Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 14, 1894

Talk at the Australian Bible School Chapel

Melbourne, Australia

February 22, 1894, 9:00 a.m.

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1MCP 53-54; CG 98; ML 291; 5BC 1095. +Note

There are some things that I want to present to you that I will send to the school in America. I do not know whether anything has been presented in regard to the students building up the school. This school was designed to bring the knowledge and fear of the Lord before your minds. We want you to take in the idea that the knowledge and fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. When one gets into a loose, lax way and considers that he is going to have a little fun, he lets himself down. He lets himself down where the Spirit of God does not work with his efforts. We wish to know who is on the Lord’s side, and whom we can depend upon. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 1

Here we are brought together, of different minds and different education, different training, and we do not expect that every mind will run right in the same channel, but the question is, Are we, the several branches, grafted into the parent Vine? That is what we want to inquire, and we want to ask teachers as well as students. We want to understand whether we are really grafted into the parent Vine. If we are, we may have different manners, different tones, and different voices. You may view things from one standpoint, and we have ideas different from one another in regard to the Scriptures, not in opposition to the Scriptures, but our ideas may vary. My mind may run in the lines most familiar to it, and another may be thinking and taking a view according to his traits of character, and see a very deep interest in one side of it that others do not see. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 2

We are to unite together to bring God’s light into the world, every one adding his jot or tittle in Christ’s lines. This is the order of Christ. “Ye are the branches of the vine.” [See John 15:5.] You are bearing fruit, then, and it is the fruit of righteousness. But you do not bear thorns. You do not come here to the school to see how much you can follow your own inclinations; you do not come here to have your own way and see how near you can come to the border of disorder and lawlessness, and yet maintain your position in the school. You cannot do this way. You may think, “Because I have done so and so, they have dealt with me very severely, and I only considered it a little thing.” I refer you to Adam and Eve in Eden. God said, “Ye shall not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil lest ye die.” [Genesis 2:17.] But Eve was flattered by the enemy and ventured to take of the fruit of the tree and eat, and gave to her husband. She showed that she felt as though she was indeed a representative of Satan. She presents it to her husband and he did eat. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 3

Now that was a very light test. There could not be a lighter test. If it had been a great thing that had been presented as a test, everyone would have said, “We did not do that large wrong, we only did this small wrong.” God took that small test to reach the smallest test throughout mankind. And when anyone comes here to the school [he] should come, to all intents and purposes, to surrender [his] will and way to the laws and rules of the school. “Why, there is no need of that,” I have heard [some] say. “What did they want to make such a rule for?” Well, perhaps it was to restrict the courtships and marriages, for the school was not instituted for that at all. It was instituted to make you wiser and more intelligent in a world where it seems that all women and girls think of nothing else but that. Tt is talked in the family. They hold themselves in the market, and no sooner is any attention paid to them than they respond at once. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 4

God does not want us to keep ourselves in a state of feebleness and weakness, our minds drifting here and there, and take our own course and way and then secretly hide. What did I read you about Achan? God saw every phase of his sin, and He said that he had not only coveted but stolen. [Joshua 7:11.] There may be some in the school who say, “Oh, they are young. Do not treat this matter as though it were a serious thing.” But how soon would this school be demoralized? How much knowledge would the students obtain? How high would it stand religiously and morally? When the matter comes up, or faults in any respect, why, what are they here for? The [students] are here to be educated and trained and disciplined. [If] there was looseness in the home, the greater the battle and all the heavier the burden that falls upon the educators, because they have to meet their customs, they have to meet their habits, they have to meet the practices and education which the [students] have received from father and mother. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 5

But if parents have let things drift, then will you let it [drift], too? God would not acknowledge the school if it should do that way. What is the family for? A family is to take the Word of God, and they should bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Then our schools would have a different mold. They would be elevated. But when parents do not maintain their authority, when the children go to school, they have no particular respect for the teachers or principal of the school. The reverence and respect that they should have, they never were taught to have at home. Father and mother were on the same level with the children. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 6

If that is the class of education that you have had, and you expect that things will go on like that at school, you will be terribly disappointed. Little acts of disobedience that seem very small in your eyes are just as large as the greatest in the sight of God. And God said, They have coveted, they have dissembled, they have stolen. [Verse 11.] God knew all about Achan. God told just what he had done. He knew that he had taken a goodly Babylonish garment and a wedge of [gold]. God had said that everything but the gold and silver was to be destroyed, every vestige of it. They were to be destroyed utterly. God said, He has taken it and he has concealed it in his tent. God knew what he had done with it, and how he had brought all the agony and distress upon the leaders and upon the people in authority, the men that were to carry out discipline and righteous actions. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 7

Now what we want is that everyone should understand that God knows you by name. He knows every action of your life. He knew the actions of Achan. And you know when He came to Cornelius and told him that his prayers and his alms were come up before Him in remembrance before God, He told him to go to Peter and tell him about it. Cornelius was to send men, men in authority, to Peter. He told him where Peter lived, by the seaside with one Simon the tanner. God met with Peter on the housetop and told him that three men were seeking him. He gave him a representation of a sheet let down by the four corners wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts and creeping things and fowls of the air. He did all this to educate and train Peter. (Acts 10:9-18); read this interesting chapter carefully. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 8

