Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


A Valuable Experience

While we were living at Cooranbong, where the Avondale school is established, the question of amusements came up for consideration. “What shall we do to provide for the amusement of our students?” the faculty inquired. We talked matters over together, and then I came before the students and said to them: CT 549.2

“We can occupy our minds and our time profitably without trying to devise methods for amusing ourselves. Instead of spending time in playing the games that so many students play, strive to do something for the Master. CT 549.3

“The very best course for you to pursue is to engage in missionary work for the people of the neighborhood and in the nearby settlements. Whenever you are listening to an interesting discourse, take notes and mark down the passages that the minister uses, so that you can review the subject carefully. Then after faithful study you will soon be able to give a synopsis of the discourses, in the form of Bible readings, to some who do not come to our meetings.” CT 549.4

The older students decided to follow this suggestion. They had evening meetings for studying the Scriptures together. They worked first of all for one another, and as a result of the Bible studies among themselves, a number of the unconverted were won to the truth. And the effort in behalf of the neighbors was a blessing not only to themselves, but to those for whom they labored. CT 550.1

Those who went out to work for the neighbors were instructed to report any case of sickness they might find; and those who had had training in giving treatment to the sick were encouraged to use their knowledge in a practical way. To work for the Master came to be regarded as Christlike recreation. CT 550.2

After a time the Sunday labor question came up for consideration. It seemed as if the lines were soon to be drawn so tightly about us that we should not be able to work on Sunday. Our school was situated in the heart of the woods, far from any village or railway station. No one was living near enough to be disturbed in any way by anything we might do. Nevertheless we were watched. The officers were urged to observe what we were doing on the school premises; and they did come, but they did not appear to notice those who were at work. Their confidence and respect for our people had been so won by the work we had done for the sick in that community that they did not wish to interfere with our harmless labor on Sunday. CT 550.3

At another time when our brethren were threatened with persecution and were questioning in regard to what they should do, I gave the same advice that I had given in answer to the question concerning the use of Sunday for games. I said, “Employ Sunday in doing missionary work for God. Teachers, go with your students. Take them to the homes of the people, near and far, and teach them how to talk in a way to do good. Let the people know that you are interested in their souls’ salvation.” The blessing of God rested upon the students as they diligently searched the Scriptures in order to learn how to present the truths of the word in such a way that these truths would be received with favor. CT 551.1

Let the teachers in our schools devote Sunday to missionary effort. Let them take the students with them to hold meetings for those who know not the truth. Sunday can be used for carrying forward various lines of work that will accomplish much for the Lord. On this day house-to-house work can be done. Open-air meetings and cottage meetings can be held. Make these meetings intensely interesting. Sing genuine revival hymns, and speak with power and assurance of the Saviour's love. Speak on temperance and on true religious experience. You will thus learn much about how to work, and will reach many hearts. CT 551.2

Those students who get the most good out of life are those who live by the word of God in their connections and dealings with their fellow men. Those who receive to give, experience the greatest satisfaction in this life. Those who live for themselves are always in want, for they are never satisfied. There is no Christianity in shutting up our sympathies in our own selfish hearts. The Lord has ordained channels through which He lets flow His goodness, mercy, and truth; and we are to be co-workers with Christ in communicating to others practical wisdom and benevolence. We are to bring brightness and blessing into their lives, thus doing a good and holy work. CT 551.3