Section IV: Seventh-day Adventists And Politics
Seventh-day Adventists And Politics
I have words to speak to our brethren who shall assemble in conference in 1897. The present financial controversy has been presented to me as one of Satan’s masterpieces for these last days. There is a power moving from beneath, which is after the working of the great enemy. I supposed our own people would step softly, and move very guardedly, and keep themselves aloof from all these new issues in regard to the circulating currency. This is not of the devising of God—the changing of the circulating currency. What will it effect?—It will cause a state of things that will bring oppression to the poor, and create great distress. It is one of the devil’s schemes, and I thought those who believed the truth would not be deceived in the least degree upon this matter. But within the year 1896 matters have been presented to me which have
made me tremble for our people. I have been where I heard conversations from those in positions of trust in our institutions, and there was great warmth in controversy over the different positions taken. The light given me was, This is the policy Satan has arranged to bring distress.
Would we know how we may best please the Saviour? It is not in engaging in political speeches, either in or out of the pulpit. It is in considering with fear and trembling every word we utter. Where the people assemble to worship God let not a word be spoken that shall divert the mind from the great central interest—Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. The third angel’s message is to be our burden of warning. The side issues are not for us to meddle with. The burden of the work is, Preach the word. There are those who have had an experience in preaching and laboring for the salvation of souls for whom Christ has given His precious life. That work is the special enterprise to engross everyone who feeds the flock of God. It is a time now when voices will be heard, “Hear. This is the way, walk in this path.” But the Lord Jesus says, “Follow thou Me. They that follow Me, shall not walk in darkness.” The saving of souls is to be our personal work, from which nothing is of sufficient moment to divert the mind. Christ came to our world to save souls, to diffuse light amid the moral darkness. A living voice is heard, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
I was surprised as I saw men who claim to believe the truth for this time, all excited in regard to matters—which relate to the Lord Jesus and eternal interests? No; but they seemed to be wonderfully excited in regard to the currency. Some ministers were distinguishing
themselves by weaving these subjects into their discourses. They were excitably involving themselves, taking sides in regard to these questions, that the Lord did not lay upon them the burden to engage in. These persons seemed to have a large share of self-sufficiency. But they themselves really did not know what they were advocating. They knew not whether they were defending principles that originated in the councils of heaven or in the councils of Satan.
The voice of one in authority spoke with great decision, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. Read the directions given by the only begotten Son of God when enshrouded in the cloudy pillar. When that voice is obeyed, ye will not give your voice or influence to any policy to enrich a few, to bring oppression and suffering to the poorer class of humanity. There is in this excitement just what separates those of the same faith. Is this bearing the divine credentials? Beware. See that your arm is not linked in the arm of a personal demon. He is in appearance as a man. He is walking about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, and he finds them among Seventh-day Adventists. He can terrify by his roaring; but, when it suits his purposes best, he has the sweet voice of an angel of light, and speaks of heavenly things. Does he not know all about heavenly glory?
I inquired why those who could read their Bibles and see the perils of these last days were so ready to snatch up matters they had best let alone. How can they connect with men who are advancing principles that originated in the councils of demons? Why do they not see that this is no work the Lord has set them to do? The answer came, Because their hearts are lifted up unto vanity. They are beguiled. They do not know how weak they are. There are many who will be deluded, and who,
by pen and voice, will cast their whole influence to create an evil condition of things (a condition that will exist just the same whatever they may do); but they should not be bound up with the evil workers. All who are longing for some engagement that will represent Jehu riding furiously will have opportunity enough to distinguish themselves. Their arm will be linked with his who was once an exalted angel, and who has not forgotten his manners in the heavenly courts. These manners he will assume; and in representing persons, he will lure many whose life is not hid with Christ in God.
