Fundamentals of Christian Education


Chapter 72—Counsel to Teachers

[Mrs. E. G. White and her party on their way to the General Conference, spent five days in College View. Friday morning she spoke to five hundred students in the college chapel, and Sabbath and sunday she spoke to large congregations in the church. Monday morning, by request, she met with the college faculty. The following is a portion of her address to the thirty teachers assembled.—W. C. White.]

I will read 2 corinthians, the sixth chapter: FE 533.1

“We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offense in anything, that the ministry be not blamed; but in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.... FE 533.2

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” FE 533.3

You should study also the seventh chapter, but I will not take time to read it now. FE 534.1

There is constant danger among our people that those who engage in labor in our schools and sanitariums will entertain the idea that they must get in line with the world, study the things which the world studies, and become familiar with the things that the world becomes familiar with. This is one of the greatest mistakes that could be made. We shall make grave mistakes unless we give special attention to the searching of the word. FE 534.2

The question is asked, What is the higher education? There is no education higher than that contained in the principles laid down in the words I have read to you from this sixth chapter of Second Corinthians. Let our students study diligently to comprehend this. There is no higher education to be gained than that which was given to the early disciples, and which is given to us through the word. May the Holy Spirit of God impress your minds with the conviction that there is nothing in all the world in the line of education that is so exalted as the instruction contained in the sixth and seventh chapters of Second Corinthians. Let us advance in our work just as far as the word of God will lead us. Let us work intelligently for this higher education. Let our righteousness be the sign of our understanding of the will of God committed to us through His messengers. FE 534.3

It is the privilege of every believer to take the life of Christ and the teachings of Christ as his daily study. Christian education means the acceptance, in sentiment and principle, of the teachings of the Saviour. It includes a daily conscientious walking in the footsteps of Christ, who consented to lay off His royal robe and crown and to come to our world in the form of humanity, that He might give to the human race a power that they could gain by no other means. What was that power? It was the power resulting from the human nature uniting with the divine, the power to take the teachings of Christ and follow them to the letter. In His resistance of evil and His labor for others Christ was giving to men an example of the highest education that it is possible for any one to attain. FE 534.4

The Son of God was rejected by those whom He came to bless. He was taken by wicked hands and crucified. But after He had risen from the dead, He was with His disciples forty days, and in this time He gave them much precious instruction. He laid down to His followers the principles underlying the higher education. And when He was about to leave them and go to His Father, His last words to them were, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” FE 535.1

To many who place their children in our schools, strong temptations will come, because they desire them to secure what the world regards as the most essential education. Who knows what constitutes the most essential education, unless it is the education to be obtained from that Book which is the foundation of all true knowledge? Those who regard as essential the knowledge to be gained along the line of worldly education are making a great mistake, one which will cause them to be swayed by individual opinions that are human and erring. To those who feel that their children must have what the world calls the essential education, I would say, Bring your children to the simplicity of the word of God, and they will be safe. We are going to be greatly scattered before long, and what we do must be done quickly. FE 535.2

The light has been given me that tremendous pressures will be brought upon every Seventh-day Adventist with whom the world can get into close connection. Those who seek the education that the world esteems so highly, are gradually led further and further from the principles of truth until they become educated worldlings. At what a price have they gained their education! They have parted with the Holy Spirit of God. They have chosen to accept what the world calls knowledge in the place of the truths which God has committed to men through His ministers and prophets and apostles. And there are some who, having secured this worldly education, think that they can introduce it into our schools. But let me tell you that you must not take what the world calls the higher education and bring it into our schools and sanitariums and churches. We need to understand these things. I speak to you definitely. This must not be done. FE 535.3

Upon the mind of every student should be impressed the thought that education is a failure unless the understanding has learned to grasp the truths of divine revelation, and unless the heart accepts the teachings of the gospel of Christ. The student who, in the place of the broad principles of the word of God, will accept common ideas, and will allow the time and attention to be absorbed in commonplace, trivial matters, will find his mind becoming dwarfed and enfeebled. He has lost the power of growth. The mind must be trained to comprehend the important truths that concern eternal life. FE 536.1

