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Manuscript Releases, vol. 16 [Nos. 1186-1235]

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    MR No. 1197—A Suggestion That Christ's Object Lessons be Used to Help Lift Debt from Schools; The Need for Improved Spirituality at Battle Creek; Christ's Humiliation in the Wilderness Temptation

    (Written in November, 1899, from Maitland, NSW, to “Dear Brethren Irwin and Haskell.”)

    I have some things upon my mind which I must communicate to you. I will state the matter as well as I can. I have thought much, “How can I help the school in Battle Creek, and help to wipe out the large debt?” It came to me that the only way I could do [it] was to make a gift of the book soon to be issued, The Parables. I wish this book to be used in the interests of all our schools.16MR 84.1

    I will require no royalty if our printing office in Battle Creek will find the material and do the work of printing and binding the book. Others can give the illustrations, and those who canvass for the work can act their part by taking a smaller commission. The conference has pledged the interest on the debt, and this will help in the proposition I have made.16MR 84.2

    We will all share in the act of benevolence, and help the schools to help themselves out of their embarrassment. If we will all harmonize in this work, the Lord will be pleased, and the ones who act a part the Lord will bless. If the Review and Herald [will] find the material and print and bind the book free of cost, they will be doing no more than they would have done had they given the interest on the debt.16MR 84.3

    I have not time to write much, for the mail leaves this morning. I awakened at half past twelve o'clock, and am now writing to you. I have not the faculty of stating the matter regarding the book as precisely as I would like, but you can understand me, I hope. The Pacific Press would act a part in behalf of the Healdsburg school and the great whole proportionately. The Echo Office would also do its part. There should be a general work of benevolence done, that we may accomplish the most in helping our schools.16MR 85.1

    I will give the manuscript of the book as my portion. This, I understand, is now waiting for my last reading of some of the last chapters. And in order to relieve the situation of the conference, I will cut down my wages to fifteen dollars. This is all I can do in this line; for I am at the present time paying interest on several hundred pounds in this country and several hundred pounds in America, as the books will show.16MR 85.2

    Now, my brethren, will you consider this proposition, and see what the Review and Herald will do, and what the Pacific Press will do, and what the canvassers will do in reducing their commission? Will you see if you cannot secure donations of illustrations that will make the book attractive and saleable without great cost? Can you see light in this? Let me know if you will do your best to accomplish this transaction.16MR 85.3

    My heart is deeply stirred in regard to the debt upon our schools all over the world. This state of things should not exist. Will you unite with me in creating something that will change this order of things? In the name of the Lord, do something, and do it now. Arouse the people to do something in regard to these school debts.16MR 85.4

    Would it not be the best thing we could do to sell the large school building in Battle Creek, and take the money to establish buildings free from debt where can be had the advantages of land for manual labor? Thus the students could work on the same plans that we are trying to work on here. We think that if this were done, it would be the first step in heeding the message given for families to get out of Battle Creek into a more healthful location and a more spiritual atmosphere. There are altogether too many interests in Battle Creek. But this matter needs to be handled with great prudence and much wisdom. The Lord is to be our Counselor in all the movements made.16MR 85.5

    We greatly desire to see the spiritual atmosphere in Battle Creek changed for the better. Decided changes need to be made in the church, for her lack of moral power and spiritual efficiency is to be lamented. What can heal the church? What can create a pure and holy sentiment in all our institutions in Battle Creek? We need to begin at the very first principles of willing obedience to God's holy law. An outward observance of the Sabbath will not save the soul. The principles interwoven with every one of the ten commandments are to be honored and obeyed in the individual, practical life. The law, God requires, shall be written on the tablets of every soul.16MR 86.1

    In what consisted the strength of the assault made upon Adam, which caused his fall? It was not his indwelling sin; for God made Adam after His own character, pure and upright. There were no corrupt principles in the first Adam, no corrupt propensities or tendencies to evil. Adam was as faultless as the angels before God's throne. These things are inexplainable, but many things which now we cannot understand will be made plain when we shall see as we are seen, and know as we are known.16MR 86.2

    What humiliation our Lord was subjected to when assailed by the powers of the prince of darkness. Was it no degradation to the spotless Son of God that His dignity should be questioned, His authority disputed, and His allegiance to His heavenly Father assailed by a fallen foe? How humiliating to Christ to have Satan show a superiority to Him. We but dimly comprehend why Christ was brought in contact with the adversary of God and man. It was in behalf of fallen humanity that the compassionate Christ was made to appear in His humiliation.16MR 87.1

    All heaven watched the scene of the temptation. The object of Satan's assault was the Commander of heaven, and with what intense interest heavenly angels watched the conflict. Behold, angels stand on guard, ready to undertake in Christ's behalf should Satan pass his prescribed limit. Oh, what love burns in the hearts of the angelic throng as they behold their loved Commander apparently in the power of His foe. And when the last temptation comes, when the enemy offers to Christ all the world and the glory of it if He will fall down and worship him, when they see divinity flash through humanity, their love and sympathy can no longer be restrained.16MR 87.2

    Christ gave evidence that all Satan's taunts could not call Him from His allegiance to His Father. The very purity of His principles was assailed, but He gave evidence of the mighty power that was in Him. “Get thee hence, Satan,” He said, “for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”16MR 87.3

    The Captain of our salvation overcame the enemy, and Satan left the field a conquered foe. But the terrible strain upon His humanity left Christ as one dead. Then angels came and ministered unto Him. Their arms encircled Him. Upon the breast of the highest angel in heaven His head rested. He was provided with food, and divine consolation flowed into His soul. His humanity had felt the shock of Satan's tremendous effort to overcome Him, but the enemy was vanquished, and the human race was placed on vantage ground with God.16MR 87.4

    In His human nature Christ conquered in behalf of the fallen race. For time and for eternity man would be able to resist the power of the satanic agencies by becoming partaker of the divine nature. He could keep the law of God.16MR 88.1

    Here is presented before all the warfare of Christ with Satan in behalf of the human race. The church is to stand in and through Him who took the penalty of sin upon His own divine soul. Every advantage that Christ had in the conflict He has made it possible for man to have. There stood the divine God in closest contest with the evil one. What an hour for the triumph and supremacy of Satan, man's most deadly foe. How he would have exulted had he been able to place his feet upon Christ as a victor. What swellings of pride filled his heart because he had it in his power to humiliate Christ. But the Son of God came forth more than conqueror. Oh, if men would avail themselves of their advantages, they would in turn become victors over the powers of darkness. More will be written on this subject.—Letter 191, 1899.16MR 88.2

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Washington, D.C.,

    June 5, 1986.

    Entire Letter.