Men are selfish by nature. They act from impulse, without reference to the will of God. Their own will is their criterion. He who would lead souls away from the world, must have great wisdom. His lessons must be given by example as well as by precept; he must possess the same self-denying spirit that was in Christ. If he cherishes the spirit that the world has, he will give evidence of it by seeking his own ease and pleasure and honor; he will be indolent, doing his work negligently, loving luxuries, living like the world. To those who have this spirit, God speaks, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate.” Our work for the salvation of souls will not be done without a conflict. We shall have to practice self-denial, overcome inclination, relinquish the spirit and passions of the world, and be ready to sacrifice even life itself, if need be, for Christ’s sake.
The spirit and works of Christ’s disciples stand out in vivid contrast to the selfishness of the world. His followers give evidence that they are controlled by a will-power that is higher than any human will. In order to succeed in our labors, we must work with God, be moved by his Spirit. Then he will work with us. “Without me ye can do nothing;” with Christ we can do all things. There must be a coming out from the world,–a separation in interest, in spirit, in language, in hopes, in aims. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
– The Review and Herald, January 6, 1891