The Retirement Years


The Dead Still Speak

At half past two o'clock P.M. I spoke to a full house [at Adams Center, N.Y.].... We were gratified to meet the aged servants of God on this occasion. We have been acquainted from the rise of the third angel's message with Elder [Frederick] Wheeler, who is now nearing eighty years. We have been acquainted with Elders [H. H.] Wilcox and [Chas. O.] Taylor for the last forty years. Age is telling on these old standard-bearers, as well as upon me. If we are faithful to the end the Lord will give us a crown of life that fadeth not away. RY 18.1

The aged standard-bearers are far from being useless and laid aside. They have a part to act in the work similar to that of John. They can say, [1 John 1:1-7 quoted]. RY 18.2

This was the spirit and life of the message that John bore to all in his old age, when he was nearly one hundred years old. The standard-bearers are holding fast their banners. They are not loosening their hands on the banner of truth until they lay off the armor. One by one the old warriors’ voices become silent. Their place is vacant. We see them no more, but they being dead yet speak, for their works do follow them. Let us treat very tenderly the few aged pilgrims remaining, esteeming them highly for their works’ sake. As their powers are becoming worn and enfeebled, what they do say is of value. As precious testimony let their words be treasured. Let not the young men and the new workers discard or in any respect show indifference to the men of hoary hairs, but let them rise up and call them blessed. They should consider that they have themselves entered into these men's labors. We wish that there was much more of the love of Christ in the hearts of our believers for those who were first in the proclamation of the message.—Selected Messages 2:223, 224. RY 18.3