Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 69, 1898

Teachers and Wages


June 2, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 12MR 161-162. +Note

I have not been able to sleep much during the past night. I was brought over the ground of the first term of school, and many things were presented before me. During that term there were genuine workers in the school—men who were firm to do all that was possible to be done to advance the interests of the school. There were also those whose influence worked to counteract the influences which the Lord would have preserved. 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 1

Brother Herbert Lacey does not realize how the Lord regarded his attitude during the last term of school. It was his duty to give encouragement to a class who needed an entirely opposite discipline and education than that which they received in their home training and their school education. But his natural and educated talents he thought essential for the perfection of their education. This will stand in his way as an obstacle in his management in school lines. He looks upon those matters that come up in the light of his home and school education, and the very things he should learn he leaves unlearned, because he thinks he understands the matter. 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 2

Brother Lacey has represented the matter of the school according to his own perverted ideas. When the Lord gave him light during the school term, he did not see it as light, and act upon it. This light given of God in his behalf, was not appreciated, and he has come to the school again with the same spirit. He does not see his deficiencies. He has misrepresented the matter in his own connection with the school, and this because of his own defective appreciation of that which is just and equal. If he does not conscientiously accept of the light given at the last term of school, he will make no advancement or change of attitude during the present term of school. 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 3

Neither Brother nor Sister Hughes have the physical ability that Herbert and his wife have, yet they have been hard toilers. All through the vacation Sister Hughes has carried a heavy burden. Sister Hughes is not a strong woman, but she will carry the burdens that lie in her pathway. Her labors during the vacation are of as much value as is her work during the school session, and she should receive according to her work. She has shouldered the care, the burden, the inconveniences, and responsibility of the school, and for this she should receive proportionate wages. 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 4

The Lord’s ways are equal and righteous and just. There must be no selfishness or unjust requirements woven into the work and cause of God. All true righteousness God accepts, and this will have no thread of selfishness in it. Brother Hughes has worked hard. He has not looked on, as a director, but has put his strength and mind into laborious physical labor. The cutting down of his wages is a mistake and should not be done. If he is willing to thus sacrifice himself, his associates in the school are not to allow him to do so. Will his brethren allow him to do all the sacrificing? Will the Lord justify his brethren in doing this? He would take up the work which lies in his pathway, but his work should not be that which it has been in the past. 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 5

He should cultivate his mind and talents to engage in the school work, for he can do this work conscientiously and intelligently. But he has neglected responsibilities in the line of a pastor, and borne the burdens of physical labor which should have been borne by others who have not a preparedness to take hold of the work. During the school vacation the work in religious lines has rested to a large degree upon him and his wife. But the Lord has seen every phase of the work. He has seen that the wearied body has not had refreshment. It has been hard at work all through the week, and on the Sabbath has had no vitality to put into the Sabbath service. 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 6

All this has been unwise. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” said Christ. [Matthew 6:33.] This is to be the first business. Brother Hughes has not shunned the labor on the land, but to maintain the two interests was too much for the human strength to endure. There must not be a repetition of this again. The Lord would not have our brother and sister pass over the same experience in the future that they have in the past. Nothing of complaint has come to me from them, but these workers are of value to God, and they must be considered. Arrangements must be made that will save the precious talents of these workers, whose influence we cannot have separated from the school by unadvised movements. 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 7

Discouragement has been brought upon Brother and Sister Hughes, and the impressions made upon their minds must be effaced by their associate workers. Those who have held the fort, bearing responsibilities, are to receive just and equal remuneration. They have a love for the cause of God and a conscientious regard for the work in all its phases, and the work needs their talents and influence. They will not leave upon the work a wrong impress. The door of temptation should not be opened to them by the inattention of their brethren. 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 8

The ways of the Lord are just and equal. The workers in the school should receive according to the hours they give to the school in honest, hard labor. Injustice must not be done to any worker. If one man or woman gives to the school full time, he is to receive from the school according to the time which the school receives from him. If one gives mind, toil, and strength in bearing the burdens, he is to receive according to the value he gives to the school. Justice and truth are to be maintained, not only for the present and future standing of the school, but for our own individual benefit in righteousness. The Lord will not be a party to the least injustice. 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 9

If we have consecrated ourselves to God, we are daily and hourly to do the will of our Father which is in heaven. It is profitable for us to inquire as to what enterprise it is best for us to engage in, and what ever work we accept, we should give it our wholehearted service. Let us remember that this school was established at a sacrifice, and we should inquire every day how we can best please the Master in advancing the students in every line of education. The most essential experience to be gained by the teacher and student is that obtained in seeking the salvation of the souls for whom Christ has died. They are to work for the recovery of that which was lost through transgression. Then let every teacher take this work upon him, laboring to place the feet of every student upon the solid rock foundation. 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 10

All our talents of means and ability are God’s entrusted gifts, and He would not have His workers come up to the present school term fearfully, and behind in a conception of their duty. Every one is required to shake off the spirit of lethargy and employ faithfully the time for which he receives his wages. If half his working hours are employed in studying to do the work in school, when full work should be done, then let these hours be counted out of his time, and let him receive according to the work actually given for the benefit of the school. If he requires half or two-thirds of his time for study before he can give earnest work, then let him count out the time when the school is not receiving the labor for which it pays. Some men give all their time to the work for which they receive their pay. If another gives but two or three hours, let him receive wages accordingly. 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 11

The Lord gave instruction during the last term which is doubly applicable during this present term. God calls not for idlers, but for workers who will give time, strength, and ability to the school. We have no time to lose. We shall soon enough be scattered we know not where. The students will be scattered in different localities. They must have a thorough knowledge of Bible truth. Our faith must be something besides what it is now. The Word of God is offering to each receiver of Jesus Christ a preparation for eternal life, and as long as Satan exists every inducement will be presented to allure the soul to self-deception and death. 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 12

We must have the truth as it is in Jesus. Christ was the great Worker. He did not measure His work by hours. His time, His heart, His soul and strength, were given to labor for the benefit of humanity. Entire days were devoted to labor, and entire nights were spent in prayer, that He might be braced to meet the wily foe in all his deceptive workings and fortified to do His work of uplifting and restoring humanity. Our faith must take in more than it has done. We must not pervert the Word of God, crushing out and weakening its precious meaning. That Word alone can move our consciences and quicken our minds to understand and our hearts to feel. 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 13

Are the teachers in our school to bring themselves to the Lord? Or are you trying to maintain and hold on to the false education you have received? Are you losing the precious opportunities granted you to become better acquainted with God’s plans and methods? Do you believe the Word of God? Are you becoming better able to understand what it means to give yourselves to the Lord and become converted to His service every day? Are you missionaries to do God’s will? Do you believe the Bible and heed what it says on this subject? 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 14

Do we believe that we are living in the last days of this earth’s history? Have we hearts that can feel? We have a large work before us. Has not the work at the school at the present time a special meaning for us whom God has made the repositories of His sacred truth that is full of eternal results? Are we not to be bearers of the sacred light of the Word which is to illuminate all nations? 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 15

Are we chosen vessels unto the Lord? Has God made us the light of the World? Christ said, “I must work while the day lasts.” [John 9:4.] We occupy the position of Christians, and what are we about? If we have given ourselves to the Lord, we will live in covenant relation to Him, taking the Word as our guide at every step. If we occupy this position, we will be “laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 13LtMs, Ms 69, 1898, par. 16