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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Lt 85, 1899

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

    “Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

    May 14, 1899

    See also Lt 85a, 1899. Portions of this letter are published in CW 115-122.

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

    Dear Brethren:

    The editors of The Christian Educator should carefully consider the character of the subjects which they place before their readers. Why has The Christian Educator presented to its large list of readers the pictures and the works of men? The exaltation of these supposedly learned men in the Educator and the Instructor does not reflect glory to God. Is it the purpose of your papers to recommend the men, the methods, and the books to which you refer? If so, what has this to do with Christian education? The subject which should be kept before the people is not the lives and the achievements of men engaged in educational work, but it is the education which comes from the greatest Teacher that the world ever knew, which is found in the Word of God.14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 2

    With this instruction before us, so unlike the teaching of the popular schools of today, we have no need to hold up before the people the names of educators who are not conversant with, and obedient to, the Word of the living God. These men may suppose that they are teaching the principles of Christianity, but have we not unquestionable evidence that they are teaching for doctrine the commandments of men? Are they not far behind in the education most important for this time? Has the Lord given to us the work of presenting in our periodicals the pictures of these men, and their history?14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 3

    The true higher education is but dimly understood by those who have charge of The Christian Educator. I see no light in calling for money to sustain this paper. We have higher authorities to study. There is One who has written excellent things in regard to the principles underlying education.14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 4

    The apostle Peter says: “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of the 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 man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” [2 Peter 1:16-21.]14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 5

    The Lord has called out a people from among men, and has given them great light and knowledge in regard to His Word. In Exodus 31:12-18 He declares the relation which they are to sustain to Him. God has not authorized us to exalt men and keep the minds of students directed toward those who evidently do not bear the signature which He has placed upon His chosen people. “Verily, my sabbaths ye shall keep, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” [Verses 12, 13.] Those who refuse to stand as God’s chosen people, sanctified and made holy through doing His Word, are as guideposts pointing in the wrong direction. So also are they who would encourage the youth to study as a pattern the so-called wise men, who have not been wise enough to know God and do His commandments.14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 6

    Let not the editors of the Educator and the Instructor divert minds from God to man, and encourage the study of books written by men who have been disloyal to the God of heaven. The Lord will not be pleased by any turning aside of those whom He has made depositaries of sacred truth, to inquire of the gods of Ekron. Let us seek that God shall be honored, and His name glorified in all that appears in our periodicals. Let them not be devoted to the publication of the ideas of education held by the wise men of the world. Our work is to educate whose those shall carry the light of truth to men, seeking to prepare a people for the second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven.14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 7

    Instead of the constant reference to authors in our papers, instead of the publication of the lives of men, and what they have done or are doing, let a decided message to the world come from the pens of men whose writings reveal that they are under the influence of the Holy Spirit, 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.” [2 Timothy 3:14.] Those who work under the direction of the Holy Spirit will keep the educational forces turned towards Him who is too wise to err, too good to be unjust.14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 8

    Man’s ideas of education are not to be exalted. Greater heights than these are 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 that is manifested by those who claim to be educators, to exalt and extol learned men, is foolishness in the sight of God. 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.14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 9

    “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 the base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.” [1 Corinthians 1:18-29.]14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 10

    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 loving-kindness, 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 85, 1899, par. 11

    Why does the Lord speak so plainly on this matter? It is because so many of the men who are exalted before the people are disloyal to Him, and therefore those who are exalting them are dishonoring their Creator. The men who use their time and talents in this work, while they claim to be working for the Word and cause of God, show that they need to learn of the great Teacher, for as educators, they must have the spirit of the Master of education. They are making no difference between the circumcised and the uncircumcised, but are placing all upon the same level. If their perceptive faculties are not sanctified and quickened, that they may distinguish between the sacred and the common, they will go on placing man where God should be. Failing to distinguish between obedience and disobedience, they will give the trumpet an uncertain sound, and men will be unprepared for the battle of the great day of God.14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 12

    The Lord makes every difference between the obedient and the disobedient. “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the holy One of Israel, I am the Lord 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.] “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. That according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” [1 Corinthians 1:30, 31.]14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 13

    How important it is that the men to whom students look for instruction shall diligently search the Scriptures, that they may know the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In the sixth chapter of John there is instruction of great importance to those who would be teachers. Let it be carefully studied by our teachers, that they may be able to give their students meat in due season. “It is written in the prophets,” said Christ, “And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath 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.” [Verses 45-51.]14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 14

    “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 53-58, 63.]14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 15

    If these words were studied and clearly understood, they would bring joy and light, but there are some who will never see their beauty or importance. “The words that I speak unto you,” said Jesus, “they are spirit, and they are life.” [Verse 63.] Perfect excellence is found only in the Word of the living God. Educators of the youth may freely feed upon this with safety, but they should know that there is danger in feeding upon other books, though there may be many excellent things in them.14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 16

    Let the editors of all our papers seek to attract the attention of their readers to the Book of books, and to those books and periodicals which present the Word of God in its true bearings. As the Holy Spirit controls the writers for our papers, more of God’s Word, and less of man’s ideas will be presented. As our editors sit at the feet of Jesus, and learn from Him who is infinite in wisdom, they will understand by living, spiritual experience what it is to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. All who teach the Word must have this experience.14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 17

    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. The evil feared will not be realized. 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 85, 1899, par. 18

    Christ does not ask from men the glorification of their fellow men. He does not ask of men that they shall praise His beauty of countenance. He did not plan that the attention of men should be centered upon His beauty of form or feature. His design was to draw the attention of men to His virtue of character, His perfect obedience, that by beholding, His people may become changed into the same glorious image, and represent His goodness, His mercy, and His love to the world.14LtMs, Lt 85, 1899, par. 19

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