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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    C. H. JONES

    WE are glad that we have the privilege of meeting so many of our friends and delegates at this, the fifteenth session of the International Sabbath-school Association. In behalf of our workers everywhere we wish to extend to you all a cordial welcome; and we trust that this season which we spend together will mark a new era in the Sabbath-school work among us as a people.GCB February 17, 1895, page 205.5

    The Executive Committee has held twenty-eight meetings since the last session of the Association, and has endeavored to carry out the plans there adopted just as far as possible, and in doing this we are pleased to acknowledge the hearty co-operation of our workers everywhere. It will be remembered that two years ago the Committee on Plans for Work recommended that all divisions of our Sabbath-schools study the same subjects, at the same time adapting the lessons to the needs of the different divisions. This recommendation was carried into effect a year ago last July. Since that time uniform lessons have been prepared for all divisions of the school, and so far as we have been able to learn, the plan is giving excellent satisfaction. The following are some of the advantages of this plan: 1. The entire family can unite in the study of the lesson, and it can be discussed at the table and the fireside with profit to all. 2. In small schools, where there are but few teachers, they can all unite in the study of the lesson at teachers’ meeting, and thus make it more interesting. 3. In general review all the divisions can be united, and by a little tact on the part of the one who has charge of the exercise, it can be made interesting and profitable to all.GCB February 17, 1895, page 205.6

    Nearly every State association has adopted the plan recommended for circulating the Sabbath-School Worker, and as the result, the list has been increased to over six thousand copies monthly.GCB February 17, 1895, page 205.7

    The plan recommended of electing officers once in six months instead of every quarter has also seemed to give general satisfaction.GCB February 17, 1895, page 205.8

    The following resolution in reference to books for youth and children, that the Executive Committee of this association make arrangements with one of our publishing houses to keep in stock a line of carefully selected children’s and youth’s books for the purpose of supplying our people with good literature to place into the hands of their children, was adopted at the last session.GCB February 17, 1895, page 205.9

    In compliance with this, a committee was appointed, and the following books have been examined and recommended to our people.GCB February 17, 1895, page 205.10

    Apostles Preaching, Nature’s Stories for Young Readers, By Sea and Shore, Sea-Side and Way-Side, Nos. 1,2,3; Stories of India, Stories of China, Leaves from Nature’s Story Book, Some Successful Women, Life of George Washington, At Home in New York, In the Mountains, Little Talks about Plants, Little Folks of Other Lands, Temperance Teachings of Science, Birds Through an Opera Glass, Little Brothers of the Air, Bright Eyes, The Children of India, A Year Among the Trees, Stories of Home and School, American History Stories, Vols. 2 and 3; Stories of Industry, Fiji and Samoa, Jack the Conqueror, Savonarola, The Tonga Islands and Other Groups, Letters from the Holy Land, Among the Northern Icebergs, Left with a Trust, Two Cannibal Archipelagoes, John of Wycliffe, Martin Luther, Life on the Kongo.GCB February 17, 1895, page 205.11

    These books are kept on sale by the Pacific Press Publishing Co., Oakland, Cal.GCB February 17, 1895, page 205.12

    The matter of selecting Field Secretaries was left to the Executive Committee, and we are sorry to say that we have not accomplished all that we desired; and yet we have been able to arrange for an experienced worker to attend nearly every camp-meeting in the interest of the Sabbath-school work.GCB February 17, 1895, page 205.13

    One very encouraging feature has been the interest and activity that Ministers and Conference Officers have taken in this branch of the Lord’s work. It has been a source of inspiration and encouragement to the Executive Committee, and to our workers generally.GCB February 17, 1895, page 205.14

    During the past two years the quarterly report blanks, class record books, etc., have been carefully revised and some quite important changes made. Our purpose has been to simplify as much as possible, and so far as we have been able to learn, these changes meet the approval of nearly all.GCB February 17, 1895, page 205.15

    Since our last session the Florida State Association has been organized, and, having complied with our Constitution by reporting regularly, has thereby become a member of this Association.GCB February 17, 1895, page 205.16

    It is encouraging to note the progress that has been made in the Sabbath-school work during the past two years. Sept. 30, 1892, 1545 schools reported a total membership of 35,017. On Sept. 30, 1894, 2116 schools reported a total membership of 47,849, showing an increase during the two years just passed of 57 schools and 12,832 scholars.GCB February 17, 1895, page 205.17

