Lt 75, 1898

1898

Lt 75, 1898

Sutherland, E. A.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

September 24, 1898

This letter is published in entirety in 13MR 92-104.

Brother Sutherland:

You inquire, What shall I do with the school building? Shall we sell it to the sanitarium? Shall we establish schools in different localities? To the latter question, I answer, Yes; establish schools. Let the very best talent that can be secured be selected for these schools. No cheap cast of mind should be placed in our church schools. The very best is required for educating and molding the human mind. Lt75-1898.1

Men and women should feel that as teachers the Lord has committed to them the solemn trust of the souls of the children and youth, and that as teachers they are to be constant learners, never allowing circumstances to conquer them. In their work they will find clouds and darkness, tempest and storms; prejudice to meet from parents who have incorrect ideas of what characters they are to form in the training of their children, [and] who, while they claim to believe the Bible, have not brought its principles into the home life. Lt75-1898.2

Many parents go to extremes. Some who make a high profession are not Christians. They believe that Christ is the Saviour of the world, but their faith does not grasp Him as their personal Saviour. They are not converted. When fathers and mothers are converted, there will be a thorough conversion of their principles of management. Their thoughts will converted; their tongues will be converted. The commandment is positive, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength.” [Mark 12:30.] They will bear witness for Christ by revealing the transforming power of His grace. There will be no loud, angry talking in the home. The words will be of a character to soothe and bless the hearer. Loud words are not needed. Sweet, kind words are like dew and gentle showers to the soul. Take all the ugly features out of the voice. Lt75-1898.3

The very best school for voice culture is in the home life. Study in every way, not to annoy, but to cultivate a soft voice, distinct and plain. Thus mothers may become teachers in the home. Mothers should themselves act like Christ, speaking tender, loving words in the home. Then opposite their names in the books of heaven will be written, “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Lt75-1898.4

“Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [Verse 9.] Fathers and mothers, you are to build up in this life characters which will help you to fit your children for the future, immortal life, which will help them to form such characters that you will not be ashamed to see them, as parents, taking the charge of their own children, and transferring to them your own attributes. God calls upon mothers and fathers to realize that they are matrons and teachers in the home life. They must subdue ever passionate word. Pray, pray, pray, and then, believing, speak tenderly to your children. Lt75-1898.5

Bring all the pleasantness possible into the home life. If you cannot control yourselves in words and deportment, if passion bears sway, remember that you are educating your children to follow your example. In dealing with the children and youth, consider what influence your manner of discipline would have upon you were you in their place. Satan will take every advantage of your words, of your deportment, even of the expression of your countenance, to make your words of none effect to your children. He will help mothers to spoil their children in more ways than one. Lt75-1898.6

Some parents think that they can let their little ones have their own way in their babyhood, and then when they get older they will reason with them; but this is a mistake. Begin in the baby life to teach obedience, but never let them hear a cross word from your lips. Avoid everything that will be rasping to your children, but require obedience in your home school. Force circumstances to be your agents in resisting the devil, and he will flee from you. In the greatest difficulties, do not let yourselves be mastered. Be determined to be a conqueror, and not to be conquered. Every morning lay your plans before the Lord, and ask Him to give you wisdom; and when you have done this, do not act out the promptings of Satan and in your speech reveal that Christ is not abiding in your heart by faith. Lt75-1898.7

There is no time now to allow your children to follow baby or childish impulses. Educate them to self-control. One victory gained over yourself will be of great value and encouragement to your children. You may stand on vantage ground, saying, I am God’s husbandry; I am God’s building. I place myself under His hand to be fashioned after the divine similitude, that I may be a co-worker with God in fashioning the minds and characters of my children so that it will be easier for them to walk in the way of the Lord. I will act my part faithfully, fitting them to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. I must not place upon my children my defects of character. I must not complain of my children when with all my experience, I do the very things for which I punish them. I must not allow a shade of darkness to come into their lives if I can possibly avoid it. Lt75-1898.8

Satan is playing the game of life for the souls of the children and youth. Will fathers and mothers fall into Satan’s snare, and become his co-workers to ruin the lives of their children? God forbid. Fathers and mothers, when you can control yourselves, you will gain great victories in controlling your children. Lt75-1898.9

