Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Ms 12b, 1896

Higher Education



Portions of this manuscript are published in AH 183; CG 224; 6MR 15-16; 10MR 301. +Note

“O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things, to whom be glory forever.” [Romans 11:33-36.] 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 1

The minds of all students would receive an important discipline if they would search, not merely read, but search the Scriptures. There is great wisdom for every person in an understanding of the word of God. It presents no mysteries; it is the light shining in darkness, but the sad part of this is that the darkness “comprehendeth it not.” [John 1:5.] If men earnestly desire light and a better knowledge of God, they will turn their faces toward the light. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 2

The Pharisees were continually asking for a sign to be given them of the mission of Christ; but if they had turned their faces toward the Light of the world, they would have discerned the true light. The leaders of the Jewish economy failed to represent the light of that economy, of which Christ was the foundation. Their ceremonial services do not appear to have given them any real conception of the Light of the world. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 3

When Jesus came to the world as the expositor of divine truth, they could not read in His life anything answering to their expectations, although they had always performed the ceremonies which typified Him. He came just as predicted, but they knew Him not. His mission, His work, the words He spoke of Himself, were as new revelation to them. He was not received as a long expected guest, the substance of all the representation. Notwithstanding that He had been prefigured before them in the types and shadows of their religious services, He did not find a place prepared for Him, but had to create a place for Himself. He appeared as a stranger to the Jewish nation. “Show us a sign,” came from the unreceptive hearts and unbelieving lips of the people. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 4

Occasionally, divinity flashed through the humanity of Christ, but even then the Priests and rabbis would not be convinced, though their unrenewed hearts felt the disturbing power of the Spirit of God at work with an almost irresistible force. On one occasion Christ came to Nazareth and taught in the synagogue. “And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” [Luke 4:17-19.] 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 5

“And he closed the book, and gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.” [Verses 20-22.] The conviction and assurance that He was the Promised One so strongly impressed their minds, and filled their souls with peace and grace and hope, that every barrier was broken down, and for a moment they endured the seeing of the Invisible in Christ Jesus. The power of God touched their hearts, and they questioned, Why have we been so carried away? They were enthused with the Spirit that sent home the conviction that this was the Messiah. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 6

But Satan, who had worked with all his devices to captivate their minds to his service, was determined that the blind eyes should not be opened that day, and that souls bound in slavery to his will should not be set at liberty. He and his angels are always on the ground with Christ, striving to counteract His words and His deeds of goodness and love as He works to restore the moral image of God in man. Unbelief came into the minds of Christ’s hearers, and they questioned, Who is this that asserts His power? “Is not this Joseph’s son?” [Verse 22.] This unbelief instilled into their minds worked fast, bringing them under the jurisdiction of Satan’s blinding insinuations; and this rejection of the Holy Spirit’s power and influence was the beginning of an end which meant Calvary. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 7

Today some are treating the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the same way. God has come near to bless and revive His children, and empower them to do a special work if they will allow the Holy Spirit to work them, but some have refused the Spirit’s power. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 8

Duty of Teachers.

The teachers in our schools need to learn in the school of Christ what the rejection of Christ by the people of Nazareth comprehends. There are lessons in the Word of God which apply to their own practice. If they had been more studious in reading and comprehending this Word, which is Light and Truth, it would have been for their eternal wellbeing, and also of the greatest advantage to the students whom they are educating. They would have felt that they had neglected to bring lessons of eternal consequence into their own education, and that therefore they were not capable of teaching others. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 9

We are to resist the first presentation of the devil’s insinuations to question the movings of the Spirit of God upon the heart, for he would have us reason away with our supposed faculty of discernment and with satanic philosophy, the deep movings of the Holy Spirit, which, if received, would have had a sanctifying influence upon the judgment. All who have not established themselves in thus working under the banner of the prince of darkness will consider where they have not made straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 10

From the light He has given me, God has shown that the teachers in our schools are occupying a most solemn position of sacred trust. The words they speak, the positions they assume, will have a decided influence upon many souls. But no one should have a particle of weight or influence with others, who would instill unbelief into the mind in regard to the power of the Holy Spirit’s action, teaching that it is undue excitement and fanaticism. This impression is the leaven of Satan, and if introduced and accepted, will work until the whole mind is brought into captivity to Satan. He then molds the thoughts in his line, and where such a beginning is made, many minds are so constituted that it is next to impossible to accept with any assurance the instruction from heaven. The souls for whom Christ has died place themselves where His rejecters did at His first Advent, closing their eyes and their ears, that they may neither see nor hear the manifestations of the Holy Spirit or discern His power in their experience. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 11

