Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8


Chapter 11—The Holy Spirit in our Schools

Cooranbong, N. S. W.,

May 10, 1896

I ask you who are living at the very heart of the work to review the experience of years and see if the well “done” can be truthfully spoken of you. I ask the teachers in our schools to consider carefully, prayerfully: Have I individually watched for my own soul as one who is co-operating with God for its purification from all sin and its entire sanctification? Can you by precept and example teach the youth sanctification, through the truth, unto holiness? 8T 61.1

Have you not been afraid of the Holy Spirit? At times this Spirit has come with all-pervading influence into the school at Battle Creek and into the schools at other places. Did you recognize His presence? Did you accord Him the honor due to a heavenly messenger? When the Spirit seemed to be striving with the youth, did you say: “Let us put aside all study, for it is evident that we have among us a heavenly guest? Let us give praise and honor to God.” Did you, with contrite hearts, bow in prayer with your students, pleading that you might receive the blessing that the Lord was presenting to you? 8T 61.2

The Great Teacher Himself was among you. Did you honor Him? Was He a stranger to some of the educators? Was there need to send for someone of supposed authority to welcome or repel this Messenger from heaven? Though unseen, His presence was among you. But was not the thought expressed that in school the time ought to be given to study, and that there was a time for everything, as if the hours devoted to common study were too precious to be given up for the working of the heavenly messenger? 8T 61.3

If you have in any way restricted or repulsed the Holy Spirit, I entreat you to repent as quickly as possible. If any of our teachers have not opened the door of the heart to the Spirit of God, but have closed and padlocked it, I urge them to unlock the door and pray with earnestness: “Abide with me.” When the Holy Spirit reveals His presence in your school room, say to your students: “The Lord signifies that He has for us today a lesson of heavenly import, of more value than our lessons in ordinary lines. Let us listen; let us bow before God and seek Him with the whole heart.” 8T 62.1

Let me tell you what I know of this heavenly Guest. The Holy Spirit was brooding over the youth during the school hours; but some hearts were so cold and dark that they had no desire for the Spirit's presence, and the light of God was withdrawn. That heavenly Visitant would have opened all understanding, would have given wisdom and knowledge in all lines of study that could be employed to the glory of God. The Lord's messenger came to convince of sin and to soften hearts hardened by long estrangement from God. He came to reveal the great love wherewith God has loved those youth. They are God's heritage, and educators need the “higher education” before they are qualified to be teachers and guides of youth. 8T 62.2

The teacher may understand many things in regard to the physical universe; he may know all about the structure of living things, the inventions of mechanical art, the discoveries of natural science; but he cannot be called educated unless he has a knowledge of the only true God and of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. A principle of divine origin must pervade our conduct and bind us to God. This will not be in any way a hindrance to the study of true science. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the man who consents to be molded and fashioned after the divine similitude is the noblest specimen of the work of God. All who live in communion with our Creator will have an understanding of His design in their creation, and they will realize that God holds them accountable to employ their faculties to the very best purpose. They will seek neither to glorify nor to depreciate themselves. 8T 62.3