General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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CHILDREN’S MEETINGS

J. H. KELLOGG

Here is an important line of work. The children should be taught higher ideas of life. Many children are left to simply “come up.” They are allowed to run upon the streets. The mothers say, “I can’t have them under my feet!” They come up in the streets and go to utter ruin. They are taught to do wrong, are taught to lie and steal. The commandments are reversed. “Thou shalt not steal” is turned into “You must steal.” I wish you could visit our mission Sabbath-school in Chicago, see the children, and talk with them. They are utterly ignorant of anything that is good and true and pure. They are steeped in vice and ignorance; but nevertheless they are susceptible of being trained if they only had the means put within their reach. GCB February 4, 1895, page 4.10

I visited the Sabbath-school in our Chicago mission a few Sabbaths ago. The subject that morning was, “How God Talks to Us.” I endeavored to present to them how God talks to us through the conscience. They were very noisy. One little boy wanted to talk all the time. I took with me a flower. Children love flowers. Offer quarreling children each a flower and there is peace right away. Just as soon as they saw the flower, every child was quiet. The question in my mind was how to make those children understand the idea of conscience. I stepped to the organ and sounded a note. I sounded another, and asked them how many heard that. They all heard it. I told them the organ spoke. That was a new idea that the organ could speak. I then called attention to the flower, and asked them where it came from. “It growed!” said one boy. “But where did it come from?” “Out of the ground.” “Would the seed have grown if it had been put on the table?” They thought not, but could not tell why. “Why did the seed grow when it was in the ground?” They could not tell. “It was because God spoke to it. God spoke to the seed; the seed listened, and heard what God said; and that made the flower grow.” GCB February 4, 1895, page 5.1

I then asked them how many had seen peanuts, apples, and bananas at the stands, and wanted to take some. Two hands came up, a little boy’s and a little girl’s. The little girl hung her head; but the boy looked up. I asked the boy why he did not take them. “The man was there?” I asked the little girl why she did not take them. She said it was wrong. I asked them how many had heard God speak to them. Not one. I asked how many had ever been hungry. Every hand was up. I told them that was their stomach speaking to them. I asked the little girl how she knew it would be wrong to take the apple. She said she “felt it.” “Well, that is the way God speaks to us. When we feel that way, God speaks to us.” GCB February 4, 1895, page 5.2

The children seemed to get the idea, and I am sure they went away with the thought of God speaking to them. GCB February 4, 1895, page 5.3

I only mention this to show that by speaking to them through nature - God’s works - we can teach the most ignorant and those who have no conception of right and wrong. Suppose we had workers in every city and town who would go out and gather in these children and train them up in right ways! What a work would be done! They have the same right to be taught as you or I have, and God’s love and care for them is just as great as it is for us. GCB February 4, 1895, page 5.4

Then we have the Sewing Class. Young people and children are taught to sew. This greatly interests the mothers. The children become deeply interested, and are made happy, and as the work gets a foothold, the hearts of the parents and children can be reached. It is not that we wish simply to get members into the church. We want to help the people; train them; educate them; lead them into right ways, and a higher life. Can we not grasp broader ideas than simply wanting to make church members? Cannot we as followers of Christ, think of helping anybody that is suffering, and thus lift humanity up? GCB February 4, 1895, page 5.5

Nothing I can say will so impress our duty in this respect as the many things that come from the pen of Sister White. GCB February 4, 1895, page 5.6

[The speaker read numerous extracts to the point, but we are not supplied with copy or references. - ED.] GCB February 4, 1895, page 5.7

Now here we find are four things to be done, which the Lord says is most pleasing to him: “To minister to the sick; to feed the hungry; to clothe the naked; and to instruct the ignorant.” You hear many say, “I want to serve the Lord.” Here he tells us what is the most acceptable service to him. I have had letters from mothers saying they wanted to get their children into the Home so that they could go into the work! Now if we are doing these things of which the Lord has spoken, we are already in the work. What greater work could be undertaken than this Christian Help work? It is our duty to do it. GCB February 4, 1895, page 5.8

The thing that astonishes me is how we can have these things so plainly set before us, and do nothing. How can we, how dare we, go on day after day and pay no attention to them? It seems to me we are blind. We do not see the main thing. We have been so busy with other things that we neglect to think of these. GCB February 4, 1895, page 5.9

Said Job, “I put on righteousness and it clothed me; my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame.” “I was a father to the poor; and the cause which I knew not I searched out.” GCB February 4, 1895, page 5.10

He did not wait for the beggar to come to his door; he searched him out. This was an evidence that he had the righteousness that was after Christ’s order. When we have Christ’s righteousness, that is just what we will be doing. That was the evidence that Job had the righteousness that is after Christ’s order. It is evident that when a man is not doing these things, he has not Christ’s righteousness. He may think he has; he may think he has faith; but if he has Christ’s righteousness, you will see the evidence of it. GCB February 4, 1895, page 5.11

Now are we doing these things in every Seventh-day Adventist community? Is every church and every member of that church wide awake and doing these things? GCB February 4, 1895, page 6.1

There ought to be a work organized and plans laid by which everybody could be set to work. Let there be companies organized and the members set to work. There is no respect of persons with God. Every one has something to do. Nothing that I can say will add to what the Lord has said concerning these matters. Read the late articles by Sister White in the Reviews of Dec. 18 and 25 and Jan 18. If these articles were read and the instructions carried out, it would be better than anything I could possibly say. GCB February 4, 1895, page 6.2