Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 17a, 1893

Caro, Edgar

Napier, New Zealand

October 2, 1893

Portions of this letter are published in 2SM 279-280, 321-324; 7MR 274-275.

Mr. Edgar Caro
21 E Jefferson Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dear Brother:

I received your letter, and I thank you for calling me Mother; I am so called by many young men and women, and I feel highly honored by being addressed by this endearing name, Mother. I have been under the charge of your good mother for a week or more. We thought we must leave Napier for Auckland in about two weeks, spending one or two weeks in Gisborne, and therefore the work was hastened on my teeth. Your mother is a superior dentist. The work is excellent, but my unprepared gums protest against the abuse I make them suffer. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 1

After our plans were laid, a telegram came that the Pitcairn was expected in Auckland in a few days, and Willie decided that he must hasten to Auckland to be there when the vessel arrived. Then a telegram came from Elder Olsen, stating that he would attend the New Zealand conference, to be held November 23rd, and also said to hold Pitcairn until he should come. This gives me the whole of three weeks more time in Napier than we expected. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 2

Your questions, I will say, are answered largely, if not definitely, in How to Live. Drug poisons mean the articles which you have mentioned. The simpler remedies are less harmful in proportion to their simplicity; but in very many cases these are used when not at all necessary. There are simple herbs and roots that every family may use for themselves and need not call a physician any sooner than they would call a lawyer. I do not think that I can give you any definite line of medicines compounded and dealt out by doctors that are perfectly harmless. And yet it would not be wisdom to engage in controversy over this subject. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 3

The practitioners are very much in earnest in using their dangerous concoctions, and I am decidedly opposed to resorting to such things. They never cure; they may change the difficulty, to create a worse one. Many of those who practice the prescribing of drugs would not take the same or give them to their children. If they have an intelligent knowledge of the human body, if they understand the delicate, wonderful human machinery, they must know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that not a particle of these strong drugs should be introduced into this human living organism. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 4

As the matter was laid open before me, and the sad burden of the result of drug medication, the light was given me that Seventh-day Adventists should establish health institutions, discarding all these health-destroying inventions, and physicians should treat the sick upon hygienic principles. The great burden should be to have well-trained nurses, and well-trained medical practitioners to educate “precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” [Isaiah 28:10.] 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 5

Train the people to correct habits and healthful practices, remembering that an ounce of prevention is of more value than a pound of cure. Lectures and studies in this line will prove of the highest value. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 6

Educate men and women to bring up their children free from false, fashionable practices, to teach them to be useful. The daughters should be educated under the mothers to do useful labor, not merely indoor labor but out-of-door labor as well. Mothers could also train the sons, to a certain age, to do useful things indoors and out-of-doors. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 7

There are plenty of necessary, useful things to do in our world that would make the pleasure-amusement exercise almost wholly unnecessary. Brain, bone, and muscle will acquire solidity and strength in using them to a purpose, doing good hard thinking, and [in] devising plans which shall train them to develop powers of intellect, and strength of the physical organs, which will be putting into practical use their God-given talents with which they may glorify God. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 8

This was plainly laid out before our health institution and our college as the forcible reason why they should be established among us; but as it was in the days of Noah and Lot, so it is in our time. Men have sought out many inventions and have widely departed from God’s purposes and His ways. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 9

I do not condemn the simple exercise of playing ball; but this, even in its simplicity, may be overdone. I shrink always from the almost sure result which follows in the wake of these amusements. It leads to an outlay of means that should be expended in bringing the light of truth to souls that are perishing out of Christ. The amusements and expenditures of means for self-pleasing which lead on step by step to self-glorifying, and the educating in these games for pleasure, produce a love and passion for such things that is not favorable to the perfection of Christian character. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 10

The way that they have been conducted at the college does not bear the impress of heaven. It does not strengthen the intellect. It does not refine and purify the character. There are threads leading out through the habits and customs and worldly practices, and the actors become so engrossed and infatuated that they are pronounced in heaven, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. In the place of the intellect becoming strengthened to do better work as students, to be better qualified as Christians, to perform the Christian duties, the exercise in these games is filling their brains with thoughts that distract the mind from their studies. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 11

Now the same power of exercise of mind and muscle might invent ways and means of altogether a higher class of exercise, in doing missionary work which would make them laborers together with God, and would be educating for higher usefulness in the present life, in doing useful work, which is a most essential branch in education. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 12

There are many ways in which the youth can be putting to usury the talents entrusted to them of God, to build up the work and cause of God, not to please themselves but to glorify God. The Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, made the infinite sacrifice in coming to our world in order that He might elevate and ennoble humanity. He was a persevering, diligent worker. We read, He “went about doing good.” [Acts 10:38.] Is not this the work that every youth should be seeking to do, working in Christ’s lines? You have Christ’s help. The ideas of the students will broaden. They will be far-reaching, and the powers of usefulness even in your student’s life will be continually growing. The arms, the hands, which God has given, are to be used in doing good which shall bear the signet of heaven, that you can at last hear the “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:21.] 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 13

