The Youth’s Instructor


May 3, 1894

Words to Students

Part 1


Every soul is surrounded with an atmosphere peculiar to the individual. This atmosphere may be full of spiritual malaria that is poisonous to the principles of righteousness. But when brought into association with others, it need not take us days or weeks to ascertain whether the atmosphere of the spirit is of Christ or of Satan. The influence of association is never stronger than in school life; but the student who comes to school with an earnest desire to be a help and a blessing to his fellows, will be careful to cast his influence on the right side, and seek companions who will join with him in cultivating right principles and practices. YI May 3, 1894, par. 1

Students should feel their responsibility in the matter of making their school life a success. They should bend every effort in the right direction, so that they may not disappoint their parents or guardians who work hard to keep them in school, and who are deeply anxious for their present and eternal welfare. Students should determine that they will make a record that they will not be ashamed to meet in the day of judgment. A student who is circumspect in his deportment, who will not be swayed to the right or left by wrong influences, will exercise a restraining power over those in the school who take pleasure in showing their independence, and in engaging in wicked sports in disobedience to the rules, and who fill the hearts of their teachers with sorrow and discouragement. YI May 3, 1894, par. 2

Life is a problem which we must individually work out for ourselves. No one can form a character for another; we each have a part to act in deciding our own destiny. We are God's free, responsible agents, and each one must work out his own salvation with fear and trembling, while God works in him to will and to do of his own good pleasure. Students may do good, or they may do evil, but “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” YI May 3, 1894, par. 3

We are individually on trial under the proving of God. The intelligences of heaven are all enlisted to help every soul who will be drawn to Jesus, and every true lover of Jesus will cooperate with the heavenly agents in seeking to draw souls away from that which is foolish, low, and frivolous. The followers of Christ will not work on the side of Satan to weaken faith in true religion, to deprave others by casting about them an atmosphere which is ruinous to the morals and the character. But we are sorry to say that even in our schools there are persons who are Christians only in name. It will not take a long acquaintance with these professors to ascertain that they are successful agents of Satan. There are in our schools persons who are corrupt at heart, who yet have a pleasing address, and who are successful in fascinating a certain class of people, and before the unwary are aware of it, the influence of these persons has changed their sentiments, and fashioned them after the objectionable characters of these corrupt persons. But those who wear the garb of Christianity, and yet who are governed by the fashions and maxims of the world, are moral corrupters. They claim to be seeking heavenly treasures, but the atmosphere with which their souls are surrounded is one that is charged with a deadly spiritual miasma, and they should be shunned by those who would remain unspotted by the world. YI May 3, 1894, par. 4

The youth who has discernment can readily see what kind of persons these are, even though he lays no claim to Christianity; for he knows that they are not Christ-like. But shall he allow them to be as stumbling-blocks to him? He has a guide-book that describes those who are on the Lord's side. If he knows that their course is inconsistent with a profession of Christianity, if he understands what it means to live a godly life, he will be held accountable for the light and knowledge he has. He will be responsible for doing the Master's will, for showing to the world what is the true idea of Christianity—what it is to have a Christlike life and character. YI May 3, 1894, par. 5

Mrs. E. G. White