The Madison School


Chapter 7—Letter to the Southern Union Conference Committee

Sanitarium, Cal.,

February 24, 1907.

Dear Brethren,

I have a message to bear to our people in the Southern field. There is an important work to be carried forward in Nashville and vicinity, and a decided interest should be manifested in this field. SpTB11 24.1

It is in harmony with the leadings of God's Spirit that Brethren Sutherland and Magan and their associates have begun a work at Madison. The Lord guided them in the selection of a location for the school. Had a small sanitarium been established in connection with the school, this would have been in the order of God; and these two institutions would have been a mutual help. This has not yet been done, but our brethren in Madison need not be discouraged. SpTB11 24.2

I would say to our brethren in the Southern field, Let there be no restriction laid on the Madison school to limit its work in the field of its operation. If Brethren Sutherland and Magan have promised not to draw students to their school from the Southern States, they should be freed from any such restriction. Such a promise should never have been asked or granted. I am instructed to say that there should be no restrictions limiting their freedom to draw students from the Southern field. There is need of such an institution as has been established near Nashville, and let not one endeavor to hinder the attendance of those who can at that school best receive the training that will fit them to labor in the Southern States, and in other mission fields. SpTB11 24.3

At Berrien Springs Brethren Sutherland and Magan carried on a work of self-sacrifice. They did not leave the North because they had lost their influence, they went to the South because they saw the needs of that field. In their work at Madison they should have encouragement from those whom they have come to help. Those who have in charge the disbursement of funds coming to the Southern field, should not fail to render proportionate aid to the Madison school. SpTB11 24.4

In the Madison school the students are taught how to till the soil, how to build houses, and to perform other lines of useful labor. These are some of the lines of work that the Lord instructed us to introduce into our school in Australia. With a practical training, students will be prepared to fill useful positions in many places. SpTB11 25.1

Skill in the common arts is a gift from God. He provides both the gift, and the wisdom to use the gift aright. When He desired a work done on the tabernacle, He said, “See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner or workmanship.” SpTB11 25.2

Through the prophet Isaiah the Lord says: “Give ye ear, and hear My voice; hearken, and hear My speech. Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rye in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him. SpTB11 25.3

“For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart-wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen. This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.” SpTB11 25.4

Today the Lord has definitely called some to the work of teaching others, to fit them for service in His cause. Let those who are so called go cheerfully to their field of labor, following ever the leadings of God. SpTB11 26.1

God dispenses His gifts as it pleases Him. He bestows one gift upon one, and another gift upon another, but all for the good of the whole body. It is in God's order that some shall be of service in one line of work, and others in other lines,—all working under the self-same Spirit. The recognition of this plan will be a safeguard against carnal emulation, pride, envy, or contempt of one another. It will strengthen unity and mutual love. SpTB11 26.2

If in the opening providence of God, it becomes necessary to erect a meeting-house in some locality, the Lord is pleased if there are among His own people those to whom He has given wisdom and skill to perform the necessary work. He sends men to carry His truth to people of a strange tongue, and He has sometimes opened the minds of His missionaries, enabling them quickly to learn the language. The very ones whom they have come to help spiritually, will be a help to them in learning the language. By this relation the natives are prepared to hear the gospel message when it is given in their own tongue. SpTB11 26.3