Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 57, 1898

Our School at Avondale


May 8, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 8MR 260.

We would present before you the necessities of our school. We need your help just now. There are many things that must be done to complete the work here in Avondale. The Lord has need of your talent of means. He has use now for the gifts He has entrusted to you for the purpose of advancing His work. Will you do your best to help the school established here to help young men and young women, and those older in years, to obtain an education that will qualify them to work intelligently as missionaries? I appeal to our churches in Australasia to awake out of sleep and feel their responsibilities. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 1

The great Missionary came to our work to leave us all an example of how we should work, and what spirit we should bring into our work. He left the heavenly courts, and came to our world, His divinity clothed with humanity, to teach us how to work. He says, “He that will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23.] His work was to convince the world of sin; but how can a church convince the world of sin when the members are content to live to please themselves? 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 2

How does our activity in the things of this life compare with our indolence and lack of interest in spiritual things? Defects exist in the church, and can we wonder that so few are converted to the truth. What evidence have many in the churches given to the world that they have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul? We see a few church members who are acting out true principles, and wherever they go, they are a savor of life unto life. But many need to examine themselves they are giving to the world evidence of their sincerity. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 3

The Lord’s commission comes to us, Go; proclaim the cross to every creature. “And he said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.” [Luke 24:46-48.] “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” [Acts 1:8.] 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 4

“And he said unto them, Go ye unto all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe, in my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. ... And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” [Mark 16:15-20.] 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 5

Our object in coming from America to this country was to fulfill as far as possible, the work that needed to be done here. I have coveted no man’s silver or gold. In fast as the royalty on my books has accumulated, I have expended it to advance the work in every line, until my fund is nearly exhausted. I care not to lay up treasures in this world, to be consumed by fire at the last great day. I regard all I possess as the Lord’s entrusted talents. My life is the gift of God. I consecrated it to His service in my youth. In His providence He bade me write the truth in warnings, in reproof, in encouragement, to the people whom He should bid me, and this has been done in obedience, according to His word. I have striven to do the will of God from the heart. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 6

Of His fulness have we all received, and grace for grace. The grace received, the knowledge of the truth which God has been pleased to give me, we have given to others, even in this country. Our work here is to diffuse light. Fully believing that we hold in our hand the precious treasure of the oracles of God, and conscious that God has an absolute claim on all that we have, cannot use our means in self-indulgence. But if living to self would convert the world, how many would be converted. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 7

Men and women are living in almost perfect oblivion to the Word of the living God. Some point to what they have done as very commendable; but how will this appear to them in the last day, when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, when every soul shall be rewarded according to his works? How fearfully small will then appear the little they have done when compared with what they have left undone, and what the Lord has done for them. How important will then appear their misapplication of the Lord’s entrusted talents. Their habits of self-indulgence, their desire to make an appearance, for the effect it will have on other minds, has been a contradiction of their profession of faith. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 8

Each person may give evidence to the power of the truth over wrong tendencies and temperaments by giving himself and all he has as a consecrated offering to Him whose we are, thus striving to advance the interests of His cause on this earth. The influence of devotion and consecration is a power in the world. It is more effectual than all other influences combined in advancing the cause of God in our world. But many love themselves and give way to selfish indulgence. Thus they corrupt their way before the Lord. This evil leaven, brought into the church by individual members, has made the church a feeble, diseased body. Who will dare to excuse their neglect? Who will ignore their accountability to God? What is written regarding our Saviour? He clothed His divinity with humanity, and for our sake became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 9

There are consecrated workers in the church, and how heavy are the burdens which they carry. There are a few who live the Word of God, because they eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. They are partakers of His divine nature, and are lights, shining amid the moral darkness of this degenerate age. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 10

“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the mist of the seven golden candlesticks, I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil, and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and has borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works: or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Revelation 2:1-5.] 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 11

