Voice culture is a study that should find a place in every institution for the education of the youth. Especially is this study essential for those who are preparing themselves to labor as teachers or ministers. In every study the importance of speaking slowly and distinctly, and of placing the burden upon the muscles of the abdomen, should be made prominent. This line of work should be made a specialty in every school. The students should be taught to stand straight, to breathe deeply, and to give the proper emphasis to important words and sentences. {VSS 262.3}


Voice Culture for Sermons

Those who are to go into the field as teachers and ministers should be trained to speak in a way that will arouse an interest in the precious truths which they present. A man may not have so much knowledge, yet he can accomplish much if he has a voice so well trained that he can impart clearly that which he knows. But if a man cannot tell in a forcible manner what he knows, of what benefit is his learning, even though his mind be stored with knowledge? {2MR 214.2}

Correct Breathing When Speaking

Students should be taught not to speak from the throat, but to bring the abdominal muscles into action. The throat is only the channel through which the voice is to pass. If public speakers would learn to use the voice properly, there would not be so much throat trouble among them. {2MR 214.1}

New Ministers commit suicide by wrong habits of breathing and speaking

Some of our most talented ministers are doing themselves great injury by their defective manner of speaking. While teaching the people their duty to obey God’s moral law, they should not be found violating his physical laws. Ministers should stand erect, and speak slowly, firmly, and distinctly, taking a full inspiration of air at every sentence, and throwing out the words by exercising the abdominal muscles. If they will observe this simple rule, giving attention to the laws of health in other respects, they may preserve their life and usefulness much longer than men in any other profession. {GW92 147.1}

The chest will become broader, and by educating the voice, the speaker need seldom become hoarse, even by constant speaking. Instead of becoming consumptives by speaking, our ministers may, by care, overcome all tendency to consumption. I would say to my ministering brethren, Unless you educate yourselves to speak according to physical law, you will sacrifice life, and many will mourn the loss of those martyrs to the cause of truth, when the facts in the case are, that by indulging in wrong habits you did injustice to yourselves and to the truth which you represented, and robbed God and the world of the service you might have rendered. God would have been pleased to have you live, but you slowly committed suicide. {GW92 147.2}

Speaking from the throat, all the time fretting and irritating the vocal organs, is not the best way to improve health or to increase the efficiency of those organs. You should take a full inspiration, and let the action come from the abdominal muscles. Let the lungs be only the channel; do not depend upon them to do the work. If you let your words come from deep down, exercising the abdominal muscles, you can speak to thousands with just as much ease as you can speak to ten. {GW92 150.1}

15-30 minute long prayers are not acceptable

The long prayers made by some ministers have been a great failure. Praying to great length, as some do, is all out of place. They injure the throat and vocal organs, and then they talk of breaking down by their hard labor. They injure themselves when it is not called for. Many feel that praying injures their vocal organs more than talking. This is in consequence of the unnatural position of the body, and the manner of holding the head. They can stand and talk, and not feel injured. The position in prayer should be perfectly natural. Long praying wearies, and is not in accordance with the gospel of Christ. Half or even a quarter of an hour is altogether too long. A few minutes time is long enough to bring your case before God, and tell him what you want; and you can take the people with you, and not weary them out, and lessen their interest in devotion and prayer. They may be refreshed and strengthened, instead of exhausted. . . . {GW92 151.1}

Articulation

The Importance of Voice Culture. Voice culture is presented to me as of the greatest importance. Students should receive a training that will prepare them to impart the knowledge they receive. Unless they are taught to read and speak slowly and distinctly, with clearness and force, placing the emphasis where it belongs, how can they teach with any good effect? They should not be allowed to speak so fast that they cannot be clearly understood. Every word, every syllable, should be plainly spoken. {2MR 213.4}

