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Manuscript Releases, vol. 15 [Nos. 1136-1185]

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    Mr No. 1157—Both Young Teachers and Older Ones Are Needed

    (Written June 30, 1902, from Elmshaven, Sanitarium, California, to W. W. Prescott.)

    I have read Elder Waggoner's letter in regard to his connecting with the Berrien Springs school as Bible teacher. I must say that I know not the voice, neither can I understand the spirit, that prompts the presentation of such propositions. I cannot recognize the voice, neither can I advise Brother Waggoner to come from Europe to take the position of Bible teacher in the school at Berrien Springs, upon the condition named in his letter. When our brethren propose such terms as these to their fellow laborers, we may know that the propositions are not prompted by the Spirit of the Lord.15MR 118.1

    Brother Sutherland and Brother Magan would be making a mistake to give up the work God has entrusted to them, either to Brother Waggoner or to yourself. From the light given me regarding the school at Berrien Springs, I believe that those connected with it are working in right lines. Both Brother Sutherland and Brother Magan are close Bible students.15MR 118.2

    As to Brother Sutherland's age, true, he is young [31 years old]; but this is in his favor, for he feels that he is a child, dependent on God for wisdom. In some respects, youthful Christians have not so much to battle with as older Christians.15MR 118.3

    Brother Sutherland loves God. He has a godly fear of departing from the counsels of the Lord, which fear I hope will increase and ever be maintained in the simplicity of true godliness. We trust that our brother, whom the Lord loves, will always be as a little child in rendering obedience to God.15MR 119.1

    If those who are old in years would become as meek and lowly as a little child, they would be better prepared to receive and practice Christ's words. The spirit of self-sufficiency is a great hindrance to the working of the Spirit of God in the heart.15MR 119.2

    At one time the disciples came to Jesus, asking, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily, 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. And whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea.”15MR 119.3

    We need much less of self, much more of the meekness and lowliness of Christ. “Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”15MR 119.4

    The Lord desires His people to make constant advancement. He rejoices when young men become imbued with His Spirit, and gird on the armor, to engage in aggressive warfare. Let us always encourage young men and young women to make the most of their capabilities, to improve their talents to the utmost, remembering the words, “Let no man despise thy youth.” We do not expect that they will never err in word or action, but if they will heed the reproofs of the Lord, and correct every mistake, they will make advancement.15MR 120.1

    As we see God raising up young men for His work, we rejoice to see them increasing in the fear of the Lord in proportion as they increase in the knowledge of the truth. Such ones will cultivate a reverence for God and for His sacred service.15MR 120.2

    The inhabitants of heaven declare of the Creator, “Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways Thou King of saints! Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name; for Thou only art holy.”15MR 120.3

    The fear spoken of in these words is not a slavish fear, but a thankful, joyous fear, which leads us to watch and wait and work, ready always to obey God gladly and thankfully. Every faculty of the being, every part of the body, testifies to the righteousness of the Creator's claims.15MR 120.4

    God has a right to the service of the beings He has created, a right to expect that they will do their best to glorify Him with every entrusted capability. He requires them to place themselves in His service and to allow Him to direct the use of His absolute property.15MR 120.5

    Let the older workers encourage the younger ones, never speaking lightly or disparagingly of them. He who has helped Brother Sutherland and Brother Magan in their school work in the past will continue to help them if they will steadfastly practice His word. As far as their teaching of the Bible is concerned, if they sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him, their understanding will continually increase, for God is their wisdom, and He will teach them His way.15MR 121.1

    When a man places himself unreservedly under God's guidance, the statements of the Word set his heart free from every evil bias, that he may run in the way of God's commandments. He acknowledges God's ownership. He communes with God in prayer, saying, “I am Thine, O Lord; save me; for I have sought Thy commandments.”15MR 121.2

    This is Christian education. The teacher is a continual learner, and is constantly becoming better fitted to teach. He feels that he must be a student with his students in learning of Christ. Angels rejoice at the beauty of the companionship as teachers and students learn of God out of His Word.15MR 121.3

    Day by day the young student teacher is storing away a fresh supply of knowledge. His understanding is enlightened. He can say, God has opened my eyes to behold wondrous things out of His Word. A sense of God's mercy and greatness makes him childlike in his submissiveness and his willingness to serve.15MR 121.4

    These teachers do not feel the repression they would feel in the presence of older teachers. Their hearts glow with the love of God. The students catch the spirit, the windows of the heart are opened heavenward, and songs of gratitude ascend from hearts that burn with the love of God. As the teachers and students seek to learn their duty, with an unfeigned desire to be conformed to the image of God, they gain power to conquer the stubbornness of a selfish will.15MR 121.5

    Oh, I can see wisdom in thoroughly converted young men and young women engaging in the work of teaching! As they give themselves fully to God, they will learn more and more of Him, till they are “able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” They say, I am the Lord's servant, the property of Christ, sustained by His rich and undeserved mercy. I am His, to glorify Him with my physical, mental, and spiritual capabilities.15MR 122.1

    I wish we could see hundreds of students under the instruction of young men who are apt to teach, who realize that day by day they must be learners in the school of Christ, in order to understand the Scriptures in their simplicity, and to be able to teach them in a way that will make them plain.15MR 122.2

    We do not in any way underrate the older teachers. No; we would encourage older and younger teachers to labor for God. But I am seeking to show you that schools may be managed, and managed successfully, by men who are not the most advanced in years and experience.15MR 122.3

    God can work through young, humble men. Let none forbid them. Let the young, devoted followers of Christ say, “The love of Christ constraineth me.” Moving upon minds with the force of the grace of Christ, this love casts aside all hindrances and barriers, exerting upon souls a compelling influence that leads them to give themselves to God in unreserved consecration.15MR 122.4

    My brother, let nothing you do or say weaken the hands of men who are doing their best, and who have succeeded in gaining success.15MR 123.1

    I have seen so much of what the world calls perfection that I greatly long to see a different kind. The worker whose heart is humble and contrite, who is divested of all pride, will give evidence that he is moved by a power from above. Let us rejoice in our victories. Let there be no moves to tear down. Too much of this has been done. Let us all encourage one another, rejoicing in the Lord.—Letter 102, 1902.15MR 123.2

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Washington, D. C.,

    September 5, 1985.

    Entire letter.

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