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Manuscript Releases Volume Two : Page 64

9. EGW Materials on Southern Work and Oakwood College

[Release requested by O. B. Edwards for use in writing a history of Oakwood College, 1896-1956.]

Ellen G. White Manuscript Materials on

Southern Work and Oakwood College

In the night season I was taken from place to place, from city to city, in the Southern field. I saw the great work to be done--the work that ought to have been done years ago. We seemed to be looking at many places. Our first interest was for the places where the work has already been established, and for the places where the way has opened for a beginning to be made. I saw the places in the South where institutions have been established for the advancement of the Lord's work. One of the places that I saw was Graysville, and another [was] Huntsville. The Lord led in the establishment of these schools. Their work is not to be discouraged, but encouraged. They are to receive encouragement and support. Both of these places have advantages of their own. There has been delay in pushing forward the work in these places. Let us delay no longer. At these schools students may gain an education that, with the blessing of God, will prepare them to win souls to Christ. If they unite with the Saviour, they will grow in spirituality, and will be prepared to present the truth to others.

We must provide greater facilities for the education and training of the youth, both white and colored. We are to establish schools away from the cities, where the youth can learn to cultivate the soil, and thus help to make themselves and the school self-supporting. Let means be gathered for the establishment of such schools. In connection with these schools, work is to be done

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in mechanical and agricultural lines. All the different lines of work that the situation of the place will warrant are to be brought in.

Carpentering, blacksmithing, agriculture, the best way to make the most of what the earth produces--all these things are part of the education to be given to the youth.--Letter 25, 1902, pp. 8-9. (To Those in Positions of Responsibility in the Southern Field, Feb. 5, 1902.)

The light given me is that the schools in Graysville and Huntsville make these towns places of special interest. In both of these places there are excellent opportunities for giving the students manual training. I mention these places particularly because they have been presented to me by the Lord as places in which we should make persevering efforts to build up and strengthen the work. In these places there is much to be done, and the efforts of the laborers should be especially directed to this work until something is completed that will be an object lesson of what can be done. . . .

Let not the means at your disposal be spent in so many places that nothing satisfactory is accomplished anywhere. It is possible for the workers to spread their efforts over so much territory that nothing will be properly done in the very places where, by the Lord's direction, the work should be strengthened and perfected.

There will be those who do not see any special necessity to perfect the equipment of our schools in Graysville and Huntsville, because from outward appearance these places may seem inferior to some other places. But let not the work in Graysville and Huntsville, or the work in Nashville, be passed over to enter a place like Chattanooga, to begin a work that will call for quite an

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outlay of means, and that will divert the attention of the workers.--Letter 87, 1902, p. 3. (To Brother Kilgore, June 11, 1902.)

I have been shown that with proper management the Huntsville school and the Graysville school could be self-supporting. But I was instructed, also, that the difficulties to be overcome in the Huntsville school would be far greater than in some other schools. A school for colored students cannot be compared with or treated in the same way as a school for white students. Not all that ought to have been done for the Huntsville school has been done, and those who take the management of the school in the future will have a trying time. But God will be with them if they make Him their dependence. This school has land, and the cultivation of fruit should be carried on. But the school cannot do this without help.

Since writing the above, I have been down to breakfast. I will now add a few words to this letter. I want you to get all the help you possibly can in your work. I know that you cannot help feeling troubled as you see the shortcomings of those who know the truth, yet are not sanctified through the truth. Let us do our best, and then trust the Lord to do what we cannot possibly do. Our work is to be placed on a higher plane. We are to have a faith that will not fail or be discouraged.

I have not much confidence in doing a large amount of work for those who already know the truth. Nothing will stir the South like taking hold of the work in new places. The cities are to be entered. But to try to bring those who know the truth, yet do not do their best, up to where they ought to be, is, I must say, almost labor lost, and greatly hinders aggressive work. Let the workers press into the cities still in ignorance. Let men and women be trained

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to conduct schools and sanitariums for white people. Let colored workers be educated to labor for their own people. And let the workers all remember that no raid is to be made on slavery and cruel taskmasters.--Letter 200, 1903, pp. 4, 5. (To G. I. Butler, Sept. 10, 1903.)

