Manuscript Releases, vol. 8 [Nos. 526-663]


MR No. 582—A Rural College

You say, You have not answered my question [The question was: “What shall we do with the [old] school building? Shall we sell it to the sanitarium? Shall we establish schools in different localities?”—Letter 75, 1898, p. 1.] yet. I would say, the same reasons that have led us to move away from the city and locate our school here [Avondale, Australia], stand good with you in America. The money that is expended in buildings, when they are thousands of dollars in debt, is not in God's order. In this you are not following the path that God has marked out. The counsel of God has not been regarded. Had the money which has been expended in adding to the college building been invested in procuring land in connection with the school, you would not have so large a number of students, with their debts increasing, in the city of Battle Creek. 8MR 199.1

Let the students be out in the most healthful location that can be secured, to do the very work that should have been done years ago. Then there would not be so great discouragements. Had this been done, you would have had some grumbling from students, and many objections would have been raised by parents, but this all-round education would educate the children and youth, not only for practical work in various trades, but would prepare them for the Lord's farm in the earth made new. If all in America had encouraged the work in agricultural lines that principals and teachers have discouraged, the schools would have had altogether a different showing. Opposing influences would have been overcome; circumstances would have changed; there would have been greater physical and mental strength; labor would have been equalized; and the taxing of all the human machinery would have proved the sum. But the directions God has been pleased to give you, you have taken hold of so gingerly, that you have not had the ability to overcome obstacles. It reveals cowardice to move as slowly and uncertainly as you have done in the labor line, for this is the very best kind of education that can be obtained. 8MR 199.2

Opposing circumstances will and should create a firm determination to overcome them. One barrier broken down will give greater ability and courage to go forward. Fate has not woven its meshes about the workings of our schools that they need to remain helpless and in uncertainty. Press in the right direction, and make a change, solidly, intelligently. Then circumstances will be your helpers and not your hindrances. 8MR 200.1

Nature is our lesson book. “Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building” (1 Corinthians 3:9.) The Lord has not laid out His lines that you should be in uncertainty. The building up of so much that is in Battle Creek the Lord will surely counterwork, if His voice is not heeded, by bringing around circumstances that will pull them down. 8MR 200.2

Look at nature. There is room in her vast boundaries for schools to be located where grounds can be cleared, land cultivated, and where a proper education can be given. This work is essential for an all-round education, and one which is favorable to spiritual advancement. Nature's voice is the voice of Jesus Christ teaching us innumerable lessons of perseverance. The mountains and hills are changing, the earth is waxing old like a garment, but the blessing of God, which spreads a table for His people in the wilderness, will never cease. 8MR 200.3

Serious times are before us, and there is great need for the families to get out of the cities into the country, that the truth may be carried into the highways and byways of the earth. Much depends upon your laying your plans according to the word of the Lord, and with persevering energies to go ahead. More depends upon active perseverance than upon genius and book knowledge. All the talents and ability given to human agents, if unworked, are of no value. The talent of genius must be constantly worked. Make a beginning. The tree is in the acorn, and the acorn in the tree. 8MR 200.4

There are those who are not adapted to agricultural work. These should not devise and plan in our conferences, for they will hold everything from advancing in these lines. This has held our people from advancing in the past. If the land is cultivated, it will with the blessing of God, supply our necessities.—Letter 75, 1898, pp. 6, 7. (To E. A. Sutherland, September 24, 1898.) 8MR 201.1

I have words to speak to you in reference to the calls that are from time to time made in behalf of the colored people, and the funds that shall come in response to these calls. It is stated by Brother [C. P.] Bollman that the work for the colored people is frequently deprived of the means that should come to the workers there, and that, therefore, that field does not receive all the donations intended for it. 8MR 201.2

I desire to say to you, my brethren, that not one penny of the means that comes in from different sources for the work in the Southern field should be diverted to the work elsewhere. If the Lord has opened the hearts of His people to give to this field that its distressing needs may be met, let it not be truthfully said that any portion of the means given was withheld from the field for which it was intended. 8MR 201.3

The standard of truth is to be lifted in new territories in the South. School buildings, humble but neat, are to be erected in various places. Churches are to be established. Some of the school buildings may be erected by the students themselves, under the instruction of men who understand this line of work. If the work of instruction is faithfully done, every stroke can be made to tell in the education of the students. And the buildings will be an object lesson to those living in the community, as well as a channel through which souls will be converted to the truth. 8MR 202.1

My brethren, I ask you in the name of the Lord, that you be careful how you handle the donations that are made to the Southern field. Not one dollar is to be turned aside to any other field. I entreat of you to be very careful. 8MR 202.2

The Lord has instructed me that, from the first, the work in Huntsville and Madison should have received adequate help. But instead of this help being rendered promptly there has been long delay. And in the matter of the Madison school, there has been a standing off from them because they were not under the ownership and control of some Conference. This is a question that should sometimes be considered, but it is not the Lord's plan that means should be withheld from Madison, because they are not bound to the conference. The attitude which some of our brethren have assumed toward this enterprise shows that it is not wise for every working agency to be under the dictation of conference officers. There are some enterprises under certain conditions, that will produce better results if standing alone. 8MR 202.3

When my advice was asked in reference to the Madison school, I said, Remain as you are. There is danger in binding every working agency under the dictation of the conference. The Lord did not design that this should be. The circumstances were such that the burden bearers in the Madison school could not bind up their work with the conference. I knew their situation, and when many of the leading men in our conferences ignored them, because they did not place their school under conference dictation, I was shown that they would not be helped by making themselves amenable to the conference. They had better remain as led by God, amenable to Him, to work out His plans. But this matter need not be blazed abroad. 8MR 202.4