Ministers and teachers should discipline themselves to clear and distinct articulation, giving the full sound to every word. Those who talk rapidly, from the throat, jumbling the words together and raising their voices to an unnaturally high pitch, soon become hoarse, and the words spoken lose half the force which they would have if spoken slowly, distinctly, and not so loud… {GW92 148.1}

Many who might be useful men, are using up their vital force, and destroying their lungs and vocal organs, by their manner of speaking. Some ministers have acquired a habit of hurriedly rattling off what they have to say, as though they had a lesson to repeat, and were hastening through it as fast as possible. This is not the best manner of speaking. By using proper care, every minister can educate himself to speak distinctly and impressively, not to hurriedly crowd the words together, without taking time to breathe. He should speak in a moderate manner, that the people may get the ideas fixed in their minds as he passes along. But when the matter is rushed through so rapidly, the people cannot get the points in their minds, and they do not have the time to receive the impression that it is important for them to have; nor is there time for the truth to affect them as it otherwise would. {GW92 149.2}

Clear and distinct until the very last word of a sentence

When you speak, let every word be full and well rounded, every sentence clear and distinct to the very last word. Many as they approach the end of a sentence lower the tone of the voice, speaking so indistinctly that the force of the thought is destroyed. Words that are worth speaking at all are worth speaking in a clear, distinct voice, with emphasis and expression…–Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 383. (1900) {CM 71.1}

Ministers should stand erect, and speak slowly, firmly, and distinctly, taking a full inspiration of air at every sentence, and throwing out the words by exercising the abdominal muscles. If they will observe this simple rule, giving attention to the laws of health in other respects, they may preserve their life and usefulness much longer than men in any other profession. Ministers and teachers should discipline themselves to clear and distinct articulation, giving the full sound to every word. Those who talk rapidly, from the throat, jumbling the words together, and raising their voices to an unnaturally high pitch, soon become hoarse, and the words spoken lose half the force which they would have if spoken slowly, distinctly, and not so loud. The sympathies of the hearers are awakened for the speaker; for they know that he is doing violence to himself, and they fear that he will break down at any moment. It is no evidence that a man has zeal for God because he works himself up into a frenzy excitement and gesticulation. “Bodily exercise,” says the apostle, “profiteth little.” [1 Timothy 4:8.] {CE 241.1}

Tone of Voice

Matthew 22:33 Mark 1:22 Luke 4:32 John 7:46 Matthew 7:28-29 Mark 1:21-22

How He Met the People.–If you would approach the people acceptably, humble your hearts before God, and learn His ways. We shall gain much instruction for our work from a study of Christ’s methods of labor and His manner of meeting the people. In the gospel story we have the record of how He worked for all classes, and of how as He labored in cities and towns, thousands were drawn to His side to hear His teaching. The words of the Master were clear and distinct, and were spoken in sympathy and tenderness. They carried with them the assurance that here was truth. It was the simplicity and earnestness with which Christ labored and spoke that drew so many to Him. {Ev 53.2}

Note: Christ was able to draw thousands because of the “simplicity and earnestness with which Christ labored”. His voice was “clear and distinct” accompanied with “sympathy and tenderness”.

From the light I have had, the ministry is a sacred and exalted office, and those who accept this position should have Christ in their hearts, and manifest an earnest desire to represent him worthily before the people, in all their acts, in their dress, in their speaking, and even in their manner of speaking. They should speak with reverence. Some destroy the solemn impression they may have made upon the people, by raising their voices to a very high pitch, and hallooing and screaming out the truth. When presented in this manner, truth loses much of its sweetness, its force and solemnity. But if the voice is toned right, if it has solemnity, and is so modulated as to be even pathetic, it will produce a much better impression. This was the tone in which Christ taught his disciples. He impressed them with solemnity; he spoke in a pathetic manner. But this loud hallooing what does it do? It does not give the people any more exalted views of the truth, and does not impress them any more deeply. It only causes a disagreeable sensation to the hearers, and wears out the vocal organs of the speaker. The tones of the voice have much to do in affecting the hearts of those that hear. {GW92 149.1}

