Travail for Souls.--As the shepherd is to go after the lost sheep, he is not to have merely a casual interest, but an earnest travail for souls. This calls for most earnest heart searching, most earnest prayerful seeking for God, in order that we may know Him and the power of His grace, "that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."-- Letter 8, 1895.
Compassion for the Unsaved.--But how few of us regard the salvation of sinners in the light in which it is viewed by the heavenly universe,--as a plan devised from eternity in the mind of God! How few of us are heart to heart with the Redeemer in this solemn, closing work! There is scarcely a tithe of the compassion that there should be for souls unsaved. There are so many to be warned, and yet how few sympathize with God sufficiently to be anything or nothing if only they can see souls won to Christ!-- Gospel Workers, p. 116. (1915)
Consecration, Love, and Self-Sacrifice.--The worker for God should put forth the highest mental and moral energies with which nature, cultivation, and the grace of God have endowed him; but his success will be proportionate to the degree of consecration and self-sacrifice
in which his work is done, rather than to either natural or acquired endowments. . . . Divine grace is the great element of saving power; without it all human effort is unavailing.-- Counsels to Teachers, pp. 537, 538. (1913)
Love and Compassion.--The Lord wants men to forget themselves in the effort to save souls. Our life is worse than a failure if we go through life without leaving waymarks of love and compassion. God will not work with a harsh, stubborn, loveless man. Such a man spoils the pattern that Christ desires His workers to reveal to the world. God's workers, in whatever line of service they are engaged, are to bring into their efforts the goodness and benevolence and love of Christ.
God calls for light bearers who will fill the world with the light and peace and joy that come from Christ. God will use humble men, men who will cherish a sense of their weakness, who will not think that the work of God depends on them. Such men will remember what the service of God demands from them--the propriety of speech and action that God calls for. They will reveal that Christ dwells in the heart, imparting purity to the whole being.-- Letter 197, 1902.
The Simplicity of Children.--Let us work with all our capabilities, seeking to make the truth for this time plain to those who do not understand it. The blessing of the Lord will rest upon every soul who will take hold of His work intelligently. . . .
Let us cultivate the simplicity of little children. The precious Bible, the Book of God, is our instructor. To all who will walk humbly with God He will give His Holy Spirit and will minister to them through the agency of holy angels to make right impressions upon human minds.-- Manuscript 77, 1909.
Without Praise.--We must do our work purely and faithfully even though there is no one in the world to say, "It is well done." Our lives must be just what God designs they shall be--faithful in good words, in kind and thoughtful deeds, in the expression of meekness, purity, and love. Thus we represent Christ to the world. . . .
The toilworn men, who are now first and foremost in the great work of saving souls, are the ones whom God will honor.-- Letter 120, 1898.
Danger of Flattery.--Keep the eye fixed on Christ. Do not fix your attention on some favorite minister, copying his example and imitating his gestures; in short, becoming his shadow. Let no man put his mold upon you. . . .
Praise no man; flatter no man; and permit no man to praise or flatter you. Satan will do enough of this work. Lose sight of the instrument, and think of Jesus. Praise the Lord. Give glory to God. Make melody to God in your hearts. Talk of the truth. Talk of the Christian's hope, the Christian's heaven. -- Manuscript 8a, 1888.
Feelings Not Easily Wounded.--We should not allow our feelings to be easily wounded. We are to live not to guard our feelings or our reputation, but to save souls. As we become interested in the salvation of souls, we cease to mind the little differences that so often arise in our association with one another. Whatever others may think of us, it need not disturb our oneness with Christ, the fellowship of the Spirit.-- Ministry of Healing, p. 485. (1905)
Cheerful and Joyful Spirit.--When we have an assurance, which is bright and clear, of our own salvation, we shall exhibit cheerfulness and joyfulness,
which becomes every follower of Jesus Christ. The softening, subduing influence of the love of God brought into practical lives will make impressions upon minds that will be a savor of life unto life. But a harsh denunciatory spirit, if manifested, will turn many souls away from the truth into the ranks of the enemy. Solemn thought! To deal patiently with the tempted requires us to battle with self.-- Letter 1a, 1894.
Meek and Lowly in Heart.--The value of our work does not consist in making a loud noise in the world, in being zealous, eager, and active in our own strength. The value of our work is in proportion to the impartation of the Holy Spirit. The value of our work comes through trust in God, which brings holier qualities of mind, so that in patience we may possess our souls. We should continually pray to God to increase our strength, to make us strong in His strength, to kindle in our hearts the flame of divine love. The cause of God is best advanced by those who are meek and lowly in heart.-- Manuscript 38, 1895.
God's Work, Not Ours.--Now, here is the very thing that we want to understand, that it is not our work but God's work, and we are only instruments in His hands to accomplish it. We want to seek the Lord with all our hearts, and the Lord will work for us.-- Review and Herald, May 10, 1887.
Sacrifice at Every Step.--We are nearing the end of this earth's history, and the different departments of God's work are to be carried forward with much more self-sacrifice than has yet been practiced. The work for these last days is a missionary work. Present truth, from the first to the last letter of its alphabet, means missionary effort. The work to be done calls for sacrifice at every step of advance. The workers are to
come forth from trial, purified and refined, as gold tried in the fire.-- Review and Herald, Nov. 18, 1902.
Teaching and Living the Doctrines.--God's servants are to use the greatest care in regard to the doctrines they teach, the example they set, and the influence they exert on those associated with them. The great apostle appeals to the church and to God to witness to the truth and the sincerity of his profession. "Ye are witnesses, and God also," he says, "how holily and justly and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you."-- Review and Herald, Dec. 11, 1900.
Avoid Business Entanglements.--We are to be workers together with Him. Those who are in His service need to separate from all business entanglements that would tarnish their Christlikeness of character. The fishermen that the Saviour called, straightway left their nets. Those who give themselves to the work of the ministry must not entangle themselves in business lines that will bring a coarseness into their lives and will be a detriment to their spiritual advancement in the work of the Lord has given them to do.-- Letter 53, 1905.
Insincerity Is Fatal.--There must be no duplicity, no crookedness, in the life of the worker. While error even when held in sincerity, is dangerous to anyone, insincerity in the truth is fatal.--Medical Missionary, January, 1891.
Harsh Spirit Denies Christ.--Men may speak fluently upon doctrines, and may express strong faith in theories, but do they possess Christianlike meekness and love? If they reveal a harsh, critical spirit, they are denying Christ. If they are not kind, tenderhearted, long-suffering, they are not like Jesus; they are deceiving their own souls. A spirit contrary to the love, humility, meekness, and gentleness of
Christ, denies Him, whatever may be the profession. -- Review and Herald, Feb. 9, 1892.
Talk Faith and Encouragement.--Let us take heed to our words. Let us talk faith, and we shall have faith. Never give place to a thought of discouragement in the work of God. Never utter a word of doubt. It is as seed sown in the heart of both speaker and hearers, to produce a harvest of discouragement and unbelief.-- Letter 77, 1895.
Criticism of Fellow Workers Depresses.--It is our privilege to speak words that will encourage our associates and fellow laborers; it is not our privilege to speak works that will depress. It is not wise for us to compare ourselves with other workers, speaking of their failings, and raising objections to their methods of labor. It would be no surprise if those who are laboring under grave responsibilities, and who have many trials to meet, should sometimes make mistakes. . . .
Let us become familiar with the good that is being done by our brethren, and talk of that.-- Letter 204, 1907.
Jealousy and Suspicion Produce Disunion.--There is nothing that so much retards and cripples the work in its various branches as jealousy and suspicion and evil surmisings. These reveal that disunion prevails among the workers for God. Selfishness is the root of all evil.-- Letter 113a, 1897.
Irreparable Harm to Associate Workers.--Let no one be sharp and dictatorial in his dealings with God's workers. Let those who are inclined to censure remember that they have made mistakes as grievous as those they condemn in others. Let them bow in contrition before God, asking His pardon for the sharp
speeches they have made and the unguarded spirit they have revealed. Remember that God hears every word you speak, and that as you judge, you will be judged. . . .
Shall we not remedy the difficulties that exist by striving to restore the wounded, not by cutting off their limbs, leaving them crippled for life, their usefulness impaired, when they might have been restored? -- Manuscript 143, 1902.
Criticism of Others Weakens Own Work.--The plans and methods of God's workers are to be thoroughly sifted from worldly policy. Their work is to be carried forward with Christlike simplicity. Remember that he who takes the position of a criticizer greatly weakens his own hands. God has not made it the duty of men or of women to find fault with their fellow workers.--Review and Herald, Sept. 2, 1902.
Satan's Special Temptation.--If men desire to place themselves where they can be used by God, they must not criticize others, to make their defects apparent. This is Satan's special temptation, whereby he strives to hinder the work.-- Manuscript 152, 1898.
Self-sufficiency Tears Down the Work.--We want men who will strengthen and build up the work, not tear down and seek to destroy that which others are trying to do. We need men and women whom God can work, the fallow ground of whose heart has been broken up.
We do not need workers who must be supported and carried by those who have long been in the faith, who regard themselves as a perfect whole. To such we would say, "Stay where you are." We have had enough to do with this class of workers. We want workers who are not steeped in selfishness, those who are not self-sufficient.-- Manuscript 173, 1898.
Complicating Advancement of the Message.--The attributes of the enemy of God and man too often find expression in their spirit and attitude toward one another. They hurt one another, because they are not partakers of the divine nature; and thus they work against the perfection of their own character. They bring trouble to themselves, and make the work hard and toilsome, because they regard their spirit and defects of character as precious virtues, to be clung to and fostered. . . .
