Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 197, 1899

Andre, Hattie

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

December 1, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 8MR 262; 9MR 307-308. +Note

Dear Sister:

Your letter of October 23 has just been read to me. I believe the Lord has been leading you, and is impressing your mind. I believe that each should occupy the place to which he is called by God. 14LtMs, Lt 197, 1899, par. 1

We have a great work to do in Australia, and we need educated, experienced workers, workers who are sanctified by the Spirit of God. There are many in Australia who have precious talents, and we appreciate them highly. But their education and training has not fitted them to be teachers. Some of the workers sent from America we cannot use. We need the very best workers, and we need them very much. 14LtMs, Lt 197, 1899, par. 2

I cannot write you a very long letter, but I will say that your convictions about working where you can help to teach others, who may become workers in missionary lands, are correct. You can do valuable work by uniting with us to help to train and educate workers. We do not doubt in the least that you can do excellent work in the Southern Field. But the Lord has given you talents and a knowledge of how to use these talents in training other minds. The work of fitting workers for missionary fields is a most responsible one. Those educated are to be taught to receive in order to impart to others. The former education, training, perceptive faculties, upon which the teacher must work, are all to be considered. Wherever there is life, there is a continual interchange, taking in and giving out, and unless those who are learning receive in order that they may impart to others, the capacity for receiving diminishes. 14LtMs, Lt 197, 1899, par. 3

There must be expansion and expansion; the mind of the educator becomes impoverished by being kept in a class of labor which does not lead the mind to higher subjects. If the mind does not daily grasp a deeper, higher, broader education, if it does not obtain food for itself by communion with minds that can reach out and grasp what they hear, that they may give it to others, the stagnation which takes place weakens the physical, mental, and spiritual powers. 14LtMs, Lt 197, 1899, par. 4

That upon which the eyes rest, that which the ears hear, the thoughts and feelings expressed, mean much to every one. Receiving and imparting depend upon each other. Giving out always increases the power to take in. 14LtMs, Lt 197, 1899, par. 5

Those who engage in the work of teaching the colored people should, after engaging in this work for a time, be placed in altogether different circumstances, if possible, else the mind will remain at the same level. It is not broadened and elevated by dealing with difficult problems, by taking in large subjects. 14LtMs, Lt 197, 1899, par. 6

I hope, my sister, that I shall not be misunderstood. You can give a class of education which will be received and given out again. Thus the work of teacher and student is enlarged. In education there is need of guarding every point. The teacher should require the students to impart what they receive. There are churches in which a large number of the members are spiritual dwarfs. They are ever receiving. They desire preaching every Sabbath, not seeming to understand that the capacity to receive is proportionate to the work of imparting to others that which is received. Every true Christian should impart. Upon the doing of this work his spiritual growth depends. True Christians will take in all the precious instruction they can gain from the Word, and will then find real enjoyment in imparting to others what they have received. They will learn by experience that the capacity for receiving corresponds to and is enlarged by the exercise of imparting. Thus the channel is kept open for the divine fulness to flow in. 14LtMs, Lt 197, 1899, par. 7

Now, my sister, I know you will not misunderstand me. Do not suppose that I am belittling the work of educating the colored people. But one person should not remain in this line of work for too long a time. The colored children must be carried over the same ground again and again, and after one has been teaching in the South for some time, let a change be made. Let another teacher take up the work, while the teacher who has been doing this work refreshes his mind by dealing with students whose minds are able to grasp the problems of more advanced education. Students are to be trained who can in turn train other minds, through the Holy Spirit’s influence. 14LtMs, Lt 197, 1899, par. 8

This is a subject which will bear study. Our life, with all its powers and endowments is to be used in God’s service. The grace of God is received through test and trial. Those who consecrate themselves to God are ever to look to Him for guidance, asking Him where they can use their powers to do the most good for time and for eternity. First of all, these gifts are to be laid at Christ’s feet, to be accepted by Him. They are His gifts, and are to be refined, cleansed from all selfishness, and placed under God’s control. We must exercise entire dependence on God, and then believe that success will attend our efforts. Consecrate yourself and all that you have and are to God; then live by faith in the Saviour, your will submerged in the will of God. Realize that the enemy by his deceiving power will lead you to manifest hereditary and cultivated tendencies which will exercise a hindering power over your spiritual faculties. 14LtMs, Lt 197, 1899, par. 9

This, my sister, is our danger. Teachers are to train their students to stop at no half way place, but to advance, going forward unto perfection. This work is not too highly represented. The voice of God is to carry every soul that will be saved higher and still higher. Christ says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48.] Be it ours to reply, “Yes, Lord; yes, Lord; holier, holier still.” Desire, yes, pant after holiness of heart. This is our work. 14LtMs, Lt 197, 1899, par. 10

Our school here must be under the supervision of God. We need you, and several others who can do like work, in this new field. 14LtMs, Lt 197, 1899, par. 11