Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 11, 1894

Colcord, Brother and Sister

Campground, Middle Brighton, Australia

January 16, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 303; 3SM 29-30.

Dear Brother and Sister Colcord:

I am glad you are here in Australia. We thank the Lord that you have come. And knowing something of your dangers, I must write to you, lest in talking with you my words shall not all be remembered just as I spoke them. 9LtMs, Lt 11, 1894, par. 1

Brother Colcord, you have been educated as a debater; you are sharp and critical, and have trained yourself thus. Now lest you shall misunderstand this people, and hurt yourself and lessen your own influence in this conference, I counsel you to be in constant touch with Christ. You have light, you have had great opportunities, and many advantages which these people have never had. You must consider this, and be constantly a wise, careful, gentle teacher. When opposed, you will be in danger of retaliating in a sharp, debating manner, if you are not constantly softened and subdued by the contemplation of Christ, and have a heart to pray, “Be Thou my pattern.” Looking unto Jesus constantly, catching His spirit, you will be able to present the truth as it is in Jesus. 9LtMs, Lt 11, 1894, par. 2

We are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. An unguarded expression, a cutting remark, may turn an inquirer for truth into an opponent. Bear in mind, my dear brother, that many souls are in the darkness of unbelief. When you give a discourse, you will have to work hard to weed out every accusing, condemnatory word, that not the least occasion may be given to any to call you unkind or severe. Love must be the prevailing element in all our work. In the representation of others who do not believe as we do, every speaker must guard against making statements that will appear severe and like judging. Present the truth, and let the truth, the Holy Spirit of God, act as a reprover, as a judge; but let not your words bruise and wound the soul. 9LtMs, Lt 11, 1894, par. 3

We have most solemn, powerful truth to present to the people, and we are very desirous that every soul shall hear the message and be attracted, so that each one shall draw others to hear. Anything like a censorious spirit will kill your influence and will place a stumbling block in the way of souls. In public labor do not make prominent, and quote, that which Sister White has written, as authority to sustain your positions. To do this will not increase faith in the testimonies. Bring your evidences, clear and plain, from the Word of God. A “Thus saith the Lord,” is the strongest testimony you can possibly present to the people. Let none be educated to look to Sister White, but to the mighty God, who gives instruction to Sister White. 9LtMs, Lt 11, 1894, par. 4

The words given through the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, should be authority, and let all be educated to look to the divine Teacher. Attract minds to Jesus and His words. Beholding Jesus, talking of Jesus, pressing close to the bleeding side of Jesus, you will have His love as a vital current flowing into your soul, and it will flow out in pure and living streams to others. Let not one rasping word be spoken. Let all sharp speeches that you are disposed to make be kept to your individual self. Be as true as steel to principle, wise as a serpent, but harmless as a dove. If your words are not to hurt any one, you will have to speak only the words that you are sure will not be harsh and cold and severe. You need so much the humble spirit of Jesus who could embrace the whole world in His arms of mercy. 9LtMs, Lt 11, 1894, par. 5

While you shall present the subject of religious liberty in this country, leave out from your words all severity; give the people the Bible truth, but do not mingle self with the truth, and dilute it by your own spirit and your own words. You need to cherish love, precious love, to all with whom you come in contact. Come close to <hearts,> breathe in the atmosphere of heaven, and gather to your own soul the love that dwelt in the bosom of Jesus. Of all the people in the world, <reformers> should be the most unselfish, the kindest, the most courteous, learning Christ’s ways and words and works. Walk humbly with God, and you will find constant comfort and peace. 9LtMs, Lt 11, 1894, par. 6