Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 46, 1893

Prescott, W. W.

Hastings, New Zealand

September 5, 1893

Portions of this letter are published in 1SM 132-133; 2MR 60; 8MR 392-393.

Prof. W. W. Prescott
Battle Creek, Michigan

Dear Brother,

Sister Caro has introduced a subject to me which pains my heart. She opened before me the subject which has been occupying her mind, that is that her sons go to Ann Arbor to prosecute better their studies. And it is supposed that other New Zealand young men will go also. I think the eldest son has decided to go by advice of Dr. Kellogg. It is thought best that the youngest should be with his brother who will be a balance wheel to him. This may be all right. But there have been things which have transpired in connection with the youngest that reveals indiscretion in the management of one of the teachers. Would it not be well when a teacher makes a mistake that that mistake be corrected, just as verily as a mistake is corrected in the student. 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 1

Some things have been urged upon my mind with great force of late, and I feel constrained by the Spirit of God to write in reference to them. Has the Lord graciously opened to you the windows of heaven and poured you out a blessing? O! Then, that was the very time to educate the teachers and students how to retain the precious favor of God by working in accordance with increased light, and send its precious rays to others. Has heaven’s light been given? And for what purpose has it been given? That the light should shine forth in practical works of righteousness. When those so abundantly blessed shall be seen with deeper and more fervent piety having a sense that they have been bought with the precious blood of the Lamb of God, and are clothed with the garments of His salvation, will they not represent Christ? 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 2

Has not the playing of games, and rewards, and the using of the boxing glove been educating and training after Satan’s direction to lead to the possession of his attributes? What if they could see Jesus, the man of Calvary, looking upon them, in sorrow, as was represented to me. Things are certainly receiving a wrong mold, and are counteracting the work of the divine power which has been graciously bestowed. The work of every true Christian is to represent Christ, to reflect light, to elevate the standard of morals, and by words and influence, consecrated to God, to compel the careless and reckless to think of God and eternity. The world would gladly drop eternity out of their reckoning, but they cannot succeed so long as there are those who represent Christ in their practical life. 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 3

Every believer forms a link in the golden chain connecting the soul to Jesus Christ, and is the channel of communication of that light to those who are in darkness. Let one lose his connection with Christ and Satan seizes the opportunity to lead him to dishonor Christ by words, by spirit, by action, and thus Christ’s character is misinterpreted. I ask you, my brother, if the religion of Jesus Christ is not by the excess of the amusements misunderstood. When the Lord gave to Battle Creek the riches of His grace, were there those in responsibility who could have directed these souls as to how to improve upon the endowment given, in doing good, useful work that would give a change from their studies, other than the excitement and emotions caused by their games? This kind of pastime is not improving mind, or spirit, or manners for the preparation for the scenes of trial that they must soon enter. The superficial piety that passes for religion will be consumed when tried in the furnace. 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 4

The Lord would have the teachers consider the contagion of their own example. They need to pray much more and consider that the convictions which flow out from a well-ordered life and a godly conversation, from a living, decided Christianity are the preparation of the garden of the heart for the seeds of truth to be planted for a fruitful harvest, and for the Sun of Righteousness when He comes with healing in His beams. Let your righteousness so shine before men, “that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16.] “Ye are,” said Christ to His disciples, “the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” [Verse 13.] 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 5

The church illuminates the world, not by their profession of godliness, but by their manifestation of the transforming, sanctifying power of the truth on life and character. Full of activity, all the young, fresh, youthful hopes, affections, under the discipline of divine intelligences so order their intercourse with their fellow-students and with the world, as to secure for themselves a constant intercourse with God, that bears with them a calm and hallowed peace which leaves its influence in blessing wherever they go. 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 6

The time is altogether too full of tokens of the coming conflict to be educating the youth in fun and games. It pains my heart to read letters where these exercises are spoken about, and where they write such expressions as “O, we had so much fun,” and such expressions. I do not wish to be understood that I refer to the Caro, young men. I have read most sensible letters from Ned Caro that gave me pleasure. But the question is asked me if I would please to explain to them the advantages of the schools in America above the schools in Australia and New Zealand. I tell you with the light I am receiving it is not altogether a pleasant task. I could only go back to the establishment of the school, and explain why the Lord directed that a school should be established under the control of those who believe the truth revealed in the Word of God. I then related that your connection with the school was in God’s order, then the results in the converting power of God, and I have gathered up the items which I knew were signs of the approval of God. 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 7

