Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 58, 1898

The Mistake of a Low Fee for Tuition

Stanmore, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

April 17, 1898

Formerly Undated Ms 10a. Portions of this manuscript are published in 11MR 178; SpM 128-131; 5Bio 199-200.

I am not able to sleep. I rise and dress, and after a season of prayer, commence to write, in order, if possible, to relieve my mind of the burden resting upon it. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 1

Our school is now in session. We are glad to report that students are coming in from different places, and a large number of those who attended last term are present. The new building, the boys’ dormitory, is full. The building occupied by the ladies is full. Both these buildings are plain, but well made, convenient, and comfortable. In building and finishing up the building that was only enclosed for last term, some expense was involved. Then there came the furnishing of these buildings, to supply the actual necessities of the students. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 2

There are quite a number of students whose expenses other people are bearing. We ask you, brethren and sisters, will you not help us by your donations to lessen the amount of money invested in our school. It is necessary that we have another building. The first term of school was a success. As a large number of students attend, we must be prepared to receive them, and make them comfortable. We know that economy must be practiced, but it must not be that kind of economy that will furnish meager meals to the students. The youth need a wholesome, liberal diet. It may be that some will miss a meat diet, but as yet, we have had no complaints in this line. When instruction has been given in regard to its objectionable influence on the physical, mental, and moral powers, the students are convinced, and we feel very thankful that this is so. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 3

We do not want a dark cloud to gather over us in the form of debt. We do not want our debt to accumulate. In our schools in America, the price of tuition for students has been set too low, and the managers of the schools have been convinced that, even with proper economy, they could not continue these low prices. After one or two terms of school, a careful investigation has revealed to them that the sum set was not sufficient to cover expenses, that the tuition should be increased, thus avoiding a discouraging debt. Far better let all the students share in the expense, than allow the school to bear the whole weight, for this throws upon the managers of the institution a continual suspicion of miscalculation, want of economy, and wrong planning. These debts are very discouraging to the teachers. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 4

The cost of building in this country is nearly double what it is in America. The living expenses are also higher. The price of the tuition should be used to pay the teachers their salary. Teachers should have some margin above their actual needs, that they may make donations when pledges are called for. It is a great satisfaction to them to have something with which to help in an emergency. Their wages should not be placed at the lowest; therefore the sum for tuition should at least be sufficient to pay the teachers and supply the table with abundant healthful, nourishing food. Debts must not be allowed to accumulate term after term. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 5

During the vacation sufficient funds should come in to prepare for the opening of the school the following term. Through the summer, school should be held several hours each day for the benefit of those students who, because of the expense of traveling, do not desire to leave Cooranbong. All those who have pled for low tuition should, before expressing their decision, weigh matters on all sides, and then, after estimating the cost of table fare, teachers’ wages, and the furnishing of rooms, bring in their figures. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 6

Light has been given me that we are not to pattern after any school that has been run in America. There is to be a more durable education gained. It is the knowledge of the Word. And with every arrangement made, economy must be kept in view. The teachers must co-operate in requiring from the students sufficient funds to cover running expenses, or they must themselves agree to do their work for lower wages. The estimate of the school expenses must be considered, and if there is no other way to keep free from debt, all are at liberty to arrange among themselves to donate a certain amount of their wages. It may be best to raise the tuition; then the teachers will have the privilege of using their means to help where they see that help is most needed. When a call is made for means, where it is a pleasure to assist, the teachers should have something of their own earnings to use as they shall see fit. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 7

Those who have the truth in their hearts are always open-hearted, helping where it is necessary. They lead out, and others imitate their example. If there are those who should have the benefits of the school, but who cannot pay full prices for their tuition, let the churches in our conference show their liberality by helping them. This is an important subject and calls for a narrow calculation, but for a thorough investigation. The counsel of the Lord is needed. The school should have a sufficient income to be able to furnish some things to students during the term of school, which it is essential for them to have in their work. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 8


The school in Avondale is to be conducted upon no selfish plan. It is to be a home rather than a school like other schools. The teachers are to act as fathers and mothers. Let the teachers show an interest in the students one and all, such as fathers and mothers show in their children. The students are not to be educated to think that they are independent atoms, but that each one is a thread which is to unite with other threads in the web composing the fabric. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 9

The students are here for a special training, to become acquainted with all lines of work, that should they go out as missionaries, they could in one sense be morally independent, and able to furnish themselves with conveniences because they have educated ability. Whether men or women, they should learn to mend, wash, and keep their own clothes in order. They should be able to cook their own meals. They should learn to act always from principle, and to pursue a course of Christian consistency. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 10

Many find this difficult. It may be because they did not receive this education in their homes. They did not sufficiently realize that they were a part of the family firm. They did not think it was their duty to bring all the help possible into the family, just as did our Saviour. They were not taught the importance of making the life of Christ their life and the character of Christ their character. In many cases the natural inclination of the children has been left to flow at liberty. They have been allowed to neglect the little things which they should do without being told. They have not been taught to bear burdens and to contradict natural inclinations. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 11

