Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

September 3, 1908

Provision for Our Schools An Appeal to Ministers, Physicians, and Teachers in Southern California

Mrs. E. G. White

The men who stand as leaders in any part of the solemn work of the last gospel message must cultivate and cherish broad views and ideas. It is the privilege of all who bear responsibilities in the work of the gospel to be apt learners in the school of Christ. The professed follower of Christ must not be led by the dictates of his own will; his mind must be trained to think Christ's thoughts, and enlightened to comprehend the will and way of God. Such a believer will be a follower of Christ's methods of work.

Our brethren should not forget that the wisdom of God has made provision for our schools in a way that will bring blessing to all who participate in the enterprise. The book, “Christ's Object Lessons,” was donated to the educational work, that the students and other friends of the schools might handle these books, and by their sale raise much of the means needed to lift the school indebtedness. But this plan has not been presented to our schools as it should have been; the teachers and students have not been educated to take hold of this book and courageously push its sale for the benefit of the educational work.

Long ago the teachers and students in our schools should have learned to take advantage of the opportunity to raise means by the sale of “Christ's Object Lessons.” In selling these books the students will serve the cause of God, and, while doing this, by the dissemination of precious light, they will learn invaluable lessons in Christian experience. All our schools should now come into line, and earnestly endeavor to carry out the plan presented to us for the education of the workers, for the relief of the schools, and for the winning of souls to the cause of Christ.

In the cities of Riverside, Redlands, and San Bernardino a mission field is open to us that we have as yet only touched with the tips of our fingers. A good work has been done there as far as our workers have had encouragement to do it; but there is need of means to carry the work forward successfully. It was God's purpose that by the sale of “Ministry of Healing” and “Christ's Object Lessons” much means should be raised for the work of our sanitariums and schools, and that our people would thereby be left more free to donate of their means for the opening of the work in new missionary fields. If our people will now engage in the sale of these books as they ought, we shall have much more means to carry the work in the way the Lord designed.

Wherever the work of selling “Christ's Object Lessons” has been taken hold of in earnest, the book has done good. And the lessons that have been learned by those who have engaged in this work, have well repaid their efforts. And now our people should all be encouraged to take part in this special missionary effort. Light has been given me that in every possible way instruction should be given to our people as to the best methods of presenting these books to the people.

I have been instructed that at our large gatherings, workers should be present who will teach our people how to sow the seeds of truth. This means more than instructing them how to sell the Signs of the Times and other periodicals. It includes thorough instruction in how to handle such books as “Christ's Object Lessons” and “Ministry of Healing.” These are books which contain precious truths, and from which the reader can draw lessons of highest value.

Why was not some one appointed at your camp-meeting [in 1907] to present the interests of this line of work to our people? In your failure to do this, you lost a precious opportunity to place large blessings within the reach of the people, and you also lost an opportunity of raising means for the relief of our institutions. My brethren, let us encourage our people to take up this work without further delay.

There are some who have had experience in the sale of health foods who should now interest themselves in the sale of our precious books; for in them is food unto eternal life. Los Angeles has been presented to me as a very fruitful field for the sale of “Christ's Object Lessons” and “Ministry of Healing.” The thousands of transient residents and visitors would be benefited by the lessons they contain, and those who bear responsibilities in our sanitariums should act wisely in this matter, encouraging all, nurses, helpers, and students, to gather by this means as much as possible of the money required to meet the expenses of the different institutions.

Why are our people so slow to understand what the Lord would have them do? Our leading workers should prepare beforehand to use their opportunities at our large and small gatherings to present these books to our people, and call for volunteers who will engage in their sale. When this work is entered into with the earnestness which our times demand, the indebtedness which now rests upon our schools will be greatly lessened. And then the people who are now being called upon to give largely of their means to support these institutions, will be free to turn a larger part of their offerings to missionary work in other needy places, where special efforts have not yet been made.

Great good will result from bringing these books to the attention of the leaders in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. We should invite these workers to our meetings, and give them an opportunity to become acquainted with our people. Place these precious books in their hands, and tell them the story of their gift to the cause, and its results. Explain how, by the sale of “Ministry of Healing,” patients may be brought to the sanitarium for healing who could never get there unaided; and how through this means assistance will be rendered in the establishment of sanitariums in places where they are greatly needed. If our sanitariums are wisely managed by men and women who have the fear of God before them, they will be a means of bringing us in connection with workers in the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and these workers will not be slow to see the advantage of the medical branch of our work. As a result of their contact with our medical work, some of them will learn truths that they need to know for the perfection of Christian character.

One point that should never be forgotten by our workers is that the Lord Jesus Christ is our chief director. He has outlined a plan by which the schools may be relieved of their indebtedness; and he will not vindicate the course of those who lay this plan aside for lack of confidence in its success. When his people will come up unitedly to the help of his cause in the earth, no good thing that God has promised will be withheld from them.

In places like Los Angeles, where the population is constantly changing, wonderful opportunities are presented for the sale of our books. A great loss has been sustained because our people have not more fully embraced this opportunity. Why should not the teachers and students from the San Fernando School make Los Angeles a special field for the sale of “Object Lessons”? If with earnestness and faith they will work out the plan that has been given us for the use of this book, angels of God will attend their steps, and the blessing of heaven will be upon their efforts.

