Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 115, 1898

The Avondale School Farm


September 14, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 6T 181-192; 8MR 265. +Note

I have words to speak to our brethren. Since I came to Cooranbong, I have been learning of the great Teacher. At present I do not feel at liberty to reveal everything, for even our own people are not prepared to understand all the things which will appear in the providence of God. Until recently, many of the particulars have not been opened before me, and I can only now feel at liberty to speak them. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 1

Last Friday night after retiring, a great burden came upon me. I could not sleep until midnight. About the time of the beginning of the Sabbath, I lay down upon the lounge and (an unusual thing for me to do) fell asleep. Then some things were presented before me. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 2

Some persons were selecting allotments of land on which they purposed to build their homes, and One stood in our midst and said, You are making a great mistake which you will have cause to regret. This land is not to be occupied with buildings except to provide the facilities essential for the teachers and students of the school. This is the school farm. This land is to be reserved as an acted parable to the students. They are not to look upon the school land as a common thing, but as a lessonbook which the Lord would have them study. Its lessons will impart knowledge in the spiritual culture of the soul. For you to settle this land with private houses and then be driven to select other land at a distance for school purposes would be a great mistake, always to be regretted. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 3

All the land upon the ground that is not needed for buildings is to be considered the school farm, where youth may be educated under well-qualified superintendents. The youth need all the land around the school. This land is to be planted with ornamental and fruit trees and garden produce. It is to be regarded as their lessonbook in nature. It is to be regarded as nature’s farm from which the teachers may draw their object lessons. Christ, who created the world, and all things that are therein, is the light and life of every living thing. The life of every child and youth who is willing to grasp the opportunities for receiving a proper education will be made thankful and happy in the school by the things upon which his eyes shall rest. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 4

This land is to testify that false witness has been borne in regard to it, and that, with the blessing of the Lord resting upon it, it will yield its treasures. If those who are connected with the school as teachers will keep themselves humble, meek, and lowly in heart, if they will not in any way exalt themselves and depend upon their own wisdom, they will see and enjoy the blessings that God longs to give them. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 5

“The Lord raiseth up the poor out of the dust” to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of His glory, but the soul cannot be lifted up from this low position until He is found there. [1 Samuel 2:8.] The pride of the human heart God counts as a serious obstruction to His work. We are all in the school of Christ as learners. The life of Christ in the soul will be death to all selfishness. A selfish life in any who are educators is an evidence that they need to learn their lesson in the school of Christ. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 6

The natural tendencies of the human heart cannot amalgamate with the character of Christ. The two are at variance. All flesh is as grass. The grass withereth, the flower thereof fadeth, because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it; but the withered, dying, fleshly attributes cut a way prepare the way. The Holy Spirit will be prized and defended upon. The heart will make room for the grace of Jesus Christ. “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon; those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to show that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” [Psalm 92:12-15.] Read Psalms 93; 100; 101. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 7

The Lord would have the school grounds dedicated to Him as His own school room. The church premises are not to be invaded with houses. We are located where there is plenty of land. Those who believe the truth for this time are not all transformed in character, they are not proper object lessons. They do not represent the character of Christ. Many would be connected with the school who will not be helps, but hindrances. They feel that they should be helped and favored. They do not understand the situation that all that has been done on the ground has been by hardest labor, and with the use of money which must be paid back again. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 8

There will be those who are filled with importance and anxiety about their own reputation. They are sensitive [and] captious. These need to be converted, for they are far from being where they can be blessed of the Lord. Satan tempts these to require favors which will only injure them if granted. The living principles of the Word of God must be brought into the lives of many who do not now find room for them. Those who are learning in the school of Christ will count every favor from God too good for them. They will realize that they do not deserve all these good things, and they [will] count themselves happy. Their faces express peace and rest in the Lord. They have the Word of God that He cares for them. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 9

Christ’s sermon on the mount contains lessons which Jesus Himself had lived and acted before He commenced His instruction to the people. “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” [Matthew 5:3.] Let us take the Beatitudes one by one, and learn from God’s Word what they mean to us individually. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 10

The Lord permits tests to come upon every soul. “Behold,” He says, “I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me. And the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in, behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 11

“And I will come near to you to judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts. For I am the Lord, I change not, therefore the sons of Jacob are not consumed.” [Malachi 3:1-6.] 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 12

