Conversation on Heavenly Things -- Enoch's case is before us. Hundreds of years he walked with God. He lived in a corrupt age, when moral pollution was teeming all around him; yet he trained his mind to devotion, to love purity. His conversation was upon heavenly things. He educated his mind to run in this channel, and he bore the impress of the divine. His countenance was lighted up with the light which shineth in the face of Jesus.-- 2T 122.
Preacher of Righteousness -- As the scenes of the future were opened to his view, Enoch became a preacher of righteousness, bearing God's message to all who would hear the words of warning. In the land where Cain had sought to flee from the divine presence, the prophet of God made known the wonderful scenes that had passed before his vision. "Behold," he declared, "the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds."
The power of God that wrought with His servant was felt by those who heard. Some gave heed to the warning and renounced their sins; but the multitudes mocked at the solemn message. The servants of God are to bear a similar message to the world in the last days, and it also will be received by the majority with unbelief and mockery.
As year after year passed, deeper and deeper grew the tide of human guilt, darker and darker gathered the clouds of divine judgement. Yet Enoch, the witness of faith, held on his way, warning, pleading, and teaching, striving to turn back the tide of guilt and to stay the bolts of vengeance.-- GW 52, 53.
Reprover of Sin -- He was a fearless reprover of sin. While he preached the love of God in Christ to the people of his time, and pleaded with them to forsake their evil ways, he rebuked the prevailing iniquity, and warned the men of his generation that judgement would surely be visited upon the transgressor. It was the Spirit of Christ that spoke through Enoch; that Spirit is manifested, not alone in utterances of love, compassion, and entreaty; it is not smooth things only that are spoken by holy men. God puts into the heart and lips of His messengers truths to utter that are keen and cutting as a two-edged sword.-- PP 86.
Fruitage of His Message -- After proclaiming his message, he always took back with him to his place of retirement some who had received the warning. Some of these became overcomers, and died before
the Flood came. But some had lived so long in the corrupting influence of sin that they could not endure righteousness.-- 1BC 1088.
Teacher of Moses -- Jochebed was a woman and a slave. Her lot in life was humble, her burden heavy. But through no other woman, save Mary of Nazareth, has the world received greater blessing. Knowing that her child must soon pass beyond her care, to the guardianship of those who knew not God, she the more earnestly endeavoured to link his soul with heaven. She sought to implant in his heart love and loyalty to God. And faithfully was the work accomplished. Those principles of truth that were the burden of his mother's teaching and the lesson of her life, no after influence could induce Moses to renounce.-- Ed 61.
Educator for God -- God had heard the mother's prayers; her faith had been rewarded. It was with deep gratitude that she entered upon her now safe and happy task. She faithfully improved her opportunity to educate her child for God. She felt confident that he had been preserved for some great work, and she knew that he must soon be given up to his royal mother, to be surrounded with influences that would tend to lead him away from God. All this rendered her more diligent and careful in his instruction than in that of her other children. She endeavoured to imbue his mind with the fear of
God and the love of truth and justice, and earnestly prayed that he might be preserved from every corrupting influence. She showed him the folly and sin of idolatry, and early taught him to bow down and pray to the living God, who alone could hear him and help him in every emergency.
She kept the boy as long as she could, but was obliged to give him up when he was about twelve years old. From his humble cabin home he was taken to the royal palace, to the daughter of Pharaoh, "and he became her son." Yet even here he did not lose the impressions received in childhood. The lessons learned at his mother's side could not be forgotten. They were a shield from the pride, the infidelity, and the vice that flourished amid the splendour of the court.
How far-reaching in its results was the influence of that one Hebrew woman, and she an exile and a slave! The whole future life of Moses, the great mission which he fulfilled as the leader of Israel, testifies to the importance of the work of the Christian mother.-- PP 243, 244.
Faithful Women As Mothers -- Especially does responsibility rest upon the mother. She, by whose lifeblood the child is nourished and its physical frame built up, imparts to it also mental and spiritual influences that tend to the shaping of mind and character. It was Jochebed, the Hebrew mother, who, strong in faith, was "not afraid of the king's commandment" (Heb. 11:23), of whom was born Moses, the deliverer of Israel. It was Hannah,
the woman of prayer and self-sacrifice and heavenly inspiration, who gave birth to Samuel, the heaven-instructed child, the incorruptible judge, the founder of Israel's sacred schools. It was Elisabeth, the kinswoman and kindred spirit of Mary of Nazareth, who was the mother of the Saviour's herald.-- MH 372.