There is another class that address the people in a whining tone. Their hearts are not softened by the Spirit of God, and they think they must make an impression by the appearance of humility. Such a course does not exalt the gospel ministry, but brings it down, degrades it. Ministers should present the truth warm from glory. They should speak in such a manner as rightly to represent Christ, and preserve the dignity becoming his ministers. {GW92 150.3}

The Importance of Voice Culture. Voice culture is presented to me as of the greatest importance. Students should receive a training that will prepare them to impart the knowledge they receive. Unless they are taught to read and speak slowly and distinctly, with clearness and force, placing the emphasis where it belongs, how can they teach with any good effect? They should not be allowed to speak so fast that they cannot be clearly understood. Every word, every syllable, should be plainly spoken. {2MR 213.4}

By learning correctly to use the voice in speaking, many who are weak-chested may save their lives. Make the student stand erect, throwing back his shoulders. The ladies especially need to cultivate the voice. {2MR 224.2}

In every reading exercise, require the students to speak the words distinctly, clearly pronouncing even the last syllable. Teach the students not to let their voice die away at the end of the sentence. Require a clear, round, full tone of voice to the very close, including the last syllable. {2MR 224.3}

Modulation/Emphasis

The Children Understood.–Christ’s way of presenting truth cannot be improved upon. . . . The words of life were presented in such simplicity that a child could understand them. Men, women, and children were so impressed with His manner of explaining the Scriptures that they would catch the very intonation of His voice, place the same emphasis on their words, and imitate His gestures. Youth caught His spirit of ministry, and sought to pattern after His gracious ways by seeking to assist those whom they saw needing help. –Counsels on Health, pp. 498, 499. (1914) {Ev 56.4}

Preaching for Decision.–Cultivate earnestness and positiveness in addressing the people. Your subject matter may be excellent, and just what the people need, but you would do well to mingle a positiveness with persuasive entreaties. . . . {Ev 296.1}

Present the plain “Thus saith the Lord” with authority, and exalt the wisdom of God in the written Word. Bring the people to a decision; keep the voice of the Bible ever before them. Tell them you speak that which you do know, and testify that which is truth, because God has spoken it. Let your preaching be short and right to the point, and then at the proper time call for a decision. Do not present the truth in a formal manner, but let the heart be vitalized by the Spirit of God, and let your words be spoken with such certainty that those who hear may know that the truth is a reality to you.–Letter 8, 1895. {Ev 296.2}

Sympathetic Tone

The Prince of teachers, He sought access to the people by the pathway of their most familiar associations. He presented the truth in such a way that ever after it was to His hearers intertwined with their most hallowed recollections and sympathies. He taught in a way that made them feel the completeness of His identification with their interests and happiness. His instruction was so direct, His illustrations were so appropriate, His words so sympathetic and cheerful, that His hearers were charmed. The simplicity and earnestness with which He addressed the needy, hallowed every word.–Ministry of Healing, pp. 22-24. (1905) {Ev 55.1}

Using Christ’s methods will still attract crowds.–Those who will study the manner of Christ’s teaching, and educate themselves to follow His way, will attract and hold large numbers now, as Christ held the people in His day. . . . When the truth in its practical character is urged upon the people because you love them, souls will be convicted, because the Holy Spirit of God will impress their hearts.–Ev 124. {PaM 135.3}

Enthusiastic Tone

An important element in educational work is enthusiasm. On this point there is a useful suggestion in a remark once made by a celebrated actor. The archbishop of Canterbury had put to him the question why actors in a play affect their audiences so powerfully by speaking of things imaginary, while ministers of the gospel often affect theirs so little by speaking of things real. “With due submission to your grace,” replied the actor, “permit me to say that the reason is plain: It lies in the power of enthusiasm. We on the stage speak of things imaginary as if they were real, and you in the pulpit speak of things real as if they were imaginary.” {PM 266.2}