Because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. Why should their love wax cold? Because they have not humbled their hearts and fled to their refuge, Jesus Christ. They thought they knew so much that they became fools, and allowed themselves to become depraved. Thus many souls will be lost. Worldly plans and devisings and strange sentiments and principles will be put forth by the prince of the power of the air, which are directly opposed to the law of God. Here we should reserve all our influence to act in upholding the truth. The sentiments brought to the front by politicians will be voiced by some who claim to be Sabbath-keepers. What angels attend these in the pulpit as they stand up to give the flock poison instead of pure wheat, thoroughly winnowed? Here is the working of satanic agencies to bring in confusion, to bewitch the minds of old and young. Those who have been walking humbly with God will not be engrossed in advocating either side of this question. They will place themselves under His guardianship, and reveal that they are learning lessons from the Great Teacher, who has said, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
All this excitement and unrest is placing the mind where it will not dwell on the truth. Do you suppose that the world, the flesh, and the devil would be able to link up those souls who are humble and lowly of heart, and blind their understanding, so that they cannot tell what sort of companions they are choosing? If the eyes of many could be opened in their heedless march, they would see a mighty procession of people of all classes, all kinds, all nations, passing in the same ranks, classing themselves as the companions of demons, rapidly moving on in a continually swelling procession to certain ruin.
What shall I say? The faith of many, including those who preach the word, must be something different from what it is now, else their future eternal destiny is settled. The word of God, studied carefully, and obeyed, is the only thing that will make man pure, and keep him pure. This alone can save him from meddling with all the iniquities that prevail. Christians are to bear the stamp of the King of kings. All in our world are taking sides. We are not to take part in this political money strife. It has come into our ranks.
There are those, even among Seventh-day Adventists, who are under the reproof of the word of God, because of the way they acquired their property and use it, acting as if they owned it and created it, without an eye to the glory of God, and without earnest prayer to direct them in acquiring or using it. They are grasping at a serpent, which will sting them as an adder.
Of God’s people He says, “Her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the Lord: it shall not be treasured nor laid up.” But many who profess to believe the truth do not want God in their thoughts, any more than did the antediluvians or Sodomites. One sensible thought of
God, awakened by the Holy Spirit, would spoil all their schemes. Self, self, self, has been their god, their alpha and their omega.
Christians are safe only in acquiring money as God directs, and using it in channels which He can bless. God permits us to use His goods with an eye single to His glory to bless ourselves that we may bless others. Those who have adopted the world’s maxim, and discarded God’s specifications, who grasp all they can obtain of wages or goods, are poor, poor indeed, because the frown of God is upon them. They walk in paths of their own choosing, and do dishonor to God, to truth, to His goodness, to His mercy, His character.
There are men who stand in the pulpits as shepherds, professing to feed the flock, while the sheep are starving for the bread of life. There are long drawn out discourses, largely made up of the relation of anecdotes; but the hearts of the hearers are not touched. The feelings of some may be moved, they may shed a few tears, but their hearts are not broken. The Lord Jesus has been present when they have been presenting that which was called sermons, but their words were destitute of the dew and rain of heaven. They evidenced that the anointed ones described by Zechariah (see chapter 4) had not ministered to them that they might minister to others. When the anointed ones empty themselves through the golden pipes, the golden oil flows out of themselves into the golden bowls, to flow forth into the lamps, the churches. This is the work of every true, devoted servant of the living God. The Lord God of heaven cannot approve much that is brought into the pulpit by those who are professedly speaking the word of the Lord. They do not inculcate ideas that will be a blessing to those who hear. There is cheap, very cheap fodder placed before the people.
When the speaker shall, in a haphazard way, strike in anywhere, as the fancy takes him, when he talks politics to the people, he is mingling the common fire with the sacred. He dishonors God. He has not real evidence from God that he is speaking the truth. He does his hearers a grievous wrong. He may plant seeds which may strike their fibrous roots deep, and they spring up and bear poisonous fruit. How dare men do this? How dare they advance ideas when they do not know certainly whence they came, or that they are the truth?—Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 331-337.
What kind of a spirit takes hold upon our people, when those who believe we are now under the third angel’s message, the last message of mercy to the world, brothers in the same faith, appear wearing the badges of opposing political parties, proclaiming opposite sentiments and declaring their divided opinions. . . .
There is danger, decided danger, for all who shall link themselves up with the political parties of the world. There is fraud on both sides. God has not laid upon any of our people the burden of linking up with either party. We are under Christ’s banner, and every one who names the name of Christ is to depart from all iniquity.
Sorrow and trial will come. The faith of every one is being tested. But our Lord is truth, He is love, and His scepter stretcheth over the universe. Surprises await every one. We know not what political crisis will come next. But in regard to the political agitators, the word of the Lord to us is, “Go not ye after them.” True wisdom
will not lead us to follow the example of the foolish rich man of the parable. True wisdom is revealed in seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.—General Conference Daily Bulletin, Feb. 17, 1897 (p. 59).
