Ellen G. White Writings

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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 119

Love and Forbearance among Brethren

Dear Brethren and Sisters,

I am indeed thankful for this privilege of meeting with those who are laboring to spread the light of truth in the various countries of Europe. It is a grand, a noble work, and one which should call forth every energy of the being. As laborers for God, we need a more sacred nearness to him, and a closer fellowship with one another, that our prayers and efforts may not be hindered. We must not expect in our own strength to meet and press through the moral darkness that is in the world but we must perseveringly labor for that strength which is found alone in Jesus. He loves us, and those who labor in his spirit will realize his assistance in all their efforts. It is impossible, even with the strong arguments of truth, to reach the hearts of men, unless there is, united with these arguments, a divine power.

A machine may be perfect in all its parts, and yet there be much friction and wear in its movements; but apply oil, and it performs its work quietly and well. So with us. It is necessary to have the oil of grace in our hearts, in order to prevent the friction that may arise between us and those for whom we labor. Then, having not only the arguments of truth but the oil of grace, we can bear the message with power. Prejudice will be broken down, and a great work will be accomplished. “Without me.” says Christ, “ye can do nothing.” The branch cannot bear fruit except it abide in the vine; neither can we except we abide in Christ.

If the love of Jesus is cherished in the heart, it will be seen in the labors; the will and the manners will be brought under the moulding influence of the Holy Spirit. In the prayer of Christ just before his crucifixion, he said, “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” The teacher of the people must be an example to the flock of God in all meekness, patience, forbearance, and love. He is, in a special sense, a living epistle, “known and read of all men.” How important, then, that the sanctifying power of the truth be seen in his character.

The minister of God must first drink of the living fountain himself if he would firmly and intelligently lead others to that fountain. If he would present those

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