Ellen G. White Writings

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Spalding and Magan Collection, Page 23

The final issue of the Sabbath question has not yet come, and by imprudent action we may bring on a crisis before the time. You may have all the truth, but you need not let it all flash at once upon minds, lest it become darkness to them. Even Christ said to His disciples, “I have many things to say unto you, but ye can not hear them now.” We must not go into a place, open our satchel, show all we have, and tell everything we know at once. We must work cautiously, presenting the truth by degrees, as the hearers can bear it, and keeping close to the Lord.

“The Waldensians entered the schools of the world as students. They made no pretensions. Apparently they paid no attention to any one; but, they lived out what they believed. They never sacrificed principle, and their principles put into practice soon became known to other students. This was different from anything the other students had ever seen, and they began to ask among themselves, what does this all mean? While they were considering this, they heard them praying in their rooms, not to the Virgin Mary but to the Saviour, whom they addressed as the only mediator between God and man. The worldly students were encouraged to make inquiries, and as the simple story of the truth as it is in Jesus was told, their minds grasped it.

“These things I tried to present at Harbor Heights. These who have the Spirit of God, who have the truth wrought into their very being, prudent men, wise in their methods of reaching others, should be encouraged to enter colleges, as students live the truth, as did Joseph in Egypt, and Daniel, and Paul. Each one should study the situation and see what is the best way to represent the truth in the school, that the light may shine forth. Let them show that they respect all the rules and regulations of the schools. The leaven will begin to work; for we can depend much more upon the power of God manifested in the lives of His children than upon any words that can be spoken. But they should also tell inquirers, in as simple language as they can, of the Bible doctrines.

“There are those who, after becoming established, rooted, and grounded in the truth, should enter these institutions of learning as students. They can keep the living principles of the truth, and observe the Sabbath, and yet they will have opportunity to work for the Master by dropping seeds of truth in minds and hearts. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, those seeds will spring up to bear fruit for the glory of God, and will result in the saving of souls. The students need not go to these institutions of learning in order to become enlightened upon theological subjects; for, the teachers of the school need themselves to become Bible students. No open controversies should be entered into, but opportunity given for questions upon Bible doctrines, and light will be flashed into many minds, and a spirit of investigation will be aroused.

“But I scarcely dare present this method of labor; for there is danger that those who have no decided connection with God will place themselves in these schools, and instead of correcting error and diffusing light, will themselves be led astray. But this work must be done; and it will be done by those who are led and taught of God.

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