It is not a mark of a lady or gentleman to disdain restraint, either in the home or in the school. Bear in mind that if you are children of God, you should be under subjection, whether it is to home or school authority. Christ will give grace in all things. Religion can only bless the life it influences. All who exclude its influence shut out also the blessing that ever follows well-doing. If we exclude the sunshine from our rooms, and then complain of darkness, who is to blame? If you long for joy and gladness, open the door of your heart to the sunbeams of the Sun of Righteousness. Happiness is yours, if you will have it, for happiness is composed of little things, as well as of large. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 12

This school is to be a family school. Tenderness, sympathy, unity, and love are to be cherished. The teachers are to have a care for the health and happiness of the students, and seek to advance them in every essential branch of knowledge. Special care is to be shown for the souls of the students. The students should in no case be allowed to take so many studies that they will be prevented from assembling for prayer and religious exercises. This school is to be a training school, a school where every student will receive special help from his teachers, as a family should receive help in the home. If the number of studies forbids this special education in these lines, have fewer studies, and seek by careful drawing to bring students into the school of Christ, where they may learn of the great Teacher. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 13

The Lord has means for us in the hands of His stewards. We call upon all to consider the advance work that has been done since we came to Australia. We have not done the work, but the Lord has called upon us to be co-laborers with Him, and that is what we desire to be. In this school, if all will act a part in sustaining it, a missionary work will be done, the far-reaching influence of which few can realize. I think we should all consider gratefully what the Lord has done. We have seen a good work done in Melbourne, and if the church members who have been long in the truth will wake up to their God-given responsibilities, and be converted and consecrated anew, God will make them a blessing to those newly come to the faith. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 14

As a result of the work done in Stanmore, there are, I think seventy souls now keeping the commandments of God. A church has been erected and dedicated, and if the churches in Sydney and the suburbs will do their appointed work, we shall see the name of the Lord magnified. A small church has also been erected in Prospect. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 15

Now we come to Cooranbong. Three buildings have been erected for school purposes, and a chapel has been built and dedicated to God. The land has been cleared and cultivated and an orchard planted, which is now bearing fruit. I now ask our people to think of these advancements. I ask you, in the name of the Lord, to take these things into consideration, and tell us that you will stand with us, side by side, and shoulder to shoulder. We want straightforward, staunch men. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 16

The Bible is our great Counsellor. We are educating students in the Scriptures. Every day we are seeking the Lord for wisdom. Debts must not be allowed to accumulate. We must have help with which to carry on our school. It will be so much easier to make donations now, to lessen the principal, thus lessening the interest to be paid. A great work is to be done to give these precious souls, God’s heritage, a true education, that they may reach the higher grade and be members of the heavenly family in the Paradise of God, sons and daughters of the King. We are making the Word of God our study. We cannot depend upon lesson books that breathe the breath of infidelity. Oh, how much we have lost by making the Word of the living God secondary! Human inventions, the writings of human authors, whose sentiments are opposed to God, are as tares sown among wheat. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 17

The present term of school will, we sincerely hope, be in advance of the first term, as far as higher education is concerned. The Bible studies will be most intensely interesting. Students are to be taught to understand that Book which should ever be presented as the Book to study. The assertion that there are dark, mysterious, and incomprehensible things in the Word, things hard to be understood, perplexing and uncertain, is a false one. Please read the first, second, and third chapters of Ephesians. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 18

“For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. ... As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principalities and powers.” [Colossians 2:1-3, 6-10.] 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 19

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:16, 17.] 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 20

God will not hold men responsible for that which they cannot understand. The Scriptures were given to all men for the purpose of making them wise unto salvation. There is nothing left in obscurity, or hard to be understood. The lessons we are to learn involve the happiness, the holiness, the usefulness of man, that he may be complete in Christ Jesus. The mystery referred to by the great apostle as hard to be understood is the existence of God. “Who by searching can find out God?” [Job 11:7.] 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 21

Much of that which is revealed is dark to human minds, because the jewels of truth are not searched for as for hidden treasure. The truth lies hidden beneath the rubbish of human systems, human wisdom and philosophy. Infinite, eternal truth, the revelation of God, is explained in the light of human conjectures. God’s Word, they assert, is modified, remodeled to suit the changing times, to suit their own mind and ideas. They have been educated from wrong books, and have left a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” which involves eternal interests, to adjust itself. Spiritual things can only be discerned by the Holy Spirit’s power. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 22

We have a deep and earnest desire to see all the members of the churches transformed, physically, mentally, and morally. They see men, society, and the world all in disorder, thinking only of remodeling the fabric. Greater skill, later methods, better facilities, they think will set all things in proper order. Apparently they receive and believe the living oracles, but they only give the Word of God an inferior position in the great framework of so-called philosophy. It is a secondary consideration with them. That which could stand first is made subordinate to human inventions. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 23

The Lord has signified that a reform must be made by those who have placed man’s human wisdom in the place of the living oracles. Human wisdom is foolishness, for it misses the whole of God’s providence, which looks into eternity. “After that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” [1 Corinthians 1:21.] The Word must be searched, yea, eaten, in order to purify and prepare men to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. From the first, the schools that are conducted by Seventh-day Adventist should take the Word of God as their Lesson Book, and in doing this, teachers and students will find the higher education. In opening the Word of God and searching [its] pages, they will find the hidden treasure. 13LtMs, Ms 58, 1898, par. 24