Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 76, 1898

Words to Students

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

June 16, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 4MR 129-130; 4Bio 354. +Note

During the Week of Prayer we appointed meetings in the chapel at six o’clock each morning. As I could not walk from our house, “Sunnyside,” to the place of meeting, the horses must be harnessed to take us to the church. It is midwinter with us here. Our days now are the shortest in the year. The attendance at the morning meetings was not large. The few who came, came to receive a blessing. The first morning talk was mostly in regard to faith and the unity we should cultivate for one another as brethren. I spoke of the need of searching our own hearts, and the earnest efforts that should be made to cut out of our life practice everything that would separate our souls from God, and the importance of improving in thought, word, and practice in every respect. This we will do if we draw nigh to God. 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 1

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” [James 4:7-10.] 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 2

The promise is, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep, (because so easily overcome by the temptations of the devil).” [Verses 8, 9.] This is the work the Lord requires us to do. “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” [Verse 3.] We need so much the blessing of God, for God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. The work that we have to do daily is to deny self, and take up the cross, and follow our Leader, without one word of murmuring and complaint. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. In drawing nigh to God, and exercising faith, the human agent is doing the very work spoken of in the Scriptures. As we obey these directions as fully as is here given, the angels of God lift up for us a standard against the enemy. We are directed to have faith, submitting ourselves unto God and resisting the devil, who has laid his snare to tempt and lead out of the way. As we resist his temptations in faith, the sure result will follow. He will fell from us. 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 3

I know that the Lord strengthened by His grace those who were assembled at the meeting. After a season of prayer, nearly all bore their testimony. We did indeed have the assurance that “where two are three are gathered together in my name, there am I in their midst.” [Matthew 18:20.] The Saviour was present in these little prayer and witness meetings. We may be assured and encouraged by experience that the blessing and grace of Christ will be in our gatherings. 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 4

The epidemic of influenza was in our families. W. C. White was seriously affected, but although at the commencement of the meetings he could scarcely speak for hoarseness and coughing, and we urged him not to go out to the early morning meetings, he attended every one. He took most thorough water treatment after the meetings. He kept up, and worked constantly through the meetings. This, I consider, was the blessing given in answer to prayer. He placed himself in the channel of light, and the Lord rewarded his faith. 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 5

After attending the early morning meeting, we returned to our breakfast, and at nine o’clock attended the morning exercises in the school chapel. I had special matter to read to the students. The chapel was full, and more than one hour was consumed in talking and reading articles, showing the necessity of our exercising faith, and that this is the science of the gospel. The Scripture declares that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” [Hebrews 11:6.] The knowledge of what the Scripture means, when urging upon the human agent the necessity of cultivating faith, is more essential than any other knowledge we can acquire. We are grieved and have come to trouble because of the unbelief and apparent ignorance of the subject of faith among those who claim to know the truth. We must break through this cloud of unbelief. We cannot have an healthy, all-round experience in obeying the gospel unto salvation until the true science of faith is more thoroughly understood and until more faith is exercised. There can be no perfection of Christian character without that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. As a people, we will not be able to stand the test and trial Daniel has brought before us, if we do not cultivate this faith. Daniel has outlined the very work to be done in these last days. “Many shall be purified, made white, and tried.” [Daniel 12:10.] 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 6

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.] “But the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand: but the wise shall understand.” [Daniel 12:10.] “The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned, and in keeping of them there is great reward.” [Psalm 19:7-11.] 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 7

These words all the students in our school need to appreciate. Then they can pray intelligently. “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins: Let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” [Verses 12-14.] 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 8

The youth have talents, but unless they shall consecrate these talents to God, they cannot speak intelligently of the 19th Psalm. When as students they shall understand the infinite sacrifice made for them by the only begotten Son of God, they will realize their responsibility as servants of Jesus Christ. The great humiliation and suffering borne by Him in behalf of the human race is not appreciated. If it were only understood, an altogether purer and more healthful atmosphere would surround the souls of those who take the names of Christians. 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 9

