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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 154, 1903

    Talk/Words of Counsel to Educators

    Healdsburg, California

    September 25, 1903

    Previously unpublished.

    (Talk, Mrs. E. G. White, before the California Conference Committee, the Healdsburg College Board, and the California Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association, Healdsburg, California, 9:45 a.m., Sept. 25, 1903.)18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 1

    I am glad to have an opportunity of meeting with you. I feel a very deep interest in the Lord’s work.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 2

    Those who are engaged in educational work find that among the problems they have to solve, one of the most perplexing is that which relates to the book knowledge given to the students. Which shall we make of primary importance—the study of God’s Word, or the attainment of a thorough scientific education?18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 3

    The enemy of righteousness is working in every possible way to introduce his specious sophistries into the minds of God’s people just as he worked in heaven to win the loyal angels to his side of the controversy. Constantly he has worked along the same deceptive lines, diverting minds from truth to error. Even now he is endeavoring to divert our minds from the real truths that we are to proclaim to a perishing world. To guard against his insidious workings, we are to make the Bible the foundation of all our school work. Constantly we are to guard against bringing before the students things that are not essential and failure of teaching them the fundamental principles of the Word. In our efforts to prepare young men and women for any line of service, including medical missionary work, we are to base all our instruction on the principles of the Word and lead the students to accept the Book of books as their man of counsel.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 4

    Into the hands of youthful students, those who are to become missionaries, we are to put nothing that will give them vagary ideas.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 5

    The Lord Jesus regarded it as important to call special attention to the value of a study of the last book in the Bible. The Revelation is not something so mystical that we cannot understand it and impart to students a knowledge of its teachings.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 6

    Christ came from heaven to meet John on the Isle of Patmos. The Lord revealed to His servant heavenly things and showed him what would take place in the last days. In the first chapter of Revelation a blessing is pronounced upon all who accept this heaven-sent message. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein: for the time is at hand.” [Verse 3.]18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 7

    There is significance in the fact that Christ deemed it of importance to come to John and to repeat over and over again, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” [Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22.] All our churches are in need of a reformation. They are in need of present truth, not of suppositions and vagaries. Many things contrary to the truth will come in. Among us are those who will express spiritualistic ideas that have no scriptural foundation—ideas that men and women should never express and advocate.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 8

    In the message that Christ brought to John on the Isle of Patmos, it is stated over and over again that our Saviour is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. To John were revealed heavenly things: and the divine Messenger talked with him concerning these things and foretold what was coming upon the churches and what messages were to be given them to prepare for the trying times before them.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 9

    A great responsibility is resting upon us. We are to be faithful stewards of God’s grace, faithful gospel ministers. Christ came to the earth as a gospel minister. As He went from place to place, He combined the work of educating the people with the work of healing them. This is what we are to do. The gospel ministry and the medical missionary work are to be united. We must labor on a higher plane of action than any on which we have labored in the past. A missionary work attends the messages that are to be proclaimed in the last days.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 10

    God’s blessing is accompanying the light given in regard to health reform and the preparation of wholesome foods; but this light has been used selfishly, and the health food and hygienic restaurant business has come to be a commercial matter. God is too often lost sight of by those connected with our restaurants in the cities. In the various lines of medical missionary work, a commercial spirit is coming in and taking possession of mind and heart. God desires His workers to go forth, endowed with the power of the Holy Spirit. We are to be a people of prayer and practical godliness. God’s sacred work is to be carried forward on the highest plane of unselfishness and righteousness.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 11

    If there was a time when we needed to be an understanding people, it is now. If there is a time when we needed to understand fully and surely what true medical missionary work is, it is now. The medical missionary work is sick, a spirit of commercialism is fostered. Now, at a time when we are on the very eve of the closing scenes of the earth’s history, much of that which is called medical missionary work has scarcely any spiritual influence.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 12

    “What is the chaff to the wheat?” [Jeremiah 23:28.] These words have been repeatedly spoken to me by my Instructor recently, in regard to the medical missionary work now being carried on by some. This is why I say, The medical missionary work is sick and in need of conversion. Many of those engaged in this work have lost their power with God, and I desire that we shall all understand this.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 13

    From Nature to Nature’s God

    Some are now saying: “God is in the streams; God is in the trees and the leaves; God is in this, that, and the other thing; God is in everything.” Not one should make such assertions; for they are not true. If God were in the tree and the leaf, why could we not pray to the tree and the leaf? God gives us no such instruction as this regarding Himself.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 14

    Where is God? Is He in His created works? Christ says, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” [Matthew 6:28, 29.] Who arrays the lilies of the field?—The God of heaven. Who is it that clothed with beauty everything in nature that delights the eye—the trees, the leaves, the streams, the carpet of green dotted with flowers?—God, the Creator of all things. But we are not to treat these things in nature as if God were in them.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 15

    For years I have been instructed by the Lord that we are to teach our children and the students in our schools that in His love and mercy God has given us the beautiful things in nature as specimens of the beauty in Eden. Plainly and simply we should tell our children and youth that the beautiful handiwork of God, first seen by man in Eden, has been preserved for us to behold; and that we are to be directed from these beautiful things in nature to nature’s God.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 16

