Voice in Speech and Song
Efficiency As Workers for Christ -- By diligent effort all may acquire the power to read intelligibly, and to speak in a full, clear, round tone, in a distinct and impressive manner. By doing this we may greatly increase our efficiency as workers for Christ.

Every Christian is called to make known to others the unsearchable riches of Christ; therefore he should seek for perfection in speech. He should present the Word of God in a way that will commend it to the hearers. God does not design that His human channels shall be uncouth. It is not His will that man shall belittle or degrade the heavenly current that flows through him to the world.

We should look to Jesus, the perfect Pattern; we should pray for the aid of the Holy Spirit, and in His strength we should seek to train every organ for perfect work.

Especially is this true of those who are called to public service. Every minister and every teacher should bear in mind that he is giving to the people a message that involves eternal interests. The truth spoken will judge them in the great day of final


reckoning. And with some souls the manner of the one delivering the message will determine its reception or rejection. Then let the word be so spoken that it will appeal to the understanding and impress the heart. Slowly, distinctly, and solemnly should it be spoken, yet with all the earnestness which its importance demands.

The right culture and use of the power of speech has to do with every line of Christian work; it enters into the home life, and into all our intercourse with one another. We should accustom ourselves to speak in pleasant tones, to use pure and correct language, and words that are kind and courteous. Sweet, kind words are as dew and gentle showers to the soul. The Scripture says of Christ that grace was poured into His lips that He might "know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary." Ps. 45:2; Isa. 50:4. And the Lord bids us, "Let your speech be alway with grace" (Col. 4:6) "that it may minister grace unto the hearers." (Eph. 4:29.)-- COL 335, 336.

Neglect of Voice Culture -- The culture and right use of the voice are greatly neglected, even by persons of intelligence and Christian activity. There are many who read or speak in so low or so rapid a manner that they cannot be readily understood. Some have a thick, indistinct utterance; others speak in a high key, in sharp shrill tones, that are painful to the hearers. Texts, hymns, and the reports and other papers presented before public assemblies are sometimes read in such a way that


they are not understood and often so that their force and impressiveness are destroyed.-- COL 335.

Duty of the Teacher -- Voice culture should be taught in the reading class; and in other classes the teacher should insist that the students speak distinctly and use words which express their thoughts clearly and forcibly. Students should be taught to use their abdominal muscles in breathing and speaking. This will make the tones more full and clear.-- CT 216.

A Foundation Subject of Education -- When voice culture, reading, writing, and spelling take their rightful place in our schools, there will be seen a great change for the better. These subjects have been neglected because teachers have not recognised their value. But they are more important than Latin and Greek. I do not say that it is wrong to study Latin and Greek, but I do say that it is wrong to neglect the subjects that lie at the foundation of education in order to tax the mind with the study of these higher branches.-- CT 218.

Melody of the Voice -- Those who gain correct ideas on the subject of voice culture will see the necessity of educating and training themselves so that they may honour God and bless others. They will put themselves under patient, efficient teachers, and learn to read in a way that will preserve the melody of the voice. With an eye single to the glory of God they will make the most of their


natural abilities. Commanding their own powers, they will not be embarrassed by defects of speech, and their usefulness in the cause of God will be increased.-- CT 247.

Soft, Musical Cadence -- The one who gives Bible readings in the congregation or in the family should be able to read with a soft, musical cadence which will charm the hearers.-- 6T 380.

A Great Power -- Let those who labour in word and doctrine strive to perfect themselves in the use of language. The voice is a great power, and yet many have not trained their voices in such a way that they may be used to their highest capacity.-- RH March 5, 1895.

Clear Understanding for Everyone -- He who has bestowed upon us all the gifts that enable us to be workers together with God, expects His servants to cultivate their voices so that they can speak and sing in a way that all can understand.-- 9T 144.

Imperfect Utterance, a Dishonour to God -- Let all make the most of the talent of speech. God calls for a higher, more perfect ministry. He is dishonoured by the imperfect utterance of the one who by painstaking effort could become an acceptable mouthpiece for Him. The truth is too often marred by the channel through which it passes.

