Spalding and Magan Collection


Our School Work

Economy in regard to the outlay of means should be practiced in our school in Cooranbong, This must be done, or the same mistake will be made here that has been made in our schools in America. Those who stand at the head of the schools here need to guard carefully every point and bind about every needless expense, that the burden of debt may not fall upon the school. As colaborers with Christ, every student who loves God supremely will help to bear responsibility in this matter.... SpM 53.1

Light has been given you in clear lines in regard to the mistakes made in the education of teachers. The education which teachers might gain many regard as nonessential. They do not gain a knowledge of practical life, a knowledge of how to work as well as of how to study. This mistake must not be allowed to influence the youth who attend the school we are trying to establish. SpM 53.2

Many look upon a study of books as the principal purpose of their scholastic life. They know very little of practical business management, and are therefore one-sided. Their faculties have not been developed proportionately. They have not plowed deep, to understand the weak points in their character-building, and they do not realize their own deficiency. They start wrong. They feel too unconcerned in regard to becoming involved in debt. They do not look critically at the outcome of this. What is faith? True faith takes in the whole man. It enables the soul to rise out of an imperfect, undeveloped state, and to understand what wisdom is. See Proverbs 8. SpM 53.3

If education had been carried on in accordance with the mind and will of God, the dark shadow of heavy debt would not today be hanging over our institutions. If the students had developed brain, bone, and muscle harmoniously, they could have studied better. But many students have followed their own idea as to what constitutes education, and therefore they have not placed themselves where their determination was to be self-made men and women. Many have failed because they have not reasoned from cause to effect. They are contented to be carried rather than to work their own way. And many follow their example. SpM 53.4

When students are carried through years of study on the means of others, they lose that experience of practical life that it will be difficult for them to recover. One who has so often appeared as my instructor, placed His hand on the shoulder of a young man, and said, “You have yet to sink the shaft deeper if you obtain the heavenly treasure. You must learn to cling to the truth by faith in Jesus Christ. Associate with men of experience, who have been taught by God, and who have experimental knowledge of saving faith. SpM 53.5

Notwithstanding all that has been written in regard to God's plan for the education of our schools, this subject has not been fully taken in. It is today as it was in the days of Christ. The sayings of the priests and rabbis were then frequently brought forward as if they were truth and light. Their words were repeated with assurance, because they had been handed down from rabbi to rabbi. Men departed from the Word of God. False theories, which were received as truth because they came from the lips of rabbis, were exalted above the words of God. Christ said to these teachers: “Ye are both ignorant of the Scriptures and of the power of God.” SpM 53.6

Thus it is in our day. Darkness hath covered the earth, and gross darkness the people. Students have left our schools with a deficient education. Some think that they know all that is worth knowing, and that they are qualified to manage institutions. But they have much to unlearn and much to learn. They must know more of God. They must realize their deficiency. They must know what constitutes Christianity. SpM 54.1

Nothing can elevate man, nothing can make him pure, and keep him pure, but believing in and practicing the truth. He must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. This is the lesson all should learn. They should see that to be sanctified means more than to have a theoretical knowledge of the truth. They must have living faith. They must do more than denounce wrongs in others; they must fight it in themselves. They must be whole-souled Christians, possessing the earnestness and living energy derived from Christ. SpM 54.2

The youth should be taught to look upon physiology as one of the essential studies. They should not be satisfied with mere theory; they should practice the knowledge obtained from books on this subject. This matter has not yet been patiently and perseveringly worked out. Those who neglect this branch of study, which comprehends so much, will make haphazard work in attempting to teach the youth. They are not qualified to direct in our schools, because the way of the Lord must be learned in order to be practiced. SpM 54.3

Many go from our schools with some knowledge, but without that all-round harmonious character that would enable them to be teachers of principle. SpM 54.4

The principles of true education, that will fit students to be practical business men, have been very poorly carried out. This class of education is needed in all our missionary enterprises: and if the teachers in our schools did their duty, according to the “It is written,” they would send forth from school men of moral worth men who would know how to take hold of the work in a new field, and use their brain, bone, and muscle in making it a harmonious whole. SpM 54.5

Many who have been educated in our schools are headless. They do a little somewhere else, but they show they have not been educated for practical work. Students should remember that the first thing they must do is to make themselves practical, all-round useful men and women, who in an emergency can do the work necessary to be done. When students are given this kind of education, it will not be necessary to spend money to transport men thousands of miles to plan schools, meeting-houses, and colleges. Students should be encouraged to combine mental and physical labor. The physical powers should be developed in proportion to the mental faculties. This is essential to form an all-round education. They will then be at home in any place. They should be prepared to teach others how to build, how to cultivate the soil. A man may have a brilliant mind, he may be quick to catch ideas: but this is of little value to him and to others if he has no knowledge of practical work, if he does not know how to put his ideas into execution. Such a one is only half educated. SpM 54.6

A teacher who has an intelligent knowledge of the best methods and who can not only teach the theory, but can show by example how things should be done, will never be a drug on the market. Young men should not always be as servants, who must be told what to do, and who when one job is done have no perception to look around and see what more needs to be done. They should look the situation squarely in the face, saying this will not do. Unless I learn how to work, how to manage difficult problems, how to wrestle with difficult problems, I will be of no practical value. I must and will rise. I will mount from the lowest to the highest round of the ladder. He who manifests this determination will make a trustworthy worker; for his aim is to advance in knowledge and increase in understanding. He can be depended on as a thoughtful caretaker. SpM 55.1

There are those who are quick to see and grasp ideas in advance, but who do not weigh every point and apply their ideas in a way that produces the best results. They are heedless; they do not work in opinions, lest they should be obliged to retrace their steps. If they are not careful, their course will be uneven and uncertain. They will fail to make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. They will surely lead away those who admire their flashes and brilliancy, unless they determine to know why they know the things they claim to know. They should be careful how they order their steps. They should pray much, fearing to make mistakes. Unless they walk guardedly, they will be losers. SpM 55.2

God's holy Word gives us the principles that form the standard of correct management in temporal as well as spiritual things. God's will is to be made the will of the human agent, and this will is to be kept prominent. Men are not to act as though there were one rule for the master and another for the servant. Christ was a servant. He lived not to please Himself, and by His life of service He has exalted all service. SpM 55.3

E. G. White