Sabbath-School Worker


April 1, 1892

Heart Work in Sabbath-School Teacher and Scholar


Every teacher in the Sabbath school should be a follower of Christ, and those who have not identified themselves as the disciples of Christ, showing by a consistent life that they are Christians, should not be invited to become teachers in the Sabbath school, for they have need that someone first teach them the foundation principles of the love and fear of God. “Without me,” Christ says, “ye can do nothing.” Then of what value would be the teaching of one who knew nothing by personal experience of the power of Christ? It would be a great inconsistency to urge such a one to take a class in the Sabbath school, but it is even worse to permit a class to be under the influence of a teacher whose dress and deportment deny the Saviour, whom they profess to serve. SSW April 1, 1892, par. 1

Those who teach in Sabbath school must have their hearts warmed and invigorated by the truth of God, being not hearers only, but also doers of the word. They should be nourished in Christ as the branches are nourished in the vine. The dews of heavenly grace should fall upon them, that their hearts may be like precious plants, whose buds open and expand and give forth a grateful fragrance as flowers in the garden of God. Teachers should be diligent students of the word of God, and ever reveal the fact that they are learning daily lessons in the school of Christ, and are able to communicate to others the light they have received from Him who is the great Teacher, the Light of the world. SSW April 1, 1892, par. 2

Teachers should feel their responsibility, and make use of every opportunity to improve, that they may render the best kind of service in a manner that will result in the salvation of souls. Both teachers and pupils should awake to the importance of manifesting industry and perseverance in the study of God's word. They should be much in communion with God, where petty temptations will not control them, and indolence and apathy will be successfully resisted. No idleness, no self-indulgence should be allowed by those who profess to be Christian workers. SSW April 1, 1892, par. 3

Point after point of truth should be investigated, for there is no limitation to the truth of God, and in its study a most lively interest should be felt by both teachers and pupils, that they may know what God hath said. For years the voice of God has been saying to us, “Agitate, agitate, agitate.” Study every point of truth, that you may know for yourselves what is truth in distinction from error. Let students search for themselves, that they may know the deep things of God. Let this work be done in the Spirit of Christ. Put no restriction upon the students. SSW April 1, 1892, par. 4

In searching the Scriptures there is need of great humility of mind and contrition of heart, of seeking earnestly unto God. Those who come in a lowly spirit, seeking for truth, will be aided in their search by the angels of God. SSW April 1, 1892, par. 5

The Lord will raise up men to bear the message of truth to the world and to his people. If those in responsible positions do not move onward in the opening providences of God, bearing an appropriate message for this time, the words of warning will be given to others who will be faithful to their trust. Even youthful Christians will be chosen to “cry aloud and spare not.” SSW April 1, 1892, par. 6

A new element must be brought into our Sabbath-school work in every church, not an element of contention, but one of piety and purity. Self-esteem and self-sufficiency are so prevalent that the words of the True Witness apply to many members of the Sabbath school. The True Witness says: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.” SSW April 1, 1892, par. 7

What is the character of the religious experience of those who take part in the Sabbath-school work? The light of truth has been shining in the minds and hearts of teachers and scholars, that they may diffuse it to those who are out of Christ. The saving message is to be given to those who have not yet opened their hearts to receive the heavenly gift. The truth must be urged upon the attention of those who seem indifferent. If all felt a burden for the souls for whom Christ died, how intense would be the interest in every agency employed for the salvation of souls. How little our thoughts would be upon the indulgence of self, upon display in dress, and upon seeking for amusement. How little money would be expended for entertainments and pleasure if we realized the importance of investing our means in the cause of God, which demands every penny not needed for actual wants. SSW April 1, 1892, par. 8

Pray that the Holy Spirit may come to your hearts, and then you will wear Christ's yoke, and bear his burden, and grow into complete union with Jesus. Our views are too narrow; we need a more extended vision, that we may take in the wants of the cause. SSW April 1, 1892, par. 9

What the cause most needs is consecrated young men and women who feel a personal responsibility for the advance of the work, and who will co-operate with divine agencies to shed light into the moral darkness of the world. SSW April 1, 1892, par. 10

Many who profess to be Christians do not more than half believe the word of God. They do not study it earnestly, but waste precious time in reading novels and storybooks. A mere intellectual understanding of the word of God will not be sufficient to influence the habits of the life, for the life is regulated by the condition of the heart. When Sabbath-school teachers have taught the lessons of external revelation, their work is but just begun, and they should not cease their labor until they have evidence that the precepts of heaven are not only accepted by the understanding of the pupil, but written upon the heart. When the living oracles are engraven on the tablets of the heart, the work is not in vain, for the inner life of the scholar has been changed, and the love of God will become an abiding principle in the soul. The seed of gospel truth must take deep root in the heart and be made manifest by precious fruits borne in the life. SSW April 1, 1892, par. 11