The Youth’s Instructor


August 17, 1893

Words to the Young


There were many who came from all parts of the world to see Jesus. They had heard of his fame, and desired to hear his words and see his works. Many who came to him bore the knowledge they had obtained from the wonderful Teacher, to distant nations, and rehearsed to wondering ears the miracles he had wrought. As his sojourn on earth came near its close, he urged upon those who listened to his teaching, the necessity of appreciating the light, and walking in it while they had it. He said to his disciples, “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.” This admonition is practical to us today. It is not safe for us to turn away from the light that Heaven sends to us, although walking in the light sometimes involves a cross. If we make a fire, and walk in the sparks of our own kindling, our darkness will be in proportion to the light so graciously given us. YI August 17, 1893, par. 1

The Lord Jesus came to our world full of mercy, life, and light, ready to save those who should come unto him. But he can save no one against his will. God does not force the conscience; he does not torture the body that he may compel men to compliance with his law. All this work is after the order of Satan. Through the papacy Satan has carried out his decree by compelling men to acquiesce to his will, and in this way will seek to restrict religious liberty. But God deals with men after a different plan. He will give the sinner sufficient evidence to convict his conscience, and then if, of his own free will, he yields to the winning invitation of Jesus, he will receive the Spirit of God. Jesus pleads with the world, “Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” YI August 17, 1893, par. 2

The Lord has made it apparent that he proffers to the sinner the privilege of cooperating with God. He gives light, and furnishes evidence of the truth. He makes plain what are his requirements, and it is left with the sinner as to whether he will accept the truth, and receive grace and power by which he may comply with every condition, and find rest in giving willing service to Jesus Christ, who has paid the price of his redemption. If the sinner hesitates, and fails to appreciate the light that has reached his intellect and stirred the emotions of his soul, and refuses to render obedience to God, the light grows dim, has less and less force, and finally vanishes from his view. Those who fail to appreciate the first rays of light, will not heed more decided evidences of the truth. If the tender appeals of God fail to meet with a response in the heart of the sinner, the first impressions made upon his mind lose their significance, and he is finally left in darkness. The invitation is full of love. The light is as bright when he finally refuses it, as when it first dawned upon his soul; but through rejection of light, his soul becomes full of darkness, and does not realize what is the peril of disregarding the light. Christ says to such a soul, “Yet a little while is the light with you.” YI August 17, 1893, par. 3

The peril of impenitence is just as great now as it was in the days of Christ. How many might be colaborers with the Saviour of the world, receiving light, walking in the light, and diffusing it through others; but instead of this, few manifest a burden for the souls of those for whom Christ died. Yet, in working interestedly for the salvation of those with whom we come in contact, we work out our own salvation; for it is God that worketh in us both to will and to do of his own good pleasure. YI August 17, 1893, par. 4

There is work that all of us may do for the Master. We are to watch and to pray, to keep our souls in the love of God, that we may render unto him willing obedience. We are to cherish every ray of light received through searching the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit will work upon the heart of him who is sincere and earnest in seeking for God's blessing, and will enable him to resist temptation. We are to cease to sin, and to become holy in all manner of conversation. Then we will see and appreciate the light as those can who walk in the light. The Lord Jesus does not give increased light to those who refuse to act upon and walk in the light already given. If everyone would seek by prayer and searching the Scriptures, he would understand the greatness of the work to be done, and would be incited to walk in the light, as it shines upon his pathway. We are to be an example to those who are walking away from the light. YI August 17, 1893, par. 5

If the youth would do what they could according to their limited years and experience, they would be a blessing to others. Let them do work according to the best of their ability, and ways and opportunities will open before them to do more. Of John it was written, “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his way; to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day spring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet in the way of peace. And the child grew and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts until the day of his showing unto Israel.” “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” YI August 17, 1893, par. 6

Even through children and youth, the light of life may shine upon those who sit in darkness. Then watch and pray, and obtain a personal experience in the things of God. Your parents may teach you they may try to guide your feet into safe paths; but it is impossible for them to change your heart. You must give your heart to Jesus, and walk in the precious light of truth that he has given you. Faithfully take up your duties in the home life, and, through the grace of God, you may grow up unto the full stature of what Christ would have a child grow to be in him. The fact that your parents keep the Sabbath, and obey the truth, will not insure your salvation. For though Noah and Job and Daniel were in the land, “As I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.” YI August 17, 1893, par. 7

In childhood and youth you may have an experience in the service of God. Do the things that you know to be right. Be obedient to your parents. Listen to their counsels; for if they love and fear God, upon them will be laid the responsibility of educating, disciplining, and training your soul for the immortal life. Thankfully receive the help they want to give you, and make their hearts glad by cheerfully submitting yourselves to the dictates of their wiser judgments. In this way you will honor your parents, glorify God, and become a blessing to those with whom you associate. You will be following the example of Jesus, who, when twelve years old, was wise beyond his years, and was found sitting among the learned rabbis, hearing them and asking them questions, so that they were astonished at his wisdom; yet he returned with his parents to Nazareth, and was subject unto them. YI August 17, 1893, par. 8

Mrs. E. G. White