Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 45, 1898

Hidden Treasure


March 30, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1MCP 194; UL 103; 3MR 347. +Note

“Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field, the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” [Matthew 13:44.] 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 1

Gold is imperishable. Fire cannot consume it, deprive it of its lustre, or destroy its value. In ancient times it was customary for those who had gold and silver to hide it in the earth. There was danger of the country being invaded by marauding armies, and the earth was looked upon as a safe hiding place. And often the owner himself was unable to find the treasure he had secretly buried. It is no new thing to find in neglected land old coins and ornaments of gold and silver. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 2

A man hires land to cultivate, and as the oxen plough the soil, buried treasure is unearthed. As the man discovers this treasure, he sees that he has a fortune before him. He restores the gold to its hiding place, making sure that no one knows of his discovery. He then returns to his home, and sells all that he has to purchase the field containing the treasure. His family and his neighbors think that he is acting like a madman. Looking at the field, they see no value in the neglected soil. But the man knows what he is doing, and when he has a title to the field, he searches every part of it to find the treasure that he has secured. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 3

This parable illustrates the truth that painstaking effort should be made to secure the heavenly treasure. The world is busily engaged in searching for earthly treasure. By precept and example men exalt earthly riches above eternal riches. Minds which should have been educated to reach the highest attainments cultivate an appetite for pleasure, and allow worldly business to exclude God from their thoughts. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 4

Our Saviour undertook the task of correcting this evil. He saw that the hearts and minds of men were absorbed in getting gain. Men worked at a high pressure in their work of buying and selling. Christ lifted up His voice like the trump of God, and sought to break the infatuating spell, which was paralyzing every spiritual sinew and muscle. “What shall it profit a man,” He cried, “if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul.” [Mark 8:36, 37.] 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 5

The treasure found in the field represents the gospel of Christ. Earthly treasures bear no comparison with this. “The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field, the which when a man hath found, he hideth it, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” [Matthew 13:44.] The Word of God is the field which contains this treasure. In His lessons Christ presents before fallen humanity the nobler world they have lost sight of. He brings it again before them, that they may behold eternal realities. He takes them to the threshold of the Infinite, flushed with the indescribable glory of God, and shows them the treasure there. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 6

Christ seeks to reach the understanding through the actual occurrences and events that take place in this world. As treasure is found in a field, so by earnest searching, treasure is found in the Scriptures. The Bible is God’s great lesson book, His great educator. All true science is contained in the Bible. But few are true Bible students. Few understand that it contains science, not only in spiritual lines, but in all branches of knowledge. Spiritual eyesight is required to discern what true higher education is. It is that education gained by searching the Scriptures, but it is strangely neglected. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 7

The Lord God, who created our world and made the lofty mountains, who opened the fountains of the great deep, who formed the mighty rocks and the lofty trees, who knows every shrub and flower, has, with these treasures, given man understanding, and ability to appreciate these wonders of heaven and earth. It is because men have, in every branch of study, departed from God’s great Lesson Book, that their senses have become confused. This is why books originating in human minds have been brought into our schools as text books. If men had closely, earnestly, continuously, searched God’s Word, making the Scripture its own commentator, the key with which to unlock Scripture, he would have been as astonished at the golden treasure revealed as was the man who discovered treasure hidden in the field. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 8

Christ came to our world to reveal God. The gospel is His instrument of redemption. The kingdom of heaven is the theme of the parable of seed-sowing. This parable contains the greatest and yet the most simple lessons. The seed is all hidden in the earth, but the tiny seed contains the substance of the precious, golden harvest. Thus the truth is hidden from those who do not take pains to seek for it, to dig for it as for hidden treasure. Human life in all its bearings is similar to nature. By natural things Christ illustrated the things of the kingdom of God. Every branch of knowledge is found by searching the Scriptures. But never can human reasoning find out the science of education. Little confidence can be placed in human reasoning. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 9

Valuable lessons are given in the parables by which Christ illustrated the spiritual character of His kingdom; and when the human mind is freed from perverting influences, it can receive these lessons. But human intelligence could never originate them. Neither can man understand the science of education, only as God in His wisdom shall, through His Holy Spirit, sanctify his observation. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 10

The Lord Jesus, Himself the great Teacher, uses the things which He has made, and the human organization with its wonderful construction, to reflect the wisdom of the great God. Nature and human life obey His commands. They answer to His majestic, wonder-working power. But if Christ were today in our world, the veriest stripling in the schools would prate to Him of their so-called science. Christ would answer, “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 11