    Satan has sown tares all around us. God could have prevented the enemy from doing this, but after the fall of Adam and Eve, Satan claimed to be the prince of the power of the air and to have the control of everything in nature. God has permitted him to sow tares and to work out his principles of evil; and at the same time God has protected from Satan’s wrath those who desire to work out the principles of heaven.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 17

    Let us teach the children that God has permitted us to have the beautiful things of nature as an expression of His love to the human family. The trees have no soul; the leaves have no soul; they are simply an expression of God’s love toward us. These things in the natural world pass away. At the same time that Christ called attention to the lilies of the field which outvie the glory of Solomon, He said that “the grass of the field ... today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven.” [Verse 30.] That which some claim is a part of God is burned, consumed. The heathen pray to a tree, as if it were God, as if God were in it. That the trees are a part of God’s handiwork, everyone acknowledges; God gives attention to His husbandry, His building; but He is not really there in person. We are to teach the children to look from the things of nature that God has created to nature’s God.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 18

    The wording that is now being used in regard to these matters is false wording: it is a misrepresentation of the truth; and yet our people who are in danger of being deceived have had before them all these years light in regard to the workings of Satan in the heavenly courts. I have just been reading in Patriarchs and Prophets the account of how Satan brought into the courts of heaven his mysterious theories and his reasons for desiring to be in Christ’s place. He declared that he had been the covering cherub, and that he was worthy of being more highly honored. He worked insidiously to gain the highest place. And this is what many in our churches are trying to do now. Many who profess to be children of God have an intense desire that no one shall be honored more highly than they. They wish to keep abreast with their fellow workers and to gain the lead, if possible. But their desire springs from a selfish motive. It is right to press forward toward the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus, and in this way to keep abreast with others; but we are to have no selfish purposes in view.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 19

    Christ understood all about these matters. After His transfiguration, He returned with His disciples to Capernaum. On the journey the disciples disputed among themselves in regard to who should be greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Upon reaching their temporary home in Capernaum, Christ asked them, “What is it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves who should be the greatest. And He sat down, and called the twelve, and said unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. And He took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when He had taken him in His arms, He said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in My name, receiveth Me: and whosoever shall receive Me, receiveth not Me, but Him that sent Me.” [Mark 9:33-37.]18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 20

    Matthew bears record of an occasion when the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto them, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 18:1-4.]18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 21

    Let us never entertain exalted ideas of being something more than we really are. Let us keep heaven and the fear of God before us. Making Christ our example, it is safe for us to reach as high as we possibly can reach by His grace. So long as we follow in His footsteps, we will keep humble.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 22

    Some of the most foolish, ridiculous ideas have been presented by ministers who were seeking for something new and startling. There have been advocated some theories the truth concerning which can never be learned until the day of judgment. These evil seeds spring up and bear fruit, and a harvest of evil is the result.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 23

    In this very way, insidiously, but surely, rank scientific spiritualism is springing up in the midst of us.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 24

    We are living in times of peril. God wants His servants, His watchmen, to keep their eyes open; He wants them to have more than common sense; they are in need of heavenly wisdom. These false theories coming in are originated by Satan. In the name of the Lord God of Israel, I tell you, my brethren, we want, stationed on the walls of Zion, watchmen that can give the trumpet a certain sound.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 25

    Never should such theories as some that are now advocated be placed before our students. These theories do not prepare us for the judgment. They belittle our estimation of God and almost do away with Him altogether. Our God is high and lifted up, and His train filleth the temple. We are to exalt God, to honor Him, to believe in Him, and to see His love toward us as revealed in His created works. We are to realize that we are a part of God’s human family, children of the heavenly King. He has appointed us to be members of His royal family.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 26

    Our Saviour has given His children lesson upon lesson in regard to humility. His words are unmistakably plain: “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Verse 3.] As in John’s epistles, the believers are spoken of as little children and are exhorted to love one another. Before Christ left His disciples, He instructed them to love one another, that all men might know that they were His disciples. “A new commandment,” He declared, “I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love for one another.” [John 13:34, 35.]18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 27

    Not until Christ had suffered the agonies of Gethsemane and of Calvary’s cross did the disciples realize even to a limited degree the great love wherewith Christ loved them. In Gethsemane they saw Him wrestling with God; they viewed His face all marred with the great sweatdrops of blood caused by the intensity of His mental anguish; they witnessed His betrayal by one to whom He had given every opportunity of salvation. Never can we comprehend fully the sufferings through which Christ passed at this time. He pleaded, “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me:” but immediately He added, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” [Matthew 26:39.]18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 28

