The Review and Herald


March 24, 1903

Words to Ministers


The minister who learns daily in the school of Christ will ever be conscious that he is a messenger of God, commissioned by him to do a work in its results as lasting as eternity. He will have no desire to call attention to himself, to his learning or his ability. His one aim will be to lead sinners to the Saviour. Self will be lost sight of in Christ. The realization of his weakness and unworthiness and of the feebleness of his efforts in contrast with those of his Redeemer, will keep him humble, self-distrustful, and will lead him to rely on Christ for strength and efficiency. RH March 24, 1903, par. 1

Such a man will speak with power, with authority from on high. His heart is filled with the sympathy and love of Jesus, and his earnest appeals melt hearts long hardened against God, and draw sinners to the cross. RH March 24, 1903, par. 2

Ministers should be instant in prayer. Among the ministers of Christ there is too little prayer, and too much self-exaltation. There is too little weeping between the porch and the altar, crying, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thy heritage to reproach.” Too little is said about the love and compassion of Jesus. Christ is constantly interceding for sinners. Those who co-operate with him must do a work which corresponds to that which he is doing in heaven. Jesus has opened the door of heaven for us, and we may make intercession at the throne of grace, lifting up holy hands without wrath or doubting, presenting before God those for whom we are laboring. And by faith we may see heaven opened, and the glorified Son of God, the High Priest of our salvation, pleading for sinners. RH March 24, 1903, par. 3

It is not enough to preach to men. We must pray with them and for them. We can not help them while we hold ourselves coldly aloof from them. We must come close to them in Christlike sympathy and love. RH March 24, 1903, par. 4

As Enoch of old, ministers should walk with God. The Redeemer's boundless love should be the theme of their conversation. The earnestness and unselfishness that marked the work of Christ should characterize their efforts. If they would remove prejudice from the minds of those who listen to their words, their hearts must be filled with the Saviour's love. Converts to the truth seldom rise in spirituality above the level of their teachers. How important, then, that those who teach the word of God should be spiritual-minded men, who are in constant communion with heaven. RH March 24, 1903, par. 5

Divine power alone will melt the sinner's heart, and bring him, a penitent, to Christ. Neither Luther, Melanchthon, Wesley, Whitefield, nor any other great reformer and teacher could of himself have gained such access to hearts as to accomplish the great results that these men accomplished. But God spoke through them. Men felt the influence of a superior power, and involuntarily yielded to it. Today those who forget self, and rely on God for their success in the work of soul-saving will have the divine approval, and their efforts will tell gloriously in the salvation of souls. RH March 24, 1903, par. 6

I feel constrained to say that the labors of many of our ministers are lacking in power. God is waiting to bestow his grace upon them, but they pass on from day to day, possessing only a cold, nominal faith, presenting the theory of the truth, but presenting it without that vital force which comes from a connection with heaven, and which sends the words spoken home to the hearts of men. O that our ministers might be aroused from their spiritual slumber, and that their lips might be touched with a live coal from the divine altar! They are half asleep, and all around them souls are perishing in darkness and error. RH March 24, 1903, par. 7

Ministers of Christ, with your hearts aglow with love for God and your fellow creatures, seek to arouse those who are dead in trespasses and sins. Let your earnest entreaties and warnings pierce their ears. Let your fervent prayers melt their hearts, and lead them in penitence to the Saviour. You are ambassadors for Christ, proclaiming his message of salvation to a perishing world, and upon you there rests a fearful responsibility. You are not your own. To redeem you, the Saviour paid a price of agony and blood. He has a just claim to your service. He expects your willing co-operation in the work of saving souls. He asks for all your powers of mind and body. He would employ them for the salvation of souls. You dishonor him when you are not continually growing in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. RH March 24, 1903, par. 8

Whatever suffering you may be called upon to bear, do not allow one murmur to escape your lips. Christ endured far more for you than it is possible for you to endure for him. He redeemed you by the sacrifice of his life. When he says to you, “Go work today in my vineyard,” let no selfish desire, no worldly ambition, keep you from cheerful, unqualified obedience. RH March 24, 1903, par. 9

God calls upon those who in his name are bearing the most solemn message ever given to the world, to reveal the truth in the daily life. Were this done, many who have entrenched themselves behind the breastworks of infidelity would be brought to a belief of the truth. The influence of a true Christian is like the cheering rays of sunshine, which pierce the darkness wherever they are allowed to enter. Arguments may be resisted, persuasion and entreaty may be scorned, the most eloquent appeals may be disregarded; but a daily piety in all the walks of life, an unselfish love for others, beaming from the countenance and breathing in the word, make an appeal that it is well-nigh impossible to resist. RH March 24, 1903, par. 10

Ministers who would labor effectively for the salvation of souls must be both Bible students and men of prayer. It is a sin for those who attempt to teach the Word to others to be themselves neglectful of its study. Those who realize the worth of souls will flee to the stronghold of truth, where they may obtain wisdom, knowledge, and divine power. They will not rest until they have received an unction from on high. Too much is at stake for them to be careless in regard to their spiritual advancement. RH March 24, 1903, par. 11

My brethren, remember that a lack of prayer and of wisdom on your part may turn the balance for a soul, and send it to perdition. You can not afford to be careless and indifferent. I entreat you to be instant in season and out of season. You need power, and this power God is willing to give you without stint, if you will go to him, and take him at his word. The Lord asks only a humble, contrite heart, willing to believe and receive his promises. You have only to use the means God has placed within your reach, and you will obtain the divine blessing. RH March 24, 1903, par. 12