Words of Eloquence -- The life of Moses was marked with supreme love to God. His piety, humility, and forbearance gave him influence with the host of Israel. His zeal and faith in God were greater than those of any other man upon the earth. He had often addressed his people in words of stirring eloquence. No one knew better than he how to move the affections of the people. He conducted all matters connected with the religious interests of the people with great wisdom.-- 3SG 57.
Fluency and Wisdom -- As Saul approached them [a band of prophets], the Spirit of the Lord came upon him also, and he joined in their song of praise, and prophesied with them. He spoke with so great fluency and wisdom, and joined so earnestly in the service, that those who had known him exclaimed in astonishment, "What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?"-- PP 610.
Kindness and Peace -- The piety of Abigail, like the fragrance of a flower, breathed out all unconsciously in face and word and action. The Spirit of the Son of God was abiding in her soul. Her speech, seasoned with grace, and full of kindness and peace, shed a heavenly influence. Better impulses came to David, and he trembled as he thought what might have been the consequences of his rash purpose. "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Matt. 5:9. Would that there were many more like this woman of Israel, who would soothe the irritated feelings, prevent rash impulses, and quell great evils by words of calm and well-directed wisdom.-- PP 667.
Clear, Trumpetlike Tones -- Looking first upon the broken-down altar of Jehovah, and then upon the multitude, Elijah cries out in clear, trumpetlike tones, "How long halt ye between two opinions?"-- PK 147.
Children of Israel
Responsibility of Parents -- God commanded the Hebrews to teach their children His requirements, and to make them acquainted with all His dealings with their people. The home and the school were one. In the place of stranger lips, the loving hearts
of the father and mother were to give instruction to their children. Thoughts of God were associated with all the events of daily life in the home dwelling. The mighty works of God in the deliverance of His people were recounted with eloquence and reverential awe. The great truths of God's providence and of the future life were impressed on the young mind. It became acquainted with the true, the good, the beautiful.
By the use of figures and symbols the lessons given were illustrated, and thus more firmly fixed in the memory. Through this animated imagery the child was, almost from infancy, initiated into the mysteries, the wisdom, and the hopes of his fathers, and guided in a way of thinking and feeling and anticipating, that reached beyond things seen and transitory, to the unseen and eternal.-- FE 95.
John the Baptist
Pure, Native Eloquence -- The voice of John was lifted up like a trumpet. His commission was, "Show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." Isa. 58:1. He had obtained no human scholarship. God and nature had been his teachers. But one was needed to prepare the way before Christ who was bold enough to make his voice heard like the prophets of old, summoning the degenerate nation to repentance.
And all went forth into the wilderness to hear him. Unlearned fishermen and peasants came from the surrounding countries and from regions nigh
and afar off. The Roman soldiers from the barracks of Herod came to hear. Chieftains came with their swords girded by their sides, to put down anything that savoured of riot or rebellion. The avaricious tax gatherers came from the regions round about; and from the Sanhedrin came forth the phylacteried priests. All listened as if spellbound; and all came away, even the Pharisee, the Sadducee, and the cold, unimpressionable scoffer of the age, with the sneer gone, and cut to the heart with a sense of their sin. There were no long arguments, no finely cut theories, elaborately delivered in their "firstly," "secondly," and "thirdly." But pure native eloquence was revealed in the short sentences, every word carrying with it the certainty and truth of the weighty warnings given. . . .
John the Baptist met sin with open rebuke in men of humble occupation and in men of high degree. He declared the truth to kings and nobles, whether they would hear or reject it.-- 2SM 148, 149.
The Power of His Words -- It was the purpose of John to startle and arouse the people, and cause them to tremble because of their great wickedness. In simplicity and plainness, he pointed out the errors and crimes of men. A power attended his words, and, reluctant as the people were to hear the denunciation of their unholy lives, they could not resist his words. He flattered none; neither would he receive flattery of any. The people, as if with common consent, came to him repenting, and confessing their sins, and were baptised of him in Jordan.
