Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 34, 1893

The Successful Teacher


May 18, 1893

Portions of this manuscript are published in FE 260-276; SpM 104-113.

[EGW note:] <This was sent to Professor Prescott as it is, for I dared not delay it.> 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 1

I was, a few nights since, in my dreams in conversation with the teachers in the school or chapel room. I was speaking to the teachers, and said, “I have a message for you,” and in substance I presented that which I now write. I was speaking to the teachers in regard to their great responsibility of being under the control at all times of the Spirit of God. I repeated these words, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” “I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:4, 5.] 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 2

The Lord Jesus is our example in all things. There are those who are acting in the capacity of teachers in the college and church schools who will do lasting harm to the children who are brought in connection with them, because they are not <themselves> learning daily in the school of Christ. They indeed need that one teach them, that unless the love of Christ is an abiding principle in the soul temple, it will be defiled with impatience, with fitful, impulsive actions, just because they feel like this. But everyone who has to do with educating the younger class of students should consider that these children are affected [by], and feel the impressions of, the atmosphere <in the school room> [whether it be] pleasant or unpleasant. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 3

If the teacher is connected with God, if he has Christ abiding in his heart, this is <making its impression. Sympathy and love should be> cherished by the teacher. When a teacher manifests impatience or fretfulness toward a child, the fault may not be in the child one-half as much as it is in the teacher who needs, himself, to be disciplined and trained, and deserves a heavier punishment than he puts upon the child, for he is old enough to know better. Teachers <are> tired with the children, [and] something they say or do does not accord with their feelings, but will they let Satan’s spirit enter into them, and lead them to create feelings in the children very unpleasant and disagreeable, through their own lack of tact and wisdom from God? 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 4

There should not be a teacher employed to teach in any department of the school, unless you have evidence by test and trial that he loves, and fears to offend God. If they are taught of God, if their lessons are daily learned in the school of Christ, they will work in Christ’s lines. They will win and draw with Christ, for every child and youth is precious <in His sight.> 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 5

Every teacher needs Christ abiding in his heart by faith, and to possess a true, self-denying, self-sacrificing spirit for Christ’s sake. One may have sufficient education and knowledge in science to instruct; but has it been ascertained that he has tact and wisdom to deal with human minds? If they have not the love of Christ abiding in the heart, they are not fit to be brought into connection with children, and [to bear] the grave responsibilities placed upon them, of educating these children and youth. The higher education and training is wanting in themselves, and they know nothing [of] how to deal with human minds. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 6

There is the spirit of their own insubordinate, natural hearts that is striving for the control, and to subject the plastic minds and characters of children under such a discipline is to leave scars and bruises upon the mind that will never be effaced. This matter has been presented to me in such a variety of ways, tracing from cause to effect, that while the matter is again brought before me and urged upon me by the Spirit of the Lord, I dare not forbear to trace with my pen these evils. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 7

If a teacher cannot be made to feel the responsibility and the carefulness he should ever reveal in dealing with human minds, his education has in some cases been very defective. In the home life the training has been harmful to the character, and it is a sad thing to reproduce this defective character and management in the children brought under his control. We are standing before God on test and trial to see if we can individually be trusted to be of the number of the family who shall compose the redeemed in heaven. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” [Revelation 20:12.] 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 8

Here is represented the great white throne and He that sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away. Let every teacher consider that he is doing his work in the sight of the universe of heaven. Every child with whom the teacher is brought in contact has been purchased by the blood of God’s only begotten Son, and He who died for these children would have you treat them as His property. Be sure that your contact, teachers, with every one of these children shall be of that character that will not make you ashamed when you meet them in that great day when every word and action is brought in review before God and, with its burden of results laid open before you individually. “Bought with a price”—O What a price, eternity alone will reveal. [1 Corinthians 6:20.] 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 9