The teacher in his work is dealing with things real, and he should speak of them with all the force and enthusiasm which a knowledge of their reality and importance can inspire.–Ed 233. {PM 266.3}

Melodious Voice

Jesus’ Voice Was Melodious and Impressive.–The teachings of Christ were impressive and solemn; His voice was melodious. And should not we, as well as Christ, study to have melody in our voices?–2T 617. {PM 268.5}

Jesus met the people on their own ground, as one who was acquainted with their perplexities. He made truth beautiful by presenting it in the most direct and simple way. His language was pure, refined, and clear as a running stream. His voice was as music to those who had listened to the monotonous tones of the rabbis. But while His teaching was simple, He spoke as one having authority.–DA 253. {PM 268.6}

Had he raised His voice to an unnatural key . . . the pathos and melody of the human voice would have been lost, and much of the force of the truth destroyed.–Ev 56. {PM 269.3}

Then Christ was presented before me, and His manner of talking; and there was a sweet melody in His voice. His voice, in a slow, calm manner, reached those who listened, and His words penetrated their hearts, and they were able to catch on to what He said before the next sentence was spoken.–Ev 670. {PM 269.4}

Lifestyle a Sermon

2 Corinthians 3:2Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

The officers who were sent to Jesus came back with the report that never man spoke as He spoke. But the reason for this was that never man lived as He lived. Had His life been other than it was, He could not have spoken as He did. His words bore with them a convincing power, because they came from a heart pure and holy, full of love and sympathy, benevolence and truth. {MH 469.2}

Ministers should speak in a manner to reach and impress the people. The teachings of Christ were impressive and solemn; his voice was melodious. And should not we, as well as Christ, study to have melody in our voices? He had a mighty influence, for he was the Son of God. We are so far beneath him and so far deficient, that, do the very best we can, our efforts will be poor. We cannot gain and hold the influence that he had; but why should we not educate ourselves to come just as near to the Pattern as it is possible for us to do, that we may have the greatest possible influence upon the people? Our words, our actions, our deportment, our dress, everything should preach. Not only with our words should we speak to the people, but everything pertaining to our person should be a sermon to them, that right impressions may be made upon them, and that the truth spoken may be taken by them to their homes. Thus our faith will stand in a better light before the community. {GW92 151.2}

Note: Preach the gospel always and when necessary use words.

Simplicity/Repetition

2Pe 1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them and be established in the present truth.

Mar 12:37 David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.

Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Plainness in speech

2 Corinthians 3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

Note: Repetition deepens the impression

In His discourses Christ did not bring many things before them at once, lest He might confuse their minds. He made every point clear and distinct. He did not disdain the repetition of old and familiar truths in prophecies if they would serve His purpose to inculcate ideas.–Manuscript 25, 1890. {Ev 56.1}

The Children Understood.–Christ’s way of presenting truth cannot be improved upon. . . . The words of life were presented in such simplicity that a child could understand them. Men, women, and children were so impressed with His manner of explaining the Scriptures that they would catch the very intonation of His voice, place the same emphasis on their words, and imitate His gestures. Youth caught His spirit of ministry, and sought to pattern after His gracious ways by seeking to assist those whom they saw needing help. –Counsels on Health, pp. 498, 499. (1914) {Ev 56.4}

Calculation of the time was so simple and plain that even children could understand it. From the date of the decree of the king of Persia, found in Ezra 7, which was given in 457 before Christ, the 2300 years of Daniel 8:14 must terminate with 1843. {1T 52.2}

He gladly repeated His lesson

Christ was always ready to answer the sincere inquirer after truth. When His disciples came to Him for an explanation of some word He had spoken to the multitude, He gladly repeated His lesson.–Letter 164, 1902. {Ev 57.2}