Early on Monday morning [June 20, 1904] we took the train for Huntsville. We reached the school at one o'clock the same day. That afternoon we were taken over a portion of the school farm. We find that there are nearly four hundred acres of land, a large part of which is under cultivation. Several years ago Brother S. M. Jacobs was in charge of the farm, and under his care it made great improvement. He set out a peach and plum orchard, and other fruit trees. Brother and Sister Jacobs left Huntsville about three years ago, and since then the farm has not been so well cared for. We see in the land promise of a much larger return than it now gives, were its managers given the help they need.

Brother Jacobs put forth most earnest, disinterested efforts, but he was not given the help that his strength demanded. Sister Jacobs also worked very hard, and when her health began to give way, they decided to leave Huntsville and go to some place where the strain would not be so heavy. Had they then been furnished with efficient helpers and with the means necessary to make the needed improvements, the advancement made would have given Brother Jacobs encouragement. But the means that ought to have gone to Huntsville did not go, and we see the result in the present showing.

Recently the suggestion has been made that the school at Huntsville is too large, and perhaps it would be better to sell the property there and establish the school elsewhere. But in the night season instruction was given me that this farm must not be sold. The Lord's money was invested in the Huntsville

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school farm to provide a place for the education of colored students. The General Conference gave this land to the Southern work, and the Lord has shown me what this school may become and what those may become who go there for instruction, if His plans are followed.

There is need at the Huntsville school of a change in the faculty. There is need of money, and of sound, intelligent generalship, that things may be well kept up, and that the school may give evidence that Seventh-day Adventists mean to make a success of whatever they undertake.

Wise plans are to be laid for the cultivation of the land. The students are to be given a practical education in agriculture. This education will be of inestimable value to them in their future work. Thorough work is to be done in cultivating the land, and from this the students are to learn how necessary it is to do thorough work in cultivating the garden of the heart.

The facilities necessary for the success of the school must be provided. At present the facilities are very meager. There is not a bathroom on the premises. A small building should be put up, in which the students can be taught how to care for one another in time of sickness. There has been a nurse at the school to look after the students when they were sick, but no facilities have been provided. This has made the work very discouraging.

The students are to be given a training in those lines of work that will help them to be successful laborers for Christ. They are to be taught to be separate from the customs and practices of the world. They are to be taught how to present the truth for this time, and how to work with their hands and with their heads to win their daily bread, that they may go forth to teach their own people. The bread-winning part of the work is of the utmost importance. They

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are to be taught also to appreciate the school as a place in which they are given opportunity to obtain a training for service.

The teachers should constantly seek wisdom from on high, that they may be kept from making mistakes. They should give careful consideration to their work, that each student may be prepared for the line of service to which he is best adapted. All are to be prepared to serve faithfully in some capacity.

No laxness is to be allowed. The man who takes charge of the Huntsville School should know how to govern himself and how to govern others. The Bible teacher should be a man who can teach the students how to present the truths of the Word of God in public, and how to do house-to-house work. The business affairs of the farm are to be wisely and carefully managed.

Each student is to take himself in hand, and with God's help overcome the faults that mar his character.--Letter 215, 1904, pp. 3-6. (To M. A. Davis, June 30, 1904.)

Brother _____ has been chosen to act as business manager and principal of the Huntsville School. For years he has labored in school work for the colored people in Mississippi, under the direction of the Southern Missionary Society. He is a teacher of experience, and is a capable manager. Associated with him will be a faculty competent to carry forward all branches of instruction both in the school lines, and in industrial training. The efficiency of the school will be much improved this year.--Letter 221, 1904, pp. 1, 2. (To Frank Foote, July 6, 1904.)

I have a message for you: It is the duty of those in all parts of America to have a special regard for the men who are giving the powers of heart, mind, and soul to the work in the Southern field. This field is a responsibility that

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does not rest upon the men and women only who are engaged in the work there. None should feel that they have no burden to carry in reference to this field. The wrongs that have existed in the past must not be repeated. Not one word of discouragement should be spoken to anyone engaged in the work. This field must be worked. Every grace is needed.