The Lord Jesus Christ hath infinite tenderness for those He has purchased at the cost of His own sufferings in the flesh, that they should not perish with the devil and his angels, but [that] He may claim [them] as His chosen ones. They are the claim of His love, of His own property; and He looks upon them with unutterable affection, and the fragrance of His own righteousness He gives to His loved ones who believe in Him. It requires tact and wisdom and human love, and sanctified affection for the precious lambs of the flock, to lead them to see and appreciate their privilege in yielding themselves up to the tender guidance of the faithful shepherds. The children of God will exercise the gentleness of Jesus Christ. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 10

Teachers, Jesus is in your school <room> every day. His great heart of infinite love is drawn out for not only the best-behaved children, who have the most favorable <home> surroundings, but children who have by inheritance objectionable traits of character. Even parents have not understood how much they are responsible for the traits of character developed in their children, and have not had that tenderness and wisdom to deal with these poor children, whom they have made what they are, but fail to trace back the cause of these discouraging developments which are a trial to them. But Jesus looks upon these children with pity and with love, for He sees, He understands from cause to effect. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 11

The teacher may bind these children to his or her heart by the love of Christ abiding in the soul-temple as a sweet fragrance, a savor of life unto life. The teachers may, through the grace of Christ imparted to them, be the living human agency—be laborers together with God—to enlighten, lift up, encourage, and help to purify the soul from its moral defilement; and the image of God shall be revealed in the soul of the child, and the character become transformed by the grace of Christ. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 12

The gospel is the power and wisdom of God, if it is correctly represented by those who claim to be Christians. Christ crucified for our sins should humble every soul before God in his own estimation. Christ risen from the dead, ascended on high, our living Intercessor in the presence of God, is the science of salvation which we need to learn and teach to children and youth. Said Christ, “I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified.” [John 17:19.] This is the work that ever devolves upon every teacher. There must not be any haphazard work in this matter, for even the work of educating the children in the day schools requires very much of the grace of Christ and the subduing of self. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 13

Those who naturally are fretful, easily provoked, and have cherished the habit of criticism, of thinking evil, should find some other kind of work that will not reproduce any of their unlovely traits of character in the children and youth; they have cost too much. Heaven sees in the child the miniature man and woman, and [the] capabilities and powers that, if correctly guided and developed with heavenly wisdom, will become the human agencies through whom the divine influences can co-operate to be laborers together with God. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 14

Sharp words [and] continual censure bewilder the child, but never reform him. Keep back that pettish word. Keep under discipline to Jesus Christ your own spirit; then will you learn how to pity and sympathize with those brought under your influence. Do not exhibit impatience and harshness, for if these children did not need educating, they would not need the advantages of the school. They are to be patiently, kindly, and in love brought up the ladder of progress, climbing step by step in obtaining knowledge. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 15

It is to be a daily working agency that is brought into exercise, a faith that works by love, and purifies the soul of the educator. Is the revealed will of God placed as your highest authority? If Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, then the truth of God will so act upon your natural temperament, that its transforming agency will be revealed in a changed character, and you will not, by your influence through the revealings of an unsanctified heart and temper, turn the truth of God before any of your pupils into a lie, [nor] in your presentation of a selfish, impatient, un-Christlike temper in dealing with any human mind, reveal that the grace of Christ is not sufficient for you at all times and in all places. [Thus you will show] that the authority of God over you is not merely in name but in reality and truth. There must be a separation, however difficult to the true believer, from all objectionable, un-Christlikeness. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 16

Inquire, teachers, you who are doing your work not only for time but eternity, Does the love of Christ constrain my heart and my soul in dealing with the precious souls for whom Jesus has given His own life? Under His constraining discipline, do old traits of character, that are not in conformity to the will of God, pass away and the opposite take its place? “A new heart will I give thee.” [See Ezekiel 36:26.] Have all things become new through your conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ? 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 17