Those who have charge of our institutions and our schools should guard themselves diligently, lest by their words and sentiments they lead the students into false paths. Those who teach the Bible in our churches and in our schools are not at liberty to unite in making apparent their prejudices for or against political men or measures, because by so doing they stir up the minds of others, leading each to advocate his favorite theory. There are among those professing to believe present truth some who will thus be stirred up to express their sentiments and political preferences, so that division will be brought into the church.
The Lord would have His people bury political questions. On these themes silence is eloquence. Christ calls upon His followers to come into unity on the pure gospel principles which are plainly revealed in the word of God. We cannot with safety vote for political parties; for we do not know whom we are voting for. We cannot with safety take part in any political schemes. We cannot labor to please men who will use their influence to repress religious liberty, and to set in operation oppressive measures to lead or compel their fellow men to keep Sunday as the Sabbath. The first day of the week is not a day to be reverenced. It is a spurious sabbath, and the members of the Lord’s family cannot participate with the men who exalt this day, and violate the law of God by
trampling upon His Sabbath. The people of God are not to vote to place such men in office; for when they do this, they are partakers with them of the sins which they commit while in office.
We are not to compromise principle by yielding to the opinions and prejudices which we may have encouraged before we united with God’s commandment-keeping people. We have enlisted in the army of the Lord, and we are not to fight on the enemy’s side, but on the side of Christ, where we can be a united whole, in sentiment, in action, in spirit, in fellowship. Those who are Christians indeed will be branches of the true vine, and will bear the same fruit as the vine. They will act in harmony, in Christian fellowship. They will not wear political badges, but the badge of Christ.
What are we to do, then?—Let political questions alone. . . .
Those teachers in the church or in the school who distinguish themselves by their zeal in politics, should be relieved of their work and responsibilities without delay; for the Lord will not co-operate with them. The tithe should not be used to pay any one for speechifying on political questions. Every teacher, minister, or leader in our ranks who is stirred with a desire to ventilate his opinions on political questions, should be converted by a belief in the truth, or give up his work. His influence must tell as a laborer together with God in winning souls to Christ, or his credentials must be taken from him. If he does not change, he will do harm, and only harm.
In the name of the Lord I would say to the teachers in our schools, Attend to your appointed work. You are not called upon by God to engage in politics. . . .
I call upon my brethren who are appointed to educate, to change
their course of action. It is a mistake for you to link your interests with any political party, to cast your vote with them or for them. Those who stand as educators, as ministers, as laborers together with God in any line, have no battles to fight in the political world. Their citizenship is in heaven. The Lord calls upon them to stand as a separate and peculiar people. He would have no schisms in the body of believers. His people are to possess the elements of reconciliation. Is it their work to make enemies in the political world?—No, no. They are to stand as subjects of Christ’s kingdom, bearing the banner on which is inscribed, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” They are to carry the burden of a special work, a special message. We have a personal responsibility, and this is to be revealed before the heavenly universe, before angels, and before men. God does not call upon us to enlarge our influence by mingling with society, by linking up with men on political questions, but by standing as individual parts of His great whole, with Christ as our head. Christ is our Prince, and as His subjects we are to do the work appointed us by God.
It is of the highest importance that the youth understand that Christ’s people are to be united in one; for this unity binds men to God by the golden cords of love, and lays each one under obligation to work for his fellow men. The Captain of our salvation died for the human race that men might be made one with Him and with each other. As members of the human family we are individual parts of one mighty whole. No soul can be made independent of the rest. There is to be no party strife in the family of God; for the well-being of each is the happiness of the whole. No partition walls are to be built up between man and man. Christ as the great center must unite all in one.
Christ is our teacher, our ruler, our strength, our righteousness; and in Him we are pledged to shun any course of action that will cause schism. The questions at issue in the world are not to be the theme of our conversation. We are to call upon the world to behold an uplifted Saviour, through whom we are made necessary to one another and to God. Christ trains His subjects to imitate His virtues, His meekness and lowliness, His goodness, patience, and love. Thus He consecrates heart and hand to His service, making man a channel through which the love of God can flow in rich currents to bless others. Then let there be no shade of strife among Seventh-day Adventists. . . .
