Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909)



Ms 1, 1909

What is Higher Education?

St. Helena, California

January 19, 1909

Portions of this manuscript are published in 10MR 295.

I am strongly impressed to bring again before our people instruction that has been often repeated, and to which for years our attention has been called. Provision must be made in our schools for the recognition of higher education; but before this is done, teachers must first learn what constitutes this higher education. 24LtMs, Ms 1, 1909, par. 1

The instruction that will lead men and women to a life of obedience to the requirements of the Word of God—this the Lord recognizes as the true higher education. That is higher education that will qualify the students to succeed in the work of God. This truth is to be clearly taught. It is not lip service, but humble, devoted lives that God is seeking. Teachers and students are to know by experience what it means to live consecrated, humble lives that reveal the sacred principles that Christ came to lay down as the basis of Christian character. The true science of education, and that which is to be most greatly appreciated, is that which will fit the youth for eternal life, and for an entrance through the gates into the city of God, where Christ and the angels who have kept their integrity abide. 24LtMs, Ms 1, 1909, par. 2

When Satan rebelled against the government of God, and there was war in heaven, he with those who had been deceived by him, and who had disputed the authority of God, were expelled from the heavenly courts. Satan desired to be first in power and authority; he wanted to be equal with God and to have the rulership in heaven; and he won a large number of the angels to his allegiance. What the results were we need not repeat here. All the sad history has been dwelt upon and is to be found in our printed books, which all our people can read if they choose. 24LtMs, Ms 1, 1909, par. 3

The work of rebellion begun in heaven will continue to exist until the whole power of rebellion is broken and Satan and his angels are destroyed. We should now bring before our people the work to be done in all our churches in exalting the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent. We have a record of Christ’s history and a knowledge of His teachings in the Old and New Testaments. All who are taught of Him will be loyal subjects to serve and obey God. By repentance and faith and through obedience to all of God’s requirements, His people are to prove themselves citizens of the kingdom of grace and true and obedient children of God. 24LtMs, Ms 1, 1909, par. 4

Christ was the gift of God to the world for the reconciliation of man to Himself. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] The Son of God was appointed to come to our world and take humanity, and, by his own experience and example, to be a great educating power and a mediator between God and man. His experience in man’s behalf would enable men to overcome Satan’s power. All who would accept Christ’s righteousness, and would pattern their lives by His experience, becoming His disciples, would receive the higher education, forming characters after the divine similitude. 24LtMs, Ms 1, 1909, par. 5

The development of Christ’s life and experience on earth reveals that to obtain the higher education does not mean to gain popularity, to secure worldly advantages, to have all the temporal wants abundantly supplied, and to be honored by the titled and wealthy of earth. The Prince of life left the royal courts, laid off His kingly crown and royal robes, and clothed His divinity with humanity. He suffered the inconveniences of poverty, that He might discern the needs of the poor; yet by His divine power He supplied with a few loaves and fishes the needs of a multitude that was faint with hunger. It was for the work of ministering to the suffering and needy that He came to the world. He wore not the gorgeous robes of the High Priest; he had not the “riches of the Gentiles” [Isaiah 61:6]; but He had his Father’s power granted Him to work miracles for the help and uplifting of mankind. 24LtMs, Ms 1, 1909, par. 6

God created man to be perfect. He chose for him the life he should live. But man has corrupted himself; his understanding has been darkened under the rule of Satan. Choosing to follow the fallacies of the first great rebel, his affections have become perverted and his will depraved. He has become a bond slave to Satan. He has the Word of God. He has the knowledge of Christ, and the example of his pure and holy life; yet he turns away from light and knowledge to gratify perverted, sinful appetite. God has sent in His Son the true pattern of what humanity may be; but man will not turn to Christ and be converted. And as he sows he reaps. 24LtMs, Ms 1, 1909, par. 7

Satan is influencing the hearts of men and corrupting their minds. Men in high places are giving evidence that they are missing their opportunities for receiving the higher education; and the calamities that are falling upon the earth have come that men may learn what it means to be under the control of satanic agencies. This age presents a sad picture to those who believe the Bible just as it reads. Great and worldly men are seeking after riches, many of them obtaining their wealth through fraudulent speculations. The Lord is permitting these men to expose one another in their evil deeds and bring their crimes to light. We read of daring exposure of life in order to perform some wonderful feat. These ventures are productive of great evil; for they lead to the repetition of these daring acts, often resulting in the loss of life. He who gave to man his powers of mind never leads him to acts of presumption, to the reckless imperiling of life, as men who are void of the sanctification of His Spirit are led to take part in. God is to be feared; but the fear and love of God has almost left the world. This hazard of life brings no real glory. This is a form of education that dishonors the One who permits human beings to exist. 24LtMs, Ms 1, 1909, par. 8

We read of men and women, after following their own unsanctified wills, by their own hands taking their lives. This record of crime and wickedness is being repeated over and over again in San Francisco; and the same violence and iniquity is making other cities as very Sodom in the sight of heaven. The Lord will surely punish the world for its iniquity; “the earth shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” [Isaiah 26:21.] 24LtMs, Ms 1, 1909, par. 9

My brethren and sisters, I am instructed to say to you, That which is needed in this year of 1909 is true higher education—that which will make God’s will supreme in the lives of men and women. I ask you to seek to understand what the true higher education means to you individually. It means to follow the Word of God implicitly; it means to walk in Christ’s footsteps, to practice His virtues. Higher education means to give up selfishness and to devote the life to the service of God. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” [Acts 16:31.] There is peace only in the path of perfect obedience. 24LtMs, Ms 1, 1909, par. 10

Seventh-day Adventists are to obtain an education of a higher character than has been secured. By many in authority there has been manifested a magnifying of self. In many of our institutions a ruling power has been exercised that has brought dishonor to God. Such ruling must come to an end, and we must learn that there is one Ruler, that is God. Those who are placed in positions of trust are to realize their weakness and to depend upon God. When the higher education is understood more perfectly, professing followers of Christ will not seek to rule their fellow men. 24LtMs, Ms 1, 1909, par. 11

God, looking upon man, saw his self-exalted ideas, saw his desperate rebellion, and He devised a remedy. He sent His only begotten Son, that the life and character of Christ might be constantly before men. His life from childhood to manhood was characterized by a spirit of meekness and by deeds of mercy and goodness, an example of the transformation that will be wrought in the lives of all who believe on the Son of God. 24LtMs, Ms 1, 1909, par. 12

The Lord calls upon every soul to obtain the higher education. Do not think, my brethren and sisters, that this means to secure the wisdom of the world, for it does not. It means that you shall come to possess truth in the heart, a faith that works by love and purifies the soul. It means that you shall engage in the work of overcoming perverted ideas and of cultivating in the soul the truth that will sanctify the life. 24LtMs, Ms 1, 1909, par. 13