All who are Bible Christians will bear in mind it is the Lord who accomplishes the work, and that the human channel through which God works is not to be exalted and praised. Let all the exaltation be given to God. The person who works in meekness and the lowliness of Christ will hide in Jesus. He will let Christ appear and be exalted. Thus he will be an object lesson. Every one is to act his part in his order, and the tests God permits to come, if bravely borne, will teach others as well as himself. Each has his part to act in school capacity. Not one is to be considered unnecessary and crowded out. The Lord Jesus will not sustain self-sufficiency, self-seeking, self-uplifting. This is the test for all. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 13

There are those who need contrite hearts, a heart broken under God’s dealing He will not despise. We need to respect and acknowledge much more than we do the value of others’ gifts to blend with our own. No one is to suppose himself to be the great whole. All that is of value to any one of us should be recognized as a gift from Jesus Christ who gave His own life to supply our great necessities. Those who mourn because they are not what they ought to be, and who press on to attain, God will regard in mercy. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 14

It is a marked feature of some characters that they feel hurt over words and acts which they suppose have not been just as God would be pleased to have them. The Holy Spirit is a very sensitive Spirit, and He makes sensitive toward God all in whom He dwells. These souls learn to tremble at the Word of God. “For thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] “Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? for all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my words.” [Isaiah 66:1, 2.] 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 15

We have had an experience to teach us what this means. Nearly one year ago, as we were living the last days of the old year, my heart was in a burdened condition. I had matters opening before me in regard to the dangers of disposing of land near the school for dwelling houses. We seemed to be in a council meeting, and there stood One in our midst who was expected to help us out of our difficulties. The words spoken were plain and decided: This land, by the appointment of God, is for the benefit of the school. You have recently had an evidence of human nature, what it will reveal under temptation. The more families you settle about the school buildings, the more difficult it will be for teachers and students. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 16

The natural habits of the children of men are ready to spring into life if everything is not convenient for them. This land, it has been plainly stated, is the school farm, and it is to occupy much more space than we have thought. Here work is to be done after the Lord’s own devising. This place is to be a philanthropic center. God’s people in Australia are to be moved upon by the Spirit of the Lord to give sympathy and means to support and encourage many charitable and benevolent works, to teach the poor and helpless and ignorant how to help themselves. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 17

We need more teachers and more talent to educate in different lines, that there may go forth from this place souls who will carry the knowledge received to others. Orphan boys and girls are to find a home. Buildings will need to be erected for a hospital. Boats should be furnished to accommodate the school. We should have an active, energetic, wise superintendent for this kind of work, who will give his whole and undivided talents in teaching the students how to work, that before the school shall open again this may become a school farm. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 18

Lads are to come in from different localities, and nearly all will take the manual training course. This will include keeping accounts, carpenter work, and everything that is comprehended in farming, cooking, bakery, washing and mending, blacksmithing, painting, shoemaking, typewriting, printing, press work. Every power is to be brought into this training that they may go forth equipped for the duties of practical life. The essential buildings are to be erected by the boys themselves, and these buildings are not to be crowded together or around the school buildings proper. In the management of this work, small companies should be formed who have a full sense of their responsibilities. All this cannot be accomplished at once, but we are to being the work by faith. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 19

The Bible contains the code of laws. This book should be the foundation of all our study. “In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation that keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” [Isaiah 26:1-4.] 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 20

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. ... Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” [James 1:5-8, 17.] 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 21

Let all bear in mind that we are learners, old and young. Christ says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” [Matthew 5:5.] Those who will not assert their own personal rights, who will suffer wrong rather than become accusers, rather than retaliate when falsely accused, who, when tested and tried, will endure patiently, will be purified and made white. At this time Satan is working in a most deceptive manner to make men and women walk into his snare. But we are all to be learners. “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 22

God declares: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee in the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” [Revelation 3:10-12.] 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 23

The Lord Jesus will give help to everyone who will co-operate with divine energies to overcome the temptations of the devil. This they must do, or they will never rule in the earth made new. In behalf of the fallen race, as their Head, the Prince of humanity learned obedience that all might have a perfect example in Him to guide them in their experience. And He declares, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” [Verse 21.] 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 24

