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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909) - Contents
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    Ms 9, 1909

    Talk/The Buena Vista School Property

    Oakland, California

    February 6, 1909

    This manuscript is published in entirety in 1MR 333-338. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    Talk by Mrs. E. G. White, at Oakland, California, February 6, 1909.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 1

    For some time we have been deeply interested in the matter of securing a place for our school where we might find the very things we need in order that our educational interests may be advanced in right lines.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 2

    With some of the brethren, I have looked at several locations. At one place, there was a large berry patch that yielded abundantly, but there was little land that could be cultivated. This was not a place suitable for our school. Our school should be located where the students can receive an education broader than that which the mere study of books will give. They must have such a training as will fit them for acceptable service if they are called to do pioneer work in mission fields either in America or in foreign countries. There must be land enough to give an experience in the cultivation of the soil and to help largely in making the institution self-supporting.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 3

    Last spring some of us drove up into Lake Country, and I looked carefully along the way, but saw nothing that was desirable as a location for our college.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 4

    On our return from Southern California last September, we were asked by some of our brethren to look at some places near Sonoma. From the station we were driven in carriages to a place where there were two large houses situated in the midst of a very large orchard. I told the brethren that this was not the place for which I was looking, and that we could not afford to occupy these houses for a school, even it they should be given to us. From there we went to the Buena Vista property and were shown the beautiful house. We looked through the large rooms on the first and second floors and were told that the rooms on the third floor were just the same.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 5

    After leaving the house, we drove quickly over some portions of the land. Consideration of what I saw, and the description given of other parts of the property made it plain that here were many most precious advantages. It was away from the strong temptations of city life. There was abundance of land for cultivation, and the water advantages were very valuable. All through the mountains there were little valleys where families might locate and have a few acres of land for garden or orchard. The many pipes laid over the ground made it possible to use water freely both for the buildings and for the land.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 6

    The buildings were to me a very convincing argument in favor of this property. With the buildings already erected we can begin school work without delay, and the students can receive a most valuable education in putting up the other buildings that may be necessary. Besides the main building and the barns, there are two large stone wineries. And these can all be used to good advantage.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 7

    During the night following this visit, I seemed to be viewing the land, while a Messenger was pointing out to me its many advantages. The next morning I asked to see Brother Covell, as I had been informed that he had examined the property.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 8

    Brother Covell brought with him a map, showing the location and extent of the land. It had been suggested that we buy the place and sell off the greater part of the land, keeping only that which surrounded the buildings.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 9

    Then I remembered the words that had been spoken to me during the night season. It is the purpose of God that, if we take any of this property, we secure the whole. We must have control of the whole tract. The land must not be shared with men who would be at work on the Sabbath; for if this were done, we should find ourselves brought into a very unfavorable position. There must be no opportunity for unbelievers to locate near the school buildings or to keep a place where intoxicating liquors might be sold. We must have no persons on the ground who would claim a right to carry on their business as they pleased. The whole tract must be under our own supervision.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 10

    It seemed to me that if the whole tract of land could be obtained, it would be an ideal place; for here the students could find abundance of outdoor employment, and thus could combine mental and physical training. When I learned that the entire property could be purchased, I felt like praising the Lord. I know that if He wants us to have this place, it will be brought about in such a way that we shall not have to be united with those who do not observe the Sabbath of the Lord. Here will be a place for our school where the youth can obtain just the education that is essential. In this school which shall be established, we want to demonstrate what the higher education is. We must have the physical and the mental training combined. Our bodies must have exercise. There have been many deaths because of a lack of sufficient exercise to maintain the health.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 11

    I need not speak at length regarding the Buena Vista property. Others doubtless will describe it better than I. But I will say that it corresponds to representations made to me as an ideal location for our school more perfectly than anything else I have seen. Its advantages are beyond estimate. I have been waiting patiently for the Lord to bring the place into our possession.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 12

    God is now bringing a test upon His people in this field. This test is whether or not they will do their very best to come into possession of the Buena Vista property. I have faith that God has been leading in this matter; and although I had but little money to invest, I borrowed fifteen hundred dollars from the bank and invested two thousand dollars in a piece of land that should be included in the purchase of the property. This piece of land had been sold off from the tract previously to our purchasing, but it also should be under our control.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 13

    We desire our school to be in a retired place. But there is a work to be done for the community in which we may be located. There are cities and towns all around that can be worked by the teachers and students. And we hope this summer to hold a good camp-meeting right on this property and to arouse an interest among the people of Sonoma to hear more of the truth for this time.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 14

    This property is going to cost something. But if everyone will do his duty in the fear of God, we can establish a school that will be pleasing to the Lord. There we will sing His praises, and teach His truth, and magnify His name.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 15

    I have wished that we might come quickly into possession of the property. But there was some advantage in delay, because we now have more time to raise the money to pay for the place. Let our people now take hold disinterestedly, and obtain the means, so that when they say to us, “Here is a clear title,” we can take the deed and say, “Here is the money for your place.”24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 16

    The Lord wishes us to exercise faith at every step. He wants us to manifest a faith in His working. Let us trust Him and seek to work in harmony with His providence. I am confident that the Lord has wrought for us, and that if we will conduct our school in the fear of God, there will never again be upon it such a debt as exists at present. We have determined that the past experience shall not be repeated.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 17

    Our schools are a very important factor in our work. We want to educate our youth so that they will work in harmony with the mind and the will of God. We desire to help them to prepare their hearts to work in harmony with Jesus Christ, the great Teacher. In support of His teachings, He could say, It is written. He carried the light of truth wherever He went. So our students, after they have received a training, will be ready to be transferred from the school to mission fields in all parts of the world. These fields are opening, and calls for help are coming from every side more than we can supply.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 18


    These words were added regarding the purchase of the Buena Vista property for our school:24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 19

    Let every one take an interest in this matter, and let all who can do so make freewill offerings to help in the purchase of this property.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 20

    The Lord could create an abundance of means for the carrying forward of His work. He could furnish the means without asking His people to make any sacrifice. The gold and the silver is His. All that we possess, even our own souls and bodies, are His. But the Lord has never worked this way. You remember how, when the sanctuary was to be built in the wilderness, He called on all the people to make their freewill offerings. And they all wanted a part in the blessing. They gave until the leaders could say, It is enough. Bring no more offerings.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 21

    So we desire to see every soul of our people have a share in the blessing that comes from returning to the Lord that which is His own. There is a blessing in it for everyone who will act his part. When we come up to the time for settlement, and they say to us, “Here is the deed,” we want to be able to reply, “Here is the money.”24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 22

    We desire to see in this place an institution where many youth shall be educated to go forth as missionaries for the Lord. We hope to see a marked revelation of the salvation of God. And this we shall see if we will open our hearts and purses to help in this matter.24LtMs, Ms 9, 1909, par. 23

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