Peter learned the lesson given him of God and he went with the men to Cornelius, who, after Peter had come, said, We are all here to hear thee. Peter asked them all that God had said to them, and thus there was an understanding of the matter. We can see from this that we are more closely connected with heaven than we frequently suspect; that the heavenly intelligences are constantly communicating with the inhabitants of the earth. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 9

The Lord would have these students go forth from the school with a more elevated and clear understanding of what constitutes Christianity, and what it means to be educated. There may be some who feel it their special duty when one is reproved for wrong to stand by their side as sympathizers and take off the sharpness of the reproof. Whose side are they working on? On Christ’s side? Nay, verily; on the side of the enemy, and we cannot afford to work in those lines. God wants us to reprove, rebuke and exhort, and deal with sin by calling it wrongdoing—sin. Yet we should use every means in our power to save the sinner as the one that is a lost sheep. No matter if he professes a Christian experience as high as heaven, all the worse, because he has mingled in the dross and placed his Christianity on a level with the dross. We cannot afford to do that, because all [who] are saved will be without a wrinkle or any such thing. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 10

But we have all very little time to work in. We know not how soon the arrow of death may be felt in our vitals. We have not a moment to consider that these things are of no account, and say that they make altogether too much of these things in the young. We do not want you to have faults, because we are fitting up for the mansions that God is fitting up for us, and we are to show that we have respect for the recompense of reward and stop this trifling sentimentalism of saying that it is the way [we] have been taught to do at home. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 11

I remember in 1844 when the message was coming to the people to prepare to meet their God, to purify their souls, and lay hold of the truth. There was one man [who was] very earnest and full of the Holy Spirit. He stood up behind the desk in a crowded hall where the people could not begin to get seats. They were afraid of the floor breaking through, but the man that owned the hall assured us that it would not. He stood up there with a weak voice and yet it penetrated through every part of the building. There were no less than two dozen ministers on the platform. He said, “Your ministers say that we are going for you, and that we hinder you, but we do not. We only want you to get out of our way and let us come to the people. We have a message for the people.” 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 12

We would say to any of those who labor by prayer and counsels trying to bring every youth out of their lax condition and they make nothing of a lie, that God says, “No liar shall enter the kingdom of God.” [See Revelation 21:8.] They make nothing of a lie, but there are those that are trying to come right in between them and the lie. These students and those upon whom God has placed the responsibility, if they do not their duty, will certainly feel His wrath as the children of Israel were prevailed over by the enemy. There is a work for everyone of us to do. What right have you [who] profess to be followers of Jesus Christ to let yourself down to a cheap level? How do you represent Jesus Christ? 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 13

A letter comes to me from America saying, “Well, by and by I may take up the work of the Lord after I have all my debts paid, but as yet I am not religiously inclined.” They were going to drift as they pleased, serve God as they pleased, stand under the banner of the enemy and then get under Christ’s banner, as they think; but they are not there at all, because [Christ says,] Every branch that is in Me that beareth not fruit shall be taken away. [John 15:2.] The enemy takes it. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 14

See what the Lord said to Peter. Here was Peter, disputing with his Lord. We would not agree with his mind. And so disputers will ever be found. [He was] disputing with [his] Lord when He told the [disciples] that He was going to suffer and be crucified. They did not believe Him and Peter took Him and began to reprove Him. “Be it far from thee.” What did the Lord say? He said, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” [Matthew 16:21-23.] What was Satan doing? He came right up face to face with Peter and between the Lord and Peter so that Peter even took it upon him to reprove the Lord. But the Lord came close to Peter and Satan was put behind Christ. The Lord told Peter that Satan had desired him that he might sift him as wheat, but He says, “I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” [Luke 22:32.] If Peter had learned the lessons he ought to have learned, if he had stood right with God at the time of his trial, he would have stood then. If he had not been indifferent to the lessons Christ taught, he would never have denied his Lord. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 15

We want everyone of you to consider principle. We want you to consider the principle from which you are working. Everyone of us, parents and children, ought to consider that we have a most solemn work to do, for to every man is given his work. This school can be an [instrument] in shaping and molding the influence which represents Christ to our world. This school is watched more than you are aware of. This one gets a little careless and this one follows a course that is not just right, and then the authorities look upon us and say, “They are a lawless set; they do not try to keep themselves in right shape.” We want you to know that your course and conduct [are] watched by the heavenly universe. Do you know that your course is such that [it] is approved of heaven? Whose side are you on? Every morning inquire, “On whose side am I? Am I on Christ’s side or Satan’s? I will, myself, be on Christ’s side today. Not in any act or thought will I offend my God.” Even our thoughts are to be brought in captivity to Jesus Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 16

But the wrongdoer is always seeking after somebody to say, “I think after all they ought to have treated you more leniently than they have.” The devil began that in heaven, and of course he carries on his work on the earth, and will tempt everyone to think that there is too much said about that. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 17

