The Review and Herald

1733/1902

January 11, 1912

The Aim of Our Schools

EGW

[At the recent council of Union Secretaries held at College View, Nebr., the first hour each morning was devoted to the study of the Testimonies, and to prayer. The following article from Sister E. G. White was so helpful and so very important that it is printed here in full. This was written in May, 1908, and addressed to “the teachers in council.”] RH January 11, 1912, par. 1

H. R. S.

We are rapidly nearing the final crisis in this world's history, and it is important that we understand that the educational advantages offered by our schools are not to be such as are offered by the schools of the world. Neither are we to follow the routine of worldly schools. The instruction given in Seventh-day Adventist schools is to be such as to lead to the practise of true humility. In speech, in dress, in diet, and in the influence exerted, is to be seen the simplicity of true godliness. RH January 11, 1912, par. 2

Our teachers need to understand the work that is to be done in these last days. The education given, in our schools, in our churches, in our sanitariums, should present clearly the great work to be accomplished. The need of weeding from the life every worldly practise that is opposed to the teachings of the Word of God, and of supplying their place with deeds that bear the mark of the divine nature, should be made clear to the students of all grades. Our work of education is ever to bear the impress of the heavenly, and thus reveal the excellency of divine instruction above that of the learning of the world. RH January 11, 1912, par. 3

To some this work of entire transformation may seem impossible. But if this were so, why go to the expense of attempting to carry on a work of Christian education at all? Our knowledge of what true education means is to lead us ever to seek for strict purity of character. In all our association together we are to bear in mind that we are fitting for transfer to another world; the principles of heaven are to be learned; the superiority of the future life to this, impressed upon the mind of every learner. Teachers who fail to bring this into their work of education, fail of having a part in the great work of developing character that can meet the approval of God. RH January 11, 1912, par. 4

The last work of the prophet Elijah was to visit all the schools of the prophets in Israel, and to give the students divine instruction. This he did, and then ascended to the heavenly courts in a chariot of fire. As the world in this age comes more and more under the influence of Satan, the true children of God will desire more and more to be taught of him. Teachers should be employed who will give a heavenly mold to the characters of the youth. Under the influence of such teachers, foolish and unessential practises will be exchanged for habits and practises befitting the sons and daughters of God. RH January 11, 1912, par. 5

As wickedness in the world becomes more pronounced, and the teachings of evil are more fully developed and widely accepted, the teachings of Christ are to stand forth exemplified in the lives of converted men and women. Angels are waiting to cooperate in every department of the work. This has been presented to me again and again. At this time, the people of God, the truly converted men and women, under the training of faithful teachers, are to be learning the lessons that the God of heaven values. RH January 11, 1912, par. 6

The most important work for our educational institutions to do at this time is to set before the world an example that will honor God. Holy angels through human agencies are to supervise the work and every department is to bear the mark of divine excellence. Let the Word of God be made the chief book of study, that the students may learn to live by every word that Christ has given. RH January 11, 1912, par. 7

All our health institutions, all our publishing houses, and all our institutions of learning are to be conducted more and more like the divine model that has been given. When Christ is recognized as the head of all our working forces, more and more thoroughly will our institutions be cleansed from every common, worldly practise. The show and the pretense and many of the exhibitions that in the past have had a place in our schools will find no place there when teachers and students seek to carry out God's will on earth as it is done in heaven. Christ, as the chief working agency, will mold and fashion characters after the divine order; and teachers and students, realizing that they are preparing for the higher school in the courts of God, will put away many things that are now thought to be necessary, and will magnify and follow the methods of Christ. RH January 11, 1912, par. 8

Into all to which the Christian sets his hand should be woven the thought of the life eternal. If the work performed is agricultural or mechanical in its nature, it may still be after the pattern of the heavenly. It is the privilege of the preceptors and teachers of our schools to reveal in all their works the leading of the Spirit of God. Through the grace of Christ every provision has been made for the perfecting of Christlike characters, and God is honored when his people in all their social and business dealings reveal the principles of heaven. RH January 11, 1912, par. 9

The Lord gave an important lesson to his people in all ages when to Moses on the mount he gave instruction regarding the building of the tabernacle. In that work he required perfection in every detail. Moses was proficient in all the learning of the Egyptians; he had a knowledge of God, and God's purposes had been revealed to him in visions; but he did not know how to engrave and embroider. RH January 11, 1912, par. 10

Israel had been held all their days in the bondage of Egypt, and although there were ingenious men among them, they had not been instructed in the curious arts which were called for in the building of the tabernacle. They knew how to make bricks, but they did not understand how to work in gold and silver. How was the work to be done? Who was sufficient for these things? These were questions that troubled the mind of Moses. RH January 11, 1912, par. 11

Then God himself explained how the work was to be accomplished. He signified by name the persons he desired to do a certain work. Bezaleel was to be the architect. This man belonged to the tribe of Judah,—a tribe that God delighted to honor. RH January 11, 1912, par. 12

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. RH January 11, 1912, par. 13

“And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise-hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee. The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy-seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle, and the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot, and the cloths of service, and the holy garments of Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office, and the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do.” RH January 11, 1912, par. 14

The Lord demands uprightness in the smallest as well as the largest matters. Those who are accepted at last as members of the heavenly court will be men and women who here on earth have sought to carry out the Lord's will in every particular, who have sought to put the impress of heaven upon their earthly labors. In order that the earthly tabernacle might represent the heavenly, it must be perfect in all its parts, and it must be, in the smallest detail, like the pattern in the heavens. So it is with the characters of those who are finally accepted in the sight of Heaven. RH January 11, 1912, par. 15

The Son of God came down to earth that in him men and women might have a representation of the perfect characters which alone God could accept. Through the grace of Christ every provision has been made for the salvation of the human family. It is possible for every transaction entered into by those who claim to be Christians to be as pure as were the deeds of Christ. And the soul who accepts the virtues of Christ's character, and appropriates the merits of his life, is as precious in the sight of God as was his own beloved Son. Sincere and uncorrupted faith are to him as gold and frankincense and myrrh, and gifts of the wise men to the Child of Bethlehem, and the evidence of their faith in him as the promised Messiah. RH January 11, 1912, par. 16

Ellen G. White.