That which has been done in sending out self-denial boxes is well-pleasing to God. By the use of these boxes a double good is accomplished--gifts are received for the advancement of the work, and the families in which these boxes are used receive an education in self-denial. . . .

The work for the colored people needs liberal offerings, and parents as well as children may do much by self-denial and sacrifice to aid this work.

Parents, these self-denial boxes are a precious reminder in your home. Therefore deny yourselves in order to be able to put money into them, just as long as there are needs to be supplied. . . .

A primary school should be fitted up in Huntsville for the education of colored children. Provision should also be made for those who can be prepared to minister to their own race. For this work wise teachers are needed. And gifts of money are needed. Do not suppose that small offerings will not be appreciated. Larger gifts will also be needed. Self-sacrifice is called for at every step. It is a great work to prepare colored youth to teach their own race.--Letter 304, 1904, pp. 1-3. (To My Brethren Throughout America, Nov. 11, 1904.)

Several years ago it was presented to me that the Gentile world should be called upon to make donations to our work in the Southern field. Let discreet, God-fearing men go to worldly men that have means, and lay before them a plan of

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what they desire to do for the colored people. Let them tell about the Huntsville school, about the orphanage that we desire to build there, and about the colored mission schools that are needed all over the southern States. Let the needs of this work be presented by men who understand how to reach the hearts of men of means. Many of these men, if approached in the right way, would make gifts to the work.--Letter 295, 1905, pp. 4-5. (To J. H. Baldwin, Oct. 18, 1905.)

I felt great sadness of heart on hearing that one of the Huntsville school buildings had been consumed by fire. I am so sorry that one life was lost. We must now do our very best to make the needed improvements at the school. I am not favorably impressed by what you say about all the buildings that are to be erected being small. We must not let the work at Huntsville flag, or be brought down to small dimensions. There is need of buildings, and there is need of larger buildings, but these must not be extravagantly large, for the work in other places in the South must be considered.--Letter 348, 1906, p. 3. (To G. I. Butler, Oct. 30, 1906.)

I have just received and read your letter in which you tell me about your visits to the colleges in Nashville. I am so glad that you are beginning to understand why our work should be located in Nashville. A wide interest should be manifested for the colored people. . . .

Do not lose interest in the work for the colored people. Do not rest until sanitarium work is established for them, both at the Huntsville school and at Nashville. In the past much labor has been given to this people under the most trying circumstances, and you should not overlook what has been done by the hardest kind of labor. Do not ignore what has been done, but unite your sympathies

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with the sympathies and labors of those who have gone before you and prepared the way. God help you, and give you wisdom to know how to treat your fellow workers. Christian instrumentality is a wonderful thing. If its place in the divine economy is appreciated as it should be, the workers will appreciate more than they do what has been accomplished in the Southern field.

When I first visited the South I learned many things regarding the work that had been done there, and when I can do so I will have a history of that work published. Those who did not take part in it cannot fully understand how much of self-denial and sacrifice it called for.--Letter 154, 1907, pp. 1-3. (To J. S. Washburn, April 17, 1907.)

For some time I have had a great desire to be in Washington, but I cannot leave my work here; there is too much to do, too many important interests at stake.

Some very decided instruction has been given me in regard to the work to be done in Huntsville, and the necessity of our placing the training school there on vantage ground. Let us delay no longer to do the work that so long has been left undone in the Southern field. Soon this work of training colored people to be laborers in the cause of God will be much harder to handle than it is now.

The Lord has presented before me our neglect of improving opportunities for good, in failing to get acquainted with the work that is being done in the large institutions for the education of the colored people. Long ago we should have made a thorough study of the best ways of educating the colored people to be workers for the colored people. We should use every opportunity to work wisely for the teachers and students in these large educational institutions. We do not need to work hastily to indoctrinate the workers, but we can seek in every

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way possible to help them, and to let them know that we appreciate their labors. . . .

A mighty influence should now be set in operation to arouse earnest efforts in behalf of the colored people. The chafing and annoyances that have existed among the workers in the Southern States, the holding back, and the hindrances, have not been of the Lord's order; and these things have prevented the work from being done that God designed should be done in that field. Had the workers been prepared to act harmoniously, and under the dictation of the Spirit of God, there would have been a very different showing than there is today. Now an earnest work is to be done for the teachers in Nashville, and a wise work is demanded for the colored students. . . .

