The Review and Herald


April 28, 1903

Words of Counsel


I have a message for those who are bearing responsibilities in God's institutions. The Lord calls upon them to bring his grace into their thoughts, their words, their deportment. They are not to leave their religion at home when they go to business for the day. Let them not, after praying to the Heavenly Father for grace and strength, go to their work with a surly, dictatorial, overbearing spirit, and a sour, disagreeable countenance. They are Christ's representatives, and they are to exert an influence that is a savor of life unto life. RH April 28, 1903, Art. A, par. 1

God holds the managers of his institutions responsible to treat the youth in the employ of these institutions with courtesy, respect, and kindness. They are to deal with them as they themselves wish to be dealt with by Christ. Their first work is to be so kind to the youth, so thoughtful of their interests, that they will feel at home in their presence. RH April 28, 1903, Art. A, par. 2

The Lord expects his people to bring religion into their business life as verily as into the assembly for his worship. How does he regard the testimonies borne on the Sabbath by those who during the week left Christ out of their work, and spoke harsh, unfeeling words? What impression do these testimonies make on those who have been hurt and wounded by the harsh words spoken? RH April 28, 1903, Art. A, par. 3

Those who control others should first learn to control themselves. Unless they learn this lesson, they can not be Christlike in their work. They are to abide in Christ, speaking as he would speak, acting as he would act,—with unfailing tenderness and compassion. They are not to think, because they are in a position of responsibility, that they are at liberty to deal harshly with those connected with them. To the one who manages, God has given a measure of power, but this power he is ever to exercise in a pleasing and agreeable manner. He is not to feel at liberty to speak and act in an unchristlike way because an error has been made. Thus he aggravates the wrong. He arouses in the workers a spirit of retaliation, causing them to lose confidence in him as a Christian. RH April 28, 1903, Art. A, par. 4

The Lord hears the petitions of his people when they mean what they say, and when they reveal a determined purpose to live in harmony with their prayers. But he can not honor those who rise from their knees to speak harsh, angry words, words which are entirely out of place, even though the one to whom they are spoken is in the wrong. RH April 28, 1903, Art. A, par. 5

O what a power a converted man, transformed daily, can exert to bring blessing and gladness to those around him! Those who bear responsibilities in God's institutions are to grow in grace and in a knowledge of divine things. Ever they are to remember that the talent of speech is entrusted to them by God for the help and blessing of others. It is left with them to decide whether they will speak words that will honor Christ, or words that will be a hindrance to those who hear. O what a blessing are pleasant, sympathetic words,—words that uplift and strengthen! When asked a question, one should not answer abruptly, but kindly. The heart of the one that is asking may be sorely grieved by a hidden sorrow, that may not be told. This he may not know; therefore his words should always be kind and sympathetic. By a few well-chosen, helpful words, he may remove a heavy load from a fellow worker's mind. RH April 28, 1903, Art. A, par. 6

To those bearing responsibilities in our institutions this word is given: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” RH April 28, 1903, Art. A, par. 7

In this charge there is a threefold duty. “Feed the flock of God,”—by preaching to them his Word, by giving them earnest, personal labor, by setting them a right example. “Feed the flock of God,” “taking the oversight thereof,” having a personal care for the blood-bought heritage committed to your charge, “being ensamples to the flock,” following Christ in self-denial and sacrifice, in the life revealing holiness to the Lord. All this is to be done of a ready, cheerful mind, “neither as being lords over God's heritage,” tyrannizing over them. RH April 28, 1903, Art. A, par. 8

Let those who have been exalted to the high position of managers in the Lord's institutions, who are set as guardians of their fellow workers, pray most earnestly for divine grace. Before they take up the work of the day, let them make a solemn covenant with God, promising him that they will keep watchful guard over their lips, not speaking harshly, but kindly, to those who come to them for direction. Let them remember that they themselves are ever to be under the control of the Spirit of God, rendering prompt and cheerful obedience to his commands. Let them remember that they are living epistles, known and read of all men, and that because they are Christ's representatives, they are to be one with him, ever looking to him, and from him receiving strength for every conflict. RH April 28, 1903, Art. A, par. 9

“Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” In our institutions let self-seeking give place to unselfish love and labor. Then the golden oil will be emptied from the two olive branches into the golden pipes, which will empty themselves into the vessels prepared to receive it. Then the lives of Christ's workers will indeed be an exposition of the sacred truths of his Word. RH April 28, 1903, Art. A, par. 10

The fear of God, the sense of his goodness, his holiness, will circulate through every institution. An atmosphere of love and peace will pervade every department. Every word spoken, every work performed, will have an influence that corresponds to the influence of heaven. Christ will abide in humanity, and humanity will abide in Christ. In all the work will appear not the character of finite men, but the character of the infinite God. The divine influence imparted by holy angels will impress the minds brought in contact with the workers; and from these workers a fragrant influence will go forth to those who choose to inhale it. The goodly fabric of character wrought through divine power will receive light and glory from heaven, and will stand before the world as a witness, pointing to the throne of the living God. RH April 28, 1903, Art. A, par. 11

Then the work will move forward with solidity and double strength. A new efficiency will be imparted to the workers. Men will learn of the reconciliation from iniquity which the Messiah has brought in through his sacrifice. The last message of warning and salvation will be given with mighty power. The earth will be lightened with the glory of God, and it will be ours to witness the soon coming, in power and glory, of our Lord and Saviour. RH April 28, 1903, Art. A, par. 12