Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 85a, 1899

Editors of The Christian Educator, The Youth’s Instructor, and other periodicals

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 14, 1899

See Lt 85, 1899. Previously unpublished. +Note

To the editors of The Christian Educator, The Youth’s Instructor, and our other periodicals: 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 1

The editors of The Christian Educator should consider the subjects they are placing before the people. I look at The Training School Advocate with more peace of mind than I can possibly have when I see in The Christian Educator the pictures of the men you are presenting before such large numbers of people. The presentation of these supposedly learned men in the Instructor and the Educator does not reflect glory to God. If the purpose of your paper is to recommend the books to which you refer, what has it to do with Christian education? Professors and others who are engaged in educational work are not the subjects which are to be kept before the people. The higher education is but dimly understood by the men who have charge of The Christian Educator. What is higher education? It is the education which comes from the greatest Teacher this world ever knew, and is found only in the Word of God. With His instruction before us, so unlike the teaching of the schools of today, we have no need to bring before the world the names of educators who are not conversant with the Word of God; these men are far behind in the education most important for this time. 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 2

We cannot see any light in calling for money to sustain The Christian Educator. We have another Author to study than those which this paper presents—One who has written excellent things in regard to the principles underlying education. The apostle Peter says, “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye witnesses of his majesty; for he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scriptures is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of men, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” [2 Peter 1:16-21.] 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 3

The Lord has called out a people from among men, and has given them great light and knowledge in regard to His Word; and in Exodus 31:12-18 He declares the relation they are to sustain to Him. God has not authorized us to exalt men and keep the minds of students directed toward those who do not bear the signature which He has placed upon His chosen people, “that they may know that I am the Lord which doth sanctify them.” [Verse 13.] Those who refuse to stand as God’s chosen people, sanctified and made holy, are as guide posts pointing in the wrong direction, educating the youth to study so-called wise men, who have not been wise to know God and do His commandments. The editors of The Instructor and The Christian Educator are diverting minds from God to man, and advising the study of books written by men who have been disloyal to the God of heaven. Is the Lord pleased by this turning aside of those whom He has made the repositories of sacred truth to inquire of the gods of Ekron? Is He honored, is His name glorified, by the selections which appear in these papers? These periodicals should be devoted to directing and educating those who are carrying the light to men, seeking to prepare a people for the second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven. 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 4

The constant reference to authors in our papers is not the work God has marked out for His people. Our papers are not to publish the lives of men, what they have done, or are doing. We have a decided message to bear to the world, and it is to come from the pens of men whose writings reveal that they are under the influence of the Holy Spirit’s teaching, men who understand and heed the admonition of Paul to Timothy, “Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:14-17.] Those who work under the direction of the Holy Spirit will keep the educational forces turned toward Him who is too wise to err, too good to be unjust. 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 5

The Lord has higher aims for His people than the study of man. Man’s ideas of education are not to be exalted as supreme. There are greater heights than these to be kept before God’s people. The Lord is waiting to bestow His Holy Spirit upon all who will hunger and thirst after righteousness. The inclination to extol men that is manifested by those who claim to educate, God calls foolishness. Paul declares, “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness, but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are; that no flesh should glory in his presence.” [1 Corinthians 1:18-29.] 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 6

Again the Lord says, “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight. ... Behold, the days come ... that I will punish all them that are circumcised with the uncircumcised.” [Jeremiah 9:23-25.] 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 7

Why does the Lord have so much to say on this subject? It is because these men who are presented before the people are disloyal to Him, and those who are exalting them are dishonoring their Creator. 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 8

The men who are using their talents in the work and cause of God show that they have not His Spirit, which as educators for this time, they should possess. They are making no difference between the circumcised and the uncircumcised, but are placing all upon the same level. And if their perceptive faculties are not sanctified and sharpened, that they distinguish between the sacred and common, they will place man where God should be. Failing to distinguish between obedience and disobedience, they will teach in such a way that the trumpet will not give a certain sound, and men will be unprepared for the battle of the great day of God. 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 9

“Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadest thee by the way which thou shouldest go. O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” [Isaiah 48:17, 18.] 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 10

The Lord makes every difference between the obedient and the disobedient. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus,” he says, “who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, that as it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” [1 Corinthians 1:30, 31.] 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 11

The men to whom students look for their instruction might better search the scriptures for themselves. When they are controlled by the Holy Spirit, they will have a clearer perception of what true education means. The sixth chapter of John is of great importance to those who claim to be teachers. These need to give it careful study, that they may be able to give students meat in due season. “It is written in the prophets,” Christ said, “and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard and learned of the Father cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ... Verily, verily I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood 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. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread that came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; he that eateth of this bread shall live forever. ... It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” [Verses 45-51, 53-58, 63.] 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 12

These words are not understood as they should be, and there are some who will never see their importance. Educators of the youth are here forbidden to feed upon the productions of other authors, though there may be many things that are excellent in them. Perfect excellence is only found in the Word of the living God. Those who would make a right use of Scripture must understand by spiritual experience what it means to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 13

In many things connected with our papers God is not leading. What the editor of every paper needs to do is to attract the attention of every reader to the book of books. When the Holy Spirit controls the men who write the articles for our papers, more of God’s Word and less of man’s ideas will be recommended. When our editors sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him who is infinite in wisdom, and whose they are by creation and by redemption, they will understand by living experience what it means to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. They will bring the word of God into the practical life. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth,” Christ said, “the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life.” [Verse 63.] 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 14

To those who make the Word of God their study book some will say, You are too narrow in your ideas. You would have us separate so completely from the world that we can do it no good. This is a mistake; but God would have His people distinguished from the world in all things, or they will become confused, as were the disciples, who turned back and walked no more with Christ. 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 15

Christ does not ask from any man the glorification that some are now giving to men in our periodicals. He does not ask you to praise even His beauty of countenance. He does not want your mind to be concentrated upon His beauty of form or feature, but upon His virtue of character, His perfect obedience, that, by beholding, His people may become changed into the same image, and thus represent His goodness, mercy, and love to the world. It is by obedience to the laws of God that we are brought into fellowship with Christ. 14LtMs, Lt 85a, 1899, par. 16