Men make the work of advancing the truth tenfold harder than it really is, by seeking to take God's work out of His hands into their own finite hands. They think they must be constantly inventing something to make men do things which they suppose these persons ought to do. The time thus spent is all the while making the work more complicated; for the great Chief Worker is left out of the question in the care of His own heritage. Men undertake the job of tinkering up the defective character of others, and only succeed in making the defects much worse. They would better leave God to do His own work; for He does not regard them as capable of reshaping character.-- General Conference Bulletin, Feb. 25, 1895.
Hewn and Polished in Service.--Those who are defective in character, in conduct, in habits and practices, are to take heed to counsel and reproof. This world is God's workshop, and every stone that can be used in the heavenly temple, must be hewed and polished, until it is a tried and precious stone, fitted for its place in the Lord's building. But if we refuse to be trained and disciplined, we shall be as stones that will not be hewed and polished, and that are cast aside at last as useless.-- Youth's Instructor, Aug. 31, 1893.
Our Great Example.--Christ carried out in His life His own divine teachings. His zeal never led Him to become passionate. He manifested consistency without obstinacy, benevolence without weakness, tenderness and sympathy without sentimentalism. He was highly social; yet He possessed a reserved dignity that did not encourage undue familiarity. His temperance never led to bigotry or austerity. He was not conformed to this world; yet He was not indifferent to the wants of the least among men. He was awake to the needs of all.-- Manuscript 132, 1902.
The Perfect Pattern.--From earliest years to manhood, Christ lived a life that was a perfect pattern of humility and industry and obedience. He was always thoughtful and considerate of others, always self-denying. He came bearing the signature of heaven, not to be ministered unto, but to minister. . . .
The unselfish life of Christ is an example to all. His character is a pattern of the characters we may form if we follow on in His footsteps.-- Manuscript 108, 1903.
Dignity, Courtesy, Refinement.--Be sure to maintain the dignity of the work by a well-ordered life and godly conversation. Never be afraid of raising the standard too high. The families who engage in the missionary work should come close to hearts. The spirit of Jesus should pervade the soul of the worker; it is the pleasant, sympathetic words, the manifestation of disinterested love for their souls, that will break down the barriers of pride and selfishness, and show to unbelievers that we have the love of Christ; and then the truth will find its way to the heart. This is our work, and the fulfilling of God's plan.
All coarseness and roughness must be put away from us. Courtesy, refinement, Christian politeness, must be cherished. Guard against being abrupt and blunt. Do not regard such peculiarities as virtues; for God does not so regard them. Endeavor not to offend any unnecessarily.-- Review and Herald, Nov. 25, 1890.
Christ Our Exemplar of Etiquette.--Real refinement of thought and manner is better learned in the school of the divine Teacher than by any observance of set rules. His love pervading the heart gives to the character those refining touches that fashion it in the semblance of His own. This education imparts a heaven-born dignity and sense of propriety. It gives a sweetness of disposition and a gentleness of manner that can never be equaled by the superficial polish of fashionable society.-- Education, p. 241. (1903)
True Etiquette-Broad Sympathy and Kindness.-- Many who lay great stress upon etiquette show little respect for anything, however excellent, that fails of meeting their artificial standard. This is false education. It fosters critical pride and narrow exclusiveness.
The essence of true politeness is consideration for others. The essential, enduring education is that which broadens the sympathies and encourages universal kindness.-- Education, p. 241. (1903)
Tenderness and Kindness.--You both need a gentler touch. Your words are to soothe, not to harass. Let your hearts be filled with love for souls. With a deep, tender interest, work for those around you. If you see one making a mistake, go to him in the way Christ has pointed out in His Word, and see if you cannot talk the matter over with Christlike tenderness. Pray with him, and believe that the Saviour will show you the way out of the difficulty.
Ministers need much of the grace of God in order to do their work acceptably. When a minister finds the members of a church arrayed against one another, let him call a halt, and endeavor to bring about a harmonious understanding. Let him never give sharp, dictatorial advice or orders. This is not necessary. It is labor worse than wasted. . . .
The Lord calls upon you to exert an uplifting influence. Receive into the heart the truths of God's Word. Only thus can you have the mind of God. Place yourselves under the molding influence of the Holy Spirit. Then you will have much greater power for good. . . .
Wherever the love of Jesus reigns, there is peace and rest. Where this love is cherished, it is as a refreshing stream in a desert, transforming barrenness into fertility.-- Manuscript 105, 1902.
Tact and Good Judgment Melt Hearts.--Tact and good judgment increase the usefulness of the laborer a hundredfold. If he will speak the right words at the right time, and show the right spirit, this will exert a melting power on the heart of the one he is trying to help. Gospel Workers, p. 119. (1915)
Kindness to Those Who Differ in Doctrine.--Those who differ with us in faith and doctrine should be treated kindly. They are the property of Christ, and we must meet them in the great day of final account. We shall have to face one another in the judgment, and behold the record of our thoughts, words, and deeds, not as we have viewed them, but as they were in truth. God has enjoined upon us the duty of loving one another as Christ has loved us.-- The Youth's Instructor, Dec. 9, 1897.
Without Personal Feeling and Selfishness.--Men must labor according to His [God's] rules and arrangement
if they would meet with success. God will accept only those efforts that are made willingly and with humble hearts, without the trait of personal feelings or selfishness.-- Letter 66, 1887.
Put On Gospel Shoes.--My brother, I have an intense desire that you shall be a man after God's heart. You must make a change in your life. You have most precious truth to present, but you must put on the gospel shoes--your feet must be "shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." Your manner of addressing people is not always pleasing to God. You need to feel His converting power upon your soul every day. You are full of physical strength and energy, and you need much of the grace of Christ, that it may be said of you as it was of Him, "Thy gentleness hath made me great." When the Holy Spirit takes possession of your mind and controls your strong feelings, you will be more Christlike.-- Letter 164, 1902.
Sacredness of God's Work.--To handle sacred things as we would common matters is an offense to God; for that which God has set apart to do His service in giving light to this world is holy. Those who have any connection with the work of God are not to walk in the vanity of their own wisdom, but in the wisdom of God, or they will be in danger of placing sacred and common things on the same level, and thus separate themselves from God.-- Review and Herald, Sept. 8, 1896.
Sense of Sacred Responsibility.--Young men are arising to engage in the work of God, some of whom have scarcely any sense of the sacredness and responsibility of the work. . . . They talk nonsense, and sport with young girls, while almost daily listening to the most solemn, soul-stirring truths.-- Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 473. (1875)
Not Actors, but Teachers of the Word.--I see that great reformation must take place in the ministry before it shall be what God would have it. Ministers in the desk have no license to behave like theatrical performers, assuming attitudes and expressions calculated for effect. They do not occupy the sacred desk as actors, but as teachers of solemn truths. There are also fanatical ministers, who, in attempting to preach Christ, storm, halloo, jump up and down, and pound the desk before them, as if this bodily exercise profited anything. Such antics lend no force to the truths uttered, but, on the contrary, disgust men and women of calm judgment and elevated views. It is the duty of men who give themselves to the ministry to leave all coarseness and boisterous conduct outside the desk at least.
Awkward and uncouth gestures are not to be tolerated in the common walks of life; how much less, then, are they to be endured in the most sacred work of the gospel ministry. The minister should cultivate grace, courtesy, and refinement of manner. 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 in the desk; it detracts from the force and solemnity of the truth presented. The relation of anecdotes or incidents which create a laugh or a light thought in the minds of the hearers is severely censurable. The truths should be clothed in chaste and dignified language; and the illustrations should be of a like character.
Where the gospel ministry what it should and might be, the teachers of Christ's truth would be working in
harmony with the angels; they would be co-laborers with their great Teacher. There is too little prayer among the ministers of Christ, and too much self-exaltation. There is too little weeping between the porch and the altar, and crying, "Spare Thy people, O Lord, and give not Thine heritage to reproach." There are too many long doctrinal sermons preached, without one spark of spiritual fervor and the love of God. There is too much gesticulation and relation of humorous anecdotes in the pulpit, and too little said of the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.
It is not enough to preach to men; we must pray with them and for them; we must not hold ourselves coldly aloof from them, but come in sympathy close to the souls we wish to save, visit and converse with them. The minister who conducts the work outside the pulpit in a proper manner will accomplish tenfold more than he who confines his labor to the desk. -- Review and Herald, Aug. 8, 1878.
Avoid Jesting and Joking.--This spirit of jesting and joking, of lightness and trifling, is a stumbling block to sinners and a worse stumbling block to those who give way to the inclination of the unsanctified heart. The fact that some have allowed this trait to develop and strengthen until jesting is as natural as their breath, does not lessen its evil effects. When anyone can point to one trifling word spoken by our Lord, or to any lightness seen in His character, he may feel that lightness and jesting are excusable in himself. This spirit is unchristian; for to be a Christian is to be Christlike. Jesus is a perfect pattern, and we must imitate His example. A Christian is the highest type of man, a representative of Christ.
Some who are given to jesting, and to light and trifling remarks, may appear in the sacred desk with
becoming dignity. They may be able to pass at once to the contemplation of serious subjects, and present to their hearers the most important, testing truths ever committed to mortals; but perhaps their fellow laborers, whom they have influenced, and who have joined with them in the careless jest, cannot change the current of their thoughts so readily. They feel condemned, their minds are confused; and they are unfitted to enter upon the contemplation of heavenly themes, and preach Christ and Him crucified.