Length of Sermon

The great Teacher held in His hand the entire map of truth, but He did not disclose it all to His disciples. He opened to them those subjects only which were essential to their advancement in the path of heaven. There were many things in regard to which His wisdom kept Him silent. {Ev 57.4}

As Christ withheld many things from His disciples, knowing that then it would be impossible for them to comprehend, so today He withholds many things from us, knowing the limited capacity of our understanding. –Manuscript 118, 1902. {Ev 57.5}

ime is too short to reveal all that might be opened up to view; eternity will be required to know the length and breadth, the depth and height of the Scriptures. There are truths of more importance to some souls than others. Skill is needed in educating in Scriptural lines.– Manuscript 153, 1898. {Ev 296.3}

Our ministers must become educators as well as preachers. They should teach the people not to depend upon them, but upon Christ. The minister who preaches two hours when he should not exceed one, would far better serve the cause of God by devoting that extra hour to earnest, careful thought in studying how to direct others, how to teach them to work.–ST May 17, 1883. {PaM 156.1}

What to Include in Every Sermon

Prophecy the Foundation of Our Faith.–Ministers should present the sure word of prophecy as the foundation of the faith of Seventh-day Adventists. The prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation should be carefully studied, and in connection with them the words, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” {Ev 196.2}

The twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew is presented to me again and again as something that is to be brought to the attention of all. We are today living in the time when the predictions of this chapter are fulfilling. Let our ministers and teachers explain these prophecies to those whom they instruct. Let them leave out of their discourses matters of minor consequence, and present the truths that will decide the destiny of souls.–Gospel Workers, p. 148. (1915) {Ev 196.3}

Practical Godliness in Every Sermon

Practical Godliness in Every Discourse.–It is harder to reach the hearts of men today than it was twenty years ago. The most convincing arguments may be presented, and yet sinners seem as far from salvation as ever. Ministers should not preach sermon after sermon on doctrinal subjects alone. Practical godliness should find a place in every discourse.–Review and Herald, April 23, 1908. {Ev 178.4}

It is the Holy Spirit that makes the truth impressive. Keep practical truth ever before the people.–Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 57 (1900) {Ev 299.2}

Purity holiness and usefulness burden of every sermon

Purity, holiness, and usefulness should be the burden of every sermon , the burden of every prayer.–Lt 27, 1888. {VSS 344.4}

Study to have a store of practical subjects and be prepared to share always

Store of Practical Subjects–You should be careful and study to have a store of practical subjects that you have investigated and that you can enter into the spirit of and present in a plain, forcible manner to the people at the right time and place as they may need. You have not been thoroughly furnished from the Word of Inspiration unto all good works. When the flock have needed spiritual food, you have frequently presented some argumentative subject that was no more appropriate for the occasion than an oration upon national affairs.–3T 228. {VSS 345.1}

Sermons should not consist of prophecies alone

Sermon after sermon should not be given on the prophecies alone. Practical religion should have a place in every discourse. The discourses should be short, and to the point, and followed by a spirited social meeting. {ST, March 16, 1882 par. 11}

Every address application of truth to the heart

Application of Truth to the Heart–It is especially true that new and startling themes should not be presented to the people at too great length. In every address given, let there be an application of truth to the heart that whosoever may hear shall understand, and that men, women, and youth may become alive unto God.–TM 258. {VSS 338.1}

Every discourse fervent appeals to forsake sins and turn to Christ

Need of a Change of Heart–Sometimes men and women decide in favor of the truth because of the weight of evidence presented, without being converted. The minister’s work is not done until he has urged upon his hearers the necessity of a change of heart. In every discourse fervent appeals should be made to the people to forsake their sins and turn to Christ.–GW 159. {VSS 338.2}

