HISTORY and TIMES of THE KINGDOM
During the years of his incarceration in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, Mr. Sandford wrote the children of Shiloh periodically. The leaders (based on the footnote in the first letter) evidently saw fit to print them into tract form, two of which survive today in our personal libraries.
Sunday Evening, August 9, 1914
To the Future Students of the University of Truth, Shiloh, Maine
My Precious Young People:
I am so pleased with you tonight!
Such honest sounding words of commendation for your acts - "The Acts of the Holy Ghost in the Light Brigade" - we shall have to call them. One report reads - "Tide Rising - Heavy Brigade Mobilizing - Enemy Terrorizing" - which I think means Heavy Brigade as it gathers for the battle puts terror into the hearts of your enemies.
That letter was dated August 4 but August 5 reads even better because it tells of what The Light Brigade are doing. "The children - while I know some things have been written that were not favorable, yet in all my being with them in all sorts of ways in the work I have seen scarcely one disagreeable thing in any of them; but their little hearts are in it through and through. this morning we could hardly find one that wanted to go to breakfast, and one little boy plead that he might take his breakfast in his pocket and eat while working.
"We have in the Kingdom as a whole a very, very wonderful company of little folks. It puts me in mind of the days away back when I had them at work on the Children's Building that time. As far as I'm concerned I had far rather take the children in the drive than the older ones. They do exactly as they are told - without a moment's hesitation they are off. Oh how your heart would be blessed to drop in on them."
I expect the older ones to win - and they don't get much praise for doing so from me - they know how to fight; but you boys and girls, young men and young ladies - ah how pleased I am to read such words of your doings on the field of war. I congratulate you on winning such commendation from an old war horse like my brother Whittaker.
Now I want to make you feel your responsibilities - not only now in winning your first great opportunity to fly the great inspiring flag - VICTORY - but your high and holy privilege of setting the gait in things of God for all Time. The Kingdom is exactly what you are - Mr. Whittaker may die any day; Mr. Holland and I will meet our foes and pass away; but you will live on and the kingdom of God when Christ returns will be what you make it. And you can't make it by good resolutions. "Utterly deny" yourself if you want to be godly.
John is chosen to be the first one of the "cloud of children:" I believe he is an honor to his father and a benediction to his mother and a perpetual blessing and benediction to the kingdom of God on earth. Will you help him? Joseph Brown, you are his cousin - will you help him live an absolutely godly life as Abishai and Asahel and Joab helped their uncle David?
Will you boys that used to lead in deviltry lead instead in divinity? I don't mean any pretense now - no sham. We have put "WELCOME" on our paper and the Prince of peace has noticed the invitation and accepted it. The unutterable woes of war in all Europe are His chariot wheels filling the countries with the "dead bodies" and the "desolations" of Psalm 46:8. "Come, behold the works of the Lord what desolations He hath made in the earth."
Then the millennium in verses 9-11 when war shall be no more. "He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God : I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah."
And through the Great Time of Trouble, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, thought the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah."
And finally little Shiloah bursts forth from the Holy City into a mighty River and makes the Holy land Edenic in its lovliness and delights.
Now you can build a stairway to God over which Gentiles can ascend to the Eternal Throne of Majesty on high or you can make a little nasty muddy schoolroom full of fun and nonsense like the rest of the schoolrooms of earth. Which will you have?
John the first child and Theodora the second are honestly, I believe, endeavoring to walk with God. Will you help them? Will you walk in white, boys and girls, or will you walk in gray - in eternal white or in a dirty white?
I asked you to charge with me and I trusted you on the hilltop - to finish what I began and to do supernatural things - to set the hilltop in majesty as we were directed to do years ago.
He is to dwell there - and sin cannot. Will you prepare a habitation an so live that the great holy awful God - awful in His holiness - not otherwise - yes, He is awful in His loveliness - awful in His glory - awful in His majesty and awful in His grace and love. Will you build for Him and then ascend the hilltop and sit at His feet and learn of Him to be wise - holy - pure - powerful - all glorious? Will you?
I have done the best I could and passed on to another field of labor. Will you sacredly care for my garden on the Hill of the Most High God? If so, come out to the platform slowly, seriously, to bow - not knees but hearts and not for a few days but for eternity.
Wait in your seats for hours if you wish before deciding rather than make a sham of it. If you will kneel before your Maker while all the great mass of older ones bind you to the Lamb of God who now sits in majesty at the right hand of power on high because He was about His Father's business when a lad of twelve years - if you will kneel and wait before Him in silence He will take you to Himself and GOD will be a Father to you and you shall be His son, His daughter and know Him and be glad in His Presence as my little ones know their father and are made glad by his presence.
