The Youth’s Instructor


December 1, 1852



Dear Young Friends,

When young I felt the need of the Saviour, and was about eleven years old when I first rejoiced in his love. Previous to that time I had conviction of sin. I can recollect when very young, of feeling the necessity of having my sins forgiven and washed away, least I should be for ever miserable. YI December 1, 1852, par. 1

I had praying parents, who felt great anxiety for the welfare of their children. I remember of trying to appear perfectly indifferent before them, for fear they would think I was under conviction, while I bore an aching heart, and night and day was troubled, fearing death might come upon me while in sin. When thunder-storms would arise, O, what dreadful suffering I passed through in my mind. Nights I would often awake and cry, not daring to close my eyes in sleep, for fear the judgment might come, or the lightning kill me, and I be lost forever. YI December 1, 1852, par. 2

Children, if any of you are without a hope in Christ, and you fear or tremble when any storm shall now arise, ask yourselves this question: If I fear now, how shall I stand in the great and dreadful day of God's wrath? None of the wicked can escape then. There will not be an hour, a moment lent you then to get prepared for that dreadful day. YI December 1, 1852, par. 3

You will then witness, not merely rain, lightning and thunder; but every island will flee away, and the mountains will not be found. YI December 1, 1852, par. 4

“And there fell upon men great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent.” Revelation 16:21. The storm of God's wrath is soon coming upon a guilty world, and can you endure the thought of coming up to such a scene without a hope in God, and feeling that his withering frown is upon you? If you want a shelter, you must seek it now, and then you will be hid when the fierce anger of the Lord shall come. YI December 1, 1852, par. 5

I remember of often hearing my mother pray for us; one night in particular after I had retired. I shall never forget that earnest prayer for her unconverted children. She appeared to be much distressed, as she wrestled with God for us. I never shall forget these words which kept in my mind day and night. “O! Will they wade through so many prayers, to destruction and misery.” As I looked the matter over, thoughts would rush into my mind like this: The saints, and especially my parents, desire to save me from destruction, and yet I am so unthinking and cruel as to wade through their prayers, or drive off conviction that pressed upon me, and by my heedless course, plainly show that I choose death rather than life. YI December 1, 1852, par. 6

Dear children, if you have praying parents, prize their prayers, heed their instructions, and remember that you will have to give an account for the privileges you now enjoy. All heaven is interested in your salvation. God has given his only beloved Son to die for your transgressions, angels are watching over you, and are trying to turn your attention to God, to seek your soul's salvation. Christians are interested for you, and labor and pray for you. Your parents, who have watched over you all your life, if they are Christians, are deeply interested for you. They bear your case to the throne, and earnestly plead for God to spare you, to not cut you off in sin, and you be lost forever. Their aching hearts will find no rest until they see you followers of the meek and lowly Saviour. And will you steel your hearts to all their prayers offered for you? Will you not be interested in your own soul's salvation? Will you think it brave (as I once thought) to appear unconcerned and thoughtless, as though you disregarded a mothers tears and prayers? O, will you “wade through so many prayers to destruction and misery?” When all are willing to help you, will you not help yourselves? YI December 1, 1852, par. 7

I now have a mother's feeling of strong attachment and love for my children, and have often wished that I had my youthful days to live over again. O, how careful I would be of my parents feelings. I would love to obey them. I would open my whole soul to my anxious parents, and not do as I once did. YI December 1, 1852, par. 8

If I was reading my Bible, and my parents would be coming into the room, I would hide it for shame. Children, if there is any one entitled to your confidence, it is your dear parents who have spent so many anxious hours for you in your infancy, and all your life, have watched over you, and loved you as none but a parent can love. YI December 1, 1852, par. 9

In 1839, that faithful servant of the Lord. Wm. Miller, visited Portland Me., and gave a course of Lectures on the second coming of Christ. This had a great affect upon me. I knew that I must be lost if Christ should come, and I be found as I then was. At times I was greatly distressed as to my situation. But it was hard for me to give entirely up to the Lord. I knew that if I professed religion I must be a whole christian, and viewed it so great a thing to be a christian, that I feared I never should be one, if I professed religion. So I remained, suffering distress and anguish of spirit, some months. YI December 1, 1852, par. 10

My parents were Methodists. I generally attended meeting with them; and at a camp-meeting held in Buxton, Me., which all the family attended, I resolved to give myself unreservedly to the Lord. I commenced there to seek the Lord with all my heart, and could not be satisfied with anything short of pure religion. My mind was in great distress some weeks. At a prayer-meeting I found relief. O, how sweet was peace of mind. Every thing seemed changed. YI December 1, 1852, par. 11

I then felt no disposition to dress like the world, but wished to be plain in my dress, sober, and watchful, and put away all light and trifling conversation. YI December 1, 1852, par. 12

