-confidence, in order that human defects may mar the work. He will be in danger of encouraging his brethren in their dependence upon him, and feeling that all things that


pertain to the movements of the cause must be brought to his notice. Thus the work will bear the impress of man instead of the impress of God. But if all will learn to depend upon God for themselves, many  dangers that assail the one who stands at the head of the work will be averted. If he errs, if he permits human influence to sway his judgment, or yields to temptation, he can be corrected and helped by his brethren. And those who learn to go to God for themselves for help and counsel are learning lessons that will be of the highest value to them. {GW92 235.2}

     But if the officers of a Conference bear successfully the burdens laid upon them, they must pray, they must believe, they must trust God to use them as his agents in keeping the churches of the Conference in good working order. This is their part of the vineyard to cultivate. There must be far more personal responsibility, far more thinking and planning, far more mental power brought into the labor put forth for the Master. This would enlarge the capacity of the mind, and give keener perceptions as to what to do, and how. Brethren, you will have to wrestle with difficulties, carry burdens, give advice, plan and execute, constantly looking to God for help. Pray and labor, labor and pray; as pupils in the school of Christ, learn of Jesus. {GW92 236.1}

     The Lord has given us the promise, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." [JAMES 1:5.] It is in the order of God that those who bear responsibilities should often meet together to counsel with one another and to pray earnestly for that wisdom which he alone can impart. Unitedly make known your troubles to God. Talk less; much precious time is lost in talk that brings no light. Let brethren unite in fasting and prayer for the wisdom that God has promised to supply liberally.


{GW92 236.2}

     Go to God and tell him as did Moses, "I cannot lead this people unless thy presence shall go with me." And then ask still more; pray with Moses, "Show me thy glory." [EX. 33:18.] What is this glory?--The character of God. This is what he proclaimed to Moses. Let the soul, in living faith, fasten upon God. Let the tongue speak his praise. When you associate together, let the mind be reverently turned to the contemplation of eternal realities. Thus you will be helping one another to be spiritually minded. When your will is in harmony with the divine will, you will be in harmony with one another; you will have Christ by your side as a counselor. Enoch walked with God; so may every one of the laborers for Christ. You may say with the psalmist, "I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." [PS. 16:8.] While you feel that you have no sufficiency of yourself, your sufficiency will be in Jesus. {GW92 237.1}

     If you expect all your counsel and wisdom to come from men, mortal and finite like yourselves, you will receive only human help. If you go to God for help and wisdom, he will never disappoint your faith. The presidents of the State Conferences have the same God that the president of the General Conference has, and they can go to the Source of wisdom for themselves, instead of depending upon one man, who has to obtain his light from the same source. It may be argued that the Lord gives special wisdom to those entrusted with important responsibilities. True, if they walk humbly with him, he will give them help for their work; and he will give you help for yours, if you seek it in the same spirit. If the Lord in his providence has placed important responsibilities upon you, he will fit you to bear these burdens, if you go to him in faith for strength to do this. When you put your trust in him, and depend upon his counsel, he will not leave you to your own


finite judgment, to make imperfect plans and decided failures. {GW92 237.2}

     Every one needs a practical experience in trusting God for himself. Let no man become your confessor; open the heart to God; tell him every secret of the soul. Bring to him your difficulties, small and great, and he will show you a way out of them all. He alone can know how to give the very help you need. And when, after a trying season, help comes to you, when the Spirit of God is manifestly at work for you, what a precious experience you have gained. You are obtaining faith and love, the gold that the True Witness counsels you to buy of him. You are learning to go to God in all your troubles; and as you learn these precious lessons of faith, you will teach the same to others. Thus you may be continually leading the people to a higher plane of experience. The president of a State Conference is, by his manner of dealing, educating the ministers under him, and together they can so educate the churches that it will not be necessary to call the ministers of the Conference from the field to settle difficulties and dissensions in the church. If the officers in the Conference will, as faithful servants, perform their heaven-appointed duties, the work in our Conferences will not be left to become entangled in such perplexities as heretofore. And in laboring thus, the workers will become solid, responsible men, who will not fail nor be discouraged in a hard place. {GW92 238.1}

     There is One who is mighty to save to the uttermost all who come unto him. Is not the promise broad and full? "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." [MATT. 11:28.] Why are we so unwilling to come directly to the Source of our strength? Have we not departed from the Lord in this? Should not ministers and the presidents of our Conferences learn whence cometh their help? {GW92 238.2}

     The care of souls is too important and solemn a work to be entrusted to men who are unacquainted


with God, and who do not have a special, definite experience in seeking him through prayer, and exercising faith in him. All heaven is interested in this work, and how can Heaven's richest blessings fall upon those who labor in their own finite strength and wisdom, instead of seeking help from him whose grace and power constantly await their demand? The officers of our Conferences have neglected the praying part, and the exercise of that faith which would honor God and bring to them divine aid. There is an absence of soul-earnestness in prayer, a burden of supplication, that the Lord will give you wisdom, and pour upon you his Holy Spirit, that you may indeed be laborers together with him. Open your Bibles before God, and pray for divine enlightenment. Your Redeemer is waiting for you to call upon him in your necessity. He knows the solemn charge he has committed to you in giving you the care of souls. We are in times of peculiar danger from foes without and within, and God would have you alive to everything concerning your specific work. You need not try to do anything without the special help of your heavenly Father. He is waiting for you to call, that he may say, "Here I am." If you will seek, he says he will be found of you; his strength, his grace, and his righteousness will be given to the humble, contrite one who seeks him with all the heart. {GW92 238.3}

     Claim the promises of God. The Lord will do all for you that he did for Daniel, if you will co-operate with him as Daniel did. You may be conquerors through humble, earnest trust in your Redeemer. As delegated messengers to whom is assigned a special work, he wants you to become men of spiritual power. It is the privilege of God's ministers to become men of moral power and efficiency in all the offices they are called to fill. Every day they may praise God for the fresh tokens of his love and blessing.


{GW92 239.1}


              Removing to New Fields.


     The question is asked me if it is not a mistake to remove the president of a State Conference to a new field when many of the people in his present charge are unwilling to give him up. The Lord has been pleased to give me light on this question. I have been shown that ministers should not be retained in the same district year after year, nor should the same man long preside over a Conference. A change of gifts is for the good of our Conferences and churches. Ministers have sometimes felt unwilling to change their field of labor; but if they understood all the reasons for making changes, they would not draw back. Some have pleaded to remain one year longer in the same field, and frequently the request has been respected. They have claimed to have plans for accomplishing a greater work than heretofore. But at the close of the year there was a worse state of things than before. If a minister has been unfaithful in his work, it is not likely that he will mend the matter by remaining. The churches become accustomed to the management of the one man, and think they must look to him instead of looking to God. His ideas and plans have a controlling power in the Conference. The people may see that he errs in judgment, and because of this they learn to place a low estimate upon the ministry. If they would look to God, and depend upon heavenly wisdom, they would be gaining an experience of the highest value, and would themselves be able, in many respects at least, to supply what is lacking in him who is the overseer of the flock. But too often things are left to drift as they will, the president being held responsible for the healthful condition of the churches in the Conference, while the church members settle down, indifferent, lukewarm, doing nothing to bring things into order.


{GW92 240.1}

     The president may not feel the importance of sanctifying himself, that others may be sanctified. He may be an unfaithful watchman, preaching to please the people. Many are strong in some points of character, while they are weak and deficient in other things where they should be strong. As the result, a want of efficiency is manifest in some parts of the work. Should the same man continue as president of the Conference year after year, his defects would be reproduced in the churches under his labors. But one laborer may be strong where his brother is weak, and so by exchanging fields of labor, one may, to some extent, supply the deficiencies of another. If all were fully consecrated to God, these marked imperfections of character would not exist; but since the laborers do not meet the divine standard, since they weave self into all their work, the best thing, both for themselves and for the churches, is to make frequent changes. And, on the other hand, if a laborer is spiritually strong, he is, through the grace of Christ, a blessing to the churches, and his labors are needed in different Conferences.



