A Place Called Oakwood


25—Counsel Regarding the Work at Huntsville

Date: July 6, 1904
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Source: Manuscript 139, 1904
Status: Previously unpublished

Context: The Oakwood leadership is transitioning. Ellen White writes to aid a successful transition.

I write to our brethren in Nashville. I have not time to copy that which I have read to those assembled, but it will all be written out that you may read it. PCO 122.4

Let our Brother Nicola now consider that the Lord has pointed out that changes should be made in the faculty. It would not be wise to consent for one to remain longer who has been years as the highest authority and yet has not filled the position to build up the school, for he would certainly be tempted, and would tempt others, to be dissatisfied and would create a disorganized state of things. Brother Melendy—who has also been on the farm—would have a chance to be proved, for the time has come when experiments must be made and able, capable men come in who will work decidedly to make changes for the better. And if Brother Melendy can unite as a Christian with Brother Rogers to work decided changes, then in prayer and faith, and in all humility of mind, let these men unite. The Lord will bless them and will work with them, giving them wisdom and His grace to improve in all excellency of Christian character. The worker for the Master must become intelligent in regard to the situation and, as a wise man, give an example to his students that he heeds the words of Christ and practices them in his individual experience. There is great room for improvement in many things. PCO 122.5

“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; ... and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). PCO 123.1

It would be a sin to retain a man who has established habits which need to be changed for right habits, and who could not see his defects, and continue him as an educator of youth or as an example in a school. Those who discern his defects see many excellent qualities in the man, but he does not discern the danger of stamping his defects upon the characters of others—defects which they may retain through the whole period of their lives. The test has been made in Huntsville. PCO 123.2

The Lord discerns that there must be a change for the better. A teacher is always to be apt to learn, grasping every idea of advance because he needs knowledge that he may obtain that correct development of character which constantly leads to higher attainments. All who are educators in our schools are themselves to be ever learning of the great Teacher who is seeking to draw their attention to Himself, that they shall be complete in Christ Jesus, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. PCO 123.3

Now I wish to say, Brother Melendy, if you cannot be kind, respectful, and courteous to the man chosen to come in to the Huntsville School and exercise his capabilities to help the students to advance; if you cannot be a kind brother, a companion to unite with him in continuing to make improvements, you will come to work in opposite directions and make it very hard through your unsanctified ways and spirit. I know you can unite with Brother Rogers if you will wear the yoke of Christ and become a learner in Christ's school. My heart desires this, and it is the wisest thing that you can do. But rather than remain and feel it your privilege to criticize, and imbue the students with disaffection, the very best thing you can do is to leave. But it is not the best thing for you to do to cherish your own defects of character. PCO 123.4

May the Lord strengthen you, my brethren, all who have any part to act, to stand in your lot and fill your place. Now is your test and your trial. Come up to your position and do right because it is right. I have written these lines because every hand that will work valiantly for the Master will be needed. We need faithful men who are continually growing in grace and the knowledge of the truth. May the Lord bless you. PCO 123.5