He was an interesting speaker, and his exhortations, both to professed Christians and the impenitent, were appropriate and powerful. Sometimes a solemnity so marked as to be painful, pervaded his meetings. A sense of the impending crisis of human events impressed the minds of the listening crowds.-- LS 27.
Boldness in Acting and Speaking -- God should have the glory for the unbending integrity and noble courage to vindicate the right and condemn the wrong which my husband has had. Just such firmness and decision were necessary at the
commencement of the work, and they have been needed all along, as it progressed step by step. He has stood in defence of the truth without yielding a single principle to please the best friend. He has had an ardent temperament, bold and fearless in acting and speaking. This has often led him into difficulties which he might frequently have avoided. He has been obliged to stand more firmly, to be more decided, to speak more earnestly and boldly, because of the very different temperament of the men connected with him in his labour.-- LS 243.
Clearness of Mind -- After God had tested and proved us in the furnace of affliction, He raised up my husband and gave him greater clearness of mind and power of intellect to plan and execute than he had before his affliction. When my husband felt his own weakness and moved in the fear of God, then the Lord was his strength. Prompt in speech and action, he has pushed forward reforms where they would otherwise have languished. He has made very liberal donations, fearing that his means would prove a snare to him.-- LS 244.
Precious Light of Truth for Himself -- God has permitted the precious light of truth to shine upon His Word and illuminate the mind of my husband. He may reflect the rays of light from the presence of Jesus upon others by his preaching and writing.-- 3T 502.
Greater Light for Others -- I was shown that his relation to the people of God was similar, in some respects, to that of Moses to Israel. There were murmurers against Moses, when in adverse circumstances, and there have been murmurers against him. . . . He has also given my husband great light upon Bible subjects, not for himself alone, but for others. I saw that these things should be written and talked out, and that new light would continue to shine upon the Word.-- 3T 85.
Instrument of God for Reproof -- As my husband has stood by my side to sustain me in my work, and has borne a plain testimony in unison with the work of the Spirit of God, many have felt that it was he personally who was injuring them, when it was the Lord who laid upon him the burden and who was, through His servant, reproving them and seeking to bring them where they would repent of their wrongs and have the favour of God.-- 3T 261.
Influence of His Writings -- My husband has laboured untiringly to bring the publishing interest up to its present state of prosperity. I saw that he had had more sympathy and love from his brethren than he has thought he had. They eagerly search the paper to find something from his pen. If there is a tone of cheerfulness in his writings, if he speaks encouragingly, their hearts are lightened, and some even weep with tender feelings of joy. But if gloom and sadness are
expressed, the countenances of his brethren and sisters, as they read, grow sad, and the spirit which characterises his writings is reflected upon them.-- 3T 96, 97.
W. W. Prescott
Source of Success -- I know that since coming to this place he has had the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; his lips have been touched with a live coal from off the altar. We know and can distinguish the voice of the True Shepherd. The truth has been poured forth from the lips of the servant of God as the people had never heard it before; unbelievers turn pale, and say, "That man is inspired." The people do not stroll about the grounds, but go immediately into the tent, and listen as if spellbound.
Every day some of our workers go out into the suburbs with [copies of the Bible] Echoes , notices, and invitations to come to the meeting, where such wonderful things are presented from the Word of God. The Lord is pouring into the chambers of the mind and the soul temple fresh light, as precious as gold. I never heard the Word presented with greater fervency and power. I know it must be through the constraining power of God upon the human instrument. It is remarked by many that there is no manner of disturbance upon the ground. Every time I enter the encampment, I think the angels of God are here.-- Lt 82, 1895.
God's Modern Messenger
First Speech (Poland, Maine, 1845) -- For three months my throat and lungs had been so diseased that I could talk but little, and that in a low and husky tone. On this occasion I stood up in meeting and commenced to speak in a whisper. I continued thus for about five minutes, when the soreness and obstruction left me, my voice became clear and strong, and I spoke with perfect ease and freedom for nearly two hours. When my message was ended, my voice was gone until I again stood before the people, when the same singular restoration was repeated. I felt a constant assurance that I was doing the will of God, and saw marked results attending my efforts.-- LS 72, 73.
