Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 76, 1897

Irwin, George A.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

July 22, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 8MR 56-57, 191; SpM 95-96. +Note

Dear Brother George A. Irwin:

Your letter written from the campground, Oakland, California, June 6, 1897, was received July 20, 1897. 12LtMs, Lt 76, 1897, par. 1

I appreciate your consideration in regard to W. C. White connecting with me in my preparation of writings and bookmaking. I would be pleased if this could be so, but I am not at all confident that this plan will be carried out. 12LtMs, Lt 76, 1897, par. 2

I have another proposition to make; it is that Sister Peck, who is now in South Africa, shall unite with me in my work. I must have a lady worker. She is desirous of coming as soon as someone can take her place. When I left America, I was assured that Brother and Sister Starr would come to Australia with me, and would help me in every way possible. This plan was carried out only a few weeks. At Harbor Heights the resolution was made that W. C. White devote more of his time in helping me. But he has been so loaded down with responsibilities that I can seldom get an opportunity to present matters of importance before him, and which I have felt compelled to send every mail. 12LtMs, Lt 76, 1897, par. 3

I have a very large amount of matter which I desire to have come before the people, but I have no one to consider these matters with me. If I could have Sister Peck and Willie, I could get off <many> important things much more perfectly. I ought to have some one to whom I can read every article before sending it to the mail. This always helps the writer, for the <writer> often discerns more clearly what is wanted <after reading the matter before one who is interested,> and the slight changes that should be made. It is an important matter to keep in its simplicity all that matter which I write. I am sure my two editors endeavor to preserve my words, not supplying their own in the place of them. 12LtMs, Lt 76, 1897, par. 4

I am pleased to report that my head is [as] clear as it has ever been. I want to exercise my mind and pen while I can. I have little trouble with the rheumatism. Long-standing difficulties have been healed, and I dare not complain. I know it is impossible to create the heavenly gifts; but they are appointed for us. God has given them [to] us through the riches of His grace. They are ours if we will receive them into hearts that are prepared for them. I want the windows of my soul to be opened to the heavenly dew, the sunshine and the reviving showers. 12LtMs, Lt 76, 1897, par. 5

Christ is acquainted with all our peculiar weaknesses, all our wants and griefs. He appreciates the human beings for whom He has done so much. When about to suffer, bearing the sins of the whole world, He left us a rich legacy—“even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.” “But ye know him,” He said, “for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.” [John 14:17-19.] What a legacy is this! 12LtMs, Lt 76, 1897, par. 6

I pray that the Lord by His Holy Spirit will work to arouse the church. I am very anxious for all in Battle Creek. I hope there will be a reformation in the publishing house and in the church. If there is not a decided change in the heart, if from every worker there is not sent forth a pure, holy current, disease, spiritual consumption, will be revealed in him and in the work which he is handling. Souls have departed from the counsel of God, and by their head-strong passions, impatient of control, have set an example that has been fatal to others. The Lord has allowed them to have their own way and their own will, and they have abused their opportunities, rushing into methods and schemes and actions which God does not endorse. We have had sufficient warnings from God to work in Christ’s lines, to humble self, and exalt the Lord in our hearts. I pray that the Physician of souls may undertake the case of each one, that they may fear and tremble before Him. 12LtMs, Lt 76, 1897, par. 7

You mention the school. I pray the Lord that He will stand at the head of the school as Principal, and that all may work under His divine guidance. If the Lord’s will is done, students will not be encouraged to remain in the school for years. This is the devising of man, not the plan of God. Those who come to the school, if they put their minds into studying the Book of all books, will, through prayer and close, deep research, obtain in a much shorter period of time a knowledge of Bible education. They will learn of Jesus in the school of Christ. The years of study of those books which should not be made study books unfits students for the work to be done in this important period of this earth’s history. One young man, after five years’ study, has come from the school unfitted to teach or preach. He has to unlearn and unload a mass of rubbish which will disqualify him for efficiency in any line of the work to be done for this time. 12LtMs, Lt 76, 1897, par. 8

It makes my heart ache when I consider how many would be glad of the privilege of a short period in the school, where they can be brought up on some points of study. There are those who would consider it an inestimable privilege to have the Scripture opened to them in its pure, unadulterated simplicity, to be taught how they can keep out of the argumentative, debating methods, and come close to hearts, how simple direct, straightforward lines they might learn how to teach the truth so that it shall be clearly discerned. These years of study are cultivating many habits and methods in the students that will cripple their usefulness. They need to go through another process of education and unlearn many things that they have acquired. 12LtMs, Lt 76, 1897, par. 9

The proper methods have been presented to me. Let students with their mental studies call into exercise the physical and moral powers. Let them work the living machinery proportionately. The constant working of the brain is a mistake. I wish I could express in words just that which would express the matter. The constant working of the brain causes a diseased imagination. It leads to dissipation. The education of five years in this one line is not of as much value as an all-around education of one year. 12LtMs, Lt 76, 1897, par. 10

Let the students take up the work of using the knowledge they have obtained. Let them impart to others the benefits they have received. The Bible studies are to be diligently kept up. If the students will humbly seek Him, the Lord of heaven will open their understanding. They will take time to review their studies in book knowledge; they will critically examine the advancement they have made in the schoolroom, and will combine with their studies physical exercise which is most important in obtaining an all-round education. If young men and women would grow up into the full stature of Christ Jesus, they must treat themselves intelligently. Conscientiousness in methods of education is just as essential as in the consideration of the doctrines of our faith. 12LtMs, Lt 76, 1897, par. 11

The student should place himself in school, [and] if he can, through his own exertion pay his way as he goes. He should study one year, and then work out for himself the problem of what constitutes true education. There is no dividing line. Whether ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. The learning heaped up by years of continued study is deleterious to the spiritual interests. Let teachers be prepared to give good counsel to the students who shall enter the schools. Let them not advise students to give years to the study of books. Let them learn, and then give to others that which they have received and appreciated. Let the student set himself to work at manual labor, thus acquiring an education that will enable him to come out with solid principles, an all-round man. 12LtMs, Lt 76, 1897, par. 12