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. ... But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:24-29, 33.] 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 12

These are precious lessons. The mountains, the rivers, the stones, are full of truth. They are our teachers. The instant the Lord bids nature speak, she utters her voice in lessons of heavenly wisdom and eternal truth. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 13

But the fallen race will not understand. The science of nature is supposed to control the God of nature. Correct lessons cannot impress the minds of those who know not truth or the Word of God. When the heart and mind is submitted to God, when man is willing to be instructed as a little child, the science of education will be found in the Word of God. Higher education of the world has proved itself a farce. When teachers and students come down from their stilts and enter Christ’s school to learn of Him, they will talk intelligently of higher education, because they will understand that it is that knowledge which enables men to understand the essence of science. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 14

When Christ points to nature, as in the parable of the sower and the seed, the lesson applying to spiritual things will flash into the mind. There is a law in the material and spiritual seed-sowing, and light is given by Christ, the One who came from heaven, not to be educated in the school, but to educate. This is higher education, and throws back the reflection of heavenly light, not on human beings, but on Christ. The glory is given to the One who came to enlighten every man that comes into the world. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 15

Those only who are co-workers with God can know what true education in its simplicity means. Long names have been given to the drugs that physicians handle, which no human being should consent to use until he has tried simple, natural remedies. So in spiritual things the long names given to many things, supposed to be higher education, destroy the simplicity of the gospel of Christ. Eternity will reveal that minds have been deceived and led astray into erroneous theories, because teachers thought that they must improve on God’s methods, and by their supposed knowledge, [they] place the crib so high that it is impossible to feed the flock. Men cannot know God unless they have pure mental food, thoroughly winnowed from man’s so-called higher education, which is mingled with infidel sentiments and suppositions rather than with a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 16

The Lord Jesus is the model teacher. He gave His own life to ransom man, and He has given to the world the Old and New Testaments as an education text book. When the Word of God is laid aside for books that do not lead to God and an understanding of the kingdom of heaven, education is a perversion of the name. Too often artificial knowledge is forced into the mind, to the perverting of true education. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 17

In the parables of Christ, and their spiritual relation to man’s present life and his future eternal life, there is far more than merely a representation of natural objects. There is in them the power of true teaching, which brings conviction to mind and heart. This is not the conviction that logic and reasoning produces, but a conviction deeper and more lasting. Christ’s lessons are a source of divine knowledge, which will qualify the student for the higher grade. If mind and heart are not perverted by false theories, if the life proceeding from Him who was the light of the world is not quenched, students will obtain a pure education that will be accepted by God. The mass of rubbish that has been given to the mind will be cut away from the education in our schools. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 18

He who created our world is the Father and King of the heavenly world, and He knows just how to give lessons of instruction to the human family. But Satan has been playing the game of life for the souls for whom Christ gave His life that they might win an eternity of bliss. God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. When the Lord of life and glory came into the world, He came to restore the moral image of God in man, and He left an example in His lessons that He would have all teachers follow. Christ’s lessons were of a character to teach human minds to escape the degradation of sin, that mind and heart might not be filled with cheap imagery by being left to follow the low, common tread of the world. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 19

He who would seek for the hidden treasure must rise to higher pursuits. His affections and all his capabilities must be consecrated to this search. Christ gave to the world a lesson which was to be graven on mind and soul, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] But Satan works upon human minds, saying, Do this or that action, and ye shall be as gods. His sophistry is doing today for our world what it did in Eden. Through his deceptive words, he led Eve to doubt God’s word, and supply its place with a theory which led to transgression and disobedience. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 20

When Christ came to our world, He selected humble fishermen for the foundation of His church. But their limited comprehension of these disciples in regard to the things of the kingdom of God imposed a restraint upon the teachings of Christ. They had been receiving the sayings of the scribes and Pharisees, and therefore even the learning that they had was of a mixed and objectionable character. And though Christ had many things to say to them, He told them that they were unable to hear the disclosures of the divine truths He had to communicate. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 21

Christ finds the religionists of this time so full of erroneous sentiments that there is no room in their minds for the truth. Even the teachers in our common and higher schools have mingled with the education given the sentiments of infidel authors, and have made themselves co-workers with Satan in sowing tares in the minds of youth. Teachers voice sentiments that should never be placed before the minds of young or old, never thinking of what kind of seed they are sowing, or of what harvest they will have to garner as the result. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 22