God has put this school here to educate and train away from the education and training that many have had in their own homes. God wants that we should have noble traits of character. He wants that we should stand higher and still higher, nobler and still nobler. We want that the sap of the parent Vine should flow through every one of you. There may be some that feel, like the one who wrote to me from America, “I am not religiously inclined.” The school was established that you should place yourself in the channel of light. “Incline my heart to thy testimonies.” [Psalm 119:36.] 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 18

All the heavenly intelligences may be working to bring us into relationship with God, and yet we won’t be drawn. The whole world is being drawn; and why do they not respond? It is because they choose the service of Satan rather than the service of God. But we want to know who is on the Lord’s side; we want to know who will stand by those that are in responsible positions that are seeking to draw you to God. Now Satan is not going to let go his hold of you very easily. It was divinity that flashed through humanity when Christ said, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” [Matthew 16:23.] It is for you to be partakers of the living Vine so that you will be able to voice the Spirit of God, “Get thee behind me, Satan,” and will not yield to his commands. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 19

But you who feel that you ought to have your own way, you will be among that company that will receive the seven last plagues of God. “Your way is not my way, neither are your thoughts my thoughts, saith the Lord.” [Isaiah 55:8.] God makes no compromise [with] the enemy. When you surrender your heart to God, you will say, “A new heart hath He given me; a new song hath He put in my mouth,” and He will make melody to flow in your heart. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 20

Suppose you begin to consider the great work that is before us. I lay on my bed of suffering for months, studying and contriving how to make a start in the school work. When you were all asleep, we were studying. We could not see the least encouragement before us, because we could not present it to the people of Melbourne so that they would take hold with us. And we knew that nothing could be done in labor unless laborers were trained and educated to go out into the field and labor for their own countrymen, and for their own neighbors. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 21

Then there came to me a way, and the very next morning my son came to me and said, “Mother, I see light.” “Well,” said I, “so do I,” and I told him in the night watches that it had come to me that we could do something to start the school; and I said, “I am willing, if necessary, to take every dollar in my possession to start the school, because the people here must have an entire transforming of their character or they never will see the kingdom of God.” Said he, “Mother, that which you speak of is just exactly what came to me in the night season. We will work together.” And we have worked together. And when I wake up in the night my prayer is for these students. We want you to be so that there is no guile found in your lips. You will never reach a higher standard than that which you yourself have erected. You need the cleansing presence of Christ every day and every hour and every moment. Think ye that [since] He endured the agony that He endured to save humanity, and took upon Himself the sins of the whole world, that we should carry them? 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 22

We want you to disrobe yourselves of your sinful nature, to cast off the old man and his deeds, and put on the new man, which is Jesus Christ. Be renewed in the image of God and the likeness of Jesus Christ. It is stated in Romans [Hebrews] that He is preparing us a city, and that He is not ashamed to call us brethren. [Hebrews 11:16; 2:11.] He is preparing for us a city, and we want to be there. You are enjoying privileges of truth and love; are you going to raise the standard high? Never think that it is too high. Never have such an idea in your mind. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 23

God gave Daniel true education and knowledge and understanding and wisdom, for he was closely connected with the living God; and if you are, you will have the same current running through your veins that is in the living Vine. [Christ says,] It is My Father’s good pleasure that ye bear much fruit. [John 15:8.] See if you are on Christ’s side. Inquire, “Am I on the Lord’s side? Am I doing the work of my heavenly Father? Am I becoming rooted and grounded and established in the present truth?” 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 24

Now the wind is to blow and the tempest beat upon the house, our spiritual house, and it remains to be seen whether it is founded [upon] and riveted to the eternal Rock, or whether it is where the tempest of opposition will come right in and sweep your foundation away. You cannot afford [that]. You want to be written in the books of heaven. God help us to cling to the Mighty One. We want a rounded character and not a one-sided one; a character after the similitude of Christ. Daniel obtained this, and when the enemy searched to find a fault in his management they could not find one; therefore in order to hurt him they had to devise that his prayers be all offered to the king, and the king, being flattered, consented to it. Daniel was cast into the den of lions; but God’s angels were there. May God help us. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 25

I have some things to read that I have written to America, and I want it to be read little by little. I want you to see that it is your duty to make the school what God would have it, to make it as the schools of the prophets. I want you to see that you are standing in connection with God because you must not go out with characters defiled with sin to labor for the salvation of others. You must be purified and cleansed, and then God will give you knowledge and wisdom how to win human hearts. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 26

May God help you to stand right with the teachers. Do not consider that they are immortal and that you can do just as you please, and that they have divine wisdom and never make a mistake. The devil has made you their adversary. Do not commit sin any more. Let us be on the side of Christ and draw with [every] effort that is being made. I have been making all the effort that I can to send students to school that they might gather up the rays of light that are shining. What good will it do you? That you will have the mold of God upon you. 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 27

God grant that we may put ourselves under the mighty hand of God and go forward to do a good work. Are you going to walk so that God will put the crime of your sins upon your own head, or are you are going to clear the King’s highway? Will you forsake sin, cling to God, and receive the mighty movings of His Spirit in your midst? 9LtMs, Ms 14, 1894, par. 28