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Evangelism

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    Timely Cautions

    Qualities of Good Music—Great improvement can be made in singing. Some think that the louder they sing the more music they make; but noise is not music. Good singing is like the music of the birds—subdued and melodious.Ev 510.4

    In some of our churches I have heard solos that were altogether unsuitable for the service of the Lord's house. The long-drawn-out notes and the peculiar sounds common in operatic singing are not pleasing to the angels. They delight to hear the simple songs of praise sung in a natural tone. The songs in which every word is uttered clearly, in a musical tone, are the songs that they join us in singing. They take up the refrain that is sung from the heart with the spirit and the understanding.—Manuscript 91, 1903.Ev 510.5

    Proper Balance in Time Given to Singing—Improvements can be made in our manner of conducting camp meetings, so that all who attend may receive more direct labor. There are some social meetings held in the large tent, where all assemble for worship; but these are so large that only a small number can take part, and many speak so low that but few can hear them.... In some instances much time was devoted to singing. There was a long hymn before prayer, a long hymn after prayer, and much singing interspersed all through the meeting. Thus golden moments were used unwisely, and not one-half the good was done that might have been realized had these precious seasons been properly managed.—The Review and Herald, November 27, 1883.Ev 511.1

    Ceremony and Display—Form and ceremony do not constitute the kingdom of God. Ceremonies become multitudinous and extravagant as the vital principles of the kingdom of God are lost. But it is not form and ceremony that Christ requires. He hungers to receive from His vineyard fruit in holiness and unselfishness, deeds of goodness, mercy, and truth.Ev 511.2

    Gorgeous apparel, fine singing, and instrumental music in the church do not call forth the songs of the angel choir. In the sight of God these things are like the branches of the unfruitful fig tree which bore nothing but pretentious leaves. Christ looks for fruit, for principles of goodness and sympathy and love. These are the principles of heaven, and when they are revealed in the lives of human beings, we may know that Christ is formed within, the hope and glory. A congregation may be the poorest in the land, without music or outward show, but if it possesses these principles, the members can sing, for the joy of Christ is in their souls, and this they can offer as a sweet oblation to God.—Manuscript 123, 1899.Ev 511.3

    Music Acceptable to God—The superfluities which have been brought into the worship in _____ must be strenuously avoided.... Music is acceptable to God only when the heart is sanctified and made soft and holy by its facilities. But many who delight in music know nothing of making melody in their hearts to the Lord. Their heart is gone “after their idols.”—Letter 198, 1899.Ev 512.1

    A Misuse of Music—When professing Christians reach the high standard which it is their privilege to reach, the simplicity of Christ will be maintained in all their worship. Forms and ceremonies and musical accomplishments are not the strength of the church. Yet these things have taken the place that God should have, even as they did in the worship of the Jews.Ev 512.2

    The Lord has revealed to me that when the heart is cleansed and sanctified, and the members of the church are partakers of the divine nature, a power will go forth from the church, who believe the truth, that will cause melody in the heart. Men and women will not then depend upon their instrumental music but on the power and grace of God, which will give fullness of joy. There is a work to be done in clearing away the rubbish which has been brought into the church....Ev 512.3

    This message is not only for the church at _____, but for every other church that has followed her example.—Manuscript 157, 1899.Ev 512.4

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