We should not be moved or disconcerted by this unjust warfare from unreasonable men. Those who receive, and are pleased with, what these men speak and write against the truth are not the ones who would be convinced of the truth or who would honour the cause of God if they should accept it. Time and strength can be better employed than to dwell at length upon the quibbles of our opponents who deal in slander and misrepresentations. While precious time is employed in following the crooks and turns of dishonest opponents, the people who are open to conviction are dying for want of knowledge. A train of senseless quibbles of Satan's own invention is brought before minds, while the people are crying for food, for meat in due season.
It takes those who have trained their minds to war against the truth to manufacture quibbles. And we are not wise to take them from their hands, and pass them out to thousands who would never have thought of them had we not published them to the world. This is what our opponents want to have done; they want to be brought to notice and to have us publish for them. This is especially true of some. This is their main object in writing out their falsehoods and in misrepresenting the truth and the characters of those who love and advocate the truth. They will die out more speedily to be left unnoticed, to have their errors and falsehoods treated with silent contempt. They do not want to be let alone. Opposition is the element that they love. If it were not for this, they would have but little influence.
The first-day Adventists as a class are the most difficult to reach. They generally reject the truth, as did the Jews. We should, as far as possible, go forward as though there were not such a people in existence. They are the elements of confusion, and immoralities exist among them to a fearful extent. It would be the greatest calamity to have many of their number embrace the truth. They would have to unlearn everything and learn anew, or they would cause us great trouble. There are occasions where their glaring misrepresentations will have to be met. When this is the case, it should be done promptly and briefly, and we should then pass on to our work. The plan of Christ's teaching should be ours. He was plain and simple, striking directly at the root of the matter, and the minds of all were met.
It is not the best policy to be so very explicit and say all upon a point that can be said, when a few arguments will cover the ground and be sufficient for all practical purposes to convince or silence opponents. You may remove every prop today and close the mouths of objectors so that they can say nothing, and tomorrow they will go over the same ground again. Thus it will be, over and over, because they do not love the light and will not come to the light, lest their darkness and error should be removed from them. It is a better plan
to keep a reserve of arguments than to pour out a depth of knowledge upon a subject which would be taken for granted without laboured argument. Christ's ministry lasted only three years, and a great work was done in that short period. In these last days there is a great work to be done in a short time. While many are getting ready to do something, souls will perish for the light and knowledge.
If men who are engaged in presenting and defending the truth of the Bible undertake to investigate and show the fallacy and inconsistency of men who dishonestly turn the truth of God into a lie, Satan will stir up opponents enough to keep their pens constantly employed, while other branches of the work will be left to suffer.
We must have more of the spirit of those men who were engaged in building the walls of Jerusalem. We are doing a great work, and we cannot come down. If Satan sees that he can keep men answering the objections of opponents, and thus keep their voices silent, and hinder them from doing the most important work for the present time, his object is accomplished.
The Sabbath History has been kept from the people too long. They need this precious work, even if they do not have it in all its perfection. It never can be prepared in a manner to fully silence unreasonable opponents, who are unstable, and who wrest the Scriptures unto their own destruction. This is a busy world. Men and women who engage in the business of life have not time to meditate, or even to read the word of God enough to understand all its important truths. Long, laboured arguments will interest but a few; for the people have to read as they run. You can no more remove the objections to the Sabbath commandment from the minds of first-day Adventists than could the Saviour of the world, by His great power and miracles, convince the Jews that He was the Messiah, after they had once set themselves to reject Him. Like the obstinate, unbelieving Jews, they have chosen darkness rather than light, and should an angel direct from the courts of heaven speak to them, they would say it was Satan.
The world needs labour now. Calls are coming in from every direction like the Macedonian cry: "Come over and help us." Plain, pointed arguments, standing our as mileposts, will do more toward convincing minds generally than will a large array of arguments which cover a great deal of ground, but which none but investigating minds will have interest to follow. The Sabbath History should be given to the people. While one edition is circulating, and the people are being benefited by it, greater improvements may be made, until everything possible has been done to bring it to perfection. Our success will be in reaching common minds. Those who have talent and position are so exalted above the simplicity of the work, and so well satisfied with themselves, that they feel no need of the truth. They are exactly where the Jews were, self-righteous, self-sufficient. They are whole and have no need of a physician.