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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)

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    Lt 89, 1897

    Lacey, Brother and Sister [Herbert and Lillian]

    Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

    June 30, 1897

    Previously unpublished. +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.

    Dear Brother and Sister Herbert Lacey:

    I now come more closely to yourselves. Had your education been an all-round education, mental and physical combined, it would have been much better for yourself, and for your future usefulness as a teacher. The caution and warning has been given that you are not now fitted to lead, that while you may do a certain work in educating, you should still be learners. You are not as prepared as a teacher should be. You feel competent to undertake the work of managing the school interests but should you do this, you would prove a failure. You have not the qualifications gained by an all-round experience in the essential, matured, sound principles of education. You are not qualified for a leader or for a manager of the work in its varied lines.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 1

    You lack experience, which should be combined with all true education. You yourself must have a different mold of character before you can give a proper mold to the minds of others. If you had a genuine sense of your own weakness and your own human inefficiency, you would go to the One who is able to supply all your lack. You would humble your heart low before God. He is merciful, and would do for you more abundantly than you can ask or think. If you will learn your lessons in the school of Christ, I am sure the Lord will hear our prayers, which are ascending to Him day and night in your behalf.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 2

    “Without me,” said Christ, “ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] He is stronger than the strongest human agencies. The weaker you know yourself to be, the more you will realize the necessity of unlearning wrong lessons and learning anew of the great Teacher, and the stronger you will become in His strength. In thy weakness He will perfect His own strength. Sanctify the Lord of hosts, and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. Only trust in Him, and although weak, He will strengthen thee, though faint, He will revive thee, though wounded, He will heal thee, and give you the opportunity you so much need to perfect a Christian character. He will give you another chance to make God your only dependence.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 3

    When you become strong, I have something to say to you. But you cannot have any of this matter presented to you now. You need far greater reverence for God and holy things. You have excellent endowments, but they can become enfeebled by self-sufficiency and the supposition that you are qualified to manage the great responsibility of establishing and conducting the school wisely. You cannot do this; you need to be a learner before you can be a wise educator.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 4

    My brother, we hope that this sickness will be for your present and eternal good. The Lord will raise you up and give you another trial. If you will patiently continue to be a learner, gathering every ray of light that flashes from His Word, and from the Lord by His messengers, sent to His people with messages of reproof, of encouragement, of correction in righteousness, God will give you a true sense of what is truth.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 5

    I have a deep interest in you. It is natural for you to have quite a masterful way. You will feel that you can be first, and carry things efficiently. But the Lord loves you too much, my dear brother in Christ, to permit you to do this. Self must die. Jesus Christ must appear as the all and in all. This can never be until you are teachable, and ambitious in the way of the Lord. The hereditary, breezy ways of Herbert Lacey can only do harm to yourself and others in more ways than you suppose. The Lord will give you another trial. He will prove and test you.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 6

    I have had no opportunity to become well acquainted with you. But light has been given me that you need to see many things in a different light from that in which you now see them. You move impulsively, without due consideration, and as thoughts come into your mind, you desire them to be acted upon, and to prevail at once. But while you do this, you cannot be a safe guide to lead out in our school.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 7

    In His providence the Lord has directed the course of Brother Haskell from Africa to this country, because his experience is of great value to those who do not know by experience of my mission [which] the Lord has given me, or my past connection with the work. Here he can be a great help to the cause of God in Australia. The Lord, I was told, has the shaping of His work, and He will not trust His heritage of children in the hands of unskilled agencies, who have a different kind of knowledge to gain from that brought from Healdsburg or Battle Creek. Saith the Lord, Brother Haskell is My servant, appointed to work under My directions, which he will obey, to teach the truth for this time, and I will be with his mouth, and I will give him My Word, and he shall be your helper, to carry out My instructions.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 8

    Many have thought their own endowments competent to carry through any enterprise. Thus Moses thought when he slew the Egyptian, and then had to flee for his life to the mountains. Here he kept sheep for forty years, until he learned to be a shepherd of flocks. He learned his lesson so perfectly that though the Lord revealed Himself to Moses, and spoke to him face to face, as man speaketh to a friend, yet he did not become lifted up, and think that he could teach the Lord to work in behalf of His people. Moses knew that he was [a] mighty general of armies, while he was in service in the Egyptian courts. But when he began to plan ways and means for the work of God, he found that he was not following God’s plan, but his own human inventions.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 9