{GW92 241.1}


    Co-Operation Among the Churches. [FROM A




     There is a great dearth of spirituality in the Conferences of the different States; the churches are suffering, not so much for the want of sermons as for lack of ministry. The members of the churches need personal labor; they need to be instructed as to how they can engage in the work of God. In the winter, special efforts should be put forth. Let the different churches visit one another from time to time. Thus one church may encourage another by the manifestation of friendly, Christ-like interest in the spiritual


welfare of the brethren. Those who will engage in active service for the good of others will find that their own souls will be revived and quickened, and those whom they visit will be encouraged and strengthened by the interest of their brethren in their behalf. {GW92 241.2}

     When the harvest is gathered and the sowing is over, it is a favorable season for religious work. During the long evenings the lessons of the Scriptures should be carefully studied. Precious opportunities may be improved in conversing and praying together, in relating experiences, in making diligent search of the Bible; by such Christian association we may build up one another in the most holy faith. {GW92 242.1}

     Let those who claim to be the sons and daughters of God meet together to bring hope to one another's hearts. We keep apart from God and from one another, but the scripture declares that "they that feared the Lord spake often one to another." [MAL. 3:16.] Coldness, formality, and indifference are quenching the vital spark of piety. Wherever we go we should carry an atmosphere of Christian hopefulness and cheer; then those who are out of Christ will see some attractiveness in the religion we profess. We need to get more distinct glimpses of heaven, the land where all is brightness and joy. We need to know more of the fullness of the blessed hope. {GW92 242.2}

     Will not the representatives from the different Conferences make arrangements to have meetings in the various churches in their districts, and see to it that one church shall be a help to another? Some may be called to go twenty, fifty, or one hundred miles from home to attend meeting with those of like precious faith; but they should not count it a sacrifice. If they call upon God to imbue them with the Holy Spirit, to give them words to speak that will be as meat in due season, they will find their own hearts refreshed, and they will be richly repaid. It has often been found that where there was but a limited


number, the most precious and profitable seasons have been enjoyed. In such meetings there had been ample time for conversation on religious topics, time for prayer together, time for rejoicing in the love of God. Every member of the church could learn the needs of his brethren and sisters, and by so doing could pray more intelligently for them. It is impossible to do this so fully at large camp-meetings or other gatherings, but at these smaller meetings we have found our hearts knit together in bonds of love and Christian fellowship.



{GW92 242.3}




          Qualifications for the Work.



     Likeness to Christ.--The same Bible that contains the privileges of God's people, and his promises to them, sets forth also the sacred duties and solemn obligations of the shepherd who has charge of the flock of God. By comparing the living preacher with the divine picture, all may see whether he has the credentials from heaven,--likeness of character to him who is the Chief Shepherd. God designs that the teacher of the Bible should in his character and home life be an illustration of the principles of truth which he is teaching to his fellow-men. {GW92 243.1}

     What a man is, has greater influence than what he says. The quiet, consistent, godly life is a living epistle, known and read of all men. True character is not something shaped from without, or put on; but it is something radiating from within. If true goodness, purity, meekness, lowliness, and equity are dwelling in the heart, the fact will be manifest in the character; and such a character is full of power.


{GW92 243.2}

     The officers who were sent to take Jesus reported that never man spake like this man. But the reason of this was that never man lived like this man; for if he had not so lived, he could not so have spoken. His words bore with them a convincing power, because they came from a heart pure and holy, full of love and sympathy, beneficence and truth. There is eloquence beyond that of words, in the quiet, consistent life of a pure, true Christian. We shall have temptations as long as we are in this world, but instead of injuring us, they will only turn to our advantage, if resisted. The bounds are placed where Satan cannot pass. He may prepare the furnace, but instead of working injury, it will only consume the dross, and bring forth the gold of the character, purer than before the trial.



{GW92 244.1}

     In order for a man to become a successful minister, something more than book knowledge is essential. The laborer for souls needs integrity, intelligence, industry, energy, and tact. All these are highly essential for the success of a minister of Christ. No man can be inferior with these qualifications, but he will have a commanding influence. Unless the laborer in God's cause can gain the confidence of those for whom he is laboring, he can do but little good. . . . You must show in your family that kindly consideration, that tenderness, love, gentleness, noble forbearance, and true courtesy, that is becoming to the head of a family, before you can make a success of winning souls to Christ.--Vol. 3, pp. 553, 556.



{GW92 244.2}

     Why is it that some of our ministers have so little power?--Because they have not made an entire surrender to God. They do not see the sinfulness of clinging to their own way. While they hold the truth, and try to present it to others, they cling tenaciously to their own ideas, which are crude and narrow and without symmetry; and in the minds of the


people the precious truth of God is blended with the peculiarities of the minister, and is refused. Let all who preach the truth, and all who profess to believe it, submit themselves fully to the influence of the Spirit of God, that the truth may refine, elevate, and sanctify them.



{GW92 244.3}

     It is the absence of the Holy Spirit and of the grace of God that makes the gospel ministry so powerless to convict and convert. After the ascension of Jesus, doctors, lawyers, priests, rulers, scribes, and theologians listened with astonishment to words of wisdom and power from unlearned and humble men. These wise men marveled at the success of the lowly disciples, and finally accounted for it to their own satisfaction from the fact that they had been with Jesus and learned of him. Their character and the simplicity of their teachings were similar to the character and teachings of Christ, in reference to which the apostle uses these words: "God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence." [1 COR. 1:27-29.]--Vol. 4, p. 378.



{GW92 245.1}

     If God pronounces a woe upon those who are called to preach the truth and refuse to obey, a heavier woe rests upon those who take upon them this sacred work without clean hands and pure hearts. As there are woes for those who preach the truth while they are unsanctified in heart and life, so there are woes for those who receive and maintain the unsanctified in the position which they cannot fill.--Vol. 2, p. 552.



{GW92 245.2}

     Humility.--The Saviour has given marked lessons in humility to all, but especially to the gospel


ministers. In his humiliation, when his work upon earth was nearly finished, and he was about to return to his Father's throne whence he had come, with all power in his hands and all glory upon his head, among his last lessons to his disciples was one upon the importance of humility. While his disciples were contending as to who should be greatest in the promised kingdom, he girded himself as a servant, and washed the feet of those who called him Lord and Master. {GW92 245.3}

     His ministry was nearly completed; he had only a few more lessons to impart. And that they might never forget the humility of the pure and spotless Lamb of God, the great and efficacious Sacrifice for man humbled himself to wash the feet of his disciples. It will do you good, and our ministers generally, frequently to review the closing scenes in the life of our Redeemer. Here, beset with temptations as he was, we may all learn lessons of the utmost importance to us. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of his earthly life. By thus contemplating his teachings and sufferings, and the infinite sacrifice made by him for the redemption of the race, we may strengthen our faith, quicken our love, and become more deeply imbued with the spirit which sustained our Saviour. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and faith at the foot of the cross. . . . Everything noble and generous in man will respond to the contemplation of Christ upon the cross. {GW92 246.1}

     I long to see our ministers dwell more upon the cross of Christ, their own hearts, meanwhile, softened and subdued by the Saviour's matchless love which prompted that infinite sacrifice.--Vol. 4, p. 373.



{GW92 246.2}

     The Cause of Skepticism.--The reason why there is so little of the Spirit of God manifested is that


ministers learn to do without it. They lack the grace of God, lack forbearance and patience, lack a spirit of consecration and sacrifice; and this is the only reason why some are doubting the evidences of God's word. The trouble is not at all with the word of God, but in themselves. They lack the grace of God; lack devotion, personal piety, and holiness. This leads them to be unstable, and throws them often on Satan's battle-field. I saw that however strongly men may have advocated the truth; however pious they may appear to be; when they begin to talk unbelief in regard to some scriptures, claiming that they cause them to doubt the inspiration of the Bible, we should be afraid of them; for God is at a great distance from them.-- Vol. I, p. 383.



