Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16

149/447

Lt 144, 1901

Students in our School

St. Helena, California

October 11, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in 4MR 167-173.

To the Students in our Schools,—

I wish to write you some things which have been forcibly impressed on my mind during the night season. How many of you will now take your position on the side of the great Teacher, determined that during this term you will not only advance in scholarship, but that you will make advancement in learning of the great Teacher? To each one of you He gives the invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; 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 11:28-30.] 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 1

In accepting Christ’s yoke of restraint and obedience, you will find that it is of the greatest help to you. Wearing this yoke keeps you near the side of Christ, and He bears the heaviest part of the load. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 2

“Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” [Verse 29.] To learn the lessons Christ teaches is the greatest treasure students can find. Rest comes to them in the consciousness that they are trying to please the Lord. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 3

While at school you will be tested and tried. Christ desires you to be like Him in character. He came to our world to live the life which all must live who are accepted as members of the royal family. It is your privilege, by the grace of Christ, to so live that to you can be given the reward of the overcomer. The Saviour says, “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 on his throne.” [Revelation 3:21.] This is the prize offered to overcomers. Is it not worth striving for? 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 4

Let each student remember, as he associates with his fellow students, that he has responsibilities to fulfil. God wants you to be a help to one another. Each one has trials to bear and temptations to meet. While one may be strong on some points, he may be weak on others, having grave faults to overcome. God says to you, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” [Galatians 6:2.] 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 5

Your instructors have every phase of character with which to deal. This is very difficult and very important work; and they need your prayers. Remember that they have continual temptations to meet. Daily you should ask God to help them by His Holy Spirit to be a help to you. You can be a constant encouragement to them; for to students as well as to teachers God will give the inspiration of His Spirit. But if you do not seek to overcome as Christ overcame, you will make very hard the work of those who are bearing heavy responsibilities. You will yield to the temptation of Satan to be thoughtless and inattentive, to fail of putting earnest effort into your school work. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 6

Students, do all in your power to lighten the burdens of your teachers. Pledge yourselves to act a noble part by showing them that you mean to improve in every way. Use your time as if this term were the last opportunity you would have of attending school. Make the most of the golden opportunity offered you. Be faithful, obedient students, upon whom Christ can look with pleasure. Live so that He can speak to you the words of commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:23.] 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 7

In Revelation we read, “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy.” [Revelation 3:4.] At that time the condition of the church was not favorable to the development of Christlikeness. But there were a few faithful souls who were determined to be partakers of the divine nature. Daily they were tested and tried. Continually temptation came to them. But they watched and prayed, laying hold by faith on the One who is ever ready to hear the petition of the humblest suppliant. And Christ was not ashamed to call them brethren. “They shall walk with me in white,” He declared; “for they are worthy.” 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 8

Will not the students in this school bring joy to the heart of Christ by striving to make themselves worthy of His commendation? Do you not desire to be counted worthy to walk and talk with the Prince of light and life? Will you not endeavor to reach the high standard of perfection? Thus you honor God. And you honor your parents, filling their hearts with gladness. As you seek for perfection of character, revealing this in word and deed, men and angels see that you love and serve God. It is by striving for the mastery over temptation that God’s children witness for Him. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 9

You will go through this world but once. Then do not choose as companions those who will lead you in false paths. Turn away from these tempters; for they are Satan’s helping hand, used by him to beguile souls away from God. Remember that it is your privilege to be Christ’s helping hand, to aid Him in winning souls to God. Do not give the enemy any advantage. Study the history of Daniel and his fellows. Though living where they were met on every side by the temptation to indulge self, they honored and glorified God in the daily life. They determined to avoid all evil. They refused to place themselves in the enemy’s path. And with rich blessings God rewarded their steadfast loyalty. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 10

Each one of us, by the daily words and actions, is deciding his or her future. He who desires to live the life which measures with the life of God must take a firm stand against the depravity which is spreading its loathsome disease over the world. He must reject the wrong and choose the right, bravely resisting evil. He must overcome small temptations; thus he gains strength to overcome larger ones. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 11

There are those who say, “It is not necessary to be so particular about little matters.” In such ones, conscience accommodates itself to the suggestions of evil until they are educated to do the work which places them in Satan’s army. From small wrongs they are led to large wrongs. The moral powers are prostrated. The lower passions bear sway, holding the entire being in the tyranny of Satan’s power. The high, noble purposes which might have controlled the life are swept away by self-indulgence. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 12

God calls upon every youth to cease to do evil by learning to do well. Seek to do your best every day. Fight manfully against hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. Unite with one another in being true to virtue, true to God. Be studious. Reach upward for the highest attainments. The Lord commends earnest, determined efforts to gain that knowledge which will enable you to take your place in the higher grades in the courts above. He looks with approval upon watchful, diligent students. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 13

