Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 67, 1894

Prescott, Brother and Sister [W. W.]

Middle Brighton Campground, Australia

January 18, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in 3SM 90; 2MR 211; 10MR 42-43, 67, 347-349.

Dear Brother and Sister Prescott:

We are yet in camp, our meeting having been continued one week longer than appointed, and still the interest is firm. Yesterday, Wednesday afternoon, the tent was full. I spoke upon the parable of the talents, and all listened with deep interest. Then followed baptism. In the waters of the bay, twenty-nine were buried with Christ in baptism. In the evening Elder Starr spoke to a large audience. Elder McCullagh came to my tent to tell me of a meeting he had Tuesday evening with twenty-five young men from the Congregational church. Some of these were university students who are fitting themselves to become lawyers and statesmen. They had invited Elder McCullagh to a meeting where a young man was to speak in reference to the Sabbath question. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 1

Elder McCullagh went and heard many things which were excellent, while other things were misstatements. In the providence of God an appointment was made for these young men to visit Elder McCullagh at the encampment to state their views in regard to the validity of Sunday observance; then Brother McCullagh was to state his views. The young men were to have liberty to ask questions, but opportunity was to be given for one question to be answered before another was put. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 2

They wished Brother McCullagh to lead out in the conference. He presented an illustration in regard to the law, sin, and the gospel. Placing three books on the stand to represent these three things (X X X), he said, “If the law is done away, we will remove the law, (X out). Sin is the transgression of the law, where there is no law, there is no transgression, no sin, (X, out sin). Where is no law, and hence no sin, there is no need of the gospel, (X out the gospel). What have we left?” Brother McCullagh spoke decidedly upon the immutability of the law of God, and its sacred claims upon everyone of the human family. At nine o’clock Elder Starr came in and said some things right to the point. The meeting lasted till past eleven. Then the young men invited Elder McCullagh to come to the Congregational church, where they would have other young men present, and would continue their consideration of these subjects. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 3

Brother McCullagh told them he felt that it would not be right to go to the church in the absence of their minister; it would look as if he were taking advantage of the pastor’s absence. They saw the force of this. Brother Mcculagh said, “You are perfectly free to come to the campground, and you shall have all the liberty you desire.” They consented to come Sabbath (Saturday) evening, and bring their friends. What will be the outcome of this we cannot tell, but we are praying that the Lord will move by His Holy Spirit upon the minds of these inquiring young men. They told Elder McCullagh that they came with a strong array of Scriptures, prepared to prove the abolition of the law, but when he put things in such a way, showing the relation of the law, sin, and the gospel, they could not produce the arguments they had to present. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 4

I have been interrupted no less than six times since beginning to write these few lines. Strangers are constantly coming in to see the tent, and others to see Mrs. White. If you find mistakes, please excuse the same. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 5

In this early morning meeting, Thursday, the Lord gave me a most precious message for His people. I may have time to write something of the same; if I can, I will do so, for the people need these words very much in every place. I was invited later in the day to speak upon the subject of education, especially of the importance of combining physical with mental labor. This was considered with reference to the location of our school on the ample grounds where the Lord’s plans can be carried out and the youth educated in physical labor as well as in the sciences. These meetings were of great importance. O, how much we need heavenly wisdom in all these matters. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 6

I read your letter to Elder Starr, and was somewhat troubled by its contents. No movement should be made to lower the standard of education in our school at Battle Creek. The students should tax the mental powers, every faculty should reach the highest possible development. Many students come to the college with intellectual habits partially formed that are a hindrance to them. The most difficult to manage is the habit of performing their work as a matter of routine, instead of bringing to their studies thoughtful, determined effort to master difficulties, and to grasp the principles at the foundation of every subject under consideration. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 7

Through the grace of Christ it is in their power to change this habit of routine, and it is for their best interest and future usefulness rightly to direct the mental faculties, training them to do service for the wisest Teacher, whose power they may claim by faith. This will give them success in their intellectual efforts, in accordance with the laws of God. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 8

Each student should feel that under God, he is to have a special training, individual culture, and he should realize that the Lord requires of him to make all of himself that he possibly can, that he may teach others also. Indolence, apathy, irregularity, are to be dreaded, and the binding of one’s self to routine is just as much to be dreaded. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 9

I hope that no one will receive the impression from any words I have written, that the standard of the school is to be in any way lowered. There should be most diligent and thorough education in our school, and in order to secure this, the wisdom that comes from God must be made first, and most important. The religion of Christ never sanctions physical or mental laziness. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 10