On several occasions the light has come to me that Avondale is to be used as the Lord’s farm. In a special sense there is to be connected with this farm land that shall be highly cultivated. Spread before me was land planted with fruit trees of every kind that will yield its fruit in this location. Seeds for vegetables should be sown and cultivated. If the managers of the farm, the teachers in the school, will receive the Holy Spirit to work with them, they will have wisdom to manage. God will bless their labors. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 25

The planting and sowing, the gathering of the harvest, is a wonderful lesson for all the students. Invisible links connect the sowing and the reaping. But the goodness of God is not appreciated. The Lord gives the virtue and power to the soil and to the seed. Were it not for His divine agencies combined with human tact and ability, the seed sown would be useless. There is unseen power constantly at work as man’s servant to feed and to clothe him. The parable of the seed is to reveal that God is at work in nature, and to represent the kingdom of heaven. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 26

If the school established in Cooranbong becomes that which the Lord is seeking to make it, there will be willing subjects brought to their allegiance to God. The rebellion that took place in heaven under the power of a lie, and the deception which led Adam and Eve to disobey, opened the floodgates of woe upon our world. But the life of Christ was given for the life of the world, and all who believe in Jesus Christ may become sons and daughters of God, laborers together with Him, that through the truth restoration may take place. The truth, peculiar in its working power, is adapted to the minds and hearts of the wandering sheep. Through its influence they may be brought back to the fold. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 27

Let the land be retained. Those who come in can, if they choose, find for themselves a home on a portion of the purchased grounds. But the light given me is that the section of land from the school orchard to the road, and extending on both sides, should become a farm and a park, beautified with fragrant flowers and ornamental trees. There should be fruit orchards and every kind of produce cultivate that is adapted to the soil, that the place, close and farther off, may be an object lesson. It is better for private families, however devoted they may be in serving God, to be on other ground than where the school is located. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 28

Much was revealed to me in regard to this matter, which I have not time to fully give. And it is not necessary, for all can see that this is the right thing to do. The school is to stand alone. There must not be this one and that one claiming personal property. This is God’s property, His farm, where the great Sower can best sow His seed and make His garden the lesson book. And results will be seen for this work, “first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear.” [Mark 4:28.] The land will yield its treasures, bringing the joyousness of an abundant harvest. The produce garnered through the blessing of God is to be used as nature’s book, by which application can be made of the spiritual lessons for the necessity of the soul. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 29

The Lord first created the seed, and gave it to the earth. By His divine power He took care of that seed, and by dying this seed gave its life to the blade, which contained in itself the seed to be treasured and again put into the earth to yield its harvest. Then the cooperation of man comes in. The human agent has his part to act, his work to do. This is one of the lessons nature teachers. It is a solemn, a beautiful work. Then let everything possible be kept from the land immediately surrounding the school. Other land should be secured, and thus make it impossible to disturb, by their buildings and their families, the sacredness of the place. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 30

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” [Revelation 3:21.] Here our work is set before us. The great aim of our life should be to overcome all that is disagreeable in us. The mind, the heart, the character, are to be purified and refined. There must be no half way work. We are to perfect a Christian character. We do not understand as we should what is comprehended in pure and undefiled religion. When those who claim to be children of God become Christlike in character, then the Lord can say to them, I can trust you to be of the number who shall compose the settlement of the earth made new. A great transformation must take place in many characters before it will be safe to accept them as members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 31

Nature is opened before us as our lessonbook. “For the earth, which drinketh in the rain which cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God; but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned.” [Hebrews 6:7, 8.] Bear in mind that every teacher is to be a daily learner. Of Christ we read, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect he became the author of eternal salvation to all that obey him; called of God an high priest after the order of Melchizedek. Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.” [Hebrews 5:8-11.] 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 32

Christ said to His disciples: “I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” [John 16:12.] And the apostle Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews declares: “For the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those that by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” [Hebrews 5:12-14.] 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 33

Again he says: “It hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” “Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.” [1 Corinthians 1:11-13; 14:20.] When the Sun of Righteousness shines into the chambers of the mind and into the soul temple, it will be revealed. The accusing and demeriting of one another will cease. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 34

