Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 118, 1899

The Work in the South


August 21, 1899 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 4MR 12-13. +Note

My mind is much troubled over the position some of our brethren are taking in regard to the work in the Southern States. One point is strongly impressed on my mind. Those who labor in that field will have to work in different lines in some respects. They must be very cautious. Let no rash moves be made. Our methods of working must be carefully and prayerfully considered. A crisis is just before Seventh-day Adventists, and the Lord would not have any of us [be] presumptuous and invite persecution. 14LtMs, Ms 118, 1899, par. 1

The question has been asked, Should not the workers in the Southern Field work on Sunday? This should not be made a rule among the believers in the South. Let the workers seek counsel of God. He has promised, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, which giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. But let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” [James 1:5-7.] 14LtMs, Ms 118, 1899, par. 2

It will not do to encourage the people to do manual work on Sunday. Sunday-keeping is not yet the mark of the beast, and will not be until the decree goes forth causing men to worship this idol sabbath. The time will come when this day will be the test, but that time has not come yet. The colored people may work on Sunday as on other days of the week before the Sabbath truth is brought to them, but if they do this after they have accepted the truth, they will be noticed and condemned. Prejudice is strong in the South, and in presenting the Sabbath great care should be taken. The people will soon learn all you believe. Educate the people in the simplest manner, and make no great stir about it. Use every precaution, lest you be cut off from your work. 14LtMs, Ms 118, 1899, par. 3

The spirit which has held the colored people so long in slavery is alive today, and among the whites there are those who will work in every possible way against that which has a tendency to uplift the colored people. As soon as church members become arrayed against the truth, they will seek to hedge up the way of the workers, doing all in their power to make of none effect the Word of God. False statements will be made by the enemies of the truth in regard to the work of the servants of God, and the ignorant classes will become their ready dupes. This is the way the false teachers worked when Christ was on the earth. 14LtMs, Ms 118, 1899, par. 4

If you would make the Southern whites and the colored people your friends, you must meet them where they are, not to act as they act, to sin as they sin, but to present the truth to them in your daily life. This people must be taught as you would teach children their alphabet. The truth must be brought before them by presenting to them the lessons of Christ in their simplicity. It is impossible for man to convince the wrongdoer of sin, but the Holy Spirit will work upon human hearts. 14LtMs, Ms 118, 1899, par. 5

By unwise words the colored people will be led to think that they can defy their oppressors; therefore we must avoid stirring up their excitable natures. Speak no word that will prejudice the negroes against the whites. Satan is seeking for opportunities to work these ignorant, passionate colored people, by causing them to misunderstand the motives of the white people in laboring for them. Let no spirit of resistance be encouraged. Teach the people to conform in all things to the laws of their state, when they can do so without conflicting with the law of God. Counsel needs to be very guardedly given, for unless you are as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves, your way will be hedged up. 14LtMs, Ms 118, 1899, par. 6