The disposition to say witty things that will create a laugh, when the wants of the cause are under consideration, whether in a committee meeting, a board meeting, or any other meeting for business, is not of Christ. This untimely mirth has a demoralizing tendency. God is not honored when we turn everything to ridicule one day, and the next day are discouraged and almost hopeless, having no light from Christ, and ready to find fault and murmur. He is pleased when His people manifest solidity, strength, and firmness of character, and when they have cheerful, happy, hopeful dispositions. . . .
If the mind is centered upon heavenly things, the conversation will run in the same channel. The heart will overflow at the contemplation of the Christian's hope, the exceeding great and precious promises left on record for our encouragement; and our rejoicing in view of the mercy and goodness of God need not be repressed; it is a joy that no man can take from us.--Review and Herald, June 10, 1884.
Jolly Ministers.--There is one man in your conference (I know not his name) who should not be connected with the conference as a minister, for his influence on the minds of those seeking the truth is SEE ALSO PAGES 206-211, "STORIES, ANECDOTES, JESTING, AND JOKING."
unfavorable. He was pointed out to me, and these words were spoken: "The cause of God is in no need of unconverted, jolly ministers. This man's spirit is not at all in harmony with the solemn work in which we are engaged." The truth we profess to believe needs no trifling men to present it. One man with a light and jovial disposition will do more in leavening the churches with the same spirit than ten good men can do to remove the impression. . . .
The converting power of God must come upon the hearts of the ministers, or they should seek some other calling. If Christ's ambassadors realize the solemnity of presenting the truth to the people, they will be sober, thoughtful men, workers together with God. If they have a true sense of the commission which Christ gave to His disciples, they will with reverence open the Word of God and listen for instruction from the Lord, asking for wisdom from Heaven, that as they stand between the living and the dead, they may realize that they must render an account to God for the work coming forth from their hands.
What can the minister do without Jesus? Verily, nothing. Then if he is a frivolous, joking man, he is not prepared to perform the duty laid upon him by the Lord. "Without Me," says Christ, "ye can do nothing." The flippant words that fall from his lips, the trifling anecdotes, the words spoken to create a laugh, are all condemned by the Word of God and are entirely out of place in the sacred desk. . . .
Unless the ministers are converted men, the churches will be sickly and ready to die. God's power alone can change the human heart and imbue it with the love of Christ. God's power alone can correct and subdue the passions and sanctify the affections. All who minister must humble their proud hearts, submit
their will to the will of God, and hide their life with Christ in God.
What is the object of the ministry? Is it to mix the comical with the religious? The theater is the place for such exhibitions. If Christ is formed within, if the truth with its sanctifying power is brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul, you will not have jolly men, neither will you have sour, cross, crabbed men to teach the precious lessons of Christ to perishing souls.-- Letter 15, 1890.
Walking Circumspectly.--All the sang-froid, which is so common, the theatrical gestures, all lightness and trifling, all jesting and joking, must be seen by the one who wears Christ's yoke to be "not convenient" --an offense to God and a denial of Christ. It unfits the mind for solid thought and solid labor. It makes men inefficient, superficial, and spiritually diseased. . . .
Let every minister be sedate. As he studies the life of Christ he will see the necessity of walking circumspectly. Yet he may be, and will be, if connected with the Sun of Righteousness, cheerful and happy, showing forth the praises of Him who hath called him out of darkness into His marvelous light. The conversation will be pure, entirely free from all slang phrases.--Manuscript 8a, 1888.
Application to the Work
Devotion to His Work.--Christ was absorbed in the work that He came to perform. His devotion to the work of saving the lost race was manifest on all occasions.-- Manuscript 132, 1902.
Worker's Heart Service.--Take up this work as the Lord's work, doing it with thoughtfulness and patience.
This is real service, which the Master will approve. Work with a clear sense of the obligation resting upon you, knowing that angels of God are present, to set the seal of heaven on faithfulness, and to condemn unfaithfulness in any form.
Taking hold courageously of the work that needs to be done and putting the heart into it, makes the work a pleasure and brings success. Thus God is glorified. . . .
As you faithfully do your work, your mind will be assimilated to the mind of Christ. By prayer and supplication seek for the promised blessing. Ask God to give you a true comprehension of the work to be accomplished. Do not allow yourself to be drawn away or hindered by any counterinfluence. Act faithfully your part in bringing blessing to your fellow men. Praise God for the privilege of co-operating with Him in His work. As you put your whole heart into the work to be done, you will enter into true companionship with your fellow workers. You will see Christ in your brethren. . . .
All duties are irksome into which the heart is not brought. Time is golden. There is a work to be done, and into the doing of this work we are to put our whole hearts. The duties that God places in our way we are to perform, not as a cold, dreary exercise, but as a service of love. Bring into your work your highest powers and sympathies. And you will find that Christ is in it. His presence will make work light, and your heart will be filled with joy. You will work in harmony with God, and in loyalty, love, and fidelity.
We are to be sincere, earnest Christians, doing faithfully the duties placed in our hands, and looking ever to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
Our reward is not dependent upon our seeming success but upon the spirit in which our work is done. . . .
The powers of the whole being are to be engaged in unselfish service. Every talent is to be employed. Improve the future better than you have the past. Put your talents out to the exchangers, for Christ is hungry for souls.-- Manuscript 20, 1905.
Energy and Thoroughness.--The Lord is not pleased to have His work poorly and cheaply done, or to have it dragged along as though it were a wearisome task. We have no time to squander in dilatory, unwilling movements. The interest we should take in everything that we do will make our work interesting and educating.-- Letter 147a, 1897.
Persevering Energy and Close Application.--Where there is a lack of persevering energy and close application in temporal matters and business transactions, the same deficiency will be apparent in spiritual things.-- Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 498.
Outgeneraled by Satan.--After what has been shown you in reference to your inclination to be slow and moderate and to allow opportunities to pass by unimproved, you lose time, lose interest, and take things so moderately that Satan outgenerals you again and again. It is no common indifferent work in which you are engaged amid a people estranged from God, and who need the most zealous efforts made in their behalf. . . .
If there is scarcely nothing to show for your labors all this time you have been in the valleys, I think that you are not the man for that field. . . .
Have you planned to make these meetings as interesting as possible? I hope that you will have the burden of the work upon your soul. Have you stayed by the tent, right on the ground, or have you made a
necessity of going home every day, and gathering on you burdens that have no part in the work? This work in God's service, to meet the moral darkness, requires self-denial, toil, and persevering effort, and earnest faith. Many flatter themselves that they could do great things if they only had the opportunity, but something has always prevented them; Providence has hedged their way in so that they could not do what they desired to do. We expect no great opportunity will meet us on the road, but by prompt and vigorous action we must seize the opportunities, make opportunities and master difficulties.
You are in need of vital energy from heaven. We must in our work not only strike the iron when it is hot but make the iron hot by striking. Slow, easy, indolent movements will do nothing for us in this work. We must be instant in season, out of season. These are critical times for work. By hesitation and delay we lose many good opportunities. . . .
That which stands most in the way of your performing duty is irresolution, weakness of purpose, indecision. May God help you to gird the armor on, and do your Master's work.-- Letter13, 1886.
Diligence--Faithfulness--Obedience to Leadership. --The interests of Christ's kingdom call for diligence and faithfulness in as much greater degree as spiritual and eternal things are of more importance than temporal things. There must be no feeble working, no sluggish, tardy action, for this would imperil our own souls and the souls of others. . . .
What general would undertake the command of an army while the officers, under him refused to obey until they had satisfied themselves that his command was a reasonable one? Such a course would mean loss to the entire army. It would weaken the hands of the
soldiers. The question would arise in their minds, Is there not a better way? But even though there be a better way, the orders must be obeyed, or defeat and disaster would result. A moment's delay, and the advantage that would have been gained is lost.
Every good soldier is implicit and prompt in the obedience he renders to his captain. The will of the commander is to be the will of the soldier. Sometimes the soldier may be surprised at the command given, but he is not to stop to inquire the reason for it. When the order of the captain crosses the wishes of the soldier, he is not to hesitate and complain, saying, I see no consistency in these plans. He must not frame excuses and leave his work undone. Such soldiers would not be accepted as fitted to engage in earthly conflicts, and much more will they not be accepted in Christ's army. When Christ commands, His soldiers must obey without hesitation. They must be faithful soldiers, or He cannot accept them. Freedom of choice is given to every soul, but after a man has enlisted, he is required to be as true as steel, come life or come death.-- Manuscript 7 1/2, 1900.
Disciplined, Organized Mind Essential.--Those who teach the Word should not shun mental discipline. Every worker, or company of workers, should by persevering effort establish such rules and regulations as will lead to the formation of correct habits of thought and action. Such a training is necessary not only for the young men but for the older workers, in order that their ministry may be free from mistakes, and their sermons be clear, accurate, and convincing.
Some minds are more like an old curiosity shop than anything else. Many odd bits and ends of truth have been picked up and stored away there; but they know not how to present them in a clear, connected manner.
It is the relation that these ideas have to one another that gives them value. Every idea and statement should be as closely united as the links in a chain. When a minister throws out a mass of matter before the people for them to pick up and arrange in order, his labors are lost; for these are few who will do it. -- Review and Herald, April 6, 1886.
Methodical Service Expedites Success.--There are some young men and women who have no method in doing their work. Though they are always busy, they can present but little results. They have erroneous ideas of work, and think that they are working hard, when if they had practiced method in their work, and applied themselves intelligently to what they had to do, they would have accomplished much more in a shorter time. By dallying over the less important matters, they find themselves hurried, perplexed, and confused when they are called upon to do those duties that are more essential. They are always doing, and, they think, working very hard; and yet there is little to show for their efforts.-- The Youth's Instructor, Aug. 31, 1893.