God will multiply our numbers and our men of means, and through His converted agencies will accomplish the work that He designs shall be done. It is the baptism of His Holy Spirit that is needed among His laborers. When this lack is supplied, we shall serve Him with a thousandfold more earnestness than we do now.--Letter 228, 1907, pp. 1-3. (To the Officers of the General Conference, June 14, 1907.)

I have been writing for our paper on the needs of the Southern field. This is a living subject with me. I hope that our people will not stop to question about everything that does not exactly meet their ideas before giving to the work that needs their help so much. I have tried to bring before our people the needs of the training school at Huntsville. This school should have special advantages, and our people should understand that liberal gifts made to this enterprise will be money well invested.

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At the Huntsville school a thorough work is to be done in training men to cultivate the soil and to grow fruits and vegetables. Let no one despise this work. Agriculture is the ABC of industrial education. Let the erection of the buildings for the school and the sanitarium be an education to the students. Help the teachers to understand that their perceptions must be clear, their actions in harmony with the truth, for it is only when they stand in right relation to God that they will be able to work out His plan for themselves and for the souls with whom, as instructors, they are brought in contact.

Let us encourage all Seventh-day Adventists to have a deep interest in the work that is being done at Huntsville for the education of men and women to be laborers among the colored people. The preparations for a sanitarium for these people should go forward at Huntsville without delay. If we will move forward with faith in God, He will fulfill His word to us. We have no time to lose, for wickedness in the cities is reaching a terrible pass. The night is coming in which no man can work. Let us not grudge to the colored people a well-equipped sanitarium in connection with the Huntsville school. The building should not be restricted. It should be made roomy enough to accommodate with comfort those who shall come to it. . . .

The gospel of Christ embraces the world. Christ purchased the human race at a price that was infinite. The ransom embraced every nationality, every color. We should think of this when we consider the colored people in our own land who are so greatly in need of our help. These men and women should not receive the impression that because of the color of their skin they are excluded from the blessings of the gospel. The white people are under obligation to God, by the innumerable favors they have received, to take an interest in those who have not been so highly favored. . . .

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Our people everywhere have given freely of their means to establish in Nashville a sanitarium for the white people; let them now be generous in their offerings that a sanitarium may be established at Huntsville for the colored people. If our charities to the colored race were as large and as numerous as they have been to the white people, we would call forth their gratitude and love.

My brethren, I entreat you not to let the work for the colored people be longer neglected. Meetinghouses, simple but convenient, should be built for them, where they can come together to study the Word of God. . . .

The Southern field is in need of humble, God-fearing workers. It is in need of means. Who will rally our people at this time, encouraging them to give all they possibly can for this work? God will be pleased to have not only our own people, but whosoever will, make liberal offerings. Who will teach our brethren to measure their gifts by the spirit of benevolence that led the Father to give His only begotten Son to make us the recipients of eternal blessings? When we allow the Spirit of Christ to guide us in giving, God's blessing will go with our gifts, and wisdom will be given to those who have the responsibility of the disbursement of means, that the best appropriation of the funds may be made.

The people of the South must be helped, not only in a few places, but in many places where help is needed. Brethren, let us be true missionaries. Let us open our hearts to the needs of the colored people, realizing the responsibility that rests upon us to impart of the blessings God has given us. In the day of final reckoning, He who has entrusted us with His goods will demand His own with usury.--Letter 289, 1907, pp. 1-3, 6. (To G. I. Butler and his co-laborers in the Master's vineyard, Sept. 10, 1907.)

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Last night in my sleeping hours I seemed to be speaking to the workers at Takoma Park, Washington. I was speaking in regard to the buildings that it may be considered necessary to erect there. The beginning of work on every such building should be regarded as an occasion for seeking the special guidance of the Holy Spirit. Before you begin the work, ask that the Holy Spirit of God may give you a clear understanding of what should be done, and how to do it in the least expensive way. Our people have been drawn upon heavily for the work in Washington. Every dollar should be used to carry on the work in a way that will conform to the faith that we profess.