The Lord calls upon all who are connected with His service to give attention to the cultivation of the


voice, that they may utter in an acceptable manner the great and solemn truths He has entrusted to them. Let none mar the truth by defective utterance. Let not those who have neglected to cultivate the talent of speech suppose that they are qualified to minister, for they have yet to obtain the power to communicate.-- 6T 382, 383.

Defective Voices of Ministers -- Ministers of the gospel should know how to speak with power and expression, making the words of eternal life so expressive and impressive that the hearers cannot but feel their weight. I am pained as I hear the defective voices of many of our ministers. Such ministers rob God of the glory He might have if they had trained themselves to speak the word with power.

No man should regard himself as qualified to enter the ministry until by persevering effort he has overcome every defect in his utterance. If he attempts to speak to the people without knowing how to use the talent of speech, half his influence is lost, for he has little power to hold the attention of a congregation.-- 6T 381.

Abuse of the Gift of Speech -- The gift of speech has been greatly abused and widely perverted from its intended purpose; but let those who claim to be children of the heavenly King awake to their responsibility, and make the most of this talent. Let no one say, "It is of no use for me to try to pray; for others do not hear me." Rather let him say, "I will make earnest effort to overcome this


God-dishonouring habit of speaking in a low, indistinct tone. I will put myself under discipline until my voice shall be audible even to those who are dull of hearing."-- CT 245, 246.

Christ As Our Pattern -- The teachings of Christ were impressive and solemn; His voice was melodious. And should not we, as well as Christ, study to have melody in our voices? He had a mighty influence, for He was the Son of God. We are so far beneath Him and so far deficient, that, [even if we] do the very best we can, our efforts will be poor. We cannot gain and possess the influence that He had; but why should we not educate ourselves to come just as near to the Pattern as it is possible for us to do, that we may have the greatest possible influence upon the people?

Our words, our actions, our deportment, our dress, everything, should preach. Not only with our words should we speak to the people, but everything pertaining to our person should be a sermon to them, that right impressions may be made upon them, and that the truth spoken may be taken by them to their homes. Thus our faith will stand in a better light before the community.-- 2T 617, 618.

Responsibility of Youth -- Young men and women, have you, as individuals, purchased at infinite cost, sought to study to show yourselves approved unto God, workmen which need not be ashamed? Have you brought to God the precious talent of your voice, and put forth painstaking effort to speak clearly, distinctly,


and readily? However imperfect may be your manner of utterance, you may correct your faults, and refuse to allow yourself to have a nasal tone, or to speak in a thick, indistinct way. If your articulation is distinct and intelligible, your usefulness will be greatly increased. Then do not leave one defective habit of speech uncorrected.-- FE 215.

Correct Language and Cultivated Voice -- The great educating book is the Bible, and yet it is little read or practised. Oh, that every individual would seek to make of himself all that he could, improving his opportunities to the very best of his ability, purposing to use every power which God has given him, not simply to advance his temporal affairs, but to advance his spiritual interests. Oh, that all might search diligently to know what is truth, to study earnestly that they might have correct language and cultivated voices, that they might present the truth in all its elevated and ennobling beauty.

Let no one imagine that he will drift into some position of usefulness. If men would be used to work for God, let them put to the stretch their powers, and concentrate their minds in earnest application. It is Satan that would keep men in ignorance and inefficiency, that they may be developed in a one-sided way which they may never be able to correct. He would have men exercise one set of faculties to the exclusion of the exercise of another set, so that the mind will lose its vigour, and when there is a real necessity, be unable to rise to the emergency. God wants men to do their best, and while Satan is pulling


the mind in one direction, Jesus is drawing it in another.-- FE 256.

Co-workers With the Holy Spirit -- Some reason that the Lord will qualify a man by His Spirit to speak as He would have him; but the Lord does not propose to do the work which He has given man to do. He has given us reasoning powers, and opportunities to educate the mind and manners. And after we have done all we can for ourselves, making the best use of the advantages within our reach, then we may look to God with earnest prayer to do by His Spirit that which we cannot do for ourselves-- RH Feb. 5, 1880.

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