If the youth who are present at this the second term of our school hear the Word the Lord has given by His servants to them, if they receive and practice these words to them, they will understand what is meant by the word consecration. To be consecrated means to be set apart to sacred service, as vessels cleansed from every defilement and prepared for the Master’s use. The sanctification of soul, body, and spirit means to comply with the gracious invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 10

Teachers and students, will you grasp this gracious invitation by faith? The greatest lesson that you have to learn in your school life is how to best prepare for the future life. Eternal interests are at stake, and are daily deciding your future destiny. You need to make most diligent improvement day by day, improving your opportunities for becoming wise unto salvation, that you may give evidence to the world, to angels, and to men that the gospel which has been opened to you in the school term has given you a knowledge of the science of the gospel that will qualify you to work for God as Daniel and his [companions] were qualified by their education. They studied the Word of God, the Old Testament Scriptures, and conformed their habits, appetites, words, and actions to the instruction there given. They brought themselves under discipline, that their physical and spiritual health should not be weakened by any wrong habits. They placed themselves on the Lord’s side, refusing to take part in any idolatrous practice. They knew their senses must be kept sharp, that in all their associations with idolaters, amid religious corruption, they might distinguish between right and wrong. 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 11

We ask students and teachers to look at these representative youth in wicked Babylon. Under most trying temptations, they placed themselves in a right position. We read of these “as for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” [Daniel 1:17.] They placed themselves under the supervision of heaven, and the purest and most complete education was given them by God because they consecrated themselves daily to Him, and sought Him in prayer. Three times a day their supplications were offered in faith, that they should have the things they asked for, and God heard them. He cooperated with them, and they cooperated with God. It was a mutual work. 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 12

“Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” [Verses 18-20.] 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 13

The testimony given to the world is that those who love God and keep His commandments will have divine help in all their efforts to advance in the educational lines. This is the true definition of “higher education.” That God who created the human family and who has shown His surpassing love for them, in giving His beloved Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have eternal life, would have His children complete in Jesus Christ, faithful witnesses to the power of the truth. He would have them bear the similitude of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 14

That God who has entrusted the youth with talents, and bidden them use these talents for His service, will not leave them to be the sport of Satan’s temptations if they will only believe and consecrate all their entrusted endowments to God and His service. Their talents will improve as they are exercised, and more efficiency will be imparted to them as they work with the grace given them of God; and as they impart the heavenly gift, still more will be given them. As in the time when Daniel and his fellows had so marked an experience, so today God works upon the very same rule. As the students shall work upon the plan of addition, acquiring more and more talents, the Lord will work upon the plan of multiplication in behalf of those who will do His service. 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 15

“And beside all this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and the brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:5-8.] We have the offer of free pardon, of re-admission to the family of God, of help in our every endeavor as we move step by step heavenward, until we become partakers of the divine nature—changed from glory to glory (character to character), into the image of God. 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 16

After the reading and talk, there was a social meeting, and the students bore their testimony as Christ’s witnesses. We know that the blessing of the Lord was in our midst. We know that the angels of God were looking with pleasure on these youthful disciples who were striving to be overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 17

We have felt so great an interest for those who desired to have the benefits of this term of school that we have made intercessions to God in their behalf. There are over one hundred students in attendance, and they are hearing, learning, and practicing as if they desired to occupy a right position in the home and school firm. We expect that the blessing of God will continue to rest upon them as we know it has done. 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 18

The work Christ gives to each one is to take up the work as it presents itself wherever he may be placed. The daily round of duties present themselves. These duties may consist of little things, but they are just as important and essential as larger things. Students must not look upon the work as drudgery. It is work someone must do. God would have them discern this work and make an effort to do it faithfully, learning all they possibly can that they may use the knowledge obtained in temporal and spiritual work. If the youth will earnestly gather up knowledge, educating the mind, God will help them. They may feel that they are incapable of engaging in spiritual service. None need cherish these thoughts. The Lord’s service comprehends much, and those who keep the eye single to the glory of God will be given plenty to do. Despondency and discontent will disappear. Students should remember that by faithful devotion to little things they are fitting themselves for a higher station, that in this way God is preparing them for higher service, for “he that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much.” [Luke 16:10.] If they are true and faithful, they will not want for opportunities to work for the Master. 13LtMs, Ms 76, 1898, par. 19