Light has been given me that believers should now arouse themselves to make earnest efforts for the advance of the work in the Southern States. Because of past neglect the work in this field has been almost at a standstill, and we shall have no excuse to render for this neglect in the day when God shall call all our works into judgment.

Means must now be gathered from the various churches for the help of the colored people in the South. This is a work that should have been done years ago. Let us now do all in our power to redeem the past neglect. Calls are coming in for schoolhouses to be built, and meetinghouses where the colored people can assemble for worship. It is right to solicit means for this purpose, and to erect buildings that are proportionate in size and equipment to the needs of the place where they are established.

The book Christ's Object Lessons might have had a wide circulation in the South for the benefit of the Southern schools. But instead of this enterprise being energetically pushed, territorial rights have been contended for, and the field has been left unworked. It is true that organization and method must be maintained in the various lines of our work, but because undue importance has

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been attached to territorial claims, many have been deprived of the instruction that this precious book contains. My brethren, let these books be circulated in every possible place. "Faith without works is dead." Who will now engage in this work with a true missionary spirit? Who will study to bring in ingenious methods by which this book may be brought before all classes?

At our large gatherings, men of wisdom and experience should be chosen to present Christ's Object Lessons and Ministry of Healing before the people, and to call for those who will take a part in circulating them. If this plan had been faithfully followed in the past, we might now have humble houses of worship and schools in many places, where the colored people would be receiving an education in the principles of present truth. These schools and meetinghouses are the Lord's agencies for the promulgation of His truth in the South, and to prepare a people for the coming of Christ. The colored people themselves, with a wise planner at their head, will do much toward the erection of these buildings.

The land at Huntsville was a donation from our people to the colored work. A much broader work would have been accomplished there had our people moved forward in faith and self-denial. It was God's design that Huntsville should have convenient school buildings and a sanitarium for the colored people. This sanitarium building has become a positive necessity. Some of the brethren have been free to give their advice concerning this institution, saying that it should be "a small sanitarium." The advice I have had to give has been that we should have a modest but roomy sanitarium, where the sick can be taken in and treated. The colored race should have the benefits of such an institution as verily as should the white people. In this sanitarium colored nurses are to be trained for service in the field as gospel medical missionaries.

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The Lord is calling for converted workers who will act as faithful ministers and teachers to the colored people. We need less of commercial enterprises, and more church buildings and missionaries. Let us be very guarded in the use of means, that money may not be used largely in a few places, when there are so many places that the missionary must enter with the last message of warning.--Letter 322, 1907, pp. 1-3. (To the Officers of the General Conference, Oct. 2, 1907.)

My brethren and sisters in the South, will you not act your part in the good work of helping the Huntsville school? Have you not some time to spare in its behalf, that you can devote to the sale of Christ's Object Lessons? By taking up this work, you will be acting as missionaries for the Lord Jesus. His approval will rest upon you as you try to assist the faithful workers in the Huntsville school. By circulating Christ's Object Lessons , not only will you be helping the Huntsville school, but you will be placing in the hands of men and women a book containing the most precious spiritual instruction.

The Huntsville school is in need of help. Let our people take hold earnestly of the circulation of Object Lessons in its behalf. If you will act your part faithfully, the school can get the equipment that it so much needs. Christ says to His disciples, "Ye are the light of the world." "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."--Ms 103, 1907, pp. 4, 5. ("The Sale of Object Lessons," Oct. 3, 1907.)

I am instructed to say to our colored laborers: Be kind in your families. Do not bring into the home circle any of the spirit or the customs of slavery.

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Let no harsh words be heard in your homes. Overcome disorderly habits. Never indulge a harsh, authoritative manner. Never treat your wife as your slave. Remember that you are members of the Lord's family, and that in this world you are to give an example of what the Lord expects the members of His family to be. Your lips are to be sanctified to the Lord's service. You are to be Christlike in word and act. You may have witnessed much tyranny on the part of those who looked upon the Negro as their property, to be treated as they pleased, but because of this you are not yourself in your home to be a tyrant. God is the owner of all human beings.

Those who feel at liberty to torture those over whom they have authority will be dealt with by the Creator as they have dealt with those under them. . . .

