Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, Page 479

Their eyes must be opened and they see their true condition, and be zealous and repent, or they will fail of everlasting life. The spirit of the world has taken possession of them, and they are brought into captivity by the powers of darkness. They do not heed the exhortation of the apostle Paul: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” With many, a worldly spirit, with covetousness and selfishness, predominates. Those who possess it are looking out for their own special interest. The selfish rich man does not interest himself in the things of his neighbors, unless it be to study how he can advantage himself at their disadvantage. The noble and godlike in man is parted with, sacrificed for selfish interests. The love of money is the root of all evil. It blinds the vision and prevents people from discerning their obligations to God or to their neighbors.

Some flatter themselves that they are liberal because they at times donate freely to ministers and for the advancement of the truth. Yet these so-called liberal men are close in their deal and ready to overreach. They have abundance of this world, and this binds upon them great responsibilities as God's stewards. Yet, when dealing with a poor, hard-laboring brother, they are exacting to the last farthing. The poor side to a bargain is the poor man's legacy. Instead of favoring his poor brother, the sharp, exacting rich man takes all the advantage and adds to his already accumulated wealth by the misfortune of the other. He prides himself because of his shrewdness, but with his wealth he is heaping up to himself a heavy curse and laying a stumbling block in the way of his brother. By his meanness and close calculation he is cutting off his ability to benefit him with his religious influence. All this lives in the memory of that poor brother, and the most earnest prayers and apparently zealous testimonies from his

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