System and Promptness Save Time.--There must be men who will begin a work in the right way, and hold to it and push it forward firmly. Everything must be done according to a well-matured plan, and with system. God has entrusted His sacred work to men, and He asks that they shall do it carefully. Regularity in all things is essential. Never be late to an appointment. In no department or office should time be lost in unnecessary conversations. The work of God requires things which it does not receive, because men do not learn from the God of wisdom. They press too many things into their life, postpone until tomorrow that which demands their attention today,
and much time is lost in painfully picking up the lost stitches. . . .
Some workers need to give up the slow methods of work which prevail, and to learn to be prompt. Promptness is necessary as well as diligence. If we wish to accomplish the work according to the will of God, it must be done in an expeditious manner, but not without thought and care.-- Manuscript 24, 1887.
Organizing Our Routine Work.--Persons who have not acquired habits of close industry and economy of time, should have set rules to prompt them to regularity and dispatch. George Washington 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.-- Gospel Workers, pp. 277, 278. (1880)
To Use Initiative.--When a laborer is set in a certain portion of the Lord's vineyard, his work is given him as a faithful laborer together with God to work that vineyard. He is not to wait to be told at every point by human minds what he must do, but plan his work to labor wherever he is needed. God has given you brain power to use. The wants of the believers and the necessities of unbelievers are to be carefully studied, and your labors are to meet their necessities. You are to inquire to God and not of any living man what you shall do. You are a servant of the living God, and not a servant of any man. You cannot do the work of God intelligently and be the shadow of another man's thoughts and directions. You are under God.-- Letter 8, 1895.
Promptness Saves Confusion.--There is among the workers a lack of aptness, a confusion, a lack of mutual understanding and promptness. Things are not
done on time. As a result, complications and difficulties arise, which it is hard to overcome from a lack of united action. This state of things, if it is not remedied, will be seen and felt still more in the future than in the past, for the work will grow and the need of a perfect understanding of affairs in this house will become greater. The unfortunate habit of neglecting a special work which needs to be done at a certain time trebles the difficulty of performing it later with exactness and without leaving something neglected or unfinished.-- Manuscript 24, 1887.
Rising at Regular Time.--Some youth are much opposed to order and discipline. They do not respect the rules of the home by rising at a regular hour. They lie in bed some hours after daylight, when everyone should be astir. They burn the midnight oil, depending upon artificial light to supply the place of the light that nature has provided at seasonable hours. In so doing they not only waste precious opportunities but cause additional expense. But in almost every case the plea is made, "I cannot get through my work; I have something to do; I cannot retire early." Thus they are sleeping soundly when they should be awake with nature and the early-rising birds. The precious habits of order are broken; and the moments thus idled away in the early morning set things out of course for the whole day.
Our God is a God of order, and He desires that His children shall will to bring themselves into order, and under His discipline. Would it not be better, therefore, to break up this habit of turning night into day, and the fresh hours of the morning into night?-- The Youth's Instructor, Jan. 28, 1897.
Advantages Through Proper Timing.--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.-- Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 498. (1875)
Value of Using Memorandum Book.--If the youth would form habits of regularity and order, they would improve in health, in spirits, in memory, and in disposition.
It is the duty of all to observe strict rules in their habits of life. This is for your own good, dear youth, both physically and morally. When you rise in the morning, take into consideration, as far as possible, the work you must accomplish during the day. If necessary, have a small book in which to jot down the things that need to be done, and set yourself a time in which to do your work.-- The Youth's Instructor, Jan. 28, 1897.
Work Not Confined to Certain Hours.--The eight-hour system finds no place in the program of the minister of God. He must hold himself in readiness for service at any hour.-- Gospel Workers, p. 451. (1915)
Saviour's Evening Work.--All day He ministered to those who came to Him; in the evening He gave attention to such as through the day must toil to earn a pittance for the support of their families.-- Ministry of Healing, p. 18 (1905)
Earnest Labor Helps Answer Prayer.--While we are to pray for God's blessing, we are to second our prayers by most diligent, thorough, earnest labor.-- Manuscript 25, 1895.
Not to Depend on Miracles.--God does not generally work miracles to advance His truth. If the husbandman neglects to cultivate the soil after sowing his
seed, God works no miracle to counteract the sure result of neglect. In the harvest he will find his field barren. God works according to great principles which He has presented to the human family, and it is our part to mature wise plans, and set in operation the means whereby God shall bring about certain results.
Those who make no decided effort, but simply wait for the Holy Spirit to compel them to action, will perish in darkness. We would ask those who are waiting for a miracle, What means have been tried which God has placed within your reach? We would ask those who are hoping for some supernatural work to be done, who simply say, "Believe, believe," Have you submitted yourself to the revealed command of God? The Lord has said, "Thou shalt," and, "Thou shalt not."
Let all study the parable of the talents, and realize that to every man God has given his work--to every man He has entrusted his talents, that by exercising his ability, he may increase his efficiency. You are not to sit still, and do nothing in the work of God.-- Review and Herald, Sept. 28, 1897.
Be Not Slothful.--Labor for those who are loitering away their lives, accomplishing only half of what they might for the Master. Strive to arouse them to a sense of their responsibility. Pray for and exhort one another, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching. Let brother say to brother and sister to sister, "Come, my fellow laborer, let us put all earnestness into our work; for the night is at hand, wherein no man can work." Let no one lose minutes by talking when he should be working.
Let the talkative man remember that there are times when he has no right to talk. There are those
who take time to stand still. Let the voice of the faithful sentinel be heard, "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord." Have you work to do for the Master? Is it building a house in which His work may be carried forward? Close your lips. Make not others idle by tempting them to listen to your talk. The time of many is lost when a man uses his tongue instead of his tools.-- Manuscript 42, 1901.
Ministers Not to Engage in Secular Affairs.--I wish to say to Brethren _____ and _____ that their work is largely among unbelievers. Those who are successful expositors of Bible truth are to stand before those who have not heard the message for this time. These brethren whose names I have mentioned have a work to do in our camp meetings, which are to be held in the large cities. But they are in danger of disqualifying themselves for doing the work that God has given them to do. Elder _____ will surely lose his bearings unless he ceases to interest himself in work that God does not require him to do, work that demands attention to business details. By engaging in secular work he would not be doing that which has been appointed him by God. The proclamation of the gospel message will be his light and life.-- Manuscript 105, 1902.
With an Eye Single to the Glory of God.--It is Satan's regular employment to hinder the work of God, and to work for the destruction of the race. Frequently when the interest in a certain locality is at its height, he makes it appear to the mind of the worker that some trifling matter at home is of great importance, and demands his immediate presence. The eye of the worker not being single to the glory of God, he leaves the work unfinished, and rushes home. He may be kept away for days and even weeks, and his
former work becomes raveled and tangled. Stitch after stitch is dropped, never to be taken up again. This pleases the enemy. And when he sees that he is successful in making temporal matters supreme in the mind of this person, he gives him his hands full of trouble. He at once begins to manufacture home difficulties, so as to entangle his mind, and, if possible, to keep him away from the work altogether. . . .
When souls are deciding for or against the truth, do not, I beseech you, allow yourselves to be drawn away from your field of labor. Do not abandon it to the enemy, I might say, even if one lay dead in your house. Christ said, "Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead." If you could only see the importance of the work as it has been presented to me, the paralysis that is upon many would be shaken off, and there would be a rising from the dead and a coming to life through Jesus Christ. . . .
If we firmly take our stand as God's workmen, saying, "The Lord has given us a message, and we cannot be faithful watchmen unless we stand at our post of duty; we will carry the work through at all hazards," then we shall find that angels of God will minister to our households at home, and will say to the enemy, "Stand back."-- Historical Sketches, pp. 127, 128.
Souls Lost Because of Divided Efforts.--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.-- Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 265. (1876)
Loss Through Divided Effort.--Your mistake has been this: Just as soon as you enter upon an effort, you begin to do much writing. Now if your part of the work is to write, if God has said to you, as He did to John, "Write these things," then give yourself to that, and do not attempt more. If you are to give discourses, your mind is not vigorous enough, although intensely active, to sustain the strain of speaking and visiting and writing. You should let your mind rest in a great degree when you engage in an effort to present new and startling truths to the people, the reception of which involves a cross. You need to carefully select your subject, make your discourses short, and important points of doctrine very plain. . . .
In order to make a success in this work you must do one thing at a time, concentrate your powers upon that one work. Your judgment in this direction is at fault. When you begin to give a series of discourses, make these discourses the main business. Do not begin to write letters and articles for the papers; for you divide your strength in doing this. Elder _____ and Elder ______ were corrected in this matter. The Lord showed me that the important work of presenting the truth was being marred in their hands; not one-half the strength was brought into their work, because of their devoting so much time to letter writing. The visiting is the important part of the labor; but the time of these brethren was occupied in almost constant
writing, which wearied them, occupied their time, and did not help the present work, but hindered it. The people were robbed of the clear, convincing exposition of Scripture, and the devotional part of the work was neglected. . . .
Now the reason: Out of the desk they employed much of their time in writing, excusing themselves from visiting because they were so busy and so tired. As the result they were brain weary when they came into the desk; they were not prepared to do a work that God could set His seal upon. They made nothing clear. Yet if they worked themselves up to a high pitch of excitement they thought their discourses were powerful. They touched here and there, bringing a large mass of matter which they regarded as convincing and overwhelming evidence, but in fact they buried the truth under a mass of matter poured out upon the hearers, so that the points never could be found. Everything they presented was muddled. So many subjects were brought into one discourse that no point stood proved and clear in the minds of those unacquainted with the truth. . . . One subject, a few points made plain and clear, would be of more value to the hearer than this mass of matter which you may call evidence, and think your points substantiated.-- Letter 47, 1886.