{GW92 246.3}

     A prevailing skepticism [FROM A PERSONAL TESTIMONY] is continually increasing in reference to the Testimonies of the Spirit of God; and these youth encourage questionings and doubts instead of removing them, because they are ignorant of the spirit, and power, and force of the Testimonies. While thus unsanctified in heart, their labor can do the people no good. They may apparently convince souls that we have the truth; but where is the Spirit and power of God to impress the heart and awaken conviction of sin? Where is the power to carry the convicted forward to an experimental knowledge of vital godliness? They have not a knowledge of this themselves; then how can they represent the religion of Christ?--Vol. 4, p. 437.



{GW92 247.1}

     Consecration.--Punctuality and decision in the work and cause of God are highly essential. Delays are virtually defeats. Minutes are golden, and should be improved to the very best account. Earthly relations and personal interests should ever be secondary. Never should the cause of God be left to suffer


in a single particular, because of our earthly friends or dearest relatives. {GW92 247.2}

     "And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." [LUKE 9:59-62.] {GW92 248.1}

     No earthly ties, no earthly considerations, should weigh one moment in the scale against duty to the cause and work of God. Jesus severed his connection from everything to save a lost world; and he requires of us a full and entire consecration. There are sacrifices to be made for the interests of God's cause. The sacrifice of feeling is the most keen that is required of us; yet, after all, it is a small sacrifice. You have plenty of friends, and if the feelings are only sanctified, you need not feel that you are making a very great sacrifice. [FROM A PERSONAL TESTIMONY.] You do not leave your wife among heathen. You are not called to tread the burning African desert, or to face prisons, and encounter trial at every step. Be careful how you appeal to your sympathies, and let human feelings and personal considerations mingle with your efforts and labors for the cause of God. He demands unselfish and willing service. You can render this, and yet do all your duties to your family; but hold this as a secondary matter.--Vol. 3, p. 500.



{GW92 248.2}

     Some have felt tempted to take themselves from the work, to labor with their hands. I saw that if the hand of God should be taken from them, and they be left subject to disease and death, then they would know what trouble is. It is a fearful thing to murmur against God. They do not bear in mind


that the way which they are traveling is a rugged, self-denying, self-crucifying way, and they must not expect everything to move on as smoothly as though they were traveling in the broad road. {GW92 248.3}

     I saw that some of the servants of God, even ministers, are so easily discouraged, self is so quickly hurt, that they imagine themselves slighted and injured when it is not so. They think their lot hard. Such realize not how they would feel should the sustaining hand of God be withdrawn, and they pass through anguish of soul. They would then find their lot tenfold harder than it was before, while they were employed in the work of God, suffering trials and privations, yet withal having the Lord's approbation. Some that are laboring in the cause of God know not when they do have an easy time. They have had so few privations, and know so little of want or wearing labor or burden of soul, that when they have an easy time, when they are favored of God and almost entirely free from anguish of spirit, they know it not, and think their trials great. I saw that unless such have a spirit of self-sacrifice, and are ready to labor cheerfully, not sparing themselves, God will release them. He will not acknowledge them as his self-sacrificing servants, but will raise up those who will labor, not slothfully, but in earnest, and will know when they have an easy time. God's servants must feel the burden of souls, and weep between the porch and the altar, crying, "Spare thy people, Lord." {GW92 249.1}

     Some of the servants of God have given up their lives to spend and be spent for the cause of God, until their constitutions are broken down, and they are almost worn out with mental labor, incessant care, toil, and privations. Others have not had and would not take the burden upon them. Yet just such ones think they have a hard time, because they have never experienced hardships. They never have been baptized into the suffering part, and never will


be as long as they manifest so much weakness and so little fortitude, and love their ease so well.--Vol. I, p. 129.



{GW92 249.2}

     "Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent?" [ISA. 42:19.] God does not wish us to hear all that is to be heard, or to see all that is to be seen. It is a great blessing to close the ears, that we hear not, and the eyes, that we see not. The greatest anxiety should be to have clear eyesight to discern our own shortcomings, and a quick ear to catch all needed reproof and instruction, lest by our inattention and carelessness we let them slip, and become forgetful hearers, and not doers of the work.--Vol. I. p 707.



{GW92 250.1}

     Conversation.--Good conversation will accompany a good conscience, as surely as good fruit will be produced by a good tree. If a man is unkind and churlish in his family, and to others connected with him, no one need to inquire how he will manage in the church. He will exhibit the same petulant, overbearing disposition which he shows at home. No man can have the spirit and the mind of Christ without being rendered better by it in all the relations and duties of life. Murmuring, complaining, and fretful passion are not the fruit of good principles. --Vol. 4, p. 347.



{GW92 250.2}

     Jesting, joking, and worldly conversation belong to the world. Christians who have the peace of God in their hearts, will be cheerful and happy without indulging in lightness or frivolity. While watching unto prayer, they will have a serenity and peace which will elevate them above all superfluities. The mystery of godliness, opened to the mind of the minister of Christ, will raise him above earthly and sensual enjoyments. He will be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The


communication opened between God and his soul will make him fruitful in the knowledge of God's will, and open before him treasures of practical subjects that he can present to the people, which will not cause levity or the semblance of a smile, but will solemnize the mind, touch the heart, and arouse the moral sensibilities to the sacred claims that God has upon the affections and life. Those who labor in word and doctrine should be men of God, pure in heart and life.--Vol. 3, p. 241.



{GW92 250.3}

     The holy deportment of the minister of Christ should be a rebuke to vain, frothy professors. The love of truth and holiness manifested in your serious, heavenly conversation, will convict others, and lead them to the truth, and those around you will be compelled to say, "God is with this man, of a truth."--Vol. I, p. 434.



{GW92 251.1}

     A powerful discourse delivered from the desk may affect minds; but a little imprudence on the part of the minister out of the pulpit, a lack of gravity of speech and true godliness, will counteract his influence, and do away the good impressions made by him. The converts will be his; in many instances they will seek to rise no higher than their preacher. There will be in them no thorough heart work. They are not converted to God. The work is superficial, and their influence will be an injury to those who are really seeking the Lord.--Vol. I, p. 380.



{GW92 251.2}

     When a minister bearing the solemn message of warning to the world, receives the hospitable courtesies of friends and brethren, and neglects the duties of a shepherd of the flock, and is careless in his example and deportment, engaging with the young in trifling conversation, in jesting and joking, and in relating humorous anecdotes to create laughter, he is unworthy of being a gospel minister, and needs to be


converted before he should be entrusted with the care of the sheep and lambs. Ministers who are neglectful of the duties devolving on a faithful pastor, give evidence that they are not sanctified by the truths they present to others, and should not be sustained as laborers in the vineyard of the Lord, till they have a high sense of the sacredness of the work of a minister of Christ.--Vol. 3, p. 233.



{GW92 251.3}

     Instructing Parents.--Those who have no children of their own to share their thoughts and labor, and to call for the exercise of forbearance, patience, and love, should guard themselves, lest their thoughts and labor center upon themselves. They are poorly qualified to instruct parents as to the training of their children; for they have not had experience in this work. Yet in very many cases, those who have no children are the most ready to instruct those who have, when at the same time, the former make children of themselves in many respects. They cannot be turned out of a certain course, and they require even more patience exercised toward them than children do. It is selfish to have a certain course marked out, and pursue this course to the inconvenience of others.



{GW92 252.1}

     Health.--The position of our ministers calls for health of body and discipline of mind. Good sound sense, strong nerves, and a cheerful temper will recommend the gospel minister anywhere. This should be sought for, and perseveringly cultivated.--Vol. 3, p. 466.