Strength From the Lord -- Sabbath I was very feeble. After speaking to the people I was so wearied I came near fainting. The people said they had never seen me look so wretched before. I lost fifteen pounds of flesh in three weeks. Sunday I entreated the Lord to give me strength to bear my testimony to the people, and I believed. I went upon the stand in great weakness, talked one hour and a half, and left the stand much stronger than I went upon it, and kept all the strength that was given me on that occasion. . . .
I have just received an appeal from the most influential men of Dunlap-- bankers, ministers, and merchants-- to repeat my discourse given Sunday under the tent, on temperance, in the Congregational church.-- Lt 22, 1879.
Power by the Holy Spirit -- When I have been expected to speak to many people, at times I have felt that it was impossible for me to appear day after day before great congregations. But I have tried to place myself physically in right relation to God. Then I have said to Him, "I have done all I can do, Lord, using Thine own means, and now I ask for the special blessing which Thou alone canst give to sustain me." With trembling steps I have walked into the desk to speak to assembled thousands; but the moment I have stood before the congregation, the Spirit of God has always come to me with strengthening power.
Often I said to my husband while he was with me, "If only I could have the assurance beforehand, how much good it would do me." He would answer, "God has never failed to bless you the moment you rise to speak; so whatever may be your feelings, you must put your trust in Him, hanging your helpless soul on His promises." This I have tried to do. I have learned that we must act our part, cooperating with God. He gives strength for every duty.-- Ms 111, 1901.
Voice Given Her of God -- When I was only about eleven years old, I heard a minister read the
account of Peter's imprisonment, as recorded in the book of Acts; and he read in so impressive a manner that the details of the story in all their reality seemed to be passing before my eyes. So deep was the impression made upon my mind that I have never forgotten it.
When, a few years afterward, I was speaking in general meetings, I met this man again, and at the close of my discourse he asked, "How did you get that wonderful voice?" I told him that the Lord had given it to me. When I began my public labours, I had no voice, except when I stood before the congregations to speak. At other times I could not speak above a whisper. "And," I added, "I have often thought of what you said to the people when someone asked you how you became a minister. You told them that your friends said you could never be a minister, because you could not speak properly; but that you went away by yourself and talked to the trees in the woods; and then when driving the oxen, you would talk to them just as if you were in meeting. 'This,' you said, 'is the way I learned to speak in public.'"-- Ms 91, 1903.
Divine Aid in Speaking -- The following day I was ill, and very weak. The cold had taken a firm hold on my system. I doubted if I should be able to speak on the morrow. However, I ventured to allow the brethren to make an appointment for me to address the people Sabbath forenoon. I made the Lord my entire dependence; for I knew that unless He should be my helper, I could not speak more than a few
words. My throat and head were greatly troubled. I was so hoarse that I could scarcely speak aloud.
Sabbath morning I felt no better. At the appointed hour, I went over to the chapel, and found it crowded. I feared I should fail, but began talking. The moment I began to speak, strength was imparted. I was relieved of hoarseness, and spoke without difficulty for nearly an hour. My illness seemed to disappear, and my mind was clear. As soon as I finished speaking, the hoarseness came upon me again, and I began coughing and sneezing as before.
To me, this experience was a marked evidence of divine help.-- RH July 19, 1906.
Long Sermons by Ellen White -- [* THIS ENTRY AS WELL AS THE NEXT FORM PART OF AN IMPROMPTU DISCUSSION DURING A TALK ELLEN WHITE GAVE TO THE GENERAL CONFERENCE AT LAKE GOGUAC, MICHIGAN, JULY 14, 1890.] ELDER UNDERWOOD: "DO WE PREACH TOO LONG?"
