Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 55, 1898

Union with Christ and with Each Other


May 4, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 11MR 170-171. +Note

It is essential that all who are workers in our school shall educate and train themselves to obey the Word of God from the heart by helping one another. They are not to make the deficiencies of each other apparent, but are to appreciate the advantages of being partners in the great firm of God. They are not only to help the students in the various lines where they need help, but are to help each other as associate teachers. From the light given me by God, we have not too many teachers to accomplish the work essential to be done. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 1

Christ has declared, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” [John 15:12-14.] “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [John 13:34, 35.] 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 2

No human agent is sufficient of himself to do anything. Remember that man is wholly dependent upon God for all the efficiency and success of his religious efforts. The Lord has been pleased to set forth his methods and plans and agencies for the saving of souls by His recovering grace, under conditions that leave man ineffectual unless he consents to co-operate with the divine agencies employed to save him. A joint co-operation in the firm of covenant relation with God, involving hearty obedience, is required. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 3

Men need to co-operate with the divine agencies. Then they will certainly harmonize in their spirit, their ideas, and their actions. Our growth and perfection as the Lord’s agencies comes wholly through dependence on the divine co-operation. God provides all the possibilities for this union of effort to understand mental and physical growth. All the organs given by God come into this line of study, and increase in strength and activity. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 4

Oh, how many think that their superficial knowledge is sufficient, when there are many lessons they can learn, even from children. Teachers as well as students require diligent culture in voice, in speech, in holiness of purpose, that as the faculties of the mind develop thoughts, they may give these lessons to the students, using, as Christ did, the things of nature as illustrations. By a study of natural things they may exemplify spiritual things. The Lord has given the open book of nature in material substances. In the tilling of the soil, proper persons should be appointed to oversee a certain number of students, and should work with them. Thus the teachers themselves will be helped to become men who can carry responsibilities as burden bearers. The Lord Himself gives His presence to this line of education. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 5

There are none too many teachers in our school, because there are teachers who greatly need to perfect their own education in lines of study that were not looked upon as of sufficient consequence to learn when as students they were attending school. Students should not merely be told to do this or do that, without being given a lesson that will teach them the principles underlying the things they are required to do. Call upon them to apply to spiritual things the lessons of daily life. As they put seeds into the ground, teach them the lesson of the germinating principle of seeds found in the great Lesson Book. Teach them the time to sow, the time to plant trees in their season and when to prune them. Draw lessons from the day and night, the sunshine and clouds, the former and the latter rains, the harvest. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 6

The Lord is constantly working by His divine co-operation to perfect His work for every human being and make it complete. But man is also to work. Without this, the work of the divine agencies will be in vain. The divine and the human are to be united. The Lord is not served by man’s hasty impulse, his fitful performances. He desires His human agents to be apt and discriminating. It is not His will that in spiritual things, in the great work of the costly plan of redemption, His workmen shall go blundering along. God has honored man by condescending to co-operate with Him, that those through whom the Holy Spirit works may be uplifted, refined, ennobled, and sanctified. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 7

It is essential that the students in our school obtain an education that they can take with them wherever they go, a knowledge that they can use to the glory of God. True higher education gives power, and the students who receive this education are to consecrate all to God, using their knowledge to search the Scriptures, for this is wisdom that will give an influence in His work that nothing else can give. Ignorance is a crime when light and knowledge can be obtained. Sanctified knowledge will give much joy to believers and much light to those who are in the darkness of error. The education of every student should be turned to the best account in doing the work of the Lord intelligently. To every man the Lord has given his work, according to his several ability. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 8

We read in Jeremiah, “Moreover the word of the Lord came to me saying, Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord, I remember thee in the kindness of thy youth, in the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and the first fruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend: evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord. Hear ye the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they have gone far from me, and have walked after vanity and are become vain?” [Jeremiah 2:1-5.] This is again expressed in regard to after generations, who have not learned wisdom. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 9

Paul writes, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.” [Hebrews 2:1-3.] “Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their hearts; and they have not known my ways.” [Hebrews 3:7-10.] This chapter is a lesson for both teachers and students. These things are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 10

The Lord speaks to His people, “Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me the fountain of living water, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” [Jeremiah 2:11-13.] 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 11

This prophecy is especially applicable to the very time in which we are living. “Is Israel a servant (to theories and prejudices? Have they drawn in error as their breath?) is he a home-born slave? why is he spoiled?” [Verse 14.] This question comes as the voice of God to His people at this time. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 12

“Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, when he led thee by the way? And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river? Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts.” “I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed, how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me? For though thou wash thee with nitre and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God.” [Verses 17-19, 21, 22.] 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 13

These words have been presented to me several times as applicable to the people of God today. They have turned away from God by laying aside His Word, which is represented by Christ Himself as being Spirit and life, even as the tree of life to all who eat His words. There is no surer way to show disregard for God than to treat His Word with such marked disrespect as to make human productions our only lesson books. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 14

Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of man gives eternal life. But God’s Word has not been reverenced or obeyed. In all our educational institutions the Word of the living God has been laid aside. Students have been taught to receive their education from books produced by infidel authors. From the study of these books they have imbibed ideas and sentiments that are not true. Leaving the fountain of living water, they have hewed for themselves cisterns that can hold no water. I merely refer to this, and leave it for you to study. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 15

Had Israel obeyed God’s Word and respected His instruction, the Lord would have accomplished His purpose through them, His moral agencies. Divine and human agencies would have walked together in companionship. God works through human agencies by the light of His Word, saying, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” [Isaiah 30:21.] But God’s Spirit never leads to contention, strife, or alienation. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 16

