Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 108, 1899

Those Working in Educational Lines


July 27, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 3SM 227; 5BC 1102; 6BC 1088. +Note

To Those Who are Working in Educational Lines

Dear Brethren:

I must speak to you in reference to the conducting of the school in Battle Creek, for I do not want you to make a mistake in this matter. If I understand correctly, plans are being laid to have the school divided into classes, and each teacher carry all the lines of study for the class appointed him. This course is thought to be justified by the example of Christ, who taught His hearers in all lines. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 1

Should we not bear in mind who Christ was—the Light of the world, the first, the last, the best in everything? We are to be learners in the school of Christ. No teacher will succeed with the methods you propose. The lessons given to the students should be worked out from books that are far from erroneous and trivial sentiments, the Bible underlying all the education given; but many instructors have not a first class knowledge of how to teach in this way. One mind, one mold of character, is not sufficient for the perfect education of any soul. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 2

In every school the education given should be as simple and easy to be understood as were the truths Christ taught; but this cannot be until Christ abides in the heart of the teacher and he becomes a daily learner in the school of Christ. The use of long words, which perhaps very few of the hearers understand, only confuses the mind and eclipses the simplicity and beauty of the truth. The language of Christ is not criticized. Its simplicity is above criticism. We must learn to teach spiritual truths by comparing them with the things of our everyday experience. Christ did this, that He might make the subject more familiar to His hearers. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 3

In every place where there is a church, large or small, there a school should be established. If the membership is small, one teacher, with the assistance obtained from the older pupils, can carry the work for a time. But even that teacher should not be permanently settled in one locality. Exchanges should be made and the faculties of other teachers brought in. A larger place will require more teaching ability. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 4

My brethren, take a right course in the school in Battle Creek. Raise the fee for tuition, but before you do this, lay the matter before the parents of the students, showing them that the fee has been placed too low, and that a heavy debt rests upon the school as a result. This matter should be placed upon a proper basis. Although there are a large number of students in attendance at the school, the debt still remains undiminished. This is not necessary, and God is not pleased with such a showing. Without delay the inquiry should be made, Why is this so? As teachers, you may possess a Christlike excellence in serious, solid thinking and planning to improve this state of things. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 5

I have much to say in regard to many things, and how shall I say it? May the Lord give me wisdom to speak. If the teachers in our schools receive the Saviour in living faith and love, they will study in a new light the words of the disciple John when speaking of Christ. He said, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” [John 1:11-13.] These words show us that grace is not inherent in us. It is obtained by receiving Christ in faith. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 6

The work of redemption will unite the soul to Christ. But the mind must not be left to drift in accordance with natural inclination. We are to train our minds to comprehend the possibilities before every soul who has a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. We are to understand the great, unmeasured love of Christ for His creatures. As our minds grasp the great plan of redemption, our narrow faith and limited views will enlarge. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 7

We need feel no uncertainty in regard to our salvation. Our hope as children of God is not to be indefinite. We are to live under the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit. God help those of feeble faith to have boldness in confessing Christ. As teachers we are to educate the students to hold fast that which they have, that in their religious experience they may gain firm confidence. Then when temptations come, the power of resistance will be sent from the One who has wrought out redemption for them. Grasp by faith every promise, believing that Christ is behind the promise. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 8

Present before your students the illustration Paul has given of the games engaged in with such earnest purpose in his day. “Know ye not,” he says, “that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize. So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we are incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” [1 Corinthians 9:24-27.] 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 9

Through His servant Jeremiah God speaks, saying, “I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way. They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. ... Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.” [Jeremiah 6:27, 28, 30.] 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 10

“Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord are these. For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor; if ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.” [Jeremiah 7:2-7.] 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 11

Again God speaks through the apostle, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 12

“For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong; and this also we wish, even your perfection. Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.” [2 Corinthians 13:5-10.] 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 13

Our work is a peculiar work, and one which the world cannot appreciate; for it is not understood by the world. Individually we must stand in God. “Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savor of death unto death, and to the other the savor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” [2 Corinthians 2:14-17.] 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 14

This work for the perfection of saints is not yet done as it should be. The apostle places before us the work of transformation which must go on in our lives. “We all with open face,” he says, “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory,”—from character—“even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” [2 Corinthians 3:18.] This work goes forward in all simplicity as we keep the eye single to the glory of God. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 15

Our great need is to walk in the light as Christ is in the light, “giving no offense in anything, that the ministry be not blamed; but in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.” [2 Corinthians 6:3-7.] 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 16