Kings and rulers came to the wilderness to hear the prophet, and were interested and deeply convicted as he fearlessly pointed out their particular sins. His discernment of character and spiritual sight read the purposes and hearts of those who came to him, and he fearlessly told both rich and poor, the honourable and the lowly, that without repentance of their sins and a thorough conversion, although they might claim to be righteous, they could not enjoy the favour of God and have part in the kingdom of the Messiah, whose coming he announced.
In the spirit and with the power of Elijah, John denounced the corruptions of the Jews, and raised his voice in reproving their prevailing sins. His discourses were plain, pointed, and convincing.-- RH Jan. 7, 1873.
Voice Startling and Stern -- With no elaborate arguments or fine-spun theories did John declare his message. Startling and stern, yet full of hope, his voice was heard from the wilderness: "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matt. 3:2. With a new, strange power it moved the people. The whole nation was stirred. Multitudes flocked to the wilderness.-- 8T 332.
Burden of His Mission -- With vision illuminated by the divine Spirit he studied the characters of men, that he might understand how to reach their hearts with the message of heaven. The burden of his mission was upon him. In solitude, by meditation and prayer, he sought to gird up his soul for
the lifework before him-- DA 102.
Trumpet Tones -- John had preached the coming of the Messiah. In trumpet tones the words of the forerunner of Christ had rung in their ears.-- RH Feb. 13, 1900.
One of the Greatest of Prophets -- Christ declared John the Baptist to be one of the greatest of the prophets, and He showed His hearers that they had had sufficient evidence that John was a messenger from God. The words of the preacher in the wilderness were with power. He bore his message unflinchingly, rebuking the sins of priests and rulers, and enjoining upon them the works of the kingdom of heaven.-- COL 278.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus
Teacher of the Child Jesus -- The child Jesus did not receive instruction in the synagogue schools. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things.-- DA 70.
Class at His Mother's Knee -- In childhood, youth, and manhood, Jesus studied the Scriptures. As a little child He was daily at His mother's knee, taught from the scrolls of the prophets.-- Ed 185.
Simple, Accurate Speech -- The apostles and their associates were unlettered men, yet through the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, their speech, whether in their own or a foreign language, became pure, simple, and accurate, both in word and in accent.-- DA 821.
Elevated Truths -- From this time [Pentecost] forth the language of the disciples was pure, simple, and accurate in word and accent, whether they spoke their native tongue or a foreign language. These humble men, who had never learned in the school of the prophets, presented truths so elevated and pure as to astonish those who heard them.-- SR 246.
Words As Sharp Arrows -- The arguments of the apostles alone, though clear and convincing, would not have removed the prejudice that had withstood so much evidence. But the Holy Spirit sent the arguments home to hearts with divine power. The words of the apostles were as sharp arrows of the Almighty, convicting men of their terrible guilt in rejecting and crucifying the Lord of glory.-- AA 45.
Heroes of Faith -- The disciples were but humble men, without wealth and with no weapon but the Word of God; yet in Christ's strength they went forth to tell the wonderful story of the manger and the cross, and to triumph over all opposition. Without earthly honour or recognition, they were
heroes of faith. From their lips came words of divine eloquence that shook the world.-- AA 77.
Preachers of a Creator God -- The apostles endeavoured to impart to these idolaters a knowledge of God the Creator, and of His Son, the Saviour of the human race. They first directed attention to the wonderful works of God-- the sun, the moon, and the stars, the beautiful order of the recurring seasons, the mighty snow-capped mountains, the lofty trees, and other varied wonders of nature, which showed a skill beyond human comprehension. Through these works of the Almighty, the apostles led the minds of the heathen to a contemplation of the great Ruler of the universe.
Having made plain these fundamental truths concerning the Creator, the apostles told the Lystrians of the Son of God, who came from heaven to our world because He loved the children of men.-- AA 180.
Clear, Plain Message -- The gospel workers in Corinth realised the terrible dangers threatening the souls of those for whom they were labouring; and it was with a sense of the responsibility resting on them that they presented the truth as it is in Jesus. Clear, plain, and decided was their message-- a savour of life unto life, or of death unto death. And not only in their words, but in the daily life, was the gospel revealed.-- AA 249.