It would have been an excellent thing if the teachers of the San Fernando School had, during the vacation, availed themselves of this opportunity to push the work with “Christ's Object Lessons.” They would have found a blessing in going out with the students and teaching them how to meet the people, and how to introduce the book. The story of the gift of the book and its object would lead some to have a special interest in the book and in the school for which it is sold.

Why have not the teachers in our schools done more of this work? If our people would only realize it, there is no more acceptable work to be done in the home field than to engage in the sale of “Object Lessons;” for while they are thus helping to carry out the Lord's plan for the relief of our schools, they are also bringing the precious truths of the Word of God to the attention of the people.

The indifference that has been manifested by some toward this enterprise is displeasing to God. He desires that it shall be recognized by all our people as his method of relieving our schools from debt. It is because this plan has been neglected that we now feel so keenly our lack of means for the advancing work. Had the schools availed themselves of the provision thus made for them, there would be more money in the school treasury, and more money in the hands of his people to relieve the necessities of other needy departments of the cause, and, best of all, teachers and students would have received the very lessons that they needed to learn in the Master's service.

I send you these lines because I see that there is need of a deeper intuition, a wider perception, on the part of our medical and educational workers, if they would get all the benefit that God intends shall come to them through the use of “Object Lessons” and “Ministry of Healing.” I ask you, my brethren, to read these words to our people, that they may learn to show the spirit of wisdom, and of power, and of a sound mind.

September 3, 1908

Teacher, Know Thyself

To know one's self is great knowledge. True self-knowledge will lead to a humility that will allow the Lord to train the mind, and mold and discipline the character. The grace of humility is greatly needed by the workers for Christ in this period of the world's history. No teacher can do acceptable work who does not bear in mind his own deficiencies and who does not drop out from his reckoning all plans that will weaken his spiritual life. When teachers are willing to drop out from their work everything that is unessential for the life eternal, then they can be said indeed to be working out their salvation with fear and trembling, and to be building wisely for eternity.

I am instructed to say that some of our teachers are far behind in an understanding of the kind of education needed for this period of earth's history. This is not a time for students to be gathering up a mass of knowledge that they can not take with them to the school above. Let us carefully weed out from our course of study all that can be spared, that we may have room in the minds of the students in which to plant the seeds of righteousness. This instruction will bear fruit unto eternal life.

Every teacher should be a daily learner in the school of Christ, lest he lose the sense of what constitutes true physical, mental, and moral excellence. No one should place himself as a teacher of others who is not constantly working out his own salvation by receiving and imparting an all-round education. The true teacher will educate himself in moral excellence, that by precept and example he may lead souls to understand the lessons of the Great Teacher. No one should be encouraged to do the work of teaching who will be satisfied with a low standard. No one is fitted to teach the grand mysteries of godliness till Christ is formed within, the hope of glory.

Every teacher needs to receive the truth in the love of its sacred principles; then he can not fail of exerting an influence that is purifying and uplifting. The teacher whose soul is stayed upon Christ will speak and act like a Christian. Such a one will not be satisfied until the truth cleanses his life from every unessential thing. He will not be satisfied unless his mind is day by day molded by the holy influences of the Spirit of God. Then Christ can speak to the heart, and his voice, saying, “This is the way; walk ye in it,” will be heard and obeyed.

The teacher who has a right understanding of the work of true education, will not think it sufficient now and then to make casual reference to Christ. With his own heart warm with the love of God, he will constantly uplift the Man of Calvary. His own soul imbued with the Spirit of God, he will seek to fasten the attention of the students upon the pattern Christ Jesus, the chiefest among ten thousand, the One altogether lovely.

The Holy Spirit is greatly needed in our schools. This divine agency comes to the world as Christ's representative. It is not only the faithful and true witness of the Word of God, but it is the searcher of the thoughts and purposes of the heart. It is the source to which we must look for efficiency in the restoration of the moral image of God in man. The Holy Spirit was eagerly sought for in the schools of the prophets; its transforming influence was to bring even the thoughts into harmony with the will of God, and establish a living connection between earth and heaven.

Teachers, if you will open your hearts to the indwelling of the Spirit of God, if you will welcome the heavenly guest, God will make you laborers together with him. In co-operation with the Master Teacher, the spirit of selfishness will be expelled, and wonderful transformations will take place.

In the night season these words were spoken to me: “Charge the teachers in our schools to prepare the students for what is coming upon the world.” The Lord has been waiting long for our teachers to walk in the light he has sent them. There is need of a humbling of self, that Christ may restore the moral image of God in man. The character of the education given must be greatly changed before it can give the right mold to our institutions. It is only when intellectual and moral powers are combined for the attainment of education, that the standard of the Word of God is reached.

These words were clearly and forcibly spoken: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. Press together; press together, and love as brethren. Pray together.” The Lord has paid the price of his own blood for the salvation of the world. He suffered every indignity that men could devise and Satan could invent, in order to carry out the plan of salvation. Let not the teacher seek to exalt self, but let him see the necessity of learning of Christ daily, and making him the pattern. For teachers and students our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ should be the only example.

Bear in mind that the Lord will accept as teachers only those who will be gospel teachers. A great responsibility rests upon those who attempt to teach the last gospel message. They are to be laborers together with God in the training of human minds. The teacher who fails to keep the Bible standard always before him, misses an opportunity of being a laborer together with God in giving to the mind the mold that is essential for a place in the heavenly courts.

Ellen G. White.

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