“Of these things put them in remembrance,” Paul writes, “charging them before God that they strife not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. ... Follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” [2 Timothy 2:14, 22-25.] “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth:) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” [Ephesians 5:8-10.] 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 17

We read that the fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom. [Psalm 111:10.] “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.] The Lord has been greatly dishonored in our institutions of learning when His Word has been made only a book among books. The very Book that contains infallible wisdom has scarcely been opened as a study book. Daniel’s life contains a history that as yet has been but feebly appreciated. Students have come from our schools with an education which savors of drinking the turbid waters of the valley and forsaking the cool streams of Lebanon. Their usefulness for this time requires that they drink of pure, holy, heavenly streams. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 18

“Behold my servant, whom I uphold, mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth, and the isles shall wait for his law.” [Isaiah 42:1-4.] 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 19

Let us study what this appeal means. I call your attention to [Isaiah 42,] verses five to sixteen. Human agencies have been trusted as if they were divine. This has been deceiving, and the students who have come from our schools need to begin anew to learn to understand the first principles of practical godliness. Our schools in America have been greatly deficient. How slow they have been to learn! 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 20

Shall the students who come from our schools in the future be deficient in the knowledge necessary for God’s people to have in every period of this earth’s history in order to be ministers of righteousness? But now [it is needed] in a more special sense, for we are living in the closing work of these perilous times, when truth hath fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter, when he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 21

The great, grand work of preparing a people to stand in the day of the Lord is to be accomplished. We intend, with the help that the Lord shall give, that, if possible, the school in Cooranbong shall be so conducted as to receive the impress of the divine similitude. I will testify of the work now to be done in our school. Let every responsible worker, teachers and students, wake up and make the most of the time now given them to make the school such as God can approve. But you will accomplish very little while you are separate threads that will not be brought together in the web of humanity. When Christ abides in the heart, mutual love will be shown in all the work to be accomplished in this institution of learning. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 22

Students and teachers are to regard themselves as being in partnership. It will be of no benefit or blessing to the school for any of those who act as teachers to draw themselves apart. Work in Christ’s lines. Talk to each other and pray with each other as Christians. Stand under the yoke of Christ. “Learn of me,” said the great Teacher: “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 11:29, 30.] I am instructed to speak to our teachers, urging them to become elevated, sanctified, ennobled, by heeding the invitation, Come unto me. Take upon you my yoke of restraint and obedience. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 23

Some who have been educated as teachers will have to unlearn some things, and learn anew. This work must be done. But no humiliating words must be uttered because of deficiencies in certain lines of education. Those who in good faith placed themselves in their youth under teachers who followed the old lines of study, who neglected the Book containing information that should make it the Study Book in all our schools, have come forth ignorant of the first principles of education—an understanding of the Scriptures. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 24

A study of God’s Word will make all students wise unto salvation. Students need the sympathy and help that will place them on a solid foundation. The Lord’s arm is not shortened that it cannot save, neither is His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. We are to draw round the throne of God with humble hearts, uniting with one accord in one place to seek the Lord with heart and mind and strength, that brotherly love may be promoted, that respect for one another may be cherished. Young men and young women are to show respect and honor for the aged laborers who have had an experience in the work almost from the beginning. God has been displeased and dishonored by the neglect to treasure and appreciate the advantage of being associated with men who have an intelligent knowledge of the work. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 25

The independent self-sufficiency that has been revealed testifies that the young men in the work have yet to learn to respect the Lord’s aged workers, who have still a part to act as laborers together with God. The Lord has not laid them aside to take up men who have more recently entered the ranks as workers, who have a limited knowledge and experience. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 26

These will find that God will not sustain their self-sufficiency and self-importance. He has ordained that men of experience shall be connected with his institutions in this new country, men who will give to the work the benefit of their long experience in the cause. They have learned God’s way, and God connected them with his work, that they might be esteemed, respected, and appreciated as counsellors that he has sent to supply a great necessity, in order that the same mistakes shall not be made in this field that have been made in America. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 27

But though God has made this provision, wrong feelings will be likely to arise, because of unsanctified agents. These feelings must be guarded. Every word, every thought, every plan, must be in harmony with Christ’s plan for perfecting His workers. Those who submit to His control will in their turn become educators, in our schools, in our publishing houses and sanitariums, and in the pulpit. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 28

The warmest love must be cultivated and the earnest, simple, but solid principles of righteousness must be upheld by those who are connected with God’s work in any line. New principles and elements of Christian union and sympathy are to be developed in every part of the work. These attributes have not yet been as fully cultivated as God requires in order that the work may bear His signature. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 29

The spirit of love, of the tenderest regard and respect for each other, must be cultivated by our teachers, that from this center pure, holy sentiments may go forth to the entire circle, even to those that are afar off. Tenderness, courtesy, and true brotherly love must be manifested. A sectarian and legal spirit has crowded out the Spirit of God. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 30

The press must be guarded, that no words shall be printed that will misrepresent the faith we advocate. There is need of Christian love, brotherly greeting, and high resolves in all the lines traced on paper or spoken from the pulpit. The chief obstacle to the progress of the work is the great want of holiness, unselfish motives. If Christ abodes in the soul, we shall eat His flesh and drink His blood, and the spirit of drawing apart will be cut away from us. The Lord is constantly working that His hallowed presence shall be recognized. 13LtMs, Ms 55, 1898, par. 31