{GW92 252.2}

     Our preachers are not particular enough in regard to their habits of eating. They partake of too large quantities of food, and of too great a variety at one meal. Some are reformers in name only. They have no rules by which to regulate their diet, but indulge in eating fruits or nuts between their meals, and thus impose too heavy burdens upon the digestive organs. Some eat three meals a day, when two


would be more conducive to physical and spiritual health. If the laws which God has made to govern the physical system are violated, the penalty must surely follow. {GW92 252.3}

     Because of imprudence in eating, the senses of some seem to be paralyzed, and they are sluggish and sleepy. These pale-faced ministers who are suffering in consequence of selfish indulgence of the appetite, are no recommendation of health reform. When suffering from overwork, it would be much better to drop out a meal occasionally, and thus give nature a chance to rally. Our laborers could do more by their example to advance health reform than by preaching it. When elaborate preparations are made for them by well-meaning friends, they are strongly tempted to disregard principle; but by refusing the dainty dishes, the rich condiments, the tea and coffee, they may prove themselves to be true, practical health reformers. Some are now suffering in consequence of transgressing the laws of life, thus causing a stigma to rest on the cause of health reform. Excessive indulgence in eating, drinking, sleeping, or seeing, is sin.-- Vol. 4, p. 416.



{GW92 253.1}

     Overeating prevents the free flow of thought and words, and that intensity of feeling which is so necessary in order to impress the truth upon the heart of the hearer. The indulgence of appetite beclouds and fetters the mind, and blunts the holy emotions of the soul. The mental and moral powers of some of our preachers are enfeebled by improper eating and lack of physical exercise. Those who crave great quantities of food should not indulge their appetite, but should practice self-denial, and retain the blessings of active muscles and unoppressed brains. Overeating stupefies the entire being by diverting the energies from the other organs to do the work of the stomach.


{GW92 253.2}

     The failure of our ministers to exercise all the organs of the body proportionately, causes some organs to become worn, while others are weak from inaction. If wear is left to come almost exclusively upon one organ or set of muscles, the one most used must become overwearied and greatly weakened. Each faculty of the mind, and each muscle has its distinctive office, and all are required to be equally exercised in order to become properly developed and to retain healthful vigor. Each organ has its work to do in the living organism. Every wheel in the machinery must be a living, active, working wheel. All the faculties have a bearing upon one another, and all need to be exercised in order to be properly developed.-- Vol. 3, p. 310.



{GW92 254.1}

     Some ministers maintain a certain dignity not in accordance with the life of Christ, and are unwilling to make themselves useful by engaging in physical labor, as occasion may require, to lighten the burdens of those whose hospitalities they share, and to relieve them of care. Physical exercise would prove a blessing to them, rather than an injury. In helping others, they would advantage themselves. But some go to the other extreme. When their time and strength are all required in the work and cause of God, they are willing to engage in labor, and become servants of all, even in temporal things; and they really rob God of the service he requires of them. Thus trivial matters take up precious time which should be devoted to the interests of God's cause.-- Vol. 2, p. 643.



{GW92 254.2}

     In order to perfect Christian character, we should not cultivate merely a life of quiet, prayerful abstraction, nor a life of all outward zeal and busy excitement, while personal piety is neglected. But the present time requires us to be waiting for the coming of the Lord, and vigilantly working for the


salvation of our fellow-men. "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord." [ROM. 12:11.] God will not accept the most exalted services, unless they are first consecrated by the surrender of the soul to him and his love. With a certain class of minds, there is danger of systematizing away the Spirit of God and the vitality of the religion of Christ, and preserving an exact round of wearisome duties and ceremonies. {GW92 254.3}

     We are living in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, and our nice and exact plans cannot always be carried out to the advantage of all. If we stand back upon our dignity, we shall fail to help those who need help the most. The servants of Christ should accommodate themselves to the varied conditions of the people. They cannot carry out exact rules, if they meet the cases of all. Labor will have to be varied to meet the people where they are. "Of some have compassion, making a difference; and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." [JUDE 22, 23.] {GW92 255.1}

     The apostle counsels his Corinthian brethren, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God. Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved." "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more." "To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." [1 COR. 10:31-33; 9:19, 22.] "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written,


The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me." [ROM. 15:1-3.]-- Vol. 2, p. 673.



{GW92 255.2}

     Labor in New Fields.--In order to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, laborers must have a varied experience. This will be best acquired in extended labor in new fields, in different localities, where they will come in contact with all classes of people, and all varieties of minds, and where various kinds of labor will be required to meet the wants of many and varied minds. This drives the true laborer to God and the Bible for light, strength, and knowledge, that he may be fully qualified to meet the wants of the people. He should heed the exhortation given to Timothy: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?" [2 TIM 2:15; LUKE 12:42.] -- Vol. 2, p. 642.



{GW92 256.1}

     It will make our young men strong to go into new fields, and break up the fallow ground of men's hearts. This work will drive them nearer to God. It will help them to see that they are altogether inefficient in themselves. They must be wholly the Lord's. They must put away their self-esteem and self-importance, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ. When they do this, they will be willing to go without the camp, and bear the burden as good soldiers of the cross. They will gain efficiency and ability by mastering difficulties and overcoming obstacles. Men are wanted for responsible positions, but they must be men who have given full proof of their ministry, in willingness to wear the yoke of Christ.



{GW92 256.2}

     Our ministers in responsible places are men whom God has accepted. No matter what their origin, no


matter what their former position, whether they followed the plow, worked at the carpenter's trade, or enjoyed the discipline of a college; if God has accepted them, let every man beware of casting the slightest reflection upon them. Never speak disparagingly of any man; for he may be great in the sight of the Lord, while those who feel great may be lightly esteemed of God because of the perversity of their hearts.-- Vol. 4, p. 608.



{GW92 256.3}

     Not one moment of our precious time should be devoted to bringing others to conform to our personal ideas and opinions. God would educate men engaged as co-laborers in this great work to the highest exercise of faith, and the development of a harmonious character. {GW92 257.1}

     Men have varied gifts, and some are better adapted to one branch of the work than another. What one man would fail to do, his brother minister may be strong to accomplish. The work of each in his  position is important. One man's mind is not to control another. If one man stands up, feeling that no one shall influence him, that he has judgment and ability to comprehend every branch of the work, that man will fail of the grace of God.-- Vol. 4, p. 608.



{GW92 257.2}

     After you have received counsel from the wise, the judicious, there is yet a Counselor whose wisdom is unerring. Fail not to present your case before him, and entreat his direction. He has promised that if you lack wisdom and ask of him, he will give it to you liberally, and upbraid not.-- Vol. 2, p. 152.



{GW92 257.3}

     Presidents of Conferences should be men who can be fully trusted with God's work. They should be men of integrity, unselfish, devoted, working Christians. If they are deficient in these respects, the churches under their care will not prosper. They, even more than other ministers of Christ, should set an example of holy living, and of unselfish devotion


to the interests of God's cause, that those looking to them for an example may not be misled. But in some instances they are trying to serve both God and mammon. They are not self-denying; they do not carry a burden for souls. Their consciences are not sensitive; when the cause of God is wounded, they are not bruised in spirit. In their hearts they question and doubt the Testimonies of the Spirit of God. They do not themselves bear the cross of Christ; they know not the fervent love of Jesus. And they are not faithful shepherds of the flock over which they have been made overseers; their record is not one that they will rejoice to meet in the day of God.-- Test. 32, p. 135.



{GW92 257.4}

     While the president of a Conference should faithfully perform the duties of his office, it is in his power, through the grace of Christ, to be a kindhearted man. He is not to lord it over God's heritage. But it is a sad fact that our brethren in the ministry are not all humble men. They want praise from the people; they enjoy the sense of authority which their position gives them; they like to dictate, to rule. They seem to feel that office, position, confers greatness; but it is character alone, true goodness, that is true greatness.{GW92 258.1}

     Brethren in the ministry, I feel called upon to say to you, Rebuke all who shall flatter or praise you. Lead the people to look to God and have faith in him, instead of attracting them to yourselves. You are in constant danger in this respect. Those who extol and favor you, you will, in your finite judgment, regard as your best friends, when they are the very ones who are subject to temptation, and who will become your tempters. If you are wrong, they will strengthen you in the wrong, and will, through their counsel and influence, lead you to do that which will harm your own soul, and result in weakness to the church. For Christ's sake


teach the people to look to God, and to him alone; teach them to receive light from him, to search the Scriptures for themselves, and know for themselves what is truth. {GW92 258.2}

     I have been shown so much of human imperfection in those who have the oversight of churches, that I dare not utter one word of praise of commendation to any man. Let the laborers so live and so work that they can have the approval of God, and they will not be relying upon human sympathy, living upon human praise, that so frequently comes from unsanctified lips. They will be looking unto the Author and Finisher of our faith. {GW92 259.1}

     I have been shown the homes of ministers, presidents of Conferences, which are not all they should be. If the wife is not a humble, God-fearing, devoted woman, she will exert a wrong influence over her husband. If she is an unrestrained talker, she may lead him to acts that will do much harm. He may be influenced in his labor by a wisdom that is not from above. If he has not a steadfast purpose, an eye single to the glory of God, his wife's likes and dislikes, her preferences and opinions, will mould his work. Thus her want of self-denial and consecration to God will be felt all through the Conference.



