Ms 168, 1897

Ms 168, 1897

The Avondale School


[November 1897]

Previously unpublished.

We are now drawing near the close of our school. The school was opened April 28. We did not any of us flatter ourselves that we should have a large number of students. There were obstacles presented that made the school question a doubtful matter, but we have worked steadily to the point, notwithstanding discouragements have come in various lines. We knew from the light given us of God that we must work in different lines than our schools have hitherto been conducted. We must withdraw from our cities, which are becoming very much as demoralized as in the days of Noah and as were the inhabitants of Sodom. 12LtMs, Ms 168, 1897, par. 1

We were not for a moment in doubt in reference to the proper location of our school, because the Lord gave decided evidence where this should be—some distance from our cities. We thank the Lord that notwithstanding the many objectionable features that have been dwelt upon by some who did not hesitate to express their unbelief, we moved forward in the fear and guidance of God. If all would, in their words, do God service, what great good they might do in helping to push to car up the steep ascent! “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.” 2 John 8. 12LtMs, Ms 168, 1897, par. 2

The burden was very heavy upon me. I felt a deep interest that every student should receive the blessing of God during this first term of school. Our prayers were offered to God most earnestly for the Lord to send us the proper persons, who had experience and wisdom coming from God, properly to instruct the youth in obtaining an education and a knowledge of the Word of God, because inspiration has stated that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. After earnest prayer, there was an assurance that proper help would come, and the Lord did provide for us. 12LtMs, Ms 168, 1897, par. 3

We have been much blessed in the efficient help we have received from Brother and Sister Haskell. We feel deeply grateful for these experienced workers. All who have attended the school have had every opportunity of feasting upon the most precious food from the Word of God taught in its simplicity. The crib has not been placed so high that the minds and hearts of the students could not see and feed and digest the precious food for the soul, and the testimonies in our meetings declare that these souls have grown thereby. The help the Lord has sent in Brother and Sister Haskell has been appreciated. 12LtMs, Ms 168, 1897, par. 4

After a time Brother and Sister Hughes came. He was to work as principal in the school, and be a manager out of the school in educating the students how to labor—to fell trees, clear the land, plow the ground, prepare the soil for the crops, trim the trees in the orchard, and sow the seed preparatory to the harvest. And in this class of work they were to learn how to become Christians, for these useful branches of practical labor all have a lesson for the students to learn. There are souls that need cultivation and firm discipline, just as the soil they are working needs cultivation. Children have been indulged to do about as they pleased. Some have a cold, lifeless religion. 12LtMs, Ms 168, 1897, par. 5

We are very grateful that the Lord has been working human minds. We know this is the case, and with hearts of grateful thanks we have rendered praise and thanksgiving to God. We have tried to keep before the students in our school that all had strong tendencies to be careless and irreverent, and they may easily become demoralized. There are those whose hearts are tender and contrite. The soil of the heart is prepared for the reception of the precious seeds of truth. These have manifested a tendency to grow upward. 12LtMs, Ms 168, 1897, par. 6

The gospel in both Old and New Testaments has been most earnestly and interestingly presented. The gospel feast is spread and the invitation is given to all to sit at the supper so abundantly supplied for all who will come. No one can be made to eat and feast on spiritual food, and no one will become an all-round Christian without himself being a grateful partaker of the gospel feast. All who fully yield obedience to the call, “Come; for all things are now ready” (Luke 14:17), are highly privileged with precious opportunities for spiritual development and training. 12LtMs, Ms 168, 1897, par. 7

Dews of grace have been falling upon the soil of the soul, freshening the precious plants of truth and preparing the soul, through a new experience, to develop growth. In those who have been careless, reckless in regard to their eternal interest, the soil has been softened; and those who have been lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God have, we are assured, felt the Holy Spirit striving with their hearts. The Lord Jesus has been in that schoolroom every day, ready to mold and to fashion the character of every youth for the glory of God, and their own eternal good. 12LtMs, Ms 168, 1897, par. 8

We have seen the moving of the Spirit of God upon hearts, and may these dear souls have moral courage to take their stand on the right side in this spiritual crisis with them. To the striving soul, God says, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” Isaiah 27:5. If he will obey, the praying, believing, determined soul receives strength from the Source of strength, and receives from Jesus Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, an imputed power and grace. Then it is known to what party he belongs for he stands under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel. 12LtMs, Ms 168, 1897, par. 9

We have moved by faith to make improvements. Two school buildings have been erected. One only has been finished; the second is only enclosed. Our meetings were held in a loft over the mill. We were surrounded with furniture and all kinds of things that had been used in the school, for it was the only place where they could be stored. This situation was not calculated to give heavenly thoughts, and I felt when we entered the building that it would be only for a few weeks, until it would be decided to build a house of worship. In cold weather the large cracks made it quite uncomfortable and not safe for those who were not strong. When the second building was erected we saw that with one hundred pounds we could add a second story to accommodate the students and also have a good-sized room for meeting purposes. From the commencement of the school the meetings were held in the second story of the second building. This has been highly appreciated, but the room is crowded full and the iron roof makes it oppressive in warm weather. 12LtMs, Ms 168, 1897, par. 10