Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 11, 1884

Proper Breathing and Good Speaking



Previously unpublished.

Some of our most talented ministers are doing themselves a great injury by their manner of speaking. They are intelligent men and should know that they are not pursuing a course which God can approve. Some do not stand properly; they incline the body forward, thus cramping the lungs. With proper thought and care this can be remedied. When the chest is narrow, the lungs are cramped; they cannot take in a full inspiration of air, and speaking causes great exhaustion. Ministers should stand erect and speak slowly, firmly, and distinctly. The voice should go down deep. Take a full inspiration of air at every sentence, and throw out the words from the lowest part of the lungs, exercising the abdominal muscles. The chest will become broader, and by educating the voice, the speaker need seldom become hoarse by constant speaking. 4LtMs, Ms 11, 1884, par. 1

If our ministers will observe these few simple rules, giving attention to the laws of health in other respects, they may preserve their life and usefulness much longer than when engaged in any other business. 4LtMs, Ms 11, 1884, par. 2

I would say to my ministering brother, unless you educate yourself to speak according to physical law, you will sacrifice your life, and many will mourn the loss of that martyr to the cause of truth. The facts in the case are that by his own wrong habits he has done injustice to himself, injustice to the truth he represented, and injustice to the world, and has robbed God of the service which he might have rendered in the cause for years, had he not shortened his days by his own wicked disregard of physical law. 4LtMs, Ms 11, 1884, par. 3

God would have had his servant live, but he committed suicide. He paid no regard to speaking in a manner which would save his throat and lungs, but nearly destroyed the vocal organs and did violence to his lungs, and when they could no longer suffer the abuse, they failed him. Health and life have been sacrificed by the indulgence of a sinful habit. 4LtMs, Ms 11, 1884, par. 4

If they begin right, it will be very much easier than if they labor without proper instruction and training. God is pleased with men who do not think that they have attained perfection, but who are constantly trying to improve and attain. He would have us come in connection with Him, increase in understanding and wisdom, and reform our habits, ever rising higher and approaching nearer the standard of perfection. 4LtMs, Ms 11, 1884, par. 5

The minister of Christ should continue to search the Scriptures. He will never know so much of Bible truth that he need not search the Scriptures to know more. He may safely dig for knowledge as for hidden treasures; the mind will strengthen with every such effort. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. A true Bible Christian will not find anything in the Word which will justify him in disregarding the laws of life and health. 4LtMs, Ms 11, 1884, par. 6

The Saviour of the world would have His colaborers represent Him, and the more closely any man walks with God, the more faultless will be his manner of address, his deportment, his attitude, and his gestures. Coarseness and uncouth manners were never seen in our Pattern, Christ Jesus. He was a representative of heaven and His followers must be like Him. We are to make daily improvement in ourselves; our ways and manners are to become more like those of the holy angels. Every uncouth gesture and coarse, uncultivated expression should be put far from us. Every imperfection may be overcome if we learn of Jesus and closely follow His example. 4LtMs, Ms 11, 1884, par. 7

Some of our ministers have good matter to present to the people; but the manner in which it is presented has much to do in deciding whether it will be accepted or rejected. All who labor in the great cause of reform should study to become efficient workmen, that they may accomplish the greatest possible amount of good. 4LtMs, Ms 11, 1884, par. 8