In our periodicals we are not to exalt the work and characters of men in positions of influence, constantly keeping human beings before the people. But as much as you please you may uplift Christ our Saviour. . . .
The condition of being received into the Lord’s family is coming out from the world, separating from all its contaminating influences. The people of God are to have no connection with idolatry in any of its forms. They are to reach a higher standard. We are to be distinguished from the world, and then God says, “I will receive you as members of My royal family, children of the heavenly King.” As believers in the truth we are to be distinct in practice from sin and sinners. Our citizenship is in heaven. . . .
Why is so much attention given to human agencies, while there is so little reaching up of the mind to the eternal God? Why are those who claim to be children of the heavenly King so absorbed in the things of this world? Let the Lord be exalted. Let the word of the Lord be magnified. Let human beings be placed low, and let the Lord be exalted.
Remember that earthly kingdoms, nations, monarchs, and statesmen, counselors, great armies, and all worldly magnificence and glory are as the dust of the balance. God has a reckoning to make with all nations. Every kingdom is to be brought low. Human authority is to be made as naught. Christ is the King of the world, and His kingdom is to be exalted.
The Lord desires all who bear the message for these last days to understand that there is a great difference between professors of religion who are not doers of the word, and the children of God, who are sanctified through the truth, who have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The Lord speaks of those who claim to believe the truth for this time, yet see nothing inconsistent in their taking part in politics, mingling with the contending elements of these last days, as the circumcised who mingle with the uncircumcised, and He declares that He will destroy both classes together without distinction. They are doing a work that God has not set them to do. They dishonor God by their party spirit and contention, and He will condemn both alike.
The question may be asked, Are we to have no union whatever with the world? The word of the Lord is to be our guide. Any connection with infidels and unbelievers which would identify us with them is forbidden by the word. We are to come out from them and be separate. In no case are we to link ourselves with them in their plans or work. But we are not to live reclusive lives. We are to do worldlings all the good we possibly can. Christ has given us an example of this. When invited to eat with publicans and sinners, He did not refuse; for in no other way than by mingling with them could He reach this class. But on every occasion He gave them talents of words and influence. He opened up themes of conversation which brought things of eternal interest to
their minds. And this Teacher enjoins us, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” On the temperance question take your position without wavering. Be as firm as a rock. Be not partakers of other men’s sins. Acts of dishonesty in business deal, with believers or unbelievers, should be reproved; and if they give no evidence of reformation, come out from among them and be separate.
There is a large vineyard to be cultivated; but while Christians are to work among unbelievers, they are not to appear like worldlings. They are not to spend their time talking politics or acting as politicians, for by so doing, they give the enemy opportunity to come in and cause variance and discord. Those in the ministry who desire to stand as politicians should have their credentials taken from them; for this work God has not given to high or low among His people. God calls upon all who minister in doctrine to give the trumpet a certain sound. All who have received Christ, ministers and lay members, are to arise and shine; for great peril is right upon us. Satan is stirring the powers of earth. Everything in the world is in confusion. God calls upon His people to hold aloft the banner bearing the message of the third angel. We are not to go to Christ through any human being, but through Christ we are to understand the work He has given us to do for others.
God calls to His people, saying, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate.” He asks that the love which He has shown for them may be reciprocated and revealed by willing obedience to His commandments. His children are to separate themselves from politics, from any alliance with unbelievers. They are not to link their interests with the interests of the world. “Give proof of your allegiance to Me,” He says, “by
standing as My chosen heritage, as a people zealous of good works.” Do not take part in political strife. Separate from the world, and refrain from bringing into the church or school ideas that will lead to contention or disorder. Dissension is the moral poison taken into the system by human beings who are selfish. God wants His servants to have clear perceptions, true and noble dignity, that their influence may demonstrate the power of truth. The Christian life is not to be a haphazard, emotional life. True Christian influence, exerted for the accomplishment of the work God has appointed, is a precious agency, and it must not be united with politics, or bound up in a confederacy with unbelievers. God is to be the center of attraction. Every mind that is worked by the Holy Spirit will be satisfied with Him.