The minister spoke to me about being baptized. I told him that I could not be baptized then, that I wished to see if I could endure the trials a christian would have to endure, before moving forward in such a solemn ordinance. YI December 1, 1852, par. 13

When twelve years old, I wished to be immersed. The minister reluctantly consented to go into the water. He chose to sprinkle the candidates. It was a very windy day. The waves ran high, and dashed upon the shore; but I felt perfectly calm. My peace was like a river; and when I arose out of the water, my strength was nearly gone, for the power of God rested upon me, and my soul was filled to overflowing with his love. Such a rich blessing I never experienced before. I felt dead to the world, and that my sins were all washed away. YI December 1, 1852, par. 14

The same day a sister and myself were taken into the church. I felt calm and happy, till I looked at the sister by my side, and saw gold rings on her fingers, and large gold ear-rings in her ears. Her bonnet was filled with artificial flowers, and was trimmed with costly ribbon, which was filled with bows upon her bonnet. My heart felt sad. I expected every moment that a reproof would come from the minister; but none came. He took us both into the church. My reflections were as follows: This is my sister, must I pattern after her? Must I dress like her? If it is right for her to dress so, it is right for me. I remembered what the Bible said about adorning the body. [1 Timothy 2:9, 10.] For some time I was in deep trial, and finally concluded that if it was so sinful as I had thought it to be to dress like the world, those whom I looked up to as being devoted christians, and older in experience than myself, would feel it, and would deal plainly with those who thus went contrary to God's word. But I knew that I must be plain in my dress. I believed it to be wicked to think so much of appearance, to decorate our poor mortal bodies with flowers and gold. It seemed to me that we had better be humbling ourselves in the dust; for our sins and transgressions were so great that God gave his only beloved Son to die for us. YI December 1, 1852, par. 15

I did not feel satisfied with what I enjoyed. I longed to be sanctified to God; but sanctification was preached in such a manner that I could not understand it, and thought that I never could attain to it, and settled down with my present enjoyment. YI December 1, 1852, par. 16

In 1841, Wm. Miller gave another course of Lectures in Portland. I attended them, and felt that I was not ready for Christ's coming; and when the invitation was given for those who desired prayers to come forward, I pressed through the crowd, and in taking up this cross found some relief. YI December 1, 1852, par. 17

I continued to plead with God for pure religion, and soon the cross of praying in a public meeting was presented before me. I was not humble enough to obey the Lord in this duty, fearing that if I attempted to pray, I could not, or my prayer would be very broken. Despair fastened upon me, and I was held in darkness three weeks. The suffering of my mind was great. O, how precious did the hope of a christian look to me then. And how wretched the case of the sinner, without a hope in Christ. YI December 1, 1852, par. 18

I found no relief until I made up my mind to obey the Lord, and take up the cross before me.—I attended a prayer-meeting, and, for the first time, prayed vocally. My burdened spirit found relief at every word I spoke, until I was perfectly free and happy. Light from the Lord shone into my heart. YI December 1, 1852, par. 19

I was then free from pride. All that I desired to live for, was to glorify God, and him only did I wish to serve. All pride of dress was gone. The sacrifice that Christ had made to save me from sin, looked very great, and I could not dwell upon it without weeping. YI December 1, 1852, par. 20

My health had been feeble for years, and often suffered great distress of body. But I could now bear it all cheerfully. I felt that my will was wholly swallowed up in the will of God. YI December 1, 1852, par. 21

Often I could not sleep, I was so thankful that God had blessed me, and given me a good hope through Jesus Christ. I felt a longing of soul for the image of Christ to be reflected in me. Since that time I have had no desire to mingle with the world. YI December 1, 1852, par. 22

Dear children, you can be wholly consecrated to God, and rejoice in a full and free salvation. You must first give yourselves unreservedly to him.—Do not think that your state is good enough, and make no effort to get nearer to God. Unless you overcome pride of dress, pride of heart, love of self[,] all anger and every evil passion, God will not own you as his, and will not receive you to himself at his appearing. You can be overcomers. Go to God daily for strength, and every day overcome. When temptations arise, do not let them get the victory over you; but you must get the victory over them; and then you will feel the sweet assurance that God loves you. Be humble, be watchful and prayerful. Look to Jesus, he is your pattern. Strive to have your lives as much like his as possible. Do not rest satisfied until you know that you love God with all your heart, and that his will is your will. YI December 1, 1852, par. 23

Keep his commandments holy. Do not speak your own words on the holy Sabbath, but talk of heavenly things. Talk of Jesus, his loveliness and glory, and of his undying love for you, and let your heart flow out in love and gratitude to him, who died to save you. O, get ready to meet your Lord in peace. Those who are ready will soon receive an unfading crown of life, and will dwell forever in the kingdom of God, with Christ, with angels, and with those who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. YI December 1, 1852, par. 24

E. G. W.


November, 1852.