In words and by painstaking effort are the teachers sowing [such] seed in these young hearts, that you can ask the Lord to water the seed sown that it shall, with His imputed righteousness, ripen into a rich harvest? [Ask yourselves], Am I, by my own unsanctified words and impatience and want of that wisdom that is from above, confirming these youth in their own perverse spirit, because they see that their teacher has the spirit unlike Christ? If they should die in their sins, shall I not be accountable for their souls? 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 18

The soul who loves Jesus, who appreciates the saving power of His grace, will feel such a drawing near to Christ, that he will desire to work in His lines. He cannot, dare not, let Satan control his spirit and a poisonous miasma surround his soul. Everything will be placed [to] one side that will <have a tendency to> corrupt his influence, because it opposes the will of God and endangers the souls of the precious sheep and lambs; he is required to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Wherever God has in providence placed us, He will keep us; as our day our strength shall be. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 19

Whoever shall give way to his natural feelings and impulses makes himself weak and untrustworthy, for he is a channel through which Satan can communicate to taint and corrupt many souls, and these unholy fits that control the person unnerve him, and shame and confusion are the sure result. The spirit of Jesus Christ ever has a renewing, restoring power upon the soul that has felt its own weakness and fled to the unchanging One, who can give grace and power to resist evil. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 20

Our Redeemer had a broad, comprehensive humanity. His heart was ever touched with the known helplessness of the little child that is subject to rough usage, and He loved children. The feeblest cry of human suffering never reached His ear in vain. And every one who assumes the responsibility of instructing the youth will meet obdurate hearts, perverse dispositions, and his work is to co-operate with God in restoring the moral image of God in every child. Jesus, precious Jesus, a whole fountain of love was in His soul! 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 21

Those who instruct the children should be men and women of principle. The religious life of a large number who profess to be Christians is not Christian. They are constantly misrepresenting Christ, falsifying His character. They do not feel the importance of this transformation of character, and that they must be conformed to His divine likeness; and at times they will exhibit a false phase of Christianity to the world, which will work ruin to the souls of those who are brought into association with them. For the very reason [that] they are, while professing to be Christians, not under [the] control to Jesus Christ. Their own hereditary and cultivated traits of character are indulged as precious qualifications when they are death-dealing in their influence over other minds. In plain, simple words, they walk in the sparks of their own kindling. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 22

They have a religion subject [to], and controlled by, circumstances. If everything happens to move in a way that pleases them, [and there are] no irritating circumstances that call to the surface their unsubdued, un-Christlike natures, they are condescending and pleasant and will be very attractive. But if there are things that occur in the family or in their association with others which ruffle their peace and provoke their tempers, [if they lay] every circumstance before God, and continue their request, supplicating His grace before they shall engage in their daily work as teacher, and know for themselves the power and grace and love of Christ abiding in their own hearts before entering upon their labors, <then> angels of God are brought with them into the schoolroom. But if they go in a provoked, irritated spirit into the schoolroom, the moral atmosphere surrounding their souls is leaving its impression upon the children who are under their care, and in the place of being fitted to instruct the children, they need one to teach them the lessons of Jesus Christ. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 23

They need to learn in that day’s work, that on such a day, they were destitute of the abiding presence of Christ, and that they should be corrected and punished in place of the children for their perversity, for they have caught the spirit of the teacher; the satanic [spirit] surrounding their own souls works upon the children, and the children reflect back these influences. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 24

Let every teacher who accepts the responsibility of educating the children and youth, examine himself, and study critically from cause to effect. Has the truth of God taken possession of my soul? Has the wisdom which cometh from Jesus Christ, which is first “pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” been brought into my character? While I stand in the responsible position as an educator, do I cherish the principle that “the [fruit] of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace”? [James 3:17, 18.] The truth is not to be kept to be practiced when we feel just like it, but at all times and in all places. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 25