Little lambs Corner in Every Sermon

In His charge to Peter, the Saviour first bade him, “Feed My lambs,” and afterward commanded, “Feed My sheep.” In addressing the apostle, Christ says to all His servants, “Feed My lambs.” When Jesus admonished His disciples not to despise the little ones, He addressed all disciples in all ages. His own love and care for children is a precious example for His followers. If teachers in the Sabbath school felt the love which they should feel for these lambs of the flock, many more would be won to the fold of Christ. At every suitable opportunity, let the story of Jesus’ love be repeated to the children. In every sermon let a little corner be left for their benefit. The servant of Christ may have lasting friends in these little ones, and his words may be to them as apples of gold in pictures of silver.–TSS 113. {CSW 76.1}

Christ in Every Sermon

Deportment. –When I saw this congregation yesterday, I thought, The decisions are to come after this meeting and during the meeting. There will be some that will take their position forever under the black banner of the powers of darkness; there are some that will take their position under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel. Our words, our deportment, how we present the truth, may balance minds for or against the truth; and we want in every discourse, whether it is doctrinal or not, we want that Jesus Christ should be presented distinctly, as John declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” {Ev 299.3}

Christ must be woven into everything that is argumentative as the warp and the woof of the garment. Christ, Christ, Christ is to be in it everywhere, and my heart feels the need of Christ, as I have, seems to me, never felt it more sensibly. {Ev 299.4}

If our people were half awake, if they realized the nearness of the events portrayed in the Revelation, a reformation would be wrought in our churches, and many more would believe the message Let Daniel speak, let the Revelation speak, and tell what is truth. But whatever phase of the subject is presented, uplift Jesus as the center of all hope, “the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star.” {TM 118.1}

Burden of Every Sermon–The science of salvation is to be the burden of every sermon, the theme of every song. Let it be poured forth in every supplication. Let nothing be brought into the preaching of the Word to supplement Christ, the Word and power of God. Let His name, the only name given under heaven whereby we may be saved, be exalted in every discourse, and from Sabbath to Sabbath let the trumpet of the watchmen give a certain sound. Christ is the science and eloquence of the gospel, and His ministers are to hold forth the Word of life, presenting hope to the penitent, peace to the troubled and desponding, and grace and completeness and strength to the believing.–Ms 107, 1898. {VSS 337.1}

The Lamb of God–Never should a sermon be preached, or Bible instruction in any line be given, without pointing the hearers to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”–6T 54. {VSS 337.2}

Salvation in Its Simplicity–In every congregation there are souls who are unsatisfied. Every Sabbath they want to hear something definite explaining how they can be saved, how they are to become Christians. The important thing for them to know is, How can a sinner be presented before God? Let the way of salvation be presented before them in simplicity, just as plainly as you would speak to a little child. Lift up Jesus as the sinner’s only hope.–Ev 350. {VSS 337.3}

Public Prayer

Long Prayers Not a Part of the Gospel–Long praying wearies, and is not in accordance with the gospel of Christ. Half or even quarter of an hour is altogether too long. A few minutes’ time is long enough to bring your case before God and tell Him what you want; and you can take the people with you and not weary them out and lessen their interest in devotion and prayer. They may be refreshed and strengthened, instead of exhausted. {VSS 254.1}

Longer Secret Prayers, Short Public Prayers– Long prayers are tiring to those who hear, and do not prepare the people to listen to the instruction that is to follow. {VSS 255.2}

It is often because secret prayer is neglected that long, tedious prayers are offered in public. Let not ministers go over in their petitions a week of neglected duties, hoping to atone for their neglect and to pacify conscience. Such prayers frequently result in bringing others down to a low level of spirituality.–GW 176. {VSS 255.3}

Giving Appeals

An Appeal in Every Sermon.–With an unction of the Holy Spirit upon him, giving him a burden for souls, he will not dismiss a congregation without presenting before them Jesus Christ, the sinner’s only refuge, making earnest appeals that will reach their hearts. He should feel that he may never meet these hearers again until the great day of God.–Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 316. (1879) {Ev 280.2}

In every discourse fervent appeals should be made to the people to forsake their sins and turn to Christ. –Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 396. (1880) {Ev 280.3}

