Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers


“Except as We Shall Forget”

The closing section of this volume is drawn essentially from communications written in 1907 and 1914. Ellen White had occasion to review “vital principles of relationship,” particularly in the article “Jehovah Is Our King,” a message she read at the Southern California camp meeting in August, 1907; and the article, “Individual Responsibility and Christian Unity,” read by her at the 1907 session of the California Conference held in January. These articles recapitulate the points comprising the main themes of the volume. These counsels, restated, reminded all that to lose sight of these principles would imperil the church. TM xxxiv.2

History can repeat itself, and human beings can be guilty of forgetting. Earnest endeavors have been made to avoid a repetition of the mistakes made at Battle Creek. Wrote Mrs. White, “We have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us.”—Page 31. The administrators and ministerial laborers of the church have ever before them these messages of warning and admonition, to help them avoid making the mistakes of former years. And, closely associated with these more specific warnings, are general warnings relating to the high moral and spiritual plane of the work of the minister. TM xxxiv.3

The messages in this volume, dealing so intimately with the hearts and souls of those who stood as shepherds of the flock and of those who carried administrative responsibilities, would apply today only if the conditions described existed again. None should err in applying the reproofs to all ministers at any and all times. Nor should the intimate knowledge of some of the problems and crises met through the years ever dim our confidence in the glorious triumph of the cause of God. TM xxxv.1

Ellen white, to whom God had revealed the secrets of the hearts of men and the weaknesses and deficiencies of humanity, did not lose confidence in God's chosen workmen. To her, the fact that God sent messages of reproof to those who erred, was not an indication that they were forsaken, but rather an evidence of God's love, “for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” Nor did the setbacks which came to the cause as the battle raged between the forces of evil and the forces of righteousness leave her with despondency of heart, for she discerned that “we have as Bible Christians ever been on gaining ground” (Selected Messages 2:397), and that “The God of Israelis still guiding his people, and that he will continue to be with them, even to the end” (Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 437, 438). TM xxxv.2

This foreword is designed to inform the reader as to the historical setting of the contents of this volume. There are a number of references to specific experiences, movements, and institutions, that may seem somewhat obscure to us who live so many decades away from the events. To give information which will guide to a better understanding of such references, appendix notes have been supplied. TM xxxvi.1

It is not the work of the custodians of the Ellen G. White writings to explain or interpret the counsels which have been given. It is their privilege and at times their responsibility to present the historical setting of certain situations, and to present in their context other counsels which may help the reader to understand better and thus rightly to interpret the writings. That this may be accomplished, and that the church under God-fearing leaders may go forward in triumph for the finishing of the precious work of God, is the sincere wish of the TM xxxvi.2

The Board of Trustees of the Ellen G. White Estate.

Washington, D.C.

May 10, 1962

“Every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” Matthew 13:52. TM 13.1