Ellen White: "Yes, indeed; and I, too; I take that right to myself. I preach too long."
W. C. WHITE: "LET ME ASK A QUESTION. ARE WE TO TAKE YOUR EXAMPLE AS AN EXPONENT OF YOUR VIEWS?"
Ellen White: "Well, didn't I just make my confession? And haven't I given you an example? I consider myself an exception, but I think I have ventured too far even in the exception. But I will tell you why I consider myself an exception. I have been taken by my husband and carried on the cars and laid on the seat, and I have gone to a place of meeting
and have stood under paralysis that had been upon me for weeks, so that I have not been able to command my language to speak a sentence correctly. And yet I would stand on my feet before the public and make my testimony as straight as a string. The Spirit of the Lord was upon me. Everyone is not an exception. Now, how can I tell when I am going too far? I have been brought up to that point again and again. . . .
"Now, how far shall I go? I have taken the position that if the Lord gives me a burden for the Battle Creek church, I will tell it to them; but unless I have a burden, I have nothing more to say. I spoke 21 times in as many days there at Battle Creek. I did not speak every day, but some days spoke twice. This was before I left; and I never got rested until it resulted in this terrible sickness. I knew, and told them at Fresno, that I was fighting my last round. And then in those private meetings the labour was worse than speaking in public, and having to tell them such straight things as I had to tell them.
"Now I do not know whether your question is answered or not; perhaps it is like a long sermon: it is so long that you have lost the main point."
ELDER WHITE: "NOW I HAVE QUESTIONED SOMEWHAT WHETHER ONE PERSON HAD THE RIGHT TO SHAPE HIS ACTION ON ANOTHER'S EXPERIENCE. I HAVE QUESTIONED IF IT WAS NOT OUR DUTY TO SHAPE OUR ACTION ON OUR OWN EXPERIENCE."
Ellen White: "Well, now, it has been like this. I have been sick and in pain; and I want to tell you that there is never a time when I make an
appointment but that before that appointment comes I have wrestled with the most terrible difficulty of the heart, or some infirmity, that makes it seem like an impossibility for me to go before the public. And yet just as soon as I stand on my feet before the people I feel just as sure that the angels of God are right by my side as if I opened my eyes and looked upon them as I did at Christ at the time He restored me. I am taken right out of and above myself. I feel just as though, as it were, the judgement is right before me; just as though the universe of heaven is looking upon me, and as though I have these things to do and I must say them if I drop dead in the desk. Now, I do not believe it is the duty of others to do that. And every day I feel that way. It is because the terrible realities of eternity are opened before me, and as soon as I get up on my feet the terrible realities seem to enshroud me like a garment."-- Ms 19b, 1890.
Voice, Volume, and Speed -- ELDER FARNSWORTH: "DON'T YOU THINK, SISTER WHITE, A GREAT MANY OF OUR MINISTERS HAVE RECEIVED GREAT INJURY FROM THEIR MANNER OF SPEAKING?"
Ellen White: "Oh, yes, indeed; I have seen it over and over. My husband got in the way of sometimes raising his voice very loud, and it seemed as though he could not get out of that way. And there is a brother in Texas, Brother A, that is dying just as sure as if he put a knife to his throat. Now since I have come here I have thought of that and I must
write to him."
ELDER KILGORE: "HE HAS BEEN TOLD ABOUT THAT."
ELDER FARNSWORTH: "THEY ARE ALL AROUND IN EVERY CONFERENCE."
Ellen White: "In my younger days I used to talk too loud. The Lord has shown me that I could not make the proper impression upon the people by getting the voice to an unnatural pitch. Then Christ was presented before me, and His manner of talking. There was a sweet melody in His voice. His voice, in a slow, calm manner, reached those who listened; His words penetrated their hearts, and they were able to catch on to what He said before the next sentence was spoken. Some seem to think they must race right straight along or else they will lose the inspiration and the people will lose the inspiration. If that is inspiration, let them lose it, and the sooner the better.