I am instructed that we are to carry the minds of our students higher than it is now thought to be possible. Heart and mind are to be trained to preserve their purity by receiving daily supplies from the fountain of eternal truth. The divine Mind and Hand has preserved through the ages the record of creation in its purity. It is the word of God alone that gives to us an authentic account of the creation of our world. This word is to be the chief study in our schools. In it we may hold converse with patriarchs and prophets. In it we may learn what our redemption has cost Him who was equal with the Father from the beginning, and who sacrificed His life that a people might stand before Him redeemed from everything earthly and commonplace, renewed in the image of God. FE 536.2

If we are to learn of Christ, we must pray as the apostles prayed when the Holy Spirit was poured upon them. We need a baptism of the Spirit of God. We are not safe for one hour while we are failing to render obedience to the word of God. FE 537.1

I do not say that there should be no study of the languages. The languages should be studied. Before long there will be a positive necessity for many to leave their homes and go to work among those of other languages; and those who have some knowledge of foreign languages will thereby be able to communicate with those who know not the truth. Some of our people will learn the languages in the countries to which they are sent. This is the better way. And there is One who will stand right by the side of the faithful worker to open the understanding and to give wisdom. The Lord can make their work fruitful where men do not know the foreign language. As they go among the people, and present the publications, the Lord will work upon minds, imparting an understanding of the truth. Some who take up the work in foreign fields can teach the word through an interpreter. As the result of faithful effort there will be a harvest gathered, the value of which we do not now understand. FE 537.2

There is another line of work to be carried forward, the work in the large cities. There should be companies of earnest laborers working in the cities. Men should study what needs to be done in the places that have been neglected. The Lord has been calling our attention to the neglected multitudes in the large cities, yet little regard has been given to the matter. FE 537.3

We are not willing enough to trouble the Lord with our petitions, and to ask Him for the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Lord wants us to trouble Him in this matter. He wants us to press our petitions to the throne. The converting power of God needs to be felt throughout our ranks. The most valuable education that can be obtained will be found in going out with the message of truth to the places that are now in darkness. We should go out just as the first disciples went out in obedience to the commission of Christ. The Saviour gave the disciples their directions. In a few words He told them what they might expect to meet. “I send you forth,” He said, “as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” These workers were to go forth as the representatives of Him who gave His life for the life of the world. FE 537.4

The Lord wants us to come into harmony with Him. If we will do this, His Spirit can rule our minds. If we have a true understanding of what constitutes the essential education, and endeavor to teach its principles, Christ will help us. He promised His followers that when they should stand before councils and judges, they were to take no thought what they should speak. I will instruct you, He said. I will guide you. Knowing what it is to be taught of God, when words of heavenly wisdom are brought to our mind, we shall distinguish them from our own thoughts. We shall understand them as the words of God, and we shall see in the words of God wisdom and life and power.... FE 538.1

We are to educate the youth to exercise equally the mental and the physical powers. The healthful exercise of the whole being will give an education that is broad and comprehensive. We had stern work to do in Australia in educating parents and youth along these lines; but we persevered in our efforts until the lesson was learned that in order to have an education that was complete, the time of study must be divided between the gaining of book-knowledge and the securing of a knowledge of practical work. Part of each day was spent in useful work, the students learning how to clear the land, how to cultivate the soil, and how to build houses, using time that would otherwise have been spent in playing games and seeking amusement. And the Lord blessed the students who thus devoted their time to acquiring habits of usefulness. FE 538.2

Instruct the students not to regard as most essential the theoretical part of their education. Let it be more and more deeply impressed upon every student that we should have an intelligent understanding of how to treat the physical system. And there are many who would have greater intelligence in these matters if they would not confine themselves to years of study without a practical experience. The more fully we put ourselves under the direction of God, the greater knowledge we shall receive from God. Let us say to our students: Keep yourselves in connection with the Source of all power. Ye are laborers together with God. He is to be our chief instructor.—The Review and Herald, November 11, 1909. FE 539.1