Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 54, 1898

Our School


May 2, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 11MR 157-158, 169-170.

In our school the Word of God is to be our main study. We are to learn, not only to read the Word, but to study it as the Book which we must understand in order to be complete in Christ. Read the sixth chapter of John, for it is of the highest consequence that teachers and students comprehend it. There are various lessons here to be searched out. If you understood this chapter thoroughly, and there were not another lesson in the Book of books, you would have placed before you the conditions of eternal life. Read it, pray over it and you will come into possession of a knowledge which but few now possess. Every soul who fully understands and lives by this chapter will have a life that measures with the life of God. 13LtMs, Ms 54, 1898, par. 1

Satan is playing the game of life for every soul that is upon the earth. All who will study and obey the directions of God will have the mind of Christ. Then all passions, all dissensions will be put away. There will be a cultivation of the higher faculties of the mind. It is essential that we obtain a knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent. We are to settle our accounts at the bar of God. Erroneous ideas and false religious sentiments are prevalent. Because there is so little study of the Word, there is with many scarcely any desire to know what saith the Lord. 13LtMs, Ms 54, 1898, par. 2

Errors have come in and usurped the place of truth. The wild branch has been grafted in and has borne wild grapes, and the result has been centuries of darkness and ignorance. Human theories have been introduced, just as Satan told our first parents that if they ate of the tree of knowledge they would be as gods. But these sentiments are not in harmony with the Word. They are false and ruinous theories. The one, the Word of God, is the tree of life, the other, is the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge, and all who pluck of this possess a disordered imagination. 13LtMs, Ms 54, 1898, par. 3

Under the control of God, sanctified human reason will be the guiding power in all investigations. God imparted this great and valuable gift to man that it might be exercised on all subjects. He has brought into the church believers who have varied faculties, and these combined should make a complete whole in Jesus Christ. One is to help the other, for one is strong where the other is weak. It is the duty of each to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God in searching the Word of Divine Wisdom. This word each is to practice, and not stand off as independent, as needing nothing. 13LtMs, Ms 54, 1898, par. 4

Our talents, if improved, will increase in efficiency. There is no excuse for any remaining dwarfed in spiritual acquirements, to be lacking in that knowledge which comes by companionship with Christ. Those who walk with Christ will also have an understanding of the physical wants, both for themselves and others, and will feel their dependence upon the great Physician. 13LtMs, Ms 54, 1898, par. 5

The human agent must co-operate with the Divine. Your thoughts will become pure and heavenly as you diligently peruse the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. The Word of inspiration should be your daily food. It alone is the tree of life. In all the practical duties of life, comparisons should be made with the teachings of nature and of God’s Lesson Book. Take the lessons of Christ. He illustrated the religious life by the things of nature. The Word and the teaching of nature are in perfect harmony, for God is the Author of both. God’s attributes are all infinitely perfect. 13LtMs, Ms 54, 1898, par. 6

What is it that God requires of the human agent? He says “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. But if ye love them which love you, what reward have you? Do not even the publicans the same? and if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” [Matthew 5:44-48.] These are your credentials to the world that you are not of the world, but that you are laborers together with God. 13LtMs, Ms 54, 1898, par. 7

Perfection of character is required by God, and this is kept before us in His Word from Genesis to Revelation. “When Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” [Genesis 17:1.] To Israel God said, “I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy for I am holy. ... For I am the Lord your God that bringeth you out of the land of Egypt, to by your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” “And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Ye shall fear every man his mother and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.” [Leviticus 11:44, 45; 19:1-3.] 13LtMs, Ms 54, 1898, par. 8

Every soul is to obtain an education with the object in view of imparting his knowledge to others. The powers of the mind are God’s gift, and we are to use them to benefit and bless the members of the human family. As the mind is enlarged by true knowledge, the heart will be softened and subdued into humility, kindness, and true love. We are to gather all the knowledge possible for the purpose of communicating the same that it may become the property of others. When the cheap qualities of teachers and students are elevated, purified, refined, by that wisdom which the Lord alone can bestow, then the fragrance of the character of Christ will appear. It will be seen that they have received from Christ power to accomplish the high purpose for which God has appointed them, to work in connection with Himself. They will be laborers together with God. 13LtMs, Ms 54, 1898, par. 9

It is our little appreciation of the Word of God, our feeble practice of it that makes our education advantages of little value to us. We should ask ourselves the question, How can I honor God with the talents He has entrusted to me? It must not be thought that one has a special part, an another a special part, for all are inseparable. All are connected by an unseen chain which links man with his fellow-men, and binds all to God. The Lord is not pleased with any narrow understanding of His Word. It is the tree of life to all who will partake of it. 13LtMs, Ms 54, 1898, par. 10

That which is perfect in itself will demonstrate perfection in all its works. No attribute which exists in infinite perfection in God can be in any sense imperfect when applied to human affairs, to advance the great designs of Providence. Every teacher and student is to feel that he is to represent Christ in character. Every teacher and student should be present at the Bible classes. A speciality should be made of this exercise in the school. Nothing should be allowed to come in to keep any one away, unless there is urgent necessity for it. Often those who have not in the past felt it necessary to attend such Bible studies are the very ones who most need that study. 13LtMs, Ms 54, 1898, par. 11

Teachers should not isolate themselves as independent atoms. They are to be helped by one another. An atmosphere of heavenly love should surround them. All who are teachers should be burden bearers. If one gives to the school two hours work, let him receive from the school according to his work. If a few carry the heavy load which some have no inclination to share, they should receive wages according to their value to the school. 13LtMs, Ms 54, 1898, par. 12

It is essential that the teachers harmonize in the inculcation of ideas. They should manifest the love of Christ. They should pray and converse together upon the lessons given in the Word. Those who will with the whole heart study the truth together, and unite in prayer together, will together receive the blessing. Where there are two or three agreed as touching any one thing, the Lord has promised if they ask in faith it shall be granted them. And the more and better the understanding of the Scriptures, the more unity and love will exist. The truth will bind heart to heart. A different atmosphere must come into the hearts of teachers. There should be no dissension in our school; for where there is unity there is courage, and strength, and victory. 13LtMs, Ms 54, 1898, par. 13