Fundamentals of Christian Education


Chapter 5—A Visit to College City

A few weeks since, I visited College City (California), to speak, by invitation, upon the subject of temperance. The church was tendered for the occasion, and there was a good attendance. The people of this place have already taken a praiseworthy stand upon temperance principles. In fact, it was upon this condition that a college was established here. The land upon which the college building stands, with a large tract surrounding it, was donated to the Christian Church for educational purposes, with the stipulation that no saloon should ever be opened within three miles of the college. This agreement seems to have been faithfully kept. We would feel that the youth were much safer in attending school in such a town than where there are saloons open day and night on every street corner. FE 62.1

The rules of this college strictly guard the association of young men and young women during the school term. It is only when these rules are temporarily suspended, as is sometimes the case, that gentlemen are permitted to accompany ladies to and from public gatherings. Our own College at Battle Creek has similar regulations, though not so stringent. Such rules are indispensable to guard the youth from the danger of premature courtship and unwise marriage. Young people are sent to school by their parents to obtain an education, not to flirt with the opposite sex. The good of society, as well as the highest interest of the students, demands that they shall not attempt to select a life partner while their own character is yet undeveloped, their judgment immature, and while they are at the same time deprived of parental care and guidance. FE 62.2

It is because the home training is defective that the youth are so unwilling to submit to proper authority. I am a mother; I know whereof I speak, when I say that youth and children are not only safer but happier under wholesome restraint than when following their own inclination. Parents, your sons and daughters are not properly guarded. They should never be permitted to go and come when they please, without your knowledge and consent. The unbounded freedom granted to children at this age has proved the ruin of thousands. How many are allowed to be in the streets at night, and parents are content to be ignorant of the associates of their children. Too often, companions are chosen whose influence tends only to demoralize. FE 62.3

Under the cover of darkness, boys collect in groups to learn their first lessons in card-playing, gambling, smoking, and wine or beer sipping. The sons of religious parents venture into the saloons for an oyster supper, or some similar indulgence, and thus place themselves in the way of temptation. The very atmosphere of these resorts is redolent with blasphemy and pollution. No one can long remain in it without becoming corrupted. It is by such associations that promising youth are becoming inebriates and criminals. The very beginnings of the evil should be guarded against. Parents, unless you know that their surroundings are unexceptionable, do not permit your children to go into the streets after nightfall to engage in out-door sports, or to meet other boys for amusement. If this rule be rigidly enforced, obedience to it will become habitual, and the desire to transgress will soon cease. FE 63.1

Those who are seeking to shield the youth from temptation and to prepare them for a life of usefulness, are engaged in a good work. We are glad to see in any institution of learning a recognition of the importance of proper restraint and discipline for the young. May the efforts of all such instructors be crowned with success.—The Signs of the Times, March 2, 1882. FE 63.2