Here those who are preparing to enter the ministry have an excellent opportunity to begin practical work by overcoming all in the life that is offensive to God. In your school work cherish the highest, holiest principles. Pray as did Daniel—three times a day, alone with God. Confess every sin you have committed, every mistake you have made. If in any way you have injured your fellow students, confess to them also. God says, “Confess your sins one to another, and pray for one for another, that ye may be healed.” [See James 5:16.] Thus you build barriers between yourself and sin. You are walking in harmony with God. He has avouched Himself as one who will hear and answer your sincere and fervent prayers. He has assured you that He will pardon and accept you. How powerful you may be in this assurance! The Lord is near to all who call upon Him—near to answer and to bless. Then let every student pray constantly. You may so live that your instructors will feel that they are walled in by the prayers of faithful, loving disciples. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 14

Let every student realize that he is in the school to do missionary work. In sympathy and love help one another to advance in the upward path. Labor for the unconverted among you. Keep the missionary spirit alive. Let your hearts be vivified by the Spirit of God. Be eager to give help and courage to others. Those students who receive that they may impart are a great comfort and encouragement to their teachers. The faithful will be tried. But those who endure the trial know better how to help others than if they had never been tried. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 15

Let this school term be a time in which you will be truly prepared to do missionary work. We have no time to lose. Students are to be prepared to work intelligently for the Master. Where it is possible, they should, during the school term, engage in city mission work. They should also do missionary work in the surrounding towns and villages. As they labor thus, the value of true education will be revealed. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 16

The third angel is flying in the midst of heaven, heralding the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This represents the work which is to be done in these last days. The message loses none of its power in its onward flight. John sees the work increasing in power until the whole earth is filled with the glory of God. The third angel’s message is to be given with a loud voice. With intensified zeal and energy human beings are to carry forward the work of the Lord. In the home, in the school, and in the church, men, women, and youth are to be prepared to give the message to the world. Our schools are to be more efficacious from a missionary standpoint, more like the schools of the prophets. The teachers are to walk very near to God. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 17

Now, just now, God needs Calebs and Joshuas. He needs strong, devoted, self-sacrificing young men and young women, who will press to the front, who, after a short time spent in school, will go forth to give the message to the world. God will help them as He helped Daniel, giving them wisdom and understanding. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 18

Cannot we discern the signs of the times? Cannot wesee that Satan is working with intensity of effort, uniting the enemies of God’s kingdom in a desperate confederacy, that he may gain control of the world? This work is advancing faster than we imagine. Shall we, who have God’s work to do, sink into a lukewarm condition? 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 19

To be saved, a man must gain the victory over himself, his temper, his inclinations. His will must be brought into conformity to the will of God. The glory of heaven is for those only who on this earth work out the righteousness of Christ. Students, read carefully and prayerfully the first chapter of James. Seek to understand your individual responsibility. Move steadily forward, and the Lord will make you more than conquerors. Take hold of the work with your teachers, pressing on from victory to victory. Keep yourselves under God’s discipline. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 20

The knowledge Christ had of the churches, shown by His messages to them, is an illustration of the knowledge He has of each student. Remember His message to the church at Ephesus: “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” [Revelation 2:4.] Teachers and students, do not forget that these words may be applicable to you. You may be cherishing ambitions which need close investigation. Apparently you may have excellent qualifications for God’s work, but you may be suffering from a spiritual disease that, if not checked, will prove fatal. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 21

“I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” [Verse 4.] God regards the loss of the first love as a great loss. It is a fall from a high standard of spiritual life to a low standard. If this first love is lacking, all other qualifications for service are lacking. No outward efforts can take the place of the love which abides in the heart of every true Christian. You may think to supply the place of true devotion by feverish activity, but the salt has lost its savor, the perfume of Christlike love is lacking. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 22

The religion of Christ never degrades the receiver, never makes him coarse or rough or uncourteous. It never incapacitates him for imparting what he has received. The truth as it is in Jesus is warm with comfort and love. Day by day the soul is to receive this truth, for it is spiritual food. Knowing that we have a living Christ, we may safely trust the soul to His keeping. He says, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33.] There is divine power for every one who will receive Christ by faith. In the Redeemer’s power, practicing self-denial, they can walk in perilous places. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23.] These words are spoken to every one who desires to be a Christian. He who shuns the cross shuns the reward promised to the faithful. 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 23

Day by day that which takes place in this school is registered in heaven. Day by day the work of each student is recorded in God’s book. What shall these books testify regarding your experience during this year? 16LtMs, Lt 144, 1901, par. 24