Health and Health Principles [* SEE ALSO PAGES 513-551, MEDICAL EVANGELISM.]
Evangelists Tempted to Be Careless of Health.-- Satan is at work to destroy. He would lead the minds of those who love God and are preaching the gospel to be careless of their physical health, for this has a
great deal to do with the general standard of virtue. Ministers give too much time to preaching, and exhaust their vital forces. . . . It is the many long discourses that weary. One half of the gospel food presented would tell to much better advantage.-- Letter 91, 1898.
The Strain of Evangelism.--Your Sunday night meetings are a heavy strain on you, for you allow yourself to become wrought up to a high tension. Then, afterward, a corresponding reaction comes, and as a result your association with the church does not bring peace and righteousness. . . .
The tremendous efforts you make in preparing for your meetings do not accomplish the work that is most needed. You may be praised and exalted by men, but this is no evidence that your work exerts the right influence.
Thus saith the Lord, "You must guard against becoming wrought up to a high tension in preparing to speak to the people."-- Letter 51, 1902.
Temperance in God's Work.--The servants of Christ are not to treat their health indifferently. Let no one labor to the point of exhaustion, thereby disqualifying himself for future effort. Do not try to crowd into one day the work of two. At the end, those who work carefully and wisely will be found to have accomplished as much as those who so expend their physical and mental strength that they have no deposit from which to draw in time of need.-- Gospel Workers, p. 244. (1915)
Labor Intelligently.--Every worker should labor intelligently, with an eye single to the glory of God. He should take special care not to abuse any of his God-given faculties.
The Lord would have you, my brother, reform in
your method of labor, that you may have a well-balanced mind, a symmetrical character, and spiritual strength to counsel wisely. Men who have experience in the knowledge of the truth are too few for you to be sacrificed. You are almost constantly overtaxing both your physical and mental powers, because you allow yourself to feel too intensely. You have a vivid imagination, and put much intensity into your preaching, which keeps the mind on a constant strain, with the voice raised to a high pitch, and not only are you wearied, but the people are annoyed and their interest lessened. The reaction is sure to come; for you do not know how to let yourself down gradually from such a strain, and the poor mortal body feels the wear. A corresponding depression follows the high pressure.
You should not allow yourself to make your labors unnecessarily severe. You tax yourself in writing as well as in speaking. God does not require this. Observe strictly the laws of health, and you will be fresh to do good work for the Master; you will have fresh manna to feed the sheep in Christ's pasture.-- Letter 39, 1887.
Allow for Needed Periods of Rest.--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. -- Gospel Workers, p. 240. (1915)
Preparing for Future Duties.--When a laborer has been under a heavy pressure of care and anxiety, and is overworked in both body and mind, he should turn aside and rest a while, not for selfish gratification, but that he may be better prepared for future duties.
We have a vigilant foe, who is ever on our track, ready to take advantage of every weakness that would help to make his temptations effective. When the mind is overstrained and the body enfeebled, he presses upon the soul his fiercest temptations. Let the laborer carefully husband his strength, and when wearied with toil, let him turn aside and commune with Jesus.-- Gospel Workers, p. 245. (1915)
Avoid Strain of Overwork.--I hear of workers whose health is breaking down under the strain of the burdens they are bearing. This ought not to be. God desires us to remember that we are mortal. We are not to embrace too much in our work. We are not to keep ourselves under such a strain that our physical and mental powers shall be exhausted. More workers are needed, that some of the burdens may be removed from those now so heavily loaded down.-- Review and Herald, April 28, 1904.
Time for Relaxation, Exercise, and Family Responsibilities.--If a minister, during his leisure time, engages in labor in his orchard or garden, shall he deduct that time from his salary? Certainly not, any more than he should put in his time when he is called to work over hours in ministerial labor. Some ministers spend many hours in apparent ease, and it is right that they should rest when they can; for the system could not endure the heavy strain were there no time for letting up. There are hours in the day that call for severe taxation, for which the minister receives no extra salary, and if he chooses to chop wood several hours a day, or work in his garden, it is as much his privilege to do this as to preach. A minister cannot always be preaching and visiting, for this is exhaustive work.
The light given me is that if our ministers would
do more physical labor, they would reap blessings healthwise. After his day's work of preaching and visiting and study, the minister should have time in which to attend to his own necessities. If he has only a limited salary, he may contrive to add to his little fund. The narrow-minded may see in this something to criticize, but the Lord commends such a course.
I have been shown that at times those in the ministry are compelled to labor day and night and live on very meager fare. When a crisis comes, every nerve and sinew is taxed by the heavy strain. If these men could go aside and rest a while, engaging in physical labor, it would be a great relief. Thus men might have been saved who have gone down to the grave. It is a positive necessity to physical health and mental clearness to do some manual work during the day. Thus the blood is called from the brain to other portions of the body.-- Letter 168, 1899.
Continual Improvement.--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.
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 alone 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.
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.
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. Each effort to expound the gospel should be an improvement upon that which preceded it. Each year they should develop a deeper piety, a tenderer spirit, a 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.-- Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 269, 270. (1876)
Financial Worries.--When ministers and teachers, pressed under the burden of financial responsibilities, enter the pulpit or the schoolroom with wearied brain and overtaxed nerves, what else can be expected than that common fire will be used instead of the sacred fire of God's kindling? The strained, tattered efforts disappoint the listeners and hurt the speaker. He has had no time to seek the Lord, no time to ask in faith for the unction of the Holy Spirit.-- Testimonies, vol. 7, pp. 250, 251. (1902)
Avoiding Long Committees at Night.--A minister cannot keep in the best spiritual frame of mind while he is called upon to settle little difficulties in the various churches. This is not his appointed work.
God desires to use every faculty of His chosen messengers. Their mind should not be wearied by long committee meetings at night; for God wants all their brain power to be used in proclaiming the gospel as it is in Christ Jesus.
Overburdened, a minister is often so hurried that he scarcely finds time to examine himself whether he be in the faith. He finds very little time to meditate and pray. Christ in His ministry united prayer with work. Night after night He spent wholly in prayer. Ministers must seek God for His Holy Spirit, in order that they may present the truth aright.-- Manuscript 127, 1902.
A Firm Stand-an Appeal to a Popular Evangelist. --It has been clearly presented to me that God's people are to take a firm stand against meat eating. Would God for thirty years give His people the message that if they desire to have pure blood and clear minds, they must give up the use of flesh meat, if He did not want them to heed this message? By the use of flesh meat the animal nature is strengthened and the spiritual nature weakened. Such men as you, who are engaged in the most solemn and important work ever entrusted to human beings, need to give special heed to what they eat.
Remember that when you eat flesh meat, you are but eating grains and vegetables secondhand; for the animal receives from these things the nutrition that makes it grow and prepares it for market. The life that was in the grains and vegetables passes into the animal, and becomes part of its life, and then human beings eat the animal. Why are they so willing to eat their food secondhand?
In the beginning, fruit was pronounced by God as "good for food." The permission to eat flesh
meat was a consequence of the fall. Not till after the Flood was man given permission to eat the flesh of animals. Why, then, need we eat flesh meat? Few who eat this know how full it is of disease. Flesh meat never was the best food, and now it is cursed by disease.
The thought of killing animals to be eaten is in itself revolting. If man's natural sense had not been perverted by the indulgence of appetite, human beings would not think of eating the flesh of animals.
We have been given the work of advancing health reform. The Lord desires His people to be in harmony with one another. As you must know, we shall not leave the position in which, for the last thirty-five years, the Lord has been bidding us stand. Beware how you place yourself in opposition to the work of health reform. It will go forward, for it is the Lord's means of lessening the suffering in our world and of purifying His people.
Be careful what attitude you assume, lest you be found causing division. My brother, even while you fail to bring into your life and into your family the blessing that comes from following the principles of health reform, do not harm others by opposing the light God has given on this subject.
While we do not make the use of flesh meat a test, while we do not want to force anyone to give up its use, yet it is our duty to request that no minister of the conference shall make light of or oppose the message of reform on this point. If, in the face of the light God has given concerning the effect of meat eating on the system, you will still continue to eat meat, you must bear the consequences. But do not take a position before the people that will permit them to think that it is not necessary to call for a
reform in regard to meat eating, because the Lord is calling for reform. The Lord has given us the work of proclaiming the message of health reform, and if you cannot step forward in the ranks of those who are giving this message, you are not to make this prominent. In counterworking the efforts of your fellow laborers who are teaching health reform, you are out of order, working on the wrong side.-- Letter 48, 1902.
The Voice of the Gospel Worker
Minister God's Mouthpiece.--The man who accepts the position of being mouthpiece for God should consider it highly essential that he present the truth with all the grace and intelligence he can, that the truth may lose nothing in his presentation of it to the people. Those who consider it a little thing to speak with an imperfect utterance dishonor God.-- Manuscript 107, 1898.
In Full, Round Tones.--The ability to speak plainly and clearly, in full, round tones, is invaluable in any line of work. This qualification is indispensable in those who desire to become ministers, evangelists, Bible workers, or canvassers. Those who are planning to enter these lines of work should be taught to use the voice in such a way that when they speak to people about the truth, a decided impression for good will be made. The truth must not be marred by being communicated through defective utterance. -- Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 380. (1900)
Speaking Clearly With Expression.--All the workers, whether they speak from the pulpit or give Bible readings, are to be taught to speak in a clear, expressive manner.-- Letter 200, 1903.