In their change from Berrien Springs, Brethren Sutherland and Magan made many sacrifices. The Lord counseled them where to go, and in their labors at Madison, they have worked far beyond their strength. But under the direction of the Lord they are capable of doing a good work. They will give to the students who come there an education altogether different than what has been given in Washington during the past years. They will not only labor to impart an education in book knowledge and manual work, but they will endeavor to teach the students to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. 8MR 203.1

These teachers should be regarded, not as men who have had no valuable experience, but as men who have in the past accomplished a great and good work, and who have suffered privations for the cause of God. They have not exacted their just dues. Had some of their brethren been better able to reason from cause to effect, there would be a different record. The restrictions by which their hands have been tied are not pleasing to the Lord. They might have had a sanitarium and suitable buildings, and they might have been years in advance of where they now are. I would say, Let justice now be done. 8MR 203.2

The world is our field. God's children who feel a burden for the work of the message are to be allowed to work where the Spirit directs them. Let not a forbidding power be exercised to restrict them in their work. Let God accomplish His work through the agencies that He chooses. A great mistake has been made in the exercise of human authority in God's work, and I am bidden to proclaim the message: “Break every yoke, and let the oppressed go free.” I am bidden to say to church members, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:1.) 8MR 204.1

When the disciples returned from their first missionary tour, the Saviour asked them, “Lacked ye anything?” And the answer was given, “Nay, Lord.” The same power that supplied the needs of the first disciples will provide for the necessities of those who today go forth to labor earnestly to give the last gospel message to the world. O, why do men and women feel so little burden to take up the work that needs to be done? Angels of God are waiting to go forth with them in this work. 8MR 204.2

In the restrictions that have been placed on some who desired to do a definite work, many have found an excuse why they should not engage in active missionary work. I am bidden to bear my testimony against unnecessary restrictions being laid on those who desire to act a part in the work of the Lord. 8MR 204.3

In all their associations together, God desires His followers to guard their personal responsibility to Him, and their individual dependence upon Him. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. No ruling power of man over man is to be exercised. We have as a people lost much time and means, because we have not followed closely the Lord's plan for us. By carrying out their own devisings, men get in the way of the Lord, and close up the avenue by which He would reach those who need the blessings of the gospel. 8MR 204.4

My brethren, stand out of the way of your fellow-beings. Do not, by act of yours, hinder the work that God would have done for the people of the South in bringing to them the light of the truth. Time is passing rapidly, and the truth has yet to go to thousands in this field. Do not hinder, but pray and work, that God may use His human agencies as He designs. 8MR 205.1

Again and again the Lord has presented to me the needs of the unworked South. I have also been shown that our men in responsible positions need to feel the converting power of God on heart and mind and soul, or they will in their self-sufficiency, hinder the work that should be done. The Lord has a controversy with His ministers, because they have not taught church-members how to work for perishing souls. 8MR 205.2

Tell our people there is a work to be done in the South in teaching the old men and women how to read. For generations the colored people have been deprived of educational advantages which they should have been receiving. Church members might have engaged their talents and means in this work, but some, instead of doing this have spent their time and money for self-gratification, while these, their fellow-beings, because of their color, were left in ignorance and sin. 8MR 205.3

Ask our brethren how they will answer when the question is asked us, What have you done with the means I lent you in trust? Shall we feel justified when we are obliged to say, “I spent it for self, for dress, and amusements.” In the day of final reckoning, the Lord will deal with each soul individually. 8MR 205.4

The Bible has not been studied as it should have been, that we might understand the will of God for His children. I now call upon presidents of conferences and men in responsible positions to set in operation every possible means by which the members of the churches may learn how to work for the perishing. Let those who have had experience teach those who are inexperienced. Let them pray together, and search the word of God together. 8MR 206.1

There is a great work to be done right in the shadow of our doors. In order to accomplish all that is expected of us, the command must be obeyed, “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags that wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not.” (Luke 12:33.) O that those who profess the name of Christ would return to the Lord His own of talents and of means! 8MR 206.2

More decided calls should be made for volunteers to enter the whitening fields. Unless there is more done than has been done for the cities of America, church members will have a heavy account to meet for neglected duties. We pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10.) We profess to believe that the commission given to the first disciples includes the followers of Christ in 1907. But what are we doing? I pray that the Holy Spirit may move upon human hearts, that many may go forth as did the early disciples, making their way to homes and to churches, where men and women are waiting for a knowledge of present truth. My heart is sore when I see the blindness that is upon God's people. 8MR 206.3

There are among our church members faithful souls who feel a burden for those who know not the truth for this time. But one will say to such, The conference will not support you if you go here or there. To such souls I would say, “Pray to God for guidance as to where you shall go; follow the directions of the Holy Spirit, and go, whether the conference will pay your expenses or not. “Go work today in My vineyard,” Christ commands. When you have done your work in one place, go to another. Angels of God will go with you, if you follow the leadings of the Spirit. 8MR 206.4

To our brethren and sisters in America, the call must go to awake. There is missionary work to be done in this country, as verily as in any heathen land. When you have made your donation for the work in foreign fields, do not stop, thinking you have done all your duty. You are to be a light in the world. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16.) 8MR 207.1

There is no time to spend in frivolity. Deny self, and dress and live simply. Remember that there is a message to be borne to those who are in darkness, a work to be done for the Master. The Lord will bless all who will take part in the work of preparing a people to meet Him in peace. We should be terribly in earnest. Lay your plans before God. Tell Him that you desire to serve Him, give up your desires to Him, and He will teach you His way.—Letter 314, 1907, pp. 1-7. (To Elders Daniells and Evans, September 23, 1907.) 8MR 207.2

Released December 6, 1977.