Precious children, come and let us kneel before our Maker and be Coronetted; and life on Shiloh hilltop shall be unspeakable, grand and glorious, and all nations will want to send their children to our midst to learn of God.
I sacredly commit the University of Truth into your care and keeping - to prepare the Great Structure and furnish the quality of students essential to Divine Favor.
Goodnight and God be with you - my little ones and God's. "Our little son" - our little daughter - "and the kingdom shall be the Lord's."
AMEN - MY LIFE SIGNATURE
Have all day Sabbath
service reading this to them and then largely a service of waiting on God.
May 15, 1915
It is Sunday night and as I cast about in my mind to decide to whom I should write I decided a few lines to the Young People might be acceptable. Isn't it strange that you all seem so near to me - just as if I was a boy myself? And I think Esther and the girls feel as near me as the boys. I know I could beat the whole set in a hundred yard dash. Wouldn't it be a sight - with the old white-headed young man in the lead and three hundred laughing shamefaced children, some of them, well to the rear?
I walked a distance equal to from Boston to Portland last month: but I tell you I'm not repeating this month. How my heels did ache! But I'm as tough as a nut and I believe I could beat your whole "nine" all alone provided I could curve the ball so it would return to the pitcher's box - boomerang style. Now you're all laughing and saying, "Who couldn't?" I mean I could beat your best team even if you had that celebrated Colby left fielder on your side, and I know I could clean out all the ministers and University professors and students in lawn tennis. In fact, I hereby challenge you to seven sets as laid down in "The Art of War".
Well, leaving the "merry heart which doeth good like medicine" I will tell you I had a grand Sunday service today. Closed up on Job: seven rounds -
(1st) Job 1:6 to 1:22
God and Job won the first because the suffering saint "WORSHIPPED."
God and Job won the second because the suffering saint held fast to his integrity.
God and Job won the third against REASONERS by HOLDING TO THE TRUTH about himself, REFUSING to DOUBT when evil came.
God and Job won the fourth because Job received rebuke, without a word, from a God sent man - Elihu.
God and Job won the fifth because JOB LISTENED MEEKLY TO ALL GOD HAD TO SAY AND SHUT UP.
God and Job won the sixth because Job LISTENED MEEKLY TO ALL GOD HAD TO SAY AND "ABHORRED HIMSELF" for every time he had "kicked" IN THE PAST.
God and Job won the seventh because Job prayed an HONEST PRAYER for ENEMIES.
Now I wish you could have this letter printed, filling out where I have abbreviated and each boy and girl have a copy and make a careful study of this wonderful Book - perhaps the oldest on earth. If you know it and understand it and LIVE IT as that wonderful character did - "WONDERFUL" because God not only called him "PERFECT" and the "greatest man of the EAST" but declared there was, "NONE LIKE HIM IN THE EARTH" - then you nay have a character like his and fifteen centuries later be referred to as honorably as the patriarch of Uz. )Ezekiel 14 : 14.) "Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God." One of three men from all time to be selected as influential from the courts of heaven!
Oh young men - I hope you will be married to the hero of the East !
Young ladies, I ask you to read Revelation 14 : 1-6 and become one of them : they are all Jobs and sing a song heretofore NEVER SUNG - it's open to YOU.
"And I looked, and lo, a lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads.
"And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as a voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps.
"And they sung as it were a song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders : and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand which were redeemed from the earth.
These are they which were not defiled with women ; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God, and to the Lamb.
"And in their mouth was found no guile ; for they are without fault before the throne of God."
But silly little things - "lovers of pleasure" and fun and flirtations and nonsense and endless laughter, runners after earth's bubbles - will never belong to that choir - NEVER.
Now just devour the book of Job and make it your supreme ambition to develop CHARACTER - so that you too can write:
"My foot hath held His steps, His way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food," and add, "But He knoweth the way that I take," and, "When He hath tried me I shall come forth as gold."
Oh John, I cannot tell the joy you give your father - I believe - I KNOW it is no theory with you. Those days in the turret cost me dear but over the little fellows picture I have written - "Correct thy son and he shall give thee rest; yea, HE SHALL GIVE DELIGHT UNTO THY SOUL." And you prove the truthfulness of the Book - and the JOY in your father's heart is wonderful.
Boys and girls, I hope you will follow John and believe me you are a fool if you don't follow it. It has cost our family blinding tears, bleeding hearts and the groans of the deadly wounded to open up a way for you and your father's family - NOW LET THE UNIVERSITY FOLLOW ON FAITHFULLY AND WELL.
From a man who esteems "IRON AS STRAW."