Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, Page 435

study is your element; but you sometimes fail in the subject. When you should be studying your own heart, you are engaged in reading books. When you should by faith be drawing near to Christ, you are studying books. I saw that all your study will be useless unless you faithfully study yourself. You are not acquainted with yourself, and your mind dwells but little upon God. You are self-confident, and pass along without knowing that self must die if you would be a successful minister of Christ. You lack sobriety and gravity out of the pulpit. These things counteract your pulpit labor.

Ever since your case was first presented to me in vision, I have seen a lack in you. Your mind is not elevated. You stand in the desk and handle the most holy, sacred, elevating truths in an able manner; but when treating upon the most solemn subjects, you often bring in something comical to create a smile, and this frequently destroys the force of your whole discourse. You handle solemn truths with ease, but do not live them, and that is the reason why the heavenly endorsement is lacking. Many whose ears you have pleased will talk of the smart discourse, the able preacher, but are no more impressed with the necessity of obeying the truth than before they listened to it. They go on transgressing God's law as before. It was the minister that pleased them, not the truths which he uttered. You remain at so great a distance from God that His power does not set home the truth. You should live religion at home, and it would have an influence to elevate your family, to elevate your wife. When at home you throw off restraint and act like a boy; the weight of the truth and the burden of the work do not rest upon you. You are not choice of your words or of your example.

Your only safety is in studying yourself, your weakness and failings. Do not cease to guard yourself. Watch yourself more closely when at home. Watch yourself when away from home. You neglect your closet duties, lay off your armor, and give up to a spirit of recklessness that drives angels from you

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