Lt 163, 1899


Lt 163, 1899

Magan, P. T.

Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

October 21, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in SpM 151-153.

Dear Brother Magan:

W. C. White has sent me a copy of his answer to your letter. I think he has answered you wisely. Lt163-1899.1

I am much troubled in regard to writing cautions to my brethren in regard to the management of the work and in regard to bringing in reforms, for they mingle their own ideas with the light given. Will my brethren not cease to make appear as one the instruction given and the inferences which they draw from this instruction? Lt163-1899.2

The carrying of the indebtedness of the school in Battle Creek by the General Conference is plainly stated to be wrong. The conference has no funds with which to do this; and the missions in foreign lands need help which they do not receive. This is the game Satan has been playing to bind about the work of God. Through a disregard of the positive directions given by the Lord in various lines, he has sought to bring in his own methods. By human suppositions men have made the instruction given of God of none effect. They have interpreted the plain words of the Lord to mean something after man’s wisdom and not after the wisdom of God. Then they have gone straight forward with their own suppositions and plans. Lt163-1899.3

Light has been plainly given that those who minister in our schools, teaching the Word of God, explaining the Scriptures, educating the students in the things of God, should be supported by the tithe money. This instruction was given long ago, and more recently it has been repeated again and again. Only a few months ago it was plainly defined. Will my brethren use that which has been given them by the Lord just as it is, or will they mislead minds by following their own human devising, making it still harder for those who have been reproved by the Lord, when it is hard enough for them to receive correction? Lt163-1899.4

Light was given in regard to the unfair dealing which had been shown in the matter of royalties. This matter could have been arranged in quietude, without giving publicity to the evils corrected. But great publicity was given to the matter, and this brought in claims for royalty which were born entirely of selfishness. People came forward to press their claims who were grasping for a chance to secure that which was not really theirs, while the real wrongs, which should have been made right years ago, were entirely neglected because of a spirit of bitterness and prejudice of which the actors should have been ashamed. Lt163-1899.5

When those who had been misused and deprived of their just dues were advised to pass the sponge over the account, it was for them to say they would do it. It was for them to say they would forgive the wrong done them, leaving the matter with the Lord. It was not left for those in authority to take the sponge and erase the figures. I was shown that this also was a test which would reveal hearts. Lt163-1899.6

As has been stated before, wrong actions were taken in regard to The Gospel Primer. Certain selfish men in positions of responsibility took a decided course in the wrong direction, and Elder Olsen allowed them to follow this course. Thus was done a work which demanded restitution. This work robbed the Southern Field of the means which God designed should go to it; and this money, both principal and interest, should be refunded. Not one penny of the money used in the publication of The Gospel Primer, should have been charged up against it. This should have been given as a donation. And the other books that shall be prepared for the Southern Field should be published gratuitously. Lt163-1899.7

Other dishonest, intriguing actions were done in a secret, artful manner. People were turned away from their rights. Some of these things have never been adjusted. Men were inspired by the suggestions of the great adversary of souls to turn aside the counsels of God for human inventions. God declares, “Neither will I be with you any more until you put away all these unholy things from you.” [See Joshua 7:12.] Lt163-1899.8

At the last General Conference a work was started which God desired to have carried to every Seventh-day Adventist church in America. But Satan came in with the sons of God, and the very work that ought to have been carried forward, by those who ought to have been worked by the Spirit of God, failed of completion. The high expectations were without proper results. Lt163-1899.9

The influence which began to work at the conference was genuine, but the enemy interposed himself and spoiled the work by the deception he had prepared. The faith of many was dead, being alone. There was a large work to be done in cleansing the temple and the courts thereof, but this work was not done. The life and power of God cannot be manifested until there is seen that faith which works by love and sanctifies the soul. As far as the work went, it was done with earnestness, fervor, and true zeal. And so far God’s blessing was given. But in the case of a large number, especially those in responsible positions in our institutions, the work of the Spirit was quenched by a deception of the enemy. There was a reaping of that which had been sown. These things need to be studied. Lt163-1899.10