God’s Spirit works to cleanse the soul-temple, but if unbelief is expressed, it fastens itself upon minds, and Satan whispers undue excitement, fanaticism. Thus the current flowing from heaven to enlighten the mind and purify the soul is cut off. Satan’s ingenious devices, working upon human minds to cut off the communication from heaven, fastens souls in such a position of resistance to light and the Spirit of God that many will never again see the light clearly. Thus did the men of Nazareth, and ever after the whole bent of their efforts was to cavil and question and doubt, and ascribe the work of Christ to Satanic agencies. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 12

Why are men not afraid of their own wisdom? Why do they think they can pronounce upon and interpret the working of God upon His own purchased possession? When this spirit enters a school, it is like a spiritual malaria, poisoning the atmosphere which surrounds the souls of the youth who come to attend school. From homes where they have been under a safe and religious influence, many youth go to school where their educators sow their minds with the seeds of doubt and infidelity. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 13

The teachers in our schools need to attend diligently and learn in the school of Christ, in order that they may understand from the heart that they must either be doers of the Word of God, or give up their positions as educators. Before success can be subscribed to their efforts as teachers, they need just that fashioning which the Holy Spirit can give them to qualify them, by filling their hearts with a deeper and more consistent piety, to preside over the youth in their charge. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 14

All heaven has been waiting to communicate with teachers and with students, but some of the teachers have occupied a position similar to that of the Pharisees in the days of Christ. Continued rejection of the light sent from heaven will finally place them as the house of Eli, where their sins shall not be purged with sacrifices or offerings forever. The destiny of souls is now being decided, and much positive teaching is needed in the education of the youth. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 15

Duty of Parents.

If parents had educated their children according to all the words spoken by the Lord God of Hosts, the Everlasting Father, their children would have been trained at home to know God and His requirements. Although still claimed by the enemy as his property, children should receive the higher class of education from their parents and from their teachers in the Sabbath school. The words spoken by Moses in the mount should be voiced by ministers and instructors all through the land. Higher education is found in the words spoken by the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 16

He who is the fountain of all knowledge has stated the condition of our fitness to enter the heaven of bliss, in the words, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” [Revelation 22:14.] Obedience to God’s commandments is the price of heaven; and obedience to their parents in the Lord is the all-important lesson for children to learn. Parents are responsible to God as was Eli the priest and the judge of Israel, if they neglect to educate their children to obey, and permit them to disobey. In this they are educating them to disobey their Heavenly Father. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 17

The ruin of thousands upon thousands of souls will be the result of the neglect of parents to teach their children to obey the commandments of God, thus letting Satan educate them to do his will. Thousands of thousands of parents must give an account of their stewardship to God, for they have neglected to train their children, the heritage of the Lord, to become members of the royal family and children of the Heavenly King. They have indulged their children and permitted them to form habits which make them and their parents unhappy. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 18

The voice of God, plainly heard by Moses, has been given to His people from age to age. Fathers and mothers, you who take upon yourselves the responsibility of bringing children into the world, keep in your minds and hearts the words spoken by God to His people of all generations. The training of children is the grandest work ever committed to mortals, a work that cannot be ignored or in any wise neglected. If you are unfaithful in your work, the children which are the purchase of the blood of the Son of God, will grow up deformed and ungodly in character. By their influence they will taint and corrupt other youth making them as wicked as themselves. It would have been better if such parents had been childless. Parents will one day see their work in the light God views it, when he looks upon the sons and daughters of men, and sees them full of selfishness, pride, and moral pollution, having no fragrance of piety in them. God abhors this course of action. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 19

Every child brought into the world is the property of Jesus Christ, and should be educated by precept and example to love and obey God; but by far the largest number of parents have neglected their God-given work by failing to educate and train their children, from the first dawning of reason, to know and love Christ. By painstaking effort parents are to watch the opening, receptive mind, and make everything in the home life secondary to the positive duty enjoined upon them by God—to train their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. God commended Abraham, saying, “I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” [Genesis 18:19.] When parents do the work of the Lord as did Abraham, the Lord will guide them in His way. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 20

Parents are in no way excused by leaving their God-given work to the teachers in day school and Sabbath school. These may help the parents in their solemn, sacred work, but by precept and example parents are required to be teachers in their homes. The words spoken by the Lord are ever to be kept before the children. Speaking face to face with Moses in the mount the Lord said, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thy heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” [Deuteronomy 6:4-9.] 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 21

