The Youth’s Instructor


August 10, 1893

Words to the Young


The Lord says to the young, “My son, give me thine heart.” The Saviour of the world loves to have children and youth give their hearts to him. There may be a large army of children who shall be found faithful to God, because they walk in the light, as Christ is in the light. They will love the Lord Jesus, and it will be their delight to please him. They will not be impatient, if reproved; but will make glad the heart of father and mother by their kindness, their patience, their willingness to do all they can in helping to bear the burdens of daily life. Through childhood and youth, they will be found faithful disciples of our Lord. YI August 10, 1893, par. 1

Children and youth, in your earliest years you may be a blessing in the home. What a grief it is to see children of God-fearing parents, unruly and disobedient, unthankful and self-willed, full of determination to have their own way, irregardless of the inconvenience or sorrow it causes their parents. Satan takes delight in ruling the hearts of children, and if he is permitted, he will inspire them with his own hateful spirit. Parents may do everything in their power to give their children every privilege and instruction, in order that they may give their hearts to God; yet the children may refuse to walk in the light, and, by their evil course, cast unfavorable reflections upon their parents who love them, and whose hearts yearn after their salvation. YI August 10, 1893, par. 2

It is Satan who tempts children to follow in a course of sin and disobedience; and then if he is permitted, he will take the life of the children while they are yet in their sins, in order to cut them off from all hope of salvation, and to pierce, as with a sword, the hearts of the God-fearing fathers and mothers, who will be bowed down with a sorrow that never can be lifted, because of their children's final impenitence and rebellion against God. YI August 10, 1893, par. 3

Though the parents of such children may have done everything in their power to bring their children up in the love and fear of God, they will feel remorse, and again and again they will go over the words and actions of the past, saying to themselves, over and over, “Did I do my whole duty to my child? What did I do that I should have left undone? What should I have done that I did not do?” Will children consider these things? If they refuse to walk in the light, if they refuse to submit their will and way to God, and persist in following a course of sin in their impenitence, the light and privileges they have had will rise up in judgment against them, because they did not walk in the light, and knew not whither they went. Satan is leading them, and they become a subject of remark in the world. People will say, “Why, look at those children! their parents are very religious, but you see they are worse than my children, and I do not profess to be a Christian.” In this way, children who receive good instruction and yet do not heed it, cast a reproach upon their parents, dishonoring them, and putting them to shame before an ungodly world. They also bring a reproach upon the religion of Jesus Christ, through their wicked course of action. What grief, what sorrow, what heavy burdens, they bring upon those who watched over them in their helpless infancy, who have cared for them in health and sickness, and when death came near, wrestled in prayer with God for the lives of their loved ones. How they have rejoiced when their little ones were given back to them as from the grave; and yet some of these very children have grown up wayward, self-willed, and rebellious, and their godly parents are led to regret that they prayed so earnestly that God would spare the lives of their suffering children. YI August 10, 1893, par. 4

I have heard a mother say, “O that he had died in his innocent childhood! I prayed for his life, I gave him to the Lord, even as Hannah gave Samuel; and yet he would not give himself to Jesus, and submit his will to the will of God, and now he is a constant burden to my soul.” The ungodly look upon such children, and wonder what kind of bringing up they have had, to pursue so persistently a wrong course of action. The religion of their parents is brought into reproach because of the perversity of their children. What excuse will these children have to render to God, that they did not walk in the light, while they had the light? Have they not been warned that he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth? YI August 10, 1893, par. 5

Children and youth, I entreat you, for Christ's sake, to walk in the light. Submit your will to the will of God. When sinners entice thee, consent thou not. Keep the way of the Lord, for you will have no peace in transgression. By an evil course you bring discredit upon your parents and dishonor upon the religion of Christ. Remember that your life is recorded in the books of heaven, to be opened before the assembled universe. Think what shame, what remorse, would be yours, should it be your unhappy lot to lose eternal life! “Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.... Then shall they call upon me.... Whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” Heed the instruction of Christ, “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.” YI August 10, 1893, par. 6

Mrs. E. G. White