Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, Page 401

We have a grand work to do for the Master, to open the word of God to those who are in the darkness of error. Young friends, act as though you had a sacred charge. You should be Bible students, ever ready to give to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you. By your true Christian dignity give evidence that you know you have a truth that it is for the interest of the people to hear. If this truth is inwrought in the soul, it will manifest itself in the countenance and demeanor, in a calm, noble self-possession and peace which the Christian alone can possess.

Those who have genuine humility, and whose minds have been expanded by the truths unfolded in the gospel, will have an influence that will be felt. They will make an impression upon minds and hearts, and they will be respected by the larger number, even of those who have no sympathy with their faith. With the truths of the Bible and our valuable papers they will have success, for the Lord will open the way before them. But to urge our papers upon the people by means of gifts and premiums does not have a permanent influence for good. If our workers would go forth relying upon the truths of the Bible, with the love of Christ and of souls in their hearts, they would accomplish more in obtaining permanent subscribers than by depending upon premiums or low prices. The prominence given to these inducements to take the paper gives the impression that it cannot possess real merit in itself. The results would be better if the paper were made prominent and the money spent for premiums were reserved to distribute a few copies free. When premiums are offered, some may be induced to take the paper who otherwise would not, but others will refuse to subscribe because they think it a speculation. If the canvasser would present the merits of the paper itself, with his heart uplifted to God for success, and would depend less upon premiums, more would be accomplished.

In this age the trivial is praised and magnified. There is a call for anything that will create a sensation and make sales.

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