    Men gain nothing by rushing on before the Lord. “Follow me,” said Jesus. Do not run ahead of Me. Follow where My footsteps lead the way. Then you will not have the armies of Satan to meet alone. Let Me go before you, and then you will not be overcome by the enemy’s planning for you, when you think it to be the Lord.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 10

    When first called to follow the Lord, impetuous Peter knew not to what heights and depths Christ’s feet would lead the way. After his denial of Christ, he sincerely repented, and was converted.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 11

    The miracle of the draught of fishes was wrought in obedience to the One who had risen from the dead. “Cast thy net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find,” Christ said. [John 21:6.] They had toiled all night, and had caught nothing. Now they cast the net out on the right side—the side of faith—and they could not draw it in, <because of the weight of fishes,> but had to call for their brethren in the other boat to help them.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 12

    Peter was so elated and so glad that in his eagerness, he cast himself into the water, to go to his Lord. He had known Christ after the flesh, as many know Him now, but he was no more to be thus limited. He knew Him no more after the same manner that he had known Him in his association with Him in humanity. He had loved Him as a man, as a divine Teacher; he now loved Him as a God. He had been learning the lesson that Christ was all and in all to him. Then the Lord tested him. “The Lord said unto Peter, Lovest thou me more than these (the other disciples)?” Three times Peter had denied his Lord; three times was the assurance to be given: “O Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.” Then came the command, “Feed my sheep;” “feed my lambs.” [Verses 15-17.] Many can put the crib high, and give food to the sheep, but it is a more difficult matter to put the crib low, and feed the lambs. This is a lesson many need to learn.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 13

    The Lord has said that His representative men must be respected and regarded for their works’ sake. They have held the beginning of their confidence firm, and will do so unto the end if they will trust in the Lord. They have not tried to make of none account the light which God has given. “Those that honor me,” God says, “I will honor.” [1 Samuel 2:30.]12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 14

    There are many who need to learn the very lessons that they can and should learn from old, experienced men, whom the Lord has permitted to live in these perilous times. He has a message for them to bear. As His witnesses, they are to be respected and appreciated. They will give the trumpet a certain sound, to prepare men for battle for the great day of the Lord. Many who are young and vigorous will think that they themselves are all-sufficient. But the Lord has His picked men, men who will voice His words, and catch the first sound of command, who will obey His directions.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 15

    They have learned His voice, and will not mingle their natural temperaments with the Word of the Lord. They will not make confusion, and give orders that will counteract the Lord’s orders, or assimilate or interpret their orders with their own individual ideas or preferences.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 16

    O, it is a great thing to understand the voice of the great Shepherd, to be taught by God, and led by God, and work in God! The Lord will lead those who follow Him, in safe paths. Where is our strength? It is in having a knowledge of the weakness of human nature, and turning to One who is mighty to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. The young must know how to be strong in God’s strength. They are to understand that the age and experience of years is to be honored, that the agents whom God has loved and educated and communed with, are to be respected, and do their appointed work under the directions of God.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 17

    In your scholastic life, you have been placed where you have cultivated an appetite for skeptical inquisitiveness. You need to be educated in the clear light of saving truth, that you may make truth your own by personal experience. My brother and sister, you both need a practical experience in wearing the yoke Christ has worn in your behalf. You are not to quote or study the sayings or practices of great authors; your study is to go deeper than this. Your life-study has scarcely begun. You are still to study that which you both most need, that your lives may be made one with the life of Christ. You need this, for you are almost strangers to Christ’s life of self-denial and self-sacrifice.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 18

    There are so many who need an experimental knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. You are but a boy in knowledge; and great ships cannot be trusted to inexperienced hands, even of sailors. You need a personal knowledge of proper education. Make the truth your own by personal experiment. Assimilate the truth with your life, just as the food that you eat and digest is converted into blood. In your student-life you imbibed some things which it will not be wise to diffuse. It is a question which your own life will answer whether your education has been to you a benefit or a hindrance in receiving the gospel truth in all its mysterious working.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 19

    A great responsibility rests upon you to closely examine yourself, that you may see whether you have a genuine experience in things of eternal interest. You have head knowledge; but have you heart knowledge? Head knowledge alone is not to be trusted. The truth may be voiced by men, women, and youth, yet its warm converting rays may not have changed the soul, melting and subduing the whole being. Many who explain the plan of salvation to others have not felt the power of the transforming grace of Christ in life and character.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 20

