Special Testimonies for Ministers and Workers—No. 4


Proper Education

Dear Brother and Sister,

The students of our manual training school at this place are doing their best to follow the light God has given, to combine with mental training the proper use of brain and muscle. Thus far the results have exceeded our expectations. At the close of the first term, which was regarded as an experiment, opportunity was given for the students to have their vacation, and engage in whatever work they chose to do. But every one begged that the second might be continued as before, with manual labor each day, combined with certain hours of study. The students did not want to give up the present opportunity of learning how to labor and how to study. If this is their choice under the most disadvantageous circumstances, what influence will it have when the school buildings are up, and there are more favorable surroundings for the students? SpTA04 14.1

The building they now occupy, the only one at all fit for the purpose, was an old hotel which we rented, and are using to its fullest capacity. Four tents pitched in an adjoining paddock are also occupied by students. Every morning at six o'clock the members of the school are called together for morning worship and Bible study. These occasions have proved a blessing.... SpTA04 14.2

I spoke to the students eight mornings. The Lord Jesus was indeed in our assembly. The congregation averaged from twenty-six to thirty. In the first meetings the spirit of intercession came upon me, and all were sensible that the Lord heard our prayers. Then I spoke about thirty minutes, and the Lord gave me words for those assembled. These seasons were most profitable; the testimonies of the students following gave evidence that the Holy Spirit was giving to all glimpses of the things of God. The spiritual impressions became more marked as the meetings progressed. The divine presence was with us. The sympathies and sentiments of those present became inspired with power and favor. Hearts were susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit, and decided changes were wrought in minds and character. The Spirit of God was working upon human agents. I praise the Lord for the encouraging influence of his Spirit upon my own heart. We all felt that the Lord was cooperating with us to lead us to will, to resolve, and act. SpTA04 14.3

The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing or the doing. This is our proper work. As soon as we earnestly enter upon the work, God's grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. Our souls are to be aroused to cooperate. The Holy Spirit works the human agent, to work out our own salvation. This is the practical lesson the Holy Spirit is striving to teach us. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. SpTA04 15.1

I never had a deeper sense of the precious truth and its power upon human minds than when addressing those students in the early meeting. Morning after morning I felt charged with a message from God. I also had special freedom in speaking twice upon the Sabbath. At every meeting several unbelievers were present, and they were much affected as the truth was presented. If we had a suitable place for meeting, we could invite the neighbors to come in. But our long, narrow dining-room crowded as closely as if packed, is not a very suitable place for worship. I am assigned a little space in the corner of the room, and am packed up close to the wall. Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus is in the assembly. We know it. Some souls are thinking very seriously now upon the subject of the truth. We all know that the most severe and intense soul-struggles belong to the hour of the great resolve to act out the convictions upon the human heart. The consecration of the soul to God is committing the keeping of the soul to one who has purchased its freedom at an infinite price, and then we are to follow on to know the Lord, that we may know his goings forth are prepared as the morning. To obey is better than sacrifice. The whole work of the Christian is comprised in willing and doing. SpTA04 15.2