Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 22, 1886

Healdsburg College



This manuscript is published in entirety in 1MR 317-322.

The Healdsburg College:

Deeming it no longer safe to entrust our youth with infidels or with irreligious teachers, or even with teachers who would poison their minds with doctrinal errors, we have erected our present commodious home and college in Healdsburg. We saw the necessity of religious training being interwoven with their education, also of their knowing something of the different trades and branches of business. In order for them to develop symmetrical characters, they need not only the advantages of a thorough intellectual training, but of a training of the physical powers. Then their mental capabilities will develop proportionately. It is painful to see how many one-sided, half-developed characters there are in our world. Our churches today show that these defects have been brought into the religious life to the great detriment of the church. There is a great work to be done for our youth. Our college must not do any haphazard work. The taste of those who attend it must be refined, their imagination pure and correct, and all their aspirations ennobled and purified through the copy that is constantly kept before them, Jesus Christ. If they learn to come into subjection to His sway, and are controlled by pure, elevating motives, they may go forth fitted for any position of responsibility or trust. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1886, par. 1

Young men have a work to do in this life which they will be unable to perform unless they form correct habits. Every soul that has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ has a destiny to fulfil. No one liveth to himself. All exert an influence for good or for evil. The injunction of the apostle is, “Young men, be sober minded.” [Titus 2:6.] How can they be otherwise when they consider that they are to be co-workers with Christ and partakers with Him of His self-denial, His self-sacrifice, His forbearance, and gracious benevolence. Says the apostle, “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” [1 John 2:14.] You are God’s agents to work for the upbuilding, the advancement of His cause, therefore you should put away all levity, jesting, and joking which is not convenient. Put away your spend-thrift habits, and learn habits of economy. Be not seeking after amusements, live not for your own selfish gratification, be sober minded. In your God-given manhood, rise above every enslaving, debasing habit and practice, and encourage a due appreciation of your high calling. Ponder well the paths your feet are treading. Search your Bibles carefully and prayerfully. Study the waymarks, and inquire diligently whether your feet are in the path leading heavenward or in the path leading to perdition. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1886, par. 2

You need to learn more of God and of heaven. How important that you start right, that you begin active life aright. A little diverging from the path of right at starting will lead you further and further away from the path of safety and happiness. One step taken carelessly will place you upon the enemy’s ground and oppress and benumb the intellectual and moral energies. We are living in an age of infidelity and disloyalty to God. Bad dispositions, hereditary tendencies, are opposed to the gospel of Christ. All the miserable traits of character, all the depravity and overflowing profligacy which prevail in our world, are because the law of God is not made the standard of character. Satan is working with pleasing fables upon the minds of professed Christians to make of none effect the law of God which is the detector of sin. God wants faithful men to press firmly against the wiles of Satan and urge the truth against destructive errors and delusions. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1886, par. 3

Our college is far-reaching in its principles. It has for its one great object the education and training of young men and women for usefulness in this life and the service of God. If these youth have an eye single to God’s glory, they will seek to fit themselves for His special service. The love of Christ will have a controlling influence upon their every day life. This object imparts an energy more than finite, and qualifies for achievements that are divine. Their works will show some proportion of the strength of their motives. The salvation of men for whom Christ has paid an infinite price will be their grand aim. All other considerations—home, family, social enjoyment—are secondary to this. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1886, par. 4

The worker for God must reach for man where they are, immersed in darkness, sunken in vice, and stained with corruption. Thus it was that Christ showed His love for fallen man. He came from a heaven of bliss, where He was appreciated, loved, and honored, to our world to meet man in his fallen condition. His work was to reform men and fit them for a pure and holy heaven. He stopped at no sacrifice; He hesitated not at any self-denial. He for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. Jesus had a great deal of rough work to do among a rough, uncultured, depraved class. He reached for men where they were, and adapted His process of working to the material He had to work upon. The workers for God must work as Christ worked. They must take in and understand the conditions of the beings for whom they work, in order to gain the victory. Whoever would be an effective co-worker with God in the vineyard of God must expect no better portion and treatment than had the world’s Redeemer. They must expect to bring their ministry to the understanding of the men for whom they labor. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1886, par. 5

