Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

269/345

Ms 60, 1904

Talk/The Work of the Huntsville School

Huntsville, Alabama

June 21, 1904

This manuscript is published in entirety in 6MR 208-216.

Seeking the Lost

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea.” [Matthew 18:1-6.] 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 1

By “little ones” Christ does not mean babies. Those to whom He refers are “little ones which believe in Me”—those who have not gained an experience in following Him, those who need to be led like children, as it were, in seeking the things of the kingdom of heaven. [Verse 6.] 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 2

“Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe unto that man by whom the offense cometh.” [Verse 7.] 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 3

“Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life halt, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” [Verse 8.] 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 4

“Cut them off and cast them from thee.” [Verse 8.] That is, if you have ideas and sentiments which you cherish so tenaciously that you want every one to agree with your ideas, to think as you think and speak as you speak, you would better cease to cherish these ideas and sentiments. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 5

“And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.” [Verse 9.] 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 6

“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.” [Verse 10.] These “little ones” may not know as much as you know. They may not understand all they should understand. But they will understand this if they are given opportunity, and if those who profess to be children of God set them a Christlike example. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 7

“For I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.” [Verse 10.] Christ is speaking of those who need the perfect example in the right way that you can give them, and if by any word of yours or any wrong course of action, you mislead their feet, so that they stumble in the way, because of the crooked paths you have made, the Holy Spirit is deeply grieved. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 8

“For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the wilderness, and seeketh that which is gone astray. And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” [Verses 11-14.] 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 9

What a wonderful lesson. We should be giving very poor evidence of the genuineness of our faith were we to enclose ourselves within ourselves, not giving those around us any of the precious light of truth that God has given us. We need more and more truth and a clearer and clearer understanding of the truth. We are to be constantly seeking for truth and finding truth; and it is to be our earnest desire that others shall join us in the faith. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 10

I testify to you today that the most precious work that God has given me to do is the opening of new fields, where people have never heard the truth. Every time I see a human being out of the fold, I think of the heaven above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. It was he who wrought out our salvation for us, and at what a cost! No language is of sufficient force to describe that cost. We might dwell upon this theme from now until the close of time, and still we should fall short of an understanding of it. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 11

We are to labor with all our capabilities and powers to reach the high standard which God designs us to reach. And yet, while we are endeavoring to be overcomers, we are to remember that God tells us that we are not to seek the highest place. The nearer we come to Jesus, the less desire shall we have for the highest place. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 12

Words to the Teachers and the Students

I am so pleased to see the colored students who are here today. I wish that there were a hundred of them, as it has been presented to me there should be. I wish there were many more here in training for service; for there is a large field to work in the South. To those who are here, I would say, Seek to understand the Scriptures. God will help you. His eye is upon the race that has been so neglected, and He will send His angels to open your understanding. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 13

We need, O so much, colored workers to labor for their own people, in places where it would not be safe for white people to labor. White workers can labor in places where the prejudice is not so strong. This is why we have established our printing office in Nashville. In and near Nashville there are large institutions for the education of the colored people. The men who established these institutions have opened the way for us to give the light of present truth to these people. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 14

In regard to this school here at Huntsville, I wish to say that for the past two or three years I have been receiving instruction in regard to it—what it should be, and what those who come here as students are to become. All that is done by those connected with this school, whether they be white or black, is to be done with the realization that this is the Lord’s institution, in which the students are to be taught how to cultivate the land and how to labor for the uplifting of their own people. They are to work with such earnestness and perseverance that the farm will bear testimony to the world, to angels, and to men, to the fidelity with which this donation of land has been cared for. This is the Lord’s land, and it is to bear fruit to His glory. Those who attend this school, to be taught in right lines, on the farm or in the school, are to live in close connection with God. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 15

The Lord says, “Work out your own salvation.” [Philippians 2:12.] How are you to do this? By doing the very things He wants you to do, that you may become intelligent in His service. He has given you talents to be improved. He has bestowed on the colored race some of the best and highest talents. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 16

Students, there is a work for you to do. You can labor where we cannot, in places where the existing prejudice forbids us to labor. Christ left Jerusalem in order to save His life. It is our duty to take care of our lives for Christ’s sake. We are not to place ourselves unbidden, in danger, because He wants us to live to teach and help others. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 17

God wants the colored students before me today to be His helping hand in reaching souls in many places where white workers cannot labor. He wants them to have an intelligence so sharp and clear that they can grasp the most precious truths, and in the simplicity of Christ present these truths to those who have never heard them. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 18

We want every one who comes to this school to try to get some other one to come. There should be one hundred students at least in attendance at the very next session of the school. Will you not try in every way possible to swell the number to one hundred? and when the school year is over, these students should not be sent out to go where they please. They are to be trained and educated till they are able to go out into the field to work for the Master, to tell what the truth has done for them. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 19

“Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Do not bring to the foundation that which is represented as wood, hay, stubble; for such material will be destroyed by fire. Bring the material that is spoken of in the Word of God as gold, silver, and precious stones. This will stand the test. If you bring worthless material to the foundation, your work will be consumed. If you yourself are saved, you will have nothing to show for your life-work. You will merely save your won soul. But God desires you not merely to save your own soul, but to bring others to Him, who, when the redeemed are gathered home, will be among those who will cast their glittering crown at the feet of the Redeemer, and fill all heaven with rich music. These ransomed ones will exclaim, “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and that sitteth upon the throne;” and then they will go out to the ones who spoke to them the words which brought them into right relation to God, and will say, “It was your influence, through Christ, that led me to accept the truth of heavenly origin.” 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 20

“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.] You are to fear lest you make a mistake and lead others to follow a wrong example. All that you do is to show the fidelity which God acknowledges. God has given to every man his work, and He puts His stamp on all work that is genuine. But spurious work is of no value in His sight. Everything is to be done with thoroughness. There is to be no sham work. If you will do thorough work here, your education will be worth double to you in after life than if you should leave school with a sham education, not having done thorough work. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 21

I feel so grateful that we have this farm on which to carry on our school work. I am so glad that it is land which will produce. But it cannot be expected to produce fruit if it is left uncultivated. From this we may learn a spiritual lesson. “It is My Father’s good pleasure,” Christ says to His disciples, “that ye bear much fruit.” [John 15:8.] But you cannot bear much fruit unless you take out of your lives the weeds of evil; and let the word of truth dwell in you richly, that your lives may produce the fruits of righteousness and holiness. If you will do this, you will see in the kingdom of God the result of what you have learned on this school farm. Pull up the weeds, and plant the seeds of truth. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 22

Because you have a colored skin, that is no sin against God. This you cannot help. But you can have a white soul, and you can have a reward in the heavenly courts equal to the reward of any white man. I shall not tell you whether you will be white or black in heaven. I know that you will be just what God wants you to be. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 23

Everyone before me, whether white or black, is to be a missionary for Christ. Students, we want you to bring others to this school. and we want you to do your level best yourselves in gaining a fitness for service. You have precious opportunities here, and we want you to learn how to educate the minds and hands of others, so that they in turn can lead still others to Christ and receive a crown of rejoicing. You are to be patient, kind, gentle, and yet strong for the right. You are to place your feet on the platform of eternal truth—the platform that no storm or tempest can sweep away. Do you ask what this platform is? It is the law of God. He says that if you will keep His commandments, you will be a kingdom of priests, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 24

God’s eye is upon all, whether they be white or black. He wants the students in this school to make all they do a means of helping them to gain an education that will enable them to present the truth to their own people. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 25

I am speaking to the colored students here today because I want to encourage them. They have a battle to fight; they have a strong prejudice to work against. If they will do this righteously and patiently, not cherishing the feeling that they are misused, God will greatly bless them. Students, remember that Christ loves you; that God so loves you that He gave His only begotten Son to die for you, that you might be brought into the faith. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 26

I say again, I am so glad that we have this farm. One came to me, and said, “I think it is a mistake to keep that land. It is not half cultivated. I think that they might better turn it back to the conference.” That night instruction was given me regarding the matter. It was God’s purpose that the school should be placed here. He saw that the workers here would not have to fight every inch of the ground, as the workers in some places have had to do, in order to establish the truth. The instruction was given me, Never, never part with an acre of this land. It is to educate hundreds. If those who come here as teachers will do their part, if they will take up their work in God’s name, sending their petitions to heaven for light and grace and strength, success will attend their efforts. The teachers are to be kind and tender, and at the same time very thorough in discipline. This is most essential. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 27

Minutemen are needed in this school—men who have vitality and power, men who are prepared to use the capabilities of the whole being in active service, that everything about this school may be of a character to recommend it to angels and to men. Teachers and students will then have the satisfaction of knowing that the work is done right. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 28

Students, God will help you, but you must not think that you can retain the unchristlike traits of character that you naturally possess. You must place yourselves in the school of Christ. You must learn from the One who learned from His Father. He did what His Father told Him to do, and we are to do what He tells us to do. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 29

God wants us to be planted in Christ. Then we shall be partakers of the divine nature, having overcome the corruption that is in the world through lust. Then at last we shall see the King in His beauty and behold His matchless charms. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 30

We are preparing to enter the holy city. Keep this thought in mind all the time. There is a heaven of bliss before us. Keep thinking of this. And there is a joy that we may have in Christ even in this world. To those who keep His commandments He says, “My joy shall be in you, and your joy shall be full.” [Verses 10, 11.] Keep His commandments and live, and His law as the apple of thine eye. May God bless you all. If I never see you again on this earth, I hope that I shall see you in the kingdom of God. 19LtMs, Ms 60, 1904, par. 31