{GW92 259.2}

     Brotherly Love.--There is too much of an independence of spirit indulged in among the messengers. This must be laid aside, and there must be a drawing together of the servants of God. There has been too much of a spirit to ask, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Said the angel, "Yea, thou art thy brother's keeper. Thou shouldst have a watchful care for thy brother, be interested for his welfare, and cherish a kind, loving spirit toward him. Press together, press together," God designed that man should be open-hearted and honest, without affectation, meek, humble, with simplicity. This is the principle of heaven; God ordered it so.-- Vol. 1, p. 113.


{GW92 259.3}


                 Manner of Labor.


     Christ as a Teacher.--When Jesus spoke, it was not with hesitating uncertainty; his words came with an earnestness and assurance appropriate to their importance and the momentous consequences  involved in their reception or rejection. When his doctrines were opposed, he defended them with so great zeal and certainty as to impress his hearers that he would die, if need be, to sustain the authority of his teachings.



{GW92 260.1}

     The world's Redeemer went about doing good. When before the people, speaking to them the words of eternal truth, with what earnestness he watched the changing countenances of his hearers. The faces that expressed deep interest and pleasure as they listened to his words, gave him great satisfaction. But when the truth, plainly uttered, touched some cherished sin or idol, he marked the change of  countenance, the cold, stern, forbidding look, which told that the truth was unwelcome. Jesus knew that the plain reproof of sin was the very thing his hearers needed; and the light he shed into the darkened chambers of their minds would have been the greatest blessing to them, had they accepted it. His work was to lay down in simple lines, yet so as to be clearly understood, truths that if obeyed would bring peace and happiness to the soul. He could look beneath the surface, and he saw the cherished sins that were ruining the life and character, that were shutting souls away from God. He pointed out these sins, that all might see them in the true light, and put them away. In some who presented the most hardened exterior, he discerned hopeful subjects. He knew that they would respond to the light, and that they would become his true followers. How grateful we should be to God that he can read every heart as an open book. Human wisdom casts aside many souls that might be saved; for man can judge only by appearance, but God knoweth the heart.


{GW92 260.2}

     As the arrows of truth pierced the hearts of Christ's hearers, breaking through the barriers of selfishness, and working humiliation, contrition, and finally gratitude, the Saviour's heart was made glad; for it was just such cases that he came to seek and to save. When his eyes swept over the throng of listeners about him, and he recognized among them the same faces that he had seen on former occasions, joy was expressed in his countenance, that they were hopeful subjects of his kingdom. {GW92 261.1}

     The messengers of Christ, those whom he sends in his stead, will have the same feelings, the same earnest interest. And those who are tempted to think that their labor is not appreciated, and are inclined to be discouraged, should remember that Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, had just as hard hearts to deal with, and he had a more trying experience than we have had or ever can have. He taught the people with patient love, and his deep, searching wisdom knew the wants of every soul among his listeners. And when he saw them refuse the message of peace and love he came to give them, his heart felt anguish to the very depths.



{GW92 261.2}

     Our Saviour awed men by his purity and elevated morality, while his love and gentle benignity inspired them with enthusiasm. The poorest and humblest were not afraid to approach him; even little children were attracted to him. They loved to climb upon his lap and to kiss that pensive face, benignant with love. This loving tenderness you need. You should cultivate love. [FROM A PERSONAL TESTIMONY.] Expressions of sympathy, and acts of courtesy and respect for others, would not detract from your dignity one particle, but would open to you many hearts that are now closed against you. {GW92 261.3}

     Christ was just what every minister should strive to be. We should learn to imitate his character, and combine strict justice, purity, integrity, love, and noble generosity. A pleasant face in which love is


reflected, with kind and courteous manners, will do more, aside from pulpit efforts, than labor in the desk can do without these. It becomes us to cultivate a deference to other people's judgment, when, to a greater or less extent, we are absolutely dependent upon them. We should cultivate true Christian courtesy and tender sympathy, even for the roughest, hardest cases of humanity. Jesus came from the pure courts of heaven to save just such.--Vol. 3, p. 422.



{GW92 261.4}

     Sinners should have a clear impression given them of the nearness and willingness of Christ to give them present salvation. A Saviour should be presented before the people, while the heart of the speaker should be subdued and imbued with his Spirit. The very tones of the voice, the look, the words, should possess an irresistible power to move hearts and control minds. Jesus should be found in the heart of the minister. If Jesus is in the words and in the tones of the voice, if they are mellow with his tender love, it will prove a blessing of more value than all the riches, pleasures, and glories of the earth; for such blessings will not come and go without accomplishing a work. Convictions will be deepened, impressions will be made, and the question will be raised, "What shall I do to be saved?"--Vol. 3, p. 32.



{GW92 262.1}

     Ministers need to have a more clear, simple manner of presenting the truth as it is in Jesus. They themselves need to comprehend more fully the great plan of salvation. There are many among their hearers who want a plain, clear explanation of the steps requisite in conversion. The great masses of the people are more ignorant on this point than many suppose. Among graduates of colleges, eloquent orators, able statesmen, men in high positions of trust, there are many who have given their powers


to other matters, and have neglected the things of greatest importance. When such men form a part of the congregation, the speaker generally strains every power to preach an intellectual discourse; he chooses a subject that will have in it as little of the simplicity of true Bible religion and heart service to God as possible. He does not preach Christ. He does not show that sin is the transgression of the law. He seldom makes plain the plan of salvation. He seldom tells what one must do to be saved. That which would have touched the hearts of the hearers would have been to show them Christ upon the cross of Calvary to bring redemption within their reach. They need to be taught as children how to make Jesus their friend, how to bring him into their life-work.



{GW92 262.2}

     Some ministers make a mistake in the preparation of their discourses. They arrange every minutia with such exactness that they give the Lord no room to lead and impress their minds. Every point is fixed, stereotyped as it were, and they cannot depart from the plan marked out. This course, if continued, will cause them to become narrow-minded, circumscribed in their views, and will soon leave them as destitute of life and energy as were the hills of Gilboa of dew and rain. They must throw the soul open, and let the Holy Spirit take possession to impress the mind. When everything is laid out beforehand, and they feel that they cannot vary from these set discourses, the effect is little better than that produced by reading a sermon. {GW92 263.1}

     God would have his ministers wholly dependent upon him, but at the same time they should be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. No subject can be treated before all congregations in the same manner. The Spirit of God, if allowed to do its work, will impress the mind with ideas adapted to meet the cases of those who need help. But the


tame, formal discourses of many who enter the desk have very little of the vitalizing power of the Holy Spirit in them. The habit of preaching such discourses will effectually destroy a minister's usefulness and ability. . . . {GW92 263.2}

     God's watchmen must not study how they shall please the people nor listen to their words and utter them; but they must listen to hear what saith the Lord, what is his word for the people. If they rely upon discourses prepared years before, they may fail to meet the necessities of the occasion. Their hearts should be laid open, so that the Lord may impress their minds, and then they will be able to give the people the precious truth warm from heaven. --Test. 32, p. 7.