In regard to the school work, God does not want it to die, but live. But actions directly contrary to a plain “Thus saith the Lord” have been taken. The indebtedness of the school work has been increased by the erection of buildings in places where there were already buildings enough. The money thus used should have been invested in the erection of schools in new localities, thus distributing the light and gathering in a class of students who would not otherwise be reached. The knowledge of the truth should have been extended to places where there are no memorials to tell what truth is. Lt163-1899.11

God would have His Word and His wisdom demonstrated. Truth has been so covered with the rubbish of error that it cannot shine forth in its native purity and brightness to illuminate the surrounding darkness. God would have His directions followed to the letter, that truth may be rescued from the companionship of error. He calls for all the talents with which He has endowed men. He calls upon His servants to receive from the Holy Spirit His sanctifying power, that the light may shine forth in clear, distinct rays amid the constantly increasing moral darkness, which is becoming as black as sackcloth of hair over our world. Lt163-1899.12

Brother Magan, do not let fiction come into the school to be regarded as truth. The gloomy region of doubt can only be expelled by the clear, bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Watch, saith the Master, Watch unto prayer. If you would make truth a reality, search the Scriptures with much humiliation and with earnest, fervent prayer. Then you will be able to understand practically the meaning of the words, “Ye are the light of the world. A city set on an hill cannot be hid.” [Matthew 5:14.] Why? Because it is above the mist and fog. So God’s people shine because they above the mist and fog of unbelief and spiritual malaria. “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Verses 15, 16.] Lt163-1899.13

Truth is not to be brought down to a level with common things. God does not leave truth to be a matter of speculation. He raises it on high, and places His signature upon it, showing its royalty and surrounding it with all His sacredness and sanction. Truth is to stand in its own elevated nobility, for Christ is the truth. Lt163-1899.14

Then how careful should every teacher be not to put forward as truth the imaginations of the human mind. What is the chaff to the wheat? Lt163-1899.15

God help Brother Sutherland and yourself, that neither of you shall place unimportant and frivolous matters, the imaginations of men’s minds, in the same chapter with sacred truth. Your influence would soon be of little value if you emphasized the theories and advocated the plans and ideas that were brought to us from Battle Creek by Miss Ellis. The thought that a young and inexperienced teacher could call together young persons of less experience than herself, and in a few months give them a training that would fit them to go out and establish church schools, was not safe or wise. Lt163-1899.16

The proposition that these young and inexperienced teachers could lay aside at once all the books that their students have been accustomed to use, and teach all studies from the Bible, according to the plan which she might introduce, would be expecting too much. It would be too sudden a change for both students and teachers. Some of her theories presented to the children, intimating that they ought not to destroy mosquitoes or other insects that were preying upon them, were not beneficial, and would lead to unprofitable questioning and condemnation. Lt163-1899.17

Inferior things, which in past ages have been suggested as worthy of attention, should have no place in the advocacy of truth. The placing of fables on a level with truth is an invention of the enemy to belittle the faith. The thought that we must not destroy the insects which prey upon trees and plants is not based upon a sound foundation. Such ideas ought not to be presented by those who have weighty and unpopular truths, the acceptance of which is of great importance. Lt163-1899.18

But I have only a little time in which to write. As regards the debt on the Battle Creek College, I think that W. C. White has written wisely. It is your privilege to present the case to the churches and ask them to help to lessen this debt. Then devise methods by which the school may be made self-supporting. This could have been accomplished in past years by increasing the rates of tuition. Here at Avondale the tuitions at first were too low. Embarrassment was brought upon the school. Lt163-1899.19

We need to move solemnly and intelligently, under the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. God has not forsaken His people; but His people have not followed the light given them. Had they obeyed His instruction the sure result of obedience would have been seen, for heavenly agencies would have co-operated with human instrumentalities. Lt163-1899.20

The work would have extended and enlarged, and God would have been glorified. Our people are asleep, upon the very borders of the eternal world. In our publishing houses the increasing expense of book making is consuming means which should be used to produce and impart solid instruction, and to multiply the agencies for the extension of truth to places where there are now no memorials of His truth. Lt163-1899.21