Simplicity and Clarity -- They had presented the
truth with simplicity and clearness, praying for the conviction and conversion of souls. And they had endeavoured to bring their conduct into harmony with their teaching, that the truth presented might commend itself to every man's conscience.-- AA 330.
Boldness and Power -- The people were amazed at the boldness of the disciples. They supposed, because they were ignorant fishermen, they would be overcome with embarrassment when confronted by the priests, scribes, and elders. But they took knowledge that they had been with Jesus. The apostles spoke as He had spoken, with a convincing power that silenced their adversaries.-- SR 252.
John the Apostle
Faithful, Earnest Labourer -- After the ascension of Christ, John stands forth as a faithful, earnest labourer for the Master. With the other disciples he enjoyed the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and with fresh zeal and power he continued to speak to the people the words of life, seeking to lead their thoughts to the Unseen. He was a powerful preacher, fervent, and deeply in earnest. In beautiful language and with a musical voice he told of the words and works of Christ, speaking in a way that impressed the hearts of those who heard him. The simplicity of his words, the sublime power of the truths he uttered, and the fervour that characterised his teachings, gave him access to all classes.-- AA 546.
No Controversy -- As a witness for Christ, John entered into no controversy, no wearisome contention. He declared what he knew, what he had seen and heard.-- AA 555.
Focus on Gospel Story -- When the faith of the Christians would seem to waver under the fierce opposition they were forced to meet, the old, tried servant of Jesus would repeat with power and eloquence the story of the crucified and risen Saviour.-- AA 568.
Simplicity of Language -- When he testified of the Saviour's grace, the simplicity of his language was eloquent with the love that pervaded his whole being. He had not a doubt nor a suspicion. He entered into no controversy, no wearisome contention.-- Ms 8a, 1888.
Powerful Preacher -- The apostle's life was in harmony with his teachings. The love which glowed in his heart for Christ, led him to put forth the most earnest, untiring labour for his fellow men, especially for his brethren in the Christian church. He was a powerful preacher, fervent, and deeply in earnest, and his words carried with them a weight of conviction.-- RH Feb. 15, 1881.
Candour in the Emperor's Court -- John was accordingly summoned to Rome to be tried for his faith. Here before the authorities the apostle's doctrines were misstated. False witnesses accused him of teaching seditious heresies. By these
accusations his enemies hoped to bring about the disciple's death.
John answered for himself in a clear and convincing manner, and with such simplicity and candour that his words had a powerful effect. His hearers were astonished at his wisdom and eloquence. But the more convincing his testimony, the deeper was the hatred of his opposers. The emperor Domitian was filled with rage. He could neither dispute the reasoning of Christ's faithful advocate, nor match the power that attended his utterance of truth; yet he determined that he would silence his voice.-- AA 569, 570.
Influence of the Holy Spirit -- The simplicity of his words, the sublime power of the truths he uttered, and the spiritual fervour that characterised his teachings, gave him access to all classes. Yet even believers were unable to fully comprehend the sacred mysteries of divine truth unfolded in his discourses. He seemed to be constantly imbued with the Holy Spirit. He sought to bring the thoughts of the people up to grasp the unseen. The wisdom with which he spoke caused his words to drop as the dew, softening and subduing the soul.-- RH Feb. 15, 1881.
Adaptation to His Audience -- With clearness and power Peter bore witness of the death and resurrection of Christ: "Ye men of Israel, hear these words:
Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him . . . ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it."
Peter did not refer to the teachings of Christ to prove his position, because he knew that the prejudice of his hearers was so great that his words on this subject would be of no effect. Instead, he spoke to them of David, who was regarded by the Jews as one of the patriarchs of their nation.-- AA 41.
Christ As His Example -- This courageous defence appalled the Jewish leaders. They had supposed that the disciples would be overcome with fear and confusion when brought before the Sanhedrin. But instead, these witnesses spoke as Christ had spoken, with a convincing power that silenced their adversaries. There was no trace of fear in Peter's voice as he declared of Christ, "This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner."
