Ms 100, 1904

Ms 100, 1904

Our Duty Toward the Huntsville School


August 11, 1904 [typed]

Previously unpublished.

My visit to our school for the colored people at Huntsville, Alabama, brought me great sorrow of heart. I had known that this institution was in pressing need of substantial help, but I had not understood fully the real condition of the school. That which I saw staggered me. I asked myself, “How can the brethren in the South, who have seen the needs of this school, remain silent? In what light does God regard their failure to bestir themselves in an effort to place this school on vantage ground? How can He acquit the sight of their eyes?” 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 1

The equipment of the Huntsville school is very incomplete. Even some of the most common necessities are lacking. There are no proper facilities for giving treatment to the sick. Those who attend this school have been getting along with crude makeshifts, hoping that in time some of the necessities would be supplied. 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 2

That which to me seemed the greatest mystery of all was the striking contrast between Graysville and Huntsville. At Graysville the school and the sanitarium have been built up substantially by friends both in the North and in the South. The Graysville brethren and sisters have given much toward the erection and equipment of good buildings. The Graysville community has an appearance of thrift and prosperity. This is as it should be. But I could not understand how those there, who have known of the destitution of a sister institution at Huntsville, have been content to continue building up their home institutions without doing something for the training school for colored people. How neighborly, how Christlike, it would have been for those at Graysville to say: “We have been prospered in our efforts to establish institutions in this place. And while we are not planning the Graysville work unwisely, nor building too substantially, yet, in consideration of the more urgent need of the institution at Huntsville, let us send on to our fellow workers there some of the means now flowing in to us.” What an encouragement this would have been to the struggling teachers and students at Huntsville! How pleased the Lord would have been to see the needed facilities thus provided for! 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 3

I refer to the neglect manifested by the Graysville church, simply to illustrate the spirit that has characterized other churches in the South and elsewhere. Those in charge of the work at Huntsville also failed of fulfilling their whole duty. They should have put forth every effort possible to place their needs before our people in the South. Earnest letters appealing to the generosity of Seventh-day Adventists throughout the South should have been written and sent out freely. Hearts would have been touched by such appeals. 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 4

As the Saviour was teaching during His earthly ministry, “a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The Saviour entered into no controversy. He required the answer from the questioner himself. “What is written in the law?” He asked, “how readest thou?” [Luke 10:25, 26.] 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 5

The lawyer said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” “Thou hast answered right,” Christ said; “this do, and thou shalt live.” [Verses 27, 28.] 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 6

Unwilling to acknowledge the truth, the lawyer put another question, saying, “Who is my neighbor?” [Verse 29.] 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 7

Instead of entering into controversy, Christ answered this question by relating the parable of the good Samaritan. “A certain man,” He said, “went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.” [Verse 30.] 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 8

A priest and a Levite, coming that way at intervals, “passed by on the other side.” But a Samaritan, traveling the same road, came to the wounded man, and “when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” [Verses 31-35.] 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 9

The lawyer was convinced. When Christ asked him, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?” he answered, “He that showed mercy on him.” [Verses 36, 37.] 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 10

“Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” [Verse 37.] 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 11

My dear brethren and sisters in the Southern field, let us learn anew the lesson taught by this parable. We are sometimes content to allow a brother or a neighbor struggle unaided under adverse circumstances. The same heartless neglect is sometimes manifested toward institutions. The attitude of some toward the Huntsville school, so destitute of many necessities, has not been the attitude that we should reveal toward a neighbor in distressing need. 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 12

Had our people in the Southern states taken the interest in the Huntsville school that God would have been pleased to see them take, this institution would now be on high vantage ground. Tried men should have gone from church to church in the Southern field, setting before our people the needs of this school. I have been burdened so heavily over this matter, that I have felt that if my strength would be sufficient to enable me to travel from place to place in the South, and arouse our people to fulfil their duty toward this school, I would then be willing to die. From the light given me, I know that God is in earnest with us regarding our neglect of duty toward this institution. 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 13

Let us now redeem the time. The Lord has been calling upon His people in the stronger Conferences of the North to sustain the Huntsville school by liberal gifts. We pray that He will put it into their hearts to respond nobly. Shall not His people in the South act their part faithfully, by taking a neighborly, substantial interest in the welfare of an institution planted in their own field? The Lord will bless every unselfish effort put forth. 19LtMs, Ms 100, 1904, par. 14