Bible Reader's Voice Soft and Musical.--The one who gives Bible readings in the congregation or in the family should be able to read with a soft, musical cadence which will charm the hearers.-- Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 381. (1900)
Convincingly and Impressively.--The science of reading correctly and with the proper emphasis, is of highest value. No matter how much knowledge you may have acquired in other lines, if you have neglected to cultivate your voice and manner of speech so that you can speak and read distinctly and intelligently, all your learning will be of but little profit; for without voice culture you cannot communicate readily and clearly that which you have learned.
To learn to tell convincingly and impressively that which one knows, is of special value to those who desire to become workers in the cause of God. The more expression you can put into words of truth, the more effective these words will be on those who hear. A proper presentation of the Lord's truth is worthy of our highest efforts. Let the students in training for the Master's service make determined efforts to learn to speak correctly and forcibly, in order that when conversing with others in regard to the truth, or when engaged in public ministry, they may properly present the truths of heavenly origin.-- Manuscript 131, 1902.
Voice of Speaker Affects Decision.--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.-- Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 615. (1871)
Proper Use of Vocal Organs.--Careful attention and training should be given to the vocal organs. They are strengthened by right use, but become enfeebled if used improperly. Their excessive use, as in preaching long sermons, will, if often repeated, not only injure the organs of speech, but will bring an undue strain upon the whole nervous system. The delicate harp of a thousand strings becomes worn, gets out of repair, and produces discord instead of melody.
It is important for every speaker so to train the vocal organs as to keep them in a healthful condition, that he may speak forth the words of life to the people. Everyone should become intelligent as to the most effective manner of using his God-given ability, and should practice what he learns. It is not necessary to talk in a loud voice or upon a high key; this does great injury to the speaker. Rapid talking destroys much of the effect of a discourse; for the words cannot be made so plain and distinct as if spoken more deliberately, giving the hearer time to take in the meaning of every word.
The human voice is a precious gift of God; it is a power for good, and the Lord wants His servants
to preserve its pathos and melody. The voice should be cultivated so as to promote its musical quality, that it may fall pleasantly upon the ear and impress the heart. . . .
The Lord requires the human agent not to move by impulse in speaking, but to move calmly, speak slowly, and let the Holy Spirit give efficiency to the truth. Never think that in working yourselves up to a passion of delivery, speaking by impulse, and suffering your feelings to raise your voice to an unnaturally high key, that you are giving evidence of the great power of God upon you. . . .
Your influence is to be far reaching, and your powers of speech should be under the control of reason. When you strain the organs of speech, the modulations of the voice are lost. The tendency to rapid speaking should be decidedly overcome. God claims of the human instrumentality all the service that man can give. All the talents entrusted to the human agent are to be cherished and appreciated, and used as a precious endowment of heaven. The laborers in the harvest field are God's appointed agents, channels through which He can communicate light from heaven. The careless, improvident use of any of their God-given powers lessens their efficiency so that in an emergency, when the greatest good might be done, they are so weak and sickly and crippled that they can accomplish but little.-- Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 7, pp. 9-11. (1874)
Voice Culture Important to Minister.--The teachers in our schools should not tolerate in the students ungainly attitudes and uncouth gestures, wrong intonations in reading, or incorrect accents or emphasis. Perfection of speech and voice should be urged upon every student. Because of carelessness and bad
training, habits are often contracted which are great hindrances in the work of a minister who has otherwise educated talent. The student must be impressed that he has it in his power, by combining grace with effort, to make himself a man. The mental and physical capabilities with which God has adorned him may by cultivation and painstaking effort become a power to benefit his fellow men.-- Manuscript 22, 1886.
Training the Voice.--The training of the voice has an important place in physical culture, since it tends to expand and strengthen the lungs, and thus to ward off disease. To ensure correct delivery in reading and speaking, see that the abdominal muscles have full play in breathing, and that the respiratory organs are unrestricted. Let the strain come on the muscles of the abdomen, rather than on those of the throat. Great weariness and serious disease of the throat and lungs may thus be prevented. Careful attention should be given to securing distinct articulation smooth, well-modulated tones, and a not-too-rapid delivery.-- Education, p. 199. (1903)
Speak to Thousands as Easily as Ten.--Speaking from the throat, letting the words come out from the upper extremity of the vocal organs, all the time fretting and irritating them, is not the best way to preserve 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, but 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.-- Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 616. (1871)
Observe Proper Breathing.--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. The chest will become broader, and . . . the speaker need seldom become hoarse, even by constant speaking. Instead of becoming consumptives, ministers may, by exercising care, overcome all tendency to consumption,-- Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 404. (1880)
Speaking Slowly and Calmly.--In my younger days I used to talk too loud. The Lord has shown me that I could not make the proper impression upon the people by getting the voice to an unnatural pitch. Then Christ was presented before me, and His manner of talking; and there was a sweet melody in His voice. His voice, in a slow, calm manner, reached those who listened, and His words penetrated their hearts, and they were able to catch on to what He said before the next sentence was spoken. Some seem to think they must race right straight along or else they will lose the inspiration and the people will lose the inspiration. If that is inspiration, let them lose it, and the sooner the better.-- Manuscript 19b, 1890.
Personal Appearance of the
Personality of the Evangelist.--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. . . .
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.-- Testimonies, vol. 2, pp. 615, 618. (1871)
Souls Lost Because of Carelessness.--A minister who is negligent in his apparel often wounds those of good taste and refined sensibilities. Those who are faulty in this respect should correct their errors, and be more circumspect. The loss of some souls at last will be traced to the untidiness of the minister. The first appearance affected the people unfavorably, because they could not in any way link his appearance with the truths he presented. His dress was against him; and the impression given was that the people whom he represented were a careless set who cared nothing about their dress, and his hearers did not want anything to do with such a class of people.-- Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 613. (1871)
Taste, Color, and Fit.--Some who minister in sacred things so arrange their dress upon their persons, that, to some extent at least, it destroys the influence of their labor. There is an apparent lack of taste in color and neatness of fit. What is the impression given by such a manner of dress? It is, that the work in which they are engaged is considered no more sacred or elevated than common labor, as plowing in the field. The minister, by his example, brings down sacred things upon a level with common things.-- Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 614. (1871)
Choice of Colors.--Black or dark material is more becoming to a minister in the desk, and will make a better impression upon the people, than would be made by a combination of two or three different colors in his apparel.-- Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 610. (1871)
Propriety of Dress and Behavior.--In dress and behavior we are to reveal propriety. Never are we to be slack or untidy in our appearance or our work. -- Letter 49, 1902.
Character of the Woman Worker Judged by Dress. --A person's character is judged by his style of dress. A refined taste, a cultivated mind, will be revealed in the choice of simple and appropriate attire. Chaste simplicity in dress, when united with modesty of demeanor, will go far toward surrounding a young woman with that atmosphere of sacred reserve which will be to her a shield from a thousand perils.-- Education, p. 248.(1903)
Unbelievers Appreciate Simplicity of Dress.--Many dress like the world, in order to have an influence over unbelievers; but here they make a sad mistake. If they would have a true and saving influence, let them live out their profession, show their faith by their righteous works, and make the distinction plain between the Christian and the worldling. The words, the dress, the actions, should tell for God. Then a holy influence will be shed upon all around them, and even unbelievers will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus. If any wish to have their influence tell in favor of truth, let them live out their profession, and thus imitate the humble Pattern. -- Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 633, 634. (1881)
Pride of Dress Stumbling Block to Unbelievers.-- Many a soul who was convinced of the truth has been
led to decide against it by the pride and love of the world displayed by our sisters. The doctrine preached seemed clear and harmonious, and the hearers felt that a heavy cross must be lifted by them in taking the truth. When these persons have seen our sisters making so much display in dress, they have said, "This people dress fully as much as we do. They cannot really believe what they profess; and, after all, they must be deceived. If they really thought that Christ was soon coming, and the case of every soul was to be decided for eternal life or death, they could not devote time and money to dress according to the existing fashions." How little did those professedly believing sisters know of the sermon their dress was preaching!
Our words, our actions, and our dress are daily, living preachers, gathering with Christ, or scattering abroad. This is no trivial matter, to be passed off with a jest. The subject of dress demands serious reflection and much prayer. Many unbelievers have felt that they were not doing right in permitting themselves to be slaves of fashion; but when they see some who make a high profession of godliness dressing as worldlings dress, enjoying frivolous society, they decide that there can be no wrong in such a course.-- Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 641. (1881)
Simple Attire Will Not Embarrass Poor.--Our clothing should be plain and simple, so that when we visit the poor, they will not be embarrassed by the contrast between our appearance and their own.-- Gospel Workers, p. 189. (1915)
Dress Befitting Sacred Profession.--Carefulness in dress is an important consideration. The minister should be clothed in a manner befitting the dignity of his position. Some ministers have failed in this respect. In some cases not only has there been a lack
of taste and of orderly arrangement in the dress, but the clothing has been untidy and slovenly.
The God of heaven, whose arm moves the world, who gives us life and sustains us in health, is honored or dishonored by the apparel of those who officiate in His honor.-- Gospel Workers,p. 173. (1915)
The Evangelist's Wife
Responsible for Her Talents.--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.