I dwell much upon this because suitable teachers are much needed, and men and women must be fitted up in the home and in the school to do a work of ministry of which they will not be ashamed. In too many families today there is too much self-indulgence and disobedience passed by without being corrected, or else there is manifested an overbearing, masterful spirit that creates the worst evils in the dispositions of children. Parents correct them at times in such an inconsiderate way that their lives are made miserable, and they lose all respect for father, mother, brothers and sisters. The soul of the children, God’s property, the lambs of the flock, are thus prepared for Satan to work his will upon them. Lt75-1898.10

The teachers for our schools should be selected from the very best class. They should be experienced Christians, well balanced in mind, men and women who have learned the lesson of self-control. Then they can educate and do a work of larger importance than even the minister in the preaching of the Word. They can prepare the soil, that the truth may have effect upon human hearts. Lt75-1898.11

I will not go further in this line. I shall have more to say in regard to this home teaching. You tell me [that] the question to be settled I have not yet answered. I do not think you are prepared to have that question settled now, for you might work away from it, and make things worse than they are. I have many things to say. Financially the management of the school at Battle Creek has not been correct. When the proprietors of an established school, as they run it on certain lines, find that they are heaping up debts, why do they not act like level-headed men, and change their methods and plans? When I was in Europe it was plainly presented before me that we should not rejoice so much in [the fact] that there were a large number of students in attendance as that such plans were laid as to avoid debt. Lt75-1898.12

When one year has proved that the management financially has been wrong, let Wisdom’s voice be heard. Raise the tuition. Let the students pay sufficiently that in the second year the first year’s failure may not be repeated. The Lord would not have things as they have been. If the school is conducted on right lines, debts will not be piling up, and still the boarding home will have plenty of good, substantial food without great cost. The Lord has pointed out to you that there may be a lessening of members, but that there would also be less financial embarrassment. Lt75-1898.13

But, you say, You have not answered my question yet. I would say, The same reasons that have led us to move away from the city and locate our school here [at Avondale], 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. Lt75-1898.14

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. Lt75-1898.15

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. Lt75-1898.16

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. Lt75-1898.17

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. 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. Lt75-1898.18

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. Lt75-1898.19

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. Lt75-1898.20

We have no time to spend now in longing to be higher than we are. The grumblers will never cease their criticism as long as time shall last. Some think they should be first. They think their great talents are not appreciated, and in this they reveal that they are unfitted for any position of responsibility. The first, Christ declares, shall be last. [Matthew 19:30.] Lt75-1898.21

Do these want a change? let the change first be developed in them. Who prevents them from becoming complete in Christ? They may advance to the first ranks, but they must not commence their work by tearing somebody else down. Although they do not know it, many are as high as their faculties will sustain them. If they would show themselves faithful and true in that which is least, the Lord would give them greater things to handle. Not one of us will be excused for practicing dishonesty and fraud in order to get into positions which we desire. We must learn the meekness and lowliness of Christ. We must reveal that we have borne the test and trial in the furnace until the image of the Lord is reflected in us. We will all reap that which we have sown. They that sow the wind will reap the whirlwind. Our capacities and powers are to be seen by the works we do. We can all do a work if we will put forth our energies in accordance with the principles of the Word of God. Lt75-1898.22

There are plenty of men who would have had excellent qualifications if they had by persevering, earnest, prayerful effort sought for perfection by exercising their gifts. But thousands have undeveloped capacity. They have not worked at the business of developing. They wanted to shine, but they were not willing to work so that they might shine. Daniel gained his position by self-denial; by linking himself with God by invisible cords. He put himself into every good work. But man cannot make himself like Daniel by controlling and working himself. Neither can he dash into a position. It is only by enduring trial, by proving true as steel to principle, that human agents find their places. Lt75-1898.23

The intellectual powers increase by use; the physical powers increase in firmness and healthful solidity by action. There are men who rush into one thing and then into another, darting here and there as their fancy strikes them. But they are not fast colors. They fade out in the summer’s heat. Men who are caught up as geniuses have frequently to be put down as frauds. He whom the Lord blesses is blessed. The man who keep his soul steadfast in the love of God, who is ever true to principle, is the man to be trusted always. The men who have sanctified perseverance, who labor and pray and watch and wait, are the men that will stand. Lt75-1898.24

Everything is to be shaken that can be shaken, and those things that cannot be shaken will remain. You will hear men talking of competition. “He is not treated as he should have been,” they say. “Others have taken an advantage of him.” But the trouble is with themselves. Constant perseverance in the right direction will give anyone standing place. Rational effort in co-operation with Christ means success and victory. These fluctuating, blustering men are represented in our institutions, and in our churches. But they are not the Lord’s chosen workmen when men are called for to be depended on. Lt75-1898.25

“Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.” [Isaiah 50:2, 3.] This is a representation of Christ. Lt75-1898.26

Those who are laborers together with God do not stand in a negative position. They show that they weigh carefully all sides of a question. They do not stand about, waiting; but step firmly by faith. They are where they are, following on to know the Lord. Had this been the case with those in the school at Battle Creek, it would not now be in a position of uncertainty. “The Lord hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary; he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” [Verse 4.] When this experience is obtained by those learning in the school of Christ, they will have gained that wisdom that is to be valued above gold and silver. Lt75-1898.27

“My son, if thou wilt receive my words and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous; he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.” [Proverbs 2:1-9.] Lt75-1898.28

This is an experience that will not wash out in the heat of summer. It will stand the test of trial. Those who gain this experience will not follow their own impulsive conjectures. Lt75-1898.29

The Lord Jesus needs in His work men who will stand with their faces to the foe, men who will fight manfully in their aggressive warfare, men who understand that Christ is the Son of God, the Author and Finisher of their faith. The Lord calls for workers, and He will move upon them to go into places where there is promise of obtaining land and cultivating it. Go out in the name of the Lord and feel that as you have made an unreserved surrender, you may ask in faith for guidance. Lt75-1898.30

“When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee; to deliver thee from the way of the evil men, from the man that speaketh froward things; who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.” [Verses 10-13.] This has been the condition of things all along the line in the going out from the center, Battle Creek. The great difficulty is that confidence is placed in men. Lt75-1898.31

The ideas of those whose lives have not been clean and upright have been seized and acted upon. Selfishness and self-serving characterize these men, and in any important crisis they make trouble, drawing under their influence those who ought to have learned by experience to cut away from them. The light of the Sun of Righteousness has not been shining upon them. They hear a rumor, and they run without any message from God. This is the trouble with many in Battle Creek. They are unsettled. They have not a firm grip upon the Lord. They need to be thoroughly converted. Lt75-1898.32

Brother Sutherland, I must say that the Lord is not pleased with the plan of centering so much in Battle Creek, making it as was Jerusalem. If the men settled in Battle Creek were unselfish, if they would move out of Battle Creek into new fields, they would have an altogether better opportunity to learn and practice the truth. But they say, I am conveniently settled. My home is here. I cannot move. They do not listen for the voice of God. I was conveniently settled in Battle Creek. I left home, furniture, everything I had to be gone two years; and what have I received for all I left? A mere pittance. My goods I left in Healdsburg. Some few things have been brought over here, and where are the rest? Lost to me. Lt75-1898.33

Souls are more precious than houses and lands, horses and carriages. We must work for their souls that are ready to die. I see no light in leaving this field. I long for God to work here. I am investing my means and am working with all my power to advance the [cause]. Lt75-1898.34

Let those who are suffering with poor health go out into country places where the standard of truth needs to be elevated. The Lord calls for volunteers. Then move, and let the light shine in other localities. You have something to do; do it with no slack hand. Years ago I was shown what would be if our people in Battle Creek would arouse and go out of the city, extending the work now done in Battle Creek to other places. Lt75-1898.35

There are men who might do great good if consecrated daily to God, but who with might and will, pen and voice, oppose the idea of changing their location. If they had followed the light given by God, there would now be twenty centers where there is one, twenty churches where there is one. A breaking up is what is needed. If men would only listen to the Word of the Lord, if they would only pray and hear and believe, God would work with them. Go out, young men, and with persevering energy do something. Industry and economy will place you in possession of homes. Toil in the name of the Lord. Study, work in literary lines. Keep the physical and the mental machinery equally taxed. Give yourselves a chance for your life. I would say to students, teachers, physicians, ministers, that the health is preserved only by combining physical and mental labor. Lt75-1898.36

All, both men and women, have a work to do. Let the Lord have a chance to use mind and heart, brain, bone, and muscle. Never impose on the human organism. There has been enough doubting, stubborn resistance to the idea of moving away from Battle Creek. But life is more than meat, and health more than raiment. Change your taxing brain labor. Use the sinews and muscles, and then the brain will be relieved. Lt75-1898.37

Battle Creek is in a congested state, and needs to be relieved of some of its blood. Move out, move out of Battle Creek. Bring your blood where it is needed. There is a great work for all to do. Let a move be made; for there is deep, earnest work before us, solemn, real, and useful. Life to us is no idle song, no mere amusement, which does no one any good. It is full of duties full of goodness, mercy, and love to be shown to others. Lt75-1898.38