Soil Prep and Christian Growth

7 Mar

I used to read this book when I was in college that I had found in a discard pile in a school library. It’s called “Fundamentals in Christian Education.” It had many thought provoking quotes, like the below ones. This may not be popular, but I believe it is the truth.

 

“All these things are lessons for us. Few now are really industrious and economical. Poverty and distress are on every hand. There are men who work hard, and obtain very little for their labor. There is need of much more extensive knowledge in regard to the preparation of the soil. There is not sufficient breadth of view as to what can be realized from the earth. A narrow and unvarying routine is followed with discouraging results. The land boom has cursed this country, extravagant prices have been paid for lands bought on credit; then the land must be cleared, and more money is hired; a house to be built calls for more money, and then interest with open mouth swallows up all the profits. Debts accumulate, and then come the closing and failure of banks, and then the foreclosure of mortgages. Thousands have been turned out of employment; families lose their little all, they borrow and borrow, and then have to give up their property and come out penniless. Much money and hard labor have been put into

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farms bought on credit, or inherited with an incumbrance. The occupants lived in hope of becoming real owners, and it might have been so, but for the failure of banks throughout the country.” {FE 317.2}

Now the case where a man owns his place clear is a happy exception to the rule. Merchants are failing, families are suffering for food and clothing. No work presents itself. But the holidays are just as numerous. Their amusements are entered into as eagerly. All who can do so will spend their hard-earned pence and shillings and pounds for a taste of pleasure, for strong drink, or some other indulgence. The papers that report the poverty of the people, have regular standing notices of the horse races, and of the prizes presented for different kinds of exciting sports. The shows, the theaters, and all such demoralizing amusements, are taking the money from the country, and poverty is continually increasing. Poor men will invest their last shilling in a lottery, hoping to secure a prize, and then they have to beg for food to sustain life, or go hungry. Many die of hunger, and many put an end to their existence. The end is not yet. Men take you to their orchards of oranges and lemons, and other fruits, and tell you that the produce does not pay for the work done in them. It is next to impossible to make ends meet, and parents decide that the children shall not be farmers; they have not the courage and hope to educate them to till the soil. {FE 318.1}

What is needed is schools to educate and train the youth so that they will know how to overcome this condition of things. There must be education in the sciences, and education in plans and methods of working the soil. There is hope in the soil, but brain and heart and strength must be brought into the work of tilling it. The money devoted to horse racing, theater going, gambling and lotteries; the money spent in the public houses for beer and strong drink,–let it be expended in making the land productive, and we shall see a different state of things.

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{FE 318.2}

This country needs educated farmers. The Lord gives the showers of rain and the blessed sunshine. He gives to men all their powers; let them devote heart and mind and strength to doing His will in obedience to His commandments. Let them cut off every pernicious habit, never expending a penny for beer or liquor of any kind, nor for tobacco, having nothing to do with horse racing or similar sports, and then commit themselves to God, working with their endowment of physical strength, and their labor will not be in vain. That God who has made the world for the benefit of man, will provide means from the earth to sustain the diligent worker. The seed placed in thoroughly prepared soil, will produce its harvest. God can spread a table for His people in the wilderness. {FE 319.1}

The various trades and occupations have to be learned, and they call into exercise a great variety of mental and physical capabilities; the occupations requiring sedentary habits are the most dangerous, for they take men away from the open air and sunshine, and train one set of faculties, while other organs are becoming weak from inaction. Men carry on their work, perfect their business, and soon lie down in the grave. Much more favorable is the condition of one whose occupation keeps him in the open air, exercising his muscles, while the brain is equally taxed, and all the organs have the privilege of doing their work. To those who can live outside of the cities, and labor in the open air, beholding the works of the great Master Artist, new scenes are continually unfolding. As they make the book of nature their study, a softening, subduing influence comes over them; for they realize that God’s care is over all, from the glorious sun in the heavens to the little brown sparrow or the tiniest insect that has life. The Majesty of heaven has pointed us to these things of God’s creation as an evidence of His love. He who fashioned the flowers has said: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like

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one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” The Lord is our teacher, and under His instruction we may learn the most precious lessons from nature. {FE 319.2}

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