Years ago the truth should have been proclaimed from city to city in those fields where there are many colored people. In these cities sanitariums and schools are to be established, in suitable locations, and these institutions are not to be left barren of much-needed facilities, as the Huntsville School was left for many years. Those who knew of the condition of things in this school, both white and black, should have helped to raise means for the placing of the school where it could do a more successful work. Industries should be started in connection with this school that will help it to be self-supporting.

The hearts of the colored people are not to be left without hope or courage. They are to be filled with hope by those who have learned to believe that the colored people appreciate the efforts put forth in their behalf, and are ready to be co-workers with Christ the Master Worker.

To carry this work forward, helping the people, here a little and there a little, teaching them to live, not as if there were no hope of a change for the

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better in their condition, but as if there were something better for them, requires patient, earnest, judicious, persevering effort. But such effort is richly rewarded.

For this work many men and women of the colored race are to be educated to work as missionaries for their own people. These workers are not to feel that their sphere of labor is to be among the white people. They are to be educated and trained to be missionaries within their own borders.

Perseverance . To many of the colored people, the difficulties against which they have to contend seem insurmountable. But there are those who will not give up. All who are conscientiously and in the fear of God trying to acquire an education are to be encouraged. There is talent among the colored race, and this talent will be developed, sometimes where least expected. Every advantage possible is to be given to the colored youth who are capable of becoming useful workers in the Lord's vineyard.

There are those who with proper training can be prepared to conduct sanitariums for colored people. In all cases they will need the assistance of white workers, but their talents will tell greatly for the success of the work.

Schools for colored children and youth are to be established in many places. The teachers are to bring a softening, subduing influence into the school. In their habits and their dress they are always to be neat and tidy. They will find that the students need this example. And they will find also that they are very quick to imitate. When old or young show refinement of manner and taste in dress, this is never to be discouraged.--Ms 105, 1908, pp. 1, 3-5. ("Words of Counsel to Our Colored People," Oct. 19, 1908.)

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I cannot rest because of the many representations made to me, showing that our people are in danger of losing precious opportunities of working earnestly and wisely for the proclamation of the third angel's message. Satan with all his agencies is working to hold God's people back from giving all their powers to His service. But as a people we are to be active and decidedly in earnest, improving every opportunity to increase our usefulness in religious lines. We are to be "not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." Possessing true godliness and knowledge of the Word of God, every church member may become a working agency, laboring with dignity and confidence, yet with humble dependence, remembering the words of Christ to His first disciples, "I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves." We need to exercise wisdom in all our ways if we would work in the name and fear of God. Unfeigned faith is what we need, for faith is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

I have visited the Huntsville school, and I believe that it has many advantages for the carrying on of the work of an all-round education. It is the privilege of those who labor there to make it a blessed place of preparation for usefulness in the work of God.

I am praying that every soul of you will fill the place that the Lord designs for you. He will work for each one according to his faith. There is a picture representing a bullock standing between a plow and an altar, and with the picture is the inscription, "Ready for either." Thus we should be ready to tread the weary furrow or to bleed on the altar of sacrifice. This singleness of purpose, this devotion to duty, is to be expressed in the life of every child of God. This was the position our Saviour occupied while upon the earth; it is the position that every follower of His will occupy.

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The salvation made sure to the human race through the sacrifice of Christ was intended alike for all races and nationalities. There are some of all nationalities who are never inclined to draw in even cords with their fellow men. They want to be a ruling power. And unless the power of God is recognized and appreciated, and believers work intelligently for the accomplishment of God's purpose for all mankind, God will leave them to their own ways, and will use other instruments through which to accomplish His plans. And those who refuse to do the work laid upon them will finally be found on the enemy's side, warring against order and discipline.--Letter 244, 1908, pp. 1, 2. (To Those Recently Assembled at the Oakwood School, Huntsville, Alabama, Aug. 23, 1908.)

I am glad to have an opportunity of speaking to this company of students. Sometime I expect that this room will be filled, and that another room will be filled also. We expect to see a work done here that men will be proud to acknowledge. We are glad indeed to see everyone present.

