Testimony to the Church


Testimony to the Church

A Balanced Mind

God has committed to us each sacred trusts, for which he holds us accountable. It is his purpose that we so educate the mind as to enable us to bring into exercise the talents he has given us in such a manner as will accomplish the greatest good, and reflect back the glory to the Giver. We are indebted to God for all the qualities of the mind. These powers can be cultivated, and so discreetly directed and controlled as to accomplish the purpose for which God gave them. PH159 1.1

Bro. Andrews, you can so educate your mind as to bring out the energies of the soul, and develop every faculty, that they may accomplish the purpose for which they were given. The intellect may be strengthened by every faculty being exercised PH159 1.2

You, my brother, are not doing the greatest amount of good, because you exercise the intellect in one direction and neglect to give careful attention to those things for which you think you are not adapted; therefore some faculties that are weak are lying dormant want of exercise, because the work that should call them into exercise and consequently give them strength, is not pleasant to you. All the faculties should be cultivated. All the powers of the mind should be exercised. Perception, judgment, memory, and all the reasoning powers, should have equal strength in order to have a well-balanced mind. In that case, you would be a whole man. Otherwise, you are in danger of being but part of a man. PH159 1.3

If certain faculties are used to the neglect of others, the design of God is not fully carried out in us; for all the faculties have a bearing, and are dependent, in a great measure, upon each other. One cannot be effectually used without the operation of all the other faculties, that the balance may be carefully preserved. If all the attention and strength are given to one, while others lie dormant the development is strong in that one, and will lead to extremes, because all the powers have not been cultivated. Some are dwarfed, and the intellect is not properly balanced. All minds are not naturally constituted alike. We have varied minds, and strong points of character, and great weaknesses, upon some points. These deficiencies, so apparent, need not, and should not, exist. If those who possess them would strengthen the weak points in their character, by cultivation and exercise, they would become strong. PH159 2.1

It is agreeable, but not to the greatest profit, to put into exercise the faculties which are naturally the strongest, while we neglect those that are weak, that need to be strengthened. The feeblest faculties should have careful attention, that all powers of the intellect may be nicely balanced, and all do their part like well-regulated machinery. PH159 3.1

Bro. Andrews, you fail to turn your powers to the best account. Your strength to concentrate your mind upon one subject to the exclusion of all others, is well in a degree; but this faculty is constantly cultivated, which wears upon certain organs that are called into exercise to do this work, which will tax them too much, and you will fail to accomplish the greatest amount of good, and will shorten life. All the faculties should bear a part of the labor, working harmoniously, each balancing the other. PH159 3.2

You put your whole soul into the subject you are now upon. You go deeper and deeper into the matter. You see knowledge and light as you become interested and absorbed. But there are very few minds that can follow you, unless they give the subject the depth of thought you have done. There is danger of your plowing, and planting the seed of truth, so deep that the tender, precious blade will never find the surface. Your labor will be appreciated only by a few. PH159 3.3

If you had taken hold of your Sabbath history and made that your principal, but not your exclusive, business, and labored a portion of the time to keep up other branches of the work, it would have been better for you, and better for the interests of the cause of God. You love just the kind of work you are now doing; but while you are going so thorough, and covering so much ground, you are not getting out a work calculated to do the greatest amount of good, by awakening a general interest. Minds become weary in reading and following you. When you get engaged in matter that you are now at work upon, you scarcely know where to stop. PH159 4.1

In this age, when pleasing fables are drifting upon the surface and attracting the mind, truth presented in an easy style, backed up with a few strong proofs, is better than to search, and bring forth an overwhelming array of evidences; for the point then is not standing so distinct in many minds as before the objections and evidences were brought before them. In many minds, assertions will go farther than long arguments in proof. Many things may be taken for granted. Proof does not help the case in some minds. PH159 4.2