Peter here used a figure of speech familiar to the priests.-- AA 63, 64.
Defender of Truth -- Stephen, the foremost of the seven deacons, was a man of deep piety and broad faith. Though a Jew by birth, he spoke the Greek
language, and was familiar with the customs and manners of the Greeks. He therefore found opportunity to preach the gospel in the synagogues of the Greek Jews. He was very active in the cause of Christ, and boldly proclaimed his faith. Learned rabbis and doctors of the law engaged in public discussion with him, confidently expecting an easy victory. But "they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake." Not only did he speak in the power of the Holy Spirit, but it was plain that he was a student of the prophecies, and learned in all matters of the law. He ably defended the truths that he advocated, and utterly defeated his opponents.-- AA 97.
Clear, Thrilling Voice -- When Stephen was questioned as to the truth of the charges against him, he began his defence in a clear, thrilling voice, which rang through the council hall. In words that held the assembly spellbound, he proceeded to rehearse the history of the chosen people of God.-- AA 99.
Wisdom and Power -- With power from on high, Stephen reproved the unbelieving priests and elders, and exalted Jesus before them. They could not withstand the wisdom and power with which he spoke.-- EW 197.
Instruction From God -- Paul did not come to the
churches as an orator or as a scientific philosopher. He did not seek merely to please the ear by flowery words and phrases. In eloquent simplicity he proclaimed the things that had been revealed to him. He was able to speak with power and authority, for he frequently received instruction from God in vision.-- 6BC 1084.
Good Reasoning Powers -- He could reason with extraordinary clearness, and by his withering sarcasm could place an opponent in no enviable light . . . An eloquent speaker and a severe critic, Paul, with his stern purpose and undaunted courage, possessed the very qualifications needed in the early church.-- AA 124.
His Life an Example -- Paul carried with him the atmosphere of heaven. All who associated with him felt the influence of his union with Christ. The fact that his own life exemplified the truth he proclaimed, gave convincing power to his preaching. Here lies the power of the truth. The unstudied, unconscious influence of a holy life is the most convincing sermon that can be given in favour of Christianity. Argument, even when unanswerable, may provoke only opposition; but a godly example has a power that it is impossible wholly to resist.-- GW 59.
Sensible, Intelligent Appeals -- His toil-worn hands, as he presented them before the people, bore testimony that he was not chargeable to any man for his support. They detracted nothing, he deemed,
from the force of his pathetic appeals, sensible, intelligent, and eloquent beyond those of any other man who had acted a part in the Christian ministry. -- 6BC 1064.
Step-by-Step Approach -- Paul did not approach the Jews in such a way as to arouse their prejudices. He did not at first tell them that they must believe in Jesus of Nazareth; but dwelt upon the prophecies that spoke of Christ, His mission and His work. Step by step he led his hearers on, showing the importance of honouring the law of God. He gave due honour to the ceremonial law, showing that it was Christ who instituted the Jewish economy and the sacrificial service. Then he brought them down to the first advent of the Redeemer, and showed that in the life and death of Christ every specification of the sacrificial service had been fulfilled.
The Gentiles, Paul approached by exalting Christ, and then presenting the binding claims of the law. He showed how the light reflected by the cross of Calvary gave significance and glory to the whole Jewish economy.
Thus the apostle varied his manner of labour, shaping his message to the circumstances under which he was placed. After patient labour he was successful to a large degree; yet there were many who would not be convinced.-- GW 118.
Modest Language -- There is a striking contrast between the boastful, self-righteous claims of those
who profess to be without sin, and the modest language of the apostle. Yet it was the purity and faithfulness of his own life that gave such power to his exhortations to his brethren.-- SL 86.
Forcible Manner -- With the Spirit of God resting upon him, he would in a clear and forcible manner carry his hearers down through the prophecies to the time of Christ's first advent and show them that the scriptures had been fulfilled which referred to His sufferings, death, and resurrection.-- EW 201, 202.
Convincing Arguments -- Among those who encountered Paul in the marketplace were "certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics"; but they, and all others who came in contact with him, soon saw that he had a store of knowledge even greater than their own. His intellectual power commanded the respect of the learned; while his earnest, logical reasoning and the power of his oratory held the attention of all in the audience. His hearers recognised the fact that he was no novice, but was able to meet all classes with convincing arguments in support of the doctrines he taught. Thus the apostle stood undaunted, meeting his opposers on their own ground, matching logic with logic, philosophy with philosophy, eloquence with eloquence.
