Manuscript Releases, vol. 2 [Nos. 97-161]


MR No. 139—Materials Requested by the Pacific Press for Use in the M. L. Neff Manuscript, For God and C.M.E.

[Matter quoted is given in setting of the Neff manuscript. The E. G. White items are in quotation marks.]

He [E. A. Sutherland] received counsel from Mrs. White, for she declared: “If one-third of the time now occupied in the study of books, using the mental machinery, were occupied in learning lessons in regard to the right use of one's own physical powers, it would be much more after the Lord's order, and would elevate the labor question, placing it where idleness would be regarded as a departure from the word and plans of God.... 2MR 201.1

“There is a science in the use of the hand. In the cultivation of the soil, in building houses, in studying and planning various methods of labor, the brain must be exercised; and students can apply themselves to study to much better purpose when a portion of their time is devoted to physical taxation, wearying the muscles.”—Letter 103, 1897, pp. 1, 3. (To E. A. Sutherland, July 23, 1897.) [Neff Manuscript, p. 74.] 2MR 201.2

She recognized the impetuousness of youth, for she later said of President Sutherland, “He is young; but this is in his favor.”—Letter 102, 1902, p. 1. (To W. W. Prescott, June 30, 1902.) [Neff Manuscript, p. 74.] 2MR 201.3

In a letter addressed to both men [E.A.S. and P.T.M.] in 1900, Mrs. White said, “Nothing in regard to disposition of school property should be engaged in.... at the present time.... Everything is to be carefully studied and prayerfully considered from cause to effect.... When your school interests should be transferred, it will be at a time that will not mean defeat, but victory.”—Letter 165, 1900, pp. 1, 2. (To P. T. Magan and E. A. Sutherland, Sept., 1900.) [Neff Manuscript, p. 80.] 2MR 201.4

Concerning the site for the college, Mrs. White declared, “I am much pleased with the description of this place.... In such a place as Berrien Springs the school can be made an object lesson, and I hope that no one will interpose to prevent the carrying forward of this work.”—Letter 80, 1901, p. 5. (To “Managers of the Review and Herald Office,” July 12, 1901.) [Neff Manuscript, p. 93.] 2MR 202.1

To the administrators Mrs. White wrote, stressing the vocation program. “Let no one take away your needed facilities,” she counseled. “Have you a printing outfit? This you must have, if you do not have it, for you will want to do much of your own printing, issuing the books and other publications which you need in your work. You need the very best educator to teach typesetting and presswork to the students, giving them the education essential for this class of work. 2MR 202.2

“You also need the very best and most experienced bookkeeper that you can secure. Let bookkeeping be one of the regular studies. Make it a specialty.”—Letter 161, 1901, pp. 2, 3. (To P. T. Magan and E. A. Sutherland, November 5, 1901.) [Neff Manuscript, p. 96.] 2MR 202.3

The contents of the course of study was also to be unique, for Mrs. White declared the educators should introduce “into their model school only those books and methods of teaching that they thought would help the students to form symmetrical characters and to become useful workers in the cause.” In this pioneer effort they were to make “sweeping strides” in “the right direction.”—Manuscript 123, 1903, 1, 2. (“The Battle Creek College Debt,” October 8, 1903.) [Neff Manuscript, p 96, 97.] 2MR 202.4

Ellen White also defended the work of Sutherland and Magan when she said, “There are those who with the Bible as their standard, have been working in the fear of God to carry out the principles of true education. They are not old men, but they are, nevertheless, men whom the Lord desires to place on vantage ground.... But as they have tried to carry forward the work, their efforts have been criticized, and the question has been raised, Should not older teachers be brought in to take the burden of this work?.... The Lord encouraged these brethren, giving them victories that taught them valuable lessons and strengthened their confidence. It is not according to His plan for some other worker to come in and take the burden of this work upon his shoulders, supposing that he can do a much better and larger work. This is not right.”—Manuscript 98, 1902, 5, 6. (“Consideration to be Shown to Those Who in Their Work Have Wrestled With Difficulties,” July 10, 1902.) [Neff Manuscript, p. 103.] 2MR 203.1

The bout with typhoid fever had also been a strain upon his wife, since she had nursed her sick husband for weeks. Ellen White paid special tribute to the devotion of Ida Magan when she said, “Sister Magan worked with her husband, struggling with him and praying that he might be sustained.... She strove untiringly to maintain a perfect home government, teaching and educating her children in the fear of God. Twice she had to nurse her husband through an attack of fever.” 2MR 203.2

On May 23, Mrs. White, in an address to the college church, praised the faithfulness of Ida Magan and rebuked those who had persistently criticized the educational program. The church leader said, “Sister Magan was so weighted down with sorrow.... This work of opposition and dissatisfaction [concerning the college].... has cost the life of a wife and mother.”—Manuscript 54, 1904, 2, 3. (Remarks of Ellen G. White at Berrien Springs, May 23, 1904.) [Neff Manuscript, pp. 120-121.] 2MR 204.1

In reply, the sympathetic church leader wrote to Percy, “My brother, I am deeply sorry for you and your family.... Be not concerned in regard to your wages. God will not leave you without some help and comfort for yourself, your wife, and little ones.”—Letter 184, 1901, p. 6. (To P. T. Magan, December 7, 1901.) [Neff Manuscript, p. 112.] 2MR 204.2

Magan and Sutherland had made mistakes as they pioneered Christian education. Mrs. White had told the dean that he was sometimes afraid to call new members to join the faculty “for fear that they will counterwork your work,” and she urged that “varied gifts” be brought to the college staff, and that he “give other men a chance” to get hold of the work.—Letter 111, 1903. (To P. T. Magan, June 16, 1903.) [Neff Manuscript, p. 121.] 2MR 204.3

Sutherland and Magan did not leave “as men who have made a failure, but as men who made a success,” said Ellen White. They “have acted in harmony with the light that God gave. They have worked hard under great difficulties. They labored and toiled and sacrificed in their endeavor to carry out right lines of education. And God has been with them. He has approved of their efforts.” In a second tribute, she said, “They have taught the students from the Bible, according to the light given from the Testimonies. The students that have been with them need not be ashamed of the education they have received.”—Manuscript 54, 1904, 1-3. (Remarks of Ellen G. White at Berrien Springs, May 23, 1904.) [Neff Manuscript, p. 122. ] 2MR 204.4

It is therefore not surprising that Ellen White remembered the earlier interests of the educators when they severed their connection with Emmanuel Missionary College. “Several times, even before they took up the work in Berrien Springs,” she said, “Brethren Magan and Sutherland expressed to me their burden for the work in the South. Their hearts are there.... They think that they can better glorify God by going to a more needy field.”—Manuscript 54, 1904, 6. (Remarks of Ellen G. White, Berrien Springs, Michigan, May 23, 1904.) [Neff Manuscript, p. 128.] 2MR 205.1

The relation of the denomination to the self-supporting schools of the South had been a subject of controversy among church leaders from the inception of the program. Mrs. White wrote, “We greatly desire the prosperity of the work in the South.” And concerning the Madison school, she declared, “I have every confidence that it was our duty to purchase this land. Let us not worry. The necessary means will be provided.” To Sutherland and Magan, she wrote, “We know that you are established in the right place.”—Letter 273, 1904, pp. 2, 3. (To P. T. Magan and E. A. Sutherland, July 28, 1904.) [Neff Manuscript, p. 162.] 2MR 205.2

Released May 18, 1962.