Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Lt 187, 1904

Butler, G. I.; Haskell, S. N.

Nashville, Tennessee

June 3, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in 9MR 97.

Dear Brethren Butler and Haskell,—

Light has been given me in regard to the meetings that are to be held. Directions were given in council as to how the work should be carried on and the interest maintained and at the same time the strength of the workers sustained. One of authority spoke, and all listened with reverent attention: 19LtMs, Lt 187, 1904, par. 1

“A camp-meeting would be of special interest if held where the best class of hearers could attend. This camp-meeting should be followed by tent-meetings. But bear in mind, from the beginning to the close of the meetings, that the hearers will not receive as much benefit from lengthy discourses as from shorter ones. Short sermons will be remembered far better than longer ones. The speakers must learn this lesson. They must remember that the Bible subjects which will be presented will be new to most of the hearers, and that the principal points will have to be often repeated. 19LtMs, Lt 187, 1904, par. 2

“Short discourses will accomplish much good, but lengthy sermons will tax the strength of the speaker. Especially will this be the case if the speaker is one who feels the importance of his message. His physical powers will be overtaxed, and the hearers will have listened to more than they can remember. Ministers go down into the grave worn out by preaching long sermons. 19LtMs, Lt 187, 1904, par. 3

“The subject of temperance should be strongly presented, and a pledge to abstain from all intoxicating liquor and from tobacco should be presented. Habits of intemperance are preventing minds from discerning the importance of the truths which make men wise unto salvation. The brain must be cleared from the befogging influence of intoxicating liquor and tobacco, and then men will realize that Christ has died for their salvation. 19LtMs, Lt 187, 1904, par. 4

“Every effort is to be made to press in the intensely interesting points of truth for this time.” 19LtMs, Lt 187, 1904, par. 5

I woke and found that it was a dream. The words spoken had made a deep impression on my mind, and I thought I would write them out and send them to you. 19LtMs, Lt 187, 1904, par. 6

In conclusion I would say, “On the Sabbath, when the people assemble for worship, let the discourse be short, and let all be given an opportunity to bear testimony.” 19LtMs, Lt 187, 1904, par. 7