We have before us the case of Daniel and his fellows, who made the most of their opportunities to obtain an education in the courts of Babylon. When tested by those who questioned both their faith and their knowledge, they were able to give a reason of the hope that was in them, and as well to stand the examination as to their knowledge in all learning and wisdom, and it was found that Daniel had understanding also in all visions and dreams, showing that he had a living connection with the God of all wisdom. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 11

“In all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” [Daniel 1:20.] Daniel’s history is given us for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come. “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.” [Psalm 25:14.] Daniel was in close connection with God. When the decree went forth from an angry, furious king commanding that all the wise men of Babylon should be destroyed, Daniel and his fellows were sought for to be slain. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 12

Then Daniel answered, not with retaliation, but “with counsel and wisdom,” the captain of the king’s guard, who was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon. Daniel asked, “Why is the decree so hasty from the king?” [Daniel 2:14, 15.] He presented himself before the king, requesting that time be given him, and his faith in the God he served prompted him to say that he would show the king the interpretation. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 13

“Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret, that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.” [Verses 17-19.] Read Daniel 2:20-28. Here the interpretation was made known to Daniel. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 14

The close application of those Hebrew students under the training of God was richly rewarded. While they made diligent effort to secure knowledge, the Lord gave them heavenly wisdom. The knowledge they gained was of great service to them when brought into straight places. The Lord God of heaven will not supply the deficiencies that result from mental and spiritual indolence. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 15

When the human agents shall exercise their faculties to acquire knowledge, to become deep thinking men, when they, as the greatest witnesses for God and the truth, shall have won in the field of investigation of vital doctrines concerning the salvation of the soul, that glory may be given to the God of heaven as supreme, then even judges and kings will be brought to acknowledge in the courts of justice, in parliaments and councils, that the God who made the heavens and the earth is the only true and living God, the author of Christianity, the author of all truth, who instituted the Seventh-day Sabbath when the foundations of the world were laid, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. All nature will bear testimony as designed for the illustration of the Word of God. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 16

The natural and the spiritual are to be combined in the studies of our schools. The operation of agriculture illustrate the Bible lessons. The laws obeyed by the earth reveal the fact that it is under the masterly power of an infinite God. The same principles run through the spiritual and the natural world. Divorce God and His wisdom from the acquisition of knowledge, and you have a lame, one-sided education, dead to all the saving qualities which give power to man, so that through faith in Christ he is capable of acquiring immortality. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 17

The Author of nature is the Author of the Bible. Creation and Christianity have one God. All who engage in the acquisition of knowledge should aim to reach the highest round of progress. Let them advance as fast and as far as they can. Let their field of study be as broad as their powers can compass, making God their wisdom, clinging to Him who is infinite in knowledge, who can reveal the secrets hidden for ages, who can solve the most difficult problems for minds that believe in Him who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light that no man can approach unto. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 18

The living witness for Christ, following on to know the Lord, shall know that His goings forth are prepared as the morning, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” [Galatians 6:7.] By honesty, industry, with a proper care of the body, applying every power of the mind to the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom in spiritual things, every soul may be complete in Christ who is the perfect pattern of a complete man. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 19

He who chooses a course of disobedience to God’s law is deciding his future destiny. He is sowing to the flesh, earning the wages of sin, even eternal destruction, the opposite of life eternal. Submission to God and obedience to His holy law bring the sure result. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] This is a knowledge of such value that no language can describe it; it is of highest worth in this world, and is far reaching as eternity. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 20

“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” [Jeremiah 9:23, 24.] 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 21

When we aim at a low standard, we shall reach only a low standard. We commend to every student the Book of books as the grandest study for the human intelligence, as the education essential for this life, and for eternal life. But I did not contemplate a letting down of the educational standard in the study of the sciences. The light that has been given on these subjects is clear and should in no case be disregarded. But if the Word of God which giveth light, giveth understanding to the simple, had been welcomed into the mind and the soul temple as a counselor, as a guide and instructor, the human agent living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, there would have been no need for reproof because of the backslidings of the students after the blessing of God had come to them in rich rays of divine light to glow in heaven’s holy fire upon the altar of their hearts. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 22

Many allowed amusements to have the supremacy. This was not the course that Daniel pursued in obtaining the education which revealed through him the supremacy of heavenly wisdom above all the wisdom and knowledge of the highest schools in the courts of the proud Babylon. God opens the understanding of men in a marked manner if His words are brought into the practical life of the student and the Bible is recognized as the precious wonderful book that it is. Nothing is to come between this Book and the student as more essential, it is the wisdom which brought into practical life makes men wise through time and through eternity. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 23

