If the land is cultivated, it will, with the blessing of God, supply our necessities. We are not to be discouraged about temporal things because of apparent failures, nor should we be disheartened by delay. We should work the soil cheerfully, hopefully, gratefully, believing that the earth holds in her bosom rich stores for the faithful worker to garner, stores richer than gold or silver. The niggardliness laid to her charge is false witness. With proper, intelligent cultivation the earth will yield its treasures for the benefit of man. The mountains and hills are changing; the earth is waxing old like a garment; but the blessing of God, which spreads a table for His people in the wilderness, will never cease.
Serious times are before us, and there is great need for families to get out of the cities into the country, that the truth may be carried into the byways as well as the highways of the earth. Much depends upon laying our plans according to the Word of the Lord, and with persevering energy carrying them out. More depends upon consecrated activity and perseverance than upon genius and book-learning.
All the talents and ability given to human agents, if unused, are of little value.
A return to simpler methods will be appreciated by the children and youth. Work in the garden and field will be an agreeable change from the wearisome routine of abstract lessons, to which their young minds should never be confined. To the nervous child, who finds lessons from books exhausting and hard to remember, it will be especially valuable. There is health and happiness for him in the study of nature; and the impressions made will not fade out of his mind, for they will be associated with objects that are continually before his eyes.-- Testimonies, vol. 6, pp. 178, 179. (1900)
With a Piece of Land and a Comfortable Home
The earth is to be made to give forth its strength; but without the blessing of God it could do nothing. In the beginning, God looked upon all that He had made, and pronounced it very good. The curse was brought upon the earth in consequence of sin. But shall this curse be multiplied by increasing sin? Ignorance is doing its baleful work. Slothful servants are increasing the evil by their lazy habits. Many are unwilling to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow, and they refuse to till the soil. But the earth has blessings hidden in her depths for those who have courage and will and perseverance to gather her treasures. Fathers and mothers who possess a piece of land and a comfortable home are kings and queens.
Many farmers have failed to secure adequate returns from their land because they have undertaken the work as though it was a degrading employment; they do not see that there is a blessing in it for themselves and their families. All they can discern is the brand of servitude. Their orchards are neglected, the crops are not put in at the right season, and a mere surface work is done in cultivating the soil.-- Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 326, 327. (1894)
Fruit, Vegetables, and Poultry Suggested for One Region
In this neighbourhood there is a large tract of unoccupied land. Some of our people who are living in the poisoned atmosphere of the cities might profitably secure a few acres of this land. They could support themselves by raising fruit and vegetables and poultry. The Sanitarium would gladly buy eggs and vegetables from them. I wish that some such enterprise as this might be started. A great blessing
would come to parents and to children, if they would leave the wicked, polluted cities, and go into the country.-- Letter 63, 1904.
Country Living--A Blessing to the Poor
If the poor now crowded into the cities could find homes upon the land, they might not only earn a livelihood, but find health and happiness now unknown to them. Hard work, simple fare, close economy, often hardship and privation, would be their lot. But what a blessing would be theirs in leaving the city, with its enticements to evil, its turmoil and crime, misery and foulness, for the country's quiet and peace and purity.
To many of those living in the cities who have not a spot of green grass to set their feet upon, who year after year have looked out upon filthy courts and narrow alleys, brick walls and pavements, and skies clouded with dust and smoke,--if these could be taken to some farming district, surrounded with the green fields, the woods and hills and brooks, the clear skies and the fresh, pure air of the country, it would seem almost like heaven.
Cut off to a great degree from contact with and dependence upon men, and separated from the world's corrupting maxims and customs and excitements, they would come nearer to the heart of nature. God's presence would be more real to them. Many would learn the lesson of dependence upon Him. Through nature they would hear His voice speaking to their hearts of His peace and love, and mind and soul and body would respond to the healing, life-giving power. -- The Ministry of Healing, pp. 190-192. (1905)
Industries for Families From Cities
Believers who are now living in the cities will have to move to the country, that they may save their children from ruin. Attention must be given to the establishment of industries in which these families can find employment. Those who have charge of the school-work at ----- and ----- should see what can be done by these institutions to establish such industries, so that our people desiring to leave the cities, can obtain modest homes without a large outlay of means, and can also find employment. In both ----- and ----- there are favourable and encouraging features for the development of this plan. Study what these features are.
All that needs to be done cannot be specified till a beginning is
made. Pray over the matter, and remember that God stands at the helm, that He is guiding in the work of the various enterprises. A place in which the work is conducted on right lines is an object lesson to other places. There must be no narrowness, no selfishness, in the work done. The work is to be placed on a simple, sensible basis. All are to be taught not only to claim to believe the truth, as the truth, but to exemplify the truth in the daily life.-- Letter 25, 1902.
The Health-Food Work
The health-food business should be established here [Avondale]. It should be one of the industries connected with the school. God has instructed me that parents can find work in this industry, and send their children to school. But everything that is done should be done with the greatest simplicity. There is to be no extravagance in anything. Solid work is to be done, because, unless the work is done solidly, a slipshod experience is the result.-- Australasian Union Conference Record, July 28, 1899.