The church needs to be converted, and then the members will feel travail of soul for the world. The last message of mercy has been given to us in trust, to be proclaimed to a fallen world. As those who have the knowledge of the truth, we are to qualify ourselves and our children to reach a much higher standard of piety and devotion than we have reached, before we can be laborers together with God. We are not to act from the lowest, cheapest motives, but from the highest possible motives of Christian attainment. What are we doing as co-workers with Christ? How our thoughts and motives and actions would change could we obtain a sight of the loftier order of Christian motive and endeavor! How few of the individual members of the church plead with God, Show me Thy glory. I would that the curtain could be rolled back, that they might see how the angels of heaven view the redemption of the human race as having been revolved from eternity in the mind of God. God has made every provision that man shall inherit eternal life if he proves obedient to the divine law. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 12

What a wonderful interest God must have had in humanity when in their behalf He gave His only begotten Son to a life of suffering in order that He might work out the salvation of the human race! The Prince of heaven was given as a sacrifice, and He had a capacity for suffering proportionate to His high and holy purity. The Infinite God was the only one who could uphold the Saviour in His great sacrifice. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 13

How many of the members of the church today sympathize with God in giving the gift that He held most dear? Between God and His only begotten Son the strongest bond of union existed—a complete oneness. Thus, through Christ, Satan’s misrepresentation of God could be unfolded and shown in its real character. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 14

For the world this plan was laid. But who realizes one thousandth part of God’s wonderful condescension to save the human race and give them another trial, another opportunity to return to their loyalty. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Who can take this in? Who today makes the burden of a sinful, dying race their own? Who is prepared to mingle their tears with Christ’s as He wept over doomed Jerusalem. Oh, what sorrow, what grief, rent the heart of the Saviour because the Jewish nation knew not the time of its visitation. Christ wept because of Jerusalem’s destruction, and because of the destruction of a thousand cities, wholly given to idolatry. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 15

Jerusalem was destroyed because she refused to accept the Son of God as her ransom. We live in an age when the whole world is deciding its future, eternal destiny. But how little our hearts are stirred for our fellow beings who are perishing in their sins! We have a knowledge of the Word of God, we see the darkness that has enveloped the world, and yet we are indifferent. What can the Lord do with a people who are in this condition? Every individual member of the church is under a sacred vow to do service to God. They have been purchased by the blood of God’s only begotten Son, and yet, although all their powers and all their talents are under contribution to God, many, very man, fold their hands and do nothing. They are indolent servants. They are stumbling blocks to those who know not the truth. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 16

No one can transfer his duty, his personal accountability to do service for God to another, and serve God by proxy. We realize that in this field the talent of means is greatly needed. Let all who can help us in the work of advancing the truth in new places help us now. This work will require means. We call upon those to whom God has entrusted means to give back to Him His own. And not only does God call for the talent of means. He requires personal labor, personal self-denial, personal self-sacrifice, personal submission to His yoke, else we shall never see the kingdom of God. God requires tithes and offerings, but He requires gifts also, and not only these, but a wholehearted devotion, every jot of our powers. To your post of duty, every one who names the name of Christ. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 17

Money has a special value to the work to be done in many places. On account of the lack of means, we have not been able to push the work here as we have desired. The Avondale school is much larger than it was last year, and many more students are receiving an education that will prepare them to act a part in co-operating with Christ. We are in need of means. Who will now bring to the treasury the Lord’s own money. Thousands of pounds are locked away in different enterprises that do not bring any advantage to the cause of God. Talents of means that are neglected and unused fail to produce the result that the Lord has made it possible for you to bring about. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 18

The Lord calls for His entrusted capital to be invested where it will bring promising young men and women to our school, to prepare themselves for missionary work. All you talents are actually the Lord’s. Whatever use you may make of them, they are His, to be used to advance His work. An account for them must be rendered when the time of reckoning comes. Then we shall realize what it means to use the Lord’s money for our own pleasure and selfish gratification. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 19

Let us all remember day by day and hour by hour that we are laying up material for the searching judgment. Our whole life work is being bound up for eternity. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great stand before God, and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them, and they were judged every man according to their works.” [Revelation 20:11-13.] 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 20

