On page 4 of this issue we begin a series of articles on
the general subject of human relations. This traces certain
main points of the story of our work in the South, particularly
in relation to the Negro American. This series presents
in chronological order the record of the difficulties and
the opportunities. The prejudices and the providences, that
have marked our evangelizing activities in that area of
the United States.
What distinguishes these articles is that they are woven
around the many and stirring counsels Sister White gave
in behalf of missionary work for a then sorely benighted
and neglected race who had so recently gained the status
of free men. The spirit of temperateness, restraint, and
balance marks her counsels on this subject as on all others.
The writer of the series, Arthur L. White, has effectively
placed Sister Whites words in their historical context.
The result, we believe, is that a harmonious line of inspired
counsel on race relations is woven throughout this series.
It is in this setting that we can best call attention to
an article by Ellen G. White on page 1 of this issue. The
title of it well describes its range: "The Bible Provides
Guiding Principles on Race Relations." This article
originally was an address she gave to church leaders in
1891. It marks the real beginnings of Adventist labor for
the colored race, particularly in the Southern States. This
extended article, which will be concluded next week, provides
the true background for many articles Sister White later
wrote on this theme.
Let us take heart that the God of the Advent Movement is
leading, not a stray segment here or a racial group there,
but a united body front every nation, kindred, tongue, and
people. Living as we do in a divided world where problems
social, economic, religious, and racial threaten havoc and
destruction, may we ever seek for unity of the spirit in
the bond of peace. That kind of unity must ever distinguish
the Advent Movement. We are nearly home. That we believe.
Increasing unity can quicken our pace. The United Nations
is constantly struggling to preserve a sufficient semblance
of unity to prevent war. The people of God must provide
the world and an onlooking universe with something this
earth so sorely lacks, a unity and fellowship both genuine
God has helped us hearteningly toward this heavenly goal.
It is our devout hope and belief that Sister Whites article
and the series by Arthur White that we are starting in these
columns this week will bring us ever nearer to this radiant
goal. We plan, in counsel with the leadership of the movement,
to reunite in future months further articles on this subject
from Sister White. The current articles will later be reprinted
as a pamphlet.
All these endeavors in print reflect, in part, the plans
worked out by a special committee set up by the General
Conference to promote ever better human relations. We need
hardly add that this committee, which represents both Caucasian
and colored brethren in leadership, is wise, not in the
ways of the world in seeking for unity - proper as some
of those ways may be. But it is humbly wise concerning the
power and the possibilities that reside in praying together,
planning together and going forward together. The people
of God always make their most rapid advances on their knees.
That is why we commend that all of us read these current
articles on race relations in a mood of prayer.