The Youth’s Instructor



January 1, 1856

The New Year


Dear Children,

Can you look back upon your course through the past year with sweet satisfaction? Have you made progress in the way to heaven?—Have you been overcoming your pride of heart, your pride of dress, and are you becoming more humble, meek, like Jesus, the lovely Pattern? YI January 1, 1856, par. 1

The new year has commenced, and with the commencement of this new year, you should dedicate yourselves to God. Now give yourself to him, soul, body, and spirit, to do his will. Let all selfishness, your disobedience to your parents, all your faults, and besetting sins die with the old year. Begin this new year to the glory of God. Pray to him, morning, noon, and night, to give you a meek and humble spirit, a mild temper, an affectionate disposition. Live as you never lived before. Begin this new year with new feelings, fresh desires, and a strong determination to glorify God. YI January 1, 1856, par. 2

This year can be the happiest year of your life; you can do more good to others than you have ever yet done. You can be a comfort to your parents, and a blessing to all around you. Commence the year aright, by devoting yourself to God. Spend a portion of your time each day in praying to him for strength, that you may resist evil, and every day overcome, until it will be easy praying, easy believing. YI January 1, 1856, par. 3

Let your thoughts dwell upon things of earth less, and upon heaven more. When you are with your associates, talk about Jesus instead of dress and appearance, Do you love Jesus? If you do you will love to talk about him. Do you love his appearing? If you do, you will love to dwell upon it, Does heaven charm you? Does it attract you? If so, you cannot hold your peace. You will talk about it; for you will always have it uppermost in your mind, and be ready to converse, when you meet with your friends, upon that which most charms, and engrosses the mind, Talk about your hopes of heaven, your joys, your eternal prospects, and then when you part with your friends, you will be benefited by each others society, and there will be a sweet satisfaction when you meet and when you part, instead of barrenness of soul, and an empty feeling. YI January 1, 1856, par. 4

Children, you have something to do, as well as those that are older than you, in prayer and conference meetings. Tell the feelings of your soul, what Jesus has done for you, your trials and joys, that those older may pray for you, and give you right counsel I have felt sad sometimes as I have seen some children, that I thought wanted to be good, talk in meeting things they did not understand. Instead of telling their simple story, they exhort those experienced in the things of God. I have enquired of myself why the parents of these children do not instruct them in a tender, faithful manner that would not discourage, but help the children. The children could modestly and with simplicity tell their feelings, express their love to God, and they would fill their little place, do their duty, be blest of God in bearing their testimony, and all would be blest in hearing them. YI January 1, 1856, par. 5

Children, you must have an experience. If you love Jesus, your lives will be marked with that love. You will show it. You will not be passionate, evil-tempered, or disobedient to your parents. You must watch and pray, and the Lord will help you to overcome. Do not neglect your precious Bible. My heart aches as I realize how little some children love their Bible. Even some who profess to love God, often love story-books, and idle tales, more than the word of God. YI January 1, 1856, par. 6

I fear that some of you love these story-books better than your own little paper published especially for you. It is the only children's paper published in the land teaching the present truth, instructing you how you may keep God's commandments and live, and his law as the apple of your eye. Do you read your little paper as carefully as you should? Do you try to do all you can to aid in its publication? Many of you need not wait for your parents to do this, You can earn something yourselves, that it may be all your own paper. Cannot you deny yourselves of something and make a sacrifice? in your dress that you do not actually need, and lay it by you in store, to give to assist in the publication of your own little paper. Must the children's paper go down, and stop because you have not interest enough to sustain it? YI January 1, 1856, par. 7

Many of you take other papers. Cannot you give up those, that lack the very thing needful for your salvation, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and use the means you give for these papers to support your own little paper? You will be happier in doing this, than in laying out your means in gratifying love of vain reading, and pride of dress. The Lord will smile upon such a disposition of your means. YI January 1, 1856, par. 8

Those that publish your paper will strive to make it interesting for you, and it will benefit you, and will give you true light on your path to heaven. While story-books will only excite and please for the moment, and are no benefit to the mind. The reading of story-books will eclipse the glory and beauty of God's word, and make your little paper that teaches you to understand that word, uninteresting to you. YI January 1, 1856, par. 9

Dear children, look to your eternal interest. Love what God loves, and have your thoughts tending heaven-ward. O, do not let the mind be filled with earth, vanity and pride, You will have trials, but go to Jesus for patience and strength that you may hold the victory. Let your trust be fully in God. Remember that Jesus died to save you, and cannot you deny yourself for Jesus, and for others good? Jesus has gone to prepare mansions for those that love him, that where he is gone, they may be also. If you are faithful, you will go to those blest mansions. All will be joy, beauty and loveliness. There no trials will ever come. There none will say, I am sick. Heaven, sweet heaven, will be our blest and happy home. YI January 1, 1856, par. 10

Ellen G. White.