The Review and Herald



January 5, 1869

The Review and Herald


Ministers who are engaged in active labor in the cause of God, and who have earned a reputation among our people, should use their influence to the very best advantage. RH January 5, 1869, par. 1

Their responsibilities do not cease with their pulpit labors. It is the duty of all who can write, especially those who minister in holy things, to exercise their talents in this direction. They should feel that it is one branch of their work to give tangible proofs of their interest in the Review and Herald, by the pointed, spiritual, articles from their pens for its columns. This paper, which is the only preaching that hundreds have, is not what it might be, or what it should be. Here is an opportunity to speak to thousands, and all who do speak through the Review should have a burden of something to say. RH January 5, 1869, par. 2

Men of but small experience who have but little influence, can get up common-place sermons. Some of the people read them, while others feel no interest to read them. There is nothing in the words, or arrangement of ideas that melts and burns its way into the heart. Some have interest enough to read every sermon, however deficient in new ideas and interest. When individuals in process of time become acquainted with the men whose names appear at the head of their sermons, they see that these men are not all what they profess to be—that they are deficient in experience. They lose confidence in the paper, and when they read sermons from the pens of men whose names they are not acquainted with, they feel a distrust, because they have been deceived before, and although good matter may be contained in the sermons, they do not acknowledge it as food, therefore they lose much good instruction. Some men would be ministers who have mistaken their work. To them were committed talents, not more than two, or one. Their position is in a humble sphere. God only requires them to do their duty according to their measure of responsibility, and he will accept the work of such, if well done, as readily as the work of those who have greater ability; of them he expects corresponding returns. RH January 5, 1869, par. 3

Christians will not make light of the smallest gift in the church. But some of the writers of the sermons which have appeared in the Review have not been at work upon their one, or two talents, but have been handling the five not committed to them at all. They make bad work. The Master knew their ability, and gave them no more than they could make the very best use of, that at the reckoning time, he need not require more of them than they had ability to perform. None should needlessly mourn that they cannot glorify God by talents he has never committed to them. Those who are restricted to only one talent, if they use it well, God will accept according to their ability. RH January 5, 1869, par. 4

God would not have us aspire after great things, seeking to a large work, but he requires all to do their work well. If men are entrusted with limited talents, let them not aspire to trade with the five, but let them with contented humility, feeling the weight of their responsibility, make the most of what they have. The Master will require no larger interest than was proportionate to the amount entrusted to them. RH January 5, 1869, par. 5

Some of our ministers are capable of bearing greater responsibilities than they are willing to take. They prefer to trade with two talents, when five have been committed to them. In bearing responsibilities, something must be ventured, as in the case of one engaged in trade. Some shrink from this through fear. Their trust is not in God. They fear censure, or that loss will be incurred by them. A due amount of caution is necessary, but even this excellent qualification may be abused, and a spirit of indolence or cowardice encouraged. God does not design that individual responsibility shall be laid off. RH January 5, 1869, par. 6

Especial efforts should be made by ministers who have the cause of God at heart, to contribute to the columns of the Review the most interesting, spiritual articles. All can find time to do this if they have a will and heart to engage in the work. Some are too indolent and ease-loving. They will spend hours in chatting upon subjects not especially connected with the advancement of the cause and work of God. The time thus spent is lost, and they are unprofitable servants. If the time had been occupied in the study of the word of God, thoroughly furnishing themselves from its precious pages, fitting themselves to be able ministers, their employment would be more profitable. They would have something to write. They could furnish articles which would instruct and encourage the people of God. Such would be only doing their duty, and would be giving to the flock of God their portion of meat in due season. Some of our ministers occupy considerable time in reading. This is all right if not carried too far. Much reading is as great a weariness to the flesh as making many books. But few realize that much reading is brain-wearing work, as much so as writing. A portion of the time occupied by these who love reading, and who feel that it is a great privation to be diverted from their favorite exercise, should investigate carefully their object. Is it in reading merely to benefit themselves, that they may have an intellectual feast? Even in reading God's word selfishness may come in. You may feast yourselves upon portions of the word which shine with special brightness, and if you make no further use of the blessing, and shut up these precious rays of light to yourselves, your light will become dim, and finally go out. RH January 5, 1869, par. 7

If God makes you a channel through which to communicate his light, that others may be benefited, be careful how you hide it under a bushel. According to the directions of Christ, the proper course is to set it upon a candlestick, that it may give light to all who are in the house. Better take a portion of the time you devote to reading, and attend to duties that some one must perform. Some must write, that the people of God scattered abroad may be instructed. Have the cogitations of your mind been fruitful upon Bible subjects, or in religious experience, in connection with the work of God? Well, write out these thoughts for the benefit of others who need them. In thus doing, the cause of God can be served as well, and it may be better than by pulpit labor. RH January 5, 1869, par. 8

When feasting upon God's word, because of the precious light you gather therefrom, present it to others that they may feast with you. But let your communications be free and heartfelt. You can best meet the people where they are, rather than in seeking for lofty words which reach to the third Heavens. The people are not there, but right here in this sorrowing, sinful, corrupt world, battling with the stern realities of life. RH January 5, 1869, par. 9

