Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, Page 309

Chapter 45—Practical Instruction in Labor

[Special Testimonies, Series A 7:42-52 (1897).]

Cooranbong, Australia,

June 14, 1896

Dear Brother and Sister -----,

Last Friday night I was conversing with you, telling you something with reference to your methods of labor. The heavenly Watcher stood beside us, and I wish I could write every word He uttered; but I fear that I cannot. You said: “I wish I knew in regard to my duty. In some way I do not feel satisfied with the result of my labor.” The voice of the One beside us was then heard, saying: “Have faith in God; learn of Christ Jesus. When you handle the sacred truths of God's word, keep Christ uplifted. Your great need is to learn Christ's manner of teaching. When you are teaching the people, present only a few vital points, and keep your mind concentrated on these points. You bring unimportant ideas into your discourses. These are not always a ‘savor of life unto life,’ and have no real connection with your text. By wandering from straight lines, and bringing in that which calls the minds off the subject, you weaken all that you have previously said.”

Disconnected Presentation of Truth

God would not have you think that you are impressed by His Spirit when you fly from your subject, bringing in foreign matters which are designed as a reproof, and which should not be named in connection with the words of solemn and sacred truth. By doing this, you lose your bearings, and weaken the effect of that which is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. You have made of none effect many precious ideas, by mixing them with other thoughts which have come to your mind but

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