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!-- Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 452, 453. (1864)
To Accompany Husband in Soul Winning.--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. A sister-laborer in the cause of truth can understand and reach some cases, especially among the sisters, that the minister cannot.-- Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 452. (1864)
Dress of Ministers' Wives.--Especially should the wives of our ministers be careful not to depart from the plain teachings of the Bible on the point of dress. Many look upon these injunctions as too old fashioned to be worthy of notice; but He who gave them to His disciples understood the dangers from the love of dress in our time, and sent to us the note of warning. Will we heed the warning and be wise? Extravagance in dress is continually increasing. The end
is not yet. Fashion is constantly changing, and our sisters follow in its wake, regardless of time or expense. There is a great amount of means expended upon dress, when it should be returned to God the giver.-- Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 630, 631. (1864)
Example of Home Religion.--Let the minister's wife who has children remember that in her home she has a missionary field in which she should labor with untiring energy and unflagging zeal, knowing that the results of her work will endure throughout eternity. Are not the souls of her children of as much value as the souls of the heathen? Then let her tend them with loving care. She is charged with the responsibility of showing to the world the power and excellence of home religion. She is to be controlled by principle, not by impulse, and she is to work with the consciousness that God is her helper. She is to allow nothing to divert her from her mission.
The influence of the mother who has a close connection with Christ is of infinite worth. Her ministry of love makes the home a Bethel. Christ works with her, turning the common water of life into the wine of heaven. Her children will grow up to be a blessing and an honor to her in this life and in the life to come. -- Gospel Workers, p. 206. (1915)
The Important Work at Home.--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. The mother's work is a solemn and important one,--to mold the minds and fashion the
characters of her children, to train them for usefulness here, and to fit them for the future immortal life.
The husband, in the open missionary field, may receive the honor of men, while the home toiler may receive no earthly credit for her labor; but if she works for the best interests 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.
The minister's wife may be a great help to her husband in seeking to lighten his burden, if she keeps her own soul in the love of God. She can teach the Word to her children. She can manage her own household with economy and discretion. United with her husband, she can educate her children in habits of economy, teaching them to restrict their wants.-- Gospel Workers, p. 203. (1915)
Complaining Spirit a Dead Weight.--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. . . .
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 watchcare 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.-- Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 138, 139. (1856)
Maintaining a High Moral Standard
Abandonment of Principle Marks the Times.-- Everywhere are seen wrecks of humanity, broken-down family altars, ruined homes. There is a strange abandonment of principle, the standard of morality is lowered, and the earth is fast becoming a Sodom. The practices which brought the judgment of God upon the antediluvian world, and which caused Sodom to be destroyed by fire, are fast increasing. We are nearing the end, when the earth is to be purified by fire. -- Gospel Workers, pp. 125, 126. (1915)
Ministers Satan's Target.--Satan's special temptations are directed against the ministry. He knows that ministers are but human, possessing no grace or holiness of their own; that the treasures of the gospel have been placed in earthen vessels, which divine power alone can make vessels unto honor. He knows that God has ordained ministers to be a powerful
means for the salvation of souls, and that they can be successful in their work only as they allow the eternal Father to rule their lives. Therefore he tries with all his ingenuity to lead them into sin, knowing that their office makes sin in them more exceeding sinful; for in committing sin, they make themselves ministers of evil.-- Gospel Workers, p. 124. (1915)
Balanced Dignity and Sociability.--The subject of purity and propriety of deportment is one to which we must give heed. We must guard against the sins of this degenerate age. Let not Christ's ambassadors descend to trifling conversation, to familiarity with women, married or single. Let them keep their proper place with becoming dignity; yet at the same time they may be sociable, kind, and courteous to all. They must stand aloof from everything that savors of commonness and familiarity. This is forbidden ground, upon which it is unsafe to set the feet. Every word, every act, should tend to elevate, to refine, to ennoble. There is sin in thoughtlessness about such matters. -- Gospel Workers, p. 125. (1915)
Rebuke Flattery of Women.--You will sometimes be flattered by men, but more frequently by women. Especially when you present the truth in new fields, will you meet persons who will engage in this wicked flattery. As a servant of Christ, despise the flattery; shun it as you would a venomous serpent. Rebuke the woman who will praise your smartness, holding your hand as long as she can retain it in her own. Have little to say to persons of this class; for they are the agents of Satan, and carry out his plans by laying bewitching snares to beguile you from the path of holiness. Every sensible Christian lady will act a modest part; she will understand the devices of Satan, and will not be a co-laborer with him.
Never earn the reputation of being a minister who is a particular favorite with the women. Shun the society of those who by their arts would weaken in the least your purpose to do right, or bring a stain upon the purity of your conscience. Do not give them your time or your confidence; for they will leave you feeling bereft of your spiritual strength. Do nothing among strangers, on the cars, in the home, in the street, that would have the least appearance of evil.-- Review and Herald, July 8, 1884.
Avoid Every Approach to Evil.--When one who claims to be teaching the truth is inclined to be much in the company of young or even married women, when he familiarly lays his hand upon their person, or is often found conversing with them in a familiar manner, be afraid of him; the pure principles of truth are not wrought in his soul. Such are not workers with Jesus; they are not in Christ, and Christ is not abiding in them. They need a thorough conversion before God can accept their labors. The truth of heavenly origin never degrades the receiver, never leads him to the least approach to undue familiarity; on the contrary, it sanctifies the believer, refines his taste, elevates and ennobles him, and brings him into a close connection with Jesus. It leads him to regard the apostle Paul's injunction to abstain from even the appearance of evil, lest his good should be evil spoken of. . . .
Men who are doing God's work, and who have Christ abiding in their hearts, will not lower the standard of morality, but will ever seek to elevate it. They will not find pleasure in the flattery of women, or in being petted by them. Let both young and married men say, Hands off! I will not give the least occasion to have my good evil spoken of. My good name is
capital of far more value to me than gold or silver. Let me preserve it untarnished. If men assail that name, it shall not be because I have given them any occasion to do so, but for the same reason that they spoke falsely of Christ--because they hated the purity and holiness of his character; for it was a constant rebuke to them.
I wish I could impress upon every worker in God's cause, the great need of continual, earnest prayer. They cannot be constantly upon their knees, but they can be uplifting their hearts to God. This is the way that Enoch walked with God.-- Review and Herald, Nov. 10, 1885.
Fence the Soul.--There will be women who will become tempters, and who will do their best to attract and win the attention of men to themselves. First, they will seek to win their sympathy, next their affection, and then to induce them to break God's holy law. Those who have dishonored their minds and affections by placing them where God's Word forbids, will not scruple to dishonor God by various species of idolatry. God will leave them to their vile affections. It is necessary to guard the thoughts; to fence the soul about with the injunctions of God's Word; and to be very careful in every thought, word, and action not to be betrayed into sin.-- Review and Herald, May 17, 1887.
Guarding the Safeguards.--Our great adversary has agents that are constantly hunting for an opportunity to destroy souls, as a lion hunts his prey. . . . One safeguard removed from conscience, the indulgence of one evil habit, a single neglect of the high claims of duty, may be the beginning of a course of deception that will pass you into the ranks of those who are serving Satan, while you are all the time professing
to love God and His cause. A moment of thoughtlessness, a single misstep, may turn the whole current of your lives in the wrong direction. And you may never know what caused your ruin until the sentence is pronounced, "Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity." -- Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 397, 398. (1885)
Converted by Unconverted Ministers.--A man may hear and acknowledge the whole truth, and yet know nothing of personal piety and true experimental religion. He may explain the way of salvation to others, and yet himself be a castaway. The truth is holy and powerful, and searches the intents and purposes of the heart. The importance and authority of the truth in the great plan of salvation originated in the divine Author, and are not rendered void or worthless because the instruments employed in their administration are unholy or unfaithful.
"Why," asked a man who had been and still was practicing wickedness, "are souls converted to the truth through my influence?" I answered, "Christ is constantly drawing souls to Himself, and flashing His own light in their path. The seeker after salvation is not permitted to read the character of him who teaches him. If he himself is sincere, if he draws nigh to God, believing in Him, confessing his sins, he will be accepted.-- Letter 12, 1890.
Young Workers Moving Into Line.--There are conscientious young men who are preparing to move into line, to strengthen the outposts. If they walk humbly with God, He will talk with them, and instruct them. To them I would say, Work where you are, doing
what you can to pass along the truth which is so precious to you. Preserve simplicity, and then, when there are vacancies to be filled, you will hear the words, Friend, come up higher. You may be reluctant to advance, but move forward with trust in God, bringing into His work a fresh, honest experience and a heart filled with the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. As you thirst for the water of life, ask Christ for it, and He will give you to drink of the water of life freely. He will be to you a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.-- Letter 9, 1899.
Much Depends on Beginning Right.--The usefulness of young men who feel that they are called by God to preach, depends much upon the manner in which they enter upon their labors. Those who are chosen of God for the work of the ministry will give proof of their high calling, and by every possible means will seek to develop into able workmen.-- Acts of the Apostles,p. 353. (1911)
Begin Work in Association With Older Ministers.-- In gaining a preparation for the ministry, young men should be associated with older ministers. Those who have gained and experience in active service are to take young, inexperienced workers with them into the harvest field, teaching them how to labor successfully for the conversion of souls. Kindly and affectionately these older workers are to help the younger ones to prepare for the work to which the Lord may call them. And the young men in training should respect the counsel of their instructors, honoring their devotion, and remembering that their years of labor have given them wisdom. . . .
Let the older workers be educators, keeping themselves under the discipline of God. Let the young men feel it a privilege to study under older workers,
and let them carry every burden that their youth and experience will allow. Thus Elijah educated the youth of Israel in the schools of the prophets; and young men today are to have a similar training. It is not possible to advise in every particular the part that the youth should act; but they should be faithfully instructed by the older workers, and taught to look ever to Him who is the author and finisher of our faith. -- Gospel Workers, pp. 101, 102. (1915)
To Work With, but Not Copy, Experienced Workers. --The inexperienced ones should not be sent out alone. They should stand right by the side of older and experienced ministers, where they could educate them. But they should say to them, "You must not copy my gestures, nor the tone of my voice, so that nobody will know whether you are speaking or whether I am speaking. You are to stand in your own armor, with your own phase of character, sanctified by God. You are not to take my phase of character, nor my gestures, nor my tone of voice, nor my expressions, nor my words."