    Look unto Jesus as the sin-pardoning Saviour. He is the only Center. By entire self-surrender, you can fasten to Him, and then you are prepared to preach Christ and Him crucified. You then have a knowledge of the preciousness of truth; for you have felt its mercy and grace in your own soul. The standard Christ holds out before you is completeness in your Redeemer. The more pure and sanctified your knowledge is, the higher will be your ideal.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 21

    Be sure, my brother, that the testimonies of reproof that the Lord has given to Battle Creek are to be carefully considered. Avoid everything that in the past has made such reproofs necessary. Healdsburg College need not now have been loaded with debt if the expenses had been carefully considered, and the outlay made proportionate to the income. It will not answer to incur debt during the very first term of school. This warning was given to Battle Creek, but it was not heeded. Debts were piled up which should never have been incurred. Term after term the same mistake has been made, yet they continue to follow former arrangements. This is not wise management.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 22

    Much more careful pioneering must be done here than was done at Healdsburg or at Battle Creek. It is an easy thing to place the expense of the students very low, but it is not so easy to make the out-go meet the income. Haphazard work cannot be done in this school. We have not the funds to draw that the schools in America have, and there is need for the greatest economy. Those who are travelling, in the place of favoring themselves with a meal at an expensive hotel, should buy some bread and fruit, and thus save a shilling.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 23

    The Lord’s messenger placed His hand upon your shoulder, and said with deep earnestness, Herbert, you are a young man. You have many things to learn. Your Saviour has given His life for you, and His heart yearns over you. But you must feel yourself to be a learner. Your education has not been altogether what it should have been. You have not the depth of spiritual experience that would make you a safe teacher. Your educational advantages have not brought you to that place where you feel a soul-hunger for the bread of life. You have not a proper sense of your accountability and responsibility. You are ever to wear Christ’s yoke. The great duty that you have not yet realized is that you are to improve your God-given talents. These entrusted gifts are to be appreciated. Your speech is a talent given you by God, not for your amusement but for God’s service, to be used for the advancement of His glory by being rightly employed.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 24

    You need to learn of Him who was the Majesty of heaven, but who clothed His divinity with humanity, and from childhood to manhood He was diligent in employing His moments, not in amusement and self-gratification but in God’s service. Throughout His lifetime, He did His duty, working with His hands to help others. This is more honorable than any selfish pleasure. Christ learned the trade of a carpenter, and contributed to the support of the family. He took His share of the burden.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 25

    This is where your ideas have been perverted. Your ideas are defective. You have not been taught to believe that a diligent use of the muscles, combined with mental labor, is the most useful education that can be obtained for practical life. You have not thought it beneath you to learn from books, but you have thought it degrading to engage in the homely, every day duties that someone must do, someone whose soul is just as precious as your own in God’s sight. Taking this view of things, and passing through your school life without being self-supporting, has left you with one of the most essential parts of education unlearned.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 26

    Had you entered your school life with a determination to wrest your way through, to be as far as possible, and as far as consistent with circumstances, a self-made man, how much better prepared you would now be to say to the students, “I have had a struggle; I have had to make my requests known to the Lord. I have had to plan and devise to make ends meet, but I have solved the problem.” Had you done this, you would have gained a valuable experience, of a different order from what you now have.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 27

    None of us are born only to eat and to drink and to study books. The hours of your life belong to God. No time is to be squandered, for your life is valuable beyond price. Hours spent in amusement create a morbid appetite for amusement. This appetite strengthens by indulgence, and leads one to regard the use of the muscles, in doing necessary physical labor, which someone must do, as detracting from gentility. Hundreds of hours are spent in doing nothing.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 28

    Diligence in study, sinking the shaft deep into the mines of truth for the precious ore, is to be balanced wholesomely by earnest physical labor. But the man or youth who is content to waste hours in doing nothing is not a well-regulated, well-balanced man. Herbert, you need not have accumulated debts. As a young and healthy man, you could and should have aspired to be one of the world’s self-made working men. The view that you have taken in regard to manual labor has kept you from obtaining a wholesome, practical education.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 29

    Idleness is always demoralizing. Few men sink into degrading habits who regard it as not lowering in any respect to mingle physical labor with mental. God would have all work, that they may be kept from the love of amusement merely for selfish enjoyment.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 30

    The Lord has given every man his work. He has not given to any brain, bone, or muscle to be kept in inactivity. Christ speaks. Hear His words: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] This is Christ’s recognition of duty. He speaks of wearing His yoke, and lifting His burden. What is the yoke? That which restrains. What is the burden? That which is to be carried. Here obedience and service are combined.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 31

