Selections from the Testimonies for the Church For the Study of Those Attending the General Conference in Oakland, Ca., March 27, 1903
Chapter 19—He That Ruleth Over Men Must Be Just
October 22, 1899.
“He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.” 2 Samuel 23:3, 4. PH151 81.1
The work of God has no need of overbearing men, or of harsh, unkind spirits. True zeal is always tempered with the meekness and lowliness of Christ. My brethren, in your work things will arise that would naturally provoke you, but you must be patient under provocation. The spirit of Christ will be revealed in all who truly do Christ's service. They wear the yoke of Christ, and they see the need of perfect self-control. As laborers together with God, they seek to co-operate with their fellow-workers, that they may act their part in fulfilling the grand purpose for which Christ came into the world,—the saving of all who receive Him as a personal Saviour. PH151 81.2
The Spirit of the Lord is needed, oh, so much, in our printing offices! A decided testimony will often be required; wrong should in no case be vindicated. Christ would not have us pass over wrong-doing; but He calls upon His followers to represent His character in the way in which they reprove wrong. They are to work in the light of His example. At whatever sacrifice of ease or reputation, and whatever may be the outcome, we must maintain the reformatory principles of practical godliness; for this is the gospel of Christ. Every one is to help the next one to extend the triumphs of the cross of Christ, adding new territory to His kingdom. God's servants are to refuse to keep silence when ungodliness is striving for the mastery. They should be keen and vigilant, ever on the alert to destroy evil. But the way in which this battle is carried on will make every difference with the result. Our own spirit is to be subdued, self is to be hid in Christ. In all reforms Christ alone is to appear. PH151 81.3
God calls upon His servants to reveal a spirit of unvarying kindness and love. Nothing is gained by harsh denunciations and bitterness of spirit. To be harsh in trying to correct wrong is to commit sin in reproving sin. True reformers are not destroyers. They never seek to ruin those who do not harmonize with their plans. Reformers must advance, not retreat. They must be firm, decided, resolute, unflinching. But firmness must not be allowed to degenerate into an overbearing spirit. God would have those who serve Him as firm as a rock to principle, and yet meek and lowly, like Christ. Abiding in Christ, they can do the work that He would do were He in their places. PH151 82.1
A rude, condemnatory spirit is not essential to heroism in the reformers of this time. Those in positions of authority in our institutions are to be true and upright. And they are to be pleasant and courteous, not only to those who are accounted ladies and gentlemen, but to the patient, toiling workers. Those who are to represent Christ must be like Him in character. PH151 82.2