    The increase in contributions to missions has been no less encouraging. For the two years ending Sept. 30, 1892, our Sabbath-schools donated $39,249.62 to missions; and for the two years ending Sept. 30, 1894, $45,797.18, or an increase during the last two years of $6,547.75. The total amount which our Sabbath-schools have contributed to missions since the plan was first adopted, in 1887, is $131,538.58.GCB February 17, 1895, page 206.1

    The International Sabbath-school Association is now made up of 39 State Associations, embracing 2116 schools with a total membership of over 48,000 scholars. In this large company we find all classes, from the little lisping child to men and women who have already passed the allotted age of man; and according to the reports nearly one half of this large number are not church members. What a vast field for missionary work is here opened up before us.GCB February 17, 1895, page 206.2

    We would not forget to call special attention to the great spiritual blessings that have come to us as a people and as individuals through the study of God’s word in our Sabbath-schools. It is evident that since our last General Conference there has been a general awakening and a greater desire on the part of many to become better acquainted with God through his Word, and as a result, advance steps have been taken all along the line.GCB February 17, 1895, page 206.3

    But now the future is before us, with all its perils and possibilities. It will be our duty at this meeting to carefully consider the situation, and to lay plans for carrying forward this branch of the Lord’s work for the next two years. We know that the calls for laborers in other branches of the work are numerous and loud, and that the General Conference Committee is perplexed many times to know how to meet all these urgent calls. But we trust that this branch of the work will receive the attention its importance demands. In this connection we desire to call your attention to some things that Sister White has said in reference to the object and importance of the Sabbath-school work. In the Sabbath-school Worker, vol. 2, nos. 2 and 4, we read:—GCB February 17, 1895, page 206.4

    The Sabbath-school should be one of the greatest instrumentalities, and the most effectual, in bringing souls to Christ. Young men are to come forth from our Sabbath-schools and from our colleges to become missionaries. They need the best kind of instruction. Our Sabbath-schools are nothing less than Bible societies, and they may embrace far more than they have hitherto done, in the sacred work. They possess a power, if rightly managed, and are capable of doing a good and great work; but they are not what they may be, and what they should be. If properly conducted, the influence growing out of the Sabbath-schools will improve and enlarge the church, instead of diverting the interest from the church and concentrating it in the school. There is a most precious missionary field in the Sabbath-school. If now there are omens of good, they are only the beginning of what may be. Gather all into your Sabbath-schools, from the lisping infant to those of gray hairs, and set them to the task of solving mysteries which have not been comprehended by men of giant minds.GCB February 17, 1895, page 206.5

    With your permission we will now briefly call your attention to some of the questions which we think should be carefully considered at this meeting:—GCB February 17, 1895, page 206.6

    1. Our relations to the General Conference. — We recommend that all resolutions pertaining to the workings of the Association be brought before the General Conference for discussion and adoption — the plan followed two years ago. In that case we shall not need a Committee on Resolutions; but would suggest that instead a committee be appointed on Plans for Work. This committee can form the resolutions which they think should come before the General Conference, and present them to the Committee on Resolutions for that body. Other matters which would more properly come before this association for consideration can be presented in the form of recommendations instead of resolutions.GCB February 17, 1895, page 206.7

    2. The selection of officers — This is a very important question, and should receive careful consideration. You need a strong Executive Board, the majority of which are so situated that they can meet together frequently; and the president and secretaries should be persons who can devote their whole time to the work. We trust that the Committee on Nominations will carefully consider this matter.GCB February 17, 1895, page 206.8

    3. Sabbath-school offerings to missions — Nearly $50,000 have been contributed during the last two years. It has already been recommended that the contributions for the first six months of this year go to the Zambezian Mission, and the last six months to open up the work in China. This recommendation was made after consulting with the General Conference Committee and the Foreign Mission Board.GCB February 17, 1895, page 206.9

    We are glad that we are able to present such a favorable report, and to see that our contributions to missions are on the increase, but in studying the reports, the conviction has come to us quite strongly that if a little more care and economy were practiced in the matter of running expenses, we would have a much larger amount to donate to missions. During the two years ending Sept. 30, 1894, our Sabbath-school contributions amounted to $76,793.66. Of this amount $45,797.17 was donated to missions. The balance, $30,996.49, was used to meet the running expenses of the schools, or for some other purpose.GCB February 17, 1895, page 206.10

