The Youth’s Instructor


September 14, 1893

Words to the Young


“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be ye not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” YI September 14, 1893, par. 1

Young men and young women need more of the grace of Christ, in order that they may bring the principles of Christianity into their daily life. The grace and righteousness of Christ are offered as a free gift; the subject of justification by faith is to be studied and put into practice. Let us all realize that young and old, if they would behold the glory of Christ, must go into the cleft of the Rock. If we would become Christians, we cannot retain our natural habits, and hold fast to the weakness of our character that dishonors our Saviour. We can find no excuse in the plea that this or that sin is the result of “my way.” The professed followers of Christ will always be filled with wavering, will always be tossed like the waves of the sea, unless they give up their way, and take Christ's way. To cherish our own way, to do those things which naturally please us, will bring upon us the sure result of separation from the presence of Christ, and then we shall be without strength. YI September 14, 1893, par. 2

God is our owner. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” What a price has been given to redeem men from the slavery of sin! We are not to love the world, or to be conformed to its customs and practices. Jesus says of his followers, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” If we have true religion, we shall consider how we should dress, how we should speak, and how we should deport ourselves, realizing that we have been redeemed, soul, body, and spirit, and that we are to be wholly sanctified. YI September 14, 1893, par. 3

This subject has relation to the practice in which the women of this day indulge,—that of compressing the waist by tight lacing. This practice has no sanction in the word of God, and is injurious to the health of those who follow it. Those who profess to be children of God, who acknowledge that they have been bought with a price, dishonor their Maker when they employ any means, or follow any practice, whereby physical strength is lessened. Do you think to improve upon the form that God has made, by compressing the vital organs, and dishonoring your body? David says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” The habitation of the body should be tenderly guarded; for it is the habitation of God, the property of God, and it is to be preserved in soundness. YI September 14, 1893, par. 4

The human body has been terribly abused by following the fashions, by conforming to that demand that requires the compression of the delicate, vital organs. Those who are given to this practice, bring injury upon the lungs, the heart, the stomach, the liver, the kidneys, and the delicate organs of the abdomen. We see women about us who have broad shoulders, broad hips, and wasp-like, waists, and their very appearance is painful, and testifies against the character of the fashion-maker and the fashion devotee. Common-sense, reason, and conscience are all laid aside, that the body, mind, and spirit of these fashion-followers may be laid upon the altar of custom; but women who ruin their health by this injurious practice, shorten the life God has given them, and will be held accountable. YI September 14, 1893, par. 5

Our Creator made no mistake in fashioning the human body. He gave appropriate space for the free action of every organ, and formed us in such a way that every muscle could come into play without trespassing upon the function of any other muscle. But health and life are imperiled by becoming a slave to injurious fashions, and the offspring of those who thus injure themselves come into the world robbed of their rightful vitality, because of the sins of the mother. If women would allow reason to control them, and intelligence to be their guide, these harmful fashions would soon die a natural death. In sustaining fashions of this character, you exert a wrong influence in the world, sin against the body God created for you, sin against Christ, who gave his life to redeem you from the thraldom of all health-and-life-destroying practices. YI September 14, 1893, par. 6

God is the owner of the body; and when the body, purchased at infinite cost, is made to serve the customs and practices of this world, by following the fashions of this degenerate age, the testimony is borne to the world that pride and sin reign in the heart, that Christ does not abide in the soul-temple. The Lord Jesus will not be made to serve with your sins. He claims the undivided throne of the heart, and would banish from the life every worldly, unsanctified action, whose influence would tell against the fact that you are his sons and daughters. We must remember that we are the purchase of Christ's blood. Body, soul, and spirit are his, and we are to be his agents, and not serve sin and the world, but yield to him, that we may be wholly sanctified. “Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” YI September 14, 1893, par. 7

The moment the eye of faith is turned away from Christ, and there is a seeking after the world in conforming to health-and-life-destroying fashions, that moment the soul begins a course that will lose for it the favor of God. Ye cannot serve God and Baal. The Lord Jesus died in order that we might have tender consciences through committing ourselves to God, and having our mind and will in harmony with God's mind and will. The reason why so many have a crippled experience in the things of God, is that they do not commit themselves, soul and body, to do God's will, to be conformed to God's way. The world is permitted to creep into the heart, and is there cherished as a welcome guest. When the world holds control over us, the atmosphere we breath is of a dark, murky character, and body and soul deteriorate. The soul becomes diseased, and spiritual life is infected with spiritual consumption. The world steals the thought, and self is served and indulged, and views of the purity, goodness, and matchless love of Jesus, are eclipsed and dimmed. Peace is gone, and the soul is no longer committed to Christ in simple trust, and the whole Christian life becomes wavering and uncertain. The Holy Spirit of God is not welcomed into the soul as a reprover and comforter. The eye is no longer fixed steadfastly upon Jesus, but turned upon self, and thus contemplates the spiritual weakness of the natural character separated from God. The time that should be spent in communion with God, is spent in looking at the feelings. The moment the eye is turned from Jesus, darkness is seen, darkness is felt; for Jesus only is light and life and peace and assurance forever. “If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” What is it to have a single eye?—It is to have a disposition to look upon Christ; for by beholding, we become changed from glory to glory, from character to character. YI September 14, 1893, par. 8

As we keep Christ in view, the bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon us, and flood the chambers of the mind and heart, and fill the soul-temple with light. As the Light of the world shines upon us, we diffuse it to those around, “as when the bright shining of a candle doth give light.” The soul that is stayed upon God, commits to Christ all that perplexes, all that annoys, all that gives anxiety. The light of Christ shines in the soul in all goodness and peace; for in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. YI September 14, 1893, par. 9

Those who behold Christ will never plead that their own will may be done, or that their old ways and habits may be left undisturbed. As they behold Jesus, his image becomes engraved on heart and soul, and in all their practices they reflect his example upon the world. Day by day, the hands, the feet, the tongue, follow the dictates of the spiritual nature, and faith makes their path a path that grows brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. Everything that keeps us from attaining unto the likeness of Christ, is working out for us eternal loss. Then let no one plead for a continuance of his own way. Let no one seek to excuse his deficiencies of character by saying, It is “my way.” Cooperate with Jesus Christ, and you will see that your own way is a way full of deficiency and fault, and that if it is not corrected, it will cause you to put into your character-building, traits that will be as rotten timbers that will not stand the test of the judgment. Let none of your own way appear; let nothing of these defects of character be found in your building. Build on the rock Christ Jesus. YI September 14, 1893, par. 10

Mrs. E. G. White