Christ came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. He was our example, and God has apportioned to us our work, to minister to the necessities of others, according to the ability he has given us. As we use this ability to the best account, it will increase. Those who do all they can on their part with what God has entrusted to them, and bear their whole weight upon him, he will strengthen them just when strength is required. In thus doing, we give God room to work for us; to teach and lead and impress us, and make us channels through which his light can be communicated to many who are in darkness. RH January 5, 1869, par. 10

As a people we are surely saying by our works, “My Lord delayeth his coming.” Our Lord has given us a fearful caution, not even to say this in “our hearts.” With many the warning is utterly disregarded. Their works, and words, and their life is saying distinctly to others, My Lord delayeth his coming. Say not, unfaithful steward, this concerneth not me, I am a Christian. Was not the evil steward a professed Christian? a forgetful, negligent, slothful steward of his Lord's goods? He was outwardly a steward, a professed Christian. He calls Christ, “My Lord.” He believes in the coming of his Lord; but he only says, That coming is delayed. Then he presumes on that delay to use for the gratification of his own appetite and pleasure, his Lord's goods. But his portion is assigned him with hypocrites and unbelievers, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth. I entreat you my brethren to arouse from your sloth, and take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. As a people we are increasing in riches. I am alarmed as I see so little of the spirit of sacrifice. Selfishness and the love of the world is closing up the soul, that the rays of heavenly light cannot penetrate it. As God's stewards, I entreat of you to dispense of your means; lighten the load of care, burden and responsibility which is resting upon you. RH January 5, 1869, par. 11

Brethren, use your influence to obtain a more extended circulation of the Review. You can do much more than you are doing in obtaining subscribers for the Review. If you would imitate, in this good work, the example of our enemies who publish error, or the example of Satan in his perseverance in circulating slander and falsehood, the list of subscribers would be greatly increased. Let every one go to work earnestly, perseveringly, to see what they can do in interesting others to read. Let all become missionaries; and you who have talents of money, put it out to the exchangers. Invest in the cause of God. Do not, I entreat you, continue to pursue a course of robbery with God. RH January 5, 1869, par. 12

Some of the brethren who are intrusted with the larger talents, have failed to improve upon them as they should have done. Some have talents of influence, some have talents of means, and others have both talents of influence and money. Upon such, rest weighty responsibilities. We profess to be servants of Jesus Christ. As servants, to us is committed a work. It is not our own means intrusted to us for investment. Were it ours, we might study our pleasure in its use. The capital is the Lord's. We are responsible for its use or abuse. If we bury our talents of influence or money in the earth, and allow them to lie dormant, withholding them from his cause, we shall be condemned when the Master comes to reckon with us, and to require his own, not ours, with usury. He has purchased us with his own sufferings and blood, to secure from us willing servitude; yet we withhold from him that which is his own. There is a failure upon the part of ministers and people. They withhold from God. They do not use their talents of influence and means to the glory of God. Ministers have not interested themselves in the prosperity of the Review as was their duty. Here is an opportunity to speak to thousands. Those engaged in active labor in the gospel field should understand that all are interested in their mission. They should feel it a privilege and duty to report their meetings, and communicate matters of interest, which would be for the encouragement of God's people scattered abroad. RH January 5, 1869, par. 13

About one week since, I dreamed of being before a large concourse of people. Those who labor in the Office, also the ministers who are engaged in active labor in the cause and work of God, were present Brethren Smith, Amadon and Gage stood each holding a copy of the Review. They raised it in their hands above the heads of the people to attract their attention. Their countenances expressed interest and anxiety. I felt burdened to speak. I arose, and referred to the important work in which we were engaged, in warning the world to prepare for the coming of the Lord. I stated that this warning message would be a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death; if this message was not received unto salvation, it would prove the condemnation of those who rejected it. How important, then, that the truth be presented in the most attractive light, in the power of the Holy Spirit, which shall have a winning and compelling power upon those who shall come under its influence. I said to the people, Those who minister in word and doctrine, and those who are handling sacred things in the Office, are engaged in the same work. Our work is of the same exalted character; and we should feel a deep interest in the Review, and make it a channel through which the brightest beams of light shall shine forth to the people. That paper is as dear to me as an only son. The Lord would have us all feel an individual interest in the prosperity of the Review. All should feel as deep an interest as they would in an only son. RH January 5, 1869, par. 14

All who act a part in contributing to the paper, and all who are engaged in the work of selecting articles for it, should have a zealous care that its columns should contain the most precious light. Especially the ministers should arouse. They should feel a special interest in the paper, and if it is not as full of interest as they could wish they should feel that perhaps they have failed to do their duty. When your zeal and interest come up to the right standard the people will feel a deeper interest in liberally sustaining it, and when this is fully done, if the people desire a larger paper, and will sustain it by their means and influence, it will be made just as large as they desire. God's cause will be strong and triumph if ministers and people will alike show their faith by their works. And it will be weak, and languish, if the ministers and people have small faith and small works. RH January 5, 1869, par. 15

Ellen G. White.