There are souls in every congregation who are hesitating , almost persuaded to be wholly for God. The decision is being made for time and for eternity; but it is too often the case that the minister has not the spirit and power of the message of truth in his own heart, hence no direct appeals are made to those souls that are trembling in the balance. The result is that impressions are not deepened upon the hearts of the convicted ones; and they leave the meeting feeling less inclined to accept the service of Christ than when they came. They decide to wait for a more favorable opportunity; but it never comes.–Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 447. (1880) {Ev 279.3}

Some may be listening to the last sermon they will ever hear , and some will never again be so situated that they can have the chain of truth brought before them, and a practical application made of it to their hearts. That golden opportunity lost, is lost forever. Had Christ and His redeeming love been exalted in connection with the theory of truth, it might have balanced them on His side.–Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 394. (1880) {Ev 280.1}

At our camp meetings there are far too few revival efforts made. There is too little seeking of the Lord. Revival services should be carried from the beginning to the close of the meeting. The most determined efforts should be made to arouse the people. Let all see that you are in earnest because you have a wonderful message from heaven. Tell them that the Lord is coming in judgment, and that neither kings nor rulers, wealth nor influence, will avail to ward off the judgments soon to fall. At the close of every meeting, decisions should be called for. –Testimonies, vol. 6, pp. 64, 65. (1900) {Ev 280.4}

Study Each Individual

In all true teaching the personal element is essential. Christ in His teaching dealt with men individually. It was by personal contact and association that He trained the twelve. It was in private, often to but one listener, that He gave His most precious instruction. To the honored rabbi at the night conference on the Mount of Olives, to the despised woman at the well of Sychar, He opened His richest treasures; for in these hearers He discerned the impressible heart, the open mind, the receptive spirit. Even the crowd that so often thronged His steps was not to Christ an indiscriminate mass of human beings. He spoke directly to every mind and appealed to every heart. He watched the faces of His hearers, marked the lighting up of the countenance, the quick, responsive glance, which told that truth had reached the soul; and there vibrated in His heart the answering chord of sympathetic joy. . . . {CSW 73.2}

The same personal interest, the same attention to individual development, are needed in educational work today. Many apparently unpromising youth are richly endowed with talents that are put to no use. Their faculties lie hidden because of a lack of discernment on the part of their educators. In many a boy or girl outwardly as unattractive as a rough-hewn stone, may be found precious material that will stand the test of heat and storm and pressure. The true educator, keeping in view what his pupils may become, will recognize the value of the material upon which he is working. He will take a personal interest in each pupil, and will seek to develop all his powers. However imperfect, every effort to conform to right principles will be encouraged.–Ed 231, 232. {CSW 74.1}

He Watched the Changing Countenance.–Jesus watched with deep earnestness the changing countenances of His hearers. The faces that expressed interest and pleasure, gave Him great satisfaction. As the arrows of truth pierced to the soul, breaking through the barriers of selfishness, and working contrition, and finally gratitude, the Saviour was made glad. When His eye swept over the throng of listeners, and He recognized among them the faces He had before seen, His countenance lighted up with joy. He saw in them hopeful subjects for His kingdom. When the truth, plainly spoken, touched some cherished idol, He marked the change of countenance, the cold, forbidding look, which told that the light was unwelcome. When He saw men refuse the message of peace, His heart was pierced to the very depths.–The Desire of Ages, pp. 254, 255. (1898) {Ev 295.3}

Guide to Giving Testimonies

Testimonies less than 20-30 minutes long

There is nothing that will so completely kill out the true spirit of devotion in social worship as for one to occupy the time to the exclusion of others. When one person takes up twenty or thirty minutes in a long-drawn testimony, it is not for the glory of God, but that self may be exhibited; it is not for the prosperity of him who does it, or for the prosperity of the church {RH, October 22, 1889 par. 10}

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