Before Pomare, the Maori, went to the school (and he had to be sent at others’ expense) he was brought into relation with Mr. Everson and wife, who had once kept the Sabbath but given it up, but he advocated the truth, and several Maoris have had their attention called to the truth, and two have been baptized. These Maoris make very much of their pleasure exercises, games at football and the like, but Pomare seeking the Lord, had experiences such as God gives. He related to Sister Caro his experience, which was decided and firm. He said he had to give up his games of football or he could not rest in the peace of God, and could not feel that he could glorify God in that exercise. Now said, Sister Caro, “when he goes to Battle Creek and finds them engaged in all these sports, I am afraid of the influence upon him. He will become acquainted with some who are engaged in these games.” 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 8

“Well, well,” said she, “things are rather mixed up. I must give Pomare to the Lord, but I can but fear that the enemy will come in to make the truth now to him so solemn, so sacred, through the influence of others who have not had so deep an experience under trying circumstances, to be brought down upon a level with common things.” Sister Caro has at her own expense sent several of the New Zealand boys and is hiring money to support them there. You can understand how she is exercised. She says, “My boys write to me inquiring if it is not best to go to Ann Arbor and obtain their education, hire a room and be by themselves, etc.” 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 9

Now you know what this must mean. Through association many doors of temptation are open to learn false theories, and at this time I regard the dangers in a more serious light then I have heretofore. I write you these things, that you may see and understand for yourself the situation. I think these boys will go to Ann Arbor and I am certainly feeling that the purpose of God in establishing a college for the benefit of S.D.A. children to avoid the influence of the world and the teaching of doctrines and commandments of men, is being misunderstood by certain ones through practices which are not helping forward in spiritual lines but retarding and confusing the minds that many will not be able to comprehend where the advantage of schools among us as a people, are above schools where there is, they flatter themselves, more educational ability, than in the schools conducted by Seventh-day Adventists. 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 10

I have to tell the matter in my simple style, I want you to know this, Brother Prescott. Again much complaint is made in reference to the diet question. I had written, I think, something in regard to this matter, and have had an article waiting to be copied some time, all of four months, but every month brought so great a pressure of matter I did not present it to my copyist, but next mail it shall be sent. 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 11

I know not who is cook at the [Battle Creek] boarding hall, but I beseech you, do not place any persons to oversee the cooking of food for the college students unless they have a thorough knowledge of the right kind of cooking, that the students shall take away with them the very best intelligence of what hygienic cooking means. The much liquid food, the pastries, the desserts prepared for the table after European hotel fashion, is not the proper food to place before a hungry lot of students, whose appetites are keen to devour the most substantial food. 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 12

The very best thorough cook should be employed. If it were to your own family I was speaking, I would say the same. But it is not merely your own family, it is in behalf of God’s heritage of children I am speaking. No one person’s ideas or tastes or customs or habits are to control the boarding house table, but obtain the very best cook, and have helps that she as matron in the kitchen shall oversee. The students pay for their board; give them good solid nourishing food. 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 13

God give you, my dear brother, heavenly wisdom, but for Christ’s sake do not introduce practices of the Gentiles in worldly fashionable habits into the school as though this were the education so essential for them to have. It is not. I know whereof I speak. Now you have some of my reasons why I felt pained in regard to additions being made to the school building, and to the other buildings in Battle Creek. 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 14

There are reasons I have sent years ago to Dr. Kellogg in reference to this matter, and I will, if I can find it, send it by next month’s steamer. I send you the copy of a letter which I have written to the Caro boys. I will say, there are more Maoris who are converted, and who have property, but their guardians refuse to let them have even enough to take them to America. I have been solicited by the young men, companion of Pomare, to let him have money to take him to America. I have used up all I have, and I have promised to help him to the school in Melbourne, and will have to hire money to do this. I must now stop. Give my love to my friends, especially Sister Prescott. 8LtMs, Lt 46, 1893, par. 15