God is revealed in nature; God is revealed in His Word. The Bible is the most wonderful of all histories, for it is the production of God, not of the finite mind. It carries us back through the centuries to the beginning of all things, presenting the history of times and scenes which would otherwise never have been known. It reveals the glory of God in the working of His providence to save a fallen world. It presents in the simplest language the mighty power of the gospel, which received would cut the chains that bind men in slavery to Satan’s chariot. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 24

The light shines from the sacred pages in clear, glorious beams, showing us God, the living God, as represented in the laws of His government, in the creation of the world, in the heavens which He hath garnered. His power is to be recognized as the only means of redeeming a world from degrading superstitions which are so dishonoring to God and man. Every student of the Bible, who not only becomes familiar with revealed truth through the education of the intellect but through its transforming power upon heart and character, will represent the character of God to our world in a well-ordered life and a godly conversation. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 25

The entrance of the Word giveth light. The mind is expanded, elevated, purified. But many have pursued a course of action inconsistent with the knowledge of truth and the wonderful light through the descent of the Holy Spirit of God in so marked a manner upon hearts in Battle Creek. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 26

Great sin and loss resulted from the neglect to walk in the light from heaven. In plunging into amusements, match games, pugilistic performances, they declared to the world that Christ was not their leader in any of these things. All this called forth the warning from God. Now that which burdens me is the danger of going into extremes on the other side; there is no necessity for this; if the Bible is made the guide, the counsellor, it is calculated to have an influence on the mind and heart of the unconverted. Its study, more than any other, will leave a divine impress. It will enlarge the mind of the candid student, it will endow it with new impulses and fresh vigor. It will give greater efficiency to the faculties by bringing them in contact with grand and far-reaching truths. It is ever working, drawing; it is an effective instrument in the converting of the soul. If the human mind becomes dwarfed and feeble and inefficient, it is because it is left to deal with commonplace subjects only. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 27

God can and will do a great work for every human being who will open the heart to the Word of God and let it enter the soul temple and expel every idol. Summoned to the effort, mind and heart take in the wonderful disclosures of the revealed will of God. The soul that is not converted will be made stronger to resist evil. But in the study of the Bible the converted soul eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God, which He Himself interprets as the receiving and doing of His words, that are spirit and life. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 28

The Word is made flesh, and dwells among us in those who receive the holy precepts of the Word of God. The Saviour of the world has left a holy, pure example for all men. It illuminates, uplifts, and brings immortality to all who obey the divine requirements. This is my reason for writing to you as I did. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 29

God forbid that through lack of discernment, errors should be committed through misunderstanding of my words addressed to you. I have had no other feeling than that of pleasure in knowing that students could come forth from the study of the words of life with minds expanded, elevated, ennobled, with their slumbering powers aroused to engage in the study of the sciences with a keener appreciation. They may become learned as did Daniel, with a purpose to develop and employ every power to glorify God. But it becomes every student to learn of God, who giveth wisdom, how to learn to the best advantage, for all are candidates for immortality. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 30

The Lord God came down to our world clothed with the habiliments of humanity, that He might work out in His own life the mysterious controversy between Christ and Satan. He discomfited the powers of darkness. All this history is saying to man, “I, your substitute and surety, have taken your nature upon Me, showing you that every son and daughter is privileged to become a partaker of the divine nature, and through Christ Jesus lay hold upon immortality.” Those who are candidates for this great blessing should in everything act in a manner to represent the advantages of their association with the Lord through His revealed truth and through the sanctification of His Holy Spirit. This will enlarge the mind of the human agent, fasten it upon sacred things, set it to receive truth, to comprehend truth, which will lead to the working out of truth through the sanctification of heart, soul, and character. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 31

Those who have this experience will not condescend to engage in the amusements that have been so absorbing and so misleading in their influence, revealing that the soul has not been eating and drinking the words of eternal life. The departure from the simplicity of true godliness on the part of the students was having an influence to weaken character and lessen mental vigor. Their advancement in the sciences was retarded, while if they were like Daniel, hearers and doers of the Word of God, they would advance as he did in all branches of learning they entered upon. Being pure minded, they would become strong minded. Every intellectual faculty would be sharpened. Let the Bible be received as the only food for the soul, as it is the very best and most effectual for the purifying and strengthening of the intellect. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 32

Now I must leave this subject so imperfectly presented that I fear you will misinterpret that which I feel so anxious to make plain. O, that God would quicken the understanding, for I am but a poor writer and cannot with pen or voice express the great and deep mysteries of God. O pray for yourselves, pray for me. 9LtMs, Lt 67, 1894, par. 33