"Well, I wrote an article on that point when I was at St. Helena because I felt as though our ministers were going down, and there was some cause for it."-- Ms 19b, 1890.
Messages From God's Spirit -- When I am speaking to the people I say much that I have not premeditated. The Spirit of the Lord frequently comes upon me. I seem to be carried out of, and away from, myself; the life and character of different persons are clearly presented before my mind. I see their errors and dangers, and feel compelled to speak of what is thus brought before me.-- 5T 678.
Revelation Through Visions -- Before I stand on my feet, I have no thought of speaking as plainly as I do. But the Spirit of God rests upon me with power, and I cannot but speak the words given me. I dare not withhold one word of the testimony. . . . I speak the words given me by a Power higher than human power, and I cannot, if I would, recall one sentence.
In the night season the Lord gives me instruction in symbols, and then explains their meaning. He gives me the word, and I dare not refuse to give it to the people. The love of Christ, and, I venture to add, the love of souls, constrains me, and I cannot hold my peace.-- Ms 22, 1890.
Husband and Wife a Speaking Team -- At first I moved out timidly in the work of public speaking. If I had confidence, it was given me by the Holy Spirit. If I spoke with freedom and power, it was given me of God. Our meetings were usually conducted in such a manner that both of us took part. My husband would give a doctrinal discourse, then I would follow with an exhortation of considerable length, melting my way into the feelings of the congregation. Thus my husband sowed and I watered the seed of truth, and God did give the increase.-- 1T 75.
Life of Christ and the Health Question -- Evening after the Sabbath, I spoke again to a large number. Sunday the Methodist church was opened. Father spoke in the forenoon and I spoke in the afternoon
upon the life, sufferings, and resurrection of Christ. An appointment was given out for the evening for me to speak at the hall upon the health question. Long before the hour, the hall was full to overflowing and a number stood in the street unable to get into the hall. We crowded our passage through. But fears were expressed that the floor might give way. Men who knew assured them there was not the least danger.
Persons proposed going to the Methodist house which was open for their reception and more convenient and better ventilated. They stated that quite a number were already there. One cried out, "Divide the preachers." Your father made answer [that] he would not venture to try the experiment, fearing he would not get his share of hearers. Finally a general move was made to the meetinghouse which was crowded and extra seats prepared. I had a very respectful, attentive congregation. I spoke one hour and a half, with freedom. The meeting closed well. We have another appointment out tonight. May the Lord go with us and aid us in our labour, is our prayer. [Letter to Ellen White's son, W. C. White]-- Lt 17, 1870.
Sermon on Colossians 1:24-29 -- Brother D. T. Bourdeau spoke in the early morning meeting. In the afternoon I spoke to the people from Colossians 1:24-29. I felt great weakness before going into the desk. I pleaded most earnestly with God in prayer to help me and to bless the people in a special manner. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon me and
upon the people. I was followed by three interpreters-- German, French, and Danish-- but this did not embarrass me in the least. The heavenly angels were in our midst. I was blessed in speaking, the people blessed in hearing. I cannot see but that my message is having a better impression than on the minds of my American brethren and sisters.
After the discourse we had a most precious meeting. Our brethren of all nationalities spoke of being greatly blessed, and of being very grateful to God for the word spoken.-- Lt 23, 1885.
Message on Matthew 9:28-30 -- My text was Matthew 9:28-30. The congregation were, many of them, intelligent men and women. I presented the truth in its simplicity, that old and young could understand. This was the manner of Jesus' preaching. He taught the people in simplicity. He used no large words that the unlearned could not understand. The unlearned, the veriest child, could understand His words.
Jesus declared in Nazareth, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." Luke 4:18. How many of the professed ministers of Jesus Christ are copying this example of our divine Teacher?-- Ms 55, 1886.