    In the October Worker we have a tabulated statement of the General Summary for quarter ending June 30, 1894, showing just what each Association has done. We find that the per cent of contributions donated to missions runs all the way from thirty to ninety, and that the amount per capita runs from two and one-half to thirty-six cents for the quarter.GCB February 17, 1895, page 206.11

    The question may pertinently be raised, Why this wide difference? We have been informed that in some schools the money has been used to purchase carpets for the church, tents for the conference, etc. These things may all be right and useful, but we question the propriety of diverting money raised for foreign mission work to such purposes as these. With our present arrangement and understanding, it is all right to use a portion of the contributions to pay for the actual, necessary running expenses of the school, such as lesson papers, etc.; but great care should be taken to keep down these expenses as much as possible and still furnish the school with needed supplies. We have learned of some schools that have voted to donate to missions the entire amount contributed, and to raise money for running expenses in some other way. It may be well to have this whole question considered by our Association.GCB February 17, 1895, page 207.1

    4. Sabbath-school lessons. — Should we be asked what we thought to be the most important questions for us to consider at this session, we would place the following at the head of the list: (a) The selection of topics to be studied in our Sabbath-schools. (b) The appointment of lesson writers. (c) The examination of lessons after they have been prepared. When we stop to consider that nearly fifty thousand persons are studying these lessons from week to week, and that to many of these persons the lessons furnish the only systematic study of the Scriptures which they get, their importance will become more important. Heretofore the responsibility has rested upon the Executive Committee, and no other subject has received more careful and prayerful consideration. But it may be thought best at this time to make some other arrangement, and perhaps appoint a special Committee to assist the Executive Committee, in this important work. It is a question that should be carefully considered by our Committee on Plans for Work. And they may see fit to have it brought before the Association or Conference in the form of a recommendation or resolution.GCB February 17, 1895, page 207.2

    The lessons as arranged for the coming year are as follows: 1st quarter, The Sanctuary; 2nd quarter, Lessons from the Book of Daniel; 3rd quarter, ten lessons on the Sabbath and three lessons on Tithing; 4th quarter, eight lessons on Life Through Christ and five lessons on the Saints’ Inheritance.GCB February 17, 1895, page 207.3

    In this connection we wish to call your attention to the question of having lessons prepared in other languages for use in this country. Calls have come to us from our German, Scandinavian, and French brethren for lessons in these languages. The question is worthy of your consideration.GCB February 17, 1895, page 207.4

    5. “The Sabbath-school Worker.” — The plan of taking the Worker in clubs at reduced rates has been adopted by nearly every Association, and as the result the circulation has been increased to over six thousand copies monthly. We consider the Worker one of the most valuable helps that can be placed in the hands of officers and teachers, and we are glad to know that so many enjoy the benefits to be derived from its study. We trust that the same plan which has worked so successfully during the past two years may be continued.GCB February 17, 1895, page 207.5

    6. Field laborers. — We have had no regular field laborers during the past two years. Our Corresponding Secretary has spent some time in the field, attending camp-meetings, etc. Other persons have been pressed into service from time to time, but no regular, organized effort has been made. We hope that at this session at least two persons in addition to the secretaries, may be selected to engage in general field work under the direction of the International Association. Besides this, each State Conference should appoint at least one laborer who will spend his whole time in this line of work, going from school to school and giving practical instruction. We trust that measures will be adopted at this session which will bring about the desired result.GCB February 17, 1895, page 207.6

    We note with much pleasure the growing interest that is being taken in many conferences in the organization of family and State schools. By this means isolated families are being brought into close touch with the work and made to feel that they have a part to act in this closing message. We hope that this good work may go on until every family and isolated individual is brought into connection with the work.GCB February 17, 1895, page 207.7

    In behalf of the Executive Committee, we desire to thank these delegates, and our brethren and sisters everywhere, for their hearty co-operation during our term of office. We can see many imperfections in our work, but trust that we have tried to do our duty in the fear of the Lord. He will overrule all for the advancement of his cause and the glory of his name.GCB February 17, 1895, page 207.8

