Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 61, 1897

Our School Work


June 8, 1897

This manuscript is published in entirety in EducationalMessenger 03/19/1909. +Note

Economy in regard to the outlay of means should be practiced in our school in Cooranbong. This must be done or the same mistake will be made here that has been made in our schools in America. Those who stand at the head of the school here need to guard carefully every point, and bind about every needless expense, that the burden of debt may not fall upon the school. As co-laborers with Christ, every student who loves God supremely will help to bear responsibility in this matter. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 1

Self indulgence is a great evil, and must be overcome. Those who have been educated in this line can demonstrate by precept and example, to those with whom they come in contact, the principles taught by our self-denying Redeemer. He says to all, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Then the conditions are stated, from which there can be no departure, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 2

There is far less earnest, whole-souled study of the truth as it is in Jesus than there should be. There should be connected with our school those who are strong-minded and whole-souled Christians, who received and believe in Christ as the Alpha and the Omega. Revelation 1:8. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 3

In acquiring an education, many have made a mistake by not plowing deep enough. They have thought a knowledge of books the principal thing. But young men and young women must learn some time that in order to do the highest service for God, they must closely investigate the Scriptures and learn how to do God’s will. As they study this Word, they will see in it heights and depths that they have not reached. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 4

When students refuse to make the Word of God their study, and take as their instructors books written by infidels, Satan is close by, to make his impression on their minds. Every one who allows himself to have respect for infidel authors is in danger. Why? Because he sees not God, and with all his education, he does not recognize Jesus Christ as the Teacher sent from God. He does not look upon Him as the bread sent down form heaven, of which he must eat, and therefore his experience is not composed of that which makes him one with Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 5

The Bible is a treasure house of knowledge, and all who make this book their study, sinking the shaft deep into the mine of truth, will exclaim, “I behold wondrous things out of thy word.” [See Psalm 119:18.] The incarnation of Christ is but dimly appreciated by many students who have studied long in our schools. This subject should be and will be better understood by all who in truth love Truth, and walk in the way of the Lord. An experimental knowledge of this is as essential to sanctify daily as to redeem. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 6

Light has been given me in clear lines in regard to the mistakes made in the education of teachers. The education which teachers might gain many regard as non-essential. They do not gain a knowledge of practical life, a knowledge of how to work as well as of how to study. This mistake must not be allowed to influence the youth who attend the school we are trying to establish. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 7

Many look upon a study of books as the principal purpose of their scholastic life. They know very little of practical business management, and are therefore one-sided. Their faculties have not been developed proportionately. They have not ploughed deep, to understand the weak points in their character building, and they do not realize their own deficiency. They start wrong. They feel too unconcerned in regard to becoming involved in debt. They do not look critically at the outcome of this. What is faith? True faith takes in the whole man. It enables the soul to rise out of an imperfect, undeveloped state, and to understand what true wisdom is. See Proverbs 8. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 8

If education had been carried on in accordance with the mind and will of God, the dark shadow of heavy debts, would not today be hanging over our institutions. If the students had developed brain, none, and muscle harmoniously, they could have studied better. But many students have followed their own ideas as to what constitutes education, and therefore they have not placed themselves where their determination was to be self-made men and women. Many have failed because they have not reasoned from cause to effect. They are contented to be carried rather than to work their own way. And many follow their example. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 9

When students are carried through years of study on the means of others, they lose an experience of practical life that it will be difficult for them to recover. One who has so often appeared as my Instructor placed his hand on the shoulder of a young man, and said, “You have to sink the shaft yet deeper if you obtain the heavenly treasure. You must learn to cling to the truth by faith in Jesus Christ. Associate with men of experience, who have been taught by God, and who have an experimental knowledge of saving faith.” 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 10

Notwithstanding all that has been written in regard to God’s plan for the education in our schools, this subject has not been fully taken in. It is today as it was in the day of Christ. The sayings of the priests and rabbis were then frequently brought forward as if they were truth and life. Their words were repeated with assurance because they had been handed down from rabbi to rabbi. Men departed from the Word of God. False theories which were received as truth because they came from the lips of rabbis, were exalted above the Word of God. Christ said to these teachers, “Ye are ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God.” [Matthew 22:29.] 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 11