Preaching on the Parable of the Talents -- An
appointment had been made for me to speak Sabbath afternoon, January 7th, but as I rode the five miles to the meeting, I was in such a state of exhaustion that I feared and trembled and was beset with temptations. Looking at appearance, it was impossible for me to speak. I prayed all the way. When I stood upon the platform, such an assurance was given me by the Lord that He had sent His angel to sustain me, that I could not doubt. These words seemed spoken to me: "Be strong in the Lord; yea, be strong." I never spoke with greater ease and freedom from infirmity. The hearers said my voice was clear and musical, and the congregation could not but know that the Spirit and power of God was upon me.
I spoke for an hour upon the parable of the talents, dwelling with considerable definiteness on the slothful servant who hid his one talent in the earth, and presented it to the Lord with a bitter complaint, accusing God of being a hard Master. The Lord spoke through clay, and hearts were touched. Some were deeply moved. A minister of the Church of England, who came from Tasmania in company with Brethren Baker and Rousseau, and who has just begun to keep the Sabbath, was present.-- Lt 23a, 1893.
Prudence and Solemnity -- The Lord is soon to work in greater power among us, but there is danger of allowing our impulses to carry us where the Lord would not want us to go. We must not make one step that we will have to retract. We
must move solemnly, prudently, and not make use of extravagant expressions, or allow our feelings to become overwrought. We must think calmly, and work without excitement; for there will be those who become easily wrought up who will catch up unguarded expressions, and make use of extreme utterances to create excitement, and thus counteract the very work that God would do.
There are a class of people who are always ready to go off on some tangent, who want to catch up something strange and wonderful and new; but God would have all [of us] move calmly, considerately choosing our words in harmony with the solid truth for this time, which requires [that it] be presented to the mind as free from that which is emotional as possible, while still bearing the intensity and solemnity that it is proper it should bear. We must guard against creating extremes, guard against encouraging those who would be either in the fire or in the water.-- Lt 37, 1894.
Subject From Holy Spirit for Special Occasion -- On Sunday, June 23, , I spoke under the tent at Canterbury. A general meeting had been appointed, and many of our people were present from Ashfield, Sydney, and Petersham. Several souls were convinced of the truth who had not fully decided to obey. As I entered the desk I could not seem to fasten my mind upon any subject upon which to speak, but as soon as I rose to my feet, everything was clear, and the text given me was the question of the lawyer to Christ-- "What shall I do
that I may have eternal life?"
The power of God came upon me, and the truth of God was presented by His human agent in a most clear and powerful way. Elder Corliss said that he had heard me speak under almost every circumstance for the last forty years but that this was the most powerful discourse he had ever heard me give. I seemed to be lifted up and away from myself. It was the Lord's Spirit that came upon me, and to His name be all the glory. In my next letter to you, I will give the substance of what was spoken.
After the discourse we spent about one hour in social meeting. The testimonies borne were excellent, and our meeting closed, leaving a most favourable impression upon the minds of those who were hesitating at the cross, and wondering how they should make a living if they accepted the truth.-- Lt 28, 1895.
Message About the Fruitless Fig Tree -- Afternoon. I have just returned from the services in the tent. I have spoken twice today, nearly one hour in the half-past-six morning meeting, and again this afternoon. I generally speak on Wednesday afternoons because it is a holiday, but this week I consented to speak on Tuesday because it is Cup Day. . . . The tent was full. Extra seats were furnished, and some had to stand.
I spoke upon the fruitless fig tree, making application of the same to the churches that bear no fruit. The Lord gave me freedom before that large assembly. There were present before me
noble-looking countenances, and many, both men and women, wept. None left their seats, but all listened with most profound attention. The Lord did give me a message for the people. I know that the Holy Spirit worked upon minds and hearts. I have never in any of our camp meetings seen such eagerness to hear the truth.
I have already spoken twelve times above one hour, and several times short
discourses. The Lord's presence is upon this encampment, and many hearts are
stirred.-- Lt 82, 1895.