I think this has been shown me twenty times in my lifetime, and I have tried to tell it to the brethren, but the evil is not remedied. When one of these men who have not an experience in the work stands by your side he is not to think in everything just as you think, and look at everything just as you look at it; that if you should give up the truth he would say, "I might as well give it up." Let them stand to obtain a symmetry of character from the God of heaven; not that they should have your ideas, and you have a molding influence on them; but you should carry them right to the Bible as their pattern. The importance of these things has been shown me so many times that I feel a burden on this point.-- Manuscript 19b, 1890.
Not to Repress or Discourage New Workers.--God never designed that one man's judgment and plans should be regarded as supreme. He says, Ye are laborers together with God. Let no man undertake to repress or discourage. Let him not seek to put his armor upon his brother, for he has not proved it. . . . And the ministers are never to copy any man's gestures, his habits, his attitude, his expressions, the tones of his voice. They are to become no man's shadow, in thought, in sentiment, or in devising and executing the great whole. If God has made you a shepherd of the flock, He has given you qualification to do that work.-- Manuscript 104, 1898.
Young Men Called to Front-Line Service.--Men of gray hairs should walk circumspectly and should give the young men who are seeking to grow, every opportunity to come to the front. The older men should not feel it any dishonor to them for younger men, who must use their capabilities and who must fill their individual places and become men to be relied on, to come to the front. Those who are older should encourage the young to develop their talents.
We need men who will take hold of the work as if they meant it. The younger men must be given opportunities to develop.-- Letter 97, 1896.
To Be Given Recognition.--He condescended to bring His disciples before the large numbers to give them reputation that many would recognize in their workings that they worked as Christ had. The very deeds of mercy given by our Lord will open a door for His disciples.-- Letter 252, 1906.
Young Workers in School of Discipline.--Let us treat with respect the younger members of the Lord's family. The young men just entering the ministry may make many mistakes, but the older ministers are
not free from errors, notwithstanding the years they have been laboring. The Lord will take these younger men in hand Himself, sometimes afflicting them and permitting them to suffer for their mistakes, but never forsaking them. He gives them opportunity to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King.-- Manuscript 127, 1902.
Young Men Called to the Harvest Field.--The Lord calls upon young men to enter the harvest field and work diligently as harvest hands. He calls upon them to work for Him, not to labor with the churches already established, but to connect with experienced laborers in work in the great harvest field. Let young men of ability go forth and trade on their talents. As they go, let them trust to the guidance of the Lord. . . .
This is the work young men should be encouraged to do, not to speak to an audience which does not need their immature labors, which is well aware of this fact, and feels no drawing of the Spirit. The Lord has not given to young men the work among the churches. Their first duty is to learn lessons in various lines from the great Teacher. . . .
What did Christ say to His disciples? "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me." This is the rule given in the Word of God. By studying the life of Christ, let the workers find out how He lived and worked. Let them strive each day to live the life of Christ, seeking to know the way of the Lord.-- Manuscript 75, 1900.
After Twelve Months' Trial.--To those whom He calls to the work of the ministry, the Lord will give tact and skill and understanding. If after laboring for twelve months in evangelistic work, a man has no fruit to show for his efforts, if the people for whom
he has labored are not benefited, if he has not lifted the standard in new places, and no souls are converted by his labors, that man should humble his heart before God, and endeavor to know if he has not mistaken his calling. The wages paid by the conference should be given to those who show fruit for their labor. The work of the one who recognizes God as his efficiency, who has a true conception of the value of souls, whose heart is filled with the love of Christ, will be fruitful.-- Manuscript 26, 1905.
Moving On to Unwarned Areas.--Often the inhabitants of a city where Christ labored wished Him to stay with them and continue to work among them. But He would tell them that He must go to cities that had not heard the truths that He had to present. After He had given the truth to those in one place, He left them to build upon what He had given them, while He went to another place. His methods of labor are to be followed today by those to whom He has left His work. We are to go from place to place, carrying the message. As soon as the truth has been proclaimed in one place, we are to go to warn others.-- Manuscript 71, 1903.
Move Only When the Cloud Is Lifted.--Do not become restless or faithless; keep the armor girded on for battle, strengthen your souls in God, and you can do valiantly. In God is our strength and efficiency. . . . When the cloud is lifted, and God indicates your duty to open the work in some other field, you can move understandingly. But do not now forsake the
field where so much has been done and where there is still more to be done.-- Letter 77, 1895.
The Voice of Duty.--The voice of duty is the voice of God,--an inborn, heaven-sent guide.-- Counsels on Health, p. 562. (1896)
May Know God Leads.--We are not to place the responsibility of our duty upon others, and wait for them to tell us what to do. We cannot depend for counsel upon humanity. The Lord will teach us our duty just as willingly as He will teach somebody else. If we come to Him in faith, He will speak His mysteries to us personally. . . . Those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease God, will know, after presenting their case before Him, just what course to pursue. And they will receive not only wisdom, but strength.-- The Desire of Ages, p. 668. (1898)
Workers With a Sense of Duty.--In every advance move that God has led us to make, in every step gained by God's people, there have been ready tools of Satan among us, to stand back and suggest doubts and unbelief, and to throw obstacles in our way, to weaken our faith and courage. We have had to stand like warriors, ready to press and fight our way through the opposition raised. This has made our work tenfold harder than it otherwise would have been. We have had to stand as firm and unyielding as a rock. . . .
Some . . . seem to be without an anchor. Such have greatly injured the cause of truth. There are others who seem never to have a position where they can stand firmly and surely, ready to battle if need be when God calls for faithful soldiers to be found at the post of duty. . . . Some have no idea of running any risk or venturing anything themselves. But somebody must venture; someone must run risks in this cause.-- Testimonies, vol. 3, pp. 315, 316. (1873)
Evangelists to Complete Their Effort.--I know nothing in regard to Elder -----'s case, except that he has been used by the Lord in His work in Los Angeles, and that he has been greatly blessed. Over one hundred have taken their stand for the truth as a result of his labors. At the close of his last series of tent meetings he thought of changing his field of labor, but he received a petition signed by many of the citizens of Los Angeles, asking him to remain and continue his meetings. The Lord has given Brother ----- a spirit of adaptability, with wisdom to plan and carry out his work, and He has blessed him in the bringing out of leaflets, notices, and charts that have aroused the interest of the people.
I would say, Let Brother ----- labor where his message is evidently accomplishing great good. Those who have come to his meetings have given freely of their means to sustain the work that he has carried forward. . . .
For the present let him remain in Los Angeles; for the Lord is giving him marked success in bearing the message to the people. Let him give the trumpet a certain sound, arousing those who have never heard the truth. May the Lord encourage him to remain in Los Angeles until the church members are aroused to gird on the armor and show that they have a burden to give the message. . . .
Let no one, by precept or example, seek to draw Elder ----- from his God-appointed work. Let all take hold with him in an effort to carry the work in clear lines.-- Letter 75, 1905.
Guiding Principles in Calling an Evangelist.--As to whether it is right for Elder ----- to leave Los Angeles and labor for a time in a Northern city, I will say, We must sometimes leave such questions very
largely to the man himself. There is too much displacing of the men who are doing a good work, the very work that the Lord has said should be done. Sometimes when a man is having success in his efforts and the interest continues good, the question of moving him to another field ought not to come to him at all, because it only confuses him. If the Lord is mightily stirring the people of Los Angeles, through the tent meetings, let nothing interrupt the work. . . . Let no one try to draw Brother ----- away from the place where there is a deep interest and an extraordinary opening to present the truth. This is Los Angeles' opportunity.-- Letter 193, 1905.
Workers Harmed by Unnecessary Moving.--I think it does harm to call workers from one part of the vineyard where they are doing good work, to go to another field where they are to begin all new. I think it gives the ones called an idea that they are of greater consequence than they really are, and the poor souls will be injured. I caution you on this point of changing workers when there is no necessity.-- Letter 179, 1900.
Early Move of Workers Not Understood by Converts.--I knew that Brother and Sister ----- were not free from faults, but that they were striving to know and to do the Master's will, and that they had talents that fitted them to reach men and women in the higher walks of life, and that through their labors many might become interested in the truth. I knew that a move would deprive an important field of labor that was much needed, and also that a move would mean much to them personally, for they had just gotten fairly settled in a suitable home. I did not feel free to lend my influence to have them moved.
Their removal to another field under such circumstances
would cause an unfavorable impression to be left on the minds of those who, through their efforts, had newly accepted the faith. Moreover, if it were indeed true that they possessed objectionable traits of character, the case would not be made better by sending them to another field of labor, for they would carry with them their objectionable characteristics and methods.-- Letter 48, 1907.
Moving Men Too Soon--Satan's Device.--Had the minister utterly refused to listen to the colored, one-sided statements of any, had he given words of advice in accordance with the Bible rule and said, like Nehemiah, "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down," that church would have been in a far better condition. This work of withdrawing men from their fields of labor has been repeated again and again in the progress of this cause. It is the device of the great adversary of souls to hinder the work of God. When souls that are upon the point of deciding in favor of the truth are thus left to unfavorable influences, they lose their interest, and it is very rarely that so powerful an impression can again be made upon them. Satan is ever seeking some device to call the minister from his field of labor at this critical point, that the results of his labors may be lost.-- Manuscript 1, 1878.