Ellen G. White Writings

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Atlantic Union Gleaner

September 9, 1903

A Letter to a Church-Elder

Dear Brother,

This is a very critical time for the church of which you are a member. You have been placed in a position where you can do much good. In fulfilling your duties as an elder of the church, be true to God in the person of the erring ones in his church. Fail not, my brother, to heed the admonition of the Spirit of God to bring into your heart the kindness, the tenderness, the love that Christ ever manifested. Cherish not a cold, unsympathetic spirit. Let your words be carefully chosen. Speak and act in such a way that you will have an influence for good over the church-members.

God desires you to avoid all harshness. Cover yourself with the robe of Christ's righteousness. By speaking the truth in love, you can bring a blessing to many hearts. Allow not a condemnatory spirit to prompt your words. May the Lord soften and subdue your heart, that your words shall be a blessing to the entire church.

Watch and pray. If there are those who do not manifest the Spirit of Christ, let not this provoke criticism and retaliation on your part. Enter not into controversy. Tell your brethren that the Lord is working to set things in order; that you can not do this work, but that the Lord will accomplish his purpose.

My brother, it is your duty to labor with those who make mistakes, and try to help them; but never should you do this in a spirit of self-righteousness. Go to the foot of Calvary's cross, and there learn lessons of meekness and forbearance. The Lord is ever ready to give to his servants the wisdom they require in order to discharge their duties faithfully. His grace is sufficient to keep them victorious over the trials and perplexities that daily come to them. May the Lord help every church-elder to do his work with unswerving fidelity.

We are in this world to be a help and a blessing to one another, uniting with Christ in the effort to restore the image of God in man. In order to do this work, we must learn of Jesus. “Take my yoke upon you,” he says, “and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” In this promise there are no “ifs.” Those who have experience in wearing Christ's yoke of restraint and obedience know that it means to have rest and peace in him. In obedience there is joy and consolation. Holy angels hover round about the obedient to keep them in paths of peace.

The life of the true believer reveals an indwelling Saviour. The follower of Jesus is Christlike in spirit, in temper. He possesses Christ's meekness and humility. His faith works by love and purifies the soul. His whole life is a testimony to the world to the power of the grace of Christ. The pure doctrines of the gospel never degrade the receiver, never make him coarse or rough or uncourteous. The gospel refines, ennobles, and elevates, sanctifying the judgment and influencing the whole life. In true believers of the gospel, Christ is revealed as an abiding presence.

Our churches are in need of a spiritual revival. Now is the time for the work of repentance and confession of sin to extend deeper. Now is the time for God's people to allow the Holy Spirit to make clean and thorough work, in order that all selfishness, all wrong, may be uprooted from their hearts. May the Lord help you and the whole church, is my prayer.

Mrs. E. G. White

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