Considerate!—Be kind to the veterans who bore the heat of the day, who toiled long without conveniences for a meager pittance. They pioneered the way for you and me that we might have comfortable cars and other conveniences and allowances. Be thoughtful of their feelings. Honor them for their work's sake. Let us who are younger venerate their gray hairs and consider their counsels. We may be more vigorous, more modern, more efficient, but we could not be where we are today were it not for their faithful building of the foundations. They toiled, sometimes without a college education, that we might have colleges to attend. Now we sit on boards and committees, while they work in less conspicuous places, or are, perhaps, on sustentation or retirement. Particularly is this true in the mission field. Many are broken from carrying the load. Again we say, be kind to our veteran workers. They are passing rapidly from among us, but their works do follow them.
Drift!—Whether we like to admit it or not, our tendency as a movement is toward laxity and drift. We have to pull against the current, lest we be carried off our course by currents of worldly conformity and compromise. Our danger does not lie in the overstrictness of the few, but in the laxity of the many in the matter of church standards and discipline. The manifest call of the hour is for a new stand for the right. And in this our ministers are inescapably responsible for the results.
Judgding!—Do the clear principles and injunctions of the sermon on the mount apply to Seventh-day Adventist ministers? If they do, why are some so free to judge their brethren and castigate as heterodox those who do not chance to agree with their own particular personal ideas of orthodoxy on such secondaries as the Huns versus the Alamanni, the precise beginning of the last generation, a theory of inspiration not held by the body at large, certain future aspects of Daniel ii and Revelation 17, et cetera ? To arrogate to oneself the position of judge of one's brethren on the basis of such secondary or corollary points upon which there is no decisive denominational pronouncement or Spirit of prophecy counsel, is an act of presumption which betrays a personal egotism and an impertinence that not only violates the injunction on judging given in the sermon on the mount and the Spirit of prophecy, but flaunts the very spirit and historic practice of this message. There is unity on the essentials. Wherein the church as a body has not felt free or clear to declare itself on minor matters, let not individuals presume to exercise the unappointed position of judge. Such are themselves judged by that very procedure, and their judgments rendered invalid.
Egotism!—The overwhelming egotism of some in our worker ranks would be amusing were it not so serious in its implications, as well as disgusting to the humble-minded. It is only the truth that gives eminence to any man in our organization. Let that truth slip out of his life and let him break away from the cause, and he lapses into the ranks of the mediocre. This has been demonstrated again and again. Men who have been powerful preachers, writers, teachers, or executives, have, with their severance from the movement that made them, lost their power and influence, often stepping into obscurity and even into economic straits. We cannot trifle with truth, or let inflated ego get the upper hand, without peril of disaster. Let God and truth be exalted, and self-seeking be abased. Our only safety lies in the path of humility.
Hypocrisy!—Nothing is more odious to God and to the church, or more ruinous to personal character, than hypocrisy on the part of the Christian worker—indulging in carelessness and prayerlessness while professionally urging his flock on to a deeper spiritual life to which he himself is a stranger ; patronizing the fleshpots of Egypt while professedly writing and speaking on vegetarianism as a vital part of health reform; flouting the reproofs of the Spirit of prophecy while appealing to others to heed its teachings in order to carry a desired point; taking an interest in the sports and follies of the world while theoretically urging separation from the world and its spirit; displaying frivolous jocularity and lightness while preaching the most sobering and searching message on earth; and personal carelessness while discoursing on the required separateness and spotlessness of the remnant church. Such hypocrisy is the shame of the church wherever it appears, and will prove the ruin of the indulger, if it is not repudiated and forsaken. Sincerity and genuineness are the paramount qualities of the Christian worker.
L. E. F.