Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


“According that a Man Hath”

God can and will use those who have not had a thorough education in the schools of men. A doubt of His power to do this is manifest unbelief. Our Saviour did not ignore learning or despise education, yet He chose unlearned fishermen for the work of the gospel because they had not been schooled in the false customs and traditions of the world. They were men of good natural ability and of a humble, teachable spirit, men whom He could educate for His great work. CT 511.1

In the common walks of life there is many a toiler patiently treading the round of his daily tasks, unconscious of latent powers that, roused to action, would place him among the world's great leaders. The touch of a skillful hand is needed to arouse and develop those dormant faculties. It was such men whom Jesus connected with Himself, and He gave them the advantages of three years’ training under His own care. No course of study in the schools of the rabbis or the halls of philosophy could have equaled this in value. CT 511.2

A life devoted to God should not be a life of ignorance. Many speak against education because Jesus chose uneducated fishermen to preach the gospel. They assert that He showed preference for the uneducated. But there were many learned and honorable men who believed the teaching of Christ. Had these fearlessly obeyed the convictions of their consciences, they would have followed Him. Their abilities would have been accepted and employed in the service of Christ, had they offered them. But they had not moral power, in face of the frowning priests and jealous rulers, to confess Christ and venture their reputation in connection with the humble Galilean. CT 511.3

He who knows the hearts of all understood this. If the educated and noble would not do the work they were qualified to do, Christ would select men who would be obedient and faithful in doing His will. He chose humble men and connected them with Himself, that He might educate them to carry forward the great work on earth when He should leave it. CT 512.1

Christ was the light of the world. He was the fountain of all knowledge. He was able to qualify the unlearned fishermen to carry out the high commission He would give them. The lessons of truth given these lowly men were of mighty significance. They were to move the world. It seemed but a simple thing for Jesus to connect these humble persons with Himself, but it was an event productive of tremendous results. Their words and their works were to revolutionize the world. CT 512.2

God will accept the youth with their talent and their wealth of affection, if they will consecrate themselves to Him. They may reach to the highest point of intellectual greatness; and if balanced by religious principle, they can carry forward the work which Christ came from heaven to accomplish. CT 512.3

The students at our colleges have valuable privileges, not only of obtaining a knowledge of the sciences, but also of learning how to cultivate and practice virtues which will give them symmetrical characters. They are God's responsible moral agents. The talents of wealth, station, and intellect are given of God in trust to man for his wise improvement. These varied trusts He has distributed proportionately to the known powers and capacities of His servants, to every man his work. CT 512.4

And the Giver expects returns according to the gifts. The humblest gift is not to be despised. Everyone has his peculiar sphere and vocation. He who makes the most of his God-given opportunities will return to the Giver, in their improvement, an interest proportionate to the entrusted capital. CT 513.1

The Lord does not reward the large amount of labor. He does not regard the greatness of the work so much as the fidelity with which it is done. The good and faithful servant is rewarded. As we cultivate the powers God has given us, we shall increase in knowledge and perception. CT 513.2

Perseverance in the acquisition of knowledge, controlled by the fear and love of God, will give the youth increased power for good in this life; and those who make the most of their opportunities to reach high attainments will take these attainments with them into the future life. They have sought and obtained that which is imperishable. The ability to appreciate the glories that “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard” (1 Corinthians 2:9), will be proportionate to the attainments reached. CT 513.3

Those who empty their hearts of vanity and rubbish, through the grace of God may purify the mind and make it a storehouse of knowledge, purity, and truth. And it will be continually reaching beyond the narrow boundaries of worldly thought, into the vastness of the infinite. CT 513.4