{GW92 264.1}

     I have heard some ministers talk of Christ's life and teachings, in a commonplace manner, as though recounting the incidents in the life of some great man of the world. Indeed, it is not unusual for ministers in their discourses to treat of Christ as though he were a man like themselves. When I hear this sacred subject treated in such a manner, I feel a grief that I cannot express; for I know that although these men are teachers of the truth, they have never had exalted views of Christ; they have never become acquainted with him and learned of him. They have not that elevation of thought which would give them a clear conception of the divine character of the world's Redeemer. {GW92 264.2}

     The ministers of Christ, who bear the message of truth to men, will never become self-sufficient or self-exalted if they have correct views of the character and work of Christ, the author of man's salvation. The unworthiness, weakness, and inefficiency of their own efforts, in contrast with those of the Son of God, will make them humble, distrustful of self, and will lead them to rely upon Christ for strength and efficiency in their work. Habitually


dwelling upon Christ, his exalted character, and the all-sufficient merits of his sacrifice, increases faith, sharpens the imaginative powers, strengthens the longing desire to be like him, and creates holy earnestness in prayer that makes it efficacious.



{GW92 264.3}

     Silent Prayer.--According to the light that has been given me, it would be pleasing to God for ministers to bow down as soon as they step into the pulpit, and solemnly ask help from God. What impression would that make? There would be solemnity and awe upon the people. Their minister is communing with God; he is committing himself to God before he dares to stand before the people. Solemnity rests upon the people, and angels of God are brought very near. Ministers should look to God the first thing as they come into the desk, thus saying to all, God is the source of my strength-- Vol. 2, p. 613.



{GW92 265.1}

     Many who profess to be ministers of Christ manifest a wonderful submission as they see the unconverted all around them going to perdition. A minister of Christ has no right to be at ease, and sit down submissively, in view of the fact that the truth is powerless, and souls are not stirred by its presentation. He should resort to prayer, and should work and pray without ceasing. Those who submit to remain destitute of spiritual blessings, without earnest wrestling for those blessings, consent to have Satan triumph.



{GW92 265.2}

     You who labor in the cause of God and see no souls brought to the knowledge of the truth, no churches raised up and organized, should change your manner of labor. You should fast and pray. You should lay the matter before your brethren, and solicit their counsel and prayers, lest you be self-deceived, and, what is more, deceive others also.


{GW92 265.3}

     Our Need of the Holy Spirit.--The efficiency of a discourse depends on the application of the truth to the heart by the Spirit of God. When Elijah sought God in the mountains, a devouring fire swept by; but God was not in the flame. A tempest rose, the thunder rolled, and the lightnings flashed; but God was not in all this. Then there came a still, small voice, and the prophet covered his head before the presence of the Lord. It is the still, small voice of the Spirit of God that has power to convict and convert the soul.



{GW92 266.1}

     When the theory of the truth is repeated without its sacred influence being felt upon the soul of the speaker, it has no force upon the hearers, but is rejected as error, the speaker making himself responsible for the loss of souls.--Vol. 4, p. 441.



{GW92 266.2}

     In order to be a blessing to your people, you need to improve in many things. [FROM A PERSONAL TESTIMONY.] You should cultivate courtesy, and cherish a tender sympathy for all. You should have the crowning grace of God, which is love. You criticise too much, and are not so forbearing as you must be if you would win souls. You could have much more influence if you were less formal and rigid, and were actuated more by the Holy Spirit. Your fear of being led by men is too great. God uses men as his instruments, and will use them as long as the world shall stand. {GW92 266.3}

     The angels who fell were anxious to become independent of God. They were very beautiful, very glorious, but dependent on God for their happiness, and for the light and intelligence they enjoyed. They fell from their high estate through insubordination. Christ and his church are inseparable. To neglect or despise those whom God has appointed to lead out, and to bear the responsibilities connected with his work and with the advancement and spread of the truth, is to reject the means which God has


ordained for the help, encouragement, and strength of his people. To pass these by, and think that your light must come through no other channel than directly from God, places you in a position where you are liable to deception, and to be overthrown. . . . {GW92 266.4}

     You frequently talk too long when you do not have the vitalizing influence of the Spirit of heaven. You weary those who hear you. Many make a mistake in their preaching, in not stopping while the interest is up. They go on speechifying until the interest that had risen in the minds of the hearers dies out, and the people are really wearied with words of no special weight or interest. Stop before you get here. Stop when you have nothing of special importance to say. Do not go on with dry words that only excite prejudice and do not soften the heart. You want to be so united to Christ that your words will melt and burn their way to the soul. Mere prosy talk is insufficient for this time. Arguments are good; but there may be too much of the argumentative, and too little of the Spirit and life of God. {GW92 267.1}

     Without the special power of God to work with your efforts, your spirit subdued and humbled in God, your hearts softened, your words flowing from a heart of love, your labors will be wearing to your self, and not productive of blessed results. There is a point which the minister of Christ reaches, beyond which human knowledge and skill are powerless. We are struggling with giant errors, and evils which we are impotent to remedy, or to arouse the people to see and understand; for we cannot change the heart. We cannot quicken the soul to discern the sinfulness of sin, and to feel the need of a Saviour. But if our labors bear the impress of the Spirit of God, if a higher, a divine power attends our efforts to sow the gospel seed, we shall see fruits of our labor to the glory of God. He alone can water the seed sown.--Vol. 3, p. 418.


{GW92 267.2}

     Small Congregations.--Do not become discouraged or slacken your efforts when there are only a few to listen to a discourse. Even if there are but two or three, or no more than one, how do you know but that there may be one soul with whom the Spirit of God is striving? The Lord may give you a message for that soul, and he, if converted, may be the means of reaching many others. The results of your labor may, all unknown to you, be multiplied a thousand-fold. Do not look at the empty seats, and let your faith and courage sink, but think of what God is doing, in bringing his truth before the world. Remember that you are co-operating with divine agencies,--agencies that can never fail. Speak with as much earnestness, faith, and interest, as if there were thousands present to listen to your words.



{GW92 268.1}

     In England a minister went to his church to preach one rainy morning, and found that he had only one man for audience. But he would not disappoint his hearer, and he preached to him with earnestness and interest. As a result the man was converted, and became a missionary, and through his efforts thousands heard the good news of salvation. One discourse did the work for him, and he gathered abundantly for the Master.



{GW92 268.2}

     Health Reform.--One important part of the work of the ministry is to faithfully present to the people the health reform, as it stands connected with the third angel's message, as a part of the same work. They should not fail to adopt it themselves, and should urge it upon all who profess to believe the truth.--Vol. 1, p. 469.



{GW92 268.3}

     Gifts and Offerings.--I saw that the cause of God is not to be carried forward by pressed offerings. God does not accept such offerings. This matter is to be left wholly to the people. They


are not to bring a yearly gift merely, but should also freely present a weekly and monthly offering before the Lord. This work is left to the people, for it is to be to them a weekly, monthly, living test. This tithing system, I saw, would develop character, and manifest the true state of the heart. . . . {GW92 268.4}

     Ministers should not be severe, and draw upon any one man, and press means from him. If he does not give just as much as another thinks he should, they are not to denounce him and throw him overboard. They should be as patient and forbearing as the angels are. They should work in union with Jesus. Christ and angels are watching the development of character, and weighing moral worth. The Lord bears long with his erring people. The truth will be brought to bear closer and closer, and will cut off one idol after another, until God reigns supreme in the hearts of his consecrated people. I saw that God's people must bring to him a free-will offering; and the responsibility should be left wholly upon the individual, whether he will give much or little. It will be faithfully recorded. Give the people of God time to develop character. {GW92 269.1}

     Ministers of God should bear the pointed testimony. The living truths of his word should be brought to bear upon the heart.--Vol. I, p. 237.



