Spalding and Magan Collection


Practical Missionary Work a Branch of Education

(A part of this Testimony is contained in Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 545 ff.)

Bible study is to lie at the foundation of all true education: but more, far more than a mere theoretical knowledge of Bible truth is required. It is not enough to fill minds of the students with precious lessons of the deepest importance, and then leave lesson after lesson unused. Missionary work should be done by suitable ones, that they may learn to impart that which they have received. Those to whom light has been given are not to seal up the precious ointment, but are to break the bottle and let the fragrance be shared by all around. There are those among the students who have precious talents. Our counsellor says, “Let the talents be put out to usury.” SpM 125.1

It is necessary to the best education that we give the students time to do missionary work, time to become acquainted with the families among whom they live. They should not be loaded down with all the studies they can carry, but should be given time to use the knowledge they have acquired. They should be encouraged to do faithful missionary work, by becoming interested in those in the darkness of error, taking to them the truth where they are. With all humility of heart seeking knowledge from Christ, praying, and watching unto prayer, they may make known to others the truth that is placed before them day by day. SpM 125.2

Those who do this work will find many, both old and young, who are full of hereditary prejudice, who hate the truth because of a misconception of its character. As these become acquainted with those who know and practice the truth, they will see their own errors, and while wrath and spiteful passions may appear to be cherished, friendly intercourse will change these feelings. A thick veil of prejudice blinds many minds. They need love and pity and the holiness of truth. SpM 125.3

The teachers and students in our school need the divine touch. God can do more for them than he has done, but in the past his way has been restricted. If a missionary spirit were encouraged, even though it took some hours from the program of study, if there were more faith and spiritual zeal, more of a realization of what God will do, much of heaven's blessing would be given them. There are holy chords yet to be touched. Teachers as well as students need to show greater teachableness. Just in proportion to the true missionary spirit there is brought into the education and training of the youth, will be the blessing bestowed. Students should begin to work in missionary lines, they should learn to take hold of Christ, while connected with persons of broad experience, with whom they may counsel and advise. As they do this, they will not only advance in knowledge and intellectual power, but will learn how to work, so that when the school term is ended, and they are separated from teachers and experienced advisers, they will be prepared to engage in earnest missionary labor, working under the direction of the greatest teacher the world has ever known. It is as essential that they should know how to communicate as that they should receive a knowledge of the truth. The practice of telling others about Christ, of reading and explaining his word, will stamp that Word in the mind, and make the truth their own. SpM 125.4

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart..... and thy neighbor as thyself.” This is God's command. Jesus has given an additional requirement: “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Man never knew the strength of that love until Christ came to this earth and gave his life for sinners. “Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for his friends.” We are not merely to love our neighbor as ourselves; we are to love one another as Christ has loved us. “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you,” he declared, “continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you.” SpM 126.1

The students and also the teachers in our school need to take time to become acquainted with the members of the community in which they live. The love that Christ has manifested toward us, we must cultivate for others. The truth will not long remain in the heart unless it works by love to save souls that are ready to perish. SpM 126.2

God does not want our schools to be conducted on stereotyped human plans, as many are now being conducted. He would have us beware of human precision, of making a line on which every one must tread. A different element must be brought into our schools. Wrong maxims and methods of teaching, which have been looked upon as wholly essential, have been followed. Those who are connected with our schools must penetrate deeper than their own habits or opinions, which have been esteemed as good authority. There must not be so many studies and duties placed on the students that they will neglect to talk with the Great Teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ, and let into their hearts the softening, subduing influence that dwelt in him. It is essential that students be taught how to do missionary work, not only by pen and voice, but by working with them in various missionary lines. All about us there are persons who need to be taught how to cook and how to treat the sick. By engaging in these lines of work we practice the truth as it is in Jesus. Teachers and students need to study how to engage in this work. The teachers should take students to places where help is needed, giving them practical instruction in how to care for the sick. SpM 126.3

The teachers must draw from the deep, central source of all moral and intellectual power, asking the Lord to give them the mind that was in Christ Jesus, that every case calling for sympathy and help, in physical as well as spiritual lines, may receive their attention. Teach the students to make a practical application of the lessons they have received. As they witness human woe, and the deep poverty of those whom they are trying to help, they will be stirred with compassion. Their hearts will be softened and subdued by the deep, holy principles of the Word of God. SpM 126.4

The great Physician cooperates with every effort made in the behalf of suffering humanity, to give light to the body, and life and restoration to the soul. And why is this? Satan came into our world, and led men into temptation. With sin came sickness and suffering, for we reap that which we sow. Satan afterward caused man to charge upon God the suffering which is but the sure result of transgression of physical law. God is thus falsely accused, and his character misrepresented. He is charged with doing that which Satan himself has done. God would have his people expose this falsehood of the enemy. To them he has given the light of the gospel of health, and as his representative they are to give the light to others. As they work to relieve suffering humanity, they are to point out the origin of all suffering, and direct the mind to Jesus, the great Healer of both soul and body. His heart of sympathy goes out to all earth's sufferers, and with every one who works for their relief he cooperates. As with his blessing health returns, the character of God will be vindicated, and the lie thrust back upon Satan, its originator. SpM 127.1

We must give the Lord a chance to do his work, his great work for the soul. Christ is our sufficiency. Each one of us must understand that it means to have the Word of God fulfilled in us. As Christ was in this world, so we are to be. If in this life we are like him in character, we shall in heaven have his likeness. If there is no likeness between Christ and us in this world, there can be no fellowship between us when he shall come in his glory and all the holy angels with him. As religious teachers we are under obligation to teach our students how to engage in medical missionary work. Those who do this work have many opportunities to sow the seed of truth in a way that will be successful. A heart full of gratitude to God can pray, “Teach me thy way, O God, lead me in a plain path because of mine enemies, or rather because of mine observers.” SpM 127.2

There is a work to be done all about our schools. If we are light-bearers to the world, we are pledged to teach the students how to communicate light, and to give them an opportunity to work. We are to give the invitation to the supper, for it is glad tidings for all people. Let all who are qualifying themselves for this work spend much time in prayer. Let them contemplate their duty in the light of the Word of God. We must now see what can be done to educate the students in practical missionary work, so that they can impart to others that which they have received. Who will devote a portion of his time to this work? Remember, Christ is the price of life, the rightful sovereign of all the byways and hedges, and he knows what they need. SpM 127.3

God has placed on us a burden of responsibility that we do not recognize. We must learn deeper lessons in the school of Christ. We can do much in his strength. He would have us teach the students how to take up the work he has left them to do, that they may not lose the spirit of the work by too close an appreciation of the theory of the truth. It is an intelligent knowledge made perfect by practice that makes an efficient worker. SpM 127.4

“This gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations: and then shall the end come.” “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” Christ declares. This power he is ready to transfer to those who will cooperate with him in self-denial and self-sacrifice. We must without delay open a way that this branch of education may be developed. The students must be given special opportunities to do missionary work, that they may place themselves in the channel to receive and impart light. They must make known the truth that has made the Children of God. SpM 128.1

If we believe the Word of God, our greatest aim and object should be to educate and train young men and women to go forth and do missionary work. Thus they can use the truth that has been so faithfully presented to them. As they visit families, the precious truths they have heard, the drill they have had on Bible themes, will be brought to their minds. As they read and explain the Word, “the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” In this way not only will those who know not the truth be encouraged, but those who are telling the preciousness of Christ will be greatly blessed. SpM 128.2

Mrs. E. G. White.