You, my brother, are in danger of carrying minds beyond their depth. Those who are best acquainted with Eld. P. have less confidence in him. They will take what he says, however untrue and unjust, and even ridiculous, and make it bear against the truth, if possible. But minds that will receive and be pleased with the productions of his pen are not the ones to be convinced of the truth, or that would honor the cause of God if they should accept the Sabbath. And you are in danger of presenting objections to thousands of minds that they never thought of, and which many will use if they become disaffected. If you and other men take a position to investigate and show the fallacy and inconsistency of men who dishonestly turn the truth of God into a lie, Satan will stir up men enough to keep your pen and the pens of several others constantly employed, while other branches of the work are left to suffer. PH159 5.1

We must have more of the spirit of those men who were engaged in building the walls of Jerusalem. “We are doing a great work, and we can not come down.” If Satan sees he can keep men's voices silent from the most important work for the present time in answering objections of opponents, his object is accomplished. PH159 5.2

The history of the Sabbath should have been out long ago. You should not wait to have everything so exactly strong as you can possibly make it before you give it to the people. This is a busy world. Men and women, as they engage in the business of life, have not time to meditate, and read even the word of God enough to understand it. And long, labored arguments will interest but a few. For as the people run, they have to read. You can no more remove the objections to the Sabbath commandment from the minds of the First-day Adventists, than the Saviour of the world could, by his great power and miracles, convince the Jews that he was the Messiah after they had once set themselves to reject him. Like the obstinate, unbelieving Jews, they have chosen darkness rather than light, and should an angel direct from the courts of Heaven speak to them, they would say it was Satan. PH159 6.1

Your Sabbath history should be given to the public, if not in all that perfection you could desire. Souls need the work now. Plain, pointed arguments, standing out as mile posts, will do more in convincing minds generally than a large array of argument, covering a great deal of ground that none but investigating minds will have interest to follow. While one edition is circulating, and the people are having the benefits, then if greater improvements are to be made, you can make them, until you are satisfied that you have done all in your power. Our success will be in reaching common minds. Those who have talent and position are so exalted above the simplicity of the word, and so well satisfied with themselves, that they feel no need of the truth. They are exactly where the Jews were, self-righteous, self-sufficient. They are whole, and have no need of the physician. PH159 6.2

While you are following Preble so fully, you anticipate that which you will never realize. Your time can be better employed in having a more general interest, and giving to the people food—meat that will feed them now. While your time is employed in following the crooks and turns of Preble, you are not wise. You bring to notice a work which has but a limited circulation, and are interesting minds in objections that they would never have been troubled with. PH159 7.1

You manufacture a train of quibbles and doubts for thousands of people, and present his work to those who would never have seen it. This is just what they want to have done, to be brought to notice, and we publish for them. This is what Carver wants. This is their main object in writing out their falsehoods, and misrepresenting the truth and the characters of those who love and advocate the truth. They will die out the soonest to be left unnoticed, treating their falsehoods and errors with silent contempt. They do not want to be let alone. Opposition is the element that they love. If it was not for this, they would have but little influence. PH159 7.2

The first-day Adventists are a class that are the most difficult to reach. They will generally reject the truth, as did the Jews. We should, as far as possible, go forward as though there was not such a people in existence. They are the elements of confusion, and immoralities exist among them to a fearful extent. It would be the greatest calamity to have many of their number embrace the truth. They would have to unlearn everything, and learn anew, or they would cause us great trouble. There are occasions where their glaring misrepresentations will have to be met. When this is the case, it should be done promptly, and briefly, and we should then pass on to our work. The plan of Christ's teaching should be ours. He was plain and simple, striking directly at the root of the matter, and the minds of all were met. PH159 8.1

And it is not the best policy to be so very explicit, and say all upon a point that can be said, when a few arguments will cover the ground and be sufficient for all practical purposes in convincing or silencing opponents. You may remove every prop today, and close the mouths of objectors so that they can say nothing, and tomorrow they will go over the same ground again. Thus it will be, over and over, because they do not love the light, and will not come to the light lest their darkness and error should be removed from them. It is a better plan to keep a reserve of arguments and reasons than to pour out a depth of knowledge upon a subject which would be taken for granted without labored argument. Christ's ministry lasted only three years, and a great work was done in that short period. In these last days there is a great work to be done in a short time. While you are getting ready to do something, souls will perish for the light and knowledge. PH159 8.2