{GW92 269.2}

     Liberality.--Never should the laborer who raises up little companies here and there give the impression to those newly come to the faith, that God does not require them to work systematically in helping to sustain the cause by their personal labors and by their means. Frequently those who receive the truth are among the poor of this world; but they should not make this an excuse for neglecting those duties which devolve upon them in view of the precious light they have received. They should not allow poverty to prevent them from laying up a treasure in heaven. The blessings within reach of the rich are


also within their reach. If they are faithful in using what little they do possess, their treasure in heaven will increase according to their fidelity. It is the motive with which they work, not the amount they do, that makes their offering valuable in the sight of Heaven.{GW92 269.3}

     All should be taught to do what they can for the Master; to render to him according as he has prospered them. He claims as his just due a tenth of their income, be it large or small; and those who withhold this, commit robbery toward him, and cannot expect his prospering hand to be with them. Even if the church is composed mostly of poor brethren, the subject of systematic benevolence should be thoroughly explained, and the plan heartily adopted. God is able to fulfill his promises. His resources are infinite, and he employs them all in accomplishing his will. And when he sees a faithful performance of duty in the payment of the tithe, he often, in his wise providence, opens ways whereby it shall increase. {GW92 270.1}

     He who follows God's arrangement in the little that has been given him will receive the same returns as he who bestows of his abundance. The same is true also of those who cheerfully employ their talents of ability in the cause of God, while those who fail to improve that which has been given them will incur the same loss as though that little had been much. It was the man who had only one talent, but who went and hid that talent in the earth, that received the condemnation of the Lord.



{GW92 270.2}

     I saw that those who profess to be looking for the coming of the Lord should not have a close, penurious spirit. Some of those who have been called to talk the truth, and to watch for souls as they that must give an account, have wasted much precious time for the sake of saving a little, when their time was worth a great deal more than that which they


gained. This is displeasing to God. It is right that economy should be used, but it has by some been stretched into meanness, with no other object than to increase their treasures, which will shortly eat their flesh like fire, unless they, as faithful stewards, make a right disposal of their Lord's goods.--Vol. 1, p. 153.



{GW92 270.3}

     Respect of Persons.--Ministers should not use flattery or be respecters of persons. There ever has been, and still is, great danger of erring here, of making a little difference with the wealthy, of flattering them by special attention, if not by words. There is danger of "having men's persons in admiration" [JUDE 16.] for the sake of gain, but if one does this, he endangers their eternal interests. Some wealthy man may regard the minister as a special favorite, and may be very liberal with him; this gratifies the minister, and he, in turn, lavishes praise upon the benevolence of his donor. His name may be exalted by appearing in print, and yet, that liberal donor may be entirely unworthy of the credit given him. His liberality did not arise from a deep, living principle to do good with his means, to advance the cause of God because he appreciated it, but from some selfish motive, a desire to be thought liberal. He may have given from impulse, and his liberality have no depth of principle. He may have been moved upon by listening to stirring truth, which for the time being loosed his purse-strings; yet, after all, his liberality has no deeper motive. He gives by spasms; his purse opens spasmodically, and closes just as securely, spasmodically. He deserves no commendation, for he is in every sense of the word a stingy man; and unless thoroughly converted, purse and all, will hear the withering denunciation, "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are


moth-eaten." [JAMES 5:1, 2.] Such will awake at last from a horrible self-deception. Those who praised their spasmodic liberalities helped Satan to deceive them, and made them think that they were very liberal, very sacrificing, when they knew not the first principles of liberality or self-sacrifice.--Vol. 1, p. 475.



{GW92 271.1}

     The truth should be presented in a manner that will make it attractive to the intelligent mind. We are not understood as a people, but are looked upon as poor, weak-minded, low, and degraded. Then how important for all who teach, and all who believe the truth, to be so affected by its sanctifying influence that their consistent, elevated lives shall show unbelievers that they have been deceived in this people. How important that the cause of truth be stripped of everything like a false and fanatical excitement, that the truth may stand upon its own merits, revealing its native purity and exalted character.--Vol. 1, p. 414.



{GW92 272.1}

     Deportment.--The minister should never lose sight of the fact that he is a representative of Christ. He should cultivate grace, courtesy, and refinement of manner. Both in and out of the pulpit he should carry himself with a quiet dignity becoming his elevated calling. Solemnity, a certain godly authority, mingled with meekness, should characterize the demeanor of him who is a teacher of God's truth. Ministers should not make a practice of relating anecdotes that will detract from the force and solemnity of the truth presented. The truth should be clothed in chaste and dignified language; and the illustrations should be of a like character.



{GW92 272.2}

     How to Deal with Faultfinders.--There are in our churches those who profess the truth who are only hindrances to the work of reform. This class are frequently in trial. Doubts, jealousies, and suspicion,


the fruits of selfishness, seem to be interwoven with their very nature. They are a burden to the church and to the ministers of Christ. Much of the time and labor of the ministers is required to undo their work of evil, and restore harmony and union in the church. This takes from the courage and strength of God's servants, and unfits them for the work that he has for them to do in saving perishing souls from ruin. {GW92 272.3}

     Many that are drifting into darkness and infidelity are picking flaws with the Bible, and bringing in superstitious inventions, unscriptural doctrines, and philosophical speculations; others excite trifling  inquiries and disputations, which call off the servants of God from their work, causing them to waste their time and lose their labor. Those who permit themselves to be thus hindered are giving place to Satan, and surrounding their own souls with an atmosphere of doubt and unbelief. While doing this, they might have been bringing gold, silver, and precious stones to lay upon the foundation. The ministers of Christ should not allow themselves to be thus hindered in their work. There will be enough to question, and quibble, and criticise, to keep the ministers of God constantly busy, if they will allow themselves to be detained from the great work of giving the last message of warning to the world. {GW92 273.1}

     Brethren, pull away from the shore, launch out into the deep, and cast the gospel net again. In this important period of the work, ministers cannot be detained to prop up men and women who see and have once felt the force of the truth. They should fasten believing Christians to Christ, who is able to hold them up and preserve them blameless unto his appearing, while they go forth to new fields of labor.



{GW92 273.2}

     Order and Discipline.--While the Bible teaching in regard to faith and sanctification should be presented to the people, there is need of guarding every


point, so that no place may be given to those demoralizing influences manifest among some classes of people who have much to say in regard to holiness. There are many who are careless in deportment, and low and coarse in their tastes, who grasp at a superficial theory of sanctification, and justify themselves in their commonness, when they should diligently seek to purify themselves by obedience to the truth. They talk of the freedom they feel, the happiness they have; but by their words, deportment, and dress, they fail to recommend their religion. Camp-meetings should never be conducted in such a manner as to encourage this kind of experience. To encourage an unbecoming familiarity in the association of men and women, boys and girls, under the pretext of seeking conversion and sanctification, is to foster an evil whose influence is of the worst character. Christ and his righteousness must be clearly presented to the people; the teacher himself must be circumspect in conduct, having his conversation elevated and holy, that he may teach believers and unbelievers the reasons of his faith from both the law and the gospel. He must show to all that they must do the will of God if they would know of the doctrine.



{GW92 273.3}

     "Be instant in season, out of season." [2 TIM. 4:2.] To be "instant in season," is to be alert to the privileges of the house and hour of worship and to the time when men are conversing on the topics of religion. And "out of season," when you are at the fireside, in the field, by the way-side, in the market, seek to be ready to turn the thoughts of men, in a suitable and wise manner, to the great themes of the Bible. With tender and fervent spirit urge the claims of God upon the soul. Many, many precious opportunities are allowed to slip by unimproved, because men are persuaded that it is out of season. But who knows what might be the effect of a wise appeal to the


conscience, by using the word of God that will accomplish that for which God has given it? It is written, "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good." [ECCL. 11:6.] He who is sowing seeds of eternal truth may bear a burdened heart, and send up prayers with supplication and tears, but he will come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.



{GW92 274.1}

     There are in the ministry, men who gain apparent success by swaying minds through a human influence. They play upon the feelings at will, making their hearers weep, and in a few minutes laugh. Under this kind of labor, many are moved by impulse to a profession of Christ, and there is thought to be a wonderful revival. But when the test comes, it is seen that the work is not enduring. When the feelings were stirred, many were borne along by the tide that seemed to be setting heavenward. But in the strong current of temptation they quickly float back as driftwood. The laborer is self-deceived, and thus he misleads his hearers.