The church school in Battle Creek is an important part of the vineyard to be cultivated. Well-balanced minds and symmetrical characters are required as teachers in every line. Give not this work into the hands of young women and young men who know not how to deal with human minds. This has been a mistake, and it has wrought evil upon the children and youth under their charge. They know so little of the controlling power of grace upon their own hearts and characters that they have to unlearn, and learn entirely new lessons in Christian experience. They have never learned to keep their own soul and character under discipline to Jesus Christ, and bring even the thoughts into captivity to Christ Jesus. Oh, if all of you who have any voice and influence in these important decisions of selecting teachers would be more God-fearing, and would be more certain that you are making wise choice for the good of the children and the glory of God, there would be an improved condition of things in every way. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 26

There are all kinds of characters to deal with in the children and youth. Their minds are impressible. Anything like a hasty, passionate exhibition on the part of the teacher may cut off her influence for good over the students whom she is having the name of educating. And will this education be for the present good and future eternal good of the children and youth? There is the correct influence to be exerted upon them for their spiritual good. There is to be instruction constantly given to encourage the children in the formation of correct habits in speech, in voice, in deportment. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 27

Many of those children have not had proper training at home. They have been sadly neglected. Some have been left to do as they pleased; others have been found fault with and discouraged. But little pleasantness and cheerfulness and words of approval have been given them. The defective characters of the parents have been inherited, and the discipline given by these defective characters has been objectionable in the formation of characters. Solid timbers have not been brought into the character building. There is no more important work that can be done than in the educating and training of these youth and children. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 28

The teachers who work in this part of the Lord’s vineyard need to learn the trade first, to be self-possessed, keeping their own temper and feelings under control, in subjection to the Holy Spirit of God. They should give evidence of having not a one-sided experience, but a well-balanced mind, a symmetrical character [so] that they can be trusted because they are conscientious Christians, themselves under the chief Teacher who has said, “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] Then learning in Christ’s school daily they can educate children and youth. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 29

Self-cultured, self-controlled, under discipline in the school of Christ, having a living connection with the great Teacher, they will have an intelligent knowledge of practical religion; and keeping their own souls in the love of God, they will know how to exercise the grace of patience and Christlike forbearance. The patience, love, long forbearance, and tender sympathies are called into activity. They will discern that they have a most important field in the Lord’s vineyard to cultivate. They must lift up their hearts unto God in sincere prayer. Be Thou my Pattern, and then by beholding Jesus they will do the works of Jesus Christ. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 30

Jesus said, I do nothing of Myself; the things I have seen of the Father that I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. [See John 5:19.] So with the sons and daughters of God; they steadfastly and teachably look to Jesus, doing nothing in their own way and after their own will and pleasure; but that which they have in the lessons of Christ seen Him, their Pattern, do, they do also. Thus they represent to the students under their instruction at all times and upon all occasions the character of Jesus Christ. They catch the bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness and reflect these precious beams upon the children they are educating. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 31

The formation of correct habits is to leave its impress upon the mind and characters of the children, that they will practice the right way. It means much to bring these children under the direct influence of the Spirit of God, training and disciplining them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The formation of correct habits, the exhibition of a right spirit, will call for earnest efforts in the name and strength of Jesus. The instructor must persevere, giving line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, in all long-suffering and patience, sympathy and love, binding these children to his heart by the love of Christ revealed in [himself], the teacher. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 32

This truth can in the highest sense be acted, and exemplified before the children. Hebrews 5:1, 2. (Verses 2, 3): “Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.” 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 33

Bear this in mind, never lose sight of it, when teachers are inclined to have their feelings stirred against the children and youth for any misbehavior; let them remember that the angels of God are looking upon them sorrowfully; for if the children do err and misbehave, then it is all the more essential for those who are placed over them as teachers should be able to teach them by precept and example. In no case are they to lose self-control, to manifest impatience, and harshness and want of sympathy and love; for these children are the property of Jesus Christ, and teachers must be very careful and God-fearing in regard to the spirit they cherish and the words they utter, for the children will catch the spirit manifested, be it good or evil. It is a heavy, but a sacred responsibility. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 34