His heathen opponents called his attention to the fate of Socrates, who, because he was a setter-forth of strange gods, had been condemned to death; and they counselled Paul not to endanger his life in the
same way. But the apostle's discourses riveted the attention of the people, and his unaffected wisdom commanded their respect and admiration.-- AA 235, 236.
Failure of Mere Eloquence and Logic -- It had been Paul's custom to adopt an oratorical style in his preaching. He was a man fitted to speak before kings, before the great and learned men of Athens, and his intellectual acquirements were often of value to him in preparing the way for the gospel. He tried to do this in Athens, meeting eloquence with eloquence, philosophy with philosophy, and logic with logic; but he failed to meet with the success he had hoped for.-- 6BC 1084.
Simple Presentation of Christ -- The experience of the apostle Paul in meeting the philosophers of Athens has a lesson for us. In presenting the gospel before the court of the Areopagus, Paul met logic with logic, science with science, philosophy with philosophy. The wisest of his hearers were astonished and silenced. His words could not be controverted. But the effort bore little fruit. Few were led to accept the gospel. Henceforth Paul adopted a different manner of labour. He avoided elaborate arguments and discussion of theories, and in simplicity pointed men and women to Christ as the Saviour of sinners.
Writing to the Corinthians of his work among them, he said: "I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom,
declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. . . . My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." 1 Cor. 2:1-5.-- MH 214, 215.
Deep Reasoning -- The facts in the case were that Paul was a man of great learning, and his wisdom and manners charmed his hearers. Learned men were pleased with his knowledge, and many of them believed on Jesus. When before kings and large assemblies, he would pour forth such eloquence as would fascinate all before him. This greatly enraged the priests and elders. Paul could readily enter into deep reasoning and, soaring up, carry the people with him in the most exalted trains of thought, bringing to view the deep riches of the grace of God and portraying before them the amazing love of Christ. Then with simplicity he would come down to the understanding of the common people and in a most powerful manner relate his experience, which called forth from them an ardent desire to become the disciples of Christ.-- EW 206, 207.
Creative Power of the True God -- The people were carried away with admiration for Paul's earnest and logical presentation of the attributes of the true God-- of His creative power, and the existence of His overruling providence. With earnest and fervid
eloquence, the apostle declared, "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things."-- AA 238.
Tact With Heathen Audiences -- Paul's words contain a treasure of knowledge for the church. He was in a position where he might easily have said that which would have irritated his proud listeners, and brought himself into difficulty. Had his oration been a direct attack upon their gods and the great men of the city, he would have been in danger of meeting the fate of Socrates. But with a tact born of divine love, he carefully drew their minds away from heathen deities, by revealing to them the true God, who was to them unknown.-- AA 241.
Christ the Centre of His Mind -- His words were spoken with solemn earnestness, and his hearers could not but discern that he loved with all his heart the crucified and risen Saviour. They saw that his mind was centred in Christ, that his whole life was bound up with his Lord. So impressive were his words, that only those who were filled with the bitterest hatred against the Christian religion could stand unmoved by them.-- AA 247, 248.
Sound, Practical Instruction -- Paul was an eloquent speaker. Before his conversion, he had often sought to impress his hearers by flights of oratory.
But now he set all this aside. Instead of indulging in poetic descriptions and fanciful representations, which might please the senses and feed the imagination, but which would not touch the daily experience, Paul sought by the use of simple language to bring home to the heart the truths that are of vital importance. Fanciful representations of truth may cause an ecstasy of feeling; but all too often, truths presented in this way do not supply the food necessary to strengthen and fortify the believer for the battles of life. The immediate needs, the present trials, of struggling souls-- these must be met with sound, practical instruction in the fundamental principles of Christianity.-- AA 251, 252.
Gospel in Its Simplicity -- During the year and a half that Paul had spent in Corinth, he had purposely presented the gospel in its simplicity. "Not with excellency of speech or of wisdom" had he come to the Corinthians; but with fear and trembling, and "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power," had he declared "the testimony of God," that their "faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." 1 Cor. 2:1, 4, 5.