    We have now come together to select officers and to lay plans for the next two years. Important questions will come before you for consideration. We trust that the Lord will especially bless the committees that may be appointed, and that the spirit of wisdom may be given to us all, so that every plan that is laid may be in harmony with the divine will.GCB February 17, 1895, page 207.9


    No Authorcode

    SABBATH, February 16, was a day full of blessing to those assembled in General Conference. The weather was bright and mild, — just right. At nine the various Sabbath-schools assembled. There were the English, Danish, French, German, and Spanish divisions. In the latter there were twelve members, who recited in that language.GCB February 17, 1895, page 208.1

    A congregation that packed the great Tabernacle in every part assembled at 10:30. Elder O. A. Olsen preached a most timely and impressive sermon from the words: “Ye are the salt of the earth.... Ye are the light of the world.” An outline of the discourse will be given in our next number. In the afternoon, in addition to the usual district meetings of the church, services were held by the German and Scandinavian brethren, each with good interest and attendance.GCB February 17, 1895, page 208.2

    Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the day’s exercise was a meeting of delegates and visitors for the celebration of the ordinances of the Lord’s house.GCB February 17, 1895, page 208.3

    After the opening hymn, Elder Olsen read the seventeenth chapter of John. Elder Loughborough presented a few appropriate and touching remarks relating to early experiences in the work, and to the union and brotherly love that characterized those who at first participated in the Third Angel’s Message. Among other allusions was one to the beginning of the work in Battle Creek. It was in 1852, we believe, that Elder Joseph Bates, an old sea captain, dreamed in Jackson that he saw a ship starting off southwest. That was a token to him that the Lord wanted him to go in that direction. Accordingly he proposed to go at once, and inquired of the brethren if any of them knew of any one in that direction who was interested in the present truth. They knew of such a man in Western Indiana, and Brother Bates concluded to go and see him. But before starting he said, “What about Battle Creek? There was something in the dream about that place.” But no one knew anything of the people of that town. Elder Bates was impressed to come; and upon arriving in the village inquired at the post-office for the most honest man in town. He was referred to David Hewitt on Van Buren Street. Knocking at the door he told Deacon Hewitt that he had been referred to as being the most honest man in town; and Elder Bates told him if that were so he had some truth for him. He was bidden to enter, and before the sun went down, David Hewitt and his house had accepted the truth. This was the beginning of the work here.GCB February 17, 1895, page 208.4

    Prayer was then offered by Elder A. J. Breed. W. W. Prescott followed with appropriate remarks relative to the ordinance and grace of humility, and read from the “Spirit of Prophecy” in the same line. This ordinance was then celebrated and the words of Jesus, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them,” were abundantly fulfilled.GCB February 17, 1895, page 208.5

    An hour was then spent in testimonies. Every moment was filled with hearty and humble expressions of love and gratitude. The Spirit of the Lord was present, cementing the hearts of the brethren, and drawing all nearer to God. Following this exercise the sacred emblems were administered, and the meetings closed after having extended about two and a half hours.GCB February 17, 1895, page 208.6


    No Authorcode

    PROF. R. B. TAGGART of Tennessee, who has been for some days in attendance upon the Institute and Conference, occupied the platform at the Council meeting on Thursday afternoon. His subject was that of Sacred Psalmody vs. Modern Hymnology. Brother Taggart is thoroughly persuaded that the use of the inspired hymns or psalms for services of praise and devotion would be more acceptable to God than those of promiscuous origin.GCB February 17, 1895, page 208.7

    During the lecture, which was listened to with close attention, many beautiful thoughts were brought out, illustrative of the real character and design of the book of Psalms as expressive of the experience of Christ and his followers.GCB February 17, 1895, page 208.8

    IT will be observed that no mention is made of a good share of the meetings of the Canvasser’s Convention. The minutes frequently omit several numbers. This is because the intervening meetings are occupied with book studies which are not reportable. We have several excellent papers relating to the canvassing work for which we hope soon to find space.GCB February 17, 1895, page 208.9

    A PORTION of the report of the Recording Secretary of the Sabbath-school Association is necessarily laid over till another number.GCB February 17, 1895, page 208.10

    WE would call particular attention to the address of the President of the General Conference published in Friday’s BULLETIN. It will reward study. The statements are condensed, and the facts are both encouraging and admonitory.GCB February 17, 1895, page 209.1

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