Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, Page 375

their efforts. Ministers have failed greatly in their duty to so labor with the churches. There is important work to be done aside from that of preaching. Had this been done, as God designed it should be, there would have been many more laborers in the field than there now are. And had the ministers done their duty in educating every member, whether rich or poor, to give as God has prospered him, there would be a full treasury from which to pay the honest debts to the workers; and this would greatly advance missionary work in all their borders. God has shown me that many souls are in danger of eternal ruin through selfishness and worldliness; and the watchmen are guilty, for they have neglected their duty. This is a state of things that Satan exults to see.

“All branches of the work belong to the ministers. It is not God's order that someone should follow after them and bind off their unfinished work. It is not the duty of the conference to be at the expense of employing other laborers to follow after and pick up the stitches dropped by negligent workers. It is the duty of the president of the conference to have an oversight of the laborers and their work, and to teach them to be faithful in these things; for no church can prosper that is robbing God. The spiritual dearth in our churches is frequently the result of an alarming prevalence of selfishness. Selfish, worldly pursuits and schemes interpose between the soul and God. Men cling to the world, seeming to fear that should they let go their hold upon it, God would not care for them. And so they attempt to take care of themselves; they are anxious, troubled, distressed, holding on to their large farms and adding to their possessions.

“The word of God speaks of ‘the hire of the laborers, ... which is of you kept back by fraud.’ This is generally understood to apply to wealthy men who employ servants and do not pay them for their labor, but it has a broader meaning than this. It applies with great force to those who have been enlightened by the Spirit of God and yet in any degree work upon the same principle that these men do in hiring servants, grinding them down to the lowest price.”

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