Thus it is in our day. Darkness has covered the earth, and gross darkness the people. Students have left our schools with a deficient education. Some think that they know all that is worth knowing, and think they are qualified to manage institutions. But they have much to unlearn and much to learn. They must know more of God. They must realize their own deficiency. They must know what constitutes true Christianity. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 12

Nothing can elevate man, nothing can make him pure and keep him pure, but believing in and practicing the truth. He must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. This is the lesson all should learn. They should see that to be sanctified means more than to have a theoretical knowledge of the truth. They must have living faith. They must do more than denounce wrongs in others; they must fight it in themselves. They must be whole-souled Christians, possessing the earnestness and living energy derived from Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 13

The youth should be taught to look upon physiology as one of the essential studies. They should not be satisfied with the mere theory; they should practice the knowledge obtained from books on this subject. This matter has not yet been patiently and perseveringly worked out. Those who neglect this branch of study, which comprehends so much, will make haphazard work in attempting to teach the youth. They are not qualified to direct in our schools, because the way of the Lord must be learned, in order to be practiced. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 14

Many go from our schools with some knowledge; but without that all-round harmonious character that would enable them to be teacher or principal. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 15

The principles of true education, that will fit students to be practical business men, have been very poorly carried out. This class of education is needed in all our missionary enterprises; and if the teachers in our schools did their duty, according to the “It is written,” they would send forth from school men of moral worth, men who would know how to take hold of the work in a new field, and use his brain, bone, and muscle in making it a harmonious whole. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 16

Many who have been educated in our schools are heedless. They do a little here, and a little somewhere else, but they show that they have not been educated for practical work. Students should remember that it is their first interest to make themselves practical, all-round, useful men and women, who in an emergency can do the work necessary to be done. When students are given this kind of education, it will not be necessary to expend money to transport men thousands of miles to plan schools, meeting houses, and colleges. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 17

Students should be encouraged to combine mental and physical labor. The physical powers should be developed in proportion to the mental faculties. This is essential for an all-round education. They will then be at home in any place. They should be prepared to teach others how to build, how to cultivate the soil, and how to care for orchards. A man may have a brilliant mind, he may be quick to catch ideas, but this is of little value to himself and to others if he has no knowledge of practical work, and if he does not know how to put his ideas into execution. Such a one is only half educated. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 18

A teacher who has an intelligent knowledge of the best methods, and who can not only teach the theory, but can show by example how things should be done, will never be a drug on the market. Young men should not always be as servants who must be told what to do, and, when one job is done, have not perception sufficient to look around and see what more needs to be done. They should look the situation squarely in their face, saying, This will not do. Unless I learn how to work, how to manage difficult problems, and how to wrestle with difficulties, I will be of no practical value. I must and will rise. I will mount from the lowest to the highest round of the ladder. He who manifests this determination will make a trustworthy worker, for his aim is to advance in knowledge and increase in understanding. He can be depended on as thoughtful and caretaking. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 19

There are those who are quick to see and grasp ideas advanced. They do not weigh every point, or apply their ideas in a way that produces the best results. They are heedless; they do not work in the wisdom of God. Such need to make haste slowly when forming their opinions, lest they are obliged to retrace their steps. If they are not careful, their course will be uneven and uncertain. They will fail to make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame shall be turned out of the way. They will surely lead away those who admire their flashes of brilliance, unless they determine to know why they know the things they claim to know. They should be careful how they order their steps. They should pray much, fearing to make mistakes. Unless they walk guardedly, they will be losers. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 20

God’s holy Word gives us the principles that form the standard of correct management in temporal as well as in spiritual things. God’s will is to be made the will of the human agent, and this will is to be kept prominent. Men are not to act as though there were one rule for the Master and another for the servants. Christ was a servant. He lived not to please Himself; and by His life of service, He has exalted all service. 12LtMs, Ms 61, 1897, par. 21