The Lord is glorified when His children have love one for another. True, at times plain words of truth must be spoken, but this may be done in the spirit of Christ. But there are those who have climbed upon the judgment seat and done their work of accusing. In so doing, they speak evil, they think evil, and do great mischief by their words and actions. This the enemy delights to have them do! 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 35

Those who feel that in coming on the school ground they are doing the school a special favor, and should in their turn be favored, do not have a true sense of the situation. The education and training of the youth is the highest and most promising missionary work in the world, and the teacher’s success depends upon his connection with God. Every teacher should be a constant learner in the school of Christ. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 36

When a teacher has passed through a time of temptation in any line, and has not been betrayed into using words calculated to have a wrong influence, but has kept firm hold of the bridle of the spirit which controls the tongue, he has gained a special victory. The Lord has been dealing with that man or woman; ministering angels have been round about him. In his self-command he has a serenity of spirit which testifies that he has received special help from God, that he has obtained the victory over himself. His hasty spirit has been held in as with bit and bridle. Such a one earns the reputation of a man in the sight of God. In his self-control he shames the one who has pursued a course to provoke him. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 37

The tempter overcomes the one who in his helplessness does not lean upon God and trust in Him for strength. This man misrepresents His Saviour, and creates for himself a nervous irritability. He imagines evil, until falsehood becomes truth to him. Alienation takes place, not because his brother has done him any wrong, but because in faithfully acting in Christ’s lines, doing the work appointed him to do as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, he has jostled against some of his ideas and plans. This has been and still is being acted over and over again. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 38

The Lord is dishonored when the members of His family give to the world a representation of irritability and passion. This reveals a weakness of character, and the sharp grit of an untamed unconverted heart. It is the sharp grit of the natural man that cuts into his living machinery, and makes him a failure. These persons may suppose themselves to be advanced in religious knowledge, but they are weaklings in spiritual experience, in divine things. They profess to be Christians, but in many things they act like sinners, because Christ is not an abiding presence in the soul. If any little thing occurs which, though it may be perfectly right, does not make every thing convenient for them, they become offended, and keep themselves in a state of ferment, ready to express in words their accusation of the brethren. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 39

There are those whose principles are not Bible principles, who, if they are reproved for selfishness feel aggrieved and distressed. Because they cannot have their own way, irrespective of the rights of their neighbor and their brother, brotherly love is quenched in their hearts. They find occasion to complain and take offense when they have no reason for it. They are ready of speech, and often grieve the Spirit of God by their passionate display of temper. While professing to be Christians, they testify to a lie. Such souls do great harm in this life, and unless they overcome, and cultivate the spirit and mind of Christ, they will never become members of the royal family, children of the Heavenly King. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 40

We see large things before us which must be done, and as fast as we obtain means to advance, we shall go forward. So long as a large share of the community live in hovels, and dire poverty is to be contended with at every step, what can we do for them? How shall we impress their minds with correct ideas of improvement, unless the teachers, the men who have means, the thinking men, exercise their talents to lift just where Christ would lift were He in their place. These men and women will never reform unless a power out of themselves shall help them. Those who have entrusted talents and capabilities and genius must use these gifts to bless their fellow men, placing them upon a footing where they can help themselves. Thus the education these workers have gained will be put to the very best use. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 41

God’s entrusted talents are not to be hid under a bed or under a bushel. “Ye are the light of the world,” Christ says. [Matthew 5:14.] You see families living in hovels, without furniture, without tools, machines, or books, without clothing, or anything of refinement about their homes. Those who have been brought to poverty, without means to support themselves, need to have some one interested enough in them to teach how to put to use their vital forces to make things move forward. If their capabilities are wisely employed, they will by diligent labor improve their own premises, cultivate their land. They will waste no time. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 42

There needs to be greater painstaking effort made for the uplifting of the community, for their education in sanitary lines. The school land is to be an object lesson, that where now coarseness, uncleanness, disorder, ignorance, and sin prevail, there may come in taste and refinement. We can help the people to discern that which is repulsive about their premises, and with Christian courtesy help and encourage them. Although they are poor, they have tact, and they can improve their surroundings by getting up early in the morning and working with diligent painstaking effort. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 43

Our school is to be a place where an all-round education may be obtained. Moral power and intellectual achievements are to be combined in our work to regenerate and reform. We are to seek to gain knowledge both in temporal and spiritual lines, that we may diffuse it to others, that the gospel in all its bearings may be lived out, and its temporal and spiritual blessings be felt all around us. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 44