I do not think, from the way the matter has been presented to me, that your ball games are so conducted that the record of the students will be of that character, in the estimation of Him who weighs actions, that will bring a reward to the actors. Let there be a company formed somewhat after the plan of the Christian Endeavor order, and see what can be done by each accountable human agent, in watching and improving opportunities to do work for the Master. He has a vineyard in which every one can perform good work. Suffering humanity needs help everywhere. The students may win their way to hearts by speaking words in season, by doing favors for those who need even physical labor. This will not degrade any one of you, and it will bring a consciousness of the approval of God. It will be putting the talents, entrusted to you for wise improvement, to the exchangers. It will increase them by trading upon them. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 14

There are healthful methods of exercise that may be planned which will be beneficial to both soul and body. There is a great work to be done, and it is essential that every responsible agent shall educate himself to do this work acceptably to God. There is much for all to learn, and there cannot be invented a better use for brain, bone, and muscle than to accept the wisdom of God in doing good, and adopting some human device for remedying the existing evils of this profligate, extravagant age. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 15

It is our duty ever to seek to do good in the use of the muscles and brain God has given to youth, that they may be useful to others, making their labors lighter, soothing the sorrowing, lifting up the discouraged, speaking words of comfort to the hopeless, turning the minds of the students from fun and frolic which often carries them beyond the dignity of manhood and womanhood to shame and disgrace. The Lord would have the mind elevated, seeking higher, nobler channels of usefulness. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 16

Is the eye single to the glory of God in these games? I know that this is not so. There is a losing sight of God’s way and His purposes. The employment of intelligent beings, in probationary time, is superseding God’s revealed will, and substituting for it the speculations and inventions of the human agent, with Satan by his side to imbue with his spirit. Keep the Word of God close by your side. Guided by it you will be wise, you will be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. We must in these last days watch unto prayer. The Lord God of heaven protests against the burning passion cultivated for supremacy in the games that are so engrossing. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 17

In no time in your life have you been more critically placed than you are while prosecuting your medical studies at Ann Arbor. Satan is watching every avenue whereby he can take advantage to enter with his specious temptations to spoil the soul. You will meet with infidel sentiments in very intelligent men who call themselves Christians. Cling to the wisdom which is revealed to you in the Word of God, for it will bind you, to obey its teachings, to the throne of God. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 18

I am fearful now, more than at any other period of time, that Christians, as individuals, may separate from God because they lose sight of the Pattern, Jesus Christ, and think it is safe to walk in the sparks of their own kindling, deceiving the soul with thinking it is the way of the Lord. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 19

It is not enough for our spiritual interest to read the Word of God, thinking that a knowledge of the truth contained therein will be sufficient for our salvation. The One of whom we read must be our dependence. “And this is life eternal; that they might know thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 20

We cannot be safe because we believe certain doctrines as truth, we must press the matter still farther. The word of our Captain is heard, “Go forward. Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.” [Exodus 14:15; James 1:22.] In obeying our Leader we shall possess the blessings which the Word of God implies and reveals for our understanding. The truth may be accepted in its beautiful form, but it cannot be saving truth for the receiver unless it is brought into the practical life, exercising its influence upon mind and character. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 21

We must have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Here, my dear friends, is where you can work for others’ good. The precious revelation of God’s will in the Scriptures with all their unfolding of glorious truth is only a means to an end. The death of Jesus Christ was a means to an end. The most powerful and efficacious provision that He could give to our world was the means; the end was the glory of God in the uplifting, refining, ennobling of the human agent. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 22

Holiness to God is glorifying Him by the entire conformity of the human will to the divine. There is a clean, pure mind. The soul and the body, as Christ’s purchased possession, is to be presented to God without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. This will prove the counteracting of Satan’s ingenious work to ruin man. This is the re-creation of the human agent through Jesus Christ’s merits; a clean thing is brought out of an unclean, restoring the image of God in man. The human agent is to go forward to reach the highest standard of perfection of character by beholding the character of Jesus Christ. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 23

The Lord Jesus reproached His disciples because of the slowness of their apprehension to reach the true depth of His lessons given to them. He sought to awaken their minds, intimating that He had left in their possession truths of the highest value which they must search critically and prayerfully, in order to discern and to estimate their true value. Were He upon earth today, would He not reproach those who are blessed with such great light as is now opened before us, because we so dimly comprehend the meaning of His teachings, and the virtue and the end for which they were given, which are for the sanctification of the entire man? 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 24

The moral development of man is conformity to the image of Jesus Christ. And the end requires that the truth, employed as a means, should itself be capable of constant expansion, that it may be seen in new development, but close study and earnest prayer being brought into the practical life; the human and the divine co-operating, that man may become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruptions that are in the world through lust. As the truth is studied with humble heart, the will subjected to the divine operations of the Spirit of God, the truth brightens, like its divine Author, while beholding it, and while aspiring through the grace of Christ to reach it. In this way, the human agent is elevated to attain to the standard of perfection of human character. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 25

I am so anxious that the youth should reach a high standard, and not be satisfied with a poor, weak, starved experience, for they can do a great work for the Master. Every one may have a deep, rich, abundant experience in the things of God; but this requires persevering effort in co-operating with the divine. When God gave His only begotten Son, He gave all heaven in this one gift. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” [Romans 8:32.] Please read Romans 8:31-39. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 26

I have deep interest that you, my dear brother, shall be [a] living channel of light. O that you may be filled with all the fulness of God, walking in all humility of mind, constantly working, drawing with Christ in the salvation of souls. 8LtMs, Lt 17a, 1893, par. 27