Manuscript Releases, vol. 11 [Nos. 851-920]


MR No. 878—Ellen White's Work with W. W. Prescott

Questions Asked Led Ellen White to Present What She Might Not Otherwise Have Presented—I had a long talk with Professor [W. W.] Prescott last Thursday or Friday in regard to school education. This will come out soon. I have a great work to do and must have the Holy Spirit's guidance. Professor Prescott drew me out as your father [James White] used to do, and many things I could say and did say that I otherwise might not have spoken. Then he said I must write it.—Letter 144, 1896, pp. 1, 2. (To “Children,” February 16, 1896.) 11MR 109.1

Thoughts on Christian Education—Battle Creek, November 22, 1889. At about half past eleven o'clock a.m. Brother Prescott called. He is the president of our school and we have had many precious seasons of communion together in regard to the best plans to uplift the students religiously. We believe Brother Prescott is a man fitted for the work in which he is engaged. The question is constantly arising and has to be met and treated with great wisdom: Are we, as Seventh-day Adventists, doing what we should do in combining religious education—which is science—with the education of science in our schools? 11MR 109.2

We conversed together upon this matter and could not arrive at any other conclusion than that our former position on this question is correct. We cannot go back upon this important subject of keeping the education of every faculty equal. Each is to be improved by all the advantages within our reach, always making the most of our opportunities, that all the powers of our being may be consecrated wholly to the service of God. The teachers in our colleges may do a high, noble, holy work in educating the youth that they may reach the highest standard in intellectual acquirements. There is no danger of their soaring too high, if balanced by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. 11MR 109.3

The fear and knowledge of God are to be combined with all their education. The knowledge of God, the understanding of His will in His Word as far as finite minds may grasp it, incorporated into the thoughts, interwoven in the character, will make efficient men. The study of the Word of God will give knowledge as to how to do the work of God intelligently and acceptably. The mind will become sanctified through watchfulness and prayer and will be enriched, enlarged, and broadened in comprehension. There will be constant self-improvement, constant going forward and upward to meet the highest standard, because they are seeking to be made partakers of the divine nature. 11MR 110.1

Daniel was closely connected with the Source of all wisdom, and this knowledge was to him more precious than the gold of Ophir. He kept his religious training equal with the advantages which were within his reach of becoming a wise and learned man in the sciences. Daniel worked with his entrusted capital of talent. He was aroused by the situation in which he found himself, in the king's court of Babylon. He cooperated with God to use every power God had given him, that he should not be second in anything. And we read, “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17). Because Daniel was connected with God, the secrets of the Lord were opened to him, for they are “with them that fear Him” (Psalm 25:14). 11MR 110.2

[Daniel 1:19, 20, quoted.] If the Lord God of heaven and earth will become the teacher of men, will they not have the very best kind of knowledge for this world, as well as for the next? This world is our preparatory school. 11MR 111.1

Continual growth in religious wisdom and intelligence did not in any sense disqualify these youth for the faithful, intelligent discharge of the important duties assigned them in the business transactions pertaining to the kingdom of Babylon. 11MR 111.2

The schools, the colleges, and the seminaries for the educating and developing of the mind are essential for the formation of character. Natural and mental resources come alone from a knowledge of the laws which God has established in nature and in our own human structure, and obedience to these laws must be observed, or our lives will prove a failure. 11MR 111.3

Under the controlling influence of Jesus Christ, the human intellect can achieve wonderful things. If ten righteous persons would have saved ancient Sodom from destruction, of what value is righteousness for every nation! The cultivation of the intellect alone, disconnected from moral and religious education and training, would have a baleful influence. 11MR 111.4

Christ came to our world to destroy nothing but the works of the devil. In this age the Lord can better impress His children in forest homes and in the wilderness, to do service for Him, than in the bustle and confusion of city life. The Lord understood all about the settlement of America, and He moved upon the oppressed Pilgrim Fathers to make that land their retreat from religious persecution. In the wilderness in this strange land the exiles found want, deprivation, and terrors by day and night. 11MR 111.5

Battle Creek, Michigan, November 23, 1889—It is the holy Sabbath. I arose in the early hours of the morning and presented my humble request to my heavenly Father for the grace and Spirit of God which I so much needed today. I then put my heart in a trusting frame, believing I find peace and quietude in committing my soul to God as unto a faithful Creator. I must be a wholehearted, decided Christian in all things. I must be persevering. I must not trust in myself alone as capable of perfecting a Christian character. If I do, I shall certainly fail. While it is my privilege and duty to grasp and improve as a blessing every gracious opportunity, every means possible for the improvement of my mind and the strengthening of my soul, I look alone to Jesus who is the true source of all power to mold my character after the divine pattern. While I will look to Jesus, who is the author and finisher of my faith, catching the divine rays of light from heaven, I am daily pressing forward toward the mark for the prize, believing that what grace has begun glory shall crown in the kingdom of God. 11MR 112.1

Friday, November 22, Elder Prescott, who is the principal of our college, made request for me to meet with them Sabbath afternoon in their social meeting in the college. I had been suffering with infirmities and thought it not prudent to do this. But my heart turned toward the students and my great interest and desire for the welfare of their souls made me earnest to go. We found a large number of the students assembled. It was not only a precious occasion but a blessed sight to see the attentive, earnest, intelligent countenances. 11MR 112.2

Professor Prescott spoke most appropriate words in regard to the lesson of Christ in the figure of the vine and the branches—appropriate words indeed and so applicable to the individual cases of all present. 11MR 113.1

I then spoke for about thirty minutes in regard to the importance of Bible and religious education combined with the education in all the sciences. I tried to present the importance of a living connection with God as essential for all their education. The elevation of man is because of the cultivation of the superior faculties with which God has endowed him.—Manuscript 23, 1889, 10-14. (Diary, November 22, 23, 1889.) 11MR 113.2

Thursday, February 13, 1896—In the afternoon Professor Prescott and wife again visited me in my room. We had a long talk in regard to the management of school matters. As questions were asked the Holy Spirit revived many things in my mind, and I could tell them the way many matters concerning our educational interest had been presented to me. We are to lay the situation of dearth of means before the whole school and then make known the Lord's plan as presented to me. In place of devoting time to inventing amusements to use their muscles, they can strengthen nerves and muscles to good advantage in the work that needs to be done on the school grounds. If we shall be compelled to hire the work done, the price of tuition must be increased. Every student may consider it to be his privilege to have a part in saving means they would pay for hiring work done, that themselves can do. Earning their expenses is to be considered a part of their education. Every student is to exercise brain and bone and muscle. Here is the education of the whole man, right on the ground—an education essential for all, for there is work for all to do.... 11MR 113.3

Friday, February 14, 1896—Professor Prescott came to see me and read several letters to me in regard to the highest education—education in our schools. One was from Professor [Frederick] Griggs. We had some important matters to consider.—Manuscript 62, 1896, 3, 4. (Diary, February 13, 14, 1896.) 11MR 114.1

White Estate

Washington, D.C.,

August 22, 1981.