There need to be teachers who are thoughtful, considerate of their own weakness and infirmities and sins, and [who will] not be oppressive and discourage the children and youth. There needs to be much praying, much faith, much forbearance and courage, which the Lord is ready to bestow. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 35

For God sees every trial, and a wonderful influence can be exerted by teachers, if they will practice the lessons which Christ has given them. But will these teachers consider their own wayward course, that they make very feeble efforts to learn in the school of Christ, and practice Christlike meekness and lowliness of heart? 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 36

The teachers should be themselves in obedience to Jesus Christ, and ever practicing His words, that they may exemplify the character of Jesus Christ to the students. Let your light shine in good works, in faithful watching and caring for the lambs of the flock, with patience, with tenderness, and the love of Jesus in your own hearts. Never, never educate them to speak impatiently and passionately because their teacher does these things. Never educate them by giving publicity to the errors and misdoings of any scholar, for they will consider it a virtue in them to expose the wrongs of another. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 37

Never humiliate a scholar by presenting his grievances and mistakes and sins before the school: you cannot do a work more effectual to harden his heart and confirm him in evil than in doing this. Talk and pray with them alone, and show the same tenderness Christ has evidenced to you who are teachers. Never encourage any one student to criticize and talk of the faults of another. Hide a multitude of sins in every way possible by pursuing Christ’s ways to cure him. This kind of educating will be a blessing, made to tell in this life and stretching into the future, immortal life. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 38

To place young men and young women in such a field, who have not developed a deep, earnest love for God and the souls for whom Christ has died, is making a mistake which will result in the loss of many precious souls. The teacher needs to be susceptible of the influences of the Spirit of God. Not one who will become impatient and irritated should be [an] educator. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 39

Teachers must consider they are dealing with children; they are not men and women. They are children who have everything to learn, and it is much more difficult for some to learn than others. The dull scholar needs much more encouragement than he receives. If teachers are placed over these varied minds, who naturally love to order and dictate and magnify themselves in their authority, who will deal with partiality, having favorites to whom they will show preferences, while others are treated with exactitude and severity, it will create a state of confusion and insubordination. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 40

A teacher may be placed to take charge of children and youth who has not been blessed with a pleasant and well balanced experience, but a great wrong is done to the children whom he instructs. Those who accept such persons as teachers are responsible for the evil resulting from their course of teaching, and in giving a wrong mold to young human minds. It may be represented by a field untilled, and tares are sowed with the wheat. A crop of thistles and weeds and briars is the result of this defective education. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 41

A neglected field represents the neglected mind. Parents must come to view this matter in a different light. They must feel it their duty to co-operate with the teacher, to encourage wise discipline, and pray much for the one who is teaching their children. You will not help the children by fretting, censuring, or discouraging them; neither will you act a part to help them to rebel, and to be disobedient and unkind and unlovable, because of the spirit you develop. If you are Christians indeed, you will have an abiding Christ, and the spirit of Him who gave His life for sinners; and the wisdom of God will teach you in every emergency the course to pursue. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 42

Christ identifies His interest with every class and phase of humanity who are wrestling with temptations. You are not to countenance wrong doing in any case, and not to make statements of wrong doing which shall expel even the perverse doer; never chastise in a way that increases stubbornness (unless you wish to bring upon your soul the same treatment from Jesus) and confirms him in his evil course. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 43

Children are in need of a steady, firm, living principle of righteousness being exercised over them and enacted before them. Be sure you let the true light shine before your pupils. It is heaven’s light that is wanted. Never let the world have the impression that your spirit and taste and longings are of no higher and purer an order than the worldlings. If you, in [your] course of action, leave this impression upon them, you let a false, deceptive light lead them to ruin. The trumpet must give a certain sound. There is a broad, clear, and deep line drawn by the eternal God between the righteous and unrighteous, the godly and ungodly; between those who are obedient to God’s commandments and those who are disobedient. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 44

