The Youth’s Instructor


June 1, 1856

“Search the Scriptures


For in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39. YI June 1, 1856, par. 1

Dear children, I have feared there was a lack on your part in searching the Scriptures. Nothing should divert you from obeying this command. Time given you to prepare for heaven is precious, and the way to find out your duty to God, and learn the narrow path leading to heaven, is to search God's holy word. By that word you will see that it is no small thing to be a Christian. YI June 1, 1856, par. 2

In order to be a follower of Jesus, you must be often found studying the Word. Go to it for counsel, for direction, for knowledge, and you will find it sufficient for all this. It will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works. YI June 1, 1856, par. 3

There is an evil among the young that has caused me hours of sorrow. The reading of story-books and newspapers of the day. Dear children, as long as you do this, the religion of Jesus cannot dwell in your heart. What does the reading of these story-book and newspapers do for you? Does it make you sober-minded? Does it fit you for prayer in secret? Does it adorn the Christian? Does it show to the world that you love religion, and your Bible, and that your thoughts are much on God and heaven? Does it show that you are walking with God and holding communion with him? Answer these questions to your God. YI June 1, 1856, par. 4

In every case where there is a thirst for light and vain reading, the word of God lies neglected, and there is no thirst for holy and pure reading, the more you read these books, the greater is your thirst for reading, and the religion of Jesus is crowded out. You may still retain the name and form, but these are only a curse, when the vital part is gone. The mind that should be stayed upon God, is under an unhealthy excitement, and prayer is hardly thought of. I know it is sin to read the books and papers of the day. It poisons the mind that should be pure to serve the Law of God. And again, time is wasted; time that is not your own, but lent you of God; and he holds you responsible for it; and in the day of judgment you must give an account what disposition you have made of your time. YI June 1, 1856, par. 5

You have an influence. You not only injure your own soul, but you encourage others to follow your example, and the end thereof you will find to be death. Jesus is crowded out of your thoughts, and vanity and folly takes its place. Your mind is perverted, if not corrupted. Some have reasoned, even parents, that it was harmless reading. But it is hurtful enough to grieve the Spirit of God away, and destroy the soul. YI June 1, 1856, par. 6

You should profess the religion of Jesus, and the Third Angel's Message understandingly. You do not want to believe the truth merely because your parents do, but because the Bible teaches it. Then search the Scriptures, that you may know yourself that you have a well-grounded hope. Dear children you must have an experience in the things of God. Acquaint yourselves with the word of God, that if need be, you can tell others your reasons for believing as you do. YI June 1, 1856, par. 7

I have had an experience in this matter. I have ever had a natural love for reading; but since I have learned to prize the approbation of God, and have tasted the sweetness of his love, I have had a work to do, to lay aside vain reading, and turn to God's word. At times I have been overcome, by my love of reading. And O how soon my soul was barren, and my love for the word of God gone. It was difficult to fix my mind upon God, or approach him as I should. And I could not find comfort or peace again until I humbly confessed my sin to God. Many of the young that I am acquainted with have had the same experience. I have not only had an experience in this matter, but God has shown me in vision the withering effects of this unprofitable reading. I dare not keep silent longer, lest the blood of your souls be found in my garments. YI June 1, 1856, par. 8

Children, I want to arouse you to this evil. I want you to awake, and now take the word of God as the man of your counsel. It may be difficult for you to love to study the word of God at once, when you have not been in the habit of studying it, but God will help you. Pray for his forgiveness for neglecting his holy word so long, and then beg of the Lord to give you love and interest in his word, be in earnest in the matter. When I lose my love for the Bible I am alarmed. I know that I do not love Jesus if I do not love to search the Book that testifies of him. YI June 1, 1856, par. 9

E. G. W.