Paul had necessarily adapted his manner of teaching to the condition of the church. "I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual," he afterward explained to them, "but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." 1 Cor. 3:1.-- AA 270, 271.
His Religion Not a Mere Profession -- His conversation, his influence, his refusal to yield to
self-gratification, must show that his religion was not a profession merely, but a daily, living connection with God. One goal he kept ever before him, and strove earnestly to reach-- "the righteousness which is of God by faith." Phil. 3:9.-- AA 314.
Convincing Power -- With convincing power the apostle set forth the great truth of the resurrection. -- AA 320.
Plain Speech -- The apostle, in the most decided and impressive manner, endeavoured to correct the false and dangerous ideas and practises that were prevailing in the Corinthian church. He spoke plainly, yet in love for their souls.-- AA 321.
Calm, Self-Possessed Bearing -- In the midst of the tumult [see Acts 21:33-40] the apostle was calm and self-possessed. His mind was stayed upon God, and he knew that angels of heaven were about him. He felt unwilling to leave the temple without making an effort to set the truth before his countrymen. As he was about to be led into the castle, he said to the chief captain, "May I speak unto thee?" Lysias responded, "Canst thou speak Greek? Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?" In reply Paul said, "I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people."
The request was granted, and "Paul stood on the
stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people." The gesture attracted their attention, while his bearing commanded respect.-- AA 408.
Personal Experience -- Had he attempted to enter into argument with his opponents, they would have stubbornly refused to listen to his words; but the relation of his experience was attended with a convincing power that for the time seemed to soften and subdue their hearts.-- AA 409.
Evident Sincerity -- In a candid, straightforward manner he stated the object of his visit to Jerusalem, and the circumstances of his arrest and trial. . . . The apostle spoke with earnestness and evident sincerity, and his words carried with them a weight of conviction.-- AA 421.
Clear Defence Before Agrippa -- With clearness and power Paul outlined before Agrippa the leading events connected with the life of Christ on earth.-- AA 436.
True Courtesy -- Look at Paul when brought before rulers. His speech before Agrippa is an illustration of true courtesy as well as persuasive eloquence.-- MH 489, 490.
Caution and Kindness -- He said nothing of the abuse which he had suffered at the hands of the Jews, or of their repeated plots to assassinate him. His words were marked with caution and kindness.
. . . He related his own experience, and presented arguments from the Old Testament Scriptures with simplicity, sincerity, and power.-- AA 450, 451.
As a Voice From Heaven -- With more than human eloquence and power, Paul presents the truths of the gospel. He points his hearers to the sacrifice made for the fallen race. He declares that an infinite price has been paid for man's redemption. . . .
Thus pleads the advocate of truth. Faithful among the faithless, loyal among the disloyal, he stands as God's representative, and his voice is as a voice from heaven. There is no fear, no sadness, no discouragement in word or look. . . .
Many who that day looked upon him, "saw his face as it had been the face of an angel." Acts 6:15.
Never before had that company listened to words like these. They struck a chord that vibrated in the hearts of even the most hardened. Truth, clear and convincing, overthrew error.-- AA 495, 496.
Home Instruction -- Timothy's father was a Greek and his mother a Jewess. From a child he had known the Scriptures. The piety that he saw in his home life was sound and sensible. The faith of his mother and his grandmother in the sacred oracles was to him a constant reminder of the blessing in doing God's will. The Word of God was the rule by which these two godly women had guided Timothy. The spiritual
power of the lessons that he had received from them kept him pure in speech and unsullied by the evil influences with which he was surrounded. Thus his home instructors had cooperated with God in preparing him to bear burdens.
Paul saw that Timothy was faithful, steadfast, and true, and he chose him as
a companion in labour and travel. Those who had taught Timothy in his childhood
were rewarded by seeing the son of their care linked in close fellowship with
the great apostle. Timothy was a mere youth when he was chosen by God to be a
teacher; but his principles had been so established by his early education that
he was fitted to take his place as Paul's helper. And though young, he bore his
responsibilities with Christian meekness.-- AA 203, 204.