The Youth’s Instructor


December 14, 1893

Words to the Young


It is the purpose of God that we are to make continual progress in divine knowledge and virtue. We are surrounded by wicked men, beset with Satan's temptations, and we should understand how necessary it is to have a right hold above. Where shall we spend our eternity?—In the presence of the omnipotent God. Then, is it not best to become acquainted with him, to understand our obligation to him? Or do you think it wise to live according to our own finite desires, and to be governed by our own finite speculations? Shall we follow our own human wisdom, and bury in the earth our Lord's entrusted talent, instead of putting it out to usury? In hoarding the Lord's goods we become alienated from God. Instead of having a heart of gratitude, to show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light, we make the complaint of the unfaithful servant, “I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed: and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.” YI December 14, 1893, par. 1

The unfaithful servant was a poor, deceived, dishonest soul. He said, “I knew thee that thou art a hard man.” But was this accusation true? He makes it manifest by his charge that he was not acquainted with God, and judged God to be one altogether like himself. Had he made a diligent use of his Lord's entrusted goods, had he been thankful for the trust the Lord had reposed in him, had he qualified himself to make the best use possible of what God had given him, he would never have uttered the words, “Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed.” How deceived the sinner shows himself to be! He thinks he has a perfect knowledge of God, and that he knows his own heart, when he neither knows himself nor God. His supposed knowledge is only deception. He knows nothing as he ought to know it. YI December 14, 1893, par. 2

Unbelief in regard to God and dishonesty in dealing with God, lead to dishonesty in dealing with men. Separation from God means the corruption of morals while fear and love of God produce faithfulness and integrity. Thus it is that each one of us is sealing his destiny. That which we sow, we shall reap. This is our sowing time, and as beings accountable to God, we should take heed as to the kind of seed we are sowing. Let us bear in mind that the reaping time will surely come. YI December 14, 1893, par. 3

Christ is still our great High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, and we may yet have faith in Christ. We may repent of our sins. Jesus says, “Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” Every provision has been made to meet the needs of our spiritual and our moral nature. God is love, and he cares for us. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” Light and immortality are brought to light through the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has said that he has set before us an open door, and no man can shut it. The open door is before us, and through the grace of Christ, beams of merciful light stream forth from the gates ajar. YI December 14, 1893, par. 4

The bitterness of life is caused by the labors, the mortifications, the humiliations and sufferings, that result from sin. But if pardon is sought, it will be obtained. We shall be conscious of our unworthiness, and acknowledge the justice of our humiliation and chastisement. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Let not your heart and mine be filled with the falsehood that came from the unfaithful servant's lips, “I knew thee that thou art a hard man.” Reproof must come to the wrong-doer, and those who are faithful ministers of God will have to deal with men in a close way if they are faithful to their charge. YI December 14, 1893, par. 5

The apostle says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” We are all in need of reproof, of correction, of instruction in righteousness; and it is hard for us to kick against the pricks. We are to give all diligence, and add to “faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things, is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be administered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” YI December 14, 1893, par. 6

There are some who, when reproved, make serious charges against those who deal with their cases. They accuse those who deal faithfully with them, because they are blinded, and feel humiliated before others. But every minister is under the responsibility of reproving and correcting the erring. If he shunned this duty, the blood of souls would be upon his garments. In Paul's last charge to Timothy, he said, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” Again he says, “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.” “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, ... whose mouths must be stopped.... This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.... Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Marginal reading, “void of judgment.”) YI December 14, 1893, par. 7

“The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” YI December 14, 1893, par. 8

Mrs. E. G. White