Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Lt 343, 1905

Brethren in Nashville


August 5, 1905 [typed]

Previously unpublished.

Dear brethren in Nashville,—

There is a decided work before you. In your meetings, let care be shown to have the singing as good as possible. Choose singers with clear, musical voices, and in connection with the singing, let there be several different kinds of instruments. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 1

In the Bible readings that are held, choose interesting subjects, which are full of encouragement and lead the minds of your hearers on step by step. In giving instruction regarding the things of God, let your language be so simple, that a child can understand it. Your own heart should be full of the Spirit of God as you strive to follow the instruction, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” [Matthew 28:20.] In your teaching, you must realize that your hearers know little about the Word of God, that their understanding in regard to heavenly things is limited. You must make the main points plain and clear, repeating them again and again. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 2

Teaching the truth calls for great simplicity and for much painstaking effort. Learning to play on an instrument requires patient, painstaking effort. The notes must be learned and the scales practiced. Time must be spent on the exercises. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 3

How much more necessary that time should be spent on learning to be a teacher of truth. Tact and intelligence are needed in order to play, as it were, on the human mind with such skill as to produce the best results. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 4

The teacher of the truth should know how to speak plainly and distinctly. He should know how to deal with different minds. He should remember that those whom he is teaching know little of Bible truth, and that in order for his words to be effectual, Christ must impress their hearts. God would have the teacher of truth prepared to impart the knowledge of the love of Christ. Constantly he is to acknowledge the divine presence. His one desire should be to offer to God service that will make others wise unto salvation. Ever he is to remember that he himself is to be a learner in the school of Christ. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 5

A sense that the great Teacher is with the one doing service, even unto the end of the world, brings strength and courage. The teacher needs to have fresh manna to present every day. In order to present ideas that are forcible and uplifting, he must daily renew his acquaintance with Bible truth. He should resolutely discard novels and all other reading that is of no help to him in his work. He should refuse to feed on chaff, the worthless things that are found in the newspapers and magazines of today, and should fill his mind with the precious principles of truth found in God’s Word. He should caution those whom he teaches against leaving the door of the mind unguarded. Foolish reading unfits the mind for a comprehension of the truth for this time, which is to sanctify the soul. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 6

He who gives his mind as food, weak, trashy reading, will find that when he desires to comprehend a point of truth, he has not the power to do so. The perceptions have been abused and the memory clogged by the reading of that which has no power to uplift the mind or quicken the understanding. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 7

Advanced intelligence must have a clear track. All rubbish should be kept out of the mind, that the Holy Spirit may have room to work. The Lord is calling for missionary workers, and we as a people are to be wide-awake; for Satan is bringing in all his agencies to carry out his purpose of evil. As a people we are to refuse to give place in our homes to the mass of fiction that is flooding our world. We are to close the door of the mind against unprofitable reading and fix our attention on the Book of books, God’s holy Word. We are to be thoroughly conversant with the truth for this time. Never was there a time when we needed to guard our thoughts so carefully as now. Our youth are to be taught to let alone the cheap, worthless literature that is flooding the world. I entreat our people not to spend their money for that which is not bread by buying worthless books and magazines. I entreat them not to allow worthless reading to occupy their minds, to the exclusion of the great, grand, sublime truths in the Word of God. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 8

I hope that these few suggestions may help older persons as well as younger ones to become acquainted with the Word in accordance with the directions that Christ has given in the sixth chapter of John. My brethren and sisters, this chapter contains lessons that all need to learn. Read and study it. Meditate upon the truths that it contains. Eat the bread of life. Commit this chapter to memory, and keep the magazines off your tables. Save for the cause of God the dimes and dollars that are worse than thrown away when spent for unprofitable reading matter. Put this money in the self-denial boxes to help the work in the southern field. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 9

Heart-work alone will stand the test of God. Let us do all in our power to gain an understanding of the Word, that we may communicate it to others. We are to give plain, direct expositions of the Scriptures, that those whom we teach may take in the real meaning and may be led out to ask for more truth. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 10

In order to teach others, we must first be taught ourselves in the school of Christ. May God help us to realize that there is marrow and fatness for us in the Word of God, and may He give us an appetite for the bread of heaven. Daily we are to eat this bread, making the principles of truth a part of our lives. As we do this, at the same time sharing with others the blessings we receive, teaching all things that Christ has commanded, the promise will be fulfilled, “Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 11

We are to make constant advancement toward perfection in speech and in deportment. We are to make steady progress heavenward, leading others in the path of self-denial and sacrifice. The cleansing power of the blood of Christ is to become more and more our hope and crown of rejoicing. We are to be filled with an earnest desire to make known the power that this blood has to cleanse the soul from sin. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 12

Our work is before us. Your work is before you in Nashville. We are to love the Lord our God with all the heart, and we are to point others to the Lamb of God, that they may appreciate the goodness and mercy of Him who gave His life for us, that we might be refined, purified, and ennobled. We are to reveal Christ to the world, that others, seeing our good works, may glorify our Father who is in heaven. After diligent practice, it will not take us long to do our work well and acceptably and worthily. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 13

Then it will be seen that Christ is with his people, co-operating with those who are doing His will with true purpose of heart. What a power, in the presence of the Saviour, each Christian can and should possess. For this we are to make any and every sacrifice. My brethren and sisters in Nashville, be sure that you are giving a true representation of Christ. If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine. Seek earnestly for the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Let self be crucified. You will find that your hardest task will be to deny self. Some have cherished self for so long that it has become a giant, exceedingly difficult to control. Laborers together with God—this is what we are to be, not trusting in self or exalting self, but dying to self and living to Christ. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 14

Let every one be determined to gain precious victories in the service of Christ. Wear the yoke of Christ and heed the invitation, “Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] There are triumphs to gain in every line of service. Satan is waiting for an opportunity to gain possession of the mind and heart and will. Let those who name the name of Christ make an entire clearance of the soul-temple of all that is opposed to God. Believers are to [have] a confirmed, settled faith in a personal God and a personal Christ. The Father and the Son are perfect in their individual identity, and at the same time, they are perfect in their oneness. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 15

We cannot read too much of Christ’s teaching. We cannot learn too well what He is to us. We need more diligence in studying the word of God. We need a faith that we have not cherished. We need to pray and believe and watch unto prayer. We need to fill our minds with the principles of truth; for they are food for the soul. 20LtMs, Lt 343, 1905, par. 16