Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, Page 407

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

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

The plan that has been adopted, to have Elder Smith hold Biblical institutes in different states, is approved of God. Great good has been accomplished by these institutes, but all the time is not devoted to this work that would be profitable to our young ministers and to the cause of God. The fruits of the efforts that have already been made can never be fully realized in this life, but will be seen in eternity.

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Chapter 37—Ministers of the Gospel

Brother A,

I have been shown that you are not prepared to labor successfully in the ministry. At one time a measure of success attended your efforts; but while this should have inspired you with greater earnestness and zeal, the effect was the opposite. A sense of the goodness of God should have led you to continue to labor in humility and to be distrustful of

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