Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6


Religious Exercises

Of all the features of an education to be given in our school homes the religious exercises are the most important. They should be treated with the greatest solemnity and reverence, yet all the pleasantness possible should be brought into them. They should not be prolonged till they become wearisome, for the impression thus made upon the minds of the youth will cause them to associate religion with all that is dry and uninteresting; and many will be led to cast their influence on the side of the enemy, who, if properly taught, would become a blessing to the world and to the church. The Sabbath meetings, the morning and evening service in the home and in the chapel, unless wisely planned and vitalized by the Spirit of God, may become the most formal, unpleasant, unattractive, and to the youth the most burdensome, of all the school exercises. The social meetings and all other religious exercises should be so planned and managed that they will be not only profitable, but so pleasant as to be positively attractive. Praying together will bind hearts to God in bonds that will endure; confessing Christ openly and bravely, exhibiting in our characters His meekness, humility, and love, will charm others with the beauty of holiness. 6T 174.2

On all these occasions Christ should be set forth as “the chiefest among ten thousand,” the One “altogether lovely.” Song of Solomon 5:10, 16. He should be presented as the Source of all true pleasure and satisfaction, the Giver of every good and perfect gift, the Author of every blessing, the One in whom all our hopes of eternal life are centered. In every religious exercise let the love of God and the joy of the Christian experience appear in their true beauty. Present the Saviour as the restorer from every effect of sin. 6T 175.1

To accomplish this result all narrowness must be avoided. Sincere, earnest, heartfelt devotion will be needed. Ardent, active piety in the teachers will be essential. But there is power for us if we will have it. There is grace for us if we will appreciate it. The Holy Spirit is waiting our demand if we will only demand it with that intensity of purpose which is proportionate to the value of the object we seek. Angels of heaven are taking notice of all our work and are watching to see how they can so minister to each one that he will reflect the likeness of Christ in character and become conformed to the divine image. When those in charge of our school homes appreciate the privileges and opportunities placed within their reach, they will do a work for God of which heaven will approve. 6T 175.2