There is danger that our college will be turned away from its original design. God's purpose has been made known, that our people should have an opportunity to study the sciences and at the same time to learn the requirements of His word. Biblical lectures should be given; the study of the Scriptures should have the first place in our system of education.
Students are sent from a great distance to attend the college at Battle Creek for the very purpose of receiving instruction from the lectures on Bible subjects. But for one or two years past there has been an effort to mould our school after other colleges. When this is done, we can give no encouragement to parents to send their children to Battle Creek College. The moral and religious influences should not be put in the background. In times past, God has worked with the efforts of the teachers, and many souls have seen the truth and embraced it,
and have gone to their homes to live henceforth for God, as the result of their connection with the college. As they saw that Bible study was made a part of their education, they were led to regard it as a matter of greater interest and importance.
Too little attention has been given to the education of young men for the ministry. This was the primary object to be secured in the establishment of the college. In no case should this be ignored or regarded as a matter of secondary importance. For several years, however, but few have gone forth from that institution prepared to teach the truth to others. Some who came at great expense, with the ministry in view, have been encouraged by the teachers to take a thorough course of study which would occupy a number of years, and, in order to obtain means to carry out these plans, have entered the canvassing field and given up all thought of preaching. This is entirely wrong. We have not many years to work, and teachers and principal should be imbued with the Spirit of God and work in harmony with His revealed will instead of carrying out their own plans. We are losing much every year because we do not heed what God has said upon these points.
Our college is designed of God to meet the advancing wants for this time of peril and demoralization. The study of books only cannot give students the discipline they need. A broader foundation must be laid. The college was not brought into existence to bear the stamp of any one man's mind. Teachers and principal should work together as brethren. They should consult together, and also counsel with ministers and responsible men, and, above all else, seek wisdom from above, that all their decisions in reference to the school may be such as will be approved of God.
To give students a knowledge of books merely is not the purpose of the institution. Such education can be obtained at any college in the land. I was shown that it is Satan's purpose
to prevent the attainment of the very object for which the college was established. Hindered by his devices, its managers reason after the manner of the world and copy its plans and imitate its customs. But in thus doing, they will not meet the mind of the Spirit of God.
A more comprehensive education is needed, an education which will demand from teachers and principal such thought and effort as mere instruction in the sciences does not require. The character must receive proper discipline for its fullest and noblest development. The students should receive at college such training as will enable them to maintain a respectable, honest, virtuous standing in society, against the demoralizing influences which are corrupting the youth.
It would be well could there be connected with our college, land for cultivation and also workshops under the charge of men competent to instruct the students in the various departments of physical labour. Much is lost by a neglect to unite physical with mental taxation. The leisure hours of the students are often occupied with frivolous pleasures, which weaken physical, mental, and moral powers. Under the debasing power of sensual indulgence, or the untimely excitement of courtship and marriage, many students fail to reach that height of mental development which they might otherwise have attained.
The young should every day be impressed with a sense of their obligation to God. His law is continually violated, even by the children of religious parents. Some of these very youth frequent haunts of dissipation, and the powers of the mind and body suffer in consequence. This class lead others to follow their pernicious ways. Thus, while principal and teachers are giving instruction in the sciences, Satan, with hellish cunning, is exerting every energy to gain control of the minds of the pupils and lead them down to ruin.
Generally speaking, the youth have but little moral
strength. This is the result of neglected education in childhood. A knowledge of the character of God and our obligations to Him should not be regarded as a matter of minor consequence. The religion of the Bible is the only safeguard for the young. Morality and religion should receive special attention in our educational institutions.