The Youth’s Instructor


August 3, 1887

Study the Scriptures


“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11. YI August 3, 1887, par. 1

We know the dangers and temptations that beset the youth at the present time are not few, nor small; and we understand that every means that can be employed to repress sin and to encourage righteousness should be entered into most earnestly by the youth themselves. We live in an age when to resist evil calls for constant watchfulness and prayer. God's precious word is the standard for youth who would be loyal to the King of heaven. Let them study the Scriptures. Let them commit text after text to memory, and acquire a knowledge of what the Lord has said; and then let his word be strictly obeyed. When tested, and in trial, let the youth spread out the word of God before them, and with humble hearts, and in faith, seek the Lord for wisdom to find out his way, and for strength to walk in it. The Lord loves his children, and with a devotion stronger than that of a mother for her child; for in response to the question, “Can a woman forget her child?” the Lord, by his prophet, says, She “may forget, yet will I not forget.” YI August 3, 1887, par. 2

Yesterday, in company with Mrs. M. K. White and her two children, I rode from Basel, Switzerland, into a portion of Germany. During the ride, we witnessed a painful scene, which I could not get out of my mind, even in the night season. It was a woman running after her five-year-old child, which, when she reached it, she struck several severe blows upon the head. Afterward she grasped her little one by the hair of its head, twitched it back and forth repeatedly, at the same time continuing to strike it; and finally, seizing the little girl again by her hair, she shook her violently; and lifting her from her feet, threw her with great force into the house. All this time the child was screaming at the top of its voice. The thought that here was a woman, a mother, in a hurricane of passion, having the control of children, was painful in the extreme. What will be the effect upon children brought up in such an atmosphere? It was the first exhibition of the kind we had witnessed since coming to Europe. YI August 3, 1887, par. 3

But though the woman may forget, the Lord assures us he will not. Isaiah 49:15, 16 reads: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on” him? “Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.” YI August 3, 1887, par. 4

Christ bears the cruel prints of the nails into heaven, and can he forget the purchase of his blood? Will he leave the children and youth a prey to the temptations of the enemy? No, he has made ample provision for every youth, that when they call upon him in perplexity and trial, he will listen to their prayer, and will, with every temptation, make a way for their escape. YI August 3, 1887, par. 5

The Lord never corrects except in love and compassion. Jesus was himself a child, and knows the temptations and trials of childhood. He was himself a youth, and he understands the perplexities and disappointments of youth. He pities and sympathizes with the erring. He received the cruel wounds on the cross of Calvary, that left the marks in his hands, that he might bless and save the children and youth. He knows your conflicts; he knows, too, the desires of the enemy. He knows your heart sorrows for sins and your purposes to be right and do right, and he stands ready always to give you needed help when you shall call upon him. YI August 3, 1887, par. 6

You may have pure, noble characters, a rich experience in the service of Jesus Christ. But you must, like Joseph, set your hearts resolutely to resist the first insinuation from the tempter to do evil. Your only safety is in making the word of God your study. If you will hide his word in the heart, you will not mistake the path of duty and of safety. That blessed book will teach you to be honest, temperate in all things, frugal, industrious, truthful, and upright. Its counsels heeded will make you a faithful companion of youth, giving you an influence that will ever lead upward, to purity of character; an influence that will lead away from sin, into paths of righteousness. YI August 3, 1887, par. 7

Will such a life be without enjoyment? Ah, no! It will be full of comfort, full of satisfaction, because you are bringing heaven into your life, peace into your soul, and leaving a testimony that “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” “The entrance of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” YI August 3, 1887, par. 8

I would that all the young could understand how precious is the offering of a youthful heart to God. How lovingly the angels guard the steps of God-fearing, God-loving youth. Jesus knows them by name, and their example is helping other youth to do right. The youth who has hidden within the heart and mind a store of God's words of caution and encouragement, of his precious pearls of promise, from which he can draw at any time, will be a living channel of light. He has connection with the Source of all light. The Sun of Righteousness sends its light and healing beams into his soul, irradiating rays of light to all around him. YI August 3, 1887, par. 9

I counsel the youth not to devote to the reading of story books or fictitious tales the precious moments now given them in which to make preparation for eternity. Such reading will surely unfit the mind for the enjoyment of solid reading, which strengthens the intellect and improves the morals. Story-book reading creates an appetite for exciting stories, leads the mind away from the Scriptures, and disqualifies for duty; it makes the precious words of God, which should be of the highest value, dry and uninteresting. The mind must be fed with pure food if the heart be pure. The moral taste is perverted by fictitious reading. YI August 3, 1887, par. 10

Let our young men institute a warfare against every habit that has the least danger of leading the soul from duty and devotion. Let them have stated seasons for prayer, never neglecting them if it can possibly be avoided. If they go out to battle with their vicious habits indulged as before they professed fellowship with Christ, they will soon fall an easy prey to Satan's devices. But armed with the word of God, having it treasured in heart and mind, they will come forth unharmed by all the assaults of the foes of God or man. YI August 3, 1887, par. 11

I appeal to our youth never to be found without the spiritual armor, wherewith they will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the adversary. In the name of God, lift your banner for truth and righteousness,—the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. You need the perfect armor of truth now, the sword of the Spirit, whose edge will never be blunted, but will cut its way through sin and unrighteousness. I repeat, The Bible is the standard for the young who would be loyal to the King of heaven. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” YI August 3, 1887, par. 12

Mrs. E. G. White