The Youth’s Instructor


March 24, 1898

Lessons From God's Handiwork


“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” YI March 24, 1898, par. 1

The word of God and the things of nature around us are God's lesson book. God encourages us to contemplate his works in the natural world. He desires that we shall turn our minds from the study of the artificial to the natural. We shall understand this better as we lift up our eyes to the hills of God, and contemplate the works which his own hands have created. His hand has molded the hills, and balanced them in their position, that they shall not be moved except at his command. The wind, the sun, the rain, the snow, and the ice are all ministers to do his will. YI March 24, 1898, par. 2

By the Christian, God's love and benevolence can be seen in every gift from his hands. The beauties of nature are a theme for contemplation. In studying the natural loveliness surrounding us, the mind is carried up through nature to the Author of all that is lovely. All the works of God are speaking to our senses, magnifying his power, exalting his wisdom. Every created thing has in it charms which interest the child of God, and mold his taste to regard these precious evidences of God's love above the work of human skill. YI March 24, 1898, par. 3

In words of glowing fervor, the prophet magnifies God in his created works: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works.” YI March 24, 1898, par. 4

Those professed Christians who are constantly complaining, who seem to think happiness and a cheerful countenance a sin, have not the genuine attributes of religion. Those who look upon nature's beautiful scenery as they would upon a dead picture; who choose to look upon dead leaves rather than to gather the beautiful flowers; who take a mournful pleasure in all that is melancholy in the language spoken to them by the natural world; who see no beauty in valleys clothed in living green, and grand mountain heights clothed with verdure; who close their senses to the joyful voice that speaks to them in nature, and which is sweet and musical to the listening ear,—these are not in Christ. They are not walking in the light, but are gathering to themselves darkness and gloom, when they might just as well have the brightness and the blessing of the Sun of Righteousness arising in their hearts with healing in his beams. YI March 24, 1898, par. 5

God does not design that we shall take no pleasure in the things of his creation. He desires that we shall enjoy them. He has spread out before our senses the beauties of nature, and he watches with a Father's joy the delight of his children in the beautiful things around them. YI March 24, 1898, par. 6

While on earth, the Redeemer of the world sought to make his lessons of instruction plain and simple, that all might comprehend them; and can we be surprised that he should choose the open air as his sanctuary, that he should desire to be surrounded by the works of his creation? True, he taught in the synagogues, but the largest part of his work was done, the greatest number of his lessons were given, in the open air. He had special reasons for resorting to the groves and the seaside. He could there have a commanding view of the landscape, and make use of objects and scenes with which those in humble life were familiar. The things which his own hand had made he took as his lesson book. He saw in them more than finite minds could comprehend. The birds, caroling forth their songs without a care, the flowers of the valley glowing in their beauty, the lily that reposed in its purity on the bosom of the lake, the lofty trees, the cultivated land, the waving grain, the barren soil, the tree that bore no fruit, the everlasting hills, the bubbling stream, the setting sun, tinting and gilding the heavens,—all these he employed to impress his hearers with divine truth. He connected the work of God's finger in the heavens and upon the earth with the word of life. From these he drew his lessons of spiritual instruction. He would pluck the lilies, the flowers of the valley, and place them in the hands of the little children, as instructors to proclaim the truth of his word. YI March 24, 1898, par. 7

The root of the tree has a double office to fill. It is to hold fast by its tendrils to the earth, while it takes to itself the nourishment desired. Thus it is with the Christian. When his union with Christ, the parent stock, is complete, when he feeds upon him, currents of spiritual strength are given to him. Can the leaves of such a branch wither?—Never! As long as the soul reaches toward Christ, there is little danger that he will wilt, and droop, and decay. The temptations that may come in like a tempest will not uproot him. The true Christian draws his motives of action from his deep love for his Redeemer. His affection for his Master is true and holy. And it is the cheerful, lovable Christian of whom Christ says, “Ye are my witnesses.” Such a man is Christ's representative; for he reflects Christ in his daily life. It is when he recedes from the light, that he cannot diffuse its bright beams to others. YI March 24, 1898, par. 8

The Spirit of God is constantly impressing the mind to seek for those things which alone will give peace and rest,—the higher, holier joys of heaven. Our Saviour is constantly at work, through influences seen and unseen, to attract the minds of men from the unsatisfying pleasures of this life to the priceless treasure which may be theirs in the immortal future. The beauties of nature have a tongue that speaks to us without ceasing. The open heart can be impressed with the love and glory of God, as seen in the works of his hand. The listening ear can hear and understand the communications of God through the things of nature. There is a lesson in the sunbeam, and in the various objects of nature that God has presented to our view. The green fields, the lofty trees, the buds and flowers, the passing cloud, the falling rain, the babbling brook, the sun, moon, and stars in the heavens,—all invite our attention and meditation, and bid us become acquainted with him who made them all. YI March 24, 1898, par. 9

Mrs. E. G. White