Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 9, 1894

Regarding the School

George’s Terrace, Melbourne, Australia

February 10, 1894

This manuscript is published in entirety in SpTEd 164-170.

I am constantly burdened in regard to the work that should be done for the youth, for how can they become missionaries for Christ unless a different kind of education be given them? The so-called higher education of the present day is a misnamed deception. Higher education is that which places the Bible as the very foundation of all education. In educating the youth there is need of that wisdom which comes only from God. 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 1

It is a mistake to put into the hands of the youth books which puzzle and confuse them, a study of which cannot fail to mix things in their minds. The reason given for this study is that the teacher has passed over the same ground, and the student must follow. But if teachers were receiving light and wisdom from the Divine Teacher, they would look at these things in a very different way. They would measure the relative importance of the things to be learnt in school; the common, essential branches of education would be more thoroughly taught, and the Word of God would be honored and esteemed as the Bread sent down from heaven, which sustains all spiritual life, binding the human agent with Christ in God. 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 2

“Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood,” said Christ, “hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me, and I in him.” “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” [John 6:54-56, 63.] 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 3

If the teachers in our schools would search the Scriptures for the purpose of understanding them for their individual selves, opening their hearts to the precious rays of light God has given in His Word, if they would walk in the light God has given, they would be taught of God. They would practice the truth, and would labor in entirely different lines, bringing in less of the theories and sentiments of men who have never had a connection with God. They would honor finite wisdom far less, and would feel a deep soul hunger for that wisdom which cometh from God. 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 4

All the treasures of heaven were committed to Jesus Christ, that He might give these precious gifts to the diligent, persevering seeker. He is of God made unto us “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” [1 Corinthians 1:30.] But even the prayers of many are so formal that they carry with them no influence for good; they are not a savor of life unto themselves or anybody else. 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 5

If teachers would humble their hearts before God and realize the responsibilities they have accepted in taking charge of the youth with the object of educating them for the future immortal life, a marked change would soon be seen in their attitude. Their prayers would not be dry and lifeless, but they would pray with the earnestness of souls who feel their own peril. Daily learning of Jesus, taking the Word of God as their own individual lesson book, having a living sense that it is the voice of God, the atmosphere surrounding their souls would change materially. The temptation to be first would be quenched in the lessons daily learnt in the school of Christ. They would not lean so confidently to their own understanding. 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 6

The youth who are instructed by those teachers who are not learning in the school of Christ will seldom rise higher than their teachers. If they should try to rise, they would be repressed and taught to keep their place as subordinates to the will and word of their teachers. Such teachers are accountable to God for the good that they might have done in impressing the minds of their students, but which they did not do because they wished to show themselves wise in clinging to old habits and customs. It is stated in the Old Testament of one, “He hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel;” “therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.” [Jeremiah 48:11.] Christ saw that the only hope for the Jews was for them to be decidedly changed, but they would not receive the light and let the Holy Spirit of God mold and fashion them into a vessel unto honor, and the character they possessed wrought their own ruin. 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 7

The teachers in our schools are today in danger of following in the same track as did the Jews in Christ’s day. Whatever may be their position, however they may pride themselves upon their ability to teach, unless these teachers open the chambers of their soul-temple to receive the bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness, they are written in the books of heaven as unbelievers. By their precept and example they intercept the rays of light that would come to the students. Their danger is in being self-centered and too wise to be instructed. Thus it was with the Jews. 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 8

We are in a world full of corruption, and if we do not receive the living Christ into our hearts, believing and doing His words, we shall be left as blind as were the Jews. All teachers need to grasp every ray of heavenly light shed upon their pathway, for as instructors they need light. Some say, “Yes; I think I am anxious for this;” but they deceive themselves. Where do you get your light? From what fountain have you been drinking? I have the word of the Lord that not a few of the teachers in our schools have left the snow waters of Lebanon for the turbid streams of the valley. God alone can guide us safely in paths which lead to the better country, even a heavenly. But the teachers who are not earnestly and intelligently seeking that better country are leading those under their influence to be careless and to neglect the great salvation bought for them at an infinite price. 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 9

A close connection with God must be maintained by all our teachers. If God should send His Holy Spirit into our schools to mold and fashion the hearts, elevate the intellect, and give divine wisdom to the students, there are those who, in their present state, would interpose themselves between God and those who need the light. They would not understand the work of the Holy Spirit; they have never understood it; in the past it has been to them as great a mystery as were Christ’s lessons to the Jews. The working of the Holy Spirit of God is not to create curiosity; it is not for men to decide whether they shall lay their hands upon the manifestations of the Spirit of God. We must let God work. 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 10

When teachers are willing to sit in the school of Christ and learn of the Great Teacher, they will know far less in their own estimation than they do now. When God becomes the teacher, He will be acknowledged, His name will be magnified; the students will be as were the young men in the schools of the prophets, who caught the Spirit of God and prophesied. But the great adversary of souls is seeking to bring a dead, lifeless, spiritual atmosphere into all our institutions. He works to turn and twist every circumstance to his own advantage, to the exclusion of Jesus Christ. Today, as in the days of Christ, God cannot do many mighty works because of the unbelief of those who stand in responsible positions. The converting power of God is needed before they will understand the Word of God, and before they will be willing to humble themselves before God as learners. 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 11

Prophecy tells us that we are near the close of time. Intellectual power, natural abilities, supposed excellent judgment, will not prepare the youth to become missionaries for God. No one who is seeking an education for the work and service of God will be made more complete in Jesus Christ by receiving the supposed finishing touch at Ann Arbor, either in literary or medical lines. Many have been unfitted to do missionary work by attending such schools. They have dishonored God by leaving Him on one side and accepting man as their helper. “Them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” [1 Samuel 2:30.] 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 12

The burden of the dishonor given to God all through our religious experience presses upon my mind very heavily. His word should be received as the foundation and the finisher of our faith. It is to be received with the understanding and the whole heart; it is life, and is to be incorporated into our very existence. Thus received, the Word of God will humble man at the footstool of mercy and separate him from every corrupting influence. 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 13

“In the year that King Uzziah died,” says Isaiah, “I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.” [Isaiah 6:1-4.] 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 14

Beholding this grand and glorious representation, the prophet discerned his own imperfections and those of the people with whom he dwelt. “Woe is me,” he said, “for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” [Verse 5.] O, how many who are engaged in this work of responsibility need to behold God as did Isaiah, for in the presence of His glory and majesty, self will sink into nothingness. 9LtMs, Ms 9, 1894, par. 15