The Review and Herald


August 30, 1892

Address to Ministers


“Unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” “For our exhortation was not to deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness: nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. For we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children.” “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” RH August 30, 1892, par. 1

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.” RH August 30, 1892, par. 2

The solemn work of the gospel minister is to make all men see “what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God.” If one enters upon this work choosing the least self-sacrificing part of it, contenting himself with preaching, and leaving the work of ministering for some one else to do, he need not expect that his labors will be acceptable to God. Souls for whom Christ has died are perishing for want of well-directed personal labor; and when the minister is not willing to be a servant of the people, as Jesus has directed in his word, then he has mistaken his calling. Those who minister in the sacred desk should fall upon the Rock and be broken, that the Lord may put his superscription upon them and fashion them as vessels unto honor. If those engaged in the work of the ministry were indeed laborers together with God, we should see a solid and beautiful work wrought in all countries for the saving of the souls for whom Christ has died. RH August 30, 1892, par. 3

God calls for consecrated men, who are willing to deny self. The work of the heavenly intelligences is constant and earnest; for they are intent upon drawing men to Jesus. This is the manner in which ministers should labor. Their message should be, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” In the ministration of angels, they do not labor so as to shut any soul out, but rather to gather them all in; but if the message of the gospel is to go to all men, human agents must co-operate with the angel workers. Divine and human agencies must combine in order to accomplish the great work of saving the souls of the lost. Man cannot work out his own salvation without divine aid, and God will not save him without willing, decided co-operation. Human agencies must be educated; they must become sufficient for this great work, and their growth and education depend upon their union with divine forces. God provides all the capabilities, all the talents, by which men may enter the work; but the highest development of the worker for God can never be attained without divine co-operation. Symmetry of character and the harmonious development of the work will be accomplished only through continual dependence upon God and earnest effort on the part of man; for the secret of our success and power as a people advocating advanced truth will be found in making direct, personal appeals to those who are interested, having unwavering reliance upon the Most High. RH August 30, 1892, par. 4

Satan and his angels are struggling for the mastery of the world, while the Prince of life and the angels of heaven are engaged in the battle, determined to rescue all those who would escape from the bondage of evil. God waits to see what those who have been enlightened by his truth will do. Again and again he has called for his ministers to be shepherds to the flock. He is now waiting for the co-operation of his human agents, waiting for the ministers to minister to the diseased lambs and sheep that are ready to die. O, will not the ministers of God, as obedient children, take up one line of work after another, as he presents it to them? Every herald of the gospel is to be a minister indeed. Every forgiven child of God is to be instructed by those who are laborers together with heaven, that he is to be a messenger to work in the same way as the Father and the Son are working, seeking to save the lost. Every Christian is to lift up Jesus, and say, Behold him; behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. RH August 30, 1892, par. 5

The sacred responsibility rests upon the minister to watch for souls as one that must give an account. He must interest himself in the souls for whom he labors, finding out all that perplexes and troubles them and hinders them from walking in the light of the truth. Job says, “The cause that I knew not, I searched out.” This should be considered the important work of the ministry, even if it demands much painstaking effort and inconvenience. This is home missionary work, and it is in no case to be neglected; for eternal interests are here involved. The excuses of those who fail to do this work do not relieve them of the responsibility, and if they choose not to do this work, they neglect the souls for whom Christ died, neglect their God-given responsibility, and are registered in the books of heaven as unfaithful servants. Does the minister work as did the Master, to be a strength and a blessing to others, when he shuts himself away from those who need his help? Those who neglect personal intercourse with the people, become self-centered, and need this very experience of placing themselves in communication with their brethren, that they may understand their spiritual condition, and know how to feed the flock of God, giving to each his portion of meat in due season. Those who neglect this work make it manifest that they need moral renovation, and then they will see they have not carried the burden of the work. RH August 30, 1892, par. 6