In our school at Avondale we are seeking to make the Word of God the foundation of all the education given. We desire the youth to become conversant with the Scriptures. We desire every one who comes to our school to have a realization that Christ is in our midst. We wish to advance in right lines and, as the people in past times, repair to the assembly for missionary meetings with minds that are sufficiently awake and filled with intense interest sufficient to lay before those assembled the fate of the souls in darkness and error. If we would impress people with the great work to be done, and the urgency of the missionary claims, we must lay the subject before them and talk it over with them. [With] the understanding convinced, the heart will respond to the gracious working of the Holy Spirit. Their compassion will be aroused, and they will be led to make efforts that will call forth rejoicing among the angels in the heavenly courts. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 21

The necessity of establishing a school at Avondale, where the Scriptures may be thoroughly searched and understood, has been presented before us. The Word is to be brought home to the understanding, that mind and soul may be filled with its greatness and its power. This Christ impressed upon the people in the lesson recorded in the sixth chapter of John. “The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world,” He declared. “Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” [Verses 33-35.] 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 22

“The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” [Verses 52-58.] 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 23

Christ explained this mystery in the words: “It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [Verse 63.] The Lord Jesus asserted with great solemnity, “Unless ye eat my flesh and drink my blood, ye have no life in you.” [Verse 53.] How little those who claim to believe the truth comprehend these words. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 24

“From that time, many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” [Verse 66.] They were offended and they expressed their sentiments in regard to His words. They had been privileged with evidence heaped upon evidence, sufficient to convince any mind open to evidence, but they did not have faith in Him. They heard only with their ears; their understanding was closed against Him. But the thoughtful and candid in the synagogue, who had witnessed the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, were being led to take exalted views of His character and office. Some might think that Christ’s words at this time were inappropriate, because many were offended at them, but He knew that this was the best time for the unbelieving and criticizing ones to show that they had no genuine faith. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 25

Just such temptations will come to men in these last days. Truths of momentous importance are presented to them, but their spiritual senses are so corrupted by worldly ideas and maxims that pure truth is strange to them. The Jews objected to Christ’s teaching, because they had no faith in Him. We shall often see the disgust they manifested, manifested in looks and words today, because truth is deep, and men cannot comprehend it with their superficial understanding. The truth of God’s Word is deep and pure and unadulterated, and it is to the believing soul as eating from the tree of life. But unless men voluntarily appropriate the truth, unless it becomes the very life of the soul, they have no spiritual life. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 26

Christ’s sacrificial death is the spiritual and eternal life of men. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” “He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God, for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” [John 3:36, 33, 34.] 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 27

The words of Christ are to be studied and received as words from which there can be no departure. “I am the bread of life,” He declares. “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” [John 6:35, 47.] Christ assures us that He Himself is the everlasting sustenance of the life of the believer. In Him is the very element which can impart life-giving virtue. His death and resurrection from the dead gives life and value to all who receive and believe in him as their personal Saviour. “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” “He that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” [Verses 56, 57.] As our food is incorporated with our flesh and blood, so Christ is incorporated with those who have genuine faith. His flesh and blood becomes their spiritual life. Christ is formed with[in], the hope of glory. This is the mystery of godliness. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 28

Grammar, geography, history, arithmetic, and other things, are to be studied in the school here, to give the students opportunity to become acquainted with the simple lines of education. But the Bible is to be made the foundation of all education. Such an education will enable the student to secure that life which is eternal, which measures with the life of God. When the sixth chapter of John is properly understood, all will understand the meaning of Christ’s words, “The flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [Verse 63.] This is the great preparation needed to prepare missionaries to accomplish the work to be done in our world. The Lord has money sufficient to carry on this great work. It is in the hands of His stewards, and if all will bring to the Lord’s treasury their entrusted talent of means, for this special object, we shall give thanks to the Lord. 13LtMs, Ms 57, 1898, par. 29