John, the beloved disciple, testifies of Christ, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ... All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men ... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” [John 1:1, 3, 4, 14.] 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 23

This was deemed the most essential instruction that could be given to our world. Christ sought to win the minds that were absorbed in earthly things, and teach them of heavenly things. Had the teachers in the days of Christ been willing to be instructed by the great Teacher, had they yoked up with Christ to co-operate with Him in sowing the world, not with the sayings of men, but with the pure seeds of truth, the world would have been converted, made pure and holy, prepared for the society of the royal family in the heavenly universe. Had the scribes and Pharisees united their forces with the great Teacher, the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ would have restored the moral image of God in man. The Old and New Testaments would have been the lesson book in every school, for here is found true science. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 24

The Word of God is to be our study in this world. We are to educate our children in the truths found therein. It is an inexhaustible treasure; but this treasure is hidden because the search for its golden precepts has not been prosecuted until the treasure was in the possession of the searcher. In God’s Word is found wisdom unquestionable, inexhaustible, wisdom that did not originate in finite minds, but in the Infinite mind. There is no time now to fill minds with false precepts and ideas of what is called higher education. There can be no higher education than that which comes from the Author of truth. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 25

Disobedience has closed the door to a vast amount of knowledge that might have been gained from the Word of God. In eternity we shall learn that which, if we had received the enlightenment that it was possible for us to obtain here, would have opened our understanding. And understanding means obedience to all God’s commandments. The plan of God’s government would have been understood. The heavenly world would have opened its chambers of grace and glory for exploration. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 26

Human beings would have been altogether different from what they now are in form, in speech, in song, for by exploring the mines of truth, they would have been ennobled. The mystery of redemption, the knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ in His mediatorial character, the incarnation of Christ our Redeemer, His atoning sacrifice, would not be, as they now are, vague in our mind. They would have been, not only better understood, but altogether more highly appreciated. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 27

These themes will employ the hearts and minds and tongues of the redeemed through the everlasting ages, and new developments of them will be opened up, which Christ longed to open to His disciples, but which they did not have faith to seek and grasp. Forever and ever, new views of the perfection and glory of Christ will appear. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 28

Men of decided piety and talent catch views of eternal realities, but they are not understood, because the things that are seen eclipse the glory of the unseen. By many, man’s wisdom is thought to be higher than the wisdom of the divine Teacher. So God’s lesson book, containing the knowledge that man should search for as for hidden treasure, is looked upon as old fashioned, so much so as to be thought tame and stale. But it is not so regarded by those who have been quickened and vivified by the Holy Spirit. They see the priceless treasure, and would sell all to buy the field that contains it. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 29

If teachers would themselves to qualified to properly instruct, they must understand what lessons to give the students. They must understand the originality of Christ as a Teacher, and the authority, the spirituality, the tenderness, the benevolence, and the practicability of His teaching. This is the sum and substance of education. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 30

The teachers in our world have borrowed their opinions. Many drink the low, turbid waters of the waters of the valley, having forsaken the fountain of living water, the pure, snow-water of Lebanon. But those who make the word of God their study, those who dig for the treasures of truth, will appreciate the weighty principles taught, and will digest them. As a result, they will themselves become imbued with the Spirit of Christ, and by beholding, they will become changed into His likeness. Those who appreciate the Word will teach like disciples who have been sitting at the feet of Jesus, and have accustomed themselves to learn of Him, that they might know Him whom to know aright is life eternal. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 31

In the place of bringing into our schools books containing the suppositions of supposed great authors, they will say, Tempt me not to disrespect the greatest Author and the greatest Teacher the world has ever seen, who gave His life for us, that by His death and resurrection, we might have everlasting life. He never makes mistakes. He is the great Fountainhead, from whom all wisdom flows. 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 32

No one can search the Old and New Testaments in the Spirit of Christ without being rewarded. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden,” He says, “and I will give you rest. Take my yoke (of obedience) 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.] The great Teacher’s invitation is before you. Will you willingly respond to this invitation? You cannot draw near, placing yourself as a learner, to be taught of Christ, without your mind being enlightened, your heart quickened, with a pure, holy admiration; and you will then say, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” [Matthew 21:9.] 13LtMs, Ms 45, 1898, par. 33