Those will attend the college who have no settled principles, no fixed purpose. They have no sense of God’s claims upon them. Unless they can be inspired with courage, lofty aims, and a burning desire to improve their talents, to increase their knowledge, that they may increase their usefulness, they would be better tilling the soil at home. Those who have a purpose to labor for the salvation of souls must not have moral cowardice, but pure elevated motives. The hours of these will be hallowed, their opportunities appreciated. They will drink in knowledge. They will be representatives of industry, sobriety, punctuality. They will ever advocate order and discipline. They will be caretakers. There will be nothing loose or lax, but they will have sturdy, persevering resolutions and earnest fidelity. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1886, par. 6

God would have His workers aim at perfection and strive earnestly for it. As they go out they will meet worldly men. Some are coarse and rough, others are intelligent and having the worldly polish. These all must have the mold of Christ’s character. The people have a right to expect that the one who presents himself as a teacher of Bible truths shall be refined in manners. They will pass severe judgment upon the man who claims to be a teacher, and is not refined and courteous. He should be able to command the respect of all. Young men should go forth from the college qualified for this work by diligent study and faithful training. All bad ways and coarse ways should be avoided, and a strict guard should be placed over the mind and manners lest they fall into erroneous ways of speaking and acting. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1886, par. 7

The teachers in our schools should labor strenuously to have their own voices and manners as nearly right as possible. But little is gained in devoting all the time to the study of books while the manners and the voice are neglected. They should impress upon the students under their charge the importance of self-culture, and then the student should take himself in hand to practice the lessons taught, that he may overcome incorrect habits of utterance. If these wrong habits are carried through their college education, they will have become fixed and very difficult to overcome. Intelligent youth often thus hinder their own success by retaining faults which earnest, painstaking efforts would overcome. If they would take themselves resolutely in hand, they would succeed in changing their habits and their manners at once and forever. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1886, par. 8

There is great pathos and music in the human voice; and if the learner will make determined efforts, he will acquire habits of talking and singing that will be to him a power to win souls to Christ. God wants the offerings of yourself to be perfect through Christ. The teachers in our schools should not tolerate in the students ungainly attitudes and uncouth gestures, wrong intonations in reading, or incorrect accents or emphasis. Perfection of speech and voice should be urged upon every student. Because of carelessness and bad training, habits are often contracted which are great hindrances in the work of a minister who has otherwise educated talent. The student must be impressed that he has it in his power, by combining divine grace with effort, to make himself a man. The mental and physical capabilities with which God has adorned him may by cultivation and painstaking effort become a power to benefit his fellow men. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1886, par. 9

All connected with our college as teachers and workers should be God-fearing men and women, hating sin, despising every temptation that will lead to pollution. They should stand firm as a rock to duty, feeling that they have a responsible work for the performance of which they must render an account to God. Every teacher in our college should feel a deep interest that the youth should receive such a training and discipline that they may go forth from the college with higher, holier motives and firmer principles than when they entered the school. They should not only become efficient in the sciences, but the intellect should expand and strengthen and develop, and they should grow in grace and knowledge of the truth. While cultivating the mind, they should cultivate that uprightness of heart, that stern integrity that Joseph possessed. Then they will scorn to yield to temptation that will sully their purity. Like Daniel, they will resolve to be true to principle and to make the very best use of the intellect with which God has endowed them. Pure, genuine religion never deadens the intellect, but it awakens the highest, noblest thoughts, and strengthens the intellect to exercise its powers to the utmost limit. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1886, par. 10

It is impossible for teacher or student to be connected with the God of wisdom without his intellect becoming developed and strengthened through the grace of Christ. He may then become a man of power to lead other souls to divine truth. The greatest work of the teacher is to lead those under his charge to be intellectual Christians. Then the mental and moral powers will develop harmoniously, and they will be fit for any position of trust. Divine grace will give clearness and force to the understanding. To faith will be added a virtuous character, and they will be a bright light in the world. They present the power of Christianity in the well-ordered life and godly conversation. They will despise cheap, foolish jesting and joking. They will adorn the doctrine of Christ. The principles of truth are inwrought in their lives, and bright beams of light will shine forth from them to the world in good works. Their righteousness goes before them as in the case of Daniel, and the glory of the Lord is their rereward. The Lord has said, “They that honor Me will I honor.” [1 Samuel 2:30.] God’s Word will be fulfilled; not a jot or tittle of it will fail. Many who will stand before the throne of God wearing the white linen which is the righteousness of the saints will be the sheaves that faithful example and earnest effort have brought to the Master. 4LtMs, Ms 22, 1886, par. 11