Will parents compare their work, by precept and example, with this teaching? What has been the nature and character of the principles presented in the home life? What account will they have to meet in the judgment when God shall ask, What have you done with my flock, my beautiful flock? The world today would be sown with truth and righteousness if people would keep the words of the Lord. “The Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.” [Verses 24, 25.] But in the world today the teaching given by parents to their children is in direct opposition to the word of God. Children are taught that God has no law, and in doing this parents work in the lines of the great deceiver, who compassed the fall of our first parents. As they believed the words of the fallen apostate in the place of the words of God, so the churches of today believe the words of Satan and reject the words of God, and sad indeed will be the result. God has not changed one jot or tittle of His law. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 22

“Know therefore that the Lord thy God he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him, and keep his commandments to a thousand generations. And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them; he will not be slack to him that hateth them, he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them. Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers.” [Deuteronomy 7:9-12.] 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 23

The instruction given to children has been exactly opposite to the instruction given by the Lord to Moses for the children of Israel and for the world. The professed Christian world is conceding to Satan all that he asked in heaven, when they argue against the law of God. Had God purposed to change His laws of government, He would have done it and retained the covering cherub and his sympathizers in the heavenly courts, but they were expelled. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 24

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets,” said Christ, “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven, but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:17-19.] The world is taking sides. The nations have drunk of the wine of Babylon, and the lawless in her borders are on Satan’s side, in disobedience and rebellion against God’s laws, exulting in their own traditions as did the Jews, and “teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.” [Matthew 15:9.] 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 25

The Higher Education of the Bible.

Through Moses, the Lord gave to the children of Israel that instruction he deemed most essential. Read and study his words; for this is higher education. “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore, and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath the Lord nigh unto them, as the Lord our God in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” [Deuteronomy 4:5-8.] 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 26

“For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?” “O that there were such an heart in them that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” [Deuteronomy 5:26, 29.] “For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 27

“The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people. But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate him to their face to destroy them; he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments ... and the judgments, which I command thee this day to do them.” [Deuteronomy 7:6-11.] 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 28

Where did Moses receive his education that he might educate the children of Israel? He was taken up in the mount to receive his education direct from God. There can be no higher education than this; none so pure, so precious, or so valuable for all mankind. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words; for after the tenor of these words have I made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; and he did neither eat bread nor drink water. And He wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.” [Exodus 34:27, 28.] This instruction was considered so essential that the Lord called Moses into the mount and talked with him face to face, as a man speaketh with his friend. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 29

“And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with them. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.” [Verses 29, 30.] The glory of the Lord was so revealed through the human agent, his face shone with such excellent glory and heavenly brilliancy, that Aaron and the rulers were afraid to come nigh him. “And Moses called unto them: and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him, and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh; and he gave them in commandment all the Lord had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face.” [Verses 31-33.] 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 30

For forty days and forty nights he had been in the presence of God and His angels, receiving the lessons to give to the people, but when he met them, he was obliged to cover his face; for the glory was too much for them to look upon. In giving this remarkable instruction to Moses, God taught that his chosen people should be a repository of truth for the whole world. Why then do the people of God today show so little interest in these wonderful revealings? 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 31

“And now, Israel, what doth the Lord require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.” [Deuteronomy 10:12-15.] 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 32

“For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward. He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loving the stranger in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. He is thy praise and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.” [Verses 17-21.] 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 33

The Word of God is to be the Guidebook, the counsellor, the teacher in the highest class of education. The Bible teaches the whole will of God concerning the plan of salvation, and if men are ignorant, it is because they do not choose to be wise. God says of the supposed great men of our world: They must become fools in order to be wise. The sentiments of infidel authors are not needed to perfect an education. In the past, our schools have mingled with that [which is] essential for education, the writing of men who advance error, the sophistries of men who trample underfoot God’s memorial. The Book that reveals the plan of salvation has been made secondary. But how is the honest inquirer after truth to find the way to heaven? Only by the Word of God, from which, even in his ignorance, he will learn the truth and be saved from destructive errors. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 34

In the Bible every duty of man is made plain. Destructive blunderings in falsehood and error are of Satan’s devising. The study of history, an acquaintance with the countries, nations, and customs referred to in the Word, a study of the men whom the Lord has enlightened, are important helps in an understanding of the Word of God, but are not absolutely essential to enable the inquiring mind to find the path to heaven. The Bible makes plain the pathway of life, and “the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” [Isaiah 35:8.] The gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ is made apparent in the Bible. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 35

The Word of God is adapted to meet the conditions of every mind, and is the science of salvation, and our only safe text book. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” “That the man of God my be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:16, 17.] In the study of the Word we converse with God; and the heavenly angels are close to the side of every human being, ready to enlighten his mind if he will lay at the door of investigation every prejudice and preconceived opinion. The Bible is our counsellor, unerringly telling us what we must do to regain the Paradise of God. 11LtMs, Ms 12b, 1896, par. 36