The Lord will surely bless all who seek to bless others. The school is to be so conducted as to become an increase of power to get good in this place, in learning to increase the talents given us by using them, by increasing our knowledge by putting to a practical use that which we obtain. We are to learn from the one Book the principles upon which we are to live and work. By consecrating all our God-given abilities to the One who has the first right to them, we may make everything that is worthy of our attention in this world precious. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 45

Then the missionary work is a grand and uplifting work to both parties, to the helper and the helped. Let everyone who claims to be a child of the heavenly King represent the principles of the kingdom of God. Let them remember that in word, in spirit, and in works, they are to be loyal and true to all the rules and precepts enjoined by the Lord. They are to be trustworthy subjects of His kingdom, that the worldly wise may have a true representation of the riches, the goodness, the mercy, the tenderness, the courtesy of the manners, of the citizens of the kingdom of God. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 46

The students who will get the most good out of life are those who will live the Word of God in their treatment of and in connection with their fellow men. Those who receive to give will be the best satisfied in this life. The members of the human family who live for themselves are always in want. They are never satisfied. There is no Christianity in shutting up our sympathies in our own selfish hearts. We are to bring the brightness and blessing into other lives, doing a good and holy work. The Lord has ordained channels through which He lets His goodness and mercy and truth flow, and we are to be co-workers with Jesus Christ in communicating to others practical wisdom and benevolence. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 47

Whatever may be the position or possessions of any individual who has a knowledge of the truth, the Word, his lessonbook, teaches him that everything he has he has in trust, lent him to test his character. His worldly business in all its lines, his income, his talents, his opportunities, are all to be accounted for to Him whose he is by creation and by redemption. When he uses every precious talent in carrying forward God’s great work of educating the youth, in obtaining the very best knowledge of how to be useful, and how to work to save the very best knowledge of how to be useful, how to work to save the souls ready to perish, God’s blessing will attend his efforts. God gives to us that we may minister to others and this become like Himself in receiving that we may impart, we become like Jesus. It is in helping and uplifting others that we become ennobled and purified. This is the kind of work that causes glory to flow back to God. We are not half converted on these points. Our souls must be purified of selfishness, for God wants to use His people as representatives of the heavenly kingdom. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 48

This school must be conducted under the supervision of God. There is a work to be done for young men and young women that is not yet accomplished. There are more young men who need to have the advantage of our school. They need the manual training course, that will teach them how to lead an active, energetic life. All kinds of labor must be connected with the school. Under wise, judicious, God-fearing directors the students are to be taught; every branch of the work is to be conducted on the most thorough system that long experience can plan and execute. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 49

Let the teachers wake up, and impart the knowledge they have in agricultural lines and in the industries that it is essential for the students to learn. Let every line of labor reach the best result. Let the science of the Word of God be brought into the work, that the students may reach as high as possible. Exert your God-given ability, and bring all your advantages into the Lord’s farm. See how much can be produced by the seed sowing, that more students may be gathered in to be supplied with food. The Bible is the poor man’s book. 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 50

There is no virtue in defying nature, for this is exalting the thing made above the great Master Artist who designed the work and who keeps it every hour according to His appointment. There is much talk of the Lord in nature, as if God were bound by the laws of nature to be nature’s servant. Do men know what they are talking about? Do they suppose that nature has a self-existent power without the continual agency of the Father? Many theories would lead minds to suppose that nature was a self-sustaining agency apart from Deity, having its own inherent power with which to work. But the Lord does not exert His laws to supersede the laws of nature. He does His work through the laws and the properties of His instruments, and nature obeys a “thus saith the Lord.” 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 51

The God of nature is perpetually at work. His infinite power works unseen, but manifestations appear in the effects which the work produces. The same God who guides the planets works in the fruit orchard and the vegetable garden. He never made one thorn, one thistle or tare. These are Satan’s productions, which he plants among the precious things. It is through God’s immediate agency that every bud bursts into blossom. When He was in the world, in the form of humanity, Christ said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” [John 5:17.] So when the students employ their time and strength in agricultural work, in heaven it is said of them, “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 13LtMs, Ms 115, 1898, par. 52