Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 18, 1885

Remarks/Remarks at the European Council

Basel, Switzerland

September 20, 1885

This manuscript is published in entirety in 21MR 300.

Open-Air Meetings

I would like to speak a word in regard to open-air meetings. There is no one who can long bear the taxation to the throat and lungs of speaking in the open air. I have spoken thus more or less for the last forty years, and I know how trying it is. And in this country, it must be especially taxing on account of the dampness of the air. 4LtMs, Ms 18, 1885, par. 1

Another objection to holding open-air meetings is the fact that the congregation is constantly changing, and one cannot come close to them by personal effort. One might preach in the open air till the Lord comes and then be unable to show definite result. Then, too, this kind of labor has a tendency to make the laborer [deficient] in not obtaining that kind of experience that is fitting him to be a perfect workman, for he becomes negligent in regard to following up his own work and binding it off securely. He does not obtain that experience that will make him an able minister of Christ. He has very little encouragement to grow in the truth, to obtain a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, and he does not obtain that experience that will make him an able minister for Christ. 4LtMs, Ms 18, 1885, par. 2

I do not wish to be understood that open-air meetings never should be held. They may be held at times as a necessity, but this is not the best regular means of presenting the truth. We have a different work to do. We must remove the rubbish of error which is piled about the people. In order to do, this we should be more personal in our labor and should have something fresh like the manna from heaven to present as their wants require. From such meetings the people do not obtain the best ideas of our work. We want them to understand that we have the most sacred truth ever given to mortals. 4LtMs, Ms 18, 1885, par. 3

Taken From a Report for Review on English Mission: 4LtMs, Ms 18, 1885, par. 4

Open-air meetings are quite common in England. If conducted on right principles, these are good. Jesus placed Himself in the great thoroughfares of travel, where His voice was heard by thousands. The precious words that fell from His lips found a lodgment in many hearts and caused them to search and see if these things were so. 4LtMs, Ms 18, 1885, par. 5