{GW92 275.1}

     When ministers have success in moving upon minds, if they are conscious that God has wrought with their efforts they will not become self-sufficient and boastful. They will walk as they have Christ for an example. Satan will not let them alone; he will assail them with temptation, and unless with humility and prayer they are continually seeking for divine guidance, they will be overcome.



{GW92 275.2}

     Danger of Applause.--I have been shown that great caution should be used, even when it is necessary to lift a burden of oppression from men and women, lest they lean to their own wisdom, and fail to make God their only dependence. It is not safe


to speak in praise of persons, or to exalt the ability of a minister of Christ. In the day of God, very many will be weighed in the balance and found wanting because of exaltation. I would warn my brethren and sisters never to flatter persons because of their ability; for they cannot bear it. Self is easily exalted, and in consequence, persons lose their balance. I say again to my brethren and sisters, If you would have your souls clean from the blood of all men, never flatter, never praise the efforts of poor mortals; for it may prove their ruin. It is unsafe, by our words and actions, to exalt a brother or sister, however apparently humble may be their deportment. If they really possess the meek and lowly spirit which God so highly esteems, help them to retain it. This will not be done by censuring them, nor by neglecting to properly appreciate their true worth. But there are few who can bear praise without being injured. {GW92 275.3}

     Some ministers of ability who are now preaching present truth, love approbation. Applause stimulates them, as the glass of wine does the inebriate. Place these ministers where they have a small congregation, which promises no special excitement, and which provokes no decided opposition, and they will lose their interest and zeal, and appear as languid in the work as the inebriate when he is deprived of his dram. These men will fail to make real, practical laborers until they learn to labor without the excitement of applause.--Vol. 3, p. 185.



{GW92 276.1}

     A minister of Christ, a teacher of the truth, a true shepherd, is in one sense a servant of all, anticipating the wants of those who need help, and knowing how to be useful here and there in the great work of saving souls. A man who professes to teach the truth, and goes just where he pleases, and works when and how he pleases, yet shuns responsibilities, is not bearing the cross after Christ, nor


fulfilling the commission of a true gospel minister.-- Vol. 2, p. 650.



{GW92 276.2}

     Some of our ministers carry too light responsibilities, they shun individual care and burdens; for this reason they do not feel that need of help from God that they would if they lifted the burdens that the work of God and our faith require them to lift. When burdens in this cause have to be borne, and when those who bear them are brought into strait places, they will feel the need of living near to God, that they may have confidence to commit their ways to him, and in faith claim that help which he alone can give. They will then be daily obtaining an experience in faith and trust, which is of the highest value to gospel ministers.--Vol. 3, p. 234.



{GW92 277.1}

     The Shepherd's Work.--A true shepherd will have an interest in all that relates to the welfare of the flock, feeding, guiding, and defending them. He will carry himself with great wisdom, and will manifest a tender consideration for all, being courteous and compassionate to all, especially to the tempted, the afflicted, and the desponding. . . . "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him." "But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men." "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me." {GW92 277.2}

     It is not the work of a gospel minister to lord it over God's heritage, but in lowliness of mind, with


gentleness and long forbearance to exhort, reprove, rebuke, with all long-suffering and doctrine.--Vol. 3, p. 228.



{GW92 277.3}

     I was shown that the usefulness of young ministers, married or unmarried, is often destroyed by the attachment shown to them by young women. Such do not realize that other eyes are upon them, and that the course pursued by them may have a tendency to very much injure the influence of the minister to whom they give so much attention. If they would strictly regard the rules of propriety, it would be much better for them, and much better for their minister. It places him in a disagreeable position, and causes others to look upon him in a wrong light. Yet I saw that the burden of the matter rests upon the ministers themselves. They should show a distaste for these things, and if they take the course which God would have them, they will not long be troubled. They should shun every appearance of evil, and when young women are very sociable, it is their duty to let them know that it is not pleasing. They must repulse this forwardness, even if they are thought to be rude. Such things should be rebuked, in order to save the cause from reproach. Young women who have been converted to the truth and to God, will listen to reproof, and will be reformed.-- Vol. 1, p. 381.



{GW92 278.1}

     Labor for the Young.--Very much has been lost to the cause of God by a lack of attention to the young. Ministers should form an acquaintance with the youth in their congregations. Many are reluctant to do this, but their neglect is a sin in the sight of Heaven. There are among us many who are not ignorant of our faith, yet whose hearts have never been touched by the power of divine grace. Can we who claim to be servants of God pass on day after day, week after week, indifferent to these souls


who are out of Christ? If they should die in their sins, unwarned, their blood would be required at the unfaithful watchman's hands.{GW92 278.2}

     Why should not this labor for the youth in our borders be regarded as the highest kind of missionary work? It will require the most delicate tact, the most thoughtful consideration, the most earnest prayer that heavenly wisdom may be imparted. The youth are the objects of Satan's special attacks; but kindness, courtesy, that tender sympathy that flows from a heart filled with love to Jesus, will give you access to them. You may win their confidence, so that they will listen to your words, and thus be saved from many a snare of the enemy. {GW92 279.1}

     When the youth give their hearts to God, your care for them should not cease. Lay some special responsibility upon them. Make them feel that they are expected to do something. The Lord chooses them because they are strong. Teach them to labor in a quiet, unpretending way, for their young companions. Let different branches of the missionary work be laid out systematically, and let instruction and help be given, so that the young may learn to act a part. Thus they will grow up to be workers for God.



{GW92 279.2}

     The Testimonies.--There should be no trial, or labor with those who have never seen the individual having visions, and who have had no personal knowledge of the influence of the visions. Such should not be deprived of the benefits and privileges of the church, if their Christian course is otherwise correct, and they have formed a good Christian character. {GW92 279.3}

     Some, I was shown, could receive the published visions, judging of the tree by its fruits. Others are like doubting Thomas; they cannot believe the published Testimonies, nor receive evidence through the testimony of others, but must see and have the


evidence for themselves. Such must not be set aside, but long patience and brotherly love should be exercised toward them until they find their position and become established for or against. If they fight against the visions, of which they have no knowledge; if they carry their opposition so far as to oppose that in which they have had no experience, and feel annoyed when those who believe that the visions are of God speak of them in meeting and comfort themselves with the instruction given through vision, the church may know that they are not right. God's people should not cringe and yield, and give up their liberty to such disaffected ones. God has placed the gifts in the church that the church may be benefited by them; and when professed believers in the truth oppose these gifts and fight against the visions, souls are in danger through their influence, and it is time then to labor with them, that the weak may not be led astray by their influence.--Vol. 1, p. 328.



{GW92 279.4}

      Some of our brethren have had long experience in the truth, and have for years been acquainted with me and with the influence of the visions. They have tested the truthfulness of these testimonies, and asserted their belief in them. They have felt the powerful influence of the Spirit of God resting upon them to witness to the truthfulness of the visions. If such, when reproved through vision, rise up against them, and work secretly to injure our influence, they should be faithfully dealt with, for their influence is endangering those who lack experience.--Vol. 1, p. 382.



{GW92 280.1}

     The Joy of the Lord.--As their reward the faithful under-shepherds will hear from the Chief Shepherd, "Well done, good and faithful servant." He will then place the crown of glory upon their heads, and bid them enter into the joy of their Lord. What is that joy?--It is beholding with Christ the redeemed


saints, reviewing with him their travail for souls, their self-denial and self-sacrifice, their giving up of ease, of worldly gain, and every earthly inducement, and choosing the reproach, the suffering, the self-abasement, the wearing labor, and the anguish of spirit as men would oppose the counsel of God against their own souls; it is calling to remembrance the chastening of their souls before God, their weeping between the porch and the altar, and their becoming a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. All this is then ended, and the fruits of their labors are seen, souls are saved through their efforts in Christ. The ministers who have been co-workers with Christ, enter into the joy of their Lord, and are satisfied.--Vol. 2, p. 709. {GW92 280.2}