Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, Page 559

burdens and disagreeable responsibilities will never make our ministers strong men that can be depended upon in a religious crisis. Many of our young ministers are as weak as babes in the work of God. And some who have been engaged in the work of teaching the truth for years are not yet able workmen, who need not be ashamed. They have not grown strong in experience by being called out by opposing influences. They have excused themselves from that exercise which would strengthen the moral muscles, giving spiritual power. But this is the very experience they need in order to attain to the full stature of men in Christ Jesus. They gain no spiritual power by shirking duties and responsibilities, and giving up to indolence and selfish love of ease and pleasure.

Brother R is not lacking in ability to clothe his ideas in words, but he is lacking in spirituality and true heart holiness. He has not drunk deeply himself at the fountain of truth. Had he improved his golden moments in studying the work of God he might now have been an able workman, but he is too indolent to make close application of the mind and to learn for himself the reasons of our hope. He is content to take material which other minds and other pens have labored to produce, and to use their thoughts, which are prepared to his hand, without effort or exertion of mind, careful thought, or prayerful meditation himself.

Brother R does not love close application either in the study of the Scriptures or in physical labor. He prefers an easier way, and as yet knows nothing experimentally of the burden of the work of God. It is easier for him to repeat the thoughts of others than to diligently search for the truth himself. It is only by personal effort, close application of the mind, and thorough devotion to the work that men become competent for the ministry.

Says Christ: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?” The savor of the salt is divine grace. All the efforts made to advance the truth are of but little value unless the Spirit of God accompanies them. You have made child's play of teaching the

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