The ladder which Jacob saw in the night vision, the base of it resting upon the earth and the topmost round reaching unto the highest heavens; God Himself above the ladder, and His glory shining upon every round; angels descending and ascending this ladder of shining brightness, [is] a symbol of constant communication kept up between this world and heavenly places. God accomplishes His will through the instrumentality of heavenly angels in continual intercourse with humanity. This ladder reveals a direct and important channel of communication with the inhabitants of this earth. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 45

The ladder represented to Jacob was the world’s Redeemer [who] links earth and heaven together. Every one who has seen the evidence and light of truth and accepts the truth, professing his faith in Jesus Christ, is a missionary in the highest sense of the word. He is the receiver of heavenly treasures, and it [is] his duty to impart, to diffuse that which he has received. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 46

Then to those who are accepted as teachers in our schools, to them are opened a field for labor and cultivation, for the sowing of the seed and for the harvesting of the ripening grain. What can give greater satisfaction <to the workers> than to be laborers together with God in educating and training the children and youth to love God and keep His commandments? Lead the children whom you are instructing in the day school and the Sabbath school to Jesus. What can give you greater joy than to see children and youth following Christ, the great Shepherd, who calls, and the sheep and lambs hear His voice and follow Him? 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 47

What can spread [more] sunshine through the soul of the interested, devoted worker than to know that his persevering, patient labor is not in vain in the Lord, and to see his pupils have the sunshine of joy in their souls because Christ has forgiven their sins? What can be more satisfying to the worker together with God, than to see children and youth receiving the impressions of the Spirit of God in true nobility of character and in the restoration of the moral image of God—the children seeking the peace coming from the Prince of peace? 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 48

The truth a bondage? Yes, in one sense; it binds the willing souls in captivity to Jesus Christ, bowing their hearts to the gentleness of Jesus Christ. Oh it means so much more than finite minds can comprehend, the presenting in every missionary effort Jesus Christ and Him crucified. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.” [Isaiah 53:5.] “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” [2 Corinthians 5:21.] This is to be the burden of our work. If any one thinks he is capable of teaching in the Sabbath school or in the day school the science of education, he needs first to learn the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom, that he may teach this, the highest of all sciences. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 49

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” “I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” [John 17:3, 8.] Here is the work laid before us, to be representatives of Christ as He in our world was the representative of the Father. We are to teach the words given us in the lessons of Christ. “I have given unto them the words that thou hast given me.” 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 50

We have our work, and every instructor of the youth in every capacity is to receive in [a] good and honest heart what God hath unfolded and recorded in His Holy Word in the lessons of Christ, meekly to accept the words of life. We are in the antitypical day of atonement, and not only are we to humble our hearts before God and confess our sins, but we are, by all our educating talent, to seek to instruct those with whom we are brought in contact, and [to] bring them by precept and example to know God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 51

Oh I so much wish that the Lord of heaven would open many eyes that are now blind, that they might see themselves as God sees them, and give to them a sense of the work to be done in the fields of labor. But I have no hope that all the appeals I make will avail, unless the Lord speaks to the soul and writes His requirements upon the tablets of the heart. Cannot every living human agent have a high and elevated sense of what it means to have the privilege to have a large and important field of home missionary work appointed to him, without having to go to far-off lands? And while some must proclaim the message of mercy to them that are afar off, there are many who have to proclaim the message to those who are nigh. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 52

Our schools are to be educating schools to qualify youth to become missionaries both by precept and example. Let the one who is acting in the capacity of teacher ever bear in mind that these children and youth are the purchase of the blood of the Son of God. They must be led to believe in God as their personal Saviour. The name of each separate believer is graven on the palms of His hands. The Chief Shepherd is looking down from the heavenly sanctuary upon the sheep of His pasture. “He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” [John 10:3.] “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” [1 John 2:1.] Oh precious, blessed truth! He does not treat one case with indifference. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 53