God calls upon the teachers in our schools not to become interested in the study of political questions. Take the knowledge of God into our schools. Your attention may be called to worldly wise men, who are not wise enough to understand what the Scriptures say in regard to the laws of God’s kingdom; but turn from these to Him who is the source of all wisdom. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Make this first and last. Seek most earnestly to know Him whom to know aright is life eternal. Christ and His righteousness is the salvation of the soul.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 475-484
Our work is to watch, and wait, and pray. Search the Scriptures. Christ has given you warning not to mingle with the world. We are to come out from among them and be separate, “and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:17, 18). Whatever the opinions you may entertain in regard to casting your vote in political questions, you are not to proclaim it by pen or voice. Our people need to be silent upon questions which have no relation to the third angel’s message. If ever a people needed to draw nigh to God, it is Seventh-day Adventists. There have been wonderful devices and plans made. A burning desire has taken hold of men or women to proclaim something, or bind up with something; they do not know what. But the silence of Christ upon many subjects was true eloquence. . . .
My brethren, will you not remember that none of you have any burden laid upon you by the Lord to publish your political preferences in our papers, or to speak of them in the congregation, when the people assemble to hear the Word of the Lord. . . .
We are not as a people to become mixed up with political questions. All would do well to take heed to the Word of God, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers in political strife, nor bind with them in their attachments. There is no safe ground in which they can stand and work together. The loyal and, the disloyal have no equal ground on which to meet.
He who breaks one precept of the commandments of God is a transgressor of the whole law. Keep your voting to yourself. Do not feel
it your duty to urge everyone to do as you do.—(Letter 4, 1898.) Selected Messages, Book 2, pp. 336, 337.
God has warned His people not to become absorbed in politics. We cannot bear the sign of God as His commandment-keeping people, if we mingle with the strife of the world. We are not to give our minds to political issues. God’s people are walking contrary to His will when they mix up with politics, and those who commence this work in the Southern states reveal that they are not taught and led by God, but by that spirit which creates contention and strife and every evil work. We are subjects of the Lord’s kingdom, and we are to work to establish that kingdom in righteousness.—Letter 92, 1899.
Neither you nor any of your brethren had any work to do in arguing or writing or taking any part whatever in politics. God was dishonored by all who acted any part in politics.
God has chosen a people who are to proclaim the third angel’s message to the world. They are to be a separate and peculiar people in this world of churches who are transgressing His commandments. . . .
The Lord would have His people a separate and peculiar people, bearing the sign and seal of the Sabbath, in preserving the memorial, the seventh day, upon which the Lord rested after His work of creation. . . .
The redemption of men draws them away from political strife to rest and peace and quietude in God.—Letter 11, 1897.
Gospel ministers are to keep their office free from all things secular or political, employing all their time and talents in lines of Christian effort.—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 252.
The Lord has been greatly dishonored by His people catching up the issues that arise in this time of test and trial. His people are to keep free from politics. They are to stand as a separate, peculiar people; the name of God our Ruler is to be in their foreheads, showing to all that He is their sovereign.—Manuscript 1, 1897.
If anyone shall seek to draw the workers into debate or controversy on political or other questions, take no heed to either persuasion or challenge.—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 122.
God’s people have been called out of the world, that they may be separated from the world. It is not safe for then to take sides in politics, whatever preferences they may have. They are ever to remember that they are one in Christ. God calls upon them to enter their names as under His theocracy. He cannot approve of those who link up with worldings. We are entirely out of our place when we identify ourselves with party interests. Let us not forget that we are citizens of the kingdom of heaven. We are soldiers of the cross of Christ, and our work is to advance the interests of His kingdom.—Manuscript 67, 1900, p.10.
Attended meeting in the eve. Had quite a free, interesting meeting. After it was time to close, the subject of voting was considered and dwelt upon. James first talked, then Brother [J.N.] Andrews talked, and it was thought by them best to give their influence in favor of right and against wrong. They think it right to vote in favor of temperance men being in office in our city instead of by their silence running the risk of having intemperate men put in office. Brother [David] Hewitt tells his experience of a few days [since] and is settled that [it] is right to cast his vote. Brother [Josiah] Hart talks well. Brother [Henry] Lyon opposes. No others object to voting, but Brother [J.P.] Kellogg begins to feel that it is right. Pleasant feelings exist among all the brethren. O that they may all act in the fear of God.
Men of intemperance have been in the office today in a flattering manner expressing their approbation of the course of the Sabbath-keepers not voting and expressed hopes that they will stick to their course and, like the Quakers, not cast their vote. Satan and his evil angels are busy at this time, and he has workers upon the earth. May Satan be disappointed, is my prayer.—Selected Messages, Book 2, pp. 337.
