“The usefulness of an elder will depend in the long run more on his character than on his gifts and knowledge. Quiet Christian consistency will give weight to his words of advice and be a daily lesson to all around.
His walk and conversation, his style of living, his companions and friends, his geniality, his amusements will all have an important influence, not only on his own family, but on the people of his district and congregation.
Young people especially notice, and get good or evil from, much that they do not speak about to others. They should learn from us what a Christian is like, not by the frequent use of certain pious expressions, but by the clear, transparent outflow of a life hid with Christ in God.”
–David Dickson, The Elder and His Work, Eds. George McFarland and Philip Ryken (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1883/2004), 33-34.