The Youth’s Instructor


October 25, 1894

“I Have Written Unto You, Young Men”


“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.” This text does not have reference to those who are children in years, but to those who are children in the truth and young in the faith. “I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.... I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” YI October 25, 1894, par. 1

These words of approval and instruction are addressed to every young man who has put on the whole armor of righteousness. Young and strong, they may do giant strokes for God, if they will make God their only trust. The older ones who are addressed as “fathers,” have a decided work to do in holding up the standard: but they feel the pressure of the burdens of life, and it is fitting that the younger ones should be encouraged to qualify themselves for duty by obtaining an experience in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, so that as the standard falls from the fathers, the strong young men may grasp it, and bear it aloft. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” YI October 25, 1894, par. 2

There are many young men in this age who will search the Scriptures as for hidden treasures, and having found jewels of truth, will open up the treasures of the word to the minds of others. It is the privilege of every young man to answer the expectation of Jesus Christ. “Ye are strong” comprehends more than mere physical strength. It means that the mind has been trained to think, and has been kept clear and strong by the practice of strictly temperate habits. It means that the young men have engaged with earnestness, and have overcome the enemy, connecting the religion of Jesus Christ with every-day life, and bringing Christ into their every-day duties and enjoyments. It means that they have become partakers of the divine nature. YI October 25, 1894, par. 3

Youth who have given themselves to the service of God, are in a position to fight man fully the battles of the Lord. Let the youth take Christ as their pattern, and they will do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God. They will then be strong, and like Daniel and his fellows, will improve their time to the best advantage in acquiring valuable knowledge and experience. It is in youth that the affections are most ardent, the memory most retentive, and the heart most susceptible to divine impressions; and it is during youth that the mental and physical powers should be set to the task in order that great improvements may be made in view of the world that now is, and that which is to come. YI October 25, 1894, par. 4

The amount of valuable knowledge that can be acquired by young men and young women can hardly be estimated; but to reach a high standard, they must close the door to the debasing thoughts that Satan would thrust into the mind, and refuse to yield to his temptations. The youth may acquire that which gold cannot buy, by cherishing a pure, strong purpose in endeavoring to be all that God designed they should be. The mind should be trained to dwell upon right themes of thought. They should study the Scriptures, and bring into daily life the divine rules which God has laid down for their guidance. He who has grown old in the service of God may find his mind a blank in regard to the things that are happening about him, and recent transactions may soon pass from his memory; but his mind is all awake to the scenes and transactions of his childhood. O that the youth may realize how important it is to keep the mind guarded, pure and clean, from corrupting thoughts, and to preserve the soul from all debasing practices; for the purity or impurity of youth is reflected upon old age. YI October 25, 1894, par. 5

The youth should stand in a position where their hearts may be wholly the Lord's; where they are honoring God with their strength. God will then honor them by giving them knowledge and wisdom. Thus did Daniel in the courts of Babylon, standing true to principle amid the corruptions of the heathen. “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank therefore, he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” YI October 25, 1894, par. 6

By the example of Daniel and his fellows in Babylon, we see that it is impossible to reach the standard which the Lord would have his children reach, and practise an easy, accommodating kind of religion that leaves principle out, and is controlled by circumstances. Youth who would serve the God of heaven, cannot engage in worldly merriment, eat of enervating luxuries, or drink strong drink because it is set before them by the honored or wealthy men of the world, whom they fear to offend by refusing their favors. They may think that they have been especially honored, and that courtesy demands the acceptance of the favors proffered them; but loyalty to God must take the precedence, and fear to offend the Lord of heaven must control the Christian. The king of Babylon thought that he was bestowing great favors upon Daniel and his fellows; but they had respect unto God's commandments more than unto the favor of the king. YI October 25, 1894, par. 7

The question with every youth who would be on the Lord's side should be, Shall I consult my inclination, and indulge my appetite, or shall I follow the dictates of conscience, and keep my head clear and preserve my physical powers by abstaining from every practice that would bring weakness upon them? Shall I fall a prey to the customs of the world, and we have respect to the rules and laws of the Babylonians, or shall I separate myself from every custom that is debasing in its results? Shall I not honor God, rather than please the world? In the court of Babylon, Daniel and his fellows realized that principle was at stake, and that they could afford to make no compromise with the tempter. The light and truth reflected from the throne of God were dearer to them than any honor that men could bestow. It is the privilege of the young people of today to be as firm and true, as modest and successful, as were the Jewish youths in the kingdom of Babylon. Let them remember that the lessons written in the living oracles are for their consideration, and let them imitate the example of Daniel in right doing. God honored Daniel, and he will honor every youth who takes the course that Daniel took in honoring God. YI October 25, 1894, par. 8

“As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.... And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” The youth of today may be educated for the fulfilment of high and holy purposes. They may be taught how they may be the children of God, through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth. By looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith, they may become meet to be partakers with the saints in light. By beholding the character of their Redeemer, they will become changed into his image, having his mind, and being partakers of the divine nature. They are pupils in the school of Christ, learning from day to day lessons of the divine Master. YI October 25, 1894, par. 9

“We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” We are to keep the Lord ever before us. Those who do this, walk with God as did Enoch, and imperceptibly to themselves, they become one with the Father and with the Son. Day by day a change is wrought upon mind and hearts, and the natural inclination, the natural ways, are molded after God's ways and Spirit. They increase in spiritual knowledge, and are growing up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. They reflect to the world the character of Christ, and abiding in him, and he in them, they fulfil the mission for which they were called to be the children of God,—they become the light of the world, a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid. “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.” Those who have been lighted from above send forth the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. YI October 25, 1894, par. 10

Mrs. E. G. White