Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Ms 44, 1892

The Bible School Privileges Unappreciated


December 1892

Previously unpublished.

I am much pleased to hear so good a report of the school as I have heard, and I hope that the Lord will be very gracious unto His people in Australia. My prayer from day to day is that God will strengthen and bless His people in the colonies. If we walk humbly before God, if we seek the Lord with contrition of soul, He will manifest Himself to us. The Lord has called men by His own Spirit and power to do His work, and He will send His message by whomsoever He chooses. But when His messengers come, when opportunity is given to His people, they should be in a condition to appreciate His mercy and to take advantage of the privileges He grants. 7LtMs, Ms 44, 1892, par. 1

In the establishment of the Bible school at Melbourne, privileges have been given to Melbourne and vicinity such as they have not had in the past. An opportunity is given to the young men and women to gain valuable knowledge and instruction, not only in the sciences, but in the Bible. The Word of God is honored, and its truths unfolded to the mind. If the church at Melbourne do not discern the value of the blessing placed within their reach, if they do not realize that the Lord is knocking at their very doors and desiring to come in as an honored guest, the blessing proffered them will be withdrawn and given to a people who will appreciate the privilege and understand when good is brought to their doors. 7LtMs, Ms 44, 1892, par. 2

If the Melbourne church had been fully awake, they would have discerned that the Lord’s hand had been stretched out, presenting to them the richest gifts, and they would have manifested gratitude to God. In place of insensibility, they would have made a response to the efforts made in their behalf, and would have improved the opportunity given them whereby they and their children might know more of precious Bible truth. They would have better understood their relation to God and what were His claims upon them. Had they been fully alive to the perils that surround their unconverted children, they would have made any and every sacrifice to place them in the school where the religious element predominates, where the pupils every day are instructed concerning eternal realities. 7LtMs, Ms 44, 1892, par. 3

But the members of the church know little of God and of Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. Many whose names are on the church book scarcely know the alphabet of what constitutes Christian experience and Christian duty. We are sorry to be obliged to state that there are men who have an education in the sciences who have not a corresponding knowledge of God. But while those who have been largely endowed with talents are in the background, there are other men, who have but one talent, who have consecrated themselves to God, and who are faithful in their service to God. With these God identifies His interest in a special manner. There are men and women in the church whom the Lord will teach, because they will listen to hear His gentle whisperings. 7LtMs, Ms 44, 1892, par. 4

We are not to place an undue dependence upon educated talent, and yet those whom the Lord takes into His school, if submissive to Christ, will feel the necessity of making advancement in the sciences and will, through education, be more efficient in different branches of the work. Every student should feel that he is under obligation to God to learn all that is possible for him to learn, to reach the highest possible standard. But the greatest and most important lesson is to know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. 7LtMs, Ms 44, 1892, par. 5

The lack of appreciation for an education of the kind proffered at the Bible School, shows that the members of the church are in a weak spiritual condition, that the spiritual heart throb is feeble. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and though a man may begin the Christian life with little education, yet if he remains in the school of Christ, his intelligence will increase, and he will become a vessel meet for the Master’s use. Peter was not an educated man; but when he entered into the school of Christ, and under the tuition of the divine Teacher, learned meekness and lowliness of heart, he was qualified to bear a living testimony before the Sanhedrin, which the wise men could not controvert. 7LtMs, Ms 44, 1892, par. 6

The Lord God is a jealous God, and while He now offers blessings and mercies, shall they not be appreciated? O that the hearts of the members of the Melbourne church might not only be softened but broken. The Word of the Lord, which is the guide to direct to eternal realms of bliss, is scarcely studied. The soul needs the guidance of truth, for Christ has died that the blessing of truth might be ours. Deprived of communion with God, the soul withers as [a] dry branch that has no nourishment. God has appointed that men shall be kept alive spiritually through His life-giving power, and unless men take advantage of the means provided for receiving life, they lose their vital interest in the truth, and become withered. 7LtMs, Ms 44, 1892, par. 7

We can see how the great men of the earth are being led into crime of every kind, and as education is not sufficient to ensure integrity, we must look for an education that will do more, that fits men by discipline of the mind for positions of trust. The truth as it is in Jesus is alone sufficient to make and keep men pure. The truth as golden links binds the soul to Him in whom we live and move and have our being. The truth as found in the living oracles is to be the food of the soul; [it] is to be woven into every transaction of life. It is not to be belittled, not to be crowded out of sight, but to be made prominent. “For this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] 7LtMs, Ms 44, 1892, par. 8

And now while opportunity is offered to obtain knowledge of the truth, why is it that the Melbourne church have not discerned the value of the opportunity and eagerly seized upon this privilege? Why have they made so light of the blessing given? Why is it that parents have not made special efforts to place their children in school where they may learn to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent? There is little enough instruction given at home concerning the principles of truth, and when the Lord in great mercy has sent the very help of which you were in suffering need, why was there no response of gratitude? A school has been established after the order of the schools of the prophets. Here the Bible comes in among other books for a large charge of attention. It is presented as the Guide, the Counsellor in every difficulty. In every place, in the home life, in the work shop, in places where no eye beholds, and no ear is opened but God’s, the Bible is to give us instruction that we may not sin against God. The truth is to sanctify the heart, and the mind and soul that is under the sanctifying influence of the truth of God will be made manifest. 7LtMs, Ms 44, 1892, par. 9

The Lord God is in Melbourne, walking through the church and measuring the worshippers thereof. He acknowledges every effort made by those who are seeking to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. He approves of every effort to cultivate the Christian graces and disapproves of all slothfulness and indifference. The Lord Jesus has given every man a rule by which to shape his business life. “Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] 7LtMs, Ms 44, 1892, par. 10

I know that there must be an awakening in the Melbourne church, and when the members of the church are thoroughly awake, they will manifest earnestness in grasping the blessing that the Lord has provided. But I fear greatly that the Spirit of the Lord has been grieved by your lack of appreciation for His benefits, and that He will pass you by and open these treasures to those who will appreciate the heavenly favor. 7LtMs, Ms 44, 1892, par. 11

Where are your children? Are you educating them to discern where to escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust? Are you seeking to save their souls or aiding them to lose them? It is true that some of the youth who have advantages do not appreciate them, but we desire that they should become spiritually alive, that they may understand that religion is not something to be practiced only at set times and occasions, but that it must be an abiding principle in the soul. Some who have loved and feared God in the past have allowed their business to be all absorbing, and their light has been hidden under a bushel or under a bed. They forget to serve God and make their business the grave of their religion. I entreat of you who have had great light to appreciate your blessings. You who have children make the most of your opportunity to place them where they shall be educated day by day in the knowledge of God and the truth. The school is God-sent to you, and I am deeply sorry that the first term is about to close, and you have not had its advantages because you have failed to appreciate your privileges. I cannot understand what your indifference means. Will you now make the most of the next term? You have lost the blessing of this term’s work, but may God forbid that you should lose the blessing of the next term’s privileges. 7LtMs, Ms 44, 1892, par. 12

Awake, awake, and act like men and women who believe the truth. Stand shoulder to shoulder with those whom the Lord has sent as His messengers who are to do a special work for both parents and children. Though you and your children have lost much by thus failing to improve your opportunities during this first term, yet repent of your negligence and do all in your power to redeem your loss. 7LtMs, Ms 44, 1892, par. 13