His impressive parable of the Good Shepherd represents the responsibility of every minister and of every Christian who has accepted the position as teacher of children and youth, and the teacher of old and young, in opening to them the Scriptures. If one strays from the fold, he is not followed with harsh words and with a whip, but with winning invitations to return. The ninety and nine that have not strayed do not call for the sympathy and tender, pitying love of the shepherd. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 54

But the shepherd follows the sheep and lambs that have caused him the greatest anxiety and have engrossed his sympathies. The disinterested, faithful shepherd leaves all the rest of the sheep, and his whole heart and soul and energies are put to the tax for to seek the one that is lost. And then the figure—praise God—the shepherd returns with the sheep, carrying him in his arms, rejoicing at every step. He says, “Rejoice with me. I have found my sheep that was lost.” [Luke 15:6.] I am so thankful we have in the parable the sheep found. And this is the very lesson the shepherd is to learn—the success in bringing the sheep and lambs back. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 55

There is no picture presented before our imagination of a sorrowful shepherd returning without the sheep. And the Lord Jesus declares the pleasure of the shepherd, and his joy in finding the sheep causes pleasure and rejoicing in heaven among the angels. Then when the children and youth stray from the fold do not give them up, do not expel them from school. Do not show that you want to humiliate them; but with tender voice and yearning love seek them, knowing that all heaven is enlisted with you in the work to bring them back to the fold. The Lord has presented these lessons for you who are educators. He has a living interest for each separate child of His redeemed [so] that He has not left them to be exposed and perish in the wilderness of temptation, because you drove them there for Satan to work his cruel will upon them. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 56

The wisdom of God, His power and His love are without a parallel. It is the divine guarantee that not one of even the straying sheep and lambs is overlooked, and not one left unsuccored. A golden chain—the mercy and compassion of divine power—is passed around every one of these imperiled souls. Then shall not the human agent co-operate with God? Shall he be sinful, failing, defective in character himself, regardless of the soul ready to perish? Christ has linked him to His eternal throne by His offering His own life. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 57

Zechariah’s description of Joshua, the high priest, is a striking representation of the sinner for whom Christ is mediating that he shall be brought to repentance. Satan is standing at the right hand of the Advocate, resisting the work of Christ, and pleading against Him that man is his property, through choosing him as his ruler. But the Defender of man, the Restorer, mightier than the mightiest, hears the demands and claims of Satan, and answers him: “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and stood before the angel. 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 58

“And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.” [Zechariah 3:2-5.] 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 59

Bear in mind that every teacher that takes the responsibility of dealing with human minds, that every soul who is inclined to err and [is] easily tempted, is the special object for whom Christ is solicitor. They that are whole need not a physician, but those that are sick. The compassionate Intercessor is pleading, and will sinful, finite men and women repulse a single soul? 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 60

Shall any man or woman be indifferent to the very souls for whom Christ is pleading in the courts of heaven? Shall you in your course of action, imitate the Pharisees, who would be merciless, and Satan, who will accuse and destroy? O will you individually humble your own souls before God, and [let] that stern nerve and iron will be subdued and broken? 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 61

Step away from the sound of Satan’s voice and acting his will, and stand by the side of Jesus, possessing His attributes, the possessor of keen and tender sensibilities, who can make the cause of the afflicted, suffering ones His own. The man who has had much forgiven will love much. Jesus is a compassionate Intercessor, a merciful and faithful high priest. He, the Majesty of heaven—the King of glory—can look upon finite man, subject to the temptations of Satan, knowing [that] He has felt the power of Satan’s Wiles. “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, (clothing his divinity with humanity) that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” [Hebrews 2:17, 18.] 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 62

Then I call upon you, my brethren, to practice working in the lines that Christ worked. You must never put on the cloak of severity and condemn and denounce and drive away from the fold poor, tempted mortals; but as laborers together with God, heal the spiritually diseased. This you will do if you have the mind of Christ. Hebrews 4:15. Also Isaiah 40:28. He “fainteth not neither is weary.” 8LtMs, Ms 34, 1893, par. 63