The time has come, when, as God opens the way, families should move out of the cities. The children should be taken into the country. The parents should get as suitable a place as their means will allow. Though the dwelling may be small, yet there should be land in connection with it, that may be cultivated.-- Manuscript 50, 1903.
God Will Help His People
Parents can secure small homes in the country, with land for cultivation, where they can have orchards and where they can raise vegetables and small fruits to take the place of flesh meat, which is so corrupting to the life blood coursing through the veins. On such places the children will not be surrounded with the corrupting influences of city life. God will help His people to find such homes outside the cities.-- Medical Ministry, p. 310. (1902)
To Help Open the Way
More and more, as time advances, our people will have to leave the cities. For years we have been instructed that our brethren and sisters, and especially families with children, should plan to leave
the cities as the way opens before them to do so. Many will have to labour earnestly to help open the way. But until it is possible for them to leave, so long as they remain, they should be most active in doing missionary work, however limited their sphere of influence may be.-- Review and Herald, Sept. 27, 1906.
Counsel and Caution to Those Who Anticipate Leaving the Cities
[A COMMUNICATION WRITTEN DECEMBER 22, 1893, IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER FROM A LEADING WORKER IN BATTLE CREEK, INFORMING MRS. WHITE THAT IN RESPONSE TO THE ADMONITION THAT OUR PEOPLE SHOULD MOVE OUT OF BATTLE CREEK, "BETWEEN ONE AND TWO HUNDRED" WERE PREPARING TO LEAVE "AS SOON AS POSSIBLE."-- COMPILERS.]
Your letter tells me, my brother, that there are many who are stirred deeply to move out of Battle Creek. There is need, great need, of this work being done, and now. Those who have felt at last to make a move, let it not be in a rush, in an excitement, or in a rash manner, or in a way that hereafter they will deeply regret that they did move out. . . .
Take heed that there shall be no rash movements made in heeding the counsel in moving from Battle Creek. Do nothing without seeking wisdom of God, who hath promised to give liberally to all who ask, and who upbraideth not. All that anyone can do is to advise and counsel, and then leave those who are convicted in regard to duty to move under divine guidance, and with their whole hearts open to learn and obey God.
I am troubled when I consider that there may be even some of our teachers who need to be more evenly balanced with sound judgement. The messengers who bear the message of mercy to our world, who have the confidence of the people, will be appealed to for advice. Great caution must be exercised by these men who have not genuine experience in practical life, and who will be in danger of giving advice, ignorant of what that advice may lead others to do.
The Gift to Counsel
Some men have insight into matters, having ability to counsel. It is a gift of God. In moments when the cause of God is in need of words, sound and solemn and solid, they can speak words which will lead minds perplexed and in darkness, to see as a quick flash of sunlight the course for them to pursue, which [question] has filled them
with perplexity and baffled their minds in study for weeks and months. There is an unravelling, a clearing up of the path before them, and the Lord has let His sunlight in, and they see their prayers are answered, their way is made clear. But some rash advice may be given--only get out of Battle Creek, notwithstanding there is nothing clearly defined as to what improvement they will make in spiritual advancement for themselves or others in doing this.
Carefully Consider Every Move
Let everyone take time to consider carefully; and not be like the man in the parable who began to build, and was not able to finish. Not a move should be made but that movement and all that it portends are carefully considered--everything weighed. . . . To every man was given his work according to his several ability. Then let him not move hesitatingly, but firmly, and yet humbly trusting in God.
There may be individuals who will make a rush to do something, and enter into some business they know nothing about. This God does not require. Think candidly, prayerfully, studying the Word with all carefulness and prayerfulness, with mind and heart awake to hear the voice of God. . . . To understand the will of God is a great thing.
Well-Defined Plans Needed
I address words to the church at Battle Creek, to move in the counsels of God. There is need of your moving--many from Battle Creek--and there is also need of your having well-defined plans as to what you will do when you go out from Battle Creek. Do not go in a rush, without knowing what you are about. . . . O for generals, wise and considerate, well-balanced men, who will be safe advisers, who have some insight into human nature, who know how to direct and counsel in the fear of God.
Danger Attends New Experience
I have seen that danger attends every new phase of experience in the church, because some hear things with such a strong spirit. While some teachers may be strong and efficient in teaching in the lines of Bible doctrines, they will not all be men who have a knowledge of practical life, and can advise perplexed minds with surety and safety. They do not discern the perplexing situation that must necessarily come to every family who shall make a change. Therefore, let all be careful what they say; if they know not the mind of God in
some matters, let them never speak from a guess or suppose so. If they know nothing definite, let them say so, and let the individual rely wholly upon God. Let there be much praying done, and even with fasting, that not one shall move in darkness, but move in the light as God is in the light. . . .
Let there be nothing done in a disorderly manner, that there shall be a great loss or sacrifice made upon property because of ardent, impulsive speeches which stir up an enthusiasm which is not after the order of God, that a victory that was essential to be gained, shall, for lack of level-headed moderation and proper contemplation and sound principles and purposes, be turned into a defeat. Let there be wise generalship in this matter, and all move under the guidance of a wise, unseen Counsellor, which is God. Elements that are human will struggle for the mastery, and there may be a work done that does not bear the signature of God. Now I plead with every soul to look not too strongly and confidently to human counsellors, but look most earnestly to God, the one wise in counsel. Submit all your ways and your will to God's ways and to God's will. . . .
The Aftermath Of Rash Moves
Should some move hastily and fly out of Battle Creek, and be brought into discouragement, they will reflect, not upon themselves for moving unadvisedly, but upon others who, they will charge, brought a pressure to bear upon them. All their discomfiture and defeat are charged back upon those who should not be reflected upon. . . .
Now, just now, is the time when the perils of the last days are thickening around us, and we need wise men for counsellors, not men who will feel it duty to stir up and create disorder, but who cannot possibly give wise counsel and organise and arrange that every stirring up shall bring order out of confusion, and rest and peace in obeying the Word of the Lord. Let every man be found in his true place, to do some work for the Master, according to his several ability. . . .
How shall this be done? "Take my yoke upon you," saith Jesus Christ, who hath bought you with His own precious blood, whose servants and property you are, "and learn of Me: for I am meek and
lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." If everyone will come to Jesus in a teachable spirit, with contrition of heart, then he is in a condition of mind to be instructed and to learn of Jesus and obey His orders. . . .
Spread Every Plan Before God
We cannot have a weak faith now; we cannot be safe in a listless, indolent, slothful attitude. Every jot of ability is to be used, and sharp, calm, deep thinking is to be done. The wisdom of any human agent is not sufficient for the planning and devising in this time. Spread every plan before God with fasting, [and] with the humbling of the soul before the Lord Jesus, and commit thy ways unto the Lord. The sure promise is, He will direct the paths. He is infinite in resources. The Holy One of Israel, who calls the host of heaven by name, and holds the stars of heaven in position, has you individually in His keeping....
I would that all could realise what possibilities and probabilities there are for all who make Christ their sufficiency and their trust. The life hid with Christ in God ever has a refuge; he can say, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
I leave this matter with you; for I have been worried and troubled in regard to the dangers that assail all in Battle Creek, lest they shall move indiscreetly and give the enemy advantage. This need not be, for if we walk humbly with God, we shall walk safely.-- Letter 45, 1893.