Unbalanced Minds. GOD has committed to us each sacred trusts, for which he holds us accountable. It is his purpose that we so educate the mind as to enable us to bring into exercise the talents he has given us in such a manner as will accomplish the greatest good, and reflect back the glory to the Giver. We are indebted to God for all the qualities of the mind. These powers can be cultivated, and so discreetly directed and controlled as to accomplish the purpose for which God gave them.
It is duty to so educate the mind as to bring out the energies of the soul, and develop every faculty, that they may accomplish the purpose for which they were given. The intellect may be strengthened by every faculty being exercised.
Many are not doing the greatest amount of good, because they exercise the intellect in one direction and neglect to give careful attention to those things for which they think they are not adapted; therefore some faculties that are weak are lying dormant for want of exercise, because the work that should call them into exercise and consequently give them strength, is not pleasant to them. All the faculties should be cultivated. All the powers of the mind should be exercised. Perception, judgment, memory, and all the reasoning powers, should have equal strength in order to have well-balanced minds.
If certain faculties are used to the neglect of others, the design of God is not fully carried out in us; for all the faculties have a bearing, and are dependent, in a great measure, upon each other. One cannot be effectually used without the operation of all the other faculties, that the balance may be carefully preserved. If all the attention and strength are given to one, while others lie dormant, the development is strong in that one, and will lead to extremes, because all the powers have not been cultivated. Some are dwarfed, and the intellect is not properly balanced. All minds are not naturally constituted alike. We have varied minds, and strong points of character, and great weaknesses, upon some points. These deficiences, so apparent, need not, and should not, exist. If those who possess them would strengthen the weak points in their character, by cultivation and exercise, they would become strong.
It is agreeable, but not to the greatest profit, to put into exercise the faculties which are naturally the strongest, while we neglect those that are weak, that need to be strengthened. The feeblest faculties should have careful attention, that all the powers of the intellect may be nicely balanced, and all do their part like well-regulated machinery.
All our faculties are dependent upon God for their preservation. Christians are under obligation to God to train the mind, that all the faculties may be strengthened, and more fully developed by cultivation. If we neglect to do this, our faculties will never accomplish the purpose for which they were designed. We have no right to neglect any one of the powers God has given us. We see monomaniacs all over the country. They are frequently sane upon every subject but one. The reason of this is, one organ of the mind has been specially exercised, while the others have been permitted to lie dormant. The one that has been in constant use has become worn and diseased, and the man is a wreck. God was not glorified in his pursuing this course. Had he exercised all the organs equally, all would have strengthened into healthy development, and no one would have broken down because all the labor was thrown upon one.
Ministers should be guarded, that they do not thwart the purposes of God by plans of their own. They are in danger of narrowing down the work of God, and confining their labor to certain localities, and not cultivating a special interest for the work of God generally, and in all its various departments. There are some who concentrate their minds upon one subject, to the exclusion of others which may be of equal importance. They are one-idea men. All the strength of their being is concentrated upon the subject the mind is exercised upon for the time. Every other consideration is lost sight of. The burden of the thoughts, and the theme of conversation, is upon the one subject―their favorite theme. All the evidence which has a bearing in that direction is eagerly seized and appropriated, and dwelt upon at great length, until minds are wearied in following them.
Time is frequently lost in explaining points which are really unimportant, and would be taken for granted without producing proof; for they are self-evident. But the real, vital points should be made as plain and forcible as language and proof can make them. The power to concentrate the mind upon one subject to the exclusion of all others, is well in a degree; but this faculty, constantly cultivated, wears upon certain organs that are called into exercise to do this work, which will tax them too much, and there will be a failure in accomplishing the greatest amount of good. The principal wear comes upon one set of organs, while the others lie dormant, and the mind cannot be healthfully exercised, and, in consequence, life is shortened.
All the faculties should bear a part of the labor, working harmoniously, each balancing the other. Those who put the whole strength of their minds into one subject are greatly deficient on other points; for the reason that the faculties are not cultivated equally. The subject matter before them enchains them, and they are led on, and on, and go deeper and deeper into the matter. They see knowledge and light as they become interested and absorbed. But there are very few minds that can follow them, unless they give the subject the depth of thought they have done. There is danger of such minds plowing, and planting the seed of truth, so deep that the tender, precious blade will never find the surface.
Much hard labor is often expended that is not called for, and that will never be appreciated. If those who have large concentrativeness cultivate this faculty to the neglect of others, they cannot have well-proportioned minds. They are like machinery―only one set of wheels work at the same time. While some wheels are rusting from inaction, others are wearing from constant use. Men who cultivate one or two faculties, and do not exercise all equally, cannot accomplish one-half the good in the world that God designed they should. They are one-sided men―only half the powers God has given them is put to use, while the other half is rusting with inaction.
If this class of minds have a special work, requiring thought, they should not exercise all their powers upon one branch, to the exclusion of every other interest. While they make the subject matter before them their principal business, other branches of the work should have a portion of their time, which would be much better for themselves, and for the cause generally. One branch of the work should not have exclusive attention, to the neglect of all others. In their writings, some need to be constantly guarded, that they do not make points blind that are plain, by covering them up with many arguments, which will not have a lively interest to the reader. If they linger tediously upon points, giving every particular which suggests itself to the mind, their labor is nearly lost. The interest of the reader will not be deep enough to pursue the subject to its close. The most essential points of truth may be made indistinct by giving attention to every minute point. Much ground is covered; but the work upon which so much labor is expended is not calculated to do the greatest amount of good, by awakening a general interest.
