Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 103, 1897

Sutherland, E. A.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

July 23, 1897

This letter is published in entirety in 13MR 254-259. +Note

Prof. E. A. Sutherland
Battle Creek, Michigan

Dear Brother:

I am more and more burdened as I see young men coming from the school at Battle Creek deficient in the education they should have. It pains me as I realize how many who should be instructed have not the privilege. From the light given me from the Lord, I know that four or five successive years of application to book study is a mistake. Those who encourage this, close application to books, working the brain and neglecting the education they should gain by using the muscles proportionately with the brain, are simply incapable of retaining the lessons they endeavor to learn. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 1

If one third of the time now occupied in the study of books, using the mental machinery, were occupied in learning lessons in regard to the right use of one’s own physical powers, it would be much more after the Lord’s order, and would elevate the labor question, placing it where idleness would be regarded as a departure from the Word and plans of God. The right use of one’s self includes the whole circle of human obligations to one’s self, to the world, and to God. Then use the physical power proportionately with the mental powers. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 2

While studying authors and lesson books part of the time, students should study with the same application the human machinery, and at the same time demonstrate the fact by using the physical organs in manual labor. Thus they answer the purpose of their Creator. They become self-made men and women. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 3

Had teachers been learning the lessons the Lord would have them learn, there would not be a class of students whose bills must be settled by some one or else they leave the college with a heavy debt hanging over them. Educators are not doing half their work when they know a young man to be devoting years of close application to the study of books, not seeking to earn means to pay his own way, and yet do nothing in the matter. Every case should be investigated; every youth kindly and interestedly inquired after, and his financial situation ascertained. One of the studies put before him as most valuable should be the exercise of his God-given reason in harmony with his physical powers—head, body, hands, and feet. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 4

The right use of one’s self is the most valuable lesson that can be learned. We are not to do brain work and stop there, or make physical exertions, and stop there; but we are to make the very best use of the various parts composing the human machinery, brain, bone, and muscle, body, head, and heart. No man is fit for the ministry who does not understand how to do this. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 5

The study of Latin and Greek is of far less consequence to ourselves, to the world, and to God, than the thorough study and use of the whole human machinery. It is a sin to study books to the neglect of how to become familiar with the various branches of usefulness in practical life. With some, close application to books is a dissipation. The physical machinery being untaxed leads to a great amount of activity in the brain. This becomes the devil’s workshop. Never can that life that is ignorant of the house we live in, be an all-round life. The schools are not half awake. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 6

The neglect of some parts of the living machinery, while other parts are put to the tax, and wearied and overworked, makes many youth too weak to resist evil practices. They have little power of self-control. The blood is called too liberally to the brain, and the nervous system is overworked. Exercise should be taken, not in play and amusement merely to please self, but exercise in the science of doing good. There is a science in the use of the hand. In the cultivation of the soil, in building houses, in studying and planning various methods of labor, the brain must be exercised; and students can apply themselves to study to much better purpose when a portion of their time is devoted to physical taxation, wearying the muscles. Nature will then give repose and sweet rest. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 7

The hand was made to do all kinds of work, and students who think that education consists only in book study never make a right use of the fingers and hands. Students should be thoroughly taught to do the very work that thousands of hands are never educated to do. The powers thus developed and cultivated can be most carefully employed. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 8

Students who apply themselves wholly to brain labor in the school room injure the whole living machinery by confinement. The brain is wearied, and Satan brings in a whole list of temptations, enticing them to engage in forbidden indulgences, to have a change, to let off steam. Yielding to these temptations, they do wrong things, which injure themselves and do mischief to others. This may be done only in sport. The brain is active and they desire to play some pranks. But some one must undertake to undo the mischief they did under temptation. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 9

Teach the students that their life is a talent, to be highly appreciated, and to be dedicated to the Lord. Teach them that they are to work in Christ’s lives. Students, your life is God’s property. He has entrusted it to you that you may carefully study how you can best honor and glorify Him. You are really the Lord’s, for He created you. You are His by redemption, for He gave His life for you. Who was it that paid the price of the ransom for your deliverance from Satan? It was the only begotten Son of God. He was the Majesty of heaven, and for His sake, you should appreciate every power, every organ, every sinew and muscle. Preserve every portion of the living machinery, that you may use it for God. Preserve it for Him. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 10

Your health depends upon the right use of your physical organism. Do not misuse or abuse any portion of your God-given powers, physical, mental, or moral. All your habits are to be brought under the control of a mind that is itself under the control of God. Unhealthful habits of every order, late habits of night, late hours in bed in the morning, rapid eating, are to be overcome. The digestion begins in the mouth. Masticate your food thoroughly. Let there be no hurried eating. Have your room well-ventilated, and perform useful, physical labor. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 11

<To young ladies I would say,> tight lacing is a sin, and will bring its sure results. The lungs, the liver, the heart, need all the room the Lord has provided for them. Your Creator understood how much room the heart and liver requires in order to act their vital parts in the human organism. Let not Satan tempt you to crowd the delicate organs so that they shall be trammeled in their work. Do not, because the fashions of this unregenerate world are taken up as desirable, so crowd the life forces that they have no freedom. Satan suggested all such fashions, that the human family might suffer the sure results of abusing God’s handiwork. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 12

The giving way to violent emotions endangers life. Many die under a burst of rage and passion. Many educate themselves to have spasms. These they can prevent if they will; but it requires willpower to overcome a wrong course of action. All this must be a part of the education received in the school, for we are God’s property. The sacred temple of the body must be kept pure and uncontaminated, that God’s Holy Spirit may dwell therein. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 13

We need to guard faithfully the Lord’s property, for any abuse of our powers shortens the time that our lives can be used for the glory of God. Bear in mind that we must consecrate all, soul, body, and spirit, to God. It is His purchased possession, and must be used intelligently, to the end that we may prolong and preserve the talent of life itself. By properly using our powers and talents to their fullest extent in the most useful employment, by keeping every organ in health to do the best and most useful service for God, by preserving every organ, that body and mind, sinew and muscle, may work harmoniously, we may do the best and most precious service for God. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 14

There are invalids in our world born with feeble constitutions. They suffer from no fault of their own. Let these study patient endurance. In so doing they can glorify God. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 15

Students, study for time and for eternity. Bring good, hard, earnest labor into your scholastic life. Do not feel that you must take a classical course before you enter the ministry. The Lord has given light that the largest number who have done this have, through the protracted study of books, disqualified themselves for the labor which was essential for them to do. 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 16

What is Paul’s charge to Timothy? “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him; if we suffer, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us. If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he can not deny himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” [2 Timothy 2:10-15.] <Unfinished. Mail leaves today.> 12LtMs, Lt 103, 1897, par. 17