Every provision essential has been made for the Lord’s vineyard. But our churches are only half converted. The men who carry on the work in our institutions are not clothed with the righteousness of Christ. God requires of His people, not spasms of repentance, but sincere repentance. Set your house in order, my brethren, and the reformation will be obvious to all with whom you associate. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 17

Those who carry responsibilities, are they softened and subdued by the Spirit of God? Is there a growing increase in faith and purity? Is advancement made in personal holiness and sanctification through the Spirit? Is the truth purifying the soul-temple of the buyers and the sellers, casting down the idols? Has Christ been formed within, the hope of glory? Is the Saviour revealed in words and works? Are these men converted, soul, body, and spirit? Are they living by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God? Are the truths to which they assent strengthening into settled convictions and assurance? Do their actions correspond with their professed faith in these great and mighty truths? If they are sanctified, the love of Christ will pervade the soul and be revealed in the character. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 18

My brethren, when Christ is abiding in you, He will be your teacher. You will not need that any man teach you. Christ in the heart is revealed in the words and the spirit, and in every business transaction. He journeys with you, and you buy and sell as if in full view of the heavenly universe. A Witness stands by your side. He keeps watch at the door of your lips. When He is your constant companion, you will not elbow others to make a place for “I.” Your soul-temple will be sanctified, and instead of looking upon your own things, you will look upon the things of others. The Christ within you will recognize the Christ revealed in your brother. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 19

We are to die to self daily. This crucifixion every soul must experience who would be [a] partaker with Christ in His suffering. The self-denying, self-sacrificing spirit you manifest reveals that you are a missionary in heart, in sentiment, in principle. You are to manifest a zeal that will not seek to crush out, but to restore, the moral image of God in man. When the mighty cleaver, the truth, has taken men and women out of the quarry of the world, and brought them into the workshop of God, the axe and the chisel and the hammer must be used. These rough stones must be smoothed, the rough edges removed. Then the polishing work begins, that every stone may be a prepared stone, a living stone, emitting light. When Christ is loved more than self, the Saviour’s beautiful image is reflected in the believer. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 20

No man or woman can see Christ as He is unless the truth exerts its sanctifying influence upon the life. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” [1 Peter 2:9.] The Saviour says to His people today as He said to His disciple Philip, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me?” “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father: and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” [John 14:9-11.] 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 21

Where is the faith of Seventh-day Adventists today? What we need now is a preparation that will accord with the grand truths uttered by Christ. We have not a vestige of excuse for failing to respond to the truths we hold in theory, for failing to allow them to exercise their sanctifying power on life and character. Have you beheld His glory, full of grace and truth? If you have, then others will behold it in your words and actions. You will manifest unselfishness and integrity, and the unbelieving will take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus. Beholding Christ, you will be inspired by that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 22

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles, that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” [1 Peter 2:11, 12.] 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 23

The trouble with the experience of very many is that they have tried to hold fast to self and to Christ at the same time. Their experience is spoiled. Until self is laid upon the altar of sacrifice, Christ will not be reflected in the character. When self is buried, and Christ occupies the throne of the heart, there will be a revelation of principles that will clear the moral atmosphere surrounding the soul. The King’s highway will be discerned, and crooked paths will be made straight. Then a power will attend the people of God. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 24

But just as surely as we refuse to fall on the Rock and be broken, clouds and darkness will envelop the soul. We shall feel for the wall as blind men, and will not be able to find it. Must the alternative spoken of by the Saviour come? The Rock will surely fall upon all who are not renewed in knowledge and true holiness. The damage that Satan has done to the soul is great. The poison has circulated through the life blood. It has throbbed in every rebellious pulse. Self-righteousness is not the righteousness of Christ. It is only a stumbling block to sinners. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 25

The atoning sacrifice is full and sufficient. It is the new covenant, sealed with His blood, which was shed for many for the remission of sins. This Christ declared at the last supper. In this cup there is to those who drink in faith, peace-making, soul-cleansing efficacy. It is the balm of Gilead, which God has provided to restore health and soundness to the sin-stricken soul. The Holy Spirit takes the truth concerning Jesus, and applies it to the understanding. Come to Jesus, you who are only half converted. Read carefully the eighth and tenth chapters of Romans with an earnest longing of soul, and see if you do not enter into the light there revealed. 14LtMs, Lt 108, 1899, par. 26