    The Truth a Safeguard Against Error

    In the future we must meet stern realities—trials that will test our loyalty to God and His truth. The beautiful theories that are being presented by some will not help us in the hour of trial and difficulty. We are to study the truths of the three angels’ messages and to believe in and worship a God who is able to carry us through the time of trouble. God desires [us] to act like men and women who have the truth. The first, second, and third angels’ messages are presented in the last book of the Bible—in Revelation. This book is not a mystery; it is a message to the churches, easily understood by those who have willing ears to hear the instruction that Christ came to deliver to us through His servant John.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 29

    God desires us to lock our minds against any species of spiritualism. We are to seek for practical godliness. We must practice the truth in word and act; we must be Christlike in all our work of benevolence.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 30

    Let us be careful to give to the truth entrusted to our care the pure provender of God’s Word—food that will nourish and strengthen spiritual thought and that will influence the life for good. The truths that God would have us dwell upon are mighty, powerful, weighty. When presented to a congregation, these truths make an impression upon human minds. It is not the words of the human agent that make the impression; it is God who first gave the words that causes the hearer to accept the truths presented.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 31

    My brethren, in the presence of God we must take our stand on the truth. What is truth? Those who are shifted from the foundation of God’s Word know not what is truth; and he who knows not the truth cannot be sanctified through the truth. Let every worker inquire: What is truth—the truth that will sanctify my soul? What is truth—the truth that I should present before the youth who come to attend our schools?18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 32

    Constantly God’s people are to reveal the line of demarcation separating them from the world. To Israel was given the promise that the Lord would make them a nation of kings and priests, and that in the midst of the surrounding nations they were to stand as a peculiar people, holy unto the Lord. Concerning the statutes of the law, Moses said to the Israelites: “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom ... in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” [Deuteronomy 4:6-8.] This is what the Lord desires to hear the world say concerning His people today.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 33

    The Duties of Officers in the School Home

    Let us strive to make all our schools what they should be. Those who assume the responsibility of caring for students in the students’ homes should be persons whose influence is uplifting. At the head of each home there should be a person of age and experience to act as a mother—one who can rally round her the youth in an effort to keep the home clean and in order. We are fitting up for heaven; we are preparing to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 34

    For matron in one of our schools we should not choose a young person. This position calls for a person of experience and solidity—one who knows how to deal with human minds. The nicest work that was ever given to mortals is the work of dealing with human minds. All students cannot be dealt with in the same way. Different temperaments must be treated individually. This requires study and tact. It takes painstaking efforts to make right impressions upon the human mind. Even in small families, all the children cannot be managed in the same way. In companies of young people made up of several families, the differences in disposition are much more marked.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 35

    In the school family will be some who are quick and passionate. Inexperienced teachers may regard these as of but little value to the cause; but they are of great value. Christ says, “I will take that passion, that strong will, and will discipline it in My school; I will use that will, converted, to a purpose.” The very best talent should be secured to train the students in their school home life. The family in the school home is usually a large one. Not many mothers know how to manage properly two or three little children. How careful we should be, in choosing a matron of a school home, to secure a person of tact and ability—one whose experience will enable her to deal wisely with the passionate, intemperate children of all classes that are to be found among those sent to our schools! This is a matter worthy of our consideration.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 36

    We must learn to depend on the Lord much more than we have supposed is necessary. In the past there have existed in the Healdsburg school some things that were in great need of discipline. Not a few of the students did not care what course they pursued. This was a grievous thing for the school. But if we call upon God, He will not fail us. Faith in His power will bring to us the needed help.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 37

    In past years there has been failure after failure, failure after failure, in the Healdsburg school. A right influence has not always been exerted. All this need not have been. Let the faculty come together and say, “We will take God as our Counsellor; we will act in His fear toward these students of different minds and dispositions. We will pray with them and let them see we have feelings of tenderness and love toward them; and in this way we will endeavor to win their confidence.” Teachers, if you carry out such resolutions, the school at Healdsburg will be more in accordance with that which God desires [it] to be, and a more favorable showing will be made than has been made in years past. As you meet together in family worship, and have your little counsels with the students, God will bless you in a marked manner.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 38

    Again and again the Lord has presented before me the importance of our teachers’ putting into our school work all the powers of their being. The students that come expect to receive all there is of the principal of the school; they lose much by being deprived of his personal presence and help. The head of the school is to study how he can make the school most successful. In all financial matters he is to be above reproach; and he should encourage the students to keep personal accounts and to know [how] they stand financially from week to week. Some of these matters are regarded by many as “little things,” but in the Lord’s sight they are very important and affect the progress of His cause very materially.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 39

    Let us think over these matters. I warn you, brethren, against allowing your minds to be charmed by a beautiful representation of what may at first appear to be truth. If those who advocate these unsettling theories would carry out in their lives the principles of true religion, then their representations in regard to God in nature could be advocated with ten times the force that they are now advocated. Brethren, I beg of you, for Christ’s sake, to make sure that you are standing upon the sure platform of God’s Word, where you can form characters for the future immortal life and help others to form righteous characters. Bible principles, the messages that come to us for this time, will alone prepare us for the scenes of the judgment. The Bible, the Bible, the precious Bible—this is our Guide, our Counselor.18LtMs, Ms 154, 1903, par. 40

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