In this age, when pleasing fables are drifting upon the surface and attracting the mind, truth presented in an easy style, backed up with a few strong proofs, is better than to search, and bring forth an overwhelming array of evidences; for the point then is not standing so distinct in many minds as before the objections and evidences were brought before them. In many minds, assertions will go farther than long arguments in proof. Many things may be taken for granted. Proof does not help the case in some minds.
Our most bitter opponents are found among the first-day Adventists. They do not engage in the warfare honorably. They will pursue any course, however unreasonable and inconsistent, to cover up the truth, and try to make it appear that the law of God is of no force. And they flatter themselves that the end will justify the means. Men of their own number, in whom they do not have confidence, will commence a tirade against the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and they will give publicity to their statements, however untrue, and unjust, and even ridiculous, if they can make them bear against the truth which they hate.
We should not be moved, or disconcerted, by this unjust warfare from unreasonable men. Those who will receive, and be pleased with, what these men may speak and write against the truth, are not the ones to be convinced of the truth, or that would honor the cause of God if they should accept the truth.
Time and strength can be better employed than to dwell at length upon the quibbles of our opponents who deal in slander and misrepresentations. While precious time is employed in following the crooks and turns of dishonest opponents, the people who are open to conviction are dying for want of knowledge. A train of senseless quibbles are brought before minds, which are of Satan's own invention, while the people are crying for food―meat in due season.
It takes those who have trained their minds to war against the truth to manufacture quibbles. And we are not wise to take them from their hands, and hand them out to thousands who would never have thought of them had we not published them to the world. This is what they want to have done, to be brought to notice, and we publish for them. This is especially true of some. This is their main object in writing out their falsehoods, and misrepresenting the truth and the characters of those who love and advocate the truth. They will die out more speedily to be left unnoticed, treating their falsehoods and errors with silent contempt. They do not want to be let alone. Opposition is the element that they love. If it was not for this, they would have but little influence.
The first-day Adventists are a class that are the most difficult to reach. They will generally reject the truth, as did the Jews. We should, as far as possible, go forward as though there was not such a people in existence. They are the elements of confusion, and immoralities exist among them to a fearful extent. It would be the greatest calamity to have many of their number embrace the truth. They would have to unlearn everything, and learn anew, or they would cause us great trouble. There are occasions where their glaring misrepresentations will have to be met. When this is the case, it should be done promptly, and briefly, and we should then pass on to our work. The plan of Christ's teaching should be ours. He was plain and simple, striking directly at the root of the matter, and the minds of all were met.
And it is not the best policy to be so very explicit, and say all upon a point that can be said, when a few arguments will cover the ground and be sufficient for all practical purposes in convincing or silencing opponents. You may remove every prop to-day, and close the mouths of objectors so that they can say nothing, and to-morrow they will go over the same ground again. Thus it will be, over and over, because they do not love the light, and will not come to the light lest their darkness and error should be removed from them. It is a better plan to keep a reserve of arguments and reasons than to pour out a depth of knowledge upon a subject which would be taken for granted without labored argument. Christ's ministry lasted only three years, and a great work was done in that short period. In these last days, there is a great work to be done in a short time. While many are getting ready to do something, souls will perish for the light and knowledge.
If men who are engaged in presenting and defending the truth of the Bible, undertake to investigate and show the fallacy and inconsistency of men who dishonestly turn the truth of God into a lie, Satan will stir up opponents enough to keep their pens constantly employed, while other branches of the work are left to suffer.
We must have more of the spirit of those men who were engaged in building the walls of Jerusalem, who said, "We are doing a great work, and we cannot come down." If Satan sees he can keep men's voices silent from the most important work for the present time in answering objections of opponents, his object is accomplished.
The Sabbath History has been kept from the people too long. They need this precious work, even if they do not have it in all its perfections. It never can be prepared in a manner to fully silence unreasonable opponents, who are unstable, and who wrest the Scriptures unto their own destruction.
This is a busy world. Men and women, as they engage in the business of life, have not time to meditate, and read even the word of God enough to understand all its important truths. And long-labored arguments will interest but a few. For as the people run, they have to read. You can no more remove the objections to the Sabbath commandment from the minds of the first-day Adventists, than the Saviour of the world could, by his great power and miracles, convince the Jews that he was the Messiah after they had once set themselves to reject him. Like the obstinate, unbelieving Jews, they have chosen darkness rather than light, and should an angel direct from the courts of Heaven speak to them, they would say it was Satan.
The world needs labor now. Calls are coming in from every direction like the Macedonian cry, "Come over and help us." Plain, pointed arguments, standing out as mile posts, will do more in convincing minds generally than a large array of argument, covering a great deal of ground, that none but investigating minds will have interest to follow.
The Sabbath History should be given to the people. While one edition is circulating, and the people are being benefited by it, greater improvements may be made until all has been done possible to bring it to perfection. Our success will be in reaching common minds. Those who have talent and position are so exalted above the simplicity of the work, and so well satisfied with themselves, that they feel no need of the truth. They are exactly where the Jews were, self-righteous, self-sufficient. They are whole, and have no need of the physician.