Ellen G. White Writings

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Gospel Workers 1892, Page 332

The Danger of Formalism

There is a great work to be done in the day of God's preparation, in devising and executing plans for the advancement of his cause. Our publications should have a wide circulation; for they are doing a great work. There is much missionary work to be done. But I have been shown that there is danger of having this work too mechanical, so intricate and complicated that less will be accomplished than if it were more simple, direct, plain, and decided. We have neither time nor means to keep all parts of this machinery in harmonious action.

Our brethren who bear responsibilities in devising plans for carrying forward this part of the work, must keep in mind that while a certain amount of education and training is essential in order to work intelligently, there is danger of making this too great a matter. By obtaining a most thorough education in all the minutiae, and leaving vital principles out of the question, we become dry and formal workers. The hearts that God has made willing by the operations of his grace, are fitted for the work.

God wants heart-work. The unselfish purpose, the pure, elevated principle, the high and holy motive, he will accept. His grace and power will work with these efforts. All who realize that it is the work of God to prepare a people for his coming, will find in their disinterested efforts opportunities where they can do tract and missionary work. But there may be too much means expended and too much time occupied in making matters so exact and minute that the heart-work is neglected, and a dry form preserved.

I tell you frankly that Jesus and the power of his grace are being left out of the question. Result will

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