    Those who thus recognize their duty will employ every God-given talent to the glory of God. Read Luke 10:25-27. Notice especially verse 27. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” To this the Master said, “Thou has answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” [Verse 28.] This takes in the whole man. The physical strength is to be brought under contribution to God. Mind, heart, soul, and strength are to be employed in God’s service. He who does this has a complete, all-round, symmetrical character.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 32

    Christ conformed to the law of obedience and service, and the same principle that made Him so useful everywhere, He requires His followers to obey. In this way every man must be educated before he can love God supremely and his neighbor as himself.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 33

    Many take views of life that are entirely opposite to the teachings of Christ. A life of freedom and idleness is looked upon as the happiest existence. But Christ acknowledges no such principle. He put His neck under the yoke of obedience, and He says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me how to obey and how to serve. In this you will find rest.” [See Matthew 11:29.]12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 34

    In these words Christ presents a higher conception of education than has ever been presented in school-life. The noblest men, those who stand highest in the estimation of the heavenly universe are the wrestlers, those who co-operate with Christ by using every faculty of mind and body to do God’s service by blessing their fellowmen. He who thus recognizes his responsibilities in this life, acting his part as a toiler, who strives to imitate the perfect pattern Christ has given him, will be recognized by God.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 35

    What is law? It is an expression of the divine will, and expression of the character of God. What is service? It is the work that human agents are to do for Christ. By wearing His yoke of obedience, we may be laborers together with God. Through perfect obedience and service Enoch walked with God, wearing Christ’s yoke. The life in which the mind, soul, heart, and strength are given to God is mingled with the example of Christ, and forms a part of the divine plan.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 36

    Who can describe the life of Christ? He was the Majesty of heaven, but in our behalf He came to this earth, and His life was far from being one of ease or pleasure. Painful toil was a part of each day’s experience. Weary, hungry, sorrowful, carrying heavy burdens, misrepresented and opposed by His brethren, misunderstood by His family, with a soul acquainted with grief, He did indeed bear the yoke in His youth. No other human being was ever weighted with such responsibilities. He had a mission to perform, and continually the words were on His lips: “I will not fail, nor be discouraged.” [See Isaiah 42:4.] Will all remember these words? It was the spirit of uncomplaining submission in which our Saviour did His duty that made His yoke easy and His burden light.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 37

    All this the Majesty of heaven bore that His grace might lighten the heavy load we would have to carry. He looked steadfastly to His Father for strength, that He might live a perfect life, working out a complete, symmetrical character, and that He might say to every struggling soul, “Fear not; for I have overcome the world. I will give you the aid of My Spirit.” [See John 16:33.]12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 38

    The Lord is soon coming. He has given to each of His children the work of preparing for His appearing. We are to do this by using and improving every entrusted talent. The Lord will not accept any slothful, indifferent work. We are exhorted to be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.]12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 39

    The voice is a talent. Our speech is to be carefully guarded, that we may honor the Lord by our communication one with another. There are many slang phrases and rough words used. Our speech must be polished by a study of the life of Christ.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 40

    The Lord has entrusted His goods to human agents to be traded upon during His absence. His stewards are not to copy the world’s habits or practices. They must have the grace of Christ in the heart, and then they will have a heavenly treasure house of precious things from which to draw. Every gift is to be purified from dross. It is to be refined and elevated, that it may do service for the Master.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 41

    The children of God, who cherish the blessed hope of uniting with the redeemed when Christ shall come, must have only one aim in life—to be laborers together with God, and thus be complete in Christ. “We all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, (from character to character), even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” [2 Corinthians 3:18.] “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments (the righteousness of Christ’s character), lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” [Revelation 16:15.]12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 42

    “And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of thunderings, saying, Alleluia; for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth; let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb hath come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the white linen is the righteousness of the saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” [Revelation 19:5-9.]12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 43

    My brother, the words I have written are important to you. Take heed to them. Many treat life as if it were a great holiday. They joke and trifle away the precious golden opportunities, given them that they may obtain a fitness for the future life. You can educate them not to thus grieve the Holy Spirit. God has given us faculties, and we are to use every one of them for Him. Those who jest at everything, who turn every circumstance into foolishness and nonsense, who are content to live in an atmosphere of hilarity and glee, gradually lose the use of the faculty of speech, so that they cannot speak good, wholesome words. Remember the temptation of others in this line, and in the fear of God educate them to turn away from these things. God help you to help those who need your help, is my prayer.12LtMs, Lt 89, 1897, par. 44

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