A question on voting in favor of prohibition, or the restraint of the liquor traffic, was raised at a camp meeting held at Des Moines, Iowa, early in the summer of 1881. A proposed action was placed before the delegates which read:
“Resolved, That we express our deep interest in the temperance movement now going forward in this state; and that we instruct all our ministers to use their influence among our churches and with the people at large to induce them to put forth every consistent effort, by personal labor, and at the ballot box, in favor of the prohibitory amendment of the Constitution, which the friends of temperance are seeking to secure,”—Review and Herald, July 5, 1881. (Emphasis supplied.)
But some objected to the clause which called for action at “the ballot box,” and urged its deletion. Mrs. White, who was attending this camp meeting, had retired, but she was summoned to give her counsel.
Writing of it at the time she says: “I dressed and found I was to speak to the point of whether our people should vote for prohibition. I told them ‘Yes,’ and spoke twenty minutes.”—Letter 6, 1881. Quoted in Temperance, p. 255.
While we are in no wise to become involved in political questions, yet it is our privilege to take our stand decidedly on all questions relating to temperance reform. Concerning this I have often borne a plain testimony. In an article published in the Review of Nov. 8, 1881, I wrote:…
“There is a cause for the moral paralysis upon society. Our laws sustain an evil which is sapping their very foundations. Many deplore the wrongs which they know exist, but consider themselves free from all responsibility in the matter. This cannot be. Every individual exerts an influence in society.
“In our favored land, every voter has some voice in determining what laws shall control the nation. Should not that influence and that vote be cast on the side of temperance and virtue?. . . .
“We may call upon the friends of the temperance cause to rally to the conflict and seek to press back the tide of evil that is demoralizing the world; but of what avail are all our efforts while liquor selling is sustained by law? Must the curse of intemperance forever rest like a blight upon our land? Must it every year sweep like a devouring fire over thousands of happy homes?
“We talk of the results, tremble at the results, and wonder what we can do with the terrible results, while too often we tolerate and even sanction the cause. The advocates of temperance fail to do their whole duty unless they exert their influence by precept and example—by voice and pen and vote—in favor of prohibition and total abstinence. We need not expect that God will work a miracle to bring about this reform, and thus remove the necessity for our exertion. We ourselves must grapple with this. giant foe, our motto, No compromise and no cessation of our efforts till the victory is gained.”—Review and Herald, Oct. 15, 1914. (See Gospel Workers, pp. 387, 388.)
How important it is that God’s messengers shall call the attention of statesmen, of editors, of thinking men everywhere, to the deep significance of the drunkenness and the violence now filling the land with desolation and deaths As faithful colaborers with God, we must bear a clear, decided testimony on the temperance question. . . .
Now is our golden opportunity to co-operate with heavenly intelligences in enlightening the understanding of those who are studying the meaning of the rapid increase of crime and disaster. As we do our part faithfully, the Lord will bless our efforts to the saving of many precious souls.—Temperance, p. 251. (Review and Herald, Oct. 25, 1906.)
[From an address delivered by Ellen G. White before the teachers and students of Battle Creek College at the time of the General Conference in Battle Creek, Mich, Nov. 15, 1883.]
Dear youth, what is the aim and purpose of your life? Are you ambitious for education that you may have a name and position in the world? Have you thoughts that you dare not express, that you may one day stand upon the summit of intellectual greatness; that you may sit in deliberative and legislative councils, and help to enact laws for the nation? There is nothing wrong in these aspirations. You may every one of you make your mark. You should be content with no mean attainments. Aim high, and spare no pains to reach the standard. . . .
The important question with you now is, how to so choose and perfect your studies that you will maintain the solidity and purity of
an untarnished Christian character, holding all temporal claims and interests in subjection to the higher claims of the gospel of Christ. You want now to build as you will be able to furnish, to so relate yourself to society and to life that you may answer the purpose of God in your creation. As disciples of Christ, you are not debarred from engaging in temporal pursuits; but you should carry your religion with you. Whatever the business you may qualify yourself to engage in, never entertain the idea that you cannot make a success of it without sacrificing principle. Balanced by religious principle, you may climb to any height you please.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 82, 83.