The Youth’s Instructor


November 5, 1896

In Word and in Deed


It is important that children and youth should be trained to guard their words and deeds; for their course of action causes sunshine or shadow, not only in their own home, but also with all with whom they come in contact. But before the youth can be careful and thoughtful and refrain from every appearance of evil, they must have that wisdom which comes from above, and the strength which Jesus alone can impart. YI November 5, 1896, Art. A, par. 1

“Cease to do evil; learn to do well.” If this rule were followed, how many mothers would see in their children attractions which they do not now see. And how many hearts, outside the home circle, would be cheered by the presence of those who, instead of trying to please themselves, were seeking to follow the meek and lowly Saviour. YI November 5, 1896, Art. A, par. 2

Many deceive themselves in thinking that good looks and a gay attire will gain for them consideration in the world. But the charms that consist only in the outward apparel are shallow and changeable; no dependence can be placed upon them. The adorning which Christ enjoins upon his followers will never fade. He says: “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” If half the time spent by the youth in making themselves attractive in outward appearance were given to soul-culture, to the inward adorning, what a difference would be seen in their deportment, words, and actions. Those who are truly seeking to follow Christ will have conscientious scruples in regard to the dress they wear; they will strive to meet the requirements of this injunction so plainly given by the Lord. The money now expended in extravagances in dress will be used for the advancement of the cause of God and in storing their minds with useful knowledge, thus qualifying themselves for positions of trust. They will seek to meet the expectations of Jesus, who has bought them at an infinite price. YI November 5, 1896, Art. A, par. 3

Dear children and youth, Jesus has done all in his power to give you a home in the mansions that are prepared for them that love and serve him here. He left his heavenly home, and came to a world marred by sin,—came to a people who did not appreciate him, who did not love his purity and holiness, who slighted his teachings, and finally put him to a most cruel death. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” YI November 5, 1896, Art. A, par. 4

God wants something in return for this great sacrifice he has made in your behalf. He wants you to be Christians, not in name alone, but also in dress and conversation. He would have you be content to dress in modest apparel, not in ruffles and feathers and unnecessary trimmings. He wants you to make your manners attractive, such as heaven can approve. Will you disappoint his expectations, dear youth? YI November 5, 1896, Art. A, par. 5

The outside appearance is frequently an index to the mind, and we should be careful what signs we hang out for the world to judge of our faith. We want you to follow Jesus as dear children, obedient to his expressed will in all things. We want you to please your Redeemer by seeking earnestly that inward adorning. Thus day by day, with the help of Jesus, you may overcome self. Pride and love of display will be discarded from your hearts and lives. Meekness and love of simplicity will be encouraged. Thus the youth may become an army of faithful soldiers for Christ. YI November 5, 1896, Art. A, par. 6

We are living in perilous times, when those who profess to love and obey God deny him in their daily lives. “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” God does not want you to be found among this class, dear youth. In his word you may learn how to shun these evils, and in the end be overcomers. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord harkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” It is not enough for you to avoid the appearance of evil; you must go farther than this; you must “learn to do well.” You must represent Christ to the world. It must be your daily study how you can learn to work the works of God. His followers are to be living epistles, “known and read of all men.” You can never secure a good character by merely wishing for it. It can be gained only by labor. Your desires in this direction must be expressed in earnest, honest endeavor and patient toil. By taking advance steps each day up the ladder of progress, you will find yourself at last at the top,—a conqueror, yes, more than a conqueror, through Him who has loved you. YI November 5, 1896, Art. A, par. 7

Mrs. E. G. White