This morning I will first read a few words from the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah: "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching God.

"Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and Thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge?" Here the complaint comes not against themselves, but against God. Listen to the answer: "Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast

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as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?" [Isa. 58:1-5.]

The Lord declares what is the fast that He chooses. "Is not this the fast that I have chosen?" He says, "to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?" [verses 6, 7].

This is the work we are trying to do, and the work we are setting before His people, God's people, as the work that should be done. Yes, Lord, we can say, We, Thy commandment-keeping people, are trying to do this work as fast as possible.

We are endeavoring to bring the colored people to that place where they shall be self-supporting. The time will come when you will be able to escape many of the evils that will come upon the world, because you have obtained a correct knowledge of how to plant and to build, and how to carry various enterprises. This is why we want this land occupied and cultivated, why we want buildings put up. The students are to learn how to plant, and build, and to sow. As they learn to do this, they will see a work before them which they will be very glad to have a part in. Opportunities will present themselves by which they can make themselves a blessing to those around them.

"Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?" It is the privilege of

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every student and worker upon this school land to know what it is to be moved by the impulse of the Spirit of God.

"Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily." Why this assurance regarding the health? Health is given because you learn to use your muscles as well as your brain powers. It is very important that we tax our physical and mental powers equally. "Thy righteousness shall go before thee," the Lord continues, "and the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward." How will our righteousness go before us? It will be revealed in righteous words, in righteous actions, in our useful employments. This work is given to the colored people as surely as it is given to the white people. According to their opportunities they are to work out faithfully the problems that God presents to them. When we do the work that God requires of us, the blessings He has promised will attend us.

If we will do justice, if we will exalt the truth, the Lord Himself will be our Keeper and our Preserver, enabling us to do His will. God takes care of those who are looked down upon by their fellow men. It is because He regards the needs of those who are despised and rejected that we have this school farm where you can receive a preparation for labor right here in the South. It is His desire that those who receive a training here shall go forth to labor, to lift up the oppressed, to strengthen the weak hands, that through your efforts men and women may learn to honor and glorify God. The teaching of this fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah means just this to you.

I am glad of the opportunity of saying these few words to you. Let everything you do be done in faith. Believe that the Lord will surely fulfill His promises. He wants us to take comfort in His word; He wants us to be consoled by His promises; He longs to see the righteousness of the Lord go before us and

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the glory of God be our rearward. I see great possibilities for this experience to come to the students in this school. You have great advantages here. You are shut away from the world at large, away from the carousing, and the amusements, and the confusion. You do not need these things. You need to be where you are free to serve the Lord conscientiously. He does not cast you off because of your color. The Lord wants the white people to help the colored people. If they will encourage them, and open ways for them, the blessing of the Lord will surely come upon them, as it comes to those whom they are trying to help. This will be a working out of God's plan.

It is the privilege of each student here to know that the Most High has a care for you. He will watch over you for good, and not for evil. If you follow on to know the Lord, you will know His going forth is prepared as the morning. You will increase continually in light and knowledge. I want to see the goodness and mercy of God revealed in this place. We will pray for you; we will do all we can to help you; we will send you publications that you can read and study. I want to meet you each in the kingdom of God. Let us fight the battles of the Lord manfully and righteously, that we may see in the city of God the faces we look upon here today. Let us educate and train the younger members of the Lord's family. They are to stand firmly with God's people.

I need not say anything more to you this morning. I am very thankful that I could visit your school. For years I have done what I could to help the colored people, and I have never found the work so well begun in any place as I find it here at the present time. In all your experiences, remember that angels of God are beside you. They know what you do; they are present to guard you. Do not do anything to displease them. I believe you will try to help those who are trying to help you. As you work and they work, this school will become

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consecrated ground. I shall want to hear how you succeed. All heaven is interested in the moves you are making. Let us do our utmost to help one another to obtain the victory. Let us so live that the light of heaven can shine into our hearts and minds, enabling us to grasp the treasures of heaven. May God help you, is my prayer.--Ms 27, 1909, pp. 1-5